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Latest news, sport, business, comment, analysis and reviews from the Guardian, the world's leading liberal voice



Published: Fri, 20 Oct 2017 18:34:34 GMT2017-10-20T18:34:34Z

Copyright: Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. 2017
 



Theatre director Max Stafford-Clark was ousted over inappropriate behaviour

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 17:00:02 GMT2017-10-20T17:00:02Z

Exclusive: Out of Joint founder was forced out in September after formal complaint that he made lewd comments to a female member of staff

One of the most influential directors in British theatre was forced to stand down from the company he founded after being accused of inappropriate, sexualised behaviour, the Guardian has learned.

Renowned director Max Stafford-Clark – the former artistic director of London’s Royal Court theatre – was forced out of the Out of Joint theatre company after a formal complaint that he made lewd comments to a member of staff.

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Children waiting up to 18 months for mental health treatment – CQC

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 18:00:00 GMT2017-10-20T18:00:00Z

NHS watchdog’s report sounds alarm that accessing care for under-18s in England takes so long, amid self-harm concerns

Children with mental health problems are waiting up to 18 months to be treated, a government ordered report will reveal next week in an indictment of the poor care many receive.

A Care Quality Commission report into child and adolescent mental health services (Camhs) will warn that long delays for treatment are damaging the health of young people with anxiety, depression and other conditions.

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Emmanuel Macron accuses Brexiters of bluffing over no-deal divorce

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 17:05:36 GMT2017-10-20T17:05:36Z

French president tells EU leaders’ summit that Theresa May has never raised cliff-edge Brexit as an option during any discussions

Emmanuel Macron has accused Brexiters of seeking to “bluff” the EU into softening its negotiating stance by championing a no-deal scenario.

In a dramatic intervention at a summit of European leaders in Brussels, the French president said such an outcome was “in no case” part of the discussions, in an apparent reference to reports that the Brexit secretary, David Davis, was planning to positively present a plan to the UK cabinet for Britain to strike out of the EU without a deal.

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Oxbridge 'failing to address diversity', David Lammy says

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 18:21:40 GMT2017-10-20T18:21:40Z

MP says universities put pressure on journalists to change stories about lack of black students getting places rather than addressing concerns

Oxford and Cambridge have been accused of failing to engage in serious debate over their lack of diversity by the former education minister David Lammy, who first highlighted the issue with data obtained by freedom of information requests.

The Labour MP said the universities had been “trying to make journalists change their stories” rather than address how little progress they were making in recruiting talented students by race, social class and location in England and Wales.

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List of Harvey Weinstein's accusers grows as ripple of effects spread globally

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 17:06:14 GMT2017-10-20T17:06:14Z

Lupita Nyong’o claims Weinstein harassed her when she was a film student, as police in three cities continue investigations and #metoo gains momentum

The Los Angeles police d epartment has opened an investigation into sexual assault allegations made against disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein as famous victims continued to come forward, including 12 Years a Slave star Lupita Nyong’o, who published a powerful personal essay detailing her alleged harassment in the New York Times.

An Italian actress and model, whose name has not been released, told the LAPD on Thursday that she was raped by Weinstein in a hotel near Beverly Hills in 2013, police confirmed on Thursday.

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Dozens killed in twin bombings of mosques in Afghanistan

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 18:03:51 GMT2017-10-20T18:03:51Z

Suicide bombings in capital Kabul and Ghor province leave at least 70 dead, the latest in a series of attacks across the country

More than 70 people have been killed in twin suicide bombings on mosques in Afghanistan, government officials said.

Related: The war America can't win: how the Taliban are regaining control in Afghanistan

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FA’s Greg Clarke under further pressure after John Amaechi’s equality claims

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 18:31:32 GMT2017-10-20T18:31:32Z

• Clarke allegedly said he would not risk ‘getting fucking fired for equality’
• Amaechi is one of Britain’s highest-profile openly gay sportsmen

Greg Clarke’s position as chairman of the Football Association is set to come under further scrutiny after it was alleged he told John Amaechi, one of Britain’s highest-profile openly gay sportsmen, that he would not risk “getting fucking fired for equality”.

Clarke is already in hot water over the FA’s handling of allegations of discrimination made by Eni Aluko. At a parliamentary hearing this week, which exposed deep flaws in the way the organisation investigated the former England Women’s manager Mark Sampson, Clarke dismissed the idea of institutional racism as “fluff”, although he swiftly attempted to retract his words.

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Labour MP Clive Lewis apologises for 'get on your knees' comment

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 18:33:49 GMT2017-10-20T18:33:49Z

Female MPs criticised Lewis for language used at a conference fringe meeting, as Tories call on Corbyn to condemn remarks

The Labour MP Clive Lewis has apologised for using a misogynist phrase at a Labour party conference fringe event last month after being criticised by several prominent female colleagues.

Video from the Momentum event in Brighton surfaced on Friday in which Lewis, the MP for Norwich, told the actor Sam Swann to “get on your knees bitch”. The language attracted widespread condemnation from politicians on all sides. But Swann later described the situation as “jovial”.

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Four police officers cleared over death of teenager in moped crash

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 16:38:39 GMT2017-10-20T16:38:39Z

Panel clears Met officers of gross misconduct over Henry Hicks’s death in collision while being followed by unmarked police cars

Four police officers have been cleared of gross misconduct after a teenager died in a moped crash as he tried to evade them.

Henry Hicks was fatally injured when his scooter collided with cars in Islington, north London, on the evening of 19 December 2014.

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Policeman and former England athlete jailed for secretly filming sex

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 17:47:56 GMT2017-10-20T17:47:56Z

Jayson Lobo, who represented England at the 1998 Commonwealth Games, secretly filmed sex with eight women he met online

A policeman and former champion runner has been jailed for three years after secretly filming himself having sex with women he met on an internet dating site.

Jayson Lobo, who won the British 800m title in 1998 and represented England at the Commonwealth Games, secretly filmed eight women and stored the “library of personalised pornography” in secret, password-protected folders on his mobile phones, Liverpool crown court heard.

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Phones4U founder 'felt bereaved' after partner's expenses claims, high court hears

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 17:25:37 GMT2017-10-20T17:25:37Z

John Caudwell gives evidence against former business partner Nathalie Dauriac who denies fiddling £33,000 worth of expenses

John Caudwell, the founder of Phones4U, said the breakdown of his relationship with a trusted business adviser who he regarded as a “best friend” was like suffering a “bereavement”, the high court has heard.

Caudwell was giving evidence at the high court on Friday in his legal battle with French businesswoman Nathalie Dauriac, the former chief executive of Signia Wealth, which helped to manage his personal fortune. Dauriac has been accused of fiddling her expenses.

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#MeToo: how a hashtag became a rallying cry against sexual harassment

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 17:13:36 GMT2017-10-20T17:13:36Z

Actor Alyssa Milano’s online call after the Harvey Weinstein revelations became a conversation about men’s behaviour towards women and power imbalances

It started with an exposé detailing countless allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. But soon, personal stories began pouring in from women in all industries across the world, and the hashtag #MeToo became a rallying cry against sexual assault and harassment.

The movement began on social media after a call to action by the actor Alyssa Milano, one of Weinstein’s most vocal critics, who wrote: “If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote ‘Me too’ as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.”

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Oh yes, May’s ‘sticking it’ to Brussels. Like a zebra sticking it to a lion pack | Marina Hyde

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 17:11:36 GMT2017-10-20T17:11:36Z

The prime minister’s pleas to EU leaders haven’t fully paid off, it seems. Her captors’ response is that the torture bit isn’t over yet

Theresa May is now contractually obliged to appear only in footage that can be soundtracked by Coldplay singing, “Nobody said it was easy … ”. Watching her in scenes from the European council summit in Brussels, it sometimes seems she’s already biting her lip and turning away in slow motion, sparing the News at Ten the task of editing it for the montage.

Related: Merkel hopeful of Brexit deal after May's pleas - politics live

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Labour’s Tom Watson: ‘Do Jeremy Corbyn and I get on better now? Yes, a lot’

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 17:13:34 GMT2017-10-20T17:13:34Z

Only a year ago Labour’s deputy leader was stricken at his party’s dysfunctional disarray. Now he’s making parallels to Blair’s 1997 landslide and is convinced the Tories are on the brink of collapse. But will his bitter row with Unite’s Len McCluskey ever be resolved?

The first time we met, in 2014, Tom Watson was essentially operating a one-man child abuse hotline out of his parliamentary office. His reputation as a champion of phone-hacking victims made him one of the few politicians alleged victims would trust with their stories, and Watson found enough of them credible to take claims of a VIP Westminster paedophile ring very seriously. “There is no doubt in my mind,” he told me, “that at least one politician abused kids.”

When we met again, in the summer last year, Labour was in dysfunctional disarray, reeling from the aborted coup against Jeremy Corbyn. Watson was barely even on speaking terms with his leader, and looked stricken. He said that entryist “old Trots” were infiltrating Momentum to hijack control of the party, which got him into hot water with Corbynistas. He didn’t seem to mind upsetting them, though, which made me think he assumed they’d soon be finished off by inevitable electoral defeat anyway.

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If the police give up on low-level crime, we all pay a high price | Deborah Orr

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 18:10:00 GMT2017-10-20T18:10:00Z

When the blue light becomes a white flag, what message does it send to victims and criminals?

Crime reduction remains one of Britain’s recent success stories. Back in 1995, according to the Crime Survey for England and Wales, about 40 in 100 adults reported being victims of crime. By 2007 that figure was down to 24. The latest figures suggest it’s now 15.

Related: Is violent crime on the rise – or do the latest figures mask a different story? | Simon Jenkins

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Dead serious: what The Walking Dead needs to come back to life

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 16:09:21 GMT2017-10-20T16:09:21Z

As the eighth season of the ailing zombie show returns, what needs to be done to stave off the stench of creative inertia?

It’s time for a reckoning. Not the one foretold in the last and increasingly fatuous season of The Walking Dead, between Rick’s “Alexandrians” and their diabolical oppressors, but something far more radical. Sure, everybody enjoys seeing guys who look like white supremacist throwbacks getting eviscerated (apart, presumably, from white supremacists), but that will not be enough to save the ailing zombie show.

No, the reckoning I have in mind involves a cull of leading characters. Only through that kind of bloodletting can The Walking Dead stop the zombified plod of the last season. Only through being creatively unfaithful to the source material can The Walking Dead stop losing viewers and critical favour at the rate it did this spring.

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Was Donald Trump right to blame terrorism for rising UK crime figures?

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 13:54:51 GMT2017-10-20T13:54:51Z

The US president got the 13% right, but not the cause – and he risks contributing to another increase: in hate crime

A US study of Donald Trump’s tweets this week concluded they tell you about him more than they spark deep, insightful policy debates.

But his sudden interest in the annual crime rate in England and Wales and his conflation of this week’s 13% jump in offences with “radical Islamic terror” attacks in Britain is likely to fuel another ugly statistic published by the Home Office this week.

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Thrive: the new showing off online is showing off that you’re not online

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 15:16:30 GMT2017-10-20T15:16:30Z

Arianna Huffington’s upcoming app stops you receiving notifications, so you can concentrate on other things. But is it the best way to break free of technology?

Name: Thrive.

Appearance: Dark, sleek, slightly sinister.

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Rageh Omaar: ‘Nothing prepares you for becoming a parent. I just sobbed’

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 11:59:07 GMT2017-10-20T11:59:07Z

The TV journalist on a happy childhood in Mogadishu, his first taste of a British boarding school, and the first, unbelievable taste of fatherhood

Our family home in Mogadishu was in an area lined with trees, very green and the sun was always shining. I played on sandy beaches and in the warm, clear sea. I remember balmy summers – wet and humid – and the city had a beautiful whitewashed look because it was built under Italian colonial rule. During those endless summers, we would have lots of extended family gatherings – often relatives I had never seen, but had been told about, who would be returning home after working abroad.

My father, Abdullahi, became an accountant before setting up his businesses. He had a contract to represent Massey Ferguson tractors, introduced Coca-Cola to Somalia and started the country’s first independent newspaper. He was building his businesses at a time of huge political change and remained hard-working and determined to provide for his family. He was also a fun father with his five children.

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The good ship Lionel Messi feels too massive to be moved | Barney Ronay

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 17:15:18 GMT2017-10-20T17:15:18Z

The prospect of Lionel Messi, and the entire machinery built around him, leaving Barcelona would create such a frenzy it is difficult to imagine it being possible

We all have our favourite Victorian engineering folly. Mine is the SS Great Eastern, Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s super-ship powered by a hundred furnaces, a vessel so vast it could carry 10,000 passengers, so vast it became a symbol of grandiose, stovepipe-hatted ambition, and so vast that it turned out it couldn’t actually sail anywhere.

Completed in November 1857, the Great Eastern stayed moored at Millwall on the Thames for two months, unable to move because of its own mind-boggling size. Several times a launch was attempted and then abandoned. Eventually the Great Eastern left its dock with the help of an unusually powerful tide and from there set off on its ill-fated shortened lifespan.

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West Ham United v Brighton & Hove Albion: Premier League – live!

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 18:25:19 GMT2017-10-20T18:25:19Z

West Ham’s co-owner David Sullivan has just given an interesting interview to Gary Neville on Sky. Here are the highlights:

“We’ve had a slightly sticky start but with eight points form the last five games so if we win tonight we can start to look up the table rather than down. Our team is good enough to be higher up.

Firstly, commiserations to those of you who, like me, forgot about this game and so missed the cut-off points for making changes to your fantasy league teams. That puts a downer on the weekend straight away, so let’s hope for a barnstorming contest to rouse your spirits. Brighton tend not to be a particularly thrilling side to watch but maybe this will be the game where Knockaert really introduces himself to the Premier League? West Ham, meanwhile, have gone for an encouragingly attacking line-up (despite the omission of Cresswell in a further blow to my fantasy team).

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A decade after Indy joy, Lewis Hamilton would like nothing more than repeat win

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 18:23:52 GMT2017-10-20T18:23:52Z

The suggestion of joining NFL’s kneeling protests in Austin is of little interest to the title-chasing Mercedes driver

Lewis Hamilton may have the numerical advantage heading into this weekend’s US Grand Prix but one thing is clear: he has no intention of allowing mere figures to influence his charge to a fourth world championship.

Related: Lewis Hamilton wins Japanese GP to take big step towards F1 title

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Cricket is rotting away. Everything worthwhile is being destroyed

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 13:51:45 GMT2017-10-20T13:51:45Z

The authorities are ruining so much of the game many love as they concentrate on T20 money and power – and the ludicrous Test final is the last straw

Thirty years ago, when he was newly retired as a player and before he was canonised (if not yet knighted) for his performances as a jolly old card on Test Match Special, Geoffrey Boycott appeared on the Radio 4 programme In the Psychiatrist’s Chair.

The interviewer, Dr Anthony Clare, casually mentioned that cricket was a team game. Boycott denied it. “No, it’s 11 individuals as a team.” What a giveaway, thought the massed ranks of cricket-loving, Radio 4-listening, amateur psychiatrists. Boycott had finally admitted what his contemporaries always claimed: that he played for himself.

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Kevin De Bruyne: the stubborn boy who developed into a world beater

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 13:33:22 GMT2017-10-20T13:33:22Z

The Manchester City midfielder, nicknamed the ‘tumble dryer’ by his friends because of his dry responses on WhatsApp, has gone from being a perceived troublemaker to one of the best players in the world. How did he do it?

‘He just held on to one of the posts and refused to let go. He was in a rage. Three of us tried to pull him away from it but we didn’t manage.”

Kevin De Bruyne’s youth coach at Genk, Frank De Leyn, remembers the incident well. A young De Bruyne had been reprimanded for not helping to clear up the pitch after training and became so infuriated at being told off that he grabbed one of the posts and refused to let go.

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Moto GP thriller and Deeney’s desire expose crassness of Warner’s ‘war’ | Richard Williams

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 14:22:39 GMT2017-10-20T14:22:39Z

Using your sporting ability and showing mutual respect while defeating an opponent shows up those who prefer crass trash-talk

How badly do you want it? That’s a question to be directed at an opponent in the form of a challenge, stated or implied. Does that challenge have an acceptable limit? In their different ways, and with very different responses, the Australian cricketer David Warner and the English footballer Troy Deeney both asked the question this week.

Related: Australia’s David Warner promises ‘hatred’ and ‘war’ with England in Ashes

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British Cycling’s Julie Harrington: ‘Jess speaking out has been the catalyst for change’

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 13:55:58 GMT2017-10-20T13:55:58Z

Chief executive of British cycling is confident she can oversee a change of culture, after the bullying and sexism allegations, without damaging the medal count

Julie Harrington is watching youngsters hurtle round the BMX track inside the National Cycling Centre on the outskirts of Manchester. She has walked up the biggest ramp before, several years ago when she came here on a coaching development day while working for the Football Association.

“I was encouraging people to look outside the game for best practice,” she says. “I invited the likes of Sir Dave Brailsford to St George’s Park to talk about how football might do things differently, ironically.”

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Sean Dyche: ‘I’m not running from Burnley. I’ve never said I want to move’ | Paul Wilson

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 16:03:00 GMT2017-10-20T16:03:00Z

The seventh-longest-serving manager in England, who admits he will need a little luck at Manchester City on Saturday, discusses being linked with Leicester and why he swears by honesty and simplicity

Burnley’s away form against some of the leading Premier League teams this season has taken them to the top half of the table, last term’s relegation concerns and 35-match wait for a win on the road now a distant memory. Which is probably just as well, since Saturday brings the trip even a side with an unbeaten away record must find daunting.

Stoke City’s Mark Hughes admitted after last week’s seven-goal pounding that even in the depths of despair he could not help but admire Manchester City’s attacking play. So accurate and imaginative was their passing he feared some of their goals might have been undefendable. Napoli ended up unlucky on Tuesday in the Champions League, though even the Serie A leaders came close to finding themselves in Stoke’s position, three down in under half an hour.

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The Fiver | Even yarg has its uses. Nutritionally imperfect, but ever so tasty

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 16:08:13 GMT2017-10-20T16:08:13Z

In today’s Fiver: Leicester’s players take the biscuit, Javier Mascherano thanks a witch and Andrew Durante gets disconnected

What a confusing time this is to play for Leicester. In February the players engineered the sacking of an unpopular manager, and in October they failed to avert the sacking of a popular one. So what exactly is going on? Are their opinions important or are they not? What is their role in this world? And what is the answer to life, the universe and everything?

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Everton give life ban to child-holding fan who attacked Lyon player

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 11:29:38 GMT2017-10-20T11:29:38Z

• Everton also lodge complaint with police over supporter’s conduct
• Merseyside police looking into violence at Europa League match

Everton have said they will ban for life the fan who appeared to hit the Lyon goalkeeper Anthony Lopes while holding a young child during a melee at Goodison Park on Thursday.

The club said they had identified the supporter following an internal investigation into the disturbances and registered a formal complaint against the individual with Merseyside police.

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Huddersfield’s Jonas Lossl: ‘What I’ve noticed is how friendly people here are’

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 15:21:32 GMT2017-10-20T15:21:32Z

The goalkeeper says he jumped at the chance to join David Wagner in Yorkshire and says his side have the togetherness to ride out slumps in form

Zlatan Ibrahimovic cannot face Huddersfield Town on Saturday but he may tell his Manchester United team-mates that the hosts’ goalkeeper Jonas Lossl is capable of extraordinary saves.

The pair met in December 2014 when Lossl, then of Guingamp, helped inflict a first defeat of the Ligue 1 season on the Swede’s seemingly-invincible Paris Saint-Germain. Ibrahimovic thought he would avert that defeat when, with PSG trailing 1-0 as full-time loomed, he unleashed a powerful volley from six yards out. But Lossl threw up his arms to bat the ball away and preserve the win, showing “reflexes from another world”, according to the report in Le Parisien.

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Godolphin gear up for Champions Day under the watchful eye of Joe Osborne

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 14:30:07 GMT2017-10-20T14:30:07Z

The racing operation’s new chief executive travels to Ascot on Saturday to watch Harry Angel, Ribchester and Barney Roy bring down the Flat curtain

How many horses does one need before one can hope to have three fancied runners on a £4m card like British Champions Day at Ascot? The answer, if the Godolphin experience is any guide, is 4,000. “That’s everything around the world – mares, foals, yearlings and racehorses,” says Joe Osborne, who took over as chief executive in June and has spent much of the intervening time travelling to see Godolphin bases in France, the US, Australia and Japan.

How on earth does one begin to manage the careers of so many animals, bearing in mind that the good ones must be identified by the time they are two years old or three at the absolute latest? “It’s about having good people managing them,” responds the unruffled Osborne, a 54-year-old Irishman with decades of experience in bloodstock, “and we’ve good people all the way through the ranks, every job that they do. Having good people makes it work. Once you have proper people and proper systems, everything else should fall into place.”

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Mawson and Daniels become first British players to join Mata’s charity project

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 12:15:07 GMT2017-10-20T12:15:07Z

• Swansea’s Alfie Mawson and Bournemouth’s Charlie Daniels sign up
• They pledge percentage of salary to charity under Common Goal initiative

Alfie Mawson and Charlie Daniels have become the first British footballers to sign up to Juan Mata’s Common Goal project under which participants donate a percentage of their salary to charity.

Mawson, the Swansea and England Under-21 defender, and Daniels, the Bournemouth defender, take the number of people who have joined Mata in the initiative to 11. Each of those, comprising 10 players and the Hoffenheim head coach, Julian Nagelsmann, has pledged to donate at least 1% of their earnings.

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Jürgen Klopp: ‘common sense’ prevailed over mooted Christmas Eve fixtures

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 13:11:48 GMT2017-10-20T13:11:48Z

• Klopp: ‘So, Sky, thank you. Usually I can get it, so I take it and that’s how it is’
• Liverpool manager questions Senegal’s confidence over Sadio Mané injury

Jürgen Klopp has said he is grateful to television broadcasters for using “common sense” after they decided against moving Liverpool’s fixture against Arsenal to Christmas Eve. Sky Sports had wanted to schedule the game that Sunday night but has instead moved the match to Friday 22 December, following a backlash from supporters against the initial proposal.

“To be honest I don’t know when it last happened, that somebody could take something but did not take it, because of common sense,” Klopp said. “I don’t know. So, Sky, thank you. Usually [it is]: ‘I can get it, so I take it’, and that is how the world looks a little bit in this moment. I thought it was a very, very good decision – especially for the fans because that is No1.

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José Mourinho expects Zlatan Ibrahimovic to return from injury in December

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 14:23:40 GMT2017-10-20T14:23:40Z

• Manchester United manager says striker is working hard after knee injury
• Marcus Rashford fit to face Huddersfield on Saturday, Mourinho reports

José Mourinho believes Zlatan Ibrahimovic could return in December and has said Marcus Rashford is available for Manchester United’s trip to Huddersfield Town on Saturday.

Ibrahimovic is recovering from a serious knee injury and has not played since 20 April. Rashford suffered a minor knee problem in Wednesday’s 1-0 win at Benfica in the Champions League.

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'I prepared not to come back': the woman who finished the world's hardest swim

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 10:00:05 GMT2017-10-20T10:00:05Z

Kim Chambers started swimming after a life-changing accident. Just a few years later, she became the first woman to take on a notorious stretch of shark-inhabited waters

Under a black sky in August 2015, Kim Chambers boarded a boat and headed out beneath the Golden Gate Bridge. She took a support team that included her mother, a film crew, and her swimming coach. Their destination was the Farallon Islands, a remote outcrop about 30 miles off the coast of San Francisco.

Once there, Chambers would attempt something no woman had ever done: an unbroken, solo swim from the islands back under the Golden Gate. With the area’s icy waters, strong winds, heavy swells and one of the largest concentrations of great white sharks, it’s been called the toughest swim in the world.

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Chelsea v Watford: match preview

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 15:34:33 GMT2017-10-20T15:34:33Z

Chelsea have dropped eight points at home this season, already two more than last season, and confront fourth-placed Watford with only one fully fit senior midfielder. Antonio Conte’s side are clearly struggling to adapt to the fixture clutter generated by the Champions League. The visitors’ start will be fuelling their own European desires, with Watford having taken 10 points from four away games to date. This suddenly feels a distinctly awkward fixture for the defending champions. Dominic Fifield

Kick-off Saturday 12.30pm

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Manchester City v Burnley: match preview

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 16:21:38 GMT2017-10-20T16:21:38Z

Burnley are 30-1 to beat Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium due to the Premier League leaders dropping just two points, scoring 29 goals, and blitzing last week’s visitors, Stoke City, 7-2. But Sean Dyche is a shrewd manager and while a victory would be a surprise it would be no shock, given they have already won at Stamford Bridge and drawn at Anfield this season. Jamie Jackson

Kick-off Saturday 3pm

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Newcastle United v Crystal Palace: match preview

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 15:06:18 GMT2017-10-20T15:06:18Z

Andros Townsend may regard this as an audition for a potential January return to Tyneside as he and his Palace team-mates try to reprise last week’s long-awaited win against Chelsea. Townsend’s old manager, Rafael Benítez, may be more concerned by Wilfried Zaha as he aims to ensure Newcastle bolster the feel-good factor engendered by much fevered take-over talk and collect three points themselves. Roy Hodgson describes Zaha as his “talisman” but Palace’s challenge is to prove they are no one man team. Louise Taylor

Kick-off Saturday 3pm

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Swansea City v Leicester City: match preview

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 17:43:33 GMT2017-10-20T17:43:33Z

With Leicester City winless in six games, 18th in the league and without a manager this is a huge opportunity for Swansea City to capitalise and record their third win of the season. In-form Tammy Abraham should relish going up against a Leicester defence that has conceded nine in their barren run. It is likely to be an uphill struggle for Leicester with the players reportedly unhappy about Craig Shakespeare’s sacking. Robin Sargeson

Kick-off Saturday 3pm

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'Christ, she’s hard work,' said Pot Plant One as Theresa left the room | John Crace

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 12:29:25 GMT2017-10-20T12:29:25Z

Told by her green advisers to make her Brexit speech short and meaningless, Maybot perked up. That she could do

Theresa May was in her customary position around the table in Brussels. Alone. She sat with her shoulders slumped, trying to catch the eye of the four pot plants in front of her. After several minutes of uncomfortable silence, she said: “How do you think that went?”

“Could have been worse,” replied Pot Plant One. “At least the EU have agreed to hold talks about holding talks to advance the negotiations sometime after Christmas.”

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The Guardian view on Oxbridge admissions: race, place and class matters | Editorial

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 17:50:49 GMT2017-10-20T17:50:49Z

It would be fairer to judge A-levels in the light of the socioeconomic context in which they were achieved

Earlier this month Oxford University put up a plaque to celebrate its first black graduate. Christian Cole read classics and went on to become the first African-origin barrister in the English courts in the 1880s. Where Mr Cole once blazed a trail, few unfortunately have followed. Data extracted by Labour MP David Lammy shows that 10 out of 32 Oxford colleges did not award a place to a black British pupil in 2015. Oxford’s great rival Cambridge University fared little better: six colleges failed to admit any black British A-level students in the same year. Britain’s most elitist universities could put a plaque up for every black person they admitted and still have room for Cecil Rhodes statues.

Related: Oxford accused of 'social apartheid' as colleges admit no black students

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The NFL protests are being diluted. Here’s how players can change that | Chiraag Bains

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 17:58:30 GMT2017-10-20T17:58:30Z

More players need to say unequivocally and consistently that these protests are about policing, criminal justice, and the value of black lives

NFL players who have been protesting racism and police violence are under attack. Earlier this month, vice-president Mike Pence made a show of leaving a Colts-49ers game when twenty San Francisco players kneeled during the national anthem. Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has threatened to bench any player who does not stand. Some fans have booed or burned jerseys.

More important than the risk of being benched or booed, however, is the hijacking of the players’ message. Donald Trump has been the hijacker-in-chief. He has insisted that the protests disrespect the flag, the military, and “everything that we stand for.” Trump called for owners to fire any “son of a bitch” who takes a knee, and asked fans to boycott games. When the NFL declined this week to mandate standing, the president lashed out at the league on Twitter.

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Channel 4’s ‘brownface’ documentary is no way to portray Muslims | Radhika Sanghani

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 13:59:08 GMT2017-10-20T13:59:08Z

I once spent 24 hours in a niqab to explore racist attitudes. But My Week As a Muslim tips a worthy idea into the realm of stereotype and cliche

Katie Freeman is being given a prosthetic nose. It is larger, thicker and wider than her existing nose. Next come a selection of teeth covers – all of which appear slightly yellower and more crooked than her existing teeth – and brown contact lenses. Then the piece de resistance: her white skin is covered up with a dark layer of makeup.

This is not a tasteless Halloween costume. It is a scene from Monday’s Channel 4 show My Week As a Muslim, where a white woman is “transformed to look like she’s of Pakistani origin”. The idea is for Freeman, a 44-year-old British healthcare assistant who genuinely wonders whether every woman in a burqa might be covering up a suicide belt, to spend a week undercover in Manchester’s Muslim community.

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Yes, the House of Lords needs reform. Why not create vocational peerages? | Maurice Glasman

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 16:27:13 GMT2017-10-20T16:27:13Z

Forget term limits. The vital role played by the second chamber would be enhanced with peers from every walk of life – including cleaners and nurses

As we crawl towards Brexit, it is inevitable that our attention will turn towards our institutions of national self-government. As parliamentary sovereignty is reasserted, the anomalies of the UK’s ancient constitution will re-emerge. Not the least of these is the House of Lords. There was a suggestion this week that there should be 15-year terms for newly appointed peers to limit their overall numbers. This does not really get to the point. The dilemma is that the unelected nature of the Lords supports the supremacy of the Commons. If it were elected it would lead to legislative conflict by undermining the democratic mandate of MPs. Paradoxically, the unelected Lords strengthens the democratic authority of the Commons.

While there is undoubted experience, expertise and not a little excellence in the Lords, it nonetheless remains a vestige of cronyism and patronage in our polity that requires reform.

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Insectageddon: farming is more catastrophic than climate breakdown | George Monbiot

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 11:11:00 GMT2017-10-20T11:11:00Z

The shocking collapse of insect populations hints at a global ecological meltdown

Which of these would you name as the world’s most pressing environmental issue? Climate breakdown, air pollution, water loss, plastic waste or urban expansion? My answer is none of the above. Almost incredibly, I believe that climate breakdown takes third place, behind two issues that receive only a fraction of the attention.

Related: Warning of 'ecological Armageddon' after dramatic plunge in insect numbers

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The best result from the Czech elections would be chaos | Jakub Patočka

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 16:00:51 GMT2017-10-20T16:00:51Z

Stable for so long, the Czech Republic looks likely to lurch to the right with a ruthless oligarch on the brink of power

For a long time, the Czech Republic stood out as an exceptionally stable democracy among the post-communist European states. Of course there were the occasional embarrassments with the two presidents who succeeded the democratic revolutionary Václav Havel: first the notorious climate-change-denying, pen-stealing, corruption-pardoning Václav Klaus, and then the even more despicable Miloš Zeman, who is almost cartoon-like in his vile manners. But presidents have no significant power in the Czech Republic and, viewed from outside, Czech parliamentary politics looked stable, solidly pro-European and firmly democratic. Until now.

Related: Czechs tipped to join populist surge in Europe by electing billionaire

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The Women's Convention is worse off without Bernie Sanders | Jamie Peck

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 16:39:31 GMT2017-10-20T16:39:31Z

By inviting Bernie Sanders, the Women’s Convention was strengthening its project and appeal. It’s a shame he is no longer going to attend the event

Since Bernie Sanders was first announced as an opening-night speaker at the upcoming Women’s Convention in Detroit, a small but vocal group of people started expressing their outrage. Fueled by misleading headlines like “Bernie Sanders Headlining An Event Called The Women’s Convention Is Peak 2017”, citizens and professional pundits maintained it was bad to let Sanders, a man, speak at a convention devoted to the political advancement of women’s rights.

There was even a Change.org petition, which was successful at getting Sanders moved to a panel. It may or may not shock you to learn that despite my intense commitment to feminism, I do not share their anger. In fact, I’m a little annoyed the organizers caved. (After all this, Sanders announced on Thursday that he would be skipping the event altogether in order to visit Puerto Rico.)

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Sarah Solemani: 'The TV and film industries are toxic – and it starts in the audition room'

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 12:00:07 GMT2017-10-20T12:00:07Z

The Harvey Weinstein scandal puts us at a crossroads. Can we remake the industry?

My first experience of sexism in showbusiness came early, when I was 19. I was invited to the director’s house for dinner, just the two of us. He cooked. It was delicious. He’d had practice, to be fair, being in his 50s. After dinner he asked how I felt about nudity. Another role in the project we were working on had involved nudity, so it didn’t feel a strange question, being 19 and ever so keen.

“Oh, but your story needed it,” I gushed. “It was brilliantly done.”

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The blood on George W Bush's hands will never dry. Don't glorify this man | Ross Barkan

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 14:21:03 GMT2017-10-20T14:21:03Z

George W Bush caused far more harm to the country and planet than Trump has so far, and maybe ever will

For liberals across the spectrum, the temptation is real to lionize George W Bush now. Donald Trump is our child-king, slobbering over the country and embarrassing us all. He is parody made real, a lackey for rightwing billionaires everywhere. It’s not hard to find a talking head on the left who will say he is, without question, the worst president America has ever had.

But don’t make that easy mistake. Especially not now as Bush, our 43rd president, rears his head from retirement to denounce his bombastic successor. At a speech in New York on Thursday, Bush set Democratic heartstrings aflutter when he declared that “we’ve seen our discourse degraded by casual cruelty”.

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Ignore the naysayers. The Brexit negotiations are going better than EU leaders can let on | Henry Newman

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 13:24:29 GMT2017-10-20T13:24:29Z

The EU and Britain are like a couple who’ve been on a few dates. It’s too soon to go further but they’ll get there eventually

The European council’s decision to tell Theresa May to, in effect, “Go back, try harder” is no surprise. It always seemed overwhelmingly likely that the 27 heads of government would rubber-stamp the recommendation of their lead negotiator for Brexit, Michel Barnier, that the UK has not yet made “sufficient progress” to talk trade. And (whisper it) EU leaders seem to be rather enjoying the theatre of all this – why release the pressure when you can keep the squeeze on the Brits?

But the simple truth is that there is probably relatively little that the UK could have done that would have persuaded the EU to green-light trade talks at this summit. Officials had already determined the outcome of the summit weeks ago. So the British team should be thinking Keep Calm and Carry On rather than crying May day.

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Is violent crime on the rise – or do the latest figures mask a different story? | Simon Jenkins

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 10:10:40 GMT2017-10-20T10:10:40Z

The unbelievable ONS statistics scream of an alarming crime surge, but they only reflect reporting activity. These misleading figures should be banned

The Home Office should ban the Office for National Statistics from issuing “police-recorded crime figures”, the latest batch of which were published yesterday. These statistics are part of a concerted campaign by police forces in England and Wales to resist cuts, boost budgets and bias workloads. Headlines indicate knife crime “highest for six years, “alarming increase in violent crime” and “crime surges”. Who says?

Apparently in one year gun crime is “up by 27%”, knife crime by 26% and robberies by 25%. As for stalking and harassment, it has risen by a phenomenal 36%. Violence in South Yorkshire rose by 49%. Apart from being unbelievable, these figures do not record crimes at all, they reflect reporting activity in police stations. This is governed by political policies, media-driven priorities and staff accessibility and numbers.

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All speeches should be shorter but I wouldn't dare tell that to Xi | John Crace

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 13:22:02 GMT2017-10-20T13:22:02Z

It’s been a week of mindfulness, a marathon monologue and a merry mission to Madrid

Warning: one diary entry may be uncharacteristically upbeat with little hint of the writer’s usual predisposition towards depression. Do not be alarmed, normal service will almost certainly be resumed by the end of the week.

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Men who are silent after #MeToo: it's time to speak up | Tom Pessah

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 09:00:04 GMT2017-10-20T09:00:04Z

The process of unlearning sexism is long and hard – but I am trying. We all need to make an effort

There’s been an outpouring of #MeToo statuses on social media. Thousands of women are posting detailed testimonies of times when they were sexually harassed and assaulted. For me as a man, it’s not that I was unaware of the extent of this problem, but this concentrated discussion has helped dramatize it for me. It’s become impossible to avoid or ignore, particularly when such testimonies come from people close to me whom I love and respect.

As several women friends have noted, this outpouring has been met with a deafening silence by men. There seem to be so many victims but almost no perpetrators. Are Harvey Weinstein and a few of his colleagues responsible for all these cases? Clearly not, but the rest of us are silent. And for change to happen, this silence needs to be broken.

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Russia without Putin? We should try to at least imagine the prospect | Mary Dejevsky

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 10:53:45 GMT2017-10-20T10:53:45Z

Former TV star Ksenia Sobchak has thrown her hat into next year’s presidential election. But even those who dislike Putin must concede he is a known quantity

A frisson of excitement touched the early skirmishing for next year’s Russian election with this week’s announcement by Ksenia Sobchak that she intended to run for the presidency. Not only was there the novelty of a woman, and a young woman at that – she turns 36 next month – throwing her hat in the ring, but there was the brazenness of anyone, at this early stage, or at all, mounting an electoral challenge to Vladimir Putin.

Outside Russia many might ask “Ksenia who”? But not inside the country, where Sobchak’s name is recognised nationwide, thanks to an early career in reality television which she used as a springboard for a more varied, and serious, media career. She joined the opposition protests of 2011-12, and there had been speculation for a while that she might consider a presidential bid in 2018.

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We are obsessed with Brexit and Trump: we should be thinking about China | Martin Kettle

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 05:00:45 GMT2017-10-20T05:00:45Z

It will no longer do to skip over the detail of the superpower’s beliefs and ambitions. What Xi Jinping says and does will shape our world

This has not been, it must be admitted, an exactly stellar week for those of us who continue to make the case for the enduring strengths of liberal democracy. On the contrary, it has felt like one humiliation after another.

In the House of Commons, a vote to suspend universal credit is brushed aside by Theresa May’s government as though parliament counts for nothing. After elections in Austria and New Zealand, mainstream parties are held hostage while populists decide which of them to put in government. Meanwhile, in Catalonia and Kurdistan, ill-judged referendums cause fresh divisions and confrontational responses from Spanish and Iraqi authorities.

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The architect who reminds us council housing can be beautiful | Paul Karakusevic

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 13:34:04 GMT2017-10-20T13:34:04Z

Neave Brown has long been a beacon of hope. Now he has been awarded architecture’s highest honour, we should learn from him to reimagine social housing

  • Paul Karakusevic is founder of Karakusevic Carson Architects

When I was a student in the early 1990s, discovering the work of architect Neave Brown was revelatory. At a time when council housing and domestic architecture was at a low ebb, his housing estates, such as the Alexandra Road estate for the London Borough of Camden, designed in the 1970s, were beacons of hope.

Brown’s estates were robust reminders of the dramatic progress public housing in the UK had made over the course of the 20th century. Barely 100 years since Charles Booth shone a light on the living conditions of the most needy in London, Brown and his team built on the progressive traditions of public housing in the UK to create some of the best, most innovative homes this country has ever seen.

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If millennials are wary of free speech, who can blame them? | Gaby Hinsliff

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 05:00:45 GMT2017-10-20T05:00:45Z

Banning ‘no platform’ policies on campus would not be so easy. The web generation has witnessed the hijacking of decent debate

People who like banning things, should be banned from doing so. Discuss. And no, it’s not an A-level philosophy question. It is the essence of the argument the higher education minister Jo Johnson started this week, when he announced that universities who don’t protect freedom of speech on campus could be fined.

It was preposterous, he said, that someone like Germaine Greer could be no-platformed when “she has every right, if invited, to give her views on difficult and awkward subjects”. (Greer’s invitation to give a guest lecture at Cardiff University was famously challenged by its women’s officer, who accused her of transphobia, although it eventually went ahead). Fostering “healthy disagreement” and challenging conversations was, Johnson insisted, what universities are all about.

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British banks can’t be trusted – let’s nationalise them | Owen Jones

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 18:12:10 GMT2017-10-19T18:12:10Z

Our finance system is rigged in favour of a crisis-ridden City to reap profits for individuals. It’s time these institutions worked for the good of communities

Sometimes the case for a policy is as overwhelming as the level of ridicule it will get from the punditocracy. The nationalisation of Britain’s failed banking industry – the sector responsible for most of our country’s current ills – is one such example. According to a recent poll, half the electorate support nationalising the banks, despite almost no one arguing for such a policy in public life.

It may well be because the banks plunged Britain into one of its worst economic crises in modern history, spawning, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies, perhaps our worst squeeze in living standards since the 1750s. The fact that they have been bailed out by the taxpayer but allowed to carry on as though little happened – including more top British bankers in 2013 being gifted bonuses worth over €1m than all EU countries combined – while public services are gratuitously slashed, has rightly riled some British voters.

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Andrea Leadsom takes the road to tyranny via the sea of incompetence

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 17:31:48 GMT2017-10-19T17:31:48Z

It’s been a Tory tradition for a while now to put the dimmest person possible in charge of scheduling government business

Busy, busy. Andrea Leadsom rifled through her diary. She didn’t have a spare minute. Monday was taken up with emergency new electric toothbrush legislation. Tuesday parliament needed to discuss the possible addition of a new roundabout on the A12. Wednesday was always a half-day as everyone was a bit drained after PMQs. And Thursday she would have to be back in the Commons to let everyone know how tied up she would be for the week after. Soz.

Valerie Vaz was less than impressed. The shadow leader of the house had this silly idea that a government was meant to govern, that it ought to be coming up with some constructive ideas on things such as housing, education and the NHS. Or even, God forbid, Brexit.

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UK may consider electric vehicle subsidy to increase cycling

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 14:28:43 GMT2017-10-20T14:28:43Z

Roads minister Jesse Norman says government could push councils to do more to fight pollution and inactive living

The UK government could potentially consider providing subsidies for electric bicycles and electric cars as part of a concerted policy effort to get more people cycling, the roads minister, Jesse Norman, has said.

With the UK facing health crises from pollution and inactive living, other plans could include using electric cargo bikes to deliver packages from internet retailers rather than vans, Norman told the Guardian.

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Lord Nelson’s rotating gems recreated decades after original was stolen

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 17:00:02 GMT2017-10-20T17:00:02Z

Royal Navy museum in Portsmouth to display replica of admiral’s ‘bizarre’ diamond-laden plume on Trafalgar Day

One of Admiral Lord Nelson’s most treasured possessions, which must have provoked stifled giggles when he switched on the clockwork mechanism and the great diamond in his hat rotated, has been recreated from the original designs more than half a century after it was stolen.

Related: Toppling statues? Here’s why Nelson’s column should be next | Afua Hirsch

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Drug dealer caught with stolen £1m Sir Stanley Spencer painting jailed

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 17:32:31 GMT2017-10-20T17:32:31Z

Harry Fisher sentenced to almost nine years for offending including handling stolen goods and conspiracy to supply class A drugs

A drug dealer caught with a stolen Sir Stanley Spencer painting worth £1m and £450,000 worth of drugs has been jailed for nearly nine years.

Harry Fisher, 28, was sentenced to eight years and eight months in prison at Kingston crown court on Friday after pleading guilty to conspiracy to supply class A drugs, acquiring criminal property, and handling stolen goods.

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David Blaine accused of raping model in London in 2004

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 12:37:37 GMT2017-10-20T12:37:37Z

Met police confirm allegation of rape under investigation after Natasha Prince claimed magician assaulted her when she was 21

The American magician David Blaine has been accused of raping a model in a London house more than a decade ago.

The star’s lawyer said he “vehemently denies” the allegation made by former fashion model Natasha Prince.

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Millennial railcard to launch next year offering a third off fares

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 13:09:28 GMT2017-10-20T13:09:28Z

Card for people aged 26-30 is expected to offer benefits similar to the 18-25 railcard but will only be available digitally

A new railcard for people aged 26-30 is to be launched early next year offering a third off most train fares as part of a wider government initiative to offer better deals for hard-pressed millennials.

It is understood that the chancellor, Phillip Hammond, is preparing to unveil a package of giveaways in his November budget aimed at shoring up support among younger voters, who have been among the hardest hit groups since the 2007-08 financial crisis.

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Trump links UK crime rise to 'spread of Islamic terror'

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 13:40:36 GMT2017-10-20T13:40:36Z

In latest Twitter outburst US president makes terrorism link even though annual figures cover all police-recorded offences

Donald Trump has erroneously linked a rise in recorded crime in England and Wales to the “spread of radical Islamic terror” in his latest outburst on Twitter.

“Just out report: ‘United Kingdom crime rises 13% annually amid spread of Radical Islamic terror.’ not good, we must keep America safe!” wrote the US president.

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Electroconvulsive therapy mostly used on women and older people, says study

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 14:39:18 GMT2017-10-20T14:39:18Z

Findings are a cause for concern and symptom of the ‘over-medicalising of human distress’, says co-author of report using NHS data

The use of electroconvulsive therapy to treat serious mental health problems is more prevalent in women and older individuals, researchers have found.

The study, which looked at data from a group of NHS trusts in England between 2011 and 2015, found that, on average, two thirds of recipients of ECT were women, and 56% were people aged over 60.

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Elsie Scully-Hicks jury hears 999 calls by father accused of her murder

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 13:07:43 GMT2017-10-20T13:07:43Z

CPS releases recordings of calls made by Matthew Scully-Hicks on day Elsie allegedly suffered fatal injuries and two months earlier

Harrowing recordings of two 999 calls made by a father accused of murdering his 18-month-old adoptive daughter have been released.

During a call made by Matthew Scully-Hicks on the day Elsie allegedly sustained fatal injuries, he described her as being “floppy and limp” and the operator can be heard instructing him to give her mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

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Trader who sold TV Kodi boxes enabling free streaming of paid content avoids jail

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 17:13:48 GMT2017-10-20T17:13:48Z

Brian Thompson, 55, from Middlesbrough, receives suspended sentence after selling illegally pre-configured set-top boxes to stream sports and films

A trader who made about £40,000 selling set-top TV boxes allowing viewers to watch Premier League matches and movies for free has avoided a jail term.

Shop owner Brian Thompson, 55, advertised what are often called Kodi boxes on the front of his Middlesbrough outlet with a sign saying “Sick of paying monthly subscriptions? Free Sky, Virgin, Box Nation, Racing UK.”

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Customs declarations to treble after Brexit – leaving staff struggling

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 15:27:26 GMT2017-10-20T15:27:26Z

Auditors paint bleak picture of Britain’s readiness to cope with extra workload at the border as staff numbers are cut

Customs declarations are expected to more than treble after Brexit while immigration officials face making more than double the number of decisions, Whitehall’s official spending watchdog has found.

As Theresa May’s government prepares to leave the EU, the National Audit Office has warned that the extra workload will come as staff numbers at the border are being cut and increasing reliance on outdated technology.

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Paedophile who had 3,000 abuse images jailed for two years

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 14:46:25 GMT2017-10-20T14:46:25Z

Matt De Vere was member of online paedophile ring that used Skype to share images of children being raped and abused

A man who shared sexual abuse images of children as young as eight months has been jailed for two years.

Matt De Vere, 34, a deputy pub manager, was part of an online paedophile ring that shared images of children being raped, Chelmsford crown court heard.

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Bad weather and Brexit cloud big-ticket buys at John Lewis

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 16:41:20 GMT2017-10-20T16:41:20Z

Chain says home furnishings face ‘real challenge’ as housing markets stalls but group finds solace in booming sales of ‘little pleasures’

The recent downturn on the high street is largely down to the weather but the uncertainty of Brexit continues to dampen demand for big household purchases, according to the boss of John Lewis.

“October is going to look pretty grim for the market,” said Paula Nickolds, managing director of the department store, ahead of the opening of the company’s first new store in a year, in Oxford.

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Home Office reverses decision to make stroke victim's wife leave UK

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 11:56:59 GMT2017-10-20T11:56:59Z

Leah Waterman was earlier told she must return to Philippines, leaving severely disabled husband to care for children

The wife of a British stroke victim told by the Home Office that he must become the sole carer for their two young children has been told she will receive a right to remain visa after the Guardian highlighted their plight.

The Home Office had previously insisted Leah Waterman had to return to the Philippines, leaving her husband, Simon – who uses a wheelchair, requires 24-hour supervision to keep him alive and cannot speak, write or reliably understand what is said to him – as the sole carer for their two young British children.

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Lloyds was not bullied into buying HBOS, high court hears

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 15:29:48 GMT2017-10-20T15:29:48Z

Former directors reject claim by bank shareholders that Gordon Brown’s government pushed bank into buying HBOS to avoid nationalisation

Lloyds Bank and five of its former directors “emphatically reject” allegations they were bullied into taking over HBOS, their QC has told the high court.

Helen Davies was responding to claims made by 6,000 Lloyds shareholders, who have brought a £600m compensation claim that they were not given a true picture of the financial health of HBOS when they voted through the takeover in November 2008.

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Oxford accused of 'social apartheid' as colleges admit no black students

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 20:00:34 GMT2017-10-19T20:00:34Z

Labour MP attacks university where one in three colleges failed to admit a black British student with A-levels in 2015•

Nearly one in three Oxford colleges failed to admit a single black British A-level student in 2015, with the university accused of “social apartheid” over its admissions policies by the former education minister David Lammy.

The data shows that 10 out of 32 Oxford colleges did not award a place to a black British pupil with A-levels in 2015, the first time the university has released such figures since 2010. Oriel College only offered one place to a black British A-level student in six years.

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Storm Brian thunders towards south coast of England

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 10:52:05 GMT2017-10-20T10:52:05Z

Met Office issues yellow warnings for wind across southern and western coast of England from Saturday morning

Britain is braced for Brian, the second named storm of the season, which is forecast to bring 70mph winds and heavy rain that could cause coastal flooding in the south of England on Saturday.

The Met Office has issued yellow warnings for wind across the whole of the southern and western coast of England from 4am on Saturday, with south-western areas expected to be among the worst affected.

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Labour party chair received £165,000 from union, watchdog finds

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 12:07:58 GMT2017-10-20T12:07:58Z

Regulator says no further action is to be taken over payments to Ian Lavery, who was president of NUM for eight years

The chair of the Labour party received just over £165,000 from a trade union he ran that had only 10 members, an official report says.

Ian Lavery, Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign chief and close ally, ran the National Union of Mineworkers (Northumberland area) until he entered parliament in 2010. The official union watchdog launched an investigation into payments to Lavery after media inquiries.

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UK mobile phone firms overcharging customers after contracts expire

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 08:27:36 GMT2017-10-20T08:27:36Z

Citizens Advice urges Ofcom to act after finding Vodafone, EE and Three charge for handsets after phones paid off

Three of Britain’s biggest mobile phone networks keep charging customers extra for their handsets after they have been paid off, leaving them up to £38 a month worse off, a consumer group has said.

Citizens Advice found that Vodafone, EE and Three were overcharging customers who failed to change their contract an average of £22 a month, rising to £38 a month for buyers of premium phones including the Samsung Galaxy S8, Apple iPhone and Sony Xperia XZ Premium.

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UK woman arrested on suspicion of murdering three-year-old girl

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 14:13:18 GMT2017-10-20T14:13:18Z

Hampshire police attended address in Fordingbridge on Thursday night after report of a ‘concern for welfare’

A woman has been arrested on suspicion of murdering a three-year-old girl, police have said.

Officers were called to a property in Fordingbridge, a gateway town to the New Forest national park, on Thursday night after a report of “a concern for welfare”, Hampshire police said.

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ITV's After the News beats BBC's Newsnight in ratings

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 14:14:14 GMT2017-10-20T14:14:14Z

Early success of current affairs show is boost for ITV and improves chance of four-week run being extended

ITV’s new late-night current affairs show After the News is beating Newsnight in the TV ratings battle, handing a fresh setback to one of the BBC’s flagship news programmes.

After the News has attracted an average overnight audience of 550,000 on ITV since it launched last week, ahead of Newsnight’s 500,000 on BBC Two, and has beaten Newsnight on six of the nine nights it has aired so far.

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Spanish PM vows to end Catalonia standoff and force region to obey law

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 14:55:47 GMT2017-10-20T14:55:47Z

Mariano Rajoy to hold emergency talks to decide exact nature of Spain’s intervention in Catalonia as crisis reaches ‘critical point’

The Spanish prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, has vowed to return Catalonia to the rule of law as his government prepares to announce unprecedented measures to head off the independence crisis by imposing direct rule from Madrid.

Speaking at the EU summit in Brussels on Friday, a day after he confirmed that article 155 of the Spanish constitution would be invoked to begin the process of suspending key elements of Catalonia’s self-rule, Rajoy said his government had two clear aims.

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Women take top three jobs in Norway's government

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 15:59:19 GMT2017-10-20T15:59:19Z

Ine Eriksen Søreide joins prime minister Erna Solberg and finance minister Siv Jensen in rightwing coalition government

Norway’s defence minister, Ine Eriksen Søreide, has became the country’s first female foreign minister, in a cabinet reshuffle that put the three most senior government jobs in the hands of women.

Søreide, 41, replaces Børge Brende, who is stepping down to take over as president of the World Economic Forum.

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Irish-Egyptian man freed after four years in jail in Egypt over protest

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 17:56:38 GMT2017-10-20T17:56:38Z

Ibrahim Halawa’s release comes after court acquits him of charges including murder, arson and illegal possession of weapons

An Irish-Egyptian man detained in Egypt for more than four years on charges related to a 2013 Muslim Brotherhood protest in Cairo has been released.

Ibrahim Halawa’s release early on Friday, announced by his laywer, Darragh Mackin, came about a month after an Egyptian court acquitted him of charges including murder, arson and illegal possession of weapons.

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Close schools and send our children to war, urges Yemeni minister

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 15:37:10 GMT2017-10-20T15:37:10Z

Youth minister Hassan Zaid proposes suspending classes in war-torn country and arming pupils and teachers

The youth minister in war-torn Yemen’s rebel government has proposed suspending school classes for a year and sending pupils and teachers to the front.

Hassan Zaid, the minister for youth and sports in an administration set up by Iran-backed Huthi rebels, suggested pupils and teachers could be armed.

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Pope writes rare letter of condolence after murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 12:24:50 GMT2017-10-20T12:24:50Z

In highly unusual gesture from the Vatican, Pope Francis writes to say he is praying for journalist’s family and Maltese people

Pope Francis has sent a rare letter of condolence to Malta following the murder of the investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, amid calls from her sons for the island’s prime minister to resign and mounting pressure for an international investigation.

Related: Daphne Caruana Galizia: We knew establishment was out to get her – family

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Catherine Deneuve questions anti-harassment campaign in wake of Weinstein scandal

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 11:29:03 GMT2017-10-20T11:29:03Z

While expressing sympathy for victims of harassment, the actor has expressed doubts about the usefulness of social media outpourings and hashtag activism

Catherine Deneuve has become a rare dissenting voice in the sexual harassment scandal that has convulsed the film industry in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein allegations.

Arguably France’s most celebrated screen performer, with nearly 60 years of acting behind her, Deneuve questioned the point of the internet campaign against harassment, which in France is coalescing around the Twitter hashtag #balancetonporc (“expose your pig”).

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Hurricanes and earthquakes will cost insurance industry £72bn

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 16:51:35 GMT2017-10-20T16:51:35Z

2017 will be one of the worst years for insurance claims for natural disasters, says Hiscox, as reinsurance firm Swiss Re says its bill will be around £2.7bn

Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, along with two recent earthquakes in Mexico, will cost the insurance industry $95bn (£72bn), according to estimates released on Friday.

Swiss Re, one of the world’s biggest reinsurance companies, made the estimate as it admitted its own bill for the natural disasters would be around $3.6bn.

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EU 'running out of money' to stop migrants travelling from Africa

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 10:16:57 GMT2017-10-20T10:16:57Z

Fund used to pay African countries to deter migration to Europe needs emergency injection of cash, officials say

The EU is running out of money to pay African countries to take action to stop would-be migrants travelling to Europe, diplomats have warned.

European Union leaders set up a fund in 2015 to pay for border security and other measures aimed at preventing African citizens leaving their countries of origin.

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Land of milk and money: Qatar looks to farms to beat the Gulf boycott

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 10:30:04 GMT2017-10-20T10:30:04Z

Emirate’s drive for food security is symbolic of its determination to make efforts to isolate it ‘a blessing inside a calamity’

John Dore is off to Doha’s vast and luxurious Hamad International airport to greet the 8pm flight from Los Angeles via Liège, Belgium.

Wearing a straw hat with a small metal shamrock badge in homage to his Irish roots, his imminent visitors are neither family nor friends. Nor are they human at all, but rather a herd of 120 cows.

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Number of US adults without health insurance up 3.5m this year, study finds

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 13:30:14 GMT2017-10-20T13:30:14Z

Rising premiums and political turmoil over Obamacare undermine the gains that drove the nation’s uninsured rate to a historic low

The number of US adults without health insurance is up nearly 3.5 million this year, as rising premiums and political turmoil over Obamacare undermine coverage gains that drove the nation’s uninsured rate to a historic low.

Related: 'He keeps zigging and zagging': the perils of doing a healthcare deal with Trump

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Lyft taxi app boosted by $1bn investment from Google-led consortium

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 11:46:43 GMT2017-10-20T11:46:43Z

Funding round led by CapitalG takes valuation of ride-hailing company up to $11bn

The US ride-hailing company Lyft has secured a $1bn (£760m) investment from a Google-led consortium, a considerable war chest that will help finance its challenge to Uber in the US – and possibly overseas.

The funding round was led by CapitalG (formerly known as Google Capital), the strategic investment arm of Google’s corporate parent Alphabet, and takes the valuation of Lyft up to $11bn.

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Hokkaido releases manga comic to combat North Korean threat

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 07:24:08 GMT2017-10-20T07:24:08Z

Weeks after missiles overflew Japanese island, officials produce comic advising residents what to do in event of test launch

Schoolchildren take cover beneath their desks, while a farmer jumps out of his tractor and crouches face down in a field. Off the coast, the crew of a fishing boat hide behind their vessel’s wheelhouse.

The characters are fictional, but they are playing out a scenario that in recent months has become frighteningly real: a North Korean missile strike.

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Uganda condemns sex education for 10-year-olds as 'morally wrong'

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 12:14:22 GMT2017-10-20T12:14:22Z

Ministry of Health declines to endorse proposals to tackle teen pregnancy rates, with distribution of contraceptives to 15-year-olds branded an ‘erosion of morals’

A row has broken out in Uganda over proposals to extend sex education to 10-year-olds and give some 15-year-olds access to family planning services.

The Ministry of Health has refused to endorse the guidelines, which were designed to tackle the country’s high teenage pregnancy rate, objecting that they are morally wrong and would encourage promiscuity and abortions.

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New York's Chinatown hits back at Omer Fast's 'poverty porn' art exhibition

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 13:00:08 GMT2017-10-20T13:00:08Z

The Israeli artist Omer Fast has become embroiled in an argument over whether his exhibition – which resembles a Chinatown storefront – is racist

On Sunday, a group of protesters stormed an art gallery in New York’s Chinatown with signs that read “Chinatown lives are not poverty porn” and “Racist art has no business here”. They stood together to hold up a large, yellow banner that said “Racism Disguised as Art” written in English, Spanish and Mandarin.

The group was led by the Chinatown Art Brigade (CAB), a group of art activists targeting the James Cohan Gallery, where the Israeli artist Omer Fast has changed the outside to look like an old Chinatown storefront.

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New Zealand's Jacinda Ardern sets out priorities: climate, inequality and women

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 04:47:24 GMT2017-10-20T04:47:24Z

The prime minister-elect has also agreed to hold a referendum on legalising cannabis for personal use by 2020

New Zealand’s prime minister elect Jacinda Ardern has laid out her priorities for the country, saying she plans to urgently address climate change, tackle inequality and improving women’s lives in the home and workplace.

On Thursday, NZ First leader Winston Peters threw his support behind Ardern’s Labour party, allowing them to form a coalition government with a slim majority.

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Italian regions go to the polls in Europe's latest referendums on autonomy

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 05:00:45 GMT2017-10-20T05:00:45Z

€55m votes in Lombardy and Veneto are non-binding, but could send strong message to Rome

Two of Italy’s richest regions are holding referendums on greater autonomy on Sunday, in the latest push by European regions to wrest more power from the centre.

Lombardy and Veneto, between them home to a quarter of Italy’s population, are seeking semi-autonomy, giving them more control over their finances and administration.

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Canada faces battle for pharmacare scheme to make medicines free

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 10:30:05 GMT2017-10-20T10:30:05Z

Canada’s universal healthcare system has one big shortcoming: it doesn’t cover the cost of prescription drugs, meaning many Canadians go without medication

In his campaign for universal publicly funded healthcare in the US, Bernie Sanders has repeatedly held up Canada’s system as an example, highlighting the pride Canadians take in the idea that medical care is a right for everyone.

Related: Bernie Sanders unveils universal healthcare bill: 'We will win this struggle'

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Global pollution kills 9m a year and threatens 'survival of human societies'

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 14:21:49 GMT2017-10-20T14:21:49Z

Landmark study finds toxic air, water, soils and workplaces kill at least 9m people and cost trillions of dollars every year

Pollution kills at least nine million people and costs trillions of dollars every year, according to the most comprehensive global analysis to date, which warns the crisis “threatens the continuing survival of human societies”.

Toxic air, water, soils and workplaces are responsible for the diseases that kill one in every six people around the world, the landmark report found, and the true total could be millions higher because the impact of many pollutants are poorly understood. The deaths attributed to pollution are triple those from Aids, malaria and tuberculosis combined.

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Senate passes Trump's budget, a first step toward contentious tax reform

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 01:37:24 GMT2017-10-20T01:37:24Z

Move allows Republicans to begin ‘once-in-a-generation’ attempt to overhaul US tax code, a plan criticized by Democrats as ‘Robin Hood in reverse’

The Senate has approved a multitrillion-dollar budget that Donald Trump has called a “first step towards massive tax cuts”, a largely symbolic move that sets the stage for Republicans to rewrite the US tax code without a single Democratic vote.

The Senate on Thursday voted 51-49 to pass the budget resolution, a blueprint of trillions of dollars in federal spending over the next decade. Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky was the lone Republican to oppose the blueprint, objecting to the spending levels provided in the proposal.

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Putin rival Ksenia Sobchak insists she is not part of Kremlin plot

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 05:00:45 GMT2017-10-20T05:00:45Z

Critics say potential candidate is standing only to inject a veneer of competition and legitimacy into Russia’s presidential election next March

“I have no political weight, and I haven’t earned the right to launch some kind of political programme or stand as a candidate,” said Ksenia Sobchak, in what might be the most tepid sentiment ever used to launch a presidential campaign.

Speaking to the Guardian on Thursday, a day after declaring she wants to run in Russia’s presidential election in March, Sobchak admitted she had little chance of winning and had no political party or programme except to act as a lightning rod for all those dissatisfied with the political order under the president, Vladimir Putin.

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Millennials on screen may be broke, but they're living the dream

Wed, 11 Oct 2017 16:41:33 GMT2017-10-11T16:41:33Z

From Girls to Fleabag and now Daphne – how film and TV finally paid its dues to generation rentThere’s a moment in Girls that hits very close to home for many millennials. When Hannah (Lena Dunham) finally lands a job at GQ, after endless interning, it marks a huge turning point for a character who up until now has depended on the bank of mum and dad, had to calculate how long she could survive without buying lunch, and recently considered a job in McDonald’s for the free fries. “This is how much money I make a week? This is a lot more than my rent. This is insane, I’m just gonna like walk into a store in the Meatpacking District and make it rain!” It’s a line that at once encapsulates not only how much of their salary Generation Y are used to parting with to cover rising rental costs, but also their first instinct on what to do with whatever’s left over – splurge.In the halcyon days of the 1990s we liked our films and TV shows to be as “aspirational” (read: unrealistic) as possible, with not a whiff of financial struggle. Things could only get better, after all. It’s now a well-worn trope to question how an out-of-work actor and a waitress could afford those vast Manhattan apartments in Friends – maybe Joey and Rachel had trust funds they just didn’t talk about? While Sex and the City fans have long puzzled over how Carrie “I like my mone[...]


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