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The Guardian

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

Published: Thu, 27 Oct 2016 17:00:43 GMT2016-10-27T17:00:43Z

Copyright: Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. 2016

No 10 denies 'sweetheart deal' with Nissan

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 16:56:00 GMT2016-10-27T16:56:00Z

Downing Street acknowledges PM gave assurances to car industry, as Jeremy Corbyn raises concerns about possible inducements

No 10 is refusing to disclose what state support has been given to Nissan to convince the car manufacturer to boost production Sunderland plant despite its worries about Brexit.

Downing Street insisted there was no “sweetheart deal” with the Japanese company but acknowledged that Theresa May had given some assurances to the wider industry that it would be protected from the impact of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

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Government drops education bill after series of reversals

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 16:24:22 GMT2016-10-27T16:24:22Z

Most controversial clauses of bill introduced in March removed but DfE will press ahead with grammar schools plan

The government has said it is dropping the education bill unveiled in this year’s Queen’s speech, abandoning a raft of proposals that had already proved unpopular but vowing to press ahead with plans for more grammar schools.

The bill was introduced by Nicky Morgan, then education secretary, in March but its most controversial clauses were quickly removed, including forcing all state schools in England to become academies by 2020, and ending statutory places for parents on boards of governors.

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Restorers lift the lid on Jesus's tomb in Jerusalem

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 15:48:38 GMT2016-10-27T15:48:38Z

Shelf where Jesus’s body is thought to have laid after crucifixion is exposed in $4m restoration of Church of the Holy Sepulchre

The tomb in which Jesus’s body was believed to have been laid following his crucifixion has been exposed by conservationists for the first time for centuries.

A marble slab covering the rock-carved tomb in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem’s Old City has been lifted as part of a delicate $4m restoration of the most sacred monument in Christianity, according to a report in National Geographic.

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Calais camp: police detain young people amid chaotic scenes

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 13:43:56 GMT2016-10-27T13:43:56Z

Panic and confusion in camp as charities are told police will arrest anyone remaining on site without registration bracelet

French police have begun detaining young people in the Calais refugee camp amid continuing scenes of chaos, as bulldozers began to demolish shelters and new fires erupted in sections of the settlement.

Charities were told police would arrest anyone remaining on the site on Thursday afternoon if they had not registered. Some arrests had already taken place in the morning.

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Vine video-sharing app to be shut down by Twitter

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 16:50:30 GMT2016-10-27T16:50:30Z

Social network to discontinue Vine mobile app ‘in the coming months’ as it reduces head count and costs

Twitter is killing off its social media video-sharing app and platform Vine as it trims its headcount and costs.

The social network said the Vine mobile app will be discontinued “in the coming months”.

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Dozens missing after migrant boat sinks in Mediterranean, says Libyan navy

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 11:37:42 GMT2016-10-27T11:37:42Z

Navy spokesman says boat set off with 126 people on board and went down in high waves

About 100 people are feared missing after a boat sank off the coast of Libya, amid mounting evidence that already dangerous conditions are worsening for migrants crossing the Mediterranean sea to get to Europe.

General Ayoub Qassem, a spokesman for the Libyan navy, said on Thursday that a boat carrying 126 people from the port of Garabulli had sunk after being hit by high waves, and that only 20 people had been rescued.

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Apple launch event: new MacBook Pro and more, live

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 16:58:29 GMT2016-10-27T16:58:29Z

Apple is expected to announce the first new MacBook Pros in over a year. Follow us for live updates

Apple’s event begins at 6pm UK time (10am Pacific/1pm Eastern/4am AEDT), and thanks to some fairly wide-ranging leaks, we have a good idea of what to expect.

Leading the event is expected to be an update to its MacBook Pro range of laptops, which has not seen any changes for more than 500 days. After Apple included a few tell-tale images in the latest version of macOS, we know the new computers are almost certainly going to feature a slender touchscreen replacing the function keys, as well as a fingerprint sensor to enable touchID on the devices.

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Labour warns Theresa May against 'bankers' Brexit' - Politics live

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 16:54:09 GMT2016-10-27T16:54:09Z

John McDonnell sets out Labour’s vision for a fairer departure from the EU, as GDP figures show stronger than expected economic growth.

It’s time to draw a veil over this live blog. There’s not much point in having a closing summary, as it would be much the same as the lunchtime version, perhaps with the addition of the dropping of the education bill, the suspension of Jenny Tonge and the UK intervention over Calais.

So: thank you very much for reading, and Andrew will be back next week.

This from my colleague Alan Travis:

The prospect of 50 refugee children being stranded outside the Calais migrant camp for a second night has triggered a high level protest from the British government and a demand that the children be provided with an immediate safe place to go.

The home secretary, Amber Rudd, spoke to her French counterpart, Bernard Cazenuve, on Thursday afternoon, telling him that the children who remained in Calais had to be properly protected.

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Belgian politicians drop opposition to EU-Canada trade deal

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 16:05:24 GMT2016-10-27T16:05:24Z

EU leaders hope deal will be signed as Belgian PM says leaders of five regional parliaments have reached an agreement

European Union leaders have expressed hope of signing a trade deal with Canada after Belgian politicians overcame differences that had been blocking the treaty.

The Belgian prime minister, Charles Michel, confirmed that leaders of five regional parliaments had reached an agreement with the federal government shortly after midday on Thursday. He tweeted:

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Bake Off's triumphant finale leaves Channel 4 with tricky task

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 15:59:17 GMT2016-10-27T15:59:17Z

Channel 4 will be buoyed by record viewing figures but must now begin job of revamping show without most of its stars

As The Great British Bake Off signs off its final BBC series with record viewing figures, Channel 4 executives will be plotting how to recoup their controversial £75m outlay on the UK’s most popular TV show.

A peak of almost 15 million viewers, more than half of the public who were watching TV, tuned in to see Candice Brown win the Bake Off crown in the final of the baking show phenomenon on Wednesday night.

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Madness: ‘We dressed as coppers and raided the Clash. They didn’t speak to us for five years’

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 14:08:53 GMT2016-10-27T14:08:53Z

Suggs and co have battled through knife (and fork) fights, fascist fans and being banned from TOTP (four times). Is their 12th album further proof the Nutty Boys have survived ‘Rod Stewart syndrome’?

We’re sitting outside a pub in Camden Town, north London, watching the world go by. This is Madness’s old stamping ground. Forty years on, it’s still their stamping ground. The man who just passed, says singer Suggs (Graham McPherson), is the richest fella in Camden. A couple of hundred yards away is the Dublin Castle, the Irish pub where Madness were given their first residency. You’ve got to watch the world, says saxophonist Kix (AKA El Thommo, AKA Lee Thompson), drink it all in. If you aren’t watching, he says, you might as well call it a day.

Which is what Madness did for six years from 1986 to 1992. The fun had gone for pop’s most fun band. The self-proclaimed Nutty Boys had spent years bringing smiles back to the upper regions of the charts – Our House, It Must Be Love, Baggy Trousers, House of Fun, My Girl, Embarrassment, and so many more. Like the Kinks before them, they chronicled London, but their version was less lyrical; more singalong, more laddy. It was music at its most infectious.

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They must have known Emma Rice was never going to treat Shakespeare as holy writ

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 14:50:16 GMT2016-10-27T14:50:16Z

The artistic director of Shakespeare’s Globe is to leave in 2018. She will be sorely missed for her risk-taking and joyful reinventions

For many long years now, with the creation of the Kneehigh company, Emma Rice and Mike Shepherd have been making innovative theatre, grassroots theatre, in the first place for the people of Cornwall, in schools and in village halls, in marquees in muddy fields, every show crafted by a troupe of formidably talented playmakers, and actors who at the same time are often dancers, singers, musicians, acrobats. With every show their reputation burgeoned, and with every show they took greater and greater risks, breaking the mould, crashing though glass ceilings, bringing new life to theatre.

They were not always successful, but that is the nature of risk. They experimented, they dared, but nothing was ever done simply for effect. With every play they were trying to tell their story with integrity, confiding it to their audience, inviting them to join in the spirit of story-making in the theatre, to shine a different light on stories and plays, old and new. Audiences in Cornwall loved their work, and over the years their reputation as a company grew, and spread. In time they took their shows on tour, to London, to Broadway, to the world. All to great acclaim. But they never left their roots behind. They made theatre for the people. They did not play safe, ever. They reached out to ever wider, ever more enthusiastic audiences, filled theatres with families and children, the theatregoers of the future, the play-makers of the future.

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The view from Middletown: 'Trump speaks to us in a way other people don’t'

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 10:48:37 GMT2016-10-27T10:48:37Z

Republican voters in Muncie voice frustration that no one is speaking up for them and disdain for Clinton in equal measures

From the vantage point of the second floor of Chris Hiatt’s print shop, the prospects for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign do not look so bad. Every two weeks the Citizens of Delaware County for Good Government, a conservative group, meets here primarily to discuss campaigning on local issues.

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Could giving wild animals property rights help stop their decline? | John Hadley

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 11:59:48 GMT2016-10-27T11:59:48Z

Two-thirds of wild animals could be lost by 2020 and the biggest driver is destruction of their homes. A radical idea to give animals a ‘voice’ could encourage land managers to think about wild areas in a new way

Researchers report that the future for the Earth’s wild animals is very bleak. Two-thirds will be wiped out by 2020. While poaching is partially responsible, the biggest threat to wild animals is our impact on their homes – we kill them when we destroy forests and pollute waterways in the name of development.

Judging by the dramatic decline in the number of wild animals, it is safe to say that existing policy responses are proving ineffective. What’s needed is a fundamental change in how we view wild areas, and the policy responses to match.

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I'm not with the brand: why bag designers are losing the logo

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 13:42:19 GMT2016-10-27T13:42:19Z

It bags were once all about shouty branding. No longer. New research suggests that a no logo approach now rules

Fashion news incoming: a statement bag is no longer about turning that statement up to 11. According to a report by market research group NPD, a third of the handbags bought by US consumers in the last year have been discreet, no logo handbags. Those over the age of 50 were the biggest no-logo consumers, with 40% buying them, but Generation Z in their teens and early twenties - perhaps more partial to conspicuous consumption and the big branding that plays out well on Instagram - are getting involved too. Their no logo purchases increased by 8%. The UK is no doubt going a similar way.

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West Ham to ban 200 supporters after derby trouble

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 16:52:47 GMT2016-10-27T16:52:47Z

• Club get tough after night of shame during League Cup match
• Hammers and Chelsea supporters clashed at London Stadium

West Ham United intend to issue banning orders to around 200 fans in the wake of the ugly scenes that marred their 2-1 EFL Cup win over Chelsea at the London Stadium on Wednesday night.

The club have resolved to take a strong stand over the various issues of bad behaviour, which saw the worst offenders throw missiles including ripped-up seats, bottles and coins at their Chelsea counterparts. They plan to issue lifetime bans to those individuals.

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Henrikh Mkhitaryan determined to fight for his place at Manchester United

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 16:07:18 GMT2016-10-27T16:07:18Z

• Armenia international was left out of squad to play City in EFL Cup
• Mkhitaryan has not featured for United since 10 September

Henrikh Mkhitaryan is determined to fight for his place at Manchester United despite being left out of the matchday squad for Wednesday night’s EFL victory over Manchester City.

The Armenian international has made just four appearances for United since joining from Borussia Dortmund in the summer for around £30m, the last being the 2-1 defeat to City on 10 September when he was substituted at half-time. That means Mkhitaryan has played just 105 minutes in the Premier League for his new club.

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Rugby union's review system could benefit from NFL-style tweak | Paul Rees

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 10:50:10 GMT2016-10-27T10:50:10Z

TV match officials have too much say over deciding when a referee should review an incident. Is it time for coaches to be allowed to call for a reappraisal?

There was an international not so very long ago that was decided by a refereeing decision which was so controversial that the official concerned sprinted from the pitch when he blew the final whistle a few minutes later. Australia were involved then, as they were last Saturday when a try that would have seen them draw level with New Zealand with a conversion attempt to come was ruled out by the referee on review.

Craig Joubert’s decision to award Australia a penalty in the World Cup quarter-final against Scotland at Twickenham for offside saw him subsequently reprimanded by World Rugby for getting the call wrong. Nigel Owens is unlikely to be given a dressing down after denying Henry Speight a try against the All Blacks because there had been a breach of law 10.c in the buildup by the Wallabies’ wing Dane Haylett-Petty.

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England’s Jos Buttler and the trouble keeping on top of your game as a gopher | Vic Marks

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 11:58:00 GMT2016-10-27T11:58:00Z

Unless England’s reserve wicketkeeper and ODI lynchpin has a very good chance of making the Test team, it might be better to spare him bottle and chat duties

“This is a very tough tour whether you’re playing or on the bench”, said Jonny Bairstow on Wednesday. Seven Tests in 62 days is an unprecedented schedule and will test the stamina of those selected for every game. But England’s Test wicketkeeper was also right to highlight the demands upon those constantly not in the team. For them it is a case of retaining sanity rather than stamina.

In the modern era those on the bench troop off every day with the rest; they play their football; they hit some catches and throw some balls to those engaged in the Test match; they rush on to the field with drinks at every opportunity; they traipse off to the nets for one more lonely knock in the knowledge that there is no obvious chance of an innings in the middle on the horizon. They are obliged to stay cheerful, constantly encouraging and pandering to the lucky boys out in the middle.

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Violence mars West Ham's victory over Chelsea – Football Weekly Extra

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 15:58:01 GMT2016-10-27T15:58:01Z

The podders look back on the EFL Cup events on and off the pitch. Plus: Wolves axe Zenga, and Aston Villa prepare for a second-tier Second City derby

Subscribe and review: iTunes, Soundcloud, Audioboom, Mixcloud, Acast.

Today’s Football Weekly Extra sees AC Jimbo joined by James Horncastle, Barry Glendenning and Jacob Steinberg, who was at the London Stadium to witness the events on and off the pitch following West Ham’s win over Chelsea.

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Scottish FA chief executive throws support behind cross-border leagues

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 12:33:53 GMT2016-10-27T12:33:53Z

• Regan believes concept would have both football and financial benefits
• ‘How do we keep the dream alive in Europe? For me, that is cross border’

Scottish clubs need to play in a cross-border league to avoid “being left behind”, according to the chief executive of the country’s Football Association. A Champions League place for the winners is among the ideas being considered.

Stewart Regan believes such a concept would have football and financial benefits to clubs in countries such as Scotland and he is part of a Uefa working group investigating how cross-border competition can form part of the strategy at European football’s governing body.

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Manchester United heal wounds against City and hint at a healthier future | Paul Wilson

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 13:25:54 GMT2016-10-27T13:25:54Z

While not fully atoning for the debacle at Chelsea an increase in tempo and enthusiasm in the derby win was encouraging for José Mourinho

Have Manchester United turned another corner? José Mourinho was right when he said they stepped up their game in the second half against Manchester City to take control of the EFL Cup tie, and as they were the only team managing any shots on target he was possibly also correct in claiming they could have won by more than a single goal.

His assertion that beating City gives everyone a better feeling is only partly true, however. Winning a derby is always better than losing but United were playing only City reserves. Pep Guardiola did not exactly make a statement of aggressive intent when naming his side for Old Trafford, and in those circumstances it might be best not to assume that United have fully atoned for the wounding debacle at Chelsea.

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Rugby league Four Nations: team-by-team guide

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 12:37:33 GMT2016-10-27T12:37:33Z

Sam Burgess will lead high-flying England against the world champions Australia and No 1 ranked New Zealand, plus a Scotland team with nothing to lose

Fixtures Scotland (28 October, Hull), New Zealand (5 November, Coventry), England (13 November, London)

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Zafar Ansari hoping to make impression on England debut against Bangladesh

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 09:18:18 GMT2016-10-27T09:18:18Z

• Spinner will replace Surrey team-mate Gareth Batty
• Stuart Broad rotated out of the side for Steven Finn

The fact that Zafar Ansari dismissed Alastair Cook on his first-class debut in April 2011 probably does not have much bearing on his selection for England’s second Test against Bangladesh in Dhaka. On the eve of the match Cook announced to no one’s surprise that Ansari would make his Test debut on Friday, replacing his county captain, Gareth Batty, and that Steven Finn would come in for the rested Stuart Broad, who is left stranded – briefly, one assumes – on 99 Test matches.

Ansari probably has a clearer memory of his dismissal of Cook when playing for Cambridge University than the England captain but even his recollections were a bit hazy. “I can remember that if felt as if we had been in the field for a day and a half. Cook [who was on 120 at the time] played a reverse sweep and the ball dribbled onto the stumps.”

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Carlos Alberto, poker verbals and the RoboCup Challenge | Classic YouTube

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 09:03:37 GMT2016-10-27T09:03:37Z

This week’s roundup also features the week’s most suspect tackle, a court-side haircut, and if Monday Night Football did the news

1) Carlos Alberto died on Tuesday, aged 72. His defining moment – that strike against Italy in the 1970 World Cup final – will never grow old. Longer game highlights are here, here’s the goal with Brazilian commentary, and again, brick-by-brick. Alberto joined the New York Cosmos in 1977, and reflected on his time there in a 2013 video. They paid tribute to him this week with a career montage, including the moment he was introduced to fans in New York. “The greatest defender in North American Soccer League history, number five – Carlos Alberto.”

2) World Series of Poker players giving it awkward verbals – headlined by England’s William Kassouf driving Canada’s Griffin Benger to distraction, and posing the question: when does “speech play” become “being a bad person”? Here’s more Kassouf: “I’ll keep it friendly, it’s a friendly table”; and more: “the more I talk, the more I get paid”. Plus other big poker spats: losing with good grace; more bad behaviour; and, of course, the Funniest Outburst in Poker Ever!

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Johnson 'didn't want to play' amid 'toxic' culture of Michael Clarke's reign

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 05:36:39 GMT2016-10-27T05:36:39Z

  • Mitchell Johnson pans Australian cricket culture during Mickey Arthur era
  • ‘There was different little factions going on and it was very toxic’

Retired spearhead Mitchell Johnson has painted a bleak picture of Australia’s team culture under Michael Clarke and Mickey Arthur, describing it as fractured and “toxic”.

Johnson, who recently released his autobiography, Resilient, suggested things were so bad that some team-mates didn’t want to play. The left-armer was one of four players suspended for not completing a feedback task during Australia’s shambolic tour of India in 2013. Clarke and Arthur both rubber stamped the punishments.

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England win bid to host 2021 Rugby League World Cup

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 07:45:53 GMT2016-10-27T07:45:53Z

• England’s bid for competition included target to attract one million spectators
• New Zealand host 2017 World Cup next October

England have won the right to stage the 2021 World Cup, the Rugby League International Federation has announced.

The Rugby Football League got the nod ahead of the United States, largely on the back of playing numbers and heavy government backing.

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How a German football club inspired fans in Yorkshire to unite and help refugees

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 10:24:11 GMT2016-10-27T10:24:11Z

The Yorkshire St Pauli supporters’ group was established in 2011 so fans could meet in a bar and watch matches together, but social action has always been important to St Pauli and their members in Leeds have carried on that tradition

By Richard Foster for The Agony and the Ecstasy of the Guardian Sport Network

The demolition of the refugee camp in Calais and The Sun’s self-righteous criticism of Gary Lineker has put the humanitarian crisis on the front and back pages of newspapers in recent days, but Lineker is not the only football fan who has shown concern for displaced people who have travelled across Europe looking refuge in the UK. For the past few years a group of football fans in Leeds, who initially came together to support a club in the German second division, have been doing their bit to help refugees in their local area.

The Yorkshire St Pauli supporters’ club was established in 2011 by fans who met at the Wharf Chambers Co-operative Club in Leeds to watch FC St Pauli matches via a live stream. The German club have built an international reputation for their firebrand approach to politics and left-wing activism, and this spirit is imbued in all of their supporters groups. The Yorkshire branch is one of a few hundred St Pauli supporters clubs around the world, with fans meeting in cities such as Brighton, Glasgow, New York and Athens.

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Is Donald Trump lying about having a three handicap?

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 09:00:17 GMT2016-10-27T09:00:17Z

The presidential hopeful lists a handicap of 2.8, unlikely for a septuagenarian part-timer. But he wouldn’t be the first politician to fluff his record

Donald Trump is a man of many amazing boasts; someone who never met a hyperbole he didn’t like. The truth can be a hazy thing in business, real estate and even taxes. But golf is supposed to be different. Golf lives in absolutes, and is governed by a strict honor code that players rigidly follow. Or at least they should. And so it is in golf, as most everything else with Trump, where the line between fact and fiction is hazy.

Trump has bragged about having a handicap of three. For years, this number was accepted with little public question, probably because nobody cared enough to investigate it. Forbes once reported his handicap as four, with the caveat that he has yet to produce a signed scorecard as proof. But mostly Trump’s word was that.

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Is political blackness still relevant today? | The panel

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 14:58:02 GMT2016-10-27T14:58:02Z

When Black History Month was promoted with pictures of Zayn Malik and Sadiq Khan, it threw the spotlight on to ‘political blackness’. Does it still have a role?

Kent University student union has been criticised after using images of former One Direction singer Zayn Malik and London mayor Sadiq Khan to promote Black History Month. The university’s students branded this an “embarrassment”; Black History Month traditionally celebrates the culture of Britons of African and Caribbean descent.

The union apologised and said that in the planning stages Kent Union worked with students to develop a campaign that “celebrated a range of ethnic cultures”, following the National Union of Students’ position on Black History Month, which is to “recognise and celebrate the immense contributions that people of African, Arab, Asian and Caribbean heritage make to humanity”. This definition has roots in the idea of “political blackness”, a term which was used by many in the British anti-racist movement during the 1970s – the idea that anyone from a group affected by racism could identify as politically black, to form a united group. But is this idea still relevant today?

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The real crisis for refugees isn’t in Calais. It’s Westminster’s failure to act | Diane Abbott

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 12:51:54 GMT2016-10-27T12:51:54Z

Unless they stop passing off refugees as somebody else’s problem, this government will go down as the one that watched while thousands suffered

The global refugee crisis is not abating. But Britain does not have a refugee crisis at all, despite what you may read in the newspapers.

The United Nations High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR) says we are now witnessing the highest levels of displacement on record. Globally, nearly 34,000 people a day are being displaced from their homes. There are more than 65 million refugees in total. In Britain, we have let in just a few hundred in total and even this has caused a furore.

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Yes, GPs, do ask us about our weight. But please listen to our answers too | Phoebe-Jane Boyd

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 12:28:47 GMT2016-10-27T12:28:47Z

Many will be worried about the ‘early intervention’ trial – and they probably already avoid GPs because of the automatic linking of any problems to obesity

‘So, are we going to talk about it?” was how our family GP raised it with my brother – as he sat in the consulting room, overweight. It was asked gently, and came after a practical discussion had settled the problem he’d come in to talk to her about, but it stayed with him as a negative mark against her, and against GPs in general. He became reluctant to go to see her again, and that had consequences later on.

Fear that “it” will be brought up by a doctor is a given for people who are visibly obese. It’s well within the realm of the probable that someone who has trained to safeguard the health of fellow human beings is going to want to talk to you about it. So the actuality of the “30-second interventions” for weight-loss study published in the Lancet isn’t ground-breaking – little interventions for big problems was not invented for the trial. Yet hearing about it will probably be no less worrying for those who’d hoped they were just being paranoid when they feared their GP would answer a “I’m concerned about this mole on my face” visit with a “I noticed when you walked in that you’re very fat” non sequitur.

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A vote against Zac Goldsmith is a vote against extreme Brexit | Polly Toynbee

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 11:08:16 GMT2016-10-27T11:08:16Z

Labour should not contest the Richmond byelection. Instead, it should give the Lib Dems a clear run to beat the constituency’s hard Brexit MP

Zac Goldsmith stands down in Richmond Park to protest against the Heathrow decision, just as he said he would. A man of honour keeping his promise? That’s not how he may emerge on byelection polling day.

Yet again, this spoiled nonentity is cosseted by his party: though he stands as an “independent”, the Conservatives will try to save his bacon by setting no candidate against him, to avoid splitting their vote. That makes it harder for the Liberal Democrats to snatch back this seat – but by no means unlikely, after their strong showing in Witney.

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White and rich – the justice system gives you a pass. What about everyone else? | Abi Wilkinson

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 11:57:39 GMT2016-10-27T11:57:39Z

The justice committee has called for more leniency for offenders aged 18-25. The sad fact is that this already happens if you’re white and not working-class

In many ways I was the stereotype of a troublesome teenager. I used to spend most of my weekends drinking heavily – sometimes in bars or nightclubs, if I managed to blag my way past the bouncers and could afford it, but more often as part of a group of 20 or 30 kids hanging around in a local park. Illegal drugs like cannabis were fairly common.

As is fairly typical of unsupervised, intoxicated teenagers, people would often end up doing stupid things in an attempt to impress their mates. I remember someone breaking into a crown green bowling clubhouse and nicking all the trophies. Another time, a couple of boys ran down the street picking up and smashing plant pots as they went. Inspired, I think, by an episode of The Simpsons, stealing car hood ornaments was briefly a popular activity. I might not have been an instigator, but I wasn’t always an innocent bystander either.

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Either Theresa May faked it for the bankers, or she’s faking now | Gaby Hinsliff

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 06:00:14 GMT2016-10-27T06:00:14Z

The prime minister promises Brexit, but her conviction remains unclear. She seems to follow instead of lead

Poor Cordelia Gummer. It’s a quarter of a century now since her politician father, John, publicly fed her a burger to quash public fears over mad cow disease – and she is for ever fixed in our minds as a tiny girl in an Alice band, symbolic of everything people most distrust about politicians.

The beef industry eventually recovered, but public confidence in politicians and in their management of risk did not. When they tell us everything’s going to be fine, we don’t swallow the story like we used to. Which brings us to the mysterious affair of Theresa May, and whether or not Brexit is safe to eat.

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We mustn’t stop doctors in the UK giving us a dose of the truth | Ann Robinson

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 15:21:35 GMT2016-10-27T15:21:35Z

To avoid litigation, surgeons have been told to let patients choose their own treatment. But what good are health experts who can’t give honest advice?

It was reported this morning that surgeons are to be advised to take a radical new approach to how they interact with patients. From now on, they will be told to spell out the consequences of all procedures and treatments that might be relevant to a particular patient – including those they would not personally recommend – before leaving it up to them to decide a course of action. This follows a landmark case for damages brought by the mother of a son who suffered brain damage as a result of a complicated birth. The case rested on the mother’s assertion that she was not fully informed of the risks involved in a normal vaginal delivery in her individual case.

Related: Patients must understand options, says Royal College of Surgeons

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I'm on trial for giving water to thirsty pigs. If they were dogs, I would be a hero | Anita Krajnc

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 13:48:39 GMT2016-10-27T13:48:39Z

Pigs are smart, loyal, funny creatures, and their suffering should affect us as much as humans or pets in need do

On a scorching hot day in June 2015, I gave water to thirsty pigs on board a transport truck headed for the slaughterhouse. As the (now famous) video of the incident shows, the driver jumped out of the cab, telling me to stop. I replied with a reference to the Bible: “Jesus said, ‘If [they] are thirsty, give them water.’”

The driver shouted back, “These are not humans, you dumb frickin’ broad!”

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Press freedom danger if MPs vote in section 40 by the back door

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 14:48:38 GMT2016-10-27T14:48:38Z

Warnings about the royal charter underpinning of press regulation come to pass with the Lords amendment to the investigatory powers bill

Bear with me on this. I have to get through a little bit of recent history before I reach the point. I’m going to risk the devil-in-the-detail cliché because it is so apt.

For the last couple of weeks, several newspapers have been getting into a lather about the possible triggering of section 40 of the crime and courts act.

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Why are so many SEN pupils excluded from school? Because we are failing them

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 14:21:27 GMT2016-10-27T14:21:27Z

Children with special needs are grossly over-represented in exclusion figures – we need a system that meets their needs

Each July, the Department for Education publishes its annual statistics on fixed-term and permanent exclusions in English schools. I always find them fascinating and depressing. They depress me because children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) are far more likely to be excluded from school than other children, either permanently or for a fixed-term.

Related: Nature is the best way to nurture pupils with special educational needs

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Here lie the unwanted of Calais – an indictment of us, not them | Jonathan Jones

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 13:32:58 GMT2016-10-27T13:32:58Z

This is an age of unparalleled harshness. While desperate people sleep amid piles of rubbish, we have lost sight of their humanity, and ours

These are people in Calais now. People who wanted to find new lives. Instead they lie like cocooned caterpillars, desperately hoping to wake up to a different world. Others sit on the rubbish-strewn pavement, hunched in blankets. They too are rubbish, or so it would seem, according to widespread attitudes that have in recent weeks seen calls for children to undergo dental inspections to determine their age. How old are the people huddled here in the heart’s cold dawn – children, adolescents or adults? Can we at least agree they are fellow human beings?

I would harrow you, I would harrow myself. Give me words to make this picture real. If we could feel the pain of others, we would be good people, you and I. But this is an age of unparalleled harshness. Pictures of suffering pass us by. We narrow our eyes and close our souls. What have we become?

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Yes, elections are rigged – but not in the way Donald Trump thinks | Trevor Timm

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 12:00:21 GMT2016-10-27T12:00:21Z

Gerrymandering, a time-worn practice, is alive and well in 2016. It skews results, drives down turnout and harms minorities – and we need to do away with it

If Donald Trump actually cared about “rigged” elections, he would stop complaining about the demonstrably false “voter fraud” myth he keeps peddling and instead focus on the real problem: gerrymandering – the changing of electoral boundaries for political gain. Of course he’ll never do that, since gerrymandering is a Republican party speciality and the only thing keeping the GOP from losing the House of Representatives this year.

Related: The lies Trump told this week: voter fraud and the 'rigged' election

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Why does the life insurance industry go out of its way to punish the terminally ill? | Ranjana Srivastava

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 05:21:11 GMT2016-10-27T05:21:11Z

I want to explain that we haven’t been able to spare my patient’s mourning wife a mountain of paperwork, delay and inquisition – and that she isn’t the only one

It will soon be a year since you died. The first letter from your wife was a sincere note of thanks, which made me wish I could have done something to prevent your sudden and unexpected slide into multi-organ failure leading to death.

Your cancer had progressed through the year but you were surprisingly well – the end came so swiftly that no one had any time to prepare. You died in intensive care, the family deciding that breathing through a ventilator was not your idea of living.

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Don’t stigmatise disabled people as workshy | Frances Ryan

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 08:00:16 GMT2016-10-27T08:00:16Z

Disabled people are desperate to work, but we can only get there with the proper support. This government finds it easier to shame us than provide that help

To be disabled and need money to live in modern Britain: this week brings two insights into just what that means.

On the one hand, there is I, Daniel Blake, Ken Loach’s blistering film about a jobseeker who, after a near-fatal heart attack, can get neither work nor benefits. And on the other, the prospect that proposed Conservative cuts mean that soon 45,000 fewer disabled people will have help to find a job. That comes ahead of a long-touted government green paper on health and employment: a list of “promises” – at best, ideas – to help disabled people into work.

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Margaret Hodge: 'The Tories may create tax haven conditions in the UK'

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 10:39:10 GMT2016-10-27T10:39:10Z

The former chair of the public accounts committee, Margaret Hodge, tells Owen Jones she fears the Conservative government may think the only way for the British economy to survive following the Brexit vote is to create tax haven-type conditions. She warns this would lead to a race to the bottom with ‘promiscuous capital’ arriving before deserting the country when a better rate comes along

An extended version of this interview is available on Owen Jones’s YouTube channel

Margaret Hodge’s new book, Called to Account, is available now

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Media Files:

Inside the musical: A Pacifist's Guide to the War on Cancer – video

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 09:00:17 GMT2016-10-27T09:00:17Z

A Pacifist’s Guide to the War on Cancer is a new musical collaboration between the National Theatre and Complicite Associates, currently playing at the Dorfman Theatre, with music by Tom Parkinson and lyrics by director Bryony Kimmings. Participants and specialists talk about one of the most feared illnesses of our time, alongside background footage and a production that looks at life with a cancer diagnosis, confronting its fears and misconceptions

Complicite’s practical online resource for dealing with cancer

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Generation 'meh': the battle to win millennial voters – video

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 06:00:14 GMT2016-10-27T06:00:14Z

For the first time there are as many millennials eligible to vote in the US election as there are baby boomers, and nearly half of them might vote for a third-party candidate. Paul Lewis and Tom Silverstone travel to Tucson, Arizona, to explore why large numbers of young people appear poised to sit out the election or vote for either Gary Johnson or Jill Stein

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Is not having children selfish? Far from it – video

Wed, 26 Oct 2016 06:00:04 GMT2016-10-26T06:00:04Z

The idea that all women want to be mothers is outdated and sexist, argues Julie Bindel. She says people who choose not to become parents are often seen as selfish, but that parents who give up on trying to change the world in order to have children and then only think about their own family receive no judgment

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How important is Mosul for Isis? – video explainer

Tue, 25 Oct 2016 14:42:55 GMT2016-10-25T14:42:55Z

The battle to remove Islamic State from the Iraqi city of Mosul is underway with thousands of Iraqi army and Peshmerga forces combining and making progress towards the outskirts. It was from Mosul that Isis leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared a so-called caliphate and it is the last major stronghold for Isis in Iraq. But while the jihadists are outgunned, their ideology has proven remarkably resilient

Islamic State atrocities reported around Mosul, says UN

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi: on the trail of the world’s most wanted man

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The Accountant's Ben Affleck and Anna Kendrick on the profession's 'sexy hitman makeover' – video interview

Wed, 26 Oct 2016 07:00:05 GMT2016-10-26T07:00:05Z

In The Accountant, Ben Affleck plays a mathematics genius diagnosed with autism as a child who works for illegal outfits helping them cook their books, and Anna Kendrick a legit accountant who joins him after a hitman targets him for assassination. Directed by Gavin O’Connor, it is released in the UK on 4 November

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Jack Reacher: Never Go Back author Lee Child: 'It's a very fertile avenue for political statement' – video interview

Mon, 24 Oct 2016 11:54:53 GMT2016-10-24T11:54:53Z

The second Jack Reacher movie is directed by Ed Zwick and features Tom Cruise as the roving baddie-thumper, this time helping out a US army major (played by Cobie Smulders) who has been wrongly charged with spying. Lee Child, author of the original series of novels, talks about how the format allows him to address social issues by stealth, and why it’s never a good idea for authors to adapt their own books

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Bands of brothers: could Brexit bring the Troubles back to Northern Ireland? - video

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 06:57:50 GMT2016-10-20T06:57:50Z

Northern Ireland, like the rest of the world, is in a crisis of political representation. Working class communities, hit hard by austerity, feel betrayed by their political leaders. Now, with the prospect of Brexit bringing even greater instability, two decades of peacebuilding are at stake. Phoebe Greenwood meets the republican and loyalist marching flute bands at the heart of these communities determined to keep the Troubles from returning

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Meet the real Daniel Blakes – video

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 11:16:20 GMT2016-10-21T11:16:20Z

Ken Loach’s Palme d’Or-winning film I, Daniel Blake, depicts the cruelty of the benefit system through the eyes of an older man who’s been found fit for work. In Ashton, Greater Manchester, we look into the lives of the real Daniel Blakes and those who, as in Loach’s film, have began to fight back

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The new civil rights march: resisting Alabama’s photo ID law – video

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 11:00:04 GMT2016-10-21T11:00:04Z

Alabama is the home of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, designed to fight voter suppression. But since 2014, Alabama citizens have been required to present a state-approved photo ID at the polls. The state acknowledges that up to 250,000 voters don’t have the required ID, often due to lack of accessibility. Alabama election officials insist that the law is intended to curb voter fraud. With only one known case of modern-day voter fraud in the state, Alabama citizens and politicians alike question the underlying motive of the law

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How an Australian sheep farmer discovered a new species of giant dinosaur – video

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 13:01:01 GMT2016-10-20T13:01:01Z

David Elliott’s discovery of a toe bone led to the remains of the huge Savannasaurus elliottorum in the latest in a series of finds on his sheep station in remote central Queensland. The new species is a member of the group of dinosaurs known as sauropods – such as the brontosaurus, which have long necks and four thick, pillar-like legs. It belongs to a subgroup called ‘titanosaurs’, thought to have evolved in South America

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Ukip backs Zac Goldsmith in Richmond Park byelection

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 14:28:29 GMT2016-10-27T14:28:29Z

Nigel Farage says party is endorsing former Tory MP, who resigned over Heathrow expansion, instead of fielding a candidate

Ukip has endorsed Zac Goldsmith, the former Conservative MP who is now standing as an independent in the Richmond Park byelection.

The party’s interim leader, Nigel Farage, said Ukip would not put up a candidate against Goldsmith, who backed leave in the EU referendum, and its supporters should vote for him to stop the pro-EU Liberal Democrats from winning the seat.

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Kettering left in dark over Lindsay Lohan's offer to light up Xmas

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 16:27:41 GMT2016-10-27T16:27:41Z

Mean Girls actor accepted invitation to switch on tree after criticising residents on Twitter but has failed to confirm she will attend

It was set to be a highlight of the Northamptonshire festive calendar. But the people of Kettering have been left in the dark after Lindsay Lohan went silent on her offer to turn on their Christmas lights.

The Mean Girls actor accepted the unusual invitation from local Conservative MP Philip Hollobone after she criticised the town’s residents on Twitter for voting for Brexit. The tweet in which she said “Sorry Kettering but where are you?” was described as “fierce and offensive”.

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Victims of rape by strangers to have identity protected under new bill

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 06:00:14 GMT2016-10-27T06:00:14Z

Change in law in England and Wales would prevent victims of stranger rape being put in unnecessary danger

Victims raped by strangers will have their identities protected from their attackers under a move to change the law on sexual assaults.

Campaigners claim victims of serious sexual crimes by strangers are frequently put in unnecessary danger by police officers disclosing the name of the accuser to the accused.

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Maternity leave sackings cost £280m a year, says equality watchdog

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 11:34:17 GMT2016-10-27T11:34:17Z

Report makes financial case to retain female staff as data shows one in 10 who return to work are quickly forced out at huge extra cost to businesses

British businesses are losing hundreds of millions of pounds every year as a result of women being forced out of jobs after having a baby, a damning report from the equalities watchdog has revealed.

The costs of hiring and training new staff, redundancy payouts and lost productivity after women were pushed out of jobs amounted to £280m a year, according to the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

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Prison violence epidemic partly due to staff cuts, MoJ admits

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 14:44:54 GMT2016-10-27T14:44:54Z

Self-inflicted deaths at a record high and assaults rise 34% as observers condemn ‘toxic mix of violence, death and misery’

The Ministry of Justice has explicitly acknowledged that staff cuts are a factor in the rising tide of violence in prisons in England and Wales.

The latest figures show that self-inflicted deaths inside jails rose 13% to a record 107 in the 12 months to September, and assaults behind bars increased by more than 34% to 23,775 – about 65 per day – in the 12 months to the end of June 2016. Incidents of self-harm, another key indicator of prison safety, rose by 26% to 36,400 reported incidents in the year to June.

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Scheme to reopen river Severn to fish wins almost £20m in funding

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 09:51:31 GMT2016-10-27T09:51:31Z

Project to open up miles of the river to enable fish to reach spawning grounds will help to restore threatened and declining species

A scheme to open up miles of the river Severn and its major tributary to help threatened fish has won almost £20m in funding.

The £19.4m project will reopen the UK’s longest river to fish species, many of which vanished from its upper reaches after weirs were installed in the 1800s to help river transport during the industrial revolution.

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Army tried to destroy my career, says 'whistleblower' doctor

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 14:57:57 GMT2016-10-27T14:57:57Z

Dr Stephen Frost tells tribunal that officers tried to smear him when he challenged dismissal from Weeton barracks

A “whistleblowing” army doctor with an unblemished service record was sacked because he discovered potentially criminal appropriation of morphine at a military base in the north-west of England, a tribunal has heard.

Senior army officers allegedly tried to smear Dr Stephen Frost by calling him a conspiracy theorist and a Kremlin sympathiser when he challenged his dismissal at an employment tribunal, court documents show.

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Alan Partridge: UK united by warm beer and healthy suspicion of human rights

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 09:25:07 GMT2016-10-27T09:25:07Z

Fictional TV star also claims Britons share love of sausage rolls and iPhones in interview on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme

Warm beer and cold hands, the peal of church bells and a healthy suspicion for human rights. Despite the divisive Brexit referendum, widening inequality and a surge in hate crime, these are the things that unite Britons after voting to leave the European union, according to the veteran broadcaster Alan Partridge.

Partridge, the fictional character played by Steve Coogan – who has been a regular fixture on television and radio for 25 years – told the Today programme on BBC’s Radio 4 that he disagreed with doomsayers who say Britain has never been more divided in politics and culture.

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Man who shot dead wife and daughter was 'cold and scheming', coroner says

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 10:19:39 GMT2016-10-27T10:19:39Z

Lance Hart murdered family outside sports centre in Spalding, Lincolnshire, before turning shotgun on himself

A “cold, calculated and scheming” man killed his wife and daughter before turning the gun on himself, an inquest has heard.

Charlotte Hart, 19, and her mother Claire, 50, were killed by Lance Hart, 57, near the Castle sports complex in Spalding, Lincolnshire, in July. Lance Hart then shot himself using the single-barrel shotgun.

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Law concerning use of sexual history in rape trials 'could be reformed'

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 12:34:21 GMT2016-10-27T12:34:21Z

Attorney general Jeremy Wright says worries raised by MPs about nature of evidence used in high-profile retrial of Ched Evans are legitimate

The law could be reformed to make clear that an alleged rape victim’s sexual history must not in future be used routinely as evidence in court, the attorney general has suggested.

Jeremy Wright told the House of Commons that concerns about the practice were legitimate, after a group of MPs warned that women would be less likely to report rape because of the high-profile retrial of the footballer Ched Evans.

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Brexit could be positive for UK arts industry 'if right decisions are made'

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 14:52:08 GMT2016-10-27T14:52:08Z

Creative Industries Federation urges government to forge practical relationship between UK, EU and arts sector

Leaving the EU could present positive opportunities for Britain’s arts and creative industries rather than the feared disasters – but only if the government takes the right decisions on a series of important issues, a report delivered to ministers argues.

The findings are in a report by the Creative Industries Federation, which draws on evidence from around 500 contributors, many of whom attended 11 quickly-convened “what next” meetings across the UK after the vote to leave the EU.

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P&O Cruises braves Boaty McBoatface waters to name new ocean liner

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 14:36:06 GMT2016-10-27T14:36:06Z

Cruise firm says it planned to invite names from public long before poll for Natural Environment Research Council went viral

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s a publicity stunt dressed up as a cruise liner.

P&O Cruises has decided to brave the waters of public opinion, announcing that it will throw open the naming process for its new ocean liner to suggestions from all comers.

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Firm behind Top Gear Experience blames TV revamp for going bust

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 12:20:35 GMT2016-10-27T12:20:35Z

TGXP cancels all bookings for days at Dunsfold Park, saying ticket sales fell sharply after changes in the show

The firm behind the Top Gear Experience track days has gone bust, blaming the lacklustre relaunch of the BBC2 show following the departure of Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond.

TGXP Ltd cancelled all bookings for days at Dunsfold Park, where the series is filmed, saying: “Despite good reviews and early strong sales for the Top Gear Track Experience, there has been a sharp decline in ticket sales and interest since the changes in the television show.

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Corbyn: Labour would add LGBT history to school curriculum

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 11:40:41 GMT2016-10-27T11:40:41Z

Speaking at Pink News awards, opposition leader also says government should apologise to men prosecuted for their sexuality

A Labour government would make sure children are taught about LGBT history and the significance of figures such as the mathematician Alan Turing as part of the school curriculum, Jeremy Corbyn has said.

The Labour leader made the promise at an awards dinner hosted by Pink News, where he also said the state should apologise to gay men such as Turing who were prosecuted for sexual acts that are no longer criminal.

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Scottish NHS failing to keep up with rising demand, says watchdog

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 12:49:08 GMT2016-10-27T12:49:08Z

Nicola Sturgeon under fire after Audit Scotland says some health service boards may not be able to balance books next year

Scotland’s NHS faces massive cuts as the health service fails to keep pace with increasing demand, rising costs and the needs of an ageing population, according to the public finances watchdog.

The damning report from Audit Scotland warns that some NHS boards may not be able to balance their books next year, and reveals that the service met only one of its eight key waiting time targets last year.

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Bill for PPI mis-selling scandal tops £40bn

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 12:46:55 GMT2016-10-27T12:46:55Z

Move by Barclays to set aside extra £600m further inflates already huge cost of UK mis-selling scandal to banking sector

Banks and financial services companies have racked up more than £40bn in costs to handle the payment protection insurance scandal.

The costliest mis-selling bill in UK financial services history became even more expensive on Thursday after Barclays set aside a further £600m to handle the cost of claims.

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Student appears in court charged over 'bomb' found on London tube

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 11:13:26 GMT2016-10-27T11:13:26Z

Damon Smith, 19, smiled and waved to public gallery during first appearance in connection with device discovered at North Greenwich station

A first-year university student charged with possessing explosives following a bomb alert on London’s tube network is to appear at the Old Bailey next month.

Damon Smith, 19, smiled, waved to the public gallery and gave a thumbs-up to his lawyer during a hearing at Westminster magistrates court on Thursday. Wearing a grey sweater and trousers, he spoke only to confirm his name, age and address.

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UK public support for fracking falls to lowest level

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 11:21:54 GMT2016-10-27T11:21:54Z

Just 17% of people surveyed back the process, the lowest level since the government survey started tracking public attitudes about shale gas

Public support for fracking has fallen to new lows, a government survey has revealed.

Just 17% of people backed the process of extracting shale gas, compared with a third who opposed it, and just under half (48%) who had no opinion, the latest figures from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) show.

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BT takes £145m hit due to accounting 'errors' at Italian division

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 08:20:17 GMT2016-10-27T08:20:17Z

Telecoms firm appoints advisers to assist with inquiry into BT Italia and says non-cash charge will not affect full-year figures

BT has taken a £145m hit after uncovering “inappropriate management behaviour” at its Italian division.

The company, which said the non-cash charge would not affect full-year figures, appointed external advisers to assist with a full investigation into BT Italia.

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Sun journalist wins challenge over Operation Elveden conviction

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 10:01:08 GMT2016-10-27T10:01:08Z

Anthony France was the only journalist whose conviction under the Met’s investigation into payments to public officials was still standing

The only journalist whose conviction for payments to public officials under Operation Elveden was still standing has had his guilty verdict overturned by the court of appeal.

Sun crime reporter Anthony France was found guilty in May last year of aiding and abetting a police officer working for a counter-terrorism command squad to commit misconduct in a public office.

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Some libraries deserve to close, says 'digital inclusion' charity

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 07:00:15 GMT2016-10-27T07:00:15Z

The Tinder Foundation argues that these amenities should not receive a ‘get out of austerity free’ card simply because they are libraries

Less than two weeks after peers spoke in the House of Lords about the importance of protecting the nation’s libraries, and as residents in Walsall mourn “absolutely devastating” proposals to close 15 out of their 16 local libraries, a charity has warned that libraries should not “receive an automatic ‘get out of austerity free’ card, merely on the grounds of being libraries”.

‘Digital inclusion’ charity the Tinder Foundation said on Wednesday that libraries should not be protected at all costs, and that those not fulfulling their potential should not receive “a free pass”.

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Great British Bake Off goes out on record high of 14m viewers

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 09:20:57 GMT2016-10-27T09:20:57Z

Final is most-watched show of the year, with more than half viewing public seeing Candice Brown crowned champion

The Great British Bake Off ended its run on the BBC with 14 million viewers, a record for the show and the most-watched programme of the year so far.

More than half of the viewing public tuned in to see Candice Brown win the Bake Off crown with a series of bakes including a 49-piece royal picnic that judge Mary Berry called “an absolute humdinger of a showstopper”. At it’s peak 14.8 million viewers tuned in.

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Taxpayer stake in Lloyds Banking Group falls below 9%

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 10:30:04 GMT2016-10-27T10:30:04Z

Chancellor sanctions reduction of stake despite shares trading well below price paid by taxpayer in 2008

The taxpayer stake in Lloyds Banking Group has fallen below 9% after Philip Hammond sanctioned a further sale even though the shares are trading below the average paid by the taxpayer during the 2008 bailout.

The reduction was announced to the market the day after the bank said it was taking another £1bn charge for payment protection insurance misselling which knocked its profit in the third quarter of the year.

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Barclays' PPI costs rise by another £600m

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 09:27:10 GMT2016-10-27T09:27:10Z

Bank makes extra provision to pay compensation for mis-sold payment protection insurance as it reports profits fall

The cost of the payment protection insurance scandal continues to mount after Barclays took another £600m hit to pay compensation to customers who were mis-sold the product.

The extra provision, announced as the bank reported a 10% fall in nine-month profits, takes Barclays’ claims cost to £8.4bn. The total bill for the industry is likely to hit £40bn.

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Suspected drug baron hands himself in complaining of pressure

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 10:33:12 GMT2016-10-27T10:33:12Z

Robert Gerrard, 53, a relative of footballer Steven Gerrard, charged with conspiracy to import cocaine after drug raid in the Netherlands

One of Britain’s most wanted fugitives, a cousin of the footballer Steven Gerrard, has handed himself in after complaining that the pressure of life on the run had become too much.

Robert Stephen Gerrard had been on the run for three years after a raid on a Dutch cafe uncovered a suspected international drug trafficking operations centre. He was accused of trying to smuggle £60m worth of cocaine into the UK and was wanted by the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA).

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MPs and peers question independence of press watchdog

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 06:00:14 GMT2016-10-27T06:00:14Z

Group write to Ipso chair after board member criticised Channel 4’s Fatima Manji in the Sun after her complaint against the tabloid was thrown out

The press watchdog is facing questions over its independence after Trevor Kavanagh, one of its board members, used his regular Sun column to criticise the Channel 4 News reporter Fatima Manji just days after her complaint against the tabloid was rejected.

MPs and lords wrote to the Independent Press Standards Organisation (Ipso) chair Alan Moses, saying: “We seek your urgent clarification on whether you believe that Mr Kavanagh’s public attack on a complainant to Ipso is in breach of the expectations of an independent press regulator, and whether his position on the board remains tenable.”

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Battle for Florida: Trump and Clinton home in on crucial state as voting begins

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 12:41:53 GMT2016-10-27T12:41:53Z

The two candidates have differing strategies in a state where turnout among Hispanic voters could sway the entire election – and it’s a must-win for Trump

In Little Havana, a vibrant Latino neighborhood just west of downtown Miami, a queue of a couple of dozen prospective voters had formed outside one of Hillary Clinton’s field offices.

Sandwiched between an insurance company and immigration counsel office, the group had arrived for tickets to a free Jennifer Lopez concert. But there was one caveat: to attend the Saturday evening show, at Bayfront Park on Miami’s Biscayne Bay, fans were first required to visit a Clinton campaign field office.

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Previously unknown Ingmar Bergman script to be filmed by former antagonist

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 16:03:33 GMT2016-10-27T16:03:33Z

1969 screenplay for Sixty-Four Minutes With Rebecka was intended as a collaboration with fellow auteurs Federico Fellini and Akira Kurosawa

Peter Bradshaw: Ingmar Bergman’s Sixty-Four Minutes With Rebecka – intriguing, sexy and intense

A previously unknown script by Swedish director Ingmar Bergman, intended to be part of a collaboration with Federico Fellini and Akira Kurosawa, is to be turned into a film to mark the 100th anniversary of his birth.

Sixty-Four Minutes With Rebecka, written in 1969, is about a teacher of deaf children who falls pregnant. The film follows her over the course of a few days, during which she gets into a car accident, visits a sex club and goes to dress fittings.

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EU proposes total commercial fishing ban on Atlantic sea bass

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 15:41:41 GMT2016-10-27T15:41:41Z

Move would also cut Scottish whiting catches to zero, while Celtic cod and Irish sole face hefty reductions to prevent stocks collapsing

The European commission has proposed closures on commercial fishing for sea bass in the Atlantic and whiting in the waters west of Scotland from next year, in order to prevent a collapse in fish stocks.

The total allowable catch (TAC) for cod in the Celtic Sea will also be cut by 68% under the plan, while sole quotas in the Irish Sea will be trimmed by a hefty 82%.

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Angela Merkel: internet search engines are 'distorting perception'

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 14:35:18 GMT2016-10-27T14:35:18Z

A lack of transparency about algorithms is endangering debate, German chancellor tells media conference

Angela Merkel has called on major internet platforms to divulge the secrets of their algorithms, arguing that their lack of transparency endangers debating culture.

The German chancellor said internet users had a right to know how and on what basis the information they received via search engines was channelled to them.

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Xi Jinping becomes 'core' leader of China

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 14:03:42 GMT2016-10-27T14:03:42Z

Communist party bestows new title on president, putting him in a more powerful position before the 2017 congress

China’s Communist party has given the president, Xi Jinping, the title of “core” leader, putting him on par with previous strongmen Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping, but signalled his power would not be absolute.

A lengthy communique released after a four-day meeting of senior officials in Beijing emphasised the importance of collective leadership. The system “must always be followed and should not be violated by any organisation or individual under any circumstance or for any reason”, the party said.

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Idlib school attack could be deadliest since Syrian war began, says UN

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 16:12:38 GMT2016-10-27T16:12:38Z

Top UN official describes attack on school in rebel-held northern Syria that killed at least 35 people as an outrage and possible war crime

Rescue workers at the site of a bombed-out school complex in northern Syria described scenes of anguish and fear as fresh details emerged of airstrikes that levelled much of the area and killed almost 40 people. A senior UN official described the attack as a possible war crime.

The airstrikes on the school district in the town of Haas in Idlib province on Wednesday morning were described as potentially the worst bombing of the sort on a school since the start of the civil war five and a half years ago.

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Internet Archive hosts all the gifs of 90s web giant GeoCities

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 15:41:40 GMT2016-10-27T15:41:40Z

Group’s spin-off of its archive of what was once the web’s third most-visited site features 4.5m animated images

If you’re nostalgic for a certain time on the internet – a time before your Facebooks and your Twitters, when the only live video was grainy webcam links that updated one frame a minute and your favourite social network was that one forum you’d been on since 1995 – you could do worse than spend a few minutes today on the Internet Archive’s latest project, GifCities.

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Twitter lays off hundreds but quarterly results better than expected

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 12:28:59 GMT2016-10-27T12:28:59Z

The company’s quarterly results report dropped at 4am local time in California with news of 9% cuts in workforce but better-than-expected revenue of $616m

Twitter has announced hundreds of layoffs rumored to be coming at the social media company for days.

Related: Twitter shares dive 14% after potential bidders reportedly lose interest

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India says Pakistani diplomat arrested at Delhi zoo was spy ring kingpin

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 13:38:52 GMT2016-10-27T13:38:52Z

Police say Mehmood Akhtar and two other suspects were carrying forged documents and maps showing Indian troop deployments

India says it will expel a Pakistani diplomat it accuses of being the “kingpin” of a spy ring, after his arrest on Wednesday outside the gates of the Delhi zoo, where police allege he was planning to meet Indian contacts he had recruited.

Tensions between the nuclear-armed neighbours are at their highest for more than a decade after 19 Indian soldiers were killed in Kashmir last month in an attack by militants that Delhi accuses Islamabad of sponsoring.

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West's failure to reconnect Iran to global banks 'risks breaching nuclear deal'

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 14:06:22 GMT2016-10-27T14:06:22Z

Former UK ambassador to Tehran says ongoing banking difficulties prevent Iran from capitalising on interest from western firms after deal signed a year ago

The west risks breaching the landmark nuclear agreement if it fails to give Iran proper access to the international financial system, a former British ambassador to Iran has argued.

Sir Richard Dalton, who served in Tehran between 2003 and 2006, said in a report published this week in the journal of the Royal Society of Asian Affairs in London that the US and its allies had made “some potentially significant mistakes” in respect to reconnecting Iran to global banks after the deal.

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Chechen wedding police to tackle drunkenness and 'incorrect' dancing

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 12:36:20 GMT2016-10-27T12:36:20Z

Special vice squads to be set up to enforce guidelines forbidding firing of weapons and ‘non-traditional’ dance moves

Authorities in Chechnya plan to set up wedding vice squads to patrol nuptials in the region ensuring nobody gets drunk or performs inappropriate dance moves.

The region, which is part of Russia, is run by Ramzan Kadyrov, who critics say is becoming increasingly dictatorial. The latest crackdown will target any weddings held outside private homes in the republic.

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Yazidi women who escaped from Isis win EU human rights prize

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 10:34:43 GMT2016-10-27T10:34:43Z

Sakharov award goes to Nadia Murad and Lamiya Aji Bashar, who became advocates for Yazidi people

Two Yazidi women who survived sexual enslavement by Islamic State before escaping and becoming “inspirational” advocates for their community in Iraq have won the EU’s prestigious Sakharov human rights prize.

Nadia Murad and Lamiya Aji Bashar were abducted with other Yazidi women in August 2014 when their home village of Kocho in Sinjar, northern Iraq, was attacked by Isis jihadis. It was one of the darkest episodes Iraq has suffered at the hands of the terrorist group.

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Italy earthquakes rattle buildings and residents two months after disaster

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 13:25:35 GMT2016-10-27T13:25:35Z

Residents in central Italy assess damage to homes and churches after 200 aftershocks rattle stricken towns overnight

Hundreds of people in central Italy woke up in makeshift shelters in a state of shock and exhaustion after the region was hit by two earthquakes that brought back memories of the disaster that hit the area two months ago.

While no fatalities were reported – one man reportedly died from a heart attack that was possibility related to the shock – locals were on Thursday carrying out a grim assessment of major damage to homes and churches in towns across Marche and parts of Umbria. The two regions were also hit in the 24 August quake that killed 300 people.

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Whaling watchdog shrinks loophole allowing Japan's 'scientific' hunts

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 14:34:34 GMT2016-10-27T14:34:34Z

Resolution imposes stricter reviews of whales killed under the scientific programme which Japan’s critics say it abuses to hunt for meat

The world’s whaling watchdog has voted to conduct stricter reviews of whales killed under an exemption to a 30-year-old moratorium which Japan’s critics say it abuses to hunt for meat.

The resolution on Thursday, opposed by Japan and fellow whalers Norway and Iceland, was adopted by 34 yes votes to 17 against, at the 66th meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC).

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10 years on from the Stern report: a low-carbon future is the 'only one available'

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 06:00:14 GMT2016-10-27T06:00:14Z

Economist says green development is the only route to global economic growth and points to China leading the world on climate change action

Clean, green development is the sole route to future global economic growth, according to British economist Lord Nicholas Stern, with a continuation of polluting, high-carbon growth only leading to self-destruction.

There is a strong argument that China is now leading the world in action on climate change, Stern said, making the country both a competitor and inspiration for other nations.

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Afghanistan is the dirty little secret of the US presidential campaign

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 07:58:07 GMT2016-10-27T07:58:07Z

Fight against Taliban is now America’s longest war but has been all but ignored by Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump

With all eyes focused on Mosul, Aleppo and Russia’s military buildup in the Middle East, the sharply deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan has been all but ignored by Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Whoever wins the US presidency, such insouciance will be hard to justify beyond January’s inauguration day.

As this week’s killing of 30 villagers in Ghor province showed, Afghanistan has a way of forcing itself into the political headlights. Barack Obama learned this lesson the hard way. He promised to end the war. Instead, he escalated, faltered, then lost interest.

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Land that debt forgot: tiny Pacific country of Niue has no interest in loans

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 05:04:04 GMT2016-10-27T05:04:04Z

Atoll of fewer than 2,000 people clears its borrowings while hiking pensions and public sector pay, hoping to lure back expatriates but still live within its means

One of the world’s smallest countries has declared itself debt-free and plans to spend the money saved from servicing borrowing on raising pensions and offering incentives to lure expatriates home.

The island of Niue, perched on a coral atoll in the south Pacific, is home to fewer than 2,000 people.

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Indonesian court convicts woman of cyanide coffee murder

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 11:19:10 GMT2016-10-27T11:19:10Z

Australian resident Jessica Kumala Wongso is jailed for 20 years for giving her friend lethal dose of cyanide in Jakarta cafe

An Australian resident has been sentenced to 20 years in prison after being found guilty of murdering her friend with cyanide-laced coffee.

Jessica Kumala Wongso, 28, remained expressionless as three Jakarta judges sentenced her in a case that has dominated the Indonesian press since it began earlier this year.

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Poland's abortion laws: activists blame grip of 'hardline' church

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 06:30:14 GMT2016-10-27T06:30:14Z

Campaigners believe Catholic priests are exerting political leverage to further restrict women’s reproductive rights

“It’s a strange thing to say about a country in the middle of Europe, in the 21st century, but this is how it works – nearly all politicians here are afraid of the Catholic church,” said Anna Leszczyńska, a women’s rights activist.

Thousands of campaigners marched through Poland’s largest cities on Sunday and Monday to protest against the government’s proposals to further restrict abortion laws in the country.

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US suspends search for Chinese sailor lost in mid-Pacific

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 09:02:24 GMT2016-10-27T09:02:24Z

Guo Chuan, 51, lost contact with his team while attempting to break world record for crossing ocean alone

The US Coast Guard has suspended its search for a Chinese sailor who lost contact with his team on Tuesday during an attempt to break the world record for a solo crossing of the Pacific.

Rescuers boarded Guo Chuan’s drifting yacht and found his lifejacket but he was not there, they said.

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