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



Published: Wed, 17 Jan 2018 18:10:45 GMT2018-01-17T18:10:45Z

Copyright: Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. 2018
 



Gary Speed 'one of four players coached by Bennell to have killed themselves'

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 15:48:41 GMT2018-01-17T15:48:41Z

Former Wales manager hanged himself years after playing in team coached by Barry Bennell, court hears

Gary Speed was one of four players from Barry Bennell’s junior football teams who killed themselves later in life after being coached by the man now charged with multiple sex offences against young footballers, the jury at Bennell’s trial was told.

Speed, the former Wales manager, hanged himself in November 2011, at the age of 42. One man whom Bennell admitted abusing in 1998 told the court he knew of other boys from the same teams who had been left destitute, suicidal and addicted to drugs or alcohol.

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Steve Bannon to meet with Mueller’s investigators instead of testifying

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 18:00:18 GMT2018-01-17T18:00:18Z

Bannon is expected to be interviewed by prosecutors instead of testifying before a grand jury, after received a subpoena

Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon will meet with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators, according to a person familiar with the decision.

Bannon is expected to be interviewed by prosecutors instead of testifying before a grand jury. He is expected to cooperate with the special counsel, said the person, who was not authorized to speak publicly about private conversations. It is unclear when the interview will occur.

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PMQs: May defends Carillion actions after Corbyn criticism

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 13:47:26 GMT2018-01-17T13:47:26Z

Labour leader accuses government of negligence but PM says refusing to work with ailing firms would ensure their collapse

Theresa May has defended her actions over Carillion, telling the Commons during prime minister’s questions that the government was merely “a customer” of the collapsed public services provider, as Jeremy Corbyn criticised her over the issue.

Related: PMQs verdict: Corbyn crushes May over Carillion

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Nearly 1m tonnes every year: supermarkets shamed for plastic packaging

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 14:29:03 GMT2018-01-17T14:29:03Z

Exclusive: Guardian investigation unwraps truth about supermarket plastics after big brands refuse to divulge packaging secrets

Britain’s leading supermarkets create more than 800,000 tonnes of plastic packaging waste every year, according to an investigation by the Guardian which reveals how top chains keep details of their plastic footprint secret.

As concern over the scale of unnecessary plastic waste grows, the Guardian asked Britain’s eight leading supermarkets to explain how much plastic packaging they sell to consumers and whether they would commit to a plastic-free aisle in their stores.

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Man convicted of theft in 1976 cleared after Googling his arresting officer

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 17:43:19 GMT2018-01-17T17:43:19Z

Stephen Simmons was convicted of mailbag theft over 40 years ago but a chance discovery led to his acquittal

A man found guilty of stealing mailbags more than 40 years ago has had his conviction quashed in what the lord chief justice described as an exceptional case. The appeal court heard that the arresting officer in the original trial had died in prison not long afterwards while also serving a sentence for mailbag theft.

Stephen Simmons, now 62, a businessman from Dorking in Surrey, was arrested with two friends in Clapham, south London, in June 1975 by DS Derek Ridgewell of the British Transport Police, who attributed incriminating remarks to the young men.

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Britons tell Dutch court their EU rights cannot be removed

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 14:26:45 GMT2018-01-17T14:26:45Z

UK nationals living in Netherlands hope case will go to European court of justice

A group of British nationals living in the Netherlands have made a legal bid in a Dutch court to retain their EU citizenship after Brexit, arguing that their rights cannot be removed under European law.

Five UK nationals along with the Commercial Anglo Dutch Society and the lobby group Brexpats – Hear Our Voice are the named claimants. They are being assisted by Jolyon Maugham, the QC behind a series of recent Brexit legal challenges in Britain.

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Pakistani humanist denied UK asylum after failing to identify Plato

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 16:31:41 GMT2018-01-17T16:31:41Z

Man who renounced Islam says he has received death threats from family members in Pakistan

A Pakistani man who renounced his Muslim faith and became a humanist has had his application for asylum in the UK rejected after failing to correctly answer questions about ancient Greek philosophers.

The Home Office said Hamza bin Walayat’s failure to identify Plato and Aristotle as humanist philosophers indicated his knowledge of humanism was “rudimentary at best”.

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Puigdemont tweets video mixing clips of Rajoy and Hitler

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 17:42:21 GMT2018-01-17T17:42:21Z

Source close to deposed Catalan leader says he wasn’t making comparison between Spanish PM and Nazism

A group representing Spain’s Jewish communities has criticised a video tweeted by the ousted Catalan president that features images of the Spanish prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, along with archive footage of Hitler and Franco.

Shortly before Catalonia’s regional parliament convened to elect a new speaker on Wednesday, Carles Puigdemont renewed his attack on the Spanish authorities for sacking his government after it staged an independence referendum last October.

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Israeli judge denies bail to Palestinian teenager Ahed Tamimi

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 15:07:19 GMT2018-01-17T15:07:19Z

Human rights groups criticise detention of minor arrested after viral video showed her hitting Israeli soldiers

An Israeli military judge has ordered the Palestinian teenager Ahed Tamimi to be held in custody during her trial, possibly for months, despite calls from rights groups for her release.

Ahed was arrested last month after a viral video showed her hitting two Israeli soldiers. The teenager’s mother has also been ordered to be held until the trial in the high-profile case that has put the family at the centre of a propaganda war between Israelis and Palestinians.

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Man abducted, raped and cut throats of two women, trial hears

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 16:33:43 GMT2018-01-17T16:33:43Z

Mujahid Arshid, 33, faces multiple charges including murder and attempted murder

An “obsessed” builder abducted, raped and cut the throats of two young women, killing one and leaving her body in a freezer at a disused house, a trial has heard.

Mujahid Arshid, 33, had planned for weeks to abduct the two women, one of whom was his niece, recruiting Vincent Tappu, a labourer, to help in the abduction, the Old Bailey in London was told on Wednesday.

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A tall tale? Accuracy of Trump's medical report – and new height – questioned

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 17:38:26 GMT2018-01-17T17:38:26Z

So-called ‘Girthers’ question why Trump’s stated height is taller than his license says, and the convenience of his being 1lb shy of obese

Donald Trump’s surprisingly glowing medical report has led to questions about the accuracy of some of the data announced by White House physician Dr Ronny Jackson on Tuesday – including how a man in his 70s has apparently grown an inch in height.

Related: White House doctor says Trump will remain 'fit for duty' for years

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Kylie Minogue on Swinging Safari: ‘So much of what we were doing was so non-PC'

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 17:00:23 GMT2018-01-17T17:00:23Z

Director Stephen Elliot threw Minogue into some very racy scenes. ‘She wasn’t comfortable, but she absolutely did it’

Kylie Minogue appears as you have never seen her before in the rambunctious Australian comedy Swinging Safari: as an alcoholic agoraphobic living in a sex-obsessed neighbourhood.

“I loved the script, and I thought this is so exciting – I can be back in Australia, I can do some acting again,” Minogue tells Guardian Australia.

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The plastic-free stores showing the big brands how to do it

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 14:30:03 GMT2018-01-17T14:30:03Z

Retailers at the vanguard of Britain’s zero-waste movement say business is booming, so why are major supermarkets not doing more to cut plastic waste?

In the past few weeks Richard Eckersley has noticed a change in the type of people who come into his shop.

The former Manchester United footballer, who turned his back on the game to set up the the UK’s first “zero waste” store on Totnes high street in Devon, says it is no longer only committed environmentalists who pop in, looking for a cleaner way to shop.

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Are there any fashion photographers not accused of sexual harassment?

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 17:00:23 GMT2018-01-17T17:00:23Z

The suspension of Bruce Weber and Mario Testino, along with Terry Richardson, after multiple accusations, means Vogue has to find some new snappers

Now that Mario Testino and Bruce Weber are suspended from Condé Nast following allegations of sexual exploitation, who the heck is left to take photos for Vogue?
Vanessa by email

Zac the intern using his iPhone? I jest, obviously (all Vogue interns are called things like Lady Charlotte Aristo de Money and Kate Moss’s Daughter). But it’s certainly true that the biggest photographers in the industry seem to be falling like skittles, what with Terry Richardson suspended last year, and now Weber and Testino, felled by allegations of sexual misconduct and abuse of male models and assistants. All deny the allegations, but Condé Nast, to its credit, suspended the photographers as soon as the story was published in the New York Times last weekend, suggesting reaction times have improved of late. After all, Condé Nast International didn’t drop Richardson until – hmmmm, let me check my diary – October last year, even though some of us were writing about the multiple allegations against him five years ago. I guess suspending accused molesters just wasn’t in fashion back then.

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Rita, Sue and #MeToo: 'there'd be outrage if it was written today'

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 16:23:53 GMT2018-01-17T16:23:53Z

Was the Royal Court right to put on Rita, Sue and Bob Too? We asked three playwrights to look afresh at Andrea Dunbar’s story of two girls preyed on by an older man

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Emmanuel Macron: a modern master of the diplomatic gesture

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 17:27:11 GMT2018-01-17T17:27:11Z

Bayeux tapestry loan to UK is latest example of president’s use of symbolism to raise France’s profile

Ever since the Norman era, the fine art of the meaningful gift has been at the heart of statecraft.

They have ranged from a menagerie of exotic animals to fabulous jewels, but Emmanuel Macron – by first offering the Chinese a horse called Vesuvius, and now offering the British the loan of the Bayeux tapestry to the Victoria and Albert Museum – has revealed himself this month as the modern master of the diplomatic gesture.

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#FBPE: what is the pro-EU hashtag spreading across social media?

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 14:37:45 GMT2018-01-17T14:37:45Z

If you’ve been wondering what it means, here’s the answer – and the complex tale of how some have tried to hijack it

If you have been on social media over the last few weeks, you may have seen people tagging posts with the hashtag #FBPE, or using #FBPE in their usernames. But what does it mean?

The hashtag was first used on Twitter in October by Hendrik Klaassens, a Dutch social media user, who posted: “#ProEU tweeps organize Follow Back Saturdays! Type #FollowBackProEU or #FBPE if you want to get more #ProEU followers. Let’s do this!” in an attempt to build up a network of pro-EU users.

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From prudish Victorians to arrows in the eye – 10 things from history everyone gets wrong

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 15:32:27 GMT2018-01-17T15:32:27Z

This week we were told that rats didn’t spread the plague, the Aztecs weren’t wiped out by smallpox and ‘whipping boys’ may never have actually existed. So what other ‘facts’ are historically suspect?

You wait years for a historical theory to be debunked and then three come around at once. So far this week, we have been told that the mysterious pestilence that wiped out 15 million Aztecs between 1545 and 1550 was not smallpox or measles, but enteric fever, that the Black Death was spread by fleas and lice from humans as well as rat fleas (a theory that, in truth, has been around for a while), and that the supposed origins of the phrase “whipping boy” (where surrogates were punished in place of young royals) seem to be false. In the spirit of debunking myths, here is my (in no way exhaustive) list of 10 historical “mythconceptions”.

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Late-night hosts on Trump's physical: 'Despite all evidence, he does have a heart'

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 16:00:38 GMT2018-01-17T16:00:38Z

Stephen Colbert, Trevor Noah and Seth Meyers, discussed the results of Trump’s physical and the US’s response to the crisis in Puerto Rico

Late-night hosts discussed the results of Donald Trump’s physical exam, as well as the state of recovery efforts in Puerto Rico four months after Hurricane Irma.

“There has been a whole lot of talk about Donald Trump’s fitness for office lately, what with the book that’s out there and all the rumors,” began Stephen Colbert. “Well, he took a physical last Friday and today we got the results from his doctor Ronny Jackson.”

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The right has a quasi-mystical belief that the poor are inferior – sterilis​ation​ is the logical next step

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 16:22:28 GMT2018-01-17T16:22:28Z

What to make of Tory vice-chair Ben Bradley’s 2012 blog calling for the unemployed to have vasectomies? Plus: Trump’s problem with bad plumbing and advice from Greater Good magazine

Eugenics gets a bad rap because of its unfortunate Nazi heritage and antiquated, confusing language – “purity”, “bloodlines” – where you can never immediately tell whether they are talking about people or horses. The more commonplace eugenicist, who merely wants poor people to stop breeding, barely gets a look in. Yet they can ascend quite high, quite fast, up the ranks of the party of government.

Ben Bradley, vice-chair of the Conservative party, fretted in 2012 that the nation was “drowning in a sea of unemployed wasters” – metaphors from the natural world (floods, seas, insects, tides, swarms) are an absolute staple of the eugenics diet, as they are for racists. It is always hard to conjure a proper, full-blooded hatred for other people on a case-by-case basis. You have to transform them into a vast force, united by a shared, destructive agenda. Conundrum: wasters, presumably, have no agenda. But tolerate enough wasting, and soon there is a sea of it.

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Where’s Theresa as Carillion crisis mounts? On Planet Point-Scoring

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 17:46:21 GMT2018-01-17T17:46:21Z

Forget reassuring the country – the Maybot just keeps feeding her appetite for self-destruction

The Maybot is back. Tin-eared, lacking empathy and with an algorithm programmed for self-destruction. With 20,000 Carillion jobs at risk in the UK and hundreds of subcontractors in danger of going bust, Theresa May appeared only interested in minding one back. Her own. See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil and keep the disaster at arm’s length. It wasn’t a great look.

All week the government’s main line of defence had been that Carillion was just one of those things that couldn’t be helped. And prime minister’s questions was no exception. “The government is just a customer of Carillion,” said Pontius Maybot, momentarily forgetting she was PM. And that she had promised on her first day in office to use her position as the most powerful person in the country to stand up for the low-paid and the insecure. Sometimes her lack of self-awareness borders on the pathological.

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Should you give homeless people money? Absolutely | Tamsen Courtenay

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 16:34:55 GMT2018-01-17T16:34:55Z

Gloucester city council’s poster implies they are not worth our compassion. This is a travesty of human decency

Have the Tory members of Gloucester city council been busy reading George Orwell’s 1984 in their book club recently?

It seems someone has read the bit at the back where Orwell describes how the political language, Newspeak – with its restricted grammar and limited vocabulary – is designed to distort how people think and control public attitudes. Posters were put up in Gloucester showing someone wearing a hoodie, under the headline of “Are you really helping homeless people?”, suggesting that people sleeping rough are not homeless, but “in accommodation, receiving support and benefits”. This sinister use of Newspeak tells the upstanding citizenry to stop feeling bad about not helping those in need, under the pretence of educating and informing. It even offered a subtle sense of justification that – weirdly – help isn’t really help at all. That’s not Newspeak, it’s doublespeak. Orwell was writing about a totalitarian state. We should be worried.

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Carillion may have gone bust, but outsourcing is a powerful public good | John McTernan

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 16:21:30 GMT2018-01-17T16:21:30Z

It is blamed for many ills, but outsourcing brings accountability and transparency to the provision of services – for low prices

• John McTernan was Tony Blair’s director of political operations

What has outsourcing ever done for me?

In a parody of the scene from Monty Python’s Life of Brian, that is what critics and commentators are asking about the collapse of Carillion – formerly one of the UK’s biggest companies.

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The Bayeux tapestry shows Britain’s birth as a European nation | John Lichfield

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 15:11:35 GMT2018-01-17T15:11:35Z

Macron’s loan isn’t some ‘Gallic joke’ about the last time we were invaded; it’s a portrait of how intimately linked we are to the continent

As a British-born, adopted Norman, I am delighted that the Bayeux tapestry may be going on a short holiday to Britain after 952 years. The tapestry (actually an embroidery) is a remarkable and remarkably modern piece of art. It is often described as the “first strip cartoon” and the “first movie storyboard”. Less frequently observed is the fact that it preceded television 24-hour news channels by nine centuries in its neat use of scroll bars to provide extra information above and below the main action.

Related: Emmanuel Macron agrees to loan Bayeux Tapestry to Britain

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Bitcoin’s energy usage is huge – we can't afford to ignore it

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 15:15:55 GMT2018-01-17T15:15:55Z

The cryptocurrency uses as much CO2 a year as 1m transatlantic flights. We need to take it seriously as a climate threat

Bitcoin’s electricity usage is enormous. In November, the power consumed by the entire bitcoin network was estimated to be higher than that of the Republic of Ireland. Since then, its demands have only grown. It’s now on pace to use just over 42TWh of electricity in a year, placing it ahead of New Zealand and Hungary and just behind Peru, according to estimates from Digiconomist. That’s commensurate with CO2 emissions of 20 megatonnes – or roughly 1m transatlantic flights.

That fact should be a grave notion to anyone who hopes for the cryptocurrency to grow further in stature and enter widespread usage. But even more alarming is that things could get much, much worse, helping to increase climate change in the process.

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Ben Stokes: ECB ruling raises more questions over their decision-making | Vic Marks

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 17:32:44 GMT2018-01-17T17:32:44Z

Decision to reinstate England all-rounder for series in New Zealand despite pending trial for affray has puzzling aspects

Ben Stokes will be back in the fold and playing for England within four weeks. During the period when Stokes had not been charged by the Crown Prosecution Service after the incident in Bristol in the early hours of 25 September, he was unable to play for England. Now he has been charged, he can play. Which seems a bit odd.

Related: Ben Stokes: all-rounder cleared to play for England after affray charge

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Theo Walcott makes switch from Arsenal to Everton in £20m move

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 17:02:53 GMT2018-01-17T17:02:53Z

• ‘I want the club to push to the next level,’ Walcott says
• Walcott has struggled for regular starting role at Emirates

Theo Walcott has become Everton's second signing of the transfer window after completing a move from Arsenal in a £20m deal.

The 28-year-old underwent a medical on Merseyside on Tuesday before finalising terms on a three-and-a-half-year contract. Everton are understood to have matched the winger's £110,000-a-week wage and met Arsenal's demands for a player who had 18 months left on his contract at the Emirates Stadium.

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Ronaldinho: a player so good he made you smile

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 14:11:00 GMT2018-01-17T14:11:00Z

The Brazilian has retired after an extraordinary career but his wonderful talent will be remembered for ever. ‘He changed our history,’ the Barcelona midfielder Xavi said

Ronaldinho. See? You’re smiling already. Just thinking about the things he did and the way he did them, the way he was, gets you giggling. Look him up on YouTube and maybe you’ll fall for him all over again, a bit like all those defenders. Watch for long enough – it won’t take long – and you might even feel like standing to applaud, just like the Santiago Bernabéu did, an ovation for a Barcelona player, as if for all the rivalry they hadn’t so much been beaten by his genius as shared in it. Sergio Ramos was on the floor, they were on their feet. Cameras zoomed on a man in the north stand with a moustache and a cigarette hanging limp from his lip. Bloody hell, did you see what he just did?

Related: Golden Goal: Ronaldinho for Barcelona v Chelsea (2005) | Daniel Harris

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Aly Raisman: USA Gymnastics told me to be quiet about Larry Nassar abuse

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 15:29:36 GMT2018-01-17T15:29:36Z

  • Former USA Gymnastics doctor faces athletes he abused in court
  • Survivors of abuse include Olympic champion Simone Biles

Olympic champion Aly Raisman has said USA Gymnastics “told [her] to be quiet” when she first told the organisation she had been abused by team doctor Larry Nassar.

Raisman’s accusation came as Nassar’s sentence hearing, which is expected to last until Friday, continued. Nassar has admitted abusing athletes, one as young as six, during his time as a doctor with USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University. Prosecutors are seeking a 40- to 125-year prison sentence for the 54-year-old.

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Jonny Bairstow and England return to Gabba in lighter mood for second ODI

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 17:59:27 GMT2018-01-17T17:59:27Z

• England aim to take 2-0 lead over Australia in one-day series
• Bairstow happy with form as opener since shift last summer

Jonny Bairstow returned to familiar surroundings in Brisbane on Wednesday. It was in the Gabba’s press conference hall, moments after England had lost the first Ashes Test, that Bairstow read a statement regarding the alleged headbutt on Cameron Bancroft which turned out to be anything but.

“Last time I was in this room, it was a lot busier,” he said, jokingly, as he sat down to a less intimidating atmosphere. “It is what it is. Everyone knows how much that was blown out of proportion.” Even, he says, Australia. “We had a beer with their lads and they said it was the perfect opportunity to blow something up, which is exactly what happened.”

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Never managed and didn’t apply: how the FA made Phil Neville its No 1 | Marina Hyde

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 11:26:14 GMT2018-01-17T11:26:14Z

Surprising frontrunner for the job of England women’s manager sums up the FA’s continuing bumbling approach

What an amusing inevitability to learn that Phil Neville is the frontrunner for the job of managing the England women’s side. I very much enjoyed my colleague Louise Taylor’s report into the matter, which stated: “It is understood the 40-year-old’s name was initially suggested to the Football Association in a lighthearted manner by a well-known broadcaster at a drinks reception last month.”

This is my favourite How Job Applications Work story since George Osborne’s friends asked the former chancellor for his advice on their pitches for the Evening Standard editorship. Sorry, guys – he had a look at your proposals, but in the end the opportunity was just too good to pass up. A failed candidate for the Times’s graduate trainee scheme back in the day, he proceeded straight to newspaper editor.

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Manchester United may land Alexis Sánchez without Mkhitaryan move

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 15:12:20 GMT2018-01-17T15:12:20Z

• Mourinho hopeful club’s robust finances can fund signing
• Some disquiet at Old Trafford over player’s agent’s stance

Manchester United could buy Alexis Sánchez from Arsenal even if Henrikh Mkhitaryan refuses to move the other way, with José Mourinho hopeful that Ed Woodward, the executive vice-chairman, would sign off a deal financed without money received from the Armenian’s sale.

Mino Raiola, Mkhitaryan’s agent, has claimed his player holds the key to Sánchez’s transfer to United in a transaction that would be worth around £60m once the Chilean’s fee and that of his agent are factored in.

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Rokhaya Diallo: 'As a black woman, my freedom of speech didn't have value'

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 13:04:27 GMT2018-01-17T13:04:27Z

Rokhaya Diallo is a French journalist and activist who was appointed to the CNNum, the national digital council at the end of last year. Her appointment sparked controversy due to some of her opinions about state racism and Charlie Hebdo, and the French government bowed to pressure to remove her from the board. She speaks with Iman Amrani about what happened, how she feels President Emmanuel Macron, and freedom of speech

Une version de la vidéo en français peut être visionnée ici

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Sucker punch: small town boxing in rural America is going mainstream - but who benefits?

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 10:29:53 GMT2018-01-16T10:29:53Z

Rough N Rowdy offers local hopefuls, most with limited skills and little training, the chance to win $1,000 and make a name for themselves in the boxing ring. The event is being broadcast by Barstool Sports, whose CEO, Dave Portnoy, refers to boxers taking part as 'rednecks' 

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We Have Lift-off | Made In Stoke-on-Trent

Mon, 15 Jan 2018 07:33:36 GMT2018-01-15T07:33:36Z

Stoke-on-Trent residents are fed up with it being known as the 'Brexit capital of Britain'. After being swamped by negative media stories during the referendum and recent byelection, local people are fighting back against the stereotypes


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£1 for a house: made in Stoke-on-Trent

Mon, 15 Jan 2018 07:34:13 GMT2018-01-15T07:34:13Z

This is the Portland street estate, a community ravaged by years of cuts. The council made a bold move in an attempt to turn the estate around – but how did the £1 homes experiment turn out?

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Prevail: Made in Stoke-on-Trent

Mon, 15 Jan 2018 07:34:47 GMT2018-01-15T07:34:47Z

Stoke-on-Trent’s cultural quarter is growing fast, with an independent and DIY spirit, but how does this affect the rest of the city? An answer is found in the remarkable story of Vixta, an artist about to go public for the first time

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A Potted History | Made In Stoke-on-Trent

Mon, 15 Jan 2018 07:35:32 GMT2018-01-15T07:35:32Z

Paladin Works is a time capsule of a building that embodies the history of Stoke-on-Trent. It began life as a pottery factory, but since that went bust it has hosted manufacturing, sales teams and even a cannabis farm. Does it hold the key to Stoke's future?

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Salvage Operation | Made In Stoke-on-Trent

Mon, 15 Jan 2018 07:36:46 GMT2018-01-15T07:36:46Z

In the bowels of an old pottery factory, a group of determined men eke out a profit from stripping down and recycling electrical waste. All of them have some form of mental health condition or disability. It's a tough business, but one with a dark sense of humour

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The Mother Town | Made In Stoke-on-Trent

Mon, 15 Jan 2018 07:50:05 GMT2018-01-15T07:50:05Z

This is where Stoke-on-Trent’s industrial revolution began, the proud home of the potteries. It has fallen on hard times and been labelled the ‘ghost town of Britain’, but a group of women are fighting back

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Two sides to every story | Made in Stoke-on-Trent

Mon, 15 Jan 2018 07:53:20 GMT2018-01-15T07:53:20Z

Homelessness hit the news in Stoke-on-Trent when an attempt by the council to tackle rough sleeping went wrong, causing public anger. Meet some of the people who are sleeping on the streets, and those offering help


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Judgment Day | Made In Stoke-on-Trent

Mon, 15 Jan 2018 07:55:50 GMT2018-01-15T07:55:50Z

Many residents of Stoke-on-Trent pinned their hopes on winning the competition to become the next UK City of Culture. The ambitious bid team set out to transform perceptions of the city. Did they succeed?

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‘And here’s Big Narstie with the weather’ – TV’s greatest fish out of water moments

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 16:44:10 GMT2018-01-17T16:44:10Z

The grime star joins the likes of Jeremy Paxman and the Fall’s Mark E Smith in taking on an unexpected television role

On Tuesday, grime artist Big Narstie became a megastar. Tasked with presenting the weather on Good Morning Britain, Narstie grabbed the role with both hands and delivered a masterclass in how to cope with the pressures of live television. “Double up, double up, double up, double up”, he told viewers shortly before describing the Scottish Highlands as “a bag of snow”. Instantly, Narstie’s turn joined the pantheon of unexpectedly incredible television moments. Here are his new bedfellows.

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Keira Knightley criticises rape culture in modern cinema

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 13:49:35 GMT2018-01-17T13:49:35Z

Speaking about #MeToo and Hollywood, the actor says there is ‘something distasteful in the way women are portrayed’

Keira Knightley has criticised the amount of sexual violence against women in films, saying that she prefers period stories to contemporary-set dramas because, in the latter, “the female characters nearly always get raped”.

In an interview with Variety, Knightley was explaining her preference for “historical pieces” in the run-up to the premiere of her Colette biopic – set during the Parisian belle époque – at the Sundance film festival. “I always find something distasteful in the way women are portrayed [in films set in the modern day], whereas I’ve always found very inspiring characters offered to me in historical pieces.” She acknowledged, however, that there has been some improvement in “the last few years” as the Hollywood mood change has meant that “women’s stories are suddenly viewed as important”. She said: “I’m suddenly being sent scripts with present-day women who aren’t raped in the first five pages and aren’t simply there to be the loving girlfriend or wife.”

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Music for the great outdoors: what should join Justin Timberlake on the playlist?

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 17:00:35 GMT2018-01-17T17:00:35Z

The musician has said his new album is ‘meant to be heard outside’. From Bon Iver to Barbecue Bob, here are four more site-specific musical recommendations

The promotional video for Justin Timberlake’s latest album, Man of the Woods, is a confounding thing, portraying our hero in plaid shirt, dancing in studios and looking contemplative in cornfields. But most interestingly, in among the cavorting he prescribes the ideal listening conditions for his new opus: “It’s meant to be heard outside,” he says, “even more than inside.”

Timberlake is not alone in feeling his music belongs in a particular setting. Consciously or unconsciously, musicians have always written music inspired by landscape, some even composing for specific locations. It’s restrictive, of course, to suggest that music only belongs to one geographical context, but there is an undeniable joy to listening to bluegrass in Appalachia or Elgar amid the Malvern Hills. Here are four more site-specific musical recommendations:

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Fantastic Beasts and where to set them: which cities should the Harry Potter spin-off visit?

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 15:40:02 GMT2018-01-17T15:40:02Z

The sorcery saga is relocating to a new city with each film, but which destinations should be on its itinerary: Shanghai, Berlin ... or Wakefield?

The big draw of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – at least for me – was that it injected some American pizazz into the stultifyingly British world of Harry Potter. Switching from the anonymous mundanity of Privet Drive for the soaring bustle of 1920s New York was a masterstroke. But it wasn’t to last.

For this year’s sequel, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, the franchise is upping sticks again and moving to Paris. And don’t assume that this is a one-off deal – director David Yates has revealed that every Fantastic Beasts sequel will be set in a different city. Luckily for all involved, I have some suggestions on where it should go next.

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The Final Year review – Trump looms over poignant portrait of Obama's farewell

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 15:00:04 GMT2018-01-17T15:00:04Z

Greg Barker’s respectful film, shot behind the scenes at the White House, documents the end of an era – and the shock of what happened next

There is an unintentional sadness to this film from Greg Barker. It’s a respectful documentary about Barack Obama’s final year in the US presidency, and everyone in front of and behind the camera clearly assumes that the baton is about to be euphorically passed on to Hillary Clinton. This feels like a feature-length season finale to TV’s The West Wing.

The title reminded me a little of Ta-Nehisi Coates’s essay collection We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy – yet that sense of an ending is very different. The mood here is not complacency exactly, but with hindsight we can see a kind of innocence, or even naivety, as everyone earnestly goes about their legacy-defining projects as the hour of Hillary’s coronation draws near. When we witness Donald Trump’s victory in the final 10 minutes, the film seems to go into shock, to become numb, like the people whose unassailable political superiority it had been quietly celebrating. Barker is unable to look back and reassess the story he has been telling. Things change, and there’s incidentally an uncomfortable moment at the beginning when Aung San Suu Kyi is glimpsed placidly waving: a globally revered Good Thing.

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Bridget Riley review – a blast of pure psychedelic energy

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 15:58:30 GMT2018-01-17T15:58:30Z

David Zwirner Gallery, London
In her new show Recent Paintings 2014-2017, the great shapeshifter rediscovers the hallucinogenic power of her youth, with dizzying works that turn perspective inside out

To walk into Bridget Riley’s exhibition of new works – everything here, with a couple of exceptions, has been created in the last four years – is to see a mighty brain fizzing away with ideas that blow away all the sentimental cobwebs from art. Riley is a philosopher who is interested in perception – and nothing else. For her, a work of art is not a picture nor a political comment nor a splurge of self-expression. It is a way to explore seeing. If it does not leave you with your sense of the visible world shaken and reborn, what’s the point of it?

In the early 1960s, she took on the epic sweep of American art and gave it a sharp scientific twist. Jackson Pollock’s paintings absorb the beholder in poetic tangles and forests of colour. Riley liked the scope and sweep, yet she put it all in a more solid psychological basis. The curves and eddies, twists and vortices of her early black and white paintings such as Hesitate (1964) are mathematically calculated. Their discombobulating effects are precisely planned. They turn perception inside out as you find spaces move and melt, shapes materialise in front of the canvas, reality itself burst open to reveal new dimensions. In the decade of psychedelia, Riley invented a legal hallucinogenic.

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From antioxidants to iron absorption: how to make the most of your cup of tea

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 16:53:26 GMT2018-01-17T16:53:26Z

Scientists reckon a cuppa can have cognitive benefits, but how best to make a health-boosting brew?

Five millennia on, tea is still delighting scientists who want to prove slightly obvious things. The latest news on that front is that it can make us more creative. In the journal Food Quality and Preference, Yan Huang, from the Psychological and Cognitive Sciences Department of Peking University, illustrates how his 50 subjects performed better when “trying to come up with a cool name for a noodle bar”, among other tasks, when given a cup of tea instead of a glass of water. As marvellous as this info is for the noodle bar franchising industry, the health and cognitive benefits of tea certainly don’t end there. We’ve all had the debate about how to make the tastiest cuppa. But what about the healthiest? Here are some tips:

Use cheap, bagged tea

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‘Work is important, but your health is everything’: your best comments today

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 15:40:29 GMT2018-01-17T15:40:29Z

We look at some top stories getting you talking today, including discussion on why we don’t take all of our annual leave, and Australia’s presidency

Comment threads have been busy with a discussion over whether being strong has become the new respectable skinny, and why we don’t use all of our annual leave.

Readers have also been discussing Australia’s debate over republicanism and the presidency with warnings of the chance of electing a celebrity president.

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Heating’s cheating: why taste reigns supreme in the new chilli sauce scene

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 14:00:02 GMT2018-01-17T14:00:02Z

The surge in interest in spicy condiments around the UK is not just about ludicrously hot concoctions – for many producers, it’s all about the flavour

Sean Evans, host of the cult US online TV show Hot Ones, is trying to recall his highlights from its four seasons, in which he has interviewed celebrities including Cara Delevingne and Seth Rogen. But he concedes: “It’s kind of a blur. There’s been so many people spitting in buckets, dry heaving and coughing. It’s all just one big fit.”

Yes, you read that right: spitting, heaving, coughing. For Hot Ones is no ordinary chat show. Instead, like a sadistic Piers Morgan’s Life Stories, it involves Evans firing questions at celebrities as he and they eat 10 chicken wings dressed with hot sauces of increasing ferocity. The final wing is dressed with Hot Ones’ own Last Dab, made with the world’s hottest chilli, Pepper X. By this point (note: DJ Khaled bailed after just three wings), most guests are in a whole world of sweat-soaked pain. Or, as Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s game star Terry Crews put it: “OH MY GOD … you get high off this shit. My voice is changing. You’re turning into three people, man! I’m hurting. Why can’t I open my eyes?”

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Shelf effacement: how not to organise your bookshelves

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 14:20:05 GMT2018-01-16T14:20:05Z

A new trend to ‘coordinate’ the look of your library by turning the spines to face inward defies good sense. But apparently it’s catching on

Talk about spineless: the new trend in home decor is backward-looking – literally. If you’re in search of a storage solution that won’t mar the boring – sorry “neutral” – look of a beige colour scheme, simply turn your books spines in, pages out.

Back in October, design blog Apartment Therapy shared one of these backwards bookshelves on its Instagram account, with advice for emulating the look. (“Books don’t match your decor? Don’t fret … Flip them for a perfectly coordinated look.”) US morning show Today called it “a beautiful thing to try”, and, naturally, it’s all over Pinterest.

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Has strong become the respectable face of skinny for young women?

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 06:00:46 GMT2018-01-17T06:00:46Z

A generation of Instagram stars and personal trainers are challenging old-fashioned notions of femininity, replacing images of thinness or fecundity with brute strength. Whether this is healthy is another matter

”Imagine you’re a Page 3 girl and they’re going for the butt shot,” says Chloe Madeley, helpfully.

It is a grey January morning in a gym near Leicester and Madeley, a former TV presenter turned personal trainer and Instagram phenomenon – and the daughter of daytime telly pairing Richard Madeley and Judy Finnegan – is trying gamely to teach me the correct posture for squats with weights. Bum stuck out, shoulders pinned back, move from the hips. None of this is dignified. It is also killing my hamstrings, although there is only a wimpy 5kg weight on the bar I am lifting, compared with the 60kg she usually manages.

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Want help solving a work-related problem? Tell us about it

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 15:45:21 GMT2018-01-17T15:45:21Z

Overworked? Stressed? Got a bad boss? In a new series we invite you to send in a short description of your predicament – so that other readers can offer solutions

Work has changed, and in many ways for the better. Hours have become more flexible, so parents and carers can spend time with those they love. We have more holidays. Smartphones, tablets and laptops have unshackled us from our desks. It’s illegal to discriminate on the grounds of race, gender, religion, disability or sexuality. There’s a minimum wage.

But much is just the same, or worse than ever. Too many firms now expect you to be available round the clock, to answer their stupid emails or talk to clients on the other side of the world. Cameras and GPS track your every movement and toilet break; software counts each keystroke. And while we never dreamed of some of the jobs that have come into being, we have also watched the collapse of industries that once seemed indestructible.

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Ben Bradley to stay Tory vice-chair after ‘vasectomies for unemployed’ row

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 15:15:53 GMT2018-01-17T15:15:53Z

MP right to apologise for saying jobless should not have big families, May’s spokesman says

Theresa May’s spokesman has said Ben Bradley will keep his job as Conservative vice-chair for young people, despite having suggested that unemployed people should opt for free vasectomies rather than having children they could not afford.

The prime minister’s press secretary said Bradley’s apology was the “right thing to do”, but added that his views had changed since he wrote the 2012 blogpost, when he was 22. Asked whether Bradley would be keeping his job, the spokesman confirmed that he would.

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M&S to shut London distribution centre, putting 380 jobs at risk

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 18:00:07 GMT2018-01-17T18:00:07Z

Retailer to close Neasden site after tough Christmas but also reveals plans for new warehouse in Hertfordshire

Marks & Spencer is closing its London distribution centre, putting 380 jobs at risk, after disappointing Christmas trading figures.

The move, part of the chief executive Steve Rowe’s five-year turnaround plan, will see the high street retailer exit its Neasden site in the north of the capital and transfer the work to other sites.

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Man and female friend jailed for life for murder of his wife in Leeds

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 16:35:40 GMT2018-01-17T16:35:40Z

Akshar Ali and Yasmin Ahmed each receive 22-year minimum terms for killing Sinead Wooding

A man and his female friend have been sentenced to life in prison for murdering his wife and dumping her body in woodland.

A jury had unanimously found Akshar Ali and Yasmin Ahmed, both 27, guilty of the murder of Sinead Wooding. The 26-year-old was stabbed six times, including in the neck, and repeatedly struck on the head with a claw hammer in the cellar of Ahmed’s home in the Potternewton area of Leeds in May 2017.

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YouTube star wins damages in landmark UK 'revenge porn' case

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 12:26:39 GMT2018-01-17T12:26:39Z

Chrissy Chambers proposes to her new partner after winning civil claim against ex who posted videos online

‘Revenge pornography’: follow Chrissy Chambers’ search for justice

A YouTube celebrity has won unprecedented damages against a man who uploaded “revenge pornography” videos of her to the internet.

Chrissy Chambers, 26, celebrated her landmark victory on the steps of the High Court by proposing to her partner - who immediately said yes and called Chambers “the bravest, most incredible human being that I’ve ever met”.

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Queen given Christmas glitter ball decorations by German president

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 15:56:04 GMT2018-01-17T15:56:04Z

Buckingham Palace releases list of official gifts, also including Tim Peake’s union flag badge

During her long reign the Queen has received all manner of official gifts so it requires imagination to come up with something she might especially appreciate.

The German president, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, no doubt having appraised himself of the Windsor family’s tradition of inexpensive and jokey Christmas gift-giving, seems to have entered into the spirit by presenting the British monarch with two sets of glitter balls for her festive tree at Sandringham House in Norfolk.

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Doctors should order more blood cancer tests, MPs say

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 17:10:44 GMT2018-01-17T17:10:44Z

TV presenter Simon Thomas, whose wife died from a rare form of blood cancer last year, is calling for better training of GPs

The Sky Sports presenter Simon Thomas has revealed that doctors missed his wife’s blood cancer three times in the days before her death.

Thomas called for better training of GPs on the same day as politicians said doctors should order blood tests for any patient who shows symptoms of blood cancer.

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Green party activist says sexual harassment claim was dismissed

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 14:14:36 GMT2018-01-17T14:14:36Z

Activist says she was harassed when hosting a party official in her home but her claims were not taken seriously

A Green party activist has alleged that she was sexually harassed and pestered in her own home by a senior official after she took part in a scheme to offer accommodation to members during a party conference.

The activist, who does not want to be named, reported the alleged harassment in 2012 but was told the party’s procedures did “not include investigating unwitnessed incidents as this would be a criminal matter”.

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‘Haemorrhaging nurses’: one in 10 quit NHS England each year

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 11:24:59 GMT2018-01-17T11:24:59Z

Data showing 33,000 nurses left in 2016-17 triggers warning of ‘dangerous and downward spiral’

One in 10 nurses are leaving the NHS in England each year, according to official figures, raising fresh concerns about staffing shortages in hospitals.

Data published by NHS Digital on Wednesday shows that just under 33,500 nurses left the service in 2016-17 – 3,000 more than joined and 20% higher than the number who quit in 2012-13.

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Emmanuel Macron agrees to loan Bayeux tapestry to Britain

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 12:43:58 GMT2018-01-17T12:43:58Z

President to allow Battle of Hastings embroidery to leave France for first time in 950 years

The Bayeux tapestry will be loaned to Britain after Emmanuel Macron agreed to let it leave France for the first time in 950 years.

The president is expected to announce at an Anglo-French summit on Thursday that the artefact depicting the the Norman buildup to, and success in, the Battle of Hastings in 1066 will be loaned to the UK, probably in 2022..

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May and Macron to sign new Calais border treaty

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 14:20:55 GMT2018-01-17T14:20:55Z

UK will make bigger contribution towards preventing migrants in France from crossing Channel

Emmanuel Macron and Theresa May will sign a treaty on Thursday increasing Britain’s contribution towards preventing migrants in Calais from crossing the Channel and speeding up the asylum process for those entitled to claim refuge in the UK.

The agreement aims to strengthen an accord known as Le Touquet, signed in 2003, which moved the British border to France. This will remain in force.

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France abandons plan for €580m airport and orders squatters off site

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 16:39:23 GMT2018-01-17T16:39:23Z

Government ends decades of debate by opting instead to expand an existing airport in Nantes

The French government has abandoned plans for a new €580m (£513m) airport in western France, a sensitive decision that past governments had shirked for decades, but announced campaigners who have occupied the site must leave.

The prime minister, Édouard Philippe, said hundreds of people squatting on the site of the proposed new development in the village of Notre-Dame-Des-Landes have until spring to leave.

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Embattled Schulz tries to sell coalition deal to sceptical SPD

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 14:35:41 GMT2018-01-17T14:35:41Z

Germany’s oldest party riven over whether to back talks with Angela Merkel’s conservatives

Leading Social Democrats in Germany are engaged in a fierce battle of wills ahead of a crunch vote on Sunday over whether to endorse in-depth coalition negotiations with Angela Merkel’s conservatives.

The party has become the focal point of a tense political drama almost four months after an inconclusive election left Germany in a state of limbo. If delegates at a special conference on Sunday vote against a grand coalition, Germany will be heading either for new elections or a minority government, neither of which is a popular choice and will leave Merkel’s political future hanging by a thread.

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Pope wades into indigenous conflict telling Chile's Mapuche to shun violence

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 16:58:11 GMT2018-01-17T16:58:11Z

  • ‘Violence begets violence’ says pope in mass at ex-military base
  • Mapuche activists have attacked churches, vehicles and schools

Pope Francis has denounced the use of violence to achieve political gains as he travelled to the heart of Chile’s centuries-old conflict with the indigenous Mapuche people, where a spate of church burnings have been blamed on radical activists.

Hours after another church and three helicopters were torched, Francis celebrated mass at a former military base that not only lies on contested Mapuche land but was also a former detention center used during Chile’s military dictatorship.

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John Young obituary

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 16:58:18 GMT2018-01-17T16:58:18Z

American astronaut who led the first US space shuttle mission and was the ninth man to walk on the moon

The astronaut John Young, who has died aged 87, was the ninth man to walk on the moon, as commander of Nasa’s Apollo 16 mission in 1972, and landed the first US space shuttle in 1981. Young epitomised the indomitable spirit of his era; after the space shuttle landing, he said: “We’re really not too far from going to the stars.” He was described by Lee Silver, the California Institute of Technology professor who trained many Apollo astronauts, as the “archetypical extraterrestrial”.

Young’s career as an astronaut began in the early 1960s. The first astronauts had been recruited in 1959, with the Mercury Seven, a group that included the first American in space, Alan Shepard, and the first American in orbit, John Glenn. In 1962 came the New Nine, also known as Astronaut Group 2, among them the first two men to land on the moon, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin – and Young.

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Goldman Sachs profits hit by Trump tax overhaul – but banks set to win in long run

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 14:57:31 GMT2018-01-17T14:57:31Z

  • Goldman Sachs announces first quarterly loss in six years
  • Bank posted $1.93bn loss after $4.4bn charge related to new law

Goldman Sachs announced its first quarterly loss in six years on Wednesday as a one-off hit from the Trump administration’s tax overhaul wiped out profits.

Related: Sanders attacks tax plan as Trump celebrates with friends: 'You all just got a lot richer'

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Celebrating Australia Day on 26 January like dancing on graves, says reconciliation body

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 17:00:23 GMT2018-01-17T17:00:23Z

Neither federal government nor opposition support push to change date of Australia Day

It is “impossible” for Australia Day to be an inclusive holiday while it remains held on 26 January, Reconciliation Australia has said.

The independent organisation, which is the national expert body on reconciliation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, says changing the date of Australia Day is “a relatively small task” that would demonstrate a willingness to address past wrongs.

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10 of the best coastal walks in northern Spain

Fri, 12 Jan 2018 10:07:14 GMT2018-01-12T10:07:14Z

Spain’s Mediterranean coast may attract more visitors, but for amazing surf, untouched sandy shores and breathtaking cliffs, the north wins every time

Mundaka and the Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve, Basque country
This picturesque fishing port at the mouth of the Guernica estuary is part of the Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve, which has the greatest variety of landscapes in the Basque country, from splendid beaches to wetlands, cliffs and mountains. Explore on foot, by bike or by boat and don’t miss diving at Cabo Ogoño. If you’re a surfer, the left-hand barrel wave at Mundaka is highly rated by pros.

Meñakoz, Basque country
Only half an hour’s drive from Bilbao, between Sopelana and Barrika, Meñakoz is a wild, pebbly beach that attracts both nudists and surfers. Hikers explore the paths that wind around the cliffs, watching the waves thundering on to the rocks. This stretch of the Basque coast is perhaps most dramatic on a grey day in winter, while locals come all year round to watch the sunset.

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Quiz: how much do you actually know about coffee?

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 16:23:17 GMT2017-11-24T16:23:17Z

There’s more to coffee than what’s written on the board in your local cafe. Is your knowledge more burnt milk than cold brew? Take this quiz to find outCoffee is not just a caffeine delivery system for the underslept and overworked, a drink to be choked down on the run to work. Coffee is a delicate art, one perfected over centuries of history and world culture and tastes. It’s a passion that spans the globe: from Ethiopia to Australia, Istanbul to Rome, coffee is king. But how much do you really know about what you’re drinking?Where was the coffee plant thought to have been discovered?ColumbiaEthiopiaItalyHow important is coffee to the people of Italy?Not veryA lotBasically nothing is more important than coffeeIs not being provided with coffee grounds (not those sort of grounds) for divorce?NoYesI think you’re being very dramaticHow did the cappuccino get its name?From the coat colouring of capuchin monkeysFrom Italian friarsFrom Roberto Capucci, the Italian fashion designerDoes drinking lots of coffee make you a genius?Maybe?ObviouslyNo, but if you have any info that I could use to back up my weak theory I’d be glad to hear itWhat’s the difference between a caffè macchiato and a caffè corretto?One has milk in it, while the other has alcoholOne is a single shot of espresso with milk, the other a double shot with milkA caffè corretto is a caffè macchiato with extra waterWhere does the most expensive coffee in the world originate?ColombiaIndonesiaBrazilA proper Italian espresso has a crema. What is crema?A dark, distinctive tasteThe ability to mix well with foamed milkA tawny-coloured foam on topWhat is the average age of a barista in Italy?193248At what temperature should coffee be served?60C/140F to 70C/158F70C/158F to 80C/176F80C/176F to 90C/194F10 and above.You know a perfect cup of coffee when you see one. If scores were like baristas, you would be one of the old men working at the espresso bar in Italy: nobody knows more about coffee than you. Treat yourself to a delicious cup of your choosing. You don’t need our help – you know all their names.9 and above.You know a perfect cup of coffee when [...]


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The Highland chocolatiers who are Wonkas of the wilderness

Wed, 29 Nov 2017 14:00:46 GMT2017-11-29T14:00:46Z

When you’re arguably the most remote chocolate producer in Europe, it pays to have a strong online presence. In the quiet winter months, when tourism drops, Cocoa Mountain can still connect with customers far and wide

At the edge of the world, everyone disappears in the winter. The tourists leave the glacially cold lochs, pristine beaches, and the cloud-scraping mountains to the brave few who live there all year round. It’s an odd place to open a luxury chocolate shop: the most north-westerly point of the British mainland, under a sky so untouched by city lights that you can see the Milky Way. But chocolatiers Paul Maden and James Findlay wanted a challenge, and in Balnakeil Craft Village – between the village of Durness and the wild splendour of Cape Wrath – they created one for themselves.

As remote as their chocolate haven is, at least 40% of Cocoa Mountain’s customer base is from outside of the UK, by virtue of the fact that these are the tourists who visit the beautiful north Highlands. “People will walk in and say: ‘You’re famous in Italy!’ Or they’ll say they’ve come all the way from New York to visit. I think visiting us is quite special. Then they all go back home to wherever they are, whether it’s America or Germany or Australia, and for us Facebook is the only way we can keep in touch with those people.”

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The best sporting events in Las Vegas

Wed, 29 Nov 2017 17:29:45 GMT2017-11-29T17:29:45Z

It’s not just boxing bouts that Las Vegas hosts, there’s a wealth of events in the city to satisfy the most ardent of sports fans

Las Vegas has finally joined the major leagues. This year the Vegas Golden Knights took their place in the National Hockey League. Meanwhile, the Raiders are moving from Oakland to become the Las Vegas Raiders and by 2020 will be playing NFL games in a new, state-of-the-art stadium. Plus, MGM Resorts has just bought a women’s national basketball team. Beyond the main leagues, there’s a diverse range of action, including motor sports, rodeo, martial arts and rugby.

Monster Energy Nascar Cup
The top tier of Nascar returns to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the Pennzoil 400. Manufacturers Toyota, Ford and Chevrolet compete with (extremely) modified stock cars that, in theory, you can buy at your local dealership, although these versions race up to 200mph. There’s also music, entertainment and the Neon Garage, known as “Nascar’s Disneyland”, where fans can watch crews and drivers hard at work on the cars.
Las Vegas Motor Speedway, 7000 N. Las Vegas Blvd, 2-4 March 2018

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CIA rendition flights from rustic North Carolina called to account by citizens

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 11:00:52 GMT2018-01-17T11:00:52Z

A Gulfstream jet from a quiet airport south-east of Raleigh flew captives to be tortured around the world. The government failed to act but local people have refused to let the issue die

A year after he was released from captivity in Guantánamo, Binyam Mohamed received a letter from Christina Cowger, an agricultural researcher from North Carolina. Enclosed was a petition of apology signed by nearly 800 visitors to the North Carolina State Fair.

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Why do black students quit university more often than their white peers?

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 10:56:21 GMT2018-01-17T10:56:21Z

Black students are 1.5 times more likely to drop out than their white and Asian counterparts. Understanding why is vital

Kaya is one of a worrying number of black higher-education students who have failed to make it to graduation day. A recent study found that 10.3% of black students quit university early in England, compared with 6.9% for the student population as a whole.

“I had so many racially-tinted, miserable experiences at my university,” says Kaya, who has asked the Guardian not to use her real name. “My male housemate used to say the ‘n-word’ in front of me, bragged about the fact he’d once racially abused a man in a club, and was so aggressive when I asked him to stop. Yet when I told my university counsellor, she said I couldn’t know for sure if my housemate was actually racist ... that I needed to live and let live.”

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How America's 'childcare deserts' are driving women out of the workforce

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 07:00:47 GMT2018-01-17T07:00:47Z

Rising daycare costs have put the spotlight on Washington state in a country offering little support for parents seeking childcare

Not long after the 2016 election, Shelby McGowan got a somber phone call from her brother.

“I’m so sorry,” he said.

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Mosul six months after Isis was ousted – then and now

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 12:18:55 GMT2018-01-16T12:18:55Z

Iraqi forces defeated Islamic State in Mosul in July 2017 after intense battles that reduced it to ruins. Six months on, photographer Ahmad Al-Rubaye compared sites across the historic city

An Iraqi youth carries a girl on his shoulders while fleeing from Mosul’s old city during fighting on 5 July 2017, and a car drives past the same place on 8 January 2018.

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The deadly African gold rush fuelled by people smugglers' promises

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 07:13:23 GMT2018-01-17T07:13:23Z

Sudanese refugees in northern Chad are risking their lives to mine the precious ore in a desperate bid to secure a new life in Europe

Refugees from the troubled Sudanese region of Darfur, who are living in camps in neighbouring Chad, are being drawn into an African gold rush in a desperate effort to pay smugglers to get them to Europe.

Digging in holes 50m deep, Sudanese refugees are risking their lives in an area not only littered with landmines but also beset by violence, which claimed at least 25 lives last year.

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A mountain-top sauna and Orthodox epiphany: Wednesday's best photos

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 15:09:09 GMT2018-01-17T15:09:09Z

The Guardian’s picture editors bring you a selection of photo highlights from around the world including men’s fashion in Paris and the Luminarias festival in Spain

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The new-look Britain – in pictures

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 07:00:47 GMT2018-01-17T07:00:47Z

What does it mean to be British today? Simon Roberts has been trying to find out – as a landscape photographer and an official general election artist

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Snow in the UK – in pictures

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 11:03:42 GMT2018-01-17T11:03:42Z

Wintry showers in Scotland, Northern Ireland and northern England have closed schools and roads and caused power cuts in some parts of the country. The Met Office has issued yellow warnings for snow and ice

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Mist and mystique: Buddhism in Bhutan – in pictures

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 12:43:38 GMT2018-01-16T12:43:38Z

In our weekly look at travel through Instagram, Conor MacNeill captures the serenity and dramatic landscapes of the Himalayan kingdom

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The invisible people - Modern Slavery – in pictures

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 08:31:59 GMT2018-01-17T08:31:59Z

Modern slavery is a crime where the most vulnerable men, women and children are abused for criminal profit, with many victims forced to live and work in squalid conditions for little or no money. They are controlled with threats and abuse and have no means of escape. The National Crime Agency and photographers Rory Carnegie, Juliette Carton and Haitham Naser have recreated the lives of these ‘invisible people’, bringing them into view

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Same dream another time: under the skin of 80s Vegas - in pictures

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 07:00:18 GMT2018-01-16T07:00:18Z

Thirty years ago, gambling in the US was limited to three destinations: Reno, Las Vegas, and Atlantic City. Jay Wolke photographed the ordinary people who played, lived and worked in the rapidly expanding cities

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