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



Published: Sat, 29 Apr 2017 10:58:47 GMT2017-04-29T10:58:47Z

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



Labour will promise not to increase VAT or NI, McDonnell hints

Sat, 29 Apr 2017 10:19:13 GMT2017-04-29T10:19:13Z

Shadow chancellor says he cannot pre-empt Labour manifesto but signals opposition to rises and says party should rule out mansion tax

John McDonnell has signalled that Labour’s manifesto will pledge no VAT or national insurance rise, and has said he will argue the party should rule out reviving Ed Miliband’s mansion tax policy.

Speaking to the Guardian, the shadow chancellor said he could not pre-empt the party’s manifesto, which is agreed through its national executive committee and policy forum, but suggested he would make the case to rule out national insurance rises and any hike to VAT.

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Ukip leader Paul Nuttall to run for MP in Boston and Skegness

Sat, 29 Apr 2017 10:10:49 GMT2017-04-29T10:10:49Z

Nuttall will be up against incumbent Tory Matt Warman in constituency that includes town with highest Brexit vote in UK

The Ukip leader, Paul Nuttall, has revealed he is to run for the parliamentary seat of Boston and Skegness, home to the town with the highest Brexit vote in Britain.

Nuttall put an end to speculation over which constituency he will contest in the general election on 8 June, opting for the Lincolnshire seat over other mooted alternatives such as Heywood and Middleton or Hartlepool.

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North Korea missile test: regime has 'disrespected China', says Donald Trump

Sat, 29 Apr 2017 10:53:12 GMT2017-04-29T10:53:12Z

Donald Trump has condemned North Korea for “disrespecting the wishes of China” after Pyongyang test-fired a ballistic missile despite rising tensions in the region.

The unsuccessful test comes as the United States pushed for tougher sanctions to curb the country’s nuclear threat. Writing on Twitter, the US president said Pyongyang had defied Chinese president Xi Jinping by going ahead with the launch.

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Hummus 'crisis' sheds light on secret world of mass food production

Sat, 29 Apr 2017 08:00:25 GMT2017-04-29T08:00:25Z

After a brief recall, tubs are back on shelves. But have retailers learned a lesson about the wisdom of diversifying their supply chain?

Inside a cluster of unremarkable industrial units off the A40 in west London is the epicentre of the 2017 hummus crisis. The buildings belong to Bakkavor, the international food manufacturer behind the mass withdrawal of the product from British supermarket shelves after customers complained of a metallic taste.

These units off the Hanger Lane gyratory system – among 30 facilities on 19 different UK sites – manufacture hummus and other dips on an industrial scale for supermarket giants including Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Marks & Spencer, Waitrose, the Co-op, Asda and Morrisons, who sell them under their own brands.

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Joanna Lumley attacks Sadiq Khan's scrapping of Thames garden bridge

Sat, 29 Apr 2017 09:43:51 GMT2017-04-29T09:43:51Z

Actor who devised proposal describes London mayor’s decision to pull financial backing for project as devastating

The doomed plan for a garden bridge across the Thames has been defended by one of the project’s strongest proponents, the actor Joanna Lumley.

The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, effectively pulled the plug on the controversial plan on Friday, announcing that he would not provide the vital financial guarantees needed for construction to begin.

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EU leaders set to take tough stance in special Brexit summit

Sat, 29 Apr 2017 08:49:43 GMT2017-04-29T08:49:43Z

Leaders of EU27 are expected to demand that UK resolves key divorce issues before any talks on future trade deal can begin

EU leaders are expected to unite on a tough opening negotiating stance on Brexit at a special summit in Brussels on Saturday, when they will agree on whether to make Britain settle potential payments to the bloc before considering a new trade deal.

The heads of the remaining 27 countries will demand that Britain resolves the key divorce issues of citizens’ rights, the divorce bill and the border on the island of Ireland before any talks on a future trade deal between the UK and the EU can begin.

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Catholic bishops urged to review celibacy rules amid shortage of priests

Sat, 29 Apr 2017 08:00:25 GMT2017-04-29T08:00:25Z

Call for commission to reconsider celibacy as condition of priesthood as number of priests in England and Wales plummets

Catholic bishops in England and Wales are facing a fresh call for a national commission on the ordination of married men amid mounting concern that the church’s celibacy requirement is contributing to a shortage of priests.

The call for a review of celibacy as a condition of priesthood comes after Pope Francis signalled last month he was open to the possibility of ordaining married men under specific conditions. The issue is expected to raised at a synod next year on vocation.

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Hundreds of private patients seek compensation from rogue surgeon

Sat, 29 Apr 2017 08:13:50 GMT2017-04-29T08:13:50Z

Around 350 patients who underwent treatment privately take civil action against Ian Paterson, who carried out needless breast operations

Hundreds of private patients of a surgeon convicted of carrying out needless breast operations are seeking compensation after nearly £18m worth of claims were made against the NHS.

Ian Paterson, 59, was convicted on Friday of 17 counts of wounding with intent and three counts of unlawful wounding against 10 patients, upon whom he conducted “extensive, life-changing operations for no medically justifiable reason”.

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'Marine A' Alexander Blackman enjoys first hours of freedom

Sat, 29 Apr 2017 09:27:44 GMT2017-04-29T09:27:44Z

Blackman speaks following release from prison after serving half of seven-year term for manslaughter of wounded Taliban fighter

Alexander Blackman, the Royal Marine sergeant convicted of killing a wounded Taliban fighter, has been enjoying his first hours of freedom but has made it clear he understands his sentence is not complete and has promised to fulfil the conditions of his early release.

Blackman was freed from prison after serving half of his seven-year term imposed for manslaughter and was whisked away to a luxury country hideaway arranged by the Daily Mail, which backed his legal fight.

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Hacker holds Netflix to ransom over new season of Orange Is The New Black

Sat, 29 Apr 2017 05:33:23 GMT2017-04-29T05:33:23Z

The Dark Overlord claims to have stolen the upcoming season of the hit show and is demanding an unspecified amount of money to prevent it being released

A hacker claims to have stolen the upcoming season of Netflix’s hit series Orange Is The New Black and is demanding that the video streaming service pay an unspecified ransom to prevent all the new episodes from being prematurely released online.

The hacker, operating under the name The Dark Overlord, has already purportedly uploaded the first episode to an illegal file-sharing service. The Associated Press could not legally confirm the authenticity of that uploaded file.

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Celebrating boxing's greatest fight nights in Britain

Sat, 29 Apr 2017 09:10:19 GMT2017-04-29T09:10:19Z

As Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko prepare to fight at Wembley, here are other classic encounters to have taken place on British soil – from Henry Cooper against Muhammad Ali to Barry McGuigan, Nigel Benn and Carl Froch

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Me and my brother: 'I was bright and considerate, he was a dumpy, inert lump'

Sat, 29 Apr 2017 06:00:22 GMT2017-04-29T06:00:22Z

Stuart Heritage was the long-awaited golden child. And then came Pete: alpha male, rabble-rouser. Who better to choose as your best man?

I have always felt a little sorry for my brother Pete. But then, I’d feel sorry for anyone who had to follow in my footsteps. I was a miracle baby. For seven and a half years, my parents struggled to conceive a child. They tried and they tried – visiting hospitals and speaking to doctors with an increasing sense of desperation – but every new hope led to a dead end. Nothing worked. So my parents consoled themselves the only way they knew how. They got a couple of cats.

But then, in the dying breaths of 1978, out of nowhere, Mum got pregnant. After years of heartbreak, it was finally happening. My parents started to plan like crazy. They picked names. They bought clothes. They thought about building an extension on the back of their two-bed semi, all to give this unexpected bundle of joy a life that was better than their own.

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Maxine Peake: 'I'm a Corbyn supporter. We need a coup'

Sat, 29 Apr 2017 08:00:25 GMT2017-04-29T08:00:25Z

She used to be told she was too fat, too northern, too political. Decades into a stellar career, Maxine Peake is on fighting form

Maxine Peake looks at me and rolls her eyes. “Last time we met, you got me into trouble,” she says.

“Really?” I say, confused.

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100 days of Trump, and he's not the only one who has learned a lot

Sat, 29 Apr 2017 08:00:25 GMT2017-04-29T08:00:25Z

It’s highly unlikely you’ve started counting off his achievements, as is traditional at this point

Happy landmark day to President Trump, who in the 100 days since he took office has set the political bar so low it is considered a triumph that he hasn’t started a nuclear war, yet. Your first reaction to that sentence was probably: “Bloody hell – has it only been 100 days?” Your second was even more probably: “Huh, I thought he started nuclear war with North Korea on Twitter two weeks ago.”

The point is, it’s highly unlikely that you started counting off his achievements, as is traditional at this point in a new presidency. Not so surprising, given that his most striking accomplishment so far is becoming the first US president to entertain Sarah Palin, Kid Rock and Ted Nugent in the Oval Office at once, thus unifying the four horsemen of the apocalypse in one Instagrammable selfie.

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Break a leg: David Tennant and others on the night before the big day

Sat, 29 Apr 2017 09:00:26 GMT2017-04-29T09:00:26Z

From soldier Catherine Smith to cyclist Chris Froome and astronaut Andrew Feustel, how do people under pressure prepare?

The night before the first public performance, you’re actually in the theatre, doing technical rehearsals and making sure everything runs smoothly. It’s all very busy – it’s not a night off. But I think that’s best because, for me, it’s really an exercise in panic management. You’re trying to convince your brain that it’s possible to remember a sequence of words and movements in front of 850 people without having a heart attack. I don’t think I’d want to be sitting at home trying to be calm, because I’m sure that wouldn’t work.

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Ja Rule 'heartbroken' after Fyre Festival descends into disaster

Sat, 29 Apr 2017 09:02:47 GMT2017-04-29T09:02:47Z

Rapper says event, which has been likened to Lord of the Flies, was ‘not a scam’ as co-organiser admits he was ‘a little naive’

The organisers of a luxury music festival in the Bahamas have apologised after the event descended into chaos, drawing comparisons to The Hunger Games and The Lord of The Flies.

Fyre Festival, on the private Great Exumas island, had been billed as a “cultural moment” for monied millennials, with tickets costing up to $12,780 for a four-person package. It was heavily promoted on Instagram as an opportunity to mingle with models and “influencers”, including Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid and Emily Ratajkowski.

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Parliament’s lack of diversity is shocking. This election is a chance for change | Simon Woolley

Sat, 29 Apr 2017 10:30:27 GMT2017-04-29T10:30:27Z

With such a short run-up to this election, parties have the chance to select more representative candidates

Though many of us agreed with Brenda from Bristol about this general election (“You’re joking. Not another one”), it actually offers a great opportunity for change – regardless of which party wins.

That’s because now the snap election has been called, the normal rules for selecting party candidates no longer apply. Under these rules, constituency parties select a long list of candidates, then a short list; then local party members vote for their preferred candidate.

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Brexit could trigger worse crash than 2008, says Vince Cable

Sat, 29 Apr 2017 04:58:55 GMT2017-04-29T04:58:55Z

Liberal Democrat former business secretary launches election bid with warning of dire consequences of leaving EU without a good deal

Quitting the EU could could trigger an economic crisis even greater than the 2008 financial crash, former business secretary Vince Cable has said. Cable predicted that job losses, inflation and falling consumer confidence could send the UK economy into a recession even harsher than the credit crunch if Theresa May presses ahead with a hard Brexit.

The Liberal Democrat made the comments as he launched his bid to reclaim his old seat of Twickenham in June’s general election. He has vowed to battle to keep Britain in the single market and the customs union if reelected.

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Rangers v Celtic: Scottish Premiership – live!

Sat, 29 Apr 2017 10:56:17 GMT2017-04-29T10:56:17Z

Brendan Rodgers speaks! “It will be a tough game. We expect they will change their system and play with a diamond, so that will be interesting. But we come into this with confidence, although we will have to work hard. Leigh Griffiths is a terrific player and a terrific goalscorer, he’s always going to be a threat. Scott Brown is the most influential player in Scotland, he wants the ball, and is a great catalyst for the team. It’s a plus to have him.” Brown is of course only playing today because the SFA rescinded his red card for clattering into Liam Boyle of Ross County the other week. If the pre-match chat from both of the managers is anything to go by, expect the influential Celtic captain to be in the thick of it again today. Although did we need any pre-match chat to tell us that?

Pedro Caixinha speaks! “You want to know the formation? I can tell you! We are going in a 4-3-1-2 in order to retain the build-up. Especially in the division play, which is going to be Scott Brown, they’re going with the same team. We want to be more aggressive and explore more spaces, created with our pressure and also when we have the ball. This is Ibrox, and we need to do much more to win the game!”

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London Irish’s Nick Kennedy: time to seize Championship play-offs moment

Sat, 29 Apr 2017 10:00:27 GMT2017-04-29T10:00:27Z

Exiles director of rugby says their season has been geared towards promotion to the Premiership and his team will be in peak condition against Doncaster

London Irish have spent all season preparing for Sunday, when their league turns into a knockout tournament. The Exiles, who are looking to return to the Premiership at the first attempt at the end of their only season outside it, are at Doncaster for the first leg of their Championship semi-final play-off.

The team in Irish’s position at the top of the table at the end of next season will be automatically promoted, provided they meet the Premiership’s entry criteria, a costly tangling with red tape Doncaster did not bother themselves with, having worked out that the cost of updating their ground on top of competing with clubs who spent £8m a year on player wages would see them follow London Welsh into insolvency.

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Is leaving Wembley early just part of the matchday experience? | Richard Williams

Sat, 29 Apr 2017 08:00:25 GMT2017-04-29T08:00:25Z

What does it say that decision not to stick around and continue to see what happens? Something about the way we watch modern football

It was a sight to make the heart sink. With 10 minutes left on the referee’s watch – plus, as it turned out, four minutes of time added on for stoppages – football fans at one end of Wembley were fleeing through every available exit with hardly a backward glance. From the helicopter camera showing the outside of the stadium, they resembled water pouring out of a colander and sluicing into a gutter.

Fourteen minutes in which to turn around a two-goal deficit in one of the biggest matches of the season, for which adult spectators had bought tickets priced from £30 – yet still the fans of Tottenham Hotspur were leaving the seats they had occupied with such optimism barely an hour earlier.

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Anthony Joshua thrives on calm before storm against Wladimir Klitschko | Kevin Mitchell

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 16:37:22 GMT2017-04-28T16:37:22Z

British fighter says ‘I want to knock him out but I don’t hate him’ of a Ukrainian opponent who is still dangerous but not the force he was

Anthony Joshua laughs a lot. After all he has much to be happy about. He is widely regarded as the best young heavyweight in the world, the future of boxing, according to those with a financial interest in his unbeaten progress at Wembley on Saturday night, an Olympic gold medallist and multimillionaire at 27 with celebrity friends, a posse and a back story.

This “fine young man”, as he is often and correctly described, is an entrenched hero of British sport, getting ready to test his spirit and skill against one of the all-time greats in front of 90,000 fans. So he laughs and it is infectious. Even the stone-faced Wladimir Klitschko, who now plots to destroy him, laughs with him.

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Newcastle tax investigation includes Moussa Sissoko and four other players

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 19:41:15 GMT2017-04-28T19:41:15Z

• HMRC case thought to be focusing on payments made to agents
• Deals for Demba Ba, Papiss Cissé and Sylvain Marveaux also looked at

The investigation into suspected £5m income tax fraud in football is focusing on payments relating to five players’ transfers to Newcastle United, including those of Moussa Sissoko, Papiss Cissé, Demba Ba and Sylvain Marveaux, according to sources close to the investigation. HM Revenue and Customs, which conducted an extensive raid on Newcastle’s and West Ham United’s offices on Wednesday morning, is understood to be chiefly investigating the payments made to agents, and whether £5m income tax and national insurance was fraudulently evaded.

Related: Christian Atsu fires up Newcastle to keep title hopes alive

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Away daze: why are Hull City and Burnley such poor travellers? | Paul Wilson

Sat, 29 Apr 2017 07:00:23 GMT2017-04-29T07:00:23Z

Between them, Hull and Burnley they have the least impressive away form in the Premier League – worse than the three below them in the relegation zone

Hull City’s remarkable revival under Marco Silva means that with three points on Saturday afternoon they could catch up with Burnley, a club widely perceived to have enjoyed a good season after coming up from the Championship and staying clear of the relegation positions. Burnley need a win to move to 39 points and almost guaranteed safety, though no one in east Lancashire imagines this is going to be a pivotal weekend any more than they do on the east coast.

The reason is simple. Both teams are playing away, and between them they have the least impressive travelling form in the Premier League, worse even than the three sides beneath them in the drop zone. Burnley have yet to win away this season, their healthy points return based almost entirely on 10 wins and a couple of draws at Turf Moor. Hull have performed miracles under Silva since the turn of the year, including beating Watford with 10 men last week, but their only away win came at Swansea in August and since the new manager’s arrival they have picked up only a point away from home.

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Sebastian Vettel out to end Mercedes rule of Black Sea F1 fiefdom

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 17:04:47 GMT2017-04-28T17:04:47Z

Battle beside the Black Sea will decide if Ferrari or Mercedes head into the European Formula One season with a telling advantage

When Ferrari won the first grand prix of the season in Australia, the suggestion this campaign would be a different prospect to the previous three years was a tantalising aspiration. Now the Russian Grand Prix is on us, thoughts that Ferrari’s opening victory would prove an exception have been banished.

Sebastian Vettel has won two of the opening three races, with Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes victorious only in China. Separated by seven points, both drivers are revelling in the competition and Sochi should further indicate how close the battle will be for the rest of the season.

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Dylan Groenewegen sprints to victory on stage one of Tour de Yorkshire

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 17:49:15 GMT2017-04-28T17:49:15Z

• Riders brought down in huge crash on final approach in Scarborough
• Dutchman edges out Australian sprinter Caleb Ewan on the line

Dylan Groenewegen of the Netherlands edged out Caleb Ewan to win stage one of the Tour de Yorkshire after a huge crash on the final approach in Scarborough.

The LottoNL Jumbo rider, the winner of stage one last year, just held on to beat the Australian sprinter Ewan in a photo-finish after the 174km run from Bridlington.

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Somerset’s Roelof van der Merwe leads stunning recovery to sink Surrey

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 20:25:15 GMT2017-04-28T20:25:15Z

• South Group: Surrey 290-8; Somerset 291-6
• Somerset win by four wickets

A maiden one-day century by Roelof van der Merwe helped Somerset pull off a remarkable four-wicket win over Surrey in the Royal London One Day Cup at Taunton with more than six overs to spare.

Surrey were restricted to 290 for eight from their 50 overs, Ben Foakes top-scoring with 92. In reply Somerset crumbled to 22 for five and looked out of it before Van der Merwe, who hit 165 not out, and Dean Elgar (68) came together to lay the foundation for victory with a sixth-wicket stand of 213. Somerset reached their target with 37 balls remaining to complete a dramatic turnaround.

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John Higgins eyes ‘greatest title’ as Ding Junhui battles against Mark Selby

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 22:39:08 GMT2017-04-28T22:39:08Z

• Defending champion pegged back as semi-final all-square at 12-12
• Higgins leads Barry Hawkins 10-6 in other semi-final

John Higgins says winning a fifth world title would be his greatest snooker feat as he closes in on another Crucible final.

The Scot went from 5-3 ahead of Barry Hawkins to build a 10-6 overnight lead in their best-of-33-frames semi-final at the World Championship. He has landed world titles in 1998, 2007, 2009 and 2011 but feared his days as a contender for the biggest prizes in snooker were over.

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Antonio Conte confident Eden Hazard will stay despite Real Madrid rumours

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 21:30:12 GMT2017-04-28T21:30:12Z

• Spainish club weighing up a world record bid for the Chelsea star
• Manager insists Hazard is ‘happy’ but player’s future is out of his hands

Chelsea have no desire to sell Eden Hazard to Real Madrid regardless of whether the Spanish club’s long mooted interest crystallises in a world record bid this summer, though Antonio Conte has admitted the player himself would end up determining his own future.

Related: Antonio Conte praises ‘psychological step’ in Chelsea’s title push

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Jürgen Klopp dismisses José Mourinho’s ‘unfair fight’ complaint

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 21:29:12 GMT2017-04-28T21:29:12Z

• Mourinho claimed Manchester United are playing extra ‘half a season’
• ‘Nobody asked us last year how we felt about it,’ says Liverpool manager

Jürgen Klopp has dismissed José Mourinho’s complaint about being in an “unfair fight” for Champions League qualification on the grounds Manchester United have the resources to handle a gruelling schedule.

United trail Liverpool by two points in the race for a top-four finish, albeit with a game in hand, having drawn the Manchester derby on Thursday. After the goalless draw at the Etihad Stadium Mourinho lamented having to play “half of a Premier League more than Liverpool” – it is 13 matches more – and claimed his Europa League semi-finalists were in “an unfair fight but we are going for that”.

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Swansea look to profit from Paul Clement’s added decisiveness

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 21:29:12 GMT2017-04-28T21:29:12Z

• Manager speaks of missed trick when leading in the defeat to Tottenham
• Manchester United away is the next hurdle and trip to Anfield the spur

A trip to Old Trafford on Sunday will evoke some happy memories for Paul Clement. The Swansea City manager won at Manchester United with Chelsea during his time as Carlo Ancelotti’s No2, and ruined Sir Alex Ferguson’s 70th birthday when he tasted victory with Blackburn Rovers as assistant to Steve Kean, yet it is an evening spent in the away end with West Brom supporters that strikes a chord right now.

It was 2005, the penultimate weekend of the season, and Clement made the journey to Old Trafford to cheer on Neil, his brother who was playing for a relegation-threatened West Brom side who were on their way to pulling off what would become known as their great escape. “I was a coach at Fulham in the academy at the time, I went up from London on the train and I was sitting up in the corner with the West Brom fans,” Clement said. “It was 1-1 and proved to be a massive point.”

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Talking Horses: Saturday's best bets for the Bet365 Gold Cup

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 23:00:13 GMT2017-04-28T23:00:13Z

Fewer runners in the Bet365 Gold Cup might mean the betting market has a better chance of getting things right, and What’s Happening looks good

It is disconcerting to see just 13 runners for Sandown’s Bet365 Gold Cup, which has had a field of at least 18 for each of the last seven years. The betting market has a much better chance of getting it right with fewer horses to consider and Doing Fine looks a worthy favourite but 16-1 might be too big about What’s Happening (3.35).

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Sharapova edges closer to French Open while Murray reaches Barcelona semis

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 14:52:08 GMT2017-04-28T14:52:08Z

• Russian wins 6-3, 6-4 against Anett Kontaveit at Porsche Grand Prix
• Andy Murray gains revenge on Albert Ramos-Viñolas to reach Barcelona semis

Maria Sharapova needs one more win to book her place in French Open qualifying after beating Anett Kontaveit to reach the semi-finals of the Porsche Grand Prix in Stuttgart, while Andy Murray reached the semi-finals of the Barcelona Open after gaining revenge on Albert Ramos-Viñolas.

Sharapova is yet to drop a set following her return from a 15-month doping ban and saw off the spirited challenge of the Estonian qualifier Kontaveit 6-3, 6-4.

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League One finale: what’s at stake in the promotion and relegation battles

Sat, 29 Apr 2017 09:00:26 GMT2017-04-29T09:00:26Z

Bolton must hold off Fleetwood to win a first promotion since Sam Allardyce’s reign but Port Vale, Gillingham, Bury and Shrewsbury fear the worst

It’s the final day in League One on Sunday, starting at noon, and it’s set up nicely: three teams eyeing the last play-off spot, four trying to avoid relegation, and either Bolton or Fleetwood going up with champions Sheffield United. Expect angst.

Who’ll land second place, then? Bolton have the edge. They’re second on 83 points (GD29) and home to the relaxed, mid-table Peterborough, live on TV. Fleetwood (third, 81 points, GD21) play Port Vale at home – with Vale battling the drop.

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The American people – not Big Oil – must decide our climate future | Senator Bernie Sanders and Mark Jacobson

Sat, 29 Apr 2017 10:00:27 GMT2017-04-29T10:00:27Z

We must aggressively transition our energy system away from fossil fuels and toward clean, renewable energy solutions. And we need to do so now

The debate facing our world today is not whether we need to address climate change. That debate is far, far behind us. The issue is how to address climate change – as quickly and effectively as possible.

Virtually the entire scientific community – more than 99% of peer-reviewed studies – has concluded that climate change is real. It is caused by human activity. And the impacts are devastating.

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Congratulations, Mr President, on your wild romp through all norms and rules | Richard Wolffe

Sat, 29 Apr 2017 10:00:27 GMT2017-04-29T10:00:27Z

No other president has come close to your horrendous record, and all future presidents will clear the bar you have set. For that alone, you are exceptional

Donald Trump has notched up some truly impressive achievements in the first 100 days of his presidency. We’re not talking about the humdrum stuff of other presidents. All those pesky to-do lists are far too conventional for this out-of-the-box thinker.

How unconventional is his thinking? It’s best if we leave it to the great man to explain this, as he described to the Associated Press the awesome nature of his presidency.

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Clive James: ‘A reader has complained about my still being alive’

Sat, 29 Apr 2017 07:00:23 GMT2017-04-29T07:00:23Z

He has guessed the unsettling effect of going nuts in your face, like Peter Capaldi in The Thick Of It

Somebody on the point of bursting into flames from ungoverned anger has written in with a list of my perfidies, which include my still being alive when he has specifically indicated that he wants me dead. He holds me responsible for unforgivable frivolity in the face of climate change, and for my apparent indifference to the forthcoming nuclear war. And for having lived too long.

From internal examination of his violently aggressive prose, I judge him to be an Australian, so he will understand when I encourage him to insert his head in a dead bear’s bottom. This useful instruction, in a less polite form, I first heard 50 years ago from my friend Bruce Beresford, the Australian film director. Neither of us thought the expression any the less eloquent for the fact that Australia has no bears except koalas. The smaller the bear, indeed, the more evocative the instruction.

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Ask Hungary’s young people whether Europe still matters | George Szirtes

Sat, 29 Apr 2017 07:00:23 GMT2017-04-29T07:00:23Z

Outside Brexit Britain, the EU stands as a symbol of legitimacy to all those opposing Viktor Orbán

The crowds demonstrating in Hungary in recent weeks have numbered many tens of thousands. They are by no means all students of a university the government is threatening to shut down, but they are mostly young and carry two flags: the Hungarian red-white-green tricolour and the European Union flag, with its circle of stars. “Europa! Europa!” they chant.

Related: The dirty tricks that demonise George Soros | Nick Cohen

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Whiplash: the myth that funds a £20bn gravy train

Sat, 29 Apr 2017 06:00:22 GMT2017-04-29T06:00:22Z

After an accident I stepped away uninjured but was pestered to claim. Now, a brave neurosurgeon speaks out

Ten years ago I was in a country lane in Leicestershire, indicating to turn right to go into a hotel for a family event. Seconds later my car was a write-off after a young driver careered round the bend, smashing into the rear of my VW Golf. Fortunately I stepped out uninjured. And from that moment I was pestered, again and again, to make a false whiplash claim.

One of the hotel’s guests was first in. “You’ve got to get down the doctors, tell them your neck is really hurting. You’ll easily get £3,000,” said one (I’m summarising here). But my neck, while a little stiff, wasn’t in pain. Others told me I was mad not to apply. But a decade later there is no evidence the crash caused anything other than a mild sprain that lasted a couple of days. And certainly not deserving of the £3,000-£6,000 that is routinely paid out to “victims” of even the mildest of rear-end shunts.

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The garden bridge is dead – now £37m of public money must be repaid

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 14:22:06 GMT2017-04-28T14:22:06Z

Despite its exclusivity and rickety economics, the garden bridge project went far further than it should have thanks to Boris Johnson’s disregard for planning rules

Varnished with a Kevlar coating of celebrity sparkle, Bullingdon Club backing and architectural fairy dust, the garden bridge has always seemed capable of surviving every missile of common sense thrown at it. For three years it has been fiercely opposed by supporters of gardens and bridges alike, of which this vanity project was clearly never either. But now it seems its invincibility cloak has finally worn off, as London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, has refused to guarantee further funding for his predecessor’s misguided folly.

Related: Thames garden bridge scrapped by Sadiq Khan

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Fond farewell to one MP who will be sorely missed after June | John Crace

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 23:01:59 GMT2017-04-28T23:01:59Z

Andrew Tyrie announcement that he is standing down is a loss to Westminster, but rumours that he is lined up for a job at the Bank has tongues wagging

General elections are increasingly stage-managed affairs with party leaders seldom allowed out in public with anyone other than their most loyal party activists. So thank God for Ukip, which can be relied on to rustle up events at which almost everything is guaranteed not to go to plan.

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With Theresa May the snowflake in charge, this is health and safety gone mad | Marina Hyde

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 15:11:43 GMT2017-04-28T15:11:43Z

Dalek soundbites and dodging debates may secure a Tory election win, but contempt for voters could backfire in the end

‘I think everyone is finding this concept of safe spaces quite extraordinary,” declared Theresa May last year. In which case, why is she conducting her election in one? Everything for which May specifically lambasted university students – terror of debate, a sense of entitlement, a failure to embrace what this country was built on – could have come straight from her campaign team’s playbook.

Related: Theresa May accused of hiding from public at activist-filled event

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Children can’t play if they can’t breathe because our air is so polluted | Deborah Orr

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 18:24:14 GMT2017-04-28T18:24:14Z

Ministers hide the truth about levels of atmospheric contamination, so people are taking precautions for themselves And who can blame them?

As lame excuses go, this one was pretty near legless. The government was meant to be revealing its plan for tackling nitrogen dioxide air pollution last Monday. Instead, the previous Friday, it applied to the high court to delay publication until after the general election, arguing that publication would “violate election propriety”. The judge ruled that it was possible local elections might be affected, but that the plan should be published on 9 May, after the local voting was over.

The government often appears eager to appease the fuel lobby. One populist pressure group, Fair Fuel UK, cares only about the right of its 1.4 million members to drive their vehicles, full of cheap fuel, wherever and whenever they want. This group claims anything that doesn’t suit its agenda is “fake news”. In fact, that successive governments have been running scared of the fuel lobby for decades is proof that fake news works.

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Macron’s rise shows that extremism – whether left or right – is not inevitable

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 15:22:10 GMT2017-04-28T15:22:10Z

Yes, nationalism is resurgent; but if Emmanuel Macron wins on 7 May, it will show that there is appetite for robust centrism too. Britain should take note

George Orwell once wrote that the British were not sufficiently interested in intellectual matters to be intolerant about them. The French, on the other hand, enjoy nothing less than a high-minded, lofty debate over abstract concepts – or so it is believed. The British ask: “It works in theory, but does it work in practice?” The French ask: “It works in practice, but does it work in theory?” So the joke goes.

As a London-based French citizen watching my own country heading for a rancourous presidential runoff on 7 May and Britain preparing for its first post-Brexit general election, I’m not sure the supposed differences between us are as marked as we like to think. And I see lessons for the UK from what is happening across the Channel.

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We owe our planet this climate march. But we also owe it – very faint – hope | Bill McKibben

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 15:17:01 GMT2017-04-28T15:17:01Z

Trump is the worst thing that could have happened to the planet. That’s all the more reason to fight on - and celebrate even the smallest successes

There is no upside to the Trump presidency. To be in DC – I’ve come for Saturday’s giant climate march – is to be reminded up close what all Americans have known for months: we’ve put the country in the hands of a man completely unequal to the task. A man so cluelessly over his head that he keeps telling reporters he’s in over his head.

But if you want a few grayish linings to the dark-orange cloud, you can find them. In fact, the last few days have given those of us in the climate fight a few glimmers of light.

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Spice ruins lives and costs taxpayers a fortune. It doesn’t have to be this way | David Nutt

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 12:15:56 GMT2017-04-28T12:15:56Z

Antidotes to these dangerous, destructive synthetic drugs are desperately needed. But the government is standing in the way of their development

Last year I wrote to the health and home secretaries with suggestions on how antidotes for spice could be developed. Their replies revealed a complete lack of appreciation of the magnitude of the synthetic cannabinoid problem and lack of interest in the idea of an antidote.

Spice-induced “zombie” outbreaks in New York and in Manchester have hit the headlines in the past year. Use of these new damaging and powerful forms of synthetic cannabinoids is rife in our prisons and by homeless people, with estimates of up to 50 deaths last year. They can produce extremely strong psychotic states often with very violent behaviour. Sometimes a frozen unconscious state results. Either of these outcomes are health emergencies that consume vast amounts of police, prison officer and health professionals time, and so waste a huge amount of public money.

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Could Trump’s diplomacy resolve his North Korea crisis? There’s hope | Simon Jenkins

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 09:28:01 GMT2017-04-28T09:28:01Z

The threat of conflict is no property negotiation, but the president is conducting it with all his skills as a dealer, craving the eventual shake of the hand

So Kim Jong-un is just a 27-year-old millennial for whom it must have been “very hard” to lead his country at such an age. His ally, China’s president Xi Jinping, is a “very good man who I got to know really well and loves his country”. He is trying hard to resolve the “very difficult” Korean crisis. Of course Xi “doesn’t want to see turmoil and death and would like to do something to resolve things”. But “perhaps it’s possible he can’t”. So muses Donald Trump at the end of “opening bids” of his North Korean crisis.

Related: Donald Trump warns of 'major, major conflict' with North Korea

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Why banning David Irving books from university libraries would achieve little | Keith Kahn-Harris

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 13:17:23 GMT2017-04-28T13:17:23Z

Irving, a Holocaust denier, and his ilk pose a bigger threat now than they have previously, but the problem of misinformation and radicalisation goes far deeper

The effort to get the University of Manchester to remove David Irving’s books from open display, now backed by Rowan Williams, reminded me of my own experiences browsing through library stacks as an undergraduate. While I never encountered Holocaust denial, I did stumble upon the complete works of Kim Il-sung, a pamphlet praising the Khmer Rouge and a book arguing that the Armenian genocide never occurred.

Libraries are, ideally, fundamentally amoral places. The presence of works on their shelves is not an endorsement of their views. As someone who runs an online research repository archive, I can testify to having happily uploaded some lousy works of scholarship to its holdings.

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This Yemeni city risks becoming the next Aleppo. Will America be complicit? | Maged Al-Madhaji

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 15:30:50 GMT2017-04-28T15:30:50Z

Houdeidah’s port is Yemen’s lifeline. The US shouldn’t be supporting any Saudi- and United Arab Emirates-led military attacks to take it back

My life in Yemen is dominated by fear. As director of the Sana’a Center for Strategic Studies, and one of the few remaining independent voices in Yemen, I have been detained, seen colleagues assassinated, and buried friends killed by Saudi airstrikes. Now, half of my country faces famine.

Even as Defense Secretary James Mattis calls for a political solution to the war in Yemen, he has not warned Saudi Arabia and the UAE against taking the critical Yemeni port city of Houdeidah, which is currently controlled by Houthi forces. Although debated within US policy-making circles, attacking Houdeidah would be a catastrophic error because it would expand the war and deepen the humanitarian crisis. It would allow al-Qaida and Isis to expand their influence in Yemen’s coastal areas. For the United States, that would amount to a strategic defeat.

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A moment that changed me: the loss of my brother to alcohol-related illness | Eve Ainsworth

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 07:00:05 GMT2017-04-28T07:00:05Z

For so long, I questioned why drink always won, without realising that for Kev it was never a question of winning or losing, it was just about surviving

This year it will be 17 years since my brother died, aged 40. I have so many regrets – regret not only for Kev, who was finally killed by the addiction that overtook him, but regret that I didn’t try to understand him more when he was alive. It is only now that I have begun to appreciate the pain and entrapment inflicted by alcohol addiction and how the man I thought I knew became swamped by this misunderstood and deadly condition. My brother deserved so much more. For so long, I questioned why drink always won, without realising that for him it was never a question of winning or losing. It was just about surviving each day.

Related: 'I loved and hated her in equal measure' – life with an alcoholic mother

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The valley rebels: the French farmer helping refugees cross Europe – video

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 11:00:38 GMT2017-04-28T11:00:38Z

Cédric Herrou is a farmer who supports and houses African refugees in the alpine village of Breil-Sur-Roya in southern France. Some regard him as a heroic good samaritan, but others – including the French border police and state prosecutor – denounce him as the leader of a band of smugglers, bringing migrants from Italy into France while flouting official border controls. As Cedric moves from one prosecution to another, why do he and his fellow activists feel compelled to defy the authorities?

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Plans for British spaceports 'in danger of being grounded by poor legislation'

Sat, 29 Apr 2017 06:30:23 GMT2017-04-29T06:30:23Z

Bill could leave operators open to crippling insurance costs, and could scupper government ambitions to launch satellites from UK spaceports by 2020

Ambitious plans to launch satellites from spaceports in Britain are in danger of being grounded by poor legislation that leaves operators open to crippling insurance costs, MPs have warned.

The government hopes to have satellites flown into orbit from UK spaceports by 2020, but a draft version of the spaceflight bill states that companies could face unlimited liability for any damages caused by falling space hardware.

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Inquiry treated us with contempt, says family of man shot by police on M62

Sat, 29 Apr 2017 06:00:22 GMT2017-04-29T06:00:22Z

Father calls for investigation into fatal shooting of Yassar Yaqub to be taken over by senior IPCC officers

The official investigation into the police shooting of a man on the M62 motorway is in crisis after the victim’s family said they had been treated with “utter contempt”.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is examining the fatal shooting of Yassar Yaqub, 28, by armed police on a slip road of the M62 in Huddersfield on 2 January.

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English secondary schools 'facing perfect storm of pressures'

Sat, 29 Apr 2017 07:46:24 GMT2017-04-29T07:46:24Z

Headteachers say cuts, changes to exams, problems recruiting teachers and Brexit could have severe consequences for children

Secondary schools in England are facing a “perfect storm” of pressures that could have severe consequences for children, headteachers have warned.

Budget cuts, changes to exams, problems recruiting teachers and Brexit are causing major upheaval, according to the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT).

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Theresa May remains 'absolutely committed' to HS2 rail link

Sat, 29 Apr 2017 07:27:50 GMT2017-04-29T07:27:50Z

PM ends speculation that she was preparing to drop new north-south railway from Tory general election manifesto

Theresa May has committed to delivering the HS2 high-speed rail link.

The prime minister was reportedly coming under pressure from Tory MPs in the south to cancel HS2, which the government projects will cost £55.7bn.

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Man charged with murder of former navy officer hit with own car

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 20:35:19 GMT2017-04-28T20:35:19Z

Ryan Gibbons, 29, faces the charge in connection with the death of Mike Samwell in the early hours of 23 April

A man has been charged with murder in connection with the death of a former Royal Navy officer who was allegedly run over by thieves stealing his car.

Mike Samwell, from Chorlton in Manchester who served in the navy for 12 years, died in the early hours of 23 April.

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Westminster terrorism suspect is 27-year-old British national

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 18:49:35 GMT2017-04-28T18:49:35Z

Khalid Mohamed Omar Ali is understood to be a British national from Tottenham, north London

The suspected terrorist arrested in Westminster carrying knives is a one-time humanitarian activist who is now facing questions from police about whether he was about to stage a murderous attack in central London.

Khalid Mohamed Omar Ali, 27, was arrested by armed police on Thursday afternoon yards from the Houses of Parliament and the scene of the previous terrorist attack in March in which five people lost their lives.

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Primary school head and deputy quit over 'bland and joyless' curriculum

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 17:21:46 GMT2017-04-28T17:21:46Z

Couple Alex and Peter Foggo tell parents at Longparish school in Hampshire that Tory education policy is reason they are leaving

A couple working as headteacher and deputy head at a Hampshire primary school rated as outstanding have written to parents saying they are quitting because they are so disillusioned by the direction of education policy.

In their letter, Alex and Peter Foggo said they were so profoundly opposed to recent changes in England’s schools that the only morally honest course open to them was to resign from their jobs at Longparish primary school.

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Tory MP's complaint that prize for writers of colour was unfair to whites dismissed

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 16:45:50 GMT2017-04-28T16:45:50Z

Philip Davies had complained to the Equality and Human Rights Commission that the Jhalak prize breached discrimination rules

A Conservative MP who claimed that a book prize set up to address the lack of diversity in British publishing was discriminatory against white people has had his complaint dismissed.

Philip Davies, Conservative MP for Shipley, wrote to the Equality and Human Rights Commission in January, claiming that the Jhalak prize for writers of colour discriminated against white writers.

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Man who raped stranger hours before his wedding given life term

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 16:16:33 GMT2017-04-28T16:16:33Z

Derry McCann subjected woman to two-hour ordeal in east London park while on parole for similar crime

A bridegroom who raped a stranger hours before his wedding after being released on parole for a similar crime was sentenced to life imprisonment on Friday and must serve a minimum of nine years.

Derry McCann, 28, raped a 24-year-old woman as she walked back from an art show hours before he married his pregnant girlfriend in January.

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Thames garden bridge scrapped by Sadiq Khan

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 10:44:25 GMT2017-04-28T10:44:25Z

London mayor pulls plug on controversial project, saying he would not give financial guarantees for construction work to begin

The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has pulled the plug on the controversial plan for a garden bridge across the Thames, announcing that he would not provide the vital financial guarantees needed for construction to begin.

In a letter to the Garden Bridge Trust, the charity leading the much-delayed project, Khan said he had taken the decision because of a continuing shortfall in fundraising for the scheme and the lack of the necessary land use agreements despite three years of talks.

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A third of schools in England are underfunded by more than £1m

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 16:26:57 GMT2017-04-28T16:26:57Z

A new report shows that while money has been found to build 500 new free schools, thousands of existing schools do not have enough funds to keep their buildings in a ‘satisfactory’ condition

A report by a cross-party committee of senior MPs released this week condemned the government’s funding of its free schools programme as incoherent and wasteful.

“While the department is spending significant funds in creating 500 more free schools, even in areas with no shortage of places, existing schools struggle to live within their budgets and carry out routine maintenance,” the Public Accounts Committee report stated.

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Europe could allow a united Ireland to join EU after Brexit

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 09:04:57 GMT2017-04-28T09:04:57Z

Leaders expected to discuss statement at weekend summit that if the island reunifies, the north will automatically regain EU membership

European leaders may be preparing to recognise a united Ireland, in a declaration that would pave the way for the north to swiftly rejoin the European Union. At their first Brexit summit on Saturday, the EU’s 27 leaders are expected to discuss a text stating that if Ireland unified, the north would automatically become part of the EU.

The inclusion of the text is a victory for the Irish government, which had pressed for the inclusion of a “GDR clause”, a reference to the integration of the former east German state into the European Community after the fall of the Berlin wall. The declaration is bound to raise fears that Brexit could trigger the unravelling of the UK, although there is no majority in Northern Ireland for unification.

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Willesden armed raid was to foil active terrorist plot, say police

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 16:26:22 GMT2017-04-28T16:26:22Z

Elite firearms officers stormed London house and woman was shot, in operation in which six people have been arrested

A second suspected active terrorist plot has been foiled in London after armed police raided a house in the north-west of the capital, shooting one of the female suspects, hours after an unconnected incident in Westminster.

A woman in her 20s was shot and injured by counter-terror officers in the raid, which started just after 7pm on Thursday with CS gas being fired into the Willesden property. Witnesses said the injured woman, who was wearing a long dress and hijab, shouted at paramedics not to touch her body as she was treated at the scene.

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Manchester cancer hospital fire 'may have destroyed vital research'

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 11:34:14 GMT2017-04-28T11:34:14Z

Cancer Research UK institute likely to have lost millions of pounds of life-saving equipment in blaze, says its director

Years of research and millions of pounds of life-saving equipment are feared to have been destroyed in a devastating fire at a cancer hospital in Manchester, its director has said.

Prof Richard Marais, the head of the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute, said researchers had been able to save 25 years of clinical samples, but that other vital work was lost in the “heartrending” blaze at Christie hospital.

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RBS and Lloyds IT faults cause online banking frustrations

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 15:24:55 GMT2017-04-28T15:24:55Z

Banks apologise after customers complain of slow services ahead of UK public holiday long weekend

Millions of Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group customers have had difficulty accessing their accounts after the banks suffered IT meltdowns before the long weekend.

On Friday, when RBS was trying to focus on its first quarterly profit since the third quarter of 2015 and Lloyds on the news that the taxpayer’s shareholding had fallen to less than 1%, both banks instead faced questions about their digital operations.

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Surrey students offered meningitis B jab after undergraduate's death

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 15:09:23 GMT2017-04-28T15:09:23Z

First-year physics student John Igboanugo died and two others were treated in hospital after contracting illness

Students living on campus at the University of Surrey are being offered the meningitis B vaccine after a student died and two others were taken to hospital with the bug.

John Igboanugo, a first-year physics undergraduate, died earlier this month after a sports trip to Rimini, Italy.

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Personal insolvencies soar to highest level in three years

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 14:34:07 GMT2017-04-28T14:34:07Z

Households facing financial pressure from debt, weak pay growth and inflation

The number of individuals applying for insolvency jumped to the highest level in almost three years in the first three months of 2017, in a further sign of the mounting financial pressure facing UK households.

Personal insolvencies in England and Wales totalled 24,531 between January and March, up 6.7% on the previous quarter and 15.7% higher than the same period a year earlier. It was the highest number of individual cases since the second quarter of 2014, according to the Insolvency Service, which published the figures.

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Alexei Navalny on Putin's Russia: 'All autocratic regimes come to an end'

Sat, 29 Apr 2017 06:30:23 GMT2017-04-29T06:30:23Z

Vladimir Putin is riding high, expecting a fourth term as president and allegedly influencing elections from the US to France – but Alexei Navalny is determined to stop him

Alexei Navalny is in good spirits for a man who can hardly step outside without being insulted, assaulted or arrested. Earlier this month he was released from a 15-day stint in a Russian jail. And on Thursday, in Moscow, unknown assailants threw green dye in his face, the second such attack in recent months. But his habitual half-smirk never seems to waver.

Perhaps it is because, as Vladimir Putin prepares to stand for yet another presidential term in elections next March, Navalny is threatening to bring some life to the arid landscape that is Russian politics. Navalny was imprisoned because of a protest he called for on 26 March. It surprised everyone with its size. In Moscow alone, police detained more than 1,000 people, and jailed dozens. Although the numbers were small in absolute terms, people protested in dozens of towns across Russia, marking a worrying new development for the Kremlin.

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Rare victory for persecuted journalist highlights Mexico's press freedom crisis

Sat, 29 Apr 2017 10:00:27 GMT2017-04-29T10:00:27Z

Pedro Canché has finally won an apology for being jailed after he criticized a state governor. But, he asked, what about the 104 journalists killed since 2006?

Pedro Canché, an indigenous journalist and activist in the southern Mexico state of Quintana Roo, had a hunch the local authorities were closing in on him for his coverage of angry protests over rising water rates in local Mayan communities.

So he filmed a video criticizing the intensely image-conscious state governor, Roberto Borge, and uploaded it to YouTube in August 2014. Just a few days later, police pulled Canché from his car and threw him in prison on charges that he had sabotaged a local waterworks.

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Donald Trump tells NRA: 'I am going to come through for you'

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 20:14:07 GMT2017-04-28T20:14:07Z

The president addressed the gun right’s body’s conference in Atlanta, reliving his election triumph but also admitting that his border wall will not be continuous

Donald Trump marked his 99th day as US president by basking in the noisy adulation of his base and making a pledge to the National Rifle Association: “You came through for me and I am going to come through for you.”

The caustic spectacle that powered Trump to victory in last year’s election was on full display before he took the stage in Atlanta, with big-screen ads denouncing his defeated opponent Hillary Clinton, loud boos for former president Barack Obama and speaker after speaker railing against media and Hollywood elites.

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Orca pod filmed hunting whale calf in 'unprecedented' California killing spree

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 23:33:13 GMT2017-04-28T23:33:13Z

A group of killer whales in Monterey Bay killed four gray whales in a week, a phenomenon one researcher hasn’t seen in her 30-year career

In an “unprecedented” rash of attacks, a pod of killer whales in Monterey Bay, California, has killed four gray whales in a week, including a calf whose killing was captured on video, according to one marine biologist.

Related: An extraordinary battle between sperm whales and orcas – in pictures

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Emmanuel Macron: I'll renegotiate Le Touquet border treaty

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 21:50:08 GMT2017-04-28T21:50:08Z

Presidential hopeful’s comments on French TV raise the possibility of migrant camp springing up to the UK

Emmanuel Macron, the favourite in the race to become the next French president, has suggested that he would want to renegotiate an agreement that allows British border police to operate in Calais.

The centrist politician, who will go head to head against Marine Le Pen in the final round of the election on 7 May, said: “I want to put the Le Touquet border deal back on the table. It must be renegotiated, especially the parts that deal with the fate of isolated child migrants.”

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Brazilians sick of corrupt politicians hit the streets to protest austerity measures

Sat, 29 Apr 2017 02:33:54 GMT2017-04-29T02:33:54Z

Police clash with striking union workers in streets of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo as protesters in 26 states demonstrate against Michel Temer’s proposed reforms

Brazilian unions have ratcheted up the pressure on president Michel Temer with a nationwide general strike that closed schools, disrupted transport networks and led to clashes with public security in several cities.

Demonstrators in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo blocked key roads with barricades of burning tires on. Riot police used teargas and percussion grenades to try to disperse the crowds and open the routes.

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Chinese media warns of 'tax war' after Trump pledge to slash rates

Sat, 29 Apr 2017 05:23:48 GMT2017-04-29T05:23:48Z

People’s Daily says US president could ‘endanger the global economy’ and damage ‘export-oriented countries’

Chinese leaders are worried about Donald Trump engaging in a “tax war” with Beijing, potentially fuelling tensions between the two countries already strained by problems such as North Korea, trade and the South China Sea.

A commentary in the People’s Daily, the official mouthpiece of the Communist party, attacked Trump’s plan to reduce taxes on companies and simplify swaths of US tax code, highlighting Beijing’s fears the move could harm businesses back home.

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Montenegro ratifies Nato membership in historic shift to western alliance

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 20:19:27 GMT2017-04-28T20:19:27Z

Politicians voted 46-0 in favour, but pro-Russian lawmakers boycotted session and outside parliament hundreds of anti-Nato protesters gathered

Montenegro’s parliament has supported the Balkan country’s membership in Nato in a historic turn toward the west amid protests by Russia and the pro-Russia opposition.

Politicians voted 46-0 to ratify the accession treaty with the western military alliance. They then stood up and applauded the decision.

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UK was given details of alleged contacts between Trump campaign and Moscow

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 17:23:57 GMT2017-04-28T17:23:57Z

In December the UK government was given reports by former MI6 officer Christopher Steele on possible collusion between Trump camp and the Kremlin

The UK government was given details last December of allegedly extensive contacts between the Trump campaign and Moscow, according to court papers.

Reports by Christopher Steele, a former MI6 officer, on possible collusion between the the Trump camp and the Kremlin are at the centre of a political storm in the US over Moscow’s role in getting Donald Trump elected.

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NSA concedes violating surveillance limits and pledges curbs on US email collection

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 20:59:02 GMT2017-04-28T20:59:02Z

  • NSA agrees to cease so-called ‘about’ surveillance under 2008 legal authority
  • But agency has not indicated whether such data collection will stop wholesale

Amid an unexpected fight over US surveillance powers from congressional Republicans, the National Security Agency has agreed to curb its highly controversial collection of Americans’ emails that discuss foreign intelligence targets, although how comprehensive that stoppage is remains unclear.

According to a US official directly familiar with the decision, the NSA has agreed to cease so-called “about” surveillance under a critical 2008 legal authority, known as section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (Fisa).

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'Europe's dirty secret': officials on Chios scramble to cope with rising tensions

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 15:21:21 GMT2017-04-28T15:21:21Z

Frustration mounts among locals on the Greek island, where refugees feel like prisoners with no hope of getting to mainland Europe

On a clear day the channel dividing Chios from the Turkish coast does not look like a channel at all. The nooks and crevices of Turkey’s western shores, its wind turbines and summer homes could, to the naked eye, be a promontory of the Greek island itself. For the men, women and children who almost daily make the crossing in dinghies and other smuggler craft, it is a God-given proximity, the gateway to Europe that continues to lure.

Samuel Aneke crossed the sea almost a year ago on 1 June. Like those before him, and doubtless those who will follow, he saw the five-mile stretch as the last hurdle to freedom. “You could say geography brought me here,” said the Nigerian, a broad smile momentarily dousing his otherwise dour demeanour. “But it was not supposed to keep me prisoner.”

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Arkansas executions: death chamber evidence sought amid torture fears

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 17:40:30 GMT2017-04-28T17:40:30Z

Unprecedented burst of executions re-inflamed opposition to death penalty, with some reporting disturbing signs of distress as men were being killed

Lawyers for the four men executed by Arkansas in the past week were set on Friday to ask a federal judge to force the state to preserve evidence from its death chamber. The request, the first step towards a thorough investigation, came amid fears that the prisoners might have been subjected to excruciating pain, tantamount to torture.

Related: Arkansas executions bring Sister Helen Prejean’s death penalty fight to the fore

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EU and Nato plead for calm in Macedonia after protest at parliament

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 16:08:38 GMT2017-04-28T16:08:38Z

Nationalist protesters attacked politicians and journalists in an attempt to prevent election of an ethnic Albanian as speaker

The EU and Nato have pleaded for calm in Macedonia after nationalist protesters stormed the parliament in Skopje on Thursday, attacking politicians and journalists in an attempt to prevent the election of an ethnic Albanian as speaker.

The protesters, supporters of former prime minister Nikola Gruevski’s conservative, Russia-backed VMRO party, demanded new elections.

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Italy fears Isis fighters slip into Europe posing as injured Libyans

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 15:00:24 GMT2017-04-28T15:00:24Z

Italian intelligence document reveals how group has infiltrated Europe using scheme meant to treat wounded Libyan soldiers

Italian investigators believe that a number of Islamic State fighters from Libya have slipped into Europe by infiltrating a scheme designed to give hospital treatment to wounded regular Libyan government soldiers.

A Italian intelligence document seen by the Guardian reveals a complex network in which, from 2015, members of Isis and others linked to jihadi movements have infiltrated Europe pretending to be injured, so as to be treated in clinics and then freed to move elsewhere in Europe and the Middle East.

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Congress averts a government shutdown hours before deadline

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 15:35:31 GMT2017-04-28T15:35:31Z

House and Senate approve stopgap spending measure while negotiators work to reach an agreement over a longer-term funding package

Hours before a midnight deadline, Congress averted a government shutdown – at least for now – ensuring that the lights will stay on in Washington as Donald Trump marks his 100th day in office.

But the feat comes with a trade-off. Republicans failed to secure enough votes to advance their healthcare replacement plan despite pressure from the White House to hold a vote on the bill before the symbolic 100-day mark.

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Investigation yet to find cause of 11 mystery deaths at Liberia funeral

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 14:44:05 GMT2017-04-28T14:44:05Z

Chief medical officer rules out return of Ebola after deaths of 11 people linked to attendance at funeral of religious leader, but no clear answer has been found

Eleven people have died and five are in hospital in Liberia after contracting a mystery illness the World Health Organisation (WHO) said was linked to their attendance at the funeral of a religious leader, officials have said.

“We are still investigating. The only thing we have ruled out is ... Ebola,” said Liberia’s chief medical officer, Francis Kateh, adding that samples from the victims had been sent abroad for further testing.

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How to make a Spotify playlist the whole family will love

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 08:31:02 GMT2017-04-26T08:31:02Z

You needn’t give up your love of music as a parent – just convince your children they’ve discovered the classics. Here’s how to pick tracks that everyone can get down to Win a year’s Spotify Family subscription Making a playlist to satisfy every member of the family is a harder task than it sounds. I say this as a parent who loves all kinds of music, and loves living in a blissfully easy age for sharing songs with our kids. I especially love it when a track pops into my head from my past that I can quickly pop on, and watch my child dance to instantly, like a madcap devotee. (His most approving move at the moment is going down on all fours, lifting one foot in the air, and wiggling his bum – although Soft Cell’s Tainted Love has always had that effect on me.)But still there are songs that bring out the grumpy mid-20th-century dad in us all, aghast at that orange-haired androgyne on Top of the Pops wrapping his arm around a boy, singing about someone waiting in the sky (thankfully, David Bowie’s Starman has the opposite effect on all generations in 2017). Ed Sheeran’s oeuvre, with a few notable distractions, has me tutting at the radio like I’m mainlining Werther’s Originals (but even I enjoy Sing, which sounds to me like Justin Timberlake by way of the theme tune to Flight of the Conchords). Certain songs on children’s film soundtracks also drive me to teeth-gnashing distraction – if I hear I Like to Move it from Madagascar one more time, for example, I will probably go postal. Continue reading...[...]


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'The city's waiting outside your door': taking a springtime walk in London

Mon, 10 Apr 2017 11:35:07 GMT2017-04-10T11:35:07Z

For social historian Emma Dabiri, spring is a perfect time to don some walking shoes and start exploring. She finds history at every turn in the city, from William Blake’s resting place to the pub that inspired the nursery rhyme Pop Goes the Weasel

Related: Go outdoors and embrace spring: tips on how to enjoy the new season

During a period of convalescence in Dublin, Patrick Kavanagh’s walks along the city’s Grand Canal reacquainted the poet with nature, reigniting his artistic vision and inspiring some of his most feted work.

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Blurred lines – how music bridges the generation gap

Mon, 24 Apr 2017 16:29:03 GMT2017-04-24T16:29:03Z

The latest music borrows heavily from the past and collaborations and remakes are adding to its cross-generational appeal. For Peter Robinson, though, pop mustn’t lose its ability to provoke

When it comes to the way families consume music, some rituals have always been sacred: the tribalist mentality that pits one brother or sister’s favourite act against another’s; the solidarity achieved when siblings come together to rebel against their parents’ taste; that belief that if you’re older your taste is more sophisticated, and if you’re younger your taste is more cutting edge.

Then there’s the legendary tableau of the long family car journey: trips in which one adult may wish to listen to the radio while the other demands a carefully chosen playlist, only for the kids to inevitably win control of the stereo, even though they’re both plugged into tablets.

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Sydney’s top 10 beaches and outdoor swimming spots

Wed, 01 Feb 2017 16:14:27 GMT2017-02-01T16:14:27Z

Fringed by the Pacific and home to a stunning natural harbour, Sydney arguably has the best beaches and swimming spots of any major city in the world. Here are the ten you can’t miss

Related: Go walkabout: the best way to save on domestic flights on your trip to Australia

Bondi beach
While it’s worth looking beyond Sydney’s most famous stretch of sand, it’s easy to understand Bondi’s allure. This is where the city meets the sea; a golden beach with a lively mix of cafes, restaurants and bars nearby. Avoid the tourist traps on the beachfront and instead explore the options around Hall Street. For those prepared to brave the queue, Messina’s hole-in-the-wall gelato shop is a Sydney institution.

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Rise of the sex robots – video

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 09:32:07 GMT2017-04-27T09:32:07Z

Advances in computer science and engineering have lifted animatronic lovers from the realms of science fiction to reality; the first models are due to go on sale by the end of the year. Jenny Kleeman meets the men who are making the sex robots, the customers who want to buy them – and the critics who say they are dangerous

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Hollywood's homeless Superman: 'I was put in my own living hell' – video

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 08:00:00 GMT2017-04-27T08:00:00Z

Superhero impersonators Tyler Watts and Christopher Dennis struggle with homelessness as they ply their trade along Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles, earning money by posing for pictures with tourists. Character work can be tough work, but many say it’s the only thing keeping them going

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100 days of Trump: orders, tweets, leaks and military attacks - video

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 13:28:15 GMT2017-04-26T13:28:15Z

The US president’s first 100 days in office have seen a flurry of executive orders, tweets, leaks and military attacks in the Middle East. But his domestic agenda has been thwarted at every turn, with healthcare plans, travel bans and the Mexican wall ensnared by other branches of government

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Don't buy the lie. To oppose the government is not sabotage – video

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 06:52:03 GMT2017-04-26T06:52:03Z

Paul Mason says the Daily Mail headline, calling those who oppose the government ‘saboteurs’, is sinister. He argues that this tactic is commonplace in dictatorships and autocracies, but to see it in a democracy is alarming. He says meaningful opposition to the Tories is necessary for the country and for democracy

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'It's like a circus here': Leyton Orient fans furious with owner after relegation – video

Mon, 24 Apr 2017 09:13:39 GMT2017-04-24T09:13:39Z

Just under three years ago, Leyton Orient were within a penalty shoot-out of gaining promotion to the Championship. Following a 3-0 loss at Crewe on Saturday, Orient have dropped out of the Football League for the first time in their history. We talk to fans of the Os, who place the blame firmly at the feet of their Italian owner, Francesco Becchetti

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A brief history of nuclear near-misses – video

Mon, 24 Apr 2017 13:07:53 GMT2017-04-24T13:07:53Z

With Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un rattling their nuclear sabres, the Guardian looks back at 70 years of near-misses in the atomic age. We’ve been on brink on several occasions – most worryingly when mistakes both human and technical have been the cause

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Le Pen, Putin, Trump: a disturbing axis, or just a mutual admiration society?

Sat, 29 Apr 2017 08:00:25 GMT2017-04-29T08:00:25Z

The French presidential hopeful has made no secret of her admiration for Russia’s strongman leader, but her relationship with Trump is less clearcut

The week after Donald Trump won the US presidential election last November, Marine Le Pen was inaugurating the headquarters of her own election campaign in Paris, less than a mile from the Elysée Palace she hopes to move into soon.

The far-right, anti-immigration Front National leader had been the only French political leader to back Trump in his bid for the White House. She has also made no secret of her admiration for Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin.

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Imagine there’s no Sgt Pepper. It’s all too easy in the era of Trump and May | John Harris

Sat, 29 Apr 2017 05:00:21 GMT2017-04-29T05:00:21Z

This great Beatles album is as thrilling a listen as ever on its 50th anniversary: but it’s a melancholy time for the one-world counterculture the record soundtracked

“At the time Sgt Pepper was released,” the American writer Langdon Winner once recalled, “I happened to be driving across the country on Interstate 80. In each city where I stopped for gas or food – Laramie, Ogallala, Moline, South Bend – the melodies wafted in from some far-off transistor radio or portable hi-fi… For a brief while, the irreparably fragmented consciousness of the west was unified, at least in the minds of the young.”

Related: Sgt Pepper: listen to an unreleased outtake of the Beatles' classic

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How to make the world a better place

Sat, 29 Apr 2017 08:00:25 GMT2017-04-29T08:00:25Z

The announcement of the general election coincides with the 50th anniversary of the May Day Manifesto. Ken Loach, Howard Jacobson, Jeanette Winterson, Shami Chakrabarti and others say what a 2017 manifesto for the left should look like

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Fangs: the lightning rise of Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google

Sat, 29 Apr 2017 08:00:25 GMT2017-04-29T08:00:25Z

The tech giants have ballooned in value by $250bn since January - double the value of all the gold mined in a year - in four months

From Standard Oil at the turn of the 20th century to IBM and General Motors in the 1970s and General Electric in the 1990s, the US has always produced behemoth corporations that bestride the world. But this is the era of the Fangs, the “big four” of technology, and they are currently growing at breakneck speed.

Facebook, Amazon, Neflix and Google have been roaring away since the turn of this year. Their share prices have climbed so far, so fast, that together they are now worth an extraordinary $250bn more than just four months ago.

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Blind date: ‘I picked up on mutual attraction’

Sat, 29 Apr 2017 05:00:21 GMT2017-04-29T05:00:21Z

Did stage manager Oscar, 19, hit it off with social investment analyst John, 24?

What were you hoping for?
Someone to make me laugh, and have a chilled evening with. If I didn’t recognise him from Crimewatch, that would be a bonus.

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Parenthood seems to last for ever and be gone in the time it takes to dress a Barbie

Sat, 29 Apr 2017 05:45:22 GMT2017-04-29T05:45:22Z

For years, a box full of my children’s discarded playthings sat untouched in our house. When I opened it, their childhood possessions were not all that spilled out

I have finally looked into The Box. It’s a big, plastic storage container that has been standing in our bedroom for five years. Inside, it resembles the debris field of a juvenile tsunami. It contains unquantifiable amounts of toys and bits of toys. Our daughters are now 18 and 16. We put away childish things when our youngest daughter started to appreciate Zoella and teenage beauty tips more than Silly Bandz. But we’ve never dared to sort through The Box, because it would feel like saying goodbye to those endearing years of childhood.

The Box was something best not spoken about. But now, under pressure from my wife, Nicola – who refuses to open it herself because she would have to admit she has grownup children and we are Dickensian-style aged parents – I have finally opened it.

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