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The Guardian



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



Published: Mon, 21 Aug 2017 06:46:14 GMT2017-08-21T06:46:14Z

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



CPS to crack down on social media hate crime, says Alison Saunders

Sun, 20 Aug 2017 23:01:01 GMT2017-08-20T23:01:01Z

Director of public prosecutions announces plans for more prosecutions and stiffer sentences for online abusers

Prosecutors will be ordered to treat online hate crime as seriously as offences carried out face to face in plans announced by the director of public prosecutions.

Alison Saunders said the Crown Prosecution Service will seek stiffer penalties for abuse on Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms.

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Monday briefing: net closes on social media hate crimes

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 05:28:57 GMT2017-08-21T05:28:57Z

DPP unveils plan to put online abuse on a par with face-to-face incidents … sailors missing as US destroyer hits oil tanker … Big Ben takes it toll

Good morning, Graham Russell here with the news stories to start your week.

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Spain: police focus on Ripoll imam who vanished before terror attacks

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 05:56:52 GMT2017-08-21T05:56:52Z

In town a short drive from the French border, 12 members of the terror cell helped each other along the path to radicalisation and mass murder

Nowhere is the shock at last Friday’s attack in Barcelona greater than in Ripoll, a small town of just 11,000 people in the foothills of the Pyrenees, a short drive south of the French border.

There, residents have been coming to terms with the news that not only were many of the terrorists little more than boys – four of those shot by police after driving into a group of pedestrians in Cambrils, south of Barcelona, in the early hours of Friday, were teenagers – but that many of them had lived among them in Ripoll.

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Day of moaning declared in north of England over transport

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 05:00:03 GMT2017-08-21T05:00:03Z

Commuters urged to flood TV and radio phone-ins after transport secretary’s cancellation of rail electrification upgrades in the north

A day of moaning has been declared across the north of England, with public transport users encouraged to let rip about their terrible journeys.

Commuters are urged to write to their MPs and flood radio and TV phone-ins on Monday to express their frustration with the region’s poor transport provision.

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USS John S McCain: ten US sailors missing after destroyer collides with oil tanker

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 06:25:55 GMT2017-08-21T06:25:55Z

A rescue mission is underway off Singapore in an incident which follows the fatal collision between USS Fitzgerald and merchant ship in June

Ten American sailors are missing and five injured after the guided-missile destroyer USS John S McCain collided with an oil tanker off the coast of Singapore.

Singaporean, Malaysian and US search and rescue teams, consisting of patrol ships, helicopters and tug boats, were deployed to the area to look for the missing crew.

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Brexit: UK hopes of autumn trade talks 'will be dashed', says Slovenian PM

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 06:37:04 GMT2017-08-21T06:37:04Z

Miro Cerar says after opening talks the two sides are too far apart on citizens’ rights, financial settlement and the Irish border

The British government’s hopes of opening discussions on a future trade relationship this autumn will definitely be dashed by the European Union due to the slow progress of Brexit negotiations, one of 27 prime ministers who will make the decision has said.

Miro Cerar, the prime minister of Slovenia, revealed in an interview with the Guardian that it had proved too difficult to close the differences between the two sides in the opening rounds of talks, with the UK producing some unrealistic proposals.

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Chicago murder 'was sexual fantasy' of US professor and Oxford college worker

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 02:54:59 GMT2017-08-21T02:54:59Z

Court told that Wyndham Lathem and Oxford college worker Andrew Warren stabbed their victim 70 times in a plot hatched online

The fatal stabbing of a hairstylist in Chicago was part of a sexual fantasy hatched in an online chatroom between an American professor and an employee of Oxford University, whose plan included killing someone and then themselves, prosecutors have said.

The disturbing details about the 27 July killing revealed how Trenton James Cornell-Duranleau, the boyfriend of Northwestern University microbiology professor Wyndham Lathem, was stabbed 70 times at Lathem’s Chicago condo and with such brutality that he was nearly decapitated. His throat was slit and pulmonary artery torn, the bond hearing in Chicago on Sunday was told.

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FTSE 100 executive pay falls by 19% ahead of controversial reforms, says Deloitte

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 06:01:04 GMT2017-08-21T06:01:04Z

Multinational’s vice-chairman says drop in pay to £3.5m in 2016, from £4.3m a year before, shows existing limits are working

Pay for Britain’s top bosses has fallen by almost a fifth, suggesting companies may be reining in excessive rewards as the government reviews options for further reform.

The median pay for chief executives at FTSE 100 companies, which includes bonuses and other long-term incentives, fell 19% to £3.5m in 2016, from £4.3m a year before, a survey by Deloitte found.

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Cambridge University Press faces boycott over China censorship

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 05:13:53 GMT2017-08-21T05:13:53Z

Academics pressure publisher as Beijing mouthpiece says western institutions can leave if they don’t like ‘the Chinese way’

Cambridge University Press must reject China’s “disturbing” censorship demands or face a potential boycott of its publications, academics have warned, as a Communist party newspaper attacked critics of Beijing’s information war as “arrogant and absurd”.

In a petition published on Monday, academics from around the world denounced China’s attempts to “export its censorship on topics that do not fit its preferred narrative”.

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Eleanor Rigby's grave deeds to be auctioned with Beatles song score

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 06:00:04 GMT2017-08-21T06:00:04Z

Certificate of purchase and receipt for grave space to be sold with miniature bible belonging to woman whose name was immortalised by McCartney

What to buy for the Beatles fan who has everything? The right to be buried on top of Eleanor Rigby in a Liverpool graveyard, perhaps.

Deeds for the grave of the woman who may have been the inspiration for the Beatles song go on sale at an auction next month.

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How do you live on £36.95 a week? Asylum seekers survive on allowance

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 05:00:02 GMT2017-08-21T05:00:02Z

Secondhand clothes, discounted food, children’s toys and books donated by charities ... We talk to some of the 39,000 asylum seekers whose weekly allowance leaves them counting out their lives in pennies

How do you live on £36.95 a week?

It’s a question that 39,000 asylum seekers in Britain are currently grappling with. When people arrive in the UK and apply for asylum, they are not allowed to work while they wait for their claim to be decided. Those who have savings must live off them; those who are destitute – an understandably high number, given the circumstances in which many people flee their countries – are entitled to support in the form of housing and an allowance of £36.95 a person a week.

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Bricking it: Bake Off judges reject Guardian reporter's rock-hard brownies

Sun, 20 Aug 2017 23:01:01 GMT2017-08-20T23:01:01Z

As new GBBO series nears, Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith are unimpressed by Nadia Khomami’s baking ‘skills’

“Never bake again” is Paul Hollywood’s advice for me when I present him and Prue Leith with a tray of mediocre, hard brownies that have been left in the oven for too long.

After failing to cut into them, the veteran Great British Bake Off judge rises from his seat, stacks my desserts on the floor and steps on them to prove that even a boot would fall short of dismantling them. It seems a tad harsh, even for a man known for his steely looks and severe put-downs on screen.

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How Jeff Sessions and Donald Trump have restarted the war on drugs

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 06:00:04 GMT2017-08-21T06:00:04Z

Under Obama, America’s addiction to mass incarceration seemed to fade. But then came Trump and a hardline attorney general

Shauna Barry-Scott remembers the moment she felt the American fever for mass incarceration break. It was an August morning in 2013, and she was in a federal prison in the mountains of West Virginia. She remembers crowding into the TV room with the other women in their khaki uniforms. Everyone who could get out of their work shifts was there, waiting. Good news was on the way, advocates had told them. Watch for it.

Some of her fellow inmates were cynical: it seemed like millions of rumors of reform had swept through the federal prison system to only then dissolve. Barry-Scott did not blame them, but she was more hopeful.

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Game of Thrones recap: season seven, episode six – Beyond the Wall

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 05:12:03 GMT2017-08-21T05:12:03Z

Expect stabbings and stand-offs as an epic battle takes over this penultimate episode that would have been great fun to watch … if only the plot made sense

Spoiler alert: this blog is published after Game of Thrones airs on HBO in the US on Sunday night and on Foxtel in Australia on Monday. Do not read unless you have watched season seven, episode six, which airs in the UK on Sky Atlantic on Monday at 2am and 9pm, and is repeated in Australia on Showcase on Monday at 7.30pm AEST.

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Why this eclipse is our best chance to discover the mysteries of the sun

Sat, 19 Aug 2017 23:04:26 GMT2017-08-19T23:04:26Z

As millions watch the total eclipse sweep across America on Monday, an army of ‘citizen scientists’ will provide a trove of information

Around 9am on Monday, observers standing on the coast of Oregon will notice a small black spot that will appear on one side of the sun. As the morning progresses, this inky imperfection will grow until, by about 10.15am, it covers the entire solar disc. The sun will be blotted out from the sky and night will descend on the Pacific state. Only the fiery, wispy filaments of the solar corona – the sun’s atmosphere – will be visible.

For just under three minutes observers there will experience a total solar eclipse, which occurs when the moon passes between the sun and the Earth and in the process turns day into night. According to the late astronomer Patrick Moore, the event is simply “the most magnificent in all nature”.

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Jerry Lewis: a knockabout clown with a dark and melancholy inner life | Peter Bradshaw

Sun, 20 Aug 2017 20:43:03 GMT2017-08-20T20:43:03Z

The former comedy partner of Dean Martin, and star of films such as The Nutty Professor and The King of Comedy, was a complex, brilliant figure who evolved into an audacious cinematic innovator

Jerry Lewis: from Cinderfella to King of Comedy – a career in clips

For some, it is his masterpiece. For others, it is unendurably and outrageously awful, an exercise in frantically broad slapstick comedy that inspires pure disbelief, as well as derision for those reported chin-strokers and ironic postmodernists in France and elsewhere who affect to admire it. The film is The Nutty Professor, from 1963, that wacky doppelgänger farce inspired by Jekyll and Hyde, co-written and directed by its legendary star… Jerry Lewis.

Related: Jerry Lewis, king of comedy, dies at 91

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From porridge to blackout blinds to Colin Firth reading Graham Greene – how you beat insomnia

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 05:00:03 GMT2017-08-21T05:00:03Z

We asked readers how they got a good night’s sleep and this is what they said …

The slightest stress or worry and I would lie awake for hours, unable to drop off. Then I started doing one simple thing – times tables. I started with the 13 times table in my head until I could recite it without pausing, then moved on to the 14 times table and so on. It was enough to distract my brain from whatever was worrying me and allowed me to get to sleep. I am astounded at the difference it has made. I have suffered for decades and this simple exercise sorted it within a few weeks.

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Awkward? Yes. But Trump’s state visit must be called off | Matthew d’Ancona

Sun, 20 Aug 2017 18:49:03 GMT2017-08-20T18:49:03Z

His remarks on Charlottesville were dangerous, and any true friend to America would admit as much

Theresa May must cancel President Trump’s state visit to the United Kingdom. Simple as that. Not delay the trip, suspend planning, or otherwise equivocate. In this instance, only an unambiguous withdrawal of the invitation will do.

For as long as I can recall, I have been drawn by what the late Christopher Hitchens called “the gravitational pull of the American planet”. In fair and foul weather, I have defended the “special relationship” as the foundation of Nato and a cornerstone of liberal democracy, and for many other reasons with which you may disagree. I have absolutely no sixth-form yearning for a Love Actually moment in which a British prime minister publicly defies the US president, and then dances around No 10.

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Antonio Conte warns Spurs: Wembley will inspire your opponents

Sun, 20 Aug 2017 20:16:17 GMT2017-08-20T20:16:17Z

• Chelsea manager delighted with his side’s 2-1 victory
• Tottenham lose at home in league for first time in 15 months

Antonio Conte has warned Tottenham Hotspur that the grandiose surroundings of the national stadium may serve to inspire visitors to their temporary home in the season ahead, and praised the champions’ fighting spirit as Chelsea kickstarted their title defence.

The Italian was forced to field a makeshift side against Spurs after suspensions and injury ate into his options, with David Luiz forced into midfield and Andreas Christensen handed a first start in the Premier League. Yet two goals from Marcos Alonso left Tottenham, unbeaten at White Hart Lane last season, with only one win in 10 competitive games in this stadium since they won the League Cup against these opponents nine years ago.

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Mo Farah makes farewell gesture to mark symbolic changing of GB guard

Sun, 20 Aug 2017 19:51:39 GMT2017-08-20T19:51:39Z

• Farah signs off British track career with Diamond League 3,000m win
• Shows vested interest in inspiring next generation: ‘Now it’s finally done’

Mo Farah ended his final track race on British soil by rattling through his greatest hits – the surge to the front with a lap to go, the mulish kick off the final bend, the Mobot at the finish – but then applied an unexpected twist as he ripped off his cherished British vest and passed it to his team-mate Andy Butchart.

It was, as Farah revealed afterwards, a symbolic changing of the guard. For not only does he want Butchart to follow in his path – but he also believes that, at 34, he will never race in a British vest at a major championships again.

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Barcelona unites for opening game of the football season

Sun, 20 Aug 2017 21:55:45 GMT2017-08-20T21:55:45Z

Players wear black armbands in memory of the victims of attacks in Catalonia to chorus of ‘we are not afraid’ from the crowds

First came the stillness of mourning, then a defiant roar of “We are not afraid” as tens of thousands of Barcelona football fans started the new La Liga season by paying their respects to the victims of Thursday’s terrorist attacks.

With emotions still raw in the Catalan capital following the car attacks that killed 13 people on Las Ramblas boulevard and another person in the town of Cambrils, the phrase “only a game” had rarely felt more appropriate ahead of the kick-off against Real Betis, which Barcelona won 2-0.

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Sergi Roberto seals Barcelona win over Real Betis in La Liga opener

Sun, 20 Aug 2017 20:42:24 GMT2017-08-20T20:42:24Z

Barcelona got off to a winning start in La Liga on Sunday, beating Real Betis 2-0 in a subdued atmosphere at the Camp Nou in the first game since terror attacks in the Catalan capital and the town of Cambrils.

The Betis defender Alin Tosca diverted a cross from the lively Gerard Deulofeu into his own net to put Barça ahead in the 36th minute, while the former Everton forward, who returned to his boyhood club this summer, also laid on the pass for the second goal which was smashed in by Sergi Roberto in the 39th.

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USA’s Lexi Thompson plays ‘weirdest round’ to help beat Europe in Solheim Cup

Sun, 20 Aug 2017 21:04:00 GMT2017-08-20T21:04:00Z

• United States display clear superiority for a 16.5 to 11.5 success
• Europe’s Annika Sorenstam: ‘We just got outplayed’

An anti-climactic conclusion to the 15th Solheim Cup appeared inevitable even before a Sunday shot was struck. The US, after all, would have needed to produce one of the greatest sporting capitulations of all time if failing to win from a position of 10.5 to 5.5 ahead.

There was to be no such stumble. Annika Sorenstam and her European team are worthy of credit for a singles showing in which the 12 matches returned six points a side. The visitors, despite being so glaringly short of their opponents in terms of combined talent, refused to go down without a fight. Nonetheless the better team – by far – retained the cup.

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Arsène Wenger is right that Arsenal’s season is young but problem is old | Paul Doyle

Sun, 20 Aug 2017 21:29:53 GMT2017-08-20T21:29:53Z

The Gunners’ manager may yet be vindicated but the defeat at Stoke City underlines he could pay the penalty for relying on players who lack consistency

That did not take long. #WengerOut was trending across social media on Saturday night as Arsenal fans reacted to a familiar event, their team flopping at Stoke City. Arsène Wenger reckons it is too early to wail about the same old failings, however.

“Let’s not go overboard,” Wenger said. “We lost one game. I can understand that [disappointment] but overall I believe there were a lot of positives in the game as well because we created many chances. We had great domination and unfortunately we dropped three points.”

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Mo Farah calls time on GB career after victory in final track outing

Sun, 20 Aug 2017 19:38:00 GMT2017-08-20T19:38:00Z

• Surprise announcement follows win in 3,000m at Birmingham grand prix
• Briton had been expected still to compete for country in marathons

Mo Farah says he has competed for the last time in a British vest after delighting his home crowd with victory over 3,000m in the Birmingham grand prix. The 34‑year‑old made the surprise announcement after handing his GB vest to his team-mate Andy Butchart after crossing the line.

“It’s been amazing,” he said. “It’s been incredible. But I won’t be competing for Great Britain again. In terms of major championships, I won’t be taking part.

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Deep-thinking Stuart Broad in no mood to ease up despite mismatch of a series | Ali Martin

Sun, 20 Aug 2017 17:00:48 GMT2017-08-20T17:00:48Z

England’s second-highest wicket-taker will politely suggest he needs no additional rest before the Ashes, despite the evisceration of West Indies suggesting his side could consider all options

Stuart Broad will be reminding the England management that there are two months to rest before the Ashes, with the fast bowler, fresh from becoming their second highest wicket-taker in Tests, in no mood to miss the seemingly easy pickings on offer against West Indies.

In what is already shaping up to be a mismatched series after the three-day (and night) evisceration of the tourists at Edgbaston, the temptation may be to bring the fit-again Chris Woakes back for the second Test at Headingley starting on Friday, with one eye on the winter.

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European Tour could launch takeover bid for Ladies European Tour

Sun, 20 Aug 2017 19:14:58 GMT2017-08-20T19:14:58Z

• LET is also a potential business target for US-based LPGA Tour
• European Tour ‘always looking at ways to grow and expand our business’

The European Tour could launch a takeover bid for its struggling ladies equivalent. The Ladies European Tour (LET), which has been badly hindered by the loss of tournaments, is also a potential business target for the US-based LPGA Tour. If that single, global brand would seem a natural alternative to the status quo, the plans of the European Tour’s chief executive, Keith Pelley, will be subject to deeper intrigue.

Since taking office, Pelley has displayed a willingness to completely alter what could be regarded as archaic arrangements within golf.

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Adam Gemili disqualified as Britain’s top sprinters are brought back to reality

Sun, 20 Aug 2017 19:36:51 GMT2017-08-20T19:36:51Z

• Gemili false starts in the 100m at the Birmingham grand prix
• Mitchell-Blake and Talbot struggle in 200m, Asher-Smith fifth in 100m

A week after soaring to scarcely imagined heights at the world championships many of Britain’s top sprinters came tumbling back down to reality at the Birmingham grand prix on Sunday.

Poor Adam Gemili, who ran a storming second leg as Britain’s 4x100m men’s relay team took gold, felt it hardest as he was controversially false started in the 100m. Meanwhile his relay team‑mates Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake and Danny Talbot faded to finish fifth and sixth, respectively, in the 200m. With Dina Asher-Smith, who inspired the women’s 4x100m team to silver, also coming fifth in a high-quality women’s 100m final, it was left to CJ Ujah to fly the flag highest for British sprinting by winning the men’s 100m in 10.08sec.

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David Wagner salutes ‘brave’ Huddersfield after second successive win

Sun, 20 Aug 2017 17:06:24 GMT2017-08-20T17:06:24Z

• German manager delighted after promoted side edge out Newcastle
• ‘I did not expect to be here after two games but it’s only two games’

Huddersfield Town went second in the table with their second win in the Premier League, proving their German manager David Wagner’s theory that anything is possible in football.

“I always say that to the players and now we are the living proof,” the Huddersfield manager said after Aaron Mooy’s superb shot five minutes after half-time sealed the victory. “I did not expect to be here but we must not forget that while we have had two great results we are still only two games into the season. All we want to do is to be brave in every single game and we have done that so far.

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Dispiriting house-warming party silences Tottenham’s drum-beating | Amy Lawrence

Sun, 20 Aug 2017 18:51:39 GMT2017-08-20T18:51:39Z

Having been unbeaten at White Hart Lane last season, Spurs’ Wembley woes continued with Chelsea winning the first Premier League game at the stadium

In their temporary home, with a turned page towards a bigger future, a whopping crowd and an abundance of flag-waving, drum-beating enthusiasm was not enough to change Tottenham’s Wembley tune. In the 88th minute of their brave new world the sight of Marco Alonso sprinting towards the crowing blue noise in the visitors’ corner prompted a not untypical sight in contemporary football – the signal for a flow of fear-the-worst fans to head for the exits to beat the queues.

Mauricio Pochettino may feel that talk of curses is overblown, unhelpful and not very realistic over the course of a proper season in situ rather than the occasional European drop-ins of the last campaign, but there was no denying how dispiriting it was to begin life as Wembley tenants with a pooped party. A blunt edge, and misjudged defensive moments, helped Chelsea to secure all the points. The decisive moment came when Victor Wanyama (in losing possession) and Hugo Lloris (in allowing the ball to squirm past his body) made avoidable mistakes to turn what would have been a hard-earned comeback draw into a rueful defeat.

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Britain’s Adam Blythe finishes third in second stage of Vuelta a España

Sun, 20 Aug 2017 18:31:09 GMT2017-08-20T18:31:09Z

• Blythe follows in slipstream of Yves Lampaert and Matteo Trentin
• Tour de France winner Chris Froome is 16th but improves overall standing

Adam Blythe finished third in the second stage of the Vuelta a España while his fellow Briton Chris Froome improved his overall standing.

Blythe crossed the line at the end of the 203.4km route from Nîmes to Gruissan just behind the Quick-Step Floors pair of Yves Lampaert and Matteo Trentin, with Team Sky’s Froome eight seconds off the pace in 16th.

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Rafael Nadal is last of the golden greats still standing before US Open | Jacob Steinberg

Sun, 20 Aug 2017 08:59:38 GMT2017-08-20T08:59:38Z

With Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Roger Federer struggling with injuries, can the next generation, led by Dimitrov, Thiem and Zverev, finally step up?

What to make of the state of men’s tennis? For the best part of a decade a quartet of hall‑of‑famers have transcended their sport by lifting it to hitherto untouched heights with their titanic struggle for supremacy while below them a host of challengers have strained to swell the numbers of the elite club known as the Big Four. Plenty have tried, most have failed. Some have offered flashes of impertinence but only Stan Wawrinka has provided a sustained threat to the established order. The entry requirements are gruelling. The top players ally astonishing skill with an almost masochistic willingness to suffer for their art.

But throughout 2017 there has been a persistent sense that the curtain may be about to fall on this golden age. Where once there was order now there is disarray. The show isn’t quite over yet, but the audience is waiting to rise to its feet and this is when the mind goes back to Andy Murray’s prediction on the eve of the ATP World Tour Finals last November.

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Edgbaston cakewalk and Murray’s glory highlight magic of moonlit sport | Paul MacInnes

Sun, 20 Aug 2017 14:22:22 GMT2017-08-20T14:22:22Z

As football, cricket and tennis fans have all discovered, there is a unique and seductive allure to night-time competition

One of the great things about being a fan of sport is the licence to rail against modernity. Complain about the intranet at work and no doubt, in time, you will be disciplined. Complain about sprinters pulling faces for the cameras on the start line and millions will be with you.

This antediluvian attitude ought to make the positive noises which greeted the day-night Test involving England and the West Indies all the more surprising. Rather than bemoan the creation of an entirely new meal break, coined ‘trunch’ by my colleague Andy Bull, the Edgbaston crowd were bang into it. Perhaps even a bit more than they were the cricket. The same went for people watching Arsenal’s victory over Leicester at the Emirates Stadium to launch another Premier League season on the Friday before last.

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Everton’s Ronald Koeman: clean sheet at Manchester City may be tough ask

Sun, 20 Aug 2017 21:37:00 GMT2017-08-20T21:37:00Z

• ‘If we get a clean sheet I don’t know if it will be a miracle’
• Everton’s strong defence face biggest test so far at Etihad Stadium

Ronald Koeman has praised Everton’s resilient start to the season but admitted it may take a miraculous performance to keep another clean sheet at Manchester City on Monday.

Everton have not conceded in their first four competitive matches of this campaign having shut out Ruzomberok and Hajduk Split in the Europa League, plus Stoke City in the Premier League. Jordan Pickford and Michael Keane, the joint record signings until the £45m arrival of Gylfi Sigurdsson last week, have impressed in the new-look defence, moreover, but with City having also strengthened this summer, the Everton manager believes his players will face their sternest test so far at the Etihad Stadium.

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Barcelona close in on signing of Jean Seri and weigh up fourth Coutinho bid

Sun, 20 Aug 2017 11:10:30 GMT2017-08-20T11:10:30Z

• Ivory Coast midfielder set to join from Nice for £36m
• Barça still aim to sign Liverpool midfielder or Ousmane Dembélé

Barcelona are closing in on the signing of Jean Michaël Seri from Nice but still remain interested in luring Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool despite the rejection on Friday of a bid worth a potential £119m.

Seri, who has also been tracked by a host of Premier League clubs including Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham, is expected to complete his move to the Camp Nou for €40m (£36m) this week after his representatives arrived in Catalonia over the weekend to discuss the transfer. It is understood the central midfielder, 26, has already agreed terms with Barça, although the clubs are still negotiating over the structure of the fee.

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Aaron Mooy delivers home victory for Huddersfield over Newcastle

Sun, 20 Aug 2017 14:35:52 GMT2017-08-20T14:35:52Z

Related: Huddersfield Town 1-0 Newcastle United: Premier League – as it happened

Huddersfield remain in dreamland after their first top-flight home game in 45 years produced a second deserved victory of the season. The Terriers are now up there with Manchester United with two wins from two games and if they are not quite hurtling down the motorway at the same speed as José Mourinho’s side, six points and two clean sheets is an early return few in West Yorkshire will have been expecting.

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Olympic champion Aly Raisman attacks USA Gymnastics over sexual abuse case

Sun, 20 Aug 2017 13:20:51 GMT2017-08-20T13:20:51Z

  • Former team doctor Larry Nassar accused of abusing athletes in his care
  • Raisman worked with doctor and calls him a ‘monster’
  • Nassar has pled not guilty to assault charges and civil suits

Aly Raisman, the six-time Olympic medal winning gymnast, has called for sweeping change in USA Gymnastics in the wake of dozens of allegations of sexual abuse against former team doctor Larry Nassar, who she called a “monster”.

Nassar spent nearly 30 years as an osteopath with the USA Gymnastics program and is now in prison in Michigan after pleading guilty to possession of child pornography. Nassar is still awaiting trial on separate criminal sexual conduct charges in addition to being sued by over 125 women in civil court who claim he sexually assaulted them under the guise of treatment. Nassar has pleaded not guilty to the assault charges and the dozens of civil suits filed in Michigan are currently in mediation.

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The myth of the benefits cheat is a sign of unkind times | Zoe Williams

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 05:15:03 GMT2017-08-21T05:15:03Z

The downfall of the New Zealand politician Metiria Turei shows how little empathy is left for those on the dole

• Zoe Williams is a Guardian columnist

Some things are easier to see from far away, and a collective slide away from empathy and common sense, towards pearl-clutching judgmentalism, is one of them. At the start of August the co-leader of New Zealand’s Green party, Metiria Turei, was forced to resign, following an outpouring of opprobrium that threatened to poleaxe her party’s prospects in September’s elections.

The crime for which this tide of hate would have been proportionate is hard to imagine: in fact, it was spurred by her admission that she committed benefit fraud in the early 90s, a confession she made freely to highlight how hard it was then, and is now, to raise a child as a single parent under New Zealand’s notoriously punitive welfare system.

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How I learned to stop worrying and listen to my hormones

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 06:00:04 GMT2017-08-21T06:00:04Z

I thought getting an app to track my menstrual cycle was ridiculous, but its revelations have explained so much about my personality

I’m sitting in a coffee shop in LA when my friend Lou says, “Give me your phone and I’ll download an app that tracks your menstrual cycle,” like we’re suddenly starring in a uniquely naff advert for solipsism in the 21st century.

I look around in case anyone has heard us. “Why on earth would I want that”, I mutter to her. My period comes fairly regularly, then it goes away again, and I’m not trying for a baby, and all right, so the whole thing does actually take me by complete surprise every single month, because my head and the clouds have always been in quite close contact – but still. I don’t really feel the need to inform my phone when I’ve got the painters in.

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Extremism is surging. To beat it, we need young hearts and minds | Scott Atran

Sun, 20 Aug 2017 18:38:56 GMT2017-08-20T18:38:56Z

There is no clash of civilisations but a crisis of cultures – and the key to healing them is youth

The last of the shellshocked were being evacuated as I headed back toward Las Ramblas, Barcelona’s famed tourist-filled walkway where another disgruntled “soldier of Islamic State” had ploughed a van into the crowd, killing at least 13 and injuring more than 120 from 34 nations. Minutes before the attack I had dropped my wife’s niece near where the rampage began. It was deja vu and dread again, as with the Paris massacre at the Bataclan theatre in 2015, next door to where my daughter lived.

At a seafront promenade south of Barcelona, a car of five knife-wielding kamikaze mowed down a woman before police killed them all. One teenage attacker had posted on the web two years before that “on my first day as king of the world” he would “kill the unbelievers and leave only Muslims who follow their religion”.

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Solidarity must extend far beyond the victims of terror | Editorial

Sun, 20 Aug 2017 19:01:12 GMT2017-08-20T19:01:12Z

The terrorists want to destroy universal values of freedom and tolerance. If Europe fails refugees it is a kind of victory for them

Spain has been a model of solidarity in the three days since the terror attacks that killed 14 people in Barcelona and Cabrils. That number is now known to include the seven-year-old Julian Cadman, who had dual British-Australian nationality and whose engaging image has been on front pages. He had been missing since the savage vehicle attack on Thursday afternoon. On Sunday morning the king and queen led the mourners at a service in La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona’s cathedral, which, perhaps paradoxically in the circumstances, was conceived by Antoni Gaudí as a paeon to faith and nationalism. More than 1,500 people packed the church, while nearby Las Ramblas continued to be a focus for grief and resistance.

But behind the solidarity, Spain’s national cohesion faces more stresses than in most European countries. At least eight of the terrorists appear to have grown up in one small town, Ripoll. Their horrified families are blaming Abdelbaki Es Satty, the imam of one of the town’s mosques, for radicalising their sons. The small community, where one in 10 residents is a migrant, is in a state of shock to discover that football-loving kids who appeared entirely comfortable with their Spanish identity set out on such a murderous course. Police, who are investigating what they now say was a plot to launch a huge terror attack, are trying to establish whether the imam died in a gas explosion that destroyed a house last Wednesday.

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The Guardian view on betting terminals: an outrageous racket | Editorial

Sun, 20 Aug 2017 18:56:18 GMT2017-08-20T18:56:18Z

Modern slot machines are as addictive as computer games and as greedy as payday lenders

The UK Treasury has cold feet about the department of culture, media and sport’s review of fixed-odds betting terminals, expected to recommend swingeing cuts to the maximum bet. The chancellor is said to be alarmed about losing a lucrative tax stream.

Absurdly, FOBTs, which seduce gamblers to play for as long as they can, are treated in legislation as if they were games of skill. That means players can bet up to £100 every 20 seconds. But there is no skill whatever involved in playing them; only in programming them to extract the most cash possible from players. Recent figures show that adds up to about £2bn a year, which is an awful lot – hundreds of thousands – of losing gamblers. It is also more than half the revenue of the high-street betting chains, and generates £400m a year in tax.

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Robots will not lead to fewer jobs – but the hollowing out of the middle class | Larry Elliott

Sun, 20 Aug 2017 10:22:40 GMT2017-08-20T10:22:40Z

Weak wage growth could already be a sign automation creating economy in which small number of very rich employ armies of poor

Throughout modern history there has been a recurrent fear that jobs will be destroyed by technology. Everybody knows the story of the Luddites, bands of workers who smashed up machinery in the textile industry in the second decade of the 19th century.

The Luddites were wrong. There has been wave after wave of technological advance since the first Industrial Revolution, and yet more people are working than ever before. Jobs have certainly been destroyed. Banks, for example, no longer employ clerks to log every transaction in ledgers with quill pens. At this time of year, 150 years ago, the fields would have been full of people with scythes and pitchforks bringing in the harvest. That work is now done by motorised harvesters.

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Alone on his pedestal - cartoon

Sun, 20 Aug 2017 10:18:01 GMT2017-08-20T10:18:01Z

Chris Riddell on Donald Trump’s response to white supremacist violence in Charlotteville

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The last person left who daren’t diss the Donald… | David Mitchell

Sun, 20 Aug 2017 09:00:38 GMT2017-08-20T09:00:38Z

As the civilised world condemned the US president over Charlottesville, Theresa May hedged her bets – someone has to think of potential trade deals

Theresa May briefly had my sympathy last week. She was in Portsmouth to celebrate the fact that Britain’s new £3bn floating table had made it all the way round from Scotland without sinking or chipping a bit off Kent or being towed away by the Russians. It was supposed to be a happy event – a lovely huge weapon of war. Of course we all hope it’ll never have to be used to kill people. It works out a lot cheaper if you just use it to threaten to kill them.

“What on earth am I going to say,” she must have asked herself and her aides, “about what Donald Trump said about the events in Charlottesville? People are going to insist I say something about that. We need to think long and hard to find a form of words that will keep me out of trouble without sounding like they’ve been thought long and hard about to keep me out of trouble.”

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The BBC must do better on gender and pay – and so must the rest

Sun, 20 Aug 2017 13:09:15 GMT2017-08-20T13:09:15Z

Edinburgh International Television festival will be dominated by talk of pay equality – an issue all broadcasters need to address

The television industry descends on Edinburgh this week for its annual jamboree, and there promises to be a lot to talk about.

The 2017 Edinburgh International Television festival will include Jon Snow, the Channel 4 News presenter, give the flagship MacTaggart lecture, meaning fake news and Donald Trump are likely to be among the topics on the agenda in the Scottish capital.

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Taylor Swift’s punch-the-air moment for girls

Sun, 20 Aug 2017 06:00:35 GMT2017-08-20T06:00:35Z

Do not feel guilty about a man being punished for sexual assault, says the singer

The courtroom sketches of Taylor Swift giving testimony during a civil trial over an allegation that she was groped, are like fan art by someone who hates her. A sort of… face shape? You know, up, then round, then down. Then a bit of yellow, for the hair? A top! Let’s draw a top, a suggestion of a top. Arms? Mouth? Maybe, if we have time.

She stands in court at the end of a story that started in 2013, when Swift took part in a meet-and-greet, and posed for a photo with a Denver radio host called David Mueller. As the photo was taken, in front of a crowd of fans, Swift says, Mueller (51 to her 23) put his hand up the back of her skirt and grabbed “a handful of [her] ass”. The photo was later leaked, and, in it, smiling with her teeth, Swift is leaning away from him as if blown by a strong wind. After her management team reported the incident to his employer, for whom he’d been working backstage that night, he was fired.

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Why Britain’s voters must have a second referendum on Brexit | Vernon Bogdanor

Sat, 19 Aug 2017 23:05:27 GMT2017-08-19T23:05:27Z

Leavers’ dreams of a country cast free of Brussels are unravelling as reality and the risks of going it alone set in

Last week, the government set out key elements of its strategy for achieving Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union. It seeks a soft landing to a hard Brexit. It wants a time-limited transition period after March 2019, when Britain is due to leave the bloc. During that period, the government hopes for a “close association with the EU customs union”. When it ends, Britain will leave the customs union but seek “a new customs arrangement” that preserves “the freest and most frictionless trade possible” and Britain will then seek a free trade agreement.

These proposals are beset with ambiguity and difficulty, although the idea of a transitional agreement has been welcomed by business. Brexiters fear – and some Remainers hope – that at the end of the transitional period it will be found to have been so comfortable that it will be extended. In that case, Britain would, to a significant degree, remain in the EU, but as a de facto satellite rather than a participating member.

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Swift justice is warning to all gropers | Barbara Ellen

Sat, 19 Aug 2017 23:05:27 GMT2017-08-19T23:05:27Z

The singer’s court victory should benefit all women who have been the victims of unwanted physical approaches

Bravo, Taylor Swift. The singer-songwriter not only won the court case, proving that she was groped by Denver DJ David Mueller, but she also pledged to give money to help other sexual assault victims defend themselves.

There are still whiffs in some quarters of this being a rather insignificant “sex scandal”. “Man touches young woman’s bottom” – wow, hold the front page. This is especially so in the entertainment industry, where sexism is practically the universal language. However, it’s not just about the groping. Even if it were just about the groping, no one is allowed to go around randomly touching people up.

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Macbeth review – high camp, dark drama and more than a hint of Game of Thrones

Sun, 20 Aug 2017 12:09:20 GMT2017-08-20T12:09:20Z

Festival theatre, Edinburgh
This new production from Teatro Regio Torino has a solid cast and striking imagery backed by a richly nuanced account of Verdi’s score

Verdi’s take on the Scottish play was the first opera to be performed at the inaugural Edinburgh festival, which is why it makes an appearance at the festival’s 70th anniversary celebrations. Not that there’s a lot of Scotland in evidence in this new production from Teatro Regio Torino and music director Gianandrea Noseda, which opens the company’s week-long residency in Edinburgh. Emma Dante’s production exudes a general northern modishness, with more than a hint of Games of Thrones about Vanessa Sannino’s costumes. This is apparent from the outset when Dalibor Jenis’s ponytailed, fur-clad Macbeth rides in on a skeleton horse. There’s little set to speak of; rather, the production is an exercise in chiaroscuro, with Cristian Zucaro’s lighting providing an eerie backdrop against which the witches writhe and plenty of dark corners where assassins can hide.

Given the two decades that divide its creation and the later revisions, Macbeth is far from a musically homogeneous work – something emphasised here as Noseda mixes liberally from the two versions. It’s a disparity that finds its visual analogue in the production. Scenes of high camp – jauntily marching soldiers and tumblers – contrast with moments of stark simplicity, particularly the act 4 opening chorus of exiled Scots lamenting the fate of their homeland. While there are some striking ideas: the crucifixion imagery following Duncan’s murder, there are also misjudgments: the automaton hospital beds following Lady Macbeth around during the sleepwalking scene.

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Comedian Phil Wang: 'I enjoy a level of patriotism that only immigrants can have'

Sun, 20 Aug 2017 05:00:34 GMT2017-08-20T05:00:34Z

The British-Malaysian comic on why conversations about race in the UK have become absurd, his favourite standups and how to outdo a rival’s nipple tassels

You talk a lot in your show about having one foot in British society and one foot out of it.

I’ve always felt like an outsider. I was always the white guy in Malaysia [where he lived until 2006], and then the Chinese guy in the UK. I think that sort of thing is quite common in comedy, not quite belonging.

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The superhero and the standup: Spider-Man Tom Holland and his dad Dominic

Sat, 19 Aug 2017 05:00:05 GMT2017-08-19T05:00:05Z

The star of Marvel’s blockbuster is the subject of his father’s comedy show at the Edinburgh fringe. They discuss the art of getting laughs, sending Spidey back to school and finding the old man a part in a webslinging sequel

There is no shortage of up-and-coming comedians with famous parents at this year’s Edinburgh fringe: Elliot Steel (son of Mark), Will Hislop (son of Ian) and Ruby Wax’s daughters, Maddy and Marina Bye, are all performing. At the Voodoo Rooms venue in the New Town, the situation is a little different. Standup Dominic Holland, who recently turned 50, is in Edinburgh with a free fringe show, 24 years after winning the best newcomer award at the festival. The subject of his new set? How his success has been surpassed by that of his 21-year-old son, Tom, star of Marvel’s latest blockbuster, Spider-Man: Homecoming.

“I genuinely don’t need to be here,” Dominic states in his show, Eclipsed, with reference to his son’s lucrative webslinging contract. He describes his own gig as “indoor busking” – it’s free to get in but he holds a bucket for punters’ donations on their way out. Tom is currently filming sci-fi thriller Chaos Walking, co-starring Daisy Ridley and based on Patrick Ness’s book trilogy, but has flown in from Canada to see the show with his family. It’s a surprise for his dad and, when I meet the two of them afterwards, they whip out a phone to play the video of Dominic’s ecstatic reaction when Tom turned up that morning.

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Smartphone extremists and VR scuba-divers: Edinburgh's tech trailblazers

Sat, 19 Aug 2017 14:08:35 GMT2017-08-19T14:08:35Z

One woman interrogates her personal assistant in Siri, The Believers Are But Brothers brings the war on terror to your mobile, and Frogman conducts an underwater murder investigation via VR headset

At the Edinburgh festival, a woman is talking to her iPhone’s personal assistant, Siri. But this isn’t a private encounter between one woman and technology. Much like Krapp’s Last Tape could be described as a piece for two performers – an actor and a tape recorder – so Siri is a show featuring a human and a digital performer. Canadian actor Laurence Dauphinais poses the program a series of questions that, as they probe into her own background, elicit ever more existentialist-sounding replies.

Related: Javaad Alipoor: 'The response to radicalism is to shut down debate for young people'

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Secret Life of Humans review – questing history of the species

Sat, 19 Aug 2017 16:43:28 GMT2017-08-19T16:43:28Z

Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh
A Tinder date with the grandson of 70s TV scientist Jacob Bronowski prompts a thrilling mystery that asks almost too many big questions

The mathematician and scientist Jacob Bronowski, whose groundbreaking 1973 series The Ascent of Man brought popular science to TV, took an optimistic view of human progress. But was he right in his rosy assessment of humanity and its ability to confront the challenges facing it and use past experience to create a better future?

Related: Spider-Man's dad, Ruby Wax and Labour v Tory standup: Edinburgh festival 2017 – in pictures

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Edinburgh theatre review: The Divide; Flight; Adam; Meet Me at Dawn

Sun, 20 Aug 2017 07:00:36 GMT2017-08-20T07:00:36Z

King’s theatre; Church Hill theatre; Traverse, Edinburgh
A six-hour Alan Ayckbourn epic is outdone by some tiny model figures, a true-life transgender tale and two marooned women with a secret

The Divide is one of the most astonishing failures I have seen on the stage. Astonishing not because a floundering drama is at the centre of the Edinburgh international festival’s theatre programme. It is hardly the first. But because this is an utterly undramatic play by Alan Ayckbourn – whose language is essentially theatrical. Ayckbourn has always been a disguiser, making light of his talents as he turns metaphysics into dancing comedy, and passes off philosophical exchanges as breakfast chat. He does not explain or describe: he demonstrates. Vivaciously. But The Divide is torpid.

There is one bright spark in the middle of Annabel Bolton’s production. Erin Doherty shines as the main reporter of the action: nearly always centre stage, though to the side of the main events. As she moves gawkily from childhood to young womanhood, she is utterly open but always wary. Burnished but unvarnished. She identifies with Jane Eyre – and makes you want to see her in the part.

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Our Carnal Hearts review – hilarious dissection of social envy

Sat, 19 Aug 2017 10:33:09 GMT2017-08-19T10:33:09Z

Summerhall, Edinburgh
Structured like a church service, Rachel Mars’ exploration of humanity’s competitive spirit has an added piquancy on the Edinburgh fringe

It is the sticky and spiky hidden parts of ourselves that are displayed in Rachel Mars’ entertainingly nasty interrogation of the competitive spirit – which comes laced with song, arson and a large dose of envy. It’s fitting that it takes place in the dissection room, because it is the human heart that is being pulled apart to find that dark, secret place Gore Vidal acknowledged when he declared “whenever a friend succeeds, a little something in me dies.”

Frantic Assembly explored the subject beadily with Mark Ravenhill’s Pool (No Water). Now Mars and her fellow conspirators – Louise Mothersole, Rhiannon Armstrong, Rachel Weston, Rebecca Atkinson-Lord and Orla O’Flanagan – twist the knife by making it personal over 60 minutes that take the form of a series of lessons in a kind of church service , complete with a female choir. Mars leads us through these lessons with murder in her heart.

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Hannah Gadsby review – electrifying farewell to standup

Sat, 19 Aug 2017 11:11:44 GMT2017-08-19T11:11:44Z

Assembly George Square, Edinburgh
Comedy proves inadequate consolation for battling the patriarchy in the Tasmanian standup’s uncomfortable but indelible swansong

Hannah Gadsby’s extraordinary Nanette arrives in Edinburgh trailing plaudits from its Australian run. But it is, she announces, her swansong: “I’m quitting comedy. Done. Bored.” Gadsby has lost patience with the elisions and deceptions standup entails. “I’ve made my story into a joke,” she says, in a show that’s passionately concerned with challenging the (patriarchal, heteronormative) stories our culture tells itself. There are jokes in Nanette, too: some good ones, initially. But they dry up – and something more confrontational, an angry repudiation of the consolations of comedy, takes their place.

Related: The 10 best jokes from the Edinburgh fringe

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Break Up: could you spend five hours in the company of this bunch of bananas?

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 16:33:45 GMT2017-08-18T16:33:45Z

Performed by people dressed as bananas, Break Up is a marathon improv show about a relationship in crisis. Our writer sits down to watch – and wishes she’d brought along a bottle of whisky


It’s hard to pinpoint the exact moment when I lost the will to live. It could have been four minutes in, or possibly four hours. The cast of five were improvising a relationship break-up in real time, over the course of five hours, while dressed as bananas. When people roll their eyes at the Edinburgh fringe, this is often the kind of thing they’re talking about. Except, the show’s not actually all that ludicrous. At times it’s pretty funny – and the banana costumes are not even close to being the strangest part of the evening.

Five droll New Zealanders – Ralph Upton, Joel Baxendale, Fiona McNamara, Rachel Baker and Oliver Devlin – make up the cast of Break Up (We Need to Talk) and the format is simple: four sit on the back chairs representing one half of the couple, while a single person sits in the front representing the other half. Over five hours, each takes a turn in the front seat, as they slowly improvise a scene about a couple who begin the night happy and in love and end it distraught and single. There is no script and the rules are simple: a break-up must happen at some point over the five hours, and each of the actors must speak in a specific order. Then it’s just a case of letting the romance and the chaos run free.

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Ivo Graham: 'Shaving my head was meant to give me an air of mystery and menace. It did not’

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 12:00:23 GMT2017-08-18T12:00:23Z

The up-and-coming standup whiz spills the beans about the things that make him laugh the most, from Lucky Jim to A Fish Called Wanda

Henry Paker at Edinburgh in 2010. Him, the surrealist maverick “unreading the Bible” in his hoodigan. Me, the spotty teenager coming to watch every day on my own.

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Had We Never review – music and poetry to exorcise Scottish demons

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 14:22:21 GMT2017-08-18T14:22:21Z

Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh
A new setting of Robert Burns’ The Slave’s Lament by Sally Beamish and Adrian Sherwood was the centrepiece of a concert of stark beauty and dark truths

Robert Burns asked the question in his love song Ae Fond Kiss, “Had we never loved sae kindly / Had we never loved sae blindly.” His conclusion was bittersweet, to do with simple heartbreak. A current exhibition at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery applies the same conditional tense to darker scenarios, playing out what-ifs that cannot be romanticised. What if Scotland’s national bard had gone to Jamaica in the 1780s to profit from the slave trade?

We know he planned to. In 1786 Burns booked himself a ticket to the West Indies, though whether out of financial desperation or to escape a botched love affair is unclear. He didn’t end up going – his luck picked up at home – and in 1792 he published a troubled lyric called The Slave’s Lament, which imagines a forced journey from Senegal to Virginia. That poem was the starting point for Graham Fagen’s video installation at the 2015 Venice Biennial showing reggae vocalist Ghetto Priest singing Burns’ words to music by Sally Beamish and dub producer Adrian Sherwood, played by the Scottish Ensemble.

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From scissor attacks to diabetes improv: comedians' weirdest gigs

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 10:00:36 GMT2017-08-16T10:00:36Z

Lucy Porter caused a breakup. Romesh Ranganathan did a diabetes panel show. And Alexei Sayle survived a skinhead invasion. Comics relive their worst moments on stage

The 10 best jokes from the Edinburgh fringe

A guy in the crowd had been drunkenly obnoxious all evening so I got everyone to chant “out, out, out” until he got up to go. He gestured to his girlfriend to join him but – with my encouragement – she refused and told him he was dumped. He shuffled out and she got the biggest cheer of the night. Years later she emailed to thank me. She was now engaged to a nice man who wouldn’t dream of heckling.
Lucy Porter is at Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh

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Rob Kemp: The Elvis Dead review – a gory cult classic in the making

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 10:08:27 GMT2017-08-18T10:08:27Z

Heroes @ Monkey Barrel
The comedian’s inspired mashup of Evil Dead 2 and Elvis songs is much juicier than an ironic stunt

‘This was only ever supposed to amuse me and my mates,” says Rob Kemp – blood-drenched, chainsaw-wielding, shirt in shreds. You can picture the scene: a few pints down, someone notices “Elvis” contains the word “evil”, someone else jokes about splicing the King of Rock’n’roll with classic horror movie Evil Dead 2. These conversations are usually forgotten the next morning, not turned into Edinburgh fringe shows – far fewer are late-night hits that have comedy lovers queuing around the block.

Such is the fate of Kemp’s cult-in-the-making The Elvis Dead: a solo show hijacking Elvis’s back catalogue to narrate a demons v humans bloodbath in a Tennessee woodshed. Voted best show at Leicester’s comedy festival this spring, it’s now raising the roof of a sweaty backroom in Edinburgh. The Hilton Las Vegas it ain’t, but Kemp does a good job persuading you otherwise. He looks the part, he makes a decent fist of Elvis’s chocolatey croon (although, by week two of the fringe, the top notes are slipping from his reach), and he throws himself into the enterprise like a Kandarian demon with murder on its mind.

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From a mime and his baby to singing sisters: Edinburgh's comedy double acts

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 08:00:03 GMT2017-08-17T08:00:03Z

Trygve Wakenshaw has brought his one-year-old son as a sidekick, Flo and Joan search for love and Giants present the old disintegrating duo routine

For as long as there’s been comedy, there’s been the double act. Big one, small one; straight one, funny one; know-all and dimwit: these dynamics are as old as performance itself and – even on the formally inventive fringe – they inexorably reassert themselves. There are double acts for all seasons at this year’s festival: one assembled to make provocative points about race (that’s Brendon Burns and Indigenous Australian comic Craig Quartermaine), one because the third member of a sketch troupe jumped ship just before the fringe (that’s Gein’s Family Giftshop).

Related: Edinburgh festival 2017: the shows we recommend

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Education, Education, Education review – 90s school play is smartly entertaining

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 05:00:03 GMT2017-08-17T05:00:03Z

Pleasance Dome, Edinburgh
Taking Tony Blair’s mantra as a starting point and using a Spice Girls and Oasis soundtrack, Wardrobe Ensemble’s farce tells us much about the state of teaching

It’s 1997 and Tony Blair has just been elected prime minister, Katrina and the Waves have won the Eurovision song contest and Cool Britannia is starting to swing. It’s not a moment too soon for Wordsworth Comprehensive, a school close to special measures where some pupils have been taught in temporary cabins for the last 20 years. Blair’s mantra “education, education, education”, and the promise of an injection of funding, have buoyed the spirits in the staff room as muck-up day approaches and year 11 go off to revise for their GCSEs.

Take That, the Spice Girls and Oasis provide the soundtrack for the Wardrobe Ensemble’s look at our education system, but like the company’s brilliant 1972: The Future of Sex, this is no nostalgia fest. With action seen through the beady eyes of German teacher Tobias (James Newton, very funny), who is doing a placement at the school, it offers a searching look at how schools are blown hither and thither by changing governments, ideologies and education theories, and how children are simply sausages in the machine to be squeezed into uniform shape.

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The 10 best jokes from the Edinburgh fringe

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 14:03:33 GMT2017-08-15T14:03:33Z

From infidelity to insomnia and taxidermy … the funniest gags we have heard so far from this year’s standup shows

Edinburgh festival 2017: the shows we recommend

From scissor attacks to diabetes improv: comedians’ weirdest gigs

Robert Garnham: Insomnia is awful. But on the plus side – only three more sleeps till Christmas.

Dan Antopolski: Centaurs shop at Topman. And Bottomhorse.

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Jon Pointing review – a cringeworthy new comic monster is unleashed

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 10:16:24 GMT2017-08-17T10:16:24Z

Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh
Pointing’s egocentric creep Cayden Hunter and his spoof acting masterclass is mesmerisingly ghastly and deliciously daft

Towards the end of last summer’s Edinburgh festival, tongues started wagging about Jon Pointing’s below-the-radar work-in-progress show in a graveyard shift on the free fringe. His spoof acting masterclass is back this year, developed to full length, transferred to the Pleasance Courtyard, and justifying the hype. Pointing masquerades as theatre guru Cayden Hunter – touchy-feely but thin-skinned, colossal of ego and microscopic in self-knowledge. He is the David Brent of the trust exercise and the improv game. Like Brent, Hunter at his best is so convincing you’d think his creator must be intimately familiar with his own inner prat. Or that, forced into contact with prats, he’s studied them (and his revenge on them) in minute detail.

In love with himself and patronising his audience, Hunter channels more bullshit than the sluice gates at a dairy farm. “There’s no maps for the kind of roads we’re travelling down,” he purrs. He is, in short, a creep – and yet (to Pointing’s credit) the text isn’t that improbable. Tweak the caricature down a notch, and this acting class – with its talk of risk and danger, its fetishising of “the truth”, poorly defined – is but an ace away from credible reality.

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Arab arts showcase at Edinburgh fringe beset by visa difficulties

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 06:00:01 GMT2017-08-17T06:00:01Z

Nearly a quarter of the performers have had their visas denied more than once and one show has been cancelled completely

The first showcase of Arab arts at the Edinburgh Fringe has been forced to cancel and completely rework several productions after nearly a quarter of the visas for their performers and organisers were refused more than once.

Related: The 10 best jokes from the Edinburgh fringe

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Standups on why they quit comedy: 'I have nightmares about having to do it again'

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 05:00:30 GMT2017-08-16T05:00:30Z

She may be one of the favourites for this year’s Edinburgh Comedy awards, but Hannah Gadsby is about to call time on her career. Here, Gadsby, Patrick Marber, Natalie Haynes and Simon Fanshawe explain why they hung up their microphones

‘Comedy’s a joke,” growls Hannah Gadsby, moments into her new show, Nanette. “There’s only so long I can pretend not to be serious.” Nanette has already won the Barry award at Melbourne International Comedy festival and is among the favourites to bag Edinburgh’s top prize, too. So why has Gadsby announced that it is to be her last ever standup show?

Related: From scissor attacks to diabetes improv: comedians' weirdest gigs

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Mouthpiece review – bathtub drama pulls the plug on everyday sexism

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 16:26:32 GMT2017-08-16T16:26:32Z

CanadaHub at King’s Hall, Edinburgh
Amy Nostbakken and Norah Sadava play one woman, sometimes at war with each other and sometimes in harmony, in a beautifully performed show

A woman struggles to get to the microphone to make a speech and is physically restrained by another who also grabs for the mic but is sabotaged. When these women do open their mouths, they find they have no voice.

Related: Edinburgh festival 2017: the shows we recommend

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Philip Hammond urged to use budget to help low-income families

Sun, 20 Aug 2017 23:01:01 GMT2017-08-20T23:01:01Z

Rising inflation is exacerbating benefits cuts, says Child Poverty Action Group, making it harder for parents to make ends meet

Philip Hammond is being urged to use his autumn budget to ease the plight of low-income families, as research shows that rising inflation is making benefits cuts bite harder.

A couple both working full-time on the “national living wage” in 2017 will generate only enough income to meet 87% of the basic costs of bringing up a child, according to research published by the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG). For a lone parent, the figure is 83%.

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Imported pork from leading supermarkets may cause hepatitis

Sun, 20 Aug 2017 22:41:38 GMT2017-08-20T22:41:38Z

Sausages and ham sold at a leading supermarket may have infected British shoppers with a virus that can cause liver failure and death

Pork products sold at a leading supermarket may have infected British shoppers with a virus that can cause liver failure and death, it has emerged.

Researchers at Public Health England (PHE) probed the shopping habits of those infected with hepatitis E and found the consumption of ham and sausages from one store, identified only as “supermarket X”, was a recurring feature.

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London fire brigade calls for urgent action on electrical goods safety

Sun, 20 Aug 2017 23:01:01 GMT2017-08-20T23:01:01Z

Government yet to implement any of LFB’s recommendations year after faulty tumble dryer caused serious tower block blaze


UK householders remain at risk of injury and even death from potentially dangerous domestic white goods such as tumble dryers unless the government takes urgent action to improve safety standards, the London fire brigade warns.

A year after a serious blaze caused by a faulty Indesit tumble dryer ripped through several homes in a tower block in Shepherds Bush, west London, the government has yet to implement any of safety recommendations made by the brigade following the fire, which was attended by 20 engines and 110 firefighters.

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Cromer pubs and shops dispute police claim that disorder was 'low level'

Sun, 20 Aug 2017 14:59:41 GMT2017-08-20T14:59:41Z

Pubs shut early with one landlord saying Norfolk town was in ‘lockdown’, with thefts from licensed premises and shops reported

Pubs and businesses closed their doors in Cromer on Saturday night after a series of disturbances at the end of the Norfolk town’s carnival.

Norfolk police said extra officers were patrolling the town following “low-level disorder”.

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House prices: Northants leads Midlands 'mini-boom', says Rightmove

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 05:01:02 GMT2017-08-21T05:01:02Z

Property website says buyers priced out of London are snapping up cheaper homes across middle of England with good commuting links

Asking prices for homes in Northamptonshire have jumped by 9.1% over the past year, the biggest increase in England and Wales, Rightmove said today, as London’s unaffordable property market has driven people to buy further away and commute.

The property website said the asking price for homes coming on to the market in the county had risen by 2.2% in August, to an average of £256,642, making it the hottest area covered by the survey. The growth contrasts with a monthly fall of 1.9% in Greater London, and a 0.9% drop across England and Wales as a whole.

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Labour urges college principals to get students on electoral register

Sun, 20 Aug 2017 16:32:18 GMT2017-08-20T16:32:18Z

Some universities have just 13% of students on the electoral roll compared with 76% registered at Sheffield

Labour is writing to all university vice-chancellors and college principals urging them to help students sign up to vote when they enrol in higher education this September.

Cat Smith, the shadow voter engagement minister, and Gordon Marsden, the shadow higher education minister, urged the higher education bosses to act after a programme at Sheffield University saw a huge jump in students joining the electoral register.

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Peterloo massacre: hundreds attend anniversary memorial in Manchester

Sun, 20 Aug 2017 15:28:13 GMT2017-08-20T15:28:13Z

Actors Christopher Eccleston and Maxine Peake spoke in memory of civilians killed and injured by government troops in 1819

Hundreds of people have gathered in Manchester to remember “Britain’s Tiananmen Square”, as calls grow to include the Peterloo massacre on the national curriculum.

An estimated 18 people were killed on 16 August 1819 when government troops, plus local yeomanry, charged into a crowd of 60,000 protesters who had gathered at St Peter’s Field in central Manchester to demand the reform of parliamentary representation. Over 650 others were injured, some stabbed with sabres, others trampled by horses.

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Two-year-olds should learn to code, says computing pioneer

Sun, 20 Aug 2017 22:23:14 GMT2017-08-20T22:23:14Z

Early start would encourage women to become programmers and reduce gender stereotyping, argues Stephanie Shirley

Children as young as two should be introduced to the basics of coding, according to one of Britain’s most eminent computing pioneers.

Dame Stephanie Shirley, whose company was one of the first to sell software in the 1960s, said that engaging very young children – in particular girls – could ignite a passion for puzzles and problem-solving long before the “male geek” stereotype took hold.

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Sprint finish to mark reformatted GCSEs, say examiners

Sun, 20 Aug 2017 17:44:00 GMT2017-08-20T17:44:00Z

70,000 English papers were unmarked at the end of July, with increased payments and discounted books offered to examiners to complete task

Examiners have complained that this year’s reformed GCSE exams in England have been tougher to mark, taking them longer to complete and leading to exam boards cajoling markers to process more papers and increasing payment rates.

Results for the reformed exams in maths and English will be published for the first time on Thursday – with more than 600,000 pupils and their teachers waiting to hear how they got on using the new scale of 9 to 1 that replaces the old A* to G grades.

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UK considering extra checks for van hire to deter terrorist attacks

Sun, 20 Aug 2017 16:12:27 GMT2017-08-20T16:12:27Z

Police, government and vehicle rental industry have been discussing measures such as cross-checks with watch lists

Drivers trying to rent vans in the UK could be subject to additional checks to try to prevent further terrorist attacks of the kind seen in Barcelona last week.

The government, police and vehicle rental industry have been discussing ways to deter further attacks using vans since mass casualties were inflicted inincidents across Europe from Nice to London.

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After Grenfell: a carnival to remember

Sun, 20 Aug 2017 08:30:38 GMT2017-08-20T08:30:38Z

Following the fire at the west London tower block, there were new calls for the Notting Hill carnival to be relocated. But counting down to this year’s event, locals and carnival makers remain adamant that it should stay put – and pay respect to the victims

On 6 July, three weeks after a still-unknown number of people died in the Grenfell Tower fire, Greg Hands MP, minister for London, wrote an open letter to London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, to ask whether it was “appropriate” to hold Notting Hill carnival in the “proximity of a major national disaster”. Khan moved swiftly to dismiss Hands’s intervention, replying that any attempt to move the carnival would be a mistake “at a time when the community has little trust in those in positions of authority… It is only right that this year’s carnival marks the terrible tragedy at Grenfell Tower and the mayor will work closely with the organisers and the wider community to ensure they are consulted and involved in the planning for an appropriate commemoration.”

People see ghosts, hear the screams at night… All of us here that morning saw what was happening behind those windows

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Silver Reel is latest production firm to move into UK TV market

Sun, 20 Aug 2017 14:03:45 GMT2017-08-20T14:03:45Z

The Swiss film company is to branch into high-end TV drama, lured by the weakened pound and generous tax credits for big-budget series

Silver Reel, the Swiss finance and production company behind films including the upcoming Breathe, Andy Serkis’s directorial debut featuring Andrew Garfield and Claire Foy, is launching a €50m (£45.6m) fund to make TV drama in Britain, taking advantage of the weakening of the pound since the Brexit vote.

Silver Reel has invested more than £500m making 35 films in the last decade, frequently working with UK producers and talent in films such as The Wife, starring Glenn Close and Jonathan Pryce. It is now looking to break into the booming British market for high-end TV drama.

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‘It’s fashion without a capital F’ – Swedish stores step up high street invasion

Sat, 19 Aug 2017 23:41:35 GMT2017-08-19T23:41:35Z

With H&M launching two new brands in central London – Weekday and Arket – what is it that has made British shoppers fall for Scandi style?

It gave us woolly jumpers, cosy socks and bobble hats – now Scandinavia is tightening its grip on the high street with what some in the fashion world are describing as a new Swedish invasion.

Last week it was announced that David Hagglund will be the new creative director of Topshop and Topman. Hagglund is Swedish, and comes with a CV that includes time at Swedish high street powerhouse H&M and a Stockholm-based advertising agency.

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Iraqi forces advance on Isis-held city of Tal Afar

Sun, 20 Aug 2017 17:21:42 GMT2017-08-20T17:21:42Z

Military leaders are confident of recapturing one of the last remaining Islamic State strongholds in the country but humanitarian groups fear for civilians

Iraqi forces have pushed into the outskirts of one of the last Islamic State-held areas in the country – the north-western city of Tal Afar.

The operation comes just over a month after Mosul was retaken from the terror group, ending a three-year rule over Iraq’s second city and confining the extremists to ever-shrinking pockets of the country, stretching to the Syrian border.

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Donald Trump to announce new strategy on Afghanistan in major speech

Sun, 20 Aug 2017 21:28:15 GMT2017-08-20T21:28:15Z

US president to deliver address to troops and the nation at Fort Myer military base on Monday night

Donald Trump will announce his decision on America’s strategy in Afghanistan on Monday night in an address to US troops and the nation almost 16 years after the war began.

The US president will “provide an update on the path forward for America’s engagement in Afghanistan and South Asia” in an address to be delivered at 9pm ET from the military base at Fort Myer, southwest of the capital, the White House said in a statement.

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Diesel scandal is a risk to German economy, says ministry

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 03:37:43 GMT2017-08-21T03:37:43Z

The cheating on diesel tests are bracketed with Brexit and possible US tariffs as potential threat to growth

The emissions scandal ensnaring German carmakers is a risk to Europe’s largest economy, the finance ministry said on Monday.

In its monthly report, the ministry named the issue, which broke out almost two years ago after Volkswagen admitted to cheating US diesel emissions tests, as a threat to Germany along with Britain’s decision to leave the European Union and protectionist trade policies by the US government.

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Grace Mugabe flies home to Zimbabwe with diplomatic immunity

Sun, 20 Aug 2017 18:12:05 GMT2017-08-20T18:12:05Z

Wife of president Robert Mugabe returns to Harare despite facing allegations of assault on model in Johannesburg

Grace Mugabe, the wife of the Zimbabwean president, Robert Mugabe, flew home from South Africa on Sunday after being granted diplomatic immunity from being prosecuted for allegedly assaulting a young model in Johannesburg.

State broadcaster ZBC showed her greeting government and military officials at the airport in Harare after returning on an Air Zimbabwe plane with her husband, who had attended a summit of southern African leaders in Pretoria.

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Oxford University employee and US professor charged with murder

Sun, 20 Aug 2017 18:33:22 GMT2017-08-20T18:33:22Z

Police rule out love triangle saying more disturbing motive lies behind stabbing of 26-year-old hair stylist in Chicago

Detectives have ruled out a love triangle between an Oxford University employee, a US professor and their alleged murder victim, who was found with more than 40 stab wounds, police have said.

Somerville College’s Andrew Warren, 56, and Professor Wyndham Lathem, 42, have been charged with murdering hair stylist Trenton Cornell-Duranleau in Lathem’s Chicago apartment.

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India upholds controversial marriage annulment amid ‘love jihad’ inquiry

Sun, 20 Aug 2017 23:01:00 GMT2017-08-20T23:01:00Z

Widespread shock as supreme court endorses dissolution of union between woman from Hindu family and Muslim man and orders forced marriage inquiry

The Indian supreme court has upheld a decision to annul the marriage of a 24-year-old woman in Kerala and force her to live back at her parents’ house because she married a Muslim man.

Related: ‘Love jihad’ in India and one man’s quest to prevent it | Aman Sethi

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Thousands march in Hong Kong for release of pro-democracy leaders

Sun, 20 Aug 2017 14:03:30 GMT2017-08-20T14:03:30Z

In sweltering heat, protesters wear brown prison uniforms in homage to jailed Alex Chow, Nathan Law and Joshua Wong

Thousands of demonstrators have taken to the streets of Hong Kong – some clad in prison uniforms – to demand the release of three of the former British colony’s best-known pro-democracy leaders.

Related: Hong Kong democracy campaigners jailed over anti-China protests

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'Our sons were heroes' say families of British men killed fighting Isis

Sun, 20 Aug 2017 16:31:21 GMT2017-08-20T16:31:21Z

Thinktank report angers families by saying British volunteers with Kurdish forces should be treated as potential terrorists

The families of two British men killed fighting Islamic State in Syria have condemned a report urging the government to treat those who join Kurdish forces in the region as potential terrorists, insisting their sons should be remembered as heroes.

The report by the Henry Jackson Society suggests that British volunteers who travel to Syria to join the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) could pose a “domestic security risk” upon their return to Britain.

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German writer held in Spain on Turkish warrant granted conditional release

Sun, 20 Aug 2017 18:22:32 GMT2017-08-20T18:22:32Z

Turkish-born author Doğan Akhanlı, who has written about human rights in Turkey, was arrested while on holiday

Germany welcomed the release on Sunday of a German writer detained in Spain on a Turkish warrant and accused Turkey of abusing the international system used to hunt down fugitives.

Turkish-born writer Doğan Akhanlı, who has German citizenship, was arrested on Saturday while on holiday in southern Spain. Akhanlı was conditionally released after a court hearing on Sunday, but ordered to remain in Madrid while Turkey’s extradition request is considered, his lawyer said.

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Briton hurt helping Finland attack victims says he is not a hero

Sun, 20 Aug 2017 10:55:16 GMT2017-08-20T10:55:16Z

Hassan Zubier, a paramedic living in Sweden, says he was stabbed as he tried to help people during incident in Turku

A British paramedic who was repeatedly stabbed while helping victims of a terrorist attack in Finland has denied being a hero, insisting he was merely following his training.

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Trump attacks Boston counter-protesters as 'anti-police agitators'

Sat, 19 Aug 2017 19:48:45 GMT2017-08-19T19:48:45Z

  • Trump tweet likely to revive controversy that followed Charlottesville
  • Anti-Nazi protesters dwarfed small group of rightwingers

Donald Trump described anti-fascist and anti-racist demonstrators who converged on Boston as “anti-police agitators” on Saturday, in a tweet that seemed destined to revive the still simmering controversy over his remarks equating the far right and anti-Nazis in Charlottesville last weekend.

Related: Bannon departs – but ‘Trump whisperer’ could have more influence from outside

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Syria: Bashar al-Assad rejects security cooperation with west

Sun, 20 Aug 2017 16:28:01 GMT2017-08-20T16:28:01Z

Assad praises Russia, Iran, China and Hezbollah for supporting government as shell kills several at international fair

The Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, has railed against the west, saying any security cooperation with western nations or the reopening of their embassies would not happen until they cut ties with opposition and insurgent groups.

Shortly after Assad gave his speech, a shell hit the first international fair in the country since the war began six years ago, killing and wounding several people.

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Global investors look to Jackson Hole for signs of how QE will end

Sun, 20 Aug 2017 12:03:19 GMT2017-08-20T12:03:19Z

Central bankers at meeting under pressure to explain how they will exit huge stimulus packages started after financial crisis

It was at Jackson Hole in 2014 that Mario Draghi prepared the ground for the European Central Bank’s massive bond-buying programme to help rescue the economies of the eurozone, embattled from years of sovereign debt crises.

The annual event, held at the Wyoming fishing retreat by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City since 1978, takes place from 24 to 26 August. And it could provide the backdrop for the ECB president to signal the eventual withdrawal from loose monetary policy by the central bank.

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The internet of things: Connie Taylor works the room – sketch

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 09:00:25 GMT2017-08-18T09:00:25Z

It’s not just humans who find Connie Taylor baffling. The ‘guru royale’ of Agglomer8 manages to confuse a whole room full of internet-enabled devices … Starring Jessica Hynes.

Follow Connie on Twitter and Facebook

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What is arthritis? Separate the facts from the fiction

Fri, 11 Aug 2017 13:46:46 GMT2017-08-11T13:46:46Z

Arthritis has a huge impact on the daily lives of millions of people in the UK, causing continuous pain and fatigue to those living with the condition whether they’re young or old. But despite the huge numbers affected, arthritis is surrounded by misconceptions. Find out the truth …

There are more than 200 different kinds of arthritis, with symptoms not limited to joint pain and swelling but also including, for some people, fatigue, psoriasis, or even mouth ulcers, depending on the type of arthritis. It’s often thought of in terms of painful hands and creaky knees, but the true impact of arthritis on daily life is all too often misunderstood, underestimated and ignored.

The two main types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis. The most common symptom in all forms of arthritis is pain.

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Cohousing: the British families embracing communal living

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 16:22:36 GMT2017-08-17T16:22:36Z

With their emphasis on shared meals and parenting, cohousing communities offer an antidote to the isolation of modern life, writes Olivia Gordon

Growing numbers of people are sharing meals – not only with their own family and friends, but with their neighbours. It’s all thanks to the increasingly popular idea of cohousing, which originated in Denmark in the 1970s, rapidly spreading across Scandinavia, the US and Germany and, since the late 1990s, Britain.

Unlike in communes, residents of cohousing communities own or rent their own private homes – but they share communal spaces with their neighbours, including, frequently, a common hall where everyone regularly sits down to share meals.

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