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



Published: Sat, 25 Mar 2017 17:44:40 GMT2017-03-25T17:44:40Z

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



Iraq suspends Mosul offensive after coalition airstrike atrocity

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 17:35:18 GMT2017-03-25T17:35:18Z

Move comes as international outrage grows over airstrikes that killed at least 150 people in Mosul Jadida neighbourhood

Iraqi military leaders have ordered a pause in their push to recapture west Mosul from Islamic State as international outrage mounted over a series of airstrikes that killed at least 150 people in one district of the embattled city alone.

Rescuers continued to retrieve bodies from the rubble of the Mosul Jadida neighbourhood on Saturday, more than a week after the coalition attacks, which are believed to have led to one of the highest civilian tolls in the region since the US invasion of Iraq in 2003.

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Nick Clegg tells EU march there is a 'perpetual sense of anger' over Brexit

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 17:31:36 GMT2017-03-25T17:31:36Z

Former deputy prime minister joins political figures addressing tens of thousands of people protesting against decision to leave EU

Tens of thousands of people took to the streets of central London on Saturday to protest against Britain’s departure from the European Union, just days before Theresa May begins the process by triggering article 50.

Nick Clegg told the crowd in Parliament Square that “sadness” about the outcome of last June’s referendum had given way to “a perpetual sense of anger about the choices that Theresa May and her government have taken since”.

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‘Move fast and break things’: Trump’s Obamacare failure and the backlash ahead

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 17:42:43 GMT2017-03-25T17:42:43Z

Republicans suffered a devastating defeat on Obamacare. But the pulling of the American Health Care Act could be a ‘blessing in disguise’ for Trump

The James S Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House was crammed as usual but there was an extra frisson of suspense. As the press secretary, Sean Spicer, walked to the lectern, a conversation was unfolding just 27 paces away in the Oval Office. It would invalidate almost everything he said.

Related: Donald Trump blames Democrats for stunning failure to repeal Obamacare

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Westminster attack: car hire firms urged to tell police about suspicious customers

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 15:56:01 GMT2017-03-25T15:56:01Z

Attackers in London, Berlin and Nice did not use own vehicles

Car hire companies have been asked to forward details to police of customers suspected of using vehicles for criminal purposes, in the wake of last week’s terror attack.

Khalid Masood rented the 4x4 used to mow down pedestrians on Westminster Bridge, killing three people. Concern has been raised that possible future attacks may also use rented vehicles, copying Masood’s methods and also those of Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, who used a hired 19-tonne cargo truck to kill 86 people in Nice in July last year.

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Ukip's only MP Douglas Carswell quits party

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 12:34:19 GMT2017-03-25T12:34:19Z

MP for Clacton announces he is to become independent MP, having previously defected to Ukip from the Conservatives

Ukip’s only member of parliament, Douglas Carswell, has quit the party to become an independent MP, prompting a backlash from within Ukip and among its supporters.

Carswell, who defected from the Conservative party to Ukip in August 2014, said he was leaving “amicably, cheerfully and in the knowledge that we won”.

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Two teenage boys found dead at Cleveland cliffs

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 15:55:52 GMT2017-03-25T15:55:52Z

Police launch inquiry after 17-year-olds discovered at Huntcliff in Saltburn

Two teenage boys have been found dead at cliffs in Cleveland.

The 17-year-olds were discovered at Huntcliff in Saltburn on Friday evening.

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Police investigate death of teenage boxer after bout

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 13:37:35 GMT2017-03-25T13:37:35Z

Amateur boxer, 17, died shortly after collapsing in the ring during open show at venue in South Normanton, Derbyshire

Police have launched an investigation after a 17-year-old amateur boxer died shortly after collapsing in the ring.

Derbyshire police said officers were called to the Post Mill Centre, South Normanton, at 10.17pm on Friday. The youth, who is from Ripley, near Derby, was given medical treatment at the scene but was pronounced dead on arrival at Kings Mill hospital in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire.

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Pret a Manger to pay work experience recruits after criticism of unpaid scheme

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 12:04:21 GMT2017-03-25T12:04:21Z

Sandwich chain had offered teenagers a week with the company without pay as part of recruitment drive linked to Brexit

Pret a Manger has said it will now pay hundreds of teenagers it plans to hire this summer, after campaigners criticised the company for offering work experience roles for free food but no pay.

The Guardian reported that the sandwich chain hoped to solve its looming recruitment crisis by offering 500 16- to 18-year-olds a week of unpaid work experience.

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Brexit vote is 'closed nationalism' that belongs in past, says Italian PM

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 10:09:59 GMT2017-03-25T10:09:59Z

Paolo Gentiloni speaks at Rome summit to celebrate EU’s 60th anniversary where leaders reaffirm commitment to unity

Britain’s decision to leave the EU has been described by the Italian prime minister as “closed nationalism” that belongs in the past during a summit in Rome to celebrate the bloc’s 60th anniversary.

In an address at the Orazi and Curiazi Hall of the Capitol in the Piazza del Campidoglio, where the EU was founded six decades ago, Paolo Gentiloni expressed his discomfort with the motives behind the referendum result.

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Michael Heseltine: Germany will 'win the peace' because of Brexit

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 21:27:21 GMT2017-03-24T21:27:21Z

Tory peer says it is ‘quite unacceptable’ for Germany to be in dominant position in Europe, having lost second world war

Germany will “win the peace” in Europe as a result of Brexit, with the UK’s influence diminished, the former deputy prime minister Michael Heseltine has said.

The Tory peer said it was “quite unacceptable” that Germany would be in a dominant position in Europe having lost the second world war.

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Dystopian dreams: how feminist science fiction predicted the future

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 08:00:04 GMT2017-03-25T08:00:04Z

From Mary Shelley to Margaret Atwood, feminist science fiction writers have imagined other ways of living that prompt us to ask, could we do things differently?

Margaret Atwood’s evergreen dystopian novel The Handmaid’s Tale is about to become a television drama. Published in 1985, it couldn’t feel more fresh or more timely, dealing as it does with reproductive rights, with the sudden accession to power of a theocracy in the United States, with the demonisation of imagined, pantomime villain “Islamic fanatics”. But then, feminist science fiction does tend to feel fresh – its authors have a habit of looking beyond their particular historical moment, analysing the root causes, suggesting how they might be, if not solved, then at least changed.

Where does the story of feminist science fiction begin? There are so many possible starting points: Margaret Cavendish’s 1666 book The Blazing World, about an empress of a utopian kingdom; one could point convincingly to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein as an exploration of how men could “give birth” and what might happen if they did; one could recall the 1905 story “Sultana’s Dream” by Begum Rokeya, about a gender-reversed India in which it’s the men who are kept in purdah.

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'I will never be free of it': Auschwitz survivor recalls horror 75 years on

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 06:03:01 GMT2017-03-25T06:03:01Z

On 25 March 1942, 999 girls and women were taken to the camp from Poprad, Slovakia. Now just one is still alive. Edita Grosman tells her story as she prepares to return to her home city

“I’m sure I’ve survived for a reason,” says Edita Grosman. “One of us had to still be here to tell you what happened. And even if I was lying on my death bed, as long as my brain was working, I’d have to keep talking about it, especially because there are so many people who say it never happened.”

The 92-year-old has travelled from her home in Toronto to her native Slovakia. On Saturday she will return to the railway station in the city of Poprad, from where, 75 years ago to the day, she was one of 999 girls and women driven in windowless cattle cars to Auschwitz.

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Alys Fowler: 'There is no such thing as coming out: it's a daily negotiation'

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 09:30:05 GMT2017-03-25T09:30:05Z

Our gardening columnist was happily married, and finally had a plot to call her own. Then she fell in love

My childhood dream was that I would grow up to be an adventurer. I knew it might be hard, so I practised. I learned to climb rock faces, to abseil into caves, to swim long distances in cold water, to sail small boats. I was a strange child, wandering through fields trailed by my dog, talking to myself, but I was perfectly content.

Eventually, I grew up and got married. I stopped climbing. I still biked, but mostly out of necessity: to get to work across town. I still swam in cold water, but in an urban park.

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Geena Davis: ‘Thelma & Louise changed everything for me’

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 11:00:00 GMT2017-03-25T11:00:00Z

It was the moment she realised how few inspiring women there are on screen. Now the actor is on a mission to fix that

Somewhere in a parallel universe, Geena Davis is having the time of her life. “Yes! Enjoying this new era in American history!” As one of the few women to have played a US president on screen, in her parallel universe Davis is having a lovely conversation with me about how fabulous it feels to see a woman finally make it to the White House.

This isn’t the first time the actor has found her presidential fantasies preferable to reality. Eleven years ago, she was President Mackenzie Allen on the TV show Commander In Chief. “It had been the number one new show, and it was going to run for eight years. I was going to do two terms,” Davis grins ruefully. She won a Golden Globe for the role. Then internal studio politics intervened and the show was cancelled after a single season. “For a long time after, I felt like, in an alternate universe, I was still on that show. In my mind,” she says, laughing, “I wanted to set up the Oval Office in my garage and pretend I was still the president.”

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‘I don't do it for likes. I do it for joy’: inside the high-rise world of parkour

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 09:00:05 GMT2017-03-25T09:00:05Z

When free runner Nye Newman was killed on the Paris Métro, the finger of blame was pointed at parkour. Was that the whole story?

Last August, when he was 17 years old, Nye Newman, a gymnastics instructor from Guildford, bought a plane ticket to China. Newman planned to sightsee, but not as you or I might, via bus or map or tour guide. His preferred vantage point was up where the air is thin, perched on the precipice of a skyscraper rooftop. Newman, who with schoolfriend Rikke Brewer co-founded the parkour group Brewman (a portmanteau of their surnames), made more than a dozen of these trips in 2016 alone, spending almost all his earnings on plane tickets. He’d often neglect to book accommodation before he left, instead posting messages in online parkour groups, certain that someone would spare him a bed. In 2015, when Newman and a clutch of Brewmanites travelled to Munich, they walked into a hotel in the city centre and confidently strode past the woman at the front desk and into the lift. At the top of the hotel they found an unlocked skylight. They helped each other through, before setting up camp on the roof for the week, sleeping under the stars, between the humming satellite dishes.

China, however, was farther than Newman had travelled before. His anxious mother begged him not to go. “I didn’t disapprove, I just wanted him to wait a while longer,” Deborah Malone, a yoga teacher and singer, tells me. “But waiting wasn’t his thing.” She hid her son’s passport. The next day, Newman reported it stolen and ordered a replacement. Soon after landing in Guangzhou, he posted a photograph to Brewman’s popular Instagram account, showing his legs dangling from the edge of a stratospheric tower, the city a tapestry of lights far below. “I fully expected him to die,” his father Jake Newman, a 49-year-old musician, says. “He took enormous risks. I’d tell him, ‘Think about your mum, because if you die, she’ll be ruined.’ I thought maybe he might get away with it. One of the few things I’ve been able to say since it happened is that I don’t worry about him any more. The worst has happened.”

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Chew on this: the Viva Mayr clinic’s hardcore detox comes to the UK

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 09:00:05 GMT2017-03-25T09:00:05Z

A cult – and very expensive – Austrian health clinic beloved of Michael Gove, Tracey Emin and the Rolling Stones is coming to London next month. But does it really do anyone any good?

The Viva Mayr clinic, a functional-looking alpine lodge, overlooks Lake Altaussee in Austria. Here a very famous supermodel once took off all her clothes and lay down naked on the banks, toes in the water, apparently in an “extreme emotional state”. The witness, another patient at the clinic, explained that this was not an abnormal reaction to day three at the Mayr.

Viva Mayr is a health centre that specialises in a form of extreme detoxification it refers to as “the Mayr cure”. Patients consume around 600 calories a day – roughly equivalent to one Pret a Manger BLT sandwich. But there’s no gluten here. Even grapes are vetoed. Epsom salts, water and goat’s cheese (lactose-free), however, are central themes. The programme is as notorious as it is successful (Vogue staffers and oligarchs are among the clinic’s regulars), and it’s generally booked up all year.

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Clive James: ‘Coogan and Brydon are the funniest couple since Laurel and Hardy’

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 08:00:04 GMT2017-03-25T08:00:04Z

The extras do uncanny impersonations of corpses, and sometimes can’t keep it up

Anyone who relishes what happens when Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon sit opposite each other in a restaurant will know that the real focus of the entertainment is on the actors at the other tables who are pretending not to laugh. While Coogan and Brydon do uncanny impersonations of 007, the extras have to do uncanny impersonations of corpses, and sometimes they can’t keep it up. They crack a rib. And they are, of course, quite right. Coogan and Brydon are the funniest couple since Laurel and Hardy.

Related: ‘I like it when people think this is real’: Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon on The Trip to Spain

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John Lydon: ‘Without punk I would have probably become a drug dealer’

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 14:00:03 GMT2017-03-25T14:00:03Z

The former Sex Pistols and PIL front man, 61, on Brexit, losing his memory and picking his nose

I know what losing my memory feels like. I caught meningitis at the age of seven and couldn’t remember anything for a few years afterwards. It’s the thing that scares me most – losing my memory again. As a child it was tough. But as an adult, I don’t know if I could take the loss.

Without punk I would have probably become a drug dealer. That’s what everybody else in my area [Holloway, north London] did. Of course, I would have liked to have become a teacher. Or a rocket scientist.

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Khalid Masood: from Kent schoolboy to Westminster attacker

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 07:00:03 GMT2017-03-25T07:00:03Z

Born Adrian Elms, raised Adrian Ajao, died Khalid Masood. Shifting identity and simmering anger put popular pupil on destructive path

In an old school photograph, the smiling face of Adrian Ajao is a picture of a healthy, happy, middle class boy from Tunbridge Wells. Beaming with satisfaction after a football marathon, he stood on the cusp of a fruitful life.

What led that bright, sporty, popular teenager to become the Islamic State-inspired killer responsible for the attack on parliament this week confounds those who knew him then and is now the focus of a urgent and sprawling investigation by the security services.

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Aysha Frade worked at my son’s school. These slight links bring terror home | Deborah Orr

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 06:00:01 GMT2017-03-25T06:00:01Z

In the aftermath of the Westminster attack, a sense of personal involvement makes the futility of such violence more overwhelming than ever

When the woman killed by a car on Westminster bridge on Wednesday was named in the media, I recognised her name immediately. I didn’t know Aysha Frade, but I have lots of emails from her. “Study leave and end of term dates,” reads one header. “Parents’ evening reminder, M-Z,” says another. She was the college administrator at my son’s school. She was murdered while walking over the bridge to collect her two children from school.

It’s surprised me, the level of paralysis I feel at this mundane and whisper-light graze of personal connection. It turned me from avid follower of every developing detail to a woman who’d rather not think about it – which is not a luxury those who knew and loved Aysha, or any of the other victims, can afford. All I can really say is that an actual link, no matter how slender and peripheral, has made the sad futility of such violence feel overwhelming to me. That’s uncomfortable too. It feels self-dramatising. Horribly inappropriate. Yet there, all the same.

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Séamus Coleman’s horrific injury demands rethink of misplaced tolerance | Daniel Taylor

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 17:31:35 GMT2017-03-25T17:31:35Z

The broken leg suffered by the Republic of Ireland defender against Wales is a lesson for anyone who thinks players should be able to get away with more in certain fixtures

It doesn’t get any easier, no matter how many times you watch it. The way he lands, his instinctive reaction to assess the damage, the split second where you just hope your first suspicions might be wrong. But then Shane Long is cradling Séamus Coleman’s head and that is the point when you don’t need confirmation from any doctor or press officer. You know it’s snapped, you know that’s him done.

And, deep down, you know this is one of those occasions – “a good old British game”, to use the jarring words of Chris Coleman – when a certain level of aggression is considered OK, mandatory even, and the people demanding it usually just assume everybody will be able to walk off at the end. “Heavy-metal football,” the Irish Times called it: all thrash, not enough melody. The kind of game, in other words, when players do cross the line, behaviour-wise, and the risk of getting hurt is higher than usual – often wrapped up in the guise of “passion”.

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Owen Williams strikes late to edge Leicester past Northampton in thriller

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 17:15:28 GMT2017-03-25T17:15:28Z

• Northampton 31-36 Leicester
• Tigers up to fourth after win in Aaron Mauger’s final game in charge

Aaron Mauger left Leicester on the high of victory in the East Midlands derby which left the Tigers on course for the play-offs while Northampton look like missing out for the second season, although neither side was worthy of defeat in a rip-roaring encounter watched by the England head coach Eddie Jones.

East Midlands derbies are known more for the accumulation of cards than points, but the intent here of both from the start was on scoring tries rather than settling scores. Had Northampton played with as much pace and drive in the first half of the season they would be challenging for a home semi-final rather than engaged in a scramble for fourth.

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Arrogate roars home in stunning style to win Dubai World Cup

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 17:11:47 GMT2017-03-25T17:11:47Z

• Four-year-old comes through the field after slow start to win at Meydan
• Bob Baffert: ‘It’s unbelievable, I can’t believe he won’

Arrogate had to show courage as well as class to win the Dubai World Cup in what was a sensational performance at Meydan.

Sent off the long odds-on favourite after wins in the Breeders’ Cup Classic and Pegasus World Cup Invitational, Bob Baffert’s four-year-old appeared to have lost all chance with a slow start. But jockey Mike Smith showed all his experience and did not panic, weaving in and out of the field as he gradually made up ground.

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Lewis Hamilton pips Vettel to pole for season-opening F1 Australian GP

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 08:07:47 GMT2017-03-25T08:07:47Z

  • Mercedes driver gets the better of Ferrari rival in qualifying
  • Bottas rounds out top three after Ricciardo crashes out

Lewis Hamilton is in the best form of his life, according to the Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff, after the British driver claimed pole for the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.

Wolff praised Hamilton’s response after discussions at the end of last season following the retirement of the world champion, Nico Rosberg.

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Rogues’ gallery: English football’s worst owners, from Becchetti to Bates | Barry Glendenning

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 12:02:00 GMT2017-03-25T12:02:00Z

Leyton Orient fans believe their owner is leading them to oblivion but Hicks and Gillett, and Peter Ridsdale at Leeds remind us feckless owners are nothing new

In just two and a half seasons as owner, the waste-management magnate has taken Leyton Orient from the verge of the Championship to the brink of relegation from the Football League and possibly even extinction. Since buying the club from Barry Hearn for £4m, the Italian has overseen nine managerial changes and faced repeated claims of interference in team affairs. In December 2015, he earned himself a six-match ban for kicking Orient’s then assistant manager, Andy Hessenthaler, following a win over Portsmouth. Last week, Orient survived a winding-up order at the high court and Becchetti was given until 12 June to either sell the club or pay off its debts. Waltham Forest council are among the creditors, for providing health and safety advice, as is the company that provides match-day stewards and the official club photographer. If Becchetti fails to either pay or sell up, Orient – bottom of League Two and seven points off the last safe spot – risk going into liquidation and out of existence.

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Arsenal and Manchester United likely to be crowded out by the top four | Paul Wilson

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 13:46:00 GMT2017-03-25T13:46:00Z

The teams in the top four appear favoured by form and the fixture list while Arsenal and Manchester United have too much to do despite games in hand

When the Premier League returns after the international break it does so as if making up for lost momentum; a full midweek programme follows this coming weekend’s fixtures and by the time everyone has played twice in four or five days the remaining games will be down to single figures and the run-in will be under way.

Chelsea’s 10-point lead means they are universally regarded as a shoo-in for the title, though by that reckoning Arsenal have no chance of overhauling Tottenham, who are nine points ahead of their London rivals. While Arsenal have a game in hand, they also have a testing match coming up with the visit of Manchester City.

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Harlequins humble Newcastle as Chris Robshaw returns to action

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 17:06:38 GMT2017-03-25T17:06:38Z

• Harlequins 53-17 Newcastle
• Tim Visser stars for Quins in seven-try mauling of Falcons

A match against the All Blacks this was not, but if Chris Robshaw wants to line up against them this summer the resumption of his campaign went about as well as he could have wished. Well, he might have wished for rather more in the way of opposition, but the cobwebs will have been cleared and the morale restored.

Newcastle are in that no-man’s-land stretch of the table, where little is left to play for, which can render them vulnerable on their long away trips. On a sunny day in Twickenham with lots of returning internationals restored to Quins’ ranks with a point to prove – and points to gather – it was a recipe for the 50-point thrashing that duly followed.

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Exeter’s Don Armand shines in defeat of Sale to boost play-off pursuit

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 17:06:54 GMT2017-03-25T17:06:54Z

• Exeter 30-25 Sale
• Armand caps fine display with powerful try

Exeter’s head coach, Rob Baxter, has recently said he wants his captain Don Armand to commit to the club for the rest of his career – and on this evidence it is not hard to see why. The Zimbabwe-born flanker sealed a gritty win for the Chiefs with a powerful try to cap a typically pugnacious performance and keep Exeter on course for a return to the end-of-season playoffs.

It rubber-stamped another bonus point victory for the Chiefs which puts them level on points with Wasps at the top the table and continues their remarkable scoring form. It is now 25 tries in their last five matches with 183 points for and while Sale, not to mention the fierce wind and a misfiring lineout, made their lives difficult, Baxter’s side displayed the composure of a side who are unbeaten in the Premiership since October.

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Pressure mounts on Strachan before Scotland’s ‘must-win’ Slovenia clash

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 16:14:13 GMT2017-03-25T16:14:13Z

• ‘What we don’t have to do is win it in the first five minutes,’ says manager
• Scotland have won four points from four games in World Cup qualifying

A persecution complex often envelops a manager in trouble but Gordon Strachan cannot blame a disgruntled Scottish support or media for treating Slovenia’s visit to Hampden Park on Sunday as a defining moment for his reign. That responsibility lies with his employer, the SFA chief executive, Stewart Regan, and a sequence of results that have turned World Cup qualification into a distant prospect with four qualifying matches played.

“That’s really a must-win game for Scotland,” Regan said last month when looking ahead to the country’s first competitive fixture since the 3-0 defeat by England in November. “We know how important it is to get our campaign back on track. Gordon knows it. The team knows it.”

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Bradley Wiggins: doping ‘worst thing to be accused of for a man of my integrity’

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 12:18:10 GMT2017-03-25T12:18:10Z

• Wiggins: ‘there’s a lot to say and it’s going to shock a few people’
• Ex-Team Sky rider is waiting for UK Anti-Doping to finish investigation

Sir Bradley Wiggins has vowed to “shock a few people” when he finally has his say on doping allegations. The five-times Olympic champion and Tour de France winner describes claims he may have broken anti-doping rules – which he strongly denies – as “the worst thing to be accused of when you’re a man of my integrity”.

The former Team Sky rider promised he would have a lot to say when UK Anti-Doping (Ukad) finishes its investigation into allegations that he was injected with triamcinolone, a powerful corticosteroid, at the end of the 2011 Critérium du Dauphiné race.

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Yadav stars on debut to give India the momentum despite Smith century

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 11:50:35 GMT2017-03-25T11:50:35Z

  • Australia 300 all out, India 0-0 at stumps on day one at Dharamsala
  • Tourists collapse after lunch from 144-1

Steve Smith posted yet another captain’s century but Australia wasted a strong start to be all out for 300 late on day one of their Test series decider against India. The hosts were 0-0 in response at stumps on Saturday, having survived one over delivered by Josh Hazlewood.

Smith and David Warner blitzed the opening session of the fourth Test in Dharamsala, powering the visitors to 1-144 shortly after lunch. Left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav, on debut in the absence of injured captain Virat Kohli, then turned the match on its head by kickstarting a collapse of 5-64. Yadav, mentored by Kolkata teammate Brad Hogg during the Indian Premier League, shed a tear when he claimed his first Test wicket and finished with figures of 4-68.

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Megan Rapinoe: 'God forbid you be a gay woman and a person of color in the US'

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 10:00:06 GMT2017-03-25T10:00:06Z

The US women’s team star caused quite a stir by kneeling for the national anthem. But, she tells Matt Pentz, she has no regrets fighting for what’s right

Megan Rapinoe will no longer kneel during the national anthem. In accordance with the US Soccer policy released earlier this month – a policy that was aimed in her general direction – Rapinoe will stand with both feet planted, squared up to the flag.

But Rapinoe won’t be entirely silent about it.

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All Blacks have nothing to fear, for all the fury of the Six Nations | Paul Rees

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 11:59:01 GMT2017-03-25T11:59:01Z

England’s second title in a row said more about the weakness of the opposition in a tournament lacking the subtlety that will be needed by the Lions

The Six Nations is the envy of the southern hemisphere – for its licence to print money rather than the quality of the rugby it inspires. England retained the title but were written off in New Zealand as clunky musclemen who live in a cave, a view compromised by the praise then lavished on Ireland, whose record of two tries in their final three matches was hardly a testament to their perceived verve and guile.

Bonus points were trialled this year in order to, in the words of the tournament’s chairman, Pat Whelan, “materially improve what we already have and enhance the competition as a spectacle”. The system made no difference beyond providing consolation in defeat and overall the 2017 tournament was summed up in the meeting between France and Scotland in Paris, when the physical onslaught of the home side subdued opponents who had tried to dance around the ring.

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F1 stars on the new season: ‘They will be the fastest cars we’ve ever driven’

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 12:16:48 GMT2017-03-25T12:16:48Z

Sebastian Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo, Fernando Alonso and the great and good of the paddock give their views on what to expect from the 2017 F1 season

“It’s a good step forward. Not only for us drivers but also for the spectators: for the people in the grandstands and watching on television, they look spectacular. When you arrive at the first grand prix of the year, you know that joy is shared if you are competitive.”

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Serbian football’s eye-watering racism problem shows no sign of abating

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 12:00:01 GMT2017-03-25T12:00:01Z

Everton Luiz’s tearful response to appalling abuse at FK Rad highlighted an old problem but clubs are powerless and frightened to intervene against the ultras

FK Rad’s home stadium in the Belgrade suburb of Banjica is a strange, two-sided venue that comes to life whenever Crvena Zvezda or Partizan make the simple mile-long journey south for a derby in the Superliga. In March 2009 a visit for a match against the former had largely been spent ducking firecrackers thrown between the rival supports when, around an hour in, the tone shifted from tense to sinister.

As the away side readied the dreadlocked Brazilian substitute Jeff Silva the projectile sparring stopped and the sound that replaced it, once experienced, does not fade easily from the memory. Silva’s introduction was being greeted by “monkey” noises from a sizeable minority of the home support and the shock to these naive ears cannot be registered on the same scale as the impact on the player who, just for a second or two, turned round and stared the bank of offenders down.

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Leroy Rosenior: ‘There were 5,000 Leeds fans shouting Sieg Heil at us, hatred in their eyes’

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 08:30:04 GMT2017-03-25T08:30:04Z

In an exclusive book extract, the former Fulham, QPR and West Ham forward recalls the racism he faced in the 1980s, including being spat at by a schoolboy

I remember going to play at Leeds for Fulham in 1984. Playing there is never dull and on this occasion, the locals were in particularly boisterous mood. We got a throw-in down at the big Kop end that housed the fanatical home support. Paul Parker and I were closest and looked to get our attack back on track. As we got to the corner flag any thought of launching that attack went from our minds as we were met in the corner by thousands of fans with hate in their eyes, intent on unsettling these two young black footballers who had dared to come to their town to play a game of football.

Usually there were the monkey chants, the “ooh-ooh-ooh” noises that all black players had been subject to at the time. There were the chants about shooting niggers and the bananas that fell from the terraces of 1980s football stadiums – local greengrocers of that era owe us black footballers a fortune if you ask me – with increasing regularity. What happened was none of the above.

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Castleford intent on proving against Catalans that Salford defeat was one-off

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 14:32:00 GMT2017-03-25T14:32:00Z

• Scrum-half Luke Gale believes Daryl Powell’s side have learned lesson
• ‘This is a big game against Catalans to show we can respond’

A surprise first defeat of the season for Castleford last weekend by Salford may have offered a dose of reality to those who believed the Tigers would breeze through Super League this season. So it is how they respond that will tell us the most about the credentials of Daryl Powell’s side in 2017.

That view is one shared by the Castleford scrum-half Luke Gale. Like so many of his team-mates last Sunday, the England international was noticeably below-par as the Tigers struggled to handle the inclement weather against Salford – and Gale understands how Sunday’s meeting with Catalans will decide external perceptions of his side.

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With its attic full of national icons, England can’t move on. Scotland can | Ian Jack

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 07:00:03 GMT2017-03-25T07:00:03Z

England’s rituals and traditions – monarchy, military, House of Lords – have trapped it in the past. But with Brexit, the kingdom is threatened

I climb the retractable ladder and hoist myself through the trapdoor into the loft. My eyes need time to adjust to the gloom and I move carefully, picking things up and setting them down gently, so as not to raise too much dust. A trunk lies open. What’s this inside? An old video of The Dam Busters; I bought it when the kids were small. And this? A tape of Vera Lynn: her greatest hits, with a picture of those white cliffs on the cover; we played it during long-distance trips in the car. I dig deeper. Here’s Winston Churchill as a toby jug, here’s a model Spitfire wrapped inside a copy of the Daily Express, here’s my souvenir coronation mug preserved like a sacred relic since 1953, and here’s my great grandfather’s medal from the second Afghan war.

That looks like a full-sized Trident standing on the mantelpiece and the Lords where the doll's house used to be

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Bored? No way. Ditching technology makes life complicated and beautiful | Mark Boyle

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 09:00:05 GMT2017-03-25T09:00:05Z

For three months I’ve lived without tech and now realise we need to question its ever-encroaching invasion – before we end up in bed with a sex robot

We are walking eyes half-open, half-asleep into a techno-dystopia even George Orwell couldn’t imagine. 1984 is starting to look primitive compared to what’s in store for us. Sex robots could soon make deep, intimate relationships with other people a thing of the past, in the same way machines have made obsolete a deep intimate relationship with the natural world. Why bother with all the messy, complicated beauty of life when you can have the sterile predictability of a machine?

I did an interview recently for a programme exploring digital privacy and the future of technology. Not having a television or internet, I didn’t see it myself, but I was told that the programme’s revelations were astounding. They spoke to me about my experiences living without tech, and one of the first questions the presenter asked was: “Do you not get really bored?” I laughed, but it’s a question I get asked a lot.

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Activism is mainstream again … how can protests create change?

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 10:00:06 GMT2017-03-25T10:00:06Z

From the women’s march to climate change protests, people are taking to the streets in an attempt to get their voices heard. How can they make an impact?

Protesting is back. People have woken up to the undeniable fact that power ultimately lies with them. We can’t change what’s already happened, but we can organise to ensure that the huge progress we have made tackling some of the world’s greatest problems is not lost.

We are returning to the traditional and most effective form of protest – marching, with placards, bull-horns and a collective, defiant voice.

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Three things the EU must do to survive

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 08:00:04 GMT2017-03-25T08:00:04Z

The union’s 60th birthday is not a moment for gifts and cake, but for reinvention around three new strategic ideas

Back in 1957, the mayor of Rome had an idea: to have all the clocks in the eternal city chime together on 25 March to celebrate the signing of the founding treaty of European cooperation. This festive din, an expression of the desire for a new start, now looks like a supremely ironic way of ushering in an era in which Market-Europe sought its salvation in silent boredom, an inaugural sound show before the launch of a regulatory machine that left the public voiceless.

Few will dispute the initial successes of an adventure which brought prosperity and stability to a continent ravaged by two world wars and then divided by the cold war. But since 1989, the world has changed. This is no longer a time for regulation but for action. An unprecedented revolt has put the EU to the test: Farage, Le Pen, Wilders, Petry or Salvini – all are aiming either at the destruction of the union, its currency, its markets, its united front against Vladimir Putin, or a mixture of all these.

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Putin’s desire for a new Russian empire won’t stop with Ukraine | Pavlo Klimkin

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 10:35:07 GMT2017-03-25T10:35:07Z

My country has suffered terribly from the Kremlin’s obsession with restoring Soviet hegemony. But the entire security of Europe and the west is at stake
A thousand miles from Moscow: how Putin forged his Russian heartland
Vladimir Putin has one reliable set of allies: Russia’s iron ladies

Over the past decade Europe has sleepwalked into an increasingly precarious and less safe place. The postwar order that provided so much peace and stability across the continent appears to be breaking up.

Sergey Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, as much as rejoiced in this at the recent Munich security conference when he spoke of the a new “post-west” era in Europe. Reversing the breakup of the Soviet Union and restoring the Russian empire have now become an obsession for the Kremlin. There are three things central to understanding what motivates Russia, and how Vladimir Putin’s government works.

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The EU should rebrand itself as the protector of its nations | Natalie Nougayrède

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 20:08:31 GMT2017-03-24T20:08:31Z

Populist nationalists see the union as the enemy of cultural and ethnic belonging. It’s time for those who support Europe to debunk their myths

If one image can sum up the paradoxes that increasingly lie at the heart of the European project, as it celebrates its 60th this weekend, this may be a good one. Last month, hundreds of thousands of Romanians demonstrated against corruption. As night fell, they used the lights on their smartphones to form the national flag. Then, with equal enthusiasm, they used the same lights to form the star-studded blue and gold EU flag. Both flags mattered; both were dear.

Related: Those who believe in a united Europe must stand up and be counted | Guy Verhofstadt

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The death of the mortgage salesman is unfortunately premature

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 07:00:03 GMT2017-03-25T07:00:03Z

Lenders now pay mortgage brokers ‘retention’ fees for simply rolling you over from one of their deals to another

We thought the “commission hungry salesman” had been consigned to the museum of financial horrors, next to the exhibits on Equitable Life and endowment mortgages. But are these relics in fact still alive and crawling back into the mainstream?

On the quiet the major mortgage lenders have begun making “retention” payouts to brokers, alongside the “procuration” fees they have long paid. If you have no idea what this means then that’s probably the idea – to keep you in the dark.

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Trump tried to burn down Obamacare. He set his hair on fire instead | Ross Barkan

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 20:51:31 GMT2017-03-24T20:51:31Z

It was a humiliating defeat, which Donald Trump tried to blame – unbelievably – on the Democrats

Burning Obamacare to the ground was always a House Republican obsession that Trump, in the heat of the campaign, took up to spite the president while tossing a little red meat to Republicans. “Repeal and replace” is alliterative, after all: it sounds nice enough on an arena stage. It’s just hard to pull off in the real world, as Donald Trump found out on Friday.

Blessed with total control of government, Republicans can only think of how best to burn the house down – and they’re not even doing a good job at that. The House speaker, Paul Ryan, unjustly heralded as a policy wonk, tried to rush his healthcare bill to the floor for a vote on Thursday, only to find the moderates and extremists in his party rebelling. On Friday, Donald Trump was forced to pull the bill, due to lack of support from his own party.

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Here are Nigel Farage’s British values: rubbishing London for money on Fox News | Marina Hyde

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 16:24:56 GMT2017-03-24T16:24:56Z

He talks about ‘respect’, but the rightwing blowhard’s response to the Westminster attack has been tall tales he can only get away with on US TV

During their jolly to Washington for Trump’s inauguration, Nigel Farage and Brexit financier Arron Banks staged the most solemn of pilgrimages to Arlington National Cemetery to lay a wreath at the grave of a British soldier who perished in 1944. The fact that he succumbed to anaemia whilst working a desk job approximately 4,000 miles from Normandy – perhaps the only person in Arlington not to have actually died for their country – was somewhat de-emphasised. It’s the pose that counts. They took a documentary crew with them, obviously, and I picture the footage as the political version of Spinal Tap at Elvis’s headstone.

Related: The Guardian view on terror in London: standing together against cynicism | Editorial

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The week in patriarchy: who needs prenatal and newborn care, anyway? | Jessica Valenti

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 18:15:14 GMT2017-03-24T18:15:14Z

These benefits are optional in the Republicans’ world. That’s what happens when the conservatives’ disregard for women and healthcare meet

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As Republicans tried (and failed) to repeal the Affordable Care Act yesterday while the president played big boy truck time, it was hard to remember a time when each day didn’t feel a million years long.

The right isn’t even trying to hide their disdain for poor people anymore: today Trump’s budget director, Mick Mulvaney, said on CBS This Morning that if people were worried about their state not requiring employers to cover services like maternity care, they should “figure out a way to change the state” they live in.

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With all we know about terror, how can we risk Northern Ireland’s peace? | Jonathan Freedland

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 19:37:08 GMT2017-03-24T19:37:08Z

Despite the horror of this week’s Westminster attack, politicians seem to be forgetting the lessons of the hard-won settlement and stability since

On the news channels on Thursday, they were switching back and forth between updates on the Westminster attacks and live coverage of the funeral of Martin McGuinness. Often those juxtapositions, those split-screen moments, are jarring. Not this time.

For the murder and mayhem unleashed in Westminster and the life of McGuinness were two aspects of a timeless story. They were a reminder of the pain terror inflicts, and the precious fragility of any and every effort to make it stop. McGuinness’s life was so complicated, and the response to his death so fraught, because it encompassed both.

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The Guardian view on the funeral of Martin McGuinness: enlarging the definition of ‘us’ | Editorial

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 18:32:57 GMT2017-03-24T18:32:57Z

Applause for Arlene Foster at the republican leader’s requiem sent an important message to Northern Ireland and a wider lesson to Britain

The woman walks into the church and up the aisle, her head bowed, almost as if she does not wish her arrival to be noticed. Her uncertainty is understandable, for this is a highly charged day in a Catholic church in a Catholic part of the city. But the woman is a prominent Northern Irish protestant leader and this is still a divided community.

As she is shown to her pew, however, something unusual happens. In the gallery people start to applaud. There is even some cheering. The woman looks up at the loud applause and smiles. The clapping spreads.

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Norway, the happiest country in the world? I don’t think so | Daniel Simonsen

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 13:17:47 GMT2017-03-24T13:17:47Z

Sure, we may have clean air and HBO, but have you seen us in a social situation compared with Greek people?

It’s always strange to live in a country that is listed as being one of the very best. When you have everything outwardly, it can make you look inwards. That’s when you sit down and think: “I wonder what Ryan Gosling is doing right now.” People in Syria do not worry about that stuff, for them happiness is something as simple as peace. But if you’re from safe little Norway, you’ve got loads of time to imagine what Ryan is up to. He’s probably eating lunch with Eminem and Benicio Del Toro. You know, just catching up with two old friends. Or maybe he’s just at home feeling kind of down, wondering what’s going on in Leonardo DiCaprio’s life? I’m sure Ryan has things he struggles with too.

The repressed part in us comes from a social mechanism we have called the law of Jante

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How one council is beating Britain's housing crisis

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 07:00:02 GMT2017-03-25T07:00:02Z

Fancy a three-bed semi with a garden for £152,000? Or rent at less than £500 per month? Sheffield is showing other local authorities how to build again

In 2015, England’s local authorities built fewer than 3,000 new homes, just a tiny fraction of the estimated 250,000 new homes needed every year to meet demand. But one council has begun building again in volume, in what some see as a model for tackling the housing crisis.

On the outskirts of Sheffield, hundreds of new homes are springing up, built by the council to space standards that have all but disappeared in the private sector. New residents – the majority are 25-35 year olds – say they are impressed by the designs and spaciousness, and enjoy their close proximity to the city.

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Jeremy Corbyn says UK should not be afraid of debt to fund investment

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 13:48:30 GMT2017-03-25T13:48:30Z

Labour leader responds to Theresa May’s jibes that he wants to bankrupt the country with defence of borrowing to invest

Britain should not be afraid of debt or borrowing money to fund investment, Jeremy Corbyn has said.

The Labour leader responded to Theresa May’s jibes that he wants to “bankrupt Britain” by insisting that taking on debt can save money in the long run if it is used to invest.

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Damon Albarn and Noel Gallagher record new Gorillaz track together

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 12:46:12 GMT2017-03-25T12:46:12Z

Former Britpop rivals also play live together at secret London gig to launch the much-anticipated Humanz album

The battle between Blur and Oasis was one the biggest face-offs in chart history and changed the landscape of music and subculture in Britain. Nearly 23 years later, the Britpop rivals Damon Albarn and Noel Gallagher have thrilled fans by joining forces on a new Gorillaz track and performing together in concert.

Gorillaz debuted their new album at a secret London show on Friday night, during which Albarn called on an all-star cast, including Gallagher, the Savages singer Jehnny Beth, Danny Brown, De La Soul and Jean-Michel Jarre.

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George Osborne gains approval of local Tory association over editorship role

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 23:26:57 GMT2017-03-24T23:26:57Z

Tatton Conservative Association’s president says former chancellor has full support from group over new role at London Evening Standard

George Osborne has won the backing of his local Conservative association after insisting that his editorship of the Evening Standard was a part-time role and only four days a week. The former chancellor made a speech to members of the Tatton Conservative Association at their annual general meeting held at Toft cricket club near Knutsford in Cheshire on Friday night.

After the meeting, Patty Goddard, president of the association, said there was no question of a vote of no confidence. She said: “I have to say it was one of the best AGMs we’ve had in years. It was very well attended – though it normally is – but you could feel the support in the room.

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Woman 'trapped in loveless marriage' after judges refuse divorce

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 16:28:31 GMT2017-03-24T16:28:31Z

Unusual ruling by court of appeal in case of 40-year marriage prompts call for parliament to introduce ‘no fault’ divorce

A woman says she has been left trapped in a “loveless and desperately unhappy” marriage after senior judges refused to allow her to divorce her husband of 40 years on the grounds of unreasonable behaviour.

The highly unusual ruling by the court of appeal triggered calls from divorce lawyers for parliament to introduce “no fault” divorce and warnings that the decision would force separating couples to make more aggressive allegations to justify marital breakdown.

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UK can't blame EU for problems that led to Brexit, says Juncker

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 14:25:17 GMT2017-03-24T14:25:17Z

Commission president says UK built economy on foreign labour and EU has no responsibility for healthcare, welfare or education

British politicians sowed the seeds for Brexit by blaming the European Union for problems over which the bloc has little control and while building an economy dependent on foreign labour, the president of the European commission has said.

Related: Europe’s people will write the next chapter in the EU’s history | Jean-Claude Juncker

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Former scout arrested in historical football sexual abuse investigation

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 18:49:39 GMT2017-03-24T18:49:39Z

• Harry Dunn, 84, charged by police in Edinburgh over non-recent offences
• Dunn said to have worked as scout for Liverpool, Chelsea and Rangers

A former youth football scout has been arrested by police investigating allegations of historical abuse in the sport.

Harry Dunn, 84, is said to have worked for clubs including Rangers, Liverpool and Chelsea during his career and has been arrested by police in Edinburgh.

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Brexit economy: UK faces squeeze on living standards

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 10:30:30 GMT2017-03-24T10:30:30Z

The latest monthly Guardian analysis finds signs of a slowdown as prices rise and real pay shrinks

• Help fund our journalism by becoming a Guardian supporter

British households are being warned to prepare for a tightening squeeze on living standards, as a Guardian analysis shows the Brexit vote’s blow to the pound is stoking inflation while pay packets are shrinking in real terms.

As Theresa May prepares to trigger article 50 next week, kicking off the formal process of the UK leaving the EU, the economy continues to defy the doomsayers who predicted a sudden downturn after the referendum. But signs of a slowdown are now emerging as higher prices put pressure on companies and consumers alike.

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Scottish government to fund three cycles of IVF

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 17:07:19 GMT2017-03-24T17:07:19Z

Minister says money has been ‘put aside’ for programme, which follows National Infertility Group recommendations

The Scottish government is to fund three cycles of NHS IVF treatment for eligible couples trying to start a family – more than the number available in some parts of England and Wales.

Announcing the move, the public health minister, Aileen Campbell, defended the spending at a time of pressure on accident and emergency departments and waiting times.

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New £1 coin: Tesco to unlock every trolley as it misses deadline

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 13:37:58 GMT2017-03-24T13:37:58Z

Supermarket fails to convert carts in time, as warning comes of issues with parking meters and vending machines on Tuesday

Tesco is unlocking 100,000 of its coin-operated supermarket trolleys after the grocery giant failed to convert them in time for the launch of the 12-sided £1 coin on Tuesday.

A Tesco spokesperson said: “We’re replacing the locks on our trolleys to accept old and new pound coins as well as existing trolley tokens. We will unlock all our trolleys while this process takes place so customers will not be affected by the changes.”

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Tobias Ellwood appointed to privy council for Westminster attack response

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 20:09:14 GMT2017-03-24T20:09:14Z

Foreign Office minister, who tried to save life of PC Keith Palmer, honoured alongside the security minister, Ben Wallace

The Foreign Office minister Tobias Ellwood, who battled to save the life of a police officer in the Westminster terror attack, and the security minister, Ben Wallace, have been honoured for their roles in responding to the atrocity.

Downing Street announced that the Queen was “pleased” to approve the appointment of Ellwood and Wallace to the privy council.

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Tate Britain to open till midnight to cope with Hockney show demand

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 19:03:09 GMT2017-03-24T19:03:09Z

Retrospective of Yorkshire-born painter broke pre-sales records and is one of most popular exhibitions in gallery’s history

Tate Britain will be opening its doors until midnight for the first time to cope with demand for the David Hockney exhibition.

The retrospective of the Yorkshire-born painter broke pre-sale records for all Tate galleries, selling more than 350,000 tickets before the doors opened in February, and has gone on to become one of the most popular shows in Tate Britain’s history.

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Friends reunited? Boris Johnson and David Cameron spotted having dinner in New York

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 17:09:50 GMT2017-03-24T17:09:50Z

Despite a very public falling-out over Brexit, the two Etonians are back on speaking terms

As far as political uncouplings go, the breakup of David Cameron and Boris Johnson was a fairly spectacular public affair.

But it seems they might have buried their Brexit hatchet and resumed the schoolboy friendship split asunder by European tensions – thanks to a shared dinner in New York City on Thursday night.

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Starbucks and Walmart join growing list of advertisers boycotting YouTube

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 05:27:58 GMT2017-03-25T05:27:58Z

Major companies pulling adverts a sign that many doubt Google’s ability to prevent marketing campaigns from appearing alongside repugnant videos

PepsiCo, Walmart and Starbucks on Friday confirmed that they have suspended their advertising on YouTube, joining a growing boycott in a sign that big companies doubt Google’s ability to prevent marketing campaigns from appearing alongside repugnant videos.

Related: Google ad controversy: what the row is all about

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Singapore teen blogger who criticised government wins asylum in US

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 02:02:45 GMT2017-03-25T02:02:45Z

Amos Yee left the city state with the intention of staying in US after being jailed for several weeks in 2015 and 2016

A teenage blogger from Singapore whose online posts blasting his government landed in him jail has been granted asylum to remain in the United States.

Amos Yee, 18, had been detained by federal immigration authorities since December when he was taken into custody at Chicago’s O’Hare International airport.

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'Pizzagate' gunman pleads guilty as conspiracy theorist apologizes over case

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 17:27:46 GMT2017-03-25T17:27:46Z

Edgar Maddison Welch, who fired an AR-15 rifle at Comet Ping Pong restaurant, makes plea on same day as Alex Jones offers statement to restaurant’s owner

The gunman who fired an AR-15 rifle in a Washington DC pizza restaurant as he “self-investigated” a bogus conspiracy theory pleaded guilty on Friday, the same day a prominent conspiracy theorist apologized for spreading the story.

Related: ‘Move fast and break things’: Trump’s healthcare failure and the backlash ahead

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Putin welcomes Le Pen to Moscow with a nudge and a wink

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 15:52:46 GMT2017-03-24T15:52:46Z

Much like with the Trump allegations, the Kremlin denies any meddling in the French election while simultaneously revelling in the suggestion

The expression said it all. Even by Vladimir Putin’s standards, it was a knowing smirk of epic proportions as he shook hands with Marine Le Pen in the Kremlin on Friday.

Related: Putin tells Le Pen Russia has no plans to meddle in French election

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Nearly 15% of female undergraduates at UT Austin report being raped

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 14:43:20 GMT2017-03-25T14:43:20Z

  • University of Texas report based on survey of more than 7,600 students
  • College president says findings ‘deeply troubling to our community’

Nearly 15% of female undergraduates at the University of Texas at Austin reported having been raped, according to a survey released by officials at the 50,000-student campus on Friday.

Related: Sexual harassment: records show how University of California faculty target students

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Estonia: security will not be bargaining chip in Brexit negotiations

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 06:00:01 GMT2017-03-25T06:00:01Z

President Kaljulaid says Estonia sorry to see UK leave EU after British troops arrived under Nato to deter Russian aggression

Britain will not be able to divide Europe by using security as a bargaining chip in its Brexit negotiations, Estonia’s president has said.

Kersti Kaljulaid, Estonia’s first female leader, also welcomed the arrival of about 120 British troops last week in the Baltic nation, the first batch of soldiers deployed under a Nato plan to deter Russian aggression. Britain and Estonia have security ties dating back to 1918 and the latest deployment underscores the UK’s intention not to retreat from European defence.

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Stem cells help some men with erectile dysfunction after prostate surgery

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 05:08:37 GMT2017-03-25T05:08:37Z

In clinical trials, eight out of 15 men suffering from erectile dysfunction had sex six months after one-time treatment

Men unable to have an erection after prostate surgery enjoyed normal intercourse thanks to stem cell therapy, scientists are to report on Saturday at a medical conference in London.

In first-phase clinical trials, eight out of 15 continent men suffering from erectile dysfunction had sex six months after the one-time treatment, without recourse to drugs or penile implants.

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Louisiana officer convicted of manslaughter in 6-year-old boy's death

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 02:48:24 GMT2017-03-25T02:48:24Z

Jury finds Derrick Stafford guilty on manslaughter and attempted manslaughter charges

A Louisiana law enforcement officer was convicted Friday on a lesser charge of manslaughter in a shooting that killed a 6-year-old autistic boy, an encounter captured on tape by another officer’s body camera.

Jurors found Derrick Stafford guilty of manslaughter and attempted manslaughter charges, multiple news outlets reported. He had faced charges of second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder in the case.

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British MPs say Turkish president using attempted coup to suppress human rights

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 00:01:46 GMT2017-03-25T00:01:46Z

Commons foreign affairs select committee says relationship with Recep Tayyip Erdoğan could damage UK’s international reputation

The Commons foreign affairs select committee has accused the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, of using an attempted military coup last summer to purge opponents and suppress human rights as the foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, embarks on the first full day of a goodwill visit to the country.

The committee’s report, published on Saturday, says the government is right to engage but warns that the UK’s approach to Erdoğan could damage its international reputation and weaken declining human rights in Turkey.

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Inspectors find safety irregularities at Creusot nuclear forge in France

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 21:57:22 GMT2017-03-24T21:57:22Z

Evidence of doctored paperwork found at Areva-owned forge, which has made parts for Hinkley Point

An international team of inspectors has found evidence of doctored paperwork and other failings at a forge in France that makes parts for nuclear power stations around the world.

The UK nuclear regulator said the safety culture at the site, which has produced forgings for British plants including Sizewell B and the planned new reactors at Hinkley Point, fell short of expectations.

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How Keystone XL, the pipeline rejected by Obama, went ahead under Trump

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 14:03:57 GMT2017-03-24T14:03:57Z

The expansion, which was originally proposed in 2008 and faced strong protest from environmental advocates, secures permit to start building from Trump

2008

TransCanada proposes expanding an existing pipeline to transport oil from Hardisty, Alberta to Port Arthur, Texas, to transfer Canadian tar sands oil to US refineries. It was scheduled to be completed by 2013.

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Hosni Mubarak: Egypt's toppled dictator freed after six years in custody

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 12:05:29 GMT2017-03-24T12:05:29Z

Ex-president acquitted this month on all charges of murdering protesters before he was ousted in Arab spring uprising in 2011

Egypt’s former dictator Hosni Mubarak has left the Cairo military hospital where he had been held in custody for much of the past six years, and returned to his home in the Cairo suburb of Heliopolis, his lawyer said.

Mubarak, 88, was acquitted by Egypt’s highest appeals court on 2 March of conspiring to kill protesters in the final verdict in a long-running case that originally resulted in him being sentenced to life in prison in 2012 over the deaths of 239 people in Arab spring protests against his rule. A separate corruption charge was overturned in January 2015.

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India's major airlines ban Shiv Sena MP after slipper assault on steward

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 02:34:56 GMT2017-03-24T02:34:56Z

Air India employee beaten up on plane by Ravindra Gaikwad after MP was given an economy seat instead of business class

An Indian politician has been banned from flying on most of the country’s major carriers after admitting he used a slipper to thrash an Air India steward.

Ravindra Gaikwad, an MP in India’s lower house for the Hindu nationalist Shiv Sena party, claimed the attendant had insulted him on the Pune to New Delhi flight.

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GOP hardliners demand maternity benefits be nixed from healthcare bill

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 10:00:30 GMT2017-03-24T10:00:30Z

House Freedom Caucus, which does not back current plan, wants to remove 10 ‘essential health benefits’ guaranteed by Affordable Care Act health insurances

The Affordable Care Act’s guarantee of maternity benefits in the insurance marketplace appears in doubt after a group of hardline conservatives demanded that the Republican repeal plan do away with mandated essential benefits.

Reports on Thursday morning said the House Freedom Caucus, which has resisted throwing its support behind the Republican leadership’s plan to repeal the ACA, demanded that the bill scrap a list of 10 “essential health benefits” for all individual and small business insurance plans, which includes prenatal, maternity and newborn care.

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The woman risking her life to save Africa's elephants

Mon, 13 Mar 2017 10:00:29 GMT2017-03-13T10:00:29Z

Georgina Kamanga is on a mission to show the world that Africans are passionate about protecting wildlife

As the first woman to head the intelligence and investigations unit of the department of national parks and wildlife Zambia (DNPW), Georgina Kamanga fights daily to protect endangered animals, often risking both economic and personal safety to do so.

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A room with a loo – a potted history of the British bathroom

Fri, 17 Mar 2017 11:25:45 GMT2017-03-17T11:25:45Z

You use your bathroom every day and probably take its engineering miracles for granted. But British bathrooms weren’t always little rooms full of brilliant design. Here’s a short timeline of developments

1596 – John Harington invents the first flushing toilet (sort of)
While popular myth has it that Thomas Crapper pioneered the flush loo, the first such device dates to 240 years before his birth, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. John Harington, the Queen’s “saucy godson”, installed the UK’s first flushing toilet at his house near Bath.

The citizens of Harappa, in the Indus Valley civilisation (2,500-1,600 BC), enjoyed the benefits of a sophisticated sanitation system with water-flushing toilets too, but they didn’t, alas, enjoy the benefits of modern copyright laws.

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Things to do in Bern: Einstein’s house, 'scent' tours and brown bears

Fri, 17 Mar 2017 17:51:30 GMT2017-03-17T17:51:30Z

One of Europe’s most beautiful and compact capitals, Bern is packed with fine restaurants, bars, galleries and museums. Here are 10 of the best things to do and places to visit

The capital of Switzerland and the seat of government since 1848, Bern is a small city with a hugely attractive heart. The old town has been a Unesco world heritage site since 1983, and its traffic-free medieval streets are best explored by foot or on bicycle. As lively to experience as it is lovely to look at, Bern is a perfect gem of a city. Here’s the pick of what to do on a short break.

Head for the water
Bern is spectacularly situated on a peninsula, formed by a sharp crook in the river Aare. At the height of summer, swimmers leap in and let the current carry them down past the historic city centre, or they head to the picturesque Marzili riverside lido, which is free to enter. The riverbank is also home to Bern’s brown bears. These living emblems of the city frolic in a specially designed six-hectare (15-acre) park, complete with its own bear swimming pool. The rose garden above it offers one of the best views of the city centre.

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Arts community blossoms off the Vegas Strip

Tue, 14 Mar 2017 20:36:29 GMT2017-03-14T20:36:29Z

When most people think of Las Vegas, the arts scene isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. But there is a tight group of creatives who live and work in the city, inspired by its desert environment and unique visual culture.

Meet the visual artists who are helping Vegas emerge as a destination for people looking to express themselves and make a difference. “Las Vegas has influenced my work in every way,” says local painter Justin Favela. “We’re a city that’s built on this magic. I think eventually it will become something that the world will recognize.”

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Noah: a man helping Flint, Michigan, rise from ashes – video

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 11:05:00 GMT2017-03-25T11:05:00Z

Flint, Michigan is a city built on the American dream. With the disappearance of industry, it became impoverished and neglected, and so did its residents. The water crisis is just one more tragedy piled upon a mound of oppression.

Noah Patton, a young man from Flint, was deeply affected after his mother committed suicide. But with the help of his pastor, he has turned his life around and is helping to positively shape the future of his community

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Donald Trump lambasts Democrats as Obamacare replacement bill pulled – video

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 03:36:47 GMT2017-03-25T03:36:47Z

Trump says Democrats, including Nancy Pelosi, to blame after Republicans pull House bill meant to replace Affordable Care Act

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The Handmaid’s Tale: Elisabeth Moss stars in disturbing first full trailer – video

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 04:36:10 GMT2017-03-24T04:36:10Z

The brutality of Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel The Handmaid’s Tale is brought to life in a film starring Elizabeth Moss, released in the US on 26 April. Moss plays Offred, who narrates life from the dystopian totalitarian future in the country of Gilead, where women are imprisoned and forced to procreate for the ruling male elite and their infertile wives

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How the Westminster terror attack unfolded – video report

Wed, 22 Mar 2017 23:36:53 GMT2017-03-22T23:36:53Z

Four victims died after a single terrorist staged an attack in central London on Wednesday, killing three members of the public as he careered across Westminster Bridge in a 4x4 car and stabbing a policeman to death outside parliament. This is how the events unfolded.

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Why is Russia still in love with Putin? – video

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 11:13:24 GMT2017-03-23T11:13:24Z

Established politicians the world over are facing crises of confidence with their electorates. But 17 years after he took charge of Russia, Vladimir Putin’s approval ratings are still high. Shaun Walker visits Irkutsk in Siberia to investigate why, despite their lives being tough, Russians still believe in Putin

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The British jobs Brexit makes hard to fill

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 16:00:06 GMT2017-03-25T16:00:06Z

Catering, construction and care sectors all report difficulty hiring EU staff, mainly thanks to the weak pound. Is Britain ready for what may be unleashed this week?

The human and economic cost of Brexit is registered in nationalities and jobs, a list of accents and tasks that we have taken for granted: the Italian chef; the Romanian fruit-picker and the Polish builder.

According to industry groups and business owners, it is becoming increasingly hard to attract this kind of employee to Britain because of the collapse in the pound. The slump in sterling since 23 June last year is eroding potential earnings, and uncertainty over the eventual status of EU nationals has not helped.

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Trafficked and enslaved: the teenagers tending UK cannabis farms

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 10:00:06 GMT2017-03-25T10:00:06Z

Vietnamese teens are tending Britain’s makeshift drug factories in empty buildings from suburban homes to a nuclear bunker. Here are their stories

From the first-floor window of the flat where he was incarcerated, 15-year-old Tung began to piece together what the UK was like. He liked watching the busy road with three or four shops, a pizza restaurant and a petrol station. He had been told never to turn on the light, so he often sat by the window in the dark, peering out from the side. “Where I lived in Vietnam was a very remote area, just trees and dirt tracks. We rarely saw a car. I found it all so surprising.”

He was locked in the flat alone for two months. “It was terrible, the first month. I wanted to go out, to talk to someone. I almost felt like I was going mad. But by the second month I was getting used to it.”

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Tarka at 90: hot on the otter trail in Devon

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 10:00:06 GMT2017-03-25T10:00:06Z

Kari Herbert follows in the footsteps of Henry Williamson, 90 years after he published Tarka the Otter. No otters put in an appearance, but the pristine woods and riverbanks are reward enough

The narrow river gorge smells of leaf-mould and damp earth. Dense, ancient woods line the steep valley sides. The river coils and tumbles beside us, fresh from the moor, rushing over smooth stones and gurgling among tree roots and ferns. It is the perfect place, surely, to see an otter.

“Do you think Tarka would like a bit of my jammie dodger?” my daughter Nelly asks as we peer hopefully into the dark water.

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Foreign companies flock to build nuclear plants in the UK

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 16:00:06 GMT2017-03-25T16:00:06Z

A South Korean firm is just the latest to be lured by Britain’s atomic amibitions as safety concerns and cost stalk the industry

Nuclear energy faces an uncertain future globally as concerns over safety and cost dog the industry. But in the UK, foreign investors are queueing up to back projects. The latest is South Korea. Its biggest power company is in talks to join the consortium backing a nuclear power station in Cumbria, in a sign of the continuing allure of Britain’s atomic ambitions to international companies. Kepco said last week it was interested in taking a stake in NuGen, which is 60% owned by Japan’s Toshiba and 40% by France’s Engie, confirming what had been an open secret in the industry for months.

Kepco’s president, Cho Hwan-eik, said that once the terms of a potential deal were ironed out, “we will be the first to jump into the race”.

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Google's bad week: YouTube loses millions as advertising row reaches US

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 10:00:06 GMT2017-03-25T10:00:06Z

Major brands including Verizon and Walmart pulled their ads after they were found to be appearing next to videos promoting extremist views or hate speech

It’s been a bad week for Google, with major brands pulling millions of dollars in advertising amid rows over extremist content on YouTube.

Related: Starbucks and Walmart join growing list of advertisers boycotting YouTube

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My undocumented friend: Carlos does the work few in Vermont want to do

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 10:00:06 GMT2017-03-25T10:00:06Z

I met Carlos as part of a volunteer network helping migrants with basic needs and services in Vermont, where their work is vital to the dairy industry. After a trip to Planned Parenthood, he suddenly opened up about his experiences

“Hey, come on in,” I told Carlos. Silhouetted by summer sun, he stood at the front door of my Vermont house. “No,” he said pointing to his work boots, heavy with mud and manure. “But can you help me?”

Carlos was one of the estimated 1,000-2,000 undocumented, mostly Mexican immigrants employed on the state’s dairy farms. The actual number, like most of the workers who entered the country illegally, is hidden.

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Idris Elba: ‘If I'm going to watch TV it wouldn't be a period drama, put it that way'

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 07:00:02 GMT2017-03-25T07:00:02Z

Since The Wire, the actor has fought against being stereotyped. Now he’s tackling the UK’s diversity problem with a BBC takeover

Related: Clive James: ‘Idris Elba is the most kingly British star since Richard Burton’

Who wants to be that bloke who’s always banging on about diversity? Not Idris Elba, certainly. “It’s become a bit of a corny word,” he sighs. “People are just like: ‘Oh, stop talking about it.’” True, the endless reports, broadcaster targets and media representation surveys can be dull; though, crucially, not nearly as dull as yet another cosy British period drama or all-male panel show. And so, in January last year, big-time Hollywood actor Idris Elba was persuaded to give a “boring” (his word) speech at the Houses of Parliament. At the event, arranged by Labour politician Oona King, he called for a “change of mindset” among broadcasters.

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'It was a nice idea, but …' Europeans on what went wrong with the EU

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 08:30:04 GMT2017-03-25T08:30:04Z

On its 60th birthday, people from Sweden to Bulgaria speak their mind about whether the project is worth pursuing

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More than half the funds laundered in a major Russian scheme went via the UK

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 07:00:03 GMT2017-03-25T07:00:03Z

The Global Laundromat, a money-laundering scheme that ran from 2010-2014, funnelled more dirty money through the UK than any other country

More than $20bn (£16bn) was shifted out of Russia between 2010 and 2014 in a large-scale money laundering operation called the Global Laundromat. The scheme was run by criminals with links to the Russian government, and moved billions in dirty money into Europe through shell companies.

The majority of the companies involved in laundering the money were registered in the UK. Over 50% of the money transacted through the Laundromat flowed to shell companies registered in London, Birmingham and Scotland.

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How Lenin’s love of literature shaped the Russian Revolution

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 09:30:05 GMT2017-03-25T09:30:05Z

The father of the Soviet Union was also a Latin buff who adored Goethe and liked to compare his enemies to figures in novels

Literature shaped the political culture of the Russia in which Vladimir Ilyich Lenin grew up. Explicitly political texts were difficult to publish under the tsarist regime. The rasher essayists were holed up in asylums until they “recovered”: in other words, until they publicly recanted their views. Novels and poetry, meanwhile, were treated more leniently – though not in every instance.

The chief censor was, of course, the tsar. In the case of Pushkin, the “father of the people”, Nicholas I, insisted on reading many of his verses before they went to the printer. Some, as a result, were forbidden, others delayed, and the most subversive were destroyed by the frightened poet himself, fearful that his house might be raided. We will never know what the burnt verses of Eugene Onegin contained.

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My ‘wild child’ cousin, the surrealist painter Leonora Carrington

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 06:30:02 GMT2017-03-25T06:30:02Z

Throughout her childhood, Joanna Moorhead never heard a good word from her family about her cousin. When she went to Mexico she found out why she had abandoned them 60 years ealierIn most families the ghosts are dead but in my family, somewhere out there, our ghost was still alive. Her name was Prim, and she had left us on an autumn day in 1937, when she was only 20. Prim was the empty chair at Sunday lunch. She was the unseen aunt at the christenings of her nephews and niece. She was the cousin who hadn’t turned up, yet again, at the latest family funeral. And, just occasionally, she was the misty-eyed, faraway look on the face of Great-Aunt Maurie, who was her mother.Throughout my childhood, I never heard a good word said about Prim. As far as our relatives were concerned, she was deficient, disloyal and dangerous. She was an impossible creature, a wild child, an unfathomable puzzle of a girl; a young woman who refused to be tamed and who eventually, when she had wreaked more havoc than any family could reasonably be expected to bear, simply flounced off into the sunset. These were the snatches, picked up from Maurie and from my grandmother Miriam (who was Prim’s aunt), and from Prim’s brother Gerard (who was my father’s best friend as well as his cousin, and a regular visitor to our house when I was growing up). Prim, the family narrative went, had simply refused to fit in: she had been expelled from various scho[...]


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Museum rescues sculptor Camille Claudel from decades of obscurity

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 00:03:08 GMT2017-03-25T00:03:08Z

French artist, once the lover of Auguste Rodin, has her career celebrated with opening of museum in Nogent-sur-Seine

Two elderly ladies sit side by side, one English, one French, one smartly dressed, one wearing clothes that were already very old fashioned by the late 1920s when the photograph was taken. One, her hand reassuringly on the other, looks slightly towards the camera: the other is wrapped in her own thoughts, not reacting to the camera, her companion or the world.

The photograph is the last known image of the sculptor Camille Claudel, once a renowned artist, a dazzling beauty, and lover of the most famous sculptor of the day, Auguste Rodin. Her career is celebrated in a new museum opening on Sunday in the small French town of Nogent-sur-Seine, which holds the largest collection of her work in the world.

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James Comey: Democrat by birth, Republican by trade, thorn in the side of both

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 07:00:03 GMT2017-03-25T07:00:03Z

The imposing FBI director has drawn both praise and scorn from both major parties. But his biggest test – the investigation of Trump’s alleged ties to Russia – lies ahead

It took James Comey less than one minute to reveal his big news at a congressional hearing this week. The imposing FBI director, a former federal prosecutor who stands 6 feet 8 inches tall, began his opening statement by thanking the House intelligence committee for inviting him.

Then he announced that the FBI was eight months into an investigation of some of the president’s closest associates, if not the president himself, for possible cooperation with Russia during last year’s election.

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