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



Published: Tue, 16 Jan 2018 19:16:16 GMT2018-01-16T19:16:16Z

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



Carillion crisis: Theresa May rules out bailout as Labour accuses ministers of collusion - live updates

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 19:13:15 GMT2018-01-16T19:13:15Z

Prime minister tells cabinet that it wasn’t possible to rescue Carillion, but insists taxpayers won’t face a huge bill

Conservative MP Bernard Jenkin agrees that lessons need to be learned from the Carillion crisis.

Jenkin chairs the Public Accounts Committee, which announced an inquiry into the outsourcing of public services yesterday.

Unions have warned the government that the “clock is ticking” for thousands of Carillion workers.

The GMB says there are at least 8,473 Carillion private sector workers in the UK, whose jobs are vulnerable following the firm’s liquidation on Monday.

“The clock is ticking for Carillion’s 8,500 private sector workers, and the Government must now offer them reassurance and financial guarantees.

“No worker should go hungry, default on a bill or miss a rent or mortgage payment because of a crisis they did not cause.”

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Steve Bannon subpoenaed to testify in Mueller's Russia investigation – report

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 17:25:05 GMT2018-01-16T17:25:05Z

The House intelligence committee will on Tuesday question Steve Bannon, the one-time confidant to Donald Trump. The New York Times reported, meanwhile, that Bannon has been subpoenaed by the special counsel, Robert Mueller, as part of his investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

Related: 'It's all explosive': Michael Wolff on Donald Trump

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Momentum official replaces veteran chair of Labour's disputes panel

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 18:33:21 GMT2018-01-16T18:33:21Z

Election of Christine Shawcroft follows Momentum-backed candidates winning NEC seats

Senior leftwing Labour figures have used their new dominance on the party’s governing body to immediately replace the longstanding chair of a key panel that considers disciplinary matters.

The vote to remove Ann Black from her role on the disputes panel and replace her with Christine Shawcroft came a day after the balance of power on the national executive committee shifted further in Jeremy Corbyn’s favour.

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Obesity surgery 'halves risk of death' compared with lifestyle changes

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 16:00:28 GMT2018-01-16T16:00:28Z

Latest study lends support to experts who say more operations should be carried out in UK

Obese patients undergoing stomach-shrinking surgery have half the risk of death in the years that follow compared with those tackling their weight through diet and behaviour alone, new research suggests.

Experts say obesity surgery is cost-effective, leads to substantial weight loss and can help tackle type 2 diabetes. But surgeons say not enough of the stomach-shrinking surgeries are carried out in the UK, with figures currently lagging behind other European countries, including France and Belgium – despite the latter having a smaller population.

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Attack by Turkish forces on US-backed Kurds in Syria thought imminent

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 18:22:06 GMT2018-01-16T18:22:06Z

Operation targeting ‘terror nests’ would risk inflaming tensions between Trump administration and Ankara

Turkish troops and tanks near the Syrian border are making final plans to attack the US military’s Kurdish partners inside northern Syria as tensions between Ankara and Washington near unprecedented levels.

Ahead of a widely expected incursion, the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, threatened to “destroy all terror nests”, a reference to Kurdish forces that the US has used as proxies in the fight against Islamic State (Isis) and Turkey views as a subversive threat.

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Pope Francis expresses 'pain and shame' for clergy's sexual abuse of children

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 17:18:56 GMT2018-01-16T17:18:56Z

  • ‘We commit ourselves to ensuring such things do not happen again’
  • Pontiff’s Chile visit overshadowed by firebombing of nine churches

Pope Francis has admitted his “pain and shame” over the sexual abuse of children by Catholic clergy on a visit to Chile which has been overshadowed by the firebombing of nine churches – allegedly by activists claiming a high-level cover-up.

Speaking in Santiago in the presence of the Chilean president, Michelle Bachelet, legislators, diplomats and other officials, Francis asked for forgiveness.

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EU declares war on plastic waste

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 15:50:22 GMT2018-01-16T15:50:22Z

Brussels targets single-use plastics in an urgent clean-up plan that aims to make all packaging reusable or recyclable by 2030

The EU is waging war against plastic waste as part of an urgent plan to clean up Europe’s act and ensure that every piece of packaging on the continent is reusable or recyclable by 2030.

Following China’s decision to ban imports of foreign recyclable material, Brussels on Tuesday launched a plastics strategy designed to change minds in Europe, potentially tax damaging behaviour, and modernise plastics production and collection by investing €350m (£310m) in research.

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Alec Baldwin criticizes stars renouncing Woody Allen: 'Unfair and sad'

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 16:47:53 GMT2018-01-16T16:47:53Z

The actor has launched a defense of the film-maker on Twitter, calling it one of the ‘privileges of his career’ to work with him

Alec Baldwin has defended Woody Allen on Twitter while calling other actors “unfair and sad” for voicing their regrets over working with him.

The star, who worked with Allen on Blue Jasmine and To Rome With Love, is the latest actor to speak publicly about the film-maker following on from Greta Gerwig, Mira Sorvino, Rebecca Hall and Timothée Chalamet.

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Kanye West and Kim Kardashian announce birth of third child

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 17:45:56 GMT2018-01-16T17:45:56Z

The celebrity couple have said they are ‘incredibly grateful’ to their surrogate after the birth of a healthy baby girl

Kanye West and Kim Kardashian have announced the birth of a third child via a surrogate mother.

Related: Yes, I love Keeping Up With the Kardashians. Don’t dare try to shame me | Fay Schopen

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British tourist missing in Israel may have Jerusalem syndrome

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 15:12:45 GMT2018-01-16T15:12:45Z

Authorities say Oliver McAfee, 29, may have condition which leads those affected to believe they are biblical figures

Israeli authorities are searching for a British man who is missing in the Negev desert amid fears that he could be suffering from Jerusalem syndrome, a psychiatric condition whose sufferers believe they are prophets or other biblical figures.

Oliver McAfee, 29, a devout Christian, was last seen on 21 November while cycling near the southern Israeli town of Mitzpe Ramon. Hikers found his wallet, keys and computer tablet earlier this month, and other possessions, including his bicycle, bags and shoes, were found separately.

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The dancer wears Prada: how couture went from catwalk to ballet and beyond

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 16:45:26 GMT2018-01-16T16:45:26Z

From Chanel’s Riviera bathers to Alexander McQueen’s cross-dressing spywear, fashion has pushed dance to dazzling heights

Alexander McQueen always resisted the idea of working for dance. Even when invitations came from the Paris Opera Ballet, the fashion designer worried about being reduced to the status of “costume department”. But in 2009, he broke his rule – for Eonnagata, a poetic piece of dance theatre about the Chevalier d’Éon, a notorious 18th-century cross-dressing French spy. “This male-female character was so up my strasse,” McQueen told me.

As well as the “dark psychosis” of the work’s subject, McQueen was also lured by the opportunity to dress Sylvie Guillem, the most physically extraordinary dancer of her generation. Guillem recalled how McQueen, suddenly deciding a costume looked too bland during a fitting session, cut another one “right in front of our eyes. It took about three minutes. It was so fast – and so completely right.”

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Might as well do the white line: Liam Gallagher, still caning it at 45

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 13:09:12 GMT2018-01-16T13:09:12Z

The former Oasis singer admitted in an interview that he still takes drugs. Which may make it a bit tricky to warn his kids off them, he says

Age: 45.

Appearance: Christopher Eccleston second draft.

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The PFI bosses fleeced us all. Now watch them walk away | George Monbiot

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 18:45:35 GMT2018-01-16T18:45:35Z

When contracts fail, the legal priority is still to pay firms like Carillion. Money is officially more valuable than life

Again the “inefficient” state mops up the disasters caused by “efficient” private companies. Just as the army had to step in when G4S failed to provide security for the London 2012 Olympics, and the Treasury had to rescue the banks, the collapse of Carillion means that the fire service must stand by to deliver school meals.

Two hospitals, both urgently needed, that Carillion was supposed to be constructing, the Midland Metropolitan and the Royal Liverpool, are left in half-built limbo, awaiting state intervention. Another 450 contracts between Carillion and the state must be untangled, resolved and perhaps rescued by the government.

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Has this MP fallen asleep during Ken Clarke's speech? – video

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 17:26:43 GMT2018-01-16T17:26:43Z

MP Sir Desmond Swayne appears to nod off during Kenneth Clarke’s speech to the House of Commons about the EU withdrawal bill.

Positioned just behind his Conservative colleague, Swayne seemingly falls asleep a few times, before being startled awake.

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Mosul six months after Isis was ousted – then and now

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

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

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

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Six warning signs that the Carillion collapse was coming

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 18:04:10 GMT2018-01-16T18:04:10Z

Alarm bells over the construction giant’s looming demise were ringing for months

The collapse of the construction giant Carillion, which has put thousands of jobs and numerous projects at risk, was shocking, but not entirely surprising. Some hedge fund managers were so sure the company’s problems were mounting they gambled on the share price plunging and made millions. The warning signs they were watching included:

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Do we want Alexa to have an opinion over what we should watch?

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 15:44:03 GMT2018-01-16T15:44:03Z

Amazon’s Fire Stick might be getting a new feature that could turn a helpful presence into a slightly judgmental one with opinions on what films and shows to play next

More and more, I’m starting to miss video stores. I miss the stakes of having to physically travel to a different location in order to choose a film. I miss being aggressively upsold ice cream on every visit. But most of all, I miss running the gauntlet of the video store clerks.

Related: Choose your own adventure – how tech is changing TV

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‘Is whistleblowing worth prison or a life in exile?’: Edward Snowden talks to Daniel Ellsberg

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 12:34:16 GMT2018-01-16T12:34:16Z

The two most famous whistleblowers in modern history discuss Steven Spielberg’s new film, The Post, about Ellsberg’s leaking of the Pentagon Papers, the personal cost of what they did – and if they’d advise anybody to follow in their footsteps. Introduced by Ewen MacAskill

Daniel Ellsberg, the US whistleblower celebrated in Steven Spielberg’s new film, The Post, was called “the most dangerous man in America” by the Nixon administration in the 70s. More than 40 years later, the man he helped inspire, Edward Snowden, was called “the terrible traitor” by Donald Trump, as he called for Snowden’s execution.

The Guardian has brought the two together – the most famous whistleblower of the 20th century and the most famous of the 21st so far – to discuss leaks, press freedom and other issues raised in Spielberg’s film.

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#MeToo isn’t enough. Now women need to get ugly | Barbara Kingsolver

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 19:00:27 GMT2018-01-16T19:00:27Z

‘Don’t say that to me, don’t do that to me. I hate it.’ I armed my daughters with these words to deal with harassment. Let’s no longer mollify powerful men

In each of my daughter’s lives came the day in fifth grade when we had to sit on her bed and practise. I pretended to be the boy in class who was making her sick with dread. She had to look right at me and repeat the words until they felt possible, if not easy: “Don’t say that to me. Don’t do that to me. I hate it.” As much as I wanted to knock heads around, I knew the only real solution was to arm a daughter for self-defence. But why was it so hard to put teeth into that defence? Why does it come more naturally to smile through clenched teeth and say “Oh, stop,” in the mollifying tone so regularly, infuriatingly mistaken for flirtation?

Women my age could answer that we were raised that way. We’ve done better with our daughters but still find ourselves right here, where male puberty opens a lifelong season of sexual aggression, and girls struggle for the voice to call it off. The Mad Men cliche of the boss cornering his besotted secretary is the modern cliche of the pop icon with his adulating, naked-ish harem in a story that never changes: attracting male attention is a woman’s success. Rejecting it feels rude, like refusing an award. It feels ugly.

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Finding your museum doppelganger is fun – but the science behind it is scary | Arwa Mahdawi

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 15:11:56 GMT2018-01-16T15:11:56Z

Facial recognition technology allows Google to find the artwork you most resemble – but it also supports the rise of the surveillance state

Worried you’re no oil painting? Well, there’s an app for that! The internet is obsessed with a new feature in the Google Arts & Culture app that finds your museum doppelganger. You take a selfie, then Google trawls a database of art to find the museum portrait you most resemble. It is an irresistible proposition for everyone’s inner narcissist; I downloaded the app immediately. Unfortunately, my inner narcissist was in for a nasty shock. Apparently, my face closely resembles an engraving of Leopold I, a man with a massive moustache, and a portrait of Pieter Corneliszoon Hooft, a man with a rather genteel goatee. OK, Google, I take the hint. I’ve made an appointment to get threaded!

Now, if you’re rushing to download the app to see which hirsute Habsburg you look like, please note that this feature is currently only available in the US. But perhaps its limited reach is no bad thing. The app may be good fun, but it is also fundamentally frightening: Google’s latest experiment, you see, says less about art than it does the burgeoning science of facial recognition technology.

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The Guardian view on Carillion’s collapse: no hiding place | Editorial

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 18:09:29 GMT2018-01-16T18:09:29Z

It’s clear what went wrong with the giant outsourcing company. Those responsible must pay the penalty

The smoke from Carillion’s billion-pound disaster is beginning to clear and the wounds are starting to hurt. Subcontractors do not know when they will be paid what they are owed or if they will be paid for work outstanding. As a result they are having to make people with mortgages and car loans redundant. Councils are making panicked arrangements to cover school dinners. Ministers are making urgent arrangements to replace a major defence contractor. Accident investigators are moving in. Yet it is clear enough what went wrong. The urgent matter now is to understand why it did, and act to stop it happening like this again.

The roots of the crisis in private finance projects lie in austerity. The dramatic fall in the number of public sector contracts after the coalition came to power in 2010 and abruptly slashed funding for schools and other public projects intensified competition between the major suppliers. Margins were cut, profits eroded, and the number, rather than the size, of contracts became the way of generating cash flow. No surprise then that when two of Carillion’s biggest building projects, the new hospitals in Liverpool and the West Midlands, hit problems, Carillion itself was in trouble. That may explain why ministers handed it a further £2bn of contracts after the first of three profit warnings last summer. Meanwhile Carillion’s bankers were getting nervous. Reports suggest that the state-owned RBS was the first creditor to say “no more”.

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The poorly reported Aziz Ansari exposé was a missed opportunity | Jill Filipovic

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 14:16:17 GMT2018-01-16T14:16:17Z

We can – we must – wade into the messy, complicated nature of sex in a misogynist world. But this celebrity exposé doesn’t do the job well enough

It was bound to happen. In the midst of women sharing stories of harassment and assault via the #MeToo movement, and a brewing backlash of hand-wringers wondering if women have perhaps gone too far, it was only a matter of time before a publication did us the disservice of publishing a sensational story of a badly behaved man who was nonetheless not a sexual assailant. The publication: Babe.net. The man: Aziz Ansari. The story: a coercive, dehumanizing sexual interaction.

It’s a shame. Not because these stories shouldn’t be told – if anything, we need to talk more about how pervasive power imbalances benefit men and make sex worse for women. But instead of telling this particular story with the care it called for, it was jammed into a pre-existing movement grounded in the language of assault and illegality.

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The Guardian view on returning the Rohingya: a bad deal, worsened by haste | Editorial

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 18:09:12 GMT2018-01-16T18:09:12Z

Myanmar and Bangladesh have agreed to repatriate the 650,000 refugees who have fled violence in Rakhine state within two years. Many are concerned – and rightly so

The 650,000 Rohingya Muslim refugees who have fled what the UN human rights chief has called “a textbook case of ethnic cleansing” must have the right to return to their homes in northern Rakhine state, Myanmar. To say otherwise would be to concede to those who forced them out – the security forces and militias who have raped and beaten civilians, burned houses and killed even infants. Authorities say the campaign is directed against militants who attacked police, but the civilian toll speaks for itself. Despite this, some of the Rohingya now living in wretched conditions across the border in Bangladesh have said they wish to go back.

It is equally clear that refugees must not be forced to return. Many more of them, according to NGOs supporting them, are determined never to go back or are terrified of doing so without guarantees of their security, property, livelihoods and freedom of movement. Some were persuaded to return after escaping previous waves of violence, only to find their lives in peril again. Previous episodes of displacement and return “do not inspire confidence”, the House of Commons international development committee has warned, noting the failure to consult refugees and expressing its grave concerns about plans to send them back.

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How government policy is forcing poor people into catastrophic debt | Abi Wilkinson

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 13:10:21 GMT2018-01-16T13:10:21Z

The benefit cap, zero-hours contracts, and now universal credit have all exacerbated the debt burden on people already struggling to eat and pay rent

It is extraordinarily expensive to be poor. The less money you have, the more expensive many things are likely to cost. Those with the lowest incomes are often forced to access electricity and gas via prepaid meters – forking out hundreds of pounds more annually than those who pay by direct debit.

And when your income is only just enough to cover your basic living costs, even modest unexpected outgoings can push you into debt. New school shoes, perhaps. Or a train ticket to visit a hospitalised elderly parent. The situation is even scarier with larger buys. What are you supposed to do if you live in a rural area and your car breaks down – borrow the money to fix it, or risk losing your job because the patchy local bus service won’t get you in on time?

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Simone Biles breaks her silence: 'I am not afraid to tell my story'

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 18:01:44 GMT2018-01-16T18:01:44Z

  • Sentencing of the former USA Gymnastics team doctor has begun
  • US gymnast revealed on Monday she too was victim of Larry Nassar

As the sentencing of the former USA Gymnastics team doctor starts in a Michigan courtroom, questions are being asked over how he was allowed to sexually abuse dozens of young athletes, including one of the stars of the 2016 Olympics, Simone Biles.

In November Larry Nassar admitted to abusing gymnasts under the guise of administering medical treatment. Prosecutors are seeking a 40-year prison sentence.

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Chris Froome’s failed test will be the end of Team Sky, warns Floyd Landis

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 13:46:30 GMT2018-01-16T13:46:30Z

• Doper turned informant Floyd Landis calls marginal gains ‘just great PR’
• Former US Postal rider says ‘zero tolerance’ policy has crumbled

Floyd Landis has launched a stinging attack on Team Sky, claiming the idea of marginal gains and a zero tolerance policy is a facade and “just great PR”. The American, who turned informant after testing positive for drugs, scoffed at possible explanations for Chris Froome’s failed test and expects the fallout to be a death knell for Team Sky after eight years at the top.

The former US Postal Service rider won the Tour de France in 2006 before being told of a positive test for testosterone 72 hours later. He contributed to the downfall of Lance Armstrong with his testimony of widespread doping in cycling.

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Leicester v Fleetwood, West Ham v Shrewsbury and more: FA Cup replays – live!

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 19:11:28 GMT2018-01-16T19:11:28Z

So PA are getting their game together, and these are the names I’ve been given – I’ll add the rest as they arrive:

Leicester v Fleetwood Town
Leicester: Jakupovic, Amartey, Dragovic, Benalouane, Fuchs, Mahrez, Iborra, Adrien Silva, Gray, Iheanacho, Slimani. Subs: Vardy, Albrighton, Hamer, Maguire, Okazaki, Ndidi, Barnes.
Fleetwood Town: Neal, Jones, Bolger, Pond, Bell, Glendon, Schwabl, Dempsey, Hiwula, McAleny, Hunter. Subs: Coyle, Burns, Grant, Cairns, Sowerby, Cargill, Cole.
Referee: Jonathan Moss.

And finally, Reading v Stevenage, which kicks off later than all the other games, at 8pm:

TEAM NEWS | @Chrisgunter16 captains the side on his 250th Reading appearance this evening...

Reading: Jaakkola, Gunter (c), Bacuna, Ilori, Blackett, Edwards, Kelly, Clement, Beerens, Aluko, Böðvarsson.
Subs: Mannone, Evans, McCleary, Kermorgant, Popa, Andresson, Richards. pic.twitter.com/E49wx2oJvt

TEAM NEWS: Darren Sarll names an unchanged line-up from our draw v @ReadingFC 10 days ago. #RFCvSFC pic.twitter.com/7g7BzQqiBx

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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s media war could play into Arsenal’s hands | Ed Aarons

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 19:00:32 GMT2018-01-16T19:00:32Z

Striker suspended by Borussia Dortmund for the third time has a deteriorating relationship with the German press

Even a decade after he left to join Milan as a 17-year-old apprentice, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang still regards the picturesque medieval town of Laval in western France as his home. Last summer, the Borussia Dortmund forward who could replace Alexis Sánchez at Arsenal, had just beaten Robert Lewandowski to finish as the Bundesliga’s top scorer with 31 goals when he was spotted wearing a shirt he had exchanged with Antoine Griezmann as he played a game of five-a-side with his friends in the Park de Saint-Berthevin.

“It allows me to maintain my shape,” he explained. “Every time I leave Laval, I feel really good, my body is rested. I’m going back to Dortmund full of energy.”

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Alexis Sánchez move to Manchester United may hinge on Henrikh Mkhitaryan

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 13:30:15 GMT2018-01-16T13:30:15Z

• Armenian yet to decide on possible move to Emirates
• Antonio Conte does not think Chelsea are trying to sign Sánchez

Manchester United’s hopes of buying Arsenal’s Alexis Sánchez may recede should Henrikh Mkhitaryan not wish move to the north London club, with the Armenian carefully weighing up his options before a possible move from Old Trafford.

Related: Manchester United spending a fortune to get Alexis Sánchez at 29 makes sense

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England’s Test demise is no surprise as T20 generation follow the money | Andy Bull

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 18:59:32 GMT2018-01-16T18:59:32Z

England’s victory at the MCG showed the difference between the Test and one-day teams, and where the priorities lie for players for whom the red-ball game is no longer the pinnacle

It was 5C in London last Sunday, unless you had Test Match Special on the radio. Then January felt a few degrees warmer than it really was. Saturday’s hangover was easier too, the morning’s chores more agreeable, the first sip of tea that little bit sweeter. Because for once this winter, England were winning. And half a world away, Jason Roy and Joe Root were walloping Australia’s bowlers all around the MCG. Roy made 180, each six a sorely needed pick-me-up after a month of blue Mondays, when the first sight of England’s latest overnight score felt like such a sorry way to start a winter’s day.

Related: Move Cook to No3 and look beyond Branderson: how England can regain Ashes | Rob Smyth

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Johanna Konta shows class as Heather Watson tumbles out of Australian Open

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 12:13:11 GMT2018-01-16T12:13:11Z

  • British women’s No1 beats Madison Brengle 6-3, 6-1
  • Heather Watson loses 7–5, 7–6 to Yulia Putintseva

Johanna Konta’s fifth visit to the Australian Open provides her with the best chance yet of a breakthrough win at a grand slam, and there was little to suggest in her efficient win over the American Madison Brengle on day two that she is going to waste the opportunity.

A slew of good Americans fell on day one – including the US Open champion, Sloane Stephens, the seven-slam winner Venus Williams and CoCo Vandeweghe, who was one of four compatriots to make the semi-finals of their own season-ending major at Flushing Meadows last September.

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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Prevail: Made in Stoke-on-Trent

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

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

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A Potted History | Made In Stoke-on-Trent

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

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

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Salvage Operation | Made In Stoke-on-Trent

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

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

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The Mother Town | Made In Stoke-on-Trent

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

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

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

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

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


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Judgment Day | Made In Stoke-on-Trent

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

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

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Power dressing: why fashion has never been so important

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 16:24:14 GMT2018-01-16T16:24:14Z

From the Golden Globes black-dress-code protest to Kim Jong-un’s suits and Meghan Markle’s M&S jumper, fashion is the news channel to watch

The Oscars are six weeks away, and already my red-carpet predictions for this season have been proved wrong. When the Weinstein scandal broke last autumn, I assumed that red-carpet pageantry would be sidelined in the new world order. In 2018, surely no one would care what actors were wearing?

I could hardly have been more wrong. Last weekend’s Golden Globes may go down in history for the emergence of a new presidential candidate, but the black dress code that symbolised feminist solidarity against sexual harassment will be a significant footnote. The importance of the dress code was reflected by the fact that it was faithfully followed by almost everyone, potential presidential candidates included. At one of the most political award ceremonies in memory, clothes mattered more than ever.

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Fire and Fury pipped to No 1 in UK book charts by Lose Weight for Good

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 16:34:36 GMT2018-01-16T16:34:36Z

Booksellers hail strong sales for Donald Trump exposé, but Tom Kerridge’s diet book sets the most British tills ringing

Almost 60,000 print copies of Michael Wolff’s Donald Trump exposé Fire and Fury were sold in the UK last week, but the British public’s New Year’s resolutions meant the explosive political title was pipped to the No 1 spot – by Tom Kerridge’s Lose Weight for Good.

In the US, Wolff’s account of the early months in Donald Trump’s White House is in its 11th printing, according to US publisher Henry Holt, which has 1.4m hardback books on order and has shipped more than 700,000 copies to date. It made No 1 on the New York Times bestseller list based on two days of sales, but in the UK, Wolff’s book missed the top spot by more than 10,000 copies, with Kerridge’s title selling 70,302 against Wolff’s 59,468, according to newly released figures from Nielsen BookScan. UK publisher Little, Brown told the Bookseller it had also sold “tens of thousands” of Fire and Fury ebooks and audiobooks, with 330,000 copies shipped.

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Dolores O'Riordan: anguished star whose voice lingers on

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 16:19:11 GMT2018-01-16T16:19:11Z

The Cranberries’ singer faced down tremendous darkness, but her vocal lines could still have the lightest of touches

The rise of the Cranberries to vast success in the US was greeted with a degree of bemusement in the UK music press. It was 1993, a year in which Suede’s debut album, the Boo Radleys’ expansive Giant Steps and Blur’s Britpop-presaging Modern Life is Rubbish figured heavily in most British publications’ best-of polls. Why, out of all the up and coming guitar bands attempting to break the States, had Americans latched onto the Limerick quartet?

They were, after all, viewed as a very minor concern in the UK. Their 1991 debut EP Uncertain had attracted some attention – it was ethereal and experimental in a way that nothing else the Cranberries recorded would be, the spectral guitar textures, feedback and echo-laden vocals of Them suggesting they were cut from similar cloth to shoegazing bands like Slowdive or Chapterhouse. But then they had signed to a major label and made a far more straightforward-sounding debut album, Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We?, which had more or less vanished without trace on release. To compound the bafflement, the Cranberries had been championed by American MTV while touring second on the bill to Suede, then very much considered the dernier cri in British alternative rock: why on earth had they been overlooked in favour of their support act?

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Is it weird to give standing ovations at the cinema?

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 15:02:48 GMT2018-01-16T15:02:48Z

Film-goers have been taking to their feet to applaud Churchill’s speech at the climax of Darkest Hour. What are the rights and wrongs of this – and other acts of cinematic audience participation?

There are three basic rules when it comes to clapping: don’t clap along to television theme tunes; don’t clap when aeroplanes land; and absolutely do not clap in the cinema. This last rule, however, has seemingly not reached audiences of Darkest Hour, because they have been giving it spontaneous standing ovations at the end. This has happened in the past with films such as The King’s Speech, but it’s a weird and pointless exercise – Gary Oldman can’t hear you, you know – so perhaps it is a good idea to take this opportunity to parse the etiquette of other strange quirks of audience participation in cinemas.

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​Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 review – voices ring out from Rodney King riots

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 14:54:13 GMT2018-01-16T14:54:13Z

Gate, London
Nina Bowers delivers a nimble account of testimonies gathered in the wake of the unrest sparked by King’s televised beating

I recently suggested that, while one-person shows could present conflict, they lacked the multiple perspectives of drama. This verbatim piece about the Los Angeles riots of 1992, originally researched, written and performed solo by Anna Deavere Smith, proves how wrong I was. What hits you as you emerge from this revival, strikingly performed by Nina Bowers, is just how many angles it offers on an explosive, rage-filled situation.

Since it all happened a quarter of a century ago, the story of the riots may be unfamiliar to many. Bowers acknowledges this by asking the audience what they remember, and offers a swift precis of the facts. Rodney King, a black cab-driver, was clubbed with batons by four LA cops, and, even though a video of the beating was shown on national television, the four police officers were initially cleared of any guilt.

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Three galleries, three genres – UK celebration of Tacita Dean

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 14:35:02 GMT2018-01-16T14:35:02Z

Film artist to address landscapes, portraiture and still life in upcoming shows at three of London’s major galleries

The reputation of Tacita Dean as one of the most important and influential British artists working today will be cemented this year with an unprecedented collaboration between three major galleries showing her work across three genres.

Details were announced on Tuesday of a partnership between the National Portrait Gallery, the National Gallery and the Royal Academy of Arts for what amounts to a Dean bonanza.

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Shelf effacement: how not to organise your bookshelves

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

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

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

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

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The truth about why we don't use all our annual holiday leave

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 15:33:30 GMT2018-01-16T15:33:30Z

No one is really too busy to take a break – so why do a third of Brits fail to take four days’ leave a year?

It turns out the good people of British Airways are extremely concerned about the wellbeing of the nation’s employees, and have commissioned a study to raise awareness of the fact that we are working too hard. More specifically, the fact that we aren’t taking enough two-week holidays. Let us all take a moment to appreciate their noble altruism.

Their survey of 2,000 people found that one-third of working Brits did not use up their annual leave in 2017, losing an average of four days each, and 69% of Brits did not take a two-week holiday.

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Nigel Slater’s beetroot and goat’s cheese ‘rosti’

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 12:00:24 GMT2018-01-16T12:00:24Z

A homespun take on the Swiss classic

Peel and coarsely grate 250g of raw beetroot and 150g of parsnip into a mixing bowl. Finely chop a good handful (about 10g) of dill and the same of parsley, then toss with the root vegetables. Season with salt, black pepper and 1 tsp of yellow mustard seeds. Crumble 150g of goat’s cheese into small nuggets into the bowl then lightly beat 2 eggs with a fork and fold them in. Stir thoroughly so that all the grated roots are coated with the eggs and seasoning.

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Echo Spot: 'smart clock' launched as Amazon seeks to lock rivals out of home

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 09:00:20 GMT2018-01-16T09:00:20Z

Firm hopes to extend its market dominance further as Alexa-powered, 2.5in-screened smart speaker comes to UK

Amazon is launching its small clock-like Echo Spot in the UK, as it continues to cement its market dominance.

The Echo Spot is small sphere with a 2.5in circular screen, camera and clock face that’s capable of showing the time as well as other at-a-glance information, similar to the larger Echo Show that launched earlier in the year.

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Psychotherapist Philippa Perry's guide to resilience in the workplace

Mon, 15 Jan 2018 07:00:49 GMT2018-01-15T07:00:49Z

Want to be less stressed in 2018? The author and broadcaster advises on how to deal with difficult times at work

Your strength is not in your resilience, it is in recognising and owning your vulnerability. We need to be ourselves with other people for most of the time, not just the person we feel we ought to be. If you are in a business environment where everyone seems to be wearing a “game-face” and therefore you feel you must wear yours too, you run the risk of feeling unsupported, isolated and disconnected.

It is stressful doing something that stretches you, that you have not done before, that might not work, but not all stress is bad. Stressing yourself is a way of keeping your brain fit. No stress at all means you are not getting a mental workout. You can, though, have too much of a good thing.

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What’s the best bedtime beverage? Your answers

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 11:59:24 GMT2018-01-16T11:59:24Z

Chamomile tea or hot chocolate; the glory of name-calling; performers get personal

Is there anything better than chamomile tea at bedtime?

Most drinks are better than chamomile tea, at any time of day.
Avril Taylor, Dundas, Ontario, Canada

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Teach five-year-olds about dangers of knife crime, says police chief

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 12:12:51 GMT2018-01-16T12:12:51Z

Exclusive: Met’s head of knife crime says children increasingly exposed to violence on social media

Children as young as five should be taught about the dangers of knife crime, a police chief has said, as figures revealed the death toll among under-25s in London had almost doubled year-on-year.

DCS Sean Yates, Scotland Yard’s head of knife crime, said waiting until children were older risked leaving their initial exposure to scenes of violence to social media.

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Gerry Adams appeals 1975 convictions for Maze escape attempts

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 17:11:43 GMT2018-01-16T17:11:43Z

Lawyers say Sinn Féin leader was unlawfully interned without trial at time of planned jail breaks

The Sinn Féin president, Gerry Adams, has launched a legal attempt to overturn two convictions connected to a planned IRA jail break at the height of the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

Adams’s lawyers argued at the court of appeal in Belfast on Tuesday that the 1975 convictions for earlier escape attempts from the Maze prison, then known as Long Kesh, should be quashed.

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Barry Bennell 'was God', says alleged sexual abuse victim

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 17:35:51 GMT2018-01-16T17:35:51Z

Man tells court Bennell gave Manchester City youth players football kit to win them over

Barry Bennell was regarded as “God” at Manchester City during the years when he was sexually abusing boys who had dreams of becoming professional footballers, a jury has heard.

On the fifth day of Bennell’s trial at Liverpool crown court, where he is facing 48 charges relating to 11 boys from 1979 to 1991, one of the alleged victims said he could no longer go back to his home town because there were too many bad memories from his time in City’s junior system in the 1980s.

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Emily Maitlis stalker jailed for breaching restraining order

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 12:03:31 GMT2018-01-16T12:03:31Z

Edward Vines jailed for nearly four years for breaching terms of order banning him from contacting BBC journalist

The Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis was left feeling “scared and let down” after a man was able to carry on harassing her even while he was in jail for breaching a restraining order.

Maitlis described the strain of her 20-year ordeal at the hands of Edward Vines on Tuesday as he was sentenced to nearly four years in prison after admitting two breaches of the indefinite order banning him from contacting her.

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Environmental protesters at HS2 site threatened with injunction

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 18:07:01 GMT2018-01-16T18:07:01Z

Letters served at Hillingdon site say government plans to seek high court injunctions to prevent further demonstrations


Seven environmental protesters on the site of the HS2 development in the Colne Valley in Hillingdon have been threatened with injunctions by the transport secretary and HS2 Ltd in a bid to prevent their continued demonstrations on the controversial site.

Letters were served on Tuesday by hand at the Harvil Road site, where regular protests against the impact of the project on trees and wildlife have been staged since last October. They inform the protesters that the government and HS2 plan to seek high court injunctions against them to prevent them from demonstrating on the site.

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Two men charged with London murder of model Harry Uzoka

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 12:49:10 GMT2018-01-16T12:49:10Z

George Koh, 24, and Jonathan Okigbo, 23, remanded in custody over Shepherd’s Bush stabbing

Two men have appeared in court charged with the murder of a 25-year-old man in west London last Thursday.

The victim has not been officially named but has been identified in reports as the model Harry Uzoka and next of kin have been informed. He was described as a “wonderful model but, even more so, a good person and a pleasure to work with” by one of the companies he worked for.

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John Worboys case: politicians must not interfere, says Parole Board chief

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 14:36:37 GMT2018-01-16T14:36:37Z

Nick Hardwick also criticises probation service’s failure to inform victims about release

The head of the Parole Board has warned politicians not to interfere in the independence of the justice system over the John Worboys case and sharply criticised the probation service’s failure to inform or consult about the terms of his release.

Prof Nick Hardwick said the justice secretary should order an independent investigation into the failure to ensure victims of the sex offender were properly informed and said it was not too late to raise their concerns about the terms of Worboys’ release. “I know that some victims are frightened. The licence conditions are very detailed, but can be varied,” he said.

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Flat fare? Dodgy meter blocks rollout of London's electric cabs

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 14:35:34 GMT2018-01-16T14:35:34Z

Zero-emission TX eCity cab can’t ply for hire until problem is sorted … and don’t get cabbies started on the lack of charging points

State-of the-art electric taxis that London’s transport authorities hope will replace diesel black cabs have yet to enter service on the streets of the capital – because the meter does not work.

Only one zero-emission taxi has so far been licensed in the capital with none yet to carry a paying passenger – two weeks after rules came into force banning any other new black cabs.

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Dow Jones tops 26,000 for first time as stock market boom continues

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 19:02:41 GMT2018-01-16T19:02:41Z

US share index rises 1,000 points in 12 days – but sceptics warn rise could be last hurrah before a crash

The Dow Jones Industrial Average has topped the 26,000 mark for the first time, a new landmark in the Wall Street stock market boom that has gathered pace since the new year.

The leading index of US shares has risen 1,000 points in just 12 days – and six stock market trading sessions, given that Wall Street was closed for Martin Luther King Jr Day on Monday – fuelled by an upswing in the global economy and the prospect of bumper company earnings thanks to Donald Trump’s corporate tax cuts.

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EU leaders say UK can reverse Brexit decision if it wants to

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 11:42:03 GMT2018-01-16T11:42:03Z

Donald Tusk and Jean-Claude Juncker say door to EU remains open if Britain changes its mind on Brexit

The door remains open to the European Union if the UK wants to change its mind on Brexit, the most senior leaders of the EU institutions have said.

Related: UK still has time to change its mind about Brexit, says EU chief Donald Tusk - Politics live

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Government shutdown: Trump blames Democrats as deadline looms

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 18:38:32 GMT2018-01-16T18:38:32Z

  • Four days remain before federal funding expires
  • Trump attacks Democrats for seeking protections for Dreamers

Donald Trump on Tuesday raised the specter of a government shutdown over immigration, with just four days remaining before federal funding expires and with lawmakers in Washington still scrambling to reach a deal.

The president preemptively cast blame on Democrats, who have demanded that any bill to fund the government be accompanied by protections for the nearly 700,000 young undocumented immigrants known as Dreamers.

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Peter Madsen formally charged with murder of Kim Wall on submarine

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 17:31:34 GMT2018-01-16T17:31:34Z

Danish prosecutor says inventor cut Swedish journalist’s throat or strangled her on board vessel

The Danish inventor Peter Madsen has been formally charged with the murder of the Swedish journalist Kim Wall, a public prosecutor has said.

Jakob Buch-Jepsen said the 46-year-old either cut Wall’s throat or strangled her after she boarded his self-built submarine for an interview in August last year.

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US officials 'briefed Jared Kushner on concerns about Wendi Deng Murdoch'

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 15:14:41 GMT2018-01-16T15:14:41Z

Murdoch denies any knowledge of Chinese-funded garden project for which she is alleged to have been lobbying

Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s son-in-law, was reportedly warned about his friendship with Wendi Deng Murdoch, amid fears she was using the connection to promote China’s business interests.

Early in 2017 US officials urged Kushner, who is a senior adviser to the US president, to exercise caution around Murdoch, according to the Wall Street Journal. Murdoch is a close friend of Kushner’s wife, Ivanka Trump.

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California police rescue 13 chained and malnourished siblings

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 11:46:41 GMT2018-01-16T11:46:41Z

Parents charged with torture and child endangerment after girl escapes and alerts authorities

A mother and father have been charged with torture after their 13 malnourished children were rescued from a California house, where some were found shackled to beds.

Police made the discovery after a 17-year-old girl escaped from the house in Perris, 70 miles (115km) east of Los Angeles, on Sunday and used a mobile phone she had found in the home to raise the alarm at 6am, the Riverside county sheriff’s office said. She was so underfed that officers thought she was only 10, and they mistook her seven adult siblings for children.

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BP's Deepwater Horizon bill tops $65bn

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 16:16:10 GMT2018-01-16T16:16:10Z

Firm’s financial pain offset by rising oil prices as it winds down payouts from 2010 disaster with 99% of 390,000 claims processed

BP said it was nearing the end of the $65bn (£47bn) Deepwater Horizon compensation process on Tuesday as it announced an unexpectedly high further payout of $1.7bn, but said it was down to the final few hundred outstanding claims.

The British oil firm announced it will be hit by a $1.7bn charge in the last quarter of 2017 for court-ordered payments resulting from the oil spill, the worst in US history.

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Seal denies accusations of forcibly kissing and groping woman in his home

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 18:19:21 GMT2018-01-16T18:19:21Z

The singer says he “intends to vigorously defend himself” against the accusation from actor Tracey Birdsall

The pop and soul singer Seal has vehemently denied an allegation that he groped a woman visiting his Los Angeles home in 2016.

Tracey Birdsall, an actor who lives nearby to the singer in Los Angeles, told the entertainment news site TMZ that the pair initially became friends. After going to Seal’s house to retrieve a salad spinner he had borrowed, Birdsall says he began to forcibly kiss and grope her, in his kitchen and then again on a sofa, despite her demands that he stop. She then left the house and broke off all contact with him.

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'England seemed so close': refugee, 15, crushed to death by Calais lorry

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 09:42:28 GMT2018-01-16T09:42:28Z

Migrants are still travelling to the Channel port, enduring desperate living conditions and dying on the roads, trying to get to Britain

A few hours before his death, Abdullah Dilsouz was playing cricket with other child refugees in the wasteland behind the port of Calais. Friends said he was excited to be nearing the end of a long journey from Afghanistan, and optimistic that he would soon be able to join his brother in London.

But the 15-year-old was run over by a refrigeration truck on 22 December – one of three asylum-seekers to be killed on the roads outside the port in the past month. A fourth has been seriously injured and remains in a coma in hospital and on Sunday night an Iraqi refugee had his legs severed by a train near Dunkirk.

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Dolores O’Riordan obituary

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 13:43:33 GMT2018-01-16T13:43:33Z

Lead singer of the Cranberries whose startling, steely voice enchanted audiences on hits such as Linger and Zombie

‘I have a lot of secrets about my childhood [but they] are just for me,” Dolores O’Riordan told the Guardian in 1995. She and her Limerick rock quartet, the Cranberries, were then at the peak of their success, well on the way to selling 40m albums, and O’Riordan was one of the highest profile female singers in the English-speaking world. It was nearly 20 years later that she revealed that she had been abused for four years from the age of eight by someone close to her family. By her own account, O’Riordan, who has died aged 46 of a cause as yet unknown, spent most of her adult life seeking a balance between depression and anorexia, and the rewards of great professional success.

Related: Cranberries singer Dolores O'Riordan – a life in pictures

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Late-night hosts on Trump: 'Him having a poo-poo mouth isn't the story'

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 15:11:24 GMT2018-01-16T15:11:24Z

Comics, including Stephen Colbert, Trevor Noah, and Seth Meyers, discussed the fallout from Trump’s defamatory remarks – and his attempts to defend himself

Late-night hosts discussed Donald Trump’s remarks about Haiti and west African countries, which has evolved into a debate over whether the president said one of two similar expletives.

Related: Late-night hosts: 'Sir, they're not shitholes. For one, Trump isn't their president'

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The diabolical genius of the baby advice industry

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 06:00:17 GMT2018-01-16T06:00:17Z

Every baffled new parent goes searching for answers in baby manuals. But what they really offer is the reassuring fantasy that life’s most difficult questions have one right answer.
By Oliver Burkeman

Human beings are born too soon. Within hours of arriving in the world, a baby antelope can clamber up to a wobbly standing position; a day-old zebra foal can run from hyenas; a sea-turtle, newly hatched in the sand, knows how to find its way to the ocean. Newborn humans, on the other hand, can’t hold up their own heads without someone to help them. They can’t even burp without assistance. Place a baby human on its stomach at one day old – or even three months old, the age at which lion cubs may be starting to learn to hunt – and it’s stranded in position until you decide to turn it over, or a sabre-toothed tiger strolls into the cave to claim it. The reason for this ineptitude is well-known: our huge brains, which make us the cleverest mammals on the planet, wouldn’t fit through the birth canal if they developed more fully in the womb. (Recently, cognitive scientists have speculated that babies may actually be getting more useless as evolution proceeds; if natural selection favours ever bigger brains, you’d expect humans to be born with more and more developing left to do.)

This is why humans have “parenting”: there is a uniquely enormous gap between the human infant and the mature animal. That gap must be bridged, and it’s difficult to resist the conclusion that there must be many specific things adults need to get right in order to bridge it. This, in turn, is why there are parenting advice manuals – hundreds and hundreds of them, serving as an index of the changing ways we have worried about how we might mess up our children.

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500 years later, scientists discover what probably killed the Aztecs

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 03:36:23 GMT2018-01-16T03:36:23Z

Within five years, 15 million people – 80% of the population – were wiped out in an epidemic named ‘cocoliztli’, meaning pestilence

In 1545 disaster struck Mexico’s Aztec nation when people started coming down with high fevers, headaches and bleeding from the eyes, mouth and nose. Death generally followed in three or four days.

Within five years as many as 15 million people – an estimated 80% of the population – were wiped out in an epidemic the locals named “cocoliztli”. The word means pestilence in the Aztec Nahuatl language. Its cause, however, has been questioned for nearly 500 years.

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A holy bath and the Scream: Tuesday's best photos

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 12:39:59 GMT2018-01-16T12:39:59Z

The Guardian’s picture editors bring you a selection of photo highlights from around the world

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Salmon fishing season opens on Scotland's river Tay – in pictures

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 16:06:49 GMT2018-01-16T16:06:49Z

The opening ceremony organised by the Tay District Salmon Fisheries Board and the Perthshire Chamber of Commerce took place at Meikleour, by Kinclaven Bridge. Photographer Murdo MacLeod went along to witness the ceremony and the first casts

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Mist and mystique: Buddhism in Bhutan – in pictures

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

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

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

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

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

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A modern engineer building classic bicycle frames – in pictures

Mon, 15 Jan 2018 07:00:49 GMT2018-01-15T07:00:49Z

Tom Warmerdam turned his passions for cycling and engineering into a career at Demon Frameworks in Southampton, where he designs and builds unique custom-made steel-frame road bikes

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