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



Published: Mon, 26 Feb 2018 03:42:53 GMT2018-02-26T03:42:53Z

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



Jeremy Corbyn to confirm Labour wants a customs union with EU

Mon, 26 Feb 2018 00:01:01 GMT2018-02-26T00:01:01Z

Speech will pile pressure on Theresa May before key vote but avoid single market commitment

Jeremy Corbyn will clarify his Brexit policy on Monday with a speech that increases the chances of Theresa May being defeated in the Commons while also apparently ruling out Labour committing itself to full membership of the single market after EU withdrawal.

The Labour leader will confirm that his party wants the UK to remain in a customs union with the EU for good – a move that Sir Keir Starmer, the shadow Brexit secretary, described as heralding “crunch time” for the prime minister. May faces an uphill battle to avoid being defeated on this issue by an alliance of Labour, the other opposition parties and Tory rebels in a key vote in the spring.

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Social media firms failing to protect young people, survey finds

Mon, 26 Feb 2018 00:01:01 GMT2018-02-26T00:01:01Z

Cyberbullying inquiry finds the mental health of young people is severely affected by online abuse

Social media companies such as Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter have been accused of failing to protect young people from harassment after a cyberbullying inquiry found that online abuse severely affects their mental health.

Almost half of young people have experienced threatening, intimidating or abusive messages on social media, pushing some to the verge of suicide in the most extreme cases, according to a survey commissioned by the Children’s Society and YoungMinds.

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Six people injured, two critically, after explosion in Leicester

Sun, 25 Feb 2018 22:10:57 GMT2018-02-25T22:10:57Z

Police declare major incident after two-storey building suffers ‘pancake collapse’

Six people were injured, two of them critically, after a suspected explosion and subsequent fire destroyed a shop.

Police declared a major incident after the blast in a street in Leicester on Sunday night.

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'Sexist, creepy': Jacinda Ardern's 60 Minutes interview angers New Zealand

Mon, 26 Feb 2018 00:39:13 GMT2018-02-26T00:39:13Z

Australian journalist Charles Wooley criticised for calling PM ‘attractive’ and discussing the conception of her baby

New Zealanders have criticised an interview with their prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, as “creepy” and “sexist”.

In the opening segment of the Australian current affairs show 60 Minutes , which aired on Sunday night, the veteran reporter Charles Wooley described the 37-year-old Ardern as “attractive”.

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'See the facts': top Democrat defends Russia memo as Trump fumes

Sun, 25 Feb 2018 16:56:07 GMT2018-02-25T16:56:07Z

Democrats’ memo, initially blocked by White House, responds to claim FBI wrongfully obtained a wiretap on Trump adviser

The author of a newly released Democratic memo on investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 US election defended his work on Sunday, after being attacked by Donald Trump.

On Saturday, Trump tweeted that the memo was “a total political and legal BUST”. He also tweeted personal abuse of California congressman Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House intelligence committee, who he told Fox News was “a bad guy” responsible for leaks that were “probably illegal”.

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Syria: fresh fighting in eastern Ghouta despite UN-ordered ceasefire

Sun, 25 Feb 2018 17:53:35 GMT2018-02-25T17:53:35Z

Offensives seen as Assad regime’s bid to eliminate opposition and as challenge to security council’s authority

Syrian regime forces have launched a fresh ground and air offensive against rebel positions in the besieged and battered enclave of eastern Ghouta in defiance of a nationwide ceasefire ordered by the UN security council.

Witnesses said fighting erupted on several fronts on Sunday in what was seen as a possible last-ditch bid by Bashar al-Assad, Syria’s president, to eliminate opposition resistance in Ghouta, near Damascus, before the 30-day ceasefire can be enforced.

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Council tax hikes will not stop cuts to local services, authorities warn

Mon, 26 Feb 2018 00:01:01 GMT2018-02-26T00:01:01Z

LGA says government budget cuts and the cost of higher wages will outweigh additional income

Unprecedented increases in council tax starting in April will not offset cuts to services including children’s centres and libraries, local authorities have warned.

The Local Government Association (LGA) said councils in England would raise an estimated £1.1bn through higher council taxes in 2017-18, but this would not cover the £1.4bn lost through cuts to central government funding plus the higher wage bill of £1bn.

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North Korea willing to start direct talks with US, says South Korea

Mon, 26 Feb 2018 01:46:26 GMT2018-02-26T01:46:26Z

Announcement comes as controversial North Korean general mobbed on visit to Winter Olympics

North Korea has said it is willing to start direct talks with the US, with the move coming as a high-level delegation from Pyongyang, headed by a controversial general, arrived for the Winter Olympics closing ceremony.

Pyongyang also said the relationship between the two Koreas and US-North Korean ties should advance in tandem, according to South Korea’s presidential Blue House. The announcement on Sunday comes after president Moon Jae-in met the head of the North Korean delegation, Kim Yong-chol, vice-chair of the ruling Workers’ party’s central committee.

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Prepare for seriously cold weather this week, Britons told

Sun, 25 Feb 2018 15:35:22 GMT2018-02-25T15:35:22Z

Icy blast prompts Met Office warnings for UK snow, with wind chill making it feel minus 15C in daytime

Parts of the UK are set to feel colder than areas in the Arctic circle this week as freezing Siberian air engulfs the British Isles, bringing blizzards, snow drifts and the potential for travel disruption.

The icy blast, “the beast from the east”, has prompted the Met Office to issue yellow and amber weather warnings for snow in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland for most of the week, with strong winds expected on Thursday in the south-west.

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'Gory, botched': Alabama's aborted execution of inmate was bloody, says lawyer

Mon, 26 Feb 2018 01:25:29 GMT2018-02-26T01:25:29Z

Officials attempted 12 times without success to insert needle in convicted murderer Doyle Hamm’s veins

An execution in the US was aborted last week after the inmate was left with 10 puncture wounds when medical personnel were unable to find a vein after two and a half hours of trying. The failed attempts left behind a bloodied death chamber, the inmate’s lawyer said.

On Thursday, Alabama tried to execute by lethal injection convicted murderer Doyle Hamm, 61, who has spent more than half his life on death row. After about two and a half hours of trying, the state called the execution off because issues with Hamm’s veins could not be resolved before a death warrant expired at midnight.

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Children struggle to hold pencils due to too much tech, doctors say

Sun, 25 Feb 2018 16:00:08 GMT2018-02-25T16:00:08Z

Children need opportunities to develop hand strength and dexterity needed to hold pencils

Children are increasingly finding it hard to hold pens and pencils because of an excessive use of technology, senior paediatric doctors have warned.

An overuse of touchscreen phones and tablets is preventing children’s finger muscles from developing sufficiently to enable them to hold a pencil correctly, they say.

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Pyeongchang Winter Olympics 2018: 'the Games of new horizons'? | Sean Ingle

Sun, 25 Feb 2018 19:55:35 GMT2018-02-25T19:55:35Z

Russian scandal couldn’t overshadow spectacular sport and thawing relations between North and South Korea

Moments before the XXIII Winter Games ended amid a furious barrage of K-pop and firecrackers, the president of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach, insisted: “We have seen here how sport can make the world a better place … these are the Games of new horizons.”

Watching athletes from North and South Korea strolling happily together, for once separated by centimetres rather than 73 years’ antipathy, it was entirely possible to be swept along by waves of sentiment and hope.

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Turnbull no longer cares about reconciliation with Indigenous Australians | Kevin Rudd

Mon, 26 Feb 2018 02:03:24 GMT2018-02-26T02:03:24Z

While the world watches, our prime minister is failing to take his task seriously. It’s time to reopen the dialogue on Uluru

In recent years, Australian politics has degenerated from comedy (Tony Abbott grovelling to the Duke of Edinburgh) to tragedy (Malcolm Turnbull grovelling to Peter Dutton) and now farce (with Barnaby Joyce ... well, just being Barnaby Joyce). The ability of the country to conduct anything approaching a serious public policy debate on any aspect of our strategic, economic, social or environmental future seems to have disappeared.

Related: Rudd’s apology, 10 years on: the elusive hope of a ‘breakthrough moment’

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Going TV cold turkey – what is it like to give up the box for a month?

Sun, 25 Feb 2018 13:00:10 GMT2018-02-25T13:00:10Z

In this golden age of television, the pressure to binge-watch is immense – even as evidence mounts about the health risks. So how did one ‘heavy user’ cope with the big switch-off?

There are almost no pleasures left in life that someone hasn’t suggested we give up to better ourselves. Booze, sugar, smoking, meat, clutter, coffee, even our smartphone. Soon we’ll be told that all this teeth-brushing is getting rid of our bodies’ important natural tooth bacteria and Joe Wicks will launch his new book: How to Live with Decay ... Everyday!

Yet there is one indulgence that engulfs our life like nothing else. We spend a dizzying amount of time doing it, yet it goes almost completely unchallenged by self-help books and wellbeing advice: watching television. We spend, on average, over four hours a day looking at our TV sets. In the UK, 74% of viewers say they sometimes watch more TV than they intended to, with a third of adults admitting that binge-watching has cost them sleep and left them feeling tired.

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Homeland recap: season seven, episode two – Rebel Rebel

Sun, 25 Feb 2018 22:00:04 GMT2018-02-25T22:00:04Z

There’s a lot more going on this week with Elizabeth U-turning on the detainees, Saul hot on O’Keefe’s trail and Carrie frantically trying to extract herself from a mess of her own making

‘I’m CIA. You try anything, I will hunt you down. I will kill you’

When you’re engaged in one of the lighter treasons, the very last thing you need is a 4chan loon planting ransomware on your laptop, but that’s exactly what Carrie gets. With her future on the line, she ruthlessly targets the achilles heel of all tech-savvy misogynerds – sex. The promise of physical contact with an attractive woman makes the troll drop his guard for a minute and that’s all it takes. It leads to the mother of all beatdowns from Carrie who, with a bit of luck, has done him permanent damage.

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Playwright David Edgar to make stage debut in political one-man show

Sun, 25 Feb 2018 14:25:14 GMT2018-02-25T14:25:14Z

After 50 years of writing, Edgar will revisit his radical youth in a ‘conversation between my older and younger self’

David Edgar has been creating lines for other people to recite for 50 years, but the man described by the Royal Shakespeare Company as one of the UK’s greatest living writers is set to make his professional stage debut.

The playwright, who celebrates his 70th birthday on Monday, will star in an autobiographical and political one-man show this summer at the RSC in Stratford and the Royal Court theatre in London. The seasons will follow a premiere in the Midlands where he lives – performing at the Warwick Arts Centre and the Birmingham Repertory theatre.

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Tommy Hilfiger drives fresh interest with motor racing in Milan

Sun, 25 Feb 2018 22:19:26 GMT2018-02-25T22:19:26Z

Formula One aesthetic brings vibrancy as American fashion brand’s world tour lands in Italy

Rather than stay in his old stomping ground of New York, Tommy Hilfiger is taking his shows on a world tour and this weekend his American fashion house landed in Milan.

Having adopted the see-now, buy-now model in 2016 that sees the clothes from the catwalk available to purchase immediately – compared with the traditional six-month wait – Hilfiger now wants to spread global hype by appealing to social media-savvy millennials. “The consumer wants immediate gratification and unique experiences that they can’t find anywhere else,” Hilfiger said at a preview of his brand’s new collection.

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Michelle Obama announces memoir will be called Becoming

Sun, 25 Feb 2018 19:18:02 GMT2018-02-25T19:18:02Z

Former US first lady hopes her story, released worldwide in November, will inspire others

The former US first lady Michelle Obama has announced the name of her anticipated memoir.

Becoming will be published globally in 24 languages on 13 November by Penguin Random House, which acquired world publishing rights to both Michelle and Barack Obama’s memoirs in a deal rumoured to be worth $65m.

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Everybody's Talking About Jamie hits high note in public-voted stage awards

Sun, 25 Feb 2018 21:30:03 GMT2018-02-25T21:30:03Z

WhatsOnStage award for best new musical goes to tale of teenage boy who wanted to dress in girls’ clothes

Everybody’s Talking About Jamie was one of the big winners at the only theatre awards decided entirely by the public.

After Hamilton’s opening night was delayed, making it ineligible for this year’s WhatsOnStage awards, the field was wide open and three wildly contrasting shows shared the limelight.

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We shouldn’t have to rely on Stormzy to flag up deprivation and neglect | Kimberly McIntosh

Sun, 25 Feb 2018 17:34:08 GMT2018-02-25T17:34:08Z

With estimates that half of ethnic-minority children live in poverty, Theresa May must act on her pledge to tackle inequality

When Stormzy spoke out at the Brits against Theresa May’s response to Grenfell, it wasn’t just about the disgraceful response to the fire. It was also a reflection of the reality facing people growing up on neglected estates. He has spoken before about his experience of poverty in his childhood, and his struggle to stay on the right track.

Stormzy’s black Britishness is a factor here for, as he vented his frustration, he again highlighted the enduring fact that issues impacting ethnic minorities are rarely prioritised. He gave urgency to the question so many continue to ask: had the Grenfell tragedy occurred in Gloucestershire, were child poverty endemic in Cambridge instead of Tower Hamlets, would we not see a stronger response from the government?

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The Guardian view on Neanderthals: we were not alone | Editorial

Sun, 25 Feb 2018 18:15:18 GMT2018-02-25T18:15:18Z

The first human contact with another intelligent species is a staple of science fiction, but we now know it happened 40,000 years ago

The three human subspecies known to have hybridised to produce the present human population of the planet, Neanderthals, Homo sapiens and Denisovans, last had a common ancestor more than half a million years ago. Until now it has been assumed that the only branch of her descendants to think symbolically was us, Homo sapiens. In fact, until the development of sequencing techniques sensitive enough to work on ancient DNA, it was thought that the other two species had died out entirely, rather than leaving portions of their genome in European and Melanesian populations respectively. But the discovery, reported last week, of palaeolithic art at four sites in Spain that dates from the time when the peninsula was occupied only by Neanderthals, shows that they worked with symbols of stone and paint.

We have no idea what these markings mean. That is in the nature of symbolism, and indeed of language: the meaning of a sound, or a marking on the wall, is given by the community that uses it; it can’t be read by outsiders. We already know that Neanderthals were anatomically equipped for speech; their use of painted symbols suggests that they could make audible symbols and not just visible ones.

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Muslims are seen as a threat in the US – but the Florida shooter wasn't. Why? | Trita Parsi

Sun, 25 Feb 2018 16:54:35 GMT2018-02-25T16:54:35Z

Trump has shifted our focus towards immigrants and Muslims as threats, while willfully neglecting the threat posed by racists and rightwing extremists

Last week’s horrific school shooting reminded us that Donald Trump has made America less safe. While mass shootings predate Trump, he has done something his predecessors did not: domestically, he’s shifted our focus towards immigrants and Muslims as threats, while willfully neglecting the threat posed by racists and rightwing extremists.

Internationally, he’s imposed a Muslim ban that targets citizens of countries with no history of engaging in terrorism on US soil, at the expense of far more accurate predictors of violence.

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Antidepressants work – but we need to talk, too | Rhik Samadder

Sun, 25 Feb 2018 16:00:14 GMT2018-02-25T16:00:14Z

A study proving the effectiveness of medication was no surprise. But the news that talking therapies can be as effective as drugs was a striking detail

The results of a comprehensive, six-year study confirmed last week what I’ve known a long time: antidepressants work. I know this because half the people I know are on them – and that’s only the half I know about. Antidepressants saved my life, they tell me, and I believe them. I don’t say: “The only thing you’ve swallowed is propaganda, mate, straight from Big Pharma’s chalky teat.” I would have to be a maniac to do that. And I’m not a maniac. At least, not in that way.

I’ve been on antidepressants at various points in my life. And I’ve always been one of the 80% who come off them within a month, looking for another way. I quickly tire of the tweaking of drugs and dosages required to find the appropriate prescription. I freak out at the initial side-effects – the flaccidness in my brain, the lack of ideas in my underpants. More than that, I’ve always had been uncomfortable accepting there is something medically wrong with me.

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Cooperation and creativity in the NHS | Letters

Sun, 25 Feb 2018 17:48:49 GMT2018-02-25T17:48:49Z

Readers discuss accountable care systems, health co-ops, hospital real estate and the benefits of regional planning

The gist of Polly Toynbee’s argument is obviously right (The NHS needs cooperation, not competition, to pull through, 19 February). She may not, however, know that here in Cornwall there is an effort being made to introduce an accountable care “system” (ie not “organisation”), which reassuringly does boil down to the sort of integrated care partnership that she and the King’s Fund promote. But there is still vociferous opposition to the plan from local activists and from some doctors, clearly because of the fear of privatisation. I can see that this unnerves local politicians, who fear that they will be stuck with doing their own NHS rationing if it goes through. You just can’t win.

All of us who have followed NHS policy and practice over recent decades must wake up to the fact that the NHS is now a monster: neither smart chief executives nor driven politicians have found it possible to manage as a single entity. It was actually impossible to do this when Aneurin Bevan said he wanted to hear the sound of a bed pan being dropped; and we are still stuck with that centralising mentality.

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Pep Guardiola sends message to FA over yellow ribbon after Carabao Cup win

Sun, 25 Feb 2018 20:32:30 GMT2018-02-25T20:32:30Z

• Manchester City manager will continue to wear pro-Catalan ribbon
• Guardiola says he is grateful to club after difficult first season

Pep Guardiola believes that Manchester City’s 3-0 Carabao Cup final win over Arsenal at Wembley can fire the club’s push for a treble of trophies this season.

The manager said the victory, secured with goals from Sergio Agüero, Vincent Kompany and David Silva, represented payback for the club’s owners for the support they gave to him last season. Guardiola will now push to add the Premier League title and the Champions League trophy.

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England and Scotland told to explain tunnel fracas involving Owen Farrell

Sun, 25 Feb 2018 22:07:36 GMT2018-02-25T22:07:36Z

• Owen Farrell appeared to be involved in a clash with Ryan Wilson
• Six Nations Rugby asks RFU and SRU to give accounts of incident

England and Scotland must explain their roles in the tunnel bust-up involving Owen Farrell shortly before the Calcutta Cup match on Saturday, raising the possibility of disciplinary action against the England centre.

It is understood Farrell was the subject of provocation and did not instigate the fracas, during which he and Scotland’s No 8 Ryan Wilson had to be separated by team-mates, and while that is likely to work in his favour, the inquiry compounds England’s woes after their grand slam pursuit ended with a second defeat in Eddie Jones’s 26 matches in charge.

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Manchester United go second after Jesse Lingard secures win over Chelsea

Sun, 25 Feb 2018 16:10:19 GMT2018-02-25T16:10:19Z

Jesse Lingard caused Old Trafford to reverberate with noise after his 75th-minute header sealed a win that took Manchester United back into second place ahead of Liverpool.

The creator was Romelu Lukaku, his neat cross finding the substitute, after the No 9’s first goal for United against top-six opposition had cancelled out Willian’s opener.

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Team GB to target top-15 finish in Beijing after record medal haul

Sun, 25 Feb 2018 16:35:07 GMT2018-02-25T16:35:07Z

• UK win five medals in Pyeongchang after Billy Morgan’s bronze
• BOA’s Mike Hay: we need a couple of golds to break into top 15

Britain’s Olympic chiefs are targeting a top-15 finish in the Winter Olympics in four years as they seek to build on their record-breaking medal haul in Pyeongchang.

The 59-strong British team, who are due to leave South Korea in the early hours of Monday morning, were ecstatic at having achieved five medals – squeaking past the four achieved in Sochi in 2014 thanks to Billy Morgan’s thrilling if unexpected snowboarding bronze on Saturday.

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McLaren’s Zak Brown expects marked improvement with Renault engine

Mon, 26 Feb 2018 00:01:01 GMT2018-02-26T00:01:01Z

• Key opening test for MCL33 at Barcelona on Monday
• Fernando Alonso looking for step forward after poor season

As Formula One prepares to take to the track for the first time in 2018 at the opening test in Barcelona on Monday, Zak Brown, the executive director of McLaren, has insisted that anything less than a marked improvement in performance from the British team would be unacceptable.

McLaren have endured three woeful seasons with an unreliable and underpowered Honda engine. Having switched to Renault for this year they will be under intense scrutiny to prove at the Circuit de Catalunya that a return to the top end of the grid is possible from the very moment the MCL33 hits the track.

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Joe Schmidt: Ireland will still have to ‘roll up sleeves’ to win Six Nations

Mon, 26 Feb 2018 00:01:01 GMT2018-02-26T00:01:01Z

• Coach staying calm in face of expectation after weekend results
• ‘We live in a bit of a bubble; the guys won’t get too excited’

Suddenly this Six Nations is Ireland’s to lose. Take maximum points at home to Scotland – as, for example, Wales did, the team they took maximum points against here – and England would need to do the same against them at Twickenham in the final round just to stand a chance.

Joe Schmidt is doing a manful job of trying to dampen the escalating expectations of his public. “Other people make assessments but I wouldn’t,” he dutifully said. “It’s a lot easier for us than it is externally, because we do live in a bit of a bubble during the championships. In the early part of the week the guys won’t get too excited. They may well see they have to roll up sleeves.”

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The Syrian teenager tweeting the horror of life in Ghouta – video

Sat, 24 Feb 2018 08:56:23 GMT2018-02-24T08:56:23Z

Muhammad Najem, a 15-year-old resident of the devastated rebel enclave on the outskirts of Damascus, is using social media to share videos of daily bombardments, and food and medical shortages. With hundreds of civilians killed this week alone, Muhammad’s latest posts have called on the international community to take action and accused President Bashar al-Assad of killing his childhood

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Why one tiny Scottish island is key to every Olympic curling stone – video

Mon, 19 Feb 2018 10:48:16 GMT2018-02-19T10:48:16Z

All the curling stones being used at the Pyeongchang Winter Games are made from granite mined from the tiny, uninhabited island of Ailsa Craig, in the outer Firth of Clyde. The granite is worked into the final stones by staff at Kays Curling in Mauchline, 40 miles from Ailsa Craig on the mainland. Kays has been producing top-level curling stones for more than a century. Though participation in the sport is declining in the UK, the factory is producing more stones than ever to ship overseas. In 1998 – the year the sport was given medal status at the Winter Olympics – 36 countries played the sport; today, there are 54 countries competing worldwide

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Barry Bennell: unmasking of football paedophile who ruined young lives – video explainer

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 14:08:13 GMT2018-02-15T14:08:13Z

For 25 years Barry Bennell lived a dual existence, publicly he was lauded as one of English football's best talent spotters but in private he committed a campaign of sexual abuse against the young boys in his care. When Andy Woodward, one of Bennell's victims, eschewed his anonymity in an interview with Daniel Taylor, the story instigated the largest ever police investigation into sexual abuse in the UK.

The predatory Pied Piper who made stars and shattered lives

Manchester City ‘ignored warnings’ and kept Barry Bennell in youth set-up

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I'm a Dreamer: here is what's happening – video explainer

Thu, 08 Feb 2018 12:40:43 GMT2018-02-08T12:40:43Z

Justino Mora is a Dreamer who arrived in the US aged 11 as an undocumented immigrant. Growing up undocumented meant constantly living in fear of deportation, until Barack Obama introduced Daca in 2012, which protected Dreamers. But in September 2017, the Trump administration undid the Daca system, throwing the future of dreamers into question 

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Frozen out: the US interpreters abandoned on Europe’s border

Mon, 12 Feb 2018 10:57:09 GMT2018-02-12T10:57:09Z

Ahmad and Mati served the US military as interpreters during the war in Afghanistan, but like many others who did so they haven’t been granted visas to emigrate to the US. With their lives threatened by the Taliban, they joined migrants heading for western Europe only to find themselves trapped in Serbia on the wrong side of impenetrable borders

This film was originally published in February 2017. It has been re-edited to conceal the identity of our lead character, whose name has been changed for his protection

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The Yorkshire connection: Team GB ski and snowboard medal hopefuls – video

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 17:01:40 GMT2018-02-16T17:01:40Z

Jamie Nicholls and Katie Summerhayes have something in common beyond making Team GB for Pyeongchang 2018, they grew up on the dry ski slopes across Yorkshire. Aside from providing a further two athletes for the 2018 ski team, the Yorkshire scene has produced a slew of World Cup medals. Katie Ormerod, who has been ruled out of the Games, was the first woman, aged 16, to complete a double cork 1080 and Summerhayes and Nicholls both claimed World Cup silver medals this season

Mica McNeill: British bobsleigher crowdfunding her place at Olympics

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Fearless: five years after Delhi gang-rape, has anything changed for women in India? – video

Wed, 07 Feb 2018 07:33:48 GMT2018-02-07T07:33:48Z

The brutal rape of a 23-year-old student on a bus in Delhi shocked the world. The victim, who became known as Nirbhaya (‘fearless’), succumbed to her injuries two weeks later, but not before giving testimonies against her attackers. Her death provoked outrage and protests across India as people demanded dramatic improvements to women’s rights. But five years on, has anything really changed? We revisit the city to ask women what they think

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Mica McNeill: British bobsleigher crowdfunding her place at Olympics – video

Mon, 05 Feb 2018 14:19:28 GMT2018-02-05T14:19:28Z

After financial  'mismanagement' at British Bobsleigh ended Mica McNeill's hopes of a place at the 2018 Winter Olympics, she decided to crowdfund the money needed to complete her season and remain in contention. She did so successfully, in just five days. Tom Jenkins and Donald McRae followed McNeill and her team in Königsee, Germany, as she talks about being 'powered by the people', terrifying crashes and her hopes for the Winter Olympics

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How YouTube's algorithm distorts reality – video explainer

Fri, 02 Feb 2018 12:00:28 GMT2018-02-02T12:00:28Z

The 2016 presidential race was fought online in a swamp of disinformation, conspiracy theories and fake news. Now a Guardian investigation has uncovered evidence suggesting YouTube’s recommendation algorithm was disproportionately prompting users to watch pro-Trump and anti-Clinton videos

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Donald Trump's first year: in his own words - video

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 15:19:18 GMT2018-01-18T15:19:18Z

Donald Trump's first year as US president has seen a daily battle with the media, a federal investigation into his campaign team and a series of domestic and diplomatic bust-ups. In his own inimitable way he describes the events as he sees them

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Trump's 'global gag rule': how women are fighting back – video

Mon, 22 Jan 2018 07:00:43 GMT2018-01-22T07:00:43Z

One year after Donald Trump reinstated a ban on US aid funding for overseas organisations that provide abortion services, opposition is mounting. Rallying under the banner She Decides, women around the world have united to bridge the funding gap created by the US president’s expanded version of the ‘global gag rule’, which has already forced the closure of hundreds of clinics that provided life-saving family planning services

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Sofia Coppola on the film that launched her – The Start podcast

Thu, 25 Jan 2018 06:00:07 GMT2018-01-25T06:00:07Z

Our new culture podcast, The Start, brings major artists to the mic to reveal how they began their careers. In this first episode, Sofia Coppola talks about the fear and the thrill of directing her debut film, The Virgin Suicides

Subscribe and review on Apple Podcasts or Acast, and join the discussion on Facebook and Twitter

At the 1999 Cannes film festival, attendees watched the work of a little-known 28 year old. That film was The Virgin Suicides, written, directed, and produced by Sofia Coppola. The novel by Jeffrey Eugenides about a doomed family of teenage sisters had resonated so much with the young Sofia she felt compelled to step behind the camera and make her own mark on movies.

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

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

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

Une version de la vidéo en français peut être visionnée ici

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Emma Chambers fans wish for just one more misunderstood joke | Julia Raeside

Sun, 25 Feb 2018 13:20:25 GMT2018-02-25T13:20:25Z

The actor best known as Dibley’s Alice Tinker will be remembered for her full-beam warmth

No one misunderstood a joke like Alice Tinker. In the Vicar of Dibley, Emma Chambers, whose death was announced on Saturday, provided a far-from-straight woman to Dawn French’s appealing rural cleric Geraldine Granger.

Related: Emma Chambers obituary

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Sridevi Kapoor: Bollywood star who was India's lover, friend and mum | Peter Bradshaw

Sun, 25 Feb 2018 12:15:12 GMT2018-02-25T12:15:12Z

Sridevi, who has died aged 54, had the megawattage to match Bollywood’s biggest male stars. Her death is a massive national loss

Sridevi Kapoor was a Bollywood legend, and one of the rare female stars with enough celebrity megawattage to match the lions of the Indian film industry, and enough above-the-title prestige to carry a film on her own. She was known simply as “Sridevi” – but this was not a kind of Madonna single-name branding. She was so ubiquitous that people thought of her as a friend.

Sridevi’s face was her fortune: beautiful, with a cherubic guilelessness that enabled her to play romance, musicals, drama, comedy and indeed action. Fantasy and fun were the solvents for her sexiness. In the 1986 film Nagina, or Female Snake, she had an uproarious snake dance. Audiences loved it when she did an outrageously broad Charlie Chaplin impression, while playing the goofy journalist in the 1987 film Mr India. She also broke out wacky Jackie-Chan-style fight moves, such as those in the 1989 comedy Chaalbaaz, or Trickster, where she played twins, separated at birth.

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Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ launched with first dual-aperture camera

Sun, 25 Feb 2018 17:00:15 GMT2018-02-25T17:00:15Z

Revamped all-screen design brings new AR emoji, stereo speakers, new 960fps slow-mo and potentially game-changing camera

Samsung has launched its latest flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S9, with a familiar all-screen design but its re-invented camera system could be a game-changer.

Announced at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Sunday, the new top-end Android device comes in two varieties, following in the footsteps of last year’s popular Galaxy S8 in both look and feel. They have glass front and back, metal frames, curved edges, are water resistant, have wireless charging and a headphone socket.

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Nigella Lawson’s At My Table by Felicity James

Sun, 25 Feb 2018 08:00:05 GMT2018-02-25T08:00:05Z

This year’s £3,000 Observer/Anthony Burgess prize for arts journalism goes to Felicity James’s reflection on 20 years of sharing her kitchen with the self-styled domestic goddess
• Runner-up: Björk’s Utopia album by Rennie McDougall
• Runner-up: Debi Cornwall’s Welcome to Camp America exhibition by Zack Hatfield

The mouse had clearly been dead a while. It was entombed in the entertaining section, its grey bootlace tail – it was a field mouse – bookmarking a picture of a party meatloaf. It wasn’t clear whether it had crawled into my mother’s Good Housekeeping to die, or whether the assorted canapes had crushed the life out of it. Either way, there would be no more devilled eggs.

And even worse, the whole cupboard of cookery books was doomed. Mrs Beeton’s intricate dinner party menus; the lurid 80s cakes of Jane Asher; Delia soundly holding a brown egg. All of them gnawed at and nested in, in the years since my mother had got ill and my father had begun to subsist on beans and Heinz tomato soup. Into the skip with them all.

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Eddie Amoo obituary

Sun, 25 Feb 2018 15:29:32 GMT2018-02-25T15:29:32Z

Lead singer with the Real Thing, the band that shot to fame in the 1970s with hits such as You to Me Are Everything

In 1976, somewhat against the odds, the Real Thing topped the UK charts with You to Me Are Everything, a song that became a disco classic. Although black soul music was appreciated by British record-buyers, they had shown little interest in homegrown examples. This was the breakthrough single, the one that said it was OK to buy British soul music.

The Real Thing continued to have hits, but by far their most thought-provoking release was their album, 4 from 8, from the following year, in which Eddie (later Eddy) Amoo, who has died aged 73, and his younger brother, Chris (later Cris), wrote about the turmoil around them in the Toxteth area of Liverpool 8. A three-track medley of nearly 12 minutes included Children of the Ghetto, which was not a hit for the Real Thing but taken up very successfully by Philip Bailey (best known as a singer with Earth, Wind and Fire), Courtney Pine and Mary J Blige.

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Nissim Baruch Black: the rapper who gave up bling for Jewish redemption

Sun, 25 Feb 2018 00:04:32 GMT2018-02-25T00:04:32Z

The former drug dealer tells of his journey from a tough Seattle neighbourhood to an ultra-orthodox family life in Jerusalem

Once he rapped about gangs, guns and drugs. But since swapping his gold jewellery for a black hat, the message of Nissim Baruch Black’s music has been one of hope and redemption.

Black, who grew up in a tough neighbourhood in Seattle and was selling drugs by the age of 12, now lives in the most uncompromising ultra-orthodox Jewish area of Jerusalem as a devout family man who reads the Torah, keeps kosher and strictly observes the sabbath.

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Ai Weiwei on the project that awoke his political voice – The Start podcast

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 06:00:07 GMT2018-02-15T06:00:07Z

The artist and activist tells how investigating schoolchildren’s deaths in the Sichuan earthquake of 2008 spawned his mammoth installation, Remembering

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In 2008, an earthquake devastated Sichuan province in China, claiming the lives of more than 69,000 people. Following accusations from parents that substandard construction caused the collapse of schools across in the region, the artist Ai Weiwei set upon a political investigation that would name every missing student and call the government to account for their deaths.

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The power of pop culture: why we’re all crazy for nostalgia

Fri, 26 Jan 2018 17:27:53 GMT2018-01-26T17:27:53Z

From Stephen King’s It to Steven Spielberg’s new film Ready Player One, entertainment references from decades gone by are currently inescapable. So why all these blasts from the past now, asks film writer Ben Falk

Pop quiz, hot shot: when is nostalgia not nostalgia?

Answer: when it’s permeated movies, TV and music so deeply it’s become part of our 2017 norm. Think: the reboot of Stephen King’s It becoming the biggest horror hit ever, the myriad geeky references in Netflix’s Stranger Things 2, or Steven Spielberg’s new film, Ready Player One, where retro video games are practically a character in the plot.

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Discover France’s ports of cool

Fri, 22 Dec 2017 11:43:50 GMT2017-12-22T11:43:50Z

Many ports in France are much more than a place to start and end your holiday – it’s often worth making time in your itinerary to explore these coastal towns. Here are five of our favourites

St Malo
This medieval city is home to many arty shops, markets, restaurants and pavement cafes – make sure you try the seafood (Le Chalut in the old town is very popular), and locally brewed cider. The ancient intra muros, or walled town, with its winding medieval streets and impressive Cathédrale St Malo is a major draw, plus you can enjoy stunning views of the town and harbour from the ramparts. At low tide the islands of Grand Bé and Petit Bé can be reached on foot, and if the weather’s good, make sure you take some time to relax on one of the city’s many gently shelving sandy beaches.

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Do superfoods prevent cancer? Five myths around cancer dispelled

Wed, 21 Feb 2018 12:39:27 GMT2018-02-21T12:39:27Z

Miracle cures, conspiracies and complete fabrication are rife around cancer. From superfoods and shark cartilage to big pharma schemes, Nic Fleming unpacks five myths around its cause, prevention and cure

Watch out for deodorants. Avoid power lines. And bras. Make sure you get your goji berries. And don’t forget the shark cartilage pills. Having to deal with misinformed advice like this is unfortunately all too common for people with cancer.

There is plenty of accurate and useful information for patients – and those close to them – on the internet. Sadly, there are also a lot of half-truths, exaggeration and nonsense.

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Kate Humble on Corfu: 'I begged my parents to let us stay longer'

Fri, 12 Jan 2018 17:04:44 GMT2018-01-12T17:04:44Z

Broadcaster Kate Humble was enchanted by the island of Corfu from her first visit at age 10 – so much so that it remains her best ever holiday

I grew up in Berkshire, in the leafy home counties, next to a farm, so my childhood was lots of climbing trees, building dens and riding bikes. Holidays were always in the UK and tended to involve going and staying in another cottage other than the one we lived in, doing wholesome things – Famous Five picnics, walking and going to a lovely petting zoo I remember in Sussex.

At some point, when I was 10, my parents must have thought that actually it would be really nice to go somewhere warm, where it might not rain. Or perhaps Mum suggested a holiday that didn’t involve just cooking in a different kitchen. Either way, something sparked an extravagant deviation from the norm, and we rented a villa in Corfu.

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MateBook X Pro: Huawei attempts to out-Pro Apple's MacBook Pro

Sun, 25 Feb 2018 13:30:11 GMT2018-02-25T13:30:11Z

New machine has a 14in screen squeezed into a 12in laptop frame, a discrete GPU and a camera that pops up from beneath the keyboard

Following Huawei’s attempts to directly challenge the dominant smartphone players Samsung and Apple, now the Chinese technology firm is going after laptops with the MateBook X Pro, attempting to out-“Pro” the MacBook Pro.

The new thin and light laptop follows on from Huawei’s MateBook X from 2017, released in 2017 and looks strikingly familiar to Apple’s top-of-the-line notebook, with an aluminium body that’s available in silver or “space grey” – just like the MacBook Pro – a chiclet keyboard and large trackpad.

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The OFM 50: everything we love in the world of food right now

Sun, 25 Feb 2018 11:00:08 GMT2018-02-25T11:00:08Z

From the taco queen to the king of pies, British Columbia to Skibbereen: presenting our favourite people and places for 2018

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Total recall: eight ways to boost your memory power at work

Fri, 23 Feb 2018 10:30:02 GMT2018-02-23T10:30:02Z

Keep forgetting what’s on your to-do list? A mnemonic champion has some tips for improving your ability to remember facts and faces

Our smart devices have become extensions of ourselves in a way that allows us to do almost anything with ease — store contact information, get answers to questions, organise calendars and manage our to-do lists. But, no matter how advanced technology gets, it is not a substitute for our memory.

Here are a few ways to start boosting your brainpower.

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Will Ed Sheeran inspire more men to wear engagement rings?

Sun, 25 Feb 2018 15:30:13 GMT2018-02-25T15:30:13Z

The singer was spotted wearing a silver band at the Brits, sparking rumours he was already married – but jewellers have been pushing the idea of ‘man-gagement rings’ for years

Name: Ed Sheeran’s engagement ring.

Age: Less than a month.

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Smart speakers: a buyer’s guide

Sun, 25 Feb 2018 09:30:06 GMT2018-02-25T09:30:06Z

They can do everything from playing your favourite tunes to turning on the lights. But which should you get? We test the four leading models

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Naples: Elena Ferrante’s brilliant city

Sun, 25 Feb 2018 07:00:03 GMT2018-02-25T07:00:03Z

Fans of the writer’s Neapolitan novels are flocking to discover the south Italian city, whose personality is as important to the books as the protagonists

Like many tourists in Naples, I have only ever been there en route to somewhere else. For years the city has had a reputation for being dirty, dangerous and traffic-choked: why on earth would anyone choose to linger? But this has changed. Naples is becoming a destination in its own right, thanks in part to the huge popularity of the enigmatic author Elena Ferrante. And with the city’s rubbish-collection problem solved and new traffic restrictions in the centre, it is looking in better shape than it has done for decades.

Related: Elena Ferrante's Naples – a photo essay

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Rotherham abuse inquiry ‘needs 100 more officers’

Sun, 25 Feb 2018 13:46:41 GMT2018-02-25T13:46:41Z

Exclusive: Operation Stovewood’s head says team has been able to contact only 17% of 1,510 possible victims

The UK’s biggest investigation into child sexual exploitation needs 100 more officers to tackle the unprecedented scale of abuse in Rotherham, the head of the operation has told the Guardian.

The National Crime Agency (NCA), which is investigating past grooming offences in the town, has identified more than 1,500 potential victims and 110 suspects, and officers expect those figures to rise.

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Ex-Carillion CFO sold £800,000 in shares after retirement

Mon, 26 Feb 2018 00:01:01 GMT2018-02-26T00:01:01Z

Richard Adam’s shares sales took place before KPMG audit which led to profit warning

Carillion’s former finance director sold nearly £800,000 of shares after retiring last year shortly before the firm’s collapse, according to evidence published by MPs.

Richard Adam, who had managed Carillion’s finances for a decade, offloaded £534,000 of shares on 1 March last year, three months after stepping down from the company, before selling a further £242,000 of stock handed to him in May as part of a bonus scheme.

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Water vole areas in England and Wales fall by 30% in a decade

Mon, 26 Feb 2018 00:01:01 GMT2018-02-26T00:01:01Z

Species remains UK’s fastest declining mammal despite large reintroduction programme

The number of areas where water voles are found across England and Wales has fallen by almost a third in 10 years, research has found.

The species, which provided the model for the much-loved character Ratty in The Wind of the Willows, has suffered catastrophic declines over several decades and is the UK’s fastest declining mammal.

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Southern Rail users miss flights after bottleneck at station

Sun, 25 Feb 2018 22:53:54 GMT2018-02-25T22:53:54Z

Passengers say overcrowded rail replacement service disrupted travel from Redhill to Gatwick

Southern Rail users say they have missed flights as an overcrowded rail replacement service caused crowds to bottleneck at Redhill station.

Police were on the scene as frustrated crowds, unable to use the Gatwick Express service to the airport, continued to swell into Sunday evening as they waited for buses.

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UK scientist says Britons in Europe 'utterly ignored' by government

Sun, 25 Feb 2018 16:25:27 GMT2018-02-25T16:25:27Z

Leading astrophysicist Mark McCaughrean, based in the Netherlands, says many may have to forgo British citizenship

One of the most senior British scientists in Europe has made an impassioned plea to the government to reconsider its implacable opposition to freedom of movement, saying it is a direct attack on around 1 million British nationals living on the continent.

Britons living in Europe will be left with fewer rights if free movement disappears, while European passport holders living in the UK will continue to have rights as EU citizens post-Brexit.

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Households could save £100 a year as energy price cap moves closer

Mon, 26 Feb 2018 00:03:45 GMT2018-02-26T00:03:45Z

Theresa May says government legislation will ‘force energy companies to change their ways’

Legislation to cap energy prices for 11m households across Britain will go before parliament today.

The Domestic Gas and Electricity (Tariff Cap) Bill compels regulator Ofgem to implement the cap once the law has given it new powers.

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Anti-Corbyn rightwing press attacks 'boost Momentum support'

Sun, 25 Feb 2018 14:29:53 GMT2018-02-25T14:29:53Z

Exclusive: Negative stories in Daily Mail often lead to spikes in membership, says group

Attacks on Jeremy Corbyn by the rightwing press are leading to large spikes in his support base immediately after negative newspaper articles, according to data seen by the Guardian.

Figures from Momentum come days after Labour went on the offensive over reports in the Daily Mail, the Sun and other newspapers that Corbyn met a Czechoslovakian spy in the 1980s.

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Londoners at greater risk of crime as Met budgets tighten

Sun, 25 Feb 2018 17:31:12 GMT2018-02-25T17:31:12Z

Home secretary Amber Rudd accused of ducking responsibility by office of London mayor

The government has given its clearest sign yet that it will not increase budgets for the Metropolitan police amid warnings a funding crisis will leave 9 million Londoners at greater danger of crime.

The Home Office said the Met gets more officers and money per capita of population than other forces, as the office of London’s Labour mayor Sadiq Khan said the Conservative government would not meet to discuss funding.

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Jerusalem: thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews attend rabbi's funeral

Sun, 25 Feb 2018 20:22:16 GMT2018-02-25T20:22:16Z

Rabbi Shmuel Auerbach, 86, was leader of breakaway faction of non-Hasidic ultra-Orthodox Jews

Tens of thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews have attended the funeral of an influential rabbi in Jerusalem, bringing parts of the city to a standstill.

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Who is Michael McCormack? The life and controversies of Australia's new deputy PM

Sun, 25 Feb 2018 22:49:48 GMT2018-02-25T22:49:48Z

From a homophobic editorial to his role in the bungled census of 2016, the new Nationals leader comes with baggage

Michael McCormack is the new Nationals leader and deputy prime minister. Never heard of him? Never fear. We’ve compiled this handy assortment of tidbits and controversies to bring you up to speed.

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Hungary: surprise defeat for Viktor Orbán in bellwether byelection

Mon, 26 Feb 2018 02:08:21 GMT2018-02-26T02:08:21Z

With only weeks to go before a general election, the result in Hodmezovasarhely could spell trouble for the prime minister

Hungary’s ruling party has suffered a shock defeat in a local byelection, spelling potential challenges ahead for the prime minister, Viktor Orbán, with only weeks to go before a general election.

Orbán, known for his fierce anti-migrant, populist rhetoric, will seek a third consecutive term in an election on 8 April.

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Xi Jinping to cement his power with plan to scrap two-term limit

Sun, 25 Feb 2018 11:23:19 GMT2018-02-25T11:23:19Z

China’s Communist party chiefs propose constitutional change to allow president to stay on

The Chinese leader, Xi Jinping, already considered the country’s most dominant since Mao Zedong, looks to have further cemented his grip on power after Beijing unveiled plans to scrap the presidency’s two-term limit.

China’s official news agency, Xinhua, announced the dramatic news on Sunday in a bland 36-word dispatch. It paves the way for Xi to remain in power well into the next decade and perhaps even beyond.

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Storms leave five dead in Kentucky, Arkansas and Michigan

Sun, 25 Feb 2018 20:39:03 GMT2018-02-25T20:39:03Z

Severe thunderstorms in system stretching from Texas to Canada trigger flooding and at least one tornado

At least five were confirmed to have died after severe thunderstorms swept through the central US on Saturday, spawning a tornado that flattened homes, gale force winds and widespread flooding from the upper Midwest to Appalachia.

Related: 'We've been forgotten': Hurricane Harvey and the long path to recovery

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More than 100 schoolgirls missing after Boko Haram attack in Nigeria

Sun, 25 Feb 2018 18:00:06 GMT2018-02-25T18:00:06Z

Officials say 110 students unaccounted for, despite prior claims of military rescue

More than 100 girls remain unaccounted for following an attack on a school in north-eastern Nigeria by suspected members of Boko Haram, officials have said.

The students’ disappearance may represent one of the largest kidnappings since the jihadist group abducted more than 270 schoolgirls from the town of Chibok in 2014. That case drew global attention to the insurgency and spawned the high profile social media campaign Bring Back Our Girls.

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Ireland pushes for UK TV channels to make post-Brexit move

Sun, 25 Feb 2018 18:04:48 GMT2018-02-25T18:04:48Z

Country tries to persuade TV channels to follow financial services in relocating to Dublin

First it was banks; now Ireland is targeting television channels based in the UK who may need to relocate to an EU country after Brexit in order to continue broadcasting across the bloc.

Its foreign investment authority has launched a charm offensive in London with the aim of persuading channels to follow Bank of America and Barclays to locate their EU-regulated HQ in Dublin.

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Fire and Fury author and Tony Blair accuse each other of lying

Sun, 25 Feb 2018 12:53:32 GMT2018-02-25T12:53:32Z

Michael Wolff calls ex-PM ‘complete liar’ after he dismisses claims he was angling for job from Trump White House

The former prime minister Tony Blair and the American author Michael Wolff have accused each other of lying, as the row about Blair’s dealings with Donald Trump’s White House reignited.

Wolff, whose bestselling book Fire and Fury presents a remarkable and highly negative account of Trump’s first year in office, said on Sunday that Blair was a “complete liar” in the way he dismissed claims in the book. Blair responded by saying Wolff’s stories about him were made up.

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For the chop: the battle to save Sheffield’s trees

Sun, 25 Feb 2018 14:00:11 GMT2018-02-25T14:00:11Z

‘Europe’s greenest city’ has lost 5,000 trees, chopped down by a private company despite furious local protests. Michael Gove calls the destruction “bonkers”. Now, after a brief truce, the chainsaws are about to start their work again …

It’s just after nine on a bitterly cold Wednesday morning and university lecturer Paul Norman has been patrolling a Sheffield street for more than an hour. Between glances up and down the road, he is marking students’ papers, pleased with the gloves that let him use his phone’s touchscreen, in case he needs to call for backup.

An hour later, another academic, Sheldon Hall, has replaced him at his post. With everything still quiet, he reads a textbook on early cinema.

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Musician, activist, soothsayer: the many talents of Moby

Sun, 25 Feb 2018 09:00:05 GMT2018-02-25T09:00:05Z

But did he really invent the iPhone and become a voice for the world’s anti-Trump security services?After Moby got really rich, he bought a castle in LA called Wolf’s Lair and moved in, alone. It was so big that he would make popcorn in the kitchen, “put it on a little tray and walk, you know, across hallways, up a staircase, to go watch Homeland on Netflix,” he tells me. He had also got sober, but this place had a soundproof basement nightclub which he imagined locking himself in for ever if he relapsed into drink and drugs – “It was a great house for degeneracy,” he says – so when “a British friend” asked if he’d consider selling it all, Moby said yes on a whim. He won’t tell me who bought it, but the rumour is that it was Banksy. Now Moby lives in a marginally less grand house down the hill, where his neighbours are merely Ryan Gosling and Thom Yorke, and where, within five minutes of arriving to interview him, I need to use the loo. He is so polite and welcoming that when he nips off I follow, thinking we will be walking down endless tastefully decorated minimalist corridors to find the WC. Alas, I have accidentally followed him right into the lavatory, where he calls out, “Just cleaning up!” as I walk in on him putting the toilet seat down for me.Still, if you are aware of Moby’s past life, a toilet encounter with a woman he’s just met seems about par for the course. One year ago, he posted online that he had been informed by “friends who work in DC” that the Russians had much more nefarious info on Trump than him simply “peeing on hookers”. The internet got very excited about this but my first thought was, I’ve read your memoir, Moby, about the New York parties you went to in your wilder days of dance music and pop hits, and I’ve heard the gossip, too – you quite possibly peed on hookers yourself, so it’s no wonder you want to move this dialogue on. Continue reading...[...]


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The terrifying phenomenon that is pushing species towards extinction

Sun, 25 Feb 2018 08:00:04 GMT2018-02-25T08:00:04Z

Scientists are alarmed by a rise in mass mortality events – when species die in their thousands. Is it all down to climate change?

There was almost something biblical about the scene of devastation that lay before Richard Kock as he stood in the wilderness of the Kazakhstan steppe. Dotted across the grassy plain, as far as the eye could see, were the corpses of thousands upon thousands of saiga antelopes. All appeared to have fallen where they were feeding.

Some were mothers that had travelled to this remote wilderness for the annual calving season, while others were their offspring, just a few days old. Each had died in just a few hours from blood poisoning. In the 30C heat of a May day, the air around each of the rotting hulks was thick with flies.

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How migrant workers took on Ben & Jerry's – and won a historic agreement

Sun, 25 Feb 2018 11:00:08 GMT2018-02-25T11:00:08Z

In Vermont, activists demanded better working conditions on dairy farms – even as the threat of deportation loomed

On a windy afternoon in March 2017, protesters singing civil rights songs circled the steps of the Vermont state capitol. It was a classic Vermont rally. There were white-haired activists; Protestant, Jewish, Buddhist, and Muslim clergy; young adults; and children carrying signs that said: “We All Belong Here. We Will Defend Each Other.”

At the center was a small group of dairy workers from remote mountain villages in southern Mexico. They sang songs, then chanted: “¡Ni una más! Not one more deportation!”

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Breaking the cycle: women are learning to love their hormones

Sun, 25 Feb 2018 07:00:03 GMT2018-02-25T07:00:03Z

To be labelled ‘hormonal’ used to be an insult. Now women are reclaiming the role of oestrogen in their lives. Eva Wiseman reveals how a new generation is being ‘empowered’ by their hormones

The grand plan, the plan to end the Second World War, was inspired by the docility of Paula Hitler. You don’t hear much about Paula, do you, the lesser-known Hitler, who worked as a secretary while big brother Adolf was upstairs doing the Holocaust? But yes, inspired by Paula, British spies planned to end the war by making Adolf less aggressive. They intended to do this by smuggling oestrogen into his food, thereby turning him into a woman. Hitler had tasters, said Professor Brian Ford of Cardiff University, who discovered the plot, so there was “no mileage to putting poison in his food because they would immediately fall victim to it”. But, “Sex hormones were a different matter.”

Though the word “hormone” was first used in 1905, derived from the Greek meaning “to arouse or excite”, it was during that period leading into the war that the science of endocrinology developed. Hormones are the body’s chemical messengers; they trigger activity in the body and regulate the function of organs. But with knowledge of their effects came creeping politics. If hormones meant women were less inclined to start wars, did it also mean they were less capable of ambition? Less capable of being leaders? If hormones meant men were more aggressive, less nurturing, was equality an impossible dream?

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Skin in the Game by Nassim Nicholas Taleb – digested read

Sun, 25 Feb 2018 17:00:15 GMT2018-02-25T17:00:15Z

‘Say what you like about Hitler – but at least he topped himself when it all went wrong. That’s skin in the game’

You’ve missed me. You almost certainly don’t know that, but you have. And the reason you don’t know is, first, because you’re almost certainly a schmuck who doesn’t get probability theory – and, second, because you don’t have skin in the game. Me, I always have skin in the game. That’s what makes me special. That’s why I made millions as a financial trader. That’s why I’m so much cleverer than everyone else. If you take just one thing away from this book, make it this: Big Nick knows best and is doing you a favour by writing it.

Skin in the Game is the latest in my collection of works that I’ve grandiosely called Incerto. Remember Antifragile and The Black Swan? They were mine. People said they wouldn’t sell, but they became massive. That’s not boasting, that’s just the truth. I don’t need to boast because I’m brilliant enough without it. So if you want to know why everything you always thought was right is actually wrong, read on.

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Sunday's best photos: Brazilian favelas and the Hindu festival of Holi

Sun, 25 Feb 2018 15:26:53 GMT2018-02-25T15:26:53Z

The Guardian’s picture editors bring you a selection of photo highlights from around the world, including clear skies in Wales and a rescued lion

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Milan Fashion Week autumn/winter 2018: 10 key shows – in pictures

Sat, 24 Feb 2018 14:00:20 GMT2018-02-24T14:00:20Z

From balaclavas and baby dragons at Gucci to neon lights and a fluro revival at Prada, Observer fashion editor Jo Jones picks her 10 highlights from Milan Fashion Week autumn/winter 2018

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The best fan costumes at the Winter Olympics – in pictures

Sat, 24 Feb 2018 07:00:11 GMT2018-02-24T07:00:11Z

It’s not just the performance of the athletes that make the Olympics a special event - the way spectators dress up to support their heroes adds a whole other dimesion

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American fairs: an enduring summer tradition – in pictures

Sat, 24 Feb 2018 13:00:19 GMT2018-02-24T13:00:19Z

Corn dogs, rodeos and rides are all part of America’s enduring love for fairs, which is the subject of a new book by Pamela Littky. She travelled across the US capturing the essence of an institution little changed for over 170 years, which binds and celebrates communities. American Fair is published by Kehrer Verlag

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The 20 photographs of the week

Sat, 24 Feb 2018 08:42:30 GMT2018-02-24T08:42:30Z

Stormzy at the Brit Awards, airstrikes in eastern Ghouta, demonstrations for gun control reform in Washington, the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang – the week captured by the world’s best photojournalists

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The week in wildlife – in pictures

Fri, 23 Feb 2018 14:00:06 GMT2018-02-23T14:00:06Z

White-tailed sea eagles, a rose-ringed parakeet and an Aldabra giant tortoise are among this week’s pick of images from the natural world

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