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The Guardian

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

Published: Tue, 24 Jan 2017 09:30:02 GMT2017-01-24T09:30:02Z

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

Brexit ruling: supreme court announces its article 50 judgment - Politics live

Tue, 24 Jan 2017 09:29:21 GMT2017-01-24T09:29:21Z

Rolling coverage of the supreme court Brexit article 50 judgment, with reaction and analysis

Sky News is now showing footage from inside the supreme court.

But the 11 supreme court judges have not arrived yet.

These are from David Allen Green, the FT’s legal commentator.

The lawyers for parties have already been informed of the result.

This is so they can prepare to make any immediate follow-on submissions.

Political significance aside, this is likely to be the constitutional law decision of at least a generation.


Most constitutional law cases address only one constitutional law issue.


But this one has almost everything:
crown v parliament
courts v both
Westminster v devolved powers
Treaties v Acts of Parliament

May well be that there will never be a more "constitutional" appeal case in UK.

So not just politically significant.


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Media Files:

The leave vote isn’t sacrosanct. Labour should say so | Jonathan Steele

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 19:19:39 GMT2017-01-23T19:19:39Z

The Brexit narrative says the referendum result is untouchable, but there are ways to reverse the decision

In the discussion about Brexit, inflamed once again by the supreme court process, too much has been made of article 50’s alleged irrevocability as well as of the two-year timetable which it lays out for completing negotiations with the rest of the European Union. Even ardent remainers are guilty of this. In fact, neither of these points is set in stone. Now there is a real opportunity to shape and to change the terms of the debate.

Related: Article 50: Labour to push for closer scrutiny of Brexit process

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Nato has our 'unshakeable commitment', Pentagon chief vows

Tue, 24 Jan 2017 08:26:17 GMT2017-01-24T08:26:17Z

US defence secretary James Mattis tells UK counterpart Michael Fallon that defence ties were the ‘bedrock of our security’

James Mattis, the new US defence secretary, has reassured his British counterpart that Washington has an “unshakeable commitment” to Nato, despite Donald Trump previously casting the military alliance as obsolete.

During a phone call with Michael Fallon on his first full day in office, Mattis “emphasized the United States’ unshakeable commitment to Nato”, Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis said in a statement.

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Organisms created with synthetic DNA pave way for entirely new life forms

Tue, 24 Jan 2017 07:01:42 GMT2017-01-24T07:01:42Z

E coli microbes have been modified to carry an expanded genetic code which researchers say will ultimately allow them to be programmed

From the moment life gained a foothold on Earth its story has been written in a DNA code of four letters. With G, T, C and A - the molecules that pair up in the DNA helix - the lines between humans and all life on Earth are spelled out.

Now, the first living organisms to thrive with an expanded genetic code have been made by researchers in work that paves the way for the creation and exploitation of entirely new life forms.

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Sydney heatwave expected to shatter weather record set before federation

Tue, 24 Jan 2017 01:27:21 GMT2017-01-24T01:27:21Z

If Sydneysiders are subjected to one more day above 35C, the ninth this summer, it will equal record set in 1896

Sydney is on track for its hottest summer, a record that has stood since before federation.

If Sydneysiders are subjected to one more day above 35C, the ninth this summer, it will equal the record set in 1896. The city has already set a new record for hot nights, with the mercury staying above 24C four times, two more than the summer of 2010.

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BT shares plunge 19% as Italian accounting scandal deepens – business live

Tue, 24 Jan 2017 09:10:34 GMT2017-01-24T09:10:34Z

Telecoms firm suspends staff over ‘extremely serious’ improper behaviour at its Italian arm, and admits UK business is also slowing

We’ll get more colour on BT’s business on Friday, when it publishes its third-quarter financial results.

Today’s announcement was rushed out once the company had calculated the full cost of its Italian accounting problems.

Q: Why were the accounting irregularities BT Italy not discovered a lot sooner?

BT says that it “needs to reflect” on why they were not spotted by BT Italy’s management, the wider Group, or by its auditors.

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Michael Fallon accused of keeping MPs in dark over Trident failure

Tue, 24 Jan 2017 07:01:12 GMT2017-01-24T07:01:12Z

Defence secretary refuses to give further details about incident as US official tells CNN missile was forced to self destruct

Michael Fallon was accused of keeping parliament in the dark about last June’s failed Trident weapons test, as he refused to confirm reports that a malfunctioning missile with the potential to carry a nuclear warhead was forced to self-destruct in mid-air off the US coast.

Related: MoD cannot fall back on usual excuses to explain Trident misfire | Ewen MacAskill

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UK fraud hits record £1.1bn as cybercrime soars

Tue, 24 Jan 2017 07:01:40 GMT2017-01-24T07:01:40Z

Law enforcement agencies will come under increasing strain as they investigate complex ‘super cases’, warns KPMG

The value of fraud committed in the UK last year topped £1bn for the first time since 2011, prompting a warning about increasing cyber crime and the risk of more large-scale scams as the economy comes under pressure.

The 55% year-on-year rise in the value of fraud to £1.1bn reported in the court system was recorded by accountants KPMG, which found that while the cost of fraud was higher the number of incidents was lower.

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Boy, 15, killed in north London stabbing

Tue, 24 Jan 2017 08:30:33 GMT2017-01-24T08:30:33Z

Police launch murder investigation after teenager was stabbed in Willesden at 3.30pm on Monday

A teenage boy has been stabbed in north-west London.

London Ambulance Service called police officers to Doyle Gardens, Willesden, just before 3.30pm on Monday where a 15-year-old boy had been stabbed.

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China abandoning rule of law, human rights lawyers say

Tue, 24 Jan 2017 03:16:21 GMT2017-01-24T03:16:21Z

Group of leading lawyers and judges expresses ‘grave concern’ over the detention of legal professionals

Top human rights lawyers say Xi Jinping’s China is moving farther and farther away from the rule of law amid new claims about torture of Chinese attorneys

Writing in the Guardian on Tuesday, a group of leading lawyers and judges from the US, Europe and Australia expressed “grave concern” over the detention and treatment of legal professionals.

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Ilford has highest burglary rate in UK, says Moneysupermarket

Tue, 24 Jan 2017 07:01:40 GMT2017-01-24T07:01:40Z

Analysis of insurance quotes reveals parts of Cambridge and Manchester also have high rates, while Northern Ireland is lowest

Households in parts of Ilford, east London, suffer the worst rates of burglary in the UK, according to insurance forms, although the number of break-ins continues to fall nationally.

Analysis of 1.8m home insurance quotes by over the past five years names the IG4 postcode, covering an area between Redbridge and Gants Hill in east London, as worst for burglary across the UK.

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Wiley: the enigmatic Godfather of Grime

Tue, 24 Jan 2017 06:00:38 GMT2017-01-24T06:00:38Z

After more than a decade of being fetishised and then written off, grime now dominates British pop culture. To understand why, you need to understand the man who created it

Wiley, perhaps the most influential musician working in Britain today, has a habit of self-sabotage. In 2010, a few weeks before the release of his new album, he fell out with his record label and decided to upload more than 200 songs from the recording sessions: finished singles, experimental demos, even unreleased work by other artists he was about to collaborate with. His fans were delighted, but his relationship with the label collapsed and the album was never formally released. Three years later, not long after he finally secured his first No 1 hit, Heatwave, he once again leaked his new album ahead of release, this time because of a trivial dispute over the tracklisting.

Since he first began releasing music as Wiley in 2001, Richard Cowie Jnr has frequently disowned his creations, quit his record labels, dismissed the entire music industry, flaked on gigs and festivals, and announced his retirement from music altogether. He has publicly denounced and sacked his manager John Woolf several times, before rehiring him a few days later. Even long after you might think he would know better, Wiley has spent days arguing with teenage fans on web forums (“both ur parents are experiencing the credit crunch i aint”), and on Twitter (“im not 40 u dusty tramp go tell ya mum i said your house smells of mash potato”). He has been stabbed on at least three separate occasions, chased with samurai swords and shotguns, had gangsters after him (“proper, heavy old-school English gangsters”, he said last year), sold crack and heroin, been deported from Canada, banned from driving, banned from radio stations and had lyrical beefs with countless other MCs, the innocuous pop duo Rizzle Kicks and the Guardian. In 2013 he launched a Twitter tirade against Glastonbury festival, having already arrived on site to perform, because he didn’t like the rain. The rant culminated in the famous declaration “fuck them and their farm”.

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Paris, Shanghai, Rome … teacher takes children out of school for a better education

Tue, 24 Jan 2017 07:15:40 GMT2017-01-24T07:15:40Z

Fed up with targets and tests, teacher Sue Cowley took her children on a global adventure – and has written a guide to help other parents do the same

“What is an education?” asks Sue Cowley, a parent and teacher, in her new book. “Is it about going to school every day, wearing the correct uniform, working hard in lessons and completing your homework? Is it about doing what your teachers tell you to, being well-behaved and compliant? Is an education about how many facts you know and can recall in exams? Or could it be something different – something that can happen out in the world, as well as in a classroom?”

Cowley has spent a lifetime in education. She trained as an early years teacher, has taught English and drama in secondary schools, worked in schools overseas, trained teachers, is an expert in behaviour management, and has written more than 25 books for teachers and parents. Then three years ago she turned her back on it. Frustrated by changes in the education system in England and the testing regime, she took her two children out of school, packed the family Audi and set off on a child-led journey across Europe and China.

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Roll over Beethoven: Desert Island Discs stars pick pop over classical

Tue, 24 Jan 2017 00:01:31 GMT2017-01-24T00:01:31Z

Varying background of modern castaways means Radio 4 show features more diverse range of cultures and musical choices

Guests of the BBC radio programme Desert Island Discs are abandoning classical music selections in favour of pop music and power ballads, according to a survey to mark the show’s 75th anniversary.

The Radio 4 programme, devised by broadcaster Roy Plomley during the second world war, features celebrity guests discussing their lives and choosing eight pieces of music, as well as a book and a luxury item, they would take with them to a desert island.

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Trump's 'day of patriotic devotion' has echoes of North Korea

Tue, 24 Jan 2017 08:49:46 GMT2017-01-24T08:49:46Z

US president’s inauguration day proclamation uses language uttered by Kim Jong-un in speeches to military and in the secretive state’s propaganda

Donald Trump has echoed North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, after declaring that the day of his inauguration should be a “national day of patriotic devotion” – a rallying cry that would not be out of place in the secretive state’s propaganda.

Trump’s proclamation, which was made official on Monday, has been uttered by Kim in speeches to his 1.2 million-strong military and members of the ruling Korean Workers’ party in recent years.

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​Tinder for cities: how tech is making urban planning more inclusive

Tue, 24 Jan 2017 07:00:40 GMT2017-01-24T07:00:40Z

Having a say in what your city or neighbourhood should be like is often complicated, time-consuming and full of confusing jargon. A new wave of digital tools are trying to make the process transparent and interactive

Imagine if next time you saw a plan for an oversized monster tower block proposed for your street, you could get out your smartphone and swipe left to oppose it? Or see a carefully designed scheme for a new neighbourhood library and swipe right to support it?

Tinder for urban planning might sound far-fetched, but it is already being trialled in the sun-kissed Californian city of Santa Monica. City authorities are trying to gauge public opinion on everything from street furniture and parking, to murals and market stalls for their forthcoming urban plan, using a digital tool modelled on a dating app.

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Australian Open 2017 day nine: Roger Federer v Mischa Zverev – live!

Tue, 24 Jan 2017 09:27:50 GMT2017-01-24T09:27:50Z

• Updates from day nine at Melbourne Park
• Email John Ashdown on or tweet him

Third set: Zverev 1-6, 5-7, 1-1 Federer* (*denotes server)

The most routine of routine holds for Federer.

Third set: *Zverev 1-6, 5-7, 1-0 Federer (*denotes server)

Deuce on the Zverev serve and a cracking passing shot gives Federer a break point. The world No50 saves it with a ferocious serve and a controlled volley. Another excellent volley gives him the advantage and a point later he has the hold. It’s far from straightforward for the German at the moment though.

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Transfer window: Marseille set to make fourth bid for Dimitri Payet – live!

Tue, 24 Jan 2017 09:21:35 GMT2017-01-24T09:21:35Z

West Ham have rejected a third bid from Marseille, thought to be £22.5m, and are rapidly running out of patience with the Ligue 1 club. Payet’s family have already returned to France, and their unhappiness in London is one of the reasons why the 29-year-old has become so unsettled recently. West Ham still value the midfielder at £30m, and whilst Marseille are set to make a fourth bid, it is not expected to be at that level. Another sticking point is the bumper £125,000-a-week five-year contract Payet signed last February - it remains unclear whether Marseille are capable or willing to match that figure.

Hello! The long slow march towards the end of the month has begun. Just seven more sleeps until the close of the transfer window. For those of you still persevering with Dry January, you have my eternal respect. I don’t know how you are doing it.

Here are some rumours to get things started. Gorge yourselves.

Related: Football transfer rumours: PSG to beat Manchester United to Gonçalo Guedes?

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Venus Williams rolls back the years to reach Australian Open semi-finals at 36

Tue, 24 Jan 2017 04:12:18 GMT2017-01-24T04:12:18Z

  • Thirteenth seed beats Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-4, 7-6 (7-3)
  • Will to play fellow American Coco Vandeweghe for place in final

The first Australian Open quarter-final started at brunch for Melburnians, supper time for Americans, but in the end Venus Williams had Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova for lunch on Rod Laver Arena. The 36-year-old veteran wound back the clock to beat world No27 Anastasia Pavlyuchenko in straight sets, 6-4, 7-6 (7-3), and set up a semi-final appearance so unlikely that if she wins it and the outing after that, they should honestly make her a bigger trophy.

Immediately standing in her way is Coco Vandeweghe, who later beat Spain’s Garbine Muguruza 6-4, 6-0 to book a date with Williams in what will be an all-American last-four encounter.

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Jürgen Klopp reveals ‘long’ clear-the-air meeting with Liverpool players

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 22:29:29 GMT2017-01-23T22:29:29Z

• Manager held inquest the day after losing against Swansea at Anfield
• German admits his players are not enjoying the job they have to do

Jürgen Klopp has admitted he is not happy with Liverpool’s past few results in the Premier League and revealed he held a “long” meeting with his players the day after the 3-2 defeat by Swansea City.

Klopp also suggested the players were not enjoying themselves at the moment. “We had a very intense period around Christmas and new year,” the Liverpool manager said. “Fair enough, so did everybody else, but before the Swansea game I actually thought we were back on the right track, with the freshness coming back. But what I spoke most about was enjoying what we do.

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F1 takeover ends Bernie Ecclestone’s 40-year reign

Tue, 24 Jan 2017 08:34:32 GMT2017-01-24T08:34:32Z

• ‘I’m proud of the business that I built over the last 40 years,’ says Ecclestone
• New CEO Chase Carey says F1 ‘has multiple untapped opportunities’

Bernie Ecclestone’s reign as the chief executive of Formula One has been brought to a close, after he ran it virtually single-handedly for 40 years. The surprising speed of the decision is a clear signal of the intention of the new owners, Liberty Media, to change the way the sport is run. It represents the most significant shift in Formula One’s management since Ecclestone took over in the late 1970s.

Liberty completed its purchase of Formula One last week and although previously the stated aim had been to maintain Ecclestone for two to three years to facilitate a change in the structure at the top of the sport, the 86-year-old has now been replaced by Chase Carey, who had already been appointed chairman of F1 and will now also become chief executive. Ecclestone has been given the honorary position of chairman emeritus, as a source of advice for the new owners, but will not be part of the decision-making process.

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Smartphones are ruining skills and awareness, claims England rugby coach

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 21:59:29 GMT2017-01-23T21:59:29Z

• Vision specialist Sherylle Calder speaks of ‘decline across different sports’
• ‘We develop visual motor skills by climbing trees, walking on walls’

Sportsmen and women who spend half their lives glued to their smartphones should look away now. According to the expert hired to improve the hand-eye coordination of England’s rugby team, there has been a significant decline across all sports in skill and visual awareness over the past six years – a period when staring at a screen has become increasingly normal for all ages.

Dr Sherylle Calder, a South African vision specialist recruited by the England head coach, Eddie Jones, has worked in American football, golf and motor racing as well as rugby and, ahead of the Six Nations Championship this year, has already advised England’s players to spend less time on their mobiles if they wish to become the best in the world.

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Hull City hopeful Ryan Mason will be back for start of next season

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 19:54:15 GMT2017-01-23T19:54:15Z

• Midfielder underwent emergency surgery on Sunday for fractured skull
• Long road ahead but full recovery appears likely for 25-year-old

The early indications are that Ryan Mason is set to make a full recovery from his fractured skull and should be back in Hull City’s first team by the start of next season.

There is quiet confidence at the KCom Stadium that the injury he sustained in a collision with Chelsea’s Gary Cahill during Sunday’s game at Stamford Bridge is likely to have a significantly lesser impact on his career than a serious knee, ankle or hip problem might.

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Perth Scorchers v Melbourne Stars: Big Bash League semi-final – live!

Tue, 24 Jan 2017 09:29:05 GMT2017-01-24T09:29:05Z

10th over: Melbourne Stars 46-4 (Gotch 15, Hussey 12)

The clamps are on here. Shock and awe. Bresnan continuing, four singles from his over. What can Melbourne do to get some momentum? Probably not much...

9th over: Melbourne Stars 42-4 (Gotch 13, Hussey 10)

You could overhear Pietersen on the TV commentary complaining that the pitch was a bit slow while he was out there. It certainly seems to be playing that way. Hard to time. AJ Tye comes on, donates a couple of wides, goes for four singles. These two just need to bat through to the 16th over or so, and then hope they and their lower order can get some slogging away.

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James Haskell set to miss England Six Nations opener as injuries take toll

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 22:20:00 GMT2017-01-23T22:20:00Z

• Eddie Jones is seeking to reshuffle his England resources up front
• Maro Itoje could play flanker as Jack Clifford likely to miss out too

The chances of Maro Itoje kicking off the Six Nations in England’s back-row are increasing with the loose forwards James Haskell and Jack Clifford unlikely to be fully fit for the championship opener against France next week. Neither Haskell nor Clifford have flown out to Portugal for the national squad’s training camp this week with Chris Robshaw and Billy Vunipola already sidelined by injury.

Haskell is still experiencing problems with the toe injury that ruled him out for more than six months following England’s summer tour of Australia, while Clifford is said to have sustained a chest injury playing for Harlequins against Stade Français at the weekend. As George Kruis is now back in training following a broken cheekbone it shortens the odds even further on Itoje moving from second-row to flanker as the head coach, Eddie Jones, seeks to reshuffle his resources up front.

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Andy Murray may sit out Davis Cup tie against Canada, says Leon Smith

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 22:30:29 GMT2017-01-23T22:30:29Z

• Great Britain captain says shock Australian Open exit will be ‘tough to take’
• ‘The best thing for his body is probably not to play,’ says Smith

Leon Smith, who knows Andy Murray as well as anyone in tennis, says he would understand if the world No1 chose not to play for him in Great Britain’s Davis Cup tie against Canada in Ottawa next week.

Smith, who will announce the team on Tuesday, said of the dilemma: “There’s time. I can name or not name him. Doesn’t matter. You can change two out of the team up until Thursday morning.”

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England’s victory in Kolkata offers promise for Champions Trophy

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 18:15:24 GMT2017-01-23T18:15:24Z

Trevor Bayliss wants his bowling unit to improve but their performance at Eden Gardens is something to build on ahead of June’s tournament

The day before the third and final one-day international Jason Roy told a mixed media gathering at Eden Gardens that England would be “taking the positives” from their two defeats to date, the bare-knuckle bowler-pummelings in Pune and Cuttack. Shortly afterwards, in a flagrant breach of international sports-speak code, Roy was asked by a curious Indian journalist to describe these “positives” he had identified. What were the positives exactly? And could he rank them in any specific order?

Roy looked a bit stumped, as well he might given this is perhaps the first time in modern sporting history any attempt to peer behind the veil of “the positives” has been made. A day later, with Roy scoring a third quietly brutal half-century in England’s last-ball victory, the positives looked a lot more keenly etched, the taking of them a much more obvious business. England’s bowling has been the only major concern in India, as it has throughout the transformation of the batting lineup into a cloudless attacking machine. At times Eoin Morgan has seemed exasperated by the inability to stick to a line and length under pressure on flat tracks against an intimidating middle order.

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Carl Frampton: ‘Fighting aged seven was terrifying … but then instinct took over’

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 11:59:38 GMT2017-01-23T11:59:38Z

The WBA featherweight champion is preparing for his rematch against Léo Santa Cruz in Las Vegas, but he still remembers how he started his journey to the top

“It’s big, it’s humbling and it’s amazing,” Carl Frampton says of his arrival in Las Vegas on the back of multiple awards confirming him as the fighter of the year in 2016. Frampton is preparing to defend his WBA featherweight world title on Saturday night against the man he defeated in a thrilling fight in New York last summer. The Vegas rematch is likely to replicate his first savage battle with Léo Santa Cruz. Frampton produced such a compelling performance, studded with precision and grit, that American writers and fans were stunned.

Related: Carl Frampton upsets Léo Santa Cruz for WBA featherweight title

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Deflategate was supposed to kill Goodell and the Patriots. They're still thriving

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 12:58:15 GMT2017-01-23T12:58:15Z

New England are into another Super Bowl and the NFL commissioner is still in power despite numerous debacles. So much for scandals

It has now been two years since the start of Deflategate, an ordeal that should have ruined the New England Patriots and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. Instead, the only key figure who is worse-off than before is the man who started the fiasco. 

On Saturday, a day before the Patriots went to yet another Super Bowl, the Indianapolis Colts fired their general manager Ryan Grigson. The move was celebrated by Patriots fans, who knew Grigson had told the NFL that New England were underinflating footballs during their rout of the Colts in the 2015 AFC championship game. Upon hearing of Grigson’s demise, New England’s team president Jonathan Kraft couldn’t resist a last dig, telling a Boston radio station that night “might have been Ryan’s pinnacle”.

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Olympic champion Nicola Adams aims for world title after turning professional

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 10:59:38 GMT2017-01-23T10:59:38Z

• Adams signs promotional deal with Frank Warren and BT Sport
• Boxer says she sounded out Anthony Joshua before taking the plunge

Nicola Adams took advice from the IBF world heavyweight champion, Anthony Joshua, after having sleepless nights about turning professional – but, having made her decision, she intends to emulate him and her hero Muhammad Ali by following up Olympic gold with a world title.

“I speak to Anthony quite a lot and he said I’d love it: the lights, the cameras, being able to control your own destiny,” she said after signing a promotional deal with Frank Warren and BT Sport. “I love the big shows. That is just me. Even when I walk to the ring, I’m smiling and waving to the crowds.

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Sam Hutchinson: ‘I just wanted to stop the pain and never come back’

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 13:52:01 GMT2017-01-23T13:52:01Z

The Sheffield Wednesday midfielder retired in 2010, aged 21, while on Chelsea’s books but has overcome that knee problem and depression to play better and more fearlessly than ever

“Is that OK? I’ll be straight back afterwards.” Sam Hutchinson breaks off halfway through the interview to officiate a wrestling match between the Sheffield Wednesday masseur and physio, the rest of the squad gathered round a makeshift ring to watch. It is a duel he arranged and one the physio comprehensively wins with a perfectly executed judo throw. With that, Hutchinson sits back down. His apologies for briefly departing are unnecessary: it would be churlish to object to Hutchinson, a man whose career so nearly ended before it started, enjoying small moments with his team-mates like that.

A product of Chelsea’s youth system, Hutchinson was a promising right-back before a chondral defect (basically a hole in his right knee) forced him to retire aged 21. Eighteen months and a period of depression later, the treatment to fix the problem belatedly worked and Hutchinson returned to the game. It has taken five years, via a couple of frustrating loan spells and more setbacks, but he is now established at Hillsborough as probably Wednesday’s best player (he recently won their player of the month for the third time this season, with 85% of the vote) and one of the best midfielders in the Championship.

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It’s a crisis indeed when the social care rebels are Tories | Polly Toynbee

Tue, 24 Jan 2017 07:00:40 GMT2017-01-24T07:00:40Z

One Conservative leader is resisting his party’s cuts. Maybe he will start an epidemic of truth-telling

Even in the worst of times, democracy has a habit of bursting out. With no effective opposition in England and the government 16 points ahead, a primal force against one-party rule usually erupts somewhere.

But Surrey is surely an unlikely spot for revolt against Theresa May’s continuity austerity. In this most Conservative county, all 11 MPs are Tory, including the chancellor Philip Hammond, Jeremy Hunt, Chris Grayling and Michael Gove.

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Donald Trump's use of the term 'the people' is a warning sign | Jan-Werner Muller

Tue, 24 Jan 2017 09:00:42 GMT2017-01-24T09:00:42Z

He said the inauguration was ‘the day the people became the rulers of this nation again’. This is language shared by the likes of Chávez, Erdoğan and Orbán

Donald Trump could not have made it clearer that he is a threat to democracy. Listening to his inauguration speech, one could be forgiven for thinking that the US had just been liberated from a foreign power. The president announced that the people ruled again, after the overthrow of a hated alien “establishment” which had occupied Washington. Has Trump revealed that he wants to govern as a populist?

All populists oppose “the people” to a corrupt, self-serving elite the way Trump did. But not everyone who criticizes the powerful is a populist. What really distinguishes the populist is his claim that he and only he represents the real people. As Trump explained, because he now controls the executive, the people control the government. By implication, all opposition is illegitimate – if you oppose Trump, you oppose the people.

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Media Files:

We broke the Panama Papers story. Our next mission: Donald Trump

Tue, 24 Jan 2017 08:00:41 GMT2017-01-24T08:00:41Z

We were successful because we collaborated with other journalists. Now it is time for the media to join forces once again – especially given the threat Trump poses

Donald Trump is now president. This challenges many of us, not least members of the press. Countless reporters are still shaken and stunned by how he singled out a CNN reporter, one of the most respected news outlets in the world, to attack and humiliate him during his first press conference since winning the elections. Worryingly, none of his fellow journalists in the room stood up for him at the time.

This wasn’t Trump’s first attack on the press, and it certainly won’t be his last. The first White House press briefing, held on Saturday, featured bullying, threats and unproven claims. That is why a new level of solidarity and cooperation is needed among the fourth estate.

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Why shouldn't Prince Charles speak out on climate change? The science is clear

Tue, 24 Jan 2017 07:00:40 GMT2017-01-24T07:00:40Z

Climate change is not a controversial subject – the facts are established, whatever the Mail says. That’s why Charles helped write a Ladybird book about it

Ladybird books will this week publish a new title on climate change. Co-authored by the Prince of Wales, the polar scientist Emily Shuckburgh and myself, the book is intended as a plain English guide to the subject for an adult readership. Short, peer-reviewed text sits alongside beautiful new paintings by Ruth Palmer to illustrate the basic briefing.

It has already been greeted in some quarters as another controversial intervention by our future king. But while it’s easy to fall behind that line of thinking, it is an increasingly mistaken one. For despite the impression created in some quarters, the truth is that climate change is not controversial. The basic facts are established and increasingly embedded in policy.

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Media Files:

'Alternative facts' are now threatening our roast potatoes. Enough! | Dean Burnett

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 13:22:31 GMT2017-01-23T13:22:31Z

‘Science’ appears to say a lot of things. But in this post-truth ‘alternative facts’ world, constantly implying that all of science agrees can only be harmful

Today, British watchdogs have warned people that roast potatoes can cause cancer. The rationale seems to be that roast/burnt foods contain acrylamide, which is believed to be a carcinogen. Makes sense. But the actual science hasn’t found any link between typical levels of acrylamide in the diet and cancer. And it’s not for want of looking.

Related: What is the real cancer risk from eating roast potatoes or toast?

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Media Files:

‘Millions have done something together’ – why the Women’s March will spark the resistance

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 19:15:33 GMT2017-01-23T19:15:33Z

The weekend’s Women’s Marches were historic events that showed the world the depth and passion of the anti-Trump movement. But we have to keep it going

On Saturday night, for Donald Trump’s inauguration ball, police turned an entire grid square of Washington DC into a maze of fences, checkpoints and deserted roads, just to protect the partygoers. But even the cleverest maze has to have an entrance – and it took just a couple of hundred peaceful but courageous protesters to block it. As a result, thousands of rich people had to thread their way across a square mile of wire and concrete in their tuxedos and taffeta.

I know it annoyed them because I walked with them. In the absolute silence, I could hear they were angry and afraid. They looked, collectively, like a George Grosz painting of the Weimar elite come to life.

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Media Files:

Alone, we couldn't do our best for ill children, so we're linking up with Great Ormond Street

Tue, 24 Jan 2017 06:25:39 GMT2017-01-24T06:25:39Z

Any new partnership is a challenge, but at Sparks medical research charity, we know we need to change to create bigger pots for research grants

At one of our flagship fundraising events a few months ago, Heather and Andrew shared the story of Tom, their son who died three years previously, aged just 17 month, from the cruel and rare disease Krabbe.

When Tom received his diagnosis, the family was told there was no treatment available that could stop, or even slow down, the disease. Our event fell on the anniversary of them finding out he had just days left to live.

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Media Files:

Sorry, Kellyanne Conway. 'Alternative facts' are just lies | Jill Abramson

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 12:29:08 GMT2017-01-23T12:29:08Z

I’ve spent my career being scrupulous about the truth, whether on crowd size or healthcare. I know an attempt to deceive the American public when I see it

I just bought my first official souvenir of the Trump era. No, it wasn’t a pink pussycat hat. It’s a black T-shirt with white typography that says “Alternative Facts are Lies”.

The shirt commemorates a piece of Orwellian newspeak that flew from the lips of Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway on NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday. She made the absurd claim that the new White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, hadn’t lied to reporters about the size of the inaugural crowd, he had merely presented them with “alternative facts”. The salient part of her exchange with host Chuck Todd is worth setting out in full:

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Media Files:

The Guardian view on industrial strategy: hot air but no liftoff | Editorial

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 19:29:37 GMT2017-01-23T19:29:37Z

The green paper suggests small sensible steps forward, but all will be lost in the great leap backwards of Brexit

British politicians have been talking about a modern industrial strategy for long enough that the idea counts as neither original nor radical. But if the government makes real progress towards enacting such a strategy – setting into reverse patterns of short-termism, weak productivity, trade deficits and regional imbalances – it will be a significant achievement. The launch of a green paper is intended by Downing Street to signal that activist industrial policy is a pillar of the new thinking. It is one of the ways in which this team hopes to distinguish its conservatism from the more libertarian Toryism that views any government intervention with suspicion.

The approach involves greater willingness to use public money for investment in infrastructure, research and development alongside a commitment to regional development through devolution of powers to city authorities. It eschews direct subsidy for companies for fear of backing losers, preferring to bolster some sectors where Britain already does well – the creative industries and life sciences – and align with others that everyone believes will be big in the future: low-emission vehicles, and robotics. The plan is for “high-paid, high-skilled jobs for the future”. But there is nothing in this green paper for the low-paid, low-skilled jobs that will persist – however insecure they become – all through this glorious future. Nor does it mention the most important influence on our future: the green paper’s list of reasons foreigners have invested in Britain does not include membership of the single market. This question was raised by the commitment the government made to Nissan to ensure jobs remained in the UK, but was unanswered today.

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Why oysters, mussels and clams could hold the key to more ethical fish farming

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 21:14:36 GMT2017-01-23T21:14:36Z

Aquaculture is fast becoming unsustainable and unnecessarily cruel. It’s time to look to bivalves, the most environmentally sound animal species to farm

Aquaculture – the farming of aquatic animals – is one of the fastest growing food production industries in the world. But it’s growing the wrong way. Similar to factory farming, aquaculture is becoming an industrialized food system that is unsustainable and unnecessarily cruel. It doesn’t have to be this way. When it comes to aquaculture, we can avoid making the same mistakes that we made on land.

To reduce the problems in the rapidly growing aquaculture sector, government policies, investors, and farmers should encourage the production of bivalves – a group that includes oysters, mussels and clams. In a recent article in the journal Solutions, my NYU colleagues and I argue that bivalves are the most environmentally sound animal species group, and the least worrying when it comes to welfare.

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Media Files:

We must rescue Van Gogh from becoming a pop culture cliche

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 14:45:57 GMT2017-01-23T14:45:57Z

Loving Vincent is a corny new biopic made from 62,450 hack oil paintings in Van Gogh’s style – and is an insult to the human struggle in his original works

Vincent van Gogh is peculiarly cursed to be travestied, misunderstood and reduced to a kitsch parody of himself. Look at the art section in your local bookshop and you will find a glitzy new publication of his “lost” Arles drawings being heavily promoted even after the Van Gogh Museum denied the drawings in it are by Van Gogh at all. Now more fake Van Gogh is on its way, with the release of the trailer for Loving Vincent, a feature film about the artist that has been made by animating oil paintings that ape his style.

The makers of this film commissioned 62,450 oil paintings by 115 professional painters to use as frames in the film, which will include 94 of Van Gogh’s own paintings “integrated” into the animated flow of images.

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Media Files:

Theresa May's post-Brexit industrial strategy ducks tough decisions | Nils Pratley

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 19:38:00 GMT2017-01-23T19:38:00Z

The government’s long list of good intentions lacks a clear sense of which sectors should get priority

Hurrah, the UK will embark on its post-Brexit adventure with an industrial strategy, or at least a government that is prepared to use the term without embarrassment. What’s more, the business secretary, Greg Clark, hit some of the right notes in his introduction to the green paper.

The goal is not to pick winners, which would be to repeat the mistakes of the 1970s. Nor is it to protect the position of incumbents. It’s about “creating the right conditions for new and growing enterprises to thrive”. Few could disagree with the sentiment, or the eagerness to see the benefits of self-improvement spread more evenly across the nation.

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I’ve reported on Putin – here are my tips for journalists dealing with Trump | Alexey Kovalev

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 16:49:02 GMT2017-01-23T16:49:02Z

There’s been much hand-wringing about how the media should deal with the Trump administration. First of all: don’t get distracted

When you combine Donald Trump’s frivolous treatment of objective reality with Russia’s recent propaganda onslaught, it is unsurprising that many were tempted to compare Trump’s campaign to the one Vladimir Putin has been waging both domestically and internationally for several years.

The comparisons have become even more striking after Trump’s pre-inauguration press conference and the bizarrely hostile briefing for the White House’s press corps by his press officer, Sean Spicer, on the new president’s first day in the office. Here we have a clearly autocratic leader who, along with his aides, counsel and subordinates, is openly hostile not only to the media but to facts.

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Media Files:

Is Mark Zuckerberg considering a US president bid? Don't count on it

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 15:00:38 GMT2017-01-23T15:00:38Z

The politicisation of Facebook’s CEO has led to rumours of a 2024 candidacy – but it’s more to do with hard-nosed business ambition than politics

Mark Zuckerberg’s public persona is somewhat different from that of most chief executives of digital companies. The timeline of Twitter boss Jack Dorsey, for instance, isn’t full of homely paeans to the good folk of Waco, Texas, and how much they can teach you about the importance of community. Zuckerberg’s Facebook page is. The Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella doesn’t post on his LinkedIn profile about his meetings with local police departments. Zuckerberg does on Facebook. The Google Plus page of Larry Page does not contain a picture of the Alphabet CEO stroking a calf at a Texan rodeo. Zuckerberg’s Facebook page does.

This isn’t the outcome of idiosyncratic social media sharing from America’s nerd king. Instead, it’s a deeply considered strategy, carried out by a full-time staff of dozens of people, according to Bloomberg News. That headcount includes 12 or so employees moderating the comment feeds under each of his posts, a number of professional photographers who trail him on his engagements, both business and personal, and a handful of Facebook employees who help him write his posts and speeches. Those are all complemented with regular appearances of Zuckerberg “going live” for off-the-cuff Q&As with Facebook users.

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We are destroying rainforests so quickly they may be gone in 100 years | John Vidal

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 10:50:20 GMT2017-01-23T10:50:20Z

At current rates of deforestation, rainforests will vanish altogether in a century. Stopping climate change will remain an elusive goal unless poor nations are helped to preserve them

If you want to see the world’s climate changing, fly over a tropical country. Thirty years ago, a wide belt of rainforest circled the earth, covering much of Latin America, south-east Asia and Africa. Today, it is being rapidly replaced by great swathes of palm oil trees and rubber plantations, land cleared for cattle grazing, soya farming, expanding cities, dams and logging.

People have been deforesting the tropics for thousands of years for timber and farming, but now, nothing less than the physical transformation of the Earth is taking place. Every year about 18m hectares of forest – an area the size of England and Wales – is felled. In just 40 years, possibly 1bn hectares, the equivalent of Europe, has gone. Half the world’s rainforests have been razed in a century, and the latest satellite analysis shows that in the last 15 years new hotspots have emerged from Cambodia to Liberia. At current rates, they will vanish altogether in 100 years.

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Media Files:

Delicious roast spuds are part of the good life. Poor cancer advice isn’t | Suzanne Moore

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 13:13:42 GMT2017-01-23T13:13:42Z

Potentially carcinogenic acrylamides lurking in our favourite foods is actually old news. This latest episode just proves how vulnerable we still are to scare stories

There wasn’t exactly a muted reaction today to the news that your breakfast may kill you. Trump may start a war on facts, a missile may go astray, but it turns out that the final straw is telling people that their toast is bad for them. According to the Food Standards Agency (FSA), burnt toast is potentially bad, as are crisps, and well-browned roast potatoes. With this news, something has stirred deep within us. You will only take away our delicious crispiness by prising it from our cold dead hands. We will fight for the right to fluff: that is, to increase the surface area of potatoes before roasting them in order to maximise the brown, crispy bits. Isn’t that Jamie Oliver’s contribution to humanity? We don’t want warm bread, we want actual toast, toasted. Don’t even start me on crisps.

Here are a few other things that increase your risk: paint, Chinese salted fish, contraceptive pills and wood dust

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Media Files:

On the Women’s March: I’ve been protesting since 1959, but this feels different

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 15:11:25 GMT2017-01-23T15:11:25Z

At Saturday’s demo, I felt more optimistic about the future. Our crowd was bigger than Trump’s, our banners were more amusing and our behaviour was much better

I went on Saturday’s Women’s March, of course. I couldn’t not. I wasn’t quite sure why – until I heard of an elderly woman with a placard saying: “I can’t believe I still have to protest this fucking shit.” That is exactly how I felt. I started marching about and protesting in 1959 from Aldermaston, and here I was, with the same old chums, still at it. Bombs have not been banned, and dangerous, mendacious rogues are still in charge.

“Go and toddle up and down if you must,” said Rosemary crabbily, having decided not to come. So I did, and out there in the sun, surrounded by 100,000 mainly cheery protesters, with generally high quality and witty banners, I did feel rather more optimistic that perhaps the apocalypse wasn’t as close as I had feared.

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Message to the council tree fellers: even famous people need to breathe | Patrick Barkham

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 17:41:59 GMT2017-01-23T17:41:59Z

Though well-known names oppose Sheffield’s tree removal scheme, the protest is hardly a vehicle just for ‘luvvies’

In 1985, Neil Kinnock made his most famous speech, attacking “the grotesque chaos of a Labour council – a Labour council – hiring taxis to scuttle round a city handing out redundancy notices to its own workers”.

He was talking about Liverpool but last Friday I visited Sheffield and heard an echo of Kinnock’s oratory from another lifelong Labour man. This was Richard Hawley, the singer-songwriter, who castigated his Labour council for creating a situation where pensioners are prosecuted under anti-trade union legislation for peacefully opposing the felling of trees by a multinational corporation.

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The UK’s economy is London-centric. Brexit is the chance to change that | Laurie Macfarlane

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 14:00:19 GMT2017-01-23T14:00:19Z

We need a new, decentralised banking system that invests in local initiatives to create jobs and industries in the regions that have been left behind

If Brexit means leaving the single market and the customs union, as the prime minister told us last week, it is no great surprise to hear that major banks are planning to shift operations out of the UK. It could be the beginning of the end for an economic order that has favoured London’s status as a global hub for financial services, while whole regions of the country have been left stranded. Today society is more polarised than at any time since the beginning of the 20th century. Central London is the richest single area in Europe, while standards of living in West Wales and the Valleys are comparable to those in recent EU accession countries such as Poland and Hungary.

If the UK’s finance-led model is at risk of breaking down, we must begin the long task of building a new economic model that works better. The prime minister has talked about this, but it seems that her plan could be a race to the bottom on tax and regulation. That’s no help for communities that feel powerless or regions left behind by decades of industrial decline. Low tax and low levels of regulation are part of the problem, not part of the solution.

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If Brexit Britain is to survive, Theresa May must get industry right | Matthew d’Ancona

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 06:30:26 GMT2017-01-23T06:30:26Z

Speeches about skills aren’t enough. To weather looming economic storms, the UK needs a fearless assessment of work and its future

Amid the hurricanes of Donald Trump’s inauguration and Brexit’s advent, a sapling of policy dares to break from the soil. On Monday, the government will launch its industrial strategy green paper – no less significant, in its way, than Theresa May’s speech last week on leaving the European Union.

Related: Hurrah for the industrial strategy. At last Britain has a plan

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Media Files:

It's time theatre cut the pompous jargon

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 14:59:24 GMT2017-01-23T14:59:24Z

Obscure language in show descriptions and reviews prevents us from opening the conversation to everyone

I was browsing through the programme of an international festival recently. The visuals were striking and enticing but after reading the descriptions of some of the shows I still had absolutely no idea what they might be like – or what they were about. If that’s problematic for a critic with a lifetime of theatre-going behind her, what’s it like for someone thinking about going to the theatre for the first time?

Read what you’ve written out loud to yourself. If it sounds pompous, it probably is.

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Travel and pollution warnings as UK's cold, foggy weather continues

Tue, 24 Jan 2017 08:59:41 GMT2017-01-24T08:59:41Z

Motorists told to take extra care, flights are disrupted across south and air quality plunges in cities from London to Belfast

The continuing cold, still weather is expected to see pollution levels soaring in London with freezing fog bringing more disruption at airports and on the roads across the south of England.

London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, issued the highest alert for pollution in the capital on Monday and experts say air quality is expected to remain unacceptably low on Tuesday.

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Police who Tasered race adviser were 'doing what public expect of them'

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 17:25:36 GMT2017-01-23T17:25:36Z

Avon and Somerset police federation chairman defends officers who Tasered Judah Adunbi after mistaking him for wanted man

Police officers who caused outrage after footage emerged of them Tasering a 63-year-old race relations champion were “doing what the public expect of them”, the chairman of the local police federation branch has said.

Vince Howard defended the actions of the police who Tasered Judah Adunbi outside his home in Bristol last week, after mistaking him for a wanted man.

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Media Files:

Man stabbed to death on bus in Birmingham

Tue, 24 Jan 2017 08:40:57 GMT2017-01-24T08:40:57Z

West Midlands police launch murder inquiry after man in 30s found with stab wounds on double-decker

West Midlands police have launched a murder investigation after a man was stabbed to death on a double-decker bus in Handsworth, Birmingham.

A man in his 30s was found with stab wounds on the top deck of the 11A bus, after a passenger reported an attack at 10.43pm as the bus headed towards the centre of Birmingham on Monday night.

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'Allo 'Allo! actor Gorden Kaye dies

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 16:01:45 GMT2017-01-23T16:01:45Z

Agent confirms actor best known for role as cafe owner René Artois has died in care home, aged 75

Gorden Kaye, the actor best known for his role as René François Artois in the BBC sitcom ‘Allo ‘Allo, has died in a care home aged 75.

Kaye’s most memorable role was as the owner of Cafe René in the hit BBC1 comedy, which made light of the German occupation of France during the second world war.

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Sinn Féin names Michelle O'Neill as new leader in Northern Ireland

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 15:23:52 GMT2017-01-23T15:23:52Z

O’Neill, 40, replaces Martin McGuinness, who will not be standing in forthcoming assembly elections due to ill health

Northern Ireland’s outgoing health minister, Michelle O’Neill, has been named the new leader of Sinn Féin in the province, marking a generational change at the top of the republican movement.

It means that if Sinn Féin returns to Stormont after the 2 March assembly elections the 40-year-old could become either deputy first minister or even first minister depending on how well the party does in the poll.

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UK tech industry not immune to Brexit, trade group warns

Tue, 24 Jan 2017 00:01:31 GMT2017-01-24T00:01:31Z

TechUK says lost access to European skills and markets could be far worse than is appreciated

Britain’s booming technology sector risks being forgotten in the rush to cushion traditional industries from the impact of Brexit, business leaders have said.

A day after the government launched an unusually interventionist industrial policy designed to protect what it perceives as key areas of the economy, a group representing 900 tech companies said their lost access to European skills and markets could be far worse than was appreciated.

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Media Files:

Call for Women's March on London protesters to write to PM about Trump

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 18:53:03 GMT2017-01-23T18:53:03Z

Organisers say asking Theresa May to reassert UK’s commitment to equal rights when she meets president is first step in creating global grassroots movement

Protesters who took part in Saturday’s Women’s March in London are being urged to bombard Theresa May with letters and emails about her meeting with Donald Trump on Friday.

Organisers say it is the first small step in creating a global grassroots movement to address the widespread inequalities and economic divisions that helped power Trump to the White House and drive Britain out of the European Union.

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Gender pay gap starts early with 20% disparity in pocket money – study

Tue, 24 Jan 2017 00:01:31 GMT2017-01-24T00:01:31Z

Girls aged five to 16 receive £2.20 less per week than boys and are allowed less financial independence, report shows

The gender pay gap by which women earn significantly less than men during their careers begins early in childhood with boys receiving 20% more pocket money than girls, according to a report.

Not only do girls receive less money, they are allowed less financial independence; they are less likely to receive regular payments than boys, and are more dependent on others to buy items for them and manage their money on their behalf.

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Mayor of London calls for action after antisemitic attacks

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 23:29:08 GMT2017-01-23T23:29:08Z

Sadiq Khan meets genocide survivors after four alleged hate crimes over the weekend against the Jewish community in north London

The mayor of London has urged a zero tolerance attitude to hate crimes in the capital as he met genocide survivors.

Sadiq Khan said the city remained inclusive and global, following four antisemitic attacks over the weekend. He made the remarks as he met genocide survivors at City Hall at the first in a series of events in the lead-up to Holocaust Memorial Day on 27 January.

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Sentencing changes may raise speeding fines but relax TV licence penalty

Tue, 24 Jan 2017 00:01:31 GMT2017-01-24T00:01:31Z

New guidelines for magistrates will also allow harsher punishments to be imposed on people guilty of cruelty to animals

Motorists convicted of speeding will face higher fines related to their income while people who fail to pay their TV licences could avoid financial penalties in future, under new sentencing guidelines introduced for magistrates.

As part of the changes, those convicted of causing cruelty to animals are also likely to be handed harsher punishments, particularly if the crime involves harming police horses, guide dogs or creatures working with public services.

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Brothers jailed for trafficking people from Poland to work at Sports Direct

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 18:13:16 GMT2017-01-23T18:13:16Z

Markowski brothers given six-year prison terms after conning staff supplied by agency to Shirebrook warehouse

Two brothers who trafficked vulnerable men from Poland to work in a Sports Direct warehouse have been jailed for six years each under the Modern Slavery Act.

Erwin Markowski, 38, and his brother Krystian, 35, lured 18 men from Poland to work at Sports Direct’s Shirebrook warehouse, Nottingham crown court heard.

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Helen Bailey's mother 'uneasy' about murder suspect, trial hears

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 19:17:54 GMT2017-01-23T19:17:54Z

Eileen Bailey tells court she worried about deterioration of her daughter’s memory and state of mind before the children’s author disappeared

The mother of children’s author Helen Bailey had become “uneasy” about the man accused of killing her and said her daughter felt “panicked” in the weeks before she disappeared.

The writer’s mother, Eileen Bailey, broke down in tears as she gave evidence on Monday in the trial of the man accused of drugging and killing the popular author.

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DfE says £3bn savings for schools 'doable' without larger class sizes

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 20:54:34 GMT2017-01-23T20:54:34Z

Headteachers say cuts are already affecting their schools, with staff training budgets reduced and maintenance falling behind

Headteachers should be able to achieve an ambitious target of £3bn in cuts and could apply for government loans if they fall into deficit, the top civil servant in the Department for Education has said.

Related: The Guardian view on education: it’s not all in the genes

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Jeanette Winterson to close London shop due to business rates surge

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 19:01:42 GMT2017-01-23T19:01:42Z

Author of Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit to shut deli in Spitafields after rateable value rises from £21,500 to £54,000

The writer Jeanette Winterson is to close her shop in London because of an overhaul of the business rates system, which will dramatically increase the amount of tax retailers pay in the capital.

The award-winning author of Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit said the delicatessen store she owns in Spitalfields, east London, would have to shut because the rateable value had gone from £21,500 to £54,000.

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May to discuss how to boost US-UK migration with Trump, say sources

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 16:01:44 GMT2017-01-23T16:01:44Z

PM’s approach following exploratory talks with Australia raises prospect of a ‘kith and kin’ immigration policy after Brexit

Theresa May wants to explore how to boost US-UK migration when she meets the US president, Donald Trump, this week as part of their talks over an early trade deal, according to British government sources.

The disclosure follows hard on the heels of the confirmation from the Australian high commissioner in London that exploratory talks have already begun on a UK-Australian free trade deal, and that greater access for Australian businesspeople to Britain will have to form part of it.

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Archaeologists discover man whose tongue was replaced by a stone

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 15:40:54 GMT2017-01-23T15:40:54Z

Roman British skeleton found buried face down in Northamptonshire has tongue mutilation seemingly unique for the period

A gruesome and seemingly unique mutilation has emerged from a Roman Britain burial site in Northamptonshire – the skeleton of a man whose tongue had apparently been amputated and replaced with a flat stone wedged into his mouth.

The man had been interred face down, perhaps amid fears that his corpse would rise to threaten people once again, archaeologists believe.

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Ticket touts rebrand as investigations put them in spotlight

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 15:16:42 GMT2017-01-23T15:16:42Z

Competition watchdog and HMRC to examine industry in which big operators have stranglehold on tickets for top events

Some of the UK’s most prolific and successful ticket touts appear to be rebranding their organisations as the industry braces for investigations by the competition watchdog and the taxman in the UK.

Moves among touts to alter their public profiles follow increased scrutiny, including an inquiry by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) into whether they are breaking the law by failing to disclose their identity on ticket resale sites. HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is also examining the industry after MPs on the Commons culture, media and sport select committee demanded an inquiry into touts’ tax affairs.

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London on pollution 'high alert' due to cold air, traffic, and wood burning

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 17:58:56 GMT2017-01-23T17:58:56Z

Camden, City of London, and Westminster hit 10 out of 10 on index, while pollution levels across UK also peaked

London has been put on “very high” alert as cold and still weather, traffic, and a peak in the use of wood-burning stoves combined to send air pollution soaring in the capital and across swaths of the UK.

According to data from King’s College London, areas of London including Camden, the City of London and Westminster all reached 10 out of 10 on the air pollution index, with many other areas rated seven or higher.

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Colombia considers ban on bullfighting days after protesters clash with police

Tue, 24 Jan 2017 08:30:41 GMT2017-01-24T08:30:41Z

Highest court to debate if practice violates laws against mistreatment of animals after police tried to disrupt first bullfight in Colombia’s capital city in four years

Colombia’s highest court is to consider a national ban on bullfighting just days after protesters battled with riot police as they tried to disrupt the first bullfight in the country’s capital city in four years.

Officers used pepper spray and tear gas against the demonstrators on Sunday as they shouted “murderers” and “torturers” at bullfighting enthusiasts on their way to Bogota’s iconic redbrick bull ring.

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Uganda's sprawling haven for 270,000 of South Sudan's refugees

Tue, 24 Jan 2017 07:00:40 GMT2017-01-24T07:00:40Z

Bidi Bidi camp was opened six months ago but already hosts a fifth of all the South Sudanese fleeing violence and hunger in their home country

Moses Roba still has the scar on his face from when the glass shattered. It runs around the outside of his right eye, starting at the tip of his eyebrow and curving down to the top of his cheekbone. He got it, he says, when rebels opposed to South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir attacked his car near his home in the small border town of Nimule. The rebels wanted to steal the vehicle, he claims. But he said no.

“I refused, so they shoot me, they shoot the vehicle,” he says. A piece of glass sliced through the side of his face, missing his eye by a centimetre. His car was torched.
After that, Roba decided to leave his home country and, along with his wife and three children, made the short but perilous journey south into Uganda.

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Bangladeshi man pleads for mercy killing of terminally ill sons, grandson

Tue, 24 Jan 2017 05:04:45 GMT2017-01-24T05:04:45Z

Tofazzal Hossain makes headlines in the conservative Muslim country by saying he wants to help end the suffering of trio struck by rare disease

An impoverished Bangladeshi father has begged permission to kill three terminally ill members of his family, sparking a rare debate about euthanasia in a deeply conservative society.

Tofazzal Hossain described his years-long struggle to cope with the costs of looking after his two sons and grandson, a way of life he “can’t bear any longer”.

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Georgia eases draconian law on cannabis use in landmark ruling

Tue, 24 Jan 2017 07:00:40 GMT2017-01-24T07:00:40Z

Campaigners welcome relaxation of rules on possession but face stiff opposition on efforts to overhaul country’s drugs policy

Until recently anyone caught with cannabis twice in 12 months in Georgia faced up to 14 years behind bars. Today you can carry enough for over 200 joints, after the constitutional court in effect decriminalised possession of the drug.

The landmark ruling follows the case of 27-year-old Beka Tsikarishvili who was arrested in 2013 with 65 grams of cannabis, which he said was for his own use. Facing a long sentence, he argued imprisonment was unlawful because it infringed his human dignity.

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Netherlands PM says those who don't respect customs should leave

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 17:59:40 GMT2017-01-23T17:59:40Z

Mark Rutte publishes open letter saying Dutch citizens should defend country’s values, in apparent bid to woo PVV voters

The Dutch prime minister, Mark Rutte, has published an open letter to the country’s citizens ahead of elections in March, telling anyone who cannot respect its customs to leave.

Related: UK will pay huge price for prioritising migration curbs, says Dutch PM

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Trump withdraws from Trans-Pacific Partnership amid flurry of orders

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 17:46:50 GMT2017-01-23T17:46:50Z

President begins effort to dismantle Obama legacy by scrapping trade deal, and reinstates ban on providing federal funding to aid groups that perform abortions

Donald Trump has begun his effort to dismantle Barack Obama’s legacy, formally scrapping a flagship trade deal with 11 countries in the Pacific rim.

The new president also signed executive orders to ban funding for international groups that provide abortions, and placing a hiring freeze on non-military federal workers.

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Thousands of refugee children sleeping rough in sub-zero Serbia, says UN

Tue, 24 Jan 2017 00:33:51 GMT2017-01-24T00:33:51Z

Refugee facilities in Belgrade, where it is -15C, have been described as ‘worse than the jungle in Calais’ by aid workers

Hundreds of new refugees and migrants, many of them children, are arriving in Serbia every day despite the prospect of sleeping rough in sub-zero temperatures and reports of violent treatment, Save the Children has said, as it calls on the EU to do more to help.

Related: Influx of refugees leaves Belgrade at risk of becoming 'new Calais'

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Corbyn comparison seen as praise and insult in French Socialist race

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 18:17:48 GMT2017-01-23T18:17:48Z

Benoît Hamon’s favourable mention of UK Labour leader after winning first round of primary outrages rival Manuel Valls

As the divided French Socialist party this week chooses between a radical leftwing outsider and a centre-left former prime minister trying to defend the status quo, it hasn’t taken long for a C-word to be bandied around both as praise and insult: Corbyn.

Benoît Hamon, the dark horse leftist who wants to introduce a universal wage, tax robots and legalise cannabis, is seen as having a chance of winning the final round of the primary race to become the Socialist party’s presidential candidate on Sunday. When he topped the first round with 36%, he was quick to namecheck the UK Labour party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, as an example of how voters, particularly young ones, want a return to a new form of solidarity politics and the spiritual fundamentals of the left.

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EU escalates its campaign against Russian propaganda

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 18:32:05 GMT2017-01-23T18:32:05Z

Fears that Vladimir Putin will try to influence German, French and Dutch elections have led to cash injection

The EU is to escalate its efforts to counter Russia’s hybrid warfare campaign in the wake of Donald Trump’s election, as fears grow that Vladimir Putin will seek to influence elections across Europe.

With national elections happening in Germany, France and the Netherlands in the coming months, extra funds of about €800,000 (£690,000) have been made available to the EU’s East Stratcom taskforce, which is seeking to collate and counter Russian attempts to influence votes through misinformation and propaganda.

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Sean Spicer defends inauguration claim: 'Sometimes we can disagree with facts'

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 22:44:04 GMT2017-01-23T22:44:04Z

Trump’s press secretary said he intends to be honest with the American people as he rehashed false statement on crowd size during first White House briefing

Donald Trump’s spokesman, Sean Spicer, was unapologetic on Monday for making false assertions about the size of the crowd at his inauguration, declaring: “Sometimes we can disagree with the facts.”

Related: Trump's inauguration crowd: Sean Spicer's claims versus the evidence

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China cracks down on VPNs, making it harder to circumvent Great Firewall

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 21:38:29 GMT2017-01-23T21:38:29Z

A 14-month government ‘cleanup’ of internet access services will make it harder for users to access websites that are usually censored or restricted

China has begun a crackdown on the use of virtual private networks, or VPNs, making it harder for internet users to circumvent the Great Firewall.

The nation’s ministry of industry and information technology announced a 14-month “cleanup” of internet access services, including making it illegal to operate a local VPN service without government approval.

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Exiled former president Yahya Jammeh 'stole $11.4m' from the Gambia

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 12:32:09 GMT2017-01-23T12:32:09Z

Adviser to new president claims exiled ruler plundered state coffers and shipped out luxury vehicles by cargo plane

Yahya Jammeh, the authoritarian former ruler of the Gambia who went into exile at the weekend, stole millions of dollars in his final weeks in power, plundering the state coffers and shipping out luxury vehicles by cargo plane, a special adviser for the new president has claimed.

Jammeh, who took power in the former British colony in 1994, initially accepted his defeat at an election in December but then reversed his decision and clung to power until forced out by a regional military force and international pressure.

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Australia open to China and Indonesia joining TPP after US pulls out

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 21:21:15 GMT2017-01-23T21:21:15Z

Trade minister talks with Canada, Mexico, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, Chile and Peru could salvage deal

The Australian government will push ahead for a Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal without the United States and is open to Indonesia, China and others seeking to join the agreement.

The Australian trade minister, Steven Ciobo, made the call for countries to push ahead with a so-called TPP 12-minus-one agreement now that the US president, Donald Trump, has signed an order that the US will not join the deal.

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US military is 'not coordinating airstrikes with Russia in Syria', Pentagon says

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 19:19:42 GMT2017-01-23T19:19:42Z

Defense department denied Russian government claim that US-led coalition planes aided Isis mission, but Trump administration open to future joint strikes

The Pentagon has flatly denied a Russian government claim that both nations’ warplanes conducted a joint combat mission in Syria.

Related: Suspected US drone strikes kill three al-Qaida suspects in Yemen, officials say

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Fossils of wolf-sized otter unearthed in China

Tue, 24 Jan 2017 00:53:41 GMT2017-01-24T00:53:41Z

Siamogale melilutra, which grew up to 2 metres long, frolicked in the country’s south-western wetlands about 6.2m years ago

Scientists have unearthed fossils of an otter as big as a wolf that frolicked in rivers and lakes in a lush, warm and humid wetlands region in south-western China about 6.2m years ago.

The outsized otter, called Siamogale melilutra, weighed about 50kg (110lb) and measured up to 2 metres (6.5ft) long, making it bigger than any of its cousins alive today, the researchers said on Monday.

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'Global gag rule' reinstated by Trump, curbing NGO abortion services abroad

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 19:23:17 GMT2017-01-23T19:23:17Z

Reagan-era rule bans international NGOs with US funding from providing abortions or offering information, ‘ignoring decades of research’ says Democrat

In one of a number of sharp reversals from the Obama era, Donald Trump on Monday signed an executive order banning international NGOs from providing abortion services or offering information about abortions if they receive US funding.

Related: Trump withdraws from Trans-Pacific Partnership amid flurry of orders

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Italian avalanche: hope for survivors after three puppies found alive in rubble

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 15:20:45 GMT2017-01-23T15:20:45Z

Discovery of sheepdog pups raises hopes that some of the 22 people still missing after five days could be found alive

Rescuers have recovered three puppies from under the rubble of an Italian mountain hotel that was hit by an avalanche five days ago, raising fresh hopes that some of the 22 people still missing could be found alive.

Firefighter Fabio Jerman said the discovery of the three shaggy white Abruzzo sheepdog pups meant there were still air pockets in the collapsed building – “an important sign of life, which gives us hope,” he said.

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'Things should go well': top Trump aide reassures Canada about US trade ties

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 23:07:32 GMT2017-01-23T23:07:32Z

Stephen Schwarzman, who is expected to head the US president’s business advisory council, addresses Canadian concerns after meeting Trudeau in Calgary

A senior business adviser to Donald Trump has told Justin Trudeau and his Liberal government that Canada has little reason to worry about the president’s push to renegotiate Nafta, as Canada prepares for what could be a tumultuous overhaul of its relationship with the US.

On Monday, Trump’s senior business adviser said Canada had little cause for concern. “Canada finds itself, frankly, in a really very special status,” said Stephen Schwarzman, the chief executive officer of investment firm Blackstone Group LP. “Things should go well for Canada in terms of any discussions with the United States.”

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Syria peace talks: rebels appear to rule out ceasefire role for Iran

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 18:27:04 GMT2017-01-23T18:27:04Z

Regime representative in Astana expresses anger as opposition calls for Assad militias to leave Syria so political process can begin

Rebel fighters meeting the Syrian government for the first time in the country’s bloody six-year civil war appear to have rejected a plan for Iran to play a role in monitoring the ceasefire.

The negotiations sponsored by Russia, Iran and Turkey in the Kazakh capital, Astana, are the latest attempt to end the war and seen as a test of Moscow’s influence in the Middle East.

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Three men arrested in Sweden after Facebook Live 'gang-rape'

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 16:13:19 GMT2017-01-23T16:13:19Z

Several viewers of live broadcast of alleged attack on young woman in Uppsala reported incident to police

Three men have been arrested in Sweden on suspicion of raping a woman in an assault that was broadcast live on Facebook, police have said.

The apparent gang-rape on Sunday took place in Uppsala, about an hour north of the capital, Stockholm, and has shocked the country.

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Supreme court rejects appeal to restore 'discriminatory' Texas voter ID law

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 16:33:46 GMT2017-01-23T16:33:46Z

Justices said they would not review lower court ruling, which found that Texas violated federal Voting Rights Act in its strict photo identification requirements

The supreme court on Monday rejected an appeal from Texas in its effort to restore its strict voter identification law.

The justices said they will not review a lower court ruling that held the law was discriminatory. That court ordered changes in the law before the November election.

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Sex toys 'safer' than children's toys, Swedish chemicals study finds

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 17:38:18 GMT2017-01-23T17:38:18Z

Of surveyed sex toys, 2% contained banned chemicals compared with 15% of children’s toys tested a year before

Fewer sex toys than children’s toys contain dangerous chemicals, according to a new report by a Swedish inspection authority.

In its study conducted in 2016, 2% of the 44 surveyed sex toys that had been imported to Sweden contained banned chemicals, the Swedish Chemicals Agency (SCA) said. In a separate study the year before, the agency tested 112 children’s toys in Sweden and found 15% contained banned chemical substances, including lead.

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Hope against hypocrisy as Trump joins the swamp - video

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 07:31:56 GMT2017-01-23T07:31:56Z

Donald Trump assumed office promising to take on the political elites and return power to the people. In this dispatch from the inauguration, Paul Lewis discovers a president already relishing his status as leader of a new Washington establishment. But his followers, the self-declared ‘deplorables’, are keeping the faith

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Smoky bacon: Russian firefighters rescue pigs from burning farm – video

Tue, 24 Jan 2017 03:57:34 GMT2017-01-24T03:57:34Z

The Russian emergency ministry has released footage showing firefighters saving pigs and piglets from a blaze at a farm in the Siberian region of Tomsk. According to the ministry, when the fire started up to 200 pigs were in the farm. Most of them were saved by firefighters, who carried them in pairs, one under each arm, out of the burning building as they squealed loudly.

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What is Trident? Britain’s nuclear deterrent explained – video

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 14:58:40 GMT2017-01-23T14:58:40Z

The prime minister, Theresa May, has attempted to play down reports of a malfunction during a test firing of a submarine-launched Trident nuclear weapon off the coast of the United States. The alleged incident happened last year before a major parliamentary debate on renewing Britain’s nuclear deterrent

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The changing story of Donald Trump’s tax returns – video

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 16:04:13 GMT2017-01-23T16:04:13Z

President Donald Trump will not publish his tax returns, senior adviser Kellyanne Conway has told ABC’s This Week. This means Trump will break a 40-year tradition and not show Americans the extent of his financial interests and obligations. And it contradicts Trump’s repeated claims before the election that he would release them

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Grayson Perry and Will Arnett join Women's March in London – video

Sat, 21 Jan 2017 17:04:04 GMT2017-01-21T17:04:04Z

Thousands of people march across London on Saturday in support of the Women’s March on Washington, protesting against President Trump and in support of women’s rights. Artist Grayson Perry describes gender inequality as the major issue that underlies everything

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How to Trump-proof your life (in a minute) – video

Fri, 20 Jan 2017 12:00:05 GMT2017-01-20T12:00:05Z

On 20 January, Donald Trump will become the 45th president of the United States. If this cold, hard fact doesn’t fill you with joy and relief, then you may need to Trump-proof your life. Follow our seven easy steps, from joining a march to donating to a cause to bolstering your data security

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The west was built on racism. It's time we faced that – video

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 07:00:01 GMT2017-01-18T07:00:01Z

Dead white men are revered by many as responsible for the advancement of civilisation, says sociology professor Kehinde Andrews. But, he argues, this so-called progress came at the expense of millions of people of colour. Global inequality is not an accident, he argues – it is designed to keep the hierarchy of race intact

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