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



Published: Sat, 27 May 2017 17:59:47 GMT2017-05-27T17:59:47Z

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



British Airways cancels all flights from Gatwick and Heathrow due to IT failure

Sat, 27 May 2017 17:50:27 GMT2017-05-27T17:50:27Z

Hundreds of flights at the two airports have been affected, with more around the world suffering major delays

British Airways has cancelled all flights from Heathrow and Gatwick on Saturday due to a major IT failure that is causing very severe disruption to its global operations.

The airline said that its terminals at Heathrow and Gatwick had become “extremely congested” due to the computer problems. It decided to cancel all flights from both airports before 6pm UK time on Saturday. “Please do not come to the airports,” BA said.

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Manchester attack: UK terror threat level reduced to severe

Sat, 27 May 2017 14:11:18 GMT2017-05-27T14:11:18Z

Soldiers will begin to be withdrawn from key sites at end of bank holiday weekend as Operation Temperer is scaled back

Manchester attack - latest updates

The terror threat level in the UK has been reduced from critical to severe and soldiers deployed to key sites around the country will begin to be withdrawn from Monday, Theresa May has said.

The prime minister said Operation Temperer, in which military personnel were deployed to bolster security in the wake of the Manchester bombing, would be scaled back after the bank holiday weekend.

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May and Corbyn offer 'retreat from international liberalism' says Osborne

Sat, 27 May 2017 12:42:02 GMT2017-05-27T12:42:02Z

Evening Standard editor denies he is taking revenge on prime minister, who sacked him from cabinet

Theresa May has joined Jeremy Corbyn in offering a “retreat from international liberalism and globalisation”, which marks a sharp shift in direction from David Cameron’s administration, former chancellor George Osborne has said.

Related: No senior minister backs immigration pledge, Osborne's Standard says

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Donald Trump will make 'final decision' on Paris climate deal next week

Sat, 27 May 2017 16:01:52 GMT2017-05-27T16:01:52Z

  • President resists pressure from other G7 countries to support treaty
  • Merkel says discussions on climate deal ‘difficult and unsatisfactory’

Donald Trump has resisted pressure from Europe, Canada and Japan to declare his support for the UN’s landmark climate change treaty signed in Paris in 2015, marking a defiant end to his first international trip as US president.

The deadlock at the end of the G7 summit in Italy left other world leaders frustrated. The German chancellor Angela Merkel said the discussions “had been very difficult and not to say very unsatisfactory.”

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Fallon left red faced after condemning Boris Johnson extremism comments

Sat, 27 May 2017 09:49:00 GMT2017-05-27T09:49:00Z

Defence secretary assumed comments were Jeremy Corbyn’s but they were actually by foreign secretary

Manchester attacks - latest updates

The defence secretary, Michael Fallon, has been left embarrassed after mistakenly assuming comments about extremism were made by the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, when they were part of a statement made by the foreign secretary, Boris Johnson.

In an 11-minute interview with by Krishnan Guru-Murthy on Channel 4 News on Friday night, Fallon criticised Corbyn’s claim that the “war on terror was not working”.

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Thunderstorms in UK may dampen bank holiday weekend

Sat, 27 May 2017 16:37:32 GMT2017-05-27T16:37:32Z

Unsettled weather front from south-west England and Wales will bring torrential downpours across the country

Torrential rain and thunderstorms could wreak havoc with bank holiday travel when a week of warm weather finally gives way to a cooler spell, the Met Office has said.

Related: Awe-inspiring lightning storms – in pictures

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Mass Palestinian hunger strike in Israeli jails ends after visitation deal

Sat, 27 May 2017 10:52:18 GMT2017-05-27T10:52:18Z

Prisoners led by Marwan Barghouti halt protest as Israel announces it will allow a second family visit each month

A mass hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails has been called to an end after 41 days as Israel offered a compromise deal to meet some of the strikers’ demands.

The deal – on the eve of Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting – means approximately 800 prisoners, led by the prominent Palestinian prisoner Marwan Barghouti, will give up their protest in exchange for improved visitation rights.

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Man shouting 'anti-Muslim slurs' fatally stabs two men in Portland

Sat, 27 May 2017 17:42:52 GMT2017-05-27T17:42:52Z

  • Jeremy Joseph Christian, 35, charged with murder by Portland police
  • Men were trying to stop the attacker from harassing two Muslim women

Two men were fatally stabbed in Portland, Oregon on Friday after they came to the aid of two women who were being harassed because they appeared to be Muslim, police said.

On Saturday, Portland police named the suspect as Jeremy Joseph Christian and said he was being held without bail at the Multnomah County jail.

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Northern Ireland police release names of couple killed at home

Sat, 27 May 2017 11:51:11 GMT2017-05-27T11:51:11Z

Michael and Marjorie Cawdery, both 83, are understood to have been stabbed at property in Portadown, County Armagh

Two pensioners who were killed in their own home have been named by police as husband and wife Michael and Marjorie Cawdery, who were both 83.

The couple are understood to have been stabbed in what a senior detective described as a brutal attack.

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Barack Obama: Scotland has 'a lot to offer the world'

Sat, 27 May 2017 07:47:14 GMT2017-05-27T07:47:14Z

Former US president gives speech at charity dinner in Edinburgh and plays round of golf at St Andrews

Barack Obama believes Scotland has “a lot to offer the world” and promised to return after his first visit to the country.

The former US president flew into Edinburgh airport on Friday for a speech in front of politicians and business leaders at a charity dinner in the capital.

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Arsenal v Chelsea: 2017 FA Cup final – live!

Sat, 27 May 2017 17:57:59 GMT2017-05-27T17:57:59Z

65 min: Ramsey and Welbeck combine crisply down the left to cause Chelsea concern. Welbeck enters the area and rolls the ball across for Bellerin, romping in from the right. Bellerin looks to guide one into the bottom left, but his sidefoot is snaffled by Courtois. Chelsea stream upfield, Fabregas having a wild slash at the ball from the edge of the box. This continues to be an FA Cup final of free-flowing, open, devil-may-care attacking entertainment. How we’ve only had one goal is a mystery.

63 min: Some brilliance from Ozil out on the right. He scampers after a ball near the touchline, and sells Cahill a subtle dummy with a drop of the shoulder before he’s even taken up possession. Then he very nearly releases Welbeck down the middle with an outside-of-foot low curler. Just a bit too much juice on it.

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Charlotte Church: ‘Anger is important – and often it’s seen as unbecoming’

Sat, 27 May 2017 07:22:42 GMT2017-05-27T07:22:42Z

Famous since she was 11, the singer has endured constant condescension and press intrusion. But, she says, it has only strengthened her, her music, and her increasingly outspoken politics

The band members trip out of the studio, one by one, in a jumble of facial hair and hugs and bicycles. “There’s 10 of us,” says Charlotte Church, waiting by the door for her partner, musician Johnny Powell, shouting to him to hurry up. We walk to Church’s car. Powell and one of their other bandmates sit in the back and for the next half an hour, they talk about music (R Kelly is a band favourite, “but it’s problematic,” says Church, “because he’s so fucking immoral”), slag off the charts, but mostly skip through favourite or forgotten R&B tracks that Powell pumps through the stereo. We drive out of Cardiff with Church singing every word.

It feels like a rush-hour version of Late Night Pop Dungeon, Church’s music collective that became the fringe hit on last year’s festival circuit. The band sing covers – from Bowie to Beyoncé to Aretha Franklin to Nine Inch Nails – but it’s not karaoke. The songs are twisted and looped and mixed together, miraculously uniting in what Church describes as “a release. It’s like a pressure valve for the audience, but it’s also a big warm hug.”

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Me and my penis: 100 men reveal all

Sat, 27 May 2017 16:32:05 GMT2017-05-27T16:32:05Z

From the sex addict to the vicar, men open up about their manhood - every penis tells a story

• Warning: adult content

Every one of Laura Dodsworth’s penises is unique: introvert and extrovert, straight and bendy, wobblers and bobblers, growers and showers. There are contented penises that have led full lives, and disappointed penises that have let down their owners – or been let down by their owners.

In Dodsworth’s new book Manhood, every penis tells a story. There is the trans man who invested in the biggest and best; the underpowered poet hung up on his for years, until he decided to celebrate it with The Big Small Penis Party; the man who as a teenager thought he had genital warts and considered killing himself, until he found out they were normal spots; the business leader whose small penis taught him humility; the sex addict whose wife tried to cut it off; and the vicar who enjoyed his first threesome while training for the priesthood.

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Cannes 2017 – the best of week two

Sat, 27 May 2017 17:00:33 GMT2017-05-27T17:00:33Z

Festival spirits were boosted with an outrageous horror starring Nicole Kidman, a brilliant art world satire, and a brutal contender for Palme d’Or

No visit to Cannes is complete without a trip to the market at the back of the Palais. Hidden from view, like a demented old aunt, sits the realm of zombie rabbits and “erotical thrillers”, a teeming tide pool of B-movie cinema. Except that this year I’ve left the visit too late. When I wander down, early evening on the second Wednesday, the circus is already pulling out of town. It leaves behind a mess of abandoned stalls and plastic crates and myriad screens broadcasting a film called No Signal. It’s lonesome in the market after the sales staff have gone, like walking past a row of off-season beach shops, the dinghies and balls trapped behind wire mesh. Creepy, too, because on retracing my steps I find that the main exit is closed, which means taking a circuitous route through a maze of underground walkways. Someone should shoot a horror flick set down in the Cannes market at the festival’s end.

Cannes grows old. The punters are tired. It’s all they can do to keep themselves vertical. The whispers, meanwhile, are that this has been an uneasy edition, revealing a festival in a fascinating state of flux. The independent film sector is in decline, subscription TV is on the rise and the Netflix row suggests that Cannes is still finding the best way of riding both sides of the seesaw. Even its lavish 70th birthday celebrations (guests included Catherine Deneuve, Juliette Binoche, Charlize Theron and Claudia Cardinale) seemed a valiant attempt to enshrine the festival’s past, perhaps as a means of safeguarding its future. Cannes will endure; it’s too glorious not to. Right now, though, it remains a big analogue beast, toiling to adapt to a digital planet.

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Pathway to extremism: what neo-Nazis and jihadis have in common

Sat, 27 May 2017 09:00:24 GMT2017-05-27T09:00:24Z

The case of Devon Arthurs, a former neo-Nazi who allegedly killed his friends for disrespecting Islam, sheds light on the roots of extremism

When 18-year-old Devon Arthurs burst into a Florida smoke shop with a pistol and took customers and an employee hostage, he told them that he was upset about America bombing Muslim countries.

After Tampa police officers talked him into releasing his hostages and got him in handcuffs, Arthurs made references to “Allah Mohammed” and told the officers: “This wouldn’t have had to happen if your country didn’t bomb my country.”

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Based on a True Story review - Roman Polanski's tall tale falls flat

Sat, 27 May 2017 10:29:01 GMT2017-05-27T10:29:01Z

Polanski’s thriller about a writer who falls under the spell of Eva Green’s parasitic admirer is confident and stylish but can’t avoid its own gaping plot holes

Related: You Were Never Really Here review - Joaquin Phoenix turns Travis Bickle in brutal thriller

Roman Polanski’s Based on a True Story is a fan-obsession suspense thriller, adapted by Polanski and Olivier Assayas from the award-winning French novel by Delphine de Vigan.

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Manchester's city games begin but events around UK are cancelled

Fri, 26 May 2017 22:41:55 GMT2017-05-26T22:41:55Z

Great CityGames get under way, but some concerts – as well as Chelsea FC’s victory parade – have been cancelled in wake of bombing atrocity

Manchester’s Great CityGames began as scheduled on Friday with the women’s pole vault kicking off events in Albert Square, where days earlier thousands had gathered for a vigil following the terror attack on Manchester Arena.

Speaking near the 200m running track set up on Deansgate, a major thoroughfare that leads towards the arena, the Olympic hurdles medallist and BBC commentator Colin Jackson said it was right that the event went ahead.

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Heroic humour or Katie Hopkins? This was a week to choose British values | Marina Hyde

Fri, 26 May 2017 18:04:48 GMT2017-05-26T18:04:48Z

In its brave stewardship of his memory the tribute offered by his brother to Martyn Hett, one of the Manchester victims, gives us all something to aspire to

From all I have read about the luminous-sounding Martyn Hett since he was murdered at the Manchester Arena on Monday night, he sounds like he would have relished his brother’s jaw-droppingly brave stewardship of his memory in the days since. When Martyn’s name began trending on Twitter, Dan Hett’s response was a masterclass in sombre seemliness: “He would, I think it’s safe to say, be fucking loving this.”

The next day, Mariah Carey had posted a picture of Martyn in a Mariah Carey T-shirt, accompanied by a devastated quote about the death of a member of her fandom. His brother’s response was one of those jokes that makes you gasp and laugh at the same time: “I was a little dubious about Martyn’s recent bold social media move,” he deadpanned. “But it worked.”

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Exeter Chiefs champions after epic win over Wasps completes fairytale rise

Sat, 27 May 2017 16:16:22 GMT2017-05-27T16:16:22Z

• Wasps 20-23 Exeter (aet; score at 80min 20-20)
• Exeter’s Gareth Steenson stays cool after Wasps fumble their way to defeat

A final between the two most prolific teams in the Premiership was decided by a kick rather than a try. Gareth Steenson’s penalty three minutes from the end of extra time after Wasps, who by then had lost both their tight-head props to injury, had infringed at a scrum for the seventh time, settled a full-blooded but scrappy encounter that resulted in Exeter being crowned champions seven years and one day after they won promotion to the Premiership.

Related: Wasps 20-23 Exeter: how the players in the Premiership final rated

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Celtic strike at the last to beat Aberdeen in Scottish Cup final and win treble

Sat, 27 May 2017 16:16:17 GMT2017-05-27T16:16:17Z

If anyone claims winning trophies in Scotland is akin to defeating a hamster at chess, this Scottish Cup final should be used as the perfect counter-point. The scale of Celtic’s celebrations as Tom Rogic guided the club, and Brendan Rodgers, into uncharted territory told a story of what toil had come before. Rodgers and Celtic, this now-famous Celtic side of 2017, have completed an unbeaten domestic season.

It took a titanic battle with Aberdeen for Celtic to complete a clean sweep of domestic trophies. Rodgers is only the third manager in the club’s illustrious history to win a treble. It was, though, impossible not to feel sorry for Derek McInnes and Aberdeen, who contributed so much to this final before quality – and fitness – told.

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England v South Africa: second ODI – as it happened

Sat, 27 May 2017 17:53:49 GMT2017-05-27T17:53:49Z

That was a spectacular heist from England. South Africa were in control almost throughout the run-chase. They needed 10 from 10 balls yet they could only get seven singles. Eoin Morgan controlled the game with persuasive certainty, and Ball and especially Wood produced some hugely effective bowling. The upshot is that England have won the series with a match to spare, against the world’s No1 side. Tremendous stuff, and the manner of this victory bodes well for the Champions Trophy. Thanks for your company, night!

Wood has another chat with Morgan, skips in to Morris, who can only slice a single! What a brilliant win for England in a wonderful game!

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French Open 2017: Johanna Konta a real contender despite clay conundrum

Sat, 27 May 2017 15:30:43 GMT2017-05-27T15:30:43Z

The surface may not be ideal but Konta’s determination to adapt and uncertainty in the women’s locker room boost her chances at Roland Garros

Nerves can suffocate or liberate and few have embraced both ends of that neurological spectrum as dramatically as Johanna Konta. The days when she was so gripped by anxiety that she smothered her talent near to the point of disintegration are so distant it is hard to believe it is the same person who now strides into the locker room at Roland Garros as a respected contender.

This is her second slam as a top‑10 player, although it is on her least favourite surface. Nevertheless, in the absence of Serena Williams, no wildcard for Maria Sharapova and with the interim world No1, Angelique Kerber, still prone to the jitters, Konta has mainly herself and the clay underfoot to worry about.

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Watford appoint Marco Silva as manager on two-year deal

Sat, 27 May 2017 13:26:03 GMT2017-05-27T13:26:03Z

• Silva had been linked with vacancies at Porto and Crystal Palace
• ‘Marco was one of the most sought after head coaches in the Premier League’

Watford have named the former Hull manager Marco Silva as their new head coach. Silva left Hull following their relegation from the Premier League at the end of the season, and replaces Walter Mazzarri at Vicarage Road. He has signed a two-year deal.

Related: Garry Monk leaves Leeds United ‘shocked’ but clubs line up for talks

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Jenson Button relegated to back of Monaco GP grid amid more McLaren woe

Sat, 27 May 2017 09:51:53 GMT2017-05-27T09:51:53Z

• Engine-component switch punished with 15-place grid penalty
• Blow for driver’s hopes of creditable finish on one-off return

Jenson Button is set to start last for what could be his final Formula One race after being hit with a 15-place grid penalty at the Monaco Grand Prix.

The 37-year-old former world champion is back on the grid in Monte Carlo this weekend following Fernando Alonso’s decision to participate at the Indianapolis 500.

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Tom Dumoulin faces ultimate trial as Giro d’Italia heads for thrilling finale

Sat, 27 May 2017 16:07:31 GMT2017-05-27T16:07:31Z

• Thibaut Pinot of France wins penultimate stage of three-week race
• Quintana leads but Dumoulin, Pinot and Nibali all within a minute

With six riders grouped inside 90 seconds at the top of the standings going into Sunday’s final time trial, the 100th Giro d’Italia is set to provide what could be the tightest ever finish to one of cycling’s three great Tours. The Colombian Nairo Quintana wears the pink leader’s jersey after the last mountain stage, but breathing down his neck are three men: the defending champion Vincenzo Nibali, France’s Thibaut Pinot and the Dutchman Tom Dumoulin.

Related: Nairo Quintana takes pink jersey off Tom Dumoulin after dramatic stage 19

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Jack Harvey, the British driver making his Indy 500 debut in Alonso’s shadow

Sat, 27 May 2017 11:30:26 GMT2017-05-27T11:30:26Z

Fernando Alonso’s debut for Andretti at the Brickyard this weekend has made all headlines but an exciting young British driver will also make his bow

Making history is the target for Fernando Alonso when he takes to the track for the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday afternoon. The Spaniard wants a win at the Brickyard to take him a step closer to claiming motor racing’s triple crown but Indy is such a formidable challenge just making it to the finish on his first attempt would be an achievement.

Related: Fernando Alonso fifth in Indy 500 qualifying as Scott Dixon takes pole

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County cricket: Essex v Surrey, Somerset v Hants and more – as it happened

Sat, 27 May 2017 17:38:00 GMT2017-05-27T17:38:00Z

All the action from around the grounds as Kumar Sangakkara made a double-century for Surrey and Somerset v Hampshire heads for a thrilling conclusion

Thanks again for your company today, which has been a thoroughly enjoyable one. Dan Lawrence batted very nicely indeed here, and the action elsewhere has been excellent too. Here are the scores on the doors.

Division One:

Alex Wakely has been caught hooking three overs from the close at Northants. It’s the Northants way! Tongue the bowler and they are 42 for two and still miles behind.

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Blackpool fans boycott League Two play-off final against Exeter’s jolly volunteers

Sat, 27 May 2017 11:31:22 GMT2017-05-27T11:31:22Z

Facing the followers of Exeter City at Wembley will be swaths of empty seats as disenfranchised Blackpool fans continue protest at Oyston family’s stewardship

The symbolism will hang heavily in the air at Wembley on Sunday afternoon. At one end of the ground, a sea of red and white will offer a perfect demonstration of the positives that can be achieved when supporters have a say in the running of their club. Facing the followers of Exeter City, however, the swaths of empty seats in the Blackpool section will tell a sorry story about what happens when football fans are pushed too far.

The League Two play-off final pits together one supporter-owned club and another whose disenfranchised fans are so fed up with the people in charge that many of them are boycotting Blackpool’s biggest match of the season. For Blackpool fans who have made the painful choice to stay away from Wembley, winning promotion to League One is of secondary importance compared with the onerous task of getting the Oyston family out of Bloomfield Road.

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Sam Underhill has chance to become answer to England’s No7 problem

Sat, 27 May 2017 07:00:21 GMT2017-05-27T07:00:21Z

• Twenty-year-old flanker under spotlight against Barbarians
• ‘He has got a nice mature way about him,’ says Eddie Jones

Not long after Eddie Jones was appointed by England he called a meeting at the RFU to address the dearth of openside flankers. Publicly, he played down the need for a specialist No7 but privately he was lamenting their absence. “I might have said: ‘I can’t see any natural sevens in England,’” recalled Jones this week. Richard Hill, however, had been casting the net further afield.

England’s World Cup-winning flanker, now the team manager but at the time responsible for identifying and developing young players, was aware of Sam Underhill, a former under-18 national captain who had moved to Cardiff to study and join the Ospreys from Gloucester.

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How the English game could learn from the Chinese Super League | Barney Ronay

Fri, 26 May 2017 18:00:04 GMT2017-05-26T18:00:04Z

For all the nationalism and political will, China is ploughing millions into youth development and the intention is to win the World Cup within the next 30 years

This week I watched the Chinese Super League so you don’t have to, taking in the full, slightly wild 90 minutes of the champions Guangzhou Evergrande versus last year’s runners-up Jiangsu Suning, the most recent of the CSL fixtures being shown in dribs and drabs by Sky Sports.

There was a vague point to all this beyond simple recreation. The lure of the Chinese Super League seems to lurk behind every story, every noise off, presented as a kind of gilded career-dustbin for every ageing star with a hungry agent to feed. Diego Costa and Radamel Falcao have been linked with moves this summer. Only this week Wayne Rooney has been implored not to go, reminded that he “still has so much to give”, like a man being talked down from the 27th-floor windowledge of a seven-star tower hotel.

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Is McLaren’s lack of competitiveness harming their reputation and heritage?

Fri, 26 May 2017 17:55:03 GMT2017-05-26T17:55:03Z

McLaren’s blank season needs to get going this weekend at Monaco although the team admit they show little sign of improving any time soon

When Howden Ganley arrived for his first day at work with Bruce McLaren, as the team’s third employee, he found a concrete prefab full of earthmoving equipment on a dirt floor. Humble beginnings for a team that would become one of the longest serving and most successful in Formula One, driven not only by the vision and ambition of its founder but also by McLaren’s ability to inspire those around him.

As Ganley notes: “If Bruce had said down tools and march into the Sahara, we would have done it without a question.” McLaren left a remarkable legacy for his team who, now more than ever, need the inspiration he engendered in that prefab in New Malden.

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Katarina Johnson-Thompson must ‘fall in love’ with heptathlon again at Götzis

Fri, 26 May 2017 16:00:02 GMT2017-05-26T16:00:02Z

• Move to Montpellier in south of France has provided a reboot
• ‘It feels like a complete rebuild but I know I needed to change something’

Of all the ambitions that Katarina Johnson-Thompson has for her first heptathlon since her Rio Olympics finished in howls of pain and frustration, the simplest is also the biggest. She wants to fall in love with her sport again.

And she hopes that Götzis, the sleepy, scenic Austrian town where she smashed her personal best in 2014 before a series of injuries rammed her career off track, might just be the place to rediscover it.

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Matt Parcell shines as Leeds storm to clinical victory over Warrington

Fri, 26 May 2017 21:03:05 GMT2017-05-26T21:03:05Z

• Leeds 40-0 Warrington
• Wolves attacking frailties brutally exposed

There have been many moments already this season to suggest Leeds and Warrington are on different paths – this was perhaps the most conclusive of them all. A year ago, it was Leeds toiling at the wrong end of Super League while Warrington pressed ahead for major honours, finishing with the League Leaders’ Shield and appearances in both major finals.

There is a way to go yet before Leeds can reach any of those milestones, but the annus horribilis that was 2016 is slowly being cast further into the back of everyone’s minds at the Rhinos. This year has been much more like the Leeds of old – and how fitting it was that in their biggest ever Super League victory against Warrington, some of their old guard stole the show.

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Harry Mallinder kicks Northampton back into Champions Cup

Fri, 26 May 2017 21:01:59 GMT2017-05-26T21:01:59Z

• Northampton 23-22 Stade Français
• Harry Mallinder kicks match-winning conversion

Northampton have done next to nothing the easy way all season so perhaps their circuitous route into next season’s Champions Cup should not come as a surprise. But they can take enormous credit for the resilience shown to cap an exhilarating victory over Stade Français thanks to Ahsee Tuala’s dramatic late try and Harry Mallinder’s nerveless conversion.

When Tuala went over, Northampton were down to 13 – the captain Tom Wood had been sent off for a stamp to the head of Djibril Camara that may well rule him out of England’s tour to Argentina – while Rory Hutchinson was in the sin-bin. Northampton, 16 points down at one pointin the first half, did not know when they were beaten. “I don’t think anybody can see Tom actually putting his foot on the opponent. It’s an unfortunate one,” said Northampton’s director of rugby, Jim Mallinder. “There’s certainly nothing deliberate in there but we’ll see what happens with the disciplinary.”

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‘I feel strangely optimistic’: meet the first time voters

Sat, 27 May 2017 09:00:23 GMT2017-05-27T09:00:23Z

More than a million people have registered to vote for the first time on 8 June. We ask new voters how they feel about having their say

On a Wednesday evening in Walsall, near Birmingham, people from a local temple were handing out chips and beans to anyone who was homeless, or hungry, or both. They expected to reach 100 meals within an hour; four years ago, it was more like 20.

In the queue, one twentysomething told me his benefits money had already run out, leaving him penniless until next Monday. I asked him about the election. “I don’t really know about politics, if I’m honest,” he said. “As soon as I hear Brexit, I switch off.” But you’re living out the consequences of politics. “I know,” he replied. “I’m living in poverty. I’m not an idiot. I’m struggling.” He had never voted before, but probably would this time – even if he hadn’t yet chosen a party: “My dad’s saying Conservative, my mum’s saying Labour.”

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Labour’s hope doesn’t usually play well in an age of anxiety

Sat, 27 May 2017 16:00:32 GMT2017-05-27T16:00:32Z

The great leftwing election victories in British politics have nearly all occurred at times of national optimism. This is not one of those times

It seems crazy to argue that the election will be determined by the economy when events have focused the electorate’s attention on national security and the judgment of the main political leaders.

Last year’s Brexit vote illustrated many things, among them the propensity of voters to disregard short-term effects on their personal finances in favour of high ideals for a better world, whatever they felt that to be.

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After Manchester, our values will only prevail if we speak up for them | Nick Cohen

Sat, 27 May 2017 17:10:33 GMT2017-05-27T17:10:33Z

The warming words about community and diversity are worthless if we are losing the battle for Muslim minds

Communities are “coming together, we will not allow them to divide us”, said Sir Richard Lees, the leader of Manchester city council, as my home town began a struggle to come to terms with an atrocity designed to provoke retaliation. “We are strong,” said Andy Burnham, the mayor of Greater Manchester. “Our values, our country and our way of life will always prevail,” said the prime minister.

Before I go further, I should say the politicians were broadly right. The stereotype of warm northerners is overdone. Mancunians can be as vicious as anyone else. But a Londoner does not have to spend too much time in Manchester to notice a convivial willingness to talk to strangers that is absent from the capital. As much as the pictures of dead girls, as much as the relief at finding that my niece, an Ariana Grande fan, had decided to give the concert a miss, the stories of taxi drivers giving free rides to the injured, the lawyers offering free advice and the cafe owners proffering free meals to the emergency services floored me. Manchester is not a city being torn apart by hatred.

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The Libya fallout shows how Theresa May has failed on terror | Paul Mason

Sat, 27 May 2017 05:00:19 GMT2017-05-27T05:00:19Z

As home secretary she didn’t see the threat from anti-Gaddafi rebels. And as prime minister, from police cuts to article 50, she’s still making the wrong calls

Salman Abedi was British by birth, Libyan by background, a radical Islamist by identity, loyal to a “caliphate” based in Raqqa, Syria. These facts should be the starting point of our response to the atrocity he perpetrated: the threat is global, yet our state is national, and our communities local. Our state and our communities were not strong enough to stop him. The time to discuss why is not after the election, but now.

Related: Corbyn is right: of course Manchester was linked to British foreign policy | Simon Jenkins

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Even in this age of mass literacy, we need writing lessons more than ever | Ian Jack

Sat, 27 May 2017 06:00:20 GMT2017-05-27T06:00:20Z

Writing is not the passport to riches promised to would-be journalists of the past, and nor is it an exact science. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be learned

Thanks to this newspaper’s belief in self-improvement and its need in these hard times to earn a bob or two, a reader can sign up to a Guardian Masterclass and learn how to be a columnist. Not only a columnist, of course: there are many other skills you can learn. Column writing, nonetheless, is the course to which I’m strangely drawn.

I’m genuinely interested to know how it’s done. I imagine wearing a mask to disguise my identity and picking up advice on how to make the column better, or at least easier to achieve. “The art of applying the ass to the seat,” is how Dorothy Parker described writing in general, and that’s more or less all I know about the practice of writing a column. I’m not suggesting for a moment that that’s all there is to know, or that what’s knowable can’t be taught. A large cultural industry in the shape of university creative writing schools has been built around the proposition that writing, particularly “literary” fiction, is a skill that can be transmitted by tuition.

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We will all pay the price for our financial illiteracy

Sat, 27 May 2017 06:00:20 GMT2017-05-27T06:00:20Z

An OECD study on young people’s grasp of money issues around the world serves as a wake-up call not just for parents and schools, but also for regulators

One in five people are financially illiterate, incapable of grasping basic shopping conundrums – such as, is that nine-pack of loo roll better value than two four-packs? In a world of ever more complex financial products, it’s never been a better time for companies to rip people off because, frankly, very large numbers of us are rather dim with numbers.

A fascinating study on financial literacy was issued by the OECD this week, comparing financial literacy around the world, using the same Pisa scoring system that ranks abilities in reading and maths. It was focused on 15-year-olds in 15 countries, so it’s not about adults, but my guess is that most people’s literacy at 50 isn’t much better than at 15. It asked some maths-style questions – comparing the cost of loose tomatoes with boxed ones, and checking an invoice for accuracy – but also explored more modern issues around money, such as identifying if that email from your bank is a scam, and the factors that go into insurance costs for a first moped.

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Secret Teacher: I feared special measures – but it's made us stronger

Sat, 27 May 2017 06:00:20 GMT2017-05-27T06:00:20Z

When Ofsted downgraded my school to special measures, I was devastated. But we now get the support we need to improve

Special measures. Inadequate. Words used to describe schools that are the bottom of the pile. The words you never want to hear as a teacher.

Prior to autumn 2016, I had only ever worked in schools rated good by Ofsted, and was fearful of the term special measures. For years, my school has been getting itself “Ofsted ready”. We were always listening out for tips about what Ofsted inspectors want to see from those we felt were in the know.

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It’s a delusion to think that the terror attacks are just about foreign policy | Jonathan Freedland

Fri, 26 May 2017 18:49:33 GMT2017-05-26T18:49:33Z

When it comes to violent jihadism, the motives are many – American and British military intervention is just one of them

For most people, in most places, something like normality resumes. This weekend Britons might be planning a barbecue, watching the FA Cup Final or just hoping to soak up some sun. In Manchester, in a show of almost comic defiance, the Great CityGames are going ahead, so that today, Deansgate will be converted into a sprint track and there’ll be pole vaulting in Albert Square – just days after it was packed for a hushed vigil.

But I can’t help thinking of what it’s like inside those homes where normality vanished on Monday night. I keep thinking of the parents who thought life was just ticking along, and who are suddenly having to contemplate a future without their son or daughter.

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It was quite a week for toxic masculinity | Jessica Valenti

Fri, 26 May 2017 18:53:52 GMT2017-05-26T18:53:52Z

When this is all over, gender studies professors are going to have a hell of time teaching students about this moment in history

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If there was ever a week to remind you how much toxic masculinity underpins the Republican party – this was it. Trump pushed Montenegro’s prime minister (complete with self-satisfied smirk) and Montana’s newest congressional representative won his seat despite having assaulted a Guardian reporter – a move Rush Limbaugh lauded as “manly”.

When this is all over, gender studies professors are going to have a hell of time teaching students about the era in history that amounted to little more than a (ahem) measuring contest.

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We need a war on conflict, not terror | Deborah Orr

Fri, 26 May 2017 18:30:33 GMT2017-05-26T18:30:33Z

A recognition that division has scarred our democracy for too long would be a fitting legacy to the victims of Manchester

What tribute to the people killed in Manchester would be fitting? How could we, as individuals, be part of such a tribute? Maybe a start could be made by stating as simply as possible the cause of that attack. The cause is political conflict, at its most global and ideologically crazed. At its least amenable to reason. At its ugliest and most crude. At its wildest and most ruthless. At its most pitiless and self-righteous.

Related: ‘Go sing with the angels’: families pay tribute to Manchester victims

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Manchester will recover, but some victims will not. Don't forget them

Fri, 26 May 2017 16:43:53 GMT2017-05-26T16:43:53Z

The message we hear is of cleaning up, carrying on, rebuilding – but for a few people life will never return to normal

It was an unusually beautiful day in Manchester, not a cloud in a deep blue sky, when that huge IRA bomb blasted the heart of the city 21 years ago; and this week when terror struck it turned out eerily sunny again. But as the devastating news of so many deaths and injuries hit on Tuesday, and people made their way quietly along Cross Street to the evening vigil held in Albert Square, the differences from what happened last time were dreadfully clear.

Back then, on a busy Saturday, 15 June 1996, the explosives in a truck parked outside Marks & Spencer wreaked astonishing damage to buildings, but there was a warning, and 75,000 people were evacuated. Although people suffered injuries, some of them serious, from the debris and glass that rained beyond the cordon, miraculously nobody was killed. The Mancunian pride and make-a-brew spirit that has been broadcast to the world this week could get on with a story which has become straightforward in the telling since: clean up, carry on, rebuild.

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Tate Britain could be our greatest museum – if it only loved its treasures

Fri, 26 May 2017 15:32:31 GMT2017-05-26T15:32:31Z

Its current displays aren’t just terrible. They turn the story of British art into one long joyless slog through brown and grey sludge. The proposed rehang won’t fix that

In its 17 years of existence, Tate Britain has practically killed British art history. Drawn from the biggest collection of British art in the world, the gallery’s permanent displays – or, more accurately, incredibly impermanent displays – have achieved such a rare cocktail of superficiality, pretension, ugliness and willed ignorance that, after a couple of hours there, it is hard to feel any enthusiasm for the story of British art.

I was at Tate Britain the other day, looking hard at the collection displays. I have no choice, as I’m writing a history of British art. I would not take what the gallery currently calls its Walk Through British Art for fun. Even when you’ve good reason to go, it’s a slog. I left with a depressing sense that British art since the Tudor age was just one big brown and grey sludge, barren of beauty, bereft of genius.

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Trump's travel ban is a test for the US supreme court – and the country | Amir Ali

Fri, 26 May 2017 14:50:44 GMT2017-05-26T14:50:44Z

In a shameful decision during the second world war, the court ruled in favor of Japanese American internment. It must not repeat its mistakes

The US supreme court will soon decide whether to repeat one of the most shameful moments in American history. On Thursday, 10 judges on the US court of appeals for the fourth circuit voted to uphold a lower court’s order blocking President Trump’s Executive Order No 13780, which would have banned people from several Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States.

The court correctly concluded that the order was inspired by animus against people of the Muslim faith, in violation of the establishment clause. In a powerful concurring opinion, Judge James A Wynn expressed hope that we have “matured from the lessons learned by past experiences”, referring to now condemned supreme court decisions in Dred Scott – which held that African Americans could not be US citizens – and Korematsu v United States, which upheld executive proclamations requiring the internment of Japanese Americans during the second world war.

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How can we build confidence and trust? By scrutinising ourselves

Fri, 26 May 2017 14:09:16 GMT2017-05-26T14:09:16Z

The Guardian’s global readers’ editor on why authentic self-regulation helps both readers and journalists

In this time of flux, journalism’s contribution to democratic society seems more necessary than at any period I can recall – and more pressured. My career has recently passed the 40-year mark, and I have never felt so energised.

Work that helps ensure the quality of journalism feels especially worthwhile. A readers’ editor — or any media self-regulator — strives to contribute, mostly indirectly, to the overall quality of an organisation’s output. The remit is more detailed and the reality more complicated, but that is the main aim.

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Why do some young people become jihadis? Psychiatry offers answers | Kamran Ahmed

Fri, 26 May 2017 11:41:25 GMT2017-05-26T11:41:25Z

Muslims growing up in western countries have to juggle competing cultural influences. This process may hold the key to defeating radicalisation

As the dust settles on the traumatising attack in Manchester, we are left grieving and searching for an explanation for this senseless violence. Some will have you believe that Islam is at fault since verses of the Qur’an legitimise such violence, while their opponents point out that the ideology fuelling these acts of terror is a twisted perversion of the religion. The fact remains that there are approximately 1.6 billion Muslims in the world, the overwhelming majority of whom abhor Isis and the evil it represents. So what is driving a handful of extremists to commit horrific acts of mass murder in the name of Islam?

Western foreign policy has often been cited as an important driver, but there are countless law-abiding British citizens of all faiths who disagree with recent foreign policy who do not feel compelled to wreak bloody havoc on account of it.

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An app that checks criminal records won’t make dating safer | Nichi Hodgson

Fri, 26 May 2017 09:00:07 GMT2017-05-26T09:00:07Z

Gatsby suggests users will be more secure thanks to its background checks – but this dangerously misunderstands the nature of sexual violence

If you could ask a potential date any question, what would it be? “Finding out if they had a criminal record,” ran a troubled discussion on Netmums recently, a cry reiterated by Katie Price on Loose Women this week. Now, there’s an app for that: Gatsby, a salve for dating worries that runs criminal record and sex offender register checks on its members every month “to create the safest platform available”, claims CEO Joseph Penora.

Related: From Raya to Tinder Select: the world of elite dating apps

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Rachel Nickell’s son: ‘That’s what I remember most – the moment I knew she was gone’

Sat, 27 May 2017 05:00:19 GMT2017-05-27T05:00:19Z

Aged nearly three, Alex Hanscombe saw his mother, Rachel Nickell, murdered in front of him. It was a case that shocked the nation. Anna Moore meets him and his father, André, and finds, after 25 years, that they have a remarkable bond

A young mother ambling across Wimbledon Common with her dog and her young son on a perfect July morning in 1992. A frenzied attack from an unknown assailant. A media circus. A botched police investigation.

The murder of Rachel Nickell was one of the most high-profile crimes of the last few decades. Her name conjures an instant picture of her blond hair and laughing face. The names and faces of her young son – who witnessed the attack – and her bereft partner, Alex and André Hanscombe, are probably less familiar, which is just as they wanted it. Unable to live in the spotlight, they left the UK just months later to begin again. Now, 25 years later, side by side in a hotel bar in sunny Barcelona, smiling, relaxed, this tight father and son team seems a kind of miracle.

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Sandbanks and Salcombe top UK seaside property league

Sat, 27 May 2017 06:01:20 GMT2017-05-27T06:01:20Z

Towns in Dorset and Devon may boast highest prices but it is coastal homes near London and Aberdeen that have seen biggest rises since 2007

Sandbanks in Dorset, Britain’s Mayfair-on-Sea, has once again emerged as the most expensive seaside town in the country.

Home to former Premier League managers and millionaire businessmen, the average price of a home on the glitzy peninsula is now just more than £664,000. Next in price is the sailing hotspot of Salcombe, further along the south coast in Devon, where a house will set you back £618,000.

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Sunscreen label confusion putting Britons at risk, say experts

Sat, 27 May 2017 10:06:18 GMT2017-05-27T10:06:18Z

Six out of 10 consumers don’t understand labelling on sunscreen products designed to protect skin from harmful rays from sun

Britons are putting themselves at risk of sunburn and long-lasting skin damage by failing to understand the “dual protection” labelling on sunscreen products, research has warned.

As the UK this week enjoyed an early heatwave, six out of 10 people polled said they were unaware that the SPF – Sun Protection Factor – rating displayed on labels does not alone guarantee protection from potential sun damage. A total of 2,000 UK adults were questioned for the study, which was published on Friday by health and beauty chain, Superdrug.

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More tofu? Supermarkets flesh out their vegan credentials as clean eating grows

Sat, 27 May 2017 06:00:20 GMT2017-05-27T06:00:20Z

Stores are racing to stock more lines of non-dairy, meat-free food as clean-eating trend boosts numbers of UK flexitarians, vegetarians and vegans

How about slapping an avocado and peanut burger on the barbecue this weekend?

If you’re sticking with steaks, you are missing a trend in which rising numbers of Brits are joining famous names such as Jeremy Corbyn, former president Bill Clinton and Brad Pitt – and choosing to go meat-free.

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Serious Fraud Office warns of £120m pension scam

Sat, 27 May 2017 06:00:20 GMT2017-05-27T06:00:20Z

Retirees have been persuaded to switch all their cash into schemes involving self-storage facilities and there are fears they may have lost huge sums

Fears are growing that large numbers of people may have lost huge sums of money after investing their retirement pots in – of all things – self-storage units. The Serious Fraud Office this week launched an investigation into storage unit investment schemes, and revealed that more than £120m has been poured into them. But could that just be the tip of the iceberg?

One man was persuaded to transfer almost £370,000 out of his workplace pension and put it all into one such scheme supposedly offering an 8%-12% return. The Pensions Ombudsman, which looked at his case, said the “blameless” man had switched out of the “secure and generous” NHS pension scheme and may have lost all his money as a result. Others were lured in with claims that they could more than double their money in just six years.

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Ofcom to review charges for calls to directory inquiries services

Sat, 27 May 2017 06:00:20 GMT2017-05-27T06:00:20Z

Telecoms regulator acts after investigation by the Observer found some callers were charged three-figure sums to find number

The telecoms regulator, Ofcom, has announced a review into the high cost of calls to directory inquiries services two months after I featured the case of a reader who was charged £501 for six calls to a 118 number.

Prices have increased by up to 17-fold since BT’s service was opened up to competition in 2003, but in 2013 Ofcom abandoned its own proposals to impose a cap on 118 call charges after protests from the telecoms industry. Instead, last year it sanctioned a top price bracket of £15.98 for the initial call plus £7.99 for every ensuing minute, and Telecom2 took advantage of it. The firm withdrew the service that connected callers to their chosen number and cost some of them three-figure sums only after The Observer investigated.

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EE and Vodafone are UK’s worst mobile providers, says Which?

Sat, 27 May 2017 06:01:20 GMT2017-05-27T06:01:20Z

Survey finds the two networks – which together account for more than half the market – have satisfaction score of just 50%

EE and Vodafone have been named as the UK’s two worst mobile phone providers by the consumer group Which?

In its sixth annual survey of members, EE and Vodafone, which together account for more than half the market, recorded the worst scores for customer satisfaction. Giffgaff was named as the firm with the happiest mobile customers.

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Student housing tempts wealthy investors

Fri, 26 May 2017 17:08:32 GMT2017-05-26T17:08:32Z

Demand for investment grows despite worries that Brexit might cut number of high-spending foreign students coming to UK

Some of the world’s richest people and sovereign wealth funds are turning their attention to student housing, with the increasingly luxurious and expensive purpose-built accommodation becoming regarded as a must-have part of their investment portfolio.

Investor demand for student accommodation blocks is so strong that some potential buyers were forced to stand during presentations at a student housing investment conference in a ballroom in Covent Garden, central London this week.

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Uber's London licence renewed for only four months

Fri, 26 May 2017 17:21:36 GMT2017-05-26T17:21:36Z

Transport for London continues to consider five-year licence as unions express concerns over working practices

Uber’s licence to operate in London has been renewed but only for a period of four months, as transport authorities continue to deliberate whether to grant it a five-year licence.

The decision over renewal has become the latest focus of controversy around the app-based taxi firm, with black-cab drivers and unions demanding that Transport for London reject the application without assurances over Uber’s operation and working practices.

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A plague o' both your houses: error in GCSE exam paper forces apology

Fri, 26 May 2017 14:56:55 GMT2017-05-26T14:56:55Z

OCR exam board faces censure after question on Romeo and Juliet implied that Tybalt is a Montague rather than a Capulet

One of England’s biggest exam boards has been forced to apologise after thousands of students sat an English literature GCSE paper with a mistake in it.

The error appeared in an question set by OCR about the character Tybalt from Romeo and Juliet. It implied he is a Montague when he is in fact a Capulet.

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Solar power breaks UK records thanks to sunny weather

Fri, 26 May 2017 15:09:00 GMT2017-05-26T15:09:00Z

Thousands of photovoltaic panels across the UK generate 8.7GW, smashing previous high of 8.48GW earlier this month

Solar power has broken new records in the UK by providing nearly a quarter of the country’s electricity needs, thanks to sunny skies and relatively low summer demand.

National Grid said the thousands of photovoltaic panels on rooftops and in fields across the UK were generating 8.7GW, or 24.3% of demand at 1pm on Friday, smashing the previous high of 8.48GW earlier this month.

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Montana assault breeds 'frightening' talk of violence against journalists

Sat, 27 May 2017 10:00:25 GMT2017-05-27T10:00:25Z

In the wake of a Guardian reporter being body-slammed by Greg Gianforte, some people have been emboldened to condone the attack – as emails show

The Guardian has received a steady stream of correspondence from across the US in the wake of this week’s news of a Guardian reporter being body-slammed by Greg Gianforte, the Republican candidate who then went on to win the state’s only House seat.

Some of the emails expressed horror and shame over the assault on Ben Jacobs in which he was thrown to the ground and punched. But the digital mailbag to our opinion section also contained comments of a very different nature.

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Once-in-a-generation hopes of Cyprus reunification appear to be dashed

Sat, 27 May 2017 04:00:17 GMT2017-05-27T04:00:17Z

UN-appointed mediator terminates negotiations, citing lack of common ground, but organisation insists ‘talks have not collapsed’

The best hope yet of reuniting war-partitioned Cyprus has been dashed after reconciliation attempts were brought to an abrupt halt following two years of intense negotiations.

The optimism engendered by talks seen as a once-in-a-generation opportunity to unite the Mediterranean island ended when the United Nations special envoy, Espen Barth Eide, announced that he was terminating negotiation efforts.

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Zbigniew Brzezinski, national security adviser to President Carter, dies at 89

Sat, 27 May 2017 12:50:27 GMT2017-05-27T12:50:27Z

Obama praises Polish-born expert who worked for Kennedy and Johnson before achieving success in middle east and China policy in White House role

Zbigniew Brzezinski, who helped topple economic barriers between the Soviet Union, China and the west as President Jimmy Carter’s national security adviser, died on Friday. He was 89.

Related: Jared Kushner discussed creating secret communications channel with Moscow – reports

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Brighter skies over eurozone as growth and employment pick up

Sat, 27 May 2017 16:29:00 GMT2017-05-27T16:29:00Z

We take the temperature of five of Europe’s key economies now that political threats appear to have diminished

What a difference a few months make. As 2017 opened, eurozone politicians still raw from the shock of the Brexit vote and Donald Trump’s presidential triumph were nervously awaiting elections in the Netherlands and France.

They feared that discontent would propel the populist wave into the heart of Europe and usher in far-right, anti-euro leaders. In the event, the predicted surge for Dutch populist Geert Wilders failed to materialise and in France, Front National candidate Marine Le Pen was decisively beaten by pro-EU centrist Emmanuel Macron.

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Canada's 'us and them cities': data shows most homes are too small – or too big

Sat, 27 May 2017 10:30:25 GMT2017-05-27T10:30:25Z

A new report explores the dichotomy between the millions of empty bedrooms across the country and the many families struggling to live in cramped spaces

In their bid to temper Canada’s overheated housing markets – some of which rank among the world’s least affordable – authorities in the country have slapped taxes on some foreign buyers and taken aim at vacant homes.

Now one group of analysts is recasting the crisis in a new light; exploring the dichotomy between the millions of empty bedrooms across the country and the many families struggling to live in cramped accommodation.

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Rodrigo Duterte jokes to soldiers that they can rape women with impunity

Sat, 27 May 2017 05:55:54 GMT2017-05-27T05:55:54Z

‘If you had raped three, I will admit it, that’s on me’ Philippines president tells soldiers on Mindanao island where he has imposed martial law

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has sought to reassure soldiers who might be accused of committing abuses under martial law and jokingly said that if any of them were to rape three women, he would personally claim responsibility for it.

Duterte is notorious for comments often deemed offensive and made the remark as a joke, reiterating that only he would be liable for any backlash over military rule on southern Mindanao island. He has, however, said he would not tolerate abuses.

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China arrests Taiwanese activist 'for subverting state power'

Sat, 27 May 2017 04:27:19 GMT2017-05-27T04:27:19Z

Li Ming-che, a 42-year-old NGO worker known for supporting human rights, went missing in mysterious circumstances in China on 19 March

A Taiwan rights activist who was secretly detained in China in March has been officially arrested on suspicion of subversion, charges Taiwan said were vague and unconvincing.

The case has strained already poor relations between China and Taiwan, which have cooled since Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen took power last year, because she refuses to concede that the self-ruled island is part of China.

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'I'm not a criminal': press freedom stands trial in Timor-Leste

Fri, 26 May 2017 23:40:50 GMT2017-05-26T23:40:50Z

Journalist Raimundos Oki calls it an honest mistake, the PM says it was defamation, and a young democracy is tested

“If the court wants to send me to jail, I won’t be happy but I have to be brave. I will accept the final decision. I’m ready to be in prison if the court maybe wants to put me in the prison.”

Raimundos Oki, a 32-year-old journalist, is standing in the small offices of the Timor Post, in Timor-Leste’s capital Dili, exasperated with his government.

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The public flogging of two gay men and what it says about Indonesia's future

Fri, 26 May 2017 22:22:46 GMT2017-05-26T22:22:46Z

Islamism is rising across Indonesia, where a toxic mix of religion and political opportunism has been percolating for some time

It was the young who came first to Indonesia’s public caning of gay men. They arrived on motorbikes and on foot, from nearby boarding houses and two universities, some skipping class and the others using up their holidays. An announcement was made barring children under 18, but some stayed anyway, reluctant to break up a family outing.

By 10am on Tuesday, a 1,000-strong crowd had congealed at the Syuhada mosque plaza in Banda Aceh. As someone sang a stirring Qur’anic hymn to inaugurate the ceremony, a verse about how God created man and woman in couples, young men were perched in the trees, on trucks, and all the balconies across the street. Girls huddled between jasmine bushes.

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Egypt launches raids in Libya after attack on Coptic Christians kills 26

Fri, 26 May 2017 22:48:35 GMT2017-05-26T22:48:35Z

Children among dead and at least 22 wounded in gun attack on convoy headed to monastery in Minya province

Egypt has carried out airstrikes in Libya after at least 26 people, including children, were killed and 25 wounded in a gun attack on a bus carrying Coptic Christians south of Cairo, the latest in a series of terrorist incidents targeting the religious minority.

Local media reported witnesses saying that between eight and 10 gunmen, dressed in military uniform, carried out the attack. Egypt’s interior ministry said the attackers, travelling in four-wheel-drives, “fired indiscriminately” at a car, bus and a truck in the al-Idwah district outside Minya, about 135 miles (220km) south of Cairo.

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Trump set to clash with other G7 leaders over refugees, trade and climate

Fri, 26 May 2017 19:43:53 GMT2017-05-26T19:43:53Z

Disagreements with US are so fundamental that Sicily summit might not be able to issue communique

Divisions between Donald Trump and other members of the G7 at the summit in Sicily have become so broad and deep that they may be forced to issue a brief leaders’ statement rather than a full communique, dashing Italian hopes of engineering a big step forward on migration and famine.

With the US president apparently reluctant to compromise with European leaders over climate change, trade and migration, the European council president, Donald Tusk, was forced to admit on Friday that this would be the most challenging G7 summit in years and there was a risk of events spiralling out of control.

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The Republican healthcare bill: what's next in challenge to Obamacare?

Fri, 26 May 2017 15:16:51 GMT2017-05-26T15:16:51Z

GOP senators are putting together new version of American Health Care Act after the Congressional Budget Office found 23 million people would lose insurance

Republicans rushed an updated version of their healthcare plan through the House of Representatives earlier this month without knowing how much it would cost or how many people would lose insurance as a result. This week, the nonpartisan congressional budget office released its assessment – and the accounting was bleak.

The agency forecast that 23 million people would lose insurance over the next decade, people with pre-existing conditions could face substantial increases in out-of-pocket spending on health care and maternity coverage could cost women an extra $1,000 per month.

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Have teens and parents finally called a musical truce?

Tue, 09 May 2017 15:24:47 GMT2017-05-09T15:24:47Z

Playing music to your parents was once about staking out territory and drawing up battle lines, says Pete Paphides. But now, as kids cherry-pick history’s jukebox and parents suspend cynicism about new artists’ potential, peace has been given a chance

I remember the first time I played a song within earshot of my parents with a specific view to shocking them – it was a videotape of the Jesus and Mary Chain playing Never Understand on The Old Grey Whistle Test. In opting to not merely play the record, I was clearly hoping the visual element would elicit the maximum amount of outrage. Perhaps I hoped to carve out the sort of generation gap moment I had read so many of my favourite pop stars describe when they talked about Bowie doing Starman on Top Of The Pops.

Related: How to make a Spotify playlist the whole family will love

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The Red Turtle: a moving meditation on our relationship with the natural world

Thu, 25 May 2017 22:58:42 GMT2017-05-25T22:58:42Z

Fairytales and myths are the inspiration for Michael Dudok de Wit’s first feature film, a magical tale of a castaway, made in collaboration with the renowned Studio Ghibli

The legendary Japanese animation company Studio Ghibli knows a thing or two about talent. Co-founded by the great auteur Hayao Miyazaki, the company is the home of classic films such as Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, My Neighbour Totoro and the Tale of the Princess Kaguya. But until the gorgeous Oscar-nominated feature The Red Turtle by Michael Dudok de Wit, Ghibli had never worked with a non-Japanese director.

It is not hard to see why Dutch animator Dudok de Wit caught the attention of a company that cherishes the traditional techniques of 2D, hand-drawn animation over the flashy computer-generated techniques favoured by many other animation studios. The Red Turtle is a work of profound simplicity and exquisite beauty. Although the film’s animation style is quite different to much of the Ghibli output, its themes – a deeply spiritual examination of nature, magic and mystery – chime perfectly with the company’s ethos.

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Watch the evolution of TV in under two minutes

Fri, 26 May 2017 10:51:22 GMT2017-05-26T10:51:22Z

From John Logie Baird’s ‘televiser’ to the arrival of streaming services, what we watch and how we watch it continues to change at a lightning rate. Take a look at how TV has evolved over the years.


Find the TV you love

With Virgin TV you can watch the TV you love, brilliantly brought together. Visit www.virginmedia.com for more information, and more fun.


Cabled areas only. Virgin TV subscription, Virgin TV Anywhere App and WiFi required. Selected recordings to stream are available via compatible iOS/Android devices. Search covers the services and apps you get through your box only. Virgin TV V6 box included with Mix TV bundle and above, set-up fees start from £49.95 if not included as part of your package. Existing customers may need to re-contract on Mix TV or above and pay monthly Virgin TV V6 box fee. Virgin TV V6 box remains property of Virgin Media. TiVo is a trademark of TiVo Inc and its subsidiaries worldwide. Further legal stuff applies.

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'I seized redundancy – now my office is a field of flowers'

Wed, 03 May 2017 13:40:58 GMT2017-05-03T13:40:58Z

Jan Waters turned her passion for growing British flowers into a thriving business – which is why she loves spring, when her blooms burst into life

Despite hailing from a long line of amateur and professional gardeners, the bug didn’t hit me until my 30s. I was working for the BBC at the time and had an allotment dedicated to vegetables. I’d thrown down some cornflower seeds, and one day ended up cycling home with an entire crop of gorgeous stems overflowing from two panniers and a backpack.

Related: How to 'spring clean' your life and improve your frame of mind

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Girls challenge the stigma surrounding periods in Nepal – video

Sat, 27 May 2017 08:00:22 GMT2017-05-27T08:00:22Z

Last year, girls in Nepal who had restrictions imposed on them during their period shared their stories. To mark menstrual hygiene day on Sunday, WaterAid went back to Sindhuli district in south-east Nepal to find out how their lives have changed over the past 12 months

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Trump diehards stay loyal in Montana's 'white man's country' – video

Tue, 23 May 2017 06:00:45 GMT2017-05-23T06:00:45Z

Trump’s presidency may be in crisis. But Paul Lewis finds the president’s supporters in Montana are not wavering. Republican congressional candidate Greg Gianforte, a millionaire tech entrepreneur, is latching onto Trump in the hope it will give him an edge over Democrat Rob Quist, a country musician and poet

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Will coal seam gas save Narrabri, or destroy it? – video

Mon, 22 May 2017 20:17:46 GMT2017-05-22T20:17:46Z

In the first of a series of videos on critical issues confronting regional Australia, Gabrielle Chan investigates the proposed Narrabri gas project in New South Wales. The oil and gas company Santos proposes 850 wells in the Pilliga and some locals see the opportunity for jobs. But others warn of the potential damage to the land and water supply. Now it’s up the NSW government to decide

In Narrabri, everyone has a stake in the farming v mining fight

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The story of the 2016-17 Premier League season – video

Mon, 22 May 2017 08:57:29 GMT2017-05-22T08:57:29Z

Chelsea may have dominated the 2016-17 Premier League season but there have been plenty of dramas elsewhere. It’s been a tough year for managers up and down the table, for both new and old alike; we’ve seen new heroes emerge and the once lauded become villains. Just another Premier League, enjoy our review of all the antics.

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Brendan Cox: 'I want to change the UK's narrative of division' – video

Sun, 21 May 2017 06:00:47 GMT2017-05-21T06:00:47Z

Brendan Cox, the widow of Jo Cox MP, tells Owen Jones about a weekend of events to mark the anniversary of his wife’s murder. Cox says more than 100,000 events have been organised for The Great Get Together

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Julian Assange’s legal standoff explained – video

Fri, 19 May 2017 15:24:11 GMT2017-05-19T15:24:11Z

With the news that Swedish prosecutors have dropped their investigation into WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, the Guardian looks back at his rise to prominence, his years holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy, why he ended up there, and how the story has developed during his voluntary incarceration

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'We are not represented': why is this election so white? - video

Thu, 18 May 2017 08:05:18 GMT2017-05-18T08:05:18Z

In the third part of their election roadtrip, John Harris and John Domokos spend time in Birmingham and Walsall - the kind of urban, multiracial communities that the politics of Brexit has suddenly pushed to the sidelines. They find Theresa May’s hardline immigration stance and cuts to English language classes sparking anger and frustration, but also find Labour supporters attracted by her ‘strong and stable’ pitch for their votes

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'I wasn’t cock-a-hoop that I’d fooled the experts': Britain's master forger tells all

Sat, 27 May 2017 08:00:22 GMT2017-05-27T08:00:22Z

Shaun Greenhalgh has turned his hand to everyone from Leonardo da Vinci to Lowry. He’s been to prison, but has never revealed the whole picture. Until now

In 2010, shortly after his release from prison, Shaun Greenhalgh walked into his parents’ house in Bromley Cross to find yet another fat package waiting for him on the dresser. Unsolicited parcels arrived often. They always bore a London postmark, but never a sender’s name; they always contained an art book.

On this occasion, Greenhalgh recognised the cover, a Renaissance-style painting of a girl, seen in profile. Snub-nosed, proud-eyed and with the hint of a double chin, she was not a handsome princess, as the book’s title, La Bella Principessa, suggested. Greenhalgh thought he knew her as an old acquaintance: Sally, a girl with whom he had worked in the late 70s at the Co-op butchery. The book, by the respected art historian Martin Kemp, argued that the painting was a lost work by Leonardo da Vinci. But Greenhalgh believed it to be one of his own: painted when he was 18 on to a piece of 16th-century vellum; he remembered buying the vellum from an antique shop close to his family’s council house in Bolton.

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Spotify hopes going public will cement streaming as music's future

Sat, 27 May 2017 10:00:25 GMT2017-05-27T10:00:25Z

As music industry celebrates second straight year of growth, service hopes to buck trend of tech industry disappointments on Wall Street

The world may love the services they provide, but the new generation of tech companies haven’t found much love on Wall Street recently. Spotify, the leading music streaming service, is hoping to change that with a share sale could lead another round of “unicorns” to try their luck on the US stock markets.

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Blind date: ‘I think he thought I was a bit of all right’

Sat, 27 May 2017 05:00:18 GMT2017-05-27T05:00:18Z

Will talk about urinal etiquette and nude cycling be the start of a beautiful relationship for illustrator Lizzie, 31, and book editor Tomas, 28?

What were you hoping for?
A fun evening with interesting company.

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A letter to … my husband, who simply stopped loving me

Sat, 27 May 2017 05:45:19 GMT2017-05-27T05:45:19Z

The letter you always wanted to write

I will never forget the beauty I saw when I first set eyes on you. I never tired of telling you how handsome you were (often to your intense irritation). You were ambitious; it was infectious. You made me promises I never imagined you wouldn’t keep.

Life was exciting. We enjoyed nights out, exotic holidays, I felt loved and wanted. We married and had two children. Then everything changed. I soon realised that I wasn’t your priority and never would be.

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Paul Hollywood’s Big Continental Trip – like watching a lifer on day release

Sat, 27 May 2017 09:00:23 GMT2017-05-27T09:00:23Z

On a sabbatical from Bake Off, the master baker drives a procession of increasingly ridiculous supercars around Europe

To Italy, for the first episode of Paul Hollywood’s Big Continental Road Trip (28 May, 9pm, BBC2), in which television’s much panted-over master baker gets to cruise around sun-dappled countries in all his spray-tanned splendour.

If you thought that Bake Off’s king of the cream horn had only one string to his bow, this new series – essentially Top Gear minus the bantz and budget – is determined to set you straight. This will, the BBC hopes, be the ultimate marriage of personality and machinery, of gunmetal hair and hot bodywork, of smouldering eyes and … oh, you get the picture.

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What I’m really thinking: the A&E doctor

Sat, 27 May 2017 08:00:22 GMT2017-05-27T08:00:22Z

I want to be able to spend time with each person, to make a diagnosis, not just a best guess

I’m sorry you’ve been waiting so long, but no, you’re not next to be seen. Yes, I do realise you have a heart condition. The next person I’m going to see has cancer, and the person I’m currently dealing with cannot breathe; as a general rule, if you’re well enough to harass the staff who are just trying to deal with each case as efficiently and safely as they can, you’re well enough to wait your turn. I am more worried about the elderly woman who has been on a trolley in the corridor for the last few hours, uncomplaining but definitely unwell.

This isn’t the kind of medicine I want to do, nor the kind of doctor I want to be. I’ve only been a doctor for 18 months, and I’m still idealistic. I want to be able to spend time with each person, to make a diagnosis, not just a best guess. I want to feel sure, if I send you home, that you’re not going to fall and hurt yourself, or get worse and bounce back to A&E. I want to feel I have done my best, rather than simply what I could. I want to have the energy to empathise, but I cannot muster it; the endless tide of misery, anxiety and misfortune has already worn me down.

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Tax on test: do Britons pay more than most?

Sat, 27 May 2017 06:00:20 GMT2017-05-27T06:00:20Z

We examine how the average burden on British people earning £25,000, £40,000 and £100,000 compares with taxes paid by similar earners in Europe, Australia and the US

Labour’s plan to tax incomes over £80,000 more heavily is a “massive tax hike for the middle classes” that will “take Britain back to the misery of the 1970s”, according to rightwing newspapers. But are British households that heavily taxed?

A comparison of personal tax rates across Europe, Australia and the US by Guardian Money reveals how average earners in Britain on salaries of £25,000, or “middle-class” individuals on £40,000, enjoy among the lowest personal tax rates of the advanced countries, while high earners on £100,000 see less of their income taken in tax than almost anywhere else in Europe.

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Croatia’s remotest island

Sat, 27 May 2017 06:00:20 GMT2017-05-27T06:00:20Z

After canoeing round deserted coves and spearfishing with the lighthouse keeper, Kevin Rushby is tempted to stay on beautiful Lastovo island forever

Mladin, keeper of the lighthouse, was outside his cottage, cleaning his speargun. It was a beautiful scene: rocky headlands and blue sea, deep and mysterious. Mladin pointed to the bay below. “In spring, I’ve seen dolphins herd thousands of fish in there and then go crazy eating them.”

The lighthouse, Struga, sits on cliffs at the end of a narrow peninsula that curves around the bay, almost separated from the rest of the island by a deep, dark sea-filled gorge.

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Thirty years of Hay: Christopher Hitchens, Margaret Atwood, Hilary Mantel – in conversation

Sat, 27 May 2017 08:00:22 GMT2017-05-27T08:00:22Z

Christopher Hitchens on God, Margaret Atwood on The Handmaid’s Tale, Hilary Mantel on Wolf Hall … highlights from Hay’s most memorable interviews

FS: Is the element of self-deception that characterises a number of the figures in your novels always to do with that discrepancy between the way life really is and the way that they rather hoped it might be?

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Modern tribes: the serial complainer

Sat, 27 May 2017 07:00:21 GMT2017-05-27T07:00:21Z

Yes I am complaining. See, you just have to take control. I don’t care if it’s embarrassing, that’s what they depend on, people being too shy to make a fuss

Is that fish dry, it looks dry, yuck, just send it back. Go on, I would, look, if you don’t want to, I will, doesn’t matter that you’ve already eaten most of it, they’re just taking advantage because they know they can. Waiter! Can you go and tell the chef my friend’s fish is disgustingly dry, go on, take it away, and while you’re at it, my meat was cold, disgraceful, the sauce was congealing by the time it got here, practically made me retch, see, I had to leave those peas. OK, pea.

Yes, I would like you to tell him that, yes, I am complaining. See, you just have to take control, I don’t care if it’s embarrassing, that’s what they depend on, people being too shy to make a fuss, that’s why I do it. You might call it serial complaining, I call it standing up for consumer rights, did I tell you about that time I got them to take off four puddings? When they didn’t fix a wobbly table? Same with the tiny portions in that so-called gastro pub, thoroughly spoiled the meal, but at least they won’t try it on with someone else, we got two complimentary brandies.

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Siblings: what if the bond just isn’t there?

Sat, 27 May 2017 05:45:19 GMT2017-05-27T05:45:19Z

Judith Cameron lost her brother 30 years ago when he cut his family out of his life – he never explained why. At their mother’s funeral, she didn’t even recognise him. Now he’s gone and it’s too late to reconnect, but does it matter?

The fourth of five children, I was born into a loving, working-class family, where our sibling rivalries surfaced daily. But, like most families, for important things we were a strong team. As we grew up, some remained closer than others but we kept in contact, and there is a photo of us linking arms on my wedding day in 1980. Smiling at the camera, there is no inkling that just a couple of years later, we would in effect lose our younger brother, Malcolm, who would no longer wish to meet our parents or us.

We didn’t know why, and although he agreed to limited phone contact, he never tried to justify his decision. Invitations were turned down and, should any of us drop round, he was friendly but firmly refused entry. Malcolm and his wife lived within a 10-minute walk of the family home, and so our mum and dad sometimes saw their youngest child when shopping.

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Gender stereotypes? Worry less, join in more, says world's first professor of play

Fri, 26 May 2017 16:38:49 GMT2017-05-26T16:38:49Z

Paul Ramchandanim, new Cambridge University academic set to lead research into child leisure activity, says parents’ involvement more important than gender roles or games played

Little girls in pink princess costumes and boys dressed as cowboys might strike many parents as a nightmare combination of gender stereotypes and unappealing role models. However, the Cambridge academic who has just been appointed the world’s first professor of play has a message for them: relax.

Paul Ramchandani, who was announced this week in the newly created professorship at Cambridge University, a post sponsored by Lego, believes parents should agonise less over which games and roles they should edge their child towards and devote more energy simply to playing with them.

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Experience: I made peace with my daughter’s killer

Fri, 26 May 2017 13:00:12 GMT2017-05-26T13:00:12Z

This is not about forgiveness. What happened cannot be changed; this is our way of dealing with it

My daughter Renske met her boyfriend Samarie on the train. She was heading from the Netherlands to Switzerland; he was an asylum seeker from Benin. They got chatting and exchanged phone numbers. That was how it started. They had a good relationship. He was attentive and they were very respectful towards each other. They spent holidays with me and my wife Lieuwkje.

Just before midnight on 13 April 2011, I saw on the news that a girl had been killed in Baflo, where Renske lived. About an hour later, they showed a picture of the scene, and I recognised her flat. I called the police and said, “I think my daughter is the victim of the incident in Baflo.” At 5am, two officers came to the house and we learned what had happened.

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Children don’t listen to adults – and that’s just as it should be

Fri, 26 May 2017 12:30:12 GMT2017-05-26T12:30:12Z

Parents should be living examples of the qualities they want their children to adopt – so show, don’t tellA new Harvard University study suggests that rather than sex education comprising a single, awkward lesson, it should form part of a continuing conversation. Emotional education is very much part of this – the report comes with a series of talking points for parents to discuss with their children, ranging from what romantic love is and what it feels like, to lessons they have learned from their own relationships, to ethical quandaries such as what makes a relationship exploitative. These subjects, says the report, should become part of an “ongoing dialogue”.Ah, the “ongoing dialogue” (OD). What a cherished myth we have of the OD with our children – about anything at all, let alone about sex and relationship education. There are three major things that stand in the way of the OD. First, most children will suspect that most of the stuff that comes out of their parents’ mouth is tarnished, or at least outdated information about the way things were when they were children. Second, as parents are in a position of power, the powerless are likely to reject their opinions as inherently oppressive. Third, children aren’t that well-versed in dialogue – and neither are adults. Continue reading...[...]


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