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



Published: Sun, 21 Jan 2018 12:09:11 GMT2018-01-21T12:09:11Z

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



Theresa May: I will fine greedy bosses who betray their workers

Sat, 20 Jan 2018 21:30:02 GMT2018-01-20T21:30:02Z

• PM pledges tough rules to tackle pensions abuse
• Whitehall weighs up plan to target executives

Irresponsible company bosses who “line their own pockets” while failing to protect workers’ pension schemes are to be hit with huge fines, under plans to be announced by Theresa May’s government within weeks.

Writing in the Observer after a week which saw the collapse of Carillion, the construction and outsourcing giant, with a deficit in its pension scheme of up to £900m, the prime minister says her government will act urgently to stamp out “abuse”.

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Ukip leader says party could collapse if it ousted him

Sun, 21 Jan 2018 12:02:09 GMT2018-01-21T12:02:09Z

Henry Bolton defends liaison with Jo Marney and says another leadership election would ‘finish’ Ukip

Ukip’s leader Henry Bolton has insisted he wants to stay in the job despite a furore over offensive messages sent by his former girlfriend, saying the party could collapse if its national executive ousted him.

In interviews before the meeting on Sunday, when the national executive could pass a vote of no confidence against him, Bolton also said he had done nothing wrong in his liaison with Jo Marney.

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Afghan forces end Kabul hotel siege that left at least six dead

Sun, 21 Jan 2018 10:07:07 GMT2018-01-21T10:07:07Z

Taliban claim responsibility for assault on Intercontinental hotel which led to 12-hour gun battle with Afghan forces

Afghan special forces have killed all the gunmen who opened fire on guests at the Intercontinental hotel in Kabul, leaving at least six dead, an official said.

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Kyle Edmund beats Andreas Seppi to reach Australian Open quarter-finals

Sun, 21 Jan 2018 10:07:00 GMT2018-01-21T10:07:00Z

• Edmund overcomes Italian veteran 6-7, 7-5, 6-2, 6-3
• 23-year-old reaches last eight of slam for first time

The good news keeps piling up for Kyle Edmund. On Sunday the 23-year-old Yorkshireman became the first British player other than Andy Murray to reach the quarter-finals of the Australian Open since John Lloyd 33 years ago.

Ranked 49 in the world but certain to climb much higher, he did in four sets what Nick Kyrgios could not do with a two-set lead here a year ago, beating the stylish Italian veteran Andreas Seppi 6-7, 7-5, 6-2, 6-3 in just under three hours on Hisense Arena.

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One year later, thousands return for Women's March with spirits undaunted

Sat, 20 Jan 2018 22:19:36 GMT2018-01-20T22:19:36Z

At major rallies in Washington, New York, LA and beyond, some said Trump’s ‘disastrous’ first year has left women angrier than ever

A year after millions of women and men demonstrated in cities around the globe in an extraordinary rebuke of Donald Trump, crowds returned to the streets on Saturday.

Tens of thousands turned out in Washington, New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and hundreds of other cities across the US and the world. Many women wore pink knit “pussy hats”, an enduring symbol of the Women’s March and the so-called “resistance” to Trump.

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Turkey starts ground incursion into Kurdish-controlled Afrin in Syria

Sun, 21 Jan 2018 11:20:52 GMT2018-01-21T11:20:52Z

Move follows intense aerial bombardment of enclave, with Kurdish militias shelling Turkish border province in response

Turkey said it had begun a ground incursion into the Kurdish enclave in Syria known as Afrin on Sunday, a day after intense aerial bombardment that signalled the opening of hostilities in a new phase of Ankara’s involvement in the war across the border.

The launch of the ground campaign by the Turkish military, alongside Syrian rebel factions under Ankara’s tutelage, came on the second day of a military offensive called “Operation Olive Branch” by the Turkish government, with dozens of airstrikes hitting more than 150 targets in the Kurdish-dominated district from late on Saturday afternoon.

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Man arrested after eight-year-old girl stabbed to death near Walsall

Sun, 21 Jan 2018 10:24:52 GMT2018-01-21T10:24:52Z

Officers called to Brownhills where they found injured child who died later in hospital


A man has been arrested after an eight-year-old girl was stabbed to death near Walsall, West Midlands police said.

Officers were called to Valley View, in Brownhills, at about 9.15pm on Saturday and found the child with serious injuries. She was taken to hospital and died a short time later.

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Jeremy Corbyn under pressure to shift Labour policy on Brexit

Sat, 20 Jan 2018 20:27:50 GMT2018-01-20T20:27:50Z

Observer poll finds majority of existing and potential voters back Britain remaining in single market and customs union

Jeremy Corbyn is under huge pressure to shift party policy on Brexit as an exclusive poll for the Observer reveals a substantial majority of existing and potential Labour voters want him to back permanent membership of the EU’s single market and customs union.

Four times as many Labour supporters favour that option as oppose it. The survey by Opinium also finds that more than twice as many in this group want Corbyn to support a second referendum on the eventual Brexit deal as reject it.

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Young SPD activists in last-ditch bid to rule out Merkel deal

Sat, 20 Jan 2018 21:11:45 GMT2018-01-20T21:11:45Z

German party’s younger members think coalition would be disastrous move

Germany’s young social democrats are demanding a clean break with Angela Merkel’s conservatives before a crucial vote on Sunday that will decide the country’s political future.

The SPD leadership, which unanimously backs entering a “grand coalition” with centre-right parties (the so-called GroKo), and the youth wing of the party (the Jusos) were making last-ditch scrambles for support on Saturday among the 600 delegates eligible to vote at a special party conference in Bonn. The deal they are voting on has the potential to topple both Merkel and SPD leader Martin Schulz.

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Future-proofed against austerity: new Scottish social security system

Sun, 21 Jan 2018 06:01:13 GMT2018-01-21T06:01:13Z

Independent body will check that changes preserve human rights before Holyrood gets vote

Scotland’s new social security system will include an unprecedented degree of independent scrutiny – with the express intention of future-proofing the powers against the kinds of austerity measures that have devastated vulnerable groups in the rest of the UK.

Scotland’s social security minister, Jeane Freeman, announced on Sunday that there will be a Scottish Commission on Social Security, an independent body that will scrutinise any proposed changes to the new system – and give its view of their compliance with human rights protocols – before Holyrood can vote on them.

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'We loot or we die of hunger': food shortages fuel unrest in Venezuela

Sun, 21 Jan 2018 06:16:20 GMT2018-01-21T06:16:20Z

As the country’s economic problems mount, towns and cities have been hit by an outbreak of looting and violence

Amid desperate food shortages Venezuelans are picking up new survival skills.

On the night of 9 January, for example, a hungry mob took just 30 minutes to pick clean a grocery store in the eastern city of Puerto Ordaz. By the time owner Luis Felipe Anatael arrived at the bodega he’d opened five months earlier, the looters had hauled away everything from cold cuts to ketchup to the cash registers.

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A new Nigella Lawson cake for our 200th issue – and other recipes for a celebration

Sun, 21 Jan 2018 11:00:19 GMT2018-01-21T11:00:19Z

To mark the 200th edition of Observer Food Monthly, top cooks and chefs offer treats fit to mark any special occasion

I had many run-ups to this cake before choosing the one that was fit to celebrate OFM 200. I wanted sweetness, light and beauty: a cake that felt special. And this does feel special, not just to eat and look at, but also to make. I felt encouraged towards a more whimsical creation than I might normally bake, but nothing too dauntingly difficult. This is not everyday baking – nor does it celebrate an everyday occasion – but the whisking of egg whites to make the marshmallow icing (inspiration for which I thank the ever-illuminating, ever-inspiring American baker-sleuth Stella Parks, author of the compendious BraveTart), the pulling out of the snowy spikes, and toasting with a blow torch brought such a smile-inducing element of playfulness to the kitchen that the very act of making it felt like an essential part of the celebration for me.

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Zadie Smith: ‘I have a very messy and chaotic mind’

Sun, 21 Jan 2018 09:00:16 GMT2018-01-21T09:00:16Z

Zadie Smith has been a vital literary voice since her first novel, White Teeth, became an instant bestseller. Here she answers questions from famous fans, including Teju Cole, Philip Pullman and Sharmaine Lovegrove, and a selection of our readers

Zadie Smith’s second collection of essays, Feel Free, could be described as a tour through her enthusiasms punctuated with diversions. She writes with equal fervour about Jay-Z’s rapping, which “pours right into your ear like water from a tap”, as about Edward St Aubyn’s “rich, acerbic comedy”. Her early dislike of Joni Mitchell is used as a segue into a discussion of philistinism and taste. A booklet on early Italian masterpieces sparks an examination of the concept of corpses and the unthinkability of death.

Although the subjects may seem wide-ranging, she says, “they always seem very narrow to me. I’m very familiar with what I’m enthusiastic about, and it’s hard to see variety in your own tastes.” The only thing they all have in common is how passionately she feels about them. “I like to know I love something before I pitch it. For me, writing 3,000 words about something you don’t really like is a kind of torture.”

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Beehives, bobs and blow-dries - in pictures

Sun, 21 Jan 2018 00:04:06 GMT2018-01-21T00:04:06Z

A new exhibition dedicated to charting the history of hairdressing makes its international debut at The Civic, Barnsley, running from 17 February – 7 April 2018

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Anger that drove the Arab spring is flaring again

Sun, 21 Jan 2018 07:00:14 GMT2018-01-21T07:00:14Z

Riots in Tunisia echo the events of 2011, when unrest swept the Middle East

When the people of Balta wanted to protest, they had to leave town. “This place is so small that blocking the road is like sitting in your own hall – no one notices,” said Wathik Balti, a 19-year-old student.

So in December, they headed to the nearest motorway, where dozens of them blocked an important junction for hours and called on the government to do something about the lack of jobs, the chronic corruption and the faltering public services that blight the picturesque village.

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Iceland through the windscreen: lord of the ring road

Sun, 21 Jan 2018 10:00:17 GMT2018-01-21T10:00:17Z

A driving holiday around Iceland’s Golden Circle and south coast gives a widescreen view of its cinematic landscape

We’ve only been on the road for 20 minutes and already the cinematic comparisons are flowing like lava. Game of Thrones. Lord of the Rings. Spaghetti western? “No, Narnia.” Frozen! It could be all of them, depending on where your gaze settles. One minute it’s all glacial rivers and snow-capped mountain ranges, turn the bend and you’re plunged into a desolate landscape of lava fields as black as coal dust; seconds later it’s Middle-earth, with moss-green meadows and cascading waterfalls. It’s widescreen Netflix on speed.

Related: Iceland on film: a road trip around the 'Hollywood of the north'

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Ben Whishaw: ‘Julius Caesar is leading the Trump‑like revolution’

Sun, 21 Jan 2018 09:00:16 GMT2018-01-21T09:00:16Z

The actor on self‑doubt, being the voice of Paddington Bear, and what his latest play, Julius Caesar, says about politics today

Ben Whishaw made headlines in 2004, when as a recent Rada graduate he was cast by director Trevor Nunn in the title role of Hamlet at the Old Vic. He has worked extensively in film, television and on stage, and since 2012 has played the part of Q in the James Bond film series.

You’re about to play Brutus in a new Nicholas Hytner production of Julius Caesar – what’s your take on that role?
Well, I’m finding it really difficult at the moment. Shakespeare wrote the play just before Hamlet, and it’s got a Hamlet-like quality. What I’m finding quite difficult is that Brutus can make what turns out to be a bad decision – to assassinate Julius Caesar – and yet he never entertains the idea that he could have been wrong. He has such faith and self-belief. It’s interesting, because lots of politicians behave that way.

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The ugly truth about family WhatsApp groups | Nikesh Shukla

Sun, 21 Jan 2018 09:00:16 GMT2018-01-21T09:00:16Z

In the first of his new column, Nikesh Shukla reveals how a plan to make his WhatsApp group more interesting backfires badly

I f you have a family WhatsApp group, you can guarantee there’s a fringe group in existence, too. My fringe group is called “Family Moans”. Here is where we comment on annoying things said in the main family WhatsApp group. Usually, it’s how passive aggressive (name redacted) has been or why (name redacted) is mansplaining (name redacted)’s job to them given that (name redacted) works in (profession redacted) not (profession redacted).

The family WhatsApp group is an obligation, much like going home for Diwali or being the first one to text your parent a happy birthday. It’ll never be as fun as the groups you have with your mates. But you can never get annoyed and leave. Not if you want to be a good family member. When our one was first set up, I found it excruciatingly dull. It was often just my dad and sister making arrangements.

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My 18-year-old daughter is having a baby with my stepson | Dear Mariella

Sun, 21 Jan 2018 06:00:13 GMT2018-01-21T06:00:13Z

This may turn out to be the terrible mistake you foresee but you must get behind this young couple and support them, says Mariella Frostrup

The dilemma I have been with my husband for 13 years, married for 11. We have children but not together. My daughter was five when we met, she is now 18 and my husband’s only child is 22. He recently moved back home with us and he and my daughter formed a very close relationship with each other. Back in July 2017, it came to light that my stepson and my daughter were having a sexual relationship. This has been going on for six months now and I recently found out that she is pregnant. I have seen my daughter for a total of an hour in the past five months as she moved out with my stepson to his mother’s. We have tried to talk on the phone, but it never ends well. I know some people feel it’s OK because they are not blood related, but they were raised as family and my husband and I feel betrayed and our family circle is broken. I miss my daughter like crazy, but I worry that the more I try the more damage is being caused. I want us to be a part of each other’s lives, but I am too hurt and can’t accept this. My heart is just too broken and I’m confused, conflicted and at a loss.

Mariella replies Get over it. These kids are young adults now and about to have a baby. Whatever your reservations were and no matter how justified your misgivings, the horse has well and truly bolted and your only option is to get behind your daughter and stepson and give them your support.

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Jos Buttler century inspires England to series-clinching ODI win over Australia

Sun, 21 Jan 2018 11:34:39 GMT2018-01-21T11:34:39Z

• England 302-6; Australia 286-5
Full scorecard as England win by 16 runs

A series win wrapped up at the earliest opportunity. For once in Australia, it was England’s to celebrate. In a match in which the hosts clawed back the initiative, the tourists kept their cool in the final throes to seal a 16-run win that gives them an unassailable 3-0 lead in this five-match contest. They’ll toast their glory tonight, maybe even lift the midnight curfew. If anyone deserves to be out all night, it is Jos Buttler, who scored a quite brilliant fifth ODI century.

With England struggling to set a total, Buttler took his place in the middle in the 23rd over, at 107 for four. He started patiently and his first half-century took 52 balls; the next 50 just 31 balls, including a remarkable seven balls in which he went from 72 to 96, with three fours and two sixes. Remarkably, this 83-ball effort was the slowest of Buttler’s five hundreds. It was off the final ball, to push England to 302 for six, that he went to three figures.

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Australian Open 2018: Grigor Dimitrov v Nick Kyrgios – live!

Sun, 21 Jan 2018 12:07:10 GMT2018-01-21T12:07:10Z

Fourth set: Dimitrov 7-6, 7-6, 4-6, 4-3 Kyrgios* (*denotes server) A small section of Dimitrov fans make themselves heard as their man races to 40-0 on serve. A test coming up for Kyrgios - if Dimitrov can break, he’ll serve for the match. All of which is, of course, easier said than done.

Fourth set: Dimitrov 7-6, 7-6, 4-6, 3-3 Kyrgios* (*denotes server) Back to the game, and Dimitrov’s coach Dani Vallverdu has grown weary of Kyrgios’ antics, saying he should have got a warning for thwacking a ball into the crowd a couple of games ago. Kyrgios holds here, not letting Dimitrov get a sniff of a break point this time.

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Watford sack Marco Silva blaming lack of focus after Everton’s approach

Sun, 21 Jan 2018 10:42:03 GMT2018-01-21T10:42:03Z

• Silva sacked after 2-0 defeat to Leicester
• Watford cite ‘unwarranted approach’ by Everton last year as reason

Watford have sacked their manager Marco Silva following the club’s 2-0 defeat to Leicester on Saturday, citing the “unwarranted approach” from Everton last year as “the catalyst” for the decision.

Silva had been a target for Everton when they were seeking a replacement for Ronald Koeman. But after an excellent start at Watford, a run of one win in 11 matches has now cost Silva his job.

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Chelsea ready to offer £44m for Roma’s Edin Dzeko and Emerson Palmieri

Sun, 21 Jan 2018 10:00:18 GMT2018-01-21T10:00:18Z

  • Talks between the two clubs to resume on Monday
  • Both players keen for a move to England

Chelsea will step up their pursuit of the Roma pair Edin Dzeko and Emerson Palmieri on Monday in the hope of persuading the Serie A club to sell the two players for a combined €50m (£44m).

Roma are holding out for £44m plus £13.2m in add-ons. Initial talks were held between the two clubs last week and will resume on Monday following the Italian side’s game with Inter on Sunday night.

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Manchester United agree Henrikh Mkhitaryan swap deal for Alexis Sánchez

Sat, 20 Jan 2018 20:45:35 GMT2018-01-20T20:45:35Z

  • Manchester United value Mkhitaryan at around £35m
  • Both players set to undergo medicals at new clubs

Manchester United have finally agreed to sign Alexis Sánchez from Arsenal with Henrikh Mkhitaryan to move in the other direction in what is understood to be a straight swap deal. This means that as there would not be any money exchanged between the clubs, United valued Mkhitaryan at around £35m, the fee Arsenal were demanding for Sánchez.

Sánchez, who was out of contract at Arsenal this summer, is expected to sign terms at United that will make him their highest-paid player, with speculation he could earn as much as £14m-a-year after tax or £500,000-per-week.

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Mike Ashley and Amanda Staveley are adding to the fog on the Tyne

Sat, 20 Jan 2018 22:00:03 GMT2018-01-20T22:00:03Z

The takeover uncertainty leaves Newcastle in limbo, with no obvious direction, a willing but limited team and a manager happy to leave everyone wondering whether he will quit

When Kevin Keegan took over as manager at Newcastle United in 1992, the first thing he wanted to do was restore some pride in the place. Keegan had been at St James’ Park as a player eight years earlier and nothing seemed to have been touched since he left. He was shocked by how filthy everything was and sure they were still the same stains on the communal baths at the club’s training ground that had been there in his day.

The water had scum floating on the surface and Keegan’s first request to the board for money was not for a new player but for the kind of secret makeover, on his first weekend back, that has become fashionable on daytime television. The walls got a lick of paint, the baths were jetted down and the first the players knew about it was the following Monday morning when they turned up to find the place gleaming. Newcastle, Keegan told them, needed to have standards. The club was too important, with too much going for it, not to be treated with care.

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Double first: the twin sprinters with the Tokyo Olympics in their sights | Tim Lewis

Sun, 21 Jan 2018 09:00:16 GMT2018-01-21T09:00:16Z

Champion athletes Cheriece and Shannon Hylton only started running competitively five years ago. Now both sisters aim to represent Britain in 2020. By Tim Lewis

When the Hylton sisters were teenagers – they are now 21 – they were netball ninjas, terrorising the courts of southeast London. “It was our second favourite sport,” they say in unison, before combusting in a fit of giggles – a laugh that, since primary school they say, has been compared, pretty accurately, to a dolphin celebration.

Their main weapon was that they are twins and, to the untrained eye, identical. This made them devilish to mark. Shannon was a wing attack and Cheriece played centre but, to add to their opponents’ bemusement and frustration, they would fluidly switch position. “People would get so confused,” says Shannon, who is fractionally taller than her sister and has a tiny beauty spot on her left cheek. “And then they’d start shouting: ‘You’re marking the wrong twin! She’s over there! No, she’s there!’”

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Weirdest photos of Trump's year one, from the Saudi orb to a big truck's cab

Sat, 20 Jan 2018 05:00:43 GMT2018-01-20T05:00:43Z

On the anniversary of Donald Trump’s inauguration, we look back at some of the strangest photos from his first year as president

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

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

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

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Have I just bought a new kitten or a basket of death? | Eva Wiseman

Sun, 21 Jan 2018 06:00:13 GMT2018-01-21T06:00:13Z

People say that the point of getting a pet for a child is that it’s practice for grief, but I’m not so sure now

Since our family cat died, I’ve been fairly quiet about the fact that, at my three-year-old’s insistence, a large portion of my time has been spent pretending to be a new one. The benefits were that much of that game involved having my hair brushed while I meowed in her lap, the downside was that there were witnesses. I had a name, and that was “Dicketty”.

Oh God I’ll be honest, typing that feels as exposing as allowing the toilet door to slide open on a Virgin train. My skin has been splayed off here, you’re seeing actual muscle. But it’s done now, and delete doesn’t exist in 2018. Plus, it explains why, after sloughing off years of desire for a pet, after the absolute feeling of liberation that came with having a child, and so no longer wanting to own a dog because I felt wrung dry of love and responsibility, we decided to get a kitten. “It’s important for my mental health,” I said earnestly to a lady at the Blue Cross, “because otherwise I might have to keep being a cat forever.”

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Why Facebook has abandoned news for the important business of trivia | John Naughton

Sun, 21 Jan 2018 07:00:14 GMT2018-01-21T07:00:14Z

Mark Zuckerberg has clearly decided that real news has become too troublesome to bother with any more

Connoisseurs of corporate cant have a new collector’s item: Mark Zuckerberg’s latest Epistle to his Disciples. “We built Facebook,” it begins, “to help people stay connected and bring us closer together with the people that matter to us. That’s why we’ve always put friends and family at the core of the experience. Research shows that strengthening our relationships improves our wellbeing and happiness.”

Quite so. But all is not well, it seems. “Recently,” continues Zuck, sorrowfully, “we’ve gotten feedback from our community that public content – posts from businesses, brands and media – is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other.”

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Democracy is more fragile than many of us realised, but don’t believe that it is doomed | Andrew Rawnsley

Sun, 21 Jan 2018 00:05:06 GMT2018-01-21T00:05:06Z

The dismantling of freedom begins with attacks on unfettered media and an independent judiciary

Nothing ages so badly as visions of the future. When the fall of the Berlin Wall was followed by the implosion of the Soviet Union, Francis Fukuyama celebrated by publishing his bestseller, The End of History and the Last Man. The book argued that, with the demise of its main ideological competitor, the world would belong to liberal democracy. He has been much mocked since for failing to foresee that democracy would face the emergence of fresh threats and the resurgence of old foes in new guises in the shape of nationalism, religious extremism, autocratic capitalism, unaccountable tech titans, cyber warfare and even, in the case of North Korea, legacy Stalinism. But fair’s fair. For a while at least, his thesis was true.

The end of the Cold War accelerated what is sometimes referred to as “the third wave” of democratisation in the late 20th century. The peoples of eastern Europe were liberated to choose their own governments. African presidents-for-life were sent into retirement. Much of Latin America, once a grisly tableau of coups, insurgencies, juntas and death squads, embraced the tenets of democracy. India was no longer a shining exception to autocracy in developing Asia, as more of the world’s most populous continent followed the democratic path. By the turn of the century, more than 100 countries could be reasonably classified as democracies, albeit often flawed ones. A hundred years before, you could barely find 10 democracies on the world map. If your definition of democracy includes, as really it ought to, women having the vote, then there was New Zealand by 1900 and some bits of Australia and that was it.

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Capitalism’s new crisis: after Carillion, can the private sector ever be trusted?

Sun, 21 Jan 2018 00:04:06 GMT2018-01-21T00:04:06Z

For years, companies entrusted with the UK’s social needs have failed in their duty

It is one of the most spectacular corporate failures of recent years. Carillion’s collapse, with £2bn of debts, threatens to deprive tens of thousands of workers, directly or indirectly, of their livelihood. The company had only £29m of cash left. This broaches new levels of fecklessness and the impact will be felt across Britain.

For Carillion was not only a major construction company: it had entered the lucrative public service delivery business. The shockwaves have been felt not only on building sites but in multiple schools, hospitals and even prisons, where tens of thousands of cleaners, porters and maintenance workers have suddenly found their employer has gone bust.

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This is how democracies die | Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt

Sun, 21 Jan 2018 07:00:14 GMT2018-01-21T07:00:14Z

Defending our constitution requires more than outrage

Blatant dictatorship – in the form of fascism, communism, or military rule – has disappeared across much of the world. Military coups and other violent seizures of power are rare. Most countries hold regular elections. Democracies still die, but by different means.

Since the end of the Cold War, most democratic breakdowns have been caused not by generals and soldiers but by elected governments themselves. Like Hugo Chávez in Venezuela, elected leaders have subverted democratic institutions in Georgia, Hungary, Nicaragua, Peru, the Philippines, Poland, Russia, Sri Lanka, Turkey and Ukraine.

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We must hope for real answers about Carillion. We don’t usually get them

Sun, 21 Jan 2018 07:00:14 GMT2018-01-21T07:00:14Z

Underbidding for contracts to bring in cash – if that is what has happened – is a dangerous practice. We need to know

The collapse of Carillion, the building and outsourcing company, throws up so many questions about the state of UK business and government services it is difficult to know where to begin.

Lifting the lid on Carillion’s strategic plans, it is clear that the company’s board mistook tactical nous for strategy. Not that there was much common sense in taking a building company and morphing it into a conglomerate that tries to meld together the management of prisons, hospitals and schools as if they were all the same.

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One year on, has Trump kept his promise? A Pennsylvania county gives its verdict – video

Sat, 20 Jan 2018 06:00:44 GMT2018-01-20T06:00:44Z

Members of Donald Trump's base in Northampton County, which supported him in 2016 after twice backing Barack Obama, remain passionate – but some voters appear to be moving away from the president.

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Jacinda Ardern is not the first world leader to be pregnant in office – video report

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 16:58:43 GMT2018-01-19T16:58:43Z

Jacinda Ardern, the prime minister of New Zealand, has announced she is pregnant. The last time an elected world leader was pregnant in office was in 1990 when Pakistan's prime minister, Benazir Bhutto, had her daughter Bakhtwar

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

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

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

Une version de la vidéo en français peut être visionnée ici

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

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

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

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Drone rescues swimmers in Australia in world first – video

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 17:46:49 GMT2018-01-18T17:46:49Z

Help came from the air for two teenage swimmers struggling in powerful surf, in what the local authorities called a 'world first'. A member of the public spotted the 16- and 17-year-old boys caught in a rip current in rough seas off Lennox Head, a New South Wales beach popular with surfers. A Westpac Little Ripper Lifesaver drone was quickly launched and directed to their location, where it deployed a life raft then used by the pair to get back to safety. Australia, whose 24 million people live mostly on the coast, had 291 drowning deaths in the year ending 30 June 2017

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

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

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


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

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

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

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Prevail | Made in Stoke-on-Trent

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

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

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A Potted History | Made In Stoke-on-Trent

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

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

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Lizzie review – juicy role for Chloe Sevigny in gruesome lesbian axe-murder yarn

Sun, 21 Jan 2018 10:18:49 GMT2018-01-21T10:18:49Z

Sevigny shines in plum role as Lizzie Borden of ‘forty whacks’ notoriety, posited here as triggered by thwarted romance with Irish maidservant Kristen Stewart

I’ll confess that, beyond the little nursery rhyme, I didn’t know too much about the story of Lizzie Borden, but it appears that much of what’s ended up in Craig William Macneill’s Lizzie is conjecture. So to catch you up to speed in case you never heard it, here goes: Lizzie Borden took an axe, gave her mother forty whacks. When she saw what she had done, she gave her father forty-one.

The resultant mess from this bit of New England gothic folklore are some of the first images in this gripping, well-acted and sharply-written low-budget drama. We then flash back six months, just enough time for Macneill to get audiences … well, I won’t exactly say cheering for the eventual act of violence, but at least understanding.

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The Hayward Gallery: a brutal beauty remade – review

Sun, 21 Jan 2018 07:00:14 GMT2018-01-21T07:00:14Z

Reopening after a two-year refurbishment, the true glories of the once-despised South Bank gallery are revealed

• Read Laura Cumming’s review of the Andreas Gursky exhibition at the revamped Hayward

It is said that when a footballer returns from a long period of injury it’s like getting a new player. With Feilden Clegg Bradley’s renewal of the Hayward, it’s like getting a new art gallery. Its cleaned-up, robust exterior advances and recedes into the winter sun with new vigour. Its interiors breathe. You can enjoy again its sequences of contrasting volumes, its changes of level, its noble stairs, the glimpses outside, the odd but effective decision to install big, shiny brass handrails in what is mostly a rugged aesthetic.

Contemporary art galleries often over-rely on walls of plasterboard, a material coy about how solid it is, which makes spaces fade into indeterminate nothingness. At the Hayward, plaster is punctuated with concrete, now lovingly cleaned with techniques more often used on classical statues. The material gives a reference point, a sense of strength and personality. It also gives the inside an outdoors feel, a continuation of the Southbank Centre’s terraces and stairs into a space that happens to be roofed.

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First Aid Kit: Ruins review – gleaming harmonic shapes

Sun, 21 Jan 2018 08:15:15 GMT2018-01-21T08:15:15Z

(Columbia)

Sweden’s First Aid Kit have always been a bittersweet pleasure. When they first emerged in 2008, the Söderberg sisters’ poised campfire harmonies ached in inverse proportion to their tender years (18 and 15). Their third album, Stay Gold, successfully sold the Swedes’ folk-pop back to the US, albeit garnering Abba comparisons.

On their fourth effort, First Aid Kit sound more hurt than ever, if just as mellifluous. Johanna and Klara Söderberg wrote the album when the latter was reeling from a break-up, trying to achieve resolution through the band’s signature balm.

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From Black Panther to Black Lightning: black superheroes are go!

Sun, 21 Jan 2018 00:05:06 GMT2018-01-21T00:05:06Z

African-American comic book characters are finally stepping up from sidekicks

After five decades as sidekicks, secondary characters and niche titles, the black superhero’s time has finally come.

Next month Marvel releases its eagerly awaited Black Panther movie, centred on a young African king who doubles as a clawed, catsuit-clad crimefighter. Last week CW and Netflix unveiled Black Lightning, an African-American educator with electrical superpowers. Add in Netflix’s Luke Cage and that’s three African-American-led superhero titles in 18 months – a situation previously unimaginable.

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The week in TV: Britannia; Hard Sun; McMafia; Inside No 9

Sun, 21 Jan 2018 07:00:14 GMT2018-01-21T07:00:14Z

Jez Butterworth’s imperial epic for Sky Atlantic is a triumph of loopiness, but BBC One can’t quite pull off dystopian crime

Britannia (Sky Atlantic/Now TV)
Hard Sun (BBC4) | iPlayer
McMafia (BBC1) | iPlayer
Inside No 9 (BBC2) | iPlayer

Britannia, all of which splurged on to our screens on Thursday courtesy of Sky Atlantic, is a thing of fine madness. Ostensibly, acclaimed playwright Jez Butterworth’s singular take on the second Roman invasion of Britain – this is the Claudian one of 43AD, 98 years after Julius Caesar first sniffed the food and turned tail – it looks like Jez has been allowed to loose both big-budget barrels of a gloriously loopy imaginarium on history itself. If only history itself was this much fun.

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Revealed: lucky break that led lovelorn traveller to a fling in India with the Beatles

Sun, 21 Jan 2018 00:05:06 GMT2018-01-21T00:05:06Z

A broken heart took a young Canadian to the river Ganges’ banks – and the shots of a lifetime

Trees and vines grow through the crumbling terraces of Rishikesh. Yet 50 years ago the former ashram above the Ganges was the fulcrum of a major shift in popular culture.

It was here the four Beatles joined other western travellers, including the Beach Boys’ Mike Love, the singer Donovan, the actress Mia Farrow, and the Beatles’ wives and girlfriends, Cynthia Lennon, Maureen Starkey, Jane Asher and Pattie Boyd, to seek enlightenment through meditation.

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I watched my son die from cancer. Here are the lessons I have learned

Sun, 21 Jan 2018 00:05:06 GMT2018-01-21T00:05:06Z

Sacha Langton-Gilks has written a book to help other grieving parents

At 6.10am on Tuesday 14 August 2012 my eldest child drew his last breath. I have to look up the time and date because my brain refuses to acknowledge this information, it’s automatically sent to the spam file as dangerous. I find my brain’s attempts at self-protection rather touching in the wholesale carnage that is grief.

The death certificate states who, where, when and why – number nine on the list, cause of death: I (a) medulloblastoma. Medulloblastomas are a group of cancerous brain tumours, the commonest in children, and David, known as DD, was diagnosed with his during October half-term in 2007, aged 11. What his death certificate doesn’t tell you is the quality of his life up to the point of death, his quality of death if you will, because that is a subjective judgment. Many people fortunate enough not to be familiar with death assume all deaths must by definition be “bad”, but as a bereaved granddaughter, daughter and, now, mother, I can tell you that is not true.

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The Fordwich Arms, Fordwich, Kent: ‘A good first day in a new job’ – restaurant review | Grace Dent

Sat, 20 Jan 2018 10:00:49 GMT2018-01-20T10:00:49Z

The smallest town in the country is set for an influx of outsiders after the re-opening of this brilliant pub

Declaring in print that any new joint is a blissful find is probably a spurious blessing. Presently, Fordwich, three miles east of Canterbury and officially Britain’s smallest town, is gorgeously unspoiled. By this I mean Fordwich is unbesmirched by Londoners, who, as I write, lie a mere 63 miles away and are now reading that Dan Smith, an ex-Clove Club chef, has taken harness of a gargantuan country boozer in this tiny town.

Recall, if you will, the plight of the poor people of Seasalter in north Kent when Stephen Harris transmogrified The Sportsman into a restaurant-world sacred cow. Seasalter did not deserve the metropolitan elite washing up daily, in their peculiar trousers, whiffling on about keto-diet options and normalising £11 for a slice of salt-baked celeriac.

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Seeds of hope: new beginnings on the allotment | Allan Jenkins

Sun, 21 Jan 2018 06:00:13 GMT2018-01-21T06:00:13Z

Packets of seeds from around the world bring Plot 29 to life

It started with seed. I was five, my brother six, our new foster father was ancient. He was a gifted gardener, an obsessive grower. He gave us flower seed. Gaudy nasturtium for me: unruly and feral (I think he was telling me something); and orange marigold for Christopher – he never grew them or much anything else again. But I was hooked.

Now I share an organic allotment in Camden Town, north London, growing mainly vegetable crops which I swap and collect from around the world. Seeds with stories. Cherokee Trail of Tears beans, from when they were marched from their fertile land and many died. They saved some seed. Painted Mountain corn, the most beautiful food I will ever grow, from a brilliant Oregon plant breeder, Tim Peters.

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Tales of the unexpected: a home with hidden assets | John-Michael O’Sullivan

Sun, 21 Jan 2018 06:00:13 GMT2018-01-21T06:00:13Z

With Elvis, Del Boy Trotter and Pugin as inspiration, one couple transformed their flat into a cocktail of pattern

F or many couples, moving into a new home means a series of compromises. There comes a point in the process of blending two tastes when most of us end up sulkily settling for off-white paint. “No, that was never going to happen,” fashion historian Amber Butchart says, surveying the Margate flat she’s just finished refurbishing with boyfriend Rob Flowers. It’s an ode to exuberant colour, pattern and texture – and to a marriage of visual minds.

“Basically, Rob and I share the exact same aesthetic,” Butchart explains. “We have the same favourite colours: green, orange and yellow. We’re both hoarders – we actually first met when we were working at Beyond Retro, the vintage clothing store in London. We’re obsessed with charity shops and jumble sales. And we already had incredibly strong ideas about what we were going to do with wherever we bought.”

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Is sex the answer to your relationship woes?

Sun, 21 Jan 2018 06:00:13 GMT2018-01-21T06:00:13Z

Michele Weiner-Davis, the marriage-guidance counsellor, explains why having sex – even if you don’t feel like it – is the foundation of a happy relationship

How does it make you feel when your partner is cold and distant? Or when they’re critical and prickly? Does it make you want to rip their clothes off, order in a vat of whipped cream and install a chandelier to swing from?

No? Well there’s your problem – according, at least, to Michele Weiner-Davis, the marriage-guidance counsellor whose Ted talk explaining her unconventional advice to warring couples has been viewed almost 3.5 million times online.

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Fresh air for sale

Sun, 21 Jan 2018 08:05:15 GMT2018-01-21T08:05:15Z

It started as a joke, but now people spend a fortune on bottled fresh air. Alex Moshakis reveals how global pollution is fuelling this fad

One day in early 2015, Moses Lam and Troy Paquette filled a Ziploc bag with fresh air and posted it to eBay. The bag sold at the asking price – 99 Canadian cents, about 60p – and what was at first a joke between friends suddenly became less fanciful. The pair filled another bag and posted that online, too. When the media took note, a bidding war began, and the item ended, as hot tickets on eBay normally do, with an improbable surge. It sold for C$168 (£99).

Lam had been toiling on commission as a mortgage specialist. He had met Paquette at work. Both were fed up with the monotony of their jobs, and they saw in their eBay success the opportunity to create a new kind of market – fresh air! – one they might control themselves. Carefully, they developed a product robust enough to survive divergent postal systems: an aluminium canister connected to a plastic mouthpiece through which customers could inhale air siphoned from remote locations in Banff, Alberta, where the pair live. Next they conducted cursory research on air pollution, and soon they identified a primary market: Los Angeles, a city at once health-conscious, plagued by cars, and susceptible to wild fires, which fill the atmosphere with toxins. “We said: ‘Let’s model this after bottled water’,” Lam told me. They named their company Vitality Air.

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Macron: bespoke trade deal possible if UK accepts 'preconditions'

Sat, 20 Jan 2018 16:06:56 GMT2018-01-20T16:06:56Z

French president says conditions for access to single market are strict and non-negotiable

Emmanuel Macron has said it would be possible for Britain to secure a bespoke trade deal but only if the UK accepts certain “preconditions”.

The French president said that while a special solution could be secured, full access to the single market without accepting its rules was “not feasible”.

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‘Back off’, controversial professor urges critics of Channel 4's Cathy Newman

Sun, 21 Jan 2018 08:37:57 GMT2018-01-21T08:37:57Z

Jordan Peterson warns social media bullies after presenter faces abusive messages

A controversial clinical psychologist whose interview with a Channel 4 news presenter resulted in her being subjected to a barrage of online abuse has expressed his dismay at the fallout from the encounter.

Cathy Newman’s interview with University of Toronto professor Jordan Peterson, who was promoting his new book 12 Rules for Life: an Antidote to Chaos, went viral after Channel 4 posted the full 30-minute footage online last Tuesday. It has been watched almost two million times on YouTube and attracted nearly 50,000 comments. Many are highly critical of Newman, who declared on Twitter that she had “thoroughly enjoyed” the “bout” with Peterson, considered one of Canada’s leading intellectuals. A large number of the comments criticised Newman’s approach to the interview, accusing her of being a “social justice warrior” with a preconceived and misplaced grasp of Peterson’s views.

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Top British art galleries investigate sexual misconduct

Sat, 20 Jan 2018 21:03:45 GMT2018-01-20T21:03:45Z

Allegations against philanthropist Anthony D’Offay, reported in the Observer, place art world in the spotlight

At least 10 investigations into sexual misconduct have taken place at Britain’s largest galleries and museums over the past four years.

The inquiries included two at the V&A, in 2011-12 and 2015-16, which were accompanied by police investigations. They led to the dismissal of two staff members after one verdict of sexual misconduct and another of “stalking and gender violence”.

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Ed Sheeran to marry childhood friend Cherry Seaborn

Sat, 20 Jan 2018 19:02:58 GMT2018-01-20T19:02:58Z

Singer already living with hockey player who helped him recover from 2015 cycling accident


Singer Ed Sheeran has shared news of his engagement and added that “our cats are chuffed as well”. The musician revealed he and girlfriend Cherry Seaborn are engaged on Instagram.

Sharing a photograph of them together with his more than 18 million followers, Sheeran wrote: “Got myself a fiancé just before new year. We are very happy and in love, and our cats are chuffed as well xx.”

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Britain risks losing green protections after Brexit

Sun, 21 Jan 2018 00:05:06 GMT2018-01-21T00:05:06Z

Friends of the Earth, National Trust and others voice ‘serious concerns’ that UK will not cooperate with EU

A coalition of leading environmental groups says there is a “significant risk” that British environmental protections will be reduced after Brexit, despite the government’s positive rhetoric.

Greener UK, which represents 13 campaign groups including WWF, National Trust, RSPB, Friends of the Earth, Green Alliance and the Wildlife Trusts, says there are “serious concerns” that the government will not cooperate with the European Union after Brexit on environmental issues which need international agreement. Although the environment secretary, Michael Gove, has made several recent announcements, such as the 5p levy on plastic bottles, Greener UK believes there may be a “lack of willpower to ensure high standards across the UK”.

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London cinema workers call off new series of strikes

Sat, 20 Jan 2018 19:23:45 GMT2018-01-20T19:23:45Z

Staff at Picturehouse chain cancel 13-day strike after they were threatened with losing pay beyond hours of action

Cinema workers have called off strikes, saying they were threatened with losing more pay beyond the hours they were due to take action.

Staff at the Picturehouse chain in London were set to walk out from this weekend for 13 days from Saturday in Crouch End, Hackney, East Dulwich and the company’s flagship Picturehouse Central venue in Piccadilly, as well as the Ritzy in Brixton.

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More than 17,000 UK students face university rent arrears

Sun, 21 Jan 2018 00:06:00 GMT2018-01-21T00:06:00Z

Figures show 16% rise in those facing housing debt and a doubling of evictions

More than 17,000 students living in university halls of residence fell behind with their rent payments in the last year, according to figures that suggest thousands more face financial hardship during their courses.

There has been a significant 16% rise in the numbers facing rental arrears in university accommodation, new statistics obtained under the Freedom of Information Act reveal. A small but rising number of students are also being evicted from halls or having their tenancies cancelled after falling behind with payments.

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Anger at Royal Navy museum’s ‘pro-nuclear’ exhibition

Sat, 20 Jan 2018 22:00:03 GMT2018-01-20T22:00:03Z

Exhibition to mark 50th anniversary of Polaris submarine is ‘propaganda’, say activists

Anti-nuclear campaigners have described plans by the National Museum of the Royal Navy for a major new exhibition marking the 50th anniversary of Britain’s first nuclear submarine patrols as a “propaganda offensive”.

Firing triggers for Polaris nuclear missiles, warhead nose cones as well as Cold War cultural items such as posters of the 1990 Sean Connery film The Hunt for Red October will form part of the event, which will open on 15 June at the navy’s submarine museum in Gosport, Hampshire.

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US government shutdown: anniversary of Trump inauguration marred by chaos

Sat, 20 Jan 2018 23:34:18 GMT2018-01-20T23:34:18Z

A year to the day after Trump took office, government goes into shutdown as nationwide protests take aim at his divisive presidency

Donald Trump’s first anniversary in office was marked by the turbulence and division that have defined his presidency, with a government shutdown and protests in cities across the country.

Related: Failed deal over Dreamers at the heart of US government shutdown

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Tens of thousands protest against corruption in Romania

Sun, 21 Jan 2018 01:58:15 GMT2018-01-21T01:58:15Z

People return to the streets in the graft-plagued EU member to oppose laws that would weaken judicial independence

Tens of thousands of Romanians marched through heavy snow in Bucharest on Saturday in protest against proposed laws that critics say will make it harder to prosecute crime and high-level corruption.

An estimated 50,000 people marched towards parliament, blowing whistles, waving flags and chanting, “thieves”. Protesters briefly scuffled with riot police as they massed in the capital’s University Square, while thousands more demonstrated in cities across Romania.

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Las Vegas shooting: gunman was on losing streak and 'germophobic', police say

Sun, 21 Jan 2018 03:37:23 GMT2018-01-21T03:37:23Z

  • Stephen Paddock killed 58 and injured more than 800
  • Investigators: shooter acted alone and did not leave suicide note

After three months of investigation, police have learned that Stephen Paddock, who carried out the Las Vegas shooting in October, was a high-stakes gambler on a losing streak, obsessed with cleanliness, possibly bipolar and was having difficulties with his live-in girlfriend.

Related: US gun violence spawns a new epidemic: conspiracy theorists harassing victims

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Top French chef Paul Bocuse dies aged 91

Sat, 20 Jan 2018 16:02:27 GMT2018-01-20T16:02:27Z

French president leads tributes, saying ‘chefs are crying in their kitchens at the Elysée and everywhere in France’

Paul Bocuse, the Michelin-starred chef and celebrated master of haute cuisine, died in France on Saturday.

Bocuse, 91, was one of the leading exponents of the 1970s culinary trend of nouvelle cuisine. His restaurant has held three Michelin stars continuously for more than 50 years.

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How migrants won the friendship of wary Florentines

Sun, 21 Jan 2018 00:01:05 GMT2018-01-21T00:01:05Z

After protests against asylum seekers, a mayor has successfully led a campaign to treat arrivals with respect

When people in Sesto Fiorentino, a suburb of Florence, heard 50 asylum seekers were moving into a former hotel in the historic centre, they responded in much the same way as those in other parts of Italy.

Influenced by scenes on TV of migrants disembarking from boats in the south and a fearmongering campaign launched by local politicians from Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia party, they united in protest.

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US Congress asks if Russian money funded Trump golf courses

Sat, 20 Jan 2018 19:04:52 GMT2018-01-20T19:04:52Z

‘Enormous amounts of capital’ flowed into UK and Ireland projects, analyst tells inquiry


The US Congress has been questioning whether Russian money could have been used to fund Donald Trump’s golf courses in the UK and Ireland.

It emerged after the permanent select committee on intelligence at the US House of Representatives released a transcript of the sworn testimony of the former Wall Street Journal reporter Glenn Simpson. Simpson, who works for the consulting firm Fusion GPS, was asked to research then-presidential candidate Trump in 2015/16.

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China vows action after US warship sails near South China Sea island

Sun, 21 Jan 2018 02:24:25 GMT2018-01-21T02:24:25Z

Beijing claims passage of destroyer USS Hopper in disputed water violates sovereignty but Pentagon says operations are routine

China has vowed to take “necessary measures” to protect its sovereignty after a US navy destroyer sailed near a disputed shoal claimed by Beijing in the South China Sea this week.

China’s foreign ministry said the missile destroyer USS Hopper came within 12 nautical miles – an internationally recognised territorial limit – of Huangyan Island, which is also known as Scarborough Shoal and subject to a rival claim by the Philippines. Two US officials confirmed it.

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US will back two-state solution if both sides agree – Mike Pence

Sun, 21 Jan 2018 00:28:35 GMT2018-01-21T00:28:35Z

US vice-president, visiting Egypt, tries to reassure key Arab ally over Israeli-Palestinian impasse

US vice-president Mike Pence has told Egypt’s leader that the US would support a two-state solution for Israelis and Palestinians if the two sides agreed to it, seeking to reassure a key Arab ally over Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Pence was in Egypt on Saturday on the first leg of a three-country tour that includes stops in Jordan and Israel.

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In depth: how millennials are making their way in a new and different world

Mon, 06 Nov 2017 16:01:05 GMT2017-11-06T16:01:05Z

Even if they could follow in the footsteps of their parents, young adults today have other ideas – driving political change, volunteering, and creating new kinds of community. A different set of priorities have emerged as the ‘new normal’

Earlier this year, while reflecting on the current economic situation during an interview with the television programme 60 Minutes in Australia, the luxury property developer Tim Gurner noted that you were never going to be able to afford to buy your first home when you were spending “$40 a day on smashed avocado and coffees”.

Gurner elaborated, saying that he’d only accrued his vast wealth by getting into the gym at 6am in the morning and working until 10.30pm at night. We see this kind of thinking all the time. If only young people could stop it with their coffees and their social media and their partying, then maybe they’d actually be able to get on and do the things that older generations did: get a job, get married, buy a house. Never mind the fact that, in the UK, house prices have tripled in the past 20 years; or that the average price of a house in London has risen from £55,000 in 1986 to £489,000.

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Inside the world’s largest co-living space: ‘You’ve got a whole community under one roof’

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 10:52:10 GMT2017-10-18T10:52:10Z

When Tjalling van den Burger accepted a job in London, he needed to find a place to live – and like a growing number of young people faced with sky high rents, he turned to co-living. So what’s it like sharing a communal space with more than 500 people?

“Searching for a flatshare in London while still living in the Netherlands was almost impossible,” says Tjalling van den Burger. He had accepted a job with a tech company in London and was faced with the daunting prospect of arriving with nowhere to live – until a friend recommended he try The Collective.

A sleek 10-storey tower in Old Oak, west London, The Collective claims to be the world’s largest co-living scheme, with about 550 residents. It aims to give tenants, whose average age is 28, a communal life, with every aspect – from utility bills to entertainment – taken care of. It’s much like a university halls of residence for young professionals, albeit a very luxurious one.

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Six simple tips to future-proof your finances

Tue, 05 Dec 2017 14:30:04 GMT2017-12-05T14:30:04Z

If you’ve told yourself you’ll get your money matters in order ‘later down the line’, you could miss out on some serious cash when you’re older. Follow these easy steps for a more secure future

According to the American playwright Tennessee Williams, it’s far easier to be young without money than it is to be old without it, and sadly we’d have to agree with him. Setting up your future finances sooner rather than later won’t just help you sleep more soundly, it should pay off in the long term too. And the good news is, it doesn’t take too much effort. Here are some ideas you might want to consider:

Be consistent
When was the last time you checked your credit rating? It’s a good idea to check it annually, since your rating can affect the options available to you, from which credit card is obtainable to whether you’re offered a mortgage. Experts say the key to having a good credit rating is showing lenders you’re a “stable bet”, so ensure you pay bills and credit card statements on time. Ensure you’re registered to vote (you can get on the electoral roll by visiting gov.uk) and aim to avoid changing your address too often. To check your rating, look up Equifax, Experian or Callcredit – they’re the three main UK credit agencies who send data about us to lenders.

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Money worries: how to deal with the stress of a sudden cost

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 16:46:15 GMT2017-11-22T16:46:15Z

If unexpected bills are inducing panic, take some time before you act, work on a strategy and share your worries. Two psychology experts reveal their tips for overcoming the emotional stress of a cashflow problem

When you’re hit by a sudden, unexpected expense, you can think about little else. It can happen in any number of ways: a broken boiler that needs replacing, a hefty bill you forgot to budget for, a sudden unexpected change in your housing situation. How can you avoid that stress spiralling out of control? Kim Stephenson, financial psychologist and author of Finance Is Personal, and Nigel Nicholson, professor of organisational behaviour at London Business School, suggest ways to help you cope with the ups and downs of dealing with bank balance panic. Here are six key tips.

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Kate Moss: ‘I still get excited – I’m still shocked when I get a campaign’

Sat, 20 Jan 2018 09:00:47 GMT2018-01-20T09:00:47Z

The model talks wild times, heroes and her charity shop habit with photographer David Bailey

Kate Moss Right. We’ve been given some questions, and I’m going to ask you: “What is the wildest shoot or trip you’ve been on together?” We haven’t been on any trips together – but the wildest shoot?

David Bailey Every shoot we ever do.

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Elena Ferrante: 'I loved that boy to the point where I felt close to fainting'

Sat, 20 Jan 2018 07:00:45 GMT2018-01-20T07:00:45Z

In the first of a new weekly series, the novelist recalls her first love

Some time ago, I planned to describe my first times. I listed a certain number of them: the first time I saw the sea, the first time I flew in an aeroplane, the first time I got drunk, the first time I fell in love, the first time I made love. It was an exercise both arduous and pointless.

For that matter, how could it be otherwise? We always look at first times with excessive indulgence. Even if by their nature they’re founded on inexperience, and so as a rule are not very successful, we recall them with sympathy, with regret. They’re swallowed up by all the times that have followed, by their transformation into habit, and yet we attribute to them the power of the unrepeatable.

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Jordan Peterson: ‘The pursuit of happiness is a pointless goal’

Sun, 21 Jan 2018 10:00:17 GMT2018-01-21T10:00:17Z

Life is tragic, says the provocative Jordan Peterson, and we are all capable of turning into monsters. But this hasn’t stopped millions from watching his online lectures. Tim Lott meets him as he publishes 12 Rules for Life

It is uncomfortable to be told to get in touch with your inner psychopath, that life is a catastrophe and that the aim of living is not to be happy. This is hardly the staple of most self-help books. And yet, superficially at least, a self-help book containing these messages is what the Canadian psychologist Jordan B Peterson has written.

His book 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos is an ambitious, some would say hubristic, attempt to explain how an individual should live their life, ethically rather than in the service of self. It is informed by the Bible, Nietzsche, Freud, Jung and Dostoevsky – again, uncommon sources for the genre.

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On the Amazon’s lawless frontier, murder mystery divides the locals and loggers

Sun, 21 Jan 2018 00:05:06 GMT2018-01-21T00:05:06Z

The Ka’apor tribe fight a daily battle in Brazil’s Maranhão state to protect their forests

Sairá Ka’apor patrolled one of the most murderous frontiers in the world, a remote and largely lawless region of the Brazilian Amazon where his indigenous community has fought for generations to protect their forest land.

Armed with clubs, bows and arrows, GPS trackers and crude guns, he and fellow members of Ka’apor Forest Guard drove off – and sometimes attacked – loggers who intruded into their territory, the 530,000-hectare Alto Turiaçu Indigenous Land, which is roughly three times the area of Greater London and contains about half of the Amazon forest left in Brazil’s northern Maranhão state. That vigilante role came to an end last April when Sairá was stabbed to death in Betel, a logging town close to Ka’apor territory.

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Cross country: trail running the coast-to-coast route

Sun, 21 Jan 2018 06:30:13 GMT2018-01-21T06:30:13Z

The 192-mile route over the Lake District and Pennines is usually plodded by hikers but our writer zips across on a new guided running trip
Plus: 5 more running breaks

Burning with exertion, I shuffle up the hillside, a sweaty mess. Beside me, the heather is also dripping – with morning drizzle. A fresh, Lakeland breeze envelops me as I climb out of the sheep-speckled valley, mud squelching under my feet. This is trail running in the fells – though right now the word “running” is a misnomer.

Happily, Mark Sandamas of Coast To Coast Packhorse (pictured above, with the writer), a company that helps walkers and cyclists, as well as runners, to tackle the 192-mile coast-to-coast route, doesn’t consider my plodding gait a problem. “The beauty of trail running is that your pace is dictated by the changing landscape,” he tells me as we pause to drink in views of majestic Crummock Water far below. “You hike up steep sections to preserve energy, then let the brakes off and flow downhill.”

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My son, James Bulger: ‘I don't have the energy for anger any more’

Sat, 20 Jan 2018 09:30:48 GMT2018-01-20T09:30:48Z

Twenty-five years after her son was murdered by two 10-year-old boys, Denise Fergus looks back

Denise Fergus says her son James is still very much part of the family. A large portrait of him hangs on the living room wall, and her three younger boys regard him as their elder brother; they often talk about him. “James is never far from our minds. I brought the lads up knowing him, even though they never met him.”

It is 25 years since James Bulger was murdered, and it has taken Fergus this long to write about it. It’s not that she didn’t want to: it was just too painful. We meet at her publisher’s office, where she admits she has not been looking forward to this interview. Her second husband, Stuart, the father of her two youngest children, is here to support her.

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Your pictures: share your photos on the theme of 'gold'

Sun, 21 Jan 2018 09:00:16 GMT2018-01-21T09:00:16Z

Wherever you are in the world, this week we’d like to see your pictures on the theme ‘gold’

The next theme for our weekly photography assignment in the Observer New Review is ‘gold.’ Share your photos of what gold means to you – and tell us about your image in the description box.

The closing date is Wednesday 24 January at 10am. We’ll publish our favourites in The New Review on Sunday 28 January and in a gallery on the Guardian site.

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All eyes on the Australian Open – a photo essay

Sat, 20 Jan 2018 23:21:51 GMT2018-01-20T23:21:51Z

Marking 30 years of grand slam tennis at Melbourne Park, our photographer Jonny Weeks captured the opening days of this year’s tournament

Almost 750,000 spectators will flood into Melbourne Park over the course of the Australian Open to watch one of the showpiece events in the tennis calendar. It’s been the home of Australian tennis since 1988, when the facilities were purpose-built to replace those at Kooyong.

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Guide to the new season's bags: the wish list – in pictures

Sat, 20 Jan 2018 23:45:05 GMT2018-01-20T23:45:05Z

Top handle or crossbody? Studded or brightly coloured? This season’s gorgeous new bags are the perfect finish to every outfit

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The 20 photographs of the week

Sat, 20 Jan 2018 09:39:13 GMT2018-01-20T09:39:13Z

Protests in Ramallah, surfing in Praia do Norte, Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh and Roger Federer in the Australian Open – the week’s biggest news stories captured by the world’s best photojournalists

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Fashion fit to eat – in pictures

Sat, 20 Jan 2018 17:00:03 GMT2018-01-20T17:00:03Z

Fresh watermelon skirts, parsley earrings, and dresses made from toast: using her background in fashion design, San Francisco-based artist Gretchen Röehrs, 28, creates stylish looks out of everyday foods. The project began when she taunted some snowed-in friends on the US east coast with colourful images of Californian fruit and vegetables. Using Japanese brush pens, she draws around each object to summon up vibrant, lively creations. “I find that women reflect the curves and lines in nature,” she says. “Fashion is all about emphasising those lines, so organic shapes make for the perfect faux outfits.” However, not all foods can be turned into high fashion. “French fries, despite being so delicious, just don’t photograph very well.”

Edible Ensembles: A Fashion Feast for the Eyes (Rizzoli, £18.95) is published on 13 February

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