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news.gifNouvelles (rss) - Guardian Unlimited World News

The Guardian

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

UK to seek Irish border waivers on customs and food safety after Brexit

Britain reveals plan to ask for exemptions for all small traders and farmers as it pursues goal of avoiding EU border posts

Britain will seek a series of waivers for goods and people crossing the Northern Ireland border under new plans that risk creating a “backdoor” with the European Union after Brexit.

The government aims to avoid the need for border posts with Ireland when the UK leaves the EU, an ambitious goal seen as essential to preserving the Good Friday peace agreement.

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(16/08/2017 @ 07:57)

Sarah Champion distances herself from Sun article on British Pakistani men

Labour MP says her opening paragraphs were edited and ‘stripped of nuance' but the tabloid says her team approved it

The Labour shadow minister Sarah Champion has distanced herself from a column in the Sun in which she wrote: “Britain has a problem with British Pakistani men raping and exploiting white girls.”

The shadow women and equalities minister, who is MP for Rotherham, said her piece had been altered and should “not have gone out in my name”. The newspaper said the MP's team had fully approved the article.

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(16/08/2017 @ 09:02)

Theresa May condemns far-right views after Donald Trump Charlottesville remarks

PM says she ‘sees no equivalence' between those with fascist views and those who oppose them but does not name president

Theresa May has joined politicians from the main parties in the UK in criticising Donald Trump for suggesting there was a moral equivalence between the Charlottesville racist protesters and those campaigning against them.

But the prime minister has not agreed to requests to cancel Trump's planned state visit to the UK in the light of his latest comments, despite renewed calls for the honour to be withdrawn.

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(16/08/2017 @ 09:38)

Chloe Ayling alleged kidnap: police arrest brother of chief suspect

Michal Konrad Herba, brother of Lukasz Pawel Herba, arrested in West Midlands on European arrest warrant

Police investigating the alleged kidnapping of a British model in Italy have arrested the brother of the chief suspect.

Michal Konrad Herba, 36, was apprehended by the UK's National Crime Agency (NCA) on a European arrest warrant in the West Midlands on Wednesday. He is due to appear before a magistrate in London on Thursday.

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(16/08/2017 @ 10:41)

UK's £3bn aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth arrives in Portsmouth

Theresa May hails 65,000-tonne ship, saying it represents UK's determination to remain a fully engaged global power

Tens of thousands of people have lined the walls of Portsmouth harbour to welcome the UK's £3bn aircraft carrier, which has berthed at its home port for the first time.

Related: HMS Queen Elizabeth arrives in Portsmouth – in pictures

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(16/08/2017 @ 06:32)

UK pay growth picks up as unemployment rate falls again

Living standards still face squeeze as earnings have failed to keep pace with rising inflation

UK pay growth has started to edge up amid signs that the lowest level of unemployment since the mid 1970s may be increasing workers' bargaining power.

Office for National Statistics figures showed that earnings growth in the three months to June was 2.1% higher than in the same period in 2016, and up from 2% in the three months to May and a recent low of 1.8% in April.

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(16/08/2017 @ 04:36)

Grace Mugabe: Zimbabwe asks South Africa for diplomatic immunity

South Africa's police ministry says first lady is still in country after failing to turn herself in to face charges of assaulting a model

Zimbabwe has requested diplomatic immunity for the first lady, Grace Mugabe, after she was accused of assaulting a model at a hotel in Johannesburg, according to a statement from South Africa's police ministry.

It confirmed that Grace Mugabe remains in South Africa, despite reports that she had returned home after failing to turn herself in to face charges of assault. There had already been confusion over her whereabouts after the

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(16/08/2017 @ 10:48)

Officials put dampener on Theresa May's call not to silence Big Ben

House of Commons commission says plans to silence London landmark for renovation work will go ahead despite PM's objection

Parliamentary officials have issued a defiant statement saying plans to silence Big Ben for renovation work will go ahead, after Theresa May criticised proposals to silence the chimes for the next four years.

Officials said the decision to stop the bell tolling until 2021 as part of the restoration of the Elizabeth Tower was agreed by three separate parliamentary committees in 2015. MPs were reportedly unaware that this would involve the clock being silenced for four years, double the length of time being taken to negotiate Brexit.

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(16/08/2017 @ 10:31)

Authors voice fury at Russian publisher cutting gay scene from teen book

Author VE Schwab ‘devastated' after discovering a storyline was cut without her permission in Russia, where LGBT books are regularly shrinkwrapped

VE Schwab's Shades of Magic series follows the story of the magician Kell, a “traveller” with the ability to move between four parallel versions of London. Acclaimed and bestselling – in the Guardian it was called “a compelling, swashbuckling read” – the young adult fantasy trilogy features a diverse array of characters, from the gender-fluid pickpocket Lila to the bisexual prince Rhy. However, Schwab was horrified to learn last week that her books aren't quite so diverse in Russian translations, where her publisher excised a scene about the romantic relationship between two male characters.

“The Russian edition of Shades of Magic has been my favourite. This week I learned that they redacted the entire queer plot w/out permission,” she wrote on Twitter to her more than 50,000 followers, describing herself as “positively devastated”.

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(16/08/2017 @ 10:15)

MH370: satellite images show 'probably man-made' objects floating in sea

Drift analysis of debris reveals new coordinates for potential impact location

Australia has released satellite images it says show 12 “probably man-made” objects floating in the sea near the suspected crash site of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

Taken two weeks after MH370 disappeared on 8 March 2014, the photos were analysed by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB). Its researchers used drift modelling of the debris to suggest a new potential location for the crash site — a 5,000 sq km (1930 sq miles) area just north of the former search zone.

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(16/08/2017 @ 02:42)

#PutinShirtlessChallenge: ripped Russians heed call for topless torsos

Images of Vladimir Putin enjoying Siberian summer prompt imitations online – some more serious than others

Thousands of Russians have paid homage to Vladimir Putin, some with tongue in cheek, after the Russian president was photographed topless enjoying the Siberian summer.

Pavel Durov, the founder of the social networking sites VKontakte and Telegram, kicked off the #PutinShirtlessChallenge with a picture of himself. There were only two rules, said Durov: “No Photoshop, no pumping. Otherwise you are not an alpha.”

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(16/08/2017 @ 08:47)

How black women's bodies are violated as soon as they enter school

Young women of color experience every form and context of police violence – beginning with their time at school

Pulled over at a traffic stop and beaten by the side of the road. Placed in a banned chokehold by a New York City police officer. Violently taken into police custody, never to come out alive. Shot first, questions asked later.

The stories and images that immediately leap to mind in connection with these scenes are those of black men – Rodney King, Eric Garner, Freddie Gray, Philando Castile.

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(16/08/2017 @ 10:37)

The secrets of a maitre d': what it's really like feeding the 1%

The headwaiter at a top London restaurant reveals which guests are likely to be blacklisted, how to get a table without booking – and why you will never be seated next to Adele

A great restaurant experience relies on four things: the food, the service, the company (that's your job) and the atmosphere, which is down to the maitre d'. That's me. By “atmosphere” I mean the music and the lighting, yes, but there's only so much mood-setting Dave Brubeck and a few filament bulbs can do. In the end, it's about the guests. The maitre d' runs the reservations book, which means mixing the characters in the room like the drinks in a cocktail to get the right balance of shot and mixer, salty and sweet.

At a top London restaurant, you have the pick of the finest ingredients. I once spent several minutes chatting to celebrated California-based architect Frank Gehry about the urban contrasts between London and LA. Later that evening, Pharrell Williams told me how much he liked the meatballs. (Gehry and Williams weren't dining together, although I'm sure they would get on.) Where else besides a chatshow studio would you so frequently encounter people at the top of their game in business, entertainment, sport and politics?

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(16/08/2017 @ 10:41)

Is it fair to punish Manchester in 'liveability' survey after its terror attack?

Economist Intelligence Unit's annual survey of ‘most liveable' cities draws criticism after Manchester suffers eight-place drop

The former head of global counter-terrorism at MI6 has criticised an assessment that living conditions in Manchester have plummeted as a result of the terror attack in May, calling it unfair and counterproductive.

The Economist intelligence unit (EIU) published its 2017 ranking of living conditions in 140 cities around the world on Wednesday, with Manchester the fastest-falling. It dropped eight places to 51st, putting it just 0.3% above London in 53rd.

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(16/08/2017 @ 02:08)

Clarence House should release Prince Charles's Scottish spider memos | David McClure

What the heir to the throne has to say about teacher training may well be of less import than the issue of secrecy surrounding his correspondence

Prince Charles's black spider memos are now crawling into the realm of Scottish politics. After penning these in his scratchy hand on everything from foxhunting in the English shires to the National Gallery extension in London, the Duke of Rothesay (as he is known north of the border) has turned his quill to matters close to Caledonian hearts: keeping educational standards high.

The Guardian revealed on Monday that Scottish ministers have refused to release documents allegedly showing that the prince and his office had lobbied them in 2012 to reform the teacher training system. He was acting on behalf of the charity Teach First, of which he is patron and which now hopes to win a contract for a £1m scheme to fast-track university graduates through a six-week course with on-the-job training, in preference to the full one-year diploma. The charity has already done similar work in England and Wales, where it earns £2,600 for each recruit.

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(16/08/2017 @ 09:46)

Why is the US still fighting the civil war?

Confederate symbols have become a crucible of racial tension in the US. White nationalists claim they are important monuments – but are they just a way to rewrite an ugly history and revive the battles of the past?

In St Paul's memorial church in Charlottesville last Friday, just up the street from where white supremacists were gathering for a torchlight rally, Cornel West explained why African-Americans saw the removal of Confederate monuments as so important.

On hearing that hundreds of white supremacists were gathered in a nearby park, the civil rights leader said, with a hint of weariness: “These are chickens coming home to roost. We should have eliminated these statues a long time ago.”

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(16/08/2017 @ 07:36)

Manchester United reaping early rewards thanks to Chelsea's unexpected largesse | Paul Wilson

After seeing José Mourinho hijack their Romelu Lukaku deal and letting Nemanja Matic go to Old Trafford, Chelsea have undeniably strengthened a direct rival while weakening themselves

Opinion has been divided on the wisdom of Chelsea selling Nemanja Matic to Manchester United for £40m. There are those who say top teams, especially defending champions, should never sell to direct rivals, and those who believe the money was too good to refuse down for a player who has just turned 29.

It is being argued that Chelsea have just signed an upgrade in Tiémoué Bakayoko for the same price, at least a player Antonio Conte regarded as an upgrade in the same position, and at just 22 the promising France midfielder offers many more years of service than Matic, whose sale effectively means the former Monaco player has joined for free.

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(16/08/2017 @ 09:43)

Batting the big question mark for West Indies to make series competitive | Vic Marks

They will have the fastest bowlers on show at Edgbaston, but a new batting star will need to emerge if the tourists are going to find the runs to put England under pressure

With uncertainty comes excitement. So it must be a good thing that we don't quite know what to expect at Edgbaston over the next few days. We do know that the ball is pink, that ticket sales are good and that it might be a good idea to bring a jumper (and maybe a blanket and a balaclava for the final session, which will probably end around 9.30pm every evening). Even better: get an invitation to a swish, warm hospitality box.

We are less sure about how the pink ball will behave or how good this West Indies team will be. There has been a rapprochement of sorts between the players and the West Indies board, though that is not obvious from the Test squad selected. While the youngsters in the touring party prepare to do battle with England's finest in Birmingham (the leg-spinner, Devendra Bishoo, is the only man over 30 in the tour party), the more familiar names are participating in the Caribbean Premier League. Understandably the older players are pondering their pensions.

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(16/08/2017 @ 08:25)

South Africa confident Amla and Morkel are committed after county links

• Batsman and fast bowler linked to deals in English cricket
• Kolpak deal would mean them retiring from South Africa

South Africa remain confident that Hashim Amla and Morne Morkel are committed to playing for their country after both were linked with county deals from next year on a Kolpak basis.

Were either to sign for counties via the EU loophole, rather than as an overseas player, it would mean their full retirement from international cricket. But a senior source in the South African camp has told the Guardian that they have recently pledged their continuation.

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(16/08/2017 @ 10:16)

BBC's coverage of US PGA was not perfect, but criticism has been rough | Ewan Murray

The corporation stepped in to replace Sky at short notice, would it have been better to sit back and allow a blackout?

Criticisms of the BBC's live coverage of the US PGA Championship were as immediate as they were predictable. Peter Alliss, again, was widely described as an anachronism, representing the dated image golf is trying desperately hard to leave behind. That elements of the BBC's broadcast were only available via red button, or without high definition, was another cause for social media screaming. The slightest gaffe was met with widespread derision and insistence of incompetence.

Criticism of the coverage was inevitable from the moment a BBC deal for the Quail Hollow major was confirmed. It was easy to infer minds were made up from as soon as Sky Sports' loss of the tournament broke. Anything else, surely, was second best.

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(16/08/2017 @ 10:14)

Gylfi Sigurdsson: tireless perfectionist will be worth the wait for Everton | Stuart James

A fee of £45m may seem excessive but the quiet and dedicated Icelander is a set-piece master with a bright football brain and Everton are set to reap the benefits now the transfer saga is finally over

It turned into one of those dreaded transfer sagas, leaving senior figures at Swansea City and Everton exasperated with the snail's pace of the discussions to the point that even those on the inside became bored with the story, yet confirmation finally arrived on Tuesday evening that Gylfi Sigurdsson was on his way from the Mumbles to Merseyside for £45m.

The passage of time – more than a month – has arguably diluted some of the excitement at one end and certainly the level of disappointment at the other. While Everton fans grew tired of waiting and, in some cases, started to question whether Sigurdsson was really worth all that hassle and money, the mood shifted in Swansea once it became clear that the Icelander wanted out and that any significant signings would not be made until the first instalment of the biggest transfer fee in their history had been handed over.

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(16/08/2017 @ 06:16)

Fall of pound means Tottenham face paying more for Davinson Sà¡nchez by the day

• Ajax's stance reflects problem faced by Premier League clubs since Brexit vote
• Dutch club slow down negotiations as pound continues to fall against euro

Premier League clubs are facing demands for ever higher transfer fees and for players' wages to be paid in euros because of the collapse in the value of the pound since the Brexit vote.

As sterling fell this week to its lowest value since Britain emerged from the financial crash, the consequences for top-flight clubs have been laid bare by the ongoing haggling over the future of Ajax's Davinson Sà¡nchez.

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(16/08/2017 @ 08:12)

Arsenal taking financial risk by keeping Alexis Sà¡nchez, admits Wenger

• Manager accepts Chilean could leave on a free transfer next summer
• Oxlade-Chamberlain and Wilshere will also stay this season, says Wenger

Arsène Wenger says he has made a financial “sacrifice” in deciding to risk losing Alexis Sà¡nchez on a free transfer next summer, with Arsenal's sporting prospects coming ahead of any off-pitch concerns.

Sà¡nchez is likely to depart without a fee unless a new contract is agreed with the club – a situation that Wenger admits has not progressed. There has been interest in the forward from a number of other clubs in pre-season but Wenger has weighed up the pros and cons of retaining him and resolved that the football benefits he brings outweigh any potential transfer fee.

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(16/08/2017 @ 05:41)

Juventus agree deal to sign PSG midfielder Blaise Matuidi for £18.2m

• 30-year-old signs a three-year contract with Serie A champions
• Midfielder becomes Juventus's 10th summer signing

Juventus have agreed a fee to sign the Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Blaise Matuidi for £18.2m plus add-ons. The French international is one of PSG's longest serving players but has been allowed to leave during a summer of upheaval at the Ligue 1 club.

Related: Transfer window 2017 – every deal in Europe's top five leagues

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(16/08/2017 @ 07:31)

Castleford's Daryl Powell: winning league bigger then Grand Final victory

• Castleford on verge of winning League Leaders' Shield for first time
• Coach believes feat is better than Grand Final or Challenge Cup win

The Castleford coach, Daryl Powell, has insisted the League Leaders' Shield is the biggest prize available in rugby league as his side close in on winning it for the first time.

Castleford have never finished top of rugby league's first division in their 91-year history, a record they will lay to rest on Thursday night should they avoid defeat against local rivals Wakefield.

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(16/08/2017 @ 05:57)

Trent Alexander-Arnold hoping to live up to Steven Gerrard's support

• Anfield legend is inspiration for teenager's fledgling Liverpool career
• ‘It's always good to get compliments from your idol'

Trent Alexander-Arnold has identified Steven Gerrard's support as an inspiration for his fledgling Liverpool career after scoring his first goal for the club against Hoffenheim on Tuesday.

Related: Trent Alexander-Arnold's display hints at bright future for academy product | Sachin Nakrani

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(16/08/2017 @ 09:34)

Pink balls and a witching hour: what to expect at England's first day-night Test | Will Macpherson

West Indies provide the opposition at Edgbaston and, though they have played a day-nighter before, it will be a voyage of discovery for most fans and players

There are few certainties before the first Test against West Indies on Thursday; the Dukes ball is pink and has barely been tried out, and never at this level; the floodlights will be switched on for the final session (and before if required, but sunset on day one is not due until around 8.30pm); there will be quibbling – lunch at 4pm? – over the names of sessions and breaks. The rest, as Stuart Broad observed on Monday, is a mystery.

There is a small sample of evidence to educate guesses. Four Tests (all played in totally different climates: three in Australia, one in Dubai), a few one-off games (such as the Champion County game in Abu Dhabi over the past eight years), and nine County Championship matches in late June. The last are the most instructive, in that the Dukes ball was used, and actually happened in this country, even if the proximity to the solstice made the night side of the day-night bargain pretty slim.

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(16/08/2017 @ 04:09)

Two of five drugs in Tiger Woods's system on his arrest banned by PGA Tour

• Toxicology report reveals golfer had five substances in his system
• THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, was also allegedly present

Two of five the items named in a toxicology report relating to the arrest of Tiger Woods appear on the PGA Tour's list of banned substances. Woods was subject to testing after being charged with driving under the influence when at the wheel of his car in Florida in late May.

Woods has now admitted a lesser charge of reckless driving, which means a small fine and completion of a rehabilitation programme. The toxicology report, issued from the Palm Beach County sheriff's office, said Woods had hydrocodone, the generic form of a painkiller branded as Vicodin; hydromorphone, a painkiller known as Dilaudid; alprazolam, a mood and sleep drug known as Xanax; zolpidem, a sleep drug known as Ambien; and delta-9 carboxy THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, in his system. Hydromorphone plus its link to Dilaudid and delta-9 are listed as prohibited “drugs of abuse” on page 24 of the Tour's current anti-doping guide.

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(16/08/2017 @ 04:30)

Has Wayne Rooney made the earliest start in a competition after winning it? | The Knowledge

Plus: the most clubs in one competition with the same sponsors; lowly London-named teams; attacking your named stand; and more

“Wayne Rooney finished last season winning the Europa League with Manchester United but finds himself this season starting the same competition in the third qualifying round with Everton. Has any other player gone from winning a competition (continental or domestic) to an even earlier starting round than this the following season?” asks Rob Fearnley.

Darren Beach (among a good number of you) has this covered. “Look no further then a bunch of Champions League winners from Liverpool, who had to enter the Champions League in 2005-06 in the first qualifying round as title-holders,” he begins. They had finished fifth in the Premier League in 2004-05, behind Everton, of all teams, and with England allowed a maximum of four clubs one of them would have to drop into the Uefa Cup the following season.

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(16/08/2017 @ 05:00)

Talking Horses: What Strike The Tiger is doing these days, plus tips

Wesley Ward's first Royal Ascot winner is still helping the US trainer with his raids on Britain's top Flat prizes

Any punter who managed to collect at 33-1 when Strike The Tiger won at Royal Ascot eight years ago might be interested to know that the horse, now 10, is back at a British racecourse for the first time since that heady day. Now working as a ‘companion thoroughbred', the gelding travelled over from the US to York with Lady Aurelia at the end of last week and is settled there alongside the filly who is favourite for next week's Nunthorpe Stakes. 

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(16/08/2017 @ 07:04)

Trent Alexander-Arnold's display hints at bright future for academy product | Sachin Nakrani

The full-back's performance against Hoffenheim suggests Liverpool may have the first locally born star on their hands since Steven Gerrard

The road from academy prospect to first-team regular is one that only a select few complete. The big clubs in particular are simply not prepared to be patient and wait for a raw teenager to make the grade. The demands are too great, the choices in an increasingly heated transfer market too tantalising. So when one does make a breakthrough it feels only right to take notice and especially when he is curling in free-kicks on his Champions League debut.

Related: Jà¼rgen Klopp hails Alexander-Arnold's courage after crucial Liverpool win

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(16/08/2017 @ 04:00)

Stoke sign PSG's Jesé Rodrà­guez on loan as Joselu departs for Newcastle

• Jesé becomes Stoke's sixth summer signing after joining on one-year loan
• Spanish forward arrives as Joselu moves to St James' Park for around £5m

Stoke City have completed the signing of Jesé Rodrà­guez on a season-long loan deal from Paris Saint-Germain.

The forward passed a medical on Wednesday morning and becomes Stoke's sixth summer signing, joining Darren Fletcher, Kurt Zouma, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, Bruno Martins Indi and Josh Tymon at the Premier League club.

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(16/08/2017 @ 04:55)

LeBron James: 'so-called president' Trump has made hate fashionable

LeBron James, arguably the most influential athlete in America, has launched another attack on Donald Trump. The Cleveland Cavaliers star spoke about the violence in Charlottesville at the weekend and urged Americans to reject hate, saying: “The only way for us to get better as a society is love.”

On Saturday, a woman was killed after a car was deliberately driven into a crowd of anti-fascist protesters in Charlottesville. On Tuesday, Trump was sharply condemned for defending some of the far-right marchers involved in the violence when he said: “Not all of those people were neo-Nazis, not all of those people were white supremacists.”

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(15/08/2017 @ 23:12)

Steve Bruce says he is ‘right man' for Aston Villa job after defeat at Reading

At least Steve Bruce is adamant he can turn Aston Villa round. After another half-baked performance, and another abject display on the road, it was inevitable that Bruce would face questions over his future, after a winless start to the Championship, in a season where promotion is non-negotiable.

This defeat left Bruce without a league win since April, with Villa second-bottom, and culminated in his team being jeered by sections of the 3,935 travelling supporters at Reading.

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(15/08/2017 @ 19:22)

Football transfer rumours: Danny Rose to Chelsea for £30m?

Today's blurb is bleary-eyed

Like Usain Bolt heading into the final 50m, Daniel Levy sees the end of the transfer window approaching and is starting to pick up the pace. There are signs of the pursestrings being loosened at last. That clinking sound you can hear is Levy rustling around his wallet for some loose change. The increased urgency may have something to do with *that* Danny Rose interview last week, in which the left-back helpfully wondered if Tottenham Hotspur might like to show him and his team-mates the money. But maybe it's just a coincidence that Tottenham look like they may mean business.

Related: Danny Rose the rebel causes thorny problem for Daniel Levy and Spurs | Daniel Taylor

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(16/08/2017 @ 04:09)

Leigh Griffiths says Astana tie is ‘make or break' for Celtic's season

• Striker says Champions League play-off win ‘would put everyone on a high'
• Brendan Rodgers adds European games had instilled resilience in his players

Leigh Griffiths says the success of Celtic's entire campaign could hinge on Wednesday tonight's Champions League play-off first leg with Astana.

After sweeping all domestic rivals aside last season Brendan Rodgers' side again have aspirations of making their mark in Europe. They take on the Kazakhstan champions in the opening leg of their final qualifier, with a ticket for the group stages and a potential £30m windfall on the line.

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(15/08/2017 @ 17:33)

A new British identity is key to Brexit's success. So who do we want to be? | Timothy J Oliver

We need more than just breezy assertions about free trade – the Brexit identity crisis is consuming the entire country, and not helping our standing with the EU

There are a lot of productive ways in which to analyse Brexit – why it happened, how it's developing, and how it may turn out. One of the most interesting is to look at the idea of an identity to understand both why the process is proving so painful for the UK, and also why the rest of Europe still seems so confused about why the UK is engaging in this process at all.

Related: UK government rejects EU claim that its Brexit customs plan is 'fantasy'

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(16/08/2017 @ 08:02)

Sport has always been political – even before Trump came to the party | Marina Hyde

In the wake of Charlottesville, protests against the president and his administration will only get louder and the sporting world is no exception

Of all the reasons for resigning from Donald Trump's “American Manufacturing Council” in the wake of the president's reaction to the Nazi rally in Charlottesville, the one offered on Tuesday by Under Armour chief executive Kevin Plank felt the most wilfully naive. According to the boss of the sportswear firm, he was stepping down because “Under Armour engages in innovation and sports, not politics.”

Oh dear. I'm not quite sure what Plank imagined he was getting Under Armour into when he took his seat on Trump's American Manufacturing Council, but I can't believe he really is so dim that he thought it was just an American manufacturing council. Furthermore, I can't believe he doesn't realise that big-time sport and politics are indivisible. Never mind most of the last century – has he been watching the last few years on tape delay?

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(16/08/2017 @ 08:11)

The president of the United States is now a neo-Nazi sympathiser | Richard Wolffe

Donald Trump's press conference was a grotesque display of empathy for violent racists. At least it united the Republicans in disgust at their president

Donald Trump the neo-Nazi sympathizer has achieved what Donald Trump the president has singularly failed to do: unite the nation.

An immensely fractured country – riven by race, class, culture and politics – finds itself transfixed by one grotesque display of empathy for violent racists. These are the same violent racists whom White House aides previously called, in remarks that Trump read out loudly and very carefully: “Criminals and thugs.”

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(15/08/2017 @ 22:37)

Even for child abusers, confessional confidentiality is sacrosanct | Joanna Moorhead

As a Catholic, I fear the call to criminalise priests violates a safe space that embodies the fundamental Christian belief that we can all be forgiven

In the movie I Confess, Montgomery Clift plays a priest who refuses to break the secrecy of the confessional, even though his silence puts his own life on the line.

Related: Clergy who fail to report child abuse heard in confession should be charged – royal commission

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(16/08/2017 @ 08:37)

Will 2017 be Rupert Murdoch's summer of despair? | Jill Abramson

While the mounting sexual misconduct cases are problematic, the shameful Seth Rich story that Fox propagated could be the coup de grace for the Sky deal

  • Jill Abramson is a Guardian columnist

If 2016 was Rupert Murdoch's summer of discontent, this could be the summer of his despair. It was a little more than a year ago that the Roger Ailes sexual harassment scandal erupted. Then came a cascade of related sexual misconduct lawsuits against various Fox on-air personalities and executives. Ailes died earlier this year.

The future of Murdoch's media empire and his company, 21st Century Fox, could depend on the pending approval of his $12bn takeover of Sky News. But the deal must clear Ofcom, the British regulatory authority over broadcasting. The endemic allegations of sexual misconduct inside of Fox may, justifiably, have caused Ofcom to think twice about approving the deal and giving the Murdochs greater global reach over the news.

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(16/08/2017 @ 06:00)

Do we really need 200,000 more care home beds? | David Brindle

With more older people living independently than ever, old age should not mean moving in to a care home

  • David Brindle is the Guardian's public services editor

Do we really need almost 200,000 more care home beds over the next 20 years to support Britain's ageing population? That's the arresting projection of new research suggesting that the typical 65-year-old can expect to live with significant care needs for two to three years of the rest of their life.

The study is one of the biggest of its kind and has been welcomed by Sir Andrew Dilnot, author of the shelved 2011 blueprint for care funding reform, as evidence that spending on older people's care “will need to increase substantially and quickly”. But what kind of spending should that be?

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(16/08/2017 @ 01:55)

Trains are too expensive. But transport's real problem is subsidies for London | Wanda Wyporska

Larger rail and bus subsidies for the capital and south-east mean many on low incomes lose out. The government needs to prioritise transport in poorer areas

If there is one piece of news guaranteed to draw ire from embattled commuters, it is the annual hiking of season rail ticket fares. As anyone forced to endure the nightmarish vagaries of public transport can attest, whatever the cost of a seat (if you're lucky enough to get a seat), commuting on trains that are often overcrowded and late rarely feels like value for money. With price hikes of 3.6% now expected for many – the biggest annual increase in five years, at a time when average wages aren't going up – there are fresh calls for a freezing of rail fares and nationalisation.

Related: Rail users face steepest fare rise in five years as inflation hits 3.6%

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(16/08/2017 @ 04:59)

Like Taylor Swift, I was groped at work. Men must wake up to the problem | Abigail Edge

Sexual assault at work is often seen as a women's issue. But the only way to tackle the blame and discrimination it brings is if men speak out too

Taylor Swift's attorney drew a clear battle line in the Denver courtroom where a jury decided on Monday that former radio host David Mueller had groped the singer during a during a pre-concert meet-and-greet in 2013.

“It was an on-the-job workplace assault,” Doug Baldridge asserted, adding that Swift's management team had reported it to Mueller's radio station KYGO in order “to protect others”.

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(16/08/2017 @ 03:30)

The world's challenges can't be solved by so-called heroic leaders

Individualistic leaders such as Donald Trump are utterly misguided – global problems can be solved only through shared, collective leadership

  • John Bryson and Barbara Crosby are co-authors of Leadership for the Common Good: Tackling Public Problems in a Shared-Power World

Leaders such as the US president, Donald Trump, or Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdoğan may claim they can fix what ails their societies, but the dangers of a “heroic” leadership mode become clearer all the time.

The most important problems facing the world, including poverty, climate change and national security, have now expanded beyond the competencies of any single individual, organisation or sector.

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(16/08/2017 @ 02:20)

Why the Booker prize is bad for writers | Amit Chaudhuri

To celebrate the true value and purpose of literature we need an alternative to this prestigious prize. I'm sure Virginia Woolf would agree

There are at least two reasons why almost every anglophone novelist feels compelled to get as near the Booker prize as they can. The first is because it looms over them and follows them around in the way Guy de Maupassant said the Eiffel Tower follows you everywhere when you're in Paris. “To escape the Eiffel Tower,” Maupassant suggested, “you have to go inside it.” Similarly, the main reason for a novelist wanting to win the Booker prize is to no longer be under any obligation to win it, and to be able to get on with their job: writing, and thinking about writing.

Today, there's little intellectual or material investment in writers: prizes and shortlists are meant to sell books

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(16/08/2017 @ 01:00)

To be truly inclusive, universities must help prisoners feel they belong

Universities offer a crucial lifeline to people with convictions, but they could go further in encouraging and supporting their applications and studies

In the next few days, the news will be full of images of teenagers nervously opening envelopes and jumping for joy at their exam results. It doesn't feel too long ago I was in their place. Twenty years later, I'm waiting for results again, but this time from students who have had a different educational path to mine – through the prison system.

Prisoners' Education Trust, whose policy team I head, funds prisoners to take courses in subjects and levels otherwise unavailable to them. Amid the despair in the prison system today, with the staffing crisis and increases in violence, drugs, self-harm and suicides, there are some incredibly determined men and women working against the odds to gain GCSE, A-level and university-level qualifications.

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(16/08/2017 @ 07:14)

No, Mr Trump, we're not the same as the neo-Nazis | Emily Gorcenski

In Charlottesville I faced off with men bearing torches and swastikas shouting ‘Jews will not replace us'. Yet the president thinks both sides are to blame

The president of the United States called a mob of people marching with torches and chanting Nazi slogans “very fine people”. Fine people don't chant Nazi slogans. Fine people don't surround and attack college students. And fine people don't stand with those who do.

I was there that night in Charlottesville. I can say with certainty that the only fine people I saw were the young students who stood outnumbered and ready to defend their campus and their beliefs against an onslaught of demagoguery.

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(15/08/2017 @ 22:13)

Universities can do more to stop the exodus from state school teaching

Almost a third of state school teachers quit in five years, but by supporting and mentoring NQTs for longer, universities can help keep people in the job

We are in the middle of a teacher retention crisis. Of the 21,400 teachers who started teaching in state schools in 2010, 30% quit within five years. There are many reasons for this, and much work is being done to try and alleviate some of the pressures teachers face, such as the government's action plan [pdf] on reducing workload. One avenue we are exploring is the role universities could play.

Related: Should universities take control of schools? The government thinks so

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(16/08/2017 @ 03:00)

Why social capital could be the key to solving America's overdose epidemic

Researchers are exploring how community, connection and trust could help protect society's most vulnerable

In 2016, Louise Vincent lost both her teenage daughter and her right leg. The leg had been injured in a car accident: after doctors failed to treat her pain effectively, she ultimately relapsed into opioid addiction and an infection festered.

Her daughter, Selena – who, like her mother, had diagnoses of both addiction and bipolar disorder – died at 19 of an opioid overdose inside rehab. Her mother had sent her away to try to protect her. But the program turned out to be so negligent that it had no overdose protocol or antidote on hand.

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(16/08/2017 @ 06:00)

Poverty causes violence. So forget this obsession with stop and search | Lee Jasper

Theresa May knows it. My research proves it. This tactic is ineffective in cutting crime, and shreds black and minority confidence in the law. Why is it on the rise?

• Lee Jasper chairs the London Race and Criminal Justice Consortium, and is a former policing director for the Greater London Authority

In over 30 years as an activist seeking to reform police practice, including a period providing mayoral oversight of Scotland Yard, I've met some incredibly talented, committed and progressive officers. One who sticks in my mind is Tim Godwin, a former deputy commissioner of the Metropolitan police, whose favourite theory was what he called “the policing cycle of reinvention”. It stated that whenever progressive policing reform was enacted, it would be resisted from below, and then confronted by sustained political pressure. Unsupported by leaders without vision, the reforms would then collapse.

Related: Amber Rudd backs Met police chief on use of stop and search

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(16/08/2017 @ 04:00)

Why do beavers build dams? You asked Google – here's the answer | Jules Howard

Every day millions of internet users ask Google life's most difficult questions, big and small. Our writers answer some of the commonest queries

Here is a beaver-based creation myth. It begins thus. God so loved the world that He seeded it with diligent rodents able to do the hard work of habitat creation – damming streams and creating ponds and lakes in which amphibian larvae thrived, providing food for water beetles and dragonfly nymphs and a host of other invertebrates which fed the fish that early humans consumed. God gave us beavers to make the landscapes upon which we depended – that's the myth I want you to imagine for the sake of this piece.

It goes on. My creation myth believes that the wetlands that these early creatures created washed away and purified humanity's poisons. And that these holy creatures, The Beavers, saved us from Biblical floods by slowing the flow rate of sudden aggregations of water. Again and again, The Beavers saved us, but in time, predictably, things changed. We humans came to turn our backs on them. We forgot about Beavers, and God was not pleased about humankind's insolence.

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(16/08/2017 @ 03:00)

Steve Bell's If ... Trump finally agrees that racism is evil

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(16/08/2017 @ 01:00)

The Guardian view on the EU customs union: stay, don't shadow | Editorial

The government's Brexit position papers are not focused on what's best for Britain but on trying to survive this autumn's Tory party conference

It is impossible not to be both cynical and angry about the government's “future partnership paper” on customs arrangements with the EU, which was published on Tuesday. Like the other papers on Brexit themes that are expected from Whitehall in the coming days, this one seems less concerned with its ostensible purpose, UK policy towards the EU after Brexit, than it is with the management of internal Conservative party divisions. The document is primarily an attempt to signal to MPs that Theresa May's government is back at its desks and back in business after its election debacle, and is now working together as one. It is not a serious attempt to set out a desirable relationship with the EU that stands up for Britain, its economy, its workforce and this country's values.

The document is being spun as a contribution towards the soon to be resumed Brexit negotiations between the UK and the EU. But that is largely pretence. Those discussions, which aim to reach some agreements in October, are not about future customs arrangements. They are strictly focused on the rights of EU and UK citizens in one another's jurisdictions after Brexit, on the Irish land border and on the financial settlement between the UK and the EU. Even if the new document were remarkably interesting and enlightened – and it is neither – the issues with which it deals are for later in the process, as critics were quick to point out.

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(15/08/2017 @ 13:34)

The hijab is not for children. It was right to drop these distasteful images | Amina Lone

Transport for London's traffic safety campaign showed a four-year-old girl in a headscarf. A Muslim mother complained, and she was right

Road accidents are the biggest cause of death among young people – so when any child road safety project is thrown off course, it's hugely frustrating. The Children's Traffic Club campaign, sponsored and funded by Transport for London, is excellent but for the cultural and religious depictions used in its story books. And, I might add, it is entirely reasonable to expect a £2m campaign to get it right. Especially one conceived in our diverse capital city.

The portrayal of a pre-school female child wearing a hijab was most obviously offensive, because it is commonly accepted that Muslim women – if they choose to wear a hijab – do so in adolescence or after puberty because of the link to the growing sexuality of a woman's body. But all the characters were lazy stereotypes. Political correctness gone awol, you might say.

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(15/08/2017 @ 12:19)

I went to Oxford. As a black female student, I found it alienating and elitist | Afua Hirsch

The experiences of minority students reflect new research showing the UK's top universities need to tackle the social segregation they reflect and help to cause

I got asked a lot of annoying questions when I was a student. Some were about my hair texture (afro, kinky), libido (presumed to be supernatural) and expected ability to dance (think Beyoncé). Over time, researching the experiences of other students at Oxford, where I studied, I've found these interactions to be a common consequence of being black and female in an environment that is populated not just by white students but also by many who have never met a black person in the flesh before.

Related: Forget equality and diversity, my university only cares about appearances

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(15/08/2017 @ 11:10)

Standups on why they quit comedy: 'I have nightmares about having to do it again'

She may be one of the favourites for this year's Edinburgh Comedy awards, but Hannah Gadsby is about to call time on her career. Here, Gadsby, Patrick Marber, Natalie Haynes and Simon Fanshawe explain why they hung up their microphones

‘Comedy's a joke,” growls Hannah Gadsby, moments into her new show, Nanette. “There's only so long I can pretend not to be serious.” Nanette has already won the Barry award at Melbourne International Comedy festival and is among the favourites to bag Edinburgh's top prize, too. So why has Gadsby announced that it is to be her last ever standup show?

Related: From scissor attacks to diabetes improv: comedians' weirdest gigs

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(16/08/2017 @ 01:00)

Fringe views – why politics is yuge at Edinburgh this year

It was once almost a taboo at the festival, but just about every performer this year, from the SNP's Alex Salmond to an Irish wizard creating a kids' utopia, wants to talk politics. But when the real world is so extreme, is it all beyond a joke?

You can't move for politics in Edinburgh. Whether it's a practical guide to democracy for kids, or a big-name politician with more time on his hands than he would have wished for, politics is everywhere.

And in Scotland you don't get much bigger than the Scottish National party's Alex Salmond, former first minister of the Scottish parliament and, until three months ago, MP for Gordon.

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(15/08/2017 @ 13:39)

DollyWould: Sh!t Theatre's fringe tribute to the country singer and the cloned sheep

Performance artists Louise Mothersole and Rebecca Biscuit are known for their political shows but their latest was designed to be ‘pure fun'

The theatrical double-act Sh!t Theatre got their name as a joke. Founders Louise Mothersole and Rebecca Biscuit heard the sort of work they do – performance art combined with theatrical improvisation – described as “just shit theatre”. But the self-deprecating designation caused problems for broadcasters. “The first time we ever appeared on radio,” remembers Mothersole, “it was to talk about a show called Sh!t Theatre Presents Sh!t Theatre, and we were told that we couldn't say the name of the company or the production. Which obviously made marketing it quite hard.”

The duo have since won a Fringe First award at Edinburgh and they received Arts Council funding for their latest project, DollyWould, which is one of the standout shows at this year's fringe. Applications for public funding must be supported by a mission statement, which, the women admit, was difficult to write in support of DollyWould. Having previously made shows that were documentary based and political – Guinea Pigs on Trial concerned medical research, while Job Seekers Anonymous was about the benefits system – they wanted to create a piece that was “pure fun”, exploring their joint obsession with Dolly Parton, who they admire for her musical theatricality and consider a lesbian icon.

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(15/08/2017 @ 12:00)

The 10 best jokes from the Edinburgh fringe

From infidelity to insomnia and taxidermy … the funniest gags we have heard so far from this year's standup shows

Edinburgh festival 2017: the shows we recommend

From scissor attacks to diabetes improv: comedians' weirdest gigs

Robert Garnham: Insomnia is awful. But on the plus side – only three more sleeps till Christmas.

Dan Antopolski: Centaurs shop at Topman. And Bottomhorse.

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(15/08/2017 @ 10:03)

Palmyra review – smashing fable about power, ego and war

Summerhall, Edinburgh
The duo who created Eurohouse shift from comic to tragic in a brilliant piece that reflects on Syria and the breakdown of relationships

The woman beside me in the audience has been entrusted with a hammer. From the stage Bertrand Lesca is demanding she hands it over to him. At the back of the stage Nasi Voutsas is imploring her not to do so, his eyes large and frightened like a whipped animal. The atmosphere in the theatre is tense and the anxiety rises as Lesca brings in a third party, Oscar, and asks the woman to give the hammer to him. “But I don't know Oscar,” says the woman firmly, standing her ground and refusing to pass it over.

It's one of several stunning standoffs in this latest piece by the duo who brought us Eurohouse, a brilliant two-hander that sorrowfully wondered how the founding ideals of the EU have crumbled to the point that Europe's larger and more economically prosperous states can bully the poorer ones.

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(15/08/2017 @ 07:07)

An Indiana Jones spoof and the destruction of Palmyra – the six best shows at Edinburgh fringe 2017

Six of the best from Edinburgh including Mat Ewins' barrage of one-liners, a German teacher placement at a secondary school and a transgender journey

Pleasance Courtyard
Building on the success of her 2016 show about sexism in comedy, the no-nonsense Welshwoman delivers a lean and effective set about a year spent volunteering with vulnerable kids. It doesn't sound funny, but it really is, thanks to her brusque wit and a high quotient of thoughtful, self-lacerating jokes. BL
Read the full review

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(15/08/2017 @ 07:57)

Requiem for Aleppo: 'I couldn't keep watching the news. I had to do something'

A hard-hitting new dance show uses the stories of Syrians to capture the horrors of Aleppo – and the hope that will not die

Last summer, David Cazalet was busy running the cybersecurity firm he had started 18 years earlier, but he found himself increasingly preoccupied and disturbed by the news from Syria. He would watch the 10 o'clock bulletin with mounting dismay. “There was a sense of horror at seeing hospitals being bombed and kids being killed – and then seeing it slip down the news agenda. I had a sense of total powerlessness.”

Most people have probably had similar feelings of helplessness when confronted with catastrophic footage from war zones, but Cazalet's response was unusual. He decided to sit down and compose a requiem, hoping to raise money for Syrian charities from performances. “I couldn't go on watching the television and seeing Aleppo. I thought I'd like to do something through music and dance. I went to bed every night at 10, got up at four and wrote for three hours.”

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(14/08/2017 @ 13:14)

Javaad Alipoor: 'The response to radicalism is to shut down debate for young people'

In his ambitious Edinburgh show The Believers Are But Brothers, Alipoor invites audiences to experience the world of young disaffected men online

Javaad Alipoor is interweaving a series of stories that take us from a prison cell in Egypt in 1957 to George Bush's post 9/11 declaration that, “Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists” and beyond to the war in Syria. Alongside Alipoor on stage, a young man sits hunched behind a screen, typing feverishly on his laptop. Images pop up, taken from Islamic State propaganda sites and 4Chan – one of the haunts of the alt-right and a place where young, disaffected men post pornographic, racist and misogynist material.

Related: Edinburgh festival 2017: the shows we recommend

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(15/08/2017 @ 02:00)

John Robins review – painfully funny account of breaking up with Sara Pascoe

Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh
The standup provides near-constant laughs in a startlingly honest, high-powered show that spares no one – least of all himself

Can things get any worse for John Robins? At Christmas, he was dumped by his partner of four years, Sara Pascoe. She's now performing a hit Edinburgh show that's candid to the point of cruelty about their breakup. I'd fear for the man's wellbeing were his own show on the subject to be eclipsed by hers. Happy to report, then, that it's every bit as good. Not only is Robins extremely forthright about his emotional wretchedness post-breakup, he's also consistently, uproariously funny. The two moods don't contradict, they complement – which is an impressive feat.

“My flatmate's left,” is how he kickstarts this standup cri de c¶ur. The truth hurts, and Robins needs coping mechanisms: calling her “flatmate”, expressing his feelings in a chirpy cockney accent. The first half recounts his new life in “Grief Mansions”, staring, buying bad furniture (because he can) and itemising the trivial pros and crushing cons (“one-all!”) of no longer being Mr Pascoe. Recollecting that relationship's petty frustrations, he paints a merciless picture of himself as a neurotic, socially maladroit manchild. “I would leave me too,” he announces, at the show's emotional nadir.

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(15/08/2017 @ 07:41)

Sara Schaefer: the breakout comic on trashing Trump and bombing on stage

After writing gigs on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, the American standup is heading for the big time via a show at the Edinburgh festival fringe

Losing control of your bladder in a grocery store. Being bullied at school for using men's deodorant. Getting posture problems as a result of walking with a constant stoop to hide your flat chest. These and other harrowingly embarrassing tales are the stock-in-trade of Sara Schaefer, the latest potential US comedy superstar to head to the Edinburgh festival fringe. In recent years, Trevor Noah and Michael Che both played the fringe as near-unknowns before getting their current jobs at The Daily Show and SNL respectively. Schaefer could well be set for similarly great things.

Related: Laugh a minute: Edinburgh festival's 2017 comedy lineup

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(15/08/2017 @ 04:00)

Edinburgh festival shows examine mental health – with sticky tape and silliness

After the recent fringe hits Every Brilliant Thing and Fake It 'Til You Make It, a new crop of theatre productions are taking startling approaches to exploring mental illness

At the 2014 Edinburgh fringe, the trailblazing Every Brilliant Thing – written by Duncan Macmillan and performed by Jonny Donahoe – talked to us about depression in a refreshingly warm, open and honest way. A year later, Bryony Kimmings and Tim Grayburn's Fake It 'Til You Make It tackled the taboo subject of male depression and was one of a number of fringe shows exploring mental distress. This year there are so many that a new award has been introduced for shows about mental illness. Talking about it, particularly depression, is the new coming out. As Viki Browne says at the end of her show Help!: “Don't keep it a secret.”

Related: Edinburgh festival 2017: the shows we recommend

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(14/08/2017 @ 10:13)

Mark Thomas review – comic gambles on his audience in a lively show

Summerhall, Edinburgh
The political comic mixes debate about Britain's future with confessional memoir in an odd hybrid that solicits contributions from the crowd

Mark Thomas has called this latest fringe outing The Show that Gambles on the Future, which you'd peg as a reference to Britain's Brexit vote. It isn't, or not explicitly. The campaigning comic's new set (he alternates these days between standup and solo theatre shows) is an interactive affair, soliciting audience proposals for what the near-future holds. Thomas then reads out these written submissions, joking about some, canvassing support for others, and peeling off to perform standup about growing up in south London at the heel of a terrifying dad.

Related: Edinburgh festival 2017: the shows we recommend

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(14/08/2017 @ 13:31)

Alex Salmond ... Unleashed review – Edinburgh show is all bark and no bite

Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh
The former first minister of Scotland and ex-MP promises a political kiss and tell, but while a convivial host, fails to deliver the goods

When the former first minister of Scotland and now ex-MP Alex Salmond announced this last-minute fringe run, it sold out faster than you can say “independence in Europe”. Perhaps punters were seduced by the promise of (as the title runs) “Alex Salmond ... Unleashed”. He's been promising to kiss and tell, hinting on the Today programme at a story involving – of all things – sado-masochism and Kirsty Wark. Sure enough, the show begins (after a rousing reception from the crowd) with Salmond theatrically removing his tie. He's buttoned up no more, and we buckle up for juicy gossip from behind the scenes of Scottish and UK politics.

But that's not what we get. Instead, Unleashed is an hour of music, clubbable chat with a special guest, and some reflections on Scotland's historical ties to Europe. (Each show will have a different theme.) Today's visitor, greeted with surprise by the crowd, is the “Brexit bulldog”, David Davis – to whom we have to be nice, Salmond instructs us, because they're pals. If we hadn't been told, we'd guess from the chummy conversation that follows. Two old guys, two upholstered leather armchairs: think gentleman's club and you wouldn't be wide of the mark.

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(13/08/2017 @ 12:29)

Edinburgh festival 2017: the shows we recommend

Plan your viewing with our list of top shows, ordered by start time. This page will be updated throughout the festival

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(15/08/2017 @ 12:57)

Rowdy, rude and darkly funny: Scottish standups at the Edinburgh festival

Scott Gibson returns to the fringe after winning the best newcomer award in 2016. Can Scotland's comedians triumph again this time?

Fringe history was made last year when, for the first time, Scottish performers walked off with both major comedy awards: best show and best newcomer. Native talent had seldom bothered the shortlists previously, and some hope this double whammy might inspire emerging acts to follow where – over the last decade – Frankie Boyle, Susan Calman and Kevin Bridges have sporadically led. Others, better versed in local comedians' vexed relationship with their home-turf festival, sound a note of caution. “There'll be comics in Scotland who heard the result and went, ‘Brilliant!',” said 2016 best newcomer Scott Gibson. “And there'll be others who say, ‘Well, that's us for another 25 years!' That's how we think, and it's stupid.”

Related: Laugh a minute: Edinburgh festival's 2017 comedy lineup

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(14/08/2017 @ 07:25)

Trumped out: why the fringe can't keep up with 2017

From Trumpageddon to Brexit: The Musical, many would-be topical crowdpleasers at this year's fringe can't match the manic pace of real-life news events

This would be a bad time to try to hire a blond fright wig from a theatrical costumier. The ones that aren't being worn, combed forward, by actors playing satirical versions of Donald Trump are, hand-brushed upwards, on the heads of performers sending up Boris Johnson.

With thousands of shows on offer at the Edinburgh fringe, audiences are inevitably drawn – before the reviews and prizes come in – to productions with easily graspable themes that can be spread to the like-minded through social media.

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(13/08/2017 @ 01:00)

Skin review – brave attempt to dance gender transition

Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh
Despite past form in translating complex emotion into dance, 201 Dance Company's attempt to navigate gender-reassignment intricacies feels too tidy

There was a thrill and a buzz around 201 Dance Company when they brought their last production, Smother, to Edinburgh. In telling the stories of two gay men and their community of friends, 201 were staking out significant new ground for hip-hop, proving that the language of street dance was supple and expressive enough to deal with complex character and emotion.

With Skin, choreographer Andrea Walker tackles even more demanding material, charting the story of one child's journey towards gender transition. This is a theme that's currently blowing through the theatrical zeitgeist, but the challenge of navigating its psychological and political intricacies is a particularly tricky one for pure dance.

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(13/08/2017 @ 06:15)

Sweden's Fotografiska to open first overseas gallery in east London

Centre for contemporary photography will take ground floor of new building in Whitechapel due for completion in 2018

A new photography gallery is to open in the East End of London, the first overseas branch of Sweden's Fotografiska, founded in Stockholm in 2010.

Fotografiska will take the entire ground-floor area of a new building in Whitechapel, close to the acclaimed Whitechapel Gallery, according to an announcement from the property investment company Derwent.

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(16/08/2017 @ 10:21)

Homeless 'hero' in court over Manchester bomb victim thefts

Chris Parker protests his innocence as he is led from dock and remanded in custody after case transferred to crown court

A homeless man hailed as a “hero” for helping victims of the Manchester Arena attack has appeared in court charged with stealing from two of those seriously injured.

Chris Parker, 33, pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to two counts of theft on the night of the bomb.

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(16/08/2017 @ 08:30)

Birmingham seven-week bin strike comes to an end

Unite union reaches resolution with city council after weeks in which rubbish piled up in streets

A bin strike that has caused anger and dismay for almost two months in Birmingham has been suspended.

Residents were told their rubbish-strewn streets would be cleared “without disruption” after talks that brought the seven-week dispute to an end on Wednesday.

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(16/08/2017 @ 07:03)

Men wielding hammers raid London jeweller

Six moped riders smash their way through counter displays at Boodles Knightsbridge showroom

A gang of moped riders have raided a luxury jeweller in west London in a smash and grab robbery, police said.

Six men dressed in black and wielding hammers were caught on camera fleeing the Boodles store at the junction of Basil Street and Sloane Street in Chelsea on Wednesday by a witness who posted the footage on Twitter.

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(16/08/2017 @ 07:47)

Department for Education pulls all Learndirect contracts and funding

Move comes after privatised adult training agency accused of paying owners millions despite ‘catastrophic' decline in standards

The Department for Education is to cancel all contracts with Learndirect, the adult training provider that tried to suppress a damning regulator's report into its poor standards.

The Department for Education said on Tuesday that it would withdraw all funding from the organisation, which is responsible for almost 73,000 trainees, by July 2018 and that it had already banned it from taking on new apprentices.

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(16/08/2017 @ 10:19)

UK needs 71,000 more care home places in eight years, study predicts

Britain faces a worsening social care crisis with people living longer but with substantial care needs, researchers say

An extra 71,000 care home spaces are needed in the next eight years to cope with Britain's soaring demand as people living longer face more health problems, a study has found.

New research predicts there will be an additional 353,000 older people with complex needs by 2025, requiring tens of thousands more beds.

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(15/08/2017 @ 18:30)

Britons to throw away £428m worth of barbecue food in August, study reveals

Exclusive: Nearly 12m barbecues in the UK likely to over-cater with food ranging from salads to burger rolls ending up in bins

It's symbolised by dismal burgers and carbonised sausages served on paper plates with a splatter of ketchup. Yet with the great British summer well under way, Britons are this month set to throw away a staggering £428m worth of barbecue food, research reveals.

In August the nation will brave the changeable weather to enjoy nearly 12m barbecues, with people on average either hosting or attending at least two of the seasonal gatherings. The new research from supermarket chain Sainsbury's shows that hosts typically over-cater to impress friends and family, with more than half (49.2%) putting on a larger than necessary spread.

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(16/08/2017 @ 05:36)

BT to scrap half of UK's remaining phone boxes after usage falls 90%

Company says it is to remove 20,000 booths, many of which are rarely if ever used for their intended purpose

A much-loved but almost obsolete feature is set to vanish from thousands of British streets when BT presses button B to cancel calls in 20,000 phone boxes - a reference that would have to be explained to an entire digital generation which has never made a call from a public phone.

Faced with soaring maintenance costs and plummeting usage, BT plans to scrap half of the UK's remaining public telephone boxes, many of which are now never used for their original purpose.

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(15/08/2017 @ 13:01)

Two arrested after woman's body found in burning car

Men, aged 39 and 50, held on suspicion of murder after firefighters discover body at busy thoroughfare near Sunderland

Police have arrested two men on suspicion of murder after a woman's body was found in a burning car near Sunderland.

Fire crews and police were called in the early hours of Tuesday to a blaze in Shiney Row.

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(16/08/2017 @ 05:52)

Rail passengers face second day of delays after Waterloo derailment

Improvement works, points failure and derailment at London's busiest station continue to cause widespread disruption

A second day of rush-hour problems on Britain's rail network has compounded the disruption caused by large-scale upgrade works – 24 hours after commuters learned of the biggest fare increases in recent years.

Passengers face delays on trains travelling across the Pennines and up to the north-east of England. Services to and from some of London's busiest stations were also affected.

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(16/08/2017 @ 05:02)

Man dies at Cornish beach after being rescued from water

Holidaymaker, 27, dies and two others in hospital after being caught in riptide at Crantock beach, near Newquay

A holidaymaker has died after being caught in a riptide at a Cornish beach, where there have recently been warnings about unpredictable currents.

The 27-year-old man, who died after being pulled from the sea at Crantock beach, near Newquay, on Tuesday night, was among a group of three men who were swept out while swimming.

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(16/08/2017 @ 06:23)

Sexual health shake-up in south-west London unsafe, experts say

Cost-cutting plans in three boroughs will lead to more STIs, HIV and unintended pregnancies, senior doctors warn

Senior doctors have warned that a major shake-up of sexual health services in three London boroughs will lead to more unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections.

As concerns grow about the funding of sexual health services across England, 14 experts in the field at St George's hospital in south-west London have written to NHS and local council leaders branding the money-saving changes “unsafe, unworkable and unsustainable”.

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(16/08/2017 @ 02:00)

'Scandal' of vaginal mesh removal rates revealed by NHS records

Traumatic complications mean one in 15 women fitted with the most common type of mesh support will require surgery to extract it, figures suggest

• Vaginal mesh implants: ‘I really thought I was dying'

Thousands of women have undergone surgery to have vaginal mesh implants removed during the past decade, according to NHS records that reveal the scale of traumatic complications linked to the devices.

The figures, obtained by the Guardian, suggest that around one in 15 women fitted with the most common type of mesh support later require surgery to have it extracted due to complications.

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(15/08/2017 @ 10:00)

Woman wins £800,000 Lancashire country manor with £2 raffle ticket

Marie Segar is now the owner of 18th-century Melling Manor and the title Lady of Melling

As raffle prizes go, an 18th-century country home worth £800,000 takes some beating.

Marie Segar, a finance worker, learned on Tuesday that she was the new owner of the house, after purchasing the winning ticket for just £2.

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(15/08/2017 @ 18:03)

Publish Prince Charles lobbying letters, Scottish government urged

Pressure comes after the Guardian revealed ministers withheld or redacted documents from prince's office on behalf of Teach First

Opposition leaders have called on Scottish ministers to publish secret correspondence about lobbying by the Prince of Wales to reform Scotland's teacher training system.

The Guardian disclosed on Monday that ministers have withheld or redacted documents showing the prince and his officials lobbied them on behalf of a charity called Teach First, of which which he is a patron.

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(15/08/2017 @ 14:27)

Teenager charged with murder after street fight in Manchester

Boy, 17, to appear before magistrates over death of Sait Mboob, 18, in Moss Side brawl in which three others were stabbed

A 17-year-old boy has been charged with the murder after another teenager died in a street fight in Manchester during which three other people were stabbed.

The boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has been charged with the murder of Sait Mboob, 18, and three counts of attempted murder.

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(15/08/2017 @ 15:35)

Nottingham man jailed for infecting lovers with HIV

Antonio Reyes-Minana sentenced to seven years after having unprotected sex with two men despite knowing he had virus

A man has been jailed for infecting two former lovers with HIV after purposely not telling them he had the virus.

Antonio Reyes-Minana, 25, of Nottingham, denied two counts of grievous bodily harm but was convicted by a jury last week of infecting his partners. On Tuesday he was jailed for seven years and told he would serve half behind bars and half on licence.

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(15/08/2017 @ 13:21)

Drug-related deaths in Scotland more than double in 10 years

Calls for Holyrood to go it alone and reform law after data shows rate of death two and half times that of UK as a whole

More than twice as many people are dying from drug use in Scotland than a decade ago, according to figures that show the country's rate of drug-related deaths is two and a half times that of the UK as a whole.

A total of 867 people in Scotland died after using illegal or prescription drugs in 2016, 23% more than a year earlier, and 106% more than in 2006, figures from National Records of Scotland show. Heroin and opioids were implicated in 88% of those deaths.

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(15/08/2017 @ 13:35)

Charlie Gard parents set up foundation with £1.3m of donations

Charlie Gard Foundation, named for boy who died after long legal battle, will aim to help other children with rare illnesses

The parents of Charlie Gard, the 11-month-old boy who died last month after a long legal battle, have said they will use £1.3m donated by well-wishers to set up a foundation in their son's name to help other children with rare diseases.

Chris Gard and Connie Yates announced their decision on a fundraising website. After the couple appealed for cash to cover his medical bills on the GoFundMe page more than six months ago, they received donations from more than 84,000 people.

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(15/08/2017 @ 12:01)

Manchester Arena attack: families of 22 people killed to get £250,000 each

Money from We Love Manchester fund donated by members of public to go to families of those killed in 22 May attack

The families of the 22 people killed in the Manchester Arena bombing will each receive £250,000 from money donated by members of the public.

Those families include a 12-year-old girl and her 20-year-old sister, who lost both parents in the attack. Patrycia and Alex Klis will receive £500,000 between them after their mother and father died while waiting to collect them from the Ariana Grande concert on 22 May.

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(15/08/2017 @ 07:18)

Buses in Seoul install 'comfort women' statues to honour former sex slaves

Statues installed on five buses with the support of the Seoul mayor – although use of public space to highlight this wartime atrocity has angered Japan

Buses serving several routes in central Seoul have acquired a new and highly controversial new passenger: a barefoot “comfort woman”, wearing a traditional hanbok dress with her hands resting on her knees.

Appearing on the front seat of buses in the South Korean capital earlier this week, the statues were installed by the Dong-A Transit company as a potent reminder of an unresolved wartime atrocity whose roots lie in Japan's 1910-1945 occupation of the Korean peninsula.

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(16/08/2017 @ 08:14)

Lebanon axes law allowing rapists to escape justice by marrying victim

Rights groups welcome abolition of article 522 of penal code and say decision raises hopes other states will follow suit

Lebanon has joined a number of other Arab states in scrapping a law that allowed rapists to escape punishment by marrying their victims.

Lawmakers voted on Wednesday to repeal an article of the Lebanese penal code that deals with rape, assault, kidnapping and forced marriage. Jordan and Tunisia banned similar laws this year.

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(16/08/2017 @ 10:31)

'Most bizarre dinosaur ever found' is missing evolutionary link – study

Originally classified as a relative of T rex, analysis shows Chilesaurus belongs to a different dinosaurian group, with implications for the dinosaur family tree

An unusual vegetarian dinosaur with the silhouette of a flesh-ripping velociraptor, whose fossilised remains were unearthed in southern Chile 13 years ago, is a missing link in dinosaur evolution, researchers have said.

A revised assessment of the kangaroo-sized Chilesaurus diegosuarezi , reported in the journal Biology Letters, bolsters a theory unveiled earlier this year that threatens to upend a long-standing classification of all dinosaurs.

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(16/08/2017 @ 07:18)

Sierra Leone: fears of second mudslide as week of national mourning begins

UN evaluates risk of further landslides or flooding amid ongoing search for 600 people who remain missing after fatal disaster that has so far claimed 400 lives

A week of national mourning will be held in Sierra Leone as emergency workers struggle to recover hundreds of people who remain buried following a mudslide on Monday morning.

Almost 400 bodies have been found so far, with a further 600 people still unaccounted for, according to the Red Cross.

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(16/08/2017 @ 06:51)

Endgame nears in Chile president's fight to temper draconian abortion ban

After tortuous passage through congress, Michelle Bachelet's bill legalising abortion in some circumstances will go before constitutional tribunal

Chile is on the cusp of finalising a landmark ruling to legalise abortion under certain circumstances in a move that would signal a major victory for President Michelle Bachelet.

Related: Chile to reconsider abortion ban

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(16/08/2017 @ 08:46)

The guilty secret: Chinese crime writer arrested for four cold-case murders

Liu Yongbiao had talked of plans for book about killer author who evades capture but police say he is now a suspect in multiple decades-old murders

In the introduction to his novel The Guilty Secret, Chinese writer Liu Yongbiao revealed he had already started work on a follow-up he hoped would prove a literary sensation: a suspense-filled, cold-case detective drama about a ravishing female author who evades capture despite committing a string of grisly murders.

He would call it The Beautiful Writer who Killed.

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(16/08/2017 @ 03:57)

Indian and Chinese troops clash in disputed Himalayan border region

Tension has been high in mountain region of Ladakh and skirmishes come as both countries face off in other areas along Line of Actual Control

Indian and Chinese troops clashed briefly on a disputed area of land in the Himalayas, officials said, exacerbating tensions during a months-long standoff between the two armies.

Chinese troops threw stones at Indian soldiers near Pangong Lake, a major tourist attraction in the picturesque mountain region of Ladakh on Tuesday, an Indian defence official said.

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(16/08/2017 @ 01:45)

Teen drug overdose rate in US rose 20% in 2015 after years of decline

A new report has also found the rate of overdose from synthetic opioids has increased sixfold since 2002, while heroin death rates have tripled

The number of American teens to die of a drug overdose leapt by almost a fifth in 2015 after seven years of decline, a study by the National Center for Health Statistics has found. The jump in fatalities was driven by heroin and synthetic opioid use and by an increasing number of deaths among teenage girls.

Deaths among teenagers represent a tiny portion of drug overdose deaths nationally – less than 2%.

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(16/08/2017 @ 08:00)

Fish mistaking plastic debris in ocean for food, study finds

Behavioural evidence suggests marine organisms are not just ingesting microplastics by accident but actively seeking them out as food

Fish may be actively seeking out plastic debris in the oceans as the tiny pieces appear to smell similar to their natural prey, new research suggests.

The fish confuse plastic for an edible substance because microplastics in the oceans pick up a covering of biological material, such as algae, that mimics the smell of food, according to the study published on Wednesday in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

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(16/08/2017 @ 01:30)

Daily Stormer forced on to dark web while Reddit and Facebook ban hate groups

Action by technology companies and hacking group Anonymous removes neo-Nazi site from open web, while social media steps up anti-hate actions

American neo-Nazi website the Daily Stormer has moved on to the so-called dark web in an attempt to stay operational, following cyber-attacks by hacker group Anonymous and the cancellation of the site's original domain name.

GoDaddy – the internet domain registrar and web hosting service – and Google cancelled the Daily Stormer's domain name registration on Sunday, saying they prohibit clients from using their sites to incite violence. The Daily Stormer helped organise the violent neo-Nazi gathering in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday at which a civil rights activist died.

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(16/08/2017 @ 05:55)

Philippine police kill 32 in bloodiest night of Duterte's war on drugs

President urges officers to kill dozens of drug suspects every day after series of 67 operations in province north of Manila

Police in the Philippines have killed 32 people in a series of raids near Manila, in the bloodiest night yet of President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs.

Supt Romeo Caramat said 67 police operations in various parts of Bulacan, a province north of the capital, had left 32 “drug personalities” dead and more than 100 others arrested.

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(16/08/2017 @ 10:48)

Roman Polanski faces new accusation of sexual assault on minor

A woman, identified only as Robin, has said she was ‘sexually victimized' by the film director in 1973, when she was 16 years old

A third woman came forward Tuesday to accuse Roman Polanski of sexual assault when she was a minor, 40 years after he went on the run for raping another girl.

The woman, identified only as Robin, told a news conference in Los Angeles she was “sexually victimized” by the legendary French-Polish film director when she was 16, in 1973.

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(15/08/2017 @ 18:05)

Baltimore takes down Confederate statues in middle of night

Journalists in Maryland city post images of monuments being removed after death of civil rights activist at Charlottesville protest

Confederate-era monuments have been taken down in the middle of the night in Baltimore.

Journalists in the city in Maryland, US, tweeted that the statues were being removed days after a city council vote on the issue.

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(16/08/2017 @ 09:00)

Texas 'bathroom bill' collapses again amid Republican acrimony

Restriction targeting transgender people defeated along with much of governor's other legislative demands at special session

Texas has failed to pass a “bathroom bill” to restrict the use of changing facilities and toilets by transgender people, giving LGBT rights campaigners a victory that could have an impact in other states.

Killing off any chance of a vote, the Texas House of Representatives suddenly adjourned on Tuesday night, a day before the end of a 30-day special session.

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(16/08/2017 @ 05:24)

Iran says it could quit nuclear deal if US keeps adding sanctions

President Hassan Rouhani says Trump has shown the world that Washington is ‘not a good partner'

The Iranian president, Hassan Rouhani, has warned that his country could abandon its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers within hours if the United States keeps on imposing new sanctions.

In a speech to parliament outlining plans for his new term, Rouhani also hit out at his US counterpart Donald Trump, saying he had shown the world that Washington was “not a good partner”.

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(15/08/2017 @ 20:37)

Trump's bid for Sydney casino 30 years ago rejected due to 'mafia connections'

Cabinet documents reveal police warned NSW government about approving a 1986-87 plan to build city's first casino in Darling Harbour

A bid by Donald Trump to build Sydney's first casino was rejected 30 years ago after police expressed concerns about his links to the mafia.

News Corp revealed on Wednesday morning minutes of the New South Wales cabinet that show police had warned the state government against approving a 1986-87 bid by a Trump consortium to build and operate a casino in Darling Harbour.

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(15/08/2017 @ 22:41)

Modi tells India: 'Resolve used to oust Britain 70 years ago can end terrorism'

Prime minister calls on nation to build future free of violence amid celebrations commemorating end of colonial rule

India has marked the 70th anniversary of its independence with a military parade and a prime ministerial address from Narendra Modi on corruption, Kashmir and violence in the name of cows.

Indians filled the streets around the Red Fort in old Delhi and monuments in the city's newer imperial quarter as the nation of 1.3 billion celebrated the anniversary of the day in 1947 when India threw off British colonial rule and the union flag was lowered across the country.

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(15/08/2017 @ 20:46)

A London mayor, a jeweller to the stars and a cybersecurity expert – meet the London Met alumni

To check the pedigree of a university, you need only look at how previous students have fared in the workplace

If you are looking for a place to study that will lead you into an influential career then you need look no further than London Metropolitan University. Sadiq Khan, the current mayor of London, is one of the many alumni who have gone on to be leaders in their field, proof that the university equips graduates to meet the needs of our time.

Khan grew up on a council estate in south London and had a state education before going on to study law. “Some of my fondest memories, as someone who was born and raised in London, date back to my years as a student at the University of North London, now known as London Metropolitan University,” says Khan. London's mayor graduated in 1992.

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(11/08/2017 @ 11:50)

Could clearing be the secret to your success?

Didn't get the A-level results you hoped for? Don't panic – clearing could be the right path for you

Picture the scene. You've nervously opened your brown envelope to find that you didn't get the A-level results you aimed for. The next step is to panic and presume that university is not the path for you, right?

Take a deep breath – not only are there still places on courses in a variety of subjects, but many people have been in your shoes and gone on to have successful careers.

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(15/08/2017 @ 10:20)

Apprentices on their experiences: ‘I have the opportunity to put what I learn into practice'

Nicole Luque, 24, began an OU chartered management degree apprenticeship this year at the British Institute of Facilities Management, her employer for the past four years. Her job title is professional standards and education executive

I'd not got the A-level grades I wanted for university so took a job in a shop before starting to look for a more permanent post. I came across apprenticeships at a careers fair when I met a training provider, and after a few interviews joined the institute. My interviewer, now chief executive, was very passionate about the role and pretty much sold it to me. It sounded like a good place to work.

I took my level 2 and 3 apprenticeships in business administration and now I'm getting wide experience, a salary and a no-cost degree as part of a Chartered Managers Degree (level 6) apprenticeship. The degree part takes three years and then I take a final assessment to gain my apprenticeship certificate.

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(10/07/2017 @ 02:00)

What is a degree apprenticeship?

For England's 1,000 degree apprentices and their employers, a paid, full-time job with a fully funded, part-time university education is an exciting new opportunity

On difficult days, degree apprentice Ashley Mutambarade, 19, might compare his lot unfavourably to friends who went to university. “Balancing work and university is the challenge,” he says. But he adds that the benefits of his career choice certainly outweigh any downsides.

He's studying for a relatively new qualification – a degree apprenticeship – that will give him an honours degree while he works. Be Wiser Insurance pays him £20,000 a year, his university fees are covered, and he'll be offered a management-level job on graduation. “By the age of 21, I'll be earning £28,000 with a debt-free degree.”

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(17/07/2017 @ 05:30)

Key moments from Trump's most extraordinary press conference yet

It was supposed to be about his plans to overhaul the country's infrastructure. Then the questions on Charlottesville started

Here are excerpts from Donald Trump's news conference at Trump Tower on Tuesday afternoon, with video clips by MSNBC producer Kyle Griffin.

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(15/08/2017 @ 17:34)

How Donald Trump emboldened the US far right – video explainer

Donald Trump reverted to blaming ‘both sides' for violence at a far right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Having eventually denounced specific racist groups, the president used a press conference to once again spread blame for the weekend's disorder to those he calls the ‘alt-left'. Violence and disorder between far-right and anti-fascist groups has been widespread across the US since his election as president

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(16/08/2017 @ 05:57)

Confederate soldier statue toppled in North Carolina – video

Anti-racism protesters in Durham, North Carolina, used a rope to topple a century-old statue of a Confederate soldier outside local government offices on Monday evening. Seconds after it fell, the demonstrators – some white, some black – kicked the crumpled bronze monument as dozens cheered and chanted

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(15/08/2017 @ 03:25)

'I don't want any more sadness in my life' - comedy theatre about life in the Calais refugee camp

PsycheDelight, a social theatre company made up of people who met in the Calais refugee camp known as the ‘Jungle', have devised a tragicomedy play, Borderline, about their experiences which premiered at this year's Brighton fringe festival. We meet three of the show's main actors, who are all facing extradition from the UK, and see how they are using laughter as an antidote to their struggles.

PsycheDelight are crowdfunding to take Borderline on tour

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(14/08/2017 @ 02:00)

Donald Trump condemns violence 'on many sides' in Charlottesville – video

Trump says hatred and bigotry ‘on many sides' must stop in wake of the violent protests in Virginia

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(12/08/2017 @ 23:59)

Virginia governor tells Nazis 'go home' and calls on Trump to fight hate speech – video

After white nationalist protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, Governor Terry McAuliffe tells far-right demonstrators and neo-Nazis to ‘go home and never come back'. McAuliffe said he spoke with President Trump and implored him to help ‘stop the hate speech, stop the rhetoric in this country, we have got to bring people together'. The governor was speaking in response to a violent incident at a far-right counter protest in which a man allegedly drove his car into demonstrators, killing one and injuring 19

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(12/08/2017 @ 22:44)

Inside a hot air balloon at the Bristol fiesta – video

The 39th annual Bristol balloon fiesta has begun. Balloonists from around the world take part in the event, which includes mass ascents that can mean as many as 100 balloons launch at a time. The Guardian takes a trip in one of the balloons on the first morning of the festival

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(11/08/2017 @ 05:44)

'Austerity causes a lot of suffering': record number of food banks report stock shortage

Trussell Trust, Britain's biggest food bank network, says supplies dwindling this summer as welfare sanctions bite

In a storage room at a food bank in Kingston, south-west London, the manager raises his hand above his head to show how high the crates of canned fruit get in October. Today, the stack barely reaches his knees.

Paul Pickhaver says the facility receives fewer donations in summer, so whatever comes in goes straight out of the door for distribution. In recent weeks, it has run low on instant coffee, tinned vegetables, fruit juice, squash and many other items.

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(16/08/2017 @ 08:15)

Top 10 twists in fiction

Court dramas, classic mysteries and bloody crimes ... from Du Maurier to Lehane, Sophie Hannah chooses her favourite twists in novels (or does she?)

  • There are no spoilers in this article, but we can't guarantee the comments

The word “twist” exerts a strange power over crime fiction addicts like me. Publishers know this all too well, which is why the promise of a twist is often used to advertise books that don't have twists at all. “You'll never see the breathtaking twist coming!” screams the press release. Well, no, you won't, because it doesn't exist. And so many people think a brilliant resolution is the same thing as a twist. It isn't. Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express offers the most impressive puzzle solution in all of detective fiction. But, however ingenious and surprising, it's not a twist ending.

So what is a bona fide twist? In my view, it has to be something that overturns or negates an already drawn conclusion or a firmly entrenched and reasonable assumption (Orient Express overturns an unreasonable assumption on the part of the reader, which is why I wouldn't call it a twist).

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(16/08/2017 @ 07:41)

Bland, awkward and awful – the BBC's disastrous attempt to recreate Bake Off

The Big Family Cooking Showdown kicked off last night … an insufferable, samey version of the original. Surely there was a stronger idea than this, BBC?

We see your game, BBC. You lost The Great British Bake Off and, in retaliation, you W1A-ed a rival show by running the phrase “The Great British Bake Off” backwards and forwards through Google Translate until it threw up a similar but workable format. That format is The Big Family Cooking Showdown and, based on last night's opening episode, I am here to tell you everything that's wrong with it.

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(16/08/2017 @ 06:33)

'I won't do toilets': the unvarnished reality of life as a maid in India

Domestic service can extract a family from extreme poverty – but it can also be a path to near-enslavement. Tripti Lahiri investigates the uneasy, and sometimes abusive, relationship between India's modern-day ‘madams' and maids

“Knock twice, not three times. If someone banged your door hard, wouldn't you get cross?” asks Preeti, a woman in her early twenties with a bachelor's degree in political science – which may come in useful when preparing the group of women she now instructs on the art of being a superior maid. “Madam gets cross too. Knock on the door lightly like this, and ask for permission to come in.”

Suddenly there is a loud bang on the door, which startles Preeti. The kudawala has come to pick up the garbage; he asks for it in a sullen tone with little apparent care for how his knocking is received. Much giggling ensues among the women.

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(16/08/2017 @ 03:22)

Why are so many directors un-retiring?

Whether driven by PR tactics or a need for some creative downtime, an increasing number of film-makers are playing retirement hokey-cokey

Related: Quentin Tarantino confirms he will retire after two more films

If anyone's earned the right to do whatever he likes in retirement, it's Hayao Miyazaki. This includes un-retiring, as the venerable 76-year-old animation master has now done four years after his swansong film. After rumours earlier in the year, Studio Ghibli recently confirmed it had reopened to begin making a 12th Miyazaki feature. He is thought to be expanding Boro the Caterpillar, a 12-minute short he had been making for the Ghibli Museum, which he was unsatisfied with.

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(16/08/2017 @ 08:21)

From scissor attacks to diabetes improv: comedians' weirdest gigs

Lucy Porter caused a breakup. Romesh Ranganathan did a diabetes panel show. And Alexei Sayle survived a skinhead invasion. Comics relive their worst moments on stage

The 10 best jokes from the Edinburgh fringe

A guy in the crowd had been drunkenly obnoxious all evening so I got everyone to chant “out, out, out” until he got up to go. He gestured to his girlfriend to join him but – with my encouragement – she refused and told him he was dumped. He shuffled out and she got the biggest cheer of the night. Years later she emailed to thank me. She was now engaged to a nice man who wouldn't dream of heckling.
• Lucy Porter is at Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh

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(16/08/2017 @ 06:00)

Down, boy! Is it time to press paws on pet TV?

Sure there may be shih tzus and giggles, but pet shows are now so prevalent they need to be seriously reined in. Bad dog!

It is a woof universally acknowledged that the UK is a nation of animal lovers. Even if this immutable facet of our otherwise mercurial national character had not always been the case, it would likely become a self-fulfilling prophecy, simply because every TV documentary about cats, dogs and other household critters is apparently legally obliged to include the phrase “the UK is a nation of animal lovers” within its opening five minutes.

So why have we – and TV show makers – latched so firmly on to this idea? Partly it's because animals undoubtedly enrich people's lives. You would have to be some granite-hearted golem not to feel a swell of empathy when confronted with a scrunch-faced pug or haughty, high-bottomed Siamese. But the pervasive belief that everyone in the UK must love dogs makes pet-related TV the safest of safe mass-market options. Just give the people what they want – shih tzus and giggles.

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(16/08/2017 @ 07:22)

End of the checkout line: the looming crisis for American cashiers

Donald Trump is fixated on a vision of masculine, blue-collar employment. But the retail sector has long had a far greater impact on American employment – and checkout-line technology is putting it at risk

The day before a fully automated grocery store opened its doors in 1939, the inventor Clarence Saunders took out a full page advertisement in the Memphis Press-Scimitar warning “old duds” with “cobwebby brains” to keep away. The Keedoozle, with its glass cases of merchandise and high-tech system of circuitry and conveyer belts, was cutting edge for the era and only those “of spirit, of understanding” should dare enter.

Inside the gleaming Tennessee store, shoppers inserted a key into a slot below their chosen items, producing a ticker tape list that, when fed into a machine, sent the goods traveling down a conveyer belt and into the hands of the customer. “People could just get what they want – boom, it comes out – and move on,” recalled Jim Riot, 75, who visited the store as a child. “It felt like it was The Jetsons.”

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(16/08/2017 @ 05:00)

Beazley design awards feature Brexit, refugees and political activism

Nominations for 2017 highlight designers' contributions to protest movements, gender campaigns and humanitarian issues

The knitted pink pussyhat, a pro-European Union poster campaign and a lending library of protest banners have been named some of the best designs of the year by the Design Museum in London, part of a 60-strong list that reflects a tumultuous time of global political unrest and creative popular resistance.

The nominations represent the most politically charged and socially engaged selection of projects on the tenth anniversary of the Beazley awards. The selections highlight designers' role in activist movements and the power of images and objects in disseminating campaign messages.

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(16/08/2017 @ 04:00)

Belle and Sebastian accidentally leave drummer in pyjamas in Walmart

The Scottish band flew from North Dakota to Minnesota without Richard Colburn, and took to Twitter to try and get him to their next gig

Scottish band Belle and Sebastian found themselves without their drummer Richard Colburn at a gig in St Paul, Minnesota, after they left him over 500 miles away in his pyjamas in a North Dakota Walmart.

The band, who are currently on tour in the US, had stopped at the supermarket in Dickinson. “I was coming out of the Walmart, and [Colburn] was coming into the Walmart,” frontman Stuart Murdoch told Minnesotan radio station the Current. “He was waving very happily, in a good mood. And that was the last time that we saw him.”

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(16/08/2017 @ 04:58)

Future romance: how science fiction is predicting our relationships

The contemplative indie Marjorie Prime is the latest in a long line of sci-fi films and TV shows that explore how we might date and love in the future

In the opening scene of Marjorie Prime, we first meet Marjorie, an 85-year-old struggling with memory loss, as she listens to Walter Prime, a computerized hologram version of her husband, describe the second dog that she and her real husband adopted.

“Toni II, but that was soon shortened to just Toni,” Walter Prime explains, as if he were actually there. “And of course it wasn't exactly Toni, but the longer they had her the less it mattered which Toni it was that ran along the beach and which Toni it was that dug up all the bulbs in the garden. The more time that passed, the more she became the same dog in their memories.”

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(16/08/2017 @ 06:00)

‘Caring for my elderly parent from afar risks turning him into the child'

Judith Cameron's 91-year-old dad is in decline, and she's concerned she can't always be there for him. But he says he's in good health and doesn't need her to worry so much about him

‘But I remember something when it's important,” Dad protests. We're sitting in his back garden on a warm summer's afternoon. “If you've forgotten it, how do you know if it's important?” I ask. “Don't treat me as if I was your child.” He turns back to his newspaper and I sigh.

His last remark stops my cajoling and I concentrate on pouring our cups of tea. We both know that my daughter Sophie needed full-time care following a rare brain infection and that she died just a couple of months before my mum's death in 2006. Indeed, I wrote a column for this newspaper, Who Cares?, about life as a carer. I know that my dad isn't consciously comparing the relationships, but it still resonates. And in a broad sense, there are similarities.

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(16/08/2017 @ 02:30)

The Big Family Cooking Showdown review: like Bake Off … with gravy

The Beeb's cosy new cookery show is pure comfort TV, but viewers may struggle to emotionally invest. Plus: star turns but no laughs in Quacks

The Big Family Cooking Showdown is a cosy, two-presenter, two-judges cookery competition among amateurs in a family-friendly weeknight slot on BBC1. We are assured that it is in no way a substitute for or rival to the BBC's previous cosy, two-presenter, two-judges cookery competition among amateurs that was broadcast in a family-friendly weeknight slot, The Great British Bake Off, before – in a move that grieved the nation only slightly less than the current threat of nuclear war – going over to Channel 4.

Why? What's the point of such obvious denial? Why not say, in keeping with the warm, enveloping, all-in-it-together, vanilla-scented mood that was GBBO's USP and which any true successor must manage to emulate: “We're as sorry as you are to have lost it. But here! We folded together as many of the same ingredients as we could, added Nadiya Hussain, the winner of series six of you-know-what, and served it up to you on a similarly nostalgically decorated platter, this time with a savoury twist. We really hope you like it. Come on in – the gravy's lovely.” Or something.

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(16/08/2017 @ 01:00)

Does Palaeontology have an image problem? | Elsa Panciroli

Palaeontology is synonymous with excavating fossils, but the stereotype of the rugged, white, male digger, could be a barrier to diversity in Earth science

As I eye myself in the mirror before heading off to the office for another day of palaeontological research, I wonder: ought I to be wearing a hat? Preferably wide-brimmed, even a Stetson. I button up my teal cardigan – shouldn't that be a checked shirt? Or a t-shirt with a T rex meme emblazoned across the front? And where are my hiking boots? No-one ever studied extinct animals in a skirt and tights now, did they?

“She's too well dressed to be a palaeontologist,” a male colleague recently commented to me, regarding a leading female researcher. It was said in jest, but I was troubled by the inference that there was a “correct” way to dress for our job. I found myself wondering: do I fit in with my colleagues? Does a desire to colour-match suggest you're a less dedicated researcher?

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(16/08/2017 @ 03:30)

Ghosts of the Tsunami: Death and Life in Japan's Disaster Zone by Richard Lloyd Parry review

A compassionate and piercing look at the communities ravaged by the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan in 2011

Because of its harsh climate and remoteness from the centre, Tohoku, Japan's north-eastern region, has long been regarded as the country's backwater. Along with that reputation comes a set of unflattering stereotypes about its people – that they are taciturn, stubborn, somewhat enigmatic. Rather than speaking their minds, they grit their teeth, bottle up their feelings and go about their business in gloomy silence. But those very traits were seen as an admirable asset in the immediate aftermath of the 11 March 2011 disaster that hit Tohoku's coastal communities, when a magnitude-9 earthquake was followed by a tsunami, then a nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi reactors.

Journalists reporting from the disaster zone commended the resilience of Tohoku people, marvelling at the restraint demonstrated by survivors, many of whom had lost everything. Uncomplaining, they organised themselves at makeshift evacuation centres, queued to receive rationed food and took care of the weak and wounded. Observers were made to feel that Tohoku was coping.

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(16/08/2017 @ 04:00)

Australia v New Zealand: how they line up in the great trans-Tasman tussle test

The diplomatic incident sparked by the Australian deputy PM's dual citizenship is the latest bout in a (mostly) friendly rivalry. So whose side are you on?

The current rift/tiff between the Australian government and the New Zealand opposition Labour party has been fierce, fiery and memorable. But whether it will be significant depends if Jacinda Ardern becomes New Zealand's next prime minister and the issue of “trust” with the Australian government is tested.

Related: Australia accuses New Zealand opposition of trying to bring down government

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(16/08/2017 @ 03:02)

How will Brexit affect the environment? Brexit means podcast

The topic we're looking at this week is a big one, and a fundamentally important one, encompassing the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat. Jon Henley is joined by an expert panel to try to figure out what on earth Brexit will mean for our environment

Subscribe to us on iTunes, Audioboom, Mixcloud, Soundcloud and Acast and join the discussion on Facebook, Twitter and email

The topic we are looking at this week is a big one, and a fundamentally important one – it boils down to the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat … it's the environment.

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(16/08/2017 @ 02:00)

Lovers and Strangers: An Immigrant History of Postwar Britain by Clair Wills – review

Migrants not only from the empire but from Latvia, Malta and especially Ireland changed the face of the UK after the second world war

Going home can be disconcerting. Over the last few years, when-ever I have returned from New York, where I live, to Gloucester, where I grew up, what has struck me most – more than the rundown state of the local library, the decamping of the local newspaper to posher Cheltenham, the ailing, asthmatic feel of the town centre – are its ethnic transformations. Neighbourhoods that in the 1970s and 80s seemed like havens of timeless Englishness augmented by a few Asian convenience stores and smoky cafes vibrating to militant reggae are now full of Romanian grocers and Polish bakers. The shaven-headed guy trying to cadge a fag from me does so with a Spanish accent. A Commonwealth city has morphed into a European city.

Related: West Indians arrive in Britain on board the Windrush – archive, 23 June 1948

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(16/08/2017 @ 02:30)

Kitchen gadgets review: a salt block for cooking eggs at the heat of the sun

Hot-stone cooking just got saltier and more ostentatious: this natural block makes an ideal grilling surface, but it's like having a nuclear rod in the house

Salthouse Himalayan salt block (Whole Foods Market, £34.99). Aggregate mass of halite, arranged in rectangular cuboid and employed as a cooking surface.

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(16/08/2017 @ 04:00)

From standup comedy classes to free massages – wellness at work goes mainstream

It's not just corporate giants like Google that run impressive wellbeing schemes. Smaller businesses are coming up with innovative ways to keep staff happy

When it comes to looking after people's health and wellbeing in the workplace a complimentary bowl of fruit no longer cuts it. The corporate wellness industry is worth over $40bn (£31m) worldwide according to the Global Wellness Institute with companies looking after their workers' wellbeing in a much more holistic way.

Related: Wellness in the workplace: how health initiatives can boost staff productivity

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(16/08/2017 @ 02:00)

New denim rules: how to style your jeans – in pictures

Wide-legged, kickflare and ‘mom': there is life after skinny jeans, we promise. Here's how to wear this season's new crop of denim

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(16/08/2017 @ 08:01)

Budapest's Margaret Island, a green haven in Hungary's capital

The landscaped acres of this island in the Danube make a peaceful (and pretty much cost-free) day out in the middle of the city

An eye-shaped haven in the centre of the Danube, Margaret Island lies between the grandeur of Pest to the east and Buda, the city's more frenetic side, to the west. Just 1.6 miles long (it is linked to a bridge at either end) and less than half a mile wide, it's a tree-lined sanctuary away from the crowds. And, best of all, it's (mainly) free.

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(16/08/2017 @ 07:29)

How to turn a career break or sabbatical into job success – live chat

Join our live chat on Wednesday 16 August at 1pm–2.30pm to ask our experts what type of break is right for you

After casting a spell over audiences for a decade as Hermione in the Harry Potter film franchise, Emma Watson surprised her fans by announcing she was taking a break from acting to concentrate on finishing a literature degree at Brown University. While the star didn't completely abandon her big screen career, it allowed her to pursue new projects and find fresh opportunities.

Whether it's because you want to learn a new skill, pursue passions and interests, or simply reflect on a new career direction, a break from your current job can help. But how do you make sure the gap in your CV doesn't damage your future career?

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(13/08/2017 @ 05:00)

Uber for coaches: can these startups revolutionise intercity travel?

New technology platforms are using crowdsourced buses to fill transport gaps and cut the cost of travel

When a group of Yorkshire parents, fed up with overcrowding on their children's bus route to school, approached their local bus operator about pooling resources for a bespoke service, they sparked the idea for a new crowdsourcing platform.

Ten months later, 70 children have been riding their own double decker to the school gates each day, and Transdev Blazefield, owner of the Harrogate Bus Company, has launched an app to encourage others to crowdsource new routes and one-off trips.

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(16/08/2017 @ 02:00)

How to wear a jumper this season (it's not how you think)

Thought putting on a jumper was simple? Not any more. From tying a headhole-free ‘schmoo' around your neck to draping your knit across your shoulder like Dick Whittington, things are getting a bit complicated

When is a jumper not a jumper? When it's a schmoo: a jumper without a head-hole. This week sees the launch of such a garment by Michael Kors, designed to be wrapped around the neck like a scarf or knotted around the waist like a belt – in short, worn any which way except as a jumper.

It aims to prevent the unsightly bumps caused by wearing an actual jumper in lieu of a belt, but is also an interesting concept when viewed within the context of Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations, which posits the idea that the meaning of a word is bound up in how it is used rather than something presupposed.

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(16/08/2017 @ 03:00)

The big debate: would you rather have a dishwasher or a tumble dryer?

A new survey found Brits split down the middle when asked to pick between these two appliances. We took to the streets to get the lay of the land

Brits are in a spin as to which white good is the most essential: a tumble dryer or a dishwasher. With the cost of housing squeezing people into smaller spaces and the cost of living rising, the luxury of owning both is increasingly out of reach. Given a choice between the two, though, 47% of people in the UK favour a tumble dryer, while 44% would choose a dishwasher, according to a YouGov survey. Pity the 9% of Brits who can't make up their mind.

We took to the streets to find out more about the issue dividing the nation.

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(15/08/2017 @ 13:35)

Walnut snip: Nestlé cuts nut out of chocolate after prices surge

Company says new Walnut Whips cater to people who do not like nuts, but it comes after UK prices rose 20% earlier this year

Following shrinking Maltesers bags and Toblerones with bigger gaps, Nestlé has announced the “walnot whip”, launching the first nut-free versions of its oldest chocolate brand after the price of the key ingredient surged.

The vanilla and caramel versions of the Walnut Whip, a cone of milk chocolate with a fondant filling, will go on sale this week under the Nestlé Whip brand, with a mint variant to follow next month.

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(15/08/2017 @ 13:45)

Haute mess: how the scruffy trench became fashion's favourite coat

Once beloved of Columbo and Clouseau, the trenchcoat is enjoying a revival thanks to Rihanna and Vetements. Just remember to keep it creased

As with many things in fashion today, the evolution of the trenchcoat can be traced to Kim Kardashian's Instagram feed. On 16 October, the day before she was held at gunpoint and thieves stole $5m of her jewellery, she attended the Balenciaga fashion show in Paris, dressed in a trenchcoat masquerading as a ballgown, tied at the waist, cleavage in full effect. Fast-forward six months and the look had changed. On a night out, the star wore her trench open, shrugged on her arms, an apparently half-arsed attempt to cover up an outfit that consisted of a corset, lace leggings and little else.

Kardashian isn't an insouciant dresser by any means – this is a woman who once explained to the internet how “we”, as in her team, wash her hair, and who popularised the term “glam squad” for said team, on hand for her every contouring whim. But casual is how to wear the trench now. Kardashian isn't the only one doing it. Rihanna is into it, too – she wore hers oversized with an equally huge T-shirt. Then there's Gigi Hadid in an open trench and crop top.

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(16/08/2017 @ 01:00)

How reusable water bottles became the new tote bag

From Love Island to Glastonbury, millennials are driving the trend for reusable bottles far beyond the gym this summer

Looking for 2017's answer to the status symbol? Try the water bottle. Yes, a reusable water bottle that you can fill, drink from and use again is the alpha accessory of now. Think of it as the new tote bag: an instant way to signpost that you're environmentally conscious, while also adding a Insta-friendly fashion statement to your everyday look. It says: “I know *sadface* that by 2050 the amount of plastic will equal the number of fish in the ocean but, hey, I still need to get my two litres of water a day to stay hydrated, k?”

The water bottle has been spotted far beyond the gym this summer – at Glastonbury, where it may well have contained something other than water, and round the pool in the Love Island villa, where contestants had water bottles with their names on. (These were available to buy on the TV show's app, for £15, with your own name scrawled on the side.) There are currently more than 300,000 posts on Instagram with #waterbottle. Celebrities including Gisele Bà¼ndchen, Emily Ratajkowski and Reese Witherspoon tout water bottles by Bkr, Bobble and S'well, and Glamour magazine has declared that the answer to “Still or sparkling?” is now “Tap”.

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(15/08/2017 @ 11:45)

It's Now or Never: are Elvis jumpsuits catching on in menswear?

An exhibition featuring 40 of the King's jumpsuits is opening in the UK – just as they are finally being embraced without irony by fashion designers

An exhibition at the O2 looking at Elvis's career between 1969 and 1977 will feature 40 of his jumpsuits. The exhibition's timing is also pertinent in menswear, where jumpsuits are in the process of becoming staples.

Thankfully, this trend is only loosely inspired by the King. Elvis may have worn a rhinestone and gold lame jumpsuit on the cover of 1975's Promised Land, but next summer's hit will likely be Miuccia Prada's pit-stop version, which has a stripe down the side of one leg, earning comparisons to the kind of apparel usually seen at Silverstone. See also Alexander McQueen's denim version and Louis Vuitton's one, which resembles a silvery parachute.

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(15/08/2017 @ 12:36)

Have you put off applying to university because of uncertainty over tuition fees?

There has been much debate about the cost of higher education in England. Have possible policy changes affected your decision to go to university?

Jeremy Corbyn pledged to abolish tuition fees during this year's general election. If Labour won, he said new university students would be freed from paying £9,000 as early as the autumn 2017.

The policy prompted much discussion around the cost of higher education. Although Labour did not win, the Conservative cabinet minister Damian Green said the Tories need a national debate on university tuition fees.

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(16/08/2017 @ 03:03)

Listen to the tenants in social housing | Letters

If you live in a tower block, your home is visible but you are not, writes Ed Mayo. Plus Tory London assembly member Tony Devenish defends the response of Kensington and Chelsea council to the Grenfell Tower fire

We need a national voice for tenants in social housing. Catch-up work and stop-start remedial action at tower blocks across the country after the fire at Grenfell Tower (Work starts on tower blocks found to be at risk of collapse, 12 August) is further evidence that if you live in a tower block, your home is visible but you are not.

Tenant organisations and housing co-ops are calling for a coherent, legitimate and empowered voice for tenants and leaseholders on estates. The case for this was accepted many years ago, but axed under the coalition government from 2010.

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(15/08/2017 @ 12:51)

The Mysteries of Pittsburgh: a charming novel about beautiful people bonking

Michael Chabon was heralded as a bright new voice in fiction in the late 1980s for his precocious debut. Does it still live up to the hype?

The economics of publishing have always been baffling, but never more so than in the late 1980s, when unknown writers frequently found themselves the recipients of stonking great advances. There are all sorts of reasons, most of twhich boil down to a heady combination of madness and hubris. But one explanation makes sense: huge advances got people talking. Spending $100,000 on an author was still cheaper than paying an equivalent amount for marketing, with the bonus of making people desperate to know what all the fuss was about.

Related: Fiction to look out for in 2017

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(15/08/2017 @ 11:33)

How has the nursing profession changed your life?

We want to hear why you love being a nurse, or how a nurse helped your recovery as a patient

The pressure on NHS nurses is well documented. There are more nurses leaving the profession than joining it, with 40,000 unfilled vacancies, a 96% drop in the number of EU nurses registering to work in the UK in the past year and strong support for industrial action over pay.

Related: I shunned studying medicine to become a nurse. Here's why

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(16/08/2017 @ 05:30)

What's the one change that's worked for you to tackle sleep problems?

As part of a new series exploring small changes that have improved your life, we want to hear from people who have cracked the secret to better sleep

Getting enough sleep can sometimes feel impossible to achieve – especially given the digital distractions and demands of modern times. But maybe you've found a simple solution that works for you?

As part of a new series looking at the small changes that can help improve people's lives, we want to hear from people who feel like they have cracked the secret to better sleep, through one change they have made.

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(15/08/2017 @ 06:07)

Have you suffered at work because of your appearance? Share your stories

We'd like to hear from people who feel they were unreasonably treated in the workplace as a result of their weight or appearance

The recent story of an East London bar which advertised for “extremely attractive” bar staff has again highlighted the issue of professional discrimination on the basis of physical appearance. The ad stated that “physical attractiveness is unfortunately necessary for this role” and that female applicants “must be comfortable wearing black heels”. It was eventually withdrawn.

In some countries it's considered routine to ask job applicants for information about their appearance, including their height and weight. During his election campaign, Korean president Moon Jae-in vowed to put an end to such practices.

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(14/08/2017 @ 11:13)

Universities are not spying on students | Letters

Spying, as opposed to awareness and management of risk, is prohibited by the guidelines to the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015, write Steven Greer and Lindsey Bell

Giles Fraser contributes to the mythology about the Prevent duty in universities rather than helping to dispel it (Universities stop spying on their students? That's a radical idea, 4 August). The Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 imposes a statutory obligation on schools, universities, the NHS and other institutions to “have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism” (the “Prevent duty”).

Related: Universities stop spying on their students? Now that's a radical idea | Giles Fraser | Loose canon

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(14/08/2017 @ 13:58)

Share your photos and stories of anti-fascist protests after Charlottesville

Are you participating in demonstrations following the events in Charlottesville? Share your pictures, videos and stories as we continue to cover this story

The white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, this weekend resulted in a tepid response from Donald Trump, and outrage from citizens and politicians of all parties seeking to combat bigotry and racism.

Protests are being planned around the globe this week, notably Monday in New York City as Trump is due to return to his hometown. Are you participating in demonstrations related to the events in Charlottesville? Wherever you are in the world, we'd like you to share your pictures, videos and stories. We'll use a selection of contributions in our coverage of this story.

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(14/08/2017 @ 14:49)

Tips, links and suggestions: what are you reading this week?

Your space to discuss the books you are reading and what you think of them

Welcome to this week's blog, and our roundup of your comments and photos from last week.

It's been a week for discovering classic books. Some of them lost, some of them just, somehow, missed - as VelmaNebraska explains:

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(14/08/2017 @ 10:00)

Your photos of the Perseid meteor shower

Some of our readers lucky enough to experience clear skies share their spectacular views of the Perseid meteor shower

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(14/08/2017 @ 04:00)

'It's easier if you're middle class': first-generation students on going to uni

What are the challenges of being the first in your family to go to university – and how does it shape your experience? Four students speak out

Is higher education still the preserve of the middle classes or have tuition fees opened up access? What are the challenges of being the first in your family to go to university – and how does it shape your academic experience?

We asked four first-generation students about their experiences. From struggling to pay for books and scrambling for a rental guarantor to not wanting to let your family down, here's what they said.

Dalal Barahman, 21, first year medical student at Manchester University

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(14/08/2017 @ 08:24)

What are your experiences of care homes in the UK?

One in six care homes are in danger of insolvency. We'd like you to share your experiences

Around 420,000 people over the age of 65 are being looked after in 11,000 residential care homes in the UK. But a report released on Monday has warned that one in six care home companies is in danger of insolvency.

Rises in the living wage have driven up costs, and many care homes are facing bankruptcy. The percentage of nursing homes struggling had increased by about 5% compared with the previous year.

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(14/08/2017 @ 05:54)

Michael Jackson's Bad at 30: share your favourite albums of 1987

The King of Pop's third solo album celebrates a milestone later this month. But which other albums from 1987 still mean something to you?

Thursday 31 August marks 30 years since Michael Jackson released Bad, the long-awaited follow up to his record-breaking 1982 album Thriller. With two Grammy award wins and five No 1 US singles, its commercial and critical success cemented Jackson's place as one of the most successful artists of all time; it sold around 35 million copies worldwide.

To mark its 30th anniversary, we'd like to hear what other albums from 1987 made a lasting impression on you upon their release thirty years ago. Is Michael Jackson's Bad as good as it gets? Can U2's The Joshua Tree give it a run for its money? Is Whitney Houston's second album Whitney a favourite, or George Michael's debut Faith?

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(14/08/2017 @ 05:17)

Allotments week: send us your pictures

Courgettes or dahlias? Whatever you grow on your allotment, share your pictures with us and celebrate national allotments week

Allotments are being swallowed up everywhere as pressure grows for land on which to build houses.

But these precious green plots are still the cornerstone of community endeavour and achievement the length and breadth of the UK. This year's national allotments week, organised by the National Allotment Society, takes place from 14-20 August and celebrates all the hard work put in by allotment holders, volunteers and councils to manage, develop and safeguard allotments.

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(11/08/2017 @ 06:01)

Cool your boots: readers' photos on the theme of relax

For last week's photography assignment in the Observer New Review we asked you to share your photos on the theme of relax via GuardianWitness. Here's a selection of our favourites

  • Share your photos on this week's theme ‘float' by clicking the button below
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(13/08/2017 @ 04:00)

How does tourism affect where you live?

Residents in tourist hotspots have been speaking out against unsustainable visitor numbers. We'd like you to share your experiences of tourism with us

Locals in tourist hotspots around Europe have been fighting back against what they see as destruction of their neighbourhoods because of unsustainable visitor numbers.

Overcrowded streets blamed variously on an unlicensed accommodation sector, thoughtless visitors and chains of Segway-riding tour groups, has led some activists to breaking point.

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(11/08/2017 @ 09:50)

Is there less stigma around taking Viagra?

Viagra use among men has tripled. We'd like you to tell us whether you take it and why

The number of prescriptions for viagra and other erectile dysfunction drugs have nearly tripled in the last decade, data shows.

This is partly due to the fact the cost of sildenafil, sold as the brand name Viagra, fell by 85.9% as generic alternatives became available in 2013.

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(11/08/2017 @ 08:37)

You're fired! Share your stories of being sacked

Whether you were dismissed out of the blue or you had to hand a team member their P45, tell us about your experiences of one of life's most difficult situations

Firing staff seems to be in fashion right now. Donald Trump appears to have confused the presidency with The Apprentice, with the billionaire firing communications director Anthony Scaramucci, chief of staff Reince Priebus and the FBI director James Comey, among others.

Meanwhile, at Vogue new editor Edward Enninful, who replaced Alexandra Shulman after 25 years in charge, has gone to work overhauling the team. There have been a wave of departures, including veterans Emily Sheffield and Lucinda Chambers, who gave a candid post-break-up interview.

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(08/08/2017 @ 02:00)

What are your experiences of homelessness?

As the number of families affected by homelessness is expected to rise by double in 2041, we want to hear from charity workers and those affected by this

The number of families affected by homelessness is expected to rise by more than double in the next two decades, with over 200,000 more households affected by 2041, a report has warned.

Those sleeping rough will soar by four-fold to reach over 40,000 in the same period, according to research by Heriot-Watt University, commissioned by Crisis.

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(10/08/2017 @ 00:21)

Daniel Craig confirms he will play James Bond again

Actor tells Stephen Colbert on The Late Show he ‘couldn't be happier' to resume 007 role despite previous comments

He once said he would rather take his own life than reprise his role as 007. But Daniel Craig may now be regretting his words, as he has confirmed he will, for one final time, play James Bond.

Speaking on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on US TV on Tuesday night, the actor finally put an end to the long-running saga of will he/won't he play the character for a fifth time.

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(16/08/2017 @ 05:38)

Obama's anti-racism tweet after Charlottesville is most liked ever on Twitter

More than 3 million people have endorsed the tweet, which quoted Nelson Mandela, after far-right rally in which woman was killed

A tweet by Barack Obama condemning racism in the aftermath of a far-right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, has become the most liked tweet ever, with more than 3 million social media users so far endorsing the sentiment.

The tweet, quoting the late South African president Nelson Mandela, read: “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion.”

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(16/08/2017 @ 04:47)

'I'm black so I look mean?' Serena Williams discusses race and pregnancy

  • Former world No1 says she wants to return for Australian Open
  • 23-time grand slam champion says she has been judged due to race

Serena Williams has spoken about pregnancy, race and body image in a wide-ranging interview with Vogue.

Williams and her fiance, the Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, are due to welcome their first child at the end of the year, but she says she wants to return as early as January to defend her Australian Open title. “It's the most outrageous plan,” she said. “I just want to put that out there. That's, like, three months after I give birth. I'm not walking anything back, but I'm just saying it's pretty intense.”

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(15/08/2017 @ 13:24)

Bill Gates gives $4.6bn to charity in biggest donation since 2000

Recipient of 64m Microsoft shares is a mystery, but is expected to be tech tycoon's foundation

Bill Gates, the world's richest man, has donated $4.6bn (£3.6bn) in the Microsoft founder's biggest gift to charity since he set up the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Gates donated 64m Microsoft shares according to a US Securities & Exchange Commission filing. The recipient of the gift was not specified but it is expected that the money will be directed to the foundation he and his wife set up in 2000 with $5bn funding to improve global healthcare and reduce extreme poverty. The foundation did not respond to requests for comment.

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(15/08/2017 @ 13:30)

Good Omens: David Tennant and Michael Sheen to save the world in TV adaptation

Terry Pratchett would be ‘over the moon' at the casting according to his estate, while co-author Neil Gaiman reminds Hollywood to give both equal credit

The late Terry Pratchett would have been “over the moon” at the “dream” casting of David Tennant as the demon Crowley in the forthcoming adaptation of Good Omens, according to the Discworld author's long-time assistant Rob Wilkins.

Amazon confirmed that Michael Sheen will play the angel Aziraphale, and Tennant will take on the role of Crowley, in Amazon Studios' six-episode adaptation next year. Co-authored by Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, the 1990 fantasy bestseller Good Omens tells of Crowley and Aziraphale's attempts to prevent the apocalypse, following the birth of the antichrist, Adam, in Lower Tadfield, Oxfordshire.

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(15/08/2017 @ 07:41)

John Travolta to play 'the other Sinatra' in film about Jimmy Roselli

Singer whose chance of fame was killed off by the Mob and his famous rival is subject of biopic produced by Merchant Ivory

He was an American shoeshine boy with a romantic singing voice that made even mobsters weep.

Jimmy Roselli was known as “the other Sinatra”, but the Mob and Frank Sinatra, his lifelong rival crooner, killed off his chances of finding the fame that he deserved. Now, six years after his death, this unheralded singer is about to receive due recognition with a film in which he will be portrayed by John Travolta.

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(15/08/2017 @ 19:00)

Keith Vaz fights off Momentum challenge to keep place on NEC

Relief for veteran Labour MP after Asghar Khan's campaign for more ‘grassroots' black, Asian and minority ethnic voices

Keith Vaz has seen off a challenge from a Momentum-backed candidate to replace him on Labour's ruling body, despite a widespread social media campaign to oust him.

The veteran MP's challenger, Asghar Khan, a Leeds councillor and postal worker, had the backing of several of the largest trade unions, including Unite, GMB, TSSA and CWU. Momentum, the grassroots campaign movement of Jeremy Corbyn supporters, made several videos in support of Khan's candidacy.

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(15/08/2017 @ 08:41)

High diving pigs and jousting knights: today's unmissable photos

A selection of today's best images, including dizzying parachute display teams in Australia, diving pigs in China and mourning Elvis fans in the USA

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(16/08/2017 @ 08:43)

Elvis Presley: a life in pictures, 40 years after his death

Elvis Presley – singer, actor, American icon – died on 16 August 1977 of a heart attack, aged just 42. On the 40th anniversary of his death, we take a look back at some special pictures of the King

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(16/08/2017 @ 09:25)

Inside HMS Queen Elizabeth – in pictures

HMS Queen Elizabeth, sitting in Rosyth dockyard in Scotland, is ready to head out to sea for its first trials this summer. The milestone will mark significant progress in delivering HMS Queen Elizabeth, the largest and most powerful surface warship ever built for the Royal Navy

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(26/06/2017 @ 07:09)

Train dreams: scenes from the Visakha Express, India – in pictures

A hint of Hitchcock's Strangers on a Train and lush landscapes captured Madhu Kalyan's eye in our weekly look at people's travels through three Instagram images

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(16/08/2017 @ 08:35)

Floods and devastation in India, Nepal and Bangladesh – in pictures

Hundreds of people have been killed and millions displaced across the region as rescue missions set up shelters and strive to get food and water to victims

Nearly 250 people have died in the last few days as a result of flooding and landslides that have devastated parts of northern India, Nepal and Bangladesh.

Millions of people have been displaced across the region, and 245 people are recorded to have been killed by collapsed buildings or by drowning.

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(16/08/2017 @ 02:00)

Brothels and blossom: Japan's grandest journey – in pictures

From mystical mountains to snowy passes, from samurai swordsmen to sex workers in shop windows, two woodblock artists in the 1830s depicted the astonishing sights on the ancient route from Edo to Kyoto

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(16/08/2017 @ 02:00)

Rowing in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland – in pictures

Coastal rowing in small traditional skiffs is undergoing a revival in Scotland. Photographer Murdo MacLeod joins a community club on an expedition to explore the islands off Lewis and Harris

We are not a rampaging clan but a community rowing club come to reacquaint ourselves with our coastal environment and heritage on a four-day tour off the coast of Lewis and Harris in the Outer Hebrides. Our fleet comprised 40 rowers and sailors in five skiffs, a one-man row boat, a 10-metre dipping lugsail and two safety craft.

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(16/08/2017 @ 01:30)

Properties in beauty spots – in pictures

Scenery scenery everywhere – from St Ives to Sesto Fiorentino

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(16/08/2017 @ 02:00)

Confederate statues removed across southern US states – in pictures

Confederate statues are being removed in several US states this year, and more cities are planning to destroy similar memorials after events in Charlottesville, Virginia, at the weekend

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(15/08/2017 @ 07:38)

Beach without a sea – in pictures

Ward Roberts shot sunbathers and distant buildings at New York's Far Rockaway beach, rebuilt after Hurricane Sandy. But where are the waves?

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(15/08/2017 @ 02:00)

Dernière mise à jour : 16/08/2017 @ 00:25


Spécial : réforme du collège

- BO spécial n°11 du 26 novembre 2015: Programmes d'enseignement du cycle des apprentissages fondamentaux (cycle 2), du cycle de consolidation (cycle 3) et du cycle des approfondissements (cycle 4) à compter de la rentrée 2016

Annexe 1: Programme cycle 2
Annexe 2: Programme cycle 3
Annexe 3: Programme cycle 4

- Eduscol: Ressources d'accompagnement pour les langues vivantes aux cycles 2,3 et 4

- Questions / réponses sur la nouvelle organisation du collège sur éduscol

- DNB: Modalités d'attribution à compter de 2017. BO n° 3 du 21 janvier 2016 et BO n°14 du 8 avril 2016

- BO n° 17 du 23 avril 2015 (encart) Socle commun de connaissances, de compétence et de culture à compter de la rentrée 2016

-  Présentation sur le portail éduscol du nouveau socle commun pour 2016.

- Sur Eduscol: Ressources pour l'évaluation du socle commun en langues vivantes étrangères (avril 2017)

- Dossier "Stratégie Langues vivantes"' (janvier 2016)

- Banques de ressources numériques pour l'école BRNE Anglais Cycle 3 et 4

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