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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

EU leaders aim to let Theresa May down gently over trade talks

PM's counterparts at summit will refuse to widen Brexit negotiations but talk up her efforts for fear of weakening her further

European Union leaders at a crunch summit dinner are set to rebuff Theresa May's appeal for trade talks while they seek to publicly talk up her efforts in the Brexit negotiations because they fear that the prime minister's domestic weakness will leave her unable to make vital concessions on Britain's divorce bill.

The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, will lead European leaders in Brussels on Thursday in seeking to put the best gloss on their refusal to widen the talks, according to diplomatic sources. “There are ways to say it kindly and encouragingly or less kindly and less encouraging,” said one senior EU diplomat.

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(18/10/2017 @ 14:31)

Revealed: rescued refugee children facing limbo - and worse - in UK

Exclusive: a year after Britain took in hundreds of ‘Dubs' children, charities say delays are causing distress and at least one young person has been left sleeping rough

Lone children brought to the UK from Calais following a campaign last year are facing bureaucratic limbo and precarious living conditions, which has led in at least one case to a young person sleeping on the street.

A year after the arrival of the first children under the so-called Dubs scheme, which brought unaccompanied asylum-seeking children from Calais to the UK, the Guardian found that many are still waiting to hear if they will be allowed to stay in the country.

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(19/10/2017 @ 01:00)

Calls for FA officials to resign as Aluko says treatment ‘bordered on blackmail'

• MP Damian Collins calls for Martin Glenn and Greg Clarke to step down
• Chief executive Glenn denies blackmail on remarkable day of evidence
• FA apologises to Aluko and Spence for racial remarks by Mark Sampson

The Football Association's senior management were facing calls for multiple resignations after a calamitous day for the people running the sport when their failings in the Mark Sampson affair were brutally exposed and the chief executive, Martin Glenn, was accused of behaviour “bordering on blackmail” by one of the England Women's footballers whose complaints of racial remarks have finally been proven.

In a remarkable day of evidence before the digital, culture, sport and media committee, the FA issued a full apology to Eni Aluko and Drew Spence after a third inquiry, instigated on the back of the Guardian's investigation into the previous two processes, concluded that Sampson, the now-deposed manager, had made discriminatory remarks to both players.

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(18/10/2017 @ 17:30)

New Zealand election: Winston Peters to announce next prime minister – live

NZ First leader to reveal whether he will form coalition with National or Labour to take Bill English or Jacinda Ardern into government

For those coming fresh to the live blog just in time for the (expected) announcement, a quick catch-up.

Twenty-six days ago, on 23 September, New Zealanders went to the polls to choose their next government.

While we wait for Winston Peters, reporters in Wellington seize on any hint of a clue:

Have now heard two rounds of clapping from the labour offices (i'm one floor down)

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(19/10/2017 @ 00:59)

Labour inflicts symbolic defeat over universal credit rollout

Tories under fire for abstaining from vote hours after work and pensions secretary David Gauke ends helpline charges

Labour inflicted a symbolic defeat on the government over universal credit on Wednesday night, hours after work and pensions secretary David Gauke announced he would end a 55p-a-minute helpline for welfare claimants.

Up to two dozen Conservative MPs had said they may support a Labour motion, which called for ministers to “pause and fix” the controversial welfare reform, which the government whipped its MPs to abstain on. In the end, however, just one Conservative MP, the chair of the health select committee Sarah Wollaston, voted with Labour.

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(18/10/2017 @ 15:45)

UK's low pay culture traps people in poorly paid jobs, study finds

Only one in six low-paid workers in the last 10 years managed to secure a full-time job with better pay, says analysis by Social Mobility Commission

Britain's low pay culture traps people in poorly paid jobs and prevents them from escaping into full-time work with better pay, according to a major study by the government-backed body that tracks social mobility.

Only one in six workers on low pay managed in the last 10 years to push themselves up the pay ladder and stay there, while most remained stuck in a cycle of part-time and insecure jobs.

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(18/10/2017 @ 19:01)

Warning of 'ecological Armageddon' after dramatic plunge in insect numbers

Three-quarters of flying insects in nature reserves across Germany have vanished in 25 years, with serious implications for all life on Earth, scientists say

The abundance of flying insects has plunged by three-quarters over the past 25 years, according to a new study that has shocked scientists.

Insects are an integral part of life on Earth as both pollinators and prey for other wildlife and it was known that some species such as butterflies were declining. But the newly revealed scale of the losses to all insects has prompted warnings that the world is “on course for ecological Armageddon”, with profound impacts on human society.

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(18/10/2017 @ 14:00)

Self-harm among girls aged 13 to 16 rose by 68% in three years, UK study finds

Data from GP practices between 2001 and 2014 showed rates of self-harm for boys stayed roughly steady – but soared upwards for girls in recent years

Self-harm reported to GPs among teenage girls under the age of 17 in the UK increased by 68% over just three years, research has revealed.

The study also found that self-harm among young people aged 10-19 was three times more common among girls than boys, with those who self-harmed at much greater risk of suicide than those who did not.

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(18/10/2017 @ 18:30)

Black and Muslim prisoners suffer worse treatment, study finds

Research suggests BAME inmates have greater chance of segregation or restraint being used against them

Black and Muslim offenders are more likely to be badly treated in prison, leading to poorer outcomes and mental health concerns, research has found.

The Runnymede Trust, a race equality thinktank, and the University of Greenwich investigated the treatment of male black and minority ethnic (BAME) prisoners, surveying over 340 inmates across four prisons.

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(18/10/2017 @ 20:01)

Trump digs in over call to soldier's widow: 'I didn't say what the congresswoman said'

Donald Trump dug in on Wednesday as his comments about fallen soldiers spiralled into the second major dispute of his political career with a bereaved military family.

Speaking to reporters in the White House, Trump contradicted the accounts of Sgt La David Johnson's mother and a Florida congresswoman, who were in the car with the soldier's widow, Myeshia Johnson, when Trump called her. They listened to the conversation on speakerphone.

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(18/10/2017 @ 13:17)

Halloween partygoers warned of dangers of 'spooky' contact lenses

Experts urge wearers to buy from registered opticians or doctors to avoid possible infection and sight loss

Halloween partygoers – including children and teenagers – are being warned by UK medical experts of the dangers of “spooky” or coloured contact lenses.

The gimmicky cosmetic lenses should only be sold by a registered optician or doctor who is qualified to provide after-care advice, but are increasingly sold cheaply and illegally online, in shops and on market stalls.

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(18/10/2017 @ 19:01)

Daphne Caruana Galizia: We knew establishment was out to get her – family

Murdered investigative journalist's sons tell of attempts on their mother's life, and why they blame a ‘takedown of the rule of law' in Malta for her death

Looking back, they had known – perhaps for a long time – that it might end like this. With hindsight, says Matthew Caruana Galizia , red-eyed from emotion and lack of sleep, it seems obvious. “This wasn't an aberration,” he says. “It was a culmination.”

The air in the family home in the hamlet of Bidnija, half an hour's drive from the Maltese capital, Valletta, is thick with grief and quiet anger. Police guard the entrance to the gravel driveway and the cast-iron gates in front of the house.

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(19/10/2017 @ 00:00)

Mystery over Christ's orb in $100m Leonardo da Vinci painting

Crystal sphere in Salvator Mundi artwork lacks optical exactitude, prompting experts to speculate over motive and authenticity

A new biography of Leonardo da Vinci has raised “a puzzling anomaly” in a rediscovered painting that is estimated to fetch $100m (£75m) at auction next month.

Related: Only Leonardo da Vinci in private hands set to fetch £75m at auction

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(18/10/2017 @ 19:00)

The Book of Dust Vol 1: La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman review – worth the wait

In Pullman's longed-for return to the world of His Dark Materials, two children battle to protect baby Lyra as enchanted allegory combines with a retelling of the Biblical story of the flood

Philip Pullman is the living heir of Lewis Carroll and George MacDonald and, yes, CS Lewis – in spite of Lewis being his chief bugbear, whom he attacks furiously for his religiosity and misanthropy. While JK Rowling carried on the tradition of jolly school adventures and gripping supernatural yarns, he has chosen the pilgrim road of fantastic metaphysical allegory, and his new book nods to Spenser's The Faerie Queene in the same way as His Dark Materials took on Milton and Paradise Lost. In this longed-for opening volume of the new trilogy, Pullman faces his lineage without apology: his young heroine is even called Alice, and the story follows her as she is swept down the Thames in the eponymous canoe of the hero, Malcolm. But whereas the Thames offered Carroll's Alice an idyllic, pastoral meander, a very contemporary apocalypse explodes around this older Alice.

To begin with, La Belle Sauvage feels old-fashioned and comfy, set in a picture-book Oxford redolent of stewed cabbage, meat pies and generous helpings of pudding, lit by naphtha lamps and warmed by brandwijn. The action takes place 10 years before Northern Lights, and unfolds how Lyra, the once and future heroine of His Dark Materials, will come to grow up in the Oxford college called Jordan. The hero, Malcolm, a red-haired, good-natured, savvy and inquisitive 11-year-old, works as a potboy in his parents' pub, The Trout at Godstow, and helps out the nuns living in the priory on the island across the way. He is an ordinary lad in some respects, but a golden boy over all – like Pip and Oliver in Dickens, with a dash of Kim, and of Emil from another classic Pullman admires, Erich Kà¤stner's Emil and the Detectives. As for Alice, she is seen, early on, working as a barmaid; when a customer pinches her bottom, she smashes a beer tankard and flings the handle at the offender.

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(18/10/2017 @ 19:01)

The head of MI5 has lost the plot. Britain is safer than ever in its history | Simon Jenkins

Andrew Parker seems to have suffered a panic attack this week. Random acts of terror don't threaten the UK's existence

Oh my God, the Muslims are going to get us. Watch out. Our national security is “more under threat than ever”. Our lives are seeing a “dramatic upshift” in threat levels, with “plots from overseas, plots online, complex scheming and crude stabbings, lengthy planning but also spontaneous attacks”. MI5 boss Andrew Parker seemed close to a panic attack on Tuesday. He found threats “at the highest tempo I have seen in my 34-year career”. We should clearly be shaking in our shoes, and give Parker every penny he demands.

Related: UK facing most severe terror threat ever, warns MI5 chief

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(18/10/2017 @ 15:00)

Victoria Beckham chewing them at parties – and other unusual uses for coffee beans

The designer nibbles a bean or two to help her stay off the booze on nights out. From shampoo to insect repellant, here's what else she could try

Victoria Beckham is a barrel of laughs. She recently informed her Instagram followers that she starts the day with two tablespoons of organic cider vinegar to aid her digestion. Now come reports that she has taken to chewing coffee beans on nights out instead of fulfilling her patriotic duty to guzzle wine. “Brooklyn really isn't a fan,” the Sun claims, according to sources close to her son. “In fact, he's pretty disgusted by it.”

Ever since it burst out of the Ethiopian goat herd scene in the ninth century, people have been intrigued by coffee's many uses. As the world's second-most traded commodity, after oil, it certainly gets around. But it has taken an era of crafting and listicles to push that point home mercilessly. Here are some of the best applications.

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(18/10/2017 @ 13:43)

George Saunders: ‘When I get praise, it helps me be a little bit more brave'

This week the American writer George Saunders, celebrated for his short stories, won the Man Booker prize with his first novel, Lincoln in the Bardo. He talks about brevity, empathy and how he sees writing as a form of activism

George Saunders won the Man Booker prize on Tuesday night, but while he was working on Lincoln in the Bardo, his winning book, he would sometimes stop and ask himself if it really was a novel he was writing. He still sounds a little unsure. “I still, I still … I mean, it says it is!” he says, pointing to the dustjacket; US tradition dictates that a novel is specified as such on its cover.

Until now, Saunders, 58, has been master of the short story. (He won the Folio prize in 2014 for his collection Tenth of December and in 2006 was awarded a MacArthur fellowship.) This explains why he and his wife, Paula, who has been his first reader since they met in 1986 on a creative writing MFA at Syracuse University, still joke about the book. “Pretty good use of white space there!” one of them will say. “I guess it is a novel,” Saunders says.

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(18/10/2017 @ 14:06)

'It's able to create knowledge itself': Google unveils AI that learns on its own

In a major breakthrough for artificial intelligence, AlphaGo Zero took just three days to master the ancient Chinese board game of Go ... with no human help

Google's artificial intelligence group, DeepMind, has unveiled the latest incarnation of its Go-playing program, AlphaGo – an AI so powerful that it derived thousands of years of human knowledge of the game before inventing better moves of its own, all in the space of three days.

Named AlphaGo Zero, the AI program has been hailed as a major advance because it mastered the ancient Chinese board game from scratch, and with no human help beyond being told the rules. In games against the 2015 version, which famously beat Lee Sedol, the South Korean grandmaster, AlphaGo Zero won 100 to 0.

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(18/10/2017 @ 13:00)

Take it outside: the shows pushing dancers out of their comfort zone

A trio of works staged in striking industrial settings blur the roles of dancer and audience – and raise compelling questions about the nature of performance

A ballet in an old warehouse. A duet between a woman and a shipping container. A walk through London's docklands. Choreographers have long been fascinated by the challenges of taking dancers – and audiences – out of their comfort zone of the theatre, and three unconventional performances in London this month did exactly that. In doing so, they raise a range of questions. Is a set the same as a setting? When does the performance start and finish? Is sound the same as the soundtrack? And who is watching whom?

Related: 'The body is a living archive': Wayne McGregor on turning his DNA into dance

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(18/10/2017 @ 14:10)

Why does Tory MP Tim Loughton spend an hour in the bath every morning?

The ex-minister says the shower is ‘one of the greatest sources of stress in the world'. Let's hope he never has to face one of his own government's disability assessments

Name: Tim Loughton.

Age: 55.

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(18/10/2017 @ 09:46)

Which Netflix shows are being binged the fastest?

A rare release of stats from the streaming service reveals an obsession with nostalgia and a lack of interest in critical acclaim

Netflix is notoriously secretive about ratings. We may never discover how many people watch any of its shows. For all anybody knows, The Get Down's entire audience consisted of a single confused child watching distractedly in a shed. We have no way of proving otherwise, so for now we must accept that this is true.

Related: Can Facebook take on Netflix with its first season of original shows?

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(18/10/2017 @ 11:08)

FA needs urgent change at the top after damning day at Eni Aluko hearing | Martha Kelner

Martin Glenn should be among the casualties after select committee inquiry shines light on shameful failings in handling discrimination allegations

Greg Clarke got his handshake from Eni Aluko in the end. After a devastating four‑hour parliamentary hearing that fully illuminated the Football Association's shambolic handling of her allegations of discrimination, it was a confused gesture of goodwill. “I want to meet with you properly,” he said. “Don't worry, I'm not going to try anything, it'll all be above board.”

That the chairman of the FA felt he had to give such assurances to a wronged party, particularly one who played for England 102 times over a glittering 11-year international career, shows what a miserable mess this saga has become. That meeting may never happen, not least because Aluko's devastating testimony should spell the end – certainly for the chief executive, Martin Glenn, and possibly Clarke and the technical director, Dan Ashworth, too.

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(18/10/2017 @ 18:51)

Chelsea's Antonio Conte hits back at Mourinho barb after draw with Roma

• ‘I think he has to think about his team and start looking at himself'
• Manchester United manager had said ‘other managers cry and cry'

Antonio Conte has reacted angrily to José Mourinho's observation that “other managers cry and cry and cry” about injuries to their players, a criticism perceived to be aimed at the Chelsea manager, and suggested his opposite number at Manchester United should concentrate on his own team.

Related: Eden Hazard strikes twice to earn Chelsea draw after Edin Dzeko double for Roma

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(18/10/2017 @ 19:05)

Rashford preys on Benfica keeper's error for Manchester United winner

This was a regulation Manchester United victory pulled straight out of the José Mourinho playbook. His side were uneven yet in Marcus Rashford had a player of elevated class who dragged United to three consecutive victories in Group A with a second‑half winner.

Mourinho endured criticism after the goalless draw at Liverpool on Saturday, yet their nine points in this competition have come at the cost of only one goal.

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(18/10/2017 @ 19:18)

Scotland's Greig Laidlaw joins growing autumn internationals injury list

• Scotland captain faces three months out with broken fibula
• The half-back is expected to be fit for the start of the Six Nations

Greig Laidlaw is the latest high-profile player from the home nations to be ruled out of the autumn internationals through injury after Clermont confirmed the Scotland captain has sustained a broken fibula and will be out for up to three months.

He sustained the injury on Sunday in Clermont's Champions Cup win against the Ospreys and further examination has revealed he will be out until well into 2018. The news came 24 hours after George North (knee) and Ben Te'o (ankle) became the latest victims in rugby union's rising rate of attrition and it means the autumn internationals may begin next month without as many as 10 players named in the British & Irish Lions squad during the summer.

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(18/10/2017 @ 14:50)

McKayla Maroney says sexual abuse by team doctor started when she was 13

Olympic gold medalist McKayla Maroney said on Wednesday that she was sexually abused by her USA Gymnastics doctor from the age of 13 until her retirement from the sport last year.

Maroney, now 21, detailed years of abuse by longtime team doctor Lawrence G Nassar, who is already facing criminal charges for molesting other gymnasts. She wrote a lengthy post on Twitter inspired by the #MeToo movement, the hashtag campaign that's encouraged victims of sexual harassment or assault to step forward with their stories.

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(18/10/2017 @ 11:56)

ESPN kneels before advertisers by silencing Jemele Hill for doing her job | Marina Hyde

ESPN asked Jemele Hill to ‘discuss sports topics, news, culture, and social issues' and to tweet on ‘a current issue impacting sports' – then suspended her for doing exactly that

More than a week into her suspension for some highly anodyne tweets related to the Take the Knee protest, it feels long overdue to devote space to the ESPN anchor Jemele Hill. Still, I vaguely heard we were listening to women for a minute, and wondered if a black woman could catch a little of that entitlement to be heard. The traditional answer to that has been “No, I'm afraid she can't” – which accounts for the nagging sense among many women of colour that sisterliness only stretches so far. Its borders are currently feared to mirror precisely those of Hollywood, California.

Even so, let us journey into the great wilderness beyond. Let us go where the vice-president of the United States can spend up to $250,000 of taxpayer money attending a game just so he could walk out of it when players knelt; where two owners in an 80% or so black NFL can decree that any athlete who silently kneels during the national anthem will be benched; but where a woman whose job is in part to talk about sports and social issues is suspended for doing that.

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(18/10/2017 @ 06:51)

Celtic thrashed by rampant Bayern Munich in Champions League mis-match

Celtic are becoming ominously accustomed to Champions League mis-matches. The margin of defeat here may not have been as harrowing as delivered by Barcelona and Paris Saint‑Germain in the past 13 months but the tale of a gulf in class was familiar. Bayern – this recently rejuvenated Bayern – further demonstrated the chasm between Europe's elite and the rest; and with consummate ease.

Nonetheless, it would be remiss to ignore the failure of Celtic to do themselves justice. Whereas Brendan Rodgers had spoken before the game in wholly positive terms, his sentiment was undermined by failings in every area of the field. Celtic played as if intimidated by reputation, losing dreadful goals.

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(18/10/2017 @ 16:52)

Johanna Konta hunting for new coach after surprise split with Wim Fissette

• ‘Things ended very amicably and I wish Wim all the best,' says Konta
• Britain's No1 tennis player will not compete again this season

Johanna Konta has split with her coach Wim Fissette, bringing to a surprise conclusion a successful partnership that seems to have unravelled since she made the Wimbledon semi-finals in June.

Konta, 26, who has slipped from No7 in the world to No10 in recent weeks, falling agonisingly short of qualification for the WTA Finals for the second year in a row, said on Wednesday: “After careful thought and discussion, Wim and I have mutually decided to end our working relationship.”

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(18/10/2017 @ 11:16)

Champions League round-up: Messi hits 100th European goal as 10-man Barça win

• Barcelona beat Olympiakos 3-1 despite Gerard Piqué's first-half sending off
• Basel shock CSKA Moscow with a superb 2-0 away victory

Lionel Messi scored his 100th European goal as Barcelona maintained their 100 % winning start in Champions League Group D with a 3-1 victory over Olympiakos at the Camp Nou.

A Dimitris Nikolaou own goal set the five-time European champions on their way but Gerard Piqué's red card for two bookable offences just before half-time gave the visitors a glimmer of hope.

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(18/10/2017 @ 18:11)

Leicester's new manager search goes on as Allardyce and Ancelotti are ruled out

• Burnley's Sean Dyche and David Wagner of Huddersfield under consideration
• Leicester hope to replace Craig Shakespeare before Everton visit on 29 October

Leicester City's search for a new manager in the wake of Craig Shakespeare's dismissal looks like being far from straightforward, with Carlo Ancelotti and Sam Allardyce among the high-profile names to distance themselves from a vacancy that the Premier League club hope to fill in time for Everton's visit on Sunday week.

Moves for some of the other candidates under consideration, including Sean Dyche at Burnley and David Wagner at Huddersfield Town, threaten to be complicated by the fact that they are in a job, raising questions not so much about the amount of compensation that would be due but more the willingness of clubs to grant permission for any talks.

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(18/10/2017 @ 15:20)

Tottenham reaping rewards of Pochettino's vision, on and off the pitch | David Hytner

Spurs manager ran through his options in the commendable draw at Real Madrid and the Argentinian is increasing his sphere of influence at the club

It numbers among the many construction projects at Tottenham Hotspur but, perhaps, it is the one to have drifted under the radar. The London club have committed £30m to the building of a 45-bedroom player hotel on a site adjacent to their Enfield training ground and the rationale is illuminating.

Mauricio Pochettino and his staff are obsessed with marginal gains, with new angles and the creation of the optimum environment, and the private player accommodation lodge, as it is officially known, is another example of the growth that they are seeking.

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(18/10/2017 @ 13:08)

Jack Wilshere backs Arsenal to bounce back in Red Star Belgrade cauldron

• Midfielder defends team-mates after ‘unjustified' Troy Deeney criticisms
• Debuchy set to return to depleted Arsenal defence for Europa League match

Jack Wilshere leapt to the defence of his Arsenal team-mates whose temperament was savaged by Troy Deeney in the aftermath of the defeat at Watford last weekend. “As a player if your attitude is questioned it's horrible,” Wilshere said. “I don't think the comments were justified.

“When we look back at what we did wrong I don't think you can question our character. We will move on. We have a game tomorrow and another big one Sunday [at Everton] and the players can bounce back, we've see them do it. As players we haven't spoken about it. I'm sure individually players are disappointed but comments are part of the modern-day game and we have to deal with that.”

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(18/10/2017 @ 15:02)

It's tough on Rhys Webb but strict rules are needed to save future of Test rugby | Paul Rees

Wales have to keep making a stand in an attempt to galvanise the regional game which, the Scarlets aside, remains in a depressed state

Rhys Webb wants to have his Welsh cake and eat it. The Ospreys and Lions scrum-half signed for Toulon earlier this month, days before the Welsh Rugby Union announced a change to its policy governing players outside the country, entrapping the 28-year-old.

The new rules outline that players moving to England or France from next season would only be considered by the Wales head coach if they had reached the 60-cap threshold. As Webb is on 28, he has no chance of reaching that by next September, even with all the extra internationals Wales are fond of arranging.

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(18/10/2017 @ 06:16)

Ashes 2017: England Women cover all bases for revenge mission Down Under | Vithushan Ehantharajah

Fresh from winning the World Cup in thrilling fashion, Mark Robinson's side have prepared meticulously to regain the Ashes in Australia

While one England cricket team worry about a continuing police investigation before making their way to Australia, another side have been preparing for theirs in situ and at ease. Next Sunday, England Women will begin their Ashes campaign, looking to reclaim a trophy ripped from them in 2015, fuelled as much by revenge as building on World Cup success.

The team arrived in Brisbane more than a week ago, earlier than planned and at the behest of the head coach, Mark Robinson, who wanted to ensure the controllables – jet-lag, the weather, match-sharpness – were kept in check. For all England's free expression that means they enter the 2017 Ashes a more battle-ready entity than two years ago, thanks to his meticulous planning.

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(18/10/2017 @ 04:00)

Ascot likely to stick to usual track for Champions Day but keeps weather eye

• Officials expect to use usual track but forecast makes decision awkward
• At Punchestown, Petit Mouchoir makes winning start as steeplechaser

Ascot officials are expected to decide on Thursday morning that its usual Flat-racing track should be used for Champions Day on Saturday, while acknowledging a distinct possibility that the going there could end up soft by race day. The alternative would be to use the “inner” track, which is used normally as the jumps track, but that seems a remote possibility at this stage, officials having committed to making a decision by about 9am on Thursday, before trainers have to declare their final entries.

“I've just walked the outer course and it's good, good-to-soft in places,” Chris Stickels, Ascot's clerk of the course, said on Wednesday evening. “We gave ourselves the option of using the inner track but that's really only supposed to be used if the outer is heavy or looks like being heavy.”

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(18/10/2017 @ 14:43)

Senegal call up Liverpool's Sadio Mané for World Cup qualifiers despite injury

• Forward sustained hamstring injury during last international break
• Senegal coach Aliou Cissé expects Mané to ‘be 100% fit' for qualifiers

Senegal have named Sadio Mané in their squad for two crucial World Cup qualifiers next month despite the Liverpool forward being sidelined with a hamstring injury.

Mané is expected to be absent for six weeks having been injured in Senegal's game against Cape Verde on 7 October – a timeframe that would see him available for selection by Liverpool on 18 November. But Senegal's coach, Aliou Cissé, has included the 25-year-old in his plans for qualifiers against South Africa on 10 November and 14 November and says he is sure Mané will be fit.

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(18/10/2017 @ 13:25)

For now I have full support of the Everton board, says Ronald Koeman

• Everton manager prepares to face Lyon at home in Europa League
• Arsenal at home and Chelsea away in League Cup next for troubled Dutchman

Ronald Koeman believes he still retains the confidence of the Everton board as he tries to turn round a disappointing start to the season, but admits he needs a win at home in the Europa League against Lyon.

Everton have yet to win in Group E, and were beaten in their last home league outing, against Burnley, yet the manager was relaxed enough to make a joke about his position on hearing Craig Shakespeare's observation that any manager is only four poor results from a crisis. “Maybe I am in the crisis already,” he said, before revealing that the majority shareholder, Farhad Moshiri, and the chairman, Bill Kenwright, had offered encouragement when visiting the training ground last week.

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(18/10/2017 @ 13:51)

Denmark Women's World Cup qualifier in Sweden called off in pay dispute

• Friendly with Holland last month fell victim to players' protest
• Danish FA and players' association have been negotiating since last November

Denmark Women's World Cup qualifier against Sweden has been cancelled because of a pay dispute.

The Danish team refused to play a friendly against Holland last month in protest over pay and conditions and the Danish Football Association (DBU) announced on its website on Wednesday that it had informed its Swedish counterpart that Friday's match, scheduled to take place in Gothenburg, was off.

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(18/10/2017 @ 09:01)

This year's women's Ashes series is surrounded by unfamiliar territory | Mel Jones

In a rapidly changing cricket landscape, the upcoming series in Australia promises intrigue among the unknown

A lot has changed since Margaret Peden led out her Australian side onto the Exhibition Ground in Brisbane for the first women's cricket Test match against England in 1934. Back then, the idea of a fully-fledged Ashes campaign comprising three different formats of the game would have been unthinkable.

Yet, 83 years on, here we are, preparing for a month-long series that will see Australia and England face each other in one Test, three ODIs and three Twenty20s. Fittingly, the location for the opener – Sunday's first ODI – is Brisbane.

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(18/10/2017 @ 13:00)

Don't guilt-trip parents about their moderate drinking | Anne Perkins

The Institute for Alcohol Studies' warnings are disproportionate and risk undermining broader health advice. Children are made of sterner stuff

One of the best books my daughters and I read together was The Illustrated Mum by Jacqueline Wilson. It is a grim, hopeful tale that alerts children to the power of love and kinship, and the way these survive in even the most dysfunctional of families. It encourages compassion and a tolerance of other lives. It's obviously not a manual for living, but it is a celebration of the extraordinary resilience of children.

It came to mind because yet another guilt-tripping statistic has just been published. More than half of all parents, a study from the Institute of Alcohol Studies (IAS) reveals, admit their children have seen them tipsy. It's upsetting the children. And the parents too, many of whom confess they feel guilty or ashamed.

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(18/10/2017 @ 12:24)

Steve Bell's If … Theresa May denies there is a cloud of uncertainty

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(19/10/2017 @ 01:00)

Iraq's Kurds have overplayed their hand. Now both sides must talk | Emma Sky

As Kurds flee the city of Kirkuk yet again, it's clear that only a negotiated settlement can bring stability

This week has seen thousands of Kurds fleeing the city of Kirkuk in the face of the advance of the Iraqi army. The scenes conjure up memories of Saddam Hussein's campaigns against the Kurds.

The reversal of Kurdish fortunes in this city come just weeks after Kurds voted overwhelmingly for an independent Kurdistan.

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(19/10/2017 @ 01:00)

Domestikator is nasty public art. The Louvre was quite right to reject it | Jonathan Jones

In a gallery, obscenity is one thing. But in a public space where people of all ages will see it without choosing to do so? That's bullying

The other day I walked into a Brussels art gallery where a colossal bronze woman was swooning in sensual ecstasy. In case of any confusion about its sexual content, this new sculpture by Tracey Emin is called All I Want Is You. I couldn't help telling the artist she should erect it in a London park. “Erect” is the right word, for she jokes that from one angle it looks like a giant cock.

Dutch artist Joep van Lieshout's Domestikator, a model of a modernist building that happens to be shaped like a man penetrating a dog, makes me worry that I offered the wrong advice. Raunchy art in the adult and sophisticated context of a gallery – if necessary with warnings about its content – is one thing. Obscenity in public space where people of all ages will see it without making any choice to do so is another.

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(18/10/2017 @ 11:33)

Steve Bell on Theresa May and universal credit – cartoon

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(18/10/2017 @ 15:20)

Where's the helpline for Theresa May? Jeremy Corbyn has her number | John Crace

The prime minister looks hollowed out; and the worse she becomes, the more assured the opposition leader appears

Misery on misery. If prime minister's questions was a war zone, it would have been declared a humanitarian disaster by now. Theresa May arrived in the chamber already looking shell-shocked and left an abject wreck. She appears hollowed out both as a person and a politician, a walking dead Maybot for whom every minute spent in the job is complete agony.

The prime minister knows she is hopelessly out of her depth and would like nothing more than to be put out of her misery, but is forced to endure the suffering because the Tories have no one better to replace her. Each day she remains in office, she appears just a little more diminished.

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(18/10/2017 @ 11:46)

Making a military widow cry: that is a classic Trump move | Richard Wolffe

Instead of standing on a pedestal, he clambers down into the gutter of Twitter where he can indulge in the pettiest form of politics

Just when you thought there was nothing left to destroy – no more rules or taboos to break – Donald Trump proved you wrong. After nine long months of bumping along the bottom, our preening president has taken the presidency to a new all-time low. 

This week the commander-in-chief has somehow contrived to drive to tears the grieving mother of one of his own special forces. Along the way, he boasted about his own outreach to gold star families, and defamed his predecessors' record on the same.

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(18/10/2017 @ 15:40)

The Guardian view on Xi Jinping: the life and soul of the party | Editorial

The Communist party congress in Beijing is all about one man. How he uses the power he has amassed will have an impact far beyond China's shores

“The capability of any one individual is limited,” Xi Jinping warned five years ago as he assumed China's leadership. Those words were unnecessarily self-deprecating. As the Communist party regrouped for the next great conclave in Beijing on Wednesday, the man now known as “chairman of everything” laid out a vision for his nation so grand that it took over three and a half hours to delineate; more than twice as long as his predecessor spoke for at the last party congress.

China is entering a “new era”, Mr Xi declared repeatedly; standing “tall and firm in the east”, and ready to move closer to centre stage and become a “mighty force” able to lead the world on political, economic, military and environmental issues. Though his words built on his first address as leader, which laid out his “China Dream” of renewed national wealth and power, they were vastly more confident – and understandably so.

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(18/10/2017 @ 14:37)

Reckitt Benckiser's sales warning is a product of mixed priorities | Nils Pratley

The previously lean machine behind Dettol and Durex has bet its future on branching out and scepticism is the right response

Reckitt Benckiser, the Dettol to Durex empire, has enriched its investors splendidly over the past decade – the shares have travelled from £27 to £68 – but the engine now seems to be spluttering. The third-quarter update delivered a second sales warning of the year. Like-for-like revenues will be flat in 2017, which hasn't happened in any year since the company was created in its current form in 1999.

Chief executive, Rakesh Kapoor, can grumble about “a continuing challenging market environment” but Reckitt is also underperforming against its peers. In normal circumstances investors might shrug, remember the virtue of patience and trust Kapoor's long-term record. It's not an unreasonable view, but Reckitt has more on its plate these days.

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(18/10/2017 @ 14:33)

Rose McGowan's tweet suggests a poetic justice for Weinstein's poison | Peter Bradshaw

By tweeting Blake's poem A Poison Tree without comment after her Weinstein allegations, McGowan has helped illuminate its complex meanings

As the Weinstein scandal begins to look like a red pill moment for the film industry – revealing the widespread abuse that was there all along – the most startling intervention came from Rose McGowan, a defiant survivor of Weinstein's alleged assault. Without comment, she tweeted the text of William Blake's poem A Poison Tree, a stark, mysterious work whose complex meanings McGowan may actually have done more to reveal than anyone else in modern times. It begins with “I was angry with my friend/ I told my wrath, my wrath did end” and ends with a poison tree being grown, created by and feeding on the dammed-up rage and hurt at a powerful enemy that is not expressed, and watered by the false smiles that the victim has been compelled to put on, and eventually bringing forth an “apple bright”. I once studied that poem at university – but never understood it the way I do now, in McGowan's fierce retelling: Eve's revenge against the smug serpent-Adams of this world. From now on, English students reading Blake will also have to study McGowan's exegesis of this poem, and the light it sheds on an aggressor's poison entering the ecosystem and finally returning to its originator.

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(18/10/2017 @ 10:35)

When the benefits helpline is free, its message will still be: let them eat cake | Frances Ryan

The universal credit concession is welcome, but policy is still shaped by people who have no understanding of what it's like to be at the sharp end of it

In the latest development around universal credit the work and pensions secretary, David Gauke, announced this morning that all Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) helplines will be free from the end of the year.

It's remarkable how much pressure it took to achieve this concession. Indeed, from the beginning, the response to news that universal credit claimants are being charged up to 55p a minute to call the government helpline has had an air of “let them eat cake” about it.

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(18/10/2017 @ 08:52)

EU citizens' rights are our rights too. Tory intransigence is a threat to both | Diane Abbott

The EU has offered a fair deal to all its nationals, including Britons who live in Europe. It is in everyone's interest that this vital issue be resolved at once

The debate on what are called EU citizens' rights has become mired in Tory party intransigence and infighting, like much else to do with Brexit. But one of the key reasons for the current dangerous impasse is that the entire debate is framed incorrectly. These are human rights, and as such they affect us all.

The Brexit secretary, David Davis, recently told parliament: “It is a straightforward statement of fact that our proposals go further and provide more certainty than those of the commission.” But this is untrue. He lists a whole slew of rights that are not being offered, such as mutual recognition of professional qualifications, the right to vote, freedom of onward movement and the right to return within the EU, the right to a family life and the right to claim the same in-work benefits as other workers, and so on.

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(18/10/2017 @ 09:15)

Give MPs basic rights at work, or Britain's gender gap will never close | Clare Phipps

Parental leave isn't enough: job-sharing is the only way to make parliament more representative – and the only way someone like me can become an MP

Admitting I am “in politics” is not something I do casually. Why would I want people to associate me with duck houses and expenses scandals? Being an MP does seem a pretty lavish existence. A £70,000+ salary, a second home, subsidised cream tea and Chablis, and a nice severance package and pension at the end of it – what's not to love?

If you are a disabled woman, like me, quite a lot. While MPs may have some of the makings of what I would consider a cushy existence, they also lack the hard-fought-for protections that are afforded to the majority of those outside the House of Commons – because they do not count as employees.

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(18/10/2017 @ 11:01)

Theresa May is right on Brexit: no deal is better than a bad deal – for the EU | Jens Geier

In the European parliament, we have made it clear that negotiations depend on credibility. The prime minister must start putting the national interest first

British politicians and diplomats have been famed down the ages for their negotiating skills. From Robert Walpole to Harold Wilson, British leaders were renowned for knowing how to broker a deal. Today, however, the British government is starting to trash that reputation as it moves from being a deal maker to a deal breaker.

As a German I might not have approved of all of Britain's objectives, but I nevertheless watched the UK's negotiating triumphs with a sort of admiration. Now I look on in alarm at the unfolding catastrophe threatening to engulf the Brexit talks.

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(18/10/2017 @ 04:18)

Kamil Ahmad: failed by the Home Office, then murdered in Bristol | Rebecca Yeo

Kamil was both an asylum seeker and disabled. That combination would prove fatal as he was let down by the Home Office and the police

Kamil Ahmad was murdered in Bristol on the night of 7 July 2016. He had fled his home in Kurdistan, Iraq, after two years of brutal treatment in prison and years of conflict and violent repression following the occupation. He arrived in Bristol five years ago, at the age of 44, hoping to find peace and safety.

Related: British man guilty of murder of Kurdish asylum seeker

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(18/10/2017 @ 06:23)

Rising inflation … can't blame the workers this time

Latest UK labour market snapshot shows 70s model of wage-price spiral is dead and adds to argument against interest rate rise

Don't blame the workers for the highest inflation in more than five years. That's the message from the latest monthly snapshot of the labour market showing that earnings growth is stubbornly low despite the lowest jobless rate since the mid-1970s.

Back then, any pick up in the cost of living would lead to a demand for higher pay, prompting an upward wage-price spiral. But this model is dead.

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(18/10/2017 @ 08:06)

The ‘Shitty Media Men' list? We're asking all the wrong questions about it | Helen Gould

Women have always had informal whisper networks about abusive men. But this public list is a way of women taking control, and breaking the culture of silence

Last week, amid the clamour of yet another high-profile man being accused of sexual abuse (and another industry exposed as complicit), a controversial document was shared.

The spreadsheet, titled “SHITTY MEDIA MEN”, gathered a list of names: the names of men who were alleged to have done everything from inappropriate flirting to physical violence.

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(18/10/2017 @ 05:18)

For the price of a few warships, we could end slavery once and for all

With fewer slaves in the world today than there have ever been, it would cost just £650 a head to usher it into extinction – so why hasn't that happened?

How much will it cost to end slavery? About £26.7bn, the cost of five and a half aircraft carriers or the current market value of Snapchat. That works out to about £650 for every enslaved person.

In poor countries, where most slaves live, the cost of liberation and reintegration can be lower than this; in rich countries, it can be much higher. Unfortunately, in 2014 the world's governments were spending about £95m a year on anti-slavery. That is likely to be higher today, but still far below what is needed to achieve change. If we are serious about slavery we will need to bring three key tools to the job: money, people, and knowledge.

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(18/10/2017 @ 08:29)

Referendums get a bad press – but to fix Britain, we need more of them | George Monbiot

Voting once every five years alienates us from politics. Participatory rather than representative democracy would allow us more say in how we run the country

You lost, suck it up: this is how our politics works. If the party you voted for lost the election, you have no meaningful democratic voice for the next five years. You can go through life, in this “representative democracy”, unrepresented in government, while not being permitted to represent yourself.

Even if your party is elected, it washes its hands of you when you leave the polling booth. Governments assert a mandate for any policy they can push through parliament. While elections tend to hinge on one or two issues, parties will use their win to claim support for all the positions in their manifestos, and for anything else they decide to do during their term in office.

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(18/10/2017 @ 01:00)

Virtual reality by the Guardian

Welcome to the Guardian's home for virtual reality. You will find all of our pieces here along with information on how to watch

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(10/11/2016 @ 05:47)

Ministers plan fines for universities which fail to uphold free speech

New Office for Students set to receive powers to crack down on ‘safe spaces' and bans on controversial speakers

Universities will be told that they must uphold free speech and clamp down on student unions that “no platform” controversial speakers, the government is to announce.

Jo Johnson, the universities minister, set out plans to challenge the culture of so-called safe spaces in universities, which could allow the newly created Office for Students (OfS) to fine, suspend or register universities that fail to protect freedom of speech on campuses.

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(18/10/2017 @ 19:55)

Young Syrian faces being separated from family again after UK reunion

Mohammed Mirzo, 20, found his parents and siblings in Cardiff after four years apart, but could now be deported to Bulgaria

A vulnerable young man who was reunited with his family in Cardiff after being separated from them shortly after they had fled Aleppo has been told by the Home Office he has to leave them behind and apply for asylum in Bulgaria instead.

Mohammed Mirzo, 20, told the Guardian he suffered abuse and racism in the southern European country and feared for his safety if he was forced to return only a few months after making it to in the UK.

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(18/10/2017 @ 13:36)

Theresa May plans to let people change gender without medical checks

Speaking at Pink News awards dinner, prime minister reiterates her commitment to improving trans rights

Theresa May has pledged to press ahead with plans to let people officially change gender without medical checks, as she said “being trans is not an illness and it should not be treated as such”.

The prime minister said she was committed to improving trans rights as she spoke at the Pink News awards dinner in central London.

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(18/10/2017 @ 16:07)

Chancellor asks for scrutiny of UK bank links to South Africa corruption inquiry

Alleged ties between wealthy Gupta family and President Zuma prompt concern HSBC and others could be exposed to illicit funds

The chancellor has asked UK enforcement agencies to look into whether British banking groups HSBC and Standard Chartered are linked to South Africa's corruption inquiry into alleged ties between the wealthy Gupta family and President Jacob Zuma.

According to letters seen by the Guardian, Philip Hammond has passed concerns raised by former Labour cabinet minister Peter Hain to the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), National Crime Agency (NCA) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

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(18/10/2017 @ 14:53)

Geoffrey Boycott makes amends over Theresa May's missing Tupperware

Cricket pundit sends PM new containers after she accused him of taking hers when she baked brownies for TMS team

Geoffrey Boycott has attempted to make amends with Theresa May after she accused him of taking her Tupperware when she baked brownies for the BBC Test Match Special team.

The former England cricketer sent the prime minister plastic containers embossed with gold labels reading “Property of Theresa May”.

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(18/10/2017 @ 14:44)

Ex-National Front organiser renounces far right and reveals he is gay

Kevin Wilshaw says he joined movement for its sense of comradeship but received abuse over his sexuality

A former National Front organiser and prominent neo-Nazi has denounced the far-right movement and expressed a commitment to fighting racism after revealing he is gay and of Jewish heritage.

Kevin Wilshaw, 58, has promoted white supremacism since he was a teenager and worked with a number of extremist groups for decades. He joined the National Front during the group's heyday in the late 1970s, and later the British National party, before becoming a “freelance extremist” who flirted with a string of violent fringe groups such as the Racial Volunteer Force.

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(18/10/2017 @ 09:17)

Boy Better Know's Solo 45 charged with 29 counts of rape

The rapper, a member of Skepta and JME's grime crew, has also been charged with false imprisonment and actual bodily harm

Rapper Solo 45, real name Andy Anokye, has been charged with 29 counts of rape, according to police.

Related: Flying Lotus apologises after defending the Gaslamp Killer over rape allegations

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(18/10/2017 @ 13:53)

Attempted murder trial jury shown how to sabotage a parachute

Video played in court shows how army expert could fatally tamper with a parachute in five minutes in a lavatory

The court hearing the trial of a soldier accused of trying to kill his wife with a sabotaged parachute has been shown a video demonstrating how it could be done in a toilet cubicle in just over five minutes.

Sgt Emile Cilliers, 37, is accused of tampering with the chute of his former army officer wife, Victoria Cilliers, the day before a jump at Easter in April 2015.

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(18/10/2017 @ 16:07)

Health minister rejects calls for inquiry into vaginal mesh implants

Jackie Doyle-Price announces publication of new guidance but dismisses Labour demands to go further

Labour and Conservative MPs have called for tighter restrictions on the use of vaginal mesh implants, in a parliamentary debate that heard how the lives of women had been avoidably blighted by complications linked to the surgery.

Labour has called for an immediate suspension of the use of the controversial implants, which are used to treat incontinence and prolapse, with the shadow health minister, Jon Ashworth, arguing that thousands of women have been exposed to unacceptable health risks. Tory MP Sarah Wollaston, a former GP and chair of the health select committee, said “an absence of data and cavalier practice” had exposed women to unacceptable risks and meant it had taken a decade for problems with mesh to be acknowledged.

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(18/10/2017 @ 07:45)

Phones 4u​ founder's former adviser wanted control, high court hears

John Caudwell in court to hear claims Nathalie Dauriac was ‘confrontational, uncooperative and evasive'

A French financial expert wanted control of the company which managed Phones 4u founder John Caudwell's wealth and was “confrontational and uncooperative”, the high court has heard.

Nathalie Dauriac, a former Coutts banker, claims she was wrongly dismissed in 2014 from Signia Wealth, the financial management company she co-founded with Caudwell, and should have received at least £12m for her stake in the business.

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(18/10/2017 @ 13:45)

Family of woman brain-damaged after fall seek removal of her feeding tube

Twelve-year-old grandson tells court of protection of his grandmother's previously independent spirit in legal wrangle over her care

The 12-year-old grandson of a woman with serious brain damage has spoken fondly of her as he appeared in court in support of an application to withdraw her feeding tube.

Mrs P, 72, who a year ago was a keen public speaker, churchgoer and local campaigner, is now minimally conscious and unable to care for herself.

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(18/10/2017 @ 14:53)

No charges to be brought against cheesemaker over girl's E coli death

Dunsyre Blue, produced by Errington Cheese, was named in a report in March by Health Protection Scotland as source of the outbreak

No criminal charges are to be brought against the Scottish cheesemaker implicated in an E coli outbreak that killed a three-year-old girl.

The family-run firm Errington Cheese expressed relief after the Crown Office confirmed that, based on the available evidence, no prosecutions would be brought as a result of the death in September 2016.

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(18/10/2017 @ 11:44)

Broomsticks and dragon bones in British Library's Harry Potter magic show

Manuscripts for JK Rowling's books mix with a centuries-old mermaid and a witch's crystal ball in hotly anticipated exhibition

It's all true, and the incontrovertible proof has gone on display in the British Library. Side by side with original manuscripts and illustrations for the Harry Potter books, in an exhibition that opens on Friday and has already sold a record 30,000 tickets, there are dragons' bones, a mermaid, a step-by-step illustration (on a scroll six metres long) of how to create a philosopher's stone, a black crystal ball owned by a 20th-century witch known as Smelly Nelly, and a broomstick on which another west country witch regularly startled Dartmoor walkers.

Even JK Rowling, on a preview visit to the exhibition combining a history of magic with her creations, was astonished to come face to face with the tombstone of one of her characters. She tweeted the image, writing: “Guess what this is? I've just seen it and was mesmerised …”

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(18/10/2017 @ 12:03)

Doctors to breathalyse smokers before allowing them NHS surgery

Breath test will ensure Hertfordshire patients have really kicked habit before they are referred for non-urgent operations

Smokers in Hertfordshire are to be breathalysed to ensure they have kicked the habit before they are referred for non-urgent surgery.

The measures have been brought in by East and North Hertfordshire clinical commissioning group (CCG) and Hertfordshire Valleys CCG, which together are attempting to save £68m.

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(18/10/2017 @ 08:54)

Northern Ireland assembly members could lose their salaries

James Brokenshire, Northern Ireland secretary, says region is gliding towards direct rule from London and that paying MLAs is unsustainable

Stormont assembly members could have their pay stopped as the Northern Ireland secretary said the region was “on the glide path” towards direct rule from Westminster.

Devolved government in Northern Ireland has been on hold since the collapse of the assembly in January.

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(18/10/2017 @ 06:39)

Flowers use 'blue halo' optical trick to attract bees, say researchers

The blue light, which can sometimes be seen by humans, is cast by tiny ridges of different height and spacing on petals, scientists have discovered

Flowers might seem like one of life's simple pleasures, but it turns out there might be more to them than meets the eye.

Researchers have discovered that certain species of flowering plants boast tiny ridges on their petals that, thanks to variations in their height or spacing, scatter light to cast a blueish hue over the blooms.

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(18/10/2017 @ 13:00)

New Ukip leader Henry Bolton reveals frontbench lineup

Jane Collins and Peter Whittle get roles but no place among 34 jobs for other defeated leadership candidates

Ukip's new leader, Henry Bolton, has unveiled a front bench lineup which retains two of the candidates he defeated last month to take the job, as he seeks to unify a party riven by grievances and splits.

Bolton has also named as one of his deputies Mike Hookem, the MEP involved in the scuffle last year with a colleague, Steven Woolfe, which saw the latter end up in hospital.

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(18/10/2017 @ 12:31)

Judge sues over lack of whistleblowing protection

Claire Gilham says judges face death threats, violent claimants and heavy workloads and should be classed as ‘workers'

A judge who has spoken out over the impact of austerity on the justice system has taken a test whistleblowing case to the appeal court.

Claire Gilham, a district judge, who warned about courtroom dangers including death threats, violent claimants and hostage-taking, is fighting employment tribunal rulings that do not class judges as “workers”.

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(18/10/2017 @ 09:09)

Putin mentor's daughter Ksenia Sobchak to run for president

Socialite says she is standing as a protest candidate but analysts suspect it is a Kremlin-backed move to split opposition

Ksenia Sobchak, the daughter of Vladimir Putin's political mentor, has said she will stand in Russia's presidential election next March, which Putin is expected to win.

Sobchak, a socialite and liberal journalist who has taken part in opposition protests, said she was standing as an “against all” protest candidate.

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(18/10/2017 @ 13:49)

"A huge deal" for China as the era of Xi Jinping Thought begins

Decision to grant Xi his own eponymous school of thought represents a momentous occasion in Chinese politics and history

China's communist leader Xi Jinping looks to have further strengthened his rule over the world's second largest economy with the confirmation that a new body of political theory bearing his name will be written into the party's constitution.

On day two of a week-long political summit in Beijing marking the end of Xi's first term, state-media announced the creation of what it called Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era.

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(18/10/2017 @ 23:22)

Jeff Sessions shifts ground on Russia contacts under Senate questioning

The attorney general concedes for the first time it was possible he had discussed Donald Trump's policy positions with Russian ambassador

The US attorney general, Jeff Sessions, has given a new account of his contacts with the Russian ambassador during the 2016 election, conceding it was possible that they had discussed Donald Trump's policy positions.

Related: Jeff Sessions calls accusations of Russia collusion an 'appalling lie'

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(18/10/2017 @ 14:54)

Quebec passes law banning facial coverings in public

The Canadian province is barring public workers from wearing the niqab or burqa and obliging citizens to unveil while using public transit or government services

The Canadian province of Quebec has passed a sweeping ban on face coverings – barring public workers from wearing the niqab or burqa and obliging citizens to unveil when riding public transit or receiving government services – ushering in a law believed to be the first of its kind in North America.

The legislation was adopted on Wednesday, capping off two years of work by the province's Liberal government to address the issue of state neutrality. The resulting law has been condemned by critics who say it deliberately targets Muslim women and will fuel the province's simmering debate on identity, religion and tolerance.

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(18/10/2017 @ 15:12)

Portugal: interior minister resigns after wildfires kill 100

Constanca Urbano de Sousa bows to increasing political pressure as the death toll from series of blazes mounts

Portugal's interior minister has been replaced amid criticism over the government's handling of a series of deadly forest fires that have killed more than 100 people in four months.

Constanca Urbano de Sousa handed her resignation to socialist prime minister Antonio Costa Wednesday, bowing to increasing political pressure as the death toll mounted.

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(18/10/2017 @ 20:57)

EU summit moved from €320m 'space egg' HQ over kitchen fumes

Second incident in five days forces last-minute change of venue for meeting of 28 heads of state and government in Brussels

This week's European leaders' summit has been moved out of the EU's new “space egg” headquarters at the last minute after toxic fumes in the kitchens caused staff to fall ill.

The €321m (£283m) Europa building in Brussels had been due to host the two-day EU summit, which starts on Thursday, but the event will now take place in the Justus Lipsius building next door, which hosted EU summits before the new building opened in January.

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(18/10/2017 @ 12:23)

Lena Headey claims she was sexually harassed by Harvey Weinstein

Game of Thrones actor recounts producer marching her to his hotel room and reacting furiously to a rejection before warning her not to tell anyone

The Game of Thrones actor Lena Headey has spoken of how she felt “powerless” during an encounter with Harvey Weinstein, adding her voice to the growing number of women who have accused the producer of sexual misconduct.

In a series of posts on Twitter, Headey said that Weinstein had spoken to her inappropriately at the Venice film festival and reacted with anger when she resisted his advances in a Los Angeles hotel.

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(18/10/2017 @ 07:19)

'Unconscionable': 7,000 babies die daily despite record low for child mortality

Research shows that, despite ‘remarkable progress' on child mortality, many of the 5.6 million deaths last year among children aged under five were preventable

The number of children who die before reaching their fifth birthday has fallen to an all-time low, yet children around the world continue to die at an alarming rate, with 5.6 million deaths recorded last year.

In its annual report on child mortality, the UN said many of the deaths – which averaged 15,000 a day in 2016 – were from preventable diseases.

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(18/10/2017 @ 19:24)

Four British missionaries kidnapped in Nigeria

Britons snatched by unidentified gunman in Nigeria's southern Delta state on 13 October, say police

Four Britons have been kidnapped in the southern Delta state in Nigeria, according to the police.

The authorities are attempting to rescue the four people, who were taken by unidentified gunmen on 13 October, said Andrew Aniamaka, a spokesman for Delta state police.

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(18/10/2017 @ 11:18)

Relatives of freed Afghanistan hostage say he and family deeply traumatised

Canadian relatives say Joshua Boyle, freed with his family after five years, suffered torture in captivity and requires intensive medical care

The family of the Canadian man freed with his wife and three children five years after they were kidnapped in Afghanistan have implored media to consider the trauma suffered by the family, noting that Joshua Boyle – the only member of the family to speak in public since their rescue – has yet to receive medical or psychological clearance.

On Wednesday, the family of the 34-year-old said it was a blessing to have the family at home and safe. But they said that the family's ordeal was far from over as the years of captivity had taken a great toll on each of them.

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(18/10/2017 @ 20:29)

Trump's claim of Irish corporate tax cut is 'fake news', says prime minister

  • Leo Varadkar denies plans to cut rate from 12.5% to 8%
  • President is proposing to cut US corporation tax to 20%

The Irish prime minister has accused Donald Trump of peddling “fake news” after the US president wrongly claimed that Ireland plans to further reduce its much-criticised 12.5% corporation tax.

Trump angered Irish officials with his comments at a White House briefing on Monday, in which he alleged that Ireland was going to cut the tax on corporations such as Apple, Google and Facebook to 8%.

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(18/10/2017 @ 13:24)

Trump calls James Comey's investigation of Hillary Clinton 'obviously a fix'

President suggests that the former FBI director had decided to exonerate Clinton before the investigation was done, after new documents released by FBI

Donald Trump suggested in tweets early on Wednesday that former FBI director James Comey had decided to spare Hillary Clinton from prosecution “long before investigation was complete” into her government email practices, calling the process “a fix”.

“FBI confirms report that James Comey drafted letter exonerating Crooked Hillary Clinton long before investigation was complete,” Trump tweeted, continuing, “Many people not interviewed, including Clinton herself. Comey stated under oath that he didn't do this-obviously a fix? Where is Justice Dept?”

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(18/10/2017 @ 13:21)

Spain ready to impose direct rule on Catalonia on eve of deadline

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy gives region's president until 10am on Thursday to abandon secession plans and restore ‘constitutional order'

Spain is set to enter uncharted political territory as the prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, prepares to carry out his threat to halt the regional Catalan government's push for independence by imposing direct rule from Madrid.

Last week, Rajoy warned the Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont, that he had until 10am on Thursday to abandon his secession plans and return the region to “constitutional order”.

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(18/10/2017 @ 10:36)

Thousands march in Somalia after attack that killed more than 300

Demonstrators defy police to protest against people responsible for devastating truck bomb in Mogadishu

Thousands of Somalis have demonstrated against those behind the bombing that killed more than 300 people at the weekend, defying police who opened fire to keep them away from the site of the attack.

Wearing red headbands, the crowd of mostly young men and women marched through Mogadishu amid tight security. They answered a call to unity by the mayor, Thabit Abdi, who said: “We must liberate this city, which is awash with graves.”

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(18/10/2017 @ 10:27)

Eric Holder calls Trump administration's crime policies dangerous and dispiriting

  • Former attorney general says shift ignores bipartisan consensus on reform
  • Policies ‘are not tough on crime, they are not smart on crime'

Donald Trump is pursuing “dangerous” policies on crime that ignore a growing bipartisan consensus on criminal justice reform, former attorney general Eric Holder said on Wednesday at a summit in Washington.

Related: Jeff Sessions admits crime is near historic lows despite his past warnings

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(18/10/2017 @ 14:12)

Too rude for Paris? 'Copulating' sculpture causes stir in French capital

Dutch artist says it is not sexual, but Louvre decided giant sculpture of human appearing to copulate with an animal was too rude to be displayed

From a vandalised butt-plug to a desecrated “queen's vagina”, Paris has often been at the centre of rows over whether some public art is supposedly too rude to go on show.

But the latest spat over a giant metal sculpture of a box-like figure appearing to copulate with a geometric being on all fours is proof that the label “too rude” can, for some Paris museums, be seen as a badge of pride.

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(18/10/2017 @ 11:26)

Argentina halts election campaign after body, thought to be missing activist, found

  • Body found at site where activist Santiago Maldonado was last seen
  • Major parties suspend campaigning before midterm elections on Sunday

Major parties running in Argentina's midterm congressional election on Sunday have suspended their campaigns after a body, thought to be that of a young protester who went missing more than two months ago, was found in a river.

A government spokeswoman said President Mauricio Macri's Cambiemos (Let's Change) coalition would halt campaigning for the rest of the day after investigators on Tuesday discovered the body in the Chubut river in the country's southern Patagonia region.

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(18/10/2017 @ 12:32)

Saudi scholars to vet teaching of prophet Muhammad to curb extremism

Royal order decrees King Salman Complex be set up in holy city of Medina to root out ‘fake and extremist texts'

Saudi authorities have taken an “unprecedented” step to tackle Islamic extremism by setting up a council of scholars to vet religious teachings around the world.

A royal order issued this week by King Salman established a global body of elite scholars based in the holy city of Medina to root out and “eliminate fake and extremist texts”.

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(18/10/2017 @ 10:38)

Maryland police search for gunman after three killed in office park shooting

Harford County sheriff says 37-year-old Radee Labeeb Prince opened fire with a handgun at an office park, killing three people and wounding two

A gunman opened fire at a Maryland office park on Wednesday morning, killing three co-workers and wounding two others, authorities and the business owner said.

A manhunt was underway for 37-year-old Radee Labeeb Prince, who was considered armed and dangerous.

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(18/10/2017 @ 12:54)

Twitter further tightens abuse rules in attempt to prove it cares

Company updates rules on hate speech, revenge porn and violent groups to counter perceptions social network is not doing enough to protect users

Twitter is introducing new rules around hate symbols, sexual advances and violent groups, in an effort to counter perceptions that the social network is not doing enough to protect those who feel silenced on the site.

The company was planning to announce the new rules later on this week, but they leaked in an email to Wired magazine, which published the changes on Tuesday.

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(18/10/2017 @ 08:18)

I am Catalan: 'Political parties are like something from a horror novel' – video

As the north-eastern Spanish region continues the debate over its independence, we are in Catalonia hearing from people worried that the mainstream media is not representing their views. The fifth and final video of the series looks at the perspective of Isabel Muà±oz Mitjana, who thinks using fear to influence people's decision-making is wrong and just wants people to talk to each other

• Follow the series here

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(13/10/2017 @ 04:38)

Labour MP Laura Pidcock talks to Owen Jones: 'The DWP has caused fear and terror' - video

Laura Pidcock tells Owen Jones the Department for Work and Pensions is 'a national disgrace', saying it has created a sense of fear and terror by treating those in need as criminals. The MP for North West Durham says she regularly sees people in her surgery who are suicidal

An extended version of this video is available on Owen Jones's YouTube channel

In the UK, Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123. In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is 13 11 14. Other international suicide helplines can be found at

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(12/10/2017 @ 05:30)

'They attack us just for being who we are': trans life in Colombia – video

Being openly trans in Colombia is dangerous. The country ranks fourth in the world for the murder of transgender people. Across Latin America, the life expectancy of trans women – due to violence, poverty and the risk of HIV – is estimated at between 35 and 41 years. Attitudes are slowly beginning to change, however, as trans men and women speak out against attacks and discrimination

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(12/10/2017 @ 02:00)

I am Catalan: 'It's about building a new society for all' – video

As Catalonia continues to debate independence from Spain, the Guardian has been hearing from people in the region who worry that their views have not been represented in the mainstream media. In the third video of our series, Anna Coll, a member of the pro-independence CUP and a resident of Sant Feliu de Llobregat, argues that a breakaway is the only option for improving living conditions for all Catalans.

• This is the third of five videos in our ‘I am Catalan' series. Watch them all here.

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(11/10/2017 @ 06:49)

Home Match – a young Ukrainian woman torn between football and family

The latest Guardian documentary tells the story of Alina, a talented footballer thrown into being a primary caregiver after a family tragedy

Home Match follows one crucial year in the life of Alina Shilova, a young Ukrainian woman born and raised in the poor suburbs of Kiev, and torn between playing football and looking after her family.

Alina's life has always been based on playing football, and she was considered for the Ukrainian national football team. Her coach knows she is talented but Alina is failing to live up to her potential. Often her mind is on other things – her mother has long been unable to look after her young brother and sister. After tragedy strikes the family, and with no alternative, Alina becomes the main caregiver for her siblings, responsible for paying the bills and getting them ready for an important new school year.

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(06/10/2017 @ 08:12)

I am Catalan: 'Families are broken, people have fallen out' - video

While the north-eastern Spanish region prepares for the potential declaration of independence, we went to Catalonia to hear from people worried that the mainstream media are not representing their voices. 

The second of our video series looks at the perspective of Barcelona-born filmmaker Isabel Coixet, who sees flags dividing the Catalonian people and families being broken apart because of the debate on independence. 

 Follow the series here

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(10/10/2017 @ 03:00)

Marshall review – Chadwick Boseman holds court in powerful civil rights drama

The Black Panther star is outstanding as the real-life hotshot lawyer who defended a black man accused of rape by a white woman in 1941

It's impossible not to get caught up in this ripping courtroom drama that watchably restages an episode early in the career of the legendary civil rights lawyer Thurgood Marshall, a decade before he worked on landmark segregation cases in the deep south. It's 1941 and Marshall (Chadwick Boseman) is a hotshot young NAACP attorney, who, like Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird, is defending a black man accused of rape by a white woman.

As legal drama, this is fairly conventional, stuffed to the brim with stirring speeches and Ah-ha! moments of cross examination theatrics. Sometimes, it feels a bit glib in its focus on the bromance between Thurman and the local white lawyer (Josh Gad) he hires to work with him, though Downton's Dan Stevens is nicely cast as the nasty golden-boy prosecutor who becomes increasingly peevish as the trial wears on.

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(18/10/2017 @ 10:30)

Chris Packham: Asperger's and Me review – a brave, ballsy film

The TV naturalist wants viewers to understand what it's like to be him – ​and the results are brilliant

‘When you first lick the back side of a beetle that's oozing a yellow fluid, and it's bitter on the taste of your tongue as if you've licked a dirty old sixpence, and it doesn't go away for an hour, that's a really quite powerful thing,” says Chris Packham.

I'm hoping it's back side, not backside. And beetle, not Beatle … Anyway, having spent his entire life hiding his form of autism, the TV naturalist is opening up about it. He wants people to begin to understand what it feels like to be him. Chris Packham: Asperger's and Me (BBC2), it's called. And it's brilliant.

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(18/10/2017 @ 06:57)

Albion review – Mike Bartlett captures nation's neurotic divisions

Almeida theatre, London
Victoria Hamilton is on breathtaking form as a grieving mother in the Doctor Foster writer's richly layered play inspired by Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard

Gardens often acquire a symbolic value in drama. Since the one in Mike Bartlett's fascinating, complex new play is called Albion, and is attached to a rambling Oxfordshire house, it is pretty clear we are watching is state-of-the-nation stuff. But what makes the play so enormously intriguing is that, as in his King Charles III, Bartlett shows us as a deeply divided people torn between the urge to preserve the past and to radically reform it.

Related: Mike Bartlett: Doctor Foster writer whose work 'attacks apathy'

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(18/10/2017 @ 05:49)

My Little Pony: The Movie review – horsing around in cloud cuckoo land

Emily Blunt lends her voice to the latest outing for a featherlight franchise that nods to minipops feminism while it flogging its kid-friendly merchandise

The Hasbroisation of cinema continues apace, although after the relentless din of five Transformers and a Battleship, it's almost a relief to be confronted with something of a more bucolic stripe.

Scholars of the MLP canon should be advised that this full-length animation abandons the comparatively hip Equestria Girls strand of 2015's Friendship Games – wherein the ponies were magicked into smart-talking college students – in favour of a return to the cloud cuckoo land from where the franchise comes. Thus we find earnest purple nag Twilight Sparkle's efforts to stage the annual Friendship festival sabotaged by underbrushed outsider Tempest Shadow – the latter voiced by Emily Blunt, who must have really loved these toys as a child to have wound up in this vicinity.

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(18/10/2017 @ 08:00)

Nature and Necessity by Tariq Goddard review – debauchery and class war in the country

There are hints of PG Wodehouse and EF Benson in a modern take on the country house novel that takes in broad humour and contemporary mores

For a genre rooted in the 19th century, the country house novel has proved amazingly durable. Tariq Goddard has set his latest book in a North Yorkshire house called The Heights, “once an Arts and Crafts cottage, now arguably the most attractive dwelling in the county”. It is quite a departure for a writer best known for his novels about men in wartime, such as his 2002 debut Homage to a Firing Squad, which was shortlisted for the Whitbread first novel prize.

Nature and Necessity opens in the 1970s and ends roughly around the present day. The lady of the house is Petula Montague, who married into money in the form of her second husband, Noah. She has two children from her previous marriage whom she alternately dominates and neglects; Evita eventually runs away and becomes a drug-addled hippy, whereas Jasper, or Jazzy as he is known, stays on the family estate as a disgruntled labourer, “like a cross between Arthur Scargill and Bill Sikes”. Petula lavishes all her attention on her daughter with Noah, Regan (the King Lear reference is entirely relevant). She encourages people to refer to them as “the sisters”, and we are told “there had never been a point in her life where she considered her daughter's property or affairs separate from her own”.

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(18/10/2017 @ 07:00)

Ivo Graham: Educated Guess review – Eton schooldays and leftie laughs

Soho theatre, London
There's plenty to admire in Graham's new show, including a teenage appearance on The Weakest Link and a fresh-minted routine about the £1 coin

‘Push the envelope, but don't lose sight of the envelope.” Ivo Graham's show is full of nifty coinages sending up his own restraint. “This maverick,” he'll call himself, before telling us the seat-of-the-pants tale of how he left renewing his Young Person's Railcard till the last possible moment. It's funny – but might be more so were he not a mite restrained on stage too. Transferring from the Edinburgh fringe, Educated Guess is a strong show, but the longer it goes on, the more I wanted Graham to unzip the burbling, punctilious persona, unshackle from the script – and lose sight of the envelope entirely.

Related: Angels and demons: the unmissable theatre, comedy and dance of autumn 2017

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(18/10/2017 @ 08:12)

Vagabon review – indie's enchanting outcast roars in ear-bleeding triumph

Shacklewell Arms, London
The self-professed ‘weird black girl' of the DIY rock scene charmed a swaying crowd with songs of heartache and identity crisis

‘Run and tell everybody that Laetitia is a small fish … and you're a shark that eats every fish,” sings Laetitia Tamko, aka Vagabon, on The Embers, the punky shebang that resonates more strongly than any other song of this short show. It's certainly the one that has the audience most vigorously indie-dancing – swaying from the waist upward – and singing along. Of the eight tracks on Vagabon's debut album, Infinite Worlds, The Embers is the strongest (and catchiest) expression of feeling small and overwhelmed; the fans' response feels like a gesture of solidarity.

Tamko is a Cameroon-born 24-year-old who moved to New York at 14 and gravitated to Brooklyn's DIY rock scene, where she wondered why there weren't more “weird black girls” involved. Vagabon offers encouragement to anyone else who feels institutionally marginalised and might be minded to make inroads into a traditionally white genre, but it's also Tamko's own story. Backed here by a drummer and a bassist, who heighten the raw sound she produces with voice and guitar, Tamko faces her songs head-on.

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(18/10/2017 @ 06:25)

The Origin of Others by Toni Morrison review – the language of race and racism

The author of Beloved reads that novel alongside the real-life story that inspired it, in one of a resonant set of lectures on literature and the fetishisation of skin colour

It is hard not to read Toni Morrison's The Origin of Others in the light of recent disturbing political developments in the US. As Ta-Nehisi Coates points out in his introduction, the central concerns of this slim book, based on Morrison's 2016 Norton lectures at Harvard on “the literature of belonging”, may seem to have a new resonance after the election of Trump and given the increasing visibility of white supremacist groups.

Morrison considers the fetishisation of skin colour and the questions posed by our era of mass migration, and offers elegant reminders of some well-known but still unpalatable facts. One is that human beings invent and reinforce dehumanising categories of otherness in order to justify economic exploitation and to shore up our sense of security and belonging. That process of self-justification requires and encourages an extraordinary level of sadism.

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(18/10/2017 @ 02:30)

‘We can take it almost anywhere': how Brexit threatens the UK's creative industries

Leading lights from the fastest growing area of the economy say it relies on freedom of movement and, without access to overseas talent, it will wither

At least 40 screens line the white-brick and plate-glass walls of Jellyfish Pictures' industrial-style office near London's Oval, but the space is strangely silent: the powerful computers they are hooked up to are all somewhere else.

“Lots of companies in computer graphics, visual effects, animation, you'd hear the hum of the machines,” says Phil Dobree, Jellyfish's CEO. “This is virtual. It means we can take it almost anywhere.” And they might.

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(18/10/2017 @ 19:01)

Astana's plan to stay warm in the winter? Build a ring of one million trees

In 1997 the Kazakh president launched a plan to protect his new capital from the icy winds of the featureless steppes with a ring of trees. Twenty years on, his scientists are still struggling to grow forests in a spot where no trees stood

“Do you know why women in Astana don't get expensive haircuts?” asked television presenter Dinara Tursunova. “Because no sooner do you leave the beauty salon, the wind blows away your hairdo, and with it all the money you spent.”

Looking good in the capital city of Kazakhstan is hard work. When Tursunova moved to Astana three years ago for a job with a local broadcaster, what first struck her was the cold and the wind. “In winter I go around the city in skiing outfits and fur-lined sneakers. It probably wouldn't hurt to put spikes on my shoes. When the wind starts whipping up, you will see people on the ice literally flying away,” she says.

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(18/10/2017 @ 12:00)

'We went days without eating properly': how universal credit brought misery to Inverness

People who were never in debt before have been catapulted into crisis in trial of benefit whose rollout continues despite concerns

For many of Inverness's universal credit guinea pigs, the past year has been exceptionally stressful. The many glitches of a malfunctioning scheme have already caused widespread misery in this city, which has been trialling various forms of universal credit since 2013. The problems unfolding here offer a taste of what is to come when the system goes nationwide.

The escalating difficulties experienced by Mhairi Thomson, a 35-year-old care worker who faced eviction from her home of 16 years, are typical. She claimed universal credit last September just before she got married; her fiance was moving into the house she shared with her 15-year-old daughter – forcing a reassessment of her benefit eligibility and shifting her on to the new system.

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(18/10/2017 @ 02:19)

His Dark Materials: the enduring, terrifying appeal of Philip Pullman's world

La Belle Sauvage will return readers to Lyra's universe tomorrow, 17 years after Pullman's original trilogy ended. But His Dark Materials remains a radical read – and a true modern classic

Children's authors are always being invited to speak in schools and, at every visit, I ask the question: “If your soul was in animal form, what would it be?” Without fail, every hand goes up.

Daemons capture the imagination in a way that few other concepts do. Reading Philip Pullman's Northern Lights as a 10-year-old, it made perfect sense to me that people should have a crucial part of themselves that inhabited a separate, animal being: two halves of the same whole. Like many children, I longed for my own daemon, but not in the way that I longed for my Hogwarts letter. Daemons were not magical diversions, but a way of bedding deeper into your reality. In place of escape, they offered understanding.

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(18/10/2017 @ 09:06)

Mr Robot or Mr Woebot? Why the hacker drama might need a restart

It's still one of the best shows on TV, but as the third season starts there's a sense it's lost some of the initial complexity and purpose

  • Warning: contains spoilers – do not read unless you are up to date

For many fans Mr Robot's main attraction was the fact it wasn't like anything else out there. In its first season it took the unreliable narrator trope and flipped it; made other characterisations of mental health look hackneyed and used some pretty weird camera angles to great effect. Elliot Alderson's mission to exact revenge against E Corp, while battling his own inner demons – and Christian Slater – was riveting. But is it beginning to lose its appeal?

At the start of the third season the cliffhanger ending concluded in a predictable and – narratively speaking – tidy manner: Elliot is alive, and so is Mr Robot. The new arc revolves around Elliot recognising his plot with fsociety to bring down the world economy backfired and committing to undoing or at least diminishing the impact of his handiwork. Angela Moss is inching ever closer to the dark side, the FBI are as incompetent as ever (except for Grace Gummer's Dominique DiPierro) and the Dark Army are an omnipotent threat who seem happy to sit back and let things play out. It's a sea change from the start of the second series when its refusal to conform or neatly explain almost anything was held up by supporters as a badge of honour.

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(18/10/2017 @ 06:00)

Catalonia: what next for the independence movement?

Spain's government has given Catalonia's leader until Thursday to end his secession campaign or risk losing regional autonomy

A little more than two weeks after the Catalan independence referendum, which plunged Spain into its worst political crisis in 40 years, the Madrid government is preparing to take the unprecedented step of suspending Catalonia's regional autonomy and imposing direct rule.


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(18/10/2017 @ 10:03)

Supply teachers: ‘I spend £1,000 a year on materials for my pupils'

New research shows that 94% of staff pay for essential classroom materials. Five teachers describe how the schools funding crisis is leaving them out of pocket

Would you expect a nurse to have to pay for paracetamol for their patients or a firefighter to foot the bill for the water they use in putting out fires? With the schools budget in England slashed by £2.8bn since 2015 – an average of £53,000 and £178,000 for each primary and secondary school respectively – this is increasingly the reality for teachers.

New research from the National Education Union (the newly merged National Union of Teachers and the Association of Teachers and Lecturers) and TES has revealed that 94% of teachers are having to pay for school essentials such as books, while 73% are regularly paying for stationery supplies, because their schools are underfunded. For some, expenses total £1,000, while two-thirds have made cash donations – and this comes on top of the 42% of parents who were asked to donate to their children's school this year. Other parents and carers have been asked to supply teaching equipment such as stationery and books, in addition to essentials such as toilet paper.

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(18/10/2017 @ 11:53)

Kicked out for being gay then rescued by opera: writer Garth Greenwell's extraordinary awakening

Thrown out of his Kentucky home for being gay, the writer felt his life spiralling downwards. Then he took up opera singing – and everything he had been forced to suppress suddenly exploded out

I became an opera singer because I failed ninth-grade English. I was a terrible student, lazy and without any apparent gifts, and my mark fell further because shortly before semester's end my father discovered I was gay and kicked me out. My parents were divorced, and though my mother would have her own long journey when it came to accepting a gay son, she took me in. Even with a bed to sleep in, though, the change in my situation, and the sudden separation from my father, left little room for study. A guidance counsellor sat me down to explain that as a communications student I wouldn't be able to graduate on time with a missed semester of English; her suggestion was that I change the focus of my studies. I remember looking over the brochure she handed me and being surprised to see that one possibility was choir – the school had the city's only high-school performing arts programme. I had never been musical but I had sung in church choir and I remember thinking that, of the choices available, choir would surely be the easiest.

It frightens me a little, to think of all that followed from that choice. The choral director, David Brown, heard something promising in my voice. He started giving me lessons after school, for free – and at a cost to himself I wouldn't understand until decades later when I worked as a teacher and realised how precious that time must have been. He worked with me on scales and exercises and finally simple songs. He taught me about breath and support, and I felt my voice take on a power and spaciousness that surprised and thrilled me. It was my voice, I felt as I sang, but grander than my voice; it suggested I had unsuspected dimensions. He also introduced me to opera, lending me recordings and video tapes, and in doing so gave me my first real experience of art.

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(18/10/2017 @ 12:10)

Sory Sanlé's best photograph: the studio where dreams came true

‘We fulfilled people's fantasies. We gave them a chance to experiment, to escape their ordinary lives. The aeroplane backdrop was particularly popular'

I grew up in a rural area of what is now Burkina Faso, but I moved to Bobo-Dioulasso, the country's second city, when I was about 17. There was a real buzz about the town. I started taking ID photos, straight-up portraits, for a small fee. With the help of my cousin Idrissa Koné, who was a musician and entrepreneur, I was able to set up a studio called Volta Photo. That's when it all began.

At first, I only had one backdrop, a set of Roman columns. But in my second studio, I had a bit more space, so I commissioned a few more from artists in Ghana and Benin. The aeroplane backdrop was particularly popular with young people who couldn't afford to travel. It gave them a chance to experiment, to escape their ordinary lives and play with elements of the modern world. My studio fulfilled people's fantasies.

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(18/10/2017 @ 12:26)

Terrace House: the must-watch Japanese reality show in which nothing happens

Relationships move at a snail's pace, everyone is polite and there are no showboats having tantrums. So why is everyone hooked on Netflix's sleeper hit?

The most feverishly discussed show on Netflix right now isn't an outrageous sadcom featuring a middle-aged comic playing a horse. Rather, the streaming giant's biggest sleeper hit is a Japanese reality show – in which almost nothing happens at all.

Japanese television might come with a whole host of traumatic associations – the country is famous for its wacky gameshows featuring people eating household objects and performing sex acts on each other. But reality show Terrace House is light years away from that kind of Technicolor debauchery. A dating programme in which three boys and three girls move into an impeccably stylish house (the terrace of the title doesn't refer to an Anglophilic two-up, two-down, sadly, but a balcony), the contestants' budding romances move at a snail's pace – months in and they are still trying to negotiate their way of the friendzone, let alone cross the border into each other's beds. Love Island this most certainly isn't.

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(18/10/2017 @ 06:43)

Carry on up the Kremlin: how The Death of Stalin plays Russian roulette with the truth

Armando Iannucci's new film is a romp through some of the darkest days of the 20th century. But, asks one historian, is farce really the best way to understand the dictator's murderous regime – or its legacy in Russia today?

My first memory of the outside world was watching my parents as they heard an announcement on the radio that Joseph Stalin was dead. The news was greeted not with relish but with awe and apprehension. The Soviet dictator was a colossal figure in the mid-20th century, even in the west. His death on 5 March 1953 was a reference point not just for the Soviet people but for the wider world. Now it is history.

That is until now. With The Death of Stalin, director Armando Iannucci has brought the story surrounding the dictator's last hours and the political scramble among his potential successors to a modern audience. The subject is a strange choice. Where the suicide of Hitler in the bunker has a squalid drama, captured effectively in the 2004 film Downfall, the death of Stalin has to have the drama squeezed out of it, drop by drop. He did not take his own life nor, as far as the evidence suggests, did anyone else. He died of natural causes at his dacha outside Moscow, surrounded by his fearful and sycophantic court.

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(18/10/2017 @ 01:00)

'I was very comforted': gold star families recall receiving condolences from Obama

After Donald Trump criticised Barack Obama for not calling fallen service members' loved ones, bereaved military families paint a contrasting picture

Stephanie Fisher got the letter about a week later, delivered by an army casualty assistance officer: the president of the United States wished to express his condolences over the death of her son.

Staff Sgt Thomas Kent Fogarty, a 30-year-old father of two, was killed in Afghanistan in May 2012 by an improvised explosive device.

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(18/10/2017 @ 07:50)

Snake Outta Compton: finally, the hip-hop monster movie the world's been waiting for

Following the hallowed path marked out by Sharknado, this bargain-bin effort looks set to push the B-movie to new heights of self-aware silliness. We break down its trailer

Sharknado is old hat. Lavalantula? Passé. Supergator? Consider yourself retired. If you're a fan of objectively bad films with stupid names about large animals, which you'll watch drunk one night because it sounds funny (only to immediately realise that you much prefer films with things like plot and production design), you are in for a treat. Ladies and gentlemen, may I present Snake Outta Compton.

I mean, I could just stop there. Really, the title is all you need to know about Snake Outta Compton. There's a snake – and let's presume, given our affinity with the genre, that it's quite a big snake – and it terrorises Compton. The end. We can also assume that the title came long before the film, and that the budget is so tiny that we'll only actually see the snake in about three scenes.

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(18/10/2017 @ 09:51)

Are white hipsters hijacking an anti-gentrification fight in Los Angeles?

As the Latino neighbourhood of Boyle Heights combats soaring property prices, some condemn outsiders' involvement – but others welcome their input

The Los Angeles neighbourhood of Boyle Heights has become a landmark battleground in the movement against gentrification, a contest widely seen as pitting working-class Latino activists against an influx of white-owned galleries.

The tactics – rallies, threats, boycotts, confrontations, smashed windows, graffiti saying “fuck white art” – are controversial and effective: one gallery has fled, others are nervous and have cancelled or moved events.

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(18/10/2017 @ 07:00)

French Aids drama BPM shows Hollywood how to capture gay history

The Oscar-buzzed film is refreshingly queer, filled with an authenticity that sanitised disappointments such as Dallas Buyers Club and Stonewall still fail to include

It has been a landmark year for LGBT cinema. From Moonlight's Oscar victory to the triumphant Sundance premieres of gay romances God's Own Country and Call Me By Your Name; from the transgender breakthrough of Chile's A Fantastic Woman to the mainstream politicking of Battle of the Sexes, we're seeing a wider-than-ever array of approaches to sexuality on film, no longer confined to the arthouse fringe.

Related: After the Moonlight fades: what's next for LGBT cinema

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(18/10/2017 @ 07:00)

'The threats continue​': murder of retired couple chills fellow activists in Turkey

The killing of two activists who successfully campaigned to shut down a mine has shocked environmentalists in Turkey who fear their deaths will embolden others to kill to protect their profits

• Interactive: recording the deaths of environmental activists around the world

Cedar branches whisper in the Anatolian breeze. Twigs crunch underfoot. A truck rumbles from a distant marble quarry. The crack of a hunter's rifle echoes through the forest.

The sounds of tranquility and violence intermingle at the remote hillside home of Aysin and Ali Bà¼yà¼knohutçu, the Turkish beekeepers and environmental defenders whose murder in Finike earlier this year has sent a chill through the country's conservation movement.

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(18/10/2017 @ 00:00)

CliFi – A new way to talk about climate change | John Abraham

If you're not familiar with the new genre of climate fiction, you might be soon.

Cli-Fi refers to “climate fiction;” it is a term coined by journalist Dan Bloom. These are fictional books that somehow or someway bring real climate change science to the reader. What is really interesting is that Cli-Fi books often present real science in a credible way. They become fun teaching tools. There are some really well known authors such as Paolo Bacigalupi and Margaret Atwood among others. A list of other candidate Cli-Fi novels was provided by Sarah Holding in the Guardian.

What makes a Cli-Fi novel good? Well in my opinion, it has to have some real science in it. And it has to get the science right. Second, it has to be fun to read. When done correctly, Cli-Fi can connect people to their world; it can help us understand what future climate may be like, or what current climate effects are.

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(18/10/2017 @ 06:00)

Guo Pei: the Chinese designer who made Rihanna's omelette dress

She went viral when a pop star wore her at the 2015 Met Gala. Now the Beijing native is the subject of a book, a documentary and an exhibition. Here, she talks about her ‘completely unexpected' rise to fame

Chinese designer Guo Pei had been creating couture for more than 30 years when Rihanna stepped on to the red carpet in an extraordinary yellow cape two years ago. Dubbed the omelette dress for its striking resemblance to brunch, it went viral and made the world notice Guo's work.

The dress wasn't designed for Rihanna. In fact, it had been sitting in Guo's studio for three years when the singer's team came across it after making inquiries into Chinese couture during the run up to the 2015 Met Gala, the theme of which was China: Through the Looking Glass.

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(18/10/2017 @ 01:01)

Tashkent City: is 'progress' worth the price being paid in Uzbekistan?

The silver skyscrapers of Tashkent City are intended to declare Uzbekistan's capital ‘open for business'. But for the residents of the historic mahalla districts, the cost is extreme

Abdujalil Azimov sits on a stool listening to Uzbek pop on a transistor radio as his sheep graze contentedly in the evening sunshine on a strip of grass in the centre of Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan.

In front rises a line of gleaming white marble blocks containing opulent new flats. Behind him sprawls Olmazor, a centuries-old higgledy piggledy settlement of wattle-and-daub houses that harks back to the ancient history of this central Asian city that was once a pitstop on the Silk Road.

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(18/10/2017 @ 02:30)

What can your period tell you about the state of your health?

Bodyform's new sanitary towel ad uses red liquid to represent period discharge – about bloody time. Making menstruation more visible in advertising – and conversation – is good for us

Bodyform has broken convention: the feminine hygiene brand's latest sanitary towel advert is the first to use red liquid. The fact that showing liquid that looks like blood to denote real blood counts as taboo-breaking is as ridiculous as the blue liquid inflicted on our fragile sensibilities for years. As Bodyform's slogan declares: “Periods are normal. Showing them should be too.”

This is about more than advertising. Making periods visible – by using red liquid, but also in discourse – is good for your health. Women's health is routinely underresearched, but you can learn a lot from the state of your period.

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(18/10/2017 @ 12:55)

How to do the perfect plank

How do you know you're planking wrong? You can feel it in your core. Here's how to nail the popular exercise

The plank is the easiest core exercise known to man, woman and fitness model, right? When done correctly, it strengthens your abdominal region, bottom, upper thighs, arms and shoulders. It can be done anywhere, anytime, in almost any clothing and as competitively as you like. (Planking, the exercise, shouldn't be confused with planking, the meme, a fad for being photographed prostrate, often in a public place.) Last year, a Chinese police officer held the position for an unthinkable eight hours, one minute and one second, setting a new world record.

Yet many personal trainers and models are still doing it wrong, whether they exhibit a concave lower back, a hen-pecking neck or a bum facing skywards.

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(18/10/2017 @ 09:39)

Arm's length: the best long-sleeved dresses – in pictures

From chevrons to stripes and constellation prints, here is our pick of the season's best dresses that will also keep you warm

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(18/10/2017 @ 11:15)

Kitchen gadgets review: watermelon slicer – like taking a fruit biopsy

This tool is more efficient than a spoon, but has a distinct air of melon-choly. Does anyone really need a melon-aid?

The iGadget watermelon slicer (£4.05, is a double-bladed, flexible scoop used to segment a gourd along its interior wall, then grip and lift the portion.

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(18/10/2017 @ 07:00)

Rockstar Beowulf and the Hartlepool monkey: kids' shows with big ideas

From a junior Brexit parable to a stadium-gig version of the Anglo-Saxon epic, children's theatre is tackling grownup themes in striking fashion

‘After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most of in the world,” suggests Philip Pullman. Telling old stories in new ways is one of the things theatre does best. The audience for those stories – whether six or 60 years old – can determine startling new perspectives too. So it's no surprise that three of our most interesting playwrights, Carl Grose, Sabrina Mahfouz and Chris Thorpe, are turning their hand to theatre for children.

There are many versions of the story retold by Grose in The Hartlepool Monkey, about a primate washed up alive on the beach of the English town during the Napoleonic war. The townspeople mistook the poor animal for a French spy and promptly hanged it. Hartlepool FC still boasts a monkey mascot, although the story hardly shows the town in the best light, as it's one that highlights ignorance, prejudice and xenophobia.

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(18/10/2017 @ 07:54)

Smoke on the water in the Swiss Alps – in pictures

In our weekly look at people's travel through three of their Instagram shots, teenage ‘Alpinist' Fabio Zingg takes a peek at Switzerland's peaks

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(18/10/2017 @ 07:58)

What is your attitude toward alcohol consumption in front of children?

A new study says moderate drinking could harm children and their relationship with parents. We'd like to hear your opinions and experiences

Parents risk damaging their children with even moderate drinking, according to a new study by the Institute of Alcohol Studies (IAS).

The report, co-produced with the Alcohol and Families Alliance and Alcohol Focus Scotland, says 29% of parents believe it is acceptable to get drunk in front of their children occasionally.

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(18/10/2017 @ 05:41)

Have you experienced hate crime since the Westminster Bridge terrorist attack?

As a spike in hate crime offences in England and Wales was recorded after the attack in March, we'd like you to share your experiences with us

The number of hate crime offences in England and Wales recorded by police saw a four-month surge after the Westminster Bridge attack on 22 March, with figures reaching a higher level than what followed the EU referendum.

The police recorded a monthly peak of 6,000 incidents in June compared to 5,500 in July 2016. According to provisional police figures, since March 2017 the number of hate crimes continued to increase after the attacks in Manchester, London Bridge and Finsbury Park.

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(17/10/2017 @ 06:45)

What does playing in the FA Cup first round mean to you?

If you're taking part in the FA Cup first round – as a fan, player, coach, manager, board member or in any way at all – we'd like to hear from you

Eighty teams will contest the first round of the FA Cup at the start of November, when there will be plenty of opportunities for the underdogs to shine. What will it mean for eighth-tier Hyde United to host League One's MK Dons at Ewen Fields? How will Heybridge Swifts fare on their travels to League Two high flyers Exeter City? Maybe you're part of the Truro City team who are representing Cornwall for the first time at this stage since 1969?

If your team has made it into the first round draw, we'd like to hear from you. Whether you're a player, a member of the coaching staff or a fan who will be cheering from the stands, share your FA Cup first round hopes by filling in the form below. We'll feature some of your contributions on the site before the matches kick off on 6 November.

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(18/10/2017 @ 08:43)

Reboot your career with a job in robotics – live chat

If you are interested in a career in artificial intelligence, ask our experts for advice on Wednesday 18 October from 1–2.30pm BST

  • We are leaving comments open until midnight on 18 October, as this Q&A started late due to technical difficulties. If you would like to ask our experts a question, please comment below

In the last year robots have got a bad rep. Headlines have dubbed machines our “future bosses”, with economists predicting more than 40% of UK jobs will be automated by 2030. But as machine learning improves, there is one sector which is booming: robotics.

In the last three years the number of jobs in artificial intelligence (AI) has increased by almost 500%, according to data from Indeed. Currently, there are more than double the number of jobs than applicants – with companies fighting to grab the best talent.

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(15/10/2017 @ 05:00)

Select political leaders on EQ, rather than IQ | Letters

Perhaps it should not be the class of the degree obtained by which we should judge or select our leaders, writes Mike Elwood, but rather other criteria. Plus letters from Ian Lowery and David Nowell

Perhaps it should not be the class of the degree obtained by which we should judge or select our leaders, but the subject (Letters, 14 October)? Of the two examples cited, Eden studied Oriental languages; Cameron read PPE. Perhaps we should be selecting leaders who, for example, can build (and have built) bridges, or who understand the molecular structure of vitamin C or soap, and could synthesise them, or who can cure, and have cured, people of serious diseases. Or instead, or as well, perhaps we should be selecting leaders not on IQ, but on EQ – emotional intelligence.
Mike Ellwood
Abingdon, Oxfordshire

• Although Roger Bardell is correct in asserting that the prime ministers ultimately responsible for the debacles of Suez and Brexit were both Oxford firsts, he fails to mention that they were both also Tories.
Ian Lowery
Kensworth, Bedfordshire

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(17/10/2017 @ 12:20)

World Cup 2018 play-offs: how do you rate your team's chances?

Italy, Switzerland, Croatia, Denmark, Northern Ireland, Sweden, Republic of Ireland and Greece are vying for four places at the World Cup. Who will make it?

Italy, Switzerland, Croatia, Denmark, Northern Ireland, Sweden, Republic of Ireland and Greece are just two games away from securing a place at next summer's World Cup. Now that your opponents have been revealed for next month's two-legged play-offs, we'd like to hear from fans of the eight countries taking part.

Related: World Cup play-offs: Denmark v Rep of Ireland, Northern Ireland v Switzerland

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(17/10/2017 @ 08:41)

Proud to have published Audre Lorde in the UK | Letters

At Sheba Feminist Press we published Lorde's Zami: A New Spelling of My Name, The Cancer Journals, Our Dead Behind Us, and A Burst of Light: and Other Essays, writes Sue O'Sullivan

RO Kwon's review of a welcome new collection of Audre Lorde's work (4 October) rightly highlights the late American writer's relevance for today. But her assertion that Lorde was never published in the UK is wrong. At Sheba Feminist Press we published Lorde's Zami: A New Spelling of My Name (UK 1984, republished 1990), The Cancer Journals (1985), Our Dead Behind Us (1987), and A Burst of Light: and Other Essays (1988). Sheba also hosted Lorde on her trips to the UK when many hundreds of women heard her speak. For a wonderful evocation of Audre's impact as a writer and person, read Jackie Kay's article in a recent edition of the New Statesman (30 September). When Zami was first published here, Jackie was working at Sheba.
Sue O'Sullivan

• Join the debate – email

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(17/10/2017 @ 12:17)

Have you spotted any anti-EU slogans?

Whether it's stickers on cars heading to the continent, or Jean-Claude Juncker costumes for Guy Fawkes night or Halloween, let us know if you've spotted any anti-EU products or literature

As Theresa May heads to Brussels for a diplomacy blitz to try to convince key EU figures to move negotiations along, the odd sign of frustration with the Brexit process has been spotted this side of the channel.

Related: Brussels trip by PM fails to unblock stalemate as both sides harden stance

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(17/10/2017 @ 03:15)

World's crisis over issue of borders and migration | Letters

Readers respond to Gary Younge's article, which argued for an end to all immigration controls

I agree with Gary Younge that borders “exist, by definition, to separate us from others” and that the Berlin Wall was built with “the deliberate intention to trap people in a place they might not want to be” (Border controls are a sign we value money more than people, 16 October). However, let us not forget that the wall's construction was initially met with considerable relief by the west. The US and UK saw it as an end to communist ambitions to retake the whole of Berlin; they felt that it would not have been built if such plans were in the pipeline. The western allies concluded that the possibility of a military conflict with the Soviet Union over Berlin had significantly decreased. The wall's erection was therefore an important step in helping to de-escalate tensions between east and west at a time when the cold war was at its hottest.
Joe McCarthy

• Gary Younge's otherwise excellent article omits one key fact. The reason he kept “butting into” the Berlin Wall on his trip to Berlin in the early 1980s was that the people it was primarily designed to confine were those living in the West Berlin exclave. The GDR's term for it was the “antifaschistischer schutzwall” – the anti-fascist rampart – and it was deemed to be necessary to stop the then Federal Republic from undermining the economy of the new German Democratic Republic. Of course, it also brought East Berliners into very close contact with a border that impeded their free movement, but confinement was on both Germanys' minds.
Janet Fraser

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(17/10/2017 @ 12:22)

How have you been affected by storm Ophelia?

Disruption continues in northern England and Scotland but the storm's force has weakened since three people were killed in Ireland on Monday

Three people died and there was widespread disruption on Monday as storm Ophelia ripped through Ireland.

Related: Ireland braces for landfall of 'violent and destructive' ex-Hurricane Ophelia – live updates

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(16/10/2017 @ 04:13)

Secret Stans week: what it is … and how can you get involved

Guardian Cities is devoting a week to exploring the cities of the five former Soviet ‘Stans' – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan – and we want to hear from you

This week, Guardian Cities is exploring in depth the oft-ignored – and exceedingly difficult to report from – cities of the five “Stans”: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, a quarter of a century after they became independent from the former Soviet Union.

From the bizarre architecture of the “trophy cities” to the joys and struggles of everyday urban life in some very unequal societies, our goal is to engage with the people who actually live in the Stans cities by publishing some of our reporting in the languages spoken there: not just Russian, often considered the language of the elite, but Turkmen, Kazakh, Uzbek, Kyrgyz and Tajik.

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(16/10/2017 @ 02:15)

After hours: readers' photos on the theme of night

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

  • Share your photos on this week's theme ‘loud' by clicking the button below
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(15/10/2017 @ 04:00)

Contribute to a podcast on finding common ground in a polarised world

In this month's We Need to Talk About podcast we'll consider whether society is increasingly divided. We invite Guardian supporters to share their viewpoints and send questions for the panel on this topic

Supporters' voices are essential to our monthly podcast, We Need to Talk About … whether our subject matter is Brexit, nationalism or, as in our most recent edition, population and climate change. But your ideas and points of view are also essential in setting the agenda for our discussion – and this month, the topic for our conversation has been suggested by Henk de Jonge, a Guardian supporter from Okotoks, in Alberta, Canada.

“Will there be a podcast that delves into polarisation, which to me seems the most destructive trend in today's society?” Henk wrote, in a thought-provoking email. “US politics seems to swing further left and particularly right with every election. Europe has bucked the trend, but the risk still exists with integration issues driven by mass migration – which won't stop while climate change takes its toll around the world. Finding common ground seems to become harder and harder.”

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(14/10/2017 @ 05:18)

Brexit, 'no deal' and the Tories: who said what?

Another week of EU negotiations, argument, and speculation has come to an end. How closely have you been paying attention?

"We are seeing a developing disaster, in my view, with the Brexit negotiations."

Ruth Davidson

Anna Soubry

Yvette Cooper

Nicola Sturgeon

"We are preparing for every eventuality. We are committing money to prepare for Brexit, including a no-deal scenario."

Phil Hammond

Boris Johnson

Liam Fox

Theresa May

“As we look forward to the next stage [of negotiations], the ball is in their court. But I am optimistic we will receive a positive response."

David Davis

Michel Barnier

Boris Johnson

Theresa May

"Brexit is not a game. Don't forget it"

Michel Barnier

Nicola Sturgeon

David Davis


"I voted remain for good reasons at the time, but circumstances move on … you're asking me to say how would I vote in a vote now against a different background, a different international background, a different economic background."

Theresa May

Jeremy Corbyn

Amber Rudd

Jeremy Hunt

"I thought the best option was to Remain. I haven't changed my mind on that."

Vince Cable

Nick Clegg

Ken Clarke

Jeremy Corbyn

"I guess the borders have got to be tightened but all that stuff about going ‘this is my country', I don't get that. We all live under one sky."

Elton John

Lily Allen

Liam Gallagher


“There are many of us in the Conservative party that can't believe that we are still debating and divided over the subject of Europe.”

Nicky Morgan

Ken Clarke

John Major

Boris Johnson

"On [the question of financial commitments] we have received a state of deadlock, which is very disturbing."

Guy Verhofstadt

Philip Hammond

Michel Barnier

Liam Gallagher

“We're looking for some urgency from our European partners. It's time to put some tiger in the tank."

Michael Gove

Nigel Farage

Boris Johnson

Jacob Rees-Mogg

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(13/10/2017 @ 04:16)

How can women make it in the music industry? Insiders share their tips

Progress has been slow in bridging the gender divide within the UK music scene. Here successful musicians, producers and executives offer advice on breaking in

Emmy the Great, musician

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(12/10/2017 @ 07:26)

Trevor ‘Ziggy' Byfield obituary

Stage and screen actor who took leading roles in Hair and The Rocky Horror Show

Trevor Byfield, who has died of pneumonia aged 73, was a star of stage musicals under the name Ziggy Byfield before becoming a prolific character actor on television, notable for his craggy face, growling voice and “dodgy geezer” roles as villains and heavies.

He first made his mark in two theatrical and cultural phenomena regarded as outrageous in their time. In 1970 he took over from Oliver Tobias the role of Berger, Paul Nicholas's fellow hippy leader, in the West End production of the American rock musical Hair, which featured nudity and drug-taking, and had opened at the Shaftesbury theatre two years earlier, just a day after the lord chamberlain's powers of stage censorship were ended.

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(18/10/2017 @ 13:25)

French music magazine puts Bertrand Cantat, who murdered girlfriend, on cover

Les Inrockuptibles apologises for ‘suffering caused', after angry backlash to edition featuring singer who beat Marie Trintignant to death

French music magazine Les Inrockuptibles has been criticised as “disgusting” for putting Bertrand Cantat, the singer convicted of murdering his girlfriend, on its front cover.

Cantat was found guilty of murdering actor Marie Trintignant in 2003 and served four years of an eight-year jail sentence. The court was told he hit Trintignant repeatedly in the head and waited for several hours before calling emergency services. She died in hospital.

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(18/10/2017 @ 00:01)

Charles Osborne obituary

Author, poet, biographer and theatre critic who was literature director of the Arts Council of Great Britain

As literature director of the Arts Council of Great Britain during one of its most turbulent periods, Charles Osborne, who has died aged 89, will be remembered by many for his coruscatingly witty memoranda and public responses to criticism of his often controversial policies. But he was also an impressively protean writer, equally at home in biography, journalism, poetry, music, drama and literary criticism.

His writings included studies of the operas of Verdi (for which he had a particular penchant), Wagner, Strauss and Mozart, a biography of WH Auden, and a biographical companion to the works of Agatha Christie. He also had considerable success converting plays into novels, three by Christie (translated into many languages), Noël Coward's Blithe Spirit and Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest among them.

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(18/10/2017 @ 12:43)

Ducktails shows cancelled amid sexual assault allegations

Matt Mondanile's indie project will not be playing multiple US tour dates following accusations

An upcoming tour by Ducktails has been cancelled following allegations of sexual assault against the band's founder Matt Mondanile.

The New Jersey outfit – helmed by former Real Estate guitarist Mondanile – had been due to play 11 dates across the US this autumn. Nine of those shows have now been cancelled. The dropped shows follow an article published by US music website Spin on 16 October, in which seven women accused the musician of sexual misconduct.

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(18/10/2017 @ 06:54)

George Soros gives $18bn to his charitable foundation

Hungary-born financier's donation makes his Open Society Foundations the third largest charitable foundation in the world

The financier George Soros has transferred about $18bn (£13.7bn) to his human rights foundation, bringing his lifetime giving to $32bn and making the foundation one of the world's largest.

The donation makes Soros's Open Society Foundations the third largest charitable foundation in the world, behind the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation and the Wellcome Trust.

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(18/10/2017 @ 05:16)

Stephen Chapman: ‘Slavery is alive in Wales. And there is no silver bullet for it' | Nicola Slawson

Public bodies must collaborate to eliminate hidden exploitation – and people have to be vigilant, says the Welsh anti-slavery tsar Stephen Chapman

In the Senedd in Cardiff, home to the Welsh assembly, Stephen Chapman talks with passion about how modern slavery can be tackled. “No one person can solve the problem. It is a heinous crime and there is no silver bullet for it, so it demands a multi-agency response,” says Wales' anti-slavery tsar.

Related: Modern slavery in the UK is inflicting misery under our noses every day | Abda Khan

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(18/10/2017 @ 03:00)

Small fortune: Trump plummets 92 places in Forbes' American rich list

  • Magazine estimates president's wealth has fallen 31% in two years
  • Trump worth $3.1bn, down from $3.7bn in 2016

Donald Trump has dropped 92 places in the Forbes list of wealthiest Americans, with the magazine putting his wealth at $3.1bn, down from $3.7bn last year.

Related: Trump tax plan for 'average Americans' would mainly help richest 1%, study finds

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(17/10/2017 @ 14:57)

Sculpture by the Sea 2017: coastal artworks go on show – in pictures

The annual art event brings a range of works to the Sydney coastal walk between Bondi beach and Tamarama. This year the outdoor exhibition celebrates its 21st birthday, featuring creations by 104 artists from around Australia and the world. It runs until 5 November

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(18/10/2017 @ 23:37)

A police parade and a giant burger – Wednesday's best photos

The Guardian's picture editors bring you a selection of photo highlights including sculpture by the sea in Sydney and a Johannesburg ceremony

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(18/10/2017 @ 08:07)

Every shade of beige: Soviet-era sanatoriums – in pictures

With decades-old wallpaper, mosaics glorifying workers and treatments such as ‘electrical hot chairs', the sanatoriums of Central Asia are a door to another time

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(18/10/2017 @ 02:00)

Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2017 – the winners

A ceremony at the Natural History Museum, London, will reveal the winners of its Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition on Wednesday. Two overall winning images have been selected from the winners of each category, depicting the incredible diversity of life on our planet. They are on show with 99 other images selected by an international panel of judges at the 53rd exhibition, which opens at the museum on Friday.

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(17/10/2017 @ 18:00)

China's 19th Communist party congress – in pictures

The Chinese Communist party congress has opened in Beijing. The conference is a key meeting held every five years. President Xi Jinping is expected to receive a second term as the ruling Communist party leader. Delegates travel from around China to attend and people tune in from across the country

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(18/10/2017 @ 05:08)

A day in the life of Times Square in New York – in pictures

Times Square is one of the world's busiest pedestrian areas, drawing an estimated 50 million visitors annually. But while most tourists pass through to take a selfie, do some shopping or see a show, the photographer Adam Gray spent a full day from sunrise to sunset in the area once called ‘the crossroads of the world'

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(18/10/2017 @ 02:00)

Homes with famous former owners – in pictures

See houses where painter LS Lowry and singer Edith Piaf once lived, plus those of authors Catherine Cookson and Roger Hargreaves

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(18/10/2017 @ 11:29)

Dernière mise à jour : 18/10/2017 @ 21:54


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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