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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


Theresa May to call on Britons to unite as she triggers article 50

PM signs letter that will be hand-delivered to European council president at the same time as she addresses House of Commons

Theresa May will call on the British people to unite as she triggers article 50, beginning a two-year process that will see the UK leave the European Union and sever a political relationship that has lasted 44 years.

A letter signed by the prime minister will be hand-delivered to the president of the European council at about 12.30pm – as she rises in Westminster to deliver a statement to MPs signalling the end of the UK's most significant diplomatic association since the end of the second world war.

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(28/03/2017 @ 18:31)

Scottish parliament votes for second independence referendum

MSPs pass motion to give Nicola Sturgeon the authority to begin negotiations with UK parliament on breakaway vote

Nicola Sturgeon has won a key Holyrood vote on her plans for a second independence referendum, triggering accusations from UK ministers that her demands are premature.

Sturgeon won by a 10-vote majority after the Scottish Greens backed her proposals to formally request from the UK government the powers to stage a fresh independence vote at around the time Britain leaves the EU, in spring 2019.

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(28/03/2017 @ 13:34)

Trump moves to dismantle Obama's climate legacy with executive order

Environmentalists decry ‘embarrassing' order to review Obama's clean power plan and other regulations, as White House claims victory for coal industry

Donald Trump launched an all-out assault on Barack Obama's climate change legacy on Tuesday with a sweeping executive order that undermines America's commitment to the Paris agreement.

Watched by coalminers at a ceremony at the Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, the president signed an order to trigger a review of the clean power plan, Obama's flagship policy to curb carbon emissions, and rescind a moratorium on the sale of coalmining leases on federal lands.

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(28/03/2017 @ 15:16)

New technology allows tetraplegic man to move hand with thought

Neuroprosthetic procedure first in world to restore brain-controlled reaching and grasping in person with complete paralysis

A man who was paralysed from below the neck after crashing his bike into a truck can once again drink a cup of coffee and eat mashed potato with a fork, after a world-first procedure to allow him to control his hand with the power of thought.

Bill Kochevar, 53, has had electrical implants in the motor cortex of his brain and sensors inserted in his forearm, which allow the muscles of his arm and hand to be stimulated in response to signals from his brain, decoded by computer. After eight years, he is able to drink and feed himself without assistance.

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(28/03/2017 @ 18:30)

François Fillon's wife officially charged over embezzlement of public funds

Inquiry into wife of French presidential candidate comes after hours of questioning over work Penelope Fillon did for her husband

The British-born wife of French presidential candidate François Fillon has been formally put under investigation in the fake jobs scandal that has poisoned her husband's political career.

Penelope Fillon is being prosecuted for embezzlement, misappropriation of public funds and aggravated fraud, it was reported late on Tuesday evening.

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(28/03/2017 @ 17:11)

Stansted runway closed after anti-deportation protesters block flight

Eight activists attempt to stop charter flight scheduled to carry eight deportees to Nigeria and Ghana

The runway at Stansted was closed on Tuesday night after protesters ran out in a bid to prevent a plane carrying eight deportees from taking off.

The campaign group End Deportations said eight activists had locked themselves to a tripod to stop a “mass deportation charter flight” from the Essex airport to Nigeria and Ghana.

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(28/03/2017 @ 18:44)

Westminster terrorist Khalid Masood wasn't an extremist, says ex boss

Killer was open about violent past but showed no interest in local radical groups, says Luton language school director

Westminster terrorist Khalid Masood was an “apolitical” man who showed no interest in radical Islam in the two years he lived in Luton, his former boss said.

Farasat Latif, a director at language school Elas UK where Masood worked between 2010 and summer 2012, said he knew Masood as a charming, friendly and professional employee who was open about getting his life back on track after a violent past.

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(28/03/2017 @ 15:48)

Airline association head: US and UK electronics bans are not sustainable

‘It is difficult to understand' the effectiveness of recent measures affecting flights from countries in the Middle East and elsewhere, says IATA chief

British and US bans on laptops and tablet computers in flight cabins are not sustainable in the long term, the head of the association representing airlines said Tuesday.

“The current measures are not acceptable as a long-term solution to whatever threat they are trying to mitigate,” said Alexandre de Juniac, director general of the International Air Transport Association.

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(28/03/2017 @ 18:21)

Home Office contractor 'restrains disabled Yarls Wood woman by chain'

Wheelchair user Lovelyn Edobor says Capita firm escorts, acting to deport her, ‘dragged her like a goat' at Heathrow

A disabled victim of trafficking has complained that she was forced into a waist restraint belt and dragged along “like a goat” when the Home Office tried to remove her from the UK on Saturday.

Lovelyn Edobor, from Nigeria, had been held at Yarls Wood immigration removal centre, Bedfordshire, for several months before the Home Office attempted to forcibly remove her from the UK. The 49-year-old suffers from advanced osteoarthritis in both knees and chronic generalised arthritis, and uses a wheelchair.

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(28/03/2017 @ 14:36)

Channel 4 to stay in public hands amid pressure to relocate

After major review, culture secretary rules out privatisation but says broadcaster should move influence beyond London

The culture secretary has ruled out privatising Channel 4 following a protracted review of its long-term future, but in return wants the state-owned broadcaster to relocate some or all of its operations outside London.

Karen Bradley will use a speech in Salford to announce that the new home of The Great British Bake Off will remain publicly owned, while increasing pressure for it to move large parts of its business from its existing headquarters.

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(28/03/2017 @ 12:35)

I was vulnerable and wanted a home. What I got was a workhouse | Daniel Lavelle

A homeless charity offered me food and board. But I had to work a tough 40-hour week for a meagre allowance – and others like me are being treated the same way

There are many reasons why I became homeless, but no one was surprised it happened. I'm just another care leaver who lost control of their life. Almost every person I lived with in children's homes and foster placements has since experienced mental health problems, stints in prison, and battles with drug and alcohol addiction. What would make me so special that I could avoid the inevitable breakdown?

Related: Homeless in Britain: ‘I graduated with honours – and ended up on the streets'

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(28/03/2017 @ 14:10)

Rio Ferdinand: Being Mum and Dad review – a moving account of loss

The footballer invites the cameras in to witness him dealing with grief after the death of his wife. It is a bold and important film

It's usually so much fun snooping around a footballer's house on television, seeing where all that money goes. Steven Gerrard's and Wayne Rooney's stand out from recent times. Rio Ferdinand's looks like a good one, too – massive kitchen, gym, pool etc. But Rio hasn't invited the cameras in to show off.

While grand, the most striking feature of the house is its sadness and silence. In the sunny holiday home in Portugal as well – even though the kids splash about in the pool, happy and noisy– something is off. It's the empty space left by Rio's wife, Rebecca, who died nearly two years ago, aged 34, from breast cancer.

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(28/03/2017 @ 17:00)

'Everything we built for 20 years, gone in a blink' – life in the ruins of Aleppo

The rebel-held east of the Syrian city was devastated by years of bombing, first by the government alone then bolstered by Russian forces. Ruth Maclean travelled to Aleppo to hear how the district's few remaining residents survive

A small group of boys play football, dodging tangled metal in the ruined ruined Umayyad mosque of Aleppo's old city. When they were last able to come here, before the war, the vast courtyard's patterned floor was beautifully polished, and the pile of bricks in a corner was a millennium-old minaret.

Now, the boys pick at the sandbags piled in its huge, fire-blackened arches. For them, this ancient place-of-worship-turned-fortress is a playground in a hellscape.

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(28/03/2017 @ 10:02)

Key kit for a 21st century gold coin heist? Rope, ladder and wheelbarrow

Thieves who stole world's second-largest gold coin from Berlin museum appeared to stick to old-fashioned methods

Even in the era of cybercrime, methods more familiar to black-and-white heist movies never fall out of fashion.

On Monday morning, thieves in Berlin used a rope, a foldout ladder and a wheelbarrow to steal the world's second-largest gold coin from a museum, all within earshot of Angela Merkel's inner-city apartment.

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(28/03/2017 @ 14:05)

Brexit heartlands: pro-leave Havering – a photo essay

The London borough saw one of the biggest leave votes in Britain last June and Romford is the biggest town in the borough. Photojournalist Sean Smith and Lisa O'Carroll met some of the people behind the politics

Havering – sandwiched between Essex and London – was one of the strongest pro-Brexit boroughs in the country, with 69.7% voting to leave the EU.

Its population has remained relatively constant between the two past censuses in 2001 and 2011, with a 6% increase in residents compared with a 14% London average, but the population of the main town, Romford, has shot up by 21%, reflecting a glut of new apartment blocks attracting families squeezed out of the London market.

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(28/03/2017 @ 10:00)

International roundup: France foiled by video assistant referee against Spain

• Technology twice helps officials make correct calls in 2-0 win for visitors
• Italy beat Holland 2-1 after farewell to Clarence Seedorf

France twice fell foul of decisions made by a video assistant referee (VAR) in a high-profile example of the new technology during their 2-0 home defeat against Spain.

Antoine Griezmann thought he had headed France into the lead three minutes after half-time but, after the referee Felix Zwayer consulted the extra official, the goal was quickly ruled out for offside against Layvin Kurzawa.

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(28/03/2017 @ 19:18)

Chelsea make Arsenal's Alexis Sà¡nchez their No1 summer transfer target

• Antonio Conte has told Chelsea hierarchy he wants the Chilean forward
• Sà¡nchez set to leave Arsenal and also wanted by PSG, Inter and Juventus

Chelsea have made Arsenal's Alexis Sà¡nchez their main summer transfer target and Antonio Conte has discussed the possibility of bringing the Chilean to Stamford Bridge with the club's hierarchy.

The Italian manager is in talks with Chelsea over a new contract and, as part of that, summer transfers have been discussed. Conte has submitted to the club's recruitment team, effectively headed by the director Marina Granovskaia and technical director, Michael Emenalo, a list of players he would like to sign, with Sà¡nchez and a left-sided defender among the priorities.

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(28/03/2017 @ 07:03)

The Spin | Isn't it about time cricket consigned ‘chinaman' to the past?

With the laws of the game now encompassing gender-neutral terminology, the banishing of a phrase coined in Yorkshire more than 90 years ago seems a little overdue

The laws of cricket are just a little older than the US Constitution, so they have been through a few changes since they were first set down. And the latest edition, due to be published this October, includes several amendments which anyone paying attention will likely have already read about, like a limit on bat sizes, the introduction of red and yellow cards, and another, more subtle one, which has escaped wider attention. The laws of the game have just become gender-neutral. They now use “he/she” along with generic nouns like “fielder” and “bowler”. The one exception is “batsman” which, after some consideration, was decided to be “a term of the game” that applies equally well to men and women. A batter, as they say, is only fit for baseball and fish.

So the language of the game is changing. And about time. There was a stir earlier this year when Christina Matthews, chief executive of the Western Australia Cricket Association, complained that the game was “disrespecting half the population” by “using terms such as 12th man, batsman, fieldsman and nightwatchman without a second thought.” Matthews, who played 20 Tests, also said, “I'm not saying people are deliberately trying to offend but it's a bit like bullying - whether you're bullied or not is dictated by the person who is on the end of it, not the person who's doing it.” Her comments were widely reported in England, Australia, New Zealand and India. And, for a brief moment, cricket became a little patch of the battleground in a wider culture war.

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(28/03/2017 @ 08:37)

Resignation claim is fake, says world chess chief once 'abducted by aliens'

Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, who is on US sanctions list, had threatened to resign from position held since 1995 ‘several times' during recent meeting, an official said

The international chess governing body has been plunged into controversy after announcing its longtime president, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, had resigned in a statement he dismissed as “fake”.

Ilyumzhinov, a Russian businessman and former leader of Russia's Buddhist Kalmykia region, is no stranger to controversy, perhaps best known for claiming to have encountered aliens.

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(28/03/2017 @ 15:58)

Andy Murray not in Great Britain team for Davis Cup quarter-final

• World No1's elbow injury rules him out of France tie starting 7 April
• GB quartet is Dan Evans, Jamie Murray, Kyle Edmund and Dominic Inglot

Leon Smith's decision on Tuesday to leave Andy Murray out of Great Britain's Davis Cup team to play France in the quarter-finals in Rouen next week was more or less an open secret.

As much as the historic team competition has stirred emotions, and as much as Murray would love to be part of their march to the semi-finals in September, injury has forced the world No1 to look over his shoulder at not only the proximity of Novak Djokovic, the giant he displaced last year, but the steadily building challenge of the ageless Roger Federer.

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(28/03/2017 @ 07:14)

From five-a-side to futsal and Star Sixes: how football's small forms went big

Fewer people are playing 11-a-side games but smaller matches are more popular than ever, which makes the new Star Sixes event particularly well timed

By Richard Foster for The Agony and the Ecstasy of the Guardian Sport Network

If the chance of watching Jay-Jay Okocha and Robert Pires weaving through tightly packed defences up close is a tantalising prospect, then you should make your way to the O2 Arena in London this summer for the Star Sixes tournament. Okocha and Pires will be joined by a galaxy of big stars, including Steven Gerrard, Rio Ferdinand, Roberto Carlos, Carles Puyol and Michael Ballack, for the four-day, six-a-side competition in July.

The organisers are at pains to point out that this event will be more competitive than previous tournaments featuring former professionals, such as Sky's Masters Football series, which ran from 2000 to 2011. England goalkeeper David James says he is relishing the opportunity of representing his country again. “Having had around 26 years as a pro, I still kind of wake up each morning and think, ‘Can I still do this, can I still do that?' I was asked if I would be interested in getting involved and my immediate answer was: yes.”

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(28/03/2017 @ 08:49)

David Squires on … great British football own goals. Oh, and article 50

Our resident cartoonist presents a collection of classic gaffes (with apologies to Chris Brass, Jamie Pollock, Wayne Hatswell, Djimi Traoré, Lee Dixon, Tony Popovic and Peter Enckelman, whose acts of self-destruction were entirely accidental)

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(28/03/2017 @ 06:45)

Liverpool's Adam Lallana to miss Merseyside derby with thigh injury

• Midfielder hurt on England duty and could be out for a month
• Lallana would miss five Premier League games in worst case scenario

Adam Lallana is set to miss the Merseyside derby on Saturday after reporting back to Liverpool with an injury suffered playing for England.

The 28-year-old featured in both England's games during the international break, playing for an hour in the friendly in Germany and the full 90 minutes of the World Cup qualifier against Lithuania at Wembley. He received a kick on the thigh in the latter match, however, and found he was unable to train with his Liverpool team‑mates on Tuesday. While the club have not put a timescale on Lallana's recovery, there are concerns he could be out for up to a month.

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(28/03/2017 @ 12:14)

Cricketer spared jail may face claims he perverted course of justice

CPS considering review amid allegations Mustafa Bashir falsely claimed he was due Leicestershire club contract

A violent and controlling cricketer who walked free from court after he beat his wife with a cricket bat and made her drink bleach, could face an investigation over claims that he perverted the course of justice.

Mustafa Bashir, 34, was spared prison despite forcing his wife to drink bleach, throttling her in public, and hitting her with his bat. He admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm and was given an 18-month prison term.

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(28/03/2017 @ 13:42)

Non-league player banned after allegedly wielding knife at fan

• Police investigating incident while Sawbridgeworth Town ban offender for life
• Fan of Clapton FC alleged to have spat at player

A non-league footballer is under investigation by Hertfordshire police after allegedly wielding a knife at an opposition fan, with the player given a life ban by his club, Sawbridgeworth Town.

The incident occurred towards the end of an Essex Senior League fixture between Sawbridgeworth and Clapton at Crofters End ground in Hertfordshire on Saturday.

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(28/03/2017 @ 13:39)

Fredi Kanouté: ‘Muslims have to prove they are not terrorists before talking' | Paul Doyle

The former Sevilla and Mali striker is proud of his faith and would rather be known for working with orphans than his footballing achievements

Fredi Kanouté jokes that he has joined a rock band but none of the motley crew he is touring with claims to be a professional musician. Instead the former West Ham United, Tottenham Hotspur and Sevilla striker shares stages around the world with extraordinary characters such as Emi Mahmoud, a former Darfur refugee and Poetry Slam world champion, and Dr Rouba Mhaissen, the economist and development activist ranked by Forbes magazine as one of the planet's most influential people under 30.

Related: Skilled, determined and broke: Africa's female football pioneers

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(28/03/2017 @ 12:43)

Independent inquiry into Millwall CPO deal gets green light to begin

• Inquiry into developer Renewal's plans expected to last for rest of 2017
• Role of Lewisham council and Surrey Canal Sports Foundation under scrutiny

The independent inquiry into Lewisham council's plans to seize Millwall's land at The Den is set to begin in the next few days. The inquiry, which was announced last month, will be led by Lord Dyson, a distinguished retired judge and former Master of the Rolls. It is expected to be completed by the end of the year and to cost up to £500,000 of public money.

The inquiry was called after a series of questions emerged over the process and due diligence behind the council's plans to compulsorily purchase land in Bermondsey and sell it on to an offshore‑registered developer called Renewal.

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(28/03/2017 @ 10:05)

UK Sport: ‘Serious concerns' over British Cycling's handling of Varnish sexism claims

• UK Sport has still not received key information about the case
• Liz Nicholl questions why ‘UK Sport has not been fully informed'

The elite funding agency UK Sport has told British Cycling's board it has “serious concerns” about its handling of allegations against their former technical director Shane Sutton and has still not received key information about the case.

Last April, the former Great Britain rider Jess Varnish claimed Sutton used sexist language towards her, and in October an internal British Cycling investigation led by board member Alex Russell upheld that complaint.

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(28/03/2017 @ 05:16)

England goalscorer Jermain Defoe says vegan diet and discipline paying off

• Recovery techniques working for Sunderland striker
• ‘I have a better understanding of my body now'

Jermain Defoe has credited a recent switch to a vegan diet as being partly behind his continued excellence at the top level as the Sunderland striker seeks to maintain his form and remain in contention within the England set-up following his goalscoring return to the national side.

The veteran forward, recalled by Gareth Southgate, marked his first England appearance in three and a half years with a 20th international goal against Lithuania on Sunday and departed Wembley having claimed the sponsors' man of the match award. That bottle of champagne was wasted on him, with the 34-year-old long since teetotal, but Defoe's desire to thrive in the top flight has prompted him to explore diet and recovery techniques in an attempt to retain his edge.

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(27/03/2017 @ 17:30)

Revealed: Britain's first black female footballer after case of mistaken identity

Emma Clarke, who was playing in the 1890s, has been established as Britain's first black female footballer and her remarkable story is being brought to life in a play

A major discovery in women's football history has revealed Britain's first black female footballer – and she was playing in one of the sport's earliest recorded games in the 1890s.

The emergence of her story is timely. On Tuesday evening, as football's black achievers gather to be honoured at the Football Black List celebration, Futures Theatre will play out the story of the game's female pioneers in a new production called Offside. It is the first time the central character of a black female footballer has been dramatised.

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(28/03/2017 @ 06:00)

Joe Root backs new T20 plan but says it should be free to air for fans

• ‘Cricket is there for everyone to see,' he says
• ‘We want families involved,' says Michael Vaughan

Joe Root has welcomed the ECB's grand plans for Twenty20 cricket but has underlined the need for it to be shown on terrestrial television.

The England and Wales Cricket Board has unveiled a blueprint for the future , declaring that its proposed eight-team T20 format was needed to ‘future-proof' domestic cricket.

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(27/03/2017 @ 18:21)

Adopt-a-Lion: New Zealand rugby fans offer to host British and Irish free of charge

Most hotel rooms sold out during tour, so rugby fan Adam Gilshnan set up Facebook page linking Lions supporters with generous locals

New Zealanders are opening their homes to British & Irish Lions fans who have been priced out of affordable accommodation during the upcoming tour.

About 20,000 Lions fans are expected to fly to New Zealand in June and July, and many independent travellers are struggling to find affordable accommodation for their trip.

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(27/03/2017 @ 21:37)

Teed off by Trump? Why protests to move the US Women's Open miss the mark

A campaign calling for July's US Women's Open from Trump National Golf Club to be moved has reached critical mass. But the author, a former LPGA Tour pro, insists that moving the tournament isn't as simple as it seems

A few years ago, when the United States Golf Association announced that it would hold the US Women's Open at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, it was business as usual.

Except no one anticipated that Donald Trump, who built Trump National just 13 years ago, would be president of the United States. Nor did anyone at the USGA forecast that Trump's infamous “grab [women] by the pussy” tape would make international headlines. And really, how could they?

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(28/03/2017 @ 05:30)

‘Mystery package' doctor admits Team Sky had no medicines policy

• Dr Richard Freeman gives written evidence to select committee
• Damian Collins MP says it leaves ‘major questions' for Sky and British Cycling

The doctor at the centre of the affair of the mystery package delivered to Sir Bradley Wiggins during the Critérium du Dauphiné in 2011 has made the astonishing admission that neither Team Sky nor British Cycling had any written medicines-management policy or stock-taking system at the time.

In a letter to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport select committee Dr Richard Freeman also expressed “regret” that there had been no backed-up medical records of Wiggins' treatment in 2011 – but denied there had been any unethical behaviour by either Team Sky or British Cycling. However, Damian Collins, the chair of the DCMS select committee, said that Freeman's written evidence had left “major questions outstanding for Team Sky and British Cycling”.

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(27/03/2017 @ 19:01)

Dustin Johnson on top of the world but favourites rarely prosper at Augusta | Ewan Murray

World No1's third title in a row at WGC Match Play makes him the man to beat but no favourite has won the Masters since Tiger Woods in 2005

The only certainty relating to Dustin Johnson's epic run is that it will come to an end. Even recent history tells us that much. Fascination and uncertainty relate to precisely when the world No1's streak will conclude and, more pertinently, if it can be sustained to the point where the 32-year-old wins the Masters for the first time.

Johnson's statistics make stunning reading. Victory at the WGC Match Play in Austin was his third in three starts. Since last June, when Johnson won his first major by claiming the US Open, he has lifted six trophies from 17 events played.

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(27/03/2017 @ 15:00)

What are the missing lyrics in these football songs? – quiz

These lyrics make Liam Gallagher look like Morrissey. Do you remember them?

What is the missing line from the original Three Lions song: "I still see that tackle by Moore, and when Lineker scored, Bobby belting the ball. And ..."?

Gazza drinking

All our chances

Geoff Hurst blasting

Nobby dancing

Chelsea released this song in 1972 to coincide with their appearance in the League Cup final (which they lost to Stoke City). What is the missing line: "Blue is the colour, football is the game. We're all together, and …"?

We're so glad you came

We'll have a good old time

Winning is our aim

We have something to proclaim

Complete the spoken word intro to Vindaloo: "Where on earth are you from? We're from England. Where you come from … "?

Do you see great Albion?

Do you have the fun?

Is it this humdrum?

Do you put the kettle on?

Who is the missing Manchester United player in this lyric from their 1994 FA Cup song Come On You Reds: "Schmeichel, Parker, Pallister. Irwin, Bruce, Sharpe and Ince. Hughes, McClair, Keane and Cantona. Robson, Kanchelskis and … "?

Dublin

Blackmore

Ferguson

Giggs

What is the missing line from West Ham anthem I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles: "I'm forever blowing bubbles. Pretty bubbles in the air. They fly so high, nearly reach the sky. Then like my dreams they … "

Make me cry

Go high and dry

Hit a pie in the sky

Fade and die

What is the next line from Scotland's World Cup 1998 song Don't Come Home Too Soon: "The world may not be shaking yet, but you might prove them wrong …"?

We have McAllister and Hendry

We'll say 'oui, oui' in Paris

Stranger things have happened

Even long shots make it

What is the missing line from the Anfield Rap (Red Machine in Full Effect): "How's he doing the Jamaica rap? He's from just south of the Watford Gap. He gives us stick about the north/south divide. Cause they got the jobs. Yeah, but … "?

Not our dockside

We will abide

Our hits go worldwide

We got the side

We have civic pride

Which FA Cup finalists were celebrated with these lyrics in an eponymously titled song in 1972: "There's a red-headed tiger known as Billy. And he goes like a human dynamo. Mick the Mover, of course, he can work like a horse. And Topcat Cooper's always on the go"?

Stoke City

Leeds United

Arsenal

Aston Villa

What is the first line of Spurs' 1982 FA Cup song: "Tottenham, Tottenham … "

We won in Birmingham

Come on Saturday 3pm

We'll show them

No one can stop them

Complete this lyric from Pass & Move (It's the Liverpool Groove): "Ho shimmy shimmy, Skippy take it away. Shaggy's in flight, now it's judgement day. Digger in the middle, weaving his spell. Jason McAteer … "

Knows his hair gel

The blonde bombshell

Sweeter than carmel

Strong enough for NFL

Like a bat outta hell

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(28/03/2017 @ 05:30)

Football transfer rumours: Eden Hazard to Real Madrid?

Today's fluff is record breaking

Real Madrid mean business and not just any old business but world-record 
business
. The Spanish aristocrats have reportedly dispatched minions to 
their vaults to begin counting out £100m, which Real will then wave in 
front of Chelsea in the hope that it will persuade the London club to 
relinquish Eden Hazard. If Chelsea refuse, Real will do an about-turn and 
march on Monaco, who are said to be open to the possibility of selling 
Bernardo Silva

On the other hand, if Real do manage to get their claws on Hazard, 
then Chelsea will attempt to nab Silva, but the Portuguese may prefer to 
join Barcelona or Manchester United. 

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(28/03/2017 @ 04:25)

Steve Bell on the Daily Mail – cartoon

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(28/03/2017 @ 16:32)

If only Nicola could let her legs do the talking

The Scottish first minister has a mind of her own when it comes to Brexit but then so do her lower extremities

A pair of legs stood up and the body attached to them prepared to speak. There were so many things Nicola Sturgeon's shapely shanks would have liked to say. About how the Daily Mail had said how much more attractive they were than Theresa May's famously long extremities. About how the prime minister had been so intimated – or was that seduced? – by her luscious legs that she had immediately gone on the back foot. About how if all the Little Laydeez of Scotland were to vote for independence, then they too could have pins like her.

Six days ago the debate on the second Scottish referendum had been suspended after the attack on Westminster. Sturgeon began by adopting a more conciliatory note than she had when opening the debate the previous week, emphasising shared values, democracy and differences of opinion that were sincerely held.

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(28/03/2017 @ 14:02)

The Guardian view on Marine A: prevent war crimes, don't excuse them | Editorial

Alexander Blackman's mental state contributed to him shooting dead an injured Taliban fighter – but we must still uphold international law

When justice is done, we should be glad. But the champagne-swigging jubilation that greeted the reduction of “Marine A” Alexander Blackman's murder conviction to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility, went far beyond the acknowledgment that this was an appropriate outcome. To many of his supporters he is a “hero soldier” persecuted for shooting dead an injured Taliban fighter in Afghanistan. The judgment, however, was no exoneration: he killed a defenceless man, tried to make sure it was not witnessed, and attempted to cover up what he did. The judges considered mitigating factors, including his combat stress disorder. Nonetheless, they concluded that his crime was a severe one, that he held substantial responsibility for it, and that his dismissal from service was justified.

Drum-beating coverage of “our brave boys” veils the fact that British troops, like any others, are capable of terrible violations of the laws of war and the dictates of basic decency. Perhaps the catastrophe of Iraq, and the consciousness of the toll it took overwhelmingly on Iraqi civilians but also on coalition forces, has sensitised the public to the immense pressures facing soldiers and the often limited support they receive. More often than not, such abuses occur when there is an absence or failure of leadership. Another marine – briefly Blackman's commanding officer – described the leadership and oversight in place as shockingly bad, and insisted he was not a single rotten apple. The answer is not to give soldiers a free pass to abuse and kill by attacking attempts to hold them to account, but to ask who else is responsible and how such behaviour can be prevented in future.

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(28/03/2017 @ 14:07)

Forging pound coins? That's not a crime – it's a job | Tim Dowling

Britain's new 12-sided coin is designed to put the forgers off but no one in their right mind would want to counterfeit them anyway

When I was a child, I collected coins. I looked at coins, read about coins, grouped coins in albums and said obverse and reverse instead of front and back. It was my one true passion, and the last time I ever had a strong urge to organise stuff.

What I'm saying is, there was a moment when I would have been very excited about the introduction of a new coin, especially a 12-sided, two-metal, wholly redesigned coin like the new pound. When I was growing up in America they never changed the money. In those days it wasn't that uncommon to find a 60-year-old coin in your dad's pocket – you wouldn't even notice unless you checked dates, which I did, religiously. I was looking for the elusive 1909-S VDB penny, with the San Francisco mint mark and the designer's initials along the bottom edge of the reverse. Or maybe the rare 1955 double die, or the steel 1944-D. I never found any of them.

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(28/03/2017 @ 13:50)

The Guardian view on Brexit: start by protecting EU nationals | Editorial

It is morally and politically repugnant to try to bargain over the future of people who have enriched our lives

Britain is poised to embark on a fraught and uncertain course. Leaving the European Union will weaken the remaining 27 members, and it is likely to set this country on a decade or more of instability. It is the end of a partnership that has brought much more to Britain than can be guessed at from the churlish nature of our relationship, which rarely recognised the wonder of this audacious attempt to mould a community of peace and prosperity from nation states at war for centuries. A largely hostile press made Brussels, just as an early Guardian editorial warned, the default excuse for political failure, economic incompetence and, sometimes, sheer misadventure.

Related: The time has come for Theresa May's stark choice over Britain's future | Letters

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(28/03/2017 @ 13:03)

Millions are on the brink of starvation in east Africa. We must act fast | Emma Thompson

Families in the region are once more forced into a daily struggle to find food. We can help to avoid a repetition of the famine of 1984

When I saw the East Africa Crisis Appeal launched recently across our screens by the Disaster Emergency Committee (DEC), my thoughts returned to a man I met when I visited Ethiopia with ActionAid in 2005.

Sitting in a small settlement about four hours south of the capital, Addis Ababa, he spoke without emotion about the 1984 famine. “In 1984 one third of this community died … We ate soil mixed with dirty water. All the cattle died. We couldn't feed our children. People just walked, they knew not where. Many died on the road and were left unburied.”

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(28/03/2017 @ 12:11)

Britain's divorce from the EU will be bitter. Yet the failure is Europe's too | Nick Herbert

After the referendum, an opt-out on free movement could have avoided full-scale Brexit. But both sides rejected any such compromise

How Brexiters suppress opposition

It wasn't Britain's absence from the EU's birthday celebration last week that shamed me. It was the sight, while I was in Berlin, of our union flag projected on to the Brandenburg Gate. Even as Europe's capitals stood in loyal solidarity with ours, we plotted a divorce.

The story after the referendum could have been different. Despite the narrowness of the result, there was never an attempt by Europe to persuade us to stay. It is unusual, when an unhappy partner suddenly and unexpectedly asks for a divorce, for the injured half simply to agree and instruct the lawyers.

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(28/03/2017 @ 12:04)

America has never seen a party less caring than 21st-century Republicans

We pay our elected officials to take care of our communities and our planet. Since Trump took office, the GOP has set out only to destroy

Last week I was taking an Uber (I know, I'm sorry, it was a necessity) across an unfamiliar town when the driver, whom I'll call Randy, started telling me about this cool dude named Jesus. Randy's big opener, earlier in the ride, was to gesture at a homeless man panhandling by the side of the road and say: “Isn't it terrible?”

“Yeah,” I agreed, though I was unsure whether he was referring to homelessness as a blight or a form of state violence. “I can't believe my tax money pays for the president's golf vacations while people are freezing to death on the street. It's robbery.”

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(28/03/2017 @ 10:06)

Theresa May takes empty rhetoric to a new level | Ros Coward

The prime minister's motivational generalities over Brexit and beyond may be about to tip over into something darker – authoritarian delusions

Before meeting Nicola Sturgeon on Monday, Theresa May insisted she would “never allow the UK to become looser and weaker”. But how, precisely, will she accomplish that, given that Sturgeon, with considerable support from the Scottish people, intends the opposite? Of course there were no details of steps to be taken to prevent the UK falling apart because, as ever, May doesn't do detail.

Since becoming prime minister, she has given plenty of broad-brush intentions but virtually no detailed policies: one small concrete change to national insurance contributions presented by the chancellor was hastily shelved. There have been plenty of words but what is worrying if you look closely is how few have substance.

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(28/03/2017 @ 12:39)

What do many lone attackers have in common? Domestic violence | Hadley Freeman

Desperate attempts to profile Khalid Masood after the Westminster attacks blame Islam, Kent or even drunk teenagers, but the common thread in terrorism is often misogyny

The reactions to Khalid Masood's attack last week played out with script-like predictability: rightwing commentators tried desperately to blame the actions of this Kent native on immigration, while the media pored over whatever anecdotes they could find from neighbours and schoolmates. All The Day Today cliches were ticked off: he was “always polite”, he came from “a normal family”, he once “got drunk” as a teenager.

This kind of desperate profiling plays to people's desire to believe we should be able to spot terrorists. But while rent-a-gobs flail around naming and shaming Kent and drunk teenagers, it is telling how rarely one feature common to many “lone wolf” attackers is called out: a history of domestic abuse.

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(28/03/2017 @ 10:30)

Tesco has settled with the SFO – but it faces more headaches ahead | Nils Pratley

The supermarket giant can move on after the accounting scandal, although restless shareholders could spell trouble

For Tesco, a £235m bill to settle investigations by the Serious Fraud Office and Financial Conduct Authority counts as a tidy piece of business. The sum will wipe out almost 20% of operating profits last year, but the company's negotiating power was approximately zero after it had confessed to a £326m overstatement of profits in 2014. Assuming the deferred prosecution agreement between the SFO and Tesco Stores Ltd is approved by a judge next month, an ugly chapter for the company will close.

Tesco may even be delighted that the FCA has designed a redress scheme for disgruntled investors who bought Tesco shares and bonds in the few weeks before the overstatement was corrected. An orderly process to award compensation, even one that could cost Tesco £85m, sounds less messy than several rounds of legal argy-bargy.

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(28/03/2017 @ 13:48)

A white supremacist slew a man in Manhattan. Why is the president silent? | Moustafa Bayoumi

Trump's refusal to condemn the attack against a black man – believed to be ‘practice' for a killing spree – allows hate and violence to breed

Last week, a 28-year-old white man by the name of James Jackson traveled from Baltimore to New York City, reportedly to kill as many black men as he could, according to prosecutors. In his possession were two knives and a sword with an 18-inch blade. Upon arriving in New York, Jackson quietly checked in to a hotel near Times Square. Then he began his hunt.

According to the authorities, Jackson stalked several potential victims before narrowing his sights on Timothy Caughman, a 66-year-old man who happened to be on Ninth Avenue searching for cans and bottles to recycle, a favorite activity of Caughman's.

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(28/03/2017 @ 06:00)

What the Daily Mail means when it talks about May and Sturgeon's ‘pins'

The language used in the newspaper's coverage of the two most powerful politicians in the UK is a by-numbers attempt to reduce women to objects

Just for the avoidance of doubt, those things that Theresa May and Nicola Sturgeon both share, the “finest weapons in their physical arsenal”, as the Daily Mail's Sarah Vine called them in a column on yesterday's meeting between the two women, they are just legs. Millions, even most, women have them. They are not a “vast expanse”; that's just how big legs are. If you want smaller limbs, try arms.

Nor are they “extremities”, which, the last time I checked, were toes (of course, it is possible to cross or otherwise manipulate those in a flirtatious or dominant fashion, but, you know, shoes get in the way). What the Mail seemed to be objecting to, or analysing, or merely just noting in passing (in gigantic letters, as a front-page splash!) was that these two women had legs.

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(28/03/2017 @ 09:33)

Does a robot brickie dream of electric tea? | Joanna Griffin

A proposal to use robo-bricklayers on building sites is no laughing matter. Just ask my dad and his mates

Last year I made a show, Bricking It, with my 74-year-old builder dad, Pat. The premise was a job swap – comedy virgin Pat would learn how to be a comedian, while I would learn the ropes of bricklaying. Pat had never been on stage before. He was born in the rural west of Ireland and emigrated to England in his mid-teens.

Fast forward 60 years and Pat was shocked to find himself on stage, dancing to the Bee Gees, in a pink suit, at the Edinburgh fringe. However, after our month-long run, Pat was even more shocked to find himself back in Barnet, in his local caff, sat next to Arnold Schwarzenegger's Terminator – Arnie methodically orders the Set 2 breakfast from the luminous menu above the counter, mechanically picks up the newspaper, pre-programmed, he turns instantly to page 3, “Yes. Boobs. Builders like. Boobs. Yes. Boobs. Builders like …”

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(28/03/2017 @ 09:57)

The left mustn't get hung up over language orthodoxy – we must be welcoming | Ellie Mae O'Hagan

The author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie says she was criticised for not using movement-specific jargon. Words are important but leftists should be inclusive

Does the left have a problem with “language orthodoxy”? The feminist author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie thinks so – after she was criticised on social media and by other public figures following her comments on transgender women, she attributed much of the negative reaction not to genuine difference of opinions, but to seemingly arbitrary rules the left has imposed on language.

During an interview with Channel 4, Adichie said: “I think if you've lived in the world as a man with the privileges that the world accords to men and then sort of change gender, it's difficult for me to accept that then we can equate your experience with the experience of a woman who has lived from the beginning as a woman and who has not been accorded those privileges that men are.” She was accused of failing to listen to the experiences of trans women and of equivocating over the fact that trans women are women. Following the backlash, Adichie defended herself during a public appearance in Washington DC.

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(28/03/2017 @ 08:30)

'A harsh but just ruler': what do Russians think about Putin? | Eva Hartog and others

One hundred years on from the revolution, six Russians give their views on Vladimir Putin and their country's place in the world today

This year marks the centenary of the popular uprising that led to the fall of the Romanov dynasty and the establishment of the Bolshevik regime under the slogan: “Peace, Bread and Land.”

One hundred years on, we asked six Russians from across the country about their lives, the Kremlin, Vladimir Putin and Russia's place in the world.

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(28/03/2017 @ 08:56)

Rape fantasy Elle isn't a five-star masterpiece – it's sick | Bidisha

Paul Verhoeven's new film is basking in critical adoration, but by suggesting that women long to be raped it's a slap in the face for survivors

Rape apologists: do you like the cinema? Have you always suspected women secretly want to be stalked, brutalised and raped? And that the biggest woman-haters on the planet are not men, but women themselves? Then brace yourselves for a celluloid treat.

The film Elle opened in the UK two weeks ago and has received rapturous praise, trailing five-star reviews and an Oscar nomination for its star, Isabelle Huppert, who is “utterly arresting” (Peter Bradshaw in the Guardian), “exhilarating … bottomlessly impressive” (Robbie Collin in the Telegraph) and has an “astonishing, almost terrifying talent” (AO Scott in the New York Times).

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(28/03/2017 @ 07:10)

The bigots are on the march – and with ‘Legs-it' the Daily Mail bears the flag | Owen Jones

The paper's leering front page featuring Nicola Sturgeon and Theresa May is part of a wider attack on liberal values. We must be prepared to fight back

Perhaps the Daily Mail should be sued for damaging people's health? Across the nation, millions have cringed so hard at its audaciously sexist front page that they've strained their face muscles, or given themselves a migraine from slamming their heads repeatedly against the nearest wall.

Related: Martin Rowson on Paul Dacre and the Daily Mail – cartoon

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(28/03/2017 @ 06:16)

Now the battle line is drawn before Theresa May's disastrous Brexit | Polly Toynbee

Reality bites from this week: the reckless charge out of Europe has begun. But at last Labour, thanks to Keir Starmer, is fighting back

Off we go, headlong downhill, off piste, our Eddie the Eagle Brexit negotiators tumbling down towards a great crevasse. Far from “taking back control”, as Theresa May sends off our suicide letter on Wednesday, we will abandon all control as we place ourselves at the mercy of the goodwill or otherwise of each of the EU 27.

“We won, job done,” declared Douglas Carswell, and he's right. The most extreme Brexiteers have so far won the day, light years distant from the softly reassuring arguments Vote Leave made before the referendum. Their promises are all broken already, as the Ukip wing of the Conservative party has captured the prime minister.

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(28/03/2017 @ 01:51)

Harlots: a blast of grim authenticity from ITV – or just period porn?

From Ripper Street to Black Sails, costume dramas are fixated on street walkers and depravity. As Harlots muscles in, we ask: why is TV obsessed with sex workers from any century but this one?

The year is 1763. One woman in five makes a living selling sex. This is the premise of ITV's Harlots. I immediately want to quibble with the data analysis: is that 20% of all women, or 20% of women who work? Since female workforce participation was pretty low at the start of the 18th century, this distinction is key, and don't even get me started on the age-weighting of the sample, since presumably they mean one woman in five under 30.

I have fallen into that famous viewer-trap: distracted by shoddy statistics, I failed to notice all the luscious flesh bursting out of satin. The year is 1763, remember! That means the moral majority has to just shut up. All those boring questions – “Why is that character taking a shower when she hasn't got dirty? Why does she have to be naked when she's just opening her post?” – those belong to contemporary drama. Go back a century or two, and nudity is the core business. If you go back enough centuries, nudity is all they know how to do and you don't even need a script.

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(28/03/2017 @ 04:00)

The fog of Brexit is engulfing the NHS. It's up to Theresa May to provide clarity | Jonathan Ashworth

Will European staff be allowed to remain? What about reciprocal healthcare? And where will the money come from? The prime minister owes us some answers

Everyone knows that after seven years of neglect from the Conservative government, the NHS is undergoing a serious crisis of funding and staffing. The last thing needed is more uncertainty. That is exactly what the NHS faces with Brexit.

On Wednesday Theresa May will trigger article 50 and later this week health bosses publish the updated Five Year Forward View. It is time for the prime minister and the health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, to give the NHS and its patients the certainty needed through the Brexit process. May has already turned her back on the promise of £350m a week for our NHS and now she is walking away from her responsibilities to protect the health service through a turbulent Brexit process that will hit it hard.

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(28/03/2017 @ 05:06)

The Guardian view on counter-terrorism: strong encryption makes us all safer | Editorial

There are many things the web giants could do to help combat terrorism, but weakening privacy protection is not one of them

The home secretary has made a hash – or what she would call “a hashtag” – of her efforts to appear to be doing something in the wake of last week's Westminster terror attack. Amber Rudd's demand that the big digital companies weaken the encryption they use on their messages is unrealistic and – if it ever became real – self-defeating. It is unrealistic because encryption cannot be selectively weakened, any more than the value of pi could be stipulated as 3.2 for the state of Indiana alone as proposed by some proto-Rudd politician in 1897. Mathematics is universal, and the mathematics on which strong encryption depends is quite as inflexible as that which specifies Earth's orbit round the sun. If the encryption on terrorists' messages were weakened so that the government could read them, the same weakening would apply to everyone else, however innocent. If the government believes it can prevail upon the likes of Facebook (which owns WhatsApp) to issue a specially weakened version of the program to British users only, it is being even more fatuously optimistic than in its approach to the Brexit negotiations. No company would sacrifice its reputation (and so its market share) in such a way, and real criminals could always find alternatives.

Even if these powers were delivered by some miracle to our government and to no other they would still prove self-defeating. Terrorists and their active sympathisers form a tiny minority of any community. Their criminal messages and phone calls to each other form an infinitesimal fraction of all the chat and gossip on the internet. To find them at the moment is like searching for a needle in a haystack. The task won't be made easier by dumping another haystack full of chaff on to the needle, which would be the effect of Ms Rudd's proposal if it were ever practicable. The more thoughtful members of the security community know this already. The power that they really need, which is to know all about the friendship networks of suspected terrorists, is one they already have. What's known as “metadata” tells them everything about a message except its content, and this is extraordinarily revealing. But the government has its own reasons for pursuing a noisy attack on the internet companies.

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(27/03/2017 @ 14:51)

Access to justice was once a worker's basic right. Now it's a costly luxury | Aditya Chakrabortty

Fees have put employment tribunals out of reach for many. The supreme court must restore the balance

Laws that cost too much to enforce are phoney laws. A civil right that people can't afford to use is no right at all. And a society that turns justice into a luxury good is one no longer ruled by law, but by money and power. This week the highest court in the land will decide whether Britain will become such a society. There are plenty of signs that we have already gone too far.

Listen to the country's top judge, Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd, who admits that “our justice system has become unaffordable to most”. Look at our legal-aid system, slashed so heavily by David Cameron and Theresa May that the poor must act as their own trial lawyers, ready to be skittled by barristers in the pay of their moneyed opponents.

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(28/03/2017 @ 01:00)

Steve Bell on May's meeting with Sturgeon – cartoon

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(27/03/2017 @ 16:02)

Demonstrations matter – they create the kind of power politicians despise

Crowds of protesters form lasting connections – and their later revolts always surprise elites

The tide is turning and you can feel it on the streets of the world's capital cities. On Sunday, hundreds of peaceful protesters were arrested in Moscow and St Petersburg, after thousands massed in unsanctioned demonstrations against corruption.

There were similar scenes in Minsk, where punitive taxes on the unemployed have driven people to the streets. In February, half a million Romanians forced their government to abandon a law pardoning corrupt officials, by taking to the streets.

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(27/03/2017 @ 12:40)

Like Trump, the Chinese leader is pushing a political system to its limits | Timothy Garton Ash

With an erratic US president and an array of potential flashpoints, understanding China's unprecedented domestic experiment is more crucial than ever

When the two most powerful men on earth, Donald Trump and Xi Jinping, meet for the summit that's expected to take place soon in the American emperor's summer palace, they will have one thing in common: each is testing his country's political system to its limits.

With independent courts blocking Trump's travel ban, the heads of his security agencies flatly contradicting his claim that Barack Obama tapped his phones, and Congress rejecting his flagship repeal of Obamacare, the checks and balances of the world's oldest liberal democracy are at full stretch. But will even they be enough to restrain this erratic, narcissistic, egomaniac bully?

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(27/03/2017 @ 13:00)

Ukip demands to be heard as it shouts its wild Brexit demands | John Crace

Paul Nuttall struggles to take spotlight from Nigel Farage as he spells out message that you can't trust Johnny Foreigner

Six is the magic number. Over breakfast, Keir Starmer had laid out Labour's six Brexit red lines that Theresa May was guaranteed to ignore; just a few hours later, the Ukip high command was gathered at the Marriott hotel on the south side of Westminster Bridge to deliver their six Brexit demands that were also almost certain to be largely ignored.

Related: Ukip: Britain should be able to send back 'beggars or criminals' from EU

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(27/03/2017 @ 12:45)

Health unions and MPs condemn 'derisory' 1% pay rise for NHS staff

Cap on salary increases will see some staff earn just £5 extra a week while facing soaring costs and greater workload

About 1.3 million NHS staff are to receive a 1% pay rise that will see nurses, midwives and radiographers earn barely £5 a week more next year, in a move that prompted a furious reaction from health unions.

The government's decision to limit NHS wage increases to 1% a year or freeze them for the seventh successive year led its own advisors to warn that the policy must end. Salary caps could exacerbate already serious understaffing in the NHS by making it less attractive to work for, especially as workloads are growing, the NHS pay review body (PRB) concluded.

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(28/03/2017 @ 11:10)

Man charged after hit-and-run that killed four-year-old Merseyside girl

Dean Ian Brennan, 27, charged with theft of a car as police try to locate another man, 23, believed to have left the UK

A man has been charged in connection with a collision that killed a four-year-old girl.

Violet-Grace Youens died in hospital in her mother's arms on Saturday after she was struck by a stolen black Ford Fiesta while walking through St Helens, Merseyside, on Friday.

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(28/03/2017 @ 18:25)

RSPCA animal cruelty caseload rises to almost 150,000 investigations

Calls to cruelty hotline rose by nearly 5% in 2016, but charity says increase reflects more sharing of abuse footage on social media

The number of animal cruelty investigations by the RSPCA jumped by nearly 5% last year to more than 400 a day, according to figures released by the animal welfare charity.

In its annual prosecutions report the RSPCA said it had investigated almost 150,000 cases in 2016. Calls to its 24-hour cruelty hotline rose by nearly 4%, averaging one every 27 seconds.

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(28/03/2017 @ 19:01)

Landlord investigated over 'disgusting remark' about 'coloured' people

Equalities watchdog acts over reported directive by Fergus Wilson, UK's biggest buy-to-let millionaire, to lettings agency

The equalities watchdog has threatened Fergus Wilson, Britain's biggest buy-to-let landlord, with legal action after he reportedly tried to ban “coloured” tenants from his properties.

Wilson, who owns nearly 1,000 homes across Ashford and Maidstone in Kent, is said to have told a lettings agency, Evolution, that “coloured” people leave a smell in his property.

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(28/03/2017 @ 11:24)

Marine A could become terror target after release, police say

Alexander Blackman advised to change identity when freed from prison following downgrade of murder conviction to manslaughter

A former Royal Marine who shot dead a wounded Taliban detainee may become a terrorist target when he is freed from prison next month, police have said.

Alexander Blackman and his wife Claire have been advised by police to take a series of precautions including changing their identities and moving house.

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(28/03/2017 @ 13:50)

Education quality in English schools 'at risk from new funding formula'

Scathing report of MPs' committee finds children's academic progress at risk as school heads work to attain £3bn saving

School funding cuts are threatening to undermine the quality of education in England's classrooms, putting children's academic progress at risk as head teachers struggle to find savings, finds a highly critical report.

MPs on the Commons public accounts committee (PAC) say schools in England are facing the most significant financial pressure since the mid-1990s, with school leaders having to find £3bn in savings by 2020.

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(28/03/2017 @ 19:01)

Teenager killed himself in prison after getting deportation letter

Ondrej Suha was found hanged in his cell after reading that he could be sent back to Slovakia, which he left at age of four

A 19-year-old killed himself at a youth prison after being told he could be deported to a country he had not lived in since he was four, a jury has found.

Slovakian-born Ondrej Suha, who had just started a 14-month sentence for burglary and assault, had also witnessed his cellmate attempting to take his life a few days earlier.

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(28/03/2017 @ 17:56)

Woman who was raped backs judge over alcohol warning

Megan Clark says judge's comment that rapists ‘gravitated towards girls who were drinking' did not equate to victim-blaming

A rape survivor has waived her right to anonymity to defend a judge who was widely criticised for claiming women were putting themselves at risk of sexual attacks if they were drunk.

Megan Clark, 19, was raped beside a canal in Manchester by a man she met in a Burger King after a night drinking in the city.

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(28/03/2017 @ 11:11)

Nicola Sturgeon criticises Daily Mail over 'Legs-it' front page

First minister says newspaper is ‘leading the way' in taking Britain back to the 1970s after its coverage of her meeting with prime minister Theresa May

Nicola Sturgeon accused the Daily Mail of taking Britain back to the 1970s after the tabloid featured a picture of her with Theresa May under the headline “Never mind Brexit, who won Legs-it!” following their summit on Monday.

The first minister's spokesperson was one of a string of politicians to criticise the tabloid over the headline, which attracted hundreds of complaints of sexism – although Downing Street refused to be drawn into the row.

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(28/03/2017 @ 18:29)

Direct rule of Northern Ireland not ruled out, Brokenshire says

Northern Ireland secretary tells Commons all options are on the table if power-sharing talks at Stormont collapse

The government is not ruling out any options for a politically deadlocked Northern Ireland, including the reintroduction of direct rule from London, James Brokenshire has said.

But the Northern Ireland secretary did rule out a suggestion from Dave Anderson, his Labour shadow in the House of Commons, that an external chairperson could be brought in to oversee another few weeks of negotiations between the parties at Stormont.

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(28/03/2017 @ 10:15)

UK nuclear plans could be hit by Westinghouse financial crisis

Toshiba's US subsidiary, which has technology in about half world's reactors, expected to file for bankruptcy protection

A financial crisis at a major nuclear energy business is threatening to deal a blow to the UK's atomic energy programme.

Toshiba's US nuclear subsidiary Westinghouse Electric is believed to be on the brink of filing in the US for bankruptcy protection from creditors. A UK expert said the collapse would leave a considerable hole in Britain's new nuclear ambitions as Toshiba is a key player behind plans for a new power station at Moorside in Cumbria.

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(28/03/2017 @ 14:47)

'Old Flo' makes her way back to London from Yorkshire

Henry Moore sculpture that graced Stepney in east London for 35 years before relocating to Wakefield has a new home in Canary Wharf

An enormous Henry Moore bronze sculpture gifted at cost price to the east London borough of Tower Hamlets in 1962 is finally coming home – although not quite to a place its maker would have imagined.

Draped Seated Woman, affectionately known as “Old Flo”, was for 35 years located on the Stifford estate in Stepney. It has spent the past 20 years on rural retreat at Yorkshire Sculpture Park near Wakefield, moved there after the Stifford estate was demolished. From the autumn of this year it will take up residence in Cabot Square in Canary Wharf, the council announced on Tuesday.

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(28/03/2017 @ 13:13)

BrewDog threatened lawsuit against plan for bar with 'punk' in name

News emerges the day after the brewer blamed ‘trigger-happy' lawyers for sending legal threats to a family-run pub

BrewDog threatened legal action to prevent a bar from using the term “punk” in its name, it has emerged, a day after the brewer blamed “trigger-happy” lawyers for a similar dispute that sparked a social media backlash.

The brewer, which has been a vocal critic of the behaviour of large corporations, raised an objection to plans by music promoter Tony Green to open a bar in Leeds called Draft Punk.

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(28/03/2017 @ 11:38)

Gainsborough painting restored and rehung after 'drill-bit attack'

Mr and Mrs William Hallet (‘The Morning Walk') returns to usual position in National Gallery in London 10 days after incident

One of Thomas Gainsborough's finest portrait paintings has been restored and reinstalled at the National Gallery 10 days after it was allegedly attacked by a man with a drill bit.

The much-loved 1785 painting, Mr and Mrs William Hallett (‘The Morning Walk'), received two scratches of about 1-metre and 65cm long in the incident, which happened on a busy Saturday afternoon.

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(28/03/2017 @ 08:20)

Coca-Cola calls in police after human waste is found in cans

Northern Ireland factory halts production after machine became clogged with faeces, though no contaminated drinks reached shelves

Coca-Cola has called in police to investigate how human waste turned up in a consignment of its drink cans at one of the company's factories in Northern Ireland.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland confirmed on Tuesday it had opened an inquiry into how faeces ended up in the cans at the Helllenic Bottling Company factory in Lisburn, Co Antrim.

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(28/03/2017 @ 08:32)

Retiring police chief will avoid any discipline over alleged coverup

Cdr Chris Greany will not face possible censure arising from IPCC inquiry after notifying force that he was leaving

A senior police officer who is being investigated for his alleged involvement in destroying files held on a Green party peer is to retire on Friday, meaning he will avoid any possible disciplinary action.

Commander Chris Greany was head of the secretive Scotland Yard unit that monitors political campaigners at the time it allegedly destroyed files it had compiled on the political activities of Jenny Jones.

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(28/03/2017 @ 08:37)

MPs hail Tobias Ellwood as he returns to Commons after Westminster attack

Junior foreign office minister praised by politicians for attempt to save PC Keith Palmer's life

Tobias Ellwood, the junior foreign office minister praised after he was among the first people seeking to help the police officer murdered during last week's terrorist attack in Westminster, has received tributes from fellow MPs upon his return to Commons duties.

Related: Tobias Ellwood MP praised for attempt to save police officer's life

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(28/03/2017 @ 08:57)

Boys found dead near cliffs were 'having a laugh' when they fell

Harry Watson and Alex Yeoman, both 17, died in ‘tragic accident' while taking photos in Teesside, mother of one of boys says

The teenage best friends who fell from cliffs in Teesside were “having a laugh” and taking photographs when they fell, one of their mothers has said.

Harry Watson and Alex Yeoman, both 17, died on Friday night after apparently falling from Huntcliff in Saltburn-by-the-Sea, a seaside resort in north-east England.

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(28/03/2017 @ 04:16)

Clean up your act on diversity, government tells FTSE companies

Business minister writes to FTSE 350 CEOs echoing calls for businesses to publish breakdown of workforce by pay and race

The government has written to the chief executives of the biggest UK-listed companies urging them to improve diversity and echoing a call to publish a breakdown of their workforce by race and pay band.

The business minister Margot James said all FTSE-350 companies should take up key recommendations from a recent government-backed review into race in the workplace by the businesswoman Ruby McGregor-Smith.

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(28/03/2017 @ 13:27)

Britain's new £1 suffers teething problems; US stock market ends losing run - as it happened

We've road-tested the new 12-sided coin, and found that some ticket and vending machines don't actually accept it

Breaking! The Dow Jones industrial average has ended its eight-day long run of losses, and avoided its worst losing streak in almost 40 years.

The benchmark index has closed up around 0.75%, as Wall Street regained its poise after some nervous sessions.

One of the most fundamental drivers of the backdrop is employment. What we just got from the Conference Board's consumer confidence report should embolden those that believe continued labor market tightening (and accelerating wage growth) is in the offing.

With just 10 minutes to go, the Dow Jones industrial average is on track to break its losing streak.

The Dow's currently up 160 points, or almost 0.8%, at 20,712 points. Surely nothing can shake the rally?....

Looks like that 8-session losing streak on the Dow is about to end with a triple-digit bang https://t.co/zYTqeTuBjH pic.twitter.com/kOFj6J0YMc

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(28/03/2017 @ 16:10)

UK breaks solar energy record on sunny March weekend

Amount of electricity demanded by homes and businesses one afternoon was lower than it was during night for first time ever

Last weekend's sunny weather was not only good for beers, barbecues and bees, but also drove solar power to break a new UK record.

For the first time ever, the amount of electricity demanded by homes and businesses in the afternoon on Saturday was lower than it was in the night, because solar panels on rooftops and in fields cut demand so much.

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(28/03/2017 @ 13:26)

Twitter chief's card payments company Square enters UK market

Service founded by Jack Dorsey uses readers that connect to smartphone or tablet to enable traders to accept card payments with comparatively low fees

Square, the payments company founded by Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey, is entering the UK market offering merchants next-day settlement and slashed prices compared to rivals.

The company is taking on current market leader, Stockholm-headquartered iZettle. Both companies seek to provide a better service to small businesses than legacy card payment firms such as WorldPay and Barclaycard, whose bulky terminals and complex fee structures can lead to merchants choosing to only take cash payments.

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(28/03/2017 @ 11:22)

Sports Direct workers paid less than minimum wage yet to get back pay

Transline, exposed as part of Guardian investigation, has not paid money to scores of employees, BEIS committee hears

Scores of Sports Direct workers who were found to have been paid less than the minimum wage are yet to receive the back pay owed for their shifts.

Steve Turner, the assistant general secretary of the Unite union, told MPs on the business, energy and industrial strategy (BEIS) select committee on Tuesday that Transline, one of the employment agencies exposed during an undercover Guardian investigation, had refused to honour part of the deal.

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(28/03/2017 @ 09:10)

Tesco to pay £129m fine over accounting scandal

Supermarket reaches deferred prosecution agreement with Serious Fraud Office and will pay investors £85m in compensation

Tesco is to pay out £235m to settle investigations by the Serious Fraud Office and Financial Conduct Authority into the 2014 accounting scandal that rocked Britain's biggest retailer.

It will pay a fine of £129m as part of a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) with the SFO, although this deal requires court approval. The DPA relates to Tesco subsidiary Tesco Stores Ltd.

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(28/03/2017 @ 04:55)

Creator of that viral tube sign: 'I didn't think people would think it was real'

John Moore, who posted the sign to his Facebook page, said he wanted to pay tribute to the emergency services using a well-known internet meme – which ended up being read out in the House of Commons

At 8.41pm on the day that terror hit Westminster, a doctor in Windsor called John Moore posted a picture he made on a well-known tube sign generator site to his Facebook page.

It said: “All terrorists are politely reminded that THIS IS LONDON and whatever you do to us, we will drink tea and jolly well carry on. Thank you.”

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(28/03/2017 @ 05:19)

Exam boards drop Israel-Palestine from syllabus as schools fight shy of conflict

Few schools now teach the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict. A new project aims to persuade teachers of its importance and show there are two sides to every story

In 2014 history teacher Michael Davies took a group of his GCSE and A-level students on a field trip to Israel and Palestine. For the first half of the week they immersed themselves in the story of Israel and the tragedy of the Holocaust; for the second they visited the West Bank and played football with boys in a refugee camp. The trip was transformative for the students: “Their minds were wrenched round,” Davies says. “Suddenly they saw that there are two completely different ways of looking at things. That history is constructed and it's often constructed with a purpose.”

For the students of Lancaster Royal Grammar school their study of the history of the Israel-Palestine conflict has been eye-opening and life-changing. But given trends in exam syllabuses, it's not an experience many others are likely to share, as the subject quietly slips down the agenda of exam boards.

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(28/03/2017 @ 03:09)

US-led coalition must do more to avoid civilian deaths in Mosul, says UN

High commissioner tells Iraqi and US forces to ‘avoid the trap' of targeting buildings where Isis has told residents to take shelter

The UN has urged Iraqi and US-led forces to do more to protect civilians in the war against Islamic State in Mosul and accused the terror group of herding trapped residents into buildings that are likely to be targeted by airstrikes.

The intervention by the UN's high commissioner for human rights, Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, comes after at least 150 people died in a series of coalition airstrikes – detailed by the Guardian last week – on one neighbourhood in the ravaged west of the Iraqi city.

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(28/03/2017 @ 13:23)

Carlos the Jackal: 1974 Paris attack conviction leads to third life sentence

Venezuelan-born Ilich Ramà­rez Sà¡nchez found guilty of killing two and injuring 32 in grenade attack

The man known as “Carlos the Jackal” has been given a third life sentence for a 1974 attack on a Paris drugstore that killed two people and wounded 34.

Five judges ruled Venezuelan-born Ilich Ramà­rez Sà¡nchez was responsible for throwing a grenade on the Champs Élysées. He is already serving two life sentences in France for attacks carried out in the 1970s and 80s.

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(28/03/2017 @ 10:59)

Ivory Coast's former first lady Simone Gbagbo acquitted of war crimes

  • Gbagbo also cleared of crimes against humanity for role in 2011 civil war
  • Trial held in Abidjan after refusal to send her to ICC in The Hague

A court in Ivory Coast has acquitted the former first lady Simone Gbagbo of crimes against humanity and war crimes charges linked to her role in a 2011 civil war that killed about 3,000 people, state television announced on Tuesday.

Judge Kouadio Bouatchi said a jury unanimously voted to free Gbagbo. The prosecution had asked for a life sentence, saying she had participated on a committee that organised abuses against supporters of her husband's opponent after the 2010 election.

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(28/03/2017 @ 17:32)

Mexican man cleared in sexual assault of schoolgirl because he didn't enjoy it

Diego Cruz, 21, one of four privileged youths dubbed ‘Los Porkys' who abducted and vaginally penetrated the teenager, did so without ‘carnal intent' a judge ruled

A Mexican judge has freed a wealthy young man accused of abducting and sexually assaulting a schoolgirl, on the grounds that the perpetrator did not enjoy himself.

Related: Mexican rape victim reveals details of case plagued by privilege and impunity

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(28/03/2017 @ 19:01)

World's largest dinosaur footprints discovered in Western Australia

Newly-discovered prints left by gigantic herbivores are part of a rich collection of tracks belonging to an estimated 21 different types of dinosaur

The largest known dinosaur footprints have been discovered in Western Australia, including 1.7 metre prints left by gigantic herbivores.

Until now, the biggest known dinosaur footprint was a 106cm track discovered in the Mongolian desert and reported last year.

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(28/03/2017 @ 10:08)

Queenslanders wake up to devastation following 'monster' storm Cyclone Debbie

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says there will be ‘shock and awe' in the state when the full extent of the damage wrought by the cyclone is revealed

Queenslanders woke up on Wednesday to a huge cleanup following the “monster” Cyclone Debbie, as the now ex-tropical cyclone brought yet more heavy rain as it worked its way through the state.

At 3am on Wednesday morning the Bureau of Meteorology downgraded Debbie out of the cyclone category to a tropical low, bringing sustained winds of 55km/h with gusts of up to 85km/h. Heavy rains were still expected as it moved south-west, with a severe weather warning in place.

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(28/03/2017 @ 17:06)

Canadian MP responds to writer's ‘odd' story about trying to breastfeed his baby

Leah McLaren revealed how she once tried to nurse Michael Chong's son without permission in column that received sharp rebuke over ‘inappropriate' behavior

Related: Make Canada great again? Conservative Canucks chart course for the age of Trump

In the race to become the next leader of Canada's Conservatives, he's promised lower income taxes and increased financing for small businesses while taking aim at the politics of fear.

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(28/03/2017 @ 13:37)

Cambodia bans export of human breast milk after US operation raises concern

Unicef hails decision following controversy centered on Utah-based Ambrosia labs, as activist says Cambodian mothers ‘often have no other choices'

Cambodia has banned selling and exporting locally pumped human breast milk, after reports exposed how women were turning to the controversial trade to boost meagre incomes in one of south-east Asia's poorest countries.

The order comes after Cambodia temporarily halted breast milk exports by the Utah-based Ambrosia Labs, which claims to be the first company to source the product from overseas and distribute it in the US.

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(28/03/2017 @ 12:09)

UN criticism of Israel bombing Hezbollah is absurd, says Johnson

Foreign secretary speaks after UK mission puts UN ‘on notice' over what it sees as human rights council's bias against Israel

Boris Johnson, the UK foreign secretary, has condemned the UN human rights council criticism of Israeli bombing of Hezbollah positions in the Golan Heights as “absolutely preposterous” and “a profound absurdity”.

He was speaking after the UK mission to the UN in Geneva put the UN “on notice” that it would vote against all resolutions about Israel's conduct in the occupied Syrian and Palestinian territories unless the human rights council ended what the UK mission described as anti-Israel bias.

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(28/03/2017 @ 10:48)

Germany to investigate claims of ‘intolerable' spying by Turkey

The claims Erdoğan's agents are spying on supporters of exiled preacher Fethullah Gà¼len open new front in the diplomatic row between the two countries

German prosecutors have announced an investigation into claims that Turkish agents are spying on alleged followers of exiled preacher Fethullah Gà¼len in Germany.

News of the inquiry came as a German state minister accused Turkey of “intolerable and unacceptable” espionage against supporters of Gà¼len, blamed by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for a failed coup attempt last year.

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(28/03/2017 @ 13:52)

Uber to shut down Denmark operation over new taxi laws

US firm says it ‘must take the consequences' of new rules requiring cabs to be fitted with seat occupancy sensors and fare meters

Uber will shut down its operation in Denmark next month following the introduction of new taxi laws, the company has said, marking the latest European setback for the US ride-booking service.

A company spokesman, Kristian Agerbo, said on Tuesday Uber “must take the consequences” of the new rules, which among other things will require cabs to be fitted with seat occupancy sensors and fare meters.

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(28/03/2017 @ 09:36)

Trump's treasury secretary accused of ethics violation after Lego Batman 'plug'

Democrat senator calls for investigation of comments made during interview, but spokesman for Steven Mnuchin says alleged product promotion was a ‘lighthearted moment'

A senior Democrat has called for US treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin to face an ethics violation investigation over comments he made plugging The Lego Batman Movie, a film financed by one of Mnuchin's companies.

In a letter to Office of Government Ethics director Walter Shaub, Ron Wyden, the top-ranking Democrat on the Senate finance committee, expressed concern over comments made by Mnuchin during a live Q&A with the political news website Axios, in which Mnuchin called on the public to “send all your kids to Lego Batman”.

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(28/03/2017 @ 08:58)

Police and protesters clash in Paris over death of Chinese man

Demonstration outside police station after man reportedly shot by officer at home in front of his children

Violent clashes have broken out in Paris between riot police and protesters angry at the police killing of a Chinese man in his own home. Three police officers were injured and 35 demonstrators arrested, the French authorities said on Tuesday.

Shaoyo Liu, 56, was allegedly shot in front of his children while he was cutting up fish. Police say the officer involved in a raid on the property on Sunday fired in self-defence after Liu wounded an officer with a “bladed weapon”.

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(28/03/2017 @ 08:11)

Elon Musk wants to connect brains to computers with new company

Tesla and SpaceX founder launching Neuralink to explore technology of implanting tiny electrodes into the brain

Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk is launching a new company called Neuralink with the intention of connecting computers directly to human brains, according to a report.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the billionaire entrepreneur, whose other interests include sending humans to Mars, is exploring “neural lace” technology – the implanting of tiny electrodes into the brain that could be used to give direct computing capabilities.

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(28/03/2017 @ 06:47)

'Sightings' of extinct Tasmanian tiger prompt search in Queensland

Eyewitness accounts of large, dog-like animals in state's far north spur scientific hunt for thylacines, thought to have died out in 1936

“Plausible” possible sightings of a Tasmanian tiger in northern Queensland have prompted scientists to undertake a search for the species thought to have died out more than 80 years ago.

The last thylacine is thought to have died in Hobart zoo in 1936, and it is widely believed to have become extinct on mainland Australia at least 2,000 years ago.

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(27/03/2017 @ 22:57)

Warning that Beijing's military bases in South China Sea are ready for use

China now able to deploy combat aircraft and missile launchers to disputed islands at any time, says US thinktank

China has largely completed three major military bases in the South China Sea that have naval, air, radar and missile-defence facilities, according to a US thinktank.

Related: South China Sea images reveal impact on coral of Beijing's military bases

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(28/03/2017 @ 00:57)

Ahmed Kathrada: anti-apartheid titan jailed with Mandela dies at 87

South African activist, known affecitionately as Kathy, was highly critical of Jacob Zuma and ANC government in later years

The South African anti-apartheid activist Ahmed Kathrada, one of Nelson Mandela's closest colleagues in the struggle against white rule and a fellow Robben Island prisoner, has died aged 87.

Related: Nelson Mandela's fellow ANC activist breaks silence to demand Jacob Zuma's resignation

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(28/03/2017 @ 10:00)

The new £1 coin explained in one minute – video report

The old £1 coin is being phased out for a new bimetallic 12-sided coin that's more difficult to forge, and even has a ‘hidden security feature'. The old round pounds can still be spent in shops until 15 October. After that they will have to be exchanged at a bank or building society

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(28/03/2017 @ 09:22)

How to switch to solar power in your home and why now is the time – video

Every day, the sun kickstarts mini power plants in about 942,000 homes around America. We are of course talking about solar energy – and in 2017, it's never been cheaper to invest in it for your home. The Guardian looks at key tips for installing solar panels and why now is the time to switch

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(01/03/2017 @ 06:00)

Noah: a man helping Flint, Michigan, rise from ashes – video

Flint, Michigan is a city built on the American dream. With the disappearance of industry, it became impoverished and neglected, and so did its residents. The water crisis is just one more tragedy piled upon a mound of oppression.

Noah Patton, a young man from Flint, was deeply affected after his mother killed herself. But with the help of his pastor, he has turned his life around and is helping to positively shape the future of his community

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(25/03/2017 @ 07:05)

How the Westminster terror attack unfolded – video report

Four victims died after a single terrorist staged an attack in central London on Wednesday, killing three members of the public as he careered across Westminster Bridge in a 4x4 car and stabbing a policeman to death outside parliament. This is how the events unfolded.

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(22/03/2017 @ 19:36)

Why is Russia still in love with Putin? – video

Established politicians the world over are facing crises of confidence with their electorates. But 17 years after he took charge of Russia, Vladimir Putin's approval ratings are still high. Shaun Walker visits Irkutsk in Siberia to investigate why, despite their lives being tough, Russians still believe in Putin

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(23/03/2017 @ 07:13)

Beyond the blade: marking the death of every child and teen by a knife in 2017

There is no publicly available national data on children and teens killed by knives in Britain. So this year we will compile it. Join Gary Younge and Damien Gayle as they explore the themes behind knife crime in Britain.

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(28/03/2017 @ 02:00)

Alien intelligence: the extraordinary minds of octopuses and other cephalopods

After a startling encounter with a cuttlefish, Australian philosopher Peter Godfrey-Smith set out to explore the mysterious lives of cephalopods. He was left asking: why do such smart, optimistic creatures live such a short time?

Inches above the seafloor of Sydney's Cabbage Tree Bay, with the proximity made possible by several millimetres of neoprene and an oxygen tank, I'm just about eyeball to eyeball with this creature: an Australian giant cuttlefish.

Even allowing for the magnifying effects of the mask snug across my nose, it must be about two feet long, and the peculiarities that abound in the cephalopod family, that includes octopuses and squid, are the more striking writ so large.

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(28/03/2017 @ 15:00)

Don Juan in Soho review – David Tennant dazzles as a desolate hedonist

Wyndhams theatre, London
Tennant brings a beguiling, fleet-footed charm to Molière's libertine, reinvented as DJ in Patrick Marber's subversive update

David Tennant stars as the rutting rake in Patrick Marber's sprightly update of Molière's comic morality play. Watching him, I was reminded of Christopher Hampton's comment that the actor playing Molière's Don Juan must seduce the audience. It is precisely because Tennant invests a heartless libertine, now simply known as DJ, with a beguiling, fleet-footed charm that Marber's update acquires a subversiveness it lacked on its first outing at the Donmar Warehouse in 2006.

Related: Patrick Marber on five years of writer's block: 'We were in debt. I was depressed. It was awful'

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(28/03/2017 @ 17:00)

White flight followed factory jobs out of Gary, Indiana. Black people didn't have a choice

Residents who know the ugliness of racial politics all too well blame automation, not immigrants, for the destruction and despair that Trump promised to fix

Gary, Indiana, is dying. It's a city built around a manufacturing industry mostly gone. The death isn't complete; there are still a few factories and a few neighborhoods with nice, small homes. Other parts are only slightly scarred, with boarded-up or burned-down houses sandwiched tightly between well-kept homes. Some parts are just dead: overgrown streets lined by empty lots and broken buildings.

Gary, population 77,156, has been stigmatized for decades as a city of crime and drugs, although there are few outward signs of either. No clusters of kids on corners selling drugs, no visible piles of discarded needles. The city carries a heavy burden, but there is also a calmness and a functionality to it, despite its economic collapse.

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(28/03/2017 @ 07:00)

Bondage crocodiles and a buttock moon: the world's weirdest claymations

Twisted fairytales, whip-cracking crocodiles, a corncob getting some bump'n'grind – Nathalie Djurberg is taking claymation where it's never gone before

When the crocodile wearing a bondage collar starts whipping the giant rat riding a motorbike made of wieners, you may find yourself thinking: “Wow, this really can't get much odder.” But you will, of course, be wrong – even though the crocodile is already in bed with a latex-enrobed octopus and a fox in a fox-fur stole.

Nathalie Djurberg – the maker of Delights of an Undirected Mind, as this animation is called – is on a mission to probe the more uncomfortable corners of the human psyche, those sticky recesses where the loose term “sex” is used as convenient shorthand for a tangle of sly and shaming urges and revulsions.

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(28/03/2017 @ 13:26)

Monkman v Seagull: friendship is winner in University Challenge showdown

Eric Monkman's team beats Bobby Seagull's in semi-final of TV quiz show, but Bobby is there to lend support in the final

It was billed as a titanic final battle between two implacable enemies. After months of cerebral combat on BBC2's University Challenge, two of the series's breakout social media stars – the intensely focused Canadian Eric Monkman, of Wolfson College, Cambridge, and the expressive east Londoner Bobby Seagull, of Emmanuel College, Cambridge – would come face-to-face in a hotly-anticipated semi-final.

Fans on Twitter called it “the showdown of the century” and the two men “the Ronaldo and Messi of University Challenge”, spawning countless online jokes and (inevitably) a trending hashtag – #Monkmania. “Seagull v Monkman, 8pm tonight,” tweeted one viewer. “I haven't been this excited since Pacino and De Niro finally came face to face in Heat.”

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(28/03/2017 @ 12:46)

Late-night hosts on Trump: 'How to Lose Friends and Influence No One'

Comics, including Jimmy Fallon and Trevor Noah, discussed the collapse of the healthcare reform bill and the president's inability to accept responsibility

Late-night hosts discussed the embarrassing collapse of the proposed healthcare reform and Trump's ongoing difficulty with accepting blame.

Related: Fox & Friends in the henhouse: how Trump's beloved show wields power

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(28/03/2017 @ 11:13)

Who pushed Ken Barlow? Why soap operas love a whodunnit

Coronation Street's longest-serving resident came a cropper on a staircase last night – reviving one of the genre's favourite gimmicks

Who pushed Weatherfield veteran Ken Barlow down the stairs, leaving him for dead? The shoving of Coronation Street's longest-serving character on Monday night marked the moment the carousel of British soap-opera gimmicks clacked around once more to one of the genre's mainstays: the whodunnit.

It's a trope that dates back to 1980, when internationally popular US saga Dallas ended its third season with the shooting of JR Ewing, leaving viewers to wait months for the new series to reveal the culprit. Soaps have been recycling the formula ever since, with EastEnders' “Who shot Phil Mitchell?” storyline of 2001 and Neighbours' 2010 “Who pushed PR?” arc among the most blatant homages.

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(28/03/2017 @ 10:33)

Please, Sir – sit! The tale of a learning support dog

More and more schools now employ waggy-tailed staff to soothe students and even help teach them to read aloud

When litter at Huntington school in York got out of control recently, staff managed to sort it out pretty much overnight – not by replacing detentions with a mass litter pick, but by deploying their newest, cuddliest colleague: Rolo, the school dog.

They made a short video for assembly, showing what a state the playground was in. “Rubbish, isn't it?” ran the caption, followed swiftly by: “Do you know what would be really rubbish? If Rolo had to leave because of rubbish.” This masterstroke of emotional blackmail showed the five-month old chocolate labrador chomping innocently on a fizzy drink bottle lid and sniffing a discarded foil wrapper, looking up to the camera with big brown eyes.

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(28/03/2017 @ 03:00)

How Nike trainers became the latest unlikely symbol of revolt

A pair of Air Max 95s have become a mark of dissent in Russia. They join brollies, hoodies and rubber gloves as surprising tools of protest

They are pretty ugly trainers. But that's not the only problem with the Russian prime minister's recent footwear purchase. The yellow-soled Nike Air Max 95s have sparked a corruption storm after a YouTube video posted this month cited them as one of the ways Dmitry Medvedev used front companies led by his rich friends to buy luxury goods. Opposition politician Alexei Navalny led thousands in the biggest Russian street protest for five years at the weekend – with a pair of Nike trainers slung around his neck. Flags, banners and chants may be the more usual symbols of a revolution – but this is certainly not the first time household objects or clothes have become a sign of a political protest.

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(28/03/2017 @ 10:34)

Madama Butterfly review – the whole evening is outstanding

Royal Opera House, London
This revival of Leiser and Caurier's production of Puccini's tragedy is a superb achievement, with Ermonela Jaho bringing passionate conviction to the title role

Opera audiences, it would seem, are developing a habit of booing reprehensible on-stage characters. When Marcelo Puente, cast as Pinkerton in the current Covent Garden revival of Madama Butterfly, took his curtain call, he was greeted with the kind of noise usually accorded a pantomime villain. This was despite giving one of the most complete and convincing portrayals of the role to be heard for some time: handsomely sung with a dark, bronzed tone; attractively laddish and irresponsible at the start; the remorse and moral cowardice of the final scenes wonderfully and empathetically realised. Some might argue that the response validates his characterisation, though whether it is a fitting acknowledgement for such a superb achievement seems to me debatable.

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(28/03/2017 @ 07:49)

Social media camp: a 10-day course on lighting and how to be an 'influencer'

For $2,690, the Social Star Creator Camp says it will teach teenagers the digital skills they need to become social media ‘influencers' – is it too good to be true?

If you are the parent of teenagers, here are three words that may make you shudder: social media camp.

Rather than wean adolescents off Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube, a 10-day course aims to deepen their immersion in online platforms to turn them into social media “influencers” and “stars”.

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(28/03/2017 @ 03:00)

'Misery maisonettes' no more: has Hull's Bransholme estate turned a corner?

In the 1980s and 90s, Bransholme earned a reputation for damp, vandalism and crime – but as it turns 50, Hull's largest estate is fighting the stereotypes

Where does Bransholme start? There's no “Welcome to … ” sign on any of the approach roads. Sutton Park, the neighbouring private development, kind of blends into it. Then suddenly you're there, in a land of houses without chimneys, grass verges the size of fields and looping ring-roads that don't always end where you expect them to.

Follow one of these arteries round, and you'll end up at the heart: the North Point shopping centre. In May, Bransholme, the huge postwar housing development on Hull's north-eastern edge, turns 50 – and North Point is marking the anniversary with a photo exhibition recounting the journey from boggy building site to town-sized estate that's now home to 30,000 people.

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(28/03/2017 @ 02:00)

The feminists of Farc: ‘We are not demobilising, we are mobilising politically'

As Colombia's guerrilla forces reintegrate into civilian life, its female combatants have taken on a new fight – battling macho culture and inequality

When she was only 20 years old, guerrilla commander Adriana left her rural home in Tolima, south of Colombia's capital, to join the ranks of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc). “I wanted to become somebody. I wanted to do something important,” she says.

Adriana – now 38 years old, resting under the shade of a corrugated metal roof in the lush mountains of Cesar – is one of the 7,000 remaining combatants of the Farc expected to demobilise and begin a reintegration process, transitioning from Colombia's mountains and jungles to civilian life.

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(27/03/2017 @ 11:04)

I have vulvodynia – but countless gynaecologists dismissed my agony | Anonymous

Statistics say that one in six women will contract this painful condition. So why did it take years and endless misdiagnoses before I was properly treated?

It was after a spate of kidney infections that I started experiencing intimate pain, including a burning and stinging sensation on the skin around my vulva whenever I attempted to sleep with my partner or insert a tampon. I was a student at the time and the first move of the campus GP was to test me for chlamydia. Although this came back negative, I was tested for the same infection a further three times over the following months. Then I was sent to a sexual health clinic, despite the fact I had one long-term partner and my situation had not changed. Assumptions were being made about me, I felt, because I was a student, and I was embarrassed that neither my GP nor the clinic staff would believe I was having safe sex.

Related: What are your experiences of getting help for gynaecological problems? | Sarah Marsh

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(28/03/2017 @ 05:30)

True Detective season three: what HBO needs to fix to do the show justice

After a poorly received second outing, the detective show could return for a third run. Here's a rundown of what they need to rectify before it could return

Has there ever been a more disappointing second series of television than True Detective season two? After the mercurial energy, invention and philosophical boldness of season one, anticipation could hardly have been higher for the second season – despite misgivings over the casting – and yet when the credits rolled after our very first outing with Vince Vaughn, Colin Farrell, Rachel McAdams and Taylor Kitsch, it was already clear something had gone terribly wrong – and not just in the fictional town of Vinci, California, whose decrepit bleakness hardly matched the baleful bayou setting of the first season.

Related: UnREAL, Mr Robot, True Detective: why great shows have bad second seasons

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(28/03/2017 @ 06:00)

Paul Auster on City of Glass on stage: 'This goes beyond the realms of my imagination'

No one thought his metaphysical thriller could work as a play. But technology has made it possible. We meet Paul Auster as he takes a VR trip inside his own head – and recalls what he learned from Beckett while penniless in Paris

Paul Auster looks perturbed. We are standing in the foyer of Home in Manchester, where the author has just encountered a virtual reality presentation that accompanies the theatrical adaptation of his novel, City of Glass. The foyer installation transports you to a freakishly realistic 3D environment, in which you sit at Paul Auster's desk, in front of Paul Auster's typewriter, producing passages from Paul Auster's New York Trilogy while snow gently falls indoors.

He peels off the VR headset and whistles. “Now that, as we say in New York, is some pretty weird shit.” Weird shit that he dreamed up in the first place, it's worth pointing out. “Oh no,” he replies. “These guys have taken it way beyond the realms of my imagination.”

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(28/03/2017 @ 03:00)

Know the ledge: the best hip-hop autobiographies

The tiny literary genre has only a few entries but the most accomplished rap memoirs offer insight into worlds that are unimaginable to most

When Gucci Mane announced that he'd written a memoir called The Autobiography of Gucci Mane last week, he joined a small but charming offshoot of the literary canon: the hip-hop autobiography. The genre is full of fascinating people, many of whom have used their intelligence and drive to overcome the sorts of economic and social inequalities that a sizable portion of their fanbases can't begin to fathom. At their best, hip-hop memoirs function both as windows into the creative world of incredibly talented individuals, as well as reflections upon the communities that America has left behind. But needless to say, for every frank and thoughtful book like Scarface's Diary of a Madman, there is one like Kanye West's Thank You And You're Welcome, a 52-page collection of Kanye-isms that's so laughably pointless that perhaps even Yeezy himself would rather you forget it. What follows is a selection of the best – or at least most fascinating – entries into the hip-hop literary canon.

Related: DJ Khaled: a day in the life of a living meme

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(28/03/2017 @ 07:53)

Bittersweet home Alabama: S-Town, the next podcast from the makers of Serial

What started as a rambling email turned into a real-life drama full of murder, grief and antique clocks. The producers of This American Life and Serial, Brian Reed and Julie Snyder, explain their latest long-form audio adventure

The first episode of S-Town, the new seven-part podcast from the team behind Serial, begins with producer Brian Reed talking about “witness marks” – the nearly invisible traces that are left on the guts and gears of antique clocks by each repair: “I only learned about all this because an antique clock restorer contacted me and asked me to help him solve a murder.”

It all started with an email. A man named John B McLemore sent a note to the general email address of the podcast This American Life, with the subject line “John B McLemore lives in Shit Town, Alabama”. Reed, a producer on the show, scanned the email and decided to take it to the editorial team, even though he wasn't exactly sure what the story was, other than a small-town resident with a large vocabulary complaining that the scion of a wealthy family was bragging that he got away with murder. He invited This American Life's producers to come investigate for themselves.

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(28/03/2017 @ 07:03)

The Wipers Times review – Ian Hislop salutes satirical wartime newspaper

Arts theatre, London
Hislop and Nick Newman's play explores the extraordinary real-life story of how a Punch-style publication was set up by troops during the first world war

Ian Hislop and Nick Newman have already made an award-winning TV film from the story of how a satirical newspaper was produced by frontline soldiers in the first world war. Now comes the stage version and it retains its fascination, even if it feels over-extended at two and a half hours and is inevitably overshadowed by memories of Joan Littlewood's Oh What a Lovely War.

The story is framed by the spectacle of the paper's editor, Fred Roberts, struggling to find a job in postwar Fleet Street. The bulk of the action shows Roberts and his fellow officer Jack Pearson deciding to set up a paper while stationed at Ypres. “A bit like the Daily Mail?” says someone. “I was thinking of something rather more accurate,” replies Roberts. That feels like an anachronistic barb, since the Wipers Times was less concerned with news than with offering a Punch-like mixture of jokes, parodies, poems and cartoons that would capture the rumbling resentment of the common soldier with a cosseted high command and the facile optimism of fireside patriots.

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(28/03/2017 @ 07:33)

'I crawled on my knees to Kylie' – the inside story of Stock, Aitken and Waterman

To mark the publication of a pictorial history of the songwriters Mike Stock talks about the ‘Hit Factory' years

When I look back on the peak days of Stock, Aitken and Waterman, it's all a bit of a blur. I wish we'd been able to stop and pace ourselves, but when people are knocking on your door, saying: “We need a record by tomorrow,” you don't have time for a break. And you don't want to let anyone down. That was the pressure we were under and, looking back, I don't know how I did it.

We didn't just write the songs – Matt Aitken and I were the band. We played drums, guitars, pianos, did string arrangements, everything. A lot of people don't realise that we were actually the band, and therefore the most successful band there's ever been. Just don't tell Paul McCartney that.

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(28/03/2017 @ 03:00)

'An unrealistic pressure': mothers on what it's like to breastfeed

The majority of women stop breastfeeding after two months, despite health experts' advice to continue to at least six. We speak to mothers about their experiences

Almost three-quarters of women in England start breastfeeding after giving birth, but less than half are still doing so two months later according to NHS and Public Health England data.

PHE recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months, as does the World Health Organization, because it boosts a baby's ability to fight illness and infection. But a survey of 500 mothers commissioned by PHE found that fears about breastfeeding among women included that it could be painful (74%), prevent them from taking medication (71%) and be embarrassing in front of strangers (63%).

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(28/03/2017 @ 04:00)

How David Storey's This Sporting Life created a great working-class film hero

Storey delivered a blast of energy to the dull early 60s with the character of Frank Machin, a rugby player who capitalised on the new magic of celebrity

David Storey, in an unforgettable partnership with the director Lindsay Anderson, provided one of the great energising shocks of the 1960s, a blast of energy, smashing at the dullness, the complacency and hypocrisy of class-ridden Britain. Storey adapted his own 1960 novel This Sporting Life for the screen: Lindsay Anderson directed it, and won from Richard Harris a performance to rival Brando. He is Frank Machin, a gifted sportsman who wants to make it as a professional rugby league player (like Storey himself), but is poignantly in love with his widowed landlady, played by Rachel Roberts. Frank is a superstar on the field; he has money, success with women and a cocksure sense of himself that irritates the stuffy ruling class. Frank is that rarest of things in British cinema of that time: a success. Billy Liar might fantasise. Frank Machin lives the dream.

Related: David Storey obituary

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(28/03/2017 @ 04:46)

Russian authorities 'imprisoning Crimean Tatars in psychiatric hospitals'

Since annexation many ethnic Tatar activists have been detained in outdated mental institutions, rights activists say

Lawyers and human rights activists say Russian authorities in Crimea are increasingly imprisoning human rights activists in psychiatric hospitals and submitting them to psychological abuse.

Since the annexation of the region three years ago many ethnic Tatar activists who oppose the occupation have been arrested and subjected to abuse and imprisonment in outdated mental institutions, said Robert van Voren, a Dutch human rights activist and political scientist.

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(28/03/2017 @ 01:30)

Talking about your miscarriage doesn't make you ‘privileged'

After the writer Ariel Levy wrote about losing her baby, she was attacked for her ‘entitlement' – but you don't need to be hurting more than everyone in the world to say you're suffering

Why are women so mean to each other?

David, by email

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(27/03/2017 @ 10:16)

Broadchurch recap: series three, episode five â€“ never lie about mackerel

The net of potential suspects widens further – as does the number of potential victims. Are the crimes linked, perhaps even with earlier Broadchurch storylines?

Blimey. I think I might need to set up a spreadsheet to work out where we're up to with everything. Perhaps I can ask Creepy Aaron to help. He's good with data. But then so is Ian, the highly suspect ex-husband. And here he is, breaking in, presumably to steal his daughter's computer which has something dodgy on it.

And what's this? A new piece of evidence? “It's Arthur Tamworth. I don't know whether my dog might have found something pertinent...” Ah, the old buffer. He was my No1 suspect, but I suppose this counts him out. Unless he likes drawing attention to himself. And here it is, the old sock. And look! The fishing twine emporium heir is a collector of dirty football kits! Fishy.

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(27/03/2017 @ 17:00)

Weaponise! ​The meaning of 2017's political buzzword

Sex, the NHS, Brexit, loose tal​k – all have been ​described as ​‘weaponised'​. But what is the effect on the public when ​language is constantly on a war footing?

In our embattled age, it seems everything can be turned into a weapon. The Scottish Tory leader, Ruth Davidson, has frequently accused Nicola Sturgeon of “weaponising Brexit” to break up the union. Donald Trump's “loose talk about Muslims”, the Washington Post reported, was “weaponised” in the courtroom battles over his travel ban. The Greenham Common protesters, Suzanne Moore wrote in this newspaper the other day, “weaponised traditional notions of femininity”. A recent New Yorker article on the jurisprudence of sexual questions was entitled Weaponising the Past. Ed Miliband, it was reported back in 2015, even planned to “weaponise the NHS” in the general election, a characteristically tin-eared piece of forlorn machismo. Other things that may be weaponised, according to the internet, include autism, Twitter, campus safe spaces, memes and the humble lentil.

To weaponise something means, straightforwardly, to turn it into a weapon, but what sort of thing originally counted as weaponisable? Surprisingly, the earliest use (predating the Oxford English Dictionary entry by nearly 20 years) that comes up in a Google books search is a metaphorical one: in 1938, one William John Grant wrote in The Spirit of India of a certain group who were unable to “weaponise their strength” by advancing compelling political arguments. But subsequent uses of “weaponise” in the 40s and 50s were exclusively military: in this context, “weaponising” meant not turning non-weapons into weapons, but bringing new military technology to practical fruition in one way or another.

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(27/03/2017 @ 13:48)

Why have I been arrested? Maybe you killed Kennedy, the Russian officer said

I was detained by riot police while covering a demonstration in Moscow. The treatment of peaceful protesters was shocking

I raised my phone to take a photo as riot police suddenly began detaining protesters, but before I could get the picture a pair of thick arms grabbed me. A trooper in a black helmet and flak jacket was barrelling me toward a police van.

“I'm a foreign journalist,” I kept repeating in Russian. “Open your legs wider,” was all he said as he pushed me face-first up against the truck and started patting me down.

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(27/03/2017 @ 07:59)

When good TV goes bad: how Buffy the Vampire Slayer started to suck

Banter, wit, action, feminism, pop-culture quips and warmth – the Sunnydale Slayer saga had it all. Then, all of a sudden, its blood curdled

To be clear: Joss Whedon's 90s supernatural fantasy Buffy the Vampire Slayer was everything. Funny, moving, acute, operatic, intellectual, accessible, crammed with classical and pop-cultural references, innovative in form and content, a pitch-perfect mash-up of genres and formats years before mash-ups were A Thing. It was all held together by Whedon's talent and overarching vision and delivered by an ensemble cast without a weak link. Like a bumble bee, it shouldn't have worked but it did, beautifully. For six seasons. Then the seventh happened and it all went terribly wrong.

The seventh season overloaded the show with a sudden cast of thousands. Enter Buffy's Potential Slayers, only two of whom, Kennedy and Rona, have anything resembling an identifiable personality (three if you count “being unremittingly irritating” as a trait, in which case you may include Amanda) and none of whom the audience have the time or the inclination to care about. They crowded out the original Scooby Gang (Willow, Xander, Giles and Cordelia) and required Buffy to be more “military general” than “Slayer”. Suddenly, episodes filled with pep talks and tactics instead of action interspersed with witty banter.

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(27/03/2017 @ 08:00)

Don't Care Good Hair: more lo-fi than blow-dry

Alexa Chung has worked it for years​, while Emma Stone and​ ​Strictly's ​Claudia Winkleman ​have also adopted the new soft-power style that's flat at the top, wavy through the middle and suggests you're not trying too hard

If you hadn't noticed that there is a new power hairstyle on the scene, don't feel bad about it. You weren't supposed to notice because the new look flies deliberately under-the-radar. The check-me-out blow-out is over, and the new look is Don't Care Good Hair.

Don't Care Good Hair is flat at the top – root lift is so noughties, babes – and wavy through the middle section, but in a bendy, haphazard-looking shape with no spiral curls. The ends are left natural so they poke in different directions rather than being curled neatly under. It is more zigzag than Wag, more lo-fi than blow-dry.

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(28/03/2017 @ 13:00)

No to leggings? United Airlines dress code isn't just sexist – it's unfashionable

With style becoming more casual, rules that target what female staff wear are woefully out of step in 2017

The news that two young girls weren't allowed to board a United Airlines flight on Sunday night because they were wearing leggings has got the internet understandably up in arms. As guests of United staff members, the girls were subject to the rules of the company, rather than those for regular customers. These restrictions stress smartness, but are notably vague. A tweet by United said that: “Casual attire is allowed as long as it looks neat and is in good taste for the local environment.”

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(28/03/2017 @ 12:27)

The 20 best Nigella Lawson recipes: part 2

A comforting steak and kidney pudding and an easy fish pie – more of our favourite Nigella dishes

• Part 3 of this series launches on Wednesday

My mother used to make this fairly often in my childhood, but mostly, I associate it with feeling under the weather: this is my idea – or rather my mother's – of hand-on-the-brow comfort food. My mother always put a tomato cut in half in the dish, but I once, unaccountably, found myself at home and tomato-less, so bunged in some peas from the deep-freeze, instead, and was very happy with the innovation. You could do either or both, as suits you; fresh bread, thickly sliced and buttered, is non-negotiable, however.

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(28/03/2017 @ 03:00)

Google Home smart speaker brings battle of living rooms to UK

Launch of rival to Amazon Echo takes fight to Jeff Bezos's Seattle-based company, but experts say it's still Google's to lose

Google is launching its rival to Amazon's Echo, the Google Home, in the UK as the battle for the living room hots up.

The smart speaker, which can play music, control Internet of Things devices, and answer questions, will cost British customers £129, £20 less than Amazon's Echo, when it launches in Britain on 6 April.

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(28/03/2017 @ 04:57)

Nigel Slater's roast shallots with mussels and cream recipe

A seafood treat, cooked the easy way

Set the oven at 200C/gas mark 6. Peel 350g of large shallots and slice them in half lengthways. Warm 3 tbsp of olive oil in a shallow, lidded casserole, add the halved shallots and 6 small sprigs of thyme, then bake for 30 minutes until the shallots are pale gold.

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(28/03/2017 @ 07:00)

Mass Effect: Andromeda – seven tips beginners need to know

Adapt the look of your character and your vehicle, keep on top of your skills and above all flirt – here are some pointers you might not know

Andromeda: it's a whole new galaxy. And whether you're a veteran player of the original Mass Effect trilogy or this is your first foray into BioWare's galactic RPG, there are things you might not know when starting out. For sure, Mass Effect: Andromeda is all about the journey, but there's no reason you shouldn't make that journey a little easier and more enjoyable by following these seven tips.

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(28/03/2017 @ 06:18)

Walking Canada's Fundy Footpath

The Bay of Fundy is famous for the world's highest tides, but the spectacular trail along its north shore is used only by a handful of clued-up walkers. James Stewart signs up for a hiking adventure

The thing about distance, says Mike Carpenter, is that, like time, it's relative. We are in his pickup truck, swooping up the coast north of St Martins in Canada's New Brunswick. “Sure, the Fundy Footpath is short,” he concedes, “but it's punchy. It feels a lot longer.”

We're en route to the trailhead at Big Salmon river with Nick Brennan, the other half of activity company Red Rock Adventures. Every so often we round a bend to see the rust-red cliffs along which we will walk roller coaster into the distance. Unbroken forest fuzzes their summits – this is the largest stand of Acadian old-growth forest in Canada's maritime states.

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(28/03/2017 @ 01:30)

Private fat cats have got rich on the sale of our schools | Michael Rosen

Councils have ‘maximised their assets' by selling what is not theirs to dispose of

In the mid-1970s I worked at Vauxhall Manor school, a girls' comprehensive in south London. Of the many special things going on, one sticks out in my mind: a group of teachers working across different subjects developed a “talk workshop”. They would come together to talk about the language the pupils used, the language they used in lessons, the language of text books and how these different ways of talking and writing met. One of the outcomes of this project was a book, Becoming Our Own Experts.

The sentimentalist in me loves it when the important things we say and do can be tied to buildings and landscape. I get a buzz when there is a flow between that “important thing” and now, in the very same place.

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(28/03/2017 @ 02:45)

Samsung could sell 'refurbished' Galaxy Note 7 phones

Company trying to manage stockpile of four million handsets that were recalled after battery explosions

Samsung has announced it could refurbish and sell some of the millions of Note 7 smartphones that were recalled for safety reasons, in an effort to manage its stockpile in an “environmentally friendly” manner.

The world's largest smartphone maker said it would sell Note 7s as “refurbished phones or rental phones” after consulting regulators in various markets.

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(27/03/2017 @ 20:16)

How do you feel now article 50 is about to be triggered?

As the UK triggers the formal process to leave the EU, we'd like you to share your hopes and fears – and whether you regret your vote

Theresa May is set to send the UK's article 50 letter on Wednesday, commencing Brexit negotiations that could last up to two years.

It comes after months of discussion in the House of Commons, and protests across the UK. May got the bill, which authorises the government to trigger article 50, through parliament earlier this month after facing resistance from the house of Lords and MPs. One of the Lords' amendments sought to guarantee the rights of overseas EU nationals in the UK.

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(28/03/2017 @ 06:11)

Share your photos on the theme of diversity

Guardian picture editors would like to see images from amateur photographers and share feedback in a new series aiming to showcase the best of your work

For this week's topical photography project our picture editors would like you to share photographs that capture the concept of “diversity”.

Related: Your best photographs on the theme of empowerment

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(28/03/2017 @ 06:30)

Are you affected by the NHS stopping gluten-free prescriptions? | Matthew Holmes

We would like to hear from you if you have received NHS help for coeliac disease

The NHS is to stop prescribing gluten free foods to patients suffering from digestive conditions such as coeliac disease as part of its latest budget cuts.

Related: GPs to stop prescribing omega-3 oils, gluten-free food and cough medicine

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(28/03/2017 @ 06:10)

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

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

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

I know that this is kind of the point of our whole enterprise here, but I still love the way Tips, Links and Suggestions makes me find out about things that I would entirely miss otherwise. This recommendation from from JamesLibTech is a case in point:

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(27/03/2017 @ 10:00)

What are your experiences of getting help for gynaecological problems? | Sarah Marsh

GPs are failing to treat women with common gynaecological complaints, such as endometriosis, according to a group of MPs. Share your experiences

GPs are failing to treat women with common gynecological complaints, according to MPs. A report by the all-party parliamentary group on women's health (WHAPPG) said female issues are not being treated with dignity or respect. They discovered that many women were left feeling they were “going mad” after being turned away by doctors despite painful symptoms.

A survey of 2,600 women found that 40% of those with endometriosis, when the womb tissue grows outside the uterus, had to visit their GP 10 or more times before getting treatment. This is a condition that affects about 2 million women, with symptoms including stomach aches and painful bleeding.

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(27/03/2017 @ 06:57)

Teachers: what do your students bring in for lunch?

A headteacher has exposed the awful packed lunches students get, including cold takeaways. We want to hear from parents and teachers about this

A school has written to parents advising them on what to bring in for lunch. It comes after their headteacher expressed concern over young people bringing in items such as cold McDonald's takeaways and crisp sandwiches.

Jon Carthy the headteacher at Byron Primary School in Gillingham, Kent, wrote: “While extreme and funny to read on paper, I must make this clear THESE ARE NOT ACCEPTABLE examples of a balanced packed lunches.”

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(27/03/2017 @ 07:30)

Have you been bullied at work? Share your stories

Nearly a third of workers experience bullying or intimidation – we want you to share your experiences

From bosses who try to sabotage their employees' efforts, to colleagues who intimidate their co-workers or provoke them to tears: bullying at work is surprisingly common.

Nearly a third of workers in the UK experience ongoing intimidation. And with the rise in zero-hour contracts, insecure employment and cuts to legal aid, the problem can only get worse.

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(27/03/2017 @ 02:30)

What it's like to work in the restaurant industry – our readers' stories

We heard from hundreds of readers after Guardian Weekend magazine spoke to restaurant industry insiders about the harsher side of their workplaces

Last week the Guardian's Weekend magazine explored a side of the hospitality industry hidden from many of us, exposing abuses of power, sexual harassment and illegal working practices.

Related: ‘The manager was selling coke to staff': the truth about top restaurants

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(25/03/2017 @ 05:00)

Your best pictures of newly recognised cloud formations

Meteorologists have consulted the International Cloud Atlas since the 19th century – now, updated with crowd-sourced images and newly categorised formations such as wave-like asperitas, it's going online. Readers have been sharing their images via GuardianWitness

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(24/03/2017 @ 08:45)

What do you think about Hong Kong's election of Carrie Lam?

Carrie Lam has been voted in as Hong Hong's next leader. If you live in the territory, we'd like you to share your thoughts on the election with us

Carrie Lam has been voted in as chief executive of Hong Kong, to become the city's first female leader. If you live in Hong Hong, we'd like you to share your thoughts on the result.

Lam won 777 votes out of the 1,194 eligible, beating former financial secretary John Tsang and former judge Woo Kwok-hing.

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(26/03/2017 @ 07:27)

Sports quiz of the week: F1's return, Tom Brady's stolen jersey and Miami's wildlife

Which animal showed up in Miami? Who went global? And who is ‘so happy'?

Why did Mario Balotelli miss the first two minutes of Nice's match against Nantes in Ligue 1?

He was posing for pictures with female fans

He was wearing his trainers rather than his boots

His laces were tied too tightly

He sat down on the turf in protest against the crowd's chanting

Which team scored a try in all five of their Six Nations matches?

England

Ireland

Scotland

France

Wales

Italy

Who won the official player of the tournament award (for the second year running)?

Louis Picamoles

Stuart Hogg

CJ Stander

Owen Farrell

Who said: "Obviously I do not cover 30% of the surface of the earth"?​

Ben Ainslie

Bradley Wiggins

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

N'Golo Kanté

Romelu Lukaku has scored more than 20 league goals in the league this season. Who was the last Everton player to pull off this feat?

Dixie Dean

Tony Cottee

Duncan Ferguson

Gary Lineker

The new F1 season begins in Melbourne on Sunday. Which city will host the final race of the year?

Monza

Abu Dhabi

Sà£o Paulo

Mexico City

Which type of animal interrupted play at the Miami Open tennis this week?

An iguana

A crocodile

A cat

A Florida black bear

Why was the AFL Women's grand final between Brisbane and Adelaide moved from one stadium to another?

A swarm of bees were expected to arrive in the Gabba

Adele fans had trampled on the venue's grass during a concert and left it unplayable

The weather was too hot

The weather was too cold

The jersey Tom Brady wore at the Super Bowl went missing after the match last month. Where was it found this week?

At the bottom of his laundry basket

The White House

Mexico City

Bill Belichick's house

Who said: "Today is one of the happiest days of my life as a manager. I am so proud of my players. We were sad so that is why I am so happy. My players put everything on to the pitch. It is one of the days I am most proud"?

Eddie Jones

Gareth Southgate

Joe Schmidt

Pep Guardiola

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(24/03/2017 @ 07:30)

Readers recommend: share your songs with proverbs and idioms

Make your nomination in the comments and a reader will pick the best eligible tracks for a playlist next week – you have until Monday 27 March

This week we're looking for your nominations of songs that feature or allude to proverbs or idioms in their lyrics or titles. For more on the theme, keep an eye on the comments below.

You have until 11pm on Monday 27 March to post your nomination and make your justification. Regular RR contributor who posts as attwilightlarks in the comments will select from your recommendations and produce the playlist, to be published on 30 March.

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(23/03/2017 @ 16:00)

What is the current mood in the UK after the attack in Westminster?

Following Wednesday's terrorist attack in London we'd like to know what the current mood is in the capital and across the country

Seven people have been arrested at six addresses across the UK as police continue to investigate an attack in Westminster that left four people dead, including the attacker and a police officer.

Around 40 people were injured when the assailant drove a car into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge, before crashing it outside parliament and attempting to enter the building.

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(23/03/2017 @ 06:49)

Trying to make sense of the London terror attack | Letters

Many of us rightly feel distress and moral outrage at the attack in London, leaving some innocent people dead, some with horrific injuries. That feeling is only human. Such deaths and injuries, much magnified, occur more or less daily in, for example, Syria, Yemen and Iraq – yet receive proportionately far less distress and outrage from us. That too seems to be human. Ought not that discrepancy to cause us some moral unease? Or does that question's implication suggest a silly “citizen of the world” attitude which Theresa May rejects as being a citizen of nowhere?
Peter Cave
London

• “It is not an act of war,” you say in your editorial (23 March). Exactly. It was a disastrous error of judgment when the “war against terror” was declared. Until that point all governments had insisted acts of terror were criminal acts. Calling them acts of war helps to glorify the unjust, and lends unwarranted dignity to cowardly and pointless slaughter.
Pete Stockwell
London

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(23/03/2017 @ 14:30)

Contact the Guardian securely

Got a tipoff for the Guardian? Tell us about it in confidence.

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(17/03/2017 @ 10:49)

Frank Delaney obituary

Irish author, arts broadcaster, scholar and literary prize judge who delighted in being called ‘the most eloquent man in the world'

The author and broadcaster Frank Delaney, who has died aged 74 after suffering complications from a stroke, liked to think of himself as a democratiser of the written and spoken word. In 1978 he launched his Bookshelf programme on BBC Radio 4, and in the following six years interviewed more than 1,000 authors on the programme, including John Updike, Margaret Atwood, Stephen King, Christopher Isherwood and Anthony Burgess. His aim was to bring out what was interesting for listeners rather than for literary critics and academics. The large following he gained was owing in part to the clarity of thought he imparted with a distinct Irish accent: it marked him out as possessing a strong literary heritage in English, while remaining classlessly independent of the literary hierarchies of England itself.

On Radio 4 he also presented Poetry Please, and in 1992 started Word of Mouth, about the English language and how it is spoken; after six years Michael Rosen took over, and the programme continues today. On BBC TV Frank fronted the weekly arts series Omnibus and a six-part series, The Celts (1987), originally seen in 40 countries. He later presented The Book Show for Sky News.

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(28/03/2017 @ 09:07)

Goodbye? Adele 'may never tour again' after 15 months on the road

British star says she isn't sure long stints away from home are her ‘bag' as she returns to UK for final four concerts in world tour

Adele has said she may never tour again after completing a string of stadium shows in Australia and New Zealand.

The British star told Auckland's Mount Smart Stadium that she was not “good” at touring, according to the New Zealand Herald.

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(27/03/2017 @ 23:20)

Foundations lead singer Clem Curtis dies aged 76

British group's original frontman performed on 1967 number one hit Baby, Now That I've Found You

The singer Clem Curtis, who was perhaps best known for his work with the band the Foundations, has died at the age of 76.

Curtis was the lead singer with the band in 1967 when it released its number one hit Baby, Now That I've Found You. It has been claimed that the song was the first by a multi-racial band to top the charts.

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(27/03/2017 @ 18:03)

No Lights, no Lorde: impersonator dupes Auckland partygoers

Convincing impersonator found to be behind surprise live performance by ‘super ultra special guest' at lights-off New Zealand dance party

New Zealand has been sent in a tailspin after a surprise performance by Lorde at an Auckland public library was found to have been by a convincing impersonator.

The pop star was widely reported by attendees of the weekly No Lights No Lycra dance party to have made a guest appearance to perform her new single, Green Light, on Monday night.

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(27/03/2017 @ 20:59)

David Storey obituary

Author of This Sporting Life whose raw, realistic plays and novels reflected on family, atonement and the north-south divide

David Storey, who has died aged 83, was an unusual literary figure in being as well known for writing novels as he was for writing plays, never claiming that one discipline was harder or easier than the other, but achieving distinction in both, often overlapping, fields. He sprang to prominence with his first novel, This Sporting Life, in 1960; his 1963 movie adaptation, directed by Lindsay Anderson, and starring Richard Harris and Rachel Roberts, was an outstanding example of the new wave of British film, in its raw black-and-white northern realism and its brutal story of a miner turned professional rugby player and his widowed landlady.

Storey, the big and burly son of a Yorkshire miner, played rugby league for Leeds in the early 1950s while also studying fine art at the Slade school in London. His recurring themes, on stage and page, were defined by this dual experience; and by the conflict between his roots in the north and a sense of powerful dislocation in the south, as well as feelings of guilt and atonement in family life.

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(27/03/2017 @ 11:01)

Peter Johns obituary

Guardian photographer whose distinctive style helped to define a new wave of British photojournalism in the 1960s

The photographer Peter Johns, who has died aged 86, brought a distinctive artistic approach to his work for the Guardian and other newspapers over a period of some 20 years. He was part of a new wave of British photojournalists who emerged in the 1960s and 70s, including Don McCullin, Ian Berry, Philip Jones Griffiths and Neil Libbert, yet was never part of the competitive Fleet Street pack.

One of his biggest stories was his series on the Aberfan disaster in 1966, in which 140 people were killed, 116 of them children. Here, he didn't just follow the press into the village, but climbed the mountain high above to get his stunning and evocative photographs of the collapsed coal tip that engulfed a school, farm and several houses.

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(27/03/2017 @ 09:23)

Joan Juliet Buck: on interviewing Asma al-Assad and teaching the French to dress

The former editor of French Vogue, perhaps best known for her interview with Syrian first lady Asma al-Assad, has a new memoir out. She talks about dressing for sex and being mean to Meryl Streep

As the former editor of French Vogue and a fast friend of Yves Saint Laurent during his Le Sept days in the 70s, Joan Juliet Buck is a cult figure in the fashion industry. She has lived a life filled with glamour, as well as high-profile buffetings – she was dismissed from French Vogue in 2001, after seven years at the helm, for a drug problem she did not have. In the years since, she has become best-known outside of the fashion world for being the woman who interviewed Asma al-Assad, the first lady of Syria, for American Vogue in late 2010 – on the eve of the Arab Spring. In the interview, she described Asma as “glamorous, young, and very chic” and the Assad household as “wildly democratic”. It caused an understandable outcry for its soft portrayal of the Assads and put Buck, a novelist and sometime actor, in the eye of a storm.

She regrets it now, of course: “I wish I had not taken the assignment, but when you're under contract to a magazine – you accept the assignment and then you do them,” she says. Her attitude feels almost naive, coming from an era before social media opened up the industry to the world around it, and forced its insiders to better consider their decisions: “I thought I would see some really interesting ruins [Palmyra] that I would never have access to otherwise in my life,” she says, and is keen to point out that the cringe-making headline – “A rose in the desert” – was placed on her article after she submitted it.

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(27/03/2017 @ 03:01)

Gary Barlow confirms Star Wars: The Last Jedi cameo appearance

The singer joins a list of people, including Tom Hardy and princes William and Harry, expected to play cameo roles in Episode VIII of the sci-fi saga

Gary Barlow is set to visit a galaxy far, far away, with the singer announcing that he will appear in forthcoming Star Wars sequel The Last Jedi.

In an interview on ITV's Lorraine, the Take That member confirmed his involvement in the film – also referred to as Episode VIII – but said he would not be playing a stormtrooper, as had previously been suggested.

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(27/03/2017 @ 09:58)

Pharrell Williams' early life to be made into movie musical

The star's childhood will be the basis for Atlantis, a project that's being characterized as a music version of Romeo and Juliet

Pharrell Williams' life is set to inspire a big-screen musical called Atlantis.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the project will be based on the singer's younger years in Virginia Beach. Initial reports suggest it will be similar to Romeo and Juliet, but with songs.

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(27/03/2017 @ 12:52)

Top US coal boss Robert Murray: Trump 'can't bring mining jobs back'

The founder and chief executive of Murray Energy supports Donald Trump's move to roll back Obama's clean power plan but cautions the president to go easy on talk of a jobs revival

America's biggest coal boss is hopeful that his industry will soon be freed of “fraudulent” green legislation that has hampered his industry, but warned Donald Trump to “temper” expectations about a boom in mining jobs.

Related: Donald Trump blames everyone but himself for healthcare legislation failure

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(27/03/2017 @ 03:00)

Netflix can't get enough Adam Sandler as new four-film deal signed

The streaming giant, which financed and released Sandler's recent films The Ridiculous 6 and The Do-Over, has commissioned more of the same

For Netflix, at least, it seems there is no such thing as too much Adam Sandler. The streaming service has signed up the much maligned comic for a further quartet of films, to go with the four it has already financed. According to Deadline, Netflix will finance and produce the films, which will be available exclusively on the platform.

“Love working with Netflix and collaborating with them,” Sandler said in a statement. “I love how passionate they are about making movies and getting them out there for the whole world to see. They've made me feel like family and I can't thank them enough for their support.”

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(27/03/2017 @ 07:39)

Ted Koppel tells Sean Hannity he is 'bad for America'

Veteran newsman criticised Fox News host during interview about fake news and the polarisation of the US

Veteran newsman Ted Koppel has told Fox News commentator Sean Hannity that he is “bad for America” in an interview that aired on CBS.

The discussion on the network's Sunday Morning show focused on the polarisation of politics and the media in the US.

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(26/03/2017 @ 20:29)

David Rockefeller obituary

Chairman of Chase Manhattan bank and one of the US's leading philanthropists

David Rockefeller, who has died aged 101, was the patriarch of the Rockefeller family and the last of the grandchildren of John D Rockefeller, who founded Standard Oil and as the US's first billionaire was at one point considered the world's richest man.

Unlike his brothers Nelson, vice-president of the US and governor of New York, or Winthrop, governor of Arkansas, David never sought public office; indeed he even turned down Nelson's offer to appoint him to fill Robert Kennedy's Senate seat after Kennedy was assassinated.

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(26/03/2017 @ 08:51)

Best photographs of the day: cherry blossom and a volcanic eruption

The Guardian's picture editors bring you a selection of photo highlights from around the world, including China fashion week and rafts for Trump

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(28/03/2017 @ 18:43)

The very edge of a city: Mexico City's deepest hinterlands – in pictures

Feike de Jong walked the entire perimeter of one of the biggest cities in the world, to capture the strange scenery of the fringes of Mexico's capital

Feike de Jong is the creator of the app Limits: On Foot Along the Edge of the Megalopolis of the Valley of Mexico

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(28/03/2017 @ 08:00)

Your best photographs on the theme of empowerment

Guardian picture editors have chosen nine readers' pictures this week as part of a new series that will showcase the best of your work and give you feedback

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(28/03/2017 @ 06:30)

The retreats where famous authors found inspiration – in pictures

Former president Barack Obama is to journey to the South Pacific island of Tetiaroa, once owned by Marlon Brando, to write his memoir. Here's a look at where other famous authors found the inspiration to write

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(27/03/2017 @ 14:30)

Ultra White Collar Boxing – in pictures

UWCB is a chance for beginners to train to box over eight weeks and fight in the ring in a safe environment in front of family and friends while raising money for Cancer Research. It is a fast-growing corporate sport, and photographer Alicia Canter went along to the Troxy in east London to take a closer look

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(28/03/2017 @ 03:12)

Blitz spirit: the queer art underground of 1980s London – in pictures

From Derek Jarman and Gilbert and George to Maggi Hambling and Cerith Wyn Evans, David Gwinnutt photographed a generation of young gay artists as they transformed film, fashion and painting

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(28/03/2017 @ 02:00)

Best photographs of the day: an Australian cyclone and a light installation

The Guardian's picture editors bring you a selection of photo highlights from around the world, including EU flags and cherry blossom

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(27/03/2017 @ 09:26)

Hyperreal visions of the world's most northerly town – in pictures

In her series This Is Not Real Life, photographer Dominika Gesicka celebrates the stark beauty of the Svalbard archipelago

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(27/03/2017 @ 02:00)

Drawing parallels: readers' photos on the theme of line

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

  • Share your photos on this week's theme ‘tender' by clicking the button below
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(26/03/2017 @ 04:00)

Stylish genes: celebrating the style of women and their children

Photographers, hairdressers and filmmakers – to celebrate Mother's Day, here are five stylish women photographed with their children

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(25/03/2017 @ 19:45)

Colourful characters beneath Berlin – in pictures

Berlin is known for its underground scene of artists, DJs and techno, but it was the actual underground that captured the attention of photographer Sebastian Spasic. In his project Berlin Lines, a collaboration with website Pixartprinting, Spasic photographed 20 people in the German capital's metro stations that had a particular significance to them. “Subway stations are part of people's daily landscape but in most cases go unnoticed,” he says, “but if people wake up to some elements of the stations, like the rich typography, the colour palettes, they can appreciate a new point of view full of meaning and interesting facts.” To Spasic, Berlin is one of the world's creative capitals: “It's an eclectic city with a youthful and tolerant mentality. It's best experienced and not explained.”

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(25/03/2017 @ 13:00)

Dernière mise à jour : 28/03/2017 @ 10:11


Recherche





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 niveau de maîtrise du socle commun en langue vivante 

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


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