Shadow chancellor says he cannot pre-empt Labour manifesto but signals opposition to rises and says party should rule out mansion tax
John McDonnell has signalled that Labour's manifesto will pledge no VAT or national insurance rise, and has said he will argue the party should rule out reviving Ed Miliband's mansion tax policy.
Speaking to the Guardian, the shadow chancellor said he could not pre-empt the party's manifesto, which is agreed through its national executive committee and policy forum, but suggested he would make the case to rule out national insurance rises and any hike to VAT.
Nuttall will be up against incumbent Tory Matt Warman in constituency that includes town with highest Brexit vote in UK
The Ukip leader, Paul Nuttall, has revealed he is to run for the parliamentary seat of Boston and Skegness, home to the town with the highest Brexit vote in Britain.
Nuttall put an end to speculation over which constituency he will contest in the general election on 8 June, opting for the Lincolnshire seat over other mooted alternatives such as Heywood and Middleton or Hartlepool.
Donald Trump has condemned North Korea for âdisrespecting the wishes of Chinaâ after Pyongyang test-fired a ballistic missile despite rising tensions in the region.
The unsuccessful test comes as the United States pushed for tougher sanctions to curb the country's nuclear threat. Writing on Twitter, the US president said Pyongyang had defied Chinese president Xi Jinping by going ahead with the launch.
After a brief recall, tubs are back on shelves. But have retailers learned a lesson about the wisdom of diversifying their supply chain?
Inside a cluster of unremarkable industrial units off the A40 in west London is the epicentre of the 2017 hummus crisis. The buildings belong to Bakkavor, the international food manufacturer behind the mass withdrawal of the product from British supermarket shelves after customers complained of a metallic taste.
These units off the Hanger Lane gyratory system â among 30 facilities on 19 different UK sites â manufacture hummus and other dips on an industrial scale for supermarket giants including Tesco, Sainsbury's, Marks & Spencer, Waitrose, the Co-op, Asda and Morrisons, who sell them under their own brands.
Leaders of EU27 are expected to demand that UK resolves key divorce issues before any talks on future trade deal can begin
EU leaders are expected to unite on a tough opening negotiating stance on Brexit at a special summit in Brussels on Saturday, when they will agree on whether to make Britain settle potential payments to the bloc before considering a new trade deal.
The heads of the remaining 27 countries will demand that Britain resolves the key divorce issues of citizens' rights, the divorce bill and the border on the island of Ireland before any talks on a future trade deal between the UK and the EU can begin.
Call for commission to reconsider celibacy as condition of priesthood as number of priests in England and Wales plummets
Catholic bishops in England and Wales are facing a fresh call for a national commission on the ordination of married men amid mounting concern that the church's celibacy requirement is contributing to a shortage of priests.
Ian Paterson, 59, was convicted on Friday of 17 counts of wounding with intent and three counts of unlawful wounding against 10 patients, upon whom he conducted âextensive, life-changing operations for no medically justifiable reasonâ.
Blackman speaks following release from prison after serving half of seven-year term for manslaughter of wounded Taliban fighter
Alexander Blackman, the Royal Marine sergeant convicted of killing a wounded Taliban fighter, has been enjoying his first hours of freedom but has made it clear he understands his sentence is not complete and has promised to fulfil the conditions of his early release.
Blackman was freed from prison after serving half of his seven-year term imposed for manslaughter and was whisked away to a luxury country hideaway arranged by the Daily Mail, which backed his legal fight.
The Dark Overlord claims to have stolen the upcoming season of the hit show and is demanding an unspecified amount of money to prevent it being released
A hacker claims to have stolen the upcoming season of Netflix's hit series Orange Is The New Black and is demanding that the video streaming service pay an unspecified ransom to prevent all the new episodes from being prematurely released online.
The hacker, operating under the name The Dark Overlord, has already purportedly uploaded the first episode to an illegal file-sharing service. The Associated Press could not legally confirm the authenticity of that uploaded file.
As Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko prepare to fight at Wembley, here are other classic encounters to have taken place on British soil â from Henry Cooper against Muhammad Ali to Barry McGuigan, Nigel Benn and Carl Froch
Stuart Heritage was the long-awaited golden child. And then came Pete: alpha male, rabble-rouser. Who better to choose as your best man?
I have always felt a little sorry for my brother Pete. But then, I'd feel sorry for anyone who had to follow in my footsteps. I was a miracle baby. For seven and a half years, my parents struggled to conceive a child. They tried and they tried â visiting hospitals and speaking to doctors with an increasing sense of desperation â but every new hope led to a dead end. Nothing worked. So my parents consoled themselves the only way they knew how. They got a couple of cats.
But then, in the dying breaths of 1978, out of nowhere, Mum got pregnant. After years of heartbreak, it was finally happening. My parents started to plan like crazy. They picked names. They bought clothes. They thought about building an extension on the back of their two-bed semi, all to give this unexpected bundle of joy a life that was better than their own.
It's highly unlikely you've started counting off his achievements, as is traditional at this point
Happy landmark day to President Trump, who in the 100 days since he took office has set the political bar so low it is considered a triumph that he hasn't started a nuclear war, yet. Your first reaction to that sentence was probably: âBloody hell â has it only been 100 days?â Your second was even more probably: âHuh, I thought he started nuclear war with North Korea on Twitter two weeks ago.â
The point is, it's highly unlikely that you started counting off his achievements, as is traditional at this point in a new presidency. Not so surprising, given that his most striking accomplishment so far is becoming the first US president to entertain Sarah Palin, Kid Rock and Ted Nugent in the Oval Office at once, thus unifying the four horsemen of the apocalypse in one Instagrammable selfie.
From soldier Catherine Smith to cyclist Chris Froome and astronaut Andrew Feustel, how do people under pressure prepare?
The night before the first public performance, you're actually in the theatre, doing technical rehearsals and making sure everything runs smoothly. It's all very busy â it's not a night off. But I think that's best because, for me, it's really an exercise in panic management. You're trying to convince your brain that it's possible to remember a sequence of words and movements in front of 850 people without having a heart attack. I don't think I'd want to be sitting at home trying to be calm, because I'm sure that wouldn't work.
Rapper says event, which has been likened to Lord of the Flies, was ânot a scam' as co-organiser admits he was âa little naive'
The organisers of a luxury music festival in the Bahamas have apologised after the event descended into chaos, drawing comparisons to The Hunger Games and The Lord of The Flies.
Fyre Festival, on the private Great Exumas island, had been billed as a âcultural momentâ for monied millennials, with tickets costing up to $12,780 for a four-person package. It was heavily promoted on Instagram as an opportunity to mingle with models and âinfluencersâ, including Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid and Emily Ratajkowski.
With such a short run-up to this election, parties have the chance to select more representative candidates
Though many of us agreed with Brenda from Bristol about this general election (âYou're joking. Not another oneâ), it actually offers a great opportunity for change â regardless of which party wins.
That's because now the snap election has been called, the normal rules for selecting party candidates no longer apply. Under these rules, constituency parties select a long list of candidates, then a short list; then local party members vote for their preferred candidate.
Liberal Democrat former business secretary launches election bid with warning of dire consequences of leaving EU without a good deal
Quitting the EU could could trigger an economic crisis even greater than the 2008 financial crash, former business secretary Vince Cable has said. Cable predicted that job losses, inflation and falling consumer confidence could send the UK economy into a recession even harsher than the credit crunch if Theresa May presses ahead with a hard Brexit.
The Liberal Democrat made the comments as he launched his bid to reclaim his old seat of Twickenham in June's general election. He has vowed to battle to keep Britain in the single market and the customs union if reelected.
Brendan Rodgers speaks! âIt will be a tough game. We expect they will change their system and play with a diamond, so that will be interesting. But we come into this with confidence, although we will have to work hard. Leigh Griffiths is a terrific player and a terrific goalscorer, he's always going to be a threat. Scott Brown is the most influential player in Scotland, he wants the ball, and is a great catalyst for the team. It's a plus to have him.â Brown is of course only playing today because the SFA rescinded his red card for clattering into Liam Boyle of Ross County the other week. If the pre-match chat from both of the managers is anything to go by, expect the influential Celtic captain to be in the thick of it again today. Although did we need any pre-match chat to tell us that?
Pedro Caixinha speaks! âYou want to know the formation? I can tell you! We are going in a 4-3-1-2 in order to retain the build-up. Especially in the division play, which is going to be Scott Brown, they're going with the same team. We want to be more aggressive and explore more spaces, created with our pressure and also when we have the ball. This is Ibrox, and we need to do much more to win the game!â
Exiles director of rugby says their season has been geared towards promotion to the Premiership and his team will be in peak condition against Doncaster
London Irish have spent all season preparing for Sunday, when their league turns into a knockout tournament. The Exiles, who are looking to return to the Premiership at the first attempt at the end of their only season outside it, are at Doncaster for the first leg of their Championship semi-final play-off.
The team in Irish's position at the top of the table at the end of next season will be automatically promoted, provided they meet the Premiership's entry criteria, a costly tangling with red tape Doncaster did not bother themselves with, having worked out that the cost of updating their ground on top of competing with clubs who spent £8m a year on player wages would see them follow London Welsh into insolvency.
What does it say that decision not to stick around and continue to see what happens? Something about the way we watch modern football
It was a sight to make the heart sink. With 10 minutes left on the referee's watch â plus, as it turned out, four minutes of time added on for stoppages â football fans at one end of Wembley were fleeing through every available exit with hardly a backward glance. From the helicopter camera showing the outside of the stadium, they resembled water pouring out of a colander and sluicing into a gutter.
British fighter says âI want to knock him out but I don't hate him' of a Ukrainian opponent who is still dangerous but not the force he was
Anthony Joshua laughs a lot. After all he has much to be happy about. He is widely regarded as the best young heavyweight in the world, the future of boxing, according to those with a financial interest in his unbeaten progress at Wembley on Saturday night, an Olympic gold medallist and multimillionaire at 27 with celebrity friends, a posse and a back story.
This âfine young manâ, as he is often and correctly described, is an entrenched hero of British sport, getting ready to test his spirit and skill against one of the all-time greats in front of 90,000 fans. So he laughs and it is infectious. Even the stone-faced Wladimir Klitschko, who now plots to destroy him, laughs with him.
â¢ HMRC case thought to be focusing on payments made to agents â¢ Deals for Demba Ba, Papiss Cissé and Sylvain Marveaux also looked at
The investigation into suspected £5m income tax fraud in football is focusing on payments relating to five players' transfers to Newcastle United, including those of Moussa Sissoko, Papiss Cissé, Demba Ba and Sylvain Marveaux, according to sources close to the investigation. HM Revenue and Customs, which conducted an extensive raid on Newcastle's and West Ham United's offices on Wednesday morning, is understood to be chiefly investigating the payments made to agents, and whether £5m income tax and national insurance was fraudulently evaded.
Between them, Hull and Burnley they have the least impressive away form in the Premier League â worse than the three below them in the relegation zone
Hull City's remarkable revival under Marco Silva means that with three points on Saturday afternoon they could catch up with Burnley, a club widely perceived to have enjoyed a good season after coming up from the Championship and staying clear of the relegation positions. Burnley need a win to move to 39 points and almost guaranteed safety, though no one in east Lancashire imagines this is going to be a pivotal weekend any more than they do on the east coast.
The reason is simple. Both teams are playing away, and between them they have the least impressive travelling form in the Premier League, worse even than the three sides beneath them in the drop zone. Burnley have yet to win away this season, their healthy points return based almost entirely on 10 wins and a couple of draws at Turf Moor. Hull have performed miracles under Silva since the turn of the year, including beating Watford with 10 men last week, but their only away win came at Swansea in August and since the new manager's arrival they have picked up only a point away from home.
Battle beside the Black Sea will decide if Ferrari or Mercedes head into the European Formula One season with a telling advantage
When Ferrari won the first grand prix of the season in Australia, the suggestion this campaign would be a different prospect to the previous three years was a tantalising aspiration. Now the Russian Grand Prix is on us, thoughts that Ferrari's opening victory would prove an exception have been banished.
Sebastian Vettel has won two of the opening three races, with Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes victorious only in China. Separated by seven points, both drivers are revelling in the competition and Sochi should further indicate how close the battle will be for the rest of the season.
â¢ South Group: Surrey 290-8; Somerset 291-6 â¢ Somerset win by four wickets
A maiden one-day century by Roelof van der Merwe helped Somerset pull off a remarkable four-wicket win over Surrey in the Royal London One Day Cup at Taunton with more than six overs to spare.
Surrey were restricted to 290 for eight from their 50 overs, Ben Foakes top-scoring with 92. In reply Somerset crumbled to 22 for five and looked out of it before Van der Merwe, who hit 165 not out, and Dean Elgar (68) came together to lay the foundation for victory with a sixth-wicket stand of 213. Somerset reached their target with 37 balls remaining to complete a dramatic turnaround.
â¢ Defending champion pegged back as semi-final all-square at 12-12 â¢ Higgins leads Barry Hawkins 10-6 in other semi-final
John Higgins says winning a fifth world title would be his greatest snooker feat as he closes in on another Crucible final.
The Scot went from 5-3 ahead of Barry Hawkins to build a 10-6 overnight lead in their best-of-33-frames semi-final at the World Championship. He has landed world titles in 1998, 2007, 2009 and 2011 but feared his days as a contender for the biggest prizes in snooker were over.
â¢ Spainish club weighing up a world record bid for the Chelsea star â¢ Manager insists Hazard is âhappy' but player's future is out of his hands
Chelsea have no desire to sell Eden Hazard to Real Madrid regardless of whether the Spanish club's long mooted interest crystallises in a world record bid this summer, though Antonio Conte has admitted the player himself would end up determining his own future.
â¢ Mourinho claimed Manchester United are playing extra âhalf a season' â¢ âNobody asked us last year how we felt about it,' says Liverpool manager
Jà¼rgen Klopp has dismissed José Mourinho's complaint about being in an âunfair fightâ for Champions League qualification on the grounds Manchester United have the resources to handle a gruelling schedule.
United trail Liverpool by two points in the race for a top-four finish, albeit with a game in hand, having drawn the Manchester derby on Thursday. After the goalless draw at the Etihad Stadium Mourinho lamented having to play âhalf of a Premier League more than Liverpoolâ â it is 13 matches more â and claimed his Europa League semi-finalists were in âan unfair fight but we are going for thatâ.
â¢ Manager speaks of missed trick when leading in the defeat to Tottenham â¢ Manchester United away is the next hurdle and trip to Anfield the spur
A trip to Old Trafford on Sunday will evoke some happy memories for Paul Clement. The Swansea City manager won at Manchester United with Chelsea during his time as Carlo Ancelotti's No2, and ruined Sir Alex Ferguson's 70th birthday when he tasted victory with Blackburn Rovers as assistant to Steve Kean, yet it is an evening spent in the away end with West Brom supporters that strikes a chord right now.
It was 2005, the penultimate weekend of the season, and Clement made the journey to Old Trafford to cheer on Neil, his brother who was playing for a relegation-threatened West Brom side who were on their way to pulling off what would become known as their great escape. âI was a coach at Fulham in the academy at the time, I went up from London on the train and I was sitting up in the corner with the West Brom fans,â Clement said. âIt was 1-1 and proved to be a massive point.â
Fewer runners in the Bet365 Gold Cup might mean the betting market has a better chance of getting things right, and What's Happening looks good
It is disconcerting to see just 13 runners for Sandown's Bet365 Gold Cup, which has had a field of at least 18 for each of the last seven years. The betting market has a much better chance of getting it right with fewer horses to consider and Doing Fine looks a worthy favourite but 16-1 might be too big about What's Happening (3.35).
â¢ Russian wins 6-3, 6-4 against Anett Kontaveit at Porsche Grand Prix â¢ Andy Murray gains revenge on Albert Ramos-Vià±olas to reach Barcelona semis
Maria Sharapova needs one more win to book her place in French Open qualifying after beating Anett Kontaveit to reach the semi-finals of the Porsche Grand Prix in Stuttgart, while Andy Murray reached the semi-finals of the Barcelona Open after gaining revenge on Albert Ramos-Vià±olas.
Sharapova is yet to drop a set following her return from a 15-month doping ban and saw off the spirited challenge of the Estonian qualifier Kontaveit 6-3, 6-4.
Bolton must hold off Fleetwood to win a first promotion since Sam Allardyce's reign but Port Vale, Gillingham, Bury and Shrewsbury fear the worst
It's the final day in League One on Sunday, starting at noon, and it's set up nicely: three teams eyeing the last play-off spot, four trying to avoid relegation, and either Bolton or Fleetwood going up with champions Sheffield United. Expect angst.
Who'll land second place, then? Bolton have the edge. They're second on 83 points (GD29) and home to the relaxed, mid-table Peterborough, live on TV. Fleetwood (third, 81 points, GD21) play Port Vale at home â with Vale battling the drop.
We must aggressively transition our energy system away from fossil fuels and toward clean, renewable energy solutions. And we need to do so now
The debate facing our world today is not whether we need to address climate change. That debate is far, far behind us. The issue is how to address climate change â as quickly and effectively as possible.
Virtually the entire scientific community â more than 99% of peer-reviewed studies â has concluded that climate change is real. It is caused by human activity. And the impacts are devastating.
No other president has come close to your horrendous record, and all future presidents will clear the bar you have set. For that alone, you are exceptional
Donald Trump has notched up some truly impressive achievements in the first 100 days of his presidency. We're not talking about the humdrum stuff of other presidents. All those pesky to-do lists are far too conventional for this out-of-the-box thinker.
How unconventional is his thinking? It's best if we leave it to the great man to explain this, as he described to the Associated Press the awesome nature of his presidency.
From internal examination of his violently aggressive prose, I judge him to be an Australian, so he will understand when I encourage him to insert his head in a dead bear's bottom. This useful instruction, in a less polite form, I first heard 50 years ago from my friend Bruce Beresford, the Australian film director. Neither of us thought the expression any the less eloquent for the fact that Australia has no bears except koalas. The smaller the bear, indeed, the more evocative the instruction.
After an accident I stepped away uninjured but was pestered to claim. Now, a brave neurosurgeon speaks out
Ten years ago I was in a country lane in Leicestershire, indicating to turn right to go into a hotel for a family event. Seconds later my car was a write-off after a young driver careered round the bend, smashing into the rear of my VW Golf. Fortunately I stepped out uninjured. And from that moment I was pestered, again and again, to make a false whiplash claim.
One of the hotel's guests was first in. âYou've got to get down the doctors, tell them your neck is really hurting. You'll easily get £3,000,â said one (I'm summarising here). But my neck, while a little stiff, wasn't in pain. Others told me I was mad not to apply. But a decade later there is no evidence the crash caused anything other than a mild sprain that lasted a couple of days. And certainly not deserving of the £3,000-£6,000 that is routinely paid out to âvictimsâ of even the mildest of rear-end shunts.
Despite its exclusivity and rickety economics, the garden bridge project went far further than it should have thanks to Boris Johnson's disregard for planning rules
Varnished with a Kevlar coating of celebrity sparkle, Bullingdon Club backing and architectural fairy dust, the garden bridge has always seemed capable of surviving every missile of common sense thrown at it. For three years it has been fiercely opposed by supporters of gardens and bridges alike, of which this vanity project was clearly never either. But now it seems its invincibility cloak has finally worn off, as London's mayor, Sadiq Khan, has refused to guarantee further funding for his predecessor's misguided folly.
Andrew Tyrie announcement that he is standing down is a loss to Westminster, but rumours that he is lined up for a job at the Bank has tongues wagging
General elections are increasingly stage-managed affairs with party leaders seldom allowed out in public with anyone other than their most loyal party activists. So thank God for Ukip, which can be relied on to rustle up events at which almost everything is guaranteed not to go to plan.
Dalek soundbites and dodging debates may secure a Tory election win, but contempt for voters could backfire in the end
âI think everyone is finding this concept of safe spaces quite extraordinary,â declared Theresa May last year. In which case, why is she conducting her election in one? Everything for which May specifically lambasted university students â terror of debate, a sense of entitlement, a failure to embrace what this country was built on â could have come straight from her campaign team's playbook.
Ministers hide the truth about levels of atmospheric contamination, so people are taking precautions for themselves And who can blame them?
As lame excuses go, this one was pretty near legless. The government was meant to be revealing its plan for tackling nitrogen dioxide air pollution last Monday. Instead, the previous Friday, it applied to the high court to delay publication until after the general election, arguing that publication would âviolate election proprietyâ. The judge ruled that it was possible local elections might be affected, but that the plan should be published on 9 May, after the local voting was over.
The government often appears eager to appease the fuel lobby. One populist pressure group, Fair Fuel UK, cares only about the right of its 1.4 million members to drive their vehicles, full of cheap fuel, wherever and whenever they want. This group claims anything that doesn't suit its agenda is âfake newsâ. In fact, that successive governments have been running scared of the fuel lobby for decades is proof that fake news works.
Yes, nationalism is resurgent; but if Emmanuel Macron wins on 7 May, it will show that there is appetite for robust centrism too. Britain should take note
George Orwell once wrote that the British were not sufficiently interested in intellectual matters to be intolerant about them. The French, on the other hand, enjoy nothing less than a high-minded, lofty debate over abstract concepts â or so it is believed. The British ask: âIt works in theory, but does it work in practice?â The French ask: âIt works in practice, but does it work in theory?â So the joke goes.
As a London-based French citizen watching my own country heading for a rancourous presidential runoff on 7 May and Britain preparing for its first post-Brexit general election, I'm not sure the supposed differences between us are as marked as we like to think. And I see lessons for the UK from what is happening across the Channel.
Trump is the worst thing that could have happened to the planet. That's all the more reason to fight on - and celebrate even the smallest successes
There is no upside to the Trump presidency. To be in DC â I've come for Saturday's giant climate march â is to be reminded up close what all Americans have known for months: we've put the country in the hands of a man completely unequal to the task. A man so cluelessly over his head that he keeps telling reporters he's in over his head.
But if you want a few grayish linings to the dark-orange cloud, you can find them. In fact, the last few days have given those of us in the climate fight a few glimmers of light.
Antidotes to these dangerous, destructive synthetic drugs are desperately needed. But the government is standing in the way of their development
Last year I wrote to the health and home secretaries with suggestions on how antidotes for spice could be developed. Their replies revealed a complete lack of appreciation of the magnitude of the synthetic cannabinoid problem and lack of interest in the idea of an antidote.
Spice-induced âzombieâ outbreaks in New York and in Manchester have hit the headlines in the past year. Use of these new damaging and powerful forms of synthetic cannabinoids is rife in our prisons and by homeless people, with estimates of up to 50 deaths last year. They can produce extremely strong psychotic states often with very violent behaviour. Sometimes a frozen unconscious state results. Either of these outcomes are health emergencies that consume vast amounts of police, prison officer and health professionals time, and so waste a huge amount of public money.
The threat of conflict is no property negotiation, but the president is conducting it with all his skills as a dealer, craving the eventual shake of the hand
So Kim Jong-un is just a 27-year-old millennial for whom it must have been âvery hardâ to lead his country at such an age. His ally, China's president Xi Jinping, is a âvery good man who I got to know really well and loves his countryâ. He is trying hard to resolve the âvery difficultâ Korean crisis. Of course Xi âdoesn't want to see turmoil and death and would like to do something to resolve thingsâ. But âperhaps it's possible he can'tâ. So muses Donald Trump at the end of âopening bidsâ of his North Korean crisis.
Irving, a Holocaust denier, and his ilk pose a bigger threat now than they have previously, but the problem of misinformation and radicalisation goes far deeper
The effort to get the University of Manchester to remove David Irving's books from open display, now backed by Rowan Williams, reminded me of my own experiences browsing through library stacks as an undergraduate. While I never encountered Holocaust denial, I did stumble upon the complete works of Kim Il-sung, a pamphlet praising the Khmer Rouge and a book arguing that the Armenian genocide never occurred.
Libraries are, ideally, fundamentally amoral places. The presence of works on their shelves is not an endorsement of their views. As someone who runs an online research repository archive, I can testify to having happily uploaded some lousy works of scholarship to its holdings.
Houdeidah's port is Yemen's lifeline. The US shouldn't be supporting any Saudi- and United Arab Emirates-led military attacks to take it back
My life in Yemen is dominated by fear. As director of the Sana'a Center for Strategic Studies, and one of the few remaining independent voices in Yemen, I have been detained, seen colleagues assassinated, and buried friends killed by Saudi airstrikes. Now, half of my country faces famine.
Even as Defense Secretary James Mattis calls for a political solution to the war in Yemen, he has not warned Saudi Arabia and the UAE against taking the critical Yemeni port city of Houdeidah, which is currently controlled by Houthi forces. Although debated within US policy-making circles, attacking Houdeidah would be a catastrophic error because it would expand the war and deepen the humanitarian crisis. It would allow al-Qaida and Isis to expand their influence in Yemen's coastal areas. For the United States, that would amount to a strategic defeat.
For so long, I questioned why drink always won, without realising that for Kev it was never a question of winning or losing, it was just about surviving
This year it will be 17 years since my brother died, aged 40. I have so many regrets â regret not only for Kev, who was finally killed by the addiction that overtook him, but regret that I didn't try to understand him more when he was alive. It is only now that I have begun to appreciate the pain and entrapment inflicted by alcohol addiction and how the man I thought I knew became swamped by this misunderstood and deadly condition. My brother deserved so much more. For so long, I questioned why drink always won, without realising that for him it was never a question of winning or losing. It was just about surviving each day.
Cédric Herrou is a farmer who supports and houses African refugees in the alpine village of Breil-Sur-Roya in southern France. Some regard him as a heroic good samaritan, but others â including the French border police and state prosecutor â denounce him as the leader of a band of smugglers, bringing migrants from Italy into France while flouting official border controls. As Cedric moves from one prosecution to another, why do he and his fellow activists feel compelled to defy the authorities?
Bill could leave operators open to crippling insurance costs, and could scupper government ambitions to launch satellites from UK spaceports by 2020
Ambitious plans to launch satellites from spaceports in Britain are in danger of being grounded by poor legislation that leaves operators open to crippling insurance costs, MPs have warned.
The government hopes to have satellites flown into orbit from UK spaceports by 2020, but a draft version of the spaceflight bill states that companies could face unlimited liability for any damages caused by falling space hardware.
Khalid Mohamed Omar Ali is understood to be a British national from Tottenham, north London
The suspected terrorist arrested in Westminster carrying knives is a one-time humanitarian activist who is now facing questions from police about whether he was about to stage a murderous attack in central London.
Khalid Mohamed Omar Ali, 27, was arrested by armed police on Thursday afternoon yards from the Houses of Parliament and the scene of the previous terrorist attack in March in which five people lost their lives.
Couple Alex and Peter Foggo tell parents at Longparish school in Hampshire that Tory education policy is reason they are leaving
A couple working as headteacher and deputy head at a Hampshire primary school rated as outstanding have written to parents saying they are quitting because they are so disillusioned by the direction of education policy.
In their letter, Alex and Peter Foggo said they were so profoundly opposed to recent changes in England's schools that the only morally honest course open to them was to resign from their jobs at Longparish primary school.
London mayor pulls plug on controversial project, saying he would not give financial guarantees for construction work to begin
The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has pulled the plug on the controversial plan for a garden bridge across the Thames, announcing that he would not provide the vital financial guarantees needed for construction to begin.
In a letter to the Garden Bridge Trust, the charity leading the much-delayed project, Khan said he had taken the decision because of a continuing shortfall in fundraising for the scheme and the lack of the necessary land use agreements despite three years of talks.
A new report shows that while money has been found to build 500 new free schools, thousands of existing schools do not have enough funds to keep their buildings in a âsatisfactory' condition
A report by a cross-party committee of senior MPs released this week condemned the government's funding of its free schools programme as incoherent and wasteful.
âWhile the department is spending significant funds in creating 500 more free schools, even in areas with no shortage of places, existing schools struggle to live within their budgets and carry out routine maintenance,â the Public Accounts Committee report stated.
Leaders expected to discuss statement at weekend summit that if the island reunifies, the north will automatically regain EU membership
European leaders may be preparing to recognise a united Ireland, in a declaration that would pave the way for the north to swiftly rejoin the European Union. At their first Brexit summit on Saturday, the EU's 27 leaders are expected to discuss a text stating that if Ireland unified, the north would automatically become part of the EU.
The inclusion of the text is a victory for the Irish government, which had pressed for the inclusion of a âGDR clauseâ, a reference to the integration of the former east German state into the European Community after the fall of the Berlin wall. The declaration is bound to raise fears that Brexit could trigger the unravelling of the UK, although there is no majority in Northern Ireland for unification.
Elite firearms officers stormed London house and woman was shot, in operation in which six people have been arrested
A second suspected active terrorist plot has been foiled in London after armed police raided a house in the north-west of the capital, shooting one of the female suspects, hours after an unconnected incident in Westminster.
A woman in her 20s was shot and injured by counter-terror officers in the raid, which started just after 7pm on Thursday with CS gas being fired into the Willesden property. Witnesses said the injured woman, who was wearing a long dress and hijab, shouted at paramedics not to touch her body as she was treated at the scene.
Cancer Research UK institute likely to have lost millions of pounds of life-saving equipment in blaze, says its director
Years of research and millions of pounds of life-saving equipment are feared to have been destroyed in a devastating fire at a cancer hospital in Manchester, its director has said.
Prof Richard Marais, the head of the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute, said researchers had been able to save 25 years of clinical samples, but that other vital work was lost in the âheartrendingâ blaze at Christie hospital.
Banks apologise after customers complain of slow services ahead of UK public holiday long weekend
Millions of Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group customers have had difficulty accessing their accounts after the banks suffered IT meltdowns before the long weekend.
On Friday, when RBS was trying to focus on its first quarterly profit since the third quarter of 2015 and Lloyds on the news that the taxpayer's shareholding had fallen to less than 1%, both banks instead faced questions about their digital operations.
Households facing financial pressure from debt, weak pay growth and inflation
The number of individuals applying for insolvency jumped to the highest level in almost three years in the first three months of 2017, in a further sign of the mounting financial pressure facing UK households.
Personal insolvencies in England and Wales totalled 24,531 between January and March, up 6.7% on the previous quarter and 15.7% higher than the same period a year earlier. It was the highest number of individual cases since the second quarter of 2014, according to the Insolvency Service, which published the figures.
Vladimir Putin is riding high, expecting a fourth term as president and allegedly influencing elections from the US to France â but Alexei Navalny is determined to stop him
Alexei Navalny is in good spirits for a man who can hardly step outside without being insulted, assaulted or arrested. Earlier this month he was released from a 15-day stint in a Russian jail. And on Thursday, in Moscow, unknown assailants threw green dye in his face, the second such attack in recent months. But his habitual half-smirk never seems to waver.
Perhaps it is because, as Vladimir Putin prepares to stand for yet another presidential term in elections next March, Navalny is threatening to bring some life to the arid landscape that is Russian politics. Navalny was imprisoned because of a protest he called for on 26 March. It surprised everyone with its size. In Moscow alone, police detained more than 1,000 people, and jailed dozens. Although the numbers were small in absolute terms, people protested in dozens of towns across Russia, marking a worrying new development for the Kremlin.
Pedro Canché has finally won an apology for being jailed after he criticized a state governor. But, he asked, what about the 104 journalists killed since 2006?
Pedro Canché, an indigenous journalist and activist in the southern Mexico state of Quintana Roo, had a hunch the local authorities were closing in on him for his coverage of angry protests over rising water rates in local Mayan communities.
So he filmed a video criticizing the intensely image-conscious state governor, Roberto Borge, and uploaded it to YouTube in August 2014. Just a few days later, police pulled Canché from his car and threw him in prison on charges that he had sabotaged a local waterworks.
The president addressed the gun right's body's conference in Atlanta, reliving his election triumph but also admitting that his border wall will not be continuous
Donald Trump marked his 99th day as US president by basking in the noisy adulation of his base and making a pledge to the National Rifle Association: âYou came through for me and I am going to come through for you.â
The caustic spectacle that powered Trump to victory in last year's election was on full display before he took the stage in Atlanta, with big-screen ads denouncing his defeated opponent Hillary Clinton, loud boos for former president Barack Obama and speaker after speaker railing against media and Hollywood elites.
A group of killer whales in Monterey Bay killed four gray whales in a week, a phenomenon one researcher hasn't seen in her 30-year career
In an âunprecedentedâ rash of attacks, a pod of killer whales in Monterey Bay, California, has killed four gray whales in a week, including a calf whose killing was captured on video, according to one marine biologist.
The centrist politician, who will go head to head against Marine Le Pen in the final round of the election on 7 May, said: âI want to put the Le Touquet border deal back on the table. It must be renegotiated, especially the parts that deal with the fate of isolated child migrants.â
Police clash with striking union workers in streets of Rio de Janeiro and Sà£o Paulo as protesters in 26 states demonstrate against Michel Temer's proposed reforms
Brazilian unions have ratcheted up the pressure on president Michel Temer with a nationwide general strike that closed schools, disrupted transport networks and led to clashes with public security in several cities.
Demonstrators in Rio de Janeiro and Sà£o Paulo blocked key roads with barricades of burning tires on. Riot police used teargas and percussion grenades to try to disperse the crowds and open the routes.
People's Daily says US president could âendanger the global economy' and damage âexport-oriented countries'
Chinese leaders are worried about Donald Trump engaging in a âtax warâ with Beijing, potentially fuelling tensions between the two countries already strained by problems such as North Korea, trade and the South China Sea.
A commentary in the People's Daily, the official mouthpiece of the Communist party, attacked Trump's plan to reduce taxes on companies and simplify swaths of US tax code, highlighting Beijing's fears the move could harm businesses back home.
NSA agrees to cease so-called âabout' surveillance under 2008 legal authority
But agency has not indicated whether such data collection will stop wholesale
Amid an unexpected fight over US surveillance powers from congressional Republicans, the National Security Agency has agreed to curb its highly controversial collection of Americans' emails that discuss foreign intelligence targets, although how comprehensive that stoppage is remains unclear.
According to a US official directly familiar with the decision, the NSA has agreed to cease so-called âaboutâ surveillance under a critical 2008 legal authority, known as section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (Fisa).
Frustration mounts among locals on the Greek island, where refugees feel like prisoners with no hope of getting to mainland Europe
On a clear day the channel dividing Chios from the Turkish coast does not look like a channel at all. The nooks and crevices of Turkey's western shores, its wind turbines and summer homes could, to the naked eye, be a promontory of the Greek island itself. For the men, women and children who almost daily make the crossing in dinghies and other smuggler craft, it is a God-given proximity, the gateway to Europe that continues to lure.
Samuel Aneke crossed the sea almost a year ago on 1 June. Like those before him, and doubtless those who will follow, he saw the five-mile stretch as the last hurdle to freedom. âYou could say geography brought me here,â said the Nigerian, a broad smile momentarily dousing his otherwise dour demeanour. âBut it was not supposed to keep me prisoner.â
Lawyers for the four men executed by Arkansas in the past week were set on Friday to ask a federal judge to force the state to preserve evidence from its death chamber. The request, the first step towards a thorough investigation, came amid fears that the prisoners might have been subjected to excruciating pain, tantamount to torture.
Nationalist protesters attacked politicians and journalists in an attempt to prevent election of an ethnic Albanian as speaker
The EU and Nato have pleaded for calm in Macedonia after nationalist protesters stormed the parliament in Skopje on Thursday, attacking politicians and journalists in an attempt to prevent the election of an ethnic Albanian as speaker.
The protesters, supporters of former prime minister Nikola Gruevski's conservative, Russia-backed VMRO party, demanded new elections.
Italian intelligence document reveals how group has infiltrated Europe using scheme meant to treat wounded Libyan soldiers
Italian investigators believe that a number of Islamic State fighters from Libya have slipped into Europe by infiltrating a scheme designed to give hospital treatment to wounded regular Libyan government soldiers.
A Italian intelligence document seen by the Guardian reveals a complex network in which, from 2015, members of Isis and others linked to jihadi movements have infiltrated Europe pretending to be injured, so as to be treated in clinics and then freed to move elsewhere in Europe and the Middle East.
House and Senate approve stopgap spending measure while negotiators work to reach an agreement over a longer-term funding package
Hours before a midnight deadline, Congress averted a government shutdown â at least for now â ensuring that the lights will stay on in Washington as Donald Trump marks his 100th day in office.
But the feat comes with a trade-off. Republicans failed to secure enough votes to advance their healthcare replacement plan despite pressure from the White House to hold a vote on the bill before the symbolic 100-day mark.
Chief medical officer rules out return of Ebola after deaths of 11 people linked to attendance at funeral of religious leader, but no clear answer has been found
Eleven people have died and five are in hospital in Liberia after contracting a mystery illness the World Health Organisation (WHO) said was linked to their attendance at the funeral of a religious leader, officials have said.
âWe are still investigating. The only thing we have ruled out is ... Ebola,â said Liberia's chief medical officer, Francis Kateh, adding that samples from the victims had been sent abroad for further testing.
Making a playlist to satisfy every member of the family is a harder task than it sounds. I say this as a parent who loves all kinds of music, and loves living in a blissfully easy age for sharing songs with our kids. I especially love it when a track pops into my head from my past that I can quickly pop on, and watch my child dance to instantly, like a madcap devotee. (His most approving move at the moment is going down on all fours, lifting one foot in the air, and wiggling his bum â although Soft Cell's Tainted Love has always had that effect on me.)
But still there are songs that bring out the grumpy mid-20th-century dad in us all, aghast at that orange-haired androgyne on Top of the Pops wrapping his arm around a boy, singing about someone waiting in the sky (thankfully, David Bowie's Starman has the opposite effect on all generations in 2017). Ed Sheeran's oeuvre, with a few notable distractions, has me tutting at the radio like I'm mainlining Werther's Originals (but even I enjoy Sing, which sounds to me like Justin Timberlake by way of the theme tune to Flight of the Conchords). Certain songs on children's film soundtracks also drive me to teeth-gnashing distraction â if I hear I Like to Move it from Madagascar one more time, for example, I will probably go postal.
For social historian Emma Dabiri, spring is a perfect time to don some walking shoes and start exploring. She finds history at every turn in the city, from William Blake's resting place to the pub that inspired the nursery rhyme Pop Goes the Weasel
During a period of convalescence in Dublin, Patrick Kavanagh's walks along the city's Grand Canal reacquainted the poet with nature, reigniting his artistic vision and inspiring some of his most feted work.
The latest music borrows heavily from the past and collaborations and remakes are adding to its cross-generational appeal. For Peter Robinson, though, pop mustn't lose its ability to provoke
When it comes to the way families consume music, some rituals have always been sacred: the tribalist mentality that pits one brother or sister's favourite act against another's; the solidarity achieved when siblings come together to rebel against their parents' taste; that belief that if you're older your taste is more sophisticated, and if you're younger your taste is more cutting edge.
Then there's the legendary tableau of the long family car journey: trips in which one adult may wish to listen to the radio while the other demands a carefully chosen playlist, only for the kids to inevitably win control of the stereo, even though they're both plugged into tablets.
Bondi beach While it's worth looking beyond Sydney's most famous stretch of sand, it's easy to understand Bondi's allure. This is where the city meets the sea; a golden beach with a lively mix of cafes, restaurants and bars nearby. Avoid the tourist traps on the beachfront and instead explore the options around Hall Street. For those prepared to brave the queue, Messina's hole-in-the-wall gelato shop is a Sydney institution.
Advances in computer science and engineering have lifted animatronic lovers from the realms of science fiction to reality; the first models are due to go on sale by the end of the year. Jenny Kleeman meets the men who are making the sex robots, the customers who want to buy them â and the critics who say they are dangerous
Superhero impersonators Tyler Watts and Christopher Dennis struggle with homelessness as they ply their trade along Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles, earning money by posing for pictures with tourists. Character work can be tough work, but many say it's the only thing keeping them going
The US president's first 100 days in office have seen a flurry of executive orders, tweets, leaks and military attacks in the Middle East. But his domestic agenda has been thwarted at every turn, with healthcare plans, travel bans and the Mexican wall ensnared by other branches of government
Paul Mason says the Daily Mail headline, calling those who oppose the government âsaboteurs', is sinister. He argues that this tactic is commonplace in dictatorships and autocracies, but to see it in a democracy is alarming. He says meaningful opposition to the Tories is necessary for the country and for democracy
Just under three years ago, Leyton Orient were within a penalty shoot-out of gaining promotion to the Championship. Following a 3-0 loss at Crewe on Saturday, Orient have dropped out of the Football League for the first time in their history. We talk to fans of the Os, who place the blame firmly at the feet of their Italian owner, Francesco Becchetti
With Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un rattling their nuclear sabres, the Guardian looks back at 70 years of near-misses in the atomic age. We've been on brink on several occasions â most worryingly when mistakes both human and technical have been the cause
The French presidential hopeful has made no secret of her admiration for Russia's strongman leader, but her relationship with Trump is less clearcut
The week after Donald Trump won the US presidential election last November, Marine Le Pen was inaugurating the headquarters of her own election campaign in Paris, less than a mile from the Elysée Palace she hopes to move into soon.
The far-right, anti-immigration Front National leader had been the only French political leader to back Trump in his bid for the White House. She has also made no secret of her admiration for Russia's president, Vladimir Putin.
This great Beatles album is as thrilling a listen as ever on its 50th anniversary: but it's a melancholy time for the one-world counterculture the record soundtracked
âAt the time Sgt Pepper was released,â the American writer Langdon Winner once recalled, âI happened to be driving across the country on Interstate 80. In each city where I stopped for gas or food â Laramie, Ogallala, Moline, South Bend â the melodies wafted in from some far-off transistor radio or portable hi-fiâ¦ For a brief while, the irreparably fragmented consciousness of the west was unified, at least in the minds of the young.â
The announcement of the general election coincides with the 50th anniversary of the May Day Manifesto. Ken Loach, Howard Jacobson, Jeanette Winterson, Shami Chakrabarti and others say what a 2017 manifesto for the left should look like
The tech giants have ballooned in value by $250bn since January - double the value of all the gold mined in a year - in four months
From Standard Oil at the turn of the 20th century to IBM and General Motors in the 1970s and General Electric in the 1990s, the US has always produced behemoth corporations that bestride the world. But this is the era of the Fangs, the âbig fourâ of technology, and they are currently growing at breakneck speed.
Facebook, Amazon, Neflix and Google have been roaring away since the turn of this year. Their share prices have climbed so far, so fast, that together they are now worth an extraordinary $250bn more than just four months ago.
For years, a box full of my children's discarded playthings sat untouched in our house. When I opened it, their childhood possessions were not all that spilled out
I have finally looked into The Box. It's a big, plastic storage container that has been standing in our bedroom for five years. Inside, it resembles the debris field of a juvenile tsunami. It contains unquantifiable amounts of toys and bits of toys. Our daughters are now 18 and 16. We put away childish things when our youngest daughter started to appreciate Zoella and teenage beauty tips more than Silly Bandz. But we've never dared to sort through The Box, because it would feel like saying goodbye to those endearing years of childhood.
The Box was something best not spoken about. But now, under pressure from my wife, Nicola â who refuses to open it herself because she would have to admit she has grownup children and we are Dickensian-style aged parents â I have finally opened it.
Even so, I found it shocking. At the diabetic foot clinic in Samoa, 41-year-old Annie is having flesh scraped away with a scalpel from a seeping open wound on the underside of her swollen foot. She's not in pain â she can't feel the foot, and the flesh around the wound has started to die. No anaesthetic required. In fact she's asleep. As well as the type 2 diabetes, another side effect of Annie's obesity is sleep apnea.
Buildings, streets and statues across Britain commemorate men who may have been philanthropists, but also owned and traded slaves. Now a number of cities are starting to face up to their histories
Edward Colston is, says Katie Finnegan-Clarke, âalmost like a cult figureâ in Bristol. There is a Colston Street, and Colston Tower is on Colston Avenue. There is even a Colston bun, which you might eat on Colston's Day. Finnegan-Clarke, one of the activists in the Countering Colston campaign, went to Colston's Girls' school, where âthere are statues everywhere, and we had three ceremonies every year to celebrate his life.â Colston was a 17th-century philanthropist who gave great sums of money to the city â money he had made from slavery. This week it was announced that there would be one less Bristol institution bearing his name. The concert venue Colston Hall â which has been a target for activists for decades â will reopen in 2020, after its refurbishment, with a new name.
âWe knew it was the right thing for the organisation,â says Louise Mitchell, the chief executive of the trust that runs the venue. âIt's very important to us as a progressive forward-looking arts organisation that we include everybody, and people felt uncomfortable entering the building because of the perception that it had in some way profited from the slave trade.â
Why would you go abroad, with all the awful flights and nightmare early starts, just so you can lie in the sun on white sand next to warm, clear blue sea?
Fabulous, thanks â we decided not to go abroad this Easter, not after last year in Phuket. It makes no sense, does it, not when you can rent a cottage, pile everything into the car and go? We started in Northumberland â have you ever been? Fabulous beaches, too cold to swim, obviously, but seals, historic houses and this miniature railway, the kids loved it, then boat trips, lighthouse, crabbing, hills, if you like that kind of thing, a bagpipe museum, turns out there are all these different kinds of bagpipe you've never heard of, and this farm with newborn lambs, then we did the Lakes, which is basically like Northumberland with Beatrix Potter and a pencil museum, turns out there are so many kinds of pencils, historic houses, boat trips, newborn lambs, if you like that kind of thing, the children won't go near them, but honestly, why would you go abroad, with all the awful flights and nightmare early starts, and waiting for luggage, and having no idea if you've brought enough clothes, just so you can lie in the sun on white sand next to warm, clear blue sea, worrying you're subjecting everyone to lasting skin damage?
Triodos is launching its first current account in Britain and promises your money will only ever be handled sustainably. So should you go Dutch?
Perhaps you are looking for a more ethical home for your current account cash. Or maybe you are a Co-operative Bank customer who is considering closing your account following its well-publicised troubles.
If either of those sound like you â or perhaps you simply don't want to give your money to one of the âbig fourâ banks â then as of this week there's a new option. Triodos, which bills itself as âEurope's leading sustainable bankâ, has taken the wraps off its first-ever British personal current account.
The tale of an idle transgression turns into a profound meditation on love in this ferociously well-written novel
Adultery is often sentimentalised in fiction, but in her ferociously well written second novel Molly McCloskey gives it to us straight. Alice is a twentysomething American who fetches up in Ireland at the tail end of the 1980s, just before the economic boom of the next decade. She works in a Sligo bar, where her foreignness causes a bit of a stir. McCloskey slyly captures the provincialism of those pre-Celtic Tiger years, when the men Alice meets are âboth knowing and a little slow â¦ and yet disarmingly innocentâ. One of these men is a suburban furniture salesman called Eddie (rhymes with steady), whom she falls in love with for his reassuring imperturbability. They marry, buy a house overlooking Ben Bulben â the book's physical world is finely realised â and settle down. Alice's mother, left behind in the States, approves. âI thought I was on the threshold of my life,â says Alice.
From the Morrison Formation to Thandie Newton, test your knowledge with the Weekend quiz
1 Who were the intended victims of the St Brice's Day massacre? 2 Which celebrated address is at NW1 6XE? 3 What is notable about âGimme a whiskey, ginger ale on the sideâ? 4 The restored Amber Room is in which palace? 5 Which spread was first sold as loaves of âPasta Giandujaâ in 1946? 6 The Morrison Formation in the western US is a famous source of what? 7 Why would a twitcher welcome an RBA message? 8 Which two particles make up the nucleus of an atom? What links: 9 Three-toed sloth; yes in the Commons; first person pronoun; optical organ? 10 Josef âSeppâ Herberger; Helmut Schà¶n; Franz Beckenbauer; Joachim Là¶w? 11 Lennie James; Keeley Hawes; Daniel Mays; Thandie Newton? 12 Carpal; metacarpal; phalanges? 13 Jandowae, Queensland and west of Penong, South Australia (5,531km)? 14 Codrington; Signet; Maughan; Parker; John Rylands? 15 Letsie III; Mswati III; Mohammed VI?
There is as much as £800m worth still in circulation, but from Friday they will no longer be legal tender
In the biggest changeover in currency since decimalisation. On Friday 5 May the paper £5 note will no longer be legal tender â yet as recently as the start of April there were still 160m of them in Britain's wallets, money boxes and (if you're lucky) under the sofa.
Already shops across the country are beginning to display â£5.05.05â posters telling people that the end of the cotton-paper note, first issued in its current shape and size in 1990, is nigh. After that date no retailers are obliged to accept them, though that doesn't mean they become worthless overnight.
By a long-standing arrangement, I feed the cat on the kitchen worktop. My wife has never accepted this â whenever she sees the cat on the worktop, she shoos it off and puts the bowl on the floor. Then the dog eats the cat food and the cat stands by the cupboard where the cat food is until I refill the bowl and put it back on the worktop. It's not ideal, but it's the system.
Under this regime, the dog gets through a lot of cat food. Eventually we run out, and the cat starts following me around, miaowing at intervals.
Weeding can feel like painting the Forth Bridge â by the time you finish, it's time to start again. Alys Fowler offers a few tricks to use
When I was a student, weeding the endless rectangular order beds at Kew Gardens that document the botanical families and their members was like painting the Forth Bridge. You'd start one end, knowing that by the time you got to the other side you'd have to start again. It felt like the weeds were chasing you. If your garden feels the same, there are a few tricks to employ.
Healthy soil rich in organic matter has fewer weeds because weeds clothe bare soil that is quick to erode, dried out by hot weather and blown away by strong winds. A flush of weeds is nature's way of saying she doesn't want to remain bare. Mulching with a thick layer of organic matter is like a blanket saving the soil from having to come up with its own green version.
The arid beauty of Cabo de Gata, in Almeràa, has inspired works by Lorca and the spaghetti westerns of Sergio Leone â and has one of Spain's least-developed coasts
After several hours walking along stark cliffs and ridges, I come down a hillside dotted with white asphodels and find myself on an untrodden beach. I have not seen another person since breakfast. Behind the beach, which is black, are banks of wild aloes with their massive spiky leaves at ground level and skinny dried flower stems jutting upwards.
From gumbo and po' boys to jambalaya and crawfish, New Orleans opened my eyes in more ways than one
As someone who travels a fair bit and reads lots of cookery books, it isn't often that I come across a new culinary state of mind; a way of eating and talking about food that's quite different from anything I know. This last happened late last year, on my first ever trip to New Orleans.
I call it a state of mind because New Orleanian cooking really only makes sense in the context of this great city's history, in its cultural baggage and, especially, in the way its people tell their stories. Take po' boy, a sandwich made with baguette-like bread filled with anything from roast beef to fried shrimps or oysters, from ham and cheese to potato chips. Add some lettuce, tomatoes and some optional mayo and/or hot sauce, and you're in pretty familiar sandwich territory, true, but there's so much more to a po' boy. The story goes back to the 1920s, when Bennie and Clovis Martin, two former streetcar conductors, opened a restaurant in the French Market. When their old workmates went on strike a few years later, the brothers gave them free sandwiches. Every time they saw a striker approaching, they'd say, âHere comes another poor boy,â and the name stuck.
My husband is doing incredibly well at work and of course I am proud of him. But what about me?
When the offer letter came for my husband, a promotion that included a move abroad, I didn't hesitate to leave my job. I naively thought that I'd pick up where I'd left off and have an exciting new job in no time; this would be an adventure.
I've followed all the rules, taken part in volunteer work for no fewer than five organisations, networked (although it doesn't come naturally) and sent off more than 100 job applications and carefully written covering letters. But although I'm experienced and highly qualified in my field, it seems the tag of âexpat wifeâ makes me almost invisible. I feel as if my previous life happened to somebody else.
Heart disease, depression, life expectancy. New research claims that stress exerts a far heavier physical toll than previously understood. The film-maker James Redford talks about how childhood stress can be a killer
There is a scene in James Redford's new film, Resilience, in which a paediatrician cites a parental misdeed so outmoded as to seem bizarre. âParents used to smoke in the car with kids in the back and the windows rolled up,â she says, incredulous. How long ago those days now seem; how wise today's parents are to the dangers of those toxins. Yet every week in her clinic in the Bayview-Hunters Point area of San Francisco, children present with symptoms of a new pollutant â one that is just as damaging. But unlike the smoke-filled car, this new pollutant is invisible, curling undetected around children's lives and causing lasting damage to their lungs, their hearts, their immune systems.
âStress,â Redford says. âIt is a neurotoxin like lead or mercury poisoning.â He mentions the city of Flint in Michigan, where residents were exposed to lead in drinking water. âAnd that's literally what's going onâ with children who are âcoming from really stressful environments. We know what environmental toxins are. Well, this is an environmental toxin.â The proliferation of so-called âtoxic stressâ among children, Redford says, âis a public health crisisâ.
We were together for three years, but you didn't know I existed. In fact, it was ultimately why we broke up.
At first, I understood. I came into the picture soon after your son left a long relationship. He had a young child. He wanted to try to keep everything under control to bring your grandson up in a civil relationship â adding a new girlfriend into the mix was too much to handle. I get that. I stood aside and let him get on with trying to sort it all out. I sacrificed a lot for his sake and for the sake of his family life. I put my own feelings aside, no matter how much it hurt.
From DIY desks to hidden wardrobes, these easy updates will transform your pad. Plus, five jobs for the bank holiday
If you don't have room for an office, but need somewhere to put a slim desk, scour your home for âdeadâ space like this, by a bedroom window. Attach a piece of white plywood â cut to fit your space â to a pair of trestle legs (try Ikea's Oddwald). Then splash out on an Eames DAW armchair.
Ignore the cynics, Brussels is one of Europe's most cosmopolitan cities, with hip bars and cafes, vintage markets and a fine line in the â9th Art'
Living in Paris, I am used to getting a surprised look from French friends when I tell them I am off for a fun weekend in Brussels. For sure, this may not be a top-10 destination for sightseeing, though the monumental Grand Place, with its ornate guild houses and palaces, ranks alongside Venice's Piazza San Marco as Europe's most breathtaking square. But the Belgian capital is forever reinventing itself with hip new places to stay, restaurants, bars and nightlife, as well as shopping that spans designer fashion boutiques to vintage bargains at one of the great authentic flea markets on the Jeu de Balle square.
With all my adult children back home permanently, the room that was my sanctuary is under threat â along with our supply of biscuits and single malt
Jake is the last of our twentysomethings to return home permanently from university, his guitar on his back, things spilling out of bin bags, dirty clothes reeking of damp. His older twin sisters are already reinstated in their bedrooms. So, with the youngest doing his Aâlevels, we have a full house.
âIt's great,â I tell interested people. âWe all get along. Anyway, at this stage, they're less like children and more like friends.â
Although my children were conceived through IVF at the same time, the embryo that became my son was frozen for two years before being implanted. How will their birth order affect them?
Our son and daughter were conceived at the same time, while we were in the cafe at Ikea Croydon (a convenient place for brunch after an early-morning egg-retrieval operation). But while our fertility clinic implanted our little girl into my womb three days later, our little boy went into their freezer for two years. Now, she is five and he is three, but technically they are fraternal twins.
Felix first started to become aware of his unusual origins when he was about two, when we found some home video footage of his big sister at her first family Christmas. Watching her chuckling in glee while bouncing on Granny's knee, he pointed out our familiar red sofa and his older cousins laughing in the background, then asked: âWhere was I?â
My German father would visit my mother's college room with dough cake and offer it in marriage to her preserve. Little did he know she preferred the strictures of rationing to such sensuous excess
My mother was not much of a sensualist. But what amazed me was the effort she expended to thwart my father's sensuality. She hated spending time on cooking, but she'd never, ever have saved it by buying fillet steak, or lobster, or oysters, all of which he loved.
Helpless in the place where it really hurt, all she could do was micromanage his desires in every other quarter. Half-cups of coffee, bacon scraps instead of Lachsschinken (pork loin); dozens of tiny, incessant punishments, all in the name of housekeeping.
This warming ginger and marmalade pudding â ideal for deceptively chilly spring days â comes with a hearty dose of nostalgia and custard so thick it holds up a spoon ...
The name of this week's recipe is the polite term for a pudding better known in Scotland as a treacle dumpling. To serve alongside it, Mum always made a thinnish custard with fresh eggs while Dad sighed, wishing for the spoon-standing-up affair of Mr Bird's invention. Inevitably, he usually had to make his own.
Steamed puddings used to be a staple in Britain. Steak and kidney is an almighty dish â the ne plus ultra of savoury puddings, unique to these isles â but it belongs in another story. There's quite a list of sweet puddings, too. These made a regular appearance when I was growing up. I remember my eldest brother setting to with a recipe for sussex pond pudding, which encases a whole lemon in a suet crust.
He dedicated his life to writing, but never made a living from it. What do I do with the huge body of unpublished work he left behind?
On 27 June 2016, my father, Harbhajan Singh Virk, died. There was no obituary. He didn't trend on Twitter. The world didn't miss his genius, because his words never reached an audience.
My father, for as long as I can remember, was a writer. If anyone asked me what he did, without hesitation I would say he was a writer, yet he never made a living from it. One of the last things he said to one of his grandchildren, jokingly, was: âDon't be a writer; writing doesn't pay the bills.â But he never stopped writing. His entire life was dedicated to it.
The Hollywood star is joining us to answer your questions in a live webchat on Monday 1 May â post them in the comments below
Since his breakthrough as a dopey bartender in Cheers, Woody Harrelson has been an endearing Hollywood fixture â and nominated for two Oscars along the way. His broad grin and lugubrious Texan drawl make him a natural for goofy comedy, such as upcoming indie comic-book adaptation Wilson. But he can flip to stone-faced seriousness in works such as Natural Born Killers, True Detective and The Hunger Games franchise â just one of his blockbuster projects, which also include War for the Planet of the Apes, and the Star Wars spin-off movie about Han Solo.
Thanks for taking part in the discussion today, for clicking on our poll or just reading along with us. We'll be back next week with another opportunity for you to tell us what you'd like to talk about and to respond to some of our writers, who will again be here to talk about some of their favourite stories of the week.
We'd like to understand how you view the upcoming snap election â whether you're voting, or not. We'll use a selection of responses in our reporting
In less than six weeks, UK voters will head to polls to vote on who they want to lead the country. If you're voting, abstaining, undecided or even indifferent, we'd like you to share your thoughts with us.
Make your nomination in the comments and a reader will pick the best eligible tracks for a playlist next week â you have until Monday 1 May
Your nominated musical tribute could be to a person alive or dead, or even an act or event ... whatever it is, share it now. And for more on interpreting the theme, keep an eye on the comments.
You have until 11pm on Monday 1 May to post your nomination and make your justification. RR contributor George Boyland (who posts as sonofwebcore in the comments) will select from your recommendations and produce a playlist, to be published on 4 May.
Whether you're a Conservative voter switching parties because you disagree with âhardâ Brexit, or a Labour voter unhappy with the party's stance, or a Lib Dem voter who disagrees with the party's policy of backing a second EU referendum, we want to hear your views.
Readers respond to contrasting columns by George Monbiot and Polly Toynbee, and other Guardian articles about the forthcoming general election
I'm one of an endangered species apparently: a pensioner without a huge stash in savings. But George Monbiot's excellent article (If ever there was a time to vote Labour, it is now, 26 April), brutally honest though it was, while determined to find reasons to be cheerful among the predicted carnage, has prompted me to put a £100 bet on a Labour victory in the general election.
I never normally gamble, but was partly nudged in that direction as an act of faith by the funereal, fatalist tone of Polly Toynbee's opinion piece (A blue tidal wave is heading towards us in June. Reach for the sandbags, 26 April). Polly has done a brilliant job in your paper of holding our dreadful Tory rulers to account during the past two governments, but she has recently reverted to her old SDP role of staunch underminer of anything Labour which deviates from centrist convention. Neither she nor many of your colleagues, nor the majority of Labour MPs, have been prepared to give Corbyn's opposition any credibility since his election. Worse, the MPs have publicly broadcast this energetically, despite knowing how this plays into the hands of gleeful Tories.
From visiting politicians to banners and leaflets, we want you to show us what's happening where you are as the UK general election approaches
Politicians are dusting down their soap boxes and canvassers are readying their door-knocking skills. (Yet) another British general election is upon us, and we'd like to see your images, videos and stories as the campaign gathers momentum.
Wherever you are in the UK, we want to see how the campaign is impacting your local area. PM Theresa May says she is eschewing TV debates for old-fashioned meeting the voters â has she, or any other politician, turned up in your town?
Our reader adds up your suggestions and divides them into a well calculated playlist â Kate Bush, Little Boots and They Might Be Giants all featuring
Here is this week's playlist â songs picked by a reader from your suggestions after last week's callout. Read more about how our weekly readers recommend series works at the end of the piece.
At its most elementary, mathematics is about how numbers relate to each other â certainly that's what most of us are first taught. Any of you with children will have marvelled at a young brain's ability to identify the concept of numbers in life (three more mouthfuls, five more sleeps until Christmas). Addition is how most kids start to learn about the interconnection of numbers, and I Can Add by They Might Be Giants, which starts our list this week, provides a simple lesson on this basic operation â¦ and in Spanish too.
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 illustrate air quality â both good and bad.
You may live somewhere where you can capture the haze of a city or are perhaps fortunate enough to witness crisp, clear skies. We're interested in images that are literal or conceptual, so if you want to interpret this project creatively, we're open to that.
Inequality is all around us â some all-too visible, much of it obscure and insidious. Experts are lining up in ever-greater numbers to warn of its harmful effects â from Professor Stephen Hawking, who wrote in the Guardian of technology's role in growing levels of income inequality, to Christine Lagarde, head of the International Monetary Fund, who told the world's business leaders earlier this year: âI hope people will listen [to my warnings] now.â
Not everyone is listening, though â in part because the picture can be very confusing. In the UK, for instance, the Office for National Statistics revealed the gap between the richest and poorest fifths of society fell significantly last year. However, it also said Britain's generational divide is growing, with a boost to pension payments masking the continued struggle of many other households.
Letters from Caroline Lucas, Green MP for Brighton Pavilion; Dick Taverne, Lib Dem member of the House of Lords; Christopher Clayton of Waverton in Cheshire; and Rosemary Chamberlin of Bristol
Martin Robbins' acerbic attack on progressive alliances (Tactical voting to beat the Tories: does the maths equal a coalition?, theguardian.com, 20 April) is both misinformed and misleading. For a start, he assumes that any alliances would be the only tactic used to beat the Conservatives when that's clearly absurd. It's self-evident that parties on the left need to win more votes off the Tories, and alliances would simply make the immensely difficult task of overturning the Tory majority a lot easier. According to analysis by Compass, progressive alliances at this election could help Labour win up to 29 Tory seats â and help them defend vulnerable ones too. They could allow the Lib Dems to pick off some Tories in the south-west and it would give the Greens a chance to topple the Tories in places like the Isle of Wight. With Ukip now planning to stand aside for Tories like Philip Davies and Jacob Rees-Mogg, it's more important than ever that progressives think again about how we might work together in a handful of places too. Though the polls are not looking pretty right now for the left, let's not forget that the Tory majority is small â and a lot can happen in seven short weeks.
It's crucial also to remember the context for such alliances. A crumbling NHS, a jilted generation of young people being let down and a hardline government pursuing an extreme Brexit. For us, proportional representation must be central to this project, because our hugely undemocratic electoral system is so stacked in the establishment's favour that the Tories can win a majority on just 24% of the eligible vote. To crack open our politics we must hack the system â and respect the fact that no single party has a monopoly on wisdom. So rather than talking down the idea of working together, let's stick to the facts. Unity between those who want to topple the Tories is our best bet of a more progressive politics in Britain, let's not squander this opportunity. Caroline Lucas MP Green, Brighton Pavilion
Labour's leader Jeremy Corbyn has warned that too many schoolchildren are in large classes, vowing to change this if elected. Is this true? Tell us your stories
Labour's leader Jeremy Corbyn has warned that too many schoolchildren are âcrammed into classrooms like sardinesâ.
During a visit to the Conservative constituency of Cardiff North as part of Labour's election campaign, he claimed that âseven years of Tory failure and broken promises have left our schools in a terrible stateâ, with children paying the price.
The novelist on the curse of email, her âuneven' eyes and hating Donald Trump
Born in California, Ann Patchett, 53, is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop. Three of her novels, The Magician's Assistant, Bel Canto and State Of Wonder, were shortlisted for the Orange prize for fiction, Bel Canto winning in 2002. Her bestselling seventh novel, Commonwealth, is out in paperback next week; she will discuss the book at a Guardian Live event on 23 May, and appear at the Charleston Festival in London on 25 May. She lives in Nashville.
Emmanuel Macron's drama coach when he was 15 is set to break new ground by having a formal job description as first lady
Last July, when Emmanuel Macron was economy minister in François Hollande's government and his barely hidden presidential ambitions were dismissed as a naive fantasy by the political class, he held his first rally at a smart venue on Paris's Left Bank.
Before the crowds arrived, he took to the stage to rehearse his speech in front of a handful of volunteers from his new political movement En Marche! (On the Move), a âneither right nor leftâ grouping he said would revolutionise French politics. âWe are the party of hope,â he told the almost empty auditorium, captured by the film-maker Pierre Hurel, who was discreetly documenting his rise.
Generally speaking, I am deeply uncool: a little too late, far too eager to be nonchalantly edgy, and way too enthusiastic fully to embody insouciance. So thank goodness for the accidental coolness I got simply from being in the vicinity during the birth of grime in the early 2000s. And there is no musician from the genre I'm enjoying at the moment as much as Stormzy.
Stormzy (né Michael Omari), 23, is having A Moment. Like any late adopter, I struggle to remember where I first heard him â probably a freestyle on YouTube â but I do remember him giving an awkward, bashful speech after winning the first Mobo award for best grime act, in 2014.
The Oscar-winning writer of 12 Years a Slave on race in Hollywood, his âmust-suffer' TV and his spat with Steve McQueen
Did John Ridley know what he was letting himself in for? When we meet the morning after the London premiere of his political drama Guerrilla, the busiest man in television still seems to be processing last night's audience reaction to his UK debut. âI don't know if âsurprised' is the word,â he says, pensively. âI think, unfortunately, sometimes these kinds of stories are both timely and timeless.â
Amid the usual post-screening feting and fact-checking, several attendees asked about his decision to feature an Asian woman, played by Mumbai-born Freida Pinto, at the forefront of a film about Britain's 1970s Black Power movement (the series also features Wunmi Mosaku and Zawe Ashton, albeit in less prominent roles). A heated discussion about the âerasure of black womenâ ensued, which has also spilled out on social media.
Six years since her death, the punk singer remains hugely influential. Her daughter reflects on learning âthe family business', how fame nearly broke her mother â and why she's making a film of her life
Even when I really young, I knew what my mum did for a living. She was was always working on something: writing music, recording, doing interviews. As I got older, she'd tell me about the punk movement, about the musicians she knew and what it was all about.
We lived with my grandmother on and off through that period, and she saw punk very differently. For my grandmother being a punk meant things like wearing odd-coloured socks, which she didn't approve of. Even mumdidn't like a lot about punk, too. There was loads she found exciting, of course, but she'd tell me plenty of the negative stuff: the aggressiveness of the crowds, the spitting on stage, how very few women were present at many of these gigs â and how that made her terribly anxious about performing. I realised later she was trying to warn me off becoming any kind of performer, in case I got any ideas.
What has James Van Der Beek been doing since his days as the Dawson's Creek teen heartthrob? High-minded nonsense with a layer of ridiculous on top, the star reveals
Dawson Leery is the TV character that no one will let James Van Der Beek forget. The teen drama he moped about in for seven series is nearly 20 years old, and his career has been on a curious trajectory ever since, but still the possibility of a Capeside reunion is all that anyone wants to ask him about. And so Van Der Beek begins our conversation by bringing it up before we've even ordered coffee. âThat's the question that comes at the end of every interview,â he tells me. âSomebody says, âOK now, I apologise, you know I have to askâ¦'â
Well, seeing as he mentioned it, would he indulge the show's many fans â one of whom is absolutely not sitting opposite him in a hotel bar this morning and totally did not spend a lot of her early teens imagining that one day she'd fall for someone who spoke in impossibly long monologues â with Dawson's Creek The Movie? Is there a Netflix-enabled future in which Michelle Williams, Katie Holmes, Joshua Jackson and himself would play midlife versions of their former breakout roles?
The comedian and sketch-show doyenne on the things that make her laugh the most
Simon Munnery's The League Against Tedium in Edinburgh in the late 1990s. I had never seen anything like it; I became almost hysterical with laughter which he probably found off-putting. He appeared to give no shits whether the audience liked it or not, and I loved that.
Tension on the border of North and South Korea, the return of Maria Sharapova, the French elections and the ongoing violence in Mosul â the news of the week captured by the world's best photojournalists
Hughie Furlong watches the boxer train in Hyde Park, 12 May 1966
Muhammad Ali, world heavyweight champion, was in London for his title fight against Henry Cooper. Ali was on top of the world; he'd knocked out Sonny Liston â the biggest bully of them all â a year earlier, in the first round. The fight, at Highbury, Arsenal Football Club's stadium, was a huge occasion, particularly because Cooper was on home ground. Ali was the favourite, but there was talk about Cooper's left hook. I'd seen Cooper in action and always said that left hook was like a pound of lead on the end of elastic.
I was 26 and teaching PE in Putney. west London. I was a boxing obsessive. A few days before the fight, I got chatting to a young lad in my gym, who told me his dad was Richard Reekie, who wrote for Boxing Illustrated. He said he was with the Ali camp at the Piccadilly hotel, writing his column. In the pub that night, my friend Keith Underhay and I decided to call the hotel. They put us straight through to Ali's trainer, Angelo Dundee, who told me Ali would be out at 6.30am to start training, so we drove up early the next day.
The general election campaign is still in its initial stages â not officially under way until parliament dissolves in early May â but nevertheless the political parties were hard at work across the UK, and #electiondogs has begun
The Guardian's picture editors bring you a selection of photo highlights from around the world, including Michelle Obama back in the public eye, secret police cells in Manila and UK election campaigning
Jason Hawkes specialises in aerial photography and has flown across Britain capturing the country from above. His first book, London from the Air, was released 25 years ago; here he returns to the capital leaning out of a helicopter to photograph the city at night
Brooklyn-based photographer Mark Hartman visited the Coney Island boardwalk every day for a month, documenting the diversity of the people who visit the beach. Walking the same route each day in a process that became meditative, and with a rule that he would not include any Coney Island iconography, resulted in a series of sparse, elegant portraits saturated with color
- 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