People who have recovered from Covid-19 may lose their immunity to the disease within months, according to research suggesting the virus could reinfect people year after year, like common colds.
In the first longitudinal study of its kind, scientists analysed the immune response of more than 90 patients and healthcare workers at Guy's and St Thomas' NHS foundation trust and found levels of antibodies that can destroy the virus peaked about three weeks after the onset of symptoms then swiftly declined.
A fifth of vulnerable people in Britain thought about self-harming or killing themselves during lockdown, according to research shared with the Guardian, as a series of inquests underline the mental health toll of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Findings from University College London reveal that 8,000 out of 44,000 people surveyed (18%) reported thoughts of self-harm or suicide, and 42% had accessed support services. A further 5% said they had harmed themselves at least once since the start of the UK's lockdown.
Senior figures in Scotland and Wales warn Brexit is bringing a âstatutory fist crashing down'
Boris Johnson has been accused of planning an âemasculationâ of the devolution settlement, with senior officials and politicians warning that plans for a post-Brexit UK-wide internal market will put Scotland and Wales on a collision course with Westminster.
As support for Scottish independence shows a sustained polling lead and the Welsh parliament prepares for a debate on Wednesday about holding an independence referendum, the UK government has been accused of bringing a âstatutory fist crashing downâ as it attempts to regulate policy and standards across the four parts of the UK.
The government has ordered a 27-acre site be transformed into a customs clearance centre
It is a competitive field when it comes to noise, but the sweet birdsong rising up from 27 acres of ragwort, overground grass and dense bramble hedgerows just about wins against the hum of traffic from the nearby M20 in Kent.
But from Monday the victory for wildlife will end as the first machines and crews start work on a 27-acre Brexit customs clearance centre to process lorries coming from the EU into Dover from January, prompting anger from local residents, a Tory MP and other politicians.
Crystal Palace forward received threats before Villa match
Zaha offered support on Twitter by Ian Wright
West Midlands Police has confirmed they have arrested a 12-year-old boy after Wilfried Zaha was subjected to racist abuse on social media ahead of Crystal Palace's match against Aston Villa on Sunday.
Zaha shared screenshots of the mesages he had been sent to his Instagram account in the early hours of Sunday morning, including one of members of the white supremacist organisation the Ku Klux Klan. âWoke up to this today,â wrote the Ivory Coast international.
Thomas Chatterton Williams defends letter as critics say it disregards marginalised views
The organiser of an open letter decrying âa vogue for public shaming and ostracismâ has said companies such as Netflix and the New York Times will have to take into account the views of its signatories, after a counter letter accused the first letter's backers of failing to recognise those âsilenced for generationsâ.
A debate about free speech, privilege and the role of social media in public discourse continued over the weekend as the writer Thomas Chatterton Williams, who signed the first letter along with more than 150 prominent authors, thinkers and journalists including JK Rowling, Salman Rushdie and Margaret Atwood, argued that it had âmoved the needleâ.
Former FDA commissioner Dr Scott Gottlieb has appeared on CBS's Face the Nation. Last week he predicted, correctly, that Covid-19 cases in the US would soon approach 60,000 a day. Host Margaret Brennan asks him how he thinks the outbreak will progress in the coming weeks.
âNew York really followed the pattern of Italy, where it was a sharp up, a huge epidemic, but it came down rapidly. I think in the south you're likely to see an extended plateau,â he said. âWe really don't have a national approach here. What we have is state approaches that are creating regional effects. And so those regional effects are different. And the New York experience mirrored Italy. I think the southern experience is more likely to mirror Brazil, where you're likely to see more of an extended plateau once we reach that apex. And you could reach the apex in the next two or three weeks.â
Carlos Gimenez, the Republican mayor of Miami-Dade county, appeared on CNN's State of the Union earlier today. Cases of Covid-19 are surging across Florida, and the mayor was asked whether Miami hospitals are close to reaching capacity.
âIt won't be long,â he said. âLook, we have reached capacity in some, but we also have reserve space. ... It's our ICU capacity that's causing us concern ... We definitely had a sharp increase in the number of people going to the hospital, the number of people that are in ICU, and the number of people on our ventilators ... We still have capacity, but it does cause me a lot of concern.â
The government of Spain's Catalonia region on Sunday ordered residents in and around the northeastern town of Lerida to go back into home confinement as cases of coronavirus spiked.
âThe people must stay at home,â regional health official Alba Verges told a news conference.
A team of researchers from King's College London has found that people who have recovered from Covid-19 may lose their immunity to the disease within months, according to research suggesting the virus could reinfect people year after year, like common colds.
The only UK inquiry to date into the handling of the coronavirus crisis will take its first evidence from bereaved relatives on Monday, amid growing calls for a full independent investigation.
Families of those who have died will give their submissions in writing, via video call, or will arrange to do so in person to the new all-party parliamentary group (APPG) for coronavirus, led by a cross-party group of MPs.
During lockdown, anxiety about our health and the economy was on the rise â and the easing of restrictions has brought new worries. Experts describe how to navigate this period
On one of the worst days of the lockdown, Kat says, she ended up âin the corner of the room sobbing. My workload was through the roof and I couldn't do anything with the children because I couldn't take a minute away from it. And they were upset because they were missing their school friends and not wanting to sit and do maths. It all got a bit too much.â
She works in customer services and had been doing her full-time job from home, as well as trying to home-school her two children, while her husband, a gardener, kept working (she also has a chronic pain condition, made worse by stress). There were several times, she says, when she would turn off her phone and go into the kitchen for a cry.
Mark Wilson's first visit to the pub in months started perfectly. The 30-year-old met some of his closest friends in a vaping bar, Vape Escape, near the windswept seafront in Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset. âI was glad to be seeing people and getting a pint in a pub again,â he says. âWe watched the Man United game and they won â so I was in a good mood.â
As the Saturday evening wore on, the group moved on to another pub in the quiet seaside resort, about a 45-minute drive from Bristol. The six friends moved back and forth between the two pubs before calling it a night. âI was pretty merry,â says Wilson. âBut it was all good.â
Nicola Sturgeon has said she will not shy away from taking a decision to impose quarantine on English visitors to Scotland, but it is not a decision she would take lightly.
Asked on the BBC One's The Andrew Marr Show about the possibility of self-isolation for visitors from south of the border, the first minister said the UK nations needed to work together on outbreak management in a way that mitigated âagainst having to put any border restrictions in placeâ.
Almost 2,500 children have been admitted to hospital with malnutrition in the first six months of the year â double the number over the same period last year â prompting fresh concern that families are struggling to afford to feed themselves and that the pandemic has intensified the problem.
Freedom of information responses from almost 50 trusts in England, representing 150 hospitals, show that more than 11,500 children have been admitted to hospital with malnutrition since 2015.
Regulars appreciate the joys of swimming in famous London ponds post-lockdown
âIt was like trying to get tickets for Glastonbury!â said John Roberts, waving a paper ticket. It was his birthday and he and wife, Susanna, were palpably excited to be on their way for a swim in the mixed pond at Hampstead Heath for the first time in months.
Having spent lockdown working from their third-floor flat in Belsize Park without access to a garden, the couple, who are expecting their first baby, had been eagerly anticipating the government's announcement on Thursday that outdoor swimming facilities would be reopening.
Rise is the biggest in any state since start of the pandemic as its daily average death toll continues to also rise
Florida shattered the national record Sunday for the largest single-day increase in positive coronavirus cases in any state since the beginning of the pandemic, adding more than 15,000 cases as its daily average death toll continued to also rise.
According to state Department of Health statistics, 15,299 people tested positive, for a total of 269,811 cases, and 45 deaths were recorded. California had the previous record of daily positive cases 11,694, set on Wednesday. New York had 11,571 on 15 April.
The Indian actor Aishwarya Rai Bachchan has tested positive for coronavirus, a day after her father-in-law and fellow actor, Amitabh Bachchan, and her husband, Abhishek, also both actors, were admitted to hospital for Covid-19.
Rajesh Tope, the health minister for Maharashtra state, tweeted that Rai Bachchan and her eight-year-old daughter had tested positive. However, it is unclear whether the actor has been admitted to hospital, as her husband and father-in-law were on Saturday, with what they said were mild symptoms.
Nine cases have been added to the cluster in Casula and the contact dates have been widened to 3 to 10 July
Thousands of pub-goers have been asked to self-isolate for two weeks after a hotel staff member and three other people became the latest cases in an emerging coronavirus cluster.
The 18-year-old staffer and a close contact in her 50s, plus a woman in her 40s and a Victorian man in his 20s, who both dined at the venue, were on Sunday confirmed as new cases linked to Sydney's Crossroads Hotel cluster.
US military tells officials two affected bases have been put into lockdown and those who tested positive are in isolation
The governor of Okinawa island in Japan has demanded that a United States military commander take tougher prevention measures and have more transparency after officials were told more than 60 marines at two bases have been infected with the coronavirus over the past few days.
On Sunday Okinawan officials reported 61 cases, 38 of them at marine corps air station Futenma, which is at the center of a relocation dispute, and another 23 at Camp Hansen since 7 July.
From a London council estate to world acclaim, friends and colleagues explain how the writer, director and star of I May Destroy You brought her world to the screen
A year ago this week , Michaela Coel stood in an ornately gothic private suite in the heart of Bloomsbury, eyeing her assembled troops. The 12 episodes of her show I May Destroy You were to be read aloud in full for the first time by her cast. The production crew jigsawed themselves behind the actors' table while producers from HBO and the BBC sat tight in anticipation.
At this point, still only 31, Coel had won a Bafta for her debut series, Channel 4's Chewing Gum, and turned down a £1m deal with Netflix. Now she was in the room as the writer, director, producer and the star in full control of her own show; a semi-fictionalised portrait of her world in London, of sexual assault, friendships and anxiety. A quiet pressure hissed.
In a powerful new book, the journalist and historian reveals how her former friends and colleagues became agents of populism
Anne Applebaum can look at the wreck of democratic politics and understand it with a completeness few contemporary writers can match. When she asks who sent Britain into the unending Brexit crisis, or inflicted the Trump administration on America, or turned Poland and Hungary into one-party states, she does not need to search press cuttings. Her friends did it, she replies. Or, rather, her former friends. For if they are now embarrassed to have once known her, the feeling is reciprocated.
Applebaum's latest book, Twilight of Democracy: The Failure of Politics and the Parting of Friends, opens with a scene a novelist could steal. On 31 December 1999, Applebaum and her husband, RadosÅaw Sikorski, a minister in Poland's then centre-right government, threw a party. It was a Millennium Eve housewarming for a manor house in the western Poland they had helped rebuild from ruins. The company of Poles, Brits, Americans and Russians could say that they had rebuilt a ruined world. Unlike the bulk of the left of the age, they had stood up against the Soviet empire and played a part in the fall of a cruel and suffocating tyranny. They had supported free markets, free elections, the rule of law and democracies sticking together in the EU and Nato, because these causes â surely â were the best ways for nations to help their people lead better lives as they faced Russian and Chinese power, Islamism and climate change.
The London soul sensation, about to release her first album in five years, talks about identity, her friendship with Prince and her political awakening
Lianne La Havas arrives on her bike, a sturdy looking affair with a wicker front basket. It's a June morning in Brockwell Park, south London, and the sun is out and the flowers are bright and the world is delicious. There are six of us here, all women; this is the first time, post-corona crisis, that any of us have been involved in an interview and photo shoot where everyone is outside their own house. A new beginningâ¦ And also an end, for in just a few days, the beaches will be packed, the park as full as a festival, parties will get rowdy and be broken up by police, and lockdown will be done. For now, though, we're in a dreamy, singular moment.
Up the hill to do the photos in a walled garden. La Havas parks her bike and sits on a bench to apply her makeup. She spends some time on her eyebrows, holds earrings up to see if they suit. A designer friend sent her some clothes to wear, but they were all a bit too hot and stiff, so she's in a cotton dress that ties at the waist and airs her midriff. She's calm but friendly. Centred. If you told me she was a yoga teacher, I wouldn't be surprised.
The Guardian's Luke Harding reflects on the Russia report, Skripal, investigative journalism, and his latest book
Putin is not a super-villain sitting in a cave in front of a console with red flashing buttons. He is a classic KGB opportunist. His talent is sniffing out weakness. During the cold war, Moscow sought to undermine the west â the US and Britain in particular. Putin uses the same playbook, but far more effectively. Russian operatives helped Donald Trump win the 2016 presidential election and also pushed for Brexit. In a 50/50 race, the Kremlin's secret role may have been decisive. In Soviet times, Moscow backed western communist parties. Putin's main ally in Europe now is the anti-EU far right.
A wave of new books try to deal with the murder, deception, torture and racism of a brutal regime
The books tell stories of murder, deception, torture and racism, of events 30 or more years ago that still resonate today, of secrets that few want to hear, and of killers who have never been held to account.
One is byPaul Erasmus, a secret policeman under South Africa's brutal, racist apartheid regime. For years he has described his misdeeds to investigators, courts, journalists and commissions, but now he is telling his story to a broader audience in a country where many still do not want to confront its bloody history.
As a nation, we've been getting into the spirits like never before, says Richard Godwin. If you're going to mix drinks, here's how to do it well
One of the least surprising things about these most surprising times is that Britain is drinking more alcohol â and specifically, cocktails. Towards the end of April, the Office of National Statistics reported a 31.4% increase in volume sales of alcohol nationwide. Waitrose has since shaded in some detail: tequila sales are up 175%, and as liqueur sales are up 78%, too, we can assume that Margarita production has risen by a similar percentage year-on-year.
My own household's Negroni output is up 53.6%, annual Sidecar targets were smashed in early May, and all the citrus in my fruit bowl bears the telltale scars of garnish-manufacture. My interest predates lockdown â I wrote a book about cocktails a few years back â but clearly, all the people who bought it are only now getting round to reading it. I keep getting messages along the lines of, âBut what else can I make with maraschino?â And, âIs it acceptable to use a whisk when making a Ramos Gin Fizz?â And, âWhat's the best vermouth in a Negroni?â For many, clearly, cocktail hour has become an important weekly ritual.
Climbing in the polls and fresh from facing down foes, Labour's leader has survived a baptism of fire â with more tests to come
Very little about Keir Starmer's first three months as Labour leader has been easy, or remotely normal. On 4 April, the day he was elected, there was no fanfare as he was forced to issue a very sober, pre-recorded victory address from a front room of his house in north London, with the country in strict lockdown. Three months on, during a visit to Harlow, Essex, last week, he chose to wear a large plastic visor, putting distance between him and the voters, and safety first.
âHe was right to do that,â said one of his front bench, âbecause until then, not a single cabinet minister had worn a mask in public since this whole thing began. It was about setting an example. But I did thinkâ¦how bloody weird.â Even now, as he approaches his 100th day as leader, it's all very abnormal.
The If Beale Street Could Talk actor on the joy of learning to do stunts and her forthcoming role in Coming 2 America
KiKi Layne, 28, made her film debut as the female lead, Tish, in Barry Jenkins's acclaimed 2018 drama If Beale Street Could Talk, a story of young love and institutional racism in 1970s New York. The actor's new film, The Old Guard, is adapted from a comic-book series, and sees her star alongside Charlize Theron as part of an elite squad of mercenaries. Layne lives in Los Angeles.
The Old Guard is a very different film from If Beale Street Could Talk. Was that part of the appeal? Oh, absolutely. I've always wanted to do a big, kick-ass action film, and I was excited for the opportunity to do something obviously so different from Beale Street. A sense of: âWhoa, I didn't know Tish could do all that!â And I definitely never trained like this before. We seriously would spend hours a day training, learning all types of new stuff. Getting my ass whupped! But I'm like: âI'll come back for more!â
The Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has proposed permanently seizing Palestinian territory by annexing swathes of the West Bank - a violation of international law. Journalist Mariam Barghouti and PIPD executive director Salem Barahmeh describe how this would formalise a system that millions of Palestinians are already enduring, while Jerusalem correspondent Oliver Holmes examines what is driving Netanyahu's latest plans
In April last year, the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, announced he planned to annex Jewish settlements, outposts in the West Bank where hundreds of thousands of Israelis live, to global condemnation. In September, the Israeli leader added he would also annex the Jordan Valley, which makes up to one-third of the West Bank and borders Jordan. The Guardian's Jerusalem correspondent, Oliver Holmes, tells Anushka Asthana why the support of US president Donald Trump, who may lose the election in November, has emboldened Netanyahu.
Much uncertainty however, remains around when, how â or even if â Netanyahu will push forward with annexation and what effect it could have. Palestinian journalist Mariam Barghouti - based in Ramallah - and Salem Barahmeh, who is the executive director of the Palestine Institute for Public Diplomacy and lives in the Jordan Valley, describe the impact the Israel occupation already has on the lives of millions of Palestinians.
A spike in cases of Covid-19 in Leicester has led Guardian reporter Archie Bland to its garment factories. He discusses a story that goes beyond the pandemic and into workers' rights, appalling factory conditions and the ethics of fast fashion
When the Guardian's senior reporter Archie Bland arrived in Leicester to cover a new coronavirus spike he thought he would be covering a story about the frustrations of a city stuck in lockdown.
But, as he tells Anushka Asthana, he soon found that the trail of the new outbreak led to Leicester's garment industry and the thousands of factories that continued to operate during lockdown, some allegedly without proper social distancing and in squalid conditions. Some of those factories supply the online fashion retailer Boohoo, which has seen a massive backlash this week.
Bas Javid joined the Avon and Somerset police in 1993. Last year he became a commander at the Met. He reflects on his experiences as a BAME officer and discusses the use of stop and search, which has been cited as a continued source of tension between the force and communities. Ben Bowling, aprofessor of criminology and criminal justice, examines the history of police race relations
Rachel Humphreys talks to Commander Bas Javid, the brother of the former chancellor Sajid Javid, about how racism during his childhood and his own experiences of stop and search influenced his decision to join Avon and Somerset police in 1993. Last year, he moved to the Metropolitan police and has been in charge of frontline policing during lockdown. He discusses the challenges the force has faced, and answers criticism of its use of stop and search.
She also talks to Ben Bowling, a professor of criminology and criminal justice at King's College London. Ben looks at the Met's history of race relations and discusses the impact of the Macpherson report, which was published in the wake of the 1993 racially motivated murder of Stephen Lawrence. He believes the force has made a lot of progress but still has a way to go.
Jason Holder is u. Says yesterday was the best day he had in Test cricket due to the toil it required. Talks about the discipline from the bowlers, âwe knew what was at stake.â Knew they had a lot of time to get it done playing until 7pm; enough time to bring Gabriel back for a crucial spell last night. âEvery time I ask the bowlers to charge in they do and give it their full effort.â A lot of love for Blackwood to close.
Hamilton beats Bottas into second, Verstappen finishes third
Leclerc apologises for hitting Ferrari teammate Vettel at start
After a stunning shakedown to open the season at last week's Austrian Grand Prix, Formula One's follow up at Red Bull Ring proved an altogether more sedate affair. Lewis Hamilton brought breathtaking spectacle to his qualifying performance for the Styrian Grand Prix but on race day he and Mercedes delivered the familiar racecraft and control to deliver a consummate victory. Having definitively made his statement on track however Hamilton did so once more on the podium where he delivered the black power salute.
Mercedes and Hamilton's dominance however could not have sat in starker contrast to the disarray behind them as Ferrari were left reeling in ignominy. Hamilton was fourth here last week and determined to immediately come back. He did so almost with insouciance. Having taken pole with one of the best laps of his career in the wet on Saturday, he held his lead, scampered up the track and drove a faultless race to take the flag in front of team mate Valtteri Bottas and Red Bull's Max Verstappen.
Experimental trial conducted on 91 athletes before London 2012
Questions raised about excessive medication in British sport
UK Sport has denied seeking to win Olympic medals at any cost following revelations it secretly spent hundreds of thousands of pounds on testing an experimental substance on 91 elite athletes before London 2012.
The substance, a synthetic version of a naturally occurring body acid called ketones developed by researchers at Oxford University with a $10m grant from the US military, led to 28 of the athletes having symptoms from gastroenteritis to vomiting, according to the Mail on Sunday.
Aston Villa are not going to go down without a fight after all. They started slowly here but ended up dominant, fully deserving of the three points secured by two goals from Mahmoud Trezeguet. It has been a long time since a Villa forward scored one goal, let alone a pair, so Dean Smith's side were grateful for the Egyptian's sharpness, which ended a streak of 10 leagues games without a win.
Villa are still in the relegation zone but only four points below West Ham and Watford. Their remaining matches are against Everton, Arsenal and West Ham. They cannot count on any of those sides being as vulnerable as Palace, who sagged to their fifth straight defeat here. The visitors played like a team who want the season to finish; it may be over for Christian Benteke, who was shown a red card after the final whistle for kicking out at Ezri Konsa as the players headed for the tunnel.
As mass unemployment looms, the government is reverting to policies that have wrecked lives and worsened low pay and insecurity
As the government responds to the looming economic crisis, its approach seems to embody two polar opposites. The money it is spending to revive the economy is, we are told, not just unprecedented, but indicative of a huge change in Tory thinking, which shoves Conservatism away from the tenets of Thatcherism and everything that followed it. Chancellor Rishi Sunak tells us this is an administration âunencumbered by dogmaâ, Boris Johnson cites Franklin Roosevelt, and shocked Daily Telegraph columnists warn of a return to âLabour's paternalistic corporatismâ.
But viewed from another angle, it looks like the government is basically spending vast amounts of cash shoring up an economic model that is now on to its second meltdown in just over a decade. Covid-19 has magnified a social crisis centred on low pay and insecure work, an enduring housing crisis and inequality that defines millions of people's everyday experience. Yet there is still no sign of any meaningful attempt to change those things. What some people call neoliberalism has, perhaps, reached the stage of high farce, whereby its supposedly rugged, laissez-faire model can only survive thanks to huge bailouts from the state. So, as the old quotation goes, for everything to stay the same, everything must change.
After the Stephen Lawrence inquiry, a report in 2000 foresaw the Black Lives Matter discussion â but didn't survive the backlash
Could this year prove a turning point for racial politics, identity and nationhood in Britain? The Black Lives Matter movement has cut through to the mainstream and dovetailed with the racial and ethnic disproportionalities reflected in Covid-19 mortality rates, and the wider inequalities these lay bare. On the other hand, and waiting for us to come out of lockdown, is Brexit and all the cleavages it has deepened.
The UK shares much in common with other European countries that have never made peace with their colonial pasts, not least in how postcolonial populations migrated to the societies that their forebears made wealthy. But it is worth reflecting on the distinctiveness of Britain's own near recent history, and where there might have been other opportunities to reflect on the big questions about who and what we are. One moment in particular stands out.
Unconscious bias training is a lucrative industry, but it won't change consciously hostile policies
Are you racist? And, if so, how would I know? I used to think that a good gauge may be whether you call me a âPakiâ, or assault me because of my skin colour, or deny me a job after seeing my name. But, no, these are just overt expressions of racism. Even if you show no hostility, or seek to discriminate, you're probably still racist. You just don't know it. Especially if you're white. And if you protest about being labelled a racist, you are merely revealing what the US academic and diversity trainer Robin DiAngelo describes in the title of her bestselling book as your âwhite fragilityâ.
You either accept your racism, or reveal your racism by not accepting it. Indeed, as DiAngelo explains, it's âprogressivesâ confronting racism who âcause the most damage to people of colourâ because they imagine that they are anti-racist. Racism is, as she puts it, âunavoidableâ.
Infections are accelerating in largely untouched countries and those which hoped they had come through the worst. But there is hope
âMost of the world sort of sat by and watched with almost a sense of detachment and bemusement,â said Helen Clark, appointed to investigate the World Health Organization's handling of the pandemic. The former New Zealand prime minister was describing the early weeks of the outbreak, and the sense that coronavirus was a problem âover thereâ. The failure to recognise our interconnection created complacency even as the death toll rose.
It took three months for the first million people to fall sick â but only a week to record the last million of the nearly 13 million cases now reported worldwide. As England emerges from lockdown at an unwary pace, Covid-19 is accelerating globally. The WHO has reported a record surge of a quarter of a million cases in a single day. The death toll is over half a million people and rising fast.
While it might not be as highbrow as opera or ballet, it's inclusive. In many ways panto is theatre at its best
What was your first experience of theatre? Chances are it featured some of the same elements as mine: a soap star in a ridiculous wig, a custard pie fight, an unconvincing horse and an entire audience screaming âhe's behind you!â as if their life depended on it.
Pantomime is an institution in this country, a mainstay of theatres up and down the UK and an annual tradition for many families. But now, the great British panto is under threat. At the beginning of July, a number of venues pulled their festive offerings due to uncertainty around the easing of lockdown measures. The announcement last Monday of a £1.57bn bailout for culture was a relief for many â but while the culture secretary, Oliver Dowden, announced outdoor performances could begin from 11 July, crucial guidance on how and when indoor theatre auditoriums can reopen is still missing. Dowden did little to reassure producers and panto enthusiasts when he told Radio 4's Todayprogramme that pantomimes ârepresent huge transmission risksâ, adding âif we can do it, we will â but it looks challengingâ.
Mary Ruck on the forced labour endured by Kenyans during the 1950s state of emergency, Dr Charmian Goldwyn on today's inequalities, Fawzi Ibrahim on the downside to reparations and James Heartfield on Lord Palmerston's acknowledgment of Britain's debt to Africa. Plus letters from Norman Miller and John Pelling
During the state of emergency in the 1950s, the colonial power, with the tacit approval of London, implemented a policy of detention of British subjects in camps and âpunitive villagesâ, where men, women and children were forced to work in pursuit of so-called ârehabilitationâ. Former British subjects, now elderly Kenyans, gave evidence to the court in 2016, many of them bearing the marks of the harsh regime they were subjected to and having endured a lifetime of infirmity caused by forced labour.
In search of somewhere peaceful, with an appropriate backdrop of books, I decided to visit my mother. Between her builder and her wifi, it was a disaster
âWrite a diary,â everybody said at the start of lockdown. âEverything will change. The way you feel will completely change. Make like Samuel Pepys and the plague. Leave a little something for the historians.â Everything has changed, and yet nothing has changed. Nothing. [Solid Theresa May emphasis.] Has. Changed. My putatively shielding mother still has her builder round every day. My ceiling has still fallen in. We still don't know where the leak is coming from, successive plumbers scratching their heads, nothing for a week followed by more water. The conversations get smaller and smaller, but the physical realities of the world don't change. Water will always find its own level â in this case, the floor (absent a ceiling).
Rules, though â they've changed. In England, they were relaxed last Monday for those shielding, giving most of them more freedom to see friends and family. So when I had an Extremely Important Zoom to do, instead of using my son's room, with a poster of Dark Phoenix and an unmade bed where the intellectual books should be, I went to my mother's. She has a great bookshelf. My sister painted it, to commission, to look like the sculpture of a bookshelf she made for me when I went to university. All the shelves in that sculpture contained a different, insane thing â a miniature sheep, a tin bucket, an impossibly small matchstick â which, looking back, I can only take to be an elaborate diss: âYou ain't never gonna read any books, you doughnut.â I didn't notice that at the time. All the shelves in my mother's real-life version have books in them, which even though they are a bit special-interest (it's basically a compendium of 80s conspiracy theories about nuclear waste) certainly wouldn't disgrace a person.
An official review of vaginal mesh and medicines in pregnancy reveals systemic weaknesses, and sexism too
Greater openness about women's bodies was one of the big themes of postwar feminism. Access to contraception and the right to terminate a pregnancy were crucial stepping stones on a path to liberation from a social order that for centuries constrained women. The right to choose whether to have children is now well established, along with access to education, employment and equal pay (although gender pay and pension gaps remain). But sexism has not gone away. Among the findings of the Independent Medical Devices and Medicines Safety Review set up to investigate vaginal mesh implants is that the UK's health system has a habit of ignoring women.
One patient likened the search for a doctor who would take seriously her concerns about the implants, which were widely used to treat pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence until 2018, to âtraipsing through treacleâ. A former doctor referred to an âunconscious negative biasâ towards middle-aged women in chronic pain. The report described a culture in which âanything and everythingâ women said about their discomfort was put down to the menopause.
There has been renewed criticism over stop and search in the UK after research found that BAME people are 54% more likely to be fined under coronavirus rules than white people. The subsequent death of George Floyd in the US and the support for the Black Lives Matter movement has brought more scrutiny to the disproportionatality.
Black people are 9.7 times more likely than white people to be stopped and searched and 40 times more likely under the controversial section 60 power, which has risen as the government has tried to crack down on knife crime. Some say this points to racism within the police. Does stop and search need reform? The Guardian's crime correspondent, Vikram Dodd, discusses stop and search with 4Front's Temi Mwale and Katrina Ffrench from StopWatch UK
Jack Charlton, a World Cup winner with England and a former Republic of Ireland manager, has died aged 85.
Charlton, the elder brother of Bobby, played 35 times for England as a central defender, including all six matches at the 1966 World Cup. He spent his whole playing career at Leeds United and after retiring as a player became a successful manager.
He started with Middlesbrough, but is arguably best remembered as a manager for his work with the Republic of Ireland
Metropolitan Melbourne returned to lockdown on 8 July after Victoria recorded 191 new cases of coronavirus since the start of the week, which was at the time the highest daily increase since the pandemic began.
Guardian Australia's Melissa Davey explains why the stage 3 stay-at-home orders were announced, how the latest lockdown has been met with a mixture of fury and acceptance, and whether this apparent second wave could have been avoided
Aston University Engineering Academy, a secondary school and sixth form in central Birmingham, has had to overcome myriad issues simply to safely open its doors to vastly reduced numbers of students. The headteacher, Daniel Locke-Wheaton, explains why inner-city schools are disproportionately affected by the pandemic, and why a full return in September will be impossible, while his students discuss their return to this new normal for education
In a recent survey, 24% of Americans said they will refuse a coronavirus vaccine. Adam Gabbatt investigates the anti-vaxxer movement in the United States â and how the pandemic is helping to fuel its resurgence
Money will be used to hire 500 staff and build control posts to oversee customs procedures
Ministers are ploughing £700m into a Brexit border strategy to be ready once the country leaves the single market and customs union, hiring 500 extra staff and building control posts.
The financial package comes days after a leaked letter from the international trade secretary, Liz Truss, revealed her concern that the country will not be ready for the transition period to end on 31 December.
Primark will not take up the bonus offered last week by the government for taking back furloughed workers into full employment, declining a potential windfall of about £30m.
The high-street clothing chain, which is majority-owned by the billionaire Weston family, said it âshouldn't be necessaryâ for it to take advantage of the scheme unveiled by the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, in his summer statement last week.
Scores of senior UK faith leaders are calling on the chancellor to press for the cancellation of debt owed by the world's poorest countries, which are facing the worst effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
In a letter to Rishi Sunak more than 70 bishops, rabbis, imams and other faith leaders appeal to the chancellor to show âambition and leadershipâ when G20 finance ministers meet this week.
Andrew Mitchell says in letter to justice secretary that closed trials are being used to hide state wrongdoing
A former Conservative chief whip is demanding that the government implements an overdue review of secret courts, warning that they are being used to âhide embarrassing evidence of state wrongdoingâ.
Andrew Mitchell has written to the justice secretary, Robert Buckland, asking to start the assessment, which was promised for 2018 at the time the system was introduced in 2013.
Conservation charity aims to help restore 150,000 hectares of bee-friendly corridors to save the insects from extinction
Andrew Whitehouse has been on the cliffs at Prawle Point, south Devon, searching on his hands and knees for a rare bee. He saw only one last year, and so far this summer there has been no sign of the six-banded nomad bee with its striking yellow markings.
Whitehouse fears it is on the brink of extinction because, as a parasitic bee, it depends on a host â the long-horned bee â in whose nest it lays its eggs, and the host is now also scarce.
With bad news on jobs, and ongoing risk from Covid-19, hopes for a V-shaped recovery look misplaced
How quickly can Britain's economy rebound after the pandemic? Last week, the chancellor, Rishi Sunak set out an upbeat recovery vision, with a plan to get restaurants buzzing again. It was perhaps the swiftest gear change in years: just days earlier, restaurants in England were banned from opening. In Leicester, they remain closed. But from August the government will pay 50% of diners' bills in an attempt to get them eating out.
This week the economic outlook is likely to be much less appetising. On Tuesday, the tax and spending watchdog, the Office for Budget Responsibility, will publish a report on the path ahead for Britain. It probably won't make for uplifting reading.
On the eve of a supreme court hearing for the UK's biggest joint claim, former women shopworkers describe their six-year quest
For years, Wendy Arundale was nicknamed Little Miss Asda. At one point her whole family, including her husband and two children, worked at the supermarket. She dyed her hair pink for an Asda breast cancer fundraiser. She ran a hotdog stand for Asda. The 62-year-old grandmother of nine from Middlesbrough spent 32 years of her life working at Asda. It's fair to say she was a dedicated employee.
âIt makes me feel sad, and I do get bitter now sometimes thinking of how I was treated,â she said, speaking to the Observer. âMy husband was paid 80p more than me an hour. I was close to crying at times because I wasn't valued. The girls were paid terrible compared to the men. It makes you feel stupid. I really loved my job, but I don't know why I put up with feeling like this for so long.â
Senior shadow ministers concerned No 10 aides may be putting pressure on the inquiry
An inquiry into allegations that the home secretary, Priti Patel, bullied staff must be published immediately amid claims the inquiry's chief is resisting pressure from Downing Street to exonerate her, Labour has said.
The shadow home secretary, Nick Thomas-Symonds, wrote to the Cabinet Office minister, Michael Gove, on Saturday, saying the delay in publishing the findings is unacceptable.
Missile defence operators had failed to recalibrate their systems, Tehran says
A report from Iranian investigators on the shooting down in January of a Ukrainian jet has blamed a misaligned air defence system giving wrong information to its operators, who did not seek authorisation to fire before killing all 176 people onboard.
Iranian officials initially blamed the crash of Ukrainian Airlines flight 752 near Tehran on the morning of 8 January on technical problems with the aircraft, but days later admitted their own missiles had mistakenly downed it.
Americans told to be very cautious following the imposition of the national security law in Hong Kong
The US has warned its citizens in China to âexercise increased cautionâ because of a heightened risk of arbitrary detention and exit bans that prevent foreign citizens leaving the country.
Citizens could face prolonged spells in jail, without US consular support, or access to details of any alleged crime, the state department said. The warning, sent in an email to US citizens in China, comes after Beijing passed a national security law for Hong Kong, with the legislation drafted to cover people âfrom outside [Hong Kong]â, including non-residents.
New laws also include permitting of non-Muslims to drink alcohol and end of âtakfir'
Sudan is to ban female genital mutilation (FGM), cancel prohibitions against religious conversion from Islam and permit non-Muslims to consume alcohol in a decisive break with almost four decades of hardline Islamist policies, its justice minister has said.
The transitional government which took over after autocrat Omar al-Bashir was toppled last year has faced stiff opposition from conservatives who thrived under the former regime but the prime minister, Abdalla Hamdok, appears to have accelerated the pace of reforms following calls from pro-democracy groups for faster change.
Lockdown has proved challenging for most workplaces, and the European Council is no different. All-night sessions, corridor huddles and fine dining in the glass Europa building in Brussels have been replaced with hours staring at a gallery of fellow heads of state reading out prepared lines in front of a backdrop of EU and national flags â and the odd bit of pop art, as in the case of Luxembourg's prime minister Xavier Bettel.
But this week, leaders will be forced to switch off their laptops and make their way across recently reopened borders to Brussels for their first face-to-face meeting in five months â and it is set to be a bruising encounter.
Exclusive: discovery of two ancient mummies filmed for Channel 5 documentary
She was the fabled queen of ancient Egypt, immortalised over thousands of years as a beautiful seductress. But, despite her fame, Cleopatra's tomb is one of the great unsolved mysteries.
Some believe she was buried in Alexandria, where she was born and ruled from her royal palace, a city decimated by the tsunami of 365AD. Others suggest her final resting place could be about 30 miles away, in the ancient temple of Taposiris Magna, built by her Ptolemaic ancestors on the Nile Delta.
Andrzej Duda faces RafaÅ Trzaskowski in runoff that will shape country's political future
Voting is under way in Poland's presidential runoff, which pits the populist incumbent, Andrzej Duda, against the liberal mayor of Warsaw, RafaÅ Trzaskowski. The outcome will have a huge bearing on the country's future political trajectory, and polls suggest the result could go either way.
Duda is allied to the ruling Law and Justice party (PiS), and a win for him will give PiS control of most of the levers of power for several more years, allowing it to continue an agenda that has eroded the rule of law and judicial independence, putting Poland on a collision course with the EU.
Unofficial poll will choose pro-democracy candidates for legislative council elections
Hundreds of thousands of Hong Kong citizens queued to cast ballots over the weekend in what the Chinese-ruled city's opposition camp says is a symbolic protest vote against a tough national security law directly imposed by Beijing.
The unofficial poll will decide the strongest pro-democracy candidates to contest elections for the legislative council in September, when those candidates will aim to ride a wave of anti-China sentiment stirred by the law to seize control from pro-Beijing rivals for the first time.
(Ninja Tune) The Louisiana-born musician's ambient fourth album is a ravishing affair
The aural equivalent of a Mark Rothko painting, the work of Louisiana-born, Brooklyn-based Julianna Barwick loops her voice in layers of soft, radiant texture to build an effect of sacred-feeling simplicity. Her fourth album is inspired by a return to instinct. If it feels less ambitious than its predecessor, 2016's Will â which explored acoustic settings from a Moog factory to a motorway underpass â it's also more ravishingly beatific.
Inspirit ripples a reverbed melody over a bass synth that thrums like an interplanetary pipe organ, while the wordless keening of Wishing Well waxes and wanes like a lighthouse beam in fog. Hints of shadow keep Barwick's bliss from becoming one-dimensional: pulses of vocal fire out like radar blips into a darker, emptier space in Flowers, while the album's title track has the feel of a gothic afterworld, This Mortal Coil finally shuffled off.
(BMG) Wainwright's 10th studio album is a lush, engaging study in domestic bliss
After almost a decade working in other fields â most notably on his second opera and a project putting Shakespeare's sonnets to music â Rufus Wainwright has recorded his first straightforwardly pop album since 2012's Out of the Game. Whereas that record, produced by Mark Ronson, was immersed in 70s soft-rock sounds, Unfollow the Rules marks a welcome return to the opulent orchestration of Wainwright's early albums.
There's a genuine sense of contentedness here. Peaceful Afternoon, written for his husband, Jà¶rn Weisbrodt, is an irresistible, guitar-driven paean to domestic bliss (âBetween sex and death and tryin' to keep the kitchen cleanâ), while the tender My Little You is addressed to Wainwright's now nine-year-old daughter, Viva. There's humour, too: Bexhill-on-Sea does not feature much in music folklore, but an encounter there with some over-enthusiastic female fans was the source material for This One's for the Ladies (That Lunge!), a sumptuous ballad. Elsewhere, he takes lyrical inspiration from Anna Wintour, Joni Mitchell and forgotten statues in west London.
Comedians' old YouTube skits are enjoying a revival in lockdown. And now standups are returning to online video â to push its possibilities even further
At a house party in the north-east of England, teenagers are congregating around a computer, reciting the words to a video made by Picnicface, a group of Canadian comics. It's an absurd spoof of a tourism advert, with clip art and photos flying across the screen while a hawk screams in our faces. The year is 2008, a time when comedians all over the world began adapting their humour for the internet.
With easy access to quality cameras and microphones still a few years off, a lot of these videos are lo-fi, but no less funny for it. Picnicface have a honed but homemade style. Their videos, including an extreme advert for a drink called Powerthirst that gives you âmenergyâ, are now clocking up hundreds of thousands of views. Jon Lajoie's 2007 rap spoof Everyday Normal Guy is also enjoying a renaissance: âI can't afford a car, I use public transportation / I don't mind, I read till I reach my destination.â
The artists stood down as academicians after the gallery said it would not be hosting the show they had planned
Artists Gilbert and George, unpredictable celebrities of the British avant garde, have perplexed the art world together for more than five decades. Their provocative murals, posters, photographs and videos have surprised and often unsettled fans. But now the artists, who revel in a joint reputation âas horrid peopleâ, have fallen out with one of Britain's most prestigious cultural institutions â the Royal Academy of Art.
The two artists have taken the dramatic step of resigning from the RA in reaction to a decision not to go ahead with an exhibition they had been planning to stage in the academy's Piccadilly galleries.
Film fans flocked online during lockdown. As restrictions ease, what's happening to revive cinema-going and restart shoots? Our critic heads to the cinema to find out
It's Saturday lunchtime and I am watching Sonic the Hedgehog in a cinema. It's fair to say that it wouldn't have been my first choice of film to break my four-month cinema fast (titles also showing at the Genesis in London's Mile End included Moonlight, Parasite, Memento, Do the Right Thing and previews of a forthcoming new release, Black Water: Abyss). But the nine-year-old got to pick and he reasoned that, since I missed it when it was first released, I absolutely must want to catch up with it now.
What's remarkable is how reassuringly ordinary the whole experience is. Online booking automatically enforces social distancing around your chosen seats. Not that that's an issue with our screening â there are only six other people here. There's a plexiglass screen between the box office and the punters, a roped-off one-way system, staggered start times and wall-mounted hand-sanitisers. Some staff are wearing masks. We are the only customers who choose to do so.
How switching off did wonders for a busy mother's wellbeing â and actually helped her get more done
Bob Iger, the executive chairman of Disney, sets his alarm for an ungodly 4.15am; Richard Branson jumpstarts his day at 5am; while Victoria Beckham is in the gym by 6am. For years, we've been told that rising with the birds is the secret of being productive, successful, and Getting Stuff Done. But having recently become an early waker myself, I can't help but think we've got it all wrong.
You see, every morning at 6am, before the rest of my household is up, you'll find me curled up in a chair in the garden doing nothing. Not listening to self-improvement podcasts, not getting fit, not planning how to become a person with a whole lot of zeros as my net worth, but doing no-thing. I've not so much been getting up and at 'em, as getting up and then sitting down again, and it's been a wellbeing wonder.
One writer's generosity had an unexpected benefit â she felt more resilient because she was doing what she could
When lockdown came into force I started walking â just for an hour, three or four miles at a time, to nowhere in particular. Like everyone, I was bewildered by the events of the pandemic and almost wholly convinced that it would all kind of blow over in a week or two. But then a week passed, and then two. In my flat in south London, my housemate and I watched the news each night with a growing sense of powerlessness.
The death toll was reported, the figures dissected, then re-reported and re-dissected. And alongside these were stories of myriad personal tragedies â of frontline workers who'd lost their lives, of families who'd lost their livelihoods and of the pain of isolation for those who had already been pretty isolated before the pandemic. On the one hand, I felt embarrassed that I was doing nothing, but on the other, so overwhelmed that it was hard to work out what, exactly, I should do.
A love of literature helped one woman switch off when an addiction to rolling news threatened to drag her down
Once upon a time, in a distant land, by the sea, there lived a girl who loved a shining rectangle. The girl was foolish, and she believed the rectangle to be wise. Before the sun had fully risen, the girl would consult the rectangle, her hair tangled on her pillow, her eyes gummed together with sleep, and her husband snoring softly beside her. âOh, rectangle, tell me,â she would whisper. âWhat should I be sad about today? And what should I be angry about? Magic rectangle, please bring me all of the bad news in the world, so that I might spend the day twitching, and filled with foreboding!â
The girl was me. In the days leading up to 23 March, the day of lockdown, there was much to be sad and angry about. I'd started the year with a growing, queasy awareness that my addiction to rolling news was becoming a problem, and I wanted to do something about it. My mental health was suffering, but I couldn't blame the internet. It was my fault for filling my head with grumpiness and terror every day before breakfast. Instead of grunting over a long list of why everything was absolutely terrible, perhaps I could start the morning by reading a book?
Lockdown opened one mum's eyes to the unexpected rewards of buying from the butcher, the grocer and the hardware store owner
I now have the same milkman I had when I was 10 years old. He was the very milkman who made possible my final cup of tea the day I left home. Sure, there was a 17-year gap in our relationship â while I sought my not-much-of-a-fortune in London. But now I'm back. And writing him notes, washing his bottles and occasionally catching his early morning cart has been one of the strangest pleasures of coming home. It's not just nostalgia; having a milkman has made me feel part of a community I didn't even realise I'd missed.
In many ways, it might seem callous to talk about the silver linings of living through a pandemic. I have been lucky. Many others have not. And yet, it is human nature to look for respite and hope where we can. So I can say that since my family went into lockdown in March, six months after we moved here, it has been a pleasure to shop locally. I can't drive and am avoiding public transport, so all my shopping now takes place within a few miles of my house. More than transactional, it has been my lifeline to the outside world, my only physical interaction with other people and a way to support those small businesses that we all say we want to survive.
Côte at Home shows how to do home delivery with flair â assuming dinner turns upâ¦
A Saturday night and my phone pings. It's an email from a well-known courier company. Earlier that day they'd confirmed that my delivery from a high-street restaurant chain would arrive the next day. Now they were telling me it was cancelled: âContact the sender directly for more information.â At 9.30pm on a Saturday night? Gosh, thanks. Last month, when I wrote about the enduring appeal of French food in Britain, I was emailed by a senior person from the high street bistro chain Côte. They had just launched their Côte at Home range, available nationwide. Would I like to try it?
I turn down over 95% of the freebies offered to me. Partly this is because I am drenched in enough privilege as it is. Wet through, I am. Also, where would I put it all? Mostly, though, I decline such because I'd prefer to experience products as other customers would. I've never eaten in a branch of Côte, but many people have told me they rather like them: a fair price point, reliable food and good service. (Complaints in 2015 about the unfair use of tips to top up wages led to a change in policy.) Accordingly, I declined the offer of Côte at Home for free and instead booked it myself. Now, here I was very much experiencing the gorgeous life of a valued customer: it was a Saturday night, I'd spent £85, and my planned dinner for Sunday night had disappeared, along with the contents of this column.
Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman have been best friends for more than a decade. They care about each other so much they even saw a couples counsellor. Now they've written a book about what it takes to stay close for the long haul
When Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman first met, at a viewing party for the teen drama Gossip Girl in 2009, each recognised a kindred spirit. âI can tell you for a fact that I viscerally remember the moment Ann and I walked in different directions,â recalls Sow, 35. âI remember just the pang ofâ¦ Ahh, when am I going to see this person again? That feeling. It's such a vivid episode in my mind.â When Sow got home that night, she found a friend request from Friedman, now 38, on Facebook. She has heard other friends talk about that same feeling of excitement when it comes to the very beginning of a new, platonic relationship. âWe just do not understand them to be an intense emotional experience on the same level that we would give to a romance, for example. But I think the excitement is the same, the butterflies are there.â
Those butterflies turned into a decade-long, and still going, best friendship. In fact, they like each other so much that they have written a joint memoir of their lives together as friends and colleagues (both are writers and have been co-hosting a podcast, Call Your Girlfriend, since 2014, âfor long-distance besties everywhereâ). You get the sense, though, that they are using their personal story, with its ups and downs â and there are such downs that at one point, they go to couples' therapy to salvage their relationship â to sneak in a manifesto of modern friendship, and how to navigate big, emotional platonic relationships successfully. Anyone who has ever experienced the pain of a friendship break-up, yet lacked the words to describe it, will find plenty to take from Big Friendship.
First he goes missing, next he's barrelling downhill. It was different in my day
For all the stresses and travails of parenting â without which, this column would be sorely depleted â I'm frequently reminded of how easy I have it compared to others. Having come from a family of 11, I'm aware how much easier it is having just one child, even in those moments where my heart is in my mouth and beating itself to death. Last week I took my son to the park so he could have a little run around on his favourite mode of transportation, a weird little trike we got him a few months ago. I say ârun-around', but it's more of a âcrawl around' as his trike is an odd, pedal-less contraption, powered by the tiny feet of its driver, which pad him inch by inch along the pavement, at the speed of those marathon runners who collapse just before the finish and have to be helped over the line by their rivals. What it lacks in speed, it more than makes up for in its ability to occupy him for ungodly amounts of time. During which I relax my usual panic about where he is and what he's doing, since the answer is always, âThe exact same thing he was doing five minutes ago, but 8cm further along.'
That was until Wednesday, when he discovered a steep slope and started barrelling down it with the confidence you might not expect of someone who has never exceeded the speed limit of an injured tortoise. In my complacency, I'd missed this descent and for a few terrifying seconds he was completely out of my view. Every horror scenario flashed into my mind. Had he been grabbed by squirrels? Plunged to the fatberg-ridden depths of an unseen drain? Thankfully, these ruminations were short-lived as I found him sprawled at the foot of a tree. There he lay, unharmed and jubilant, having just experienced the drama of the lowest speed crash ever recorded.
Alan Dolan couldn't afford market research when he started out as a breathing instructor in 2005. Instead, he took soundings from London taxi drivers. âI'd tell them I taught people to breathe for a living â they'd be in hysterics and say: âWhat a great scam!'â says Dolan. Recently their reaction has changed: âNow they tell me about their sleep apnoea or their wife's panic attacks, ask me how that relates to breathing and often download my app.â
Dolan, whose company is called Breathguru, teaches people to breathe deeply from their diaphragm, inhaling for longer than exhaling, without pausing between the two. He says this can, among other things, release stress, alleviate depression, tackle sleep issues, ease respiratory conditions, boost energy and the immune system and eject emotional baggage. Until Covid-19, his retreats in Lanzarote were, he says, fully booked. Such is the level of demand that Dolan has taught 24 trainees to lead sessions like his.
The Celebrity Gogglebox star on spin class, reading the papers and cooking too much chicken
Describe a Sunday morning before lockdown I'd set my alarm for 10am so as not to miss my spin class. My boyfriend Meshach is a dancer and hates any extracurricular exercise, so I'd often go alone. So much of my week is spent talking to people that I really like having that time by myself.
And now? I've been indulging in doing absolutely nothing.
Novelist Ian Rankin and other locals walk Edinburgh's locked-down, tourist-free streets, and discover parts of the city they never knew existed
Edinburgh, of all British cities, is the most theatrical: the Cowgate arch; the march of crow-step gables up the Grassmarket; the great rake of the Royal Mile. All the city's a stage, and all the men and women â¦ well, where are they?
There is a feeling of waiting for the play to begin. Conditional plans are being made for Scottish tourism to reopen on 15 July, but visitor numbers in the capital are likely to be significantly down because the festivals have long been cancelled. But then again, this year will not see the usual summer exodus of residents escaping the festival crowds.
We'd like to hear from Labour supporters about their thoughts on Keir Starmer's leadership of the party after 100 days
Monday will mark 100 days since Keir Starmer was elected leader of the Labour party.
In an Observer poll today, 49% of all voters said Starmer had made them think more favourably about the Labour party, and two weeks ago, the poll showed he had overtaken Boris Johnson as preferred prime minister.
We'd like to hear from young people who have been demonstrating against racism in the UK. Share your stories
Black Lives Matter protests have been taking place across the UK over the past month. We would like to hear from those who have attended demonstrations. We are especially interested in hearing from young people.
As bison will soon be roaming our woods again, other long-lost species such as wild cats should follow to increase biodiversity
They once roamed in huge herds across the grasslands of Europe, but a century ago, following mass killing for food and sport during the First World War, the European bison went extinct in the wild. Europe's largest land mammal was only saved thanks to captive breeding, following which they were released back into the ancient forests of Eastern Europe.
Bison have since been reintroduced into several other European countries, and last week it was announced that the UK would be the latest of these. A small herd is to be released into Blean Woods near Canterbury in Kent, in a lottery-funded project led by the Kent Wildlife Trust and Wildwood Trust. These bison are the first to roam free in Britain for thousands of years.
With the red planet's launch window about to open, the US, China and the UAE are all sending craft to look for answers
In the next few weeks, a flotilla of probes will be blasted into space from launch pads round the world and propelled towards one of the solar system's most mysterious objects: the planet Mars. Within days of each other, spacecraft built by the USA, by China and by the United Arab Emirates will be sent on separate, seven-month voyages to investigate the red planet.
Never has so much interplanetary traffic been put en route to Mars at one time - and all of it is intended to help answer a question that has nagged scientists for decades: is there, or was there ever, life on Mars?
For years, Carlson has stoked racial anxieties and courted white supremacists on his Fox News show â and now, some are speculating he could pick up the pieces if Trump loses
The conservative television star Tucker Carlson, whose Fox News program last month became the highest-rated show in the history of cable television, is known to most Americans simply as âTuckerâ.
But not everyone calls him that. On the strength of his regular, sneering rants about the danger of immigrants and refugees, the New York congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has dubbed Carlson a âwhite supremacist sympathizerâ. Her colleague Ilhan Omar prefers âracist foolâ. The Nazi website Stormfront has called Carlson âliterally our greatest allyâ.
Former Liberal Democrat MP who secured a famous byelection victory in the 1990s before moving to the House of Lords
Diana Maddock, who has died aged 75, arrived on the UK political scene in 1993 following a most unlikely Liberal Democrat byelection victory in Christchurch, Dorset, which, just a year before, had polled the ninth highest Conservative vote in the country.
Her win, and the scale of it, was a devastating blow to the Tories at the time, but then almost 12 months elapsed before the Lib Dems were able to win another byelection, in Eastleigh, Hanpshire, and the momentum waned.
Max Miechowski's shot of a closed-up iceâcream parlour alludes to the precarity of seaside towns
Last summer, the photographer Max Miechowski set out to travel the east coast of England, starting in Felixstowe and heading up toward Hartlepool and beyond. Miechowski, 30, grew up a few miles outside Lincoln, and day trips and holidays were mainly to the seaside towns of Yorkshire or Norfolk, so he knew some of the places already. This picture was taken in Skegness, in the early evening, just after the ice-cream parlour had shut up for the day. It has, he suggests, taken on an added poignancy with the events of the past months â the uncertainty of closure set against the hope for brighter months ahead.
Many of Miechowski's pictures â of fishermen on beaches set against the silhouette of steel works, or sunbathers near the Sizewell nuclear plant â carry a similar kind of ambiguous romance. He was drawn to the contrasts of the coastline, from the gentrified sea-fronts of Suffolk, to the harder edges of struggling resorts and fishing towns further north; erosion has become a theme, with some communities under threat physically, others economically.
Artist Han Cao lives in Orange County, California, and has spent lockdown hand-embroidering floral masks on vintage photographs from the 1900s-1940s, âas a reminder of how other generations have weathered storms like theseâ. âEmbroidery is almost meditative,â she says. âIt makes me slow down and be present â something we always forget to do in this digital age.â
World Cup winner Jack Charlton, who forged a successful career in management after hanging up his boots, has died aged 85. Charlton was an Elland Road legend, spending his whole playing career at Leeds United. As Republic of Ireland manager he took the team to their first major finals at Euro 1988 followed that by guiding them to the 1990 and 1994 World Cups