PreviousHeadlines United KingdomNext


Brexit: MPs to debate and vote on Brexit 'plan B' options on Tuesday 29 January - Politics live
Labour leader says he won’t meet with prime minister until she takes no-deal Brexit off the table, after May narrowly win no-confidence vote in parliamentFull report: May survives vote but Britain remains in Brexit deadlockIn the Speaker’s corner: Europeans praise Bercow 11.59am GMT Arlene Foster, the DUP leader, and her deputy, Nigel Dodds, are speaking to reporters outside Number 10 after a meeting with Theresa May. Dodds says May is in “listening mode”. That is vital, what happened in recent days.Foster says the DUP want a deal that works for the whole of the UK. The way to do that is to deal with the backstop, he says. 11.57am GMT In response to a question about crime, Corbyn says the last Labour government introduced police community support officers. That was a good initiative, he says.But, to reduce crime, you also need to improve services. He says the next Labour government will introduce a national education service, so that education is a human right for everyone. Continue reading...
(Thu, 17 Jan 2019 11:59:58 GMT)

'More animal than ever': Europeans find joy in John Bercow
Continental press warms to Speaker’s style, hailing him as a solitary source of orderAs Europeans on the continent have watched the UK’s Brexit car crash, one figure offered some light relief to those new to the peculiarities of British politics.The often thunderous pronouncements of John Bercow, the verbose Speaker of the House of Commons, have become the subject of numerous profiles in newspapers, and a fair few highlights videos, shared heavily on social media. Continue reading...
(Thu, 17 Jan 2019 09:34:46 GMT)

France triggers €50m contingency plan in case of no-deal Brexit
Five decrees to be issued within three weeks to authorise investment in border control checkpoints, roads and lorry parks at portsFrance has triggered a €50m contingency plan for a no-deal Brexit following parliament’s overwhelming rejection of Theresa May’s deal, the French prime minister, Edouard Philippe, has said.“What’s certain is that the scenario of a no-deal Brexit is less and less unlikely,” Philippe told reporters in Paris after a meeting with ministers on Thursday, adding that there were “strong fears” Britain would now leave without a deal on 29 March. Continue reading...
(Thu, 17 Jan 2019 12:21:21 GMT)

'As divisive as ever': readers on Theresa May's Brexit
What next? Readers have been debating Brexit the morning after the prime minister survived a no confidence vote Follow all the latest Brexit news – politics liveI think the prime minister just wants to do this “reaching out” as a PR exercise at the end of which she can announce “I tried, but no one else came up with another answer that respects the referendum... So you have accept my deal.” Continue reading...
(Thu, 17 Jan 2019 10:08:45 GMT)

Hitachi scraps £16bn nuclear power station in Wales
Japanese giant unable to agree deal with UK as fears grow for Anglesey atomic plant• Does this mean the end of UK’s new nuclear dream?Hitachi has scrapped plans to build a nuclear power station in Wales, becoming the second firm in two months to abandon a major nuclear project and triggering “a full-blown crisis” for the UK energy’s strategy.The £16bn Wylfa plant on Anglesey was meant to be the next in a line of new nuclear plants behind Hinkley Point C but the Japanese conglomerate failed to reach a deal with the UK government. Continue reading...
(Thu, 17 Jan 2019 09:11:37 GMT)

Spanish rescuers in bid to reach toddler who fell down borehole
Two-year-old Julen Roselló has been trapped in 100-metre shaft near Málaga for four daysRescuers in southern Spain are in a frantic bid to reach a toddler who fell down a borehole more than 100 metres deep four days ago.Two-year-old Julen Roselló had gone for a picnic with his family in the countryside on Sunday when he fell down the 25cm-wide hole in Totalán, near Málaga. Continue reading...
(Thu, 17 Jan 2019 10:58:05 GMT)

Facebook removes hundred of pages 'linked to Russian site'
Social network says it has taken down 289 pages connected to Kremlin-backed news websiteFacebook has removed hundreds of pages believed to be connected to the Kremlin-backed Sputnik news website for allegedly breaching its rules.The Facebook pages, which were targeted at individuals in former Soviet satellite states, either pretended to be independent news services or had names designed to appeal to fans of particular individuals, regions, or foods. Continue reading...
(Thu, 17 Jan 2019 12:12:51 GMT)

Ofsted inspections find three Steiner schools to be ‘inadequate’
Concerns raised about safeguarding, bullying and high exclusion ratesThe future of state-funded Steiner education has been thrown into doubt after a series of snap Ofsted inspections found that three of the four such schools set up under the Conservatives’ free school programme were “inadequate”.The four have been inspected in recent weeks – alongside private Steiner schools, a number of which have also been found to be inadequate – following an intervention by the education secretary, Damian Hinds, over concerns about safeguarding. Continue reading...
(Thu, 17 Jan 2019 07:00:10 GMT)

Demand for credit cards and mortgages in UK falling fast, warns BofE
Banks say borrowing on plastic will be lowest since 2007, with mortgages down to 2010 levelBorrowing on credit cards is expected to plunge to the lowest levels since 2007 in the three months before Brexit, according to the Bank of England, in another indication of stresses facing the UK economy.According to the latest quarterly healthcheck on credit conditions from Threadneedle Street, high street banks forecast borrowing on plastic will decline in the first quarter by the most since records began 12 years ago. Continue reading...
(Thu, 17 Jan 2019 11:12:13 GMT)

Gangland hitman gets life term for Salford 'Mr Big' murder
Mark Fellows convicted at heavily guarded court of shooting Paul Massey as part of gang feud in 2015A gangland hitman has been sentenced to life in prison for the murder of the Salford criminal Paul Massey, known as “Mr Big”, and his associate John Kinsella.Mark Fellows, 38, shot Massey in the chest with an Uzi submachine gun in July 2015 as part of a deadly feud between rival gangs. The attack was followed by a series of tit-for-tat repercussions. Continue reading...
(Thu, 17 Jan 2019 11:41:11 GMT)

Students and rail passengers 'penalised by flawed inflation measures'
Lords accuse ministers of ‘inflation shopping’ tactic by hopping between RPI and CPIStudents and rail passengers have been unfairly penalised by the government using a “flawed” measure of inflation that needs to be urgently fixed, according to a highly critical Lords report. Related: Student loans: use of RPI costs graduates up to £16,000 Continue reading...
(Thu, 17 Jan 2019 12:01:23 GMT)

Mental health changes give care homes too much power, critics say
Charities, lawyers and Labour warn against government rushing out legislation in England and WalesChanges to mental health safeguards – intended to protect hundreds of thousands of vulnerable people – will hand care home managers and private hospitals far too much power, the government has been warned.The Law Society, mental health charities and Labour have accused the Department of Health and Social Care (DoH) of rushing through legislation that would remove independent scrutiny of the monitoring process to ensure that residents were not subjected to excessive restrictions. Continue reading...
(Thu, 17 Jan 2019 10:35:35 GMT)

Jasmin Paris becomes first woman to win 286-mile Montane Spine Race
• Shattered record while beating all male and female rivals• Runner expressed breast milk for her baby at aid stationsBritish ultrarunner Jasmin Paris is celebrating after becoming the first woman to win the gruelling 268-mile Montane Spine Race along the Pennine Way. What made the performance even more extraordinary was that she also shattered the course record by 12 hours – while also expressing breast milk for her baby at aid stations along the route.Paris, a 35-year-old vet who works at the University of Edinburgh studying acute myeloid leukaemia, is well known in British endurance running circles having won the British women’s fell running championships last year as well as a series of leading ultraraces. However, her performance at the Montane Spine race was undoubtedly the best in her career as she beat all her male and female rivals in completing the course from the Edale in the Derbyshire Peak District to the Kirk Yetholm in the Scottish borders in 83 hours 12 minutes and 23 seconds. Continue reading...
(Thu, 17 Jan 2019 11:47:11 GMT)

Netflix criticised for using images of real-life rail disaster in Bird Box
Mayor of Lac-Mégantic, where 47 died in 2013 explosion, demands images of the incident be removed from streaming giant’s sci-fi hitThe mayor of a Canadian town where 47 people were killed in a rail disaster in 2013 has complained to Netflix after images of the incident were used in the hit sci-fi film Bird Box.The accident happened when a train carrying crude oil exploded in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, and the BBC reports that Netflix confirmed that footage of the disaster was included in a montage sequence illustrating an attack. Continue reading...
(Thu, 17 Jan 2019 12:21:11 GMT)

How Brexit unravelled
In a disastrous week for Theresa May’s Brexit agreement, her former director of strategy, Chris Wilkins, and the Guardian’s Daniel Boffey chart where it all went wrong. Plus: Polly Toynbee on what Labour should do nextIt has been a crushing week for Theresa May. On Tuesday, parliament rejected her Brexit deal in the biggest ever government defeat on the floor of the House of Commons. Chris Wilkins, Theresa May’s former director of strategy, takes Anushka Asthana on May’s Brexit journey, from the steps of Downing Street in July 2016 to yesterday’s vote of no confidence, while the Guardian’s Daniel Boffey describes how each stage was viewed from Brussels. Continue reading...
(Thu, 17 Jan 2019 03:00:05 GMT)

The great Brexit rebellion
On a monumental day in parliament, Anushka Asthana is with the Conservative MP Anna Soubry as she works across traditional party boundaries to defeat Theresa May’s Brexit deal. Political editor Heather Stewart explains what happens now Plus: the Guardian’s Simon Hattenstone on his time following the Leave Means Leave campaign groupOn a monumental day in Westminster for British politics and Brexit, Anushka Asthana follows the action through the eyes of one of the key Conservative rebels. For two years, Anna Soubry has railed against Brexit and her party leader, Theresa May. Today she was one of 432 MPs who voted to reject the prime minister’s EU withdrawal bill, sending her own government deeper into crisis. Soubry describes her cross-party cooperation with opposition MPs, the abuse and death threats she has received and the future of the Conservative party in one of the most divisive periods of its existence. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Jan 2019 03:41:56 GMT)

School segregation: a lesson from Birmingham
A school in Birmingham is attempting to buck the trend of increasing ethnic and religious segregation in the city. The Guardian’s Aamna Mohdin spends a day at the University of Birmingham school that takes its students from across the diverse city. Plus: John Crace on today’s Brexit voteMost students in the UK go to state schools in their local catchment areas. It means that most children have a relatively short journey to and from school, but it also means house prices shoot up near the best schools, excluding all but the wealthy. Birmingham has some of the most segregated schools in the country: the east side of the city has a predominantly Pakistani Muslim population, while in the south schools are predominantly white. The Guardian’s Aamna Mohdin spent a day at the University of Birmingham school that is attempting to break with the catchment area model, taking students from a wide variety of backgrounds from around the city. She hears how the school is attempting to foster a spirit of integration and overcome its challenges. Continue reading...
(Tue, 15 Jan 2019 03:00:04 GMT)

Seeds, kale and red meat once a month – how to eat the diet that will save the world
A complete overhaul of what we eat may be the only way to meet the needs of a planet in crisis. So what’s on – and off – the menu?The world faces many challenges over the coming decades, but one of the most significant will be how to feed its expanding global population. By 2050, there will be about 10 billion of us, and how to feed us all, healthily and from sustainable food sources, is something that is already being looked at. The Norway-based thinktank Eat and the British journal the Lancet have teamed up to commission an in-depth, worldwide study, which launches at 35 different locations around the world today, into what it would take to solve this problem – and the ambition is huge.The commissioners lay out important caveats. Their solution is contingent on global efforts to stabilise population growth, the achievement of the goals laid out in the Paris Agreement on climate change and stemming worldwide changes in land use, among other things. But they are clear that it depends on far more than just these basic requirements. The initial report presents a flexible daily diet for all food groups based on the best health science, which also limits the impact of food production on the planet. Continue reading...
(Thu, 17 Jan 2019 07:00:10 GMT)

The truth about tights: my search for a pair to end women’s hosiery hell
They fall down. They pill. They become weirdly baggy round the knees and remain unyielding everywhere else. But an end to tights discomfort might finally be in sightIt is about this point in winter that you really begin to tire of wearing tights.Yes, they are a practical necessity – but they dig in. They fall down. They pill. They tear on first wear. They develop holes at the toes. They become weirdly baggy round the knees – billowy, even – while remaining scratchy and unyielding everywhere else. They assume that height and weight observe a strictly linear relationship. They extend either laughably high or uncomfortably not high enough, and, pre-purchase, it is impossible to tell which. And don’t get me started on the gusset. Continue reading...
(Thu, 17 Jan 2019 11:00:17 GMT)

Power to the people – could a citizens’ assembly solve the Brexit crisis?
They led to radical change in Ireland’s view on abortion and spurred Texas to get behind wind power. Could a group of ordinary people do for Brexit what Theresa May can’t?In the summer of 1978, George Bishop and a team of researchers in Cincinnati, Ohio, conducted a poll on some of the big political topics of the day. One question went as follows: “Some people say that the 1975 Public Affairs Act should be repealed. Do you agree or disagree with this idea?” It turned out that 16% did agree, and 18% didn’t. This was surprising. There should have been no controversy about the 1975 Public Affairs Act because it did not exist. Related: What is a citizens’ assembly, and what has it got to do with Brexit? Continue reading...
(Thu, 17 Jan 2019 05:59:09 GMT)

Stop stressing about the perfect diet, it's human to fail
Diet regimes are full of crass slogans, but one thing holds true: go easy on yourself Recently, I received an email from a young woman who told me that, although she was struggling with an eating disorder, she got great pleasure from reading my restaurant reviews. She said reading about, and enjoying, such enthusiasm for food made her feel normal. I’m sure it did. My reviews gave her the opportunity to engage with a conversation around what we eat, without having to do any actual eating, which is the bit she finds tricky. She’s not a one-off. I’ve had multiple emails like this over the years from people in the grips of eating disorders, who enjoy reading restaurant reviews.It is literally pathological behaviour, but it does shine a light on the massive gulf that can open up between the act of writing about food and the extremely human business of eating it. That is most obvious at this time of year, when we are assailed by advice designed to help us find the new us. It doesn’t matter whether we are happy with the old us. We are promised we can create a new shiny version, one mouthful at a time. Continue reading...
(Thu, 17 Jan 2019 12:00:16 GMT)

How a deluge of money nearly broke the Premier League
It’s the world’s most lucrative football league. But a civil war over all that money almost toppled itBy Jonathan Clegg and Joshua RobinsonThe Premier League offices in London’s West End are located mostly underground. This fact alone does not make them exceptional in the world of football administration – Fifa’s lair in Zurich features five subterranean levels, including a sinister conference room ripped straight out of Dr Strangelove. But the Premier League isn’t going for the futuristic bunker vibe. Nothing about it exudes Bond-villain hideout or military robotics lab. What makes the place remarkable is its modesty. Premier League HQ feels more like the offices of a mid-sized legal practice.Blending into a row of elegant Georgian buildings with white fronts and black railings, the exterior of the Premier League offices at 30 Gloucester Place is marked only by a small silver plaque. Where it publishes its address, the Premier League points out that access is “by appointment only”. The few people who ever stop to take pictures are the tabloid photographers working the pavement whenever the Premier League managers gather for their league-wide meetings – think photos of middle-aged men in ill-fitting suits emerging from black cabs. Continue reading...
(Thu, 17 Jan 2019 06:00:10 GMT)

Sex Education: in praise of the raunchy yet heartfelt Netflix comedy
The critically acclaimed series combines teen comedy tropes with remarkable honesty, offering a fully-fleshed portrait of how high schoolers deal with sex and consent todayNetflix’s acclaimed new comedy Sex Education centers on the experiences of Otis, a 16-year-old virgin, played by Asa Butterfield, and his mom, Jean, a sex therapist, played by Gillian Anderson. Though Otis grows up in an ostensibly sex-positive home, he is incredibly uncomfortable about sex. He dislikes masturbating and is intensely afraid of being sexual with another person. “Let’s take things slow,” he tells a classmate, and they proceed to hold hands for 45 minutes. Related: Sex Education review – a horny teen comedy … and so much more Continue reading...
(Thu, 17 Jan 2019 09:00:12 GMT)

On Saturday the UK turns remain. Parliament must force a second referendum | Polly Toynbee
May needs to ditch her intransigent red lines as a population shift means young remainers have replaced older leave votersYou could call it swing Saturday or crossover day, for this Saturday, 19 January, marks an important moment. This is the day, in theory, when the country turns remain. Even if not a single person has changed their mind since the referendum, the demographic shift alone will have done the heavy lifting. Enough old leavers will have died and enough young remainers will have come on to the electoral register to turn the dial on what the country thinks about Brexit.The psephologist and founding YouGov president, Peter Kellner, calculates that the leave vote has been declining by about 1,350 a day, taking into account the differential turnout: the young turn out to vote much less often than the old. By using exactly the same proportion of every age group turning out to vote exactly as they did in 2016, demographics alone will have transformed the UK into a remainer nation. Continue reading...
(Thu, 17 Jan 2019 11:44:05 GMT)

Amber Rudd’s denial of the benefits crisis takes political spin to a new level | Frances Ryan
Apparently, universal credit failings only affect ‘one or two’ people. It almost makes you nostalgic for the Blair yearsWatching the government jostle to survive this week, I couldn’t help but think how “spin” – that frantic, Thick of It-type politics most associated with the Blair years – seems almost mild in today’s climate. In an era in which politicians can now offer “facts” that openly contradict reality, a “spin” barely seems to cover it. Related: Don’t be fooled by Amber Rudd’s phoney attempt at compassion | Owen Jones Continue reading...
(Thu, 17 Jan 2019 08:00:11 GMT)

It’s now or never for May. Time to compromise on Brexit | Martin Kettle
The prime minister has survived a vote of no confidence. Her fate now rests on how flexible she is prepared to beIt is said that the past is a foreign country. But after the Brexit referendum, it is the present, not the past, where we do things differently. No government in British history has taken such a Commons beating as Theresa May suffered on Tuesday. Yet, 24 hours later, the selfsame MPs who had thrown out her UK-EU Brexit deal by 432 votes to 202 now handed her premiership a fresh lifeline. The 118 Conservative MPs who voted her policy down on Tuesday backed her on Wednesday, as though it were the most natural thing in the world to do.By voting by 325 to 306 that they still had confidence in May’s government, the House of Commons turned the ordinary meaning of words on their head. But this wasn’t a vote of confidence in any normal sense. It was a suboptimal tribal choice between a government led by May and one led by Jeremy Corbyn. It was a knockabout partisan diversion from the main national issue, which now resumes. The loss leaves Corbyn with fewer defences against Labour’s second-vote campaigners. But the victory also finds May still wedded to her defeated Brexit policy, and settled in for another year in Downing Street. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Jan 2019 20:52:25 GMT)

Bitcoin as big oil: the next environmental fight | Ethan Lou
As a Bitcoin maker who covered the oil industry as a journalist, I see parallels between the two that may haunt cryptocurrencyI make Bitcoin, and in a previous life, I covered the oil industry as a journalist. Increasingly, I’m realizing the two worlds are alike. Bitcoin is oil.And one day, Bitcoin will become big oil, and all who dabble in it will be reborn as enemies of the environmental movement, seen as plunderers of the planet and the bad guys in the fight against climate change – just like oil. Continue reading...
(Thu, 17 Jan 2019 11:00:16 GMT)

I introduced fun to the lives of A&E staff. The laughter was infectious
Emergency departments are challenging places – but if we are to provide good patient care, we must look after ourselvesThe emergency department can be a solemn and challenging place: many of the patients we see are scared, vulnerable, upset or frustrated. Demand for the care and treatment we provide has also been rising. I have heard about the impact on colleagues and felt it myself – either in a moment’s frustration or despair during a busy shift, or by reading the research about high burnout rates in emergency medicine.In 2016, the NHS had a very challenging winter. More people were coming to A&E, and they were sicker and needed more complex care. Working through this led me to ask two simple questions: are our jobs making us sick? And what can I do about it? Continue reading...
(Thu, 17 Jan 2019 09:09:04 GMT)

A semi-Brexit, with just England and Wales leaving the EU, is the solution | Kim Lane Scheppele
If Scotland and Northern Ireland remained, as voters there wanted, it would open the door to a better deal all round When all solutions are bad, it’s time to reinvent the problem. Is it still possible to honour the initial Brexit referendum without crossing the EU’s red lines? Yes – through semi-Brexit.The UK is divided into four nations, two of which voted remain and two of which voted leave. The British government could honour those decisions and allow Scotland and Northern Ireland to remain in the EU as the successor state to the UK, while permitting England and Wales (if it still wants to) to exit. Continue reading...
(Thu, 17 Jan 2019 09:00:13 GMT)

Look, David Cameron has got his trotters up – again
First, there was the 20 grand shed shed. Now he’s back from a £1,700 a night luxury resort. If only he would show the slightest remorse for BrexitHas there ever been a more devastating analysis than Danny Dyer’s of our former prime minister? It’s the final word in the nation’s ultimate caption competition: David Cameron sitting on the steps of his 20 grand shed. Trotters up. Here he is again, as tanned as classy furniture, on his way home from a sun-soaked (© the Mirror) £1,700 a night luxury resort in Costa Rica. I want to know what you get for that kind of money. But first, the urgent business – trotters up.I thought the image to end them all was Caitlin Moran’s, when she said before the 2010 election that he looked like a C3PO made of ham. That was a calmer era, when we had space to be multidimensional. You have to delve into your robot knowledge and separate C3PO from R2D2 to really appreciate its accuracy. No time for that now. There he is. In Waitrose, with his trotters up. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Jan 2019 17:32:21 GMT)

Santander recruitment farce puts greed and hubris centre stage | Nils Pratley
Andrea Orcel parable shows how little has changed at big banks since the 2008 crisisThe tale of how Banco Santander hired Andrea Orcel as its chief executive, and is now dropping him because it will not pay a €50m golden hello, is a mini classic. All the familiar banking features of greed, incompetence and hubris are present. And all the main players look ridiculous.Top of the list is Ana Botín, the Spanish bank’s executive chair. Recruiting Orcel, an Italian investment banker, was a bizarre move in the first place. Orcel, at UBS and previously at Merrill Lynch, was a longstanding adviser to Santander on acquisitions, but deal merchants tend to make terrible retail bankers. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Jan 2019 19:49:29 GMT)

Novak Djokovic v Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, plus Zverev v Chardy: Australian Open – live!
Updates on another busy night of tennis in MelbourneMurray’s career could be saved by metal hip implant, says BryanAny thoughts? Email or tweet @JacobSteinberg 12.23pm GMT Serving immaculately, Zverev holds for 5-5 in the fourth set. It feels like a tie-break to me. 12.20pm GMT Serving at 4-4, Jeremy Chardy smacks a forehand down the line for 30-all. An ace makes it 40-30. It’s Chardy’s 14th so far. Naturally, though, the game goes to deuce. A look for Zverev - but Chardy holds on to lead 5-4. Zverev will serve to avoid a fifth set. Continue reading...
(Thu, 17 Jan 2019 12:23:36 GMT)

With his ‘spygate’ PowerPoint, Marcelo Bielsa has enhanced his legend | Jonathan Wilson
The Leeds manager has an almost pathological honesty and there are few people in football so ready to admit fault as himMarcelo Bielsa’s first job in coaching was at the city university in Buenos Aires. He hadn’t made it as a player, too slow to make more than four appearances in central defence for Newell’s Old Boys. He had floated about the lower leagues for a while, studying agronomy and physical education. A university side was an obvious stepping-stone to greater things, but Bielsa didn’t treat it as such. Rather he watched 3,000 players before selecting his squad of 20.The 63-year-old has always been meticulous. When he was given a job in youth development at Newell’s, he wondered whether clubs were missing out on players from the interior, so got a map of Argentina, divided it into 70 sections and arranged a trial in each. Because he didn’t like flying, he ended up driving more than 5,000 miles in his Fiat 147 to see the results, establishing a theme that would become familiar of human fallibility, often his own, banging up against his plans and principles. Continue reading...
(Thu, 17 Jan 2019 12:01:16 GMT)

Jonny Williams: ‘People said it’s nice to see some honesty from a footballer’
The midfielder on being in the Sunderland ’Til I Die documentary, starting afresh at Charlton and his desire to play for Wales again“I didn’t get a dog. But I’m still thinking about it,” confides Jonny Williams. “I want a cute one that isn’t going to give me too many problems.”It has been a fortnight since the Wales international and reluctant star of the Sunderland ’Til I Die documentary took the hardest decision of his career so far. After five loan spells that culminated in his ill-fated sojourn on Wearside, Williams finally left Crystal Palace for Charlton on a permanent deal. Continue reading...
(Thu, 17 Jan 2019 11:01:50 GMT)

The Breakdown | Concentration of Ireland rugby talent leaves English trailing in Europe
Leinster – and the fast-rising Scottish sides – are packed full of internationals while Test players are spread more thinly across their Premiership and Top 14 rivalsThe Premiership goes into the final round of the European Champions Cup group stage this weekend hunting a first victory over an Irish province in this season’s tournament. Its clubs have three opportunities: Ulster travel to Leicester, Leinster are away to Wasps and, in the one contest that has an outcome for both teams, Exeter have to become the fourth team to topple Munster at Thomond Park in the competition.The Chiefs’ task is even more demanding because of the bonus point Munster secured at Gloucester last Friday. It means Exeter not only have to win but deny their opponents a bonus point, unless they score at least four tries. For all the impact they have made in the Premiership in recent seasons, reaching the last three finals, they have yet to find the formula in Europe where a gameplan based on retaining possession is more hazardous because of the extra latitude given to the defending side at the breakdown. Continue reading...
(Thu, 17 Jan 2019 10:59:15 GMT)

Dylan Hartley left out of England’s initial Six Nations squad with injury
• Hartley will miss England’s opener against Ireland next month• Cowan-Dickie, Singleton, Thorley, Robson and Earl in squadDylan Hartley has been omitted from England’s Six Nations squad due to injury and will miss their opening fixture against Ireland next month.Hartley has not played for Northampton since 21 December because of a knee problem and Eddie Jones has revealed he will not travel to England’s training camp in Portugal next week as a result. Continue reading...
(Thu, 17 Jan 2019 09:49:50 GMT)

Megavalanche, footballers dancing badly and a perfect 10 | Classic YouTube
Also featuring a full-court buzzer beater, some dire defending and a 1956 lap round Le Mans (including oncoming traffic)1) Clear some time in your day, strap in and relive the 40 minutes of mayhem that was Megavalanche 2018 from the point of view of the winning rider, Damien Oton, who somehow stayed upright while whizzing down the French Alps on a bike … in the snow.2) There have been plenty of dancing footballers down the years but not many quite so enthusiastic as Raul Meireles in Lip Sync Portugal. Just look at those shoulders go. He’s got form from his playing days, mind. But spare a thought for poor Mo Salah. He would have probably preferred Sadio Mané to win African Footballer of the Year had he known he was going to be forced to dance on stage by Youssou N’Dour. And we’re not sure about Carlos Tevez’s moves in this video when he was in a band called Piola Vago. He looks as if he’s having much more fun than he ever had in the Chinese Super League, though. Sergio Agüero is another South American footballer whose body moves better on a pitch than in time to music. Here he is self consciously fronting a song about himself by the band Los Leales. Youri Djorkaeff takes his dancing far too seriously in this R&B effort. And Jürgen Klopp did a bit of dad-dancing recently too. We’ve seen worse. Continue reading...
(Thu, 17 Jan 2019 10:30:14 GMT)

'You don’t bounce back from hitting a woman': Is this UFC's biggest lie?
MMA fighters are nearly four times more likely to be arrested for domestic violence than NFL players. But UFC does not want to talk about the issueThis Saturday former NFL defensive end Greg Hardy — a man once convicted of assaulting his ex-girlfriend — will make his official UFC debut. To add to the controversy, Hardy is scheduled to compete on the same fight card as Rachel Ostovich, who suffered a broken orbital bone during an alleged attack by her husband. Her husband, Arnold Berdon, was arrested for attempted second-degree murder but was later charged with second degree assault.The UFC’s decision to do business with Hardy and promote him on a fight card featuring an alleged victim of assault emphasizes the promotion’s tone-deaf approach to handling domestic violence and its apparent disregard for fighters’ violent pasts. Continue reading...
(Thu, 17 Jan 2019 09:30:13 GMT)

Death of Natasha Galpin in gallops accident a reminder of riding risks
An accomplished rider in the eventing field, Galpin suffered fatal injuries in a fall while riding work on TuesdayThe name of Natasha Galpin will have been in the thoughts of stable staff and racing professionals around Britain on Thursday morning, following the awful news on Wednesday that the 22-year-old had been killed by a fall on Iain Jardine’s gallops. Galpin was riding there on Tuesday morning when her mount suffered a ruptured artery and fell, causing her to sustain injuries from which she did not recover.By all accounts, Galpin was a highly accomplished rider in the eventing sphere, in which she won the Scottish and Northern Novice Championships of 2017 at Hendersyde, near Kelso. As well as working for Jardine, she ran her own livery yard and showed her longstanding love of horses through postings online. Continue reading...
(Thu, 17 Jan 2019 11:40:00 GMT)

Go behind the scenes with three MPs caught up in Brexit vote chaos – video
As parliament rejected Theresa May’s Brexit deal by a historic margin, the Guardian went behind the scenes with three MPs who have dramatically opposing views: Suella Braverman, a Tory Brexiter; Labour’s Jess Phillips, a remainer in a strong leave seat; and the Greens’ Caroline Lucas, a key member of the People’s Vote campaign. This is how they felt about the twists and turns that ultimately led to Jeremy Corbyn tabling a motion of no confidence in the prime ministerListen to Today in Focus: The great Brexit rebellion Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Jan 2019 06:59:43 GMT)

My life in a hotel room: Ireland’s hidden homeless crisis - video
Nuala and her teenage daughter, Laura, were suddenly evicted from their Dublin home when their landlord of 10 years was forced to sell by his creditors. They haven’t been able to find a new place to rent. Despite having been on the council house waiting list for more than six years they are still only around 600th in line. Now, like almost 10,000 other people and 1,700 families across Ireland, Nuala and Laura are homeless. Phoebe Greenwood went to Dublin to meet them and look into Ireland’s hidden homelessness epidemic. Continue reading...
(Thu, 20 Dec 2018 07:00:27 GMT)

Can women save Sumo? The crossroads facing Japan's national sport – video
The ancient Japanese ritual of Sumo is in crisis. Only last week, a Mongolian wrestler was forced to retire after assaulting a teammate – but that's just the tip of the iceberg. Years of controversy and scandal, coupled with the country's declining population, have greatly impacted the sport's ability to attract new talent. The Guardian visits Tokyo's Ryōgoku district, the birthplace of Sumo, to see how this iconic institution is adapting to life in the 21st century, and why - despite women being banned from the ring itself - young female fans are flocking to watch it like never beforeYokozuna, controversies and a 'Dump Truck': a sumo history – in pictures Continue reading...
(Tue, 11 Dec 2018 13:19:46 GMT)

Moon river? Giant, spinning ice disc mesmerises in Maine – video
A rare ice formation in the Presumpscot river has enthralled the city of Westbrook in Maine. Drone footage taken by Tina Radel, the marketing and communications manager for the city, shows an almost 100-metre circle spinning in a counter-clockwise direction. Scientists say the formation of ice discs is rare but natural, but the surreal appearance of the disk has led to speculation of alien intervention.  Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Jan 2019 03:34:26 GMT)

Marielle and Monica: the LGBT activists resisting Bolsonaro's Brazil - video
Marielle Franco, Brazilian LGBT and human rights activist, was killed in March 2018. Her widow, Monica Benicio, continued her fight for better treatment of the poor, the LGBT community and black Brazilians. Her murder has still not been solved and as the police investigation drifts, Monica is a plunged into a new crisis - the probable election of Jair Bolsonaro. On the eve of his inauguration, the film documents Monica’s involvement in the campaign opposing Bolsonaro and shoots of hope in the election of some local politicians from other parties, plus the aftermath of the election which suggests a terrifying future for LGBT rights and politicians who oppose the Government, and little hope for Marielle’s murder case being adequately solved.  Continue reading...
(Fri, 28 Dec 2018 12:01:27 GMT)

What does a government shutdown mean for the US? - video
In the second-longest shutdown in US government history, Donald Trump continues to demand more than $5bn for a border wall. Congress is in deadlock, and some 800,000 federal employees have been sent home or are working without pay. The president has threatened that the shutdown could last ‘months or even years’. Here’s what that might mean Continue reading...
(Thu, 10 Jan 2019 09:27:41 GMT)

The Bystander Effect: Neuroscientist shows how our brains dehumanise homeless people - video
The Museum of Homelessness worked with neuroscientist Dr Lasana Harris and several participants who have experienced homelessness to understand what is termed 'the bystander effect', where people form a dehumanised perception of others through a lack of social engagement.In this film the camera tracks across three scenes to hear stories of homelessness from various different perspectives in an effort to change the way it is understood and discussed. Continue reading...
(Wed, 02 Jan 2019 11:06:01 GMT)

'I knew my life could be in danger': the girl on a mission to change Iraq – video
Rowan was born just before the start of the Iraq war. The turmoil of her country sparked a deep sense of social injustice, and she began speaking out for human rights at just eight years old. Now 15, her impassioned criticism of the restrictive Iraqi regime has won her many supporters – but left her in fear of reprisals Continue reading...
(Thu, 27 Dec 2018 10:00:18 GMT)

'I'll ask God to intervene': the Christian volunteers doing police work in Reading – video
As government cuts affect police numbers, Reading is feeling the pinch. With one officer claiming there are 'very serious jobs, for instance stabbings, that we cannot get to', Thames Valley police have turned to a group of Christian volunteers to help them police the town centre on Friday and Saturday nights. As well as keeping an eye out for trouble and known criminals, the Street Pastors care for people in no fit state to get home, and even run a taxi service for people too drunk for most drivers to accept • Filmed in Reading town centre on 28 and 29 September 2018. Continue reading...
(Tue, 18 Dec 2018 11:26:04 GMT)

‘Stop treating seas as a sewer,’ MPs urge in bid for protection treaty
Paris agreement for the sea recommended as rates of plastic pollution to skyrocketA new global agreement to protect the seas should be a priority for the government to stop our seas becoming a “sewer”, according to a cross-party group of MPs.Plastic pollution is set to treble in the next decade, the environmental audit committee warned, while overfishing is denuding vital marine habitats of fish, and climate change is causing harmful warming of the oceans as well as deoxygenation and acidification. Continue reading...
(Thu, 17 Jan 2019 06:30:09 GMT)

Oxfam failed to address sexual misconduct and bullying, finds review
Independent commission says charity lacked robust safeguarding policies and was inconsistent in dealing with complaintsA damning interim review has highlighted Oxfam’s failure to tackle an environment at the charity that allowed sexual misconduct and bullying to go unchecked.The report, produced by an independent commission, warned that no uniform system exists for dealing with complaints and said there are “drastic inconsistencies” in the way safeguarding issues are handled across the 90-plus countries in which Oxfam International operates. Continue reading...
(Thu, 17 Jan 2019 07:00:10 GMT)

Patient groups assessing NHS drugs receive undeclared industry funds
Study calls for rules to be tightened over disclosure of money received from drug makersMost patient groups involved in the appraisal of drugs or medical devices for use in the NHS have received money from the manufacturers that they have not declared, research has found.Patient groups are asked to give their views when the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) is deciding whether to approve a drug for use in the NHS in England. However, the researchers said Nice did not have stringent enough rules on the disclosure of any and all funds that patient organisations receive from companies. Continue reading...
(Thu, 17 Jan 2019 07:00:10 GMT)

UK house prices fall at fastest rate in six years on back of Brexit – Rics
Outlook for sales the weakest in two decades, say Britain’s surveyorsThe looming threat of Brexit has dragged down the UK property market further, with prices falling at the fastest rate in six years and the outlook for sales the weakest in two decades, according to Britain’s surveyors.The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) said the number of inquiries, agreed sales and new instructions all declined in December. Continue reading...
(Thu, 17 Jan 2019 00:01:05 GMT)

Parents' break-up more likely to harm mental health of children aged seven to 14
Research shows a 16% rise in emotional problems and 8% rise in conduct disordersParental separation is more likely to harm the mental health of children if they are aged at least seven when the split occurs, but appears to have no effect on the risks of them getting ill if they are younger, research has found.The research, involving 6,245 children and young people in the UK, is the first British study to explore the links between couple separation or divorce and the impact on the mental wellbeing of children. Family break-up was already known to be one of several childhood experiences that can lead to young people developing mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. Continue reading...
(Thu, 17 Jan 2019 00:01:05 GMT)

Jess Varnish loses employment tribunal against British Cycling and UK Sport
• Varnish had hoped to sue governing body• 28-year-old to consider her optionsJess Varnish, the former Great Britain track cyclist, has lost her landmark employment case against British Cycling and UK Sport which had threatened to overhaul funding for Olympic athletes. She began legal proceedings after claiming she was dropped from the British Cycling squad for the 2016 Rio Olympics in retaliation for criticising her coaches. She argued that she was in effect an employee of both British Cycling and UK Sport and therefore should be subject to certain protections under law – including sick pay, a pension and the right to sue for unfair dismissal.However, at a tribunal in Manchester last month British Cycling and UK Sport claimed national lottery funding for athletes is more akin to a university grant and therefore should not be subject to the same employment rights. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Jan 2019 19:32:03 GMT)

Patisserie Valerie says its accounts were 'significantly manipulated'
Cafe chain says it has uncovered thousands of false entries in its ledgersPatisserie Valerie, the cafe chain which came within hours of financial collapse in October after discovering a multimillion-pound gap in its accounts, has uncovered “thousands of false entries into the company’s ledgers”.In a statement to the Stock Exchange, the company, which operates 200 cafes and employs 3,000 staff, said work carried out by forensic accountants had revealed that “the misstatement of its accounts was extensive, involving very significant manipulation of the balance sheet and profit and loss accounts”. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Jan 2019 18:36:59 GMT)

Woman had plastic pill packet lodged in her throat for 17 days
Scan finally detected the foreign body after four separate hospital visitsA woman in Northern Ireland lived with a plastic pill packet lodged in her throat for 17 days before it was detected following four visits to the hospital.BMJ Journals reported that a woman in her 40s, described as otherwise fit and well, swallowed “the original foil packet” of the painkiller tramadol in the middle of the night last November. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Jan 2019 18:23:25 GMT)

Populist leaders face mounting resistance, say global rights experts
Opposition to authoritarian rule reflects increased concern of voters and institutions, Human Rights Watch claimsFrom Europe to Yemen and Myanmar to the US, authoritarian and populist leaders face an increasingly powerful human rights pushback, according to an influential annual survey of global rights.Despite mounting pessimism around rights abuses and attacks on democracy by populists on both the far left and far right, the “big news” of the past year was the growing trend to confront abuses by “headline-grabbing autocrats”, said Human Rights Watch. Continue reading...
(Thu, 17 Jan 2019 09:30:13 GMT)

Brazil environment chief accused of 'war on NGOs' as partnerships paused
Civil society groups condemn move by minister, appointed by far-right president Jair Bolsonaro, as illegal attack on environmentBrazil’s new environment minister, Ricardo Salles, has suspended all partnerships and agreements with non-governmental organizations for 90 days, in a move that was described as “a war against NGOs”.Announcing the move, Salles said the three-month suspension was to allow a re-evaluation of such partnerships, but civil society organizations described the move as a blatant and illegal attack on the environment and those working to protect it. Continue reading...
(Thu, 17 Jan 2019 07:30:11 GMT)

Malaysia revises school textbook which tells girls sex is shameful
‘Victim-blaming’ illustration instructs girls to cover up and not to visit quiet places aloneThe Malaysian education ministry has ordered the removal of a page from a school textbook which warned young girls that having sex would bring shame on their families and urged them to “protect the modesty of their genitals”.An illustration in the textbook, issued to all eight and nine-year-olds in Malaysia, instructed girls to get changed behind closed doors, wear clothes that covered up their bodies and not to visit quiet places alone. Continue reading...
(Thu, 17 Jan 2019 09:59:19 GMT)

China accuses US of suppressing its high-tech companies
US said to be in ‘advanced’ stages of inquiry over alleged Huawei theft of trade secretsChina has accused the US of trying to suppress its high-tech companies, as US prosecutors reportedly investigate allegations that the company stole trade secrets from US businesses.Adding to pressure on the Chinese telecom giant, US lawmakers have proposed a ban on selling US chips or components to the company. Continue reading...
(Thu, 17 Jan 2019 10:35:35 GMT)

Putin honours Serbian leader as he attacks west's Balkans role
Visiting president says Serbia being forced to make ‘artificial choice’ between EU and RussiaVladimir Putin is due in Belgrade, where he will bestow a top state honour upon the Serbian leader, Aleksandar Vučić, hoping to shore up one of the few strong bilateral relationships Russia has in Europe, and reinforce Moscow’s claims to maintaining influence in the Balkans. Related: Now is chance for Kosovo deal, says Serbian president – but at what cost? Continue reading...
(Thu, 17 Jan 2019 09:19:13 GMT)

US to begin nuclear treaty pullout next month after Russia missile talks fail
Officials reject Russian offer to inspect new missileUS says it will suspend observance of INF treaty on 2 FebruaryThe US has rejected Moscow’s offer to inspect a new Russian missile suspected of violating a key cold-war era nuclear-weapons treaty, and warned that it would suspend observance of the agreement on 2 February, giving six-month notice of a complete withdrawal. Related: Top North Korean officials reportedly set for Washington visit Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Jan 2019 23:29:35 GMT)

Latest migrant caravan marches on as Trump again demands border wall
The latest group set off from the notoriously violent Honduran city of San Pedro Sula at the start of this weekHundreds of Central American migrants have continued their march towards the United States, crossing from Honduras into Guatemala, as Donald Trump again demanded the construction of a border wall he claims would keep such groups out. Related: ‘No way to live here’: new Honduran caravan sets off north as Trump blasts warnings Continue reading...
(Thu, 17 Jan 2019 07:00:10 GMT)

Extreme heatwave: all-time temperature records fall across parts of Australia
Australia had its warmest ever December on record and temperatures this week nudged 50C in some placesCoping with extreme heat: share your photosTemperature records have been broken in towns across parts of Australia sweltering through a heatwave, which is currently in its fourth day.Australia also recorded its hottest December on record the Bureau of Meteorology said on Thursday in a special climate statement on “the unusual extended period of heatwaves” across much of the country. Continue reading...
(Thu, 17 Jan 2019 01:36:57 GMT)

‘There’s never been a better time to be vegan’
With restaurants, chefs and well-known brands introducing more vegan options than ever, sticking to a plant-based diet is now both simple and indulgent, says Club Mexicana’s Meriel Armitage A decade ago, when I decided to go vegan for ethical reasons, the word “decadent” was one you’d never have used to describe the food available. More often than not, it fitted the joyless stereotype of lentils, quinoa and tofu, with the occasional Linda McCartney vegan sausage to liven things up. Now, though, ask a vegan what they ate last night and they’re likely to say anything from pizza topped with gooey melted “cheese” to crispy fried “chicken” or pulled jackfruit burritos. The vegan scene has truly exploded, introducing food that’s exciting, colourful and indulgent, whether you’re vegan or not.When I launched my pop-up, Club Mexicana, in 2012 I wanted to challenge the boringly virtuous chickpea and chia seed perception of veganism. Inspired by my travels in the US, where vegan food is innovative and delicious, I wanted to prove that being vegan doesn’t mean missing out. Continue reading...
(Fri, 11 Jan 2019 10:33:07 GMT)

Quiz: How much do you really know about vegan food?
Think you can you spot a plant-based pasta sauce or a cruelty-free condiment a mile off? Test your knowledge with this vegan food quizWhich of the following sweets are not vegan?MarshmallowsBoiled sweetsFlying saucersWhich of these fruits might some vegans avoid?BananasApplesFigsOne of these condiments is vegan, which is it?MayonnaisePesto sauceFrank’s red hot buffalo wings sauceWhich shop-bought pastry isn’t vegan?Puff pastryFilo pastryCroissant doughBiscuit time. Which one isn't vegan?Bourbon biscuitsFox’s Party RingsShortbreadOne jar of shop-bought pasta sauce isn't vegan, which is it?BolognesePuttanescaTomato and red pepperPick the non-vegan condiment:Worcestershire sauceBarbecue sauceMustardWhich alcohol is almost always vegan?VodkaBeerWineWhich supermarket pasta is almost always vegan?Dried pastaFresh pastaGnocchiWhich of these world religions eats an exclusively vegan diet?HinduismBuddhismJainismOnly one of these breakfast cereals is almost always vegan, which is it?Porridge oatsCornflakesWholegrain wheat biscuitsWhat type of chocolate is almost always vegan?MilkDarkWhite7 and above.Good work, you’re well on your way to being a Veganuary guru. But did you know you can now get non-dairy versions of three of Ben & Jerry’s most popular ice-creams? 10 and above.We bow down in the presence of your exemplary vegan knowledge! But did you know you can now get non-dairy versions of three of Ben & Jerry’s most popular ice-creams? 0 and above.Oh dear, you really need to brush up on your vegan food knowledge. Here’s a fun fact to get you started: you can now get non-dairy versions of three of Ben & Jerry’s most popular ice-creams.4 and above.Nice try, but when it comes to vegan food, you still have a lot to learn. For instance, did you know you can now get non-dairy versions of three of Ben & Jerry’s most popular ice-creams? Make your Veganuary extra indulgent with Ben & Jerry’s non-dairy Chocolate Fudge Brownie, Peanut Butter & Cookies and Coconutterly Caramel’d ice-creams. Get the inside scoop on the range at benjerry.co.uk/flavours/non-dairy Continue reading...
(Mon, 07 Jan 2019 16:17:02 GMT)

The ultimate vegan Friday night feast
You’ve made it through the week, and now you want to celebrate with some good food. Vegan Miranda Larbi shares her tips for creating an indulgent Veganuary feastThere really is nothing quite as wonderful as logging off at 5pm on a Friday knowing that you’ve got no plans or dates with anyone except your sofa and Netflix.Back in the day, you may have thought that anything short of spending Saturday with a banging hangover was an abject failure but, in these busy times of hyper-connectivity, having a little down time during peak socialising hours can be seen as the ultimate luxury. Continue reading...
(Mon, 07 Jan 2019 16:15:47 GMT)

The ultimate vegan baked alaska recipe
This indulgent, retro dessert just got a vegan makeover, thanks to non-dairy ice-cream and aquafaba meringueServes 8Prep: 1 hour 20 minutes, plus 4-5 hours for freezingCook: 25-30 minutesFor the cake:125g dairy-free baking spread150ml dairy-free milk2 tsp white wine vinegar125g caster sugar1 tsp vanilla extract175g self-raising flour1 tsp baking powder Continue reading...
(Fri, 11 Jan 2019 10:32:21 GMT)

James Blake: Assume Form review – lovestruck producer turns dark into light | Alexis Petridis' album of the week
Blake is clearly in a good place, unexpectedly embedded at the centre of pop culture, and his new album adds bright colours to his soundIt feels strange now to recall a time when James Blake’s elevation from underground post-dubstep auteur to hotly-tipped mainstream artist seemed like the result of a clerical error. It was hard not to be impressed by his eponymous 2011 debut album, but it was equally hard not to wonder whether this really was the stuff of which silver medals in the BBC Sound of … poll and spots on the Radio 1 A-list were made. If you listened to its sparse, abstract, deeply uncommercial assemblages of treated vocals, electronics and piano, there was something very odd indeed about his name being mentioned in the same breath as Jessie J. Continue reading...
(Thu, 17 Jan 2019 12:00:16 GMT)

A listless army of zombie lads: why The Grand Tour’s studio audience had to go
The blokey studio segments were always the lowlights of Clarkson, May and Hammond’s motoring shows. Without them, they might actually be fun to watch againThe new series of The Grand Tour marks the end of an era. Amazon has recommissioned the show, but only as a series of travelogue specials. This means that the new series, which starts this Friday, will be the last to have a studio audience.And, well, good. The studio audience has been an integral part of Jeremy Clarkson’s, Richard Hammond’s and James May’s brand ever since Top Gear reemerged from the wilderness in 2002. It offered the viewer the clearest possible indication of who the show was pitched at; stumpy middle-aged men who only wore clothing that had the Porsche logo embroidered on to it, plus three attractive young women who were always pushed to the front to make the whole thing look less like a ridiculous sausage factory. Continue reading...
(Thu, 17 Jan 2019 11:00:18 GMT)

Hale County This Morning, This Evening review – visionary doc about lives in Alabama
Produced by Laura Poitras, this documentary RaMell Ross is a revelatory study of African American livesRaMell Ross’s Hale County This Morning, This Evening is a beautifully realised documentary study of African American real lives in Hale County, Alabama. To some degree, it can be seen as a creative or intellectual response to Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, the classic 1941 work of photo-reportage by James Agee and photographer Walker Evans that recorded the lives of depression-hit white sharecroppers from Hale County. But as film-making, it is more personal and engaged than simply that: it feels as if Ross has created a sustained kind of euphoria, a 76-minute epiphany of love for his community, and the use over the closing credits of Billie Holiday singing Stars Fell on Alabama is very moving.The director developed this project from coaching basketball and studying photography, activities that allowed him intimate access to high-school and college kids and to their families’ lives – at school, in college, on the basketball court, in church, hanging out. You might call his resulting film À Propos de Hale County, were it not for the resonance and passionate empathy of its tone, far from satire. It is an ambient study, or mosaic of moments, slices of life with only the most discreet and unemphasised single narrative thread – a couple who are about to give birth to twins, one of which is, heartrendingly, to succumb to sudden infant death syndrome. Continue reading...
(Thu, 17 Jan 2019 11:00:18 GMT)

Shattered Glass: why we need to stop deconstructing our superheroes
M Night Shyamalan’s ambitious yet empty end to his comic book-inspired trilogy should be the last attempt to make faux-intellectual points about big screen heroesThis weekend sees the release of M Night Shyamalan’s Glass, the long-awaited follow-up to his 2000 superhero drama Unbreakable and his 2017 thriller Split. Like Unbreakable, Glass is interested in deconstructing the figure of the comic book superhero (and supervillain), calling attention to the tropes of its own genre while placing them in a larger historical and pseudo-scientific context. But whereas this meta-narrative examination felt fresh and exciting in Unbreakable, it now proves to be an utter bore.That’s because deconstructionism – the form of philosophical and literary analysis that seeks to understand the relationship between a text and its meaning, often by acknowledging and/or subverting pre-existing conceptions or structural expectations – has become the modus operandi of superhero movies. Continue reading...
(Thu, 17 Jan 2019 08:00:11 GMT)

Lorna Doom, bassist with cult Los Angeles punk band Germs, dies
Born Teresa Ryan, Doom was a key part of the band who helped shape the sound of hardcore punkLorna Doom, the bassist with cult Los Angeles punk band Germs, has died. Born Teresa Ryan, her age and cause of death is unknown, her death made public when the band’s drummer Don Bolles posted on Facebook: “She left this mortal coil today [Wednesday] around 1.”Tributes have been paid by punk musician Laura Jane Grace, who tweeted: “I can still see the ‘Germs burn’ on my wrist from when I was 14 years old. Few bands had as big of an impact on me.” Katy Goodman of indie-rock group Vivian Girls wrote: “RIP Lorna Doom. The germs burn on my wrist originated from you.” The “germs burn” was a cigarette burn by which fans showed allegiance to the band. Continue reading...
(Thu, 17 Jan 2019 09:52:46 GMT)

'You've lost the news!' How The Day Today changed satire forever
25 years ago, Chris Morris and Armando Iannucci’s uproarious news spoof unleashed Fake News on the world (not to mention Alan Partridge)It’s hard to overstate the shock of the new that accompanied first exposure to The Day Today in January 1994. News parodies had existed before. But none even remotely as acute or as painstakingly assembled as this. Somehow, creators Chris Morris and Armando Iannucci had delivered not just ham-fisted political satire cobbled on to a few throwaway punchlines but a whole parallel TV world with its own hierarchies, visual and verbal grammar and inexorable internal logic. A world in which statements such as “Headmaster suspended for using big-faced child as satellite dish” and “Bouncing elephantiasis woman destroys central Portsmouth” could be delivered to camera with an entirely straight face.The key to the impression given by The Day Today of arriving, out of the blue and fully formed was, of course, that it was nothing of the sort. The show was almost half a decade in gestation. Morris had spent several years learning (and twisting, for his own mischievous ends) the craft of radio presentation. In 1991, he and Iannucci launched On the Hour, a devastatingly accomplished spoof of radio news magazines. A TV version was an obvious next step. Continue reading...
(Thu, 17 Jan 2019 06:00:11 GMT)

Joe Wicks' recipe for barbecue butternut quesadillas
These cheesy quesadillas are packed full of flavour and protein – and are perfect for making ahead if you are busyThese quesadillas are perfect for a midweek meal to get rid of the winter blues. Full of flavour with spring onions and garlic, they have also got lots of beans, packed with protein to fill you up. Dunk the cheesy quesadilla into the avocado dip for a taste sensation. This recipe is perfect to make ahead of time if you are busy; you can just reheat the quesadillas the next day.Prep time: 10 minutesCook time: 7 minutesServes: 2 Continue reading...
(Thu, 17 Jan 2019 11:00:18 GMT)

I got a phishing email that tried to blackmail me – what should I do?
Pauline received a spam message that looked like a sextortion or webcam scamI got this email today. It says “I hacked your device, because I sent you this message from your account.” It goes on to claim that it has filmed me watching pornography, and demands $698 in bitcoin. Phishing? Pwned? What to do? PaulineThis is generally known either as “webcam blackmail” or “sextortion scam” and the email should have been diverted to your spam folder. Millions – perhaps billions – of similar emails have been sent over the years, but there seems to have been a flood of them over the past few months. Continue reading...
(Thu, 17 Jan 2019 08:00:11 GMT)

A local’s guide to Palermo, Sicily: 10 top tips
It may still be basking in the glow of being Italian Capital of Culture 2018 but the city has been a cultural melting pot since antiquityThe Sicilian capital, called the “Kingdom of the sun” by invading Normans in the 12th century, has been a cultural melting pot since Phoenicians and Greeks fought over it in the 5th and 6th centuries BC. Sitting close to where Europe ends and Africa begins, Palermo bears the scars – and echoes the glories – of centuries of domination. Once Roman, Byzantine, Arab, Norman and ultimately Italian – unified with the mainland only in 1861 – it has a relatively recent “made in Italy” identity. And in 2018 it basked under the banner of Italian Capital of Culture, hosting the prestigious Manifesta contemporary art biennale and helping regenerate its waterfront. Continue reading...
(Thu, 17 Jan 2019 11:56:39 GMT)

'The truest free-range': why it's time to start eating roadkill
Alaskans have been enjoying free, organic meat for the past 50 years. Should other places stop turning their nose up?My mother texts me four photos of a dead moose the week I leave Alaska. It is freshly hit. The pebbled pink brains fanning across the pavement have not yet grayed in the brisk autumn air. The animal will not go to waste. For the past 50 years, Alaska has been the only state where virtually every piece of large roadkill is eaten.Every year, between 600 and 800 moose are killed in Alaska by cars, leaving up to 250,000lb of organic, free-range meat on the road. State troopers who respond to these collisions keep a list of charities and families who have agreed to drive to the scene of an accident at any time, in any weather, to haul away and butcher the body. Continue reading...
(Thu, 17 Jan 2019 11:00:15 GMT)

Carlton and floss dances removed from Forza Horizon after Fortnite copyright claims
Playground Games drops ‘Carlton and Floss’ emotes from driving game as Epic faces fourth lawsuit for alleged Fortnite copyright infringementTwo dance moves that are the subject of lawsuits in the US have been removed from the driving game Forza Horizon 4.The moves were among a series of dance “emotes” included in the latest instalment of the Forza Horizon series, after the huge popularity of similar dances in Fortnite. Continue reading...
(Thu, 17 Jan 2019 10:53:50 GMT)

10 great affordable winter sun holidays: readers' travel tips
Dodge the British winter, without spending a fortune, with readers’ picks in Spain, including the Canaries, and bargains in north, west and South Africa We escaped to the north-west coast of Fuerteventura, in the Canary Islands, for a week before Christmas. With flights from £80, reasonable car hire (£50) and a great Airbnb in Lajares (£30 a night), it was a great week of cycling, surfing, hiking, boat trips to the small island off the north coast and epic sunsets from the lovely fishing village of El Cotillo. Lajares is fun, a lively village with cafes, shops and bike hire and it’s in a national park with a backdrop of a volcano. The north track follows the coast from Corralejo to El Cotillo, where you can find beaches with world-class surf and sheltered white sand lagoons. Sasha Dobrota Continue reading...
(Thu, 17 Jan 2019 06:30:09 GMT)

Contribute to a podcast on the future of education
Submit your questions and ideas to our panel of experts who will discuss what can be learnt from different approaches to educationJoin our panel of education experts to examine what can be done to improve education, and make systems more equal. Whether you’re a teacher, student, academic, social worker, policymaker, parent, and wherever you are in the world, we want to hear from you.Alex Beard, author of Natural Born Learners, and one of our panellists for this podcast, says: Continue reading...
(Fri, 11 Jan 2019 15:05:14 GMT)

Share a tip on ethical breaks for the chance to win a £200 hotel voucher
Tell us about your best eco-friendly, community-based or other ‘holiday with benefits’ anywhere in the worldGoing on holiday is often regarded as “me” time, a chance to relax and recover from the daily grind. But this week we’d like to hear about holidays that also have wider benefits for your destination. These could be wildlife conservation trips, tours led by local women, places with impeccable eco-credentials or projects that ensure income stays within the community.We’re not talking about volunteering holidays here, just breaks that make some sort of difference to people, animals or the planet. Tell us about your ethical trip – being specific about location, price and website where possible, and try to keep your tip to 100 words. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Jan 2019 11:04:01 GMT)

Tips, links and suggestions: what are you reading this week?
Your space to discuss the books you are reading and what you think of them Are you on Instagram? Then you can be featured here by tagging your books-related posts with #GuardianBooksScroll down for our favourite literary linksRead more Tips, links and suggestions blogsWelcome to this week’s blogpost. Here’s our roundup of your comments and photos from last week.granitadicaffe has just “entered the gates of Purgatory” with Dante: Continue reading...
(Mon, 14 Jan 2019 15:00:24 GMT)

Do you think the Irish citizens' assembly on abortion was a good idea?
If you live in Ireland, tell us about the assembly and its findings – did it help resolve a complex issue, might it help with Brexit?In 2018, Ireland voted in a referendum to legalise abortion. Irish politics had been debating this divisive and emotive issue for decades, however the Irish citizens’ assembly, which deliberated on the matter prior to the referendum, was cited as a successful process in helping people understand the complex issues.The citizens’ assembly was established in 2016 by parliament and its purpose was to deliberate on a number of issues, including the eighth amendment that outlawed abortion. The 99 citizen members of the assembly were selected to be electorally representative and included those in favour of the change, those against and those undecideds. Over the course of five weekends, between the end of 2016 and early 2017, the assembly listened to people on all sides of the abortion debate, including experts and those sharing their personal experiences. Continue reading...
(Mon, 14 Jan 2019 16:11:34 GMT)

'What's free?', 'I hope they budgeted': how the shutdown affects a small rural town
As federal workers in Jesup, Georgia, fret over the shutdown, many non-federal workers, for now, say the shutdown remains at a distance or not even heard of it at allA pile of menus sat, untouched, at a table filled with Jesup Federal Correctional Institution employees at Alec’s Sports Bar. A waitress, who wandered over occasionally to fill a round of water glasses lined with lemon wedges, seemed to intuitively know not to ask if anyone needs a soft drink or a plate of chicken fingers.“I’m not usually a water drinker,” Hannah Gariepy, a teacher – and eight year employee – of the federal prison pointed out, “But I was thinking, what’s free?” Her colleagues erupted in laughter, all of them agreeing. One has a salad in her car. Another ate before coming to the bar. Continue reading...
(Thu, 17 Jan 2019 11:00:15 GMT)

'A blemish in his sanctuary': the battle behind Mark Zuckerberg's Hawaii estate
The Facebook CEO’s involvement in a family dispute over four small parcels of land worries many on an island where longtime residents have lost land to wealthy newcomersOn 22 December 2016, a retired professor of Hawaiian studies named Carlos Andrade sent a letter to dozens of his relatives informing them that he was about to sue them.The relatives were among hundreds of partial owners of four small parcels of land on the island of Kauai, the legacy of a shared ancestor named Manuel Rapozo. A neighboring landowner, Northshore Kalo LLC, was willing to pay the legal fees to clear up the title on the property – enabling Andrade to take full ownership and compensate his fellow descendants for their shares. Continue reading...
(Thu, 17 Jan 2019 08:00:11 GMT)

'Time to start talking about consent': Thailand's nascent #MeToo moment
A web project that let people share stories of sexual assault is growing into an influential force for changeIn a small bookshop in Suan Phlu, a lively district of Bangkok, an unusual conversation is taking place. Men and women crammed into the nooks and crannies between the books listen intently as Wipaphan Wongsawang picks up a microphone and gestures around her. “Women in Thailand should not have to be silent about rape and assault any longer,” she says. “It’s time people started talking about consent.”Wongsawang is the founder of Thaiconsent, a project that began as a series of articles explaining the concept of sexual consent to her friends. In the past 12 months it has grown into an online platform containing hundreds of stories of rape and assault, and inspired an exhibition of artworks designed to challenge Thailand’s culture of misunderstanding over sexual assault. Continue reading...
(Thu, 17 Jan 2019 00:00:02 GMT)

Native American routes: the ancient trails hidden in Chicago’s grid system
Many of the city’s roads began as indigenous pathways – just one example of Native American infrastructure that helped make Chicago a successful cityAt 65, Chicago’s American Indian Center is the oldest urban indigenous center in the US. Its current retrospective highlights its importance to the city and is intended to serve as “evidence of the Native experience, existence, and survival.” But there is an easier way to see the enduring indigenous influence on Chicago – simply walk a few blocks east to Clark Street.Named for George Rogers Clark, whose brother William was one half of the Lewis and Clark expedition, Clark Street was formed during the tail end of the ice age and has been a key trail for thousands of years. Its irregularity is an unnoticed but integral reminder of the many tribes that once called the area home, and a fitting example of the erasure of the Native influence on the city’s development. Continue reading...
(Thu, 17 Jan 2019 11:00:17 GMT)

Julián Castro flips the campaign script: 'I can win in 2020'
Castro travelled to New Hampshire after kicking off his campaign in Puerto Rico where citizens can’t vote in presidential electionsJust days into his quest to become the first Latino presidential nominee in US history, Julián Castro, the former Obama administration housing chief, campaigned in New Hampshire, home to the first primary in the nation. While candidates often make a beeline to either Iowa or New Hampshire after declaring they are running, Castro’s visit to the Granite state on Wednesday was the second stop of his new campaign after returning from Puerto Rico, a US territory where citizens are ineligible to vote in presidential elections. Continue reading...
(Thu, 17 Jan 2019 02:56:33 GMT)

Holding back the tides: Sydney's battle against coastal erosion | Wendy Harmer
As Australian beaches succumb to destructive coastal surges due to climate change, Wendy Harmer considers the price of inaction at storm-battered Collaroy-Narrabeen • Cast your vote in Australia’s best beach pollFor the past 25 years I’ve been lucky enough to enjoy a spectacular view of Collaroy-Narrabeen beach from my old wooden house tucked into the northern slopes of Mt Ramsay.I survey a gorgeous, curved slice of coast where swell dispatched from the far reaches of the Southern and Pacific oceans reaches a final, spectacular resignation. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Jan 2019 17:00:24 GMT)

Turbulence, trauma, hope: Koen Wessing's indelible images of history – in pictures
Koen Wessing recorded the history of the postwar period: decolonisation, violence and barbarism in Latin America, the disintegration of the Soviet bloc, war in Yugoslavia, apartheid in South Africa and the resurgence of China. A new exhibition, Koen Wessing: The Indelible Image, presents a set of 80 prints, as well as screenings and a filmed interview with Dutch film-maker and cinematographer Kees Hin.Koen Wessing: The Indelible Image is at Château de Tours until 12 May. Continue reading...
(Thu, 17 Jan 2019 09:56:46 GMT)

Gillian Anderson in All About Eve rehearsals – in pictures
Anderson returns to the London stage in an adaptation of the Oscar winner All About Eve. Here’s a look behind the scenes of Ivo van Hove’s production Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Jan 2019 17:46:11 GMT)

Carla Kogelman's best photograph: children playing on a swing
‘They’re in their own world and don’t see me. It’s a nostalgic image, with a touch of magic from those disembodied feet and hands’I took the picture in the summer of 2013, in a rural part of northern Austria. I grew up in Holland. I went back there in 2012 to try to recapture my own childhood, but the farm where I was born no longer existed and the people I knew as a child no longer lived there. And then I found my childhood – or what I wished it had been – here, in the Austrian countryside.I was asked to do a documentary project about the Waldviertel region, which is how I came to meet these two local little girls, Hannah and Alena. Their mother, Sonja, asked if I would take some pictures of them. Continue reading...
(Thu, 17 Jan 2019 06:00:11 GMT)

Haiti's isolated and forgotten village – in pictures
Near the bottom of the island of Hispaniola in south-east Haiti is a forgotten village, cut off from its own country, and slowly emptying as its residents leave. As well as health services or electricity, Boucan Ferdinand also lost its only road to the nearest town, Bois Negresse, in devastating floods in 2004. Some of its residents have left for the capital, Port-au-Prince, while others cling onto a precarious life. Many have crossed illegally into the more prosperous neighbouring Dominican Republic Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Jan 2019 07:00:14 GMT)

Smile, dad! Alternative family portraits
From artfully photobombed beach holiday snaps to the soulful portraits of a birdwatching brother with schizophrenia – this year’s Photo50 at London art fair exhibition goes inside the family photo Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Jan 2019 07:00:14 GMT)

Scottish salmon fishing season opens – in pictures
The salmon fishing season has started with traditional ceremonies on the River Tay. It is the first of the larger Scottish rivers to open for the season, which runs until 15 October Continue reading...
(Tue, 15 Jan 2019 15:02:06 GMT)

Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. 2019