The Guardian

Latest news, sport, business, comment, analysis and reviews from the Guardian, the world's leading liberal voice

Electoral Commission launches inquiry into leave campaign funding

Watchdog has ‘reasonable grounds to suspect offence was committed’ by Vote Leave and student campaigner who received £625,000 from group

Vote Leave is under investigation by the Electoral Commission over whether it breached the £7m EU referendum spending limit, with allegations being made that it channelled funds for a social Brexit media campaign via £625,000 in donations to a student.

The watchdog said that the new information meant it had “reasonable grounds to suspect an offence may have been committed” and said it would examine if the Boris Johnson and Michael Gove-fronted campaign had filed its returns correctly.

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11/20/2017 10:02 PM
Merkel hints fresh elections preferable to minority government as talks fail

German chancellor says she is ‘sceptical’ as president calls for parties to resume efforts after coalition talks collapsed

Angela Merkel has indicated that she would rather have fresh elections than try to rule in a minority government as the collapse of German coalition talks posed the most serious threat to her power since she became chancellor more than a decade ago.

Merkel, who has headed three coalitions since 2005, said she was “very sceptical” about ruling in a minority government and suggested she would stand again as a candidate if elections were called in the new year, telling public broadcaster ARD she was “a woman who has responsibility and is prepared to take responsibility in the future”.

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11/20/2017 06:51 PM
Zimbabwe in confusion as Robert Mugabe ignores latest deadline to leave

Draft impeachment motion published by Zanu-PF party but support of opposition parties may be necessary after arrest or flight of some MPs

Robert Mugabe faces being stripped of his office by parliament if he does not resign as president within days, as the political crisis triggered by a military takeover in Zimbabwe moves into a second week.

The 93-year-old had been given a deadline of noon local time on Monday to resign as head of state or face impeachment when parliament reconvenes on Tuesday.

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11/20/2017 07:23 PM
No British judge on world court for first time in its 71-year history

Indian candidate fills 15th and final place on bench of international court of justice after UK withdraws its pick for post

The UK will not have a judge on the bench of the international court of justice for the first time in its 71-year history after the British candidate withdrew following an acrimonious competition.

Minutes after an 11th round of voting was scheduled to begin in New York on Monday, a letter was released by the UK mission to the UN announcing that Sir Christopher Greenwood would accept defeat and allow the rival Indian candidate, Dalveer Bhandari, to fill the final vacancy on the ICJ.

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11/20/2017 11:21 PM
Argentina's navy says fresh noises are not from missing submarine
  • Sounds detected during search for ARA San Juan came from ‘biological source’
  • Search enters critical phase amid concern oxygen running out

Argentina’s navy has said sounds detected from the bottom of the ocean are not from the submarine which has been missing in rough seas for five days with 44 crew on board.

Spokesman Enrique Balbi said “a biological source” was behind the noises which were detected by two Argentinian navy ships searching for ARA San Juan and by sonar buoys dropped by a US P8 surveillance plane.

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11/21/2017 12:10 AM
Russian 'troll army' tweets cited more than 80 times in UK media

Posts from accounts said by Twitter to be Russian trolls quoted in coverage ranging from breaking news to humorous listicles

Members of a Russian “troll army” were quoted more than 80 times across British-read media outlets before Twitter revealed their identity and banned them, a Guardian investigation has shown.

Some posts from the accounts were embedded in articles to provide apparently local reportage and pictures from the sites of disasters and crime scenes around the world. In fact, Twitter claims, all the accounts were run from the offices of the Internet Research Agency in St Petersburg, alleged to be the headquarters of Russia’s troll army.

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11/20/2017 05:00 PM
Budget boost for NHS to fall well short of management demands

Philip Hammond is set to provide emergency funding but health service bosses say it does not go far enough

Philip Hammond is to give the NHS an emergency cash injection in the budget, though the chancellor will disappoint health service bosses by increasing funding by far less than they believe is needed.

Hammond is understood to be preparing to unveil a plan to give the NHS up to £6bn by 2022 for three different purposes.

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11/20/2017 10:22 PM
Theresa May's policy chief quits No 10 role

George Freeman, who blasted general election manifesto, says Tories need to address membership decline

Theresa May’s policy chief has said he is standing down from his role at No 10 to concentrate on grassroots reform of the Conservative party.

George Freeman said an “ambitious” programme was needed to reconnect with younger voters after the Tories’ “ill-conceived” general election campaign.

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11/20/2017 09:52 PM
Eurotunnel renamed Getlink in preparation for post-Brexit era

Company says rebrand to ‘very Anglo-Saxon’ name is needed because it owns businesses beyond the Channel Tunnel

Eurotunnel is preparing for the post-Brexit era with a corporate rebrand, with the company being renamed Getlink.

The French company, which operates the Channel Tunnel, has chosen the admirably Anglo-Saxon name to “mark the group’s passage into an exciting new era for mobility infrastructures”.

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11/20/2017 04:40 PM
Paperchase apologises for Daily Mail promotion after online backlash

Stationery chain vows to end relationship with newspaper after receiving hundreds of complaints over gift-wrap giveaway

Paperchase has said it will not run any more marketing campaigns with the Daily Mail after an online backlash over an offer on the newspaper’s front page.

The stationery chain received hundreds of complaints on social media over the weekend over its promotion in Saturday’s Daily Mail offering readers free wrapping paper.

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11/20/2017 08:33 PM
A mission for journalism in a time of crisis

In a turbulent era, the media must define its values and principles, writes Guardian editor-in-chief Katharine Viner

‘No former period, in the history of our Country, has been marked by the agitation of questions of a more important character than those which are now claiming the attention of the public.” So began the announcement, nearly 200 years ago, of a brand-new newspaper to be published in Manchester, England, which proclaimed that “the spirited discussion of political questions” and “the accurate detail of facts” were “particularly important at this juncture”.

Now we are living through another extraordinary period in history: one defined by dazzling political shocks and the disruptive impact of new technologies in every part of our lives. The public sphere has changed more radically in the past two decades than in the previous two centuries – and news organisations, including this one, have worked hard to adjust.

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11/16/2017 07:00 PM
Pop culture’s dark obsession with Charles Manson – from Guns N’ Roses to Mad Men

The cult leader has inspired thoughtful works of art and literary novels but is more often used as a hackneyed shortcut to outrage. Why the fascination with a white supremacist and misogynist who masterminded the murder of seven people?

Charles Manson dies aged 83 | Obituary | Opinion: Suzanne Moore

There is a certain grim irony in the fact that Charles Manson’s trial and conviction on seven counts of first-degree murder got him what he wanted. He finished up on the front of Rolling Stone magazine, a cover apparently designed to make him look exactly like the rock star he had always dreamed about becoming. His music got a wider audience. Before the trial was over, Manson’s debut album had been released, albeit on a tiny label set up expressly for the purpose by his friend, record producer Phil Kaufman, rather than one of the major companies he had courted in the late 60s.

That was an era when Neil Young attempted to interest Warner Bros Records in Manson’s “unbelievable” music; an offshoot of MCA had been sufficiently interested to pay for Manson to record some demos; and Dennis Wilson had mooted him as a potential artist for the Beach Boys’ own label Brother, successfully lobbying the band to record one of his songs, Cease to Exist, under the title Never Learn Not to Love. And the Beatles, with whom he was obsessed, finally heard about him. “I don’t know what I thought when it happened. I just think a lot of the things he says are true,” said John Lennon when an interviewer brought up Manson’s name. “That he’s a child of the state, made by us. That he took their children in when nobody else would … But of course he’s cracked, all right … he’s barmy.”

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11/20/2017 05:23 PM
'It's just mistake after mistake' – stories from the universal credit catastrophe

It was introduced to simplify benefits and encourage people to work. Yet from a bungled rollout to Kafkaesque rules and the infamous six-week payment delay, universal credit has caused untold misery. John Harris meets people who have had their lives turned upside down. Photograph by Mark Pinder for the Guardian

Sue hit her lowest point at the end of 2016. Unable to buy food and behind with her rent, she phoned the finance company about the debt on her car. She and her family live in a town between Bristol and Bath, the kind of place where getting around with three children – not least to the nearest jobcentre, which is nine miles away – makes having your own transport essential. But she hadn’t met her repayments for three months.

“The lady on the line said, ‘You sound really down – are you OK?’” she recalls. “She could hear I was distressed. And I basically said: ‘No – I’m going to go upstairs and slit my wrists.’ She said: ‘Don’t do that – stay on the line. I’m going to put you through to someone you should talk to.’ It was a counsellor. And I spoke to them for nearly two hours.”

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11/20/2017 06:22 PM
How China made Victoria's Secret a pawn in its ruthless global game | Paul Mason

The lingerie brand’s star model Gigi Hadid got into trouble over a gaffe that a more seasoned business traveller to China might have anticipated. So what hope for future forays into this repressive state?

As a movie plot, it would work better for Johnny English than James Bond: the lingerie brand Victoria’s Secret saw its launch in China mired in controversy when the People’s Republic refused to issue visas to invited celebrities and journalists. Katy Perry was barred for seemingly supporting the independence of Taiwan, while model Gigi Hadid transgressed by squinting in a way some Chinese people thought was racist, while posing with a fortune cookie that looked like Buddha. Add in China’s standard unpredictability when it comes to issuing press visas and you have loss of face all around.

A brief history

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11/20/2017 07:04 PM
‘I like British writing’: Julie Walters on why she spurned Hollywood

Actor says she had plenty of offers after 1983’s Educating Rita, but nothing ‘really amazing’ – and she has no regrets

Dame Julie Walters has revealed she turned down the opportunity to forge a career in Hollywood because she loves British writing and never had the urge to take her work in a different direction.

The actor, who was made a dame this month, has appeared in some of the highest-grossing movies of recent years, including the Harry Potter series, Mamma Mia! and Billy Elliot.

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11/21/2017 12:01 AM
Blue Planet II edited on normal TV set to head off sound complaints

Producers of David Attenborough series say they checked sound quality after complaints about recent BBC shows

The makers of Blue Planet II used a normal television while editing the soundtrack of the programme because of concerns that viewers would complain about the narration not being audible.

The BBC team used a TV rather than a music theatre or studio to review the final mix so they could understand how the natural history programme would sound in a family living room and set the narration, music and sound effects to the appropriate levels.

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11/21/2017 12:01 AM
Civil servants bordering on clueless over Brexit | John Crace

MPs left scratching their heads after facing big-hitters from the Home Office, the UK Border Force, HMRC and Defra

It started badly and got steadily worse. Labour MP Meg Hillier opened the public accounts committee session on the state of UK borders after Brexit by asking Patsy Wilkinson, the second most senior civil servant at the Home Office, how many different digital services programme directors for the UK Border Force there had been recently.

“Two or three,” said Wilkinson hesitantly.

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11/20/2017 09:50 PM
Interstellar object confirmed to be from another solar system

Astronomers have named interstellar asteroid ’Oumuamua and found it to be rich in organic molecules

Astronomers are now certain that the mysterious object detected hurtling past our sun last month is indeed from another solar system. They have named it 1I/2017 U1(’Oumuamua) and believe it could be one of 10,000 others lurking undetected in our cosmic neighbourhood.

The certainty of its extraterrestrial origin comes from an analysis that shows its orbit is almost impossible to achieve from within our solar system.

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11/20/2017 07:59 PM
Bristol's housing crisis: 'The idea you would own a home is ridiculous'

Soaring property prices, rising rents, austerity and an influx of London émigrés are putting the squeeze on young people

Bristol’s economy has flourished in recent years, fuelled in part by its proximity to the capital’s booming economy and overheating housing market. The west of England, and the city of Brunel and Banksy, is an increasingly expensive place to live with the highest private sector rental costs outside London, according to the Resolution Foundation thinktank.

Bristol’s burgeoning youth population is bearing the brunt, in a part of the world known not just for its heritage as a cornerstone of the industrial revolution but for its cultural scene. With typical house prices more than 10 times the average salary, that might make it tougher for the next Massive Attack or Portishead to emerge.

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11/20/2017 06:28 PM
England will be running scared of Australia yet again, claims Nathan Lyon
• Australia’s leading finger-spinner opens hostilities with tirade against Joe Root
• ‘There’s a lot of scars for the English guys, especially with two bowling 150kph’

Australia’s pacemen will target Joe Root in the opening Ashes Test in an attempt to bring back memories of the bruising series whitewash four years ago when England’s batsmen were “scared” of Mitchell Johnson, according to Nathan Lyon.

Lyon on Monday celebrated his 30th birthday with a series of remarkable and seemingly pre-planned potshots at the tourists before the first Test begins at the Gabba on Thursday, saying England were frightened from No1 to No11 of Johnson’s barrage in 2013 and claiming how “I was at leg slip and I nearly had to push a couple of the guys back towards the stumps”.

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11/20/2017 10:00 PM
Amanda Staveley’s consortium offers around £300m for Newcastle United
• Ashley wanted around £400m when he went to market
• Rafael Benítez’s future in doubt unless he gets January funds

Amanda Staveley’s Dubai-based financial advisory firm PCP Capital Partners has formally offered Mike Ashley a sum in the region of £300m for Newcastle United after conducting preliminary due diligence on the club’s finances.

Newcastle’s owner, who wanted nearer £400m, is pondering his next move and on Monday night was still to accept the bid in principle. Should the Sports Direct owner do so a period of exclusivity would be entered into during which specialist lawyers would undertake a period of formal due diligence. This process usually takes around a month, dictating that a final deal could theoretically still be negotiated and completed by Christmas, although a new‑year completion seems more likely.

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11/20/2017 08:46 PM
Eddie Jones turns to Maro Itoje and Chris Robshaw for England openside
• England coach out of options for No7 shirt after Sam Underhill concussion
• Itoje or Robshaw will be given role against Samoa at Twickenham on Saturday

England are considering entrusting their No7 jersey to either Maro Itoje or Chris Robshaw on Saturday in place of Bath’s Sam Underhill, who has been ruled out with concussion. The head coach, Eddie Jones, has previously said he does not see Robshaw as an openside flanker but is running out of specialists before the Test with Samoa on Saturday.

With Underhill stood down after he sustained his second concussion of the autumn, Tom Curry out having dislocated a wrist in training this month and James Haskell exiled from the squad, the other openside candidate currently in Bagshot is Exeter’s Sam Simmonds.

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11/20/2017 10:00 PM
No one will forget the day it came right for Jana Novotna at Wimbledon

Jana Novotna, who has died at the age of 49, ended her wait for SW19 glory in 1998. Writing in the Guardian that year, Stephen Bierley recalled a famous day

One of the most compelling images in tennis during the closing decade of this century was one born of loss. In the 1993 Wimbledon women’s singles final, and leading 4-1 in the third set, Jana Novotna dramatically crumpled to defeat against Steffi Graf and then, unable to contain her emotions, wept lingeringly on the shoulder of the Duchess of Kent.

Four years later Novotna was on Wimbledon’s Centre Court again, losing in three sets to the 16-year-old Swiss Martina Hingis. No tears this time, but playful resignation masking her disappointment as she snatched the silver rosewater dish away from Hingis and made as if to run off with it.

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11/20/2017 02:56 PM
Brighton’s José Izquierdo grabs share of the points from Stoke City

Brighton & Hove Albion twice came from behind to earn a draw at home to Stoke City and extend their unbeaten run to five matches with the home manager, Chris Hughton, grateful his team overcame the referee’s failure to award them a clear first-half penalty.

Pascal Gross and then José Izquierdo replied to goals by Maxim Choupo-Moting and Kurt Zouma to leave both sides with a point on the south coast, on a night when Peter Crouch made history of an altogether different kind.

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11/20/2017 10:00 PM
Shane Sutton claims of common use of TUEs to ‘find gains’ upset British cyclists
• Paralympian Jody Cundy says claims would ‘muddy’ Bradley Wiggins’ name
• British Cycling’s former technical director made comments in BBC documentary

British cyclists are disturbed that their former technical director Shane Sutton considered therapeutic use exemptions an acceptable way for athletes to find a marginal gain in their ability to compete.

Jody Cundy said he believed Sir Bradley Wiggins’s name had been “muddied” with the revelation that he had obtained therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs), in effect a doctor’s note to permit banned substances to be taken for the legitimate treatment of a medical condition, on three occasions. They allowed Wiggins to take the corticosteroid Kenacort, allegedly a performance enhancing substance, before the biggest road races of his career, including his 2012 Tour de France victory.

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11/20/2017 10:00 PM
Aiba’s Wu Ching-kuo steps down amid financial mismanagement allegations
• Wu suspended last month but investigation set to be dropped
• Franco Falcinelli, currentlyAiba’s senior vice-president, to take over

The suspended leader of amateur boxing’s governing body, Aiba, has announced he is stepping down amid allegations of financial mismanagement but remarkably will be named as the organisation’s honorary president.

Wu Ching-kuo’s resignation follows a divisive 11-year reign, characterised by a bitter power struggle in recent times. Last month Aiba’s disciplinary commission voted unanimously to suspend the 70-year-old. He was alleged to have accumulated debt of 15m Swiss francs for the organisation through poor financial management and auditing. He was also accused of trying to depose the members of the executive committee who challenged his leadership.

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11/20/2017 08:17 PM
Republic of Ireland’s Cyrus Christie reveals racist abuse after World Cup loss

• Christie says he received abuse on Twitter after defeat by Denmark
• FAI refers posts to Irish police as PFA Ireland condemns abuse

The Republic of Ireland defender Cyrus Christie has revealed that he has received racist abuse on Twitter following his country’s failure to qualify for the World Cup. In a statement posted on social mediaChristie highlighted “a number of racist comments” and said those responsible “do not belong in football or any other sport”.

James McClean drew attention to the issue while speaking at the PFA Ireland awards on Saturday, and the Football Association of Ireland has now referred a number of posts aimed at the defender to police in Ireland. PFA Ireland and the charity Show Racism the Red Card (SRTRC) issued a joint statement on Monday night, condemning the abuse and referencing a tweet which they claim “urged him to go to Jamaica and boasted about wanting to lynch him”.

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11/20/2017 10:51 PM
Escape artist Tony Pulis runs out of time after West Brom fans lose patience | Barry Glendenning
The manager did what he was asked to at first but after three years of dull football and a £40m summer outlay fans and owners expected more than survival

The signs were ominous. The conspicuous presence of Guochuan Lai, West Bromwich Albion’s usually absent Chinese owner, for his team’s Premier League defeat at the hands of visiting Chelsea spoke volumes and the emphatic nature of the scoreline was enough to seal the fate of Tony Pulis. The Welshman, who took over in January 2015, had the air of a dead man walking in the wake of Saturday’s 4-0 gubbing. He was duly sacked on Monday and leaves the club a point and a place above the relegation zone.

Fans who have long been bored witlessby an unattractive brand of football that was no longer yielding the kind of results that led to finishes in 13th, 14th and 10th over the past three seasons have finally got what they wanted. The question now is whether they will regret the decision to sack the first man they would almost certainly approach with a view to extracting them from the current pickle if it was not he who had got them into it in the first place.

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11/20/2017 08:08 PM
Warren Gatland hits back at New Zealand media before Wales v All Blacks
• Head coach fully expects more ribbing from New Zealand press
• We weren’t trying to pull a fast one, he adds of the finale to Georgia match

As Warren Gatland prepares Wales to face his native New Zealand for perhaps the final time he says the flurry of blows landed by the local media before the Lions met the All Blacks last summer made him mentally tougher, although there were “one or two people” he would not mind getting into the corner of a room with.

Gatland, who was depicted as a clown by one New Zealand paper before the Lions rallied from 1-0 down to share the series, expects more demeaning caricatures this week but said anyone looking to turn Saturday’s encounter at the Principality Stadium into a feud between him and the All Blacks’ head coach, Steve Hansen, would be wasting time.

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11/20/2017 06:04 PM
Liverpool’s sharpened defensive focus faces stern test in Sevilla spotlight

• Jürgen Klopp says it is key match in Champions League campaign so far
• Point would take Reds into knock-out stage if Spartak Moscow lose to Maribor

With Liverpool revelling in what their manager, Jürgen Klopp, calls “the Mo Salah period”, their marked defensive improvement has been overlooked. The changes provoked by a demoralising defeat at Tottenham Hotspur have underpinned an emphatic reaction, however, and face the fiercest examination since Wembley on Tuesday against Sevilla.

Liverpool arrived in Andalusia in punishing form, flushing memories of Spurs out of the system by winning their last four games by an aggregate score of 13-1. A fifth consecutive victory would secure a place in the Champions League knock-out stage with a group game to spare. It would also be a significant statement, given that Sevilla have not lost at the Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán since 22 November 2016 when they were beaten 3-1 by Juventus. “It has been a really interesting journey in the Champions League so far,” Klopp said. “But this is the game.”

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11/20/2017 10:30 PM
West Brom consider Alan Pardew and Nigel Pearson after sacking Tony Pulis

• Martin O’Neill also considered a potential candidate
• Assistant coach Gary Megson to take temporary charge

West Bromwich Albion are prepared to take time to consider their options after Tony Pulis was relieved of his post on Monday following a poor run of results that culminated in the 4-0 home thrashing by Chelsea on Saturday, with Nigel Pearson, Alan Pardew and Martin O’Neill among the potential candidates to succeed him.

Gary Megson, who was manager between 2000 and 2004 and returned to the club in the summer as Pulis’s assistant, has been put in caretaker charge and is expected to take control for at least this weekend’s trip to face Tottenham at Wembley. But with West Brom currently only a point clear of the relegation zone after 13 matches, the club’s hierarchy are aware of the importance of making a swift appointment, with the home fixture against Newcastle United next Tuesday quickly followed by the visit of the bottom side, Crystal Palace.

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11/20/2017 04:32 PM
Christian Eriksen and Tottenham aim to bounce back at Borussia Dortmund
• Midfielder was on a high after hat-trick fired Denmark to World Cup
• Mauricio Pochettino likely to rotate squad with place in last 16 assured

It was the night when Christian Eriksen made one of the grandest statements of his career. Denmark needed him to perform in the World Cup play-off second leg against the Republic of Ireland – and how he answered the call.

The Tottenham Hotspur midfielder’s sumptuous hat-trick in Dublin fired a 5-1 win, qualification to the finals in Russia next summer and a wave of superlatives – the most headline-grabbing of which was from his manager, Age Hareide, who described him as one of the top 10 players in the world.

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11/20/2017 10:30 PM
Michael Cheika facing World Rugby investigation for conduct during England v Australia
• Governing body looking into coach’s post-match comments at Twickenham
• Cheika is expected to discover his fate on Tuesday

Michael Cheika’s conduct during Australia’s 30-6 defeat by England at Twickenham has been referred for investigation by World Rugby.

The Wallabies head coach was infuriated by a number of refereeing decisions and when a Michael Hooper try was disallowed in the first half, he appeared to mouth “fucking genius” in reference to the decision made by the referee Ben O’Keeffe.

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11/20/2017 04:44 PM
John Stones injury will test Manchester City squad depth, admits Pep Guardiola

• City centre-back out for up to six weeks with hamstring injury
• Eliaquim Mangala to play against Feyenoord in Champions League

Pep Guardiola believes the loss of John Stones will present Manchester City with a tough examination of their title credentials. Stones, whose outstanding form led him to play back-to-back 90-minute games for England against Germany and Brazil, now faces six weeks out with the hamstring injury sustained in the win at Leicester on Saturday.

The return of the captain, Vincent Kompany, after his own lay-off is timely but, given the Belgian’s patchy fitness record, the Premier League leaders appear short of cover in central defence. Nicolás Otamendi is back after a one-game domestic ban but the only other specialist options are Eliaquim Mangala and the largely untried youngster Tosin Adarabioyo.

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11/20/2017 07:42 PM
Chris Coleman vows to introduce ‘no excuses’ culture at lowly Sunderland
• New manager fired up by challenge of life on the ‘cliff edge’
• Faces tough first Championship assignment at Aston Villa on Tuesday

Chris Coleman stepped on to the stage, smiled at the television cameras and announced a manifesto for change centred on humility, honesty and hope.

Sunderland’s ninth manager in six years was unveiled at the Academy of Light, the club’s training ground, on Monday morning and looked genuinely thrilled to be confronted with the challenge of lifting his new team off the bottom of the Championship.

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11/20/2017 05:48 PM
Martin Rowson on Brexit developments – cartoon
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11/20/2017 07:33 PM
Charles Manson’s prosaic and ugly life is over. But his loser cult lives on | Suzanne Moore
A man full of violence, rage and manipulation, his fantasy was of race war, and now his warped logic holds sway at the highest levels of US society

Charles Manson is finally dead. There is no resting in peace for such a person. At his trial, Manson told the prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi that he was already dead. He had said previously that he had been dead for 2,000 years, part of the confused allusions he made to being Christ. The terrible murders he committed in 1969 and his courtroom testimony transfixed America. The cult leader was finally starring in his own movie, strutting and fretting his hour upon the stage – a short, long-haired man full of violence, rage and manipulation.

Related: Charles Manson, cult leader and convicted murderer, dies aged 83

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11/20/2017 04:21 PM
The Guardian view on Germany’s political crisis: the start of the post-Merkel era? | Editorial
The failure of the three-party coalition talks in Germany may make it difficult for the chancellor to stay on

Nearly two months after Germany’s general election, talks aimed at forming a three-party coalition between Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU), the Free Democratic party and the Greens have collapsed. The FDP walked out of a late-night round of negotiations on Sunday, saying it had been impossible to reach a compromise on migration and the environment. Unless the three-party deadlock is somehow ended, Germany could go one of three ways: Mrs Merkel might try to form a coalition with the opposition Social Democrats (SPD), which the SPD has ruled out; she might form a minority government, presumably with only one other party, which would be a new experience for postwar Germany; or, new elections might eventually be called.

This is an important moment. Each of these scenarios produces considerable political uncertainty in Europe’s powerhouse. The reverberations are sure to be felt not just in Germany itself, where the impact could be destabilising or could shock the country back together in some way. It is also certain to impact on the EU’s prospects of rebooting its project, at a time when the eurozone, security, migration, Vladimir Putin’s meddling, relations with Turkey, democratic backsliding in Poland and Hungary, and Brexit all need attending to. Monday’s nervous market reaction hinted at some of what is at stake.

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11/20/2017 03:55 PM
Youth prisons don’t deter criminals. They enable them | Shauneen Lambe
Young offender institutions are cruel and counterproductive. Cressida Dick’s call for ‘harsher’ sentencing reveals her ignorance of the evidence

In 2003 I visited Feltham young offender institution for the first time. Freshly returned from death row in America, I was feeling smug about civilised Britain. I walked down a concrete corridor with no walls – just bars – the wind whipping through a derelict garden with a small pond where a plastic heron lay prone, beak down in the sludge. Then, an enormous, brightly lit visitors’ room with tables nailed to the floor, and in the corner a holding cell, three sides of which were glass, holding at least 10 children. None of them were talking.

I had never been in an environment so eerily quiet. Anyone who has spent any time in schools knows that kids are noisy. Yet here were 10 teenagers sitting together, and none of them had anything to say.

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11/20/2017 05:16 PM
This budget will make things even worse for women and the disadvantaged | Dawn Butler

So much for Theresa May acting on Britain’s ‘burning injustices’. The Tories must U-turn on austerity

• Dawn Butler is shadow minister for women and equalities and Labour MP for Brent Central

Austerity, the Tories’ failed economic project, has hit women and ethnic minority communities the hardest. Today, we say: no more. This week’s budget must not be another veiled attack on marginalised and disadvantaged groups.

The government is well aware of structural and systemic gender and racial inequalities across our society, from discrimination in the workplace, unemployment and underemployment, the gender and racial pay gaps, to the over-representation of black people in the criminal justice system and under-representation of women and people of colour in public life.

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11/20/2017 02:11 PM
The Guardian view on Black Friday: a triumph of imagination | Editorial
Recreational shopping is not about collecting objects so much as experiences

On Thursday, nothing out of the ordinary will happen in Britain. Millions of people will get up and go to work as normal; families will remain widely dispersed; shops will be open as usual; and at the end of the day the nation will gather for its traditional meals of takeaway and microwaved convenience foods eaten in front of a screen. In the US, by contrast, it will be the feast of Thanksgiving, when the whole country shuts down and families gather from across vast distances for a ritual meal celebrating America’s founding myth. An anthropologist might well suppose that this was the most important festival of the year, far more so than Christmas. No one would dare declare a war on Thanksgiving. So it makes a kind of sense that the day after be given over to the frenzy of shopping.

It makes no sense at all for Black Friday to be transplanted to Britain. There is nothing at all special about the day in the British social calendar. Even in the retail calendar it falls squarely in the middle of the runup to Christmas, which nowadays starts some time in early October, so that there are already angels watching over the crowds in Oxford Street in central London, while in Bradford the Christmas decorations went up even earlier.

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11/20/2017 07:18 PM
What does Germany’s political crisis mean for Brexit? | Martin Kettle
With coalition talks collapsing, Angela Merkel has problems at home to sort. The idea she could magic a Brexit solution favourable to the UK is simply for the birds

The British political class, like much of the British media, remains foolishly obsessed with America to the exclusion of all other foreign countries. As a result, both refuse to pay consistent attention to German politics, or indeed to the internal politics of any other European country at all. So the news that Angela Merkel may not, after all, continue in office as Germany’s chancellor will have come as a rude shock to many of them.

The British have always blithely assumed that Merkel would somehow ride to the UK’s rescue over Brexit like the Prussians at the battle of Waterloo. David Cameron thought this would happen in the negotiations preceding the referendum in 2015-16. Now Theresa May, and certainly David Davis, seem to have a similar hope over Brexit. It is a foolish error.

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11/20/2017 01:41 PM
How to repair our environment, one species at a time | Patrick Barkham
Bringing back rare beetles and butterflies might sound self-indulgent, but it proves that individuals can make an impact

The swelteringly hot summer of 1976 was the last gasp for the chequered skipper, a dynamic little butterfly that once buzzed along the rides of the ancient royal hunting forest of Rockingham in Northamptonshire.

Related: Funding boost to help save England's rarest species from extinction

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11/20/2017 03:51 PM
Has British Gas conjured up a magic solution to energy bills? | Nils Pratley

Talk of an energy price cap has spurred the big six into action, but Centrica’s ban on pricey tariffs looks cosmetic

It’s amazing what can happen when the government threatens to impose a price cap on energy bills. Suddenly the big six suppliers, who have spent the three decades since privatisation wedded to their poor-value standard variable tariffs, or SVTs, become a whirr of activity. Centrica, parent of British Gas, is the third to declare it will abolish SVTs.

Iain Conn, the Centrica chief executive, says the timing is unrelated to the government’s threat to cap SVTs, a claim that will convince almost nobody. This looks like an 11th-hour bid to persuade ministers to change their mind.

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11/20/2017 04:53 PM
Theresa May is closer to a transitional deal than you might think | Piet Eeckhout and Oli Patel
The prime minister and David Davis are already edging us towards a status quo transition – and doubling the Brexit divorce bill would enable that

They may not see eye to eye on the big issues such as trade and migration, but Theresa May and EU leaders may be closer than you think to agreeing the terms and scope for a transition period.

If the latest reports are correct, the prime minister may be about to double her offer on the financial settlement to £38bn in order to unblock the talks before the December summit of EU leaders.

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11/20/2017 12:17 PM
Don’t feel sorry for Hammond – this is a budget of great opportunity | Torsten Bell
Our acute economic problems could be a blessing for the chancellor. If he creates a mood for consensus, he can bring the changes Britain badly needs

Feeling sorry for Britain’s chancellor of the exchequer is all the rage. Philip Hammond is an unlucky man we’re told, having to prepare next week’s budget with a weakening economy, fears over public finances, and pressure to relaunch a government that’s had a tough autumn.

Related: Autumn budget: Hammond urged to invest £7bn in transport for new towns

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11/20/2017 10:30 AM
These sexual assault scandals are horrific. But they’ve made me feel safer | Sarah Gosling
Like most women, I always knew there were monsters lurking in the shadows. These days men are more likely to believe it – and watch out for them – too

Spacey. Westwick. Hoffman. Seagal. Blaine. CK. Weinstein (Harvey and Bob). Affleck (Casey and Ben). The list goes on. In the past few months, seemingly half of Hollywood and half of government have stood accused. Since the New York Times and the New Yorker exposed Harvey Weinstein’s behaviour, the floodgates have opened as more and more women have felt that finally here was the chance they needed: to make accusations about the wolf without being told they were just crying.

In all the conversations that I’ve had with men about what I’m terming “man-fear”, I’ve heard the same comment time and again: “It can’t be that bad”. Women can’t be scared all the time, can’t be constantly looking over their shoulders, looking out for the next could-be predator about to graze their behind and “accidentally” squeeze while reaching for his drink. Because not all men are like that you see. Well, thanks to this ongoing pile-up of scandals, all’s gone a bit quiet on the “it’s not all men” front.

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11/20/2017 11:21 AM
Republican tax cuts will hurt Americans. And Democrats will pay the price | Bruce Bartlett

The consequences of the tax program will shelve support for the Republicans, but once in power the Democrats’ hands will be financially bound for years

I think many Democrats and independent political observers are puzzled by the intensity with which Republicans are pursuing their tax cut. It’s not politically popular and may well lead to the party’s defeat in next year’s congressional elections. So why do it?

The answer is that Republicans are pushing the tax cut at breakneck speed precisely because they know they are probably going to lose next year and in 2020 as well. The tax cut, once enacted, however, will bind the hands of Democrats for years to come, forcing them to essentially follow a Republican agenda of deficit reduction and prevent any action on a positive Democratic program. The result will be a steady erosion of support for Democrats that will put Republicans back in power within a few election cycles.

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11/20/2017 02:10 PM
Why is Donald Trump launching a withering attack on nonprofits? | David Callahan

The administration’s tax proposals are a blunt attack on civil society that will ultimately damage American life

Not so long ago, conservative thinkers and Republican leaders were strong champions of private charity. George HW Bush talked about a “thousand points of light”, while his son created a new White House office to engage nonprofits.

But lately the right’s love affair with philanthropy and civil society has fizzled. Donald Trump – whose claims of generous giving were debunked during the campaign – has shown no interest in forging partnerships between government and philanthropy since taking office. He has wooed a parade of business executives and minor celebrities while largely ignoring leaders from the nonprofit world – save for allies on the religious right such as Jerry Falwell Jr.

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11/20/2017 01:59 PM
Constipation killed Elvis – here’s how to avoid his fate | Michele Hanson
It is no fun to feel clogged up with cement – and, as history teaches us, it can be fatal. But we need to learn to talk about it

My friend has frightful constipation. I’ll call her X because she’s embarrassed by it. She staggered to the chemist and asked to speak to the pharmacist. “You can tell me what’s wrong,” said the assistant. “He’s out the back. I’ll tell him.”

“Constipation,” whispered my friend.

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11/20/2017 01:29 PM
A gold star for the nurseries that have stopped being glitter bugs | Jules Howard
As well as polluting our seas with microplastics, the devilish dandruff turns up all over my house and about my person – I applaud those schools banning it

What will the rocks record about the lives we lead? What might a future palaeontologist, human or otherwise, make of the structures that will come to signify these moments in which you and I live our lives? They will notice extinctions, of course. Fossils of mammals’ tusks and horns will abound in the rocks, only to disappear when we humans turn up. They will come across our mines – enormous trace fossils, perhaps the largest ever to have existed. They will see, by studying fossil pollen, that the climate changed. They will find our discarded KFC bones and they will wonder how the world supported so many chickens. And there, among it all, they will probably find that most awful of human inventions: glitter. Oodles of it – purples, pinks and reds – crushed into rocks the world over. Mineralised madness. Our lowest ebb. What will those future palaeontologists make of it? What will glitter say about us?

Perhaps this is our mark in the geological strata. A post-glitter epoch that all started with a handful of nurseries

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11/20/2017 10:00 AM
A budget to increase national debt? That would be a pay rise for Britain | Phil McDuff
Getting rid of deficits is disastrous for economies – as Bill Clinton proved in the 1990s. But don’t expect Philip Hammond to ditch this crazy obsession

Philip Hammond is in a bind as he prepares for the autumn budget. On the one hand, with Theresa May reeling from ministerial resignations and facing rebellion from the right of her party over Brexit, the chancellor is under pressure from his own MPs to ginger the budget horse. On the other hand he is being stalked by John McDonnell’s popular (and sensible) policies. And the only defence Hammond can mount is the increasingly threadbare invocation of the “fiscal rules”, of keeping the deficit low and maintaining “credibility”.

Related: Housing, tax, pensions: what are your hopes for the the autumn budget?

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11/20/2017 11:57 AM
One in seven councillors in English rental hotspots are landlords

Findings raise questions over whether dual role makes councils less inclined to regulate standards in private rental sector

Hundreds of local councillors in England’s rental hotspots are landlords or own second properties, including more than a third of members in some town halls, analysis for the Guardian has revealed.

More than 300 councillors in the 40 boroughs with the largest proportion of private homes for rent own multiple properties. One in seven elected representatives in the areas are landlords, according to declarations of interest.

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11/20/2017 03:38 PM
Man who murdered adopted daughter was 'Jekyll and Hyde' character

Family court judge raises concerns about how injuries sustained by Elsie Scully-Hicks were dealt with

A senior family court judge has described a man convicted of murdering his adoptive baby daughter as a “Jekyll and Hyde character” who appeared calm when others were around but in private could not control himself if the child played up.

In a family court judgment, Mr Justice Moor raised concerns about how injuries that Elsie Scully-Hicks sustained in the months before her father Matthew Scully-Hicks killed her were dealt with by professionals involved in her care.

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11/20/2017 07:46 PM
Philip Hammond to target young voters with rail fare and student loan measures

Budget will introduce discount railcard for under-30s and unveil action to prevent overpayment of student loans

Philip Hammond will pitch to win over younger voters with a new offer of cheaper rail fares for the under-30s and plans to prevent graduates from overpaying student loans.

The chancellor will use Wednesday’s budget to launch a new discount railcard from spring 2018 for 4.5 million people aged between 26-30, though it has not been confirmed how much the discount would be.

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11/21/2017 12:01 AM
Vitamin D may help prevent rheumatoid arthritis, suggests study

Higher doses may be needed, or possibly new treatment that bypasses or corrects vitamin D insensitivity, authors say

Maintaining sufficient vitamin D levels may help to prevent rheumatoid arthritis, according to researchers.

A study led by the University of Birmingham compared the ability of immune cells in blood from inflamed joints in people with rheumatoid arthritis to respond to the so-called sunshine vitamin.

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11/21/2017 12:01 AM
Family of detained Briton Laura Plummer apologise to Egypt

Relatives express gratitude for ‘fairness’ justice system has shown towards woman accused of trafficking painkillers

The family of the detained British citizen Laura Plummer have issued an apology to the Egyptian government.

Speaking to the Guardian, Plummer’s sister Rachel presented a statement on behalf of her family. “I would like to place on record our gratitude for the fairness and just manner the Egyptian justice system has shown Laura,” it says.

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11/20/2017 11:22 AM
Kent grammar school plans 'unsafe space' including Mein Kampf

Simon Langton school, which previously invited Milo Yiannopoulous to speak, creates forum for sixth form pupils

A grammar school that has previously been criticised for inviting the right-wing controversialist Milo Yiannopoulos to speak has announced plans to create an “unsafe space” incorporating texts including Mein Kampf.

Sixth form pupils at the Simon Langton grammar school for boys in Canterbury will take part in a forum which is described as “an antidote to the poison of political correctness” and examine “the most beautifully disturbed and disturbing ideas, all of them presented without trigger warnings”.

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11/20/2017 09:22 PM
Gaia Pope death: police face questions as family pay tribute

19-year-old’s mother remembers ‘wise magnificent soul’ as relative of arrested trio criticises detectives

Police are facing questions over the handling of the search for Gaia Pope, whose body was found near a coastal path 11 days after she vanished from a Dorset seaside town.

Three members of one family arrested last week on suspicion of murdering the 19-year-old have been released from further investigation after a postmortem found no indication that anyone else was involved in Pope’s death.

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11/20/2017 05:31 PM
Calls for Bath University vice-chancellor to resign after damning report

Universities watchdog finds governance of senior pay lacked transparency and says reputation of Bath has been damaged

Staff at the University of Bath have demanded the immediate resignation of the vice-chancellor and board of governors after the publication of a damning report into senior pay and governance at the university.

The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) said oversight of the vice-chancellor’s pay, which is governed by a remuneration committee, lacked transparency and that the reputation of the university had been damaged.

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11/20/2017 08:40 PM
John Lewis plagiarism row gives Christmas sales boost to Mr Underbed

After Chris Riddell pointed out the similarity of the retailer’s seasonal TV ad to his picture book, demand for the latter has rocketed

Copies of Chris Riddell’s picture book about a friendly blue monster who lives under a little boy’s bed, Mr Underbed, have sold out in the days since the former children’s laureate accused John Lewis of “help[ing] themselves” to the story for their Christmas TV ad.

Riddell pointed out the similarities between his debut picture book, which was published in 1986, and John Lewis’s commercial, which features the monster Moz, last Thursday. “John Lewis help themselves to my picture book,” tweeted Riddell, adding: “The idea of a monster under the bed is by no means new but the ad does seem to bear a close resemblance to my creation – a big blue unthreatening monster who rocks the bed and snores loudly.”

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11/20/2017 03:46 PM
Charities received record £1.83bn from £1m-plus donors last year

Bill Gates and Warren Buffett’s Giving Pledge has encouraged donations, research by Coutts and University of Kent finds

Rich people, foundations and companies in the UK donated a record £1.83bn to charities last year, as high profile philanthropy schemes such as Bill Gates and Warren Buffett’s Giving Pledge have encouraged more wealthy individuals to give away a portion of their fortunes.

Research by Coutts, the private bank used by the royal family, and researchers at the University of Kent found that 310 UK people and organisations made donations of £1m or more last year. The number of £1m-plus donations increased from 189 in in 2007, when Coutts produced the first edition of the Million Pound Donors report.

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11/20/2017 06:56 PM
Brexit fears have triggered pay restraint, Bank of England official suggests

Dave Ramsden says one of the reasons for his vote against raising interest rates was that workers were showing pay restraint

Britain’s unusually weak pay growth could be caused by workers reining in their demands due to Brexit uncertainty, a senior Bank of England official has said.

In his first speech since joining the Bank from the Treasury, Dave Ramsden said the impact of the EU referendum on inflation had persuaded him to vote against an increase in interest rates earlier this month.

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11/20/2017 06:34 PM
Barnier says EU will not compromise standards in future UK trade deal

Chief Brexit negotiator says any move to abandon European laws and regulations will complicate agreement

The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, has said that any move by a British government to abandon European-style policies will complicate the agreement of a post-Brexit trade deal in national and regional parliaments across the bloc.

The EU was ready to offer the UK the “most ambitious” partnership on trade possible, he said, but was not going to compromise its standards on fair competition, tax, labour law, environmental and food safety.

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11/20/2017 01:46 PM
Fourth death at Lincoln immigration removal centre prompts inquiry

Death of 27-year-old Iraqi man at Morton Hall immigration removal centre is fourth fatality at centre in a year

An investigation has been launched into the fourth death at a Lincoln immigration removal centre in the last year.

A 27-year-old Iraqi man died at Morton Hall immigration removal centre on Sunday morning. He is thought to have killed himself.

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11/20/2017 05:40 PM
Queen and Prince Philip portraits released to mark 70th anniversary

First British monarch to celebrate platinum wedding anniversary is pictured with her husband at Windsor Castle

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh have been pictured in three more photographs as part of a series of portraits released to mark their 70th wedding anniversary.

The photographs, taken by British photographer Matt Holyoak, show Elizabeth II and Prince Philip in the White Drawing Room at Windsor Castle in early November.

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11/20/2017 08:42 AM
'Welcome to sunny Preston': city welcomes students displaced by Irma

Civic ceremony held for 700 trainee medics from devastated island of Dutch St Maarten who say Lancashire residents ‘could not have been warmer’

When 700 students arrived en masse in Preston two months ago, having been uprooted from their Caribbean island by Hurricane Irma, few knew what to make of their less tropical new home. They needn’t, it seems, have worried.

“Everyone makes the same joke: ‘Welcome to sunny Preston!’” said Nathaniel Minigh, 25, one of the hundreds of American and Canadian trainee medics who have taken quickly to student life – and constant references to the weather – in the Lancashire city.

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11/20/2017 05:17 PM
Cambridge student died in fall after taking legal high, inquest told

Thomas Millward, 19, died in hospital after sustaining ‘traumatic’ brain injury in stairwell of Girton College, court hears

A first-year Cambridge student was found naked and unconscious after taking a legal high and falling down a stairwell, an inquest has heard.

Thomas Millward was found injured at the bottom of stairs after police were called to 148-year-old Girton College on 5 March last year.

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11/20/2017 02:39 PM
British Gas owner scraps controversial standard variable tariff

Centrica becomes third of big six suppliers to end SVT for new customers, with rivals expected to follow suit

British Gas owner Centrica is to scrap its widely criticised standard variable tariff (SVT) for new customers from April, and other energy companies are expected to follow suit.

The company is the third of the big six suppliers to announce the end of its SVT following announcements from E.on and Scottish Power.

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11/20/2017 11:45 AM
Children in the UK feel more disempowered than those in India

Unicef says young people feel their voices are unheard on global issues, as study finds prospects for 180 million worldwide bleaker than those of their parents

A poll of children from 14 countries reveals how deeply worried they are about terrorism, poverty and poor education, and how mistrustful of adults and leaders in making good decisions for them.

Children in Britain and South Africa feel the most disenfranchised when it comes to decisions made that affect them, while those in India feel the most empowered, according to the Unicef survey. Analysis by the UN agency, released on Monday, also found that despite global progress, one in 12 children – or 180 million worldwide – still live in countries where their futures look bleaker than those of their parents.

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11/20/2017 05:06 PM
Belief that customs system will be ready for Brexit ‘borders on insanity’

Logistics company CEVA says delays could lead to ‘calamitous situation’ at Dover, and warns it may already be too late

One of the world’s biggest logistics companies, whose clients include Rolls-Royce, Airbus and Primark, has said it is “bordering on insanity” to think new Brexit customs systems will be in place for 2019.

Leigh Pomlett, the executive director of CEVA Group, which specialises in road, air and ocean-going freight, said Downing Street and the Treasury did not understand how difficult it would be to have a system in place in 15 months’ time, when the UK leaves the EU.

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11/20/2017 06:03 PM
Second woman comes forward to say Al Franken inappropriately touched her

Lindsay Menz, 33, said the senator grabbed her buttocks in 2010 while the two were posing together for a photo at a state fair in Minnesota

A second woman has come forward and accused Al Franken of inappropriately touching her, this time since he took office as senator from Minnesota.

According to CNN, Lindsay Menz, 33, said Franken grabbed her buttocks in 2010 while the two were posing together for a photo at a state fair in Minnesota.

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11/20/2017 05:27 PM
Robert Mugabe swapped speeches, say Zimbabwe war veterans

Powerful group claims that president pulled off manoeuvre to avoid standing down, amid reports he has drafted resignation letter

Zimbabwe’s powerful war veterans have claimed that Robert Mugabe swapped speeches to avoid resigning during a televised address to the nation on Sunday night, as they repeated their call for him to go.

The 93-year-old, sacked as leader of the ruling Zanu-PF party, had been given a noon deadline (1000 GMT) on Monday to resign as head of state or face impeachment when parliament reconvenes on Tuesday.

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11/20/2017 02:07 PM
Babies may be able to link certain words and concepts, research suggests

Study indicates infants as young as six months old may realise certain words are related – and that interaction with adults boosts understanding

Babies as young as six months old may have an inkling that certain words and concepts are related to each other, say scientists in research that sheds new light on how infants learn.

The study also found that babies who were more often exposed to adults talking to them about items in their vicinity did better at identifying a picture of an object when the item was said out loud.

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11/20/2017 08:00 PM
Call to stub out on-screen smoking in French films

Injecting morality into films is ‘like pouring cola into a Château Lafite’, one critic of idea declares

The French actor Jean-Paul Belmondo spent almost an entire film – the 1960s classic À Bout du Souffle (Breathless) – with a Gauloise dangling from his lips. Audrey Tautou portrayed the designer Coco Chanel pinning haute couture dresses while smoking. Jacques Tati was rarely without his pipe and Brigitte Bardot, Jeanne Moreau, Catherine Deneuve, Gérard Depardieu and Alain Delon all puffed their way through decades of movies.

Hardly surprising then that a call for French directors to stub out smoking on screen has been greeted with a mix of disbelief and outright ridicule. It has also prompted the existential question: what would French cinema be without the cigarette?

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11/20/2017 03:02 PM
Justice department aims to block AT&T's $85bn takeover of Time Warner

AT&T has already signaled it will go to court if the deal is blocked, potentially setting up one of the biggest legal battles over a corporate merger in decades

The US Department of Justice on Monday moved to block AT&T’s $85bn takeover of Time Warner, one of the largest media deals ever announced.

Related: Trump administration uses CNN as bargaining chip in Time Warner-AT&T deal

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11/20/2017 10:00 PM
It's Frankfurt … and Paris: Goldman Sachs names post-Brexit hubs

Lloyd Blankfein says cities would be main hubs for handling business no longer possible in London, with American staff ‘probably preferring Paris’

Goldman Sachs has stepped back from identifying a single European city as its post-Brexit EU home and has instead chosen to split its business between Frankfurt and Paris.

Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman’s chief executive, said the German and French cities would be the main centres from which the US investment bank would handle business that can no longer be conducted in London after March 2019.

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11/20/2017 03:14 PM
Donald Trump plans to declare North Korea a state sponsor of terror
  • President says move is part of US ‘maximum pressure campaign’
  • US officials cite killing of Kim Jong-un’s half-brother at Malaysian airport

Donald Trump has announced that the US will designate North Korea as a state sponsor of terror amid heightened nuclear tensions on the Korean peninsula.

Trump said the designation will impose further penalties on the country. He called it a long overdue step and part of the US “maximum pressure campaign” against Pyongyang. North Korea would join Iran, Sudan and Syria on the list of state sponsors of terror.

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11/20/2017 09:12 PM
CBS suspends Charlie Rose after sexual harassment and groping allegations
  • Veteran TV host and journalist, 75, accused by eight women
  • CBS suspends Rose in wake of news and PBS halts distribution of show

Charlie Rose has been suspended by CBS News after becoming the latest media figure to be accused of sexual harassment when eight women came forward to describe unwanted advances, including lewd phone calls, parading naked, and groping their breasts, buttocks or genital areas.

Related: Russell Simmons accused of sexual assault alongside Brett Ratner

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11/20/2017 11:18 PM
Australian employers ripping off backpackers and foreign students: study

Survey reveals systemic exploitation of visitors to Australia, including criminal behaviour by employers

A third of backpackers and a quarter of international students in Australia are being routinely ripped off by employers who are paying them $12 an hour or less, about half the minimum wage.

A comprehensive survey of 4,322 people on temporary migrant visas, by three universities in Sydney, has painted a grim picture of systemic exploitation of visitors to Australia, with some cases detailing criminal behaviour by employers such as confiscating passports or demanding part of wages back in return for keeping a job.

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11/20/2017 07:00 PM
Turkish LGBTI activists condemn 'illegal' ban on events in Ankara

Authorities’ move follows ban on a festival of German-language gay films in Turkish capital

Rights groups have condemned as illegal and discriminatory a ban on LGBTI events in the Turkish capital one week after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan described empowering gay people as being “against the values of our nation”.

The Ankara governor’s office said on Sunday night it was imposing a ban on all LGBTI cultural events until further notice, citing threats to “public order” and the fear of “provoking reactions within certain segments of society,” days after it banned a festival on German-language gay films in the capital city.

The ban is the latest in a series of attempts by the ruling Justice and Development (AK) party to curtail the activities of Turkey’s LGBTI rights movement, and to impose what critics say is a public morality rooted in Islam.

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11/20/2017 01:18 PM
White House says true cost of opioid drug epidemic in 2015 was $504bn
  • New study puts cost at more than six times previous estimate
  • Report factors in illicit opiods like heroin as well as prescription drugs

The White House says the true cost of the opioid drug epidemic in 2015 was $504bn, or roughly half a trillion dollars.

In an analysis to be released on Monday, the Council of Economic Advisers says the figure is more than six times larger than the most recent estimate. The council said a 2016 private study estimated that prescription opioid overdoes, abuse and dependence in the US in 2013 cost $78.5bn. Most of that was attributed to healthcare and criminal justice spending, along with lost productivity.

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11/20/2017 01:25 PM
Kenya court upholds President Kenyatta's election victory

Supreme court dismisses challenge to re-run poll, but opposition, which boycotted the vote, says government is illegitimate

Kenya’s supreme court has upheld the victory of President Uhuru Kenyatta in last month’s controversial re-run of presidential elections, clearing the way for the 55-year-old leader to be sworn in for a second and final term next week.

After hearing two days of arguments, a six-judge bench said two petitions demanding the cancellation of the polls were “without merit”.

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11/20/2017 01:23 PM
Uber plans to buy 24,000 autonomous Volvo SUVs in self-driving push

‘It only becomes a commercial business when you can remove the vehicle operator from the equation,’ says ride-hailing firm battling Lyft and Waymo

Uber is planning to buy up to 24,000 self-driving cars from Volvo, the company has announced, moving from its current model of ride-sharing using freelance drivers to owning a fleet of autonomous cars.

Following the three-year self-driving partnership with Volvo, the non-binding framework could give Uber a boost in its ambitions to perfect self-driving systems to replace human drivers, following setbacks and lawsuits over trade secrets and talent.

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11/20/2017 03:54 PM
Roy Moore sexual assault accuser tells of struggle to regain self-esteem

Leigh Corfman, who accused the Alabama Senate candidate of attack in 1979 when she was 14, said: ‘It took years for me to regain confidence in myself’

The woman who first spoke out to accuse Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore of sexually assaulting her when she was 14 said on Monday it took her a long time to get her self-esteem back after she blamed herself for what she says happened.

Leigh Corfman was 14 in 1979 when she alleges Moore, then 32, took her to his house, removed most of her clothes, groped her and put her hand on his genitals. He took her back to her home when she told him she was uncomfortable and wanted to leave, but she was emotionally scarred for decades after, she said.

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11/20/2017 04:47 PM
France warned of Christmas foie gras shortage

Stocks of controversial and seasonal goose and duck liver delicacy seriously hit for second year in a row by avian flu

Christmas would not be Noël in France without a fat goose liver on the festive table.

But farmers say stocks of foie gras – enjoyed over the festive period by an estimated 80% of France’s population – have been seriously hit by avian flu for the second year in a row.

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11/20/2017 02:58 PM
Nebraska regulators approve Keystone XL pipeline route

Pipeline plan clears last major regulatory hurdle after vote in Nebraska, but legal challenges and protest likely to follow

A panel of Nebraska regulators have voted narrowly in favor of allowing the Keystone XL pipeline to follow a path through the state, removing the last major regulatory hurdle for the controversial project.

The Nebraska public service commission voted 3-2 to approve a permit for the pipeline, which will stretch for 1,200 miles and carry up to 830,000 barrels of oil a day. The vote saw one of the four Republicans on the commission, Mary Ridder, join with the Democrat, Crystal Rhoades, in opposing the permit. Rhoades said she was concerned about the impact upon landowners and that there was “no evidence” the pipeline would create jobs in Nebraska.

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11/20/2017 06:59 PM
Daughter of Haitians, 10, urges Trump to extend families' protected status

Ronyde Christina Pontieux issues video calling on president not to divide families like hers by ending protections: ‘They are hardworking, honest people’

Any 10-year-old who records her own video address to a United States president is usually seeking high marks in fifth grade civics. For Ronyde Christina Ponthieux, the message is much more poignant – a personal appeal to Donald Trump not to tear her family apart.

While Ronyde is an American citizen, born and raised in Miami, her parents are not, and they face deportation if Trump follows an expected path and ends the temporary protected status (TPS) of more than 50,000 Haitian immigrants living legally in the US.

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11/20/2017 09:00 AM
The night Barbuda died: how Hurricane Irma created a Caribbean ghost town

Two and a half months after Barbuda was battered by 185mph winds, the island remains ruined and largely uninhabitated. Now locals are questioning if people will ever return

Walking the streets of the small Caribbean island of Barbuda on a Friday afternoon, you are likely to see more goats than humans.

Dogs, cats and horses, all of which roam freely about the island now that fences are down, also seem to outnumber people. The streets are empty and the houses – at least the ones still standing – are abandoned. The island is like a ghost town.

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11/20/2017 07:00 AM
Why is first Ashes day-night Test and pink ball a big deal? – video explainer

When Australia host England at the Adelaide Oval on 2 December it will be the first day-night Test in an Ashes series. But just what are day-night Tests all about and why do they use a pink ball? Here we reveal all

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11/20/2017 06:21 PM
Be very afraid … robots can now do backflips - video

Not content with simply walking or carrying objects, Atlas, made by the robotics firm Boston Dynamics, can now jump across gaps, jump and spin 180°, and – most impressive of all – it can backflip, even using its arms to balance after landing just like a real gymnast

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11/17/2017 10:35 AM
Joseph Stiglitz on why Trump is unfit to be US president - video

The economist and author of Globalisation and its Discontents talks to the Guardian's Larry Elliott about why he considers Donald Trump unfit to be US president. He says stagnant incomes, the opioid crisis and falling life expectancies all pointed towards a political problem in the US but no one imagined it leading to a Trump presidency

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11/16/2017 02:30 PM
Dashcam video shows plane crash-landing in Florida – video

Two police dashcam videos captured the moment a small plane crash-landed on a busy Florida road. Pinellas County Sheriff's office said officers were responding to a call on the North Keene Road in Clearwater when they saw the single-engine Rockwell Commander 112 flying low before crashing into the road. The 61-year-old pilot and 55-year-old passenger were both uninjured. The pilot had reported engine trouble shortly after refuelling, the sheriff's office said.

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11/20/2017 11:37 PM
Robert Mugabe: life of a dictator – video profile

The Zimbabwean president, Robert Mugabe, is under house arrest in Harare following a military takeover. The 93-year-old has led Zimbabwe's since independence from Britain. In recent years disastrous policies have led to hyperinflation, international sanctions and economic ruin

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11/20/2017 12:46 PM
Residente: Latin America's most successful rapper on race and Trump's America – video

Puerto Rican rapper, writer and film-maker Residente is one of the most successful Latino artists of his generation, winning 24 Latin Grammys as one half of internationally renowned group Calle 13. No other Latin artist has matched that record – and he's nominated in a further nine categories this year following the release of his solo album, Residente. He speaks with Iman Amrani about the influence of politics in his music, his family and Donald Trump

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11/16/2017 10:28 AM
What are the challenges facing away fans in the age of televised football? – video

The away-day experience for thousands of football fans is becoming increasingly difficult due to the number of games that are rescheduled for television. Some kick-off times require fans to take time off work and broadcasters only need to provide six weeks' notice when moving fixtures, leaving some supporters unable to book cheap travel and hotels. We follow three sets of travelling fans to gain an insight into away days in the age of televised football

• Away days: on the road to Ayr United with Hibs fans

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11/13/2017 10:58 AM
Wrangling Russia: the American cowboys heading east - video

Miratorg is the largest single holder of black Angus cattle in the world; handling 500,000 heads of cattle on 65 farms across Russia. In 2011, the company began recruiting American cowboys to help restart a national beef industry that had been destroyed during the Soviet era

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11/13/2017 08:00 AM
Gary Younge interviews Richard Spencer: 'Africans have benefited from white supremacy' - video

In a dramatic interview, the Guardian's Gary Younge speaks to white supremacist Richard Spencer about why he wants to create an 'ethno-state' for white people, and why he believes that Africans have 'benefited from white supremacy'

Watch the full-length documentary Angry, White and American on Channel 4 on Thursday 9 November at 10pm

• Gary Younge: My travels in white America – a land of anxiety, division and pockets of pain

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11/06/2017 09:05 PM
'We slept on the buses': Britain's homeless children – video

When families with small children fall through the social safety net, they can find themselves sleeping rough – in bin sheds, hospital receptions or night buses

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11/02/2017 09:05 AM
I'm a Celebrity returns – and Stanley Johnson makes it a must-watch

Boris’s dad looks like he’ll be guaranteed entertainment. And with Ant McPartlin returning from rehab and the inclusion of former Scottish labour leader Kezia Dugdale, season 17 in the jungle is leaving other reality TV shows in the dust

With the 14th seasons of BBC1’s Strictly Come Dancing and ITV’s The X Factor showing the risk of reality TV shows becoming repetitive, the 17th run of I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here!, launched by ITV on Sunday night, felt impressively interesting.

This freshness is helped by a rush of publicity resulting from bad and good luck. The misfortune was the addiction rehab to which co-host Anthony McPartlin had to submit this summer. The good chance was the more happily newsworthy coup of including among the jungle-mates Stanley Johnson, at the precise time that his son, foreign secretary Boris, may hold the futures of the British government and the European Union in his slippery hands.

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11/20/2017 02:41 PM
OnePlus 5T review: premium full-screen experience at half cost of iPhone X

OnePlus has done it again, producing a smartphone with almost its rivals’ high-end features, including 36-hour battery life, at an affordable price

The OnePlus 5T propels the Chinese company into the brave new era of full-screen smartphones, with a new 6in minimal bezel display squeezed into the body of a 5.5in device.

The 5T is OnePlus’s fourth phone in two years. Unlike the OnePlus 3 to 3T upgrade in 2016, the internal components for the 5T have mostly stayed the same as those of the OnePlus 5, with the screen and camera the biggest differences.

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11/20/2017 02:00 PM
The Rake's Progress review – new company makes Stravinsky sing in stylish staging

Wilton’s Music Hall, London
OperaGlass Works’ production of the Hogarth-inspired tale is direct and inventive, with an impressive cast relishing every arch, ironic word

If ever an opera belonged in Wilton’s Music Hall it is The Rake’s Progress. Stravinsky’s Hogarth-inspired work, in which the Devil draws lazy Tom Rakewell to the capital and the word “London” is rarely sung without a shudder of distrust, is right at home in this East End alleyway theatre, whose peeling layers of balcony stucco seem to reflect the way Stravinsky plundered previous centuries for his musical score.

It has been brought here by OperaGlass Works, the newest in a wave of tiny but ambitious outfits filling the gaps left by cut-down programming at the big opera companies. Corners have not been cut here. With a list of supporters that reads like a Who’s Who of the theatre world, Selina Cadell and Eliza Thompson have co-produced a staging that uses the limited space beautifully, moralising from under a delicately raised eyebrow.

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11/20/2017 12:26 PM
Rhiannon Giddens review – contagious delight and furious defiance

Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London
From slavery to the civil rights struggle, Giddens’s material covers solemn material but her history lessons are thrilling and delivered with pure enjoyment

History is my biggest teacher,” says Rhiannon Giddens, introducing At the Purchaser’s Option, written after her research into slavery uncovered a chilling advert from the 1830s. It announced the sale of a “smart healthy Negro Wench”, and added, “she has a child about nine months old, which will be at the purchaser’s option”. Giddens transformed this bleak discovery into a furious cry of defiance, the most pained and powerful song of a triumphant and varied set.

After several years playing pre-war African-American string band music with the Grammy-winning Carolina Chocolate Drops, Giddens has expanded her range with dramatic results. Two years ago, her first solo album reworked songs by great women singers from Bessie Smith to Patsy Cline; this year’s Freedom Highway is dominated by her own material and its stories of the civil rights struggle.

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11/20/2017 01:19 PM
Canadian American family on surviving Taliban captivity: 'We tried to make it fun'

Caitlan Coleman and Joshua Boyle used lessons about British history and constellations to help their children after being abducted in Afghanistan

An American woman kidnapped in Afghanistan and held for five years said she and her Canadian husband did all they could to make captivity as fun as possible for their three children, concocting games out of garbage and teaching their eldest son British history to diminish his fears around beheadings.

“We tried to make it fun for them, as best we could,” Caitlan Coleman, 31, told ABC News in an interview released on Monday. “We would just teach them to use things like bottle caps, or bits of cardboard – garbage essentially – but what we could find to play with, tell them these are toys, we can make a game with this.”

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11/20/2017 07:37 PM
Jaws of death: the Jarman prize winner on her excruciating look at dying in the digital age

Oreet Ashery, who has just won the award for artists working in film, talks about asking Syrian refugees to converse in a darkened room – and her frequently hilarious examination of today’s death industry

‘For a long time,” says Oreet Ashery, “I was motivated by utter rage.” The winner of the 2017 Derek Jarman award is remembering growing up in Jerusalem, where she was born in 1966. “I had rage about everything,” she recalls, “and got involved in activism.” It’s a spirit that lives on in her art which, as well as film-making, spans photography, performance, workshop, text and music.

We are speaking shortly before her Jarman win is made public. Ashery has just staged, in the run-up to the announcement, a short fragment of her ongoing project NoNothing Salons in the Dark, a series of collaborative storytelling works, at the Whitechapel gallery, London. The fragment contained stories of Syrian refugees and the people trying to help them, recorded in a darkened room in Thessaloniki, Greece, earlier this year. “I was interested in how people work together,” she explains, “telling stories in a darkened room. Even if no one speaks, that is a story, too.”

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11/20/2017 09:00 PM
Mandatory balaclavas and posh nibbles: Pussy Riot pop-up is the worst kind of misery-porn

Two members of Pussy Riot were in London to tell their story in opposing ways. One felt pointless and cynical, the other powerful and exhilarating

Nadya Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina were both in London last week, albeit on opposite sides of the capital. Pussy Riot’s feted figureheads were in town to stage different live retellings of how their Russian performance art collective became a cause celebre in 2012, when a 35-second guerrilla punk gig in Moscow Cathedral earned Tolokonnikova, Alyokhina and fellow performer Yekaterina Samutsevich two-year prison sentences for “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred”.

Related: Nadya Tolokonnikova: ‘I suppose we have nothing more to lose’

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11/20/2017 06:17 PM
Dramatic victory: are we entering a golden age for the sports documentary?

Sport’s screen outings have long been blighted by timidity but two new films, 89 and Kenny, tell stirring stories with style and swagger. And there’s more to come

It seems fair to say sports documentary films reached something of an early artistic end-point with 1971’s Football As Never Before, a feature-length George Best portrait by the West German arthouse director Hellmuth Costard – best known for his 1968 work Especially Valuable, which featured a talking penis quoting passages of government legislation.

Presented without voiceover or soundtrack, Football As Never Before is an hour and 45 minutes of a single camera following its star around the pitch during a Manchester United game against Coventry City. Whatever its ultimate merits – and FANB does provide an absolute gold standard in mesmeric closeup shots focused, for long periods, entirely on George Best’s buttocks – the film also speaks to a more basic confusion over what exactly to do with sport on camera.

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11/20/2017 03:14 PM
Lucky to survive his first budget, Hammond cannot botch his second

Surrounded by critics, the chancellor will have little room for manoeuvre but is likely to be as upbeat as he thinks he can be

Philip Hammond faces an all but impossible job when he delivers his budget on Wednesday. Behind him will sit critics on the right and even to the left of the party, and he will have to deliver a fiscal message that sounds fresh after its key themes, housing, skills and a modest injection of resources for the NHS have already been briefed out.

It is a budget that many on his own side thought he would not give. During the general election campaign, when the assumption was that May would increase the Conservatives’ majority and embark on a brutal reshuffle, Hammond appeared anything but secure.

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11/20/2017 10:00 PM
Artistic license? Experts doubt Leonardo da Vinci painted $450m Salvator Mundi

It broke the record for the most expensive painting ever sold, but the image of Jesus has come under fire with many doubting its authenticity

After breaking the world record as the most expensive painting ever sold at an auction for $450.3m, Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi is at the heart of a hot debate among critics and historians who question whether this painting on wood of Jesus was ever touched by Leonardo’s brush.

Some say it could have been made by Giovanni Boltraffio, an Italian artist who worked as a pupil in Leonardo’s studio.

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11/20/2017 04:01 PM
Brexit: why German turmoil is cruelly timed for Britain

The collapse of German coalition talks comes as No 10 was pinning its hopes on Berlin to help unlock UK-EU negotiations

Within hours of watching Angela Merkel fail to form a coalition, Theresa May hosts a cabinet committee that will test the weakness of her own fragile government. After months of prevaricating, it seems Britain is finally ready to commit itself to paying a divorce settlement with the EU of anything up to a €60bn (£53bn) in a desperate attempt to unlock the next stage of Brexit talks on a trade deal and transition phase. Germany had led the hardball negotiating tactics that pushed May into this corner, but was expected to be – at least potentially – a more friendly ally when it came to discussing future free trade arrangements for its exporters. A weakened government in Berlin is less likely to be able win over more protectionist voices in the EU who have less to gain from an open border with Britain.

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11/20/2017 02:09 PM
'We've been badly served by banks': the small firms seeking ethical banking

Many SME owners are demanding a new approach to banking after feeling sidelined by the major players – but what are the real ethical options?

“The big banks want granny to put her pension in their bank so they can buy credit default swaps, but they’re not interested in lending to a window cleaner,” says Dave Fishwick, millionaire minibus business owner and, more recently, the founder of Burnley Savings and Loans.

Related: 'Entrepreneurs want a bank that behaves the way they do'

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11/20/2017 07:00 AM
Holocaust survivor, 102, meets nephew after thinking all family died in war - video

Eliahu Pietruszka escaped from Poland at the beginning of the second world war thinking his entire family had perished. But two weeks ago he discovered that a younger brother had also survived and that his brother’s son, 66-year-old Alexandre, was flying from Russia to see him.

The reunion was made possible by a comprehensive online database of victims created by Yad Vashem, Israel’s official memorial to the victims of the Holocaust.

Given the dwindling number of survivors and their advanced ages, the event seemed likely to be among the last of its kind

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11/20/2017 05:01 PM
Bananarama: how we made Robert De Niro's Waiting

‘De Niro knocked on the window of the bar, wearing a bobble hat and glasses. We just thought: who is that?’

Our plan was to do something like Grace Jones’s Pull Up to the Bumper. But somehow we ended up with a song based on a fantasy common to a lot of young girls: falling in love with a star, having their poster on their wall – and escaping into a world that’s so much easier to deal with than a real relationship. The line about walking in the park and “people are staring and following me” reflected an uglier stalking side to the fantasy. The date-rape notion was Siobhan’s idea, possibly from something we’d read in a newspaper.

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11/20/2017 03:49 PM
Did you solve it? This apple teaser is hard core!

The solution to today’s puzzle

On my puzzle blog earlier today I set you the following puzzle:

You and your two friends Pip and Blossom are captured by an evil gang of logicians. In order to gain your freedom, the gang’s chief, Kurt, sets you this fearsome challenge. The three of you are put in adjacent cells. In each cell is a quantity of apples. Each of you can count the number of apples in your own cell, but not in anyone else’s. You are told that each cell has at least one apple, and at most nine apples, and no two cells have the same number of apples.

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11/20/2017 05:00 PM
Blue Planet II: what have we learned so far?

The documentary’s marvels are not just new to television – many are new to science as well. From hyper-intelligent fish to the origin of life itself, we round up the series’s biggest discoveries

It is testament to the number of spectacles packed into Blue Planet II that the strategic change of gender a giant wrasse is – scientifically speaking, at least – one of the least remarkable. Changing gender, or sequential hermaphroditism, is a fact of life for more than 400 species of fish, and has already been widely studied.

But many of the programme’s marvels are new not just to television but to science itself. Some have only been published within the past half-decade; others existed only anecdotally until now. Here we track some of the most astonishing findings of the series so far – to be updated after each new episode.

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11/20/2017 03:50 PM
Yoko Ono v Yoko Mono: who gets to use a celebrity’s name?
The artist has managed to get a bar in Germany to change its name – and she’s not the only one to take umbrage at having their name used to sell things

Pity the poor celebrity who has worked hard to create a name for themselves only for someone else to come along to use it. The latest is Yoko Ono, who has successfully managed to get a bar in Hamburg to change its name from Yoko Mono, as it has been known for 19 years, to the rather more dull and singular Mono. The name, the court was reported to have said, is so similar “that it was sufficiently likely that an observer would surmise some kind of link between Miss Ono and the bar”. An observer of the graffiti-covered dive bar possibly wouldn’t assume it was run by the mega-rich artist, but apparently that’s not the point. Here are some other celebrities who have had to fight for their good names.

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11/20/2017 05:17 PM
Life in the shadow of Grenfell: the tower next door

In June they woke to see Grenfell tower in flames. Now the people who live in the tower next door face an uncertain future of their own.

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11/18/2017 09:57 AM
On a roll: blue whales switch 'handedness' when rolling to scoop food

Blue whales show ‘lateralisation’ – like handedness in humans – when rolling, choosing left or right depending on depth and type of roll

They are the largest animals on Earth, can live to around 90 years old and have a tongue that weighs as much as an elephant. Now scientists have revealed another insight into blue whales: how they roll.

A study has found that blue whales have a tendency to roll to one side or the other when lunging for prey, with the preference apparently down to the depth of the water and the type of roll they execute.

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11/20/2017 05:00 PM
Only correct … row rages over historical inaccuracy in Howards End

A genteel debate about how people in 1910 used spoons and wore hats has degenerated into a slanging match over the BBC adaptation

Name: Howards End.

Age: 107 years.

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11/20/2017 01:33 PM
Sri Lankan civil war novel takes DSC prize for south Asian literature

Anuk Arudpragasam’s The Story of a Brief Marriage takes the $25,000 award with a novel ‘exploring the tragic heart of war with quiet eloquence’

A novel that condenses the horrors of the 26-year Sri Lankan civil war into an intimate love story has won the 2017 DSC prize for south Asian literature, the region’s richest book prize. Anuk Arudpragasam’s The Story of a Brief Marriage beat four shortlisted rivals to win the $25,000 (£19,000) award presented at the Dhaka literary festival in Bangladesh.

Announcing the winner, Ritu Menon, chair of judges, praised the novel for its “intensity and rich detail … exploring the tragic heart of war with such quiet eloquence”. She added: “It is also a testament to the redemptive power of love, and to the human spirit’s capacity for hope.”

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11/20/2017 01:18 PM
A ‘festive garbage clam’: the problem with Ivanka Trump’s Thanksgiving centrepiece
The first daughter’s extreme, but by no means exceptional, example of the form has been widely ridiculed on Twitter. But she won’t be the only one going over the top this year

‘Have no idea how to decorate your Thanksgiving table? Problem solved,” read the tweet from Ivanka Trump HQ. But the link to what her website described as a “bold and unexpected Thanksgiving tablescape” looked more like a problem created: a giant clamshell filled with little grey pumpkins, moss, pine cones and driftwood. Welcome to the weird and twisted world of the Thanksgiving centrepiece.

Have no idea how to decorate your Thanksgiving table? Problem solved:

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11/20/2017 04:51 PM
The king of cling: Azzedine Alaïa's best looks – in pictures

The Tunisian-born fashion designer Azzedine Alaïa, who died on Friday, dressed everyone from Grace Jones and Naomi Campbell to all of French high society

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11/20/2017 04:00 PM
Tantrums over tiaras … how to navigate the latest gender minefield

There’s a tabloid hysteria about what kids shouldn’t wear. Here’s a thought, says our style expert, in her weekly column: maybe we shouldn’t screw up our children any more than necessary with antiquated stereotypes

There seems to be a national moral panic about what little children wear. Wait, what?

Tamara, London

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11/20/2017 04:17 PM
'An absolute shambles': readers on the Irish border and Brexit

We asked citizens in the Irish republic and Northern Ireland how they felt the issue of a border can be rectified in Brexit talks

Ireland has said it will block progress of Brexit negotiations in December, unless the UK give a formal written guarantee there will be no hard border with Northern Ireland.

Related: The Guardian view on Brexit and the Irish border: Britain’s shameful dereliction | Editorial

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11/20/2017 11:16 AM
Why have young people's attitudes to alcohol and drugs changed? Share your thoughts

Smoking and drinking among young people is at lowest level on record. We’d like you to tell us what you think about the change in trends

Young people in England born since the turn of the century are the most clean-living generation in recent times, with the rates of those choosing to smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol the lowest on record.

But secondary school children in England are now more likely to have tried illegal drugs than cigarettes, according to NHS Digital. 24% of 11-15-year-olds report having tried illegal recreational drugs at least once, a nine percentage point rise on the last survey, in 2014.

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11/20/2017 12:08 PM
What's it like being LGBT in Turkey? Share your stories

LGBTI events have been banned in Turkey. If you’re in the country, we’d like you to share your reaction and experiences

LGBTI cultural events have been banned in Turkey, with officials citing threats to “public order” and the fear of “provoking reactions within certain segments of society”.

The Ankara governor’s office said on Sunday night that it was imposing a ban on all LGBTI cultural events until further notice, days after it banned a German-language gay film festival in the capital city.

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11/20/2017 03:28 PM
Join the conversation: the best comments on the Guardian today

Here are some of the comments that have resonated most with readers today, along with links to the articles which provoked them

Articles on Brexit, Northern Ireland, science and technology in education, a numbers quiz and the idea of banning glitter have provoked some of the most interesting discussion on the site today.

To get involved, you can click on the links in the comments below to expand the conversation and add your thoughts. We’ll continue to highlight more comments worth visiting as the day goes on.

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11/20/2017 12:40 PM
Aid workers and sexual harassment: share your experiences

As allegations of abuse come to light concerning the UN and charities, we want to hear your stories of working in the humanitarian sector

Allegations of sexual harassment and abuse have hit Hollywood and politicians, and the #MeToo movement has gathered momentum. Now, international charities and humanitarian agencies are coming under scrutiny.

Last week, Save the Children announced it had fired 16 members of staff over reports of sexual harassment in the past year. This follows an announcement by Oxfam that it had dismissed 22 people over similar allegations. Earlier this month the United Nations revealed that it had received 31 new cases alleging sexual abuse or exploitation by UN personnel between July and September. Of these cases, 12 involved military personnel from peacekeeping operations.

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11/20/2017 01:07 PM
The chancellor must end austerity now – it is punishing an entire generation | Letters
Alongside the human costs, cuts have hurt our economy, and we’ve now reached a dangerous tipping point, say Joseph Stiglitz, Ha-Joon Chang and 111 others

Seven years of austerity has destroyed lives. An estimated 30,000 excess deaths can be linked to cuts in NHS spending and the social care crisis in 2015 alone. The number of food parcels given to impoverished Britons has grown from tens of thousands in 2010 to over a million. Children are suffering from real-terms spending cuts in up to 88% of schools. The public sector pay cap has meant that millions of workers are struggling to make ends meet.

Alongside the mounting human costs, austerity has hurt our economy. The UK has experienced its weakest recovery on record and suffers from poor levels of investment, leading to low productivity and falling wages. This government has missed every one of its own debt reduction targets because austerity simply doesn’t work.

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11/19/2017 07:11 PM
How have your friendships changed over time?

We’d like to know how your friendships have changed over time – have they grown stronger, dwindled or taken on new roles?

If we map our friendships over time, we’re unlikely to see a straight clear path. Friendships fade, are rekindled and sometimes they are lost forever. We’d like you to share your experiences of friendship and how it’s changed over the years.

A number of studies claim to prove to us what we already feel we know: friendship and connectedness are important for human wellbeing. According to a new study, as we age, friends become increasingly important to health and happiness. And supportive friendships were found to be a stronger predictor of wellbeing than strong family connections.

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11/20/2017 12:10 PM
What's your reaction to the events in Zimbabwe?

If you’re in Zimbabwe, or are a Zimbabwean national, we’d like you to share your thoughts on the political situation

In a national address made on live television, President Robert Mugabe failed to announce his resignation despite the Zanu-PF party saying they would seek to impeach him if he failed to quit by midday on Monday.

Tens of thousands of people joined in a rally in Zimbabwe’s capital Harare on Saturday morning after the military in Zimbabwe took control of the country on Wednesday to “target criminals” around the president. We’d like you to share your reaction to the latest events.

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11/15/2017 09:35 AM
Are you sensitive to others in social interaction? – personality quiz | Ben Ambridge

Answer our questions to see whether you ‘read’ an awkward situation well

How good are you at reading other people’s feelings? And does this vary with gender – both theirs and yours? To find out, read the vignette below.

Sandra is hosting a dinner party. Cliff arrives first and the two enjoy talking about his recent holiday to Sweden. But then Michael turns up. He dominates the conversation and talks only to Sandra, showing off with a story designed to make himself look good. Sandra is a bit annoyed by this. She looks at Cliff, then asks Michael if he’s ever been to Sweden.

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11/19/2017 06:00 AM
Politics quiz of the week: Brexit, Grenfell and smashed avocados

Appearing in this weeks quiz are Boris Johnson, universal credit and the question of whether fancy fruits are keeping young people off the housing ladder

The EU withdrawal bill continues to make its way through parliament, while Boris Johnson continues to make a variety of headlines as foreign secretary.

Universal credit has come under further scrutiny, while the question of whether cash-strapped young people should be allowed to buy avocados rages furiously across the land.

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11/17/2017 11:02 AM
Setting a date for leaving the EU threatens Britain’s security | The big issue
Brexit MPs should be questioned on how bad a deal they would accept

The government’s insistence on legislating for a definitive date for leaving the EU is a declaration that there are no conditions which might arise in the intervening period that would make leaving the EU contrary to British interests (“May faces defeat on Brexit deal vote for MPs”, News, last week).

Thus the security and wellbeing of the nation is placed at the mercy of an act of faith. It is an act consistent with the inability or unwillingness of parliament’s Brexit extremists to describe any sort of red-line situation which would cause them to revise their view of the desirability of Brexit.

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11/19/2017 12:05 AM
Ireland is caught between Brexiteers and Brussels | Letters
The Irish republic and Northern Ireland could pay a high price for the UK’s divorce from the EU, suggest letters from readers including the former Labour minister Jeff Rooker

Rafael Behr’s brilliant evisceration of the UK government’s shambolic handling of Brexit makes for depressing reading from the Dublin side of the Irish Sea (As Tories slug it out, does anyone care about Ireland?, 15 November). However, the suspicion remains here that the problem is not just with London but with Brussels too.

Brexit was initially met with anger by most Irish people but the upset receded as everyday life got in the way. Now it is back, and the island of Ireland is staring down the barrel of a hard border. These are glum and worrying times. Ireland is caught between undoubtedly ignorant rightwing Eurosceptic British politicians and the mammoth Brussels bureaucracy.

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11/19/2017 07:12 PM
Letters: We need to find a strategy for supporting family carers
Ministers and employers are recognising the importance of 6.5 million unpaid carers, but have yet to produce concrete plans

I welcome your call for a bigger debate about the extent and limits of familial responsibility (“Family life is changing as never before”, Editorial, last week). This debate must be informed by the experiences of the 6.5 million unpaid carers in the UK.

The numbers of people providing unpaid care rose by 16.5% between 2001 and 2015 and increased most sharply for those caring for 20 or more hours per week. Despite what we sometimes hear from politicians, we are a society caring more, not less.

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11/19/2017 12:01 AM
Share your advent calendar pictures

If you’ve purchased or even made one, we’d like to see it. Share your pictures and stories with us via GuardianWitness

The old joke goes that advent calendars’ days are numbered, but look around the shops or check any teacher’s pre-Christmas craft activity plans and you’ll see that’s not quite the case.

Related: The ridiculous rise of luxury advent calendars – from £500 beauty boxes to pork scratchings

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11/16/2017 01:55 PM
Housing, tax, pensions: what are your hopes for the the autumn budget?

We’d like to hear about the policies that you’d like to see in Wednesday’s budget and how you think they could affect your situation

John McDonnell set out Labour’s five key demands for the budget on Thursday, focusing on ending austerity in public services and outlining his fears about possible funding shortages in housing, health, and law and order.

Related: End austerity in public services, John McDonnell tells chancellor

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11/17/2017 11:00 AM
What's your reaction to the NHS 'breakthrough' breast cancer drug?

We’d like to hear from people affected by this story and find out what this means for the availability of other drugs

Two ‘breakthrough’ breast cancer drugs are to be available on the NHS after the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) negotiated prices for the treatments.

The standard price for one cycle of palbociclib is £2,950 for a pack of 21 capsules. The list price for one cycle of ribociclib is also £2,950 but this is for 63 tablets. The company had first offered the drug at a price that was rejected by NICE, but they had later come to a “confidential agreement around the price”.

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11/16/2017 04:44 PM
Readers recommend: share songs about fortune telling

Make your nomination in the comments and a reader will pick the best eligible tracks for a playlist next week – you have until Monday 20 November

Fortune tellers and fortune telling is the topic for your forward-looking tunes this week. For more on how to interpret the theme, keep an eye on the comments.

You have until 11pm on Monday 20 November to post your nomination and make your justification. RR contributor Chaz Cozens (who posts as HopelessCase in the comments) will select from your recommendations and produce a playlist, which will be published on 23 November.

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11/16/2017 08:00 PM
Corrosive effects of the market on universities | Letters
Bernard Porter claims universities have been cheating on a considerable scale to improve their status and thus funding; Michael Carley writes that academics have been sold out by ‘a venal and mediocre caste’ of vice-chancellors; Jean Goodrick praises Access and Pathway courses at FE colleges for getting more socially disadvantaged people to university; Regenia Gagnier says that Cambridge University does not represent all of the UK when it comes to multicultural English syllabi

I’m not surprised at this (Watchdog tells six universities to scrap adverts, 15 November). Ever since British universities became a “market”, they’ve adopted market ethics; especially – but not exclusively – the lower-status, and so more vulnerable, ones. I first noticed this when I was directing my own university department’s submission for the “teaching quality assurance” and “research assessment” exercises in the 1990s, the outcome of which partly determined how much money we would get. Other universities were cheating on a considerable scale: literally hiding away poor lecturers when the assessors came, for example; “sexing up” their research dossiers; and so on. It’s what happens when competition, of this material kind, comes into conflict – and it is a conflict – with academia. One of an academic’s main functions should be to determine the truth of things, insofar as that is possible. The conduct of Falmouth (of which I’d never heard) and all these other institutions named by the Guardian is nothing but a trahison des clercs. Strictly, they should be closed down.

But of course it’s not only the clercs who indulge in this sort of conduct now, in this age of “fake news” and “alternative facts”. The rule seems to be, for some politicians (I’m thinking here, of course, of Boris) and others, that what you say doesn’t have to be true, but only what you can get away with. Isn’t this another example of late capitalist values spreading throughout society?
Bernard Porter
Emeritus professor of modern history, Newcastle University

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11/16/2017 06:25 PM
Are you worried about the Irish border post-Brexit? Share your thoughts

As UK foreign secretary Boris Johnson prepares to meet his Irish equivalent, we want your views on the question of a hard or ‘frictionless’ border as Brexit negotiations continue

British foreign secretary Boris Johnson is visiting his Irish counterpart, Simon Coveney, in Dublin on Friday, with time running out for the British government to secure an arrangement for Northern Ireland post-Brexit.

Related: EU: ‘Tories putting party before the interests of Northern Ireland’

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11/16/2017 12:12 PM
Where it went wrong for the teams who missed out on the World Cup

Fans from 21 countries explain why they will be staying at home next summer. Holland were unlucky, Italy were mismanaged and Mongolia were a disaster

Five points out of a possible 18 from our games against Belgium, Greece and Cyprus proved fatal. Greece’s late equaliser in Piraeus set the tone. A lifeless goalless draw in the controversial reverse fixture in Zenica didn’t help, but our play-off hopes ended after we squandered a 2-0 lead against Cyprus in Nicosia. The 4-3 home defeat to an already qualified Belgium on that awful pitch in Grbavica ended any hopes we had of pipping Greece in second.

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11/16/2017 02:46 PM
Beer goggles? Gordon Ramsay under fire over Korean TV advert

‘Bloody fresh,’ said the chef as he downed a glass of Cass, but critics say he is endorsing ‘maybe the worst beer in the world’

Gordon Ramsay routinely berates contestants – often in the most colourful terms – on his television shows for their poor sense of taste.

But this week it is the celebrity chef’s own tastebuds that are being called into question after he appeared in a TV advert promoting a South Korean beer that can politely be described as bland.

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11/20/2017 12:41 PM
Doctor Who theme's co-creator honoured with posthumous PhD

Career of Delia Derbyshire, an under-appreciated electronic music pioneer, recognised by hometown university

The under-appreciated electronic music pioneer behind the Doctor Who theme is to be honoured posthumously with a doctorate from her hometown university as the programme gears up for the debut of its first female lead.

Largely ignored in life and barred from working in studios because she was a woman, Delia Derbyshire, will be awarded an honorary PhD from Coventry University on Monday.

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11/20/2017 02:04 PM
Kezia Dugdale joins I'm a Celebrity and causes split in Scottish Labour

Former leader’s decision to join jungle reality show overshadows election of her successor, Richard Leonard

Richard Leonard, the new leader of Scottish Labour, has said “feelings are running high” in the party after his predecessor, Kezia Dugdale, joined the reality TV show I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here.

Dugdale, who quit as Scottish leader in August, has caused a furious row after news leaked out on Friday night she was flying to join the contest in Australia without first getting party approval to be away from Holyrood for up to three weeks.

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11/20/2017 05:52 PM
Sarah Silverman: ‘Jokes I made 15 years ago I'd not make today’

Sarah Silverman’s comedy has always aimed a laser into the dark corners of sexism, racism and religion. But now she’s using her wit to make sense of the huge issues facing America. Sophie Heawood meets her in Hollywood

Arriving at the Hollywood studio complex where Sarah Silverman has her office, I am surprised to find nobody can tell me where it is. She’s one of the biggest comedians in America, but it takes 15 minutes of shrugged shoulders and wrong turns before I find a door with a handwritten sign: “If you feel unwell turn around and go home and rest! Do not walk thru this door! You are loved, feel better! Sarah!” So far, so adorable.

Germs and visitors might struggle to make their way past reception, but dogs are clearly welcomed like sacred Indian cows here: two of them trot past me unaccompanied. The animals have just left a script meeting in the writers’ room, soon to be followed by a gaggle of comedy writers, including Silverman herself, who is wearing glasses and stopping to stare at her phone. Once installed on the sofa in her own room, with an assistant bringing her black tea, she admits she didn’t realise this interview was in person, hence the phone. “But you’re here!” she says, getting her legs comfy on the furniture. “Great!” Her impromptu welcome is so friendly and her smile so full of shiny teeth, that it only occurs to me afterwards that she might be lying through them – surely nobody wants to be surprised by a journalist.

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11/19/2017 08:00 AM
Jeffrey Tambor on assault allegations: 'I don't see how I can return to Transparent'

Pressure is mounting on Amazon to find a new lead for the show, after actor Trace Lysette became the second woman to accuse Tambor of sexual harassment

Jeffrey Tambor, the Emmy-winning star of the Amazon web series Transparent, has said he does not see how he could return to the show next season, after a second woman levelled allegations of sexual harassment against him.

Actress Trace Lysette accused Tambor last week of making sexually charged remarks to her during as they worked together on the groundbreaking comedy series, as well as acting inappropriately during one alleged incident that “got physical”.

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11/20/2017 03:56 AM
Russell Simmons accused of sexual assault alongside Brett Ratner

Def Jam co-founder and Ratner each deny allegations by model Keri Claussen Khalighi that she was forced to perform sex act on Simmons, and that he and Ratner ‘were in it together’

Russell Simmons, the hip-hop mogul who co-founded Def Jam Recordings, has been accused of sexual assault amid new accusations against the Hollywood film producer and director Brett Ratner.

Model Keri Claussen Khalighi alleges that in 1991, when she was 17, she was invited by Simmons and Ratner to Simmons’ apartment to look at a music video the pair were working on. She says that Simmons tore off her clothes and attempted to force her to have sex. “I fought it wildly,” she told the LA Times, saying she eventually “acquiesced”.

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11/20/2017 11:12 AM
Jacinda Ardern or Trudeau's wife? New Zealand PM regrets 'yarn' about Trump

As reports circulate that Donald Trump may have been confused about Ardern’s identity, she says she won’t share backstage stories again

New Zealand’s prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, has expressed regret over gossiping about a meeting with Donald Trump after it was reported the US president may have mistaken her for Justin Trudeau’s wife.

Ardern was visibly uncomfortable when asked about reports that she had revealed details of the encounter at the East Asia summit in Vietnam last week to a friend who later went public.

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11/20/2017 01:36 PM
Urban biking and a Balinese festival: Monday's best photos

The Guardian’s picture editors bring you a selection of photo highlights from around the world, including a marathon on the sea and jewel tones in Kyoto

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11/20/2017 01:39 PM
Charles Manson – a life in pictures

Charles Milles Manson, the leader of a band of hippie followers known as the Manson Family who committed a string of murders in California in the late 1960s, has died aged 83

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11/20/2017 07:08 AM
Gorgeous creatures of NYC Downlow captured in 3D – in pictures

Artist Kate Bones combines film and digital technology to create vibrant gif portraits – like these from Glastonbury’s gay nightclub

Kate Bones shoots her subjects on a hacked 1980s 3D film camera and brings them alive as animated gifs. These portraits taken earlier this year at Glastonbury’s NYC Downlow, the festival’s gay nightclub, give a close-up view of performers usually only photographed on stage.

A warehouse-warming party for the new London home of the cult club’s creators, Block9, will be held on 9-10 December at the Silver Building. The event will also raise money for LGBT frontline charities All Out and Kaleidoscope Trust as well as the Disasters Emergency Committee’s east Africa appeal.

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11/20/2017 07:30 AM
Hamleys Christmas toy parade – in pictures

Regent Street in central London is lined with people watching the annual Hamleys toy parade, featuring a marching cast of children’s characters, entertainers, elves, bands, floats and flying balloons

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11/19/2017 05:29 PM
‘It was an extraordinary speech’: the day I met Martin Luther King

Nick Nicholson meets the civil rights leader at Newcastle University, November 1967

Fifty years ago, on 13 November 1967, Newcastle University awarded an honorary degree to Martin Luther King. It was the only UK university to do so in his lifetime, and the speech he made that day is the last time he spoke outside the US before he was assassinated five months later.

Newcastle was seen as a modern institution, having broken away from Durham in 1963. I was president of the student council and, along with a dozen other students, met King for coffee an hour before the ceremony. We were wearing our best (and only) suits; we must have seemed very English and conservative. I am from a working-class family and was the first to go to university: it was such an honour to meet him. This photograph appeared widely in Newcastle at the time – the others pictured were presidents of various student associations.

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11/17/2017 01:59 PM
An eye for detail: architect John Pawson’s photographs

John Pawson is known the world over for his stunningly minimal designs. So what’s he doing publishing colour pictures?

Sitting at the long table in his King’s Cross studio’s less-than-ordered reference library, the celebrated Yorkshire-born architect John Pawson considers the word minimalist. It’s the one most often used to describe the spaces he designs. “I don’t mind it,” he says. “It starts a conversation, I suppose.”

Pawson’s work is instantly recognisable. His most recent public project was London’s Design Museum which reopened last year, but his hotels for Ian Schrager, the galleries and fashion stores he’s created around the world, all share a look of simplicity and purity. It is entirely devoid of distractions, such as painted colour, decoration of any sort, or even much furniture for that matter. Instead, his buildings are precise, linear, open, unexpectedly warm and definitely minimalist. So it’s curious then, that we’re talking about a new book, Spectrum, which features 320 images, shot mostly on his iPhone or a digital camera, which have been compiled, as the name suggests, to cover the entire colour spectrum.

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11/19/2017 06:00 AM
Guide to patterned jumpers: the wish list – in pictures

Jumpers really shine this winter. Check out the hot pink polo shirt knitted with parrots and embellished with sparkling crystal cats by Miu Miu. There’s alpaca spun wool at Isabel Marant Étoile, crochet detailing at JW Anderson and patchwork at Stella McCartney

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11/18/2017 11:50 PM
Autumn scenes in UK and prayers for Zimbabwe – Sunday's top photos

The Guardian’s picture editors bring you a selection of photo highlights from around the world, from autumnal weather in the UK and mushroom hunting in Turkey to snow in Germany and a toy parade in London

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11/19/2017 03:23 PM
The 20 photographs of the week

The coup in Zimbabwe, flooding in Greece, Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh and Italy’s elimination from the World Cup – the week’s biggest news stories captured by the world’s best photojournalists

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11/18/2017 08:49 AM