The Guardian

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

Davis and Barnier at odds over Brexit bill and transition period

Brexit secretary and EU’s chief negotiator appear no closer to agreement as talks restart after Theresa May’s Florence speech

The Brexit secretary, David Davis, and the EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, have clashed over the UK’s exit bill and Britain’s request for a transition period after Theresa May’s speech in Florence last week failed to unlock the stalemate in negotiations.

On the first day of the fourth round of talks, Barnier said the prime minister’s €20bn (£17.6bn) offer did not mean the UK would be given a transition period or that negotiations could move on to the detail of a future trading relationship.

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09/25/2017 05:34 PM
North Korea's foreign minister: Trump has declared war on our country

Ri Yong-ho says in response to Donald Trump’s comments North Korea has ‘every right to make counter-measures’, including shooting down US bombers

North Korea has threatened to shoot down US bombers in international airspace, claiming that, with a weekend tweet, Donald Trump had declared war.

Related: Ri Yong-ho: the North Korean diplomat who could defuse the crisis

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09/25/2017 06:51 PM
Diane Abbott urges end to online abuse of BBC's Laura Kuenssberg

At Labour conference, shadow home secretary asks why female journalists and politicians are so often in the firing line

Diane Abbott has called for an end to online abuse of the BBC’s political editor Laura Kuenssberg, and asked why it is female journalists and politicians that so often find themselves in the firing line.

The shadow home secretary said she was saddened to hear that Kuenssberg was being accompanied by a security guard at Labour conference after facing a backlash from some Jeremy Corbyn supporters over claims of bias.

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09/25/2017 05:34 PM
Nerve implant 'restores consciousness' to man in vegetative state

Stimulation of the vagus nerve allows patient who has been in a vegetative state for 15 years to track objects with his eyes and respond to simple requests

A 35-year-old man who had been in a vegetative state for 15 years has shown signs of consciousness after receiving a pioneering therapy involving nerve stimulation.

The treatment challenges a widely-accepted view that there is no prospect of a patient recovering consciousness if they have been in a vegetative state for longer than 12 months.

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09/25/2017 04:00 PM
Hospital bosses forced to chant 'we can do this' over A&E targets

Trust leaders say they were left feeling ‘bullied and humiliated’ by the incident at a meeting to improve performance

Hospital bosses were forced to chant “we can do this” by a senior NHS official in an effort to improve their accident and emergency performance in advance of what doctors have warned will be a tough winter for the NHS.

Hospital trust chief executives say they were left feeling “bullied, patronised and humiliated” by the incident last week at a meeting attended by Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, and Simon Stevens, the head of the NHS in England.

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09/25/2017 06:17 PM
Drug dealer using dark web to sell fentanyl jailed for over 13 years

Police describe the case as first of its kind because of the sophisticated use of technology to sell class A drugs

A drug dealer who sold substances including the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl on the dark web has been jailed for more than 13 years.

In what was described by police as the first case of its kind because of the sophisticated use of technology, Ross Brennan, 28, was sentenced for conspiring with his university friend Aarron Gledhill, 30, to import and sell class A drugs.

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09/25/2017 05:12 PM
Chelsea Manning says she has been barred from entering Canada

Former US soldier and one of the most prominent whistleblowers of modern times posts letter to Twitter saying she is ‘not authorized to enter Canada’

Chelsea Manning, the former US soldier who served seven years in military prison after instigating one of the biggest breaches of classified data in US history, has said she has been barred from entering Canada.

Related: 'This is a police state': Chelsea Manning accuses Harvard of caving to CIA

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09/25/2017 08:00 PM
Merkel starts challenging task of trying to form coalition government

Chancellor acknowledges losses but says she has firm mandate from voters and will stay for full term

Angela Merkel started trying to form a coalition government on Monday after harnessing a fourth term as chancellor but at the cost of momentous gains for the far right.

A subdued Merkel, speaking at the headquarters of her CDU party in Berlin, acknowledged the losses, calling them disappointing and admitting: “We have considerable work ahead of us.”

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09/25/2017 05:13 PM
Evening Standard urged to declare Osborne's job with Uber shareholder

Editor of London paper paid £650,000 a year by fund manager BlackRock which has stake in taxi app firm worth about £500m

The Evening Standard should declare that George Osborne has a job with a major shareholder in Uber when the newspaper publishes articles about the taxi company, according to the chair of the National Union of Journalists’ ethics council.

The Evening Standard ran a front page story about Uber’s London ban on Monday and also published an editorial that described removing its licence to operate in the city as “shutting out the future”.

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09/25/2017 05:41 PM
Venezuela says Trump is acting like 'the world's emperor'

Foriegn minister Jorge Arreaza’s retaliates after US sanctions and a new travel ban against Venezuela, as well as harsh words from Trump

Venezuela’s top diplomat has accused Donald Trump of acting like “the world’s emperor,” after the US president denounced the government of Nicolás Maduro on the global stage of the UN General Assembly.

Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza’s speech at assembly came a day after Trump signed a travel ban affecting some Venezuelan officials, and nearly a week after Trump denounced turmoil-racked Venezuela’s “corrupt regime” in his own address to the assembly’s annual gathering of world leaders.

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09/25/2017 08:27 PM
David Attenborough on the scourge of the oceans: 'I remember being told plastic doesn't decay, it's wonderful'

His sequel to The Blue Planet will focus not only on the marvels of sea life but also the threats to it. The naturalist explains why plastic pollution, climate change and overpopulation are problems too urgent to be left to ecologists

David Attenborough vividly remembers, nearly 80 years on, his first encounter with one of the worst scourges of the planet. He was a schoolboy. “I remember my headmaster, who was also my science master, saying: ‘Boys, we’ve entered a new era! We’ve entered, we’ll be proud to say, the plastic era. And what is so wonderful about this is we’ve used all our scientific ingenuity to make sure that it’s virtually indestructible. It doesn’t decay, you know, it’s wonderful.’”

Attenborough lets the last word hang in the air, eyebrows and hands raised. Then the hands fall. “Now we dump thousands of tonnes of it, every year, into the sea, and it has catastrophic effects.”

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09/25/2017 02:00 PM
Taking a knee and Trump: the new era of total protest

Black athletes from Muhammad Ali to Tommie Smith have taken a stand before – but Donald Trump is the most powerful spur to dissent the US has ever seen. Will the wave of protests in the NFL help take him down or just fuel his culture war?

Colin Kaepernick first kneeled during The Star-Spangled Banner last August, when he was still a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers and Barack Obama was still president. He was protesting against the killing of African Americans by police officers. The date is worth repeating because it seems likely that, in the near future, Kaepernick’s gesture will be misremembered as a protest against Donald Trump. Trump has made sure of that. His great and terrible skill as a politician is to make everything about Donald Trump.

Last Friday, at a rally in Alabama, Trump ranted, unprovoked, about football players who took the knee during the national anthem, calling on NFL owners (“friends of mine”) to fire any “son of a bitch” who dared to protest. There was no need in the case of Kaepernick, who is in limbo as a free agent with no NFL teams willing to touch him. Later, on Twitter, he retracted an invitation to NBA champions the Golden State Warriors to visit the White House after the team’s star player, Stephen Curry, expressed reservations. In a stroke, he ensured that Kaepernick’s form of protest went viral. Dozens of NFL stars and other athletes took the knee over the weekend, as did musicians Stevie Wonder, Pharrell Williams and John Legend, and this time the target was clearly Trump. LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers tweeted in Curry’s defence: “U bum … Going to White House was a great honor until you showed up!”

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09/25/2017 04:35 PM
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds review – joyous and unexpectedly triumphant

Manchester International Arena

From heartbreakingly beautiful to barely contained chaos, the band deliver a surprisingly uplifting arena gig

The moment Nick Cave walks onto the Manchester Arena stage, before a note of music is played, a gruff male voice from the crowd bellows “I LOVE YOU!” The singer nods. “I’m glad we’ve got that sorted out,” he mutters.

Related: Nick Cave: ‘I have turned a corner and wandered on to a vast landscape’

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09/25/2017 11:52 PM
Turner prize 2017 exhibition review: a snake-infested garden and fat cats on horseback

Satirical crockery, haircut pinups and jaunty potatoes jostle for the attention, along with pages from the Guardian. But Rosalind Nashashibi should win for her mesmerising films about everyday life in Gaza – and a mother and daughter’s overgrown Guatemalan home

Opening at the Ferens Art Gallery in Hull, the 2017 Turner prize is an uneven and at times frustrating exhibition. Relaxing the upper age limit for nominated artists is a good thing. Some artists don’t hit their stride until relatively late or are, for various reasons, overlooked. For a long time Lubaina Himid, born in Zanzibar in 1954, was just such a case. In the last couple of years, major solo shows in Oxford and Bristol, and her inclusion in a survey of 1980s black art, have brought her a new audience and increased visibility. Her 1987 tableau, A Fashionable Marriage, is a take on William Hogarth’s Marriage a la Mode, restaged as a series of cut-out figures. It remains the best thing in Himid’s Turner prize exhibition, which is a pity.

Related: Lubaina Himid: the Turner prize nominee making black lives visible

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09/25/2017 05:22 PM
Will the end of Uber in London make women more or less safe?

Many women feel that Uber provides the least risky transport option – especially at night. Yet safety was one of the reasons the company’s licence was withdrawn. So who is right?

The decision by Transport for London (TfL) to revoke Uber’s licence was taken in part because of concerns over safety, which sounds sensible enough, although not to the 750,000 people (and counting) who have signed a petition to urge TfL to reconsider. The petition was created by Uber itself, which rather undermines the idea of a democratic process. In the past, it has been accused of exploiting its drivers, and its employees have complained of sexual harassment. You don’t take an Uber because it is the ethical choice; you take an Uber because it is convenient and cheap.

While many of the people who signed the petition will have done so for this reason, a startling number of women have done so precisely because they feel Uber is the safest transport option, particularly at night. You book a cab through the app and pay for it through your phone (no having to jump out at cashpoints). You have the driver’s details, and your journey is tracked by GPS. Young Londoners who don’t remember navigating the city at night in the days before Uber will have heard scare stories of black-cab drivers refusing to go south of the river, or minicabs being somehow “dodgy”.

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09/25/2017 05:41 PM
Britain’s elite is bright white – but doesn’t brilliance come in all colours? | Simon Woolley
Changing the colour of power in Britain is not just a moral imperative: opening up top jobs to black and minority ethnic talent is about national self-interest

An uncomfortable truth can, in time, become a great potential asset. But first we have to be brave enough to acknowledge it, and then bold enough to deal with it.

That’s been the hope throughout, as Operation Black Vote, the Guardian and Green Park recruitment have worked on the groundbreaking research project, The Colour of Power.

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09/25/2017 06:20 PM
After Brexit, EU English will be free to morph into a distinct variety

The newfound neutrality of English in Europe may help it survive Brexit as the EU’s lingua franca ... with the addition of a few distinctly un-British quirks

If your planification isn’t up to snuff, you might need to precise your actorness. English in the EU, spoken primarily by non-native speakers, has taken on a life of its own. While “planification” might be jargon unlikely to pop up outside of Brussels, there are also changes afoot in more everyday spoken English in Europe. You might hear a mobile phone referred to as a “Handy”, and be asked to SMS, not text, your friend.

“Actorness” and a multitude of other examples are listed in “Misused English words and expressions in EU publications”, a guide published by European Court of Auditors senior translator Jeremy Gardner. The guide details many of the ways in which European English has gone a bit wibbly – to a native speaker’s ear, at least. In some cases, words like “agent” are deployed in contexts that would sound fine to a US speaker, but odd to the British or Irish ear. And these are precisely the ears that EU documents should be catering to, Gardner argues: “Our publications need to be comprehensible for their target audience … and should therefore follow a standard that reflects usage in the United Kingdom and Ireland.”

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09/25/2017 03:13 PM
Sex addicts see a familiar story in Anthony Weiner's path to ruin

False promises, denial, cravings: sex addiction can be every bit as devastating as addiction to a drug. The good news: there is a way back

Nick T thought he’d reached bottom when he dived into the dumpster next to his home at 3am to root out a porn DVD he’d hurled in there in self-disgust at his compulsive masturbation habit, brought it in, cleaned it off, made use of it then tossed it back out. He did that three times that night.

Related: Anthony Weiner given 21 months in prison for sexting teenage girl

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09/25/2017 02:53 PM
LeBron James joins NFL in hitting back at Trump: 'The people run this country'
  • League spokesman says protest gestures represent ‘real locker-room talk’
  • James says country is not run by individual ‘and damn sure not him’

A day after players across the NFL defied Donald Trump with gestures of protest during the national anthem, and as the president continued to tweet his anger, a league spokesman hit back by invoking the 2005 Access Hollywood tape in which Trump bragged about sexual assault.

Related: Colin Kaepernick has won: he wanted a conversation and Trump started it

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09/25/2017 04:51 PM
Alexandre Lacazette double earns Arsenal nervy win against West Bromwich Albion

With Romelu Lukaku and Álvaro Morata blazing attacking trails since their spotlight Premier League moves, Alexandre Lacazette perhaps would have felt the burn of expectation when he stood over the ball contemplating how he should strike a penalty that seemed like it would be decisive. With Arsenal leading 1-0 against a dogged and aggrieved West Bromwich Albion, who wondered how they had not had a penalty of their own earlier in the game, all eyes were on Arsenal’s new French forward.

Related: Arsenal 2-0 West Bromwich Albion: Premier League – as it happened

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09/25/2017 11:37 PM
British bobsleigh driver attacks decision to cut funding for women’s team
• Mica McNeill says decision to keep three men’s teams is ‘confusing’
• UK Sport monitoring bobsleigh’s governing body after ‘overspend’

The decision to continue funding all three men’s British bobsleigh teams while cutting financial backing for the only women’s crew has been branded “confusing” by the driver who started an online campaign to keep her Olympic dream afloat.

Mica McNeill said she wants people at the British Bobsleigh and Skeleton Association to be held accountable after financial “mismanagement” led to a £50,000 overspend at the governing body.

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09/25/2017 08:45 PM
FA board backs chief executive Martin Glenn over Sampson sacking
• Key witnesses to alleged comment will finally give evidence
• Barrister appointed by FA has already spoken to Drew Spence

Katharine Newton, the barrister in charge of the controversial inquiry into Mark Sampson’s conduct as England Women’s manager, has changed her position behind the scenes and intends to interview the three players who have been identified as key witnesses but were overlooked for her initial investigation.

Newton has already spoken to Drew Spence as part of the reopened inquiry and the Guardian has learned the barrister, heavily criticised for her initial three‑month investigation, will now meet two Manchester City players, Jill Scott and Izzy Christiansen, and Reading’s Jo Potter, to establish what Sampson allegedly said in a meeting during the China Cup in October 2015.

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09/25/2017 07:06 PM
Long seasons are pushing players to their limit, says England’s Ben Youngs
• England and Leicester scrum-half joins debate over early-season injuries
• ‘Players have power to strike but I don’t think any player wants to get to that’

Another senior England international has claimed leading players are “at the limit” of what their bodies can sustain amid rising concern over the number of injuries in the early weeks of the season. Leicester’s Ben Youngs says the players currently wish to avoid strike action but reveals there is increasing disquiet in dressing rooms about the sport’s attrition rate.

The topic of player welfare was impossible to avoid in Oxford, where England are engaged in a three-day camp, with Billy Vunipola the latest long-term casualty and eight other squad members unable to train fully. According to Youngs, the game grows steadily more demanding and common sense is needed in terms of season length.

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09/25/2017 07:34 PM
Liverpool and Manchester United fans warned to behave or face ‘long stay in Russia’
• Russian Football Union security chief takes tough Champions League stance
• Security teams from English clubs working with Spartak Moscow and CSKA

Liverpool and Manchester United supporters have been warned they face “a long stay in Russia” should trouble occur at their Champions League fixtures in Moscow this week.

The north-west rivals are both in action in the Russian capital, with Jürgen Klopp’s team facing Spartak Moscow on Tuesday and José Mourinho’s side playing CSKA on Wednesday. Security teams from Liverpool and United have been working with their Russian counterparts in an attempt to avoid problems for the estimated 2,000 away fans expected in Moscow.

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09/25/2017 05:17 PM
Harry Kane narrows the gap with Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo
The Big Two may have rewritten the record books but the Spurs striker’s statistics show he is closing the gap and may even dream of winning the Ballon d’Or

To Harry Kane it is a numbers game and, like every football fan in Europe, the Tottenham Hotspur striker is in awe of those posted by two players in particular. You know who they are. There was a time when a goalscorer would be feted for getting 20 in a league season; for reaching a ratio of one in every two matches. That was in the era before Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Related: Harry Kane is already one of best strikers in the world, says Pochettino

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09/25/2017 09:30 PM
Tom Westley survives Ashes injury scare as England rivals forced to wait
• Essex batsman only bruised after being struck on the hand by rising delivery
• Gary Ballance and James Vince yet to bat following a day hit by rain

The ball had not even landed in second slip’s hands, but Tom Westley was shaking his right thumb in pain and then sprinting from the field, straight into the Chelmsford medical room with the vigour of a man whose Ashes hopes had been shattered. It was a brutish lifter from Yorkshire’s Steve Patterson, one of the least brutish bowlers on the county circuit, that accounted for the Essex No3 for 13.

However, with England’s selectors – who have already lost Toby Roland-Jones and Haseeb Hameed to injury during last week’s Championship action – naming their Ashes squad on Wednesday, Westley was relieved to learn an X-ray revealed that damage did not extend beyond the loss of his wicket and a badly bruised thumbnail. He will bat in Essex’s second innings, although that may arrive too late to influence the selectors; having averaged 24 in his five Tests this summer, his place is far from secure.

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09/25/2017 06:29 PM
Enable to be supplemented for Arc after Cracksman’s absence
• Enable to be added to Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe field at cost of €120,000
• Cracksman missing from entry list after first forfeit stage

Any flickering hope among his backers that Cracksman might remain in the running for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Chantilly on Sunday was extinguished on Monday morning, when the easy winner of the Prix Niel, one of the main Arc trials, was missing from a list of 20 contenders after the first forfeit stage. Enable, his stable companion at John Gosden’s Newmarket yard, is currently missing too, but will be added to the field at Wednesday’s supplementary stage at a cost of €120,000 (£105,500).

The mood music around Cracksman’s participation this weekend had been so downbeat since his win in the Niel that the ante-post market had effectively discounted him already. As a result Enable, the winner of four Group Ones already this season, is steady in the betting at a top price of 10-11. Each-way opposition to the favourite is beginning to focus on Ulysses, the Eclipse and International Stakes winner, and Aidan O’Brien’s Order Of St George, who was third last year behind his stable companions Found, who has since retired, and Highland Reel, who is expected to be in the field again on Sunday.

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09/25/2017 07:46 PM
Sadio Mané returns in Moscow but Klopp puts Liverpool balance before art
• Mané, Coutinho, Firmino and Salah all available for Spartak match
• Klopp says Moscow fixture is not the place for ‘all the artists’

Jürgen Klopp seemed genuinely excited by his first visit to Moscow and the formidable police presence that greeted Liverpool’s arrival at Sheremetyevo Airport. The prospect of finally unleashing his most talented attacking quartet provided another adrenalin-rush but Spartak Moscow away, he cautioned, might not be the place for “all the artists”.

Bans, Barcelona and back injuries have prevented the Liverpool manager fielding Philippe Coutinho, Sadio Mané, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah from the start of a competitive fixture this season. They shared seven minutes on the pitch in the opening Champions League draw with Sevilla but not since the defeat of Bayern Munich in the Audi Cup on 1 August has the fluid foursome opened a contest for Klopp. That may change at the Otkrytie Arena, home of the struggling champions of Russia, although there was a pragmatism to the Liverpool manager as he considered his impressive options for the second game in Group E.

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09/25/2017 09:30 PM
Theresa May backs Ireland for 2023 World Cup as French bid hits problems
• Prime Minister pledges full support to Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar
• President Emmanuel Macron distances himself from France’s presentation

Theresa May has given her official backing to Ireland’s bid to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup in what can be considered a boost to its chances given how the France president, Emmanuel Macron, has distanced himself from its attempts to host the tournament.

Related: Holding 2023 Rugby World Cup in Ireland would capture hearts and minds | Robert Kitson

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09/25/2017 04:56 PM
Joseph Parker’s wish for Anthony Joshua fight leaves Fury out in the cold | Kevin Mitchell
The New Zealander believes Joshua will be easier to beat than the awkward Mancunian proved to be and is decamping to the UK to make the fight happen

Hughie Fury will not be getting a quick rematch against Joseph Parker – unless the Mancunian heavyweight’s promoter, Mick Hennessy, can deliver on his optimistic promise of having his points loss overturned, and the odds must be slim.

After winning over 12 close rounds at the Manchester Arena on Saturday night – and benefiting from outrageous 118-110 scores on two cards – to retain the WBO world title he inherited from Hughie’s cousin, Tyson, Parker said the British heavyweight he is way more interested in fighting is Anthony Joshua.

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09/25/2017 04:23 PM
Homeless Shakhtar Donetsk ready for another Champions League upset | Barry Glendenning
The Ukrainian side, who last played in their own stadium three years ago, shocked Napoli in the first round of games and now travel to Manchester City

Shakhtar Donetsk took little time to hurl the cat among the pigeons in a Champions League group most observers expected to be dominated by Napoli and Manchester City, with the Ukrainian side and Feyenoord making up the numbers. While the Dutch champions duly crumbled at home against City in the last round of fixtures, the Ukrainian side’s 2-1 victory against the Italian league leaders was one of few surprises across the competition.

Related: Shakhtar’s Darijo Srna: ‘We have lost our homes, our stadium and our fans’

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09/25/2017 09:26 PM
A weekend of football passion, rivalry and animosity – photo essay

The Guardian photographer Tom Jenkins takes in three emotionally charged football matches over three days and captures all the colour and passion as AFC Wimbledon take on MK Dons, Tottenham Hotspur visit West Ham and Sheffield Wednesday face Sheffield United in the Steel City derby

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09/25/2017 03:41 PM
The Oumar Niasse appreciation edition – Football Weekly

Max Rushden and co review the weekend of Premier League football, the key action around Europe and look ahead to another packed midweek fixture list

Rate, review, share on Apple Podcasts, Soundcloud, Audioboom, Mixcloud, Acast and Stitcher, and join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and email.

Max Rushden’s coming fresh out the kitchen to discuss the Premier League weekend just gone, flanked by Barry Glendenning, Gregg Bakowski and Barney Ronay.

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09/25/2017 03:39 PM
Kyle Walker happy Sergio Agüero is in same side as ‘facing him was nightmare’
• Agüero needs one goal to equal Eric Brook’s Manchester City scoring record
• Argentinian likely to be rejoined by Gabriel Jesus against Shakhtar Donetsk

Sergio Agüero needs one more goal to equal Eric Brook’s 78-year-old Manchester City scoring record and there are not many people at the club who imagine the Argentinian is going to hang around for long on his present tally of 176.

No one is a bigger fan of the striker than Kyle Walker, who says it a joy to be playing behind Agüero after years of struggling to contain him.

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09/25/2017 04:35 PM
Corbyn is a changed man – and he’s forging a path to power | Polly Toynbee
This year’s conference shows Labour has been transformed by electoral success and Tory disarray over Brexit. Its leaders look more credible by the day

“We are the grown-ups now.” So said several speakers. In the grotesque political playground of Brexit Britain, Labour has indeed become the nation’s adults, the sensibles, the party least likely to wreck the country’s future. How short a time ago Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell were regarded as delinquent adolescents who had never grown out of the 1970s. They may be the masters soon.

What a transformation. Remember how early in the general election campaign they fell 11 points behind in dismal local council results? Whatever Labour leaders say sourly now to those of us who feared the worst, waiting for that exit poll in June they too were braced for heavy losses, never expecting a crushing humiliation for Theresa May.

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09/25/2017 07:30 PM
Martin Rowson on global rise of nationalism and the far right – cartoon
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09/25/2017 07:05 PM
Merkel must strike a deal. Europe’s future depends on it | Natalie Nougayrède
We obsess about the far right, but who ends up in Germany’s ruling coalition will have huge repercussions for the rest of Europe

This German election matters greatly to the whole of Europe, not just to Germany alone. Its results, and what emerges now, will determine much of what can or cannot be accomplished to rejuvenate a 60-year-old European project that has, in recent years, often looked as if it was on crutches. The German far right’s entrance into the Bundestag is worrying, but it risks being the only thing many beyond Germany will pay attention to, and that in turn means we may miss the full impact for Europe of Germany’s vote.

First, however raucous the AfD may be, the centre ground has held in Germany. That Angela Merkel has been re-elected, after more than 1 million refugees arrived in the country, says something about its stability and resilience. Remember that Marine Le Pen gained 21% in the first round of the French presidential elections, in a country that took in only a tiny fraction of the migrants who arrived in Europe in 2015-16.

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09/25/2017 06:52 PM
Labour conference united by a single purpose: to please Jeremy Corbyn | John Crace

Unlike in recent years, this was Corbyn’s conference and every effort had to be made to give him what he wanted

Try to think of it as a chat. A seminar, if you prefer. At any rate, the Brexit debate-that-wasn’t-really-a-debate got under way with one young delegate being shouted down by a large section of the audience for daring to suggest the Labour party conference had missed a trick by not allowing anyone to vote on freedom of movement or membership of the single market. He retreated, bloodied but not entirely bowed.

Order was quickly restored with another Labour member suggesting the sole purpose of the anti-Brexit protest that was taking place outside the conference centre was to undermine Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership. This was much more on message. Unlike most recent Labour conferences, which have tended to be a free-for-all, this year in Brighton there is a buzz, an energy and an optimism that is all channelled into a single, higher, unified purpose. And that purpose is to please Jeremy. This is his conference and every effort must be made to give him what he wants.

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09/25/2017 05:27 PM
Uber faces serious charges – why is Khan offering an olive branch? | Nils Pratley

The ride-hailing service has offered a vague ‘apology’ now its London licence is under threat, but it has failed to address the issues

Dara Khosrowshahi became chief executive of Uber because his predecessor, Travis Kalanick, had become a liability. Uber’s private equity backers knew there was little hope of getting the taxi service firm’s shares listed on a stock market while Kalanick was at the helm, annoying regulators and inflaming every dispute that crossed his desk. Khosrowshahi, fresh out of Expedia, would be the antidote to the co-founder’s aggression.

It should be no surprise, then, that the new man has adopted a gentler tone in response to Transport for London’s decision last week not to renew Uber’s licence. “On behalf of everyone at Uber globally,” declared Khosrowshahi on Monday, “I apologise for the mistakes we’ve made.”

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09/25/2017 06:37 PM
Laura Kuenssberg hiring a bodyguard was depressing. Then it got worse | Gaby Hinsliff

A female political journalist is bombarded with rage and abuse, just for getting the protection she clearly needs. What has become of us?

SNOWFLAKE. Pathetic. Fake news. “Not exactly Kate Adie in a war zone.”

And that’s just a flavour of the way some people on social media greeted the news that the BBC’s political editor has been assigned a bodyguard to protect her at Labour party conference: by blaming the victim, not those who threaten violence against her. She’s making it up for attention! She was asking for it, what with her wilful refusal to report the news in a manner more to people’s liking! She should have known it was provocative even to set foot there!

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09/25/2017 03:19 PM
Labour's PFI pledge would be expensive – but isn't a blank cheque | Larry Elliott

Taking contracts ‘back in-house’ would mean compensation, but John McDonnell left himself a get-out clause

The private finance initiative was the live now, pay later method of building hospitals, schools and other bits of public infrastructure. Governments that were short of cash could get companies to put up the cost of shiny new investment and pay the money back in instalments over many decades.

But as John McDonnell stressed in his speech to Labour’s conference, PFI has proved a rotten deal for taxpayers because the accumulated annual payments have dwarfed the initial building costs. In the long run, it would have been cheaper for ministers to borrow the money rather than sign what were essentially expensive mortgage deals with the private sector.

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09/25/2017 04:35 PM
The road to reversing Brexit may have just begun at Labour’s conference fringe | Manuel Cortes
Theresa May killed off hard Brexit last week in Florence. In Brighton this week, a pro-free movement coalition was formed that could finish off the job

I have news for pundits and the commentariat. Brexit no longer means Brexit. Hard Brexit is now a corpse – it was put to the sword by Theresa May’s own hand when she conceded the need for a two-year transition period with her speech in Florence last Friday.

So, contrary to what much of the media seems to think, the really big Brexit story is not what’s happening on the floor of the Labour party conference in Brighton this week. The real elephant in the room is that the arch-Brexiteers are now tearing off their blinkers and strapping on their parachutes instead. Even then, their belief that buying more time will miraculously deliver a safer place to land is as deluded as their Brexit proposition.

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09/25/2017 05:34 PM
The Guardian view on heresy: is the pope Catholic? | Editorial
Pope Francis has been accused of heresy for his efforts to liberalise the church’s understanding of divorce

A group of conservative clerics has accused Pope Francis of heresy for his attempts to liberalise the church’s treatment of divorced people. This raises an interesting question: how long must a pope be dead before his opinions can safely be ignored? For many people the answer is “no time at all”: it is not just humanists, Muslims and Protestants, but the vast majority of the world’s Catholics who take little notice of Catholic doctrine when they disagree with it. The Catholic right ignores more than a hundred years of consistent papal teaching against the excesses of capitalism, along with more recent denunciations of the death penalty, of wars of aggression and of environmental destruction. The Catholic left ignores the pope’s teachings on sexuality – and everyone ignores the ban on contraception.

Popes themselves, however, are meant to take their predecessors very seriously even though neither party is writing infallibly. Papal encyclicals read like legal documents, buttressed with footnotes to prove that doctrine has not changed, and that they are just repeating what their predecessors meant, even when they contradict what was plainly said. Those magnificent robes conceal some very fancy footwork at times. It is an article of faith – literally – that doctrine can never change, only develop, and the eye of faith can clearly see the subtle differences between change, development and decay. So the 19th-century denunciations of democracy and freedom of thought and conscience are now ignored, but pope John Paul II’s refusal to admit women priests looks certain to stand for another couple of centuries at least.

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09/25/2017 05:48 PM
Don’t fall for the scaremongering: McDonnell’s PFI pledge isn’t that radical | Declan Gaffney
The suggestion that some PFI contracts might be taken back in-house is a sensible idea that could save us money and is worthy of a proper review

The shadow chancellor John McDonnell has pledged to bring at least some private finance initiative (PFI) contracts “back in-house”. How big a commitment is this? The PFI is a fertile source of Very Big Numbers – McDonnell himself refers to a figure of £200bn for payments “over the next few decades”, while John Appleby of the Nuffield Trust is quoted by the BBC giving a figure of £56bn for NHS projects alone by 2048. That may suggest Labour is promising transformative changes to public spending and public services, and will doubtless feed into some highly charged headlines tomorrow. But the expenditure and policy implications may well be of more modest dimensions.

For a start, as Labour’s press release makes clear, the pledge falls far short of taking all or even any PFI contracts back: “Labour will review all PFI contracts and, if necessary, take over outstanding contracts and bring them back in-house, while ensuring NHS trusts, local councils and others do not lose out, and there is no detriment to services or staff.” No less importantly, McDonnell’s choice of words – “We’ll bring existing PFI contracts back in-house” rather than “taking PFI schools and hospitals into public ownership” – may suggest that it is the services provided under PFI contracts rather than the physical assets that he is talking about taking back under public control.

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09/25/2017 04:21 PM
The protesting NFL players, not Donald Trump, are the true patriots | Suzanne Moore

The president can call for players to be disciplined if he wants, but with their superb and poignant gesture they are not the ones disrespecting the US

“And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave o’er the land of the free and the home of the brave”. The words of America’s national anthem, uplifting as they may be, do what all anthems do: they reassure a nation of its own self-image. That image is now being contested by another that asks who really is free, who really is brave and who really is at home in Trump’s America.

Related: Memo to Trump after his NFL rant: sport is, and always has been, political

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09/25/2017 04:11 PM
The AfD’s breakthrough shows that parties of the left must get radical

Germany’s SPD is not alone – social democracy is in crisis across Europe. As Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour understands, we need a complete break with the neoliberal model

‘Some of us are beginning to think it is the end of the project.” That was how a senior European social democrat spoke to me of the future of mainstream socialism last week. The German SPD’s abject failure in Sunday’s election will have done little to lift the gloom. After 12 years of playing sidekick to Angela Merkel, it will go into opposition, bereft of a strategy and rightly worried about the breakthrough of the far right Alternative for Germany (AfD).

If the leaders of German social democracy are feeling responsible for their own collapse and the far-right’s gain, they can at least take comfort that they are not alone. The French socialist party evaporated in the run-up to this year’s presidential election; the Dutch Labour party saw its vote slump to 5.7%; and the Austrian socialist party is facing defeat in next month’s election – which will likely bring to power the first coalition of mainstream conservatives and neo-fascists in the EU.

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09/25/2017 02:22 PM
Twitchers and groppers: when birdwatching turns ugly | Patrick Barkham
Watching rare birds is a joyful way to commune with nature. But obsession can spill over into the entitled aggression we see in hunters and shooters

Like many people, I’ve got an unfinished novel in a drawer. It features a serial-killing twitcher, and is not worth me – let alone any reader – finishing. I was reminded of my anti-hero when watching video of a confrontation between a gaggle of obsessive birdwatchers and two nature reserve wardens.

Related: Twitchers: a rare breed | Patrick Barkham

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09/25/2017 02:13 PM
I had chronic fatigue syndrome. The Lightning Process at least offers hope | Vonny Leclerc
The treatment may be controversial but for teenagers whose whole lives are on hold because of CFS, anything that might help is worth trying

She thought I was dead. You come home, call out, no answer. You walk in to find your 16-year-old crumpled on the dining-room floor. Drugs? Alcohol? It’s a leap the brain makes. Being so tired that they collapsed on the spot doesn’t feature. Months later, after all but abandoning school, I was told it was myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), more commonly known as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). It was a diagnosis that felt like little more than a question mark. I’ve long since recovered, but I’m still frustrated by the lack of options for sufferers. How long will they have to wander this wasteland of unanswerables?

But there is perhaps a glimmer on the horizon. A small trial has shown that a commercial therapy called the Lightning Process helped speed up recovery for some youngsters. Though experts have dismissed it as junk science based on the shonky, largely debunked theory of neuro-linguistic programming, there’s a website full of testimonies, and celebrity endorsements. The whole thing has a cult-cum-televangelist piquancy that would crinkle the nose of most sceptics.

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09/25/2017 12:30 PM
Should we ban sex robots while we have the chance? | Jenny Kleeman
AI sex dolls are on their way, with potentially sinister social consequences. So before they hit the market, we must ask whether they should

People are blowing a fuse about sex robots – or rather, “rape robots”. Journalists from the New Statesman and the New York Times among others have all reported on the sex robot Roxxxy TrueCompanion’s controversial “Frigid Farrah” setting: a mode in which she has been programmed to resist sexual advances and which will allow men to act out rape fantasies.

Women’s rights activists have lined up to condemn Roxxxy. Everyday Sexism’s Laura Bates describes her as “the sex robot that’s yours to rape for just $9,995”. Writing in the Times on Thursday, the barrister Kate Parker called for sex robots like Roxxxy to be criminalised. “The sophistication of the technology behind Roxxxy marks a step forward for robotics. For human society, it’s an unquestionable regression,” she says.

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09/25/2017 08:30 AM
Minister’s call for cyclists to behave is more headline-grabbing hypocrisy

A Highway Code prompt aimed solely at cyclists – not to the road users that caused more than 99% of deaths on UK roads last year – has nothing to do with improving safety

On Friday, transport minister Jesse Norman wrote to cycling leaders asking them to remind their members to follow the Highway Code. The letter came less than 48 hours after the announcement of a review on whether the law should be changed to tackle dangerous cycling.

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09/25/2017 10:12 AM
The New York Times had an anti-Hillary Clinton agenda? That's untrue | Jill Abramson

Despite claims made in her recent book, the news editors at the paper were never hostile to Clinton. The only proof I have is that I was there

  • Jill Abramson is the former executive editor of The New York Times

In her book, Hillary Clinton says the news media has not done enough soul-searching about its role in her loss.

Her argument boils down to this: too much firepower was aimed at her emails, part of a long pattern of unfair scandal mongering over the years. Unfair press coverage fueled the “lock her up” frenzy and created doubts in the minds of some undecided voters.

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09/25/2017 10:00 AM
Trump’s global vision is a nightmare. The UN has to act | Mark Seddon
For the sake of world peace and security, António Guterres must stand up to this narcissistic bully

The presidential cavalcades have departed Manhattan. But the aftershocks of Donald Trump’s speech to the UN general assembly still reverberate. “You can be sure of one thing,” a veteran UN official whispered to me during the speech: “Trump never fails to disappoint.” Still, there had been enthusiasts, including John Bolton, once George Bush’s ambassador to the UN, whose grandstanding and savaging of the organisation is still recalled with a shiver by many older hands. Bolton declared Trump’s tour-de-force to be the “best speech he has given yet”.

Related: Ignore Trump’s lies. North Korea is no threat to Britain | Simon Jenkins

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09/25/2017 09:36 AM
Want to help after a disaster? Give cash, not clothing | Julia Brooks

Most of the stuff sent to disaster areas is inappropriate or useless. Get your wallet out instead so the professionals can buy what they need

  • Julia Brooks is a researcher at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative

Between government bodies , charities of every size, and contributions from concerned individuals, a massive Hurricane Harvey relief effort has taken shape in the US. But these well-intentioned bids to ship goods to Texas are perpetuating a common myth of post-disaster charitable giving.

As a researcher with the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, acentre at Harvard University dedicated to analysing and improving the way professionals and communities respond to emergencies, I’ve seen the evidence on dozens of disasters, from Hurricane Sandy to the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004. It all points to a clear conclusion: in-kind donations of items such as food, clothing, toiletries and nappies are often the last thing that is needed in these areas.

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09/25/2017 09:15 AM
Labour can’t afford to get emotional over Brexit | Zoe Williams
An open letter asking Corbyn to cleave to the single market lends a with-us-or-against-us emotional charge to what should be a purely practical issue

Thirty Labour MPs, together with trades unionists, MEPs and mayors, signed an open letter on the eve of party conference, asking – begging? – Jeremy Corbyn to make Labour the party of the single market and the customs union. There were ideas in there that should appeal to the Labour leader – workers’ rights rather than curbs on immigration, solidarity with the rest of Europe, public services that are protected by judiciously not setting the economy on fire. Yet it was an unintelligent manoeuvre, platitudinous on the surface, divisive in its unspoken binaries, for exactly the same reason Theresa May’s Florence speech was platitudinous and divisive.

Tory Brexit has become a fight to the death between small-state, low-tax, free-market fundamentalists and one-nation, politeness-and-prosperity, small-and-large-C conservatives. Labour Brexit, in this letter’s frame, is turning into a battle between market-sympathetic, social-democratic “centrists” and hard-left, anti-capitalist change-makers. All the ideological faultlines opened up by a decade of political acrimony and man-made hardship have met in this one issue, and it is the wrong issue.

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09/24/2017 03:30 PM
Moped gang attacks prompt review of police pursuit rules

Concerns have been raised that officers might not pursue suspects, particularly those without a helmet, for fear of prosecution

A review of the law and practice regarding police pursuits is to be carried out to ensure officers feel they have the legal protection they need to go after moped and scooter gangs, the Home Office has announced.

There has been a spate of thefts and attacks by moped and motorbike gangs recently, in which necklaces, jewellery and phones have been snatched.

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09/25/2017 06:12 PM
City firms urge free trade agreement for financial services after Brexit

London and Frankfurt will lose out to New York and Singapore if UK and EU do not agree deal, says report

London and Frankfurt will lose out to New York and Singapore unless a free trade deal on financial services after Brexit is agreed, according to leading City businesses.

The report from key banks, law firms and fund managers in the UK proposes a “bespoke” free trade agreement once Britain leaves the EU.

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09/25/2017 11:01 PM
Deloitte hit by cyber-attack revealing clients’ secret emails

Exclusive: hackers may have accessed usernames, passwords and personal details of top accountancy firm’s blue-chip clients

One of the world’s “big four” accountancy firms has been targeted by a sophisticated hack that compromised the confidential emails and plans of some of its blue-chip clients, the Guardian can reveal.

Deloitte, which is registered in London and has its global headquarters in New York, was the victim of a cybersecurity attack that went unnoticed for months.

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09/25/2017 12:00 PM
This summer was greenest ever for energy, says National Grid

Carbon emissions pushed to lowest level yet as first subsidy-free large solar power project opens in the UK

The UK has set a new landmark for clean energy after the National Grid announced that the electricity powering the UK’s homes and businesses this summer was the greenest ever.

The record comes as the first subsidy-free large solar power project opens in the UK, in what the government described as a significant moment for the energy sector.

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09/25/2017 11:01 PM
Strictly dances off with Saturday night viewing figures

BBC competition attracts audience of 9.4 million compared to an all-time low of 4.8 million for its rival, ITV’s X Factor

Strictly Come Dancing and the X Factor have been battling it out for Saturday night audiences for 13 years, but the BBC show struck an unprecedented blow against its ITV rival last weekend by attracting almost 5 million more viewers in a record victory.

The contrasting performances of Strictly and the X Factor have raised questions about whether the ITV show has fallen into terminal decline despite creator Simon Cowell attempting to shake it up this year.

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09/25/2017 07:09 PM
Campaign group chief found guilty of refusing to divulge passwords

Muhammad Rabbani, a director of Cage, convicted of obstructing counter-terrorism police when stopped at Heathrow

The international director of the campaign organisation Cage has been convicted of a terrorist offence after refusing to hand over passwords to his mobile phone and laptop.

Muhammad Rabbani, 36, was found guilty at Westminster magistrates’ court of wilfully obstructing police when he refused to cooperate at Heathrow airport last November. The test case could affect the way thousands of suspects stopped at UK airports and ports every year interact in the future with anti-terrorist officers.

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09/25/2017 06:01 PM
Oxford student given suspended sentence for stabbing boyfriend

Judge had reportedly earlier told Lavinia Woodward a prison term could damage her prospects of becoming a heart surgeon

An Oxford University student who stabbed her boyfriend with a bread knife has been given a suspended prison sentence.

A judge caused controversy earlier this year when he reportedly told Lavinia Woodward that a jail term could damage her prospects of a medical career and would be too severe as a result.

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09/25/2017 03:53 PM
Uber apologises after London ban and admits 'we got things wrong'

London mayor Sadiq Khan says he welcomes apology by CEO of ride-hailing app, which has been stripped of its licence

Uber’s chief executive has apologised for the taxi app’s mistakes in London and promised to change as the company fights a decision by the city not to renew its licence.

The firm is battling to keep operating in the capital after Transport for London decided not to renew its licence to operate. Uber’s London licence expires on 30 September, although it will continue to run taxis while it pursues a legal appeal process that could last a year.

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09/25/2017 01:11 PM
Student accused of rape banned from university classes for a year

Liam Allen has been barred from University of Sussex campus since October 2016 while awaiting trial, as a result of bail conditions

A university student accused of rape has been banned from attending classes for a year while he awaits trial, it has emerged.

Liam Allen, 21, was accused in October 2016 and made subject to a ban barring him from the University of Sussex campus while an investigation was under way.

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09/25/2017 05:38 PM
Parts of UK identified as high risk areas for Lyme disease

South England and Scottish Highlands have higher prevalence of infected ticks which cause the disease, says health body

The south of England and the Scottish Highlands have been earmarked as high risk areas for Lyme disease.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) said some areas appear to have higher prevalence of infected ticks which cause the disease. But the health body said prevalence data is incomplete as it called for a large study into the condition in the UK.

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09/25/2017 02:18 PM
HBOS compensation chief criticised by Noel Edmonds insists he is independent

Russel Griggs, who has faced vitriol from fraud victims, on the review he is heading for Lloyds and why it is taking so long

Noel Edmonds has a major problem with Prof Russel Griggs, the man appointed by Lloyds Banking Group to assess compensation claims for customers caught up in a £245m fraud.

The Deal or No Deal host wants a £300m payout although Lloyds has set aside only £100m to cover claims from a total of 67 customers.

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09/25/2017 07:16 PM
Anonymous 'honesty' websites: safety experts tell parents to be vigilant

Proliferation of anonymous feedback apps such as Sarahah is prompting concerns about cyberbullying among schoolchildren

Online safety experts have warned parents to be vigilant about teenagers’ use of anonymous feedback apps that allow users to leave unnamed comments about others, amid new concerns over cyberbullying.

As policymakers analyse the roots of teenage depression, in response to research published last week indicating that 24% of 14-year-old girls and 9% of boys are depressed, the role of social media has come under scrutiny, particularly the soaring popularity of “honesty” sites.

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09/25/2017 01:35 PM
University 'turned down politically incorrect transgender research'

James Caspian says Bath Spa University approved but then rejected his proposed research into gender reassignment reversal

Bath Spa University is conducting an internal inquiry into claims that it turned down an application for research on gender reassignment reversal because it was “potentially politically incorrect” and would attract criticism on social media.

James Caspian, a psychotherapist who specialises in working with transgender people, proposed the research about “detransitioning” to the university in south-west England, which, he said, initially approved the application.

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09/25/2017 03:10 PM
Chakrabarti 'would not condemn' people who break strike laws

Shadow attorney general criticises government’s trade union legislation as posing ethical dilemma for union members

Shami Chakrabarti has criticised the government’s trade union legislation requiring a 50% turnout in strike ballots and said she would not condemn people for choosing to defy it.

Labour’s shadow attorney general said she would not encourage individuals to act illegally but made clear that she believed the existence of “unjust laws” posed an ethical dilemma for union members.

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09/25/2017 01:30 PM
Hampshire man who kept python died of asphyxiation

Inquest opens into death of Dan Brandon, 31, who was a fan of exotic animals and was found dead with a snake in same room

A fan of exotic animals who kept creatures including pythons was found dead at his home as a result of asphyxiation.

Hampshire police said Dan Brandon, 31, sustained serious injuries and died in Church Crookham, Fleet, on 25 August. A police spokesman said the death was not being treated as suspicious.

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09/25/2017 05:28 PM
Prison inmates given life sentences for murder of convicted double killer

Billy White and Gary Lindley prayed after the pre-planned killing of Brett Rogers they said would ‘cleanse’ him of his crimes

Two prison inmates who murdered a convicted double killer in his cell after being “ordered by God” to attack him have both been handed life sentences.

Billy White, a Christian, and Gary Lindley, a Muslim, prayed after the pre-planned killing of 25-year-old Brett Rogers, which they said they believed would “exorcise a demon” and “cleanse” him of his crimes.

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09/25/2017 03:02 PM
Man 'shot and killed' by arrow in Dundee

Police are investigating death being treated as suspicious after party in flat reportedly spilled out into the street

A police investigation is under way after a man was reportedly shot and killed by an arrow in Dundee.

Police Scotland confirmed that a man had died after a disturbance at Dundonald Court at about 11.45pm on Sunday.

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09/25/2017 12:18 PM
Kidnapping of UK model in Italy may have been a 'sham', says lawyer

Claim made during extradition proceedings against Michal Herba, who is wanted by authorities in relation to allegations

The kidnapping of a British model in Italy may have been faked as a publicity stunt, a lawyer for one of the men suspected of carrying it out has told a court.

The claim was made on Monday during extradition proceedings against Michal Herba, who is wanted by Milanese authorities in relation to the allegations. His brother, Lukasz Herba, is in custody in Italy.

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09/25/2017 03:20 PM
Stabbed Manchester surgeon forgives his attacker

Police have charged a 28-year-old man in connection with attack that saw Nasser Kurdy sustain knife wound to his neck

A surgeon who was stabbed as he arrived at a mosque in Greater Manchester has insisted his attacker does not represent “what this country stands for”.

Dr Nasser Kurdy, 58, an orthopaedic surgeon, was stabbed in the neck from behind as he arrived at the Altrincham Islamic Centre for evening prayers at about 6pm on Sunday.

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09/25/2017 09:56 PM
Bank of England warns a consumer debt crisis could cost banks £30bn

Stress tests reveal lenders are underestimating exposure to bad debt in face of an economic downturn

The Bank of England has issued its strongest warning yet about the UK’s ballooning consumer debt, saying Britain’s banks could incur £30bn of losses on their lending on credit cards, personal loans and for car finance if interest rates and unemployment rose sharply.

After assessing the fast growth in the consumer credit market, Threadneedle Street is requiring the banking system to hold an extra £10bn of capital as protection against any future losses after finding that lenders are underestimating their exposure to bad debts in an economic downturn.

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09/25/2017 11:52 AM
'The best day of my life': Iraqi Kurds vote in independence referendum

More than 80% of registered voters cast ballots in non-binding poll that has raised tensions and fears of instability

Thousands of people in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq have cast votes in a referendum billed as a first step towards independence from Baghdad, defying regional demands that the ballot be abandoned and international fears that the outcome could spark violence.

Related: Barzani on the Kurdish referendum: 'We refuse to be subordinates'

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09/25/2017 04:56 PM
Sri Lankan arrested for trying to smuggle 1kg of gold in his rectum

Customs officials find gold inside 45-year-old man after noticing his ‘suspicious movements’ at Colombo airport

A Sri Lankan man who raised suspicion by the way he kept looking around in an airport departure lounge was found to be carrying nearly 1kg (2.2lb) of gold stashed in his rectum.

Related: Man arrested in Sri Lanka for 'smuggling gold bars in rectum'

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09/25/2017 04:09 PM
German elections left Merkel isolated, but it is too soon to write her off | Philip Oltermann

The CDU may have had its worst election result since 1949, but the chancellor has been here before and pulled through

Since Angela Merkel was first voted chancellor 12 years ago, political power in the hands of Germany’s first physicist-turned-politician has always looked more like a solid than a liquid.

“Power is the ability to shape things,” the chancellor said at the Christian Democrats’ headquarters on Monday afternoon, having just reminded assembled journalists that in spite of its worst election result since 1949, her party would still be the most powerful group in the next Bundestag. “And I like shaping things,” she added.

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09/25/2017 04:10 PM
Anthony Weiner given 21 months in prison for sexting teenage girl
  • Ex-congressman pleaded guilty to transferring obscene material to minor
  • Weiner, 53, must undergo internet monitoring after sentence is served

Anthony Weiner was sentenced on Monday to 21 months in prison, in a sexting scandal that some blame for Hillary Clinton’s defeat by Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election.

Related: Sex addicts see a familiar story in Anthony Weiner's path to ruin

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09/25/2017 02:53 PM
Many Puerto Ricans desperate to return home to island reeling from disaster

The island is largely without electricity and running water, but demand for plane tickets is high as Puerto Ricans attempt to return to their relatives and homes

As Puerto Rico came into view below, passengers on the JetBlue aid flight from New York fell silent as the scale of the devastation wrought by Hurricane Maria became apparent: the usually verdant mountains were brown and barren, and the bright blue water offshore was dotted with large aid ships.

Related: Jennifer Lopez donates $1m to Puerto Rico hurricane recovery effort

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09/25/2017 02:36 PM
Charlottesville's white awakening: 'We were living in a bubble,' say residents

On Sunday, Ariana Grande and Pharrell Williams helped the Virginia town recover from last month’s violence – which some white residents admitted had been a serious wake-up call

Inside the University of Virginia’s Scott Stadium, a succession of pop stars were telling local residents that “Love trumps hate” and “You will not dethrone love.” Dave Matthews, Pharrell Williams, Ariana Grande and Justin Timberlake were holding a free concert to help Charlottesville recover from the violent white supremacist and neo-Nazi protests that rocked the town last month.

Related: Pharrell Williams 'takes a knee' in Charlottesville protest

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09/25/2017 07:25 PM
Spain’s attorney general refuses to rule out arrest of Catalan president

Carles Puigdemont could face action, says attorney general, as Catalonia prepares to defy Madrid by holding independence vote

Spain’s attorney general has refused to rule out the possibility of arresting the Catalan president, as the region’s pro-sovereignty government prepares to defy Madrid by holding an independence referendum on Sunday.

José Manuel Maza said that Carles Puigdemont could face action for disobedience, breaching public duties and misuse of public funds for proceeding with the poll after Spain’s constitutional court suspended the hastily passed legislation underpinning the vote.

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09/25/2017 04:42 PM
Oil prices soar to highest for more than two years after output cuts

Analysts say prices could rise further, in a move that would put upward pressure on UK inflation

Oil prices jumped to their highest for more than two years on Monday after major producers said output cuts were squeezing supplies.

Brent crude leapt by 2.7% to $58.39 (£43.35) a barrel as analysts said prices could rise to levels not seen since 2014, in a move that would put further upward pressure on inflation in the UK. The oil price squeeze has been orchestrated by the Opec oil producers’ group but could be exacerbated if Turkey follows through on threats to block supplies from Kurdistan.

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09/25/2017 06:07 PM
Houston after Harvey: city faces huge hurdle to recovery

Texas region is grappling with the slow grind of bureaucracy, the urgent need to clear detritus and the natural desperation to return quickly to normal life

A month after Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas, there is still a simple way to tell if a particular street flooded in Houston. Just look at the front lawns.

Debris rose as the water receded and residents returned to gut their ruined homes, disgorging the contents curbside. There is so much to remove, and trips to landfills are taking so long, that the region is months away from clearing it all.

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09/25/2017 01:24 PM
Macron to press ahead with speech outlining vision to rebuild EU

French president will not be distracted from plans for deeper integration by tricky new coalition government in Germany

The French president, Emmanuel Macron, is to press ahead with a major speech setting out plans to “rebuild” the EU, despite fears that a new coalition government in Berlin could limit his ambitions.

The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, who in recent months had cautiously warmed to Macron’s proposed radical overhaul of the eurozone, won a fourth term in office this weekend. But she faces difficult coalition talks with smaller parties in the face of opposition from the emboldened far-right, anti-Europe Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) party.

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09/25/2017 12:39 PM
Obama: 'The world has never been healthier, wealthier or less violent'

Former president urges optimism and focus on progress at Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation conference, despite shadow cast by Trump’s UN speech

There’s never been a better time to be alive, the former US president Barack Obama told an audience of musicians, activists, comedians, innovators and royalty, gathered at the Lincoln Center in Manhattan on 20 September.

Despite the “extraordinary challenges” the world is facing – from growing economic inequality and climate change to mass migration and terrorism – “if you had to choose any moment in history in which to be born, you would choose right now. The world has never been healthier, or wealthier, or better educated or in many ways more tolerant or less violent,” he said in his speech, at an event for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

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09/25/2017 12:21 PM
German election has redefined narrative of European party politics

The AfD’s third-place finish shows that populism in Europe is here to stay – but it can be beaten

After the Brexit vote in Britain and Donald Trump’s rise to power in the US, pundits predicted that a wind of populist, anxious, resentful, anti-politics-as-usual change would sweep across Europe.

Like a series of dominoes, the governments of the Netherlands and France – and possibly, if rather more implausibly, even Germany – would fall to the Eurosceptic forces of Geert Wilders, Marine Le Pen and Frauke Petry.

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09/25/2017 01:47 PM
Egyptian students told to respect the flag or risk a year in prison

Crackdown by education minister, which includes fine threat, prompts ridicule on social media

Egypt’s education minister has ordered students to respect the Egyptian flag or risk jail time.

Students who mock or desecrate the flag could be fined 30,000 LE (£1,260) and sentenced to up to a year in prison, said the education minister, Tarek Shawki.

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09/25/2017 01:59 PM
Hospitals in crisis in Uganda as Middle Eastern countries poach medical staff

Recruitment of almost 2,000 health workers to Libya has led to urgent calls for government to stop exodus amid dire staffing shortages

The failure to stop a brain drain of almost 2,000 of its best doctors and nurses is exacerbating Uganda’s healthcare crisis, reflecting a growing problem across east Africa, say healthcare workers.

At least 1,963 medics are being recruited to work at one hospital alone in Libya, as Middle Eastern countries turn to the region for highly qualified workers to fill their own vacancies, which have increased amid political instability and migration.

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09/25/2017 01:26 PM
Bali volcano: 50,000 flee Mount Agung as tremor magnitude intensifies

Number of people leaving homes in shadow of volcano soars amid fears it could erupt for first time in more than 50 years

Nearly 50,000 people have been evacuated from their homes amid fears of an imminent volcanic eruption on the Indonesian resort island of Bali.

Mount Agung, 47 miles (75km) from the tourist hub of Kuta, has been shaking since August and threatening to erupt for the first time in more than 50 years.

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09/25/2017 10:07 AM
Japan's PM Shinzō Abe calls snap election

Abe aims to take advantage of opposition disarray and says vote would be an appraisal of his handling of North Korea crisis

Japan’s prime minister, Shinzō Abe, has called a snap election to take advantage of opposition disarray and support for his hard line against North Korea’s ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programmes.

Related: We will sink Japan and turn US to 'ashes and darkness', says North Korea

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09/25/2017 12:42 PM
'Jeremy Corbyn has exceeded expectations': Sadiq Khan talks to Katharine Viner – video

Guardian editor-in-chief Katharine Viner asks Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, about housing in the capital, Brexit and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. Khan’s verdict on Corbyn is: ‘Good manifesto, energising Labour supporters who’d left our fold, bringing them back, energise a new generation of Labour voters … huge progress made by Jeremy in the space of two years’

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09/24/2017 09:57 PM
The colour of power: why is the British establishment so white? – video

Take the 1,000 most powerful people in Britain. How many are not white? Leah Green delves into the data on representation at the top of British society. From politics to law, charities, sport, business, the media and the military, the gatekeepers at the top of British society are overwhelmingly white

* Revealed: Britain's most powerful elite is 97% white

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09/25/2017 06:23 AM
Qandeel Baloch: the life, death and impact of Pakistan’s working class icon

The life, death and impact of Pakistan’s working-class icon Qandeel Baloch, killed in 2016 after becoming a social media celebrity. This film tells Qandeel’s story through her own videos and media appearances. A young, fearless woman who collided with Pakistan’s mainstream media, Qandeel exposed the religious right and challenged middle-class morality. From her life before stardom in a rural village to her early days in entertainment as a model and actor, Qandeel gained attention by making provocative web videos. We get to know Qandeel through her family, admirers and those she interacted with and inspired. The film also analyses her life through the lens of class and power politics and connects it to women’s continuing struggle for self-expression in Pakistan

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09/22/2017 11:00 AM
Kingsman: The Golden Circle: Colin Firth on the superspy comedy sequel – video

The second Kingsman film sees the dapper British secret agents go up against American supervillain Poppy Adams, played by Julianne Moore, with the help of Statesman, their US equivalent. Kingsman: The Golden Circle is out now in the UK, and is released on 21 September in Australia and 22 September in the US.

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09/21/2017 03:25 PM
Portugal's biggest wildfire: 'We all thought we were going to die' – video

On 17 June, a fire swept through the forests of central Portugal, killing 64 people and destroying more than 480 houses. After a summer of record numbers of wildfires across southern Europe, the Guardian travelled to devastated villages in Portugal to find out why the June fire was so deadly, and what can be done to prevent it happening again


*Satellite imagery courtesy of Deimos Imaging, an UrtheCast Company

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09/19/2017 07:00 AM
'I'll be here until I die': Florida Keys residents on life after Hurricane Irma

A week on from the devastation caused by Hurricane Irma, Florida Keys residents are finding strength in one another as they try to piece together their homes and make sense of what happened

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09/18/2017 01:12 PM
Rellik recap: episode three – big frights and bad dads in the grimmest week yet

A sleazy, uneasy tale of terrible parents, this was the creepiest outing so far for the reverse crime drama

So the supremely creepy truth about Patrick Barker – the city type with the Kingsman glasses who we saw fleeing the country in episode one – emerges. He was having an affair with Sally, his wife Rebecca’s 20-year-old daughter from another marriage. When Rebecca caught the icky couple in bed, a distressed Sally brained her with a trophy Patrick had received for “thought leadership” in 2003. His subsequent thought leadership involved desecrating Rebecca’s body and dumping it in a children’s playpark to make it seem like the work of the acid killer.

Despite Patrick’s gory efforts at misdirection, Gabriel seemed to intuit that there was something off about him. But Richard Dormer’s raspy DCI abandoned the Barker investigation to track down his own daughter, Hannah, who had bunked off school to do some serious booze preloading before an illicit rave. In the end – also the beginning – Gabriel and Shepard caught up with a semi-conscious Hannah barely in time to save her from a sexual assault. In other words, this was the grimmest, grubbiest Rellik yet.

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09/25/2017 09:00 PM
Star Trek: Discovery review – a darker vision boldly goes into the future

The latest addition to the Star Trek canon has found a bona fide star in Sonequa Martin-Green, but the world around her lacks the deep space to succeed

Star Trek posits a future of feminism, political rapprochement between generations-old enemies and the pursuit of racial equality. But it’s also only as progressive as its writers think their audience is. Maybe that’s why the latest version, Star Trek: Discovery, is more depressing than it probably intends to be.

Related: Star Trek’s 50-year mission: to shine a light on the best of humankind

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09/25/2017 06:55 PM
The Vietnam War: terror, heartbreak and helicopters ablaze in an epic documentary

It was the first war fought on TV – and now documentary master Ken Burns brings the most extraordinary look at Vietnam ever to the small screen. And from guerrilla truths to dead people’s testimonies, it will rock history

It’s rare for someone who makes TV documentaries to become the subject of one. But earlier this year, Tom Hanks hosted a tribute show called Ken Burns: America’s Storyteller. Colleagues, historians and even presidents praised the work of a film-maker who has consistently encouraged Americans to look to their past.

Burns made his name with The Civil War in 1990, analysing historical divisions in the US from 1861-65. Now, he burnishes his supremacy among factual film-makers by tackling the second great nation-splitting conflict that occurred exactly a century later.

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09/25/2017 12:36 PM
Anything Is Possible by Elizabeth Strout review – a moving return to the midwest

Going back to the small Illinois town of her previous book, the stories in this novel can feel a little overfamiliar, but they are beautifully told

Elizabeth Strout once told a friend: “Kathy, if I ever return to a small town, I want you to kill me.” She wrote about this conversation here in the Guardian; alas, she didn’t give us Kathy’s response. I for one am very keen to know if Kathy still feels any obligation to her friend’s request – because, if she does, Strout’s days are numbered.

Not only has Strout bought a house in rural Maine, she also keeps coming back to small-town life in her fiction. The same places, too. In Anything Is Possible, she returns to Amgash, Illinois, the rural hometown of the narrator of her novel, My Name Is Lucy Barton. With this new collection of intertwining stories, she also revisits many of the same characters, and even scenes from last year’s excellent Booker-longlisted novel. Now we get full dramatic treatment of incidents that received passing mention as Lucy’s mother gossiped away the hours beside her daughter’s hospital bed. Some of the questions raised in the earlier novel are answered; in My Name Is Lucy Barton, her mother asks: “Now how does that feel, I’ve always wondered. To be known as a Pretty Nicely Girl?” Here, we actually get to sit with the Nicely sisters as they muse over that very same thing. (One says “horrible”, the other not.) Such elucidation has its satisfactions. But it can also be like reading the extended footnotes to a more complete novel.

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09/25/2017 12:35 PM
Ramona Tells Jim review – hapless romance among the hermit crabs

Bush theatre, London
The Scottish coast is the setting for Sophie Wu’s witty play about crustacean-loving Jim, his girlfriend and his kooky ex

Like many actors who turn to writing, Sophie Wu has a knack for nifty dialogue. Her debut play is an engaging, quirky 80-minute piece about the kinship of oddballs and the disruptiveness of innocence. It shows enough promise to make you hope that Wu in future pushes herself further.

Wu’s setting is the west coast of Scotland where Jim, a 32-year-old loner who collects crustaceans and acts as a luckless tourist guide, is being badgered by his 19-year-old girlfriend, Pocahontas, to settle down. She dreams of marriage, a job as a mortgage adviser and a four-bedroom house: the fish-loving Jim is more thrilled by the prospect of a world crustacean congress in Frankfurt.

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09/25/2017 11:43 AM
The Child in Time review – an agonising portrayal of panic and guilt
Benedict Cumberbatch and Kelly Macdonald are both brilliant as the parents whose child goes missing in a deeply affecting drama. Plus: Antiques Roadshow hits Brideshead

God, that’s not an easy watch, the first 10 minutes or so of The Child in Time (BBC1). First, Stephen (Benedict Cumberbatch) returns home in a police car and goes inside to tell his wife, Julie (Kelly Macdonald), the worst news in the world: that their four-year-old daughter Kate has disappeared. “She was there,” he says. “She was there, she was just there, she was right there.”

Next, we’re a few years down the line. Stephen, a writer of children’s books as well as a member of a government childcare committee, is trying – inevitably not entirely successfully – to carry on with some kind of life. Without Julie, however, who, also inevitably, now lives separately. How can a marriage ever survive that? Not just the loss and the pain, but the blame and the guilt, too.

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09/25/2017 06:00 AM
Marvel vs Capcom Infinite review: too much power, no responsibility

The hyper-accelerated tag team brawling series returns with a beginner-friendly riot of mega combos – but the first casualty is nuance

Over the course of two decades, the Marvel vs Capcom franchise has mutated into a sprawling crazy quilt of exuberant brawling. Look for a unifying theme and it seems to be loopy excess, with overflowing character rosters, screen-filling hyper combos and a fondness for mob-handed tag-team battles. “Gonna take you for a ride!” declared Marvel vs Capcom 2’s jazzy selection screen ear-worm, and if the shield-chucking, hellfire-hosing action could occasionally be chaotic to the point of confusion, it was certainly never dull.

Six years on from Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom (a buffed-up version of the third instalment that boosted its warrior headcount to an impressive 48) and here comes a new challenger. In Marvel Vs Capcom Infinite, the conflict implied in the title has become inextricable. A diabolical team-up by Marvel’s tetchy AI zealot Ultron and Mega Man’s lantern-jawed nemesis Sigma has forcibly fused the two corporate universes together, creating an uncanny hybrid dimension.

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09/25/2017 06:00 AM
TV's Front Row is a pulped and processed version of radio's. Why?

This low-interest, no-risk reboot of Radio 4’s long-running culture strand is yet another reminder of how terminally timid BBC TV always is with the arts

Front Row, on Radio 4, is reliable, it is competent, it is always there, just after the news and the Archers. Its presenters are interested in their subjects, and good journalists. It knows what it is; it feels comfortable in its skin. I would care if it got taken off air. One can see, then, after the demise of BBC television’s The Culture Show and Newsnight Review (each shunted around the schedules until they died of confusion) why it was chosen to form the template of a new BBC2 arts show.

But would Front Row work on TV? There was trouble before the first programme even aired on Saturday evening. Instead of giving the regular radio presenters – Kirsty Lang, Samira Ahmed and John Wilson – jobs on the telly, new anchors for the small-screen version were announced. They were to be BBC media editor Amol Rajan, radio presenter and former actor Nikki Bedi, and, weirdly, Giles Coren, not everyone’s cup of tea, a journalist noted for his newspaper restaurant reviews and for having presented The Supersizers, but having no apparent qualifications for fronting an arts show aside from once having won the bad sex award for his debut novel, Winkler. Then came an interview in the Radio Times in which Coren declared he had not been to the theatre much for the past seven years (owing to paternal bathtime duties) and found the medium “stressful”; Rajan confessed to the sin of enjoying Andrew Lloyd Webber; and Bedi said she disliked sitting through very long plays without intervals.

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09/24/2017 05:05 PM
For Love or Money review – Northern Broadsides strike comedy gold

Viaduct, Halifax
Blake Morrison transposes a corrupt, covetous 18th-century Paris to 1920s Yorkshire in a lively satire directed by and starring Barrie Rutter

Northern Broadsides have made a habit of giving European classics a Yorkshire setting. So it seems fitting that Barrie Rutter’s farewell, at least on home soil, to the company he founded should be a version by Blake Morrison of Alain-René Lesage’s Turcaret.

Related: Angels and demons: the unmissable theatre, comedy and dance of autumn 2017

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09/24/2017 02:20 PM
Seoul Kimchi: ‘The soup should be offered on prescription’ – review

This tiny restaurant is as uncomfortable as it gets, but the Korean cooking makes it all worthwhile

Seoul Kimchi, 275 Upper Brook Street, Manchester M13 0HR (0161 273 5556). Meal for two, excluding wine: £30-£45

The cab rumbles down a broad street just to the south of Manchester city centre, of the sort even its planner would struggle to love. To one side is the hefty sprawl of the Royal Infirmary. To the other is the blood centre. If you’re leaking, or bits of you are falling off, this is clearly the place to be. It is not the kind of drag you would necessarily go down in search of dinner. But then sometimes worthwhile restaurants are the product of happenstance rather than design.

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09/24/2017 05:00 AM
Simon Amstell review – perky, pained, anxious, ironic, wise – and funny

Leicester Square theatre, London
From his long process, after coming out, of self-acceptance to his newfound romantic happiness, this is classic, neurotic, angst-ridden Amstell

If there were any doubts that romantic bliss might have dulled Simon Amstell’s neurotic edge, they’re allayed in the opening seconds of the first night of his new tour. He may be six years into a relationship, have just published his first book and made a splash with the recent TV mockumentary Carnage. But he still can’t help telling us – it’s the first thing he says – how undermined he feels by a single empty seat on the front row. Plus ca change, plus c’est le meme angst-ridden Amstell, laying bare his overthought emotional life in the name of our entertainment.

The new show is called What Is This?, with emphasis firmly on the middle word. The “this” is life, that mysterious thing Amstell can’t bring himself to just get on with like everyone else. After all: why? OK, so he’s not as riddled with self-loathing as he once was. Back then, he could barely get out of bed; now, “I get out of bed, but I don’t know why I’ve done it.” Existential angst, or wealthy man’s privilege? A bit of both. Amstell doesn’t remotely apologise for being famous – one droll gag finds him repaying his mum for the use of her womb by introducing her to Derren Brown. But it’s clear celebrity is just one more circle of alienation for a man whose every social interaction feels like an out-of-body experience.

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09/24/2017 10:49 AM
LCD Soundsystem review – dream band back from the dead
Glasgow Barrowlands
Six years after their ‘farewell’ show, James Murphy’s dance-punk magpies have returned, bigger and bolder than ever

Before a snare is hit, before LCD Soundsystem supremo James Murphy starts gesticulating at the monitor sound desk, there is a charge in the air. It telegraphs the delight that, to paraphrase one of LCD Soundsystem’s album titles, this is actually happening.

A gig that should not have been, this second night in Glasgow promotes a fourth LCD album – the recently released American Dream – that should not have been, either. Lairy gratitude informs the dancing that erupts with the first keyboard blobs of Get Innocuous!, LCD’s perfect set-opening gambit. Second only to Oasis as a lauded pilferer of others’ catalogues, Murphy grafts the vocals of David Bowie on to the synth lines of Kraftwerk, somehow making it sound all LCD. (A fab graphic rendition online illustrates the track’s structure.)

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09/24/2017 08:00 AM
Unbelievable review: Katy Tur's Trump tale relives an utterly insane campaign

NBC reporter writes with the bravery and wit she showed as Trump and his fans attacked her. She also exposes the worrying decline of broadcast news itself

Towards the end of last year’s election, NBC correspondent Katy Tur and her colleagues played a game no other presidential contest had inspired: name a campaign headline too crazy to be real.

Related: Devil's Bargain review: Steve Bannon and the making of President Joe Pesci

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09/24/2017 12:15 PM
Why Buddhist ‘fangsheng’ mercy release rituals can be more cruel than kind

The case of two London Buddhists fined for releasing crustaceans into the sea has thrown the spotlight on a ritual that involves hundreds of millions of wild animals – and a huge industry built around their capture and supply

It was intended as a Buddhist act of mercy and compassion, but ended in a criminal conviction and significant environmental risk. The release of hundreds of alien lobsters and crabs into the sea off Brighton has highlighted the perils of a ritual that takes kindness to animals too far.

Two London Buddhists, Zhixiong Li, 30, and Ni Li, 33, pleaded guilty last week at Brighton magistrates court to breaking the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 by releasing non-native species into the wild, causing “untold damage” to marine life. The pair were ordered to pay a total of more than £28,000 in fines and compensation.

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09/25/2017 03:32 PM
Who are the 36 BAME people among the UK's 1,000 most powerful?

Only a tiny handful of top leaders from the worlds of politics, media, finance and more are minority ethnic. This is who they are

An analysis conducted by the Guardian and Operation Black Vote has established that of the 1,049 most powerful people in Britain, just 36 are from ethnic minorities – and only seven of those are women.

Who are they?

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09/24/2017 03:00 PM
Postcards on the edge as Britain’s oldest publishers signs off

With the demise of the country’s oldest postcard publisher, is the industry now a write-off – or are reports of its death premature?

Things we forgot we already knew: the postcard industry is dying. The country’s oldest postcard publishers J Salmon has been churning small coloured squares of card out of its factory in Kent for more than 100 years. Until now. The fifth-generation brothers who still run the company have sent a letter to their clients, advising them that the presses will cease printing at the end of the year, and they will sell off their remaining stock throughout 2018.

It’s a sad demise for a company that brought us some iconic images of our country. The firm’s story began in 1880, when the original J Salmon acquired a printing business on Sevenoaks high street, and produced a collection of twelve black and white scenes of the town. In 1912, the business broke through into the big time by commissioning the artist AR Quinton, who produced 2,300 scenes of British life for them, up until his death in 1934. From Redruth to King’s Lynn, his softly coloured, highly detailed watercolours of rosy milkmaids, bucolic pumphouses and picturesque harbour towns earned him a place in the hearts of the public. J Salmon did photographs, it did cheery oils of seaside imagery titled with a garrulous enthusiasm: “Eat More Chips!”, “Sun, Sand & Sea”, “We’re Going Camping!”. It commissioned the comic artist Reg Maurice (who often worked under the pseudonym Vera Paterson), to produce pictures of comically bulbous children with cutesy captions, alongside the usual stock images of British towns.

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09/25/2017 04:09 PM
Scream with laughter: can comedy ever be scary?

Standup Nick Coyle’s new show Queen of Wolves takes a Victorian governess on a terrifying journey – and proves how humour and horror work in similar ways

The buzz around Australian standup Nick Coyle’s latest offering Queen of Wolves suggested a show that not only tickles the funny bone but chills the marrow. It finds Coyle cross-dressing as Victorian governess Frances Glass. Prim, poor and desperate, she arrives at Blackbell House – out on the windy moors – only to find that her intended infant charges have died in mysterious circumstances. What follows is the story of Frances’s bid to stay alone in the haunted house for six weeks, preparing it for sale.

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09/25/2017 02:18 PM
The Mail's censure shows which media outlets are biased on climate change | Dana Nuccitelli

Right-wing media outlets like Breitbart, Fox News, and Rush Limbaugh echoed the Mail’s “significantly misleading” and now censured climate story

Back in February, the conservative UK tabloid Mail on Sunday ran an error-riddled piece by David Rose attacking Noaa climate scientists, who had published data and a paper showing that there was never a global warming pause. The attack was based on an interview with former Noaa scientist John Bates, who subsequently admitted about his comments:

I knew people would misuse this. But you can’t control other people.

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09/25/2017 10:00 AM
Michael Jackson's new album shows the terror in the King of Pop's soul

A new compilation, Scream, lays bare the phantasmagoria that plagued Michael Jackson, everywhere from the bedroom to the public eye

Following the posthumous albums Michael and Xscape, it would appear the well of unreleased Michael Jackson material is running dry. There was a flurry of excitement as a “new album” was announced earlier this year, entitled Scream, due to go on sale on 29 September. But the only new music on it is a mashed-up version of five relatively deep cuts, tacked on to the end of a compilation – one that is fascinatingly awkward in its presentation of Jackson.

Related: John Landis on the making of Michael Jackson’s Thriller: ‘I was adamant he couldn’t look too hideous’

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09/25/2017 01:07 PM
How smearing a woman’s reputation was irresistible for the media | Nick Cohen
Many news organisations published Robbie Travers’ claims to have been victim of a PC stitch-up. If only they had dug a little deeper into the murky racial politics behind the story

On 12 May, Robbie Travers sent Esme Allman, a fellow student at Edinburgh University, a Facebook message.

“Hey Esme, just to let you know multiple news agencies have been delivered [sic] your comments on calling black men trash. You might want to think about saying that in future, some have been linked it [sic] to neo-Nazism.”

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09/25/2017 10:28 AM
Into Film Awards: entries open for young film-makers and their teachers

Schools invited to enter creative work by students and examples of exceptional use of film for learning by teachers

The Into Film Awards 2018 – celebrating achievements in film by young people and the work of those who teach them – are open to entries from schools across the UK.

Run by charity Into Film, with the support of partners the Guardian Teacher Network and NATE, the awards invite schools to champion their best film-makers, reviewers, film clubs, and teachers using film for learning.

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09/25/2017 11:15 AM
When good TV goes bad: how Ally McBeal lost its lust for life

We loved Ally McBeal because it wasn’t afraid to celebrate human flaws, but the death of Calista Flockhart’s one true love knocked the wind out of the show

Calista Flockhart bounced on to our screens in 1997, wearing oversized pyjamas, mouth permanently pouted in a kiss or ooh-ing along to her favourite tune, as David E Kelley’s pint-sized lawyer Ally McBeal. She opened doors with her bottom while carrying too many packages, was frequently caught out talking and/or dancing to herself when she thought no one was looking, and her reaction to finding someone attractive was usually to fall over.

She sounds annoying, but to millions of women in their 20s, she was the diminutive embodiment of our inner angst: about how to be a grown up when we felt like children; how to function single when every indication from the universe told us to couple up. Time magazine tagged her as one of the death knells of feminism, which seems harsh. But she sure was hung up on those boys. Well, one in particular.

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09/25/2017 12:00 PM
James Corden's Peter Rabbit: another kids' classic wrecked forever

A new trailer reveals Beatrix Potter’s gentle rabbit has been turned into a house-trashing, cocky jerk. It looks like he’s gone the way of Postman Pat and Thunderbirds

In a concrete bunker situated miles below civilisation lives a crack team of scientists dedicated to one thing and one thing only: ruining Peter Rabbit as comprehensively as they possibly can.

Parents of young children might be fooled into thinking that their mission has already been a success. After all, there’s already a CBeebies Peter Rabbit adaptation that paints the sedate, 115-year-old Beatrix Potter character as a go-get-’em adventurer whose escapades are typically soundtracked by a series of nightmarish sub-Levellers songs about standing your ground and laughing in the face of danger.

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09/25/2017 12:16 PM
Lakes of mercury and human sacrifices – after 1,800 years, Teotihuacan reveals its treasures

When archaeologists found a tunnel under Mexico’s ‘birthplace of the gods’, they could only dream of the riches they would discover. Now its wonders – from jewel-eyed figures to necklaces of human teeth – are being revealed to the world

In 2003, a tunnel was discovered beneath the Feathered Serpent pyramid in the ruins of Teotihuacan, the ancient city in Mexico. Undisturbed for 1,800 years, the sealed-off passage was found to contain thousands of extraordinary treasures lying exactly where they had first been placed as ritual offerings to the gods. Items unearthed included greenstone crocodile teeth, crystals shaped into eyes, and sculptures of jaguars ready to pounce. Even more remarkable was a miniature mountainous landscape, 17 metres underground, with tiny pools of liquid mercury representing lakes. The walls of the tunnel were found to have been carefully impregnated with powdered pyrite, or fool’s gold, to give the effect in firelight of standing under a galaxy of stars.

The archaeological site, near Mexico City, is one of the largest and most important in the world, with millions of visitors every year. This was its most exciting development for decades – and the significance of these new discoveries is explored in a major exhibition opening this month at the de Young Museum in San Francisco.

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09/24/2017 05:52 PM
Former Met boss Thomas Campbell: 'I was passionate about the museum and its mission'

‘Tapestry Tom’ was seen as an odd choice when he took over at the Met, and his modernizing mission caused division and dissent. Now, seven months after resigning, he explains why he feels vindicated

In February this year, the New York art world was abuzz with the sound of scandal. Talk was only of one thing: a New York Times front page which had posed the provocative question ‘Is the Met a great institution in decline?’. The allegations against the museum were wide-ranging: financial mismanagement, discontented staff, inappropriate office relationships, a misguided investment in modern art and an expensive obsession with digitising the collection. And the blame landed on the shoulders of one person: Thomas Campbell, the British tapestries curator, who had taken over as director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art eight years previous.

Related: Director of New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art resigns amid pressure

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09/25/2017 01:00 PM
The Naked Ape at 50: ‘Its central claim has surely stood the test of time ‘

In October 1967, Desmond Morris published his landmark study of human behaviour and evolution. Here four experts assess what he got right – and wrong

Professor of evolutionary psychology at the University of Oxford

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09/24/2017 06:30 AM
'You leave part of yourself on stage': Royal Ballet dancers on Kenneth MacMillan

For Edward Watson they’re terrifying and exhilarating. Sarah Lamb struggles to return to reality after performing them. Twenty-five years after Macmillan’s death, his visceral works have made a mark on the whole company

Kenneth MacMillan holds a peculiarly revered position within the culture of the Royal Ballet. Many junior dancers say that it’s the principal roles within his story ballets – Romeo and Juliet, Mayerling and Manon – to which they most aspire. Older dancers acknowledge that performing the MacMillan repertory has not only shaped them profoundly as artists but has stamped a collective identity on the company. MacMillan’s works may be several decades old, the Royal may be about to commemorate the 25th anniversary of his death, but still there are elements of his style – his richly textured realism and his raw-edged characterisation – that dancers claim they find in no other choreographer.

Related: Mayerling review – sex, drugs and revolution in the Royal Ballet's superb staging

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09/25/2017 10:10 AM
What would an entirely flood-proof city look like?

The wetter the better. From sponge cities in China to ‘berms with benefits’ in New Jersey and floating container classrooms in the slums of Dhaka, we look at a range of projects that treat storm water as a resource rather than a hazard

They call it “pave, pipe, and pump”: the mentality that has dominated urban development for over a century.

Along with the explosion of the motorcar in the early 20th century came paved surfaces. Rainwater – instead of being sucked up by plants, evaporating, or filtering through the ground back to rivers and lakes – was suddenly forced to slide over pavements and roads into drains, pipes and sewers.

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09/25/2017 06:30 AM
Why Hillary Clinton was right about white women – and their husbands

Conventional wisdom says women will show solidarity at the polls. But new research shows that for white women, having a husband trumped the sisterhood

Hillary Clinton hoped to wear white on election night, a tribute to the suffragettes and the sweep of political history. Instead, as she wrote in her new book, the white suit stayed in her garment bag as she donned the gray and purple garment she had intended for her first trip to Washington as president-elect.

Given the opportunity to make history by electing the first female president, women didn’t take it. And ironically, the women who bore the most resemblance to Clinton – white, heterosexual and married – were less likely to vote for her.

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09/25/2017 10:00 AM
Super savers: meet the coupon queen and the cashback king

Saving Money Week As part of our series on saving cash, here’s how three canny consumers make their budgets stretch further

It has been four years since Great Yarmouth resident Smith, 32, paid full price for anything at the supermarket. “It all started one night when I couldn’t sleep,” she says. “I got up and started looking for coupons on the internet, which I could combine with supermarket deals to get the item for free. I became really good at it and then a friend encouraged me to start a blog online. So I did.” She now has almost a million followers on her Facebook page, Couponmumuk, and spends up to 14 hours a day sourcing coupons and bargains that she can share.

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09/25/2017 05:00 AM
From Blade Runner to Rollerball: did cinema's sci-fi dystopias predict the future?

We are living in the era imagined by science-fiction films – but is reality really mirroring fiction?

Related: Deadly reality TV and sex robots: what can we learn from films set in 2017?

Police cars can’t fly, artificial snakes are not commercially available, and the exodus to off-world colonies has not yet begun, but we’re already living in the world of Blade Runner – chronologically, at least. The original movie is set in 2019. Rutger Hauer’s replicant-in-chief has been activated since January 2016. He might be watching attack ships off the shoulder of Orion as we speak.

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09/25/2017 08:59 AM
The shorter your sleep, the shorter your life: the new sleep science

Leading neuroscientist Matthew Walker on why sleep deprivation is increasing our risk of cancer, heart attack and Alzheimer’s – and what you can do about it

Matthew Walker has learned to dread the question “What do you do?” At parties, it signals the end of his evening; thereafter, his new acquaintance will inevitably cling to him like ivy. On an aeroplane, it usually means that while everyone else watches movies or reads a thriller, he will find himself running an hours-long salon for the benefit of passengers and crew alike. “I’ve begun to lie,” he says. “Seriously. I just tell people I’m a dolphin trainer. It’s better for everyone.”

Walker is a sleep scientist. To be specific, he is the director of the Center for Human Sleep Science at the University of California, Berkeley, a research institute whose goal – possibly unachievable – is to understand everything about sleep’s impact on us, from birth to death, in sickness and health. No wonder, then, that people long for his counsel. As the line between work and leisure grows ever more blurred, rare is the person who doesn’t worry about their sleep. But even as we contemplate the shadows beneath our eyes, most of us don’t know the half of it – and perhaps this is the real reason he has stopped telling strangers how he makes his living. When Walker talks about sleep he can’t, in all conscience, limit himself to whispering comforting nothings about camomile tea and warm baths. It’s his conviction that we are in the midst of a “catastrophic sleep-loss epidemic”, the consequences of which are far graver than any of us could imagine. This situation, he believes, is only likely to change if government gets involved.

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09/24/2017 07:00 AM
10 of the best new budget hotels and hostels in Europe

Stylish but affordable hostels and hotels aimed at the Instagram generation continue to open apace across Europe, offering excellent value and a party atmosphere

Jo&Joe is a new youth brand from hotel giant Accor which is hoping to muscle in on the Airbnb market by “blending the best of private-rental, hostel and hotel formats”. Aimed squarely at millennials, this is the first of 50 hostels scheduled to open by 2020. There are private rooms and dorms, and it’s moments from the beach of this Atlantic surfing resort. Watersports are the focus, with bookable surf and paddleboarding lessons (as well as yoga classes and a climbing wall), plus masterclasses and workshops through partners Roxy and Quiksilver. A bar, outdoor dining area (open to non-guests), guest kitchen and hammocks give the place a party vibe.
Dorm beds from €25, all-day breakfast €4, accorhotels.com

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09/25/2017 01:37 PM
Why do models always look so glum? Well, they’ve got good reason to

With the exception of some London fashion week shows, models tend to wear a furious death stare. It’s hard to blame them – what with the constant criticism and pressure to be thin

Why do models always look so miserable on the catwalk?
Iain, by email

For approximately the 17,321,212nd time, this column finds it can only answer a reader’s question with some assistance from David Sedaris. Don’t we all wish Sedaris had a weekly style column? And restaurant review slot? And celebrity gossip column? And an entire newspaper just to himself? There are not many people who you would eagerly pay money to read on anything, and even fewer who you know would bring greater wisdom to that subject than any of the so-called specialists in their respective fields. But I would pay triple for The Daily Sedaris.

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09/25/2017 04:47 PM
From Glow Job to Orgasm: how cosmetics brands got filthy

With Tom Ford causing a stir with his new perfume, Fucking Fabulous, the trend for risque names shows no sign of abating. But is lascivious labelling about more than just shock factor?

Tom Ford’s new perfume is Fucking Fabulous – at least that’s what it’s called. Ford announced his latest fragrance during New York fashion week, and the name alone has caused a stir, with descriptions ranging from “racy” to “obscene”. Certainly, it’s a gear change for the designer, who has previously favoured more literal fragrance names – Tobacco Vanille, Tuscan Leather, Venetian Bergamot – but, in the increasingly risque world of cosmetics monikers, it is unlikely to raise eyebrows for long.

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09/25/2017 03:51 PM
iPhone 8: glass back 'very difficult' to repair and costs more than screen to replace

Apple’s ‘most durable glass ever in a smartphone’ claim likely to be put to the test with first iPhone 8 accidents, but repairs won’t be cheap, reports say

The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus have glass backs that, if smashed, cost more to replace than the screen.

The new plates, which bring glass to the back of Apple smartphones for the first time in four years, have been installed to enable wireless charging, but also introduce a new point of failure.

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09/25/2017 11:23 AM
Is mortgage protection insurance necessary when buying a house?

I have a high BMI and think I’d be turned down for cover

Q I have been reading articles regarding mortgage life insurance cover. Unfortunately I have a higher-than-wanted body mass index (BMI) count, and from what I’ve read I believe I would find it hard to get insurance.

If I wanted to sell my existing property and buy a new place, but couldn’t get mortgage life insurance due to my BMI, is it compulsory to have cover to be accepted for a mortgage? Would my lender still lend to me if I earn enough to pay the mortgage? AM

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09/25/2017 02:12 PM
Anna Jones’s recipes from A Modern Cook’s Year | Book extract

One side of autumn does not resemble the other, yet we insist on speaking of just four seasons. In this extract from Anna’s new book, recipes are arranged more in rhythm with nature. Here are a few that feel fitting right now ...

My new book is written in six chapters, each of which roughly knits together two months at a time – I find a year divided into four seasons a bit too vague. Just step into a greengrocer on the summer side of autumn and then again as autumn turns into winter and you’ll see the difference. There are so many more subtleties to what’s growing than spring, summer, autumn and winter.

While the seasons are a useful tool, your eyes and tastebuds should always be your primary guide. What I cook is not always led by produce but by the mood of the day, the feeling of rain or sun on my skin, the arrival of a certain friend, even something I see on the news. Some days dinner comes entirely from the storecupboard – there is as much of a thrill in the ingenuity of that for me. So, sometimes its macaroni cheese in July, and if that’s what I crave, so be it.

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09/25/2017 11:00 AM
To boldly go for it: why the split infinitive is no longer a mistake

It was the Victorians who decided that splitting an infinitive was a grammatical error. Now, researchers says, there is good reason to consign the rule to history

Name: The split infinitive.

Age: 800 years. Ish.

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09/25/2017 11:18 AM
'It's like walking through fire' – the rise of competitive fitness

From log carrying to trail running, events such as Tribal Clash and CrossFit are growing fast. What’s the appeal of this hardcore approach to training?

You probably didn’t notice but at the end of this summer, on the sandy beach of Bantham, near Kingsbridge in South Devon, 960 men and women gathered for a gruesome battle. For an entire weekend, this stretch of English coastline saw teams of furious men and women dashing across hilly trails, hoisting atlas stones and lugging a 240kg sandworm, in both blistering heat and torrential rain.

This wasn’t a Viking re-enactment (too much compression gear for that), but an annual competitive fitness event called Tribal Clash, the appetite for which is almost as strong as the participants’ mettle. Since its launch in 2013, Tribal Clash has more than doubled in size, from 100 teams of four to 160 teams of six, and has also begun holding a second annual event in Portugal.

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09/25/2017 05:00 AM
Nine rules for your first days in student halls

Settling into your accommodation is the first big challenge at uni. Here are some tips to help you through

It’s almost three years ago to the day that I moved into my university halls of residence, and it remains one of the most stressful things I’ve ever done.

It wasn’t the (admittedly strenuous) early-morning move from the Isle of Man that made it so tough, but the anxiety that came after. Meeting the strangers that you have committed to live with is often strained, awkward and a bit weird for everyone involved. Here are some golden rules to help you through those jittery first days.

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09/25/2017 09:25 AM
I’ve started fantasising about women. Is it because my boyfriend is so disappointing?

We only see each other at weekends, and he rarely texts me or socialises. Should I follow my two female best friends and seek a relationship with a woman instead?

Two of my female friends have a strong romantic relationship. I am happy for them, but their relationship has shown me how unfulfilling my own is. My boyfriend of two years and I only see each other at weekends, and he rarely socialises with my friends or texts me. Recently, I have found myself fantasising about women. But has this just stemmed from envying my friends? Should I try to fix my relationship or embrace my new feelings?

You are putting up with a lot, and you must sometimes wonder why you would want to continue in such an unfulfilling situation. In fact, there is surely an important reason why you spend your time imbued with longing. Perhaps it is that this absentee boyfriend creates in you a familiar state that dates back to much earlier in your life; the childhood trauma of feeling unimportant or unprioritised can follow a person into adulthood. Unconscious choices to repeat elements of a painful familial relationship can lead to exactly the kind of misery you are experiencing, so it would be wise to seek professional help.

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09/25/2017 07:00 AM
20 best seafood recipes: part 1

Monkfish saffron rice from Spain, a Thai salt-crust fish and classic langoustines with mayonnaise – part 1 of Observer Food Monthly’s favourite fish and shellfish recipes

  • Part 2 launches tomorrow morning

Clams or prawns can be added to this rice with great success. Put the prawn shells in the stock for extra flavour.

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09/25/2017 07:00 AM
Is it possible to reverse Type 2 diabetes?

Most doctors only address the symptoms, but the disease can be beaten into remission. However, it requires losing a lot of weight – and keeping it off

Type 2 diabetes is a progressive condition that can lead to heart disease, nerve damage, kidney disease and blindness. However, it is possible to beat it into remission. The pancreas can begin again making insulin, the hormone that regulates levels of glucose in the blood. The liver can reassert itself as the body’s reservoir for glucose and stop pumping out unwanted sugar. And many people who have been taking tablets to control their type 2 diabetes can potentially throw them away. This is good for the NHS, because 5% to 10% of people have type 2 diabetes. However, to beat it, you would need to lose about 10% of your body weight – and keep it off.

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09/25/2017 05:59 AM
My daughter is dating a much older man | Mariella Frostrup

Mariella Frostrup says a father’s anger at his daughter’s relationship is understandable – but may be to do with his own unresolved past

The dilemma I have a 23-year-old daughter. Her mother and I split up when she was seven due to her mother’s infidelity. I still see my daughter regularly and she is close to my wife and the two other children we have. My daughter didn’t have a “proper” boyfriend until she was in her late teens. Last week I was informed that her new boyfriend is a little older than her. It transpires he’s 48! He also has a wife and two children who he is preparing to leave to be with my daughter. I am, in equal measures, furious, horrified, embarrassed, ashamed and desperate. This new boyfriend is older than my wife, who is 46. I am 55. My daughter wants me to meet this man, but I am too shocked and angry that a man of his age and with his responsibilities could behave in this manner. How should I handle this? I am too embarrassed to talk to my friends about it.

Mariella replies I feel your pain. Though I don’t think you have anything to be embarrassed about. Your job was to raise her and teach her how to be the best adult possible. At 23 she may well be romantically naive but she’s a grown-up. Your situation is a parental nightmare, but not the most unusual of scenarios. She’s certainly not the first young woman to fall for an unhappily married mature man.

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09/24/2017 05:00 AM
Inside my art gallery home | Kate Jacobs

Art sets the tone in each room of this home, a gallery with a difference. Kate Jacobs is given a private view

When Jemma Hickman launched the bo.lee gallery in Bath nine years ago, her choice of artists was intuitive. “I would ask myself, would I want to hang this piece in my own home?” she says. This proved to be a prescient principle as, having brought the business to London in 2012, she decided to look for a space that was a home and gallery in one.

This decision was partly down to the capital’s prohibitive rents, but also because of the benefits of displaying art in a domestic setting. “Galleries can feel quite sterile and intimidating, but a home feels more relaxed, plus it freed me up to travel to international art fairs,” says Hickman.

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09/24/2017 05:00 AM
Dolce & Gabbana show off brand's heritage at third Milan show

Collection, called Queen of Hearts, mixes 90s black corsets and Italian resort style with witty touches

Sunday afternoon in Milan hosted Dolce & Gabbana’s spring/summer 2018 show. But this wasn’t the first show for the brand during the city’s fashion week – it was the third.

A pop-up show happened at the city’s La Rinascente department store on Thursday and at 10pm on Saturday night there was a “secret show” for its wealthy clientele. The cast included socialites and celebrity offspring, such as Kitty Spencer, Ella Richards and Christian Combs, the son of Sean Combs. The collection consisted of eveningwear designs including floor-length tulle dresses, lacy gowns and brightly coloured suiting. It demanded the lifestyle – and the budget – of the 1%. The rest of the world could enjoy watching it on Instagram.

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09/24/2017 04:34 PM
Nigel Slater’s end-of-season vegetable and herb recipes

Make the most of the late summer glut with delicious baked vegetable tarts and herb-crusted tomatoes

There have been cries for help this week over what to do with the end-of-season vegetables and herbs – the final few stragglers on the vegetable plot. In particular the last shout from the tomatoes, courgettes, marrows and basil. “Can I freeze a glut of basil?” “Where are all the courgette recipes?” “WTF do I do with yet another marrow?”

This week I made two fat aubergines and a rather heady mountain of basil leaves into crisp, generously filled tartlets; baked an oddball assortment of tomatoes with a herb crust for eating as a main course and made a soupy marrow and tomato stew with couscous, just to share some recipes to make the most of the last of the early-autumn produce. I could have bottled the tomatoes and frozen the pesto, but this was more fun, more immediate.

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09/24/2017 05:00 AM
A beginner’s guide to pickling

Grown too many vegetables? Sick of making chutney? There is an alternative…

Your harvests may have been bountiful, but by now you must be bored with making chutney. It’s time to embrace brine. With the help of salt water, a process known as lacto-fermentation can give surplus veg a new lease of life.

Fermented foods are manna for good gut flora, and fermented pickles are part of that package. These sorts of pickles are often best done in small batches, so they’re ideal for that handful of beans you can’t motivate yourself to eat, or the courgette that ballooned when you weren’t looking. You can also save crops that might not be at their best, such as green tomatoes that won’t ripen. Turnips, radishes, carrots, runner and french beans, mangetout, grated horseradish, chillies, peppers and tomatoes are among my favourites.

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09/23/2017 09:59 AM
County Championship 2017: how has your team fared this season?

Newly promoted Essex won their first title since 1992 as last year’s challengers fell away. How has it been for your team?

The 2017 County Championship season is almost over and Essex have won their first title in 25 years. It’s a great achievement for the newly promoted team, who were tipped to struggle in their first season back in Division One. Are you an Essex fan still trying to get your head around the team’s success? What went wrong with Middlesex’s title defence? What has happened to Somerset, who were second last season but are now fighting off relegation? And who will make the step up to next season? Share your thoughts on the season with us and we’ll feature some of your contributions on the site next week.

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09/25/2017 11:35 AM
Gather around: readers' photos on the theme of group

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

  • Share your photos on this week’s theme ‘sleep’ by clicking the button below
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09/24/2017 08:00 AM
It’s no mystery – science and religion cannot be reconciled | the big issue

Scientists exist to defy, examine and explain the things that others might claim to be acts of God

While I am sure that there are many people working in scientific fields who would claim to be religious, it always seems to me that there really is a basic conflict here, rather than a “misunderstanding” (“Would you Adam and Eve it? Why creation story is at heart of major misunderstanding”, News).

How can any ultimately “supernatural” explanation (whatever that means) for a phenomenon ever be a “scientific” answer? At what point can any dedicated scientist investigating a difficult problem decide that there is no scientific answer to it and that it can be explained only as an act of God? How would such results be presented for scientific peer review and in what terms would they be couched?

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09/23/2017 11:05 PM
'I was kicked out of halls after one night' – your freshers' week regrets

Readers tell us what they got wrong in their first week of university

The very first night at university I had a few drinks (of course). I went to bed and I was woken up in the early hours by the fire alarm in my halls of residence. Being tipsy, as well as young and foolish, I punched the fire alarm control panel and dented it. The next day the hall manager gave me a massive telling off and evicted me from the accommodation. I spent the next two months living with a strict vegetarian family who set me a 10pm curfew. Alistair, West Midlands

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09/23/2017 03:00 PM
'We have forged our own identity': Welsh readers on 20 years of devolution

Readers in Wales on issues facing their country after marking 20 years since the vote for a devolved government

Wales voted for devolved government 20 years ago this week by a very narrow margin - just 50.3 to 49.7. We asked readers from Wales to consider what impact this decision had on the country and to share their hopes and concerns about the future post Brexit.

We have heard how the referendum affected communities, national identity and society as a whole. Here are some of their views.

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09/23/2017 10:48 AM
Violence has no place in transgender debate | Letters
Women gathered to discuss the law on gender identity should not come under physical attack, say Linda Bellos, Lucy Masoud and others

Speakers’ Corner in London was where suffragettes met to debate the laws and rights of the day. This was the intention for women who congregated there on 13 September to be directed to a meeting to discuss the impact of proposed legislation on gender identity.

The venue could not be advertised because the original one, a community meeting space, had been intimidated into cancelling the booking. Transgender activists who opposed the debate taking place instigated a campaign to shut it down, which led to the attack on 60-year-old Maria MacLachlan by multiple assailants. Her camera was smashed, her hand cut, and her face and neck bruised.

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09/24/2017 05:04 PM
Sports quiz of the week: sackings, strike partnerships and a sensational start

Who keep winning? Who kept scoring? And who could have been a contender?

Sergio Agüero and Gabriel Jesus were both on the scoresheet for Manchester City last weekend (and the weekend before). They have now scored nine league goals between them this season. Which two strikers contributed 55 goals to their club in a single Premier League season?

Andy Cole and Peter Beardsley for Newcastle in 1993-94

Alan Shearer and Chris Sutton for Blackburn in 1994-95

Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole for Manchester United in 1998-99

Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suárez for Liverpool in 2013-14

Why were Celta Vigo fined by La Liga this week?

Because their players were "wearing their socks too low"

Three of their players mooned to a group of photographers who came to watch them train

Their manager did an interview while wearing a set of branded headphones

All eight of their games this season have ended nil-nil and they’ve been accused of "unsportsmanlike tactics".

Not enough fans have attended their home matches this season

What is the missing number: ???-110, 114-114, 113-115?

101

114

118

122

What was unexpected about Mark Beaumont’s attempt to cycle "around the world in 80 days"?

He wasn't able to complete it as someone stole his bike

The ferry he had booked from Dover to Calais was delayed and he finished in 81 days

He arrived home and found out his sponsor had gone bust and hadn’t been paying him

He finished it two days earlier than planned

Gareth Barry made his 632nd appearance in the Premier League on Saturday, equalling Ryan Giggs’ record. What Premier League record does Barry own all to himself?

Most appearances without winning the title

Oldest goalscorer

Most yellow cards

First person to score a hat-trick for two different clubs

Mark Sampson, the manager of the England women’s football team, was sacked on Wednesday. How had the team performed the night before?

They lost 2-0

They lost 4-1

The drew 3-3

They won 6-0

Which football club in the UK has not dropped a point yet this season?

Manchester City

Celtic

Coleraine

Llandudno

Rio Ferdinand has taken up boxing after a long and successful career as a footballer. Which other sport did the teenage Ferdinand reject before signing a contract with West Ham?

Cycling

Ballet

Table tennis

Snooker

Which other athlete took up boxing late in his sporting career and went on to win a British title?

Andrew Flintoff

Curtis Woodhouse

Leon McKenzie

Nobby Stiles

Jake LaMotta, the fighter immortalised in Martin Scorsese's film Raging Bull, died this week at the age of 95. What was LaMotta's other nickname?

The Brooklyn bruiser

The Staten Island stomper

The Manhattan maniac

The Bronx Bull

The Queensberry ruler

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09/22/2017 11:23 AM
Unpalatable truths about laboratory-grown food | Letters
Synthetic meat and fish can’t, on their own, provide an answer to climate change, argues Iain Climie, while David Ridge envisages technical problems in taking the technology out of the lab, and onto people’s plates

Synthetic meat and fish (Is ‘Frankenfish’ the start of a food revolution?, G2, 21 September) could have huge benefits – although there are cheaper and simpler ways to improve food supplies, including better livestock practices, conservation plus careful use, integrated methods, silviculture and using different animals fed more sensibly. These ideas, technology and cutting waste could massively reduce livestock’s impact, but nobody wants the bill while benefits could still be lost.

Even dramatic reductions in human emissions may not stop the climate change trend. Those most at risk won’t benefit from technological advances, and the response to climate refugees approaching richer countries can be imagined. More food from less space doesn’t guarantee more room for wildlife; environmentalists often estimate western lifestyles for all would require at least three fully exploited planets. And it isn’t just burgers: biofuels, other cash crops, mineral extraction, suburban sprawl, dams and other developments could outweigh potential gains.  Underlying these concerns are free market idiocies. Resources are looted for short-term gain, having enough is an alien concept and “make more money, buy more stuff” rules. Maybe the world needs to chill in more ways than one.
Iain Climie
Whitchurch, Hampshire

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09/24/2017 05:46 PM
'Boris is Boris': who said what this week in Brexit?

An international week in Brexit that saw Theresa May head to Vancouver before meetings in London and a big speech in Florence. But who said what?

'Boris is Boris'

Theresa May

Michael Gove

Amber Rudd

Donald Trump

'It’s a bit like a school where discipline has broken down completely [and] the headteacher is barricaded in her own office'

Amber Rudd

Vince Cable

Nicola Sturgeon

Ken Clarke

'I said before [that the referendum] was a dumb idea, other things should've been tried first. In some possible branches of the future, leaving will be an error.'

George Osborne

Dominic Cummings

Diane Abbott

Kate Hoey

'What I do not envisage is that we should pay into the EU just for access to the single market, or some such concept. It does not seem to be necessary. We do not get money for access to our markets.'

Jeremy Corbyn

Boris Johnson

Theresa May

David Davis

'I still have some difficulty seeing how after the general election, which produced a hung parliament in the UK, this government is going to get its form of Brexit through.'

Emily Thornberry

Tim Farron

Tony Blair

Kier Starmer

'There is clearly cause for concern about the rate of progress in Brussels just as there is in the UK. And the ball is very much in the prime minister’s court'

Jean-Claude Juncker

John McDonnell

Kier Starmer

Michel Barnier

'Leaving the European Union is a great liberation for the United Kingdom, as worthy for celebration as victory at Waterloo or the Glorious Revolution.'

Emmanuel Macron

Boris Johnson

Nigel Farage

Jacob Rees-Mogg

'The very fact we have no idea what the final outcome might look like suggests there is a case for a second referendum'

Justine Greening

Nicola Sturgeon

Tom Watson

Nick Clegg

'It’s perfectly possible to feel English, British and European at the same time. As it is perfectly normal to be a Dubliner, Irish and European at the same time'

Guy Verhofstadt

Arlene Foster

Leo Varadkar

Jeremy Corbyn

'Expect negative briefing from the commission, sarcasm from Guy Verhofstadt, and a polite but not positive reply from Michel Barnier and Jean-Claude Juncker.'

Andrea Leadsom

Nick Timothy

Fiona Hill

Philip Hammond

5 and above.

Not bad! You seem to be pretty much following developments

9 and above.

Almost perfect – a fine effort!

1 and above.

Hmm ... hit refresh and have another go?

0 and above.

Oh dear ... were you really trying?

10 and above.

Congratulations – you appear to be making perfect sense of the confusion!

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09/22/2017 09:57 AM
Accessing cities with a disability: what have your experiences been?

Inaccessible venues and public spaces are a daily occurrence for most disabled people, whether at home or on holiday. We want to hear from Guardian readers with a disability about your experiences of accessing cities, good or bad

Last year Chester was named the most accessible city in Europe, selected from 43 cities in 21 countries for its achievements in creating a disability-friendly environment across many different sectors.

Related: Roman holiday: how Chester became the most accessible city in Europe

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09/20/2017 09:38 AM
Readers recommend: share your songs about taboos

Make your nomination in the comments and a reader will pick the best eligible tracks for a playlist next week – you have until Monday 25 September

We want to hear about songs that talk up taboos – or, indeed, may have been taboo themselves. For more on how to interpret the theme, keep an eye on the comments.

You have until 11pm on Monday 25 September to post your nomination and make your justification. Samantha Birchard, who posts below the line as drunkenpanda, will select from your recommendations and produce your playlist, to be published online on 28 September.

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09/21/2017 07:00 PM
Tips, links and suggestions: what are you reading this week?

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

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

Where are the songs of spring? Think not of them... It’s autumn on Tips, Links And Suggestions and readers like Brooke Sherbrooke have been tailoring their choices accordingly:

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09/18/2017 02:00 PM
Where to see spectacular autumn colours around the world: our readers’ tips

It’s the season for mother nature to dazzle us with golds, reds, yellows and oranges … Our readers recommend the most vibrant autumnal displays in Europe, North America and Japan

They call it the Złota Polska Jesień – the Polish Golden Autumn. It’s when the oaks and sycamores around Krakow do their best New England impression. Just 20 minutes’ drive north of the city is the smallest national park in the country: Ojców. A series of small, sylvan valleys turns into a beautiful patchwork of ochre and rust-red starting in September. There are forest trails running past streams, caves and crooked cottages. You can climb up to lookout points for views over the tops of the woods, and see Ojców Castle studding the hillside like something out of Bram Stoker’s Dracula.
Bolkonsky

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09/21/2017 05:30 AM
Have you been affected by the earthquake in Mexico?

Central Mexico has been hit by a 7.1 magnitude earthquake. If you’re in the region, you can share your experiences with us

  • Your safety is most important. Do not take any risks when recording or sharing your story

At least 224 have been killed by a powerful earthquake in central Mexico. The quake, which measured 7.1 on the Richter scale, is the deadliest to hit the nation since 1985. It struck shortly after 1pm local time, causing violent, prolonged shaking which flattened buildings and sent masonry tumbling onto streets, crushing cars and people in the capital Mexico City and surrounding areas.

The earthquake also appeared to have triggered an eruption of Mexico’s Popocatépetl volcano. In Atzitzihuacan on the slopes of the volcano, a church collapsed during mass, killing 15 people, Puebla governor Jose Antonio Gali said.

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09/20/2017 07:00 AM
Send us your questions for Philip Pullman

The Observer New Review offers you the chance to put your questions to the master storyteller

Next month sees the publication of Philip Pullman’s La Belle Sauvage, the long-awaited first volume of The Book of Dust, an epic fantasy trilogy intended to stand alongside his bestselling series, His Dark Materials.

Pullman devotees have waited 17 years for him to return to the magical world of Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass, which have together sold more than 17.5m copies and been translated into 40 languages.

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09/19/2017 02:29 PM
Terry Wogan voted greatest BBC radio presenter

John Peel and Sue MacGregor second and third in Radio Times poll of leading figures in broadcasting

Sir Terry Wogan has been voted the greatest BBC radio presenter, in a survey of leading figures in broadcasting to mark the 50th anniversary of Radios 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Wogan topped the poll ahead of John Peel, Sue MacGregor, Annie Nightingale and Alistair Cooke. Chris Evans, who was paid at least £2.2m last year by the BBC and is its highest paid on-air star, according to its official pay list, ranked 26th.

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09/25/2017 11:01 PM
Susheela Raman: ‘I always think, what would Björk do?
The British-Indian singer has studied with musicians from every corner of the globe and picked up a Mercury nomination along the way. But her concert of ‘sacred music for secular people’ may be her biggest challenge yet

For Susheela Raman, music is “all about escaping definition”. If the British-born and based musician seems emphatic on this point, shared over coffee in a park in north London, it’s because she has never really fitted in anywhere. Born to Tamil parents, Raman has spent a career shrugging off labels: world music (“a racist marketing category; I hate it”); ethnic (“I’ve often been told I should sound ‘more Indian’”); feminist. “I’m always striving for expression that could go beyond gender, beyond ethnicity,” she says.

Her latest project is equally liberationist in spirit. On 30 September, Raman will host Sacred Imaginations at the Barbican Centre, a concert of “sacred music for secular people”. The lineup, curated by Raman and her husband/music partner, Sam Mills of Real World Records, boasts esoteric virtuosos from around the globe who are united in their working knowledge of eastern and early Christian music. Parts of it will, says Raman, be like “plugging into something from the fourth century”.

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09/25/2017 02:45 PM
Is Tintin a girl? Philosopher says his theory was 'fake news'

After media fuss, Vincent Cespede says playful suggestion that Hergé’s boy detective was a young girl was merely ‘rethinking from another point of view’

A French philosopher, who made headlines worldwide last week after writing that he believed the boy detective Tintin was actually a girl, has said that it was a thought experiment and that the media ran it despite being told it was fake news.

“For his creator, Tintin [had] always been a young girl. An androgynous redhead with blue eyes, and probably asexual,” wrote Vincent Cespedes on Facebook last week. “Hergé would still be sniggering to find that 30 years after his death and 80 years after the first appearance of Tintin in the Land of the Soviets, the whole world still believed that his ‘tomboy’ – as he called the character in front of the few friends who were in on the joke – is well and truly a real boy.”

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09/25/2017 01:30 PM
Deep Purple's ex-accountant banned as director for 'misappropriating £2m'

Insolvency Service says Dipak Rao concealed fact he had made payments from companies to his personal accounts

Rock group Deep Purple’s former accountant has been banned as a company director for misappropriating at least £2m from two entities controlling their catalogue of hits.

Dipak Rao, who worked for the band behind the hit Smoke on the Water between 1992 and 2014, has been disqualified for 11 years following an investigation by the Insolvency Service. It found he siphoned money into his personal accounts from two companies, Deep Purple (Overseas) Ltd and HEC Enterprises Ltd, between 2008 and 2014.

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09/25/2017 05:05 PM
Jennifer Lopez donates $1m to Puerto Rico hurricane recovery effort

The actor and musician will contribute proceeds from her Las Vegas residency to a New York state aid programme after two hurricanes devastated the island

Jennifer Lopez has donated $1m in aid to the Puerto Rico recovery effort, following the devastating effects of hurricanes Irma and Maria.

Lopez, who is of Puerto Rican parentage and was born in the Bronx, has said she will source the money from her Las Vegas residency shows. On a video posted on her Instagram account, Lopez revealed that she had not been able to reach family members living on the island.

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09/25/2017 11:31 AM
Wild Beasts, band who brought sensuality to British indie, split up

Four-piece originated in Kendal in 2004 before scoring a Mercury nomination for second album Two Dancers and two Top 10 records

Wild Beasts, the four-piece British band whose literate guitar pop took them from indie oddity to festival headliner, have split up after 13 years together.

In a letter posted on Twitter, they wrote: “The four of us have decided, for our own reasons and in our own ways, that it is now time to leave this orbit. We’re care takers to something precious and don’t want to have it diminish as we move forwards in our lives.” They hinted at farewell concerts, saying: “Before we go, we’d like to celebrate with you.”

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09/25/2017 10:49 AM
Czech actor Jan Tříska dies, aged 80, after fall from Prague bridge

Actor who emigrated to the US during Czechoslovakia’s communist era was best known for his appearances in The Karate Kid Part III and Quantum Leap

Actor Jan Tříska, who moved to the US after being banned by Czechoslovakia’s communist regime, has died after falling from Prague’s iconic Charles Bridge. He was 80.

Prague theatre director Jan Hrušínský confirmed Tříska’s death on Monday. The actor died in Prague’s military hospital overnight due to injuries from the fall on Saturday, the circumstances of which remain unclear.

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09/25/2017 10:35 AM
Pharrell Williams 'takes a knee' in Charlottesville protest

The R&B singer joined Stevie Wonder in the protest against racism that has swept the NFL and enraged Donald Trump

Pharrell Williams has become the latest music star to show solidarity with NFL players, by sharing in their “take a knee” protest against racial injustice in the US.

Related: Egyptian students told to respect the flag or risk a year in prison

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09/25/2017 09:16 AM
Mark Zuckerberg loves cheesesteak and he really wants you to know it

Facebook founder and rumoured aspirant presidential candidate traveled to Philly for ‘the best cheesesteak in the land’ – and posted about it eight times

Mark Zuckerberg wants you to know he is a normal human being who loves cheesesteak cheesesteak cheesesteak cheesesteak cheesesteak cheesesteak cheesesteak cheesesteak.

He wants you to know he loves cheesesteak so much so that he posted a picture of his visit to The Original Pat’s King of Steaks, with the caption “Traveled all the way to Philadelphia for the best cheesesteak in the land.”

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09/25/2017 09:11 AM
Why the world expert on Asperger's took 30 years to notice condition in his own son

Prof Tony Attwood, an internationally renowned clinical psychologist, was blindsided when he realised his son Will had the syndrome

Will Attwood has been addicted to drugs for the past two decades, an affliction which has seen the 35-year-old jailed multiple times and reliant on support from his family.

His father, Prof Tony Attwood, describes him as “a hero”. It’s a feeling towards his son that has come about since his decision about five years ago to watch an old family video.

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09/25/2017 06:58 AM
Kelly Macdonald: ‘People were still drunk on the Trainspotting set’

The actor, 41, on cowboy boots, childbearing, self-sufficiency and being bullied at school for not swearing

When I started acting I knew nothing. It was a momentous decision to pick up the flyer for the Trainspotting audition. “Destined” is a bit of a poncy word for it, but I do think I was headed in that direction.

Swearing never came naturally to me. I got bullied in school for it. I was pinned up against the girls’ cloakroom wall while everyone chanted at me to swear. All I could come up with was “bloody”.

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09/24/2017 01:00 PM
Naomi Klein to address Labour conference

Writer will appear in Brighton on Tuesday in international speaker slot previously filled by Nelson Mandela and Bill Clinton

The climate campaigner Naomi Klein will address the Labour party conference this year as its international guest speaker, a slot previously given to prominent international politicians including Nelson Mandela, Bill Clinton and the then Afghan president Hamid Karzai.

Klein, an award-winning journalist whose works include This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs the Climate, will also address the grassroots festival The World Transformed (TWT), which is organised by Momentum.

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09/25/2017 05:01 AM
Charles Bradley obituary
American soul singer and songwriter who found fame late in life

Fame came late to the soul singer Charles Bradley, who has died of cancer aged 68. He did not record his first single until 2002, and made his debut album only in 2011. Nonetheless he seized his opportunity, and in the last years of his life was able to build a devoted audience while basking in belated critical acclaim.

“If I’d gotten that break when I was 25, the world wouldn’t have known what to do with me,” he said in 2014. “I know so much more now and I know how to deal with things better … I can dig into a lot of my memories. I can do things I was afraid to do before.”

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09/24/2017 04:48 PM
John Jack obituary
Tireless producer, promoter and enabler of British jazz

Jazz is often a noisy music, but some of the most quietly diffident people make it happen. John Jack, who has died aged 84, was one of British jazz’s most influential backroom visionaries. A fascinating source of oral jazz history, as well as a producer, promoter and enabler, John was appositely dubbed “the Zelig of British music” by his friend Mike Gavin for the nous that seemed unerringly to put him in the right place at the right time.

From his 20s to his 80s, John had his finger on the pulse of contemporary music, and of many of Britain’s wider cultural changes too. He was a trombone-playing participant in the birth of Britain’s “trad-jazz” revivalist scene as a teenager, an adventure that began with the purchase of Jelly Roll Morton’s Dr Jazz and Pinetop Smith’s Jumpsteady Blues records in Shepherd’s Bush market, west London, around 1947.

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09/24/2017 03:28 PM
Yrsa Daley-Ward: ‘People are afraid to tell the truth'

She has a lot to say… about sexuality, relationships and mental health. But how did Lancashire’s Yrsa Daley-Ward become the toast of Los Angeles? Eve Barlow meets the poet, feminist, model and LGBTQ activist spelling out some hard truths

If you’re afraid to write it, that’s a good sign. I suppose you know you’re writing the truth when you’re terrified.” These words in black type on a white background make up one of poet Yrsa Daley-Ward’s Instagram posts. This monochrome snapshot of her innermost thoughts has more than 5,200 “likes”. That’s more than double the number she gets for any pictures. Daley-Ward spent her late teens and early 20s as a model struggling to pay her rent in London, working for brands such as Apple, Topshop, Estée Lauder and Nike. She still models today. Ironically, however, it was the image-obsessed medium of Instagram that enabled her to pursue the written word.

“I always was a writer,” she explains today in a thick Lancashire accent, sitting in a downtown Los Angeles restaurant close to where she lives. “But I was depressed [in London] and that made me choke. Modelling is an interesting profession because it teaches you so much about here…” She points a finger at her face. “But not here…” she sighs and points at her heart. “You become introverted, you disappear into yourself.”

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09/24/2017 08:00 AM
Jennifer Egan: ‘I was never a hot, young writer. But then I had a quantum leap’
Six years after winning a Pulitzer with the ‘postmodern’ A Visit from the Goon Squad, Jennifer Egan reveals why she has now embraced traditional storytelling

In interviews, Jennifer Egan used to spend a fair amount of time explaining what she wasn’t interested in doing with her writing. Verisimilitude was boring. The linear was “the weird scourge of writing prose”. Conventional narratives were absolutely not her bag. In the same conversations, she would sometimes refer to her time at the University of Pennsylvania, when she was “a literary theory nut”; such ideas, she insisted scarily, were with her still. All of which made it seem a safe bet that when she finally delivered a new book – it’s six years since the publication of her Pulitzer prize-winning fourth novel, A Visit from the Goon Squad, which came with a chapter in the form of a PowerPoint presentation – it would be every bit as formally daring as her last.

But, no. Reach for your smelling salts, Goon Squad fans. For her next trick, Egan has written a 400-page historical novel called Manhattan Beach. Set in New York during the Depression and the second world war – specifically, much of the action takes place in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, then the biggest builder and repairer of allied ships – it comes not only with a forward-moving plot, but with a thoroughly old-fashioned heroine: the kind of girl, brave and determined, with whom readers are almost duty bound to fall in love. A Victorian novel by any other name, its sensibility is, in other words, so thoroughly conventional, I can’t help but wonder: when, exactly, did its author start thinking verisimilitude and the linear might be interesting after all?

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09/24/2017 06:00 AM
David Shepherd obituary
Artist whose popular wildlife paintings helped raise millions for conservation

Fresh out of school, with no scholastic achievements to recommend him, David Shepherd applied for a place at the Slade School of Art in London. The Slade did him the biggest favour of his life by telling him that he had no talent for art. Instead, Shepherd, the artist and conservationist, who has died aged 86, took to painting meticulous pictures of railway engines, aircraft and – the real breakthrough – wildlife, especially his trademark African elephant bull, facing the viewer head-on with ears spread wide. A picture of this beast, alone or with its fellows, might be called The Men of Etosha, or Dusty Evening, or Elephant Heaven, or even, as in his bestseller, Wise Old Elephant. It didn’t much matter. The reproductions sold hugely.

Shepherd was, some said, Britain’s Tretchikoff, with Wise Old Elephant his Chinese Girl, and this was intended as a compliment. Certainly, he became immensely rich and helped to raise more than £8m for his other great passion – wildlife conservation – initially through donating painting sales proceeds to charities such as the World Wildlife Fund, and latterly through the efforts of the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation, set up in 1984. The charity campaigns to protect endangered species, and combat poaching and its trade.

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09/21/2017 05:42 PM
Nabil Elouahabi: ‘Identity is important, but it can also be limiting’

The actor on his role in feted diplomacy drama Oslo, evading typecasting and his other life as a night-time driver for the NHS

Nabil Elouahabi, a British actor of Moroccan heritage, is currently performing in the hit play Oslo, which moves from the National Theatre to the Harold Pinter next month. Written by acclaimed US playwright JT Rogers and directed by Bartlett Sher, the production first played in New York to rave reviews and critics here have been equally glowing in their praise of a gripping political thriller with wit, verve and heart. Oslo concerns Norwegian power couple Terje Rød-Larsen and Mona Juul (played here by Toby Stephens and Lydia Leonard) who organised secret talks between representatives of the Israeli government and the Palestine Liberation Organisation in 1992. Nine months of intense negotiations eventually led to the Oslo accords and the historic handshake between PLO leader Yasser Arafat and Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin in front of the White House in 1993. Elouahabi plays Hassan Asfour, one of the PLO negotiators.

Are you surprised by reaction to the play?
Well, it’s a strong, powerful piece. They [Rød-Larsen and Juul] created a backchannel for the PLO to have talks with Israel at a time when the PLO was incredibly toxic. They were like Isis now, and it was a very outlandish thing to suggest that they should speak to the Israeli government, but they had the balls to push it through. A friend of mine who lives in Jerusalem happened to be in London and came to see it, and it was so much about his own history that he was ashen-faced after the performance. He was quite teary because he said it reminded him that there was that moment when there was a bit of hope.

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09/24/2017 07:59 AM
Best photos of the day: a polar bear's lunch and night-time surfing

The Guardian’s picture editors bring you a selection of the best photographs from around the world, including a referendum in Iraq, the Labour party conference and an art campaign

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09/25/2017 11:34 AM
Taking the knee: how NFL players protested during national anthem in every game – in pictures

After the president said those kneeling to highlight issues of racial justice should be fired, players across the league showed defiance in different ways

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09/24/2017 07:29 PM
London's international tattoo festival – in pictures

The 13th annual International London Tattoo Convention, which showed off the best of eastern and western styles, took place at Tobacco Dock in east London at the weekend

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09/25/2017 08:15 AM
The Elvises of Porthcawl – Elvis impersonators in pictures

The world’s largest gathering of Elvis enthusiasts and impersonators takes place every September in the seaside town of Porthcawl, Wales. Photographer Gareth Cattermole set up a portrait studio and persuaded a selection of Elvises to sit for him

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09/25/2017 06:30 AM
Milan fashion week spring/summer 2018: 10 key shows – in pictures

From glam rock at Gucci to female cartoonists and manga artists at Prada and 90s supermodels at Versace – Observer fashion editor Jo Jones picks her 10 highlights from the shows

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09/25/2017 05:00 AM
Photographing the Peak District in autumn – in pictures

The Peak District is arguably at its most spectacular at this time of year, when its moorlands turn burnished brown – as Mick Ryan’s images show in a new guide on photographing the national park

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09/25/2017 06:00 AM
From Warhol to Studio 54: legendary New York posters – in pictures

New York cultural institution Poster House kicks off with a pop-up exhibition, Gone Tomorrow, featuring posters from classic venues and cult events from New York City’s history

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09/25/2017 06:00 AM
Best photos of the day: Marni in Milan and skinny-dipping at sunrise

Our picture editors bring you highlights from around the world, including models at Milan fashion week and skinny-dippers in Northumberland

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09/24/2017 01:12 PM
Covering the counterculture: the 60s underground press – in pictures

In 1966, author Barry Miles and photographer John “Hoppy” Hopkins founded International Times, or IT, Britain’s first underground newspaper. The following decade saw an explosion of publications – including Oz, Friends/Frendz, Gandalf’s Garden and Ink – dedicated to avant garde poetry and music, radical politics, the sexual revolution, psychedelia, vegetarianism and other ideas associated with 1960s counterculture. “It was everything to do with youth culture – we would cover everything from the price of marijuana in Amsterdam to known undercover agents in London,” says Miles, who with curator James Birch has collected the magazines for an exhibition at A22 Gallery, London EC1 from 28 September. “With Trump and Brexit and all the rest of it, it’s a very good time to reassess a more human, loving approach to humanity.”

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09/23/2017 04:00 PM
The 20 photographs of the week

The Mexico earthquake, the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, Rohingya refugees fleeing Myanmar and the Catalan vote of independence – the news of the week captured by the world’s best photojournalists

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09/23/2017 07:17 AM
The great cover up: modest dressing – in pictures

Long skirts, generously cut tops, opulent knits and rich textures all make modesty this autumn’s big new trend

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09/23/2017 10:45 PM
Versace: backstage at the S/S 2018 show – in pictures

To mark the 20th anniversary of Gianni Versace’s death, Donatella paid homage to her brother with a collection that delved into the archives. From Cindy Crawford to Naomi Campbell and Claudia Schiffer, his supermodel friends joined the tribute

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09/23/2017 01:31 PM
‘There was an unsaid understanding between us’: the Dallas Veterans Day Parade, 2004

Marine staff sergeant Mark Graunke recalls being embraced by Pearl Harbor veteran Houston James in Dallas

There’s an unwritten rule in the Marines that if you get caught in the media, you have to buy everyone a case of beer. So when this photograph went viral, my first thought was: “Uh-oh, I owe a lot of people a lot of drinks.”

As a staff sergeant, I was part of the initial effort in Iraq, entering from Kuwait in March 2003. My first job was to keep routes open, making sure there were no explosive hazards near the roads. Then I worked in explosive ordnance disposal, the military version of the bomb squad. Our job was to prevent things blowing up, or explode them in a controlled environment. I handled everything from bombs to grenades and mines.

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09/22/2017 01:00 PM
The week in wildlife – in pictures

A rare rhinoceros under constant protection, an albino orangutan, and protected pandas are among this week’s pick of images from the natural world

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09/22/2017 01:37 PM
The striking feminist art of Louise Bourgeois – in pictures

The often provocative work of the French sculptor is being celebrated in a new exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and shines a light on some of her lesser-known print pieces that focus on issues of patriarchy, sexuality and womanhood.

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09/22/2017 06:00 AM
Here We Are: British photographers document ways of life – in pictures

Here We Are, Burberry’s exhibition of British social and documentary photography, features more than 200 works by, among others, Dafydd Jones, Bill Brandt, Brian Griffin, Shirley Baker, Jane Bown, Martin Parr, Jo Spence and Janette Beckman. The exhibition is divided into themes, and it also showcases important bodies of work by individual photographers. Here, the co-curator Lucy Kumara Moore introduces some highlights from the show.

The exhibition is displayed over three floors of the Old Sessions House in Clerkenwell, London, from 18 September to 1 October

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09/21/2017 06:00 AM
Exotic pet owners of Beijing – in pictures

A dramatic rise in owning exotic pets in China is fuelling global demand for threatened species. The growing trade in alligators, snakes, monkeys, crocodiles and spiders is directly linked to species loss in some of the world’s most threatened ecosystems

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09/20/2017 06:05 AM
Going downtown, the New York subway reaches Delhi - in pictures

Art lovers in India will this month have the chance to see panoramic views of New York Subway stations and their passengers, on display as part of the Indian Photography Festival in Hyderabad. Natan Dvir’s series Platforms, is on show until October 8th

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09/20/2017 02:31 PM
Meet South Africa's 'boxing grannies' – in pictures

The gogos train with coach Claude Maphosa in twice-weekly sessions. Many claim that they no longer suffer from the ailments they had before and are stronger than ever. Such has been the popularity of the sessions, Maphosa is in the process of planning events in other areas for people who have been inspired by the story to join in

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09/20/2017 08:00 AM