Gamer Geek News

The Guardian

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

Brexit fears drag pound to fresh two-year low ahead of UK inflation report - business live

Rolling coverage of the latest economic and financial news, as fears of a disorderly Brexit weigh on sterling

UK holidaymakers heading abroad this summer will feel the impact of the pound’s slide. Sterling will buy less at the foreign exchange desk, so hotels, meals and ice-creams on the beach will all cost more.

The currency is down 4% against the euro, 5% against the dollar and 6% against the Turkish lira since mid-April. Those holidaying in Brazil will find their spending power particularly diminished, thanks to sterling’s 8% drop against the real in the period.

The slump in the pound this week underlines the fact that political risk is a key threat to the UK economy.

A Bank of England survey released last week showed that political instability is the top threat worrying banks, asset managers, hedge funds, pension funds and other investors.

The number one risk cited this year is U.K. political risk. The second- and third-largest risks identified were geopolitical risk and the risk of a cyber attack. These three risks have been consistently at the forefront of survey respondents’ minds for over a year and roughly represent a combined 50% of the worries of the financial market participants.

Notably, the risks that have shown signs of rising are that of an economic downturn (though not in the U.K.), and, likely as a result, a risk of financial market disruption. Historical worries such as sovereign risk, funding, interest rates, regulation and property prices have all diminished. Between 2011 and 2013, sovereign risk was highlighted as the top risk to the financial system in the U.K., but since 2006, the number one concern has been by U.K. political risk.

Continue reading...

Posted on 17 July 2019 | 8:11 am

Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol is most-played song on UK radio this century

Epic ballad beats the Black Eyed Peas and Pharrell to prize awarded by licensing body PPL

Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol has been named the most-played song on British radio this century.

The epic ballad was released in 2006 and only reached a high of No 6 in the UK charts, but went on to spend a total of 166 weeks in the Top 100.

Continue reading...

Posted on 17 July 2019 | 8:03 am

I challenged Corbyn on antisemitism a year ago. Things have only got worse | Margaret Hodge

I won’t walk away from the fight to root out antisemitism in the party. But the leadership remains in denial

Today marks one year since my face-to-face encounter with Jeremy Corbyn in the lobby of parliament in which I called him a racist and an antisemite.

Afterwards I went out for the evening and switched off my phone. It was late that night when I switched it back on again and realised our confrontation had hit the headlines.

Continue reading...

Posted on 17 July 2019 | 8:00 am

Fleetwood manager Joey Barton charged with actual bodily harm

Ex-England international to appear at magistrates court over incident at Barnsley

Joey Barton, the manager of Fleetwood Town, has been charged with causing actual bodily harm after his Barnsley counterpart, Daniel Stendel, was left with facial injuries following a fracas in the South Yorkshire football club’s tunnel, police said.

South Yorkshire police said the 36-year-old one-time England international had been charged, following the incident at Oakwell stadium on 13 April.

Continue reading...

Posted on 17 July 2019 | 7:51 am

Partial lunar eclipse – in pictures

Stargazers have been treated to a cosmic spectacle as a partial lunar eclipse was visible across parts of the UK. The event on Tuesday evening coincided with the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 launching its moon mission.

Clear skies across much of the country gave people a stunning view of the phenomenon, including in London, Yorkshire and at Jodrell Bank observatory in Cheshire. The partial eclipse was also visible in Australia, Africa and much of Asia

Continue reading...

Posted on 17 July 2019 | 7:45 am

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe's husband fears she will be forced to confess

British-Iranian woman held by Revolutionary Guards in mental hospital in Tehran

The husband of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, the British-Iranian woman detained in Tehran, says he is becoming increasingly worried she is being pressured to sign a forced confession after she was moved to an isolated ward in a mental hospital.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe was moved to the mental ward of Iman Khomeini hospital on Monday – a move that the family initially welcomed after months of calling for her to get medical treatment.

Continue reading...

Posted on 17 July 2019 | 7:34 am

Adventuring while female: why the relationship women have with nature matters

Going camping alone, I was reminded that the great works of environmentalist female writers are often overlooked – and it’s our loss

It’s Monday in the Adirondack state park. I’m driving through little towns, passing junk stores, lumber businesses, small cafes and adventure outfitters. I have heard people call this part of New York state “poverty with a view”. The Adirondacks are a collision of hardship and wealth, but mostly wilderness. Six million acres of it.

It’s almost LaBastille Day, and to celebrate, I’m going to camp alone for the first time in my life.

Continue reading...

Posted on 17 July 2019 | 7:00 am

Revealed: the three-word question consuming the world’s biggest brains | Tom Clark

A new survey of leading intellectuals shows many of them are preoccupied by trying to answer: who are we?

What is preoccupying the world’s leading minds? It is an audacious question for sure. Some might say leading physicists will be concentrating on physics, leading philosophers on philosophy, historians on history and so on.

And yet when we look back on different eras, we can sometimes spot a thread – the preoccupation with truth in ancient Athens, with beauty in Renaissance Europe, with political “reason” during the Enlightenment, with scientific progress during the industrial age. There is, I believe, likewise a new preoccupation lurking in the biggest brains of our time, and that theme is summed up in one word – identity.

Continue reading...

Posted on 17 July 2019 | 7:00 am

Screaming? Crying? Confessing? How will Big Little Lies end?

A mixed second season of the female-fronted drama is coming to a close and some big questions are set to be answered

It’s quite possible that the coming second season finale of Big Little Lies will be the last time we’ll check in with the Monterey Five. Earlier this year, HBO’s president, Casey Bloys, said that the prospect of a third season was “not realistic”. “I love this group of people – I would do anything with them,” Bloys told TV Line. “But the reality is, they are some of the busiest actresses working in Hollywood.” He may be bluffing. I imagine, if it dominates awards season again, they might all find time in their schedules.

Related: Streep, Clooney ... Cruise? Why no one is 'too big for TV' any more

Continue reading...

Posted on 17 July 2019 | 7:00 am

Caber tossing and wrestling: the Inveraray Highland Games – in pictures

The games celebrate Scottish culture and heritage with field and track events, piping, highland dancing competitions and heavy events including the world championships for tossing the caber

Continue reading...

Posted on 17 July 2019 | 6:35 am

The Great Betrayal by Rod Liddle review – a disingenuous, dishonest Brexit polemic

Assuming a new pose as defender of the people, Liddle rages against liberal remainers and the ‘establishment’ – and is as untroubled by facts as by logic

“Never,” Rod Liddle writes in his jeremiad on the “betrayal” of Brexit, “have so many blameless people in this country been held in such contempt, or been subject to such vilification by an elite.” Really? Who wrote in 2014 of Britain as “a nation of broken families clamouring about their entitlements siring ill-educated and undisciplined kids unfamiliar with the concept of right and wrong”? Who described with relish “the hulking fat tattooed chavmonkey standing in the queue at Burger King”? Who characterised the British masses as inhabiting “a dumbed-down culture”, being in thrall to “the background fugue of idiocy, the moronic inferno, of celebrity fuckstories”, and spending their time “watching TV, masturbating to pornography on the internet, getting drunk”? That would be Liddle in his last book, whose title, Selfish Whining Monkeys, may just possibly have had a slight whiff of contempt and vilification.

But that was then, this is now. Liddle’s “chavmonkeys” have been redeemed by the Brexit referendum. Their “fugue of idiocy” is now a swelling symphony of reasserted sovereignty, their “dumbed-down culture” a fount of wisdom. The man who saw a “the moronic inferno” now champions the people against the “stereotype of the decrepit moron Leave voter”. For now, apparently, it is liberal remainers who commit the unforgivable sin of calling those voters stupid, “uneducated thickos” – and racists to boot. The evidence for this contention, as for everything else in Liddle’s polemic, is vanishingly thin. Yet the claim is central to his diagnosis of “a grotesque and unprecedented betrayal of the country” by the BBC, parliament, the judiciary, the civil service, Theresa May’s government and of course the “Irish spite” embodied in that “oily little shit”, the taoiseach Leo Varadkar.

Continue reading...

Posted on 17 July 2019 | 6:30 am

Trump's 'racist tweets': House passes resolution condemning attack on congresswomen

Nancy Pelosi’s sharp rebuke of the president’s remarks prompted a challenge from Republicans who claimed rule violations

The House of Representatives on Tuesday passed a resolution condemning Donald Trump’s incendiary remarks telling four congresswomen of color to “go back” to where they “came from” as racist.

The measure, which formally rebuked the president’s comments, was approved on a mostly partisan-line vote of 240 to 187.

Continue reading...

Posted on 17 July 2019 | 6:29 am

Elon Musk's Neuralink unveils effort to build implant that can read your mind

Elon Musk’s secretive “brain-machine interface” startup, Neuralink, stepped out of the shadows on Tuesday evening, revealing its progress in creating a wireless implantable device that can – theoretically – read your mind.

At an event at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, Musk touted the startup’s achievements since he founded it in 2017 with the goal of staving off what he considers to be an “existential threat”: artificial intelligence (AI) surpassing human intelligence.

Continue reading...

Posted on 17 July 2019 | 6:06 am

How Liz Johnson Artur chronicled black culture – in pictures

The photography of Russian-Ghanian Liz Johnson Artur is being showcased in her first solo exhibition, now on at the Brooklyn Museum in New York until 18 August. It spans three decades of work and offers up an intimate look at individuals and communities across the African diaspora.

Continue reading...

Posted on 17 July 2019 | 6:00 am

John Lewis’s failure to honour its guarantee left me fuming

Reader frustrated after years of delay over replacing damaged kitchen units

We spent £18,000 on a new kitchen in 2012. We chose John Lewis for its reputation for customer service.

In spring 2016 we noticed that laminate was peeling off two of our wall units, which were within their five-year warranty. John Lewis inspected them and agreed to replace the two carcasses.

Continue reading...

Posted on 17 July 2019 | 6:00 am

Iraqi Christians facing deportation feel conned by Trump: 'You vowed to protect us'

Trump administration wants to deport more than 1,400 Iraqi nationals, most of who are Chaldean – Iraqi Catholics who saw Trump as a ‘savior’ but now feel ‘betrayed’

Ten years ago, police caught Iraqi Chaldean immigrant Rani Yousuf with a small amount of marijuana. He completed probation, paid fines, and the conviction was dropped from his record when he turned 21.

Still, earlier this year, Yousuf found his car surrounded by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) officers who arrested him again over the charge. He sat for months in a Michigan county jail facing the prospect of deportation to Iraq, a country he left at four years old. He has no family there, doesn’t speak Arabic, and is part of a religious minority targeted by extremists.

Continue reading...

Posted on 17 July 2019 | 6:00 am

Offshore wind auction could raise millions for Queen

Crown Estate holds rights to seabeds around British Isles for wind and wave power

The Queen’s property managers will this week set out terms for the world’s biggest offshore wind auction in a decade.

Industry experts expect the complex bidding process to raise record sums, which could increase energy bills and hand a windfall to the crown – potentially generating hundreds of millions for the Queen.

Continue reading...

Posted on 17 July 2019 | 6:00 am

Alternative city breaks: Łodź, Poland – discover its culture, food and nightlife

Once an industrial centre, the city has been reinvigorated by a focus on the arts, a diverse food scene and plenty of lively bars

‘If it doesn’t fit, it fits perfectly,” is something of a buzz-phrase in Poland’s third-largest city, and it doesn’t take long to see why. It is a place where the next surprise – a fantastical, seemingly incongruous unicorn sculpture, a courtyard in which the buildings are clad with irregular shards of broken mirrors, a two-storey piece of gable-end street art intended to be viewed through 3D glasses – is never far away.

Continue reading...

Posted on 17 July 2019 | 5:30 am

Bianca Devins murder: Instagram under fire over shared images of dead teen's body

Alleged killer Brandon Clark’s post with the caption ‘I’m sorry, Bianca’ shared and reposted hundreds of times

Social media companies have come under fire after images of a murdered teenage girl’s body were posted online and were widely shared on Instagram as well as other sites including Discord and 4chan.

Bianca Devins, a 17-year-old girl from Utica in New York, was brutally murdered on Sunday. Police allege she was killed by Brandon Clark, 21, after the pair, who met on Instagram, attended a concert together.

Continue reading...

Posted on 17 July 2019 | 5:15 am

NHS could save billions by offering cash reward to quit smoking

Quitters 50% more likely to succeed if offered a financial incentive, researchers find

Offering financial rewards to people trying to quit smoking could save the NHS billions of pounds a year and boost the economy, according to research.

The review found people were 50% more likely to stop smoking when receiving a financial reward than those who were not. The value of the rewards ranged from £35 to £912 in the form of cash payments, gift vouchers or deposits paid by participants that were later refunded.

Continue reading...

Posted on 17 July 2019 | 5:01 am

OnePlus 7 review: competition-beating performance for less

A little less ‘Pro’ means the regular OnePlus 7 is smaller and lighter, offering a top experience for £500

The OnePlus 7 is basically the OnePlus 6T with the guts of the OnePlus 7 Pro, which sounds like a bad thing, but for £500 it is arguably the best bang for your buck going.

There was nothing wrong with the design of the 6T, so there isn’t with the 7. The 6.41in AMOLED display is bright and crisp, filling most of the front of the phone with a small chin at the bottom and a teardrop notch in the top for the selfie camera.

Continue reading...

Posted on 17 July 2019 | 5:01 am

Gym, eat, repeat: the shocking rise of muscle dysmorphia

The idealised male body has become bigger, bulkier and harder to achieve. So what drives a generation of young men to the all-consuming, often dangerous pursuit of perfection?

It is difficult for Miles to pinpoint the moment his muscle dysmorphia started. It was just always there, a background hum. “As far back as I can remember, I wanted a better-looking body,” says the 35-year-old US soldier, now stationed in Mons, Belgium. When he was 13, Miles spent a summer cutting grass to save up for a secondhand Soloflex exercise machine. The machine cost $1,000 (£800), but as Miles was too young to join a gym, it was worth the expense. With the help of the Soloflex, Miles started weight training and never looked back.

When he returned from a posting to Afghanistan at 24, things spiralled. He began obsessively working out and regimenting his meals. “I went all in ... it was full, hardcore dedication to the lifestyle.” Miles set his watch to beep every three hours, to remind him to eat. If it beeped when he was driving, he would pull over. Slowly, he whittled his body into shape. His muscles became striated, every fibre visible. Not big enough. At 95kg (210lbs) and 1.8 metres (6ft 2in), Miles wanted to be more muscular; leaner. He lost 22kg and started competing in amateur bodybuilding competitions. There was virtually no fat on him. “You pinch your skin and it just stays pinched.” His girlfriend left him. “She began to realise that my body dysmorphia was like dating another person.” The pursuit of muscularity took over his life. “I just thought, I am so lean, and shredded, and veiny, and masculine – I don’t ever want to go back to how I was before.”

Continue reading...

Posted on 17 July 2019 | 5:01 am

Poor tenants pay for landlords to live like kings. It doesn’t have to be this way | George Monbiot

Britain has enough housing – it’s just that a series of outrageous policies makes it accessible only to the rich

I have a friend who works almost every waking hour, mainly to pay the rent. Her landlord lives on a beach, 4,000 miles away. He seldom responds to her requests, and grudgingly pays for the minimum of maintenance. But every so often he writes to inform her that he is raising the rent. He does not have to work because she and other tenants work on his behalf. He is able to live the life of his choice because they give their time to him. As there is a shortage of accessible housing, they have no choice but to pay his exorbitant fees.

People say, ‘I work for Tesco' or, ‘I work for Deliveroo', but the reality for many is that they work for their landlord

Continue reading...

Posted on 17 July 2019 | 5:01 am

April Dawn Alison's photography: 'the unregulated expression of and for the self'

Alison reveals a self-contained world where a deeply internalized identity is produced and seen

In April Dawn Alison’s photography, her solitude manifests an interior space where art and sexuality coincide, where a singular body represents divergent selves – creator and object, dominator and subjugated. We witness a self-contained world where a deeply internalized identity is produced and seen, and an ordinary space of domesticity becomes a stage for fantasy and unrestrained possibility.

While April Dawn Alison was creating feminine personas in the privacy of her Oakland apartment, I was a young adolescent in Syracuse, New York, diving into a chest of dress-up clothes that my mother kept in the basement. While Alison was creating alternate selves for the audience of a camera alone, my father, per my instructions, was taking Polaroids of me. While April Dawn Alison was meticulously filing her encyclopedia of selves, which are masterfully assembled in this book, I was sticking photos in a dime-store photo album that encapsulated the sum total of my life as a girl.

Continue reading...

Posted on 17 July 2019 | 5:00 am

The best things in life are free … but where are they?

From amber fishing in the Baltic to mushroom hunting in Russia, there’s lots of stuff that doesn’t cost a penny

In Russia, mushroom picking is called the “quiet hunt” and it has a ritual all its own. From late spring through to autumn, the high season for mycophiles, Russians fan out into the forests in search of fresh air, solitude and fungi to fill their wicker baskets. Should you see Ladas and Range Rovers abandoned roadside after a downpour, do not be alarmed: it is just mushroom season, not the zombie apocalypse.

Continue reading...

Posted on 17 July 2019 | 5:00 am

You've found an extraordinary dinosaur skeleton – what do you do now?

A Montana rancher found two skeletons in combat – the Dueling Dinosaurs. But who do they belong to, and will the public ever see them?

The early June morning in Montana was already very hot and dry by 7.30, when Clayton Phipps and his friend, Mark Eatman, set out to search for fossils. Phipps, a rancher who calls himself the Dino Cowboy, was wearing his trademark black felt Stetson cattleman hat.

The two had gone bone collecting before, but they were joined on this day for the first time by Phipps’s cousin, Chad O’Connor. The trio fanned out to hike through the badlands of what they thought was the Judith River Formation; later, they would learn they had actually been in an area called Hell Creek, a division of gray and ochre sandstone, shale and clay deposited about 66m years ago during the Late Cretaceous, when the area was a swampy floodplain.

Continue reading...

Posted on 17 July 2019 | 5:00 am

Boris Johnson could hide as a columnist and at City Hall. He can’t in No 10 | George Pitcher

Behind the artfully tousled hair and clownish exterior is an indolent narcissist who will be found out in Downing Street

Ahead of the London mayoral election of May 2012, I was invited to chair a hustings at St James’s Church in Piccadilly. The main attractions were Boris Johnson, seeking his second term, and his doughty detractor Ken Livingstone, alongside their good-natured warm-up acts of Jenny Jones for the Green party and Brian Paddick for the Lib Dems.

Before we took the stage, there was a drinks reception in the rectory. Boris Johnson was holding court, but greeted me to listen to my proposed rules of engagement and graciously remembered that we shared a comment page at the Daily Telegraph at the time. What struck me was that he was softly spoken, genial and engaging.

Continue reading...

Posted on 17 July 2019 | 5:00 am

UK's renting millennials face homelessness crisis when they retire

Report finds at least 630,000 will be unable to afford private rents on their pension income

More than 600,000 members of so-called ‘Generation Rent’ are facing an “inevitable catastrophe” of homelessness when they retire, according to the first government inquiry into what will happen to millennials in the UK who have been unable to get on the housing ladder as they age.

People’s incomes typically halve after retirement. Those in the private rented sector who pay 40% of their earnings in rent could be forced to spend up to 80% of their income on rent in retirement.

Continue reading...

Posted on 17 July 2019 | 5:00 am

Into the Lighthouse: the UK’s first safe space for child sexual abuse victims

Radical one-stop shop aims to provide care and support to traumatised children

Tucked behind a busy north London road, the UK’s first “safe space” for child sexual abuse victims is an oasis of calm. Set over two floors, the building is airy and light.

The toxic legacy of child abuse gets minimal attention, yet the problem amounts to a public health challenge, say experts. Although we don’t know exactly how many children in the UK experience sexual abuse as it’s hidden from view, research suggests one in 20 children have been sexually abused, yet many more incidents go undetected, unreported and untreated.

Continue reading...

Posted on 17 July 2019 | 5:00 am

The greatest photos ever? Why the moon landing shots are artistic masterpieces

From a spacesuited everyman to a golden-legged invader, the lunar images were astonishingly poetic works of art that captured humanity evolving before our very eyes. Can they ever be surpassed?

Fifty years ago this week, a former navy pilot created one of the most revolutionary artistic masterpieces of the 20th century, one we have yet to fully assimilate. His name was Neil Armstrong and his astonishing act of creativity is a photograph of his Apollo 11 crewmate Buzz Aldrin standing on the Sea of Tranquillity on the moon. Not that you can see Aldrin’s face. His features and flesh are hidden inside a thickly padded white spacesuit, its visor reflecting the tiny figure of Armstrong himself, beside the gold-coloured legs of the lunar lander.

This effacement of Aldrin came about because Apollo astronauts wore visors lined with gold to protect their eyes from sunlight. Yet these reflective qualities are part of what makes this such a powerful, complex image, one in which we can see two lunar horizons. Behind Aldrin, the moon’s bright surface recedes to a blue horizon against the black void of space. Meanwhile, reflected and warped by the helmet, the other horizon stretches away behind Armstrong. The photographer has incorporated the making of the image into the image, to tell the story of something new in the universe: two human beings looking at each other across the dusty surface of an alien world.

Continue reading...

Posted on 17 July 2019 | 5:00 am

Cucumber crisis after Tokyo hit by cloudiest spell since records began

Unseasonable weather has blighted agriculture across Japan, as well as sales of summer clothes

Tokyo’s cloudiest few weeks in nearly 60 years has cast a shadow over the capital’s vegetable markets, forcing up the prices of some by 70%.

Japan has been hit by unseasonably cloudy weather and cool temperatures, Tokyo enjoying fewer than three hours of sunshine a day for 20 days through to Tuesday, the lowest recorded since Japan’s Meteorological Agency started collecting data in 1961.

Continue reading...

Posted on 17 July 2019 | 4:40 am

Babies in Nepal get quarter of calories from junk food, study finds

Diets heavy on snack foods linked to undernutrition and stunting, say researchers

Children under the age of two in Nepal are getting a quarter of their calories from junk food, according to groundbreaking research that warns their diet is linked to stunting and undernutrition.

Biscuits, crisps, instant noodles and sugary drinks appear to be displacing foods with the vitamins, minerals and other vital nutrients babies need to grow well, say the researchers. The work, published in the Journal of Nutrition, illustrates that the 21st-century junk food diet spreading around the globe is linked not just to obesity but also to poor growth in children.

Continue reading...

Posted on 17 July 2019 | 4:00 am

Tears of joy as South Korea's water polo team score – but concede 94

South Korea’s women’s water polo team lost their first two games at the world championships by an eye-watering aggregate score of 94-1 – but they celebrated their solitary goal as if they had won gold.

After suffering a record 64-0 defeat by Hungary in their Group B opener at the weekend, the plucky hosts were battered 30-1 by the 2017 bronze medallists Russia on Tuesday.

Continue reading...

Posted on 17 July 2019 | 3:23 am

Why do so many people still believe the moon landings were a hoax? – podcast

On the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission that first put humans on the moon, Richard Godwin explores why conspiracy theories about the landings still endure. Plus Geoff Andrews on his part in the Guardian’s lunar front page from 1969 – and how he missed the famous quote

It took 400,000 Nasa employees and contractors to put Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the moon in 1969 – but only one man to spread the idea that it was all a hoax. His name was Bill Kaysing.

It began as “a hunch, an intuition”, before turning into “a true conviction” – that the US lacked the technical prowess to make it to the moon (or, at least, to the moon and back). Richard Godwin tells Anushka Asthana how Kaysing’s self-published 1976 pamphlet We Never Went to the Moon: America’s Thirty Billion Dollar Swindle sought to provide evidence for his conviction by means of grainy photocopies and ludicrous theories. Yet somehow he established a few perennials that are kept alive to this day in Hollywood movies and Fox News documentaries, Reddit forums and YouTube channels.

Continue reading...

Posted on 17 July 2019 | 2:00 am

'This is the reality': Santos women's football team sleep in hotel lobby

The coach of Santos women’s team has criticised the Brazilian Football Confederation after her players were forced to spend part of the night in a hotel lobby before a crucial first division game.

“This is the respect that people have for women’s football in Brazil,” said Emily Lima, as she recorded on video the players curled up on hotel sofas. “Goodnight to everyone who’s going to sleep quietly in their own beds before working the next day.”

Continue reading...

Posted on 17 July 2019 | 1:54 am

Dunedin rolls with it after losing world's steepest street title

Mayor of New Zealand city says a tweak to signage might be all that’s needed, while some living on Baldwin Street are relieved

The New Zealand city of Dunedin has sought to look on the bright side after losing its claim to have the world’s steepest street to a town in Wales, with its mayor saying: “The street certainly hasn’t got any less steep as a result of the decision.”

This week, Guinness World Records officially stripped Dunedin’s Baldwin Street of the title and instead awarded it to Harlech in Wales. Its street, Ffordd Pen Llech, has a gradient of 37.45% at its steepest point – 2.5% steeper than Baldwin Street.

Continue reading...

Posted on 17 July 2019 | 1:08 am

US imposes sanctions on Myanmar's military leaders over Rohingya abuses

Steps are the strongest the country has taken in response to massacres of minority Rohingya in 2017

Mike Pompeo, the US secretary of state, has announced sanctions on the Myanmar military’s commander-in-chief Min Aung Hlaing and other military leaders over extrajudicial killings of Rohingya Muslims, barring them from entry to the United States.

The steps, which also covered Min Aung Hlaing’s deputy, Soe Win, and two other senior commanders and their families, are the strongest the United States has taken in response to massacres of minority Rohingya in Myanmar, also known as Burma.

Continue reading...

Posted on 17 July 2019 | 12:45 am

Rural domestic abusers being protected by countryside culture

Victims are failed by police and suffer from isolation and patriarchal views, report warns

Rural women enduring domestic abuse are half as likely as urban victims to report their suffering and are being failed by authorities with perpetrators shielded by countryside culture, a report says.

Abusers are protected by the isolation of the countryside and traditional patriarchal attitudes, says the report from the National Rural Crime Network. It is the first study of its kind and finds that close-knit rural communities can facilitate abuse which can last, on average, 25% longer than in urban areas.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 July 2019 | 11:01 pm

Government proposals 'fall short' on helping home-schooled children

Councils should be given powers to enter homes to check on a child’s schooling, LGA says

The government has been accused by councils of watering down plans to improve oversight of the growing number of school-aged children who are educated at home in England, leaving some of them at risk of a second-rate education or worse.

The Local Government Association (LGA), which represents councils in England and Wales, says government proposals to introduce a compulsory register for home-schooled children are welcome but do not go far enough to protect children and ensure they get a high-quality education.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 July 2019 | 11:01 pm

Chimps more sociable after watching movies together – study

Evolutionary roots of bonding through shared activity may be deeper than was thought

Chimpanzees enjoy watching movies together, scientists have discovered, in research that suggests social bonding through shared experience has deep evolutionary roots.

It is widely known that humans can bond over group activities such as watching a movie or playing board games. But it has been unclear whether the underlying psychology behind this effect is present in other species.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 July 2019 | 11:01 pm

Ole Gunnar Solskjær says he can rebuild Manchester United around Paul Pogba

• United manager: ‘Paul is a fantastic player’
• Norwegian also sees Alexis Sánchez returning to his best

Ole Gunnar Solskjær still believes in building the Manchester United team around midfielder Paul Pogba – and remains confident Alexis Sánchez will finally come good.

As the disappointment of a turbulent 2018-19 season finally begins to subside, attention turns to returning the 20-times league champions to the top of the English game.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 July 2019 | 10:42 pm

House orders Pentagon to review if it exposed Americans to weaponised ticks

A New Jersey lawmaker suggests the government turned insects into bioweapons to spread disease and possibly released them

The US House of Representatives has called for an investigation into whether the spread of Lyme disease had its roots in a Pentagon experiment in weaponising ticks.

The House approved an amendment proposed by a Republican congressman from New Jersey, Chris Smith, instructing the defence department’s inspector general to conduct a review of whether the US “experimented with ticks and other insects regarding use as a biological weapon between the years of 1950 and 1975”.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 July 2019 | 10:35 pm

Australia pass Malawi test with flying colours at Netball World Cup

Ahead of a potentially tournament-defining clash with New Zealand later this week, the undefeated Australian Diamonds needed an acid test against Malawi at the Netball World Cup in Liverpool. What they got was a pop quiz: and an easy one at that.

Despite slow patches in the second half, the reigning champions passed with flying colours, winning 74-25 in a lopsided contest. But they have an exam to sit on Thursday and coach Lisa Alexander would have undoubtedly preferred a sterner test from the world No 6.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 July 2019 | 10:16 pm

Three formally charged in Malta for murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia

Trial over anti-corruption journalist’s killing may not take place for years, say experts

Three men have been formally charged over the 2017 murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia, a Maltese anti-corruption journalist and blogger who was killed by a car bomb in November 2017.

Brothers Alfred and George Degiorgio, and Vincent Muscat, all in their fifties, were arrested in December of that year.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 July 2019 | 9:46 pm

Brazil must reveal investigations into journalist Glenn Greenwald, court says

Greenwald’s website, the Intercept Brasil, has published material critical of Jair Bolsonaro’s administration

Brazil’s top court has ordered the country’s justice ministry to reveal whether there are any investigations into the US journalist Glenn Greenwald, whose online news site has published material critical of Jair Bolsonaro’s administration.

The supreme court president, Dias Toffoli, on Monday ordered the justice minister Sergio Moro, the federal police, the attorney general’s office and the economy ministry to provide information on any investigations into Greenwald, following media reports that investigators are looking into his finances.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 July 2019 | 9:43 pm

Brazilian mining company to pay out £86m for disaster that killed almost 300 people

Vale also agreed to pay £150,000 to close relatives of those killed when a dam collapsed at its iron ore mine in Brumadinho

The Brazilian mining giant Vale has agreed to pay out £86m ($107m) in collective moral damages and £150,000 ($186,000) to each of the close relatives of nearly 300 people killed when a tailings dam collapsed in January at its iron ore mine in Brumadinho.

But while some relatives expressed relief, others said the money would not compensate the loss of loved ones and expressed hope that ongoing criminal investigations would lead to prosecutions.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 July 2019 | 8:14 pm

Transfer window: the key deals in Europe away from the Premier League

Europe’s heavyweights have all been busy. Catch up on the big moves in La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A and Ligue 1

After an underwhelming title race and struggles in Europe, Spain’s top three have all been very busy already. Real Madrid have spent more than £250m to sign Eden Hazard, striker Luka Jovic and defenders Ferland Mendy and Éder Militão, along with Brazilian forward Rodrygo, who arrives after agreeing a move last summer. The sale of fringe players like Mateo Kovacic has helped offset the outlay – but there may be more to come.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 July 2019 | 8:00 pm

Labour peers tell Corbyn: you have failed test of leadership

More than 60 party members in Lords take out advert attacking leader over antisemitism

More than sixty Labour peers have taken out an advertisement accusing Jeremy Corbyn of having “failed the test of leadership” over his handling of antisemitism complaints within the party.

The peers, including more than a dozen former ministers such as Peter Hain, Beverley Hughes and John Reid, have addressed the advert in the Guardian to Corbyn directly, saying: “The Labour party welcomes everyone* irrespective of race, creed, age, gender identity, or sexual orientation. (*except, it seems, Jews). This is your legacy, Mr Corbyn.”

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 July 2019 | 7:42 pm

English health index to paint detailed picture of nation’s wellbeing

Database will be used to assess effect of policies as focus shifts to preventing illness

The government is to set up the most comprehensive database yet to measure the health of people in England as part of leaked plans to improve life expectancy and boost the fight against the biggest deadly diseases.

Ministers intend to create a “composite health index” which will track whether the population’s health is getting better or worse and the stark difference between rich and poor when it comes to illnesses such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 July 2019 | 7:29 pm

Beloved Yosemite landmarks' original names restored after trademark dispute

Visitors were unhappy when a changeover in services prompted the national park to change the names of hotels and attractions

Some of Yosemite’s most well-known and beloved attractions will get their original names back, following a settlement in an intellectual property dispute that briefly changed the monikers of the national park’s hotels and landmarks.

The name change came about in a legal battle with Delaware North, a company that lost a $2bn bid to run concessions for the California park’s hotels, restaurants and outdoor activities. After Yosemite awarded a contract to Aramark, the park service learned that Delaware North had applied for trademarks for the names when it prepared to open bids.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 July 2019 | 7:27 pm

The Gove-Johnson love affair is back on – for a month or two, anyway | John Crace

Their relationship has had more downs than ups but now Mikey is full of adoration for his future boss

Most insiders give it a month, two at the outside, before the divorce lawyers are called in. But for now the on-off-off-off relationship between Michael Gove and Boris Johnson is very much back on.

Never mind that Mikey had such serious reservations about Boris after sharing the Vote Leave love-nest bus during the referendum that he chose to resign as his campaign manager and stand against him in the 2016 Tory leadership race. Never mind, too, that Mikey had so little faith in his ex that he also chose to stand against him again this time round. Even begging him not to withdraw – snarf, snarf – as he had done previously.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 July 2019 | 6:19 pm

Trump’s ‘go back’ racism is crude, but may be dangerously effective | Afua Hirsch

As we’ve seen in the UK, attacking the identity of people of colour can be a route to political success

Pity Donald Trump. Even his racism is the most unsophisticated kind. Every black and brown person knows a “go back to where you came from” racist. For many of us who have never been migrants, to have this muttered at us was the first signal that to be a visible minority means to be forever perceived as an immigrant. And that being perceived as an immigrant is bad.

“Go back” racists are rarely intellectually capable of engaging with the question of whether the destination they deem so suitable for us actually exists. Trump’s latest outburst – in which he said four congresswomen should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came”, is a case in point. For the US president to say of Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib, “if they’re not happy here, they can leave”, makes no sense because the women in question are Americans. Yet it makes perfect sense because they are not white.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 July 2019 | 5:57 pm

Who is Ursula von der Leyen, the new EU commission president?

From ‘closet feminist’ to bossy career woman, detractors paint conflicting pictures of German politician

The nicknames Ursula von der Leyen has acquired over the course of her 29-year career in German politics tell their own story about the new president of the European commission.

During her time in charge of the family ministry, she was first called Krippen-Ursel (“crèche Ursel”), a conservative closet feminist set on expanding nursery places, and then Zensursula, a control freak who wanted to shield German youth from the dark sides of the internet.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 July 2019 | 5:55 pm

Dave Brailsford keen to ‘twist knife’ into Team Ineos’s Tour rivals

• British team have Thomas and Bernal in second and third
• Groupama–FDJ principal says Thibaut Pinot can recover

Dave Brailsford’s rest-day habit of provoking the French resurfaced again as the Tour de France took a 24-hour pause in Albi, a day after the home hero Thibaut Pinot had been unceremoniously worked over by Geraint Thomas and his Ineos teammates in gusting crosswinds.

While Pinot raged against his bad luck at his own team’s media conference, after an opening phase of the Tour in which he had hardly put a foot wrong, Brailsford appeared to relish the Frenchman’s predicament when he spoke to the media. “We are here to race,” the Ineos team principal said. “I live and breathe and think all day about sticking the knife in and, when you get the chance, twisting it.”

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 July 2019 | 5:23 pm

'This time we need justice': grief of parents whose three sons were killed

John and Linda Burke-Monerville say loss of three of their seven children feels like a ‘terrible dream’

A couple who have lost three sons in separate killings have voiced their despair over youth violence in London.

In their first interview since the third death, which happened last month, John and Linda Burke-Monerville said the loss of three of their seven children felt like “a terrible dream” and described their emotions as a “multiplicity of grief”.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 July 2019 | 5:18 pm

Pro-Europe Tories must locate their rebel spirit – and make the case for remain | Rafael Behr

As more leading Tories soften on no deal for the sake of their careers, principled moderates have only one option left

If hardline Brexiteers were free to shop around for beatable enemies they probably wouldn’t change much about the current state of British politics. Their preferred candidate is well ahead in the final straight of a Tory leadership contest, and his rival doesn’t dare to contradict him on the issue that matters most.

Related: Amber Rudd embraces no-deal Brexit as ministers pitch to Johnson

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 July 2019 | 5:14 pm

Boris Johnson 'ignored expert advice' over £1bn mayoral vanity projects

No 10 frontrunner defied senior officials over doomed projects including Routemaster and garden bridge

Boris Johnson has been accused of repeatedly ignoring expert advice on the viability of his so-called vanity projects as London mayor, leaving taxpayers with a bill of nearly £1bn and rising.

Some of those who worked closely with Johnson as mayor, including fellow Conservatives, told the Guardian that he defied senior officials over a string of profligate projects and resisted being held to account for their ballooning costs.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 July 2019 | 5:04 pm

Emmys 2019: Game of Thrones leads race with record 32 nominations

The final season of the fantasy drama leads the pack while The Marvelous Mrs Maisel, Fleabag, Chernobyl and When They See Us follow behind

Game of Thrones leads this year’s Emmy nominations with a record 32 nods, with The Marvelous Mrs Maisel and Chernobyl close behind.

The final season of HBO’s fantasy hit received mixed reviews from critics but America’s television academy placed it at the top of this year’s long list of shows, with recognition for actors Kit Harington and Emilia Clarke in the categories of lead actor and actress in a drama series as well as seven further actors in the two support categories. Last year the show reigned supreme with seven awards, including for best drama.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 July 2019 | 4:55 pm

Cleaned for take-off: Naomi Campbell’s extreme inflight hygiene routine

The supermodel recently revealed the germ-busting ritual she undertakes when boarding a plane. But do the experts think we should follow suit?

First the latex gloves go on, the antiseptic wipes come out, and then Naomi Campbell gets to work. A video recently posted by the supermodel on YouTube shows the extraordinary hygiene routine she undertakes every time she takes a flight. “This is what I do on every plane I get on. I do not care what people think of me,” she says, buffing the back of the headrest. She wipes, she says, “everything you touch” – armrests, tray table, TV remote, window. A replacement seat cover then comes out and, once she sits down, she puts a mask over her face. But should we all be going to such extreme lengths to protect ourselves from germs while flying?

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 July 2019 | 4:51 pm

UK railway needs revolution not evolution, says review chief

Independent chair says franchise system no longer credible and state needs to step back for ‘complete overhaul’

The government should take a “step back” from the UK railway, which could potentially be run by a new body, said the independent chair of the rail review.

The former British Airways boss Keith Williams said a fresh structure was required, and warned that “simply tinkering at the edges” would not be credible. He added that rail franchising had “had its day”.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 July 2019 | 4:50 pm

London Bridge attack: police lawfully killed terrorists, inquest finds

Jury heard that three attackers ignored clear warning shouts before they were shot dead

The three terrorists whose rampage left eight people dead at London Bridge were lawfully shot dead by armed police officers after they ignored clear warning shouts, an inquest jury has found.

During the June 2017 attack the men first ran over pedestrians on London Bridge, then stabbed Saturday night revellers in 10 minutes of carnage.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 July 2019 | 4:45 pm

Art of playing Opens keeps Tiger Woods confident about his chances

Woods is short of tournament practice but, with three Open wins, he knows he can work his way around Royal Portrush

According to the nice lady at the tourist office, 200,000 people will swarm into Portrush for the Open Championship this week. Early on Tuesday great swathes of them were already tracking Tiger Woods as he scuffed around, hoping to find his groove and his game. Eight holes later he was still looking.

“It’s not quite as sharp as I’d like to have it right now,” the winner of 15 majors admitted. “I still need to shape the golf ball a little bit better, especially with the weather coming in and the winds are going to be changing.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 July 2019 | 4:44 pm

Research shines light on why women more likely to develop Alzheimer's

Protein tau may spread more rapidly in female brains than males’, adding to range of factors

The reason women appear to be at greater risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease than men might be due to a number of genetic, anatomical and even social influences, researchers have suggested.

Recent figures show about 65% of those with living with dementia in the UK are women, with a similar statistic seen in the US for Alzheimer’s disease, while dementia is the leading cause of death for women in England. Alzheimer’s disease is only one of the types of dementia, but the most common form.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 July 2019 | 4:38 pm

July on course to be hottest month ever, say climate scientists

If global trends continue for another fortnight, it will beat previous two-year-old record

Record temperatures across much of the world over the past two weeks could make July the hottest month ever measured on Earth, according to climate scientists.

The past fortnight has seen freak heat in the Canadian Arctic, crippling droughts in Chennai and Harare and forest fires that forced thousands of holidaymakers to abandon campsites in southern France and prompted the air force in Indonesia to fly cloud-busting missions in the hope of inducing rain.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 July 2019 | 4:32 pm

I've seen the future and it's Norwich: the energy-saving, social housing revolution

The 100 homes on Goldsmith Street aren’t just smart and modern. They may be the most energy-efficient houses ever built in the UK. Could this be the start of proper social housing?

Rows of glossy black tiles glisten in the afternoon sun, dripping down the facades like a neatly controlled oil slick. They cap a long row of milky brick houses, whose walls curve gently around the corners at the end of the street, dissolving into perforated brick balustrades, marking the presence of hidden rooftop patios. A planted alley runs between the backs of the terraced houses, dotted with communal tables and benches, where neighbours are sitting down to an outdoor meal.

This is Goldsmith Street, a new development of around 100 homes, built by Norwich city council, without a profit-hungry developer in sight. They are not homes that fit into the murky class of “affordable”, or the multitude of “intermediate” tenures. This is proper social housing, rented from the council with secure tenancies at fixed rents. Not only that, it is some of the most energy-efficient housing ever built in the UK, meeting the exacting German Passivhaus standards – which translates into a 70% reduction in fuel bills for tenants. It might not look groundbreaking, but this little neighbourhood represents something quietly miraculous. And it almost didn’t happen.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 July 2019 | 4:30 pm

England’s World Cup win must launch something bigger, says Andrew Strauss

• Former director of cricket wants ECB to capitalise on euphoria
• Strauss says success of 2005 Ashes was not built on

Andrew Strauss, England’s former director of cricket, has urged the game’s powerbrokers to learn from the mistakes of the past and capitalise on England’s World Cup success, declaring: “This has to be the start of something bigger.”

Strauss left his job at the England and Wales Cricket Board last October but not before laying the foundations for England’s white-ball resurgence, namely deciding to stick with Eoin Morgan as captain after he had led the team to a humiliating first-round exit at the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand and then appointing a coach in Trevor Bayliss who advocated an attacking, expressive style of play that has characterised the team’s transformation over the past four years.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 July 2019 | 4:23 pm

Boris Johnson's failed vanity projects as London mayor – video

From sweatbox buses to a novelty 'dangleway' and fantasy bridges that never saw a brick laid. Boris Johnson’s design legacy in London left the taxpayer with a bill of more than £940m after his eight years as mayor. The Guardian's design and architecture critic, Oliver Wainwright, takes a tour of the worst monuments to Johnson's ego etched across the capital. He finds out what they really cost us then and how much we are still paying for them now

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 July 2019 | 4:10 pm

I'd take no deal over no Brexit, says Labour's Sarah Champion

Former shadow minister says she cannot support Labour becoming a remain party

The former shadow cabinet minister Sarah Champion has said she would “take no deal” over remaining in the EU, arguing that Labour had to deliver the result of the referendum.

MPs close to Boris Johnson have suggested they believe his administration could secure enough Labour votes to pass a new version of a Brexit deal, after Jeremy Corbyn said Labour would campaign for remain in a second referendum.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 July 2019 | 3:35 pm

Roisin Conaty: the genius comic who will fill the Fleabag hole in your life

Move over, Phoebe – there’s a new queen of confessional comedy. Prepare for an offbeat world of tiny Dolly Partons and cats who eat kebabs

Roisin Conaty still remembers her first night of standup. It was 2003 and she was at the King’s Head pub in London’s Crouch End, tipsy and being egged on by a friend. Conaty put her name down for the try-out comedy show, then forgot all about it. When they called to tell her it was her turn, she showed up with nothing prepared. “I thought you made it up on the night,” she says, eyes widening. “I now look back and think, ‘What’s wrong with you?’” She wasn’t even an avid comedy fan. “I’d seen Richard Pryor and Joan Rivers, the stuff off the telly. I don’t think I’d seen anything live before I did a gig, which is weird.” The way Conaty tells it, she seems to be marvelling at the antics of someone else, not looking back at her own history.

But the bug bit that night. “It was like love at first sight,” she says. “It felt frightening and it mattered immediately.”

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 July 2019 | 3:16 pm

Alan Turing on the £50 note is a triumph for British science – and for equality | Emily Grossman

I sat on the committee that helped select the scientist. Honouring him sends a message that the UK respects all people

Over Christmas, I had the unusual delight of reading short biographies of 989 dead scientists. As a member of the Bank of England’s banknote character advisory committee, I was sifting through potential nominees to be included on the new £50 note: the sheer volume of UK scientists, put forward by more than 225,000 members of the public, reflected the enormous contribution our small island has made to international scientific progress over the past few centuries.

Related: Alan Turing to feature on new £50 banknote

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 July 2019 | 3:09 pm

I knew people found me uncanny and strange – then came the diagnosis that explained it all

The writer Joanne Limburg always knew other people found her somehow unsettling – so much so, she felt she identified with Stephen King’s Carrie. But it was only in her 30s, while reading about autism, that she understood why

Recently, I taught a course that had Stephen King’s On Writing as a set text. The book opens with a section called “CV”, in which he describes the experiences that formed him as a writer. Exploring the genesis of his novel Carrie, he explains that its title character – the teenage outcast who enacts a horrific, telekinetic revenge on her tormentors – emerged from uneasy memories of two girls he knew during his own high school years. These girls looked wrong, sounded wrong. They dressed in the wrong clothes. Both came from unusual homes, but what made them – in King’s words – the “two loneliest and most reviled” of the girls in his class was something less tangible than background. Returning to the subject in his introduction to my edition of Carrie, he suggests that this was a something “that broadcast STRANGE! NOT LIKE US! KEEP AWAY!”

King speculates that this broadcast occupied a “wavelength only other kids can pick up”, but I’m not so sure people ever grow out of that receptiveness. They may learn to respond to it less unkindly, but they still sense it. There is even a word for the experience of sensing unplaceable difference: “uncanny”.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 July 2019 | 2:49 pm

Transgender man who gave birth loses high court privacy ruling

Guardian journalist loses right to anonymity in legal action seeking to be registered as father

The first transgender man to give birth and seek to be called the child’s father has lost a high court case to protect his privacy despite warning that he and his child could be victimised and bullied as a result.

Freddy McConnell, 32, a Guardian multimedia journalist who transitioned from female to male before giving birth in 2018, can now be named as the first person to give birth who wants to be registered as the child’s father.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 July 2019 | 2:29 pm

Sex, violence, f-bombs and randy sausages: a day inside the BBFC

They decide what we see. But how do they draw the line? Our writer encounters a cartoon food orgy, a potty-mouthed king and a horror film too vile to show, at the British Board of Film Classification

Down in the basement of the British Board of Film Classification’s headquarters, the experts are discussing Sausage Party. This heated debate about Seth Rogen’s naughty food animation perhaps best reflects the public’s changing attitudes towards film ratings. Yes, we are happy with consensual sex, and yes we adore nudity – but what we can’t stand is the gratuitously pornographic. Not even when it comes to randy anthropomorphised supermarket foods.

“There’s a particular sequence where different types of food have an orgy and there are a lot of pornographic references, visual and verbal,” explains Emily Fussell, the BBFC’s education officer. “It’s quite a prolonged scene. We showed it in our focus groups and the feedback was that they wouldn’t expect to see as many pornographic references in a film at 15.”

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 July 2019 | 1:54 pm

UN Aids target to end epidemic by 2030 at risk as funding falls for first time

Report finds significant financial boost needed to meet targets to eradicate disease

The pace of reducing new HIV infections is slowing and progress in accessing treatment is decreasing, putting UN targets to end the Aids epidemic by 2030 in doubt.

The UNAids report, published on Tuesday, showed mixed progress, with certain countries making solid gains but others experiencing rises in both new infections and Aids-related deaths.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 July 2019 | 1:29 pm

Bears and wolves to coexist in UK woods for first time in 1,000 years

Bear Wood near Bristol aims to spark debate about rewilding of ancient woodlands

For the first time in more than 1,000 years native bears and wolves are coming snout to muzzle with each other among towering oaks and ashes in a slice of British woodland.

European brown bears, thought to have become extinct in the British wilds in medieval times, and grey wolves – which roamed free until the 17th century – are to coexist in a project called Bear Wood near Bristol.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 July 2019 | 1:26 pm

Cricket World Cup: fans of all 10 teams review the tournament

Readers from around the world reflect on seven weeks of cricket and one astounding final

England’s run to the semi-finals, and indeed final, could not have been more quintessentially English. The team came into the tournament on a great run and hope was lifted to even greater heights with a few high-quality performances, only to be met with a crash back to traditional English cynicism when we almost inevitably lost to two tournament underdogs. From this point on though, they were exceptional, rising to the challenge of what essentially became four consecutive knockout games.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 July 2019 | 11:49 am

Courgettes with feta and lemon | Nigel Slater

Use one of summer’s most bountiful vegetables in this low-effort, high-flavour midweek roast

Set the oven at 200C/gas mark 6. Place 6 large courgettes on a chopping board and slice each one at half-centimetre intervals, cutting almost through to the board. Put the courgettes in a roasting tin, holding them together as you lift, and baste them with 5 tbsp of olive oil.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 July 2019 | 11:00 am

Real life film noir: crime scenes from the LAPD – in pictures

Crime scene photographs shot by Los Angeles police officers in the line of duty between 1925 and the 1970s are on show at the city’s Lucie Foundation. More than 80 images are on display, drawn from the thousands discovered in a warehouse in 2000 by the fototeka Gallery. Photographs from the Los Angeles Police Archive is on show until 11 August

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 July 2019 | 9:28 am

The colour and drama of the Cricket World Cup – photo essay

Guardian and Observer photographer Tom Jenkins spent seven weeks working on the Cricket World Cup from the first game between South Africa and England at the Oval to the dramatic finale at Lord’s. His images here focus on the friendly and colourful tournament that showcased the country’s multicultural population

Click on the information icons for more details on each image

Everybody is allowed to be themselves, and everybody should be a little bit different as well.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 July 2019 | 8:45 am

I had sex for the first time and now I feel disgusted and ashamed

I pretended to enjoy it, but it was uncomfortable. I feel sick at the thought of ever having sex again

I am a 23-year-old woman and just had sex for the first time. I pretended to enjoy it but it was uncomfortable – I just wanted it to be over, and was relieved that it didn’t go on too long. I now feel disgusted and ashamed. I don’t want to try it again, but I don’t know how to tell the guy this. We haven’t been dating long, so I feel like it would be best to break it off. I feel sick at the thought of ever having sex again. Is it normal to feel like this?

It is not unusual to have an uncomfortable “first time”. But even some relatively experienced people tell themselves they “should” be having sex and enjoying it when actually they are not ready or are flat-out uninterested. Sometimes this pressure is exerted on them by friends, cultural beliefs or perhaps what they see on the internet. Please try to let go of the idea that you have to behave in a certain way – including putting up with “disgusting” experiences – just to feel “normal”. Clearly you do not want to be sexual right now; in fact you could happily not even date. Take your time to decide what you really want – or don’t want – and in the meantime do not bow to pressure from peers or would-be partners. Sex can be far better than the way you experienced it, although – as part of one’s erotic trial and error – it may not always be enjoyable. Listen to your intuition and, for now, avoid situations that could lead to feeling that you should comply with others’ expectations. Consider revisiting the possibility of sex only when you feel a sense of safety as well as strong, genuine erotic desire for someone. Say to this man you have been dating that, at this point, you are not interested in a rerun; his response will tell you a lot about him.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 July 2019 | 7:00 am

State-school kids who rose to the top in universities

Only 16% of university heads were privately educated, in contrast to judges and elite civil servants. Why the difference?

Steve Smith’s parents were devastated to be told at school parents’ evening that the best their working‑class son could hope for was a job sweeping floors in the local shoe factory. He is now vice-chancellor of the University of Exeter, part of the elite Russell Group.

Nick Petford left school at 16 and worked in a tool-packing factory before training to install air-conditioning. He is now vice-chancellor of the University of Northampton.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 July 2019 | 6:00 am

Wall-to-wall Europe: the continent's manmade barriers – in pictures

As barriers continue to rise up all over Europe, a new documentary photography exhibition investigates walls, fences and defence lines and the dramas on either side of them

Walls of Power: Man-made Barriers Throughout Europe is at Les Rencontres d’Arles, France, from 1 July to 25 August, 2019

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 July 2019 | 6:00 am

From Ginger Meggs to fighter jets: vintage Australian toys – in pictures

Luke Jones has been collecting Australian toys since his first purchase at a 1983 auction – when he was just nine years old. The collection of vintage Australian toys he’s amassed since then, featured in his new hardcover book, is peerless.

‘While I strive to find the toys in the best original condition possible, I still enjoy the toys that show the signs of having been well loved and played with,’ he says. Some selections from the book – with edited captions and quotes from Jones – is featured below.

Australian Toys: A Collection by Luke Jones is out now through Melbourne Books

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 July 2019 | 5:23 am

The real Boris Johnson: politician or journalist?

The Tory leadership hopeful has long attempted to hold down careers in both politics and journalism. As he hopes to take over as prime minister, his biographers Sonia Purnell and Andrew Gimson look at what his career in newspapers says about his character and abilities for the top job in UK politics. Plus: Sabrina Siddiqui on the widespread condemnation of Donald Trump’s racist remarks about four congresswomen

Before entering politics, Boris Johnson made his name first as a reporter and then a columnist rising to fame with the Daily Telegraph and then the Spectator. But it was not always a smooth ascent: he was sacked from the Times as a graduate trainee for making up a quote and as a Brussels correspondent generating dozens of controversial stories that poked fun at the EU institutions and refashioned Euroscepticism in the UK years before the Brexit vote.

But one particular incident stands out: so-called ‘Guppygate’. In 1990, Johnson was secretly recorded agreeing to provide the address of the News of the World reporter Stuart Collier to his friend Darius Guppy, who wanted to arrange for the journalist to have his ribs cracked as revenge for investigating his activities. Collier has told the Guardian he wants a full apology from Johnson.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 July 2019 | 2:00 am

'Spasms of incorrectitude': Johnson's own words on lust, racism and the EU

The likely next PM has demonstrated his unique turn of phrase in a number of books

On Keith Vaz, from Friends, Voters, Countrymen, 2001

Vaz, said the papers, was part of the ‘Asian’ culture, in which it was thought quite normal, goodness gracious me, for portly, ghee-fed politicians to be in the pay of portly, ghee-fed businessmen. I hope you won’t think me perverse, but it struck me that he was hard done by. Tell me, all you who think he is as greasy as an onion bhaji, exactly what he is supposed to have done.

Continue reading...

Posted on 15 July 2019 | 3:03 pm

Laughter and lies: Johnson's journey from journalist to MP

The Spectator editor already had a reputation for getting away with it when he was elected MP for Henley

When Conrad Black, then owner of the Spectator and Daily Telegraph, and his wife, Barbara, decided to throw a party in Boris Johnson’s honour, the magazine’s editor and aspiring politician had already let his proprietor down. The upwardly mobile journalist had promised Black he would abandon hopes of a political career to preside over the political weekly, but was almost immediately seeking to contest a parliamentary seat.

By the time the Blacks threw open their 11-bedroom Kensington house to guests in 2001, Johnson was not just a magazine editor, but also the Conservative candidate for Henley – and his reputation for getting away with it was well and truly established.

Continue reading...

Posted on 15 July 2019 | 3:01 pm

Boris Johnson claimed Islam put Muslim world 'centuries behind'

Anger as 2007 essay lamenting ‘no spread of democracy’ in Islamic world comes to light

Boris Johnson has been strongly criticised for arguing Islam has caused the Muslim world to be “literally centuries behind” the west, in an essay unearthed by the Guardian.

Writing about the rise of the religion in an appendix added to a later edition of The Dream of Rome, his 2006 book about the Roman empire, Johnson said there was something about Islam that hindered development in parts of the globe and, as a result, “Muslim grievance” was a factor in virtually every conflict.

Continue reading...

Posted on 15 July 2019 | 3:00 pm

Extinction Rebellion: are you taking part in demonstrations?

If you’re planning on taking part in the week-long demonstrations, we’d like to hear from you

The environmental activist group Extinction Rebellion are planning week-long demonstrations by targeting five UK cities; London, Bristol, Leeds, Glasgow and Cardiff. The coalition are calling on the government to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse emissions to zero by 2025.

As part of what the group are calling a “summer uprising”, activists are blocking roads in several city centres. In London people gathered outside the Royal Courts of Justice and set up a blue boat, Bristol bridge has been closed after a pink boat has been installed there and a major road has been blocked by a purple boat in the centre of Glasgow.

Continue reading...

Posted on 15 July 2019 | 11:42 am

Police chases: are they worth it? – podcast

The public expect police to pursue bad guys, but a shocking tally of recent deaths has exposed the risks involved. Tom Lamont discusses how the death of Matthew Seddon could change how we think about police chases. And: Sirin Kale on sexist dress codes

The Matthew Seddon police chase lasted 4min 22sec and ended in his death. Its aftermath, however, continued for years. Judges, investigators, witnesses, relatives and their lawyers, constables, police drivers, control-room officers and their silks all picked over the momentary choices made by Seddon and Thames Valley police in an attempt to work out what had happened and who was ultimately responsible for his death – the pursued or the pursuer?

Anushka Asthana talks to Tom Lamont, who looked into what happens when a police chase goes wrong. Between the time of Seddon’s death in 2013 and the end of the inquiry into it, at least 93 people died in chases in England and Wales. Julie Sneddon, Matthew’s mother, also talks to Anushka about the impact of his death on her life.

Continue reading...

Posted on 15 July 2019 | 2:00 am

Your pictures: share your photos on the theme of ‘round’

Wherever you are in the world, this week we’d like to see your pictures on the theme ‘round’

The next theme for our weekly photography assignment, published in print in the Observer New Review is ‘round’.

Share your photos of what round means to you – and tell us about your image in the description box.

Continue reading...

Posted on 14 July 2019 | 8:00 am

Crannog: the woman who cares for animals at the end of their lives – video

Alexis has a life-threatening disease. She spends her time in the wooded expanse of northern Scotland, where she takes care of dozens of animals who are also sick, wounded or dying. Some have terminal cancer, some would otherwise be killed because of their disabilities, some were saved from slaughterhouses. Alexis provides palliative care for them.

Crannog follows Alexis as she tries to nurse a neglected sheep back to health. A quiet reflection on kindness in the face of death, the film explores the fragility and strength that comes from dedicating your life to the care of others

Continue reading...

Posted on 12 July 2019 | 11:00 am

Easy or bland, outdated or ordered: what's it like to live in a planned city?

This week Guardian Cities has been exploring cities built from scratch around the world. Here’s a roundup of readers’ experiences – from Harlow to Perth, Shannon to Islamabad

Perth really is about as bland a built environment as you could imagine, luckily set on amazing natural beauty. But its planning is still rooted firmly in 1950s style suburbia and auto dependence. Car ownership is one of the highest in Australia, which nationally is one of the highest in the world. Vibrancy is lacking, community occurs despite, not encouraged by, the built environment. Walking is hardly done, and the streets of suburbia are deserted as everyone drives.

Continue reading...

Posted on 12 July 2019 | 10:00 am

It's time we stopped treating soil like dirt – video

Soil is pretty remarkable stuff. It provides 95% of our food, helps regulate the Earth’s atmosphere and is a bigger carbon sink than all the world's forests combined. In fact, it basically enables all life on this planet to exist. So why do we treat it like dirt? The Guardian journalist Josh Toussaint-Strauss finds out how we are destroying it, but also discovers some of the progress made in the race to protect the Earth’s soils


Soil organisations

Continue reading...

Posted on 11 July 2019 | 11:12 am

Lord of the Rain: one man's fight against climate catastrophe – video

Doyte lives in South Omo, Ethiopia, one of the most remote areas in the world and hard hit by the climate crisis. As Lord of the Rain, it’s Doyte’s job to summon the rains, but for five years they haven’t come. Ethiopia’s economy is booming, fuelled by green power and climate-resilient policies. But neither the government, nor Doyte, can reverse the catastrophic change that’s devastating their environment


Continue reading...

Posted on 4 July 2019 | 6:00 am

Will this young Muslim be Boris Johnson's ultimate downfall? – video

Boris Johnson may have his eyes on being prime minister but, if successful, he will walk into No 10 with one of the smallest majorities in history. The candidate trying to oust him from the seat of Uxbridge and South Ruislip is Ali Milani, a 24-year-old Muslim immigrant, who describes himself as the 'antithesis' of Johnson

Continue reading...

Posted on 27 June 2019 | 6:00 am

Creature comforts: has the US's emotional support animal epidemic gone too far? – video

Emotional support animals, or ESAs, have exploded across the US in recent years, with rising numbers of pet owners getting their animals certified online. Unlike in the UK, ESAs have legal status in the US on a tier below traditional service animals, but the backlash has begun – with critics complaining the system is being abused by regular pet owners who want to take their animals into unsuitable public spaces. The Guardian's Richard Sprenger – animal lover but pet sceptic – meets ESA owners and their animals across North America.

Continue reading...

Posted on 26 June 2019 | 8:30 am

‘There’s a real scene happening here’: how Dig Brew Co put Birmingham craft beer on the map

Oliver Webb started brewing while at university. Now he runs Dig Brew Co, which produces the tipples of choice for Birmingham’s cultural scene

On the edge of Birmingham’s city centre lies Digbeth, a partially deserted industrial landscape of former Victorian factories, warehouses and tall railway arches. For the past few decades, it has been a handy place for artists and independent businesses to set up shop and take advantage of large spaces with low rents. Dig Brew Co, founded by 27-year-old Oliver Webb, recently joined this artistic hub, its craft brewery and taproom sitting proudly in a former gun factory on River Street.

Webb studied at the Slade School of Fine Art, part of University College London, and says sky-high prices in the capital gave him the idea to start running bars. “We’d be working until 10pm but couldn’t afford to go anywhere, as all the bars and clubs in London are so expensive. So I set up a bar in my studio space and started serving cocktails and cheap beer we bought from the supermarket,” he says.

Continue reading...

Posted on 25 June 2019 | 4:02 pm

Pay it forward: Vesta is the socially minded restaurant feeding its customers and Edinburgh’s homeless

Nestled in the centre of Edinburgh’s well-heeled district is a social enterprise that has attracted the love of locals, and even Hollywood stars

The restaurants that line the cobbled Georgian streets of Edinburgh’s West End project an air of exclusivity and expense. But amid the boutique hotels and cocktail bars, just a few feet from Princes Street and in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle, you’ll find a restaurant with an inclusive atmosphere that delivers feelgood food while supporting a charitable cause.

Owner David Hall took charge of Vesta, formerly known as Home, in July 2018 and the restaurant partners with Social Bite – a charity that seeks to end homelessness in Scotland. Named after the Roman goddess of hearth, home, and family, the restaurant is committed to supplying free meals and training opportunities to homeless and vulnerable people in Edinburgh. Customers can donate the price of a coffee or a meal through a “pay it forward” scheme, which funds the restaurant to host 40 homeless diners every week.

Continue reading...

Posted on 24 June 2019 | 11:42 am

How your period is making other people rich – video

Menstrual cycles have historically been a personal topic. But with the rise of period-tracking apps, intimate knowledge of women's bodies has become big business, with marketers using the data women and girls put into their phones to exploit their hormones in an attempt to sell them things they did not realise they wanted

Continue reading...

Posted on 20 June 2019 | 10:30 am

London's toxic school runs: how polluted is the air children breathe? - video

Most UK cities have had illegally polluted air for nearly a decade, and the effect of air pollution is particularly bad on children. Ahead of Clean Air Day, we conducted an experiment to assess the air quality on a school run in central London, using new state-of-the art monitors that can measure air pollution in real time

Continue reading...

Posted on 19 June 2019 | 5:17 pm

Brexit breakdown: 14 days that shook politics | Anywhere but Westminster - video

Starting with the unexpected scramble for the European parliament and ending with the byelection buildup in Peterborough, John Harris and John Domokos go on a mammoth road trip into the new reality: politics changed forever by the internet, and voters who want direct control

Continue reading...

Posted on 5 June 2019 | 11:06 am

‘Learn what people want’: 10 tips on how to create a successful vintage fashion business

Flea markets are a favourite weekend pastime for many. Here’s how to turn your passion for fashion into a bustling market stall

If your ideal weekend is spent hitting up car boot sales, browsing charity shops and scouring Etsy for the perfect vintage find, then having your own stall may seem like the dream job – or at least the dream side hustle. But what are the tips and tricks to make your vintage fashion business a success? We asked successful stall owners how they went from vintage fan to thriving market trader – and how you can do the same.

1. Start small
“Don’t get carried away and invest a lot of money at the start,” says Amanda Barnes, whose shop Ooh La La Vintage in Dorset began as a stall at events and vintage festivals. “Keep expectations realistic and reassess every few months before you buy more stock. Even if you’re just doing it as a hobby, it’s a good idea to write a loose business plan. Decide how much you’ll spend on stock, and think about other expenses, such as travel and the cost of the pitch. Then work out how much you need to sell to recoup costs and turn a profit.”

Continue reading...

Posted on 23 May 2019 | 9:18 am

‘Going cashless has been huge for us’: the coffee shop that’s stopped using cash

For young entrepreneur Ed Barry, running a business has had its ups and downs. But embracing the cashless economy has paid off

It’s no secret that the great British high street is warming to the idea of going, if not cashless, then certainly less cash. In the past 15 years, we’ve seen the introduction of contactless cards and mobile phone payments (or digital wallets).

A 2018 report by UK Finance [pdf] found that in just 10 years we’ve gone from cash making up six out of 10 payments to just three, and predicts that in another 15 years that number could go down to as low as one in 10.

Continue reading...

Posted on 23 May 2019 | 9:16 am

The highs and lows of impersonating Boris Johnson – video

Drew Galdron has been impersonating the Conservative politician for 11 years. His recent focus has been on campaigning against Brexit, but with Johnson tipped as a Tory leadership contender, is his life about to get even busier? 


Continue reading...

Posted on 15 April 2019 | 9:00 am

Funeral poverty: one woman's battle to pay for her son's burial – video

One suddenly bereaved mother, already in debt, has to find thousands of pounds to pay for her son's funeral. The funeral business is an unregulated industry, with providers criticised for taking advantage of vulnerable, grieving families, who can then feel obliged to pay large sums of money for an appropriate goodbye.  Across the UK the average funeral cost stands at £4,271, having risen 122% since 2004. The Guardian’s Richard Sprenger reports


With thanks to Down to Earth, Quaker Social Action

Continue reading...

Posted on 10 April 2019 | 9:05 am