Gamer Geek News

The Guardian

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

Leicester City v Southampton: Premier League – live!

17 mins: Southampton win the ball back midway through their half and Adams is played through on the right. Had the ball allowed him to run through the middle Southampton would have been in real trouble, but as it is he has to cut infield and thus Evans has time to get back and hassle him, and then Schmeichel blocks his crossing channel, and the chance is gone.

15 mins: Walcott gets the ball, sprints into the Leicester half, and pretty cynically runs into Fofana when he had no hope or for that matter intention of keeping the ball. The referee laps this up, gives him a free kick, and books Fofana.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 January 2021 | 8:19 pm

Jürgen Klopp needs faltering Firmino, Mané and Salah to spark again | Andy Hunter

When the two biggest clubs in the land meet on Sunday, the Liverpool manager must get his front three firing to reignite the champions’ title defence

A fair amount has altered since Mohamed Salah steamed through on David de Gea’s goal to seal Liverpool’s 2-0 win against Manchester United almost exactly one year ago. There were 52,916 supporters allowed inside Anfield on that different planet, Alisson could sprint the length of the pitch to embrace the goalscorer without fear of government censure and Liverpool fans finally acknowledged in public that the Premier League title was theirs after a 30-year wait. Of the many changes in Jürgen Klopp’s world since last receiving Ole Gunnar Solskjær at Anfield, it is the dilution of that fierce belief into creeping doubt that will irritate most.

Related: How You'll Never Walk Alone came to define Liverpool FC's spirit

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 January 2021 | 8:00 pm

20 of the best... Men's hoodies – in pictures

It’s the weather to hunker down in a stylish hoodie. Here’s our pick of the best in show

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 January 2021 | 8:00 pm

Guardiola has turned City away from pressing and back to passing | Jonathan Wilson

In circumstances demanding a less energetic approach, the manager has transformed his side’s Premier League prospects

Ominously, Manchester City have eased towards the front of the title race. They went into the weekend third, just four points behind the Premier League leaders, Manchester United, with a game in hand. Their next five league games are against sides in the bottom half and Aston Villa. Had Liverpool beaten them on 8 November, rather than drawing 1-1, their lead over City would have been eight points. As it is, by the time City face Liverpool on 6 February, there’s a good chance they will be top of the table. That, really, is a triumph of coaching.

It’s a triumph of resources as well because almost everything in modern football is (and let nobody ever forget the origin of those resources). The signing of Rúben Dias has been a triumph, not just for his own performances but for the way he seems to have galvanised the entire backline, John Stones in particular. That he is not playing in the position initially envisaged (operating on the left rather than the right of the centre of defence) is a quirky detail rather than something that calls the planning into doubt.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 January 2021 | 8:00 pm

Coronavirus live news: UK records 1,295 more deaths and a further 41,346 cases; Japan's Covid second wave linked to rise in suicides

It took just six weeks for the world to report the most recent 500,000 deaths from Covid-19, after death rates began to rise sharply in November 2020 in both Europe and North America, CNN reports.

According to data from Johns Hopkins University, it took the world more than six months to report the first 500,000 Covid-19 deaths.

France reported 196 coronavirus deaths on Saturday, taking its cumulative death toll to 70,145, BFM TV reported, citing the public health authority.

Friday’s death toll had been 399.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 January 2021 | 7:58 pm

Ealing Trailfinders stun Saracens in thrilling Championship warm-up

Was this a psychological blow landed before these sides set about seeking promotion to the Premiership? Simply a chance for both teams to blow off the cobwebs having not played a competitive match for so long? Or a demonstration that perhaps the Premiership may want to think about expanding to 14 teams after all? Maybe the most significant thing about Ealing Trailfinders’ entertaining win over Saracens was that it was the only match taking place in England on Saturday.

Such are the times that we are living. As a result it put this match into the spotlight and given the frantic finish it did not disappoint as a spectacle.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 January 2021 | 7:48 pm

Chelsea back to winning ways as Mason Mount sinks 10-man Fulham

Frank Lampard could celebrate the persistence and desire from his players. Chelsea ground Fulham down in the end, finally breaking the deadlock when Mason Mount drove the winning goal home with 12 minutes to go. Lampard leapt into the air, a weight lifting from his shoulders, spared another inquest.

Yet it was an uncomfortable evening. While the patience was commendable, Chelsea fell short in the creativity department. Fulham, four points below Burnley in 17th place, had almost held out. They played the entire second half with 10 men after Antonee Robinson’s red card and succeeded in frustrating Chelsea for long spells.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 January 2021 | 7:38 pm

Joe Biden names scientific advisers and seeks to bring Eric Lander into cabinet

Joe Biden has named the geneticist Eric Lander as his top scientific adviser and will elevate the position to the cabinet for the first time, a move meant to indicate a decisive break from Donald Trump’s treatment of science.

Related: History-maker Kamala Harris will wield real power as vice-president

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 January 2021 | 7:34 pm

The remarkable bounce back of New Zealand's magazines

After the withdrawal of Bauer Media last year, the industry appeared to be on its death bed – but not for long

At 8.31am on a Thursday, Henry Oliver received a text message from his employer, alerting him to a company-wide Zoom call in 29 minutes’ time.

The day was 2 April 2020, a week into New Zealand’s national lockdown to control the spread of coronavirus. Oliver, who is the editor of Metro magazine, and his team had been scrambling to adjust to remote working and – with magazine publishing not among the “essential services” permitted to continue through the pandemic – a new digital-first operation.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 January 2021 | 7:00 pm

UK Children's welfare becoming 'national emergency', health experts warn

A letter to the Observer calls for an urgent review of the long-term impact of lockdowns and school closures on a generation

Boris Johnson is facing demands from doctors, senior politicians and charities for a wide-ranging commission to examine the pandemic’s “devastating effect” on children, amid growing concerns about its impact on their education, development and mental health.

A major coalition of child health experts warns that many families are being “swept into poverty” by the pandemic, which is set to significantly add to the 4 million children living in deprivation before the Covid crisis.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 January 2021 | 7:00 pm

If Trump looks like a fascist and acts like a fascist, then maybe he is one | Nick Cohen

The F-word is one we are rightly wary of using, but how else to describe the disgraced president?

Assurances that “fascism couldn’t happen here” are always appealing in Anglo-Saxon countries that think themselves immune because “it” never did. The US and UK did not experience rule by Nazism or communism in the 20th century and the ignorance our lucky histories fostered has weakened our defences in the 21st.

Even after all that has happened in Washington, apparently serious voices insist we cannot compare Donald Trump to any variety of fascist. Conservatives habitually say that liberals call everything they don’t like fascist, forgetting that the moral of Aesop’s fable was that the boy who cried wolf was right in the end. They used to chortle about “Trump derangement syndrome” that spreads in stages like cancer until sufferers “cannot distinguish fantasy from reality”. They have bitten their tongues now that the reality of Trumpism is deranged mobs trying to overthrow democracy.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 January 2021 | 7:00 pm

'Hell to pay': Church of Satan mourns arson at New York 'Halloween House'

Members of the Church of Satan are grieving the destruction of a historic “Halloween House” north of New York City that authorities say was set ablaze by an unidentified arsonist.

Related: Hell freezes over: how the Church of Satan got cool

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 January 2021 | 6:47 pm

'It's not their party any more': Trump leaves Republicans deeply fractured

The president has ignited a civil war in his own party, creating bitter divides that will be felt for years to come

The rancorous four-year administration of Donald Trump will reach its denouement on Wednesday with the twice-impeached president committing one final act of enmity: dropping a match to ignite a civil war inside his Republican party.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 January 2021 | 6:38 pm

Doctors and nurses 'need more legal protection amid pandemic pressures'

Medical workers fear ‘inappropriate’ prosecutions over Covid treatment decisions, say health bodies

Emergency legislation is needed to protect doctors and nurses from “inappropriate” legal action over critical Covid treatment decisions made amid the pressures of the pandemic, health organisations have argued.

A coalition of health bodies has written to Matt Hancock, the health secretary, calling for the law to be updated so medical workers do not feel “vulnerable to the risk of prosecution for unlawful killing” when treating coronavirus patients “in circumstances beyond their control”.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 January 2021 | 6:23 pm

Brexit teething problems – cartoon

From fish to lorries to footballers, Boris Johnson has his hands full

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 January 2021 | 6:00 pm

Boomers are already dreaming of escape to the post-Covid sun | Barbara Ellen

Millennials, meanwhile, will continue to struggle as they to wait for their liberating jabs

The “wrong kind” of older, or middle-aged, people are supposed to be receiving the Covid vaccine by the end of March. Not the truly elderly, the vulnerable shielders, but the other lot – taking us to the 32m total who are fiftysomething and above. All those boomers/generation Xers, unleashed back on to streets and into shops, waving their Covid-secure passes, perhaps to book themselves some well-earned YOLO hols.

Meanwhile, younger generations may feel left behind in more ways than one. And there’s the looming problem: the vaccine is the great liberator, but it rather depends what you’re getting liberated into, especially if you’ve no money or prospects. Could it give youth yet another reason to resent their elders for their perceived easier ride?

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 January 2021 | 6:00 pm

Megha Majumdar: ‘Books do nothing for a lot of people'

The author of acclaimed debut novel A Burning on how being an editor informs her writing, and why her childhood alerted her to literature’s limitations

Megha Majumdar grew up in India before moving to the US at the age of 19 to study at Harvard. Her debut novel, A Burning, follows a young Muslim shop worker who is jailed as a terrorist after she posts a message on Facebook in the wake of a deadly train bombing in Kolkata. Writing in the New Yorker on its American release last summer, James Wood called the novel “brave” and “extraordinary”, comparing Majumdar to William Faulkner. She spoke to me on Zoom from New York, where she edits fiction and nonfiction at Catapult Books.

Were you setting out to open our eyes to life in India at the moment?
I wanted to see if I could write an intellectually serious book that also feels entertaining in some way – fiction’s first task is to move you – but I do hope it’s a book that encourages a reader to think about injustice. It came from a place of being alarmed by what was happening. I grew up in a country where we were taught secular democratic values and that the plurality of our society is something to be proud of. When certain people say, “this community belongs and that one doesn’t”, that’s very frightening. Someone like Jivan, the main character, can have a narrative imposed upon them by the state which they don’t agree with and which they never claimed. Of course, it’s not just taking place in India, it’s around the world, this kind of policing around notions of purity and who belongs. A reader familiar with the political landscape in India will see where certain things connect to the news, while someone elsewhere might not catch the specifics. I hope they’re still moved to think about injustice wherever they are.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 January 2021 | 6:00 pm

Carbon capture is vital to meeting climate goals, scientists tell green critics

Supporters insist that storage technology is not a costly mistake but the best way for UK to cut emissions from heavy industry

Engineers and geologists have strongly criticised green groups who last week claimed that carbon capture and storage schemes – for reducing fossil fuel emissions – are costly mistakes.

The scientists insisted that such schemes are vital weapons in the battle against global heating and warn that failure to set up ways to trap carbon dioxide and store it underground would make it almost impossible to hold net emissions to below zero by 2050.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 January 2021 | 5:36 pm

Indonesia earthquake rescuers hampered by damaged infrastructure after dozens killed

At least 49 dead after magnitude 6.2 shock on Sulawesi island, which destroyed roads, bridges and houses

Damaged roads and bridges, power blackouts and lack of heavy equipment on Saturday hampered rescuers after a strong earthquake left at least 49 people dead and hundreds injured on Indonesia’s Sulawesi island.

Operations were focused on about eight locations in the hardest-hit city of Mamuju, where people were still believed trapped following the magnitude 6.2 quake that struck early on Friday, said Saidar Rahmanjaya, who heads the local search and rescue agency.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 January 2021 | 5:27 pm

Keir Starmer outlines 'optimistic' future for UK with Biden as president

Labour leader uses first address on foreign policy since taking office to build bridges with US and EU

Sir Keir Starmer has set out his “optimistic” vision for a wide-ranging new relationship with the US under Joe Biden.

Speaking before Biden’s inauguration on 20 January, Starmer said he was “incredibly optimistic about the new relationship we can build” and that Britain must once again be “the bridge between the US and the rest of Europe”.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 January 2021 | 5:02 pm

'Stressed' millennials are setting the agenda at work

Younger employees know what works in the workplace – and that outmoded ways of doing things are bad for our health

A snowflake millennial is tougher than you think, especially in the workplace. They have watched their parents cope with an increasingly insecure jobs market since the turn of the century and in growing numbers told their friends and family that long hours, short term contracts and a shouty boss is not for them.

They don’t join trade unions or argue with the boss about a pay rise, though some do. Their confidence – however much they appear to quiver and quake – gives them the steel to quit and search for a different job that comes – they hope – without the debilitating stress that wrecks everyone’s physical and mental health.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 January 2021 | 5:00 pm

Chef Sat Bains: ‘I doodle dishes. I dream about dishes all the time’

The Michelin-starred chef on the art of food and the smells of home – spinach and boot polish

My first passion was art at school. Now I doodle a dish as an idea, then a dish based on the doodle, and finally a Polaroid of the finished dish to put in another Moleskine travel book. It’s the only way I know how to do it. For example, I’ll draw on the theme of winter, game, cold, berries, orchard fruit – what’s going through my head is the repertoire of seasonality, of what’s available to me – then build 10 dishes for a taster menu based on the flow, temperature, the contrast of texture. It’s a beautiful journey with someone knowing their craft.

There’d be no seasoning in hell. Seasoning is the magic. It’s what separates each chef – getting that balance right and changing a dish from amazing into incredible. That could involve a fraction of vinegar, or oil, salt, seaweed. That’s the gift.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 January 2021 | 5:00 pm

Lockdown news: artist Sho Shibuya's reimagined front pages – in pictures

When New York was in its first lockdown, in April 2020, artist Sho Shibuya found himself isolated in a studio flat in Brooklyn. “I realised that the noise of honking cars and shouting had been replaced by the sound of birds and wind in the trees. I saw the sky, as beautiful as ever despite the chaos.”

He began to paint the sunrise on to the front page of the New York Times each day, contrasting “the anxiety of the news with the serenity of the sky”. As 2020 progressed, he expanded to include the US vote, Black Lives Matter and other news. Has the project been therapeutic ? “It’s like a calm breeze for my brain. It does not matter what in the world is going on. The sky is always beautiful.”

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 January 2021 | 5:00 pm

The week in audio: You Don't Know Me; The Missing – review

Gen Z-ers talk candidly about modern pressures. And a search for missing people that also helps those left behind

You Don’t Know Me (Podimo/Mermade)
The Missing (Podimo)

Lots of new shows and podcasts are springing up, which is jolly: too many to fit in one column, so I’ll come to some over the next few weeks. Here are a couple for you to wrap your ears around…

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 January 2021 | 5:00 pm

'I’m facing a prison sentence': US Capitol rioters plead with Trump for pardons

Jenna Ryan, a Texas real estate broker who took a private jet to Washington to join the attack on the US Capitol, has pleaded with Donald Trump to pardon her after she was arrested by federal authorities.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 January 2021 | 4:23 pm

Covid vaccine jabs accompanied by organ music at Salisbury Cathedral

800-year-old building becomes temporary vaccination centre for priority patients invited by GPs

Soothing organ music was played as hundreds of people over 80 received Covid jabs in what must be the UK’s most spectacular and historic vaccination centre – Salisbury Cathedral.

Louis Godwin, 95, a former RAF flight sergeant, gave a thumbs-up after being vaccinated in the cathedral, which dates back more than 800 years. He described receiving the Pfizer/BioNTech jab as absolutely marvellousl.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 January 2021 | 4:17 pm

Turn it down: how to silence your inner voice

Your internal monologue shapes mental wellbeing, says psychologist Ethan Kross. He has the tools to improve your mind’s backchat

As Ethan Kross, an American experimental psychologist and neuroscientist, will cheerfully testify, the person who doesn’t sometimes find themselves listening to an unhelpful voice in their head probably doesn’t exist. Ten years ago, Kross found himself sitting up late at night with a baseball bat in his hand, waiting for an imaginary assailant he was convinced was about to break into his house – a figure conjured by his frantic mind after he received a threatening letter from a stranger who’d seen him on TV. Kross, whose area of research is the science of introspection, knew that he was overreacting; that he had fallen victim to what he calls “chatter”. But telling himself this did no good at all. At the peak of his anxiety, his negative thoughts running wildly on a loop, he found himself, somewhat comically, Googling “bodyguards for academics”.

Kross runs the wonderfully named Emotion and Self Control Lab at Michigan University, an institution he founded and where he has devoted the greater part of his career to studying the silent conversations people have with themselves: internal dialogues that powerfully influence how they live their lives. Why, he and his colleagues want to know, do some people benefit from turning inwards to understand their feelings, while others are apt to fall apart when they engage in precisely the same behaviour? Are there right and wrong ways to communicate with yourself, and if so, are there techniques that might usefully be employed by those with inner voices that are just a little too loud?

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 January 2021 | 4:00 pm

My new lockdown survival tip? Food, food and more food

Whether it’s fish fingers or a fancy restaurant chicken salad, what we eat can help us through hard times

Lockdown 3.0. My plan, before this exciting new iteration was announced, was to write about Francis Bacon’s cooking: I’ve been reading a new biography of the artist, and on every other page is a description of the wondrous meals he would produce for friends, seemingly out of nowhere (oysters, fish, cheese, grapes). But all that will have to wait. We must be practical. I’ve had a good look around the place in which we find ourselves, and I’m pretty sure that this is it: the Slough of Despond. It is, I think we can all agree, a grim spot: not quite the bog of Bunyan’s imagining, but nevertheless somewhat dark and dank – and strangely depopulated, too, when you consider how many of us now loiter here, quietly catastrophising. On the plus side, though, it comes with a small kitchen. Will this help to see us through? Perhaps. We can only try.

It’s absolutely fine to eat a slice of toast for supper – we all of us have our picky bread-and-cheese nights

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 January 2021 | 4:00 pm

The silencing of Trump has highlighted the authoritarian power of tech giants | John Naughton

The US president’s ban has sparked a furious debate about online opinion, but it’s part of a bigger conversation

It was eerily quiet on social media last week. That’s because Trump and his cultists had been “deplatformed”. By banning him, Twitter effectively took away the megaphone he’s been masterfully deploying since he ran for president. The shock of the 6 January assault on the Capitol was seismic enough to convince even Mark Zuckerberg that the plug finally had to be pulled. And so it was, even to the point of Amazon Web Services terminating the hosting of Parler, a Twitter alternative for alt-right extremists.

The deafening silence that followed these measures was, however, offset by an explosion of commentary about their implications for freedom, democracy and the future of civilisation as we know it. Wading knee-deep through such a torrent of opinion about the first amendment, free speech, censorship, tech power and “accountability” (whatever that might mean), it was sometimes hard to keep one’s bearings. But what came to mind continually was H L Mencken’s astute insight that “for every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple and wrong”. The air was filled with people touting such answers.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 January 2021 | 4:00 pm

Weighty postbag of problems as Royal Mail reels from a Christmas hangover

Though the pandemic has boosted volumes, the company’s new boss must get to grips with unions, nimble rivals and a declining letters business

The image was arresting, and dispiriting. A mound of sealed Royal Mail sacks piled up in a large store room at a postal sorting centre in Bristol. Many of the items awaiting processing were doubtless Christmas presents which probably did not arrive on time.

The photograph, posted by the Communication Workers’ Union (CWU) on social media in the middle of December, highlighted just part of the backlog in Royal Mail’s system during the festive season.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 January 2021 | 4:00 pm

Nepalese team makes first successful winter ascent of K2

Team of Sherpas reaches top of Pakistan peak – becoming first to summit world’s second highest mountain in winter

A team of Sherpas has accomplished one of the most coveted achievements in mountaineering: the first winter ascent of K2, the world’s second tallest mountain, and the only one of the world’s 14 peaks over 8,000 metres high never to have been climbed during the winter season.

Ten Sherpas, prominent among them Nirmal Purja, a former Gurkha and UK special forces member who had previously climbed all 14 8,000-metre-plus peaks in just over six months, summited K2 in Pakistan on Saturday. They left their high camp at 1am for their summit attempt via the Abruzzi Spur in temperatures as cold as -40C but with low wind and in brilliant sunshine.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 January 2021 | 3:42 pm

Priti Patel faces growing pressure over deletion of police records

Keir Starmer calls on home secretary to take responsibility for ‘fiasco’ as officers begin to report ‘near misses’

Priti Patel is under mounting pressure to give a full account of a police computer error, which may have affected more than 400,000 crime records.

The Labour leader, Keir Starmer, the former director of public prosecutions, highlighted the gravity of the issue on Saturday and that some of the lost files pertained to live investigations. He urged the home secretary to take responsibility for the fiasco.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 January 2021 | 3:25 pm

On my radar: Jason Williamson's cultural highlights

The Sleaford Mods frontman on a favourite singer-songwriter, a hellish horror film and why he spends seven hours a day on Twitter

Jason Williamson, lead vocalist of English electronic punk music duo Sleaford Mods, was born in Grantham, Lincolnshire in 1970. He moved to Nottingham in 1995, where he began working with rock band Spiritualized and electronic duo Bent. In 2009, he met Andrew Fearn and they released the first Sleaford Mods album, Divide and Exit, in 2014. They have since been called “the voice of Britain” by their fans and “the world’s greatest rock’n’roll band” by Iggy Pop. Their latest album, Spare Ribs, is out now on Rough Trade Records. The band will tour the UK in late 2021.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 January 2021 | 3:00 pm

Nasa’s Boeing deep space rocket set for ‘once-in-a-generation’ test

Test is step before first unmanned launch later this year, in push to land humans on the moon again by 2024

Nasa’s Boeing-built deep space exploration rocket, Space Launch System (SLS), is set to fire its behemoth core stage for the first time on Saturday, a crucial test for a years-delayed US government project facing mounting pressure from emerging private sector technology.

The SLS hot fire test, expected to begin at 5pm CST Saturday at Nasa’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi, will cap a nearly year-long “Green Run” test campaign to validate the rocket’s design.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 January 2021 | 2:47 pm

Germany: Merkel's party chooses Armin Laschet as leader

New leader of centre-right CDU will run for chancellor in September, or have a big say in who does

Angela Merkel’s continuity candidate, the centrist conservative Armin Laschet, has beaten one of her longest-standing rivals in the contest to lead Germany’s Christian Democratic Union.

In a digitally-held party congress, Laschet beat the conservative hardliner Friedrich Merz by 521 to 466 votes in a run-off vote, following a strong speech that emphasised social cohesion and held up recent scenes from Washington DC as a warning example of divisive leadership.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 January 2021 | 2:04 pm

Reginald D Hunter | This much I know

The comedian, 51, on gambling with criminals, a surprise daughter, and needing to cry

There’s no greater hell than being an asshole with morals. My tendency to over-analyse makes me slow to act; I question whether I’m doing the right thing constantly.

I inherited my father’s welcoming nature – he loves to tell jokes and stories; reasonableness is his default position. But I also got my mother’s violent rage. It’s rare that I lose my temper, but when I do I become every bit the devil of her.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 January 2021 | 2:00 pm

The pandemic made the childcare crisis an urgent talking point – will the US finally change things? | Arwa Mahdawi

Will we shrug our shoulders while the American workforce hemorrhages women and millions of people fall into poverty?

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 January 2021 | 2:00 pm

CBBC star Archie Lyndhurst died from brain haemorrhage, mother confirms

Postmortem found son of Only Fools and Horses actor Nicholas Lyndhurst had ‘numerous bleeds’ on the brain

The CBBC actor Archie Lyndhurst, the son of the Only Fools and Horses actor Nicholas Lyndhurst, died from a brain haemorrhage, his mother has said.

Lucy Smith, a former ballet dancer, said a postmortem found his death was due to natural causes. Her 19-year-old son had had “numerous bleeds” on the brain and would have died painlessly in his sleep, the doctor confirmed to her, at his home in Fulham, west London, on 22 September.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 January 2021 | 1:52 pm

Museveni declared election winner in Uganda as rival Bobi Wine alleges fraud

Opposition candidate urges citizens to reject result of ‘most fraudulent election in country’s history’

Uganda’s president, Yoweri Museveni, has won a sixth term in office, according to an official tally from Thursday’s election, as his main rival, Bobi Wine, alleged widespread fraud and rejected the result.

After one of the most turbulent election campaigns in Ugandan history, the electoral commission said Museveni had taken 59% of the vote and Wine 35%.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 January 2021 | 1:41 pm

Heavy snow expected to bring weekend disruption to parts of UK

Met Office issues amber warning across eastern England, with travel delays and power cuts expected

Up to 8cm of snow is expected to fall in parts of the UK, with warnings that some areas could be left isolated.

The temperature could be about 0C (32F) in areas of eastern England and parts of Scotland for much of Saturday.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 January 2021 | 1:37 pm

Calling all billionaires: here’s how to keep your superyacht Covid-free

As the rich and famous isolate on the seas, a new catamaran is designed to keep the virus out

It is a problem not many us have to consider: how to ensure your multimillion dollar superyacht remains a coronavirus-free zone despite taking on board crew from around the world.

But for the billionaire owners of floating luxury homes there is now a solution – a very expensive one, naturally. An Australian naval architecture firm is launching a new double-hulled support vessel, in which new crew and guests can isolate while they await coronavirus test results from onboard medical staff.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 January 2021 | 1:34 pm

How a Scottish postie's simple sea shanty struck a global chord

Nathan Evans’s viral TikTok covers have sparked a huge surge in interest in the formerly neglected genre, making him an overnight sensation

It is no exaggeration to say that sea shanties have changed Nathan Evans’s life. The 26-year-old postman from Airdrie, North Lanarkshire, has become a phenomenon online thanks to the driving, rhythmic a cappella music.

The sea shanty genre has unexpectedly broken into the mainstream, having become something of a global online obsession over recent weeks, mostly driven by the duet feature on the video-sharing social media app TikTok.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 January 2021 | 1:28 pm

Mohamud Hassan death: woman faces Covid fine over Cardiff protests

Woman faces £500 fine for allegedly organising protests over man who died after night in police custody

A woman faces a £500 fine for allegedly organising protests in response to the death of a man who died hours after being released from police custody in Cardiff, because demonstrations are not allowed under Welsh government regulations.

People gathered in protest outside Cardiff Bay police station after Mohamud Hassan’s death on 9 January. His family claim he was assaulted while in custody, but the police watchdog has said there were no indications of excessive force used by officers.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 January 2021 | 1:17 pm

Conspiracy! review – to the heart of America's deep state

(Tim Sheinman; PC, Mac)
Sift through the evidence and unravel a plot to defraud US democracy in this timely immersive satire

According to Reuters, around half of those who voted for Donald Trump, the losing candidate in the recent US presidential election, believe that he is the victim of a complicated plot to deny him his rightful second term. Engendered by extreme partisanship and propagated by social media, the power of the conspiracy theory is, seemingly, at a historic high. A grim moment for democracy, then, but a serendipitous one for Tim Sheinman, the Brighton-based creator of Conspiracy!, a video game in which you must untangle the threads of sedition that run from the US deep state to the country’s highest seat of power.

The aim of the game, which features the voice of Jon Ronson, a journalist who has spent a career profiling the kinds of people who believe the kinds of outlandish theories put forward here, is disarmingly simple. You are presented with 20 Polaroid photographs, each one describing an event seemingly unrelated to the others: a flock of geese dropping dead from the sky; a fatal car accident involving a US senator; a curiously successful chain of mattress companies.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 January 2021 | 1:00 pm

New Brazil Covid variant probably already in UK, says Sage member

Despite flight bans, epidemiologist says more infectious Manaus variant is likely to have been imported

Another new variant of Covid is likely to already be in the UK despite the imposition of a travel ban from affected countries, a leading epidemiologist has warned.

Prof John Edmunds, a member of the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), said he would find it “unusual” if the second of two new variants from Brazil was not already present, despite it not yet being detected.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 January 2021 | 12:57 pm

Joe Root's inspired 228 keeps England in command before rally from Sri Lanka

Four sessions in the field spread across three days of this first Test in Galle gave Sri Lanka’s players plenty of time to stew. As Joe Root compiled a masterful 228, handing England a lead of 286 going into the third innings, every swept four and hustled single poured salt into the self-inflicted wounds of that rather pitiful 135 all out first up.

Could the hosts offer some resistance at the second attempt? By the time bad light brought an early end to proceedings at 5.20pm local time we had our answer, with 156 for two on the board and opener Lahiru Thirimanne unbeaten on 75. This was a solid fightback and a more truthful reflection of England’s attack in these conditions.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 January 2021 | 12:50 pm

UK aviation sector needs urgent support, industry leaders say

Airline chiefs say airports are supporting critical services such as freight and coastguard flights

Industry leaders have said the UK’s aviation sector urgently needs more government support if it is to survive another lengthy period of travel restrictions, as they warn of a deepening financial crisis over the coming months.

From Monday, international arrivals to the UK will be required to quarantine for 10 days, in an effort to stem the spread of any new coronavirus variants amid a worsening incidence of transmission around the world.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 January 2021 | 12:26 pm

'Eliminate hunger once and for all': nine Guardian readers on how they'd fix America

We asked Guardian readers to share one idea for building a better America. These are a few of their responses

Give everyone a Snap food stamp card that is refreshed to contain $50 every Sunday morning. This will eliminate hunger once and for all. In addition, no one ever need feel degraded or inferior as it will be treated like any other credit or debit card in stores and food to the hungry will be distributed through the existing, efficient system – the supermarket. Those that don’t need the extra bucks to eat should not use their card. – Robert G

Pass HR 1 [an anti-corruption and voting bill passed by the House in 2019]. The reasons for a lot of gridlock in Washington and rampant corruption have not been addressed properly, which in part allowed the rise of Donald Trump and his rampant abuses of power. Just like with Watergate, the new Congress should take steps to reform and strengthen our institutions. The act will combat voter suppression across the country by increasing access and stopping partisan gerrymandering, and it creates more oversight over executive and judicial institutions. – Joseph A

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 January 2021 | 12:24 pm

Japan's suicide rate rises 16% in second wave of Covid, study finds

Rise in July to October, particularly among women and children, contrasts with decline in first wave

Suicide rates in Japan have risen sharply in the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, particularly among women and children, even though they fell in the first wave when the government offered generous handouts to people, a survey found.

The July-October suicide rate rose 16% from the same period a year earlier, a stark reversal of the February-June decline of 14%, according to the study by researchers at Hong Kong University and Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Gerontology.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 January 2021 | 12:21 pm

Coronavirus UK: Covid cases and deaths today

Are UK coronavirus cases rising in your local area and nationally? Check week-on-week changes across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and the latest figures from public health authorities

Coronavirus has hit the UK hard, with the country recording more than 3m cases and 80,000 deaths linked to the disease.

The government figures below include confirmed cases only – some people who have the disease are not tested.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 January 2021 | 12:01 pm

Vet bills: how to look after your pet’s health for less

With only one in five owners buying insurance, here’s how you can save on costs

Pets don’t have the luxury of free NHS healthcare if they get sick, and even a minor visit to the vet can bring with it a big bill. Pet insurance offers some protection but only one in five owners buy it, according to the market analysis company Statista, and policies do not cover every expense. Routine treatment, including inoculations, won’t be insured, there is usually an excess to pay on claims and you may need to pay upfront for treatment before reclaiming costs.

Even without insurance, there are ways to save on bills without compromising the health of your dog or cat, and these start with the vet you choose.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 January 2021 | 12:00 pm

'My neighbourhood is being destroyed to pacify his supporters': the race to complete Trump's wall

In his final months in office, Donald Trump has ramped up construction on his promised physical border between the US and Mexico – devastating wildlife habitats and increasing the migrant death toll

At Sierra Vista Ranch in Arizona near the Mexican border, Troy McDaniel is warming up his helicopter. McDaniel, tall and slim in a tan jumpsuit, began taking flying lessons in the 80s, and has since logged 2,000 miles in the air. The helicopter, a cosy, two-seater Robinson R22 Alpha is considered a work vehicle and used to monitor the 640-acre ranch, but it’s clear he relishes any opportunity to fly. “We will have no fun at all,” he deadpans.

McDaniel and his wife, Melissa Owen, bought their ranch and the 100-year-old adobe house that came with it in 2003. Years before, Owen began volunteering at the nearby Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge, and fell in love with the beauty and natural diversity of the area, as well as the quiet of their tiny town. That all changed last July when construction vehicles and large machinery started “barrelling down the two-lane state road”, says Owen.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 January 2021 | 12:00 pm

James Murdoch says US media 'lies' unleashed 'insidious forces'

Son of Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch issues excoriating rebuke following storming of the Capitol

James Murdoch has condemned the US media for “propagating lies” which have unleashed “insidious and uncontrollable forces” that will endure for years.

Questioned about whether Fox News – founded by his father Rupert Murdoch and run by his brother Lachlan – had played a role in the riot at the Capitol last week, he said media groups had amplified election disinformation, which successfully sowed falsehoods.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 January 2021 | 11:49 am

NHS worker stuck in Kenya as settled status documents are rejected

Officials at Nairobi airport say Home Office documents issued to Doreen Kathambi are not valid

An NHS worker has been left stranded in Kenya because she has been told that new EU settled status documents issued to her by the Home Office are not valid for travel.

Doreen Kathambi, 36, lives in Glasgow with her fiance, Iain Dunsmore. She works as a dietetic assistant at the Royal Alexandra hospital in Paisley.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 January 2021 | 11:24 am

TikTok photoshoot of car on UK level crossing – 'sheer stupidity'

British Transport Police investigate ‘reckless’ video posted of car on working level crossing near Bolton

Police are investigating after a video showing a car parked over a live railway track for a photoshoot was posted on TikTok.

The clip shows a tripod and car set up by a level crossing north of Bolton with the caption: “Would you take the risk to get the shot no one else would?”

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 January 2021 | 11:03 am

Graham Swift on Last Orders, 25 years on: 'I wasn't born a writer - I had to become one'

Twenty-five years after his Booker prize‑winning novel was published, Swift reflects on how his story of a dark day trip to Margate became a celebration of life

When I wrote Last Orders in the early 1990s I was in my early 40s. My father had just died. The novel was my response and is dedicated to him. It was my first real recognition that “in the midst of life we are in death”, something that the pandemic now teaches us daily.

I’ve always felt that my literary journey began even when I was small, that the seeds of my desire to be a writer were sown in childhood. If it was no more at the time than an infant’s naive wish, it stuck and became lifelong. There were no writers in my family and I didn’t grow up in an environment that would have led me towards writing or anything artistic. My father was a minor civil servant in a dull office in London. In those days he might have called himself a “pen pusher”. In the war he’d been a fighter pilot. When my own puzzling urge to be a pen pusher of a different kind emerged he did not stand in its way. It was all my idea.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 January 2021 | 11:00 am

Staged: thespian Zoom miniseries plays perfectly with the format

David Tennant and Michael Sheen squabble as exaggerated versions of themselves, capturing the chaos of life in lockdown

Staged (Tuesday, 9.45pm, BBC One) is back, which is good, because it is arguably the only noteworthy thing any single celebrity did during the first lockdown. If you missed the first series: David Tennant and Michael Sheen squabbled over Zoom as exaggerated, frustrated, hyper-thespian versions of themselves, in an actors-playing-actors miniseries with the exact same energy of a late-night Comic Relief sketch; 15-minute episodes where you got to see familiar actors with their off-duty haircuts saying words that seemed real. It was good, and it was smart, and it played perfectly with the boundaries of the format it was in. Series two comes to a close this week, and … well, I mean, it’s exactly the same as series one just with more guest stars, isn’t it? Let’s not play about.

Related: The Guide: Staying In – sign up for our home entertainment tips

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 January 2021 | 11:00 am

Spending and saving: 'It took a long time to change my mindset'

The way our parents spoke about money informs how we spend later in life, says Selina Flavius. She explains how you can break the cycle

It always amazes me that, even though so many of us handle money from a young age, by the time we get to our teenage years and early adulthood we lack the ability to talk about it.

I grew up feeling that talking about money was inappropriate. I remember being around 10 and asking my mum how much she earned at work. She gave me a cross look – no words were exchanged or needed. Without making a sound, she made two things plain: (1) that is none of your business, and (2) don’t be so rude.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 January 2021 | 11:00 am

Dakar Rally 2021: Dust, sand and stunning desert vistas – in pictures

This year’s rally returned to Saudi Arabia where the competitors traversed a total of 7,646 kilometres over 12 stages, starting and finishing in Jeddah, and passing through the capital of Riyadh. Here we bring you some of our favourite images from this year’s Dakar Rally

Click here to check out images of the rally from yesteryear

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 January 2021 | 10:30 am

‘I’m grateful for our intense lockdown split’: what has the pandemic done to our relationships?

This period of enforced togetherness has broken some couples and turbocharged others

Lexi can clearly recall the day she walked around the house looking for traces of her husband, Rob. Returning from her work as a dog groomer that Friday evening, as usual she went to put her shoes away in the drawer under the stairs. But opening it up, she noticed all his shoes were missing. She went to the bedroom and looked at his side of the wardrobe: empty. As she walked from room to room, the shock set in. The house had been picked clean of Rob’s possessions; even his tools in the garage, the ones he had just got around to organising, were gone.

The couple had been together for six years, married for two, and have a four-year-old child (Lexi also has a daughter from a previous relationship). In the early days of the pandemic, their marriage had seemed strong, but in May they went through a tough patch: Lexi miscarried, and by autumn Rob had become increasingly down, telling her more than once that the year had left him “emotionally drained”. Even so, Lexi felt blindsided when he announced he wanted a divorce in mid-November. Two weeks later, he had gone. There has been no communication between them since. Lexi still has many questions about why Rob left, but she believes 2020 might have broken their marriage.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 January 2021 | 10:00 am

Simon Rattle decries Brexit as he applies for German citizenship

Conductor laments impact on UK musicians’ careers and describes application as ‘absolute necessity’

The conductor Simon Rattle, who announced this week that he was cutting short his tenure at Britain’s leading orchestra to return to Germany, has applied for German citizenship after Brexit.

The Liverpool-born musician lamented the barriers thrown up by Britain’s departure from the European Union to the careers of young musicians who had grown used to performing freely to the continent’s music-hungry public.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 January 2021 | 9:34 am

Yotam Ottolenghi's recipes for tinned tuna, chickpeas and apples

January is a fitting time to get inventive with those tins you have in the kitchen cupboard: knock together a tonnato dip or an umami-rich chickpea salad, and some fried apple dumplings for afters

New year, new recipes, but a bit skint after Christmas … Time to raid the pantry! A dish based on the tins in your kitchen cupboard – tuna, chickpeas, anchovies, coconut milk, apples – doesn’t have to be overly basic, however. If we take “tinned” to include all those half-empty jars and bottles – the capers, mustards, oils and maple syrup – our aspirations for the new year (and the two-week-old new UK) can, perhaps, be embodied in our food. Making do with what we’ve got, reaching for those trusted tins, seeing them in a bit of a new light and, if we can, going on a few little local micro-adventures to seek out one or two specialist extras. 2021: alone, but together. Let’s do this thing!

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 January 2021 | 9:30 am

'Technophobe' Camilla clicks with Zoom and finds favour under Covid

From reading poetry to Strictly to Woman’s Hour, the Duchess of Cornwall is tapping into wider audiences online

From her Reading Room book club to her Strictly Come Dancing cameo, the profile of the Duchess of Cornwall has never been higher.

During the coronavirus pandemic, Camilla, 73, has guest-edited BBC 5 live’s Emma Barnett Show, filmed a SafeLives video on domestic violence, shared chocolate cake recipes on the Big Virtual Lunch, and coerced her rescue jack russell, Beth, into unveiling a Battersea Dogs & Cats Home plaque by pulling a sausage tied to the cord.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 January 2021 | 9:00 am

Why was the Isle of Wight left so vulnerable to Covid catastrophe? | Hannah Ewens

Our island has an ageing population and one small hospital. Allowing people to travel from tier 4 areas has had tragic results

For brief moments, life in tier 1 could be blissful ignorance. Throughout last year, a handful of small, secluded pockets of England were able to continue with barely any Covid restrictions. It was something few people experienced in 2020 – you might have lived in Cornwall, on the Isles of Scilly, or my childhood home, the Isle of Wight – and I was lucky enough to be one of them.

I’d spent the first lockdown in London living with multiple other people in a small rented flat, with all of us working from home, and my bedroom essentially a communal space. Soon after the first lockdown ended I came back to stay with my dad; it was only supposed to be for a month, but I stayed until mid-December. Unsurprisingly, the perfect tonic for an anxious nervous system and “unprecedented times” was a break from the pandemic altogether. The Isle of Wight’s transformation from Covid sanctuary to Covid disaster zone this week has been as devastating as it has been rapid – only a few months ago, it was unimaginable.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 January 2021 | 9:00 am

Can Joe Biden make America great again?

His skills as a fixer are finely honed – but they cannot restore a pre-Trump normality. As president, Biden’s private self, shadowed by loss, must come into its own

Every year after 1975, Joe Biden, his second wife Jill, his sons Beau and Hunter and their growing families, would gather for Thanksgiving on Nantucket island off Cape Cod. Part of the annual ritual was that the Bidens would take a photograph of themselves in front of a quaint old house in the traditional New England style that stood above the dunes on their favourite beach.

In November 2014, when Biden was serving as Barack Obama’s vice-president, he found, where the house should have been, an empty space marked out by yellow police tape. The building, he wrote in his memoir Promise Me, Dad had “finally run out of safe ground and run out of time; it had been swept out into the Atlantic”.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 January 2021 | 9:00 am

'Cruelly cast aside': A-level victims say summer debacle must never happen again

Thousands of 2020 students are still campaigning for justice after losing university offers and apprenticeships when their grades were wrongly reduced

The flawed advice to schools last May on how to grade students when exams were cancelled because of the pandemic has been withdrawn from the government’s website and the damage it did consigned to history. But out in the real world there is no such magic wand for thousands of students still seeking justice after their grades were wrongly reduced.

One is Harry-James Brioche, who lost a hard-won degree apprenticeship with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) that would have paid his university fees for four years, plus a salary to cover his living costs, and work placements and the chance of a job on graduation.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 January 2021 | 8:15 am

Call My Agent: get au fait with the smash hit French comedy-drama

As the celeb-stuffed show returns for a final season, we look at what makes it such a hit on both sides of the Channel

Celebs might have failed at 2020 (see: Gal Gadot’s Imagine, Kim K’s island bash, every influencer everywhere) but the return to Netflix of the French comedy Call My Agent! should ensure that their reputation improves in 2021.

Related: The Guide: Staying In – sign up for our home entertainment tips

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 January 2021 | 8:00 am

I thrived on the tension and drama of British politics. Then I had a heart attack

I lived for the nerve-shredding rollercoaster of Westminster. But the stress got under my skin, and into my blood

It is a kilometre from my front door in Brighton to the local park, all downhill. A 45-year-old man, jogging not very fast, should be able to complete the journey without stopping; without fighting for breath; without feeling sick. Also, he should not be assailed by dread, feeling that the universe has suddenly turned a shade darker, soured, curled at the edges.

That is how I knew something was very wrong on New Year’s Eve 2019. It was around 2pm and I had made it three-quarters of the way when something detonated behind my ribs. The pain was familiar at first. Tediously so. I would often get a tight, burning sensation across my chest when running. It slowed me down but never stopped me in my tracks. I would get home panting too hard for words, my face flashing red and white. “Are you all right?” my wife would ask. “Yeah... just… gimme… a… second.” I thought that was normal in a man my age. Exercise was supposed to hurt a bit, and I took the pain in my chest as a barometer of unfitness. Breathing that doesn’t burn was a luxury for the younger man, I thought. But I had angina and called it middle age.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 January 2021 | 8:00 am

Give families cash to feed their children, there's overwhelming evidence it works | Arthur Potts Dawson

Vouchers and money to buy food bring families the dignity everyone deserves, as the World Food Programme has shown

Dignity is not a word that you would normally associate with your weekly supermarket shop, or with planning how you might be going to feed your children each night.

But right now, when families are under intense pressure to find enough money to keep food on the table and ensure their children have access to a healthy and nutritious diet, dignity is something we should all be demanding for those who depend on others for the means to feed their loved ones.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 January 2021 | 8:00 am

Covid vaccine: 72% of black people unlikely to have jab, UK survey finds

Sage voices concern at BAME uptake and says more must be done to increase trust in vaccine

Advisers from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) have raised fresh concerns over Covid vaccine uptake among black, Asian and minority ethnic communities (BAME) as research showed up to 72% of black people said they were unlikely to have the jab.

Historical issues of unethical healthcare research, and structural and institutional racism and discrimination, are key reasons for lower levels of trust in the vaccination programme, a report from Sage said.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 January 2021 | 7:00 am

Jack Monroe on food poverty and fury: 'I just wake up, look at the news, and get angry'

The cook and campaigner barely slept last week as the row raged over inadequate food parcels for kids. She discusses austerity, cronyism and why she’ll never stop fighting

I speak to Jack Monroe, cook, author and campaigner, towards the end of a tumultuous week in food poverty. On Monday, a Twitter user, @roadsidemum, posted a photo of a “hamper” she said was intended to replace her child’s free school lunches for two weeks. The provider, Chartwells, claimed it covered one week and was funded at £10.50. The contents wouldn’t have cost you £6 in any supermarket. Parents all over the country shared similar photos, food nothing short of contemptuous: half a red pepper, a quarter of an onion. What kind of company would employ someone to make sure no family gets too much onion? Monroe has been sent similar photos since March – the packages sent to shielding people, outsourced by the government to other companies, were similarly unimpressive, though “they got a couple of tins of pork as well. Every time I tried to make a noise about it, it was just like shouting in the wind.”

This time, the mood had changed; there was just so much about it that was repulsive – the idea that Chartwells, part of the giant catering corporation Compass, would skim profit off food meant for a child; the cronyism of how it got the contract in the first place (former Chartwells chairman Paul Walsh is a prominent Tory supporter who donated £10,000 to the party in 2010); the lobbying that led to the policy of hampers rather than vouchers, against the advice of child-poverty groups; the fact that such an incompetent government has the gall not to trust parents with money to feed their own children.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 January 2021 | 6:00 am

US health secretary Alex Azar tells Trump Capitol attack threatens legacy

Azar calls attack ‘assault on our democracy’ and urges peaceful transfer of power in formal resignation letter

The US health secretary, Alex Azar, warned Donald Trump in a letter that last week’s attack on the Capitol threatened the administration’s legacy, and he urged the president to support a peaceful transfer of power.

In the two-page, formal resignation letter, dated 12 January, Azar recited what he saw as the administration’s key accomplishments but voiced concern that last week’s siege in Washington and Trump’s false claims of widespread voter fraud “threaten to tarnish these and other historic legacies of this administration”.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 January 2021 | 3:28 am

Mahmoud Abbas announces first Palestinian elections in 15 years

Legislative polls to be held in May, presidential election set for July

The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, has announced parliamentary and presidential elections, the first in 15 years, in an effort to heal long-standing internal divisions.

The move is widely seen as a response to criticism of the democratic legitimacy of Palestinian political institutions, including Abbas’s presidency.

Continue reading...

Posted on 16 January 2021 | 1:52 am

‘Internexit’ for Leave.EU as domain name temporarily suspended

Error message greets visitors to site registered in name of Irish businessman who claims he does not know campaign group

Leave.EU has been forced to “Internexit” after the group’s EU domain name was temporarily suspended. It comes after the Irish businessman in whose name the pro-Brexit campaign group’s domain name is registered denied having any involvement with the organisation.

Now visitors to the site are greeted with an error message, and the EU’s online registry marks the domain as under a server hold, meaning it is “temporarily inactive and under investigation”.

Continue reading...

Posted on 15 January 2021 | 11:10 pm

20 photographs of the week

The National Guard rest in the US Capitol, Storm Filomena hits Madrid, elections in Uganda and the enduring impact of Covid-19: the most striking images from around the world

Continue reading...

Posted on 15 January 2021 | 9:46 pm

Coventry v the wrecking ball: 'We need gentle repair – not wholesale demolition'

From the rubble of war, Coventry rebuilt a town centre hailed as a radical urban vision. Yet, even as it salutes this heritage as UK city of culture, planners are plotting its destruction

‘The town of the future” is how Coventry was described in Our Land in the Making, a popular Ladybird book from 1966, heralding the Midlands city as a model of the brave new postwar world. It depicted a radical vision where shoppers roamed in novel “pedestrian precincts”, beautifully landscaped with gushing fountains and blossoming cherry trees, while cars were banished to ring roads and futuristic rooftop car parks, connected by aerial bridges. It may have been Britain’s motor city, but Coventry also knew how to make the town centre a pleasant place for people. The new shopping streets were human in scale: built with fine materials, boasting carefully integrated public art, signage, seating and planting – the new picturesquely planned to frame views of the old.

Fifty-five years on, Coventry is toasting its status as the 2021 UK city of culture with a “brutalist blue” ad campaign that celebrates the gritty concrete city in all its glory. The cathedral is shown emerging from a blazing inferno, dancers blend with the city’s modernist theatre, while basketball players merge with the startling elephantine sports centre, in a thrilling montage of speed and industry. Yet this great festival of Coventry culture comes at a time when much of the city’s pioneering postwar urban fabric is under threat. A gargantuan planning application has been submitted to demolish half of the town centre and replace it with a shopping mall with flats on top, in what has been condemned as a violent assault on the city’s modernist heritage, just when it should be being celebrated.

Continue reading...

Posted on 15 January 2021 | 7:32 pm

Should you keep using WhatsApp? Plus five tips to start the year with your digital privacy intact

We spoke to convicted hacker turned security consultant Kevin Mitnick to find out how to maintain your security online

If you use the popular messaging service WhatsApp you may have noticed a pop-up message in recent days asking you to accept the service’s new terms and conditions by 8 February in order to continue using it.

The update has prompted calls for users to leave the popular messaging service in favour of alternatives such as Signal and Telegram. And on Friday a legal challenge on privacy grounds was filed against WhatsApp in India, the service’s biggest market. Telegram CEO Pavel Durov has reported an influx of 25 million global users to the rival service since the announcement was made.

Continue reading...

Posted on 15 January 2021 | 7:00 pm

Former Spanish king's ex-lover says she was threatened by spy chief

Corinna Larsen tells court ‘chilling’ warning to her and her children came on the orders of King Juan Carlos

The ex-lover of Spain’s former king Juan Carlos has told a court in Madrid of the “chilling” moment when she claimed the head of the country’s intelligence services threatened her and her children on the monarch’s orders.

Corinna Larsen told the court Félix Sanz Roldán met her in London after her relationship with the king had ended to warn her that if she did not follow his instructions he could not guarantee her safety. She claimed she later returned to her home in Switzerland where she discovered a book about the death of Princess Diana and subsequently received a cryptic phone call about tunnels, which she took to be an allusion to the princess’s fatal accident in 1997.

Continue reading...

Posted on 15 January 2021 | 5:30 pm

David Bowie's golden years – in pictures

The new biopic Stardust takes a wry look at the star’s first attempt to break America in 1971. Here’s how he went on to define his own style in the decades that followed

Continue reading...

Posted on 15 January 2021 | 3:34 pm

Success, social life and serenity: Katharine Whitehorn's guide to happiness at every age

The pioneering journalist and broadcaster died last week at 92. In 2003, in a series for the Guardian, she shared what she had learnt in each decade of her life

I wish I had known that my choices weren’t restricted just to what I had at that moment. I wish I had known, for example, that I wasn’t resigning myself to eternal spinsterhood by breaking off my suffocating engagement to a man who wanted me to give up my hard-won place at Cambridge and get married. When I said timidly, “But what about my career?”, he said, “Many good jobs don’t require degrees.”

Continue reading...

Posted on 15 January 2021 | 3:27 pm

Dutch government resigns over child benefits scandal

PM Mark Rutte will stay on in caretaker capacity until general elections scheduled for 17 March

The Dutch government has resigned amid an escalating scandal over child benefits in which more than 20,000 families were wrongly accused of fraud by the tax authority.

The move came less than a month before parliament was due to break up ahead of general elections scheduled for 17 March. Prime minister Mark Rutte’s cabinet is to stay on in a caretaker capacity until a new coalition is formed after that vote.

Continue reading...

Posted on 15 January 2021 | 2:32 pm

Party time, police selfies and tai chi: Friday's best photos

The Guardian’s picture editors select photo highlights from around the world

Continue reading...

Posted on 15 January 2021 | 12:58 pm

Air pollution will lead to mass migration, say experts after landmark ruling

Call for world leaders to act in wake of French extradition case that turned on environmental concerns

Air pollution does not respect national boundaries and environmental degradation will lead to mass migration in the future, said a leading barrister in the wake of a landmark migration ruling, as experts warned that government action must be taken as a matter of urgency.

Sailesh Mehta, a barrister specialising in environmental cases, said: “The link between migration and environmental degradation is clear. As global warming makes parts of our planet uninhabitable, mass migration will become the norm. Air and water pollution do not respect national boundaries. We can stop a humanitarian and political crisis from becoming an existential one. But our leaders must act now.”

Continue reading...

Posted on 15 January 2021 | 11:28 am

Has your care home been badly affected by coronavirus?

We’d like to hear from staff and families of residents in UK care homes and nursing homes

UK care homes have been badly affected by Covid-19 and we’d like to hear from managers and workers about how they’re dealing with the situation. What are conditions like for staff and residents, how are you coping? What are staffing levels like and how many infections have their been in the latest wave?

We’d also like families to get in touch whose relatives are living in homes that are hardest hit by the virus. Are you managing to stay in contact with residents and what are your main concerns? If you’re a resident in a home, we’d like to hear from you too.

Continue reading...

Posted on 15 January 2021 | 10:05 am

Pope’s adviser says Covid has highlighted ‘existential’ climate risk

Focus must be on justice for those fleeing impact of extreme weather events, says new scientific adviser to Vatican

The pope’s newly appointed scientific adviser said the coronavirus pandemic has forced world leaders to face up to the “existential risk” of the climate crisis.

Prof Ottmar Edenhofer said rich countries now had a moral duty to compensate poor countries already suffering the impacts.

Continue reading...

Posted on 15 January 2021 | 8:00 am

Trump, the death penalty and its links with America’s racist history

This week, Donald Trump sanctioned the execution of the only woman on federal death row: Lisa Montgomery. She was the 11th prisoner to be killed since the president restarted federal executions in July last year. The Guardian US’s Ed Pilkington looks at why Trump has carried out more federal executions than any other president in almost 200 years

The chief reporter for Guardian US, Ed Pilkington, talks to Anushka Asthana about the history of the federal death penalty, which Donald Trump revived last July. Trump has so far sanctioned the executions of 11 prisoners, with a further two expected to take place by the end of this week. Lisa Montgomery, who was killed by lethal injection this week, was a particularly high-profile case. Subjected to torture and sexual violence as a child, she was suffering from extreme mental illness when she committed a horrific crime. The state of her mental health was not taken into account at her original trial. So why is Trump carrying out so many executions?

Ed tells Anushka that although use of the death penalty is shrinking in the US, it is still employed in many of the former confederate states. You cannot talk about the use of the death penalty, says Ed, without looking at America’s relationship with its racist history and the impact it still has today.

Continue reading...

Posted on 15 January 2021 | 3:00 am

Seagrass 'Neptune balls’ sieve millions of plastic particles from water, study finds

Researchers counted particles in seaballs that washed up on beaches in Spain

Underwater seagrass in coastal areas appear to trap plastic pollution in natural bundles of fibre known as “Neptune balls”, researchers have found.

With no help from humans, the swaying plants – anchored to shallow seabeds – may collect nearly 900m plastic items in the Mediterranean alone every year, a study reported in the journal Scientific Reports said.

Continue reading...

Posted on 15 January 2021 | 1:15 am

Older people in the UK: share your experience of the second wave of coronavirus

We’d like to hear from older people, or family members who could put us in touch, about how they’ve been impacted by the second wave of coronavirus

With older people at much higher risk of suffering serious symptoms of, or losing their lives to, coronavirus, many have been forced to shield for long periods of time.

This has impacted both mental and physical health, with many people becoming less mobile and independent, alongside dealing with isolation.

Continue reading...

Posted on 14 January 2021 | 2:15 pm

Brexit and Northern Ireland: have your food supplies been disrupted?

We would like to hear from those who live and work in Northern Ireland about their experiences around food supplies and Brexit

Due to incorrect or absent Brexit-related paperwork, Northern Ireland is facing disruption to its food supplies. Business leaders have said freight in GB is unprepared for the new rules resulting in cancellations and delays in shipments across the Irish Sea.

We would like to hear from people who live and work in Northern Ireland about their experiences.

Continue reading...

Posted on 14 January 2021 | 10:32 am

'Tree of life': aerial photos reveal arboreal patterns at Lake Cakora in NSW – in pictures

Amateur photographer Derry Moroney lives on the mid-corth coast of New South Wales in the community of Brooms Head. For the past three years he has been photographing landscapes, animals and insects. ‘With our pristine beaches and Yuraygir national park on my doorstep, I really didn’t have to travel very far,’ he says.

In July 2020 Moroney followed the water upstream from the estuary at Brooms Head and stumbled on to Lake Cakora. Using his drone he captured stunning images of arboreal-like drainage channels in Lake Cakora. ‘The tea trees along the banks colour the water running off into the lake after a big storm,’ he says, describing the patterns as ‘like a tree of life’.

You can see more of his work on Instagram at @derry_moroney_photography

Continue reading...

Posted on 14 January 2021 | 5:26 am

Bobi Wine: the reggae singer vying to be Uganda’s next president

Ugandans go to the polls today to elect a new president. Can a charismatic young musician end three and a half decades of rule by a strongman? Freelance reporter Samuel Okiror has been following Bobi Wine’s campaign to defeat Yoweri Museveni

In Uganda, the 38-year-old musician turned politician Bobi Wine – his real name is Robert Kyagulanyi – is seeking the presidency. Wine hopes to oust Yoweri Museveni, 76, who has been in office since 1986. Museveni, who took power after the fall of the dictator Idi Amin, is known for bringing stability to the region and for helping manage the HIV crisis. But he also has a long history of using violence against his political opponents, and Wine is no exception. Over the course of his campaign, Wine has been beaten and repeatedly detained; in November, his bodyguard was killed in an attack on his vehicle.

The freelance reporter Samuel Okiror explains why the country’s youth are rallying behind Wine, and assesses whether the challenger has a real chance of taking office.

Continue reading...

Posted on 14 January 2021 | 3:00 am

From naked protests to challenging Museveni: Uganda’s 'rudest feminist' on the campaign trail

Stella Nyanzi is Uganda's most outspoken, self-described radical queer feminist. She has been imprisoned for her activism and is known for her attention-grabbing naked protests and poetry. In an election campaign that has become increasingly violent, Nyanzi is standing to be the elected MP for Kampala, as part of the growing nationwide opposition to the 35-year presidency of Yoweri Museveni. 

With most attention focused on Museveni's presidential challenger Bobi Wine, Nyanzi is on the streets and in the media campaigning for her own votes. She vows that, unlike other women who have been elected, she will not forget her commitment to feminism if she wins

Continue reading...

Posted on 13 January 2021 | 2:02 pm

Covid: vaccinating our way out of a crisis – podcast

Government aims to vaccinate 12 million people by middle of February. With the NHS struggling, Robin McKie asks whether it is fast enough

There have been incredible scientific breakthroughs in the past 12 months. Never before have vaccines been conceived, developed, tested and approved at this speed. But with the NHS nearing breaking point and after days of alarming numbers of Covid-related deaths, this week there was a new urgency in the government’s vaccination efforts.

The Observer’s science editor, Robin McKie, tells Anushka Asthana that scientists are working round the clock in labs to manufacture doses of the vaccine and that after high-profile problems with test-and-trace systems, there can be no excuses for botching the rollout of the vaccine.

Continue reading...

Posted on 13 January 2021 | 3:00 am

UK teachers: tell us about your school experiences

We’d like to hear from teachers about their experiences during the pandemic, especially those working in SEN schools and nurseries

According to a survey, teachers in England are being forced to prioritise class places among vulnerable students and the children of key workers because of a huge increase in demand.

In SEN (special education needs) schools some children are missing out due to problems with infection control, timetables and transport.

Continue reading...

Posted on 11 January 2021 | 12:11 pm

'Modi's policies are doing nothing for the poor': feeding India's protesting farmers – video

Pushpinder Pal is one of tens of thousands of Indian farmers camped along nine miles (15km) of major roads outside Delhi, protesting about agricultural laws they claim will devastate their earnings. Based in Haryana, he collects food every day from his local gurdwara, a Sikhs' place of assembly, delivering spinach curry to huge numbers of protesters. The Indian prime minister, Narendra Modi, promised to increase farmers' incomes, but they claim his new policies are designed to favour rich corporations and not them. In one of the largest protests in history, farmers are pledging to stay put while they wait for their representatives to strike a deal with government

Continue reading...

Posted on 7 January 2021 | 8:44 am

Lupita: the indigenous activist leading a new generation of Mexican women – video

In a country where indigenous people are increasingly displaced and journalists are killed at an alarming rate, a courageous new voice has emerged: Lupita, a Tzotzil-Maya woman​ ​at the forefront of a Mexican indigenous movement. Twenty years after Lupita lost her family in the Acteal massacre in southern Mexico, she has become a spokesperson for her people​ and for a new generation of Mayan activists. She balances the demands of motherhood with her high-stakes efforts to re-educate and restore justice to the world

Continue reading...

Posted on 5 January 2021 | 10:00 am

The healthy nurse who died at 40 on the Covid frontline: 'She was the best mom I ever had' – video

Yolanda Coar was 40 when she died of Covid-19 in August 2020 in Augusta, Georgia. She was also a nurse manager, and one of nearly 3,000 frontline workers who have died in the US fighting this virus, according to an exclusive investigation by the Guardian and Kaiser Health News.

The Guardian has profiled hundreds of healthcare workers in a year-long project. Read their stories here

Continue reading...

Posted on 31 December 2020 | 2:25 pm

‘In a crisis, people come together’: why funding charities is essential for Covid-affected communities

Charities that provide support to groups and people in need during the Covid-19 pandemic have received vital funding from Barclays

When the first cases of Covid-19 in the UK were reported last January, few could have predicted how the pandemic would unfurl, both here and across the globe. But once lockdown was implemented, it brought with it a wave of social and economic pressures.

Almost 700,000 jobs have been lost since March, causing unemployment to rise at its fastest rate since the financial crisis of 2008-09. It could be said that the economic impact of the pandemic has brought to the surface inequalities that have long existed. In many ways, coronavirus has had an unequal impact on an already unequal society.

Continue reading...

Posted on 21 December 2020 | 2:59 pm

Caring for all in the time of Covid: why health and therapeutic charities are so valued in lockdowns

With the NHS stretched by the pandemic, charities that provide much-needed local health services have become more treasured than ever

The first wave of the pandemic in the spring provided a striking demonstration of just how much we cherish the NHS. Millions of us stood on our doorsteps and balconies each week, clapping to show our appreciation of health workers at the frontline of the fight against Covid-19. But it also highlighted just how much the NHS is struggling.

Continue reading...

Posted on 21 December 2020 | 2:58 pm

'Women are spending all day with their abusers': the charities helping people escape harm during lockdown

For people facing domestic abuse or homelessness, charities have offered a way out when many of the usual routes to support have been blocked by Covid restrictions

When Mapalo* left her husband, she would sit and look at herself and think: “Oh, my word, I look so normal. How can people see that I’m breaking? That I’m broken inside?” She hadn’t just left a marriage; she had also escaped with her son from an increasingly dangerous situation.

Mapalo and the man who was her husband met and married in Zambia, where they were both born. Her husband’s work as an engineer took him to Abu Dhabi and then to Cardiff. When she arrived in Wales to join him, she realised he had begun to drink heavily.

Continue reading...

Posted on 21 December 2020 | 2:57 pm

Food charities on the Covid frontline: ‘Without support, more people would fall through the gaps’

Across the UK, charities that offer food and essential household goods are facing record levels of demand as underlying economic and social issues are laid bare by the pandemic. How are they rising to the growing challenge?

“This pandemic has amplified issues of food insecurity that have been around for many years – but it’s also tipped people who were just getting by over the line,” says Alasdair Bennett, chief executive of Bethany Christian Trust, a charity that helps thousands of vulnerable people across Scotland every year.

For Bennett, the most visible impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has been an enormous rise in dependency on the services the charity provides. “We’ve been inundated with requests for our help,” he says. “What we’ve seen is more and more people struggling with their personal income and unable to afford the basics like food. This includes people and families who have never needed support in this way before.”

Continue reading...

Posted on 21 December 2020 | 2:53 pm

How the Guardian covered 2020 – the year that changed the world

This year was the most challenging and extraordinary year for news. Our journalists worked tirelessly throughout 2020, from the very start of the year with the Australian bushfires, through the struggle for Hong Kong, the Harvey Weinstein verdict to the death of George Floyd, and the dramatic and divisive US presidential election. But of course, the Covid-19 pandemic was the dominant global story of the year. The Guardian's coverage sought to foreground the science and the latest data, hold the government and the scientific establishment to account and expose incompetence, and bring empathy and humanity to the stories of the victims. Here are some of the highlights of our journalism over that time.


Show your support for the Guardian’s powerful, open, independent journalism in 2020 and the years ahead

Continue reading...

Posted on 21 December 2020 | 10:04 am

Rugby union and dementia: is the sport facing a crisis? – video explainer

Steve Thompson, who won the Rugby World Cup with England in 2003, former Wales back-rower Alix Popham and nine other ex-internationals – all under the age of 43 – have launched what could be a landmark legal action against World Rugby, the RFU in England and the Welsh Rugby Union after being diagnosed with early onset dementia. 

In revealing and at times harrowing interviews with the Guardian, both Thompson and Popham speak of the challenges they have faced, struggling to remember playing on the world stage and what changes they want to see brought in to the game, as senior reporter Andy Bull examines the links between rugby and dementia.

At the last count, in 2014, there were 1,339 people in the UK from the player's age demographic who had been diagnosed with the condition – or one in every 9,500 - presenting a sobering contrast with these latest cases from the sport.

A spokesperson for the game’s governing body said: 'World Rugby takes player safety very seriously and implements injury-prevention, management and education strategies based on the latest available knowledge, research and evidence.'

Continue reading...

Posted on 8 December 2020 | 2:02 pm

'I go to the gym and I'm a nicer bloke' | Modern Masculinity – video

On the day that gyms reopen across England, Guardian journalist Iman Amrani looks at how Covid restrictions on training have impacted men and their mental health over the past month.

In this episode of Modern Masculinity, Iman focuses on community work on the ground, speaking to young men at Hackney Wick FC, in London.  She also speaks to gym owner Nick Whitcombe in the Wirral, in the north-west of England – who has been campaigning for gyms to be considered an essential service – about his concerns if they were to be locked down again in the future

Continue reading...

Posted on 2 December 2020 | 11:35 am

How 'voodoo' became a metaphor for evil

'Voodoo' has come to represent something evil when it appears in popular culture. 'Black magic', witchcraft – it's always portrayed as something to be feared. But in reality, Vodou, as it's correctly written, is an official religion practised by millions of people. Why has it been vilified for so long? Josh Toussaint-Strauss looks back over the history of Vodou and its portrayal to find an answer

Continue reading...

Posted on 26 November 2020 | 2:41 pm