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The Guardian

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

Australian Open: Kyrgios v Simon, Halep overcomes Dart – live!

Wawrinka – the man who defeated Nadal in the 2014 final – wins the third set, 6-3. In fact Wawrinka’s still the last major winner outside the Big Three, after his US Open victory in 2016. That’s 16 straight slams for tennis’s great triumvirate. And so far there’s no real sense that this tournament will witness a significant shift in the natural order. Do feel free to get in touch with your title picks or any other musings, either via email or tweet @KatyMurrells.

Nadal decides he’s had enough of messing around, and holds in a fraction of the time it took Delbonis to do the same. It’s 2-1 Nadal early on. Wawrinka is ripping through the third set against Seppi, leading 4-6, 7-5, 5-2. Further afield, Kevin Anderson, the two-time grand slam finalist who is playing his first event since Wimbledon, is in charge against Taylor Fritz, 6-4, 7-6 (5), 4-2 ahead; Karen Khachanov, the dangerous but inconsistent Russian, is two sets to one up against the young Swede Mikael Ymer; the usually steady Belgian David Goffin was two sets to the good against Pierre-Hugues Herbert but is now into a fifth; and the American Danielle Collins is a set down to Yulia Putintseva.

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Posted on 23 January 2020 | 10:33 am

Manchester United standing by Ole Gunnar Solskjær after Burnley defeat

Manchester United have given Ole Gunnar Solskjær their unequivocal backing in the wake of the dismal home defeat by Burnley that prompted calls for change at the club.

Solskjær’s team have lost eight times in the Premier League this season and are 30 points behind the leaders, Liverpool, who have two games in hand.

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Posted on 23 January 2020 | 10:32 am

Davos 2020: US treasury secretary says Greta Thunberg should go study economics - live

Rolling coverage of the third day of the World Economic Forum in Davos

Microsoft boss Satya Nadella has been talking about the importance of trust in technology.

We will go backwards unless there is trust in the factor of production that is supposed to fuel the 4th Industrial Revolution.

We need global norms to ensure trust in technology.

I would urge us to think about what would happen if we decouple the internet or trade.

It will increase the transactional costs of our economy and we will all be worse off.

Economics professor Mariana Mazzucato has heard a fine description of Davos:

In bus today heard great summary of Davos: Billionaires telling millionaires how the middle class should live.

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Posted on 23 January 2020 | 10:28 am

Trade secretary Truss takes swipe at Washington, saying US can't decide UK tax policy on tech giants – live news

Rolling coverage of the day’s political developments as they happen

Michel Barner’s senior adviser Stefaan de Rynck has warned that the EU will not tolerate any “backsliding” on the commitment to introduce checks on goods crossing the Irish sea as part of the controversial Brexit deal on Northern Ireland. At an event in University College London last night, De Rynck was clear that checks were part of the Northern Ireland protocol and warned that if the deal was not complied with there could be sanctions.

We will not tolerate any backsliding or half measures on this. It is clear what needs to be done by both sides.

2020 is not just about the future relationship. It is about the withdrawal agreement, notably the Northern Irish protocol where we will have to be extremely disciplined to get it up and running in 11 months, to have the UK authorities apply the checks that the UK has agreed to apply.

The union customs code, the union’s single market standards continue to apply in Northern Ireland as of 2021 and the UK authorities will apply a framework embedded, with the union’s institutions also playing a role.

That is a pretty generous offer for the EU to consider. Because this is a market of 450m people at the doorstep of the UK. In terms of some of the stories I read this morning in the media, I think we need to stress that this is not something that any other country has, across the board zero tariffs, zero quota access to the market.

I prefer … this kind of pasta where everything is integrated as a main course.

An over-arching institutional framework with linked chapters and agreements is certainly part of the political declaration and certainly one the UK has also agreed to. We will want now to see how that pans out in practice.

This is from my colleague John Crace on Liz Truss’s comments about trade and the US.

Having just said the idea of a US trade deal is to eliminate tariffs on UK cars, Liz Truss insists the UK will implement a digital services tax if we want to despite the US saying it will impose tariffs on UK cars if we do. Go figure

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Posted on 23 January 2020 | 10:28 am

Basketbrawl, a one-armed golfer's hole in one and Mahomes magic | Classic YouTube

Also featuring Wes McDonald morphing into Messi, C64 nostalgia with Peter Shilton and harsh red cards

1) Keeper saves penalty. Booked for coming off his line. Keeper saves penalty again. Sent off after second yellow for coming off his line. Defender goes in goal and saves penalty. Just an average day in the Turkish lower leagues, then. And if you thought that was a harsh sending off, try the Dutch third tier for size, where you can get sent off for having a drink. If you want a kinder game, futsal’s the place to be.

2) Basketball becomes basketbrawl as all hell breaks loose in the closing moments of the college match between Kansas and K-State.

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Posted on 23 January 2020 | 10:16 am

UN's top court orders Myanmar to protect Rohingya from genocide

Momentous pronouncement at Hague rejects Aung San Suu Kyi’s defence of her country’s military

Myanmar has been ordered by the United Nations’ highest court to prevent genocidal violence against its Rohingya Muslim minority and preserve evidence of past attacks.

In a momentous and unanimous decision, the international court of justice in The Hague ordered Myanmar to carry out emergency, “provisional” measures, intervening in the country’s domestic affairs by instructing the government of Aung San Suu Kyi to respect the requirements of the 1948 genocide convention.

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Posted on 23 January 2020 | 10:12 am

Prince Charles: lessons of Holocaust still 'searingly relevant'

Royal to warn against hatred and intolerance in speech at Holocaust forum in Jerusalem

Prince Charles is to warn that lessons of the Holocaust are “searingly relevant to this day” as “hatred and intolerance still lurk in the human heart”.

He is due to address world leaders gathered in Jerusalem on Thursday to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.

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Posted on 23 January 2020 | 10:10 am

The Mormons standing up to Mexico’s drug cartels: 'We have to overcome our fears’

Cousins who lost nine close relatives in November ambush launch quixotic campaign for justice: ‘Who else is going to say something?’

After nine women and children were shot dead by cartel gunmen in the barren hills of Mexico’s Sierra Madre Occidental, 100 members of their fundamentalist Mormon community fled the country for the United States.

Cousins Julián and Adrian LeBarón lost nine close relatives in the ambush, but they never considered leaving the country of their birth. Instead, they have launched a quixotic campaign for justice – not just for their slain kin, but for the many thousands of people murdered or vanished amid Mexico’s cartel violence.

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Posted on 23 January 2020 | 10:00 am

Formulations of glyphosate-based weedkillers are toxic, tests show

Government scientists say danger lies with added ingredients in the products not glyphosate

Tests by a US government agency on common weedkilling products made with the chemical glyphosate have found some formulations sold to the public to be genotoxic, meaning they are damaging to human DNA.

But the government scientists at the National Toxicology Program (NTP) say the danger probably lies with added ingredients in the products – not glyphosate.

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Posted on 23 January 2020 | 10:00 am

Forbidden territory: the best books about land and power

As the government plans further limits on our freedom to roam, Guy Shrubsole chooses books to explore how wealth and inequality have shaped our world

Recent government proposals to criminalise aspects of trespass have forced the intertwined issues of land and power back into focus. But the question of who owns land in Britain has been bound up with wealth, inequality and exclusion for centuries.

Traveller communities are likely to be worst affected by the government’s plans, so a good place to start is Damian Le Bas’s The Stopping Places, a lyrical memoir about life on the road. Le Bas’s journey is a quest to rediscover his Romany roots, and along the way explore the challenges and prejudices facing Travellers.

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Posted on 23 January 2020 | 9:58 am

Germany bans neo-Nazi group Combat 18 Deutschland

Country’s top security official says move is ‘clear message’ against far-right extremism

Germany is banning the neo-Nazi group Combat 18 Deutschland in what the country’s top security official said was a “clear message” against far-right extremism and antisemitism.

More than 200 police officers carried out raids in six German states early on Thursday, seizing mobile phones, computers, unspecified weaponry, Nazi memorabilia and propaganda material, the interior ministry said.

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Posted on 23 January 2020 | 9:58 am

John Bercow: peer files bullying complaint against ex-Speaker

Lord Lisvane submits dossier of allegations to parliamentary commissioner for standards

A peer who served as John Bercow’s most senior official has reportedly filed a formal bullying complaint against the former Commons Speaker.

Lord Lisvane, who was the clerk of the house, has handed a dossier of allegations to the parliamentary commissioner for standards, according to the Times. Bercow dismissed the claims as coming at a “curious” time, after suggestions he may be in line for a peerage.

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Posted on 23 January 2020 | 9:44 am

NSW bushfires: three people dead in waterbombing plane crash as fires flare in soaring temperatures

NSW Rural Fire Service aware of property losses in the south coast towns of Moruya and Bermagui

Three US firefighters have been killed after their waterbombing plane crashed as they battled bushfires in southern New South Wales.

About 2pm on Thursday authorities said they had lost contact with the Lockheed C-130 Hercules, which was being used in waterbombing operations in the Snowy Monaro area.

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Posted on 23 January 2020 | 9:36 am

Teesside shaken by 3.0-magnitude earthquake

Police say no reports of injuries as Stockton residents describe rumble and shaking

People on Teesside were woken on Thursday by a 3.0-magnitude earthquake.

The quake was recorded by the British Geological Survey and the US Geological Survey in Stockton-on-Tees, County Durham, just before 6am. The BGS recorded it as 3.0 magnitude while the US monitor said it was 2.8. Cleveland police said no one was injured.

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Posted on 23 January 2020 | 9:11 am

Rajasthan's women encouraged to remove veil in state campaign

Chief minister argues initiative will empower women, but move sparks controversy in conservative Indian state

When women reach the polling booths to cast their vote in current village council elections in Rajasthan, they may be asked to remove their veil, showing their faces in front of strangers.

The move is controversial in this vast, conservative rural hinterland, where the veil is worn by Hindu and Muslim women as well as other groups.

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Posted on 23 January 2020 | 9:00 am

Low by Jeet Thayil review – a lost weekend in Mumbai

A man’s journey to Mumbai to sprinkle his beloved’s ashes turns into a drug-fuelled trip to oblivion

The Indian novelist, poet and musician Jeet Thayil has much in common with the addled protagonist of his new novel, Dominic Ullis. Both write books, have had long experience with drug addiction, and are bearers of the hepatitis C virus (Thayil’s Booker-shortlisted first novel, Narcopolis, was dedicated to “HCV”). The author and his creation also share the tragedy of having lost a young wife. In Low, after quitting her “dream gig” in publishing, Dominic’s wife Aki fulfils a long-nurtured death wish by hanging herself in the couple’s New Delhi apartment, leaving him to find her body.

From this morbid seed flowers what turns out to be a surprisingly colourful and enjoyable novel. Low plays out over a single weekend as Dominic, so freshly bereaved he’s still carrying his wife’s ashes in a white urn, flies on a whim to his native city of Mumbai without packing so much as a change of underwear. His quest is to perform the Hindu rite of immersing his beloved’s ashes in pure and flowing water, none of which is to be found in Delhi. His true destination, though, is oblivion. Flailing in grief and guilt, Dominic gorges on every substance he can lay his hands on. Mumbai being the city whose junkie subsoil Thayil first sifted in Narcopolis, that amounts to a fair few: Dominic ingests cocaine, heroin, sleeping pills, opium, a great deal of alcohol, and, in a rare appearance in literary fiction, the synthetic upper mephedrone or “meow meow”.

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Posted on 23 January 2020 | 8:59 am

Record Black Friday drives Asos recovery after profit warnings

Fashion retailer’s overall sales up 20% to £1.1bn in the four months to 31 December

The online fashion retailer Asos has staged a comeback after a difficult year in which it issued two profit warnings. It credited a record Black Friday for strong sales growth over the festive period.

The firm said overall sales grew 20% to £1.1bn in the four months to 31 December, up from the 13% growth recorded in the year to 31 August. The increase beat the 15% forecast by City analysts and the shares were up 8% at £32.70 on Thursday morning. Six months ago they were changing hands at £21 after falling from a 2018 peak of £76.

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Posted on 23 January 2020 | 8:26 am

Bereaved parents to be entitled to two weeks' paid leave from work

Jack’s Law, for parents who lose a child under 18, will come into force in April, says government

Parents who suffer the loss of a child under the age of 18 will be entitled to two weeks of statutory paid leave from work, the government has announced.

The new legal right, due to come into force from April, is the most generous offer on parental bereavement pay and leave in the world, said ministers.

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Posted on 23 January 2020 | 8:15 am

Are today’s teenagers annoying, pouting selfie-sharers – or expert wordsmiths? | Adrian Chiles

Social media has its negatives – but it has elevated the craft of writing for today’s younger generation in a way mine never knew

Social media muddles/distorts/ruins young minds, we are told. I’m sure to some extent this is true. But, ever keen not to turn into the kind of what-is-the-world-coming-to old fart I don’t want to be, I see positives. Connectivity, one would hope, is generally a good thing, be it virtual or physical. What I really like about it all, though, is that the written word is now more important, for teenagers especially, than it has been in my lifetime. When I was a kid in the last century, I rarely wrote down anything outside school. I kept a daily diary for about a week, wrote the odd letter or postcard, and that was that.

I almost never communicated in writing with any of my friends, many of whom I started school with in 1971 and am privileged still to be close to. For the first 20 years of our friendship, I don’t think the five of us exchanged more than a dozen letters. In the past 20 years, however, via phones and computers, we have written tens (perhaps hundreds) of thousands of words on hundreds of subjects, many of them personal and intimate. We’ve all had to learn, usually through trial and error, the craft of writing, considering the meaning and nuance of every word. And we’ve had to learn concision. Yes, these means of communication might be reductive, but all these words surely add up to a lot more than nothing.

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Posted on 23 January 2020 | 8:00 am

The great pretender: my tribute to Farinelli, the greatest castrato

My new album is dedicated to Farinelli, the celebrated castrato, who could not have grown a beard. So why am I pictured with kohled eyes, flyaway curls and facial hair?

The picture on the front of my new album, Farinelli, features me in a beard. Perhaps some people will be surprised to see my cascading curls and kohl-rimmed eyes combined with neatly trimmed facial hair. But not me. Changing my appearance is simply a part of my profession. Like all performers, I take on a different guise every time I step out on to the stage.

Farinelli is one of the most famous castratos of all time. His powerful and beautiful singing thrilled 18th-century Europe and soothed the depression of a Spanish king. He was by all accounts an exceptional human being: highly intelligent, kind, cultured, wise and politically astute. But did he have a beard? Certainly not. The impact of having been castrated as a boy on his physical development would have prevented him growing one.

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Posted on 23 January 2020 | 8:00 am

Which is the best PC for someone who has Parkinson’s?

Richard wants a laptop for its flatter keys, but desktop PCs can have any keyboard type

I plan to get a new computer for home use, no games. I would rather have a desktop/tower, if it was possible to get a more sensitive keyboard, but I have Parkinson’s and find that the keys are way too hard to use because they require a deeper push than laptop keyboards. Your earlier suggestion of getting an external monitor for a laptop sounds like a winner. How is the connection made? Richard

The short answer is that you should buy a desktop PC. With a laptop, you are more or less stuck with the keyboard fitted by the manufacturer, and the quality varies from average to mediocre. With a desktop PC, you can take your pick from dozens of USB and Bluetooth keyboards. These range from keyboards with flat, island-style isolated keys to full mechanical keyboards aimed at professionals and gamers.

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Posted on 23 January 2020 | 8:00 am

Food-bank users deserve luxuries as well as lentils – just like everyone else

In the nine years since I first visited a food bank they have become dispiritingly commonplace – as have the weird ideas about what we’re supposed to donate

It was 2011 when I first went to a food bank to see what was going on, but the Trussell Trust had launched its first one more than a decade earlier. So, in a way, it was naive to think that this was a watershed political moment, but not unreasonable to think they were political in essence. We used to think of food aid as an American peculiarity, one of those degrading stopgaps they prefer to a social safety net. Was Britain, too, on its way to rejecting universal dignity as a principle, and replacing it with something materially meagre and philosophically ungenerous? Or was it just a cod Americanism that politics was trying out, the way singers try to sound like Shania Twain before they find their own voice? We got our answer to that soon enough: the story in 2011 was that food bank use had surged by 50%, with 61,000 people going to the Trussell Trust in a year. Last year that was 1.6 million.

One thing I never thought this was was a story about food. I didn’t even look inside the parcels; it would have felt incredibly intrusive, a little like poking through someone else’s shopping trolley. The first backlash moment I remember was when someone – a reader, I couldn’t possibly guess of which newspaper – spotted some Maldon sea salt on a food bank shelf. Thus was the truth unmasked: that these people were not hungry at all, they were just in it for the incredibly expensive salt. Jack Monroe, the Bootstrap Cook, who has done the extraordinary work of building a recipe encyclopaedia from the foods you might get at a food bank, pointed out that they were just working with whatever people had donated. Users may, occasionally, get some peaches in armagnac; that would not be proof positive that they weren’t destitute.

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Posted on 23 January 2020 | 8:00 am

Florida's swing voters shrug off Trump impeachment: 'I'm not driven by it'

Guardian study of a cross-section of central Florida voters reveals attitudes ranging from indifference to mild engagement

In Florida’s renowned I-4 corridor, as everywhere else across the country, the all-consuming spectacle of Donald Trump’s impeachment trial is playing out on every television station, on radio and online.

But in this place where millions of swing voters provide one of the nation’s most authentic barometers of any White House hopeful’s political standing, there is evidence that the impeachment proceedings are not resonating with the electorate in a way both sides might have hoped.

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Posted on 23 January 2020 | 8:00 am

Embrace the night: the floating sleepers of Sicily – in pictures

Elizabeth Heyert’s intimate images of people sleeping were projected on to huge stone walls in a deserted town in Sicily and rephotographed. The result is an extraordinary series with the power of ancient sculpture

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Posted on 23 January 2020 | 7:00 am

Will the success of The Witcher herald a golden age of game-to-TV adaptations?

With their long, complex stories, video games fit television better than film – especially now streaming services have the firepower to make such projects

It is a truth, universally accepted, that video games do not translate well to the big screen. From Assassin’s Creed to the Super Mario Bros movie, the result is usually a compromised monstrosity, ignorant of the source material and quickly disowned by the studios, directors and actors responsible for it. There have been exceptions – Detective Pikachu was weird but fine and the Resident Evil films have their fans. But films based on games are usually a mess. Have licensing managers been looking at the wrong screen the whole time?

This week, Netflix released viewing figures that showed its fantasy monster-hunting series The Witcher is on course to be the platform’s biggest-ever opening season, viewed by more than 76m households. There are question marks over how the company is now gathering its data (Netflix considers a view to have occurred when anyone watches for more than two minutes – it used to be 70% of the show). But even with such provisos in mind, The Witcher has been a success, performing well against veteran series such as The Crown (73m households).

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Posted on 23 January 2020 | 7:00 am

Who pays for the EU's €1tn green deal? | Hans-Werner Sinn

Tackling climate crisis is laudable, but the plan pushes the European Central Bank into a legal grey area

Under its president, Ursula von der Leyen, the European commission has big plans to address climate change. With a €1tn ($1.1tn) investment package, it hopes to transform Europe into a carbon-neutral economy by 2050.

But much of that €1tn for the commission’s proposed green deal would be generated through financial-leverage effects. In 2020, the EU will formally allocate for such purposes only around €40bn, most of which is already included in the budget from previous years; arguably, only €7.5bn of additional funding under the plan would actually be new.

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Posted on 23 January 2020 | 7:00 am

£15 for an M&S Yule Log that had to be eaten ... before I bought it

Confusion over what the ‘best before’ label and the ‘use by’ label mean

On 28 December I bought a £15 Yule Log cake from M&S. It wasn’t until I got home that I noticed the label said “Best before 28 December”. Customer services insisted this meant that the cake should be eaten by the end of 28th. I disagreed.

“Best before” surely means that it is fine up to midnight on 27 Dec.

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Posted on 23 January 2020 | 7:00 am

The left’s top priority: know thine enemy | Suzanne Moore

Boris Johnson is a chameleon, constantly changing. Shouting about austerity and neoliberalism is no way to defeat him

I come not to bury Johnson but to praise him. For all the thousands of words I have written criticising this ruthless, amoral being, it is stupid not to recognise what he has achieved. This is the bit where you call me a Tory, but I am not. I just happen to think moping is not a strategy for opposition. Saying nasty things about the prime minister is easy; effectively combating him requires analysis and agility – qualities clearly lacking in the dregs of the Corbyn project.

We don’t need self-serving arguments about authenticity. Wake up! Leadership now is not simply a matter of authenticity, but often its opposite: what the University College London professor Ken Spours, in a paper for the thinktank Compass, calls shapeshifting. Johnson is a chameleon, and modern conservatism is opportunism presented as modernisation: it has an ability to meld wildly different views, and adapt.

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Posted on 23 January 2020 | 7:00 am

The world’s sexiest foods: from pine nuts to pomegranate juice

Want to get your pulse racing? Oysters are a recognised aphrodisiac, but there are plenty of alternatives, including two varieties of ‘red Viagra’

Name: Aphrodisiacs.

Age: As old as food.

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Posted on 23 January 2020 | 7:00 am

Qatar eases exit rules but concerns linger over abuse of domestic workers

Exit permits to be scrapped, but requirement for domestic workers to give employers 72 hours’ notice is ‘problematic’, say activists

Domestic workers in Qatar must give their employers advance notice before leaving the country, in a new policy that campaigners say raises concerns for those trapped in abusive situations.

As pressure mounts on Qatar to tackle labour exploitation ahead of the 2022 World Cup, it announced last week that it was abolishing restrictions on leaving the country for nearly all migrant workers, who previously had to obtain their employer’s permission.

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Posted on 23 January 2020 | 7:00 am

The wood life: my four days immersed in Latvia's forests

Half of Latvia is woodland … so no wonder its people derive so much wellbeing from foraging, ancient forest crafts and being at one with nature

In Japan it’s called shinrin-yoku (forest bathing); in Norway it’s friluftsliv (appreciation of outdoors activity and nature). But in Latvia there’s no special term for it. “We don’t need one – this is just normal behaviour for Latvians,” said Sigita Klētniece, our walk leader in a crisp, cold Gauja national park in the country’s north-east.

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Posted on 23 January 2020 | 6:30 am

TV tonight: Ed Balls takes the pulse of populist politics in Europe

The former MP travels from the Netherlands to Spain to hear the polarised voices challenging mainstream politics. Plus: Inside the Crown. Here’s what to watch this evening

Ed Balls continues his TV presenting streak with a three-part series exploring the rise of populist politics in Europe. He begins in the Netherlands, employing his politician’s charm to question fisherman Willem into sharing his “Netherlands first” views, then travels to Spain to meet the people defending bullfighting before ending in Morocco and patrolling the border. Balls is nuanced, but it is the polarised voices of the people he meets that makes this an engaging watch. Ammar Kalia

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Posted on 23 January 2020 | 6:20 am

Trump weakened environmental laws after BP lobbying

Letter suggests oil firm pushed for changes whereby fewer projects would need impact assessments

BP has successfully lobbied US policymakers to weaken a landmark environmental law, clearing the way for major infrastructure projects to bypass checks.

US government documents show BP America lobbied in favour of Donald Trump’s decision to dilute legislation, which could make it easier for new projects, such as oil pipelines and power plants, to move forward with far less federal review of their impact on the environment.

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Posted on 23 January 2020 | 6:01 am

Royals for rent: will Harry and Meghan become the world’s biggest influencers?

They have cut the royal purse strings and need a new source of income – monetising their social media followers could be their first step

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were never going to be king and queen of the United Kingdom. And now they have been relieved of their royal responsibilities, a new empire stretches before them, limitless, lucrative and theirs for the taking: the kingdom of sponsored content.

Thanks to the intense interest in their love story on social media, Prince Harry and Meghan have been dabbling in the “influencer” space for as long as they have been a couple. Before marrying Harry, Meghan ran the lifestyle/fashion blog The Tig, which gave her one foot in the world of influencers (the name given to the broad church of people who create and often monetise original content on social media). So perhaps it is no surprise that, in April last year, @SussexRoyal broke Instagram’s record for the fastest one million followers (less than six hours). Now it has 11 million and is the couple’s platform of choice for personal announcements – including the one they made on 8 January, revealing their intention to step back from royal duties (1.85m likes).

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Posted on 23 January 2020 | 6:00 am

Can Momentum survive after Jeremy Corbyn stands down?

As part of our Inside Labour series, we look at how the grassroots movement will fare after party’s disastrous election defeat

There are two stand-out memories of the winter general election for Charlie Macnamara. First, the 25-year-old Momentum member’s data sheets melting to illegible shreds in the rain while knocking on doors. Second, the moment the exit poll came through after a 14-hour campaigning shift in Stevenage.

“Six of us were out all day. Then we walked through the door of candidate Jill Borcherd’s house and it was devastating. To find out the moment you walk through the door … we were shocked,” he said.

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Posted on 23 January 2020 | 6:00 am

The Chase's Paul Sinha: 'I’m going for laughs in bleak places'

The gameshow star and former GP on how he wrote his ‘career best’ standup material after getting married – and being diagnosed with Parkinson’s

‘You don’t expect the most eventful year of your life to be in your late 40s,” says Paul Sinha. “No one expects that.” He thought the extraordinary parts of his story – quitting medicine to become a standup (comedy’s only gay Asian former GP, as he was once known), an Edinburgh Comedy award nomination, and fame on an ITV quiz show, The Chase – were behind him. But that was to reckon without what 2019 had in store.

His diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease was front-page news in June, which was almost as shocking to the 49-year-old as the diagnosis. “At no stage until then did I have an idea of who I was in terms of celebrity,” says Sinha. Suddenly, his face was emblazoned across the tabloids, while he tried to process the life-changing news about his health. Seven months on, he has turned the experience – and others in a 12-month period in which Sinha was married, humiliated on Dave TV’s Taskmaster, crowned UK quiz champion for the first time, and treated to “the most extraordinary month of my comedy career” at the New Zealand comedy festival – into a new touring show. “I have,” he says over hot chocolate on the eve of his tour, “a lot of material.”

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Posted on 23 January 2020 | 6:00 am

Howard Jacobson: 'A feelgood Holocaust exploits the dead and demeans the living'

It once felt impious just to mention Auschwitz. Now, 75 years after its liberation, the death camp has spawned a literary subgenre – and Hitler is in Oscar-nominated comedy Jojo Rabbit. Are we betraying the dead?

Silence is the angel with which literature wrestles. The silence of inadequacy to the task of expression – TS Eliot’s struggle against “last year’s words” while “next year’s words await another voice”. The silence of moral hesitancy or humane consideration. The silence enjoined by laws of blasphemy, or fears of persecution. The silence of bad conscience or exhaustion. The silence of tact.

Over and above these, the Holocaust for many writers and thinkers made reticence not a matter of choice but a moral and psychological obligation. “No poetry after Auschwitz” – the philosopher Theodor Adorno’s famous phrase, ringing through the deathly quiet like the plague bell, could be read both as an injunction and a lament.

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Posted on 23 January 2020 | 6:00 am

Make big polluters pay for mass tree planting, officials say

Oil companies and airlines could fund 100m trees a year, says Committee on Climate Change

The planting of 100m trees a year in the UK to tackle the climate emergency could be paid for by new carbon levies on oil companies and airlines, the government’s official climate adviser has proposed.

The Committee on Climate Change also recommends banning the burning of grouse moors and the sale of peat compost to protect the nation’s bogs, which can store huge amounts of carbon. Voluntary measures have failed, it said.

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Posted on 23 January 2020 | 6:00 am

The Zaghari-Ratcliffes' ordeal: a story of British arrogance, secret arms deals and Whitehall infighting

While his wife suffers in an Iranian jail, Richard Ratcliffe fights on for her release. But he fears she cannot cope for much longer. By Patrick Wintour

On a cold October night, Richard Ratcliffe, not for the first time, was watching a play about his wife’s ordeal in an Iranian prison. Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a dual-national British-Iranian, has been in detention in Tehran since her arrest on 3 April 2016. She is accused of spying – a charge she denies. The play was being staged in the London Metropolitan University on Holloway Road, where Zaghari-Ratcliffe, on a scholarship from Iran, studied communications management between 2007-2008.

Ratcliffe was sitting in the front row. Beside him sat Ana Diamond, a woman who was incarcerated in the same prison as Nazanin until 2016, and Diamond’s father. As the play unfolded, Diamond’s father, who had also spent years in an Iranian prison, broke into loud sobbing, making it nearly impossible to hear the dialogue. Even though he and his daughter were now free, watching the play forced him to relive the trauma of imprisonment.

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Posted on 23 January 2020 | 6:00 am

Call for family judge training after 'outdated comments' on rape

Judge was criticised for finding woman was not raped because she took ‘no physical steps’ to stop man

Family court judges could get training on the “appropriate” way to deal with sex assault allegations after a woman complained about a judge’s “outdated views” on the definition of rape.

The woman has won an appeal after arguing Robin Tolson’s approach led to her losing a fight with a former partner centred on their son.

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Posted on 23 January 2020 | 6:00 am

What my attacker’s conviction taught me about taking on the far right | Owen Jones

He may go to jail, but what will be achieved? We need to look elsewhere for an answer to the growing fascist menace

How do you cure a problem like violent far-right extremism? It was a thought that danced around my head last Friday as I sat in court 3 of suburban east London’s Snaresbrook crown court inspecting James Healy, a 40-year-old thug who attacked me last August. After a night out celebrating my birthday, I’d left a pub with a group of five others. The CCTV shows us cheerily exchanging goodbyes while Healy creeps up on us, hands in pockets, before suddenly karate kicking me to the ground from behind and throwing wild punches in what the court ruled was a “frenzied attack”. A melee ensued as our assailant was joined by two friends, who later pleaded guilty to affray. My companions helped prevent a far worse incident, three of them taking blows to the head in the process.

Healy had already pleaded guilty to affray and actual bodily harm; his defence was that his rage-filled attack was provoked by a spilt pint earlier. In fact, either he or a friend had, just before the attack, masqueraded as an admirer of mine, double-checking they weren’t about to assault another stranger with a passing resemblance to Macaulay Culkin. Healy’s home was stashed full of far-right memorabilia: Combat 18 regalia (one of their stated aims is to “execute all queers”), White Power logos and Nazi death heads and an SS flag adorned with the stamp of Chelsea Headhunters, a notorious football hooligan group associated with the far right.

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Posted on 23 January 2020 | 6:00 am

Coronavirus: panic and anger in Wuhan as China orders city into lockdown

Supermarket shelves are empty and face masks have sold out as residents of city at the centre of the deadly virus hoard supplies and retreat inside

A sense of panic has spread in the central Chinese city of Wuhan as the city of 11 million was put on lockdown in an attempt to quarantine a deadly virus believed to have originated there.

On Thursday, authorities banned all transport links from the sprawling city, suspending buses, the subway system, ferries and shutting the airport and train stations to outgoing passengers.

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Posted on 23 January 2020 | 5:45 am

Japan's lack of snow melts Olympic cooling plans – and wrecks ski season

Scheme to ship snow to Tokyo to keep spectators comfortable during summer Games in doubt after lowest falls for nearly 60 years

A lack of snow in parts of Japan that are normally blanketed at this time of year is forcing ski resorts to remain closed and threatening plans to keep spectators cool at Tokyo Olympic venues this summer.

Olympic organisers had planned to bring in snow from Minami-uonuma, a city on the Japan Sea coast, to help cool venues amid warnings of the health dangers posed by the brutal heat in and around the capital at the end of July when the Games begin.

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Posted on 23 January 2020 | 5:21 am

Peak meat: is veganism the future?

Marco Springmann, a public health expert, tells Anushka Asthana why cutting out animal products is the best route to a healthy diet – and why veganism is good for the planet. Plus: Alex Hern on the Guardian’s exclusive story of how the Amazon chief, Jeff Bezos, allegedly had his phone hacked after receiving a WhatsApp message apparently sent from the crown prince of Saudi Arabia.

Veganism is having a moment. From ‘Veganuary’ promotions to whole lines of products in fast food retailers such as KFC and Greggs, there is a concerted effort to lure customers away from meat and dairy. But with the boom comes a deluge of quackery and misinformation.

In this episode Marco Springmann, a public health researcher at Oxford University, separates fact from fiction. He tells Anushka Asthana what the data says about the health and environmental impact of veganism and cutting out meat and other animal products.

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Posted on 23 January 2020 | 3:00 am

'Our future is not assured': Schiff issues stark warning at impeachment trial

Striving to make himself heard across partisan lines, the lead impeachment prosecutor filled his opening argument against Donald Trump on the Senate floor on Wednesday with invitations, warnings and appeals designed to win Republican backing for a substantial trial.

Using flowing evocations of constitutional history, the global promise of US democracy, and the stakes should it all be allowed to slip, Democrat Adam Schiff framed his story of Trump’s wrongdoing as a national crisis demanding a non-partisan remedy.

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Posted on 23 January 2020 | 2:52 am

Luanda Leaks: Isabel dos Santos 'named as suspect in criminal investigation'

Allegations against Africa’s richest woman said to relate to maladministration of funds

Africa’s richest woman, Angola’s Isabel dos Santos, has been named as a formal suspect in a criminal investigation, the country’s attorney general is reported to have announced.

Dos Santos amassed a fortune estimated at $2.2bn (£1.7bn) while her father, José Eduardo dos Santos, was president of Angola. She is battling allegations of corruption and nepotism following the publication of Luanda Leaks, an investigation by the Guardian and other media led by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. She denies all wrongdoing.

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Posted on 23 January 2020 | 1:23 am

Case for impeachment fails to disturb McConnell's sweet dreams of acquittal

Adam Schiff eloquently made the House’s case that the republic is in danger from Donald Trump but Republicans’ reaction was heavy-lidded

He fought. Oh, how he fought. But Mitch McConnell’s battle with drowsy eyelids was a lost cause. The 77-year-old senator’s head bobbed and drooped. An alarmed aide sat at his side, powerless, as McConnell surrendered to the arms of Morpheus.

It was 1.40pm on Wednesday and the House impeachment manager Adam Schiff was in full flow, prosecuting the case against Donald Trump. Over nearly two and a half hours, McConnell would not be the only Republican senator to nod off, yawn, rub their eyes or bolt the chamber.

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Posted on 23 January 2020 | 12:24 am

From loo roll to dumplings: Hong Kong protesters weaponise purchasing power

The ‘yellow economic circle’ movement aims to promote locally owned businesses – and shun Chinese ones

Emily Mak works in finance but every lunchtime in the run-up to lunar new year on Saturday she heads to a bustling Hong Kong market street to distribute lai see packets to customers who have ordered them online.

Her packets – red envelopes used to hold a traditional new year gift of money for children – are emblazoned with pro-democracy messages. The profits of the more than 20,000 packets she has sold will be donated to young protesters experiencing hardship.

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Posted on 23 January 2020 | 12:19 am

Saracens owner entered into £1.3m ventures with players, says report

• Nigel Wray accused in leaked findings over salary breaches
• Mark McCall says top players can recharge in Championship

The disciplinary report that led to Saracens being relegated from the Premiership found the club’s owner, Nigel Wray, broke the rules by entering into ventures totalling £1.3m with the England players Maro Itoje, Billy and Mako Vunipola and Chris Ashton.

That is according to a copy of the 103-page report by Lord Dyson, which was leaked to Sky News on Wednesday. It also states Saracens breached the salary cap in three consecutive seasons – with more than £1.1m of overspend in the 2016-17 season, just over £98,000 in 2017-18 and £906,000 in 2018-19.

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Posted on 23 January 2020 | 12:04 am

Universal credit 'sending people into arms of loan sharks'

Debt charity says Tories’ flagship welfare project forcing claimants into destitution

Universal credit fuels debt problems for low-income claimants, forcing many into destitution and driving others to loan sharks to get cash for basics such as food, clothes and heating, a leading charity has claimed.

StepChange, the UK’s largest debt charity, said problems relating to universal credit’s design – in particular the five-week wait for a first benefit payment – made it harder for its financially vulnerable clients to manage their money.

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Posted on 23 January 2020 | 12:01 am

England's poorest 'get worse NHS care' than wealthiest citizens

Study found stark differences in A&E waiting times and experience of GP services

England’s poorest people get worse NHS care than its wealthiest citizens, including longer waiting for A&E treatment and worse experience of GP services, a study shows.

Those from the most deprived areas have fewer hip replacements and are admitted to hospital with bed sores more often than people from the least deprived areas.

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Posted on 23 January 2020 | 12:01 am

Domestic abuse cases abandoned too quickly when victims retreat – study

Lack of police resources cited as reason for not gathering other evidence, say inspectorates

Police and prosecutors are dropping domestic abuse cases far too readily when victims become reluctant to pursue complaints against often violent partners, an official inspectorate report has warned.

Lack of police resources is the excuse commonly given for discontinuing investigations, even where there may be sufficient alternative evidence from cameras, witnesses or other sources, the review found.

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Posted on 23 January 2020 | 12:01 am

Out cold: unseasonal temperatures litter south Florida with stunned iguanas

The weather forecast warned it would be raining reptiles and Floridians recorded encounters with lizards feeling the chill

It truly was the night (and day) of the iguana.

After the National Weather Service (NWS) sent an unusual alert to south Florida residents on Tuesday night warning them of possible “falling iguanas” in light of unseasonably low temperatures, residents were indeed treated to a show of rigid reptiles out of the sky (or, actually, the trees).

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Posted on 22 January 2020 | 11:19 pm

'Click I agree': the UN rapporteur says prince tried to intimidate Bezos with message

Information suggests alleged targeting of Amazon chief was part of a wider campaign to pick off individuals close to Khashoggi

The message, it seems, could not have been clearer.

On 8 November 2018, just one month after the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi, Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest man, received an unsolicited text from Mohammed bin Salman’s WhatsApp account.

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Posted on 22 January 2020 | 10:50 pm

Tom Kohler-Cadmore faces up to ‘stupid mistake’ as he rejoins Lions squad

• Batsman keen to educate others after Hepburn trial revelations
• ‘I was 100% in wrong. I’ve had a U-turn in how I conduct myself’

Tom Kohler-Cadmore accepts he was “100% in the wrong” to be part of the sordid WhatsApp group that emerged during Alex Hepburn’s rape trial and is now trying to prevent young cricketers from doing the same.

The Yorkshire batsman, 25, was among the England Lions white-ball squad that flew to Australia on Wednesday, his first outing for the second string since he and Nottinghamshire’s Joe Clarke were removed from a tour to India last January.

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Posted on 22 January 2020 | 10:00 pm

Revealed: the scale of Manchester City’s FFP breaches before 2014 Uefa deal

• Accounting rejected and £118.75m of sponsorships questioned
• City could face Champions League ban in second Uefa inquiry

Manchester City were found to have made inadmissible submissions to Uefa over financial fair play in 2014 and were reported for not making their bank statements available, the Guardian can reveal.

City’s submissions for the 2012 and 2013 financial years were questioned in relation to £118.75m in sponsorships from companies in Abu Dhabi, the home state of the club’s owner, and their accounting methods over transfer fees and the formation of two new companies were rejected.

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Posted on 22 January 2020 | 10:00 pm

Mount Vesuvius eruption 'turned victim's brain to glass'

Scientists discover vitrified remains caused by immense 520C heat of disaster in AD79

When Mount Vesuvius erupted in AD79, the damage wreaked in nearby towns was catastrophic. Now it appears the heat was so immense it turned one victim’s brain to glass – thought to be the first time this has been seen.

Experts say they have discovered that splatters of a shiny, solid black material found inside the skull of a victim at Herculaneum appear to be the remains of human brain tissue transformed by heat.

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Posted on 22 January 2020 | 10:00 pm

Victoria Derbyshire's Bafta-winning show to be axed in BBC cuts

Broadcaster needs to make huge savings as it picks up tab for over-75s licence fee

Victoria Derbyshire’s award-winning BBC 2 programme is to be taken off air as part of a cost-cutting drive.

Sources said the decision was announced to staff “out of the blue” on Wednesday, but that management had been unable to give them a date for the final broadcast, nor offer clear details of possible redundancies.

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Posted on 22 January 2020 | 9:48 pm

Tottenham’s Son Heung-min quells unrest with late winner to deny Norwich

The best anyone can say of this Tottenham performance is that it was a winning one and had the effect of putting an unhappy run to bed. They had not scored a league goal in open play since Dele Alli’s winner against Brighton on Boxing Day so it was to some relief that the same player moved that conversation along.

However, for long periods it looked like being the sole redeeming feature: they did not deserve to beat a Norwich side who belied their position at the bottom and merited at least a draw.

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Posted on 22 January 2020 | 9:44 pm

Leicester’s Pérez deflates West Ham but Vardy injury a concern for Rodgers

Leicester got back their mojo but lost their talisman when Jamie Vardy limped off with a glute injury. “He’s a fantastic player and really important for us but you’re never going to succeed if you rely on just one player,” Brendan Rodgers said.

Related: Tottenham’s Son Heung-min quells unrest with late winner to deny Norwich

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Posted on 22 January 2020 | 9:39 pm

From Bezos to Bush: Saudi crown prince met array of VIPs on US tour

It is not known how many people Prince Mohammed shared WhatsApp messages with in 2018 other than Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos was far from the only American VIP who met Saudi Arabia’s crown prince in the spring of 2018. During a coast-to-coast tour Mohammed bin Salman had personal encounters with dozens of celebrities, politicians and tech titans including George Bush, Richard Branson and Bill Gates.

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Posted on 22 January 2020 | 8:37 pm

Brexit bill passes parliament as Johnson overturns Lords amendments

Opposition MPs condemn government after defeat of Dubs measure on child refugees

Boris Johnson’s Brexit bill has cleared its last hurdle after the government overturned five House of Lords amendments to it, including one that would have restored the right of unaccompanied child refugees to be reunited with their families in the UK.

The legislation is expected to gain royal assent within days after peers agreed to end the parliamentary “ping-pong” phase where it moves between the two houses until agreement is reached.

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Posted on 22 January 2020 | 7:48 pm

Please, stop putting weird products like crocheted tampons in your vagina | Poppy Noor

Anything can be found on the internet – from fake hymens to whatever is coming out of Gwyneth Paltrow – but that doesn’t mean it’s good for your vagina

You can find anything on the internet, and these days, that includes crocheted tampons. Yes, tampons made of yarn are being sold on Etsy, and news outlets are having to run pieces advising on why vaginal chunky-knits really don’t need to be a look this winter.

Crocheted tampons, just like most things made and sold in an unregulated market such as the internet, do not have to pass the same safety regulations that store-bought tampons have to pass. That means that we don’t know whether they work, what’s in them, or even how they should be cleaned.

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Posted on 22 January 2020 | 7:40 pm

Sainsbury’s departing singing executive will have hoped for better

After five quarters of falling sales and five years at the helm, it’s time for Mike Coupe to say goodbye

“There is never a good time to move on,” said Mike Coupe, but he’s wrong. Now is an ideal moment for him to leave Sainsbury’s.

The failed bid for Asda was so juddering for the company that it wasn’t even mentioned in the soapy farewell messages. Reinvigoration tends to be easier under a new boss and, since Coupe has had almost six years at the helm, retiring in May to spend more time with his guitar should suit all parties.

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Posted on 22 January 2020 | 7:21 pm

Jeff Bezos, the Saudi crown prince, and the alleged phone-hacking plot – video explainer

The Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos had his mobile phone 'hacked' in 2018 after receiving a WhatsApp message that had apparently been sent from the personal account of the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, sources have told the Guardian.

Investigations reporter Stephanie Kirchgaessner analyses the background of the case and possible reasons why the Washington Post owner was targeted. 

Saudi Arabia has denied any involvement in the matter

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Posted on 22 January 2020 | 6:59 pm

Jean Paul Gaultier's best catwalk moments – in pictures

The celebrated designer is retiring. Ahead of his final show on Wednesday evening, we recap his most memorable looks, including conical bras and skirt suits for men

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Posted on 22 January 2020 | 6:31 pm

Stress speeds up hair greying process, science confirms

Fight-or-flight response nerves pump out hormone that wipes out pigmentation cells

Lord Byron put it down to sudden fears, which took their toll on men at night. For Wordsworth it was shocks of passion that swiftly turned hair white.

But while hair cannot lose its colour in an instant – at least not without help from a bottle of bleach – scientists at Harvard University have shown how stress can, over time, speed up the greying process.

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Posted on 22 January 2020 | 6:00 pm

The Jeff Bezos hacking allegations destroy the myth of a new Saudi Arabia | David Wearing

Recent revelations raise disturbing questions about US and UK support for the kingdom, which has sought to rebrand itself

If Mohammed bin Salman or figures close to him really did hack the phone of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, it would be another nail in the coffin of the crown prince’s attempt to rebrand Saudi Arabia’s global image under his de facto leadership. It would also raise further serious questions over the relationship between western powers and the Saudi kingdom.

Related: Jeff Bezos: UN calls for investigation into alleged Saudi hack

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Posted on 22 January 2020 | 5:27 pm

High court bid to stop NHS giving puberty blockers to children

‘Experimental’ hormone-changing drugs should not be given to under-18s, court hears

A landmark case to stop the NHS prescribing “experimental” puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones to children who wish to undergo gender reassignment has reached the high court.

The Tavistock and Portman NHS foundation trust, which runs the UK’s only gender identity development service (Gids) for children, is being sued over concerns that young people are being given “experimental treatment” without adequate assessments.

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Posted on 22 January 2020 | 4:47 pm

'My ex and I had a full-blown row about onions’: the dos and don’ts of cooking with your partner

Nothing tests a romance – or a friendship – like making a meal together. Who is in charge? And who’s responsible for washing up? Here’s how to defuse the worst arguments

Cooking with others has the reputation of being fun. Often it is not. Tempers, along with saucepans, boil over as your flatmate strays for the umpteenth time on to your side of the cramped workspace. Or as you question whether you can really spend the rest of your life with a partner who has such poor knife technique.

Nevertheless, with both Valentine’s Day and pancake day approaching, not to mention the excess of dark winter nights that leave us needing cheering up with dinner parties, there is no getting away from group cooking. We asked some experts – and keen home cooks – how to make the best of it.

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Posted on 22 January 2020 | 4:41 pm

Do you know someone with dementia admitted to hospital as an emergency?

If a relative, friend or someone you care for with dementia was admitted to hospital, we want to hear what happened. Share your experiences

Do you know anyone with dementia who has been admitted to hospital as an emergency? If so, we’d like to hear from you. We’d also like to hear more about this issue from NHS staff.

Figures from NHS data showed that hospitals in England recorded more than 379,000 admissions of people with the condition during 2017/18. That was 100,000 more than the number of such patients admitted in 2012/13.

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Posted on 22 January 2020 | 4:29 pm

Maths experts zero in on secret to perfect espresso

It’s all in the grind, say mathematicians who turned to equations to solve mystery

What’s the secret of the perfect espresso? It’s a question that has long troubled cafe owners around the world, but now mathematicians say they have worked out the formula for achieving the perfect brew – and it all comes down to the daily grind.

“There is a common experience, particularly for people making coffee in their homes, and baristas as well, that you brew two espressos one after the other, you use the same ground coffee and seemingly you brew it in exactly the same way, yet the two shots can taste quite different to one another,” said Dr Jamie Foster at Portsmouth University, a co-author of the research.

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Posted on 22 January 2020 | 4:00 pm

'It has to be someone not in denial': can Labour rebuild its red wall?

Leaders in former strongholds say the party is finished if it opts for ‘continuity Corbyn’

Just as Boris Johnson’s route to a Commons majority ran through places such as Grimsby, the battle for Labour’s future will also take place in its former strongholds. The postmortem of Labour’s biggest election defeat since 1935 is vigorous and ongoing, but in the provincial towns that make up its now-crumbling “red wall”, the debate seems to be done and dusted.

In interviews carried out since the start of the leadership race two weeks ago, 30 out of 33 Labour council leaders the Guardian spoke to said the party would be “finished” in their areas if Rebecca Long-Bailey became leader on 4 April.

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Posted on 22 January 2020 | 3:35 pm

Senior Labour figures in 'red wall' seats back Starmer or Nandy

Guardian poll in 33 leave-voting areas finds little support for Rebecca Long-Bailey as leader

Sir Keir Starmer and Lisa Nandy are the overwhelming favourites to be the next Labour leader among senior party figures in “red wall” seats, a Guardian survey has found.

Interviews with 33 Labour leaders in the party’s leave-voting former strongholds revealed widespread concern about the prospect of Rebecca Long-Bailey winning the contest, with many describing her as the “continuity Corbyn” candidate.

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Posted on 22 January 2020 | 3:35 pm

‘I was living a secret life’: the agonising rise of female gamblers

The number of women who report a gambling problem has been rising at double the rate of men. It is used as an escape from stress and pain – but the debt can be catastrophic

Nancy gambled away the £3,000 her father had saved up for his own funeral. It’s the thing she feels most ashamed of having done during her four-year addiction to online gambling. At the time, however, she barely thought twice about what she had done.

“Female gambling addicts are just as bad as men. We will get money wherever we can and gamble it all away immediately,” she says. “The extraordinary thing is that during my addiction, no one suspected a thing. I was gambling online for hours every day. I’d sit down on the settee with my phone in the early evening and the next thing I knew, it was 3am. I hadn’t moved except to press the same button again and again to work the slots. But my bank account would be empty.”

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Posted on 22 January 2020 | 3:11 pm

Has a member of your family applied for a different EU nationality?

We would like to hear from you if someone in your family has applied for another EU nationality because of Brexit

Has a member of your family applied for a different EU nationality because they are resident in another member state and want to guarantee their rights, or because they have a birth right they never bothered with before Brexit?

If so, we want to hear from you. We would also like to know how you feel about becoming a new dual-nationality family.

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Posted on 22 January 2020 | 2:50 pm

'I had no idea hot summers could kill': how 'climate apartheid' divides Delhi – video

As the Earth continues to break new heat records, the UN is warning of a 'climate apartheid' between those who can afford to keep themselves cool and  those who must live, work, suffer – and sometimes die – in the heat. In Delhi, where a heatwave of 48C recently killed 100 people, some workers have already paid the ultimate price

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Posted on 22 January 2020 | 2:49 pm

Cooling off and clearing snow: Wednesday's best photos

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

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Posted on 22 January 2020 | 1:47 pm

Have you encountered any precautionary measures for coronavirus?

If you’ve experienced additional measures while travelling or have any information, we’d like to hear from you

Passengers who arrive at Heathrow from Wuhan in China will be asked to enter through a separate area as a precautionary measure to try and prevent the spread of coronavirus. Other countries are putting their own safeguards in place and we’d like to hear from people who have been affected.

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Posted on 22 January 2020 | 1:07 pm

Monty Python film director Terry Jones: full of fun and innocence – and a very naughty boy

After directing the Python films and creating such characters as the Virgin Mandy and the monstrous Mr Creosote, he went on to make Personal Services and The Wind in the Willows

Terry Jones dies aged 77
Jones’s legacy – a life in pictures

Terry Jones, who has died at the age of 77, was the Python with a sweetly open, guileless face and a rich voice that he often tortured into a high-pitched, strangulated warbling for his many “Hello, Mrs Smoker” drag roles. He was also the Python credited for inspiring the team’s consistent surrealist denial of conventional structure. It was Jones who took on the directing role for the Monty Python movies: sharing the credit with Terry Gilliam for Monty Python and the Holy Grail in 1975, but taking the helm on his own for their masterpiece, Monty Python’s Life of Brian, in 1979, and the rather more patchy Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life in 1983. His parallel and post-Python career was successful: with Michael Palin, he created the much-loved Ripping Yarns for BBC TV and wrote well-regarded popular books on medieval and classical history.

But Jones’s face is stamped indelibly on my mind for the creation of two movie characters – one good, one horribly evil.

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Posted on 22 January 2020 | 1:01 pm

Tell us about the websites your children visit

We want to hear from parents and young adults about the non-mainstream sites they and their children access

With new rules for technology companies to protect children online announced by the UK Information Commissioner’s Office, we want to hear about the non-mainstream sites children and young people access.

From autumn 2021, companies will have to consider 15 principles in order to avoid breaking the law and facing fines up to £17m or 4% of global turnover.

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Posted on 22 January 2020 | 11:43 am

We, Women: the platform staging a ‘visual rebellion’ – in pictures

We, Women seeks to cover critical issues in the US through the lens of women, trans and non-binary photographers. The organization recently announced their first cohort of grantees, who will pursue projects on subjects ranging from the climate crisis to incarceration, highlighting underrepresented narratives through a combination of community engagement and photography. We, Women ‘reclaims photography in an act of visual rebellion: how it’s executed, what it means, and who it reaches’. The eventual goal is to curate a traveling exhibition, which the organization is fundraising for here

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Posted on 22 January 2020 | 11:00 am

The best of the Winter Youth Olympic Games – in pictures

All the colour, drama and skill of the competitors are captured here in the best photographs from Lausanne

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Posted on 22 January 2020 | 9:42 am

Fashion, fighting and feral dogs – the photography of Ferdinando Scianna

From glamorous models to burned out cars, photographer Ferdinando Scianna has spent half a century capturing the extremes of the world around him

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Posted on 22 January 2020 | 7:00 am

Zoe Brock: my case against Harvey Weinstein – podcast

Like dozens of women in the entertainment industry, the actor, model and writer Zoë Brock has claimed she had a traumatic encounter with the film producer Harvey Weinstein. Now she is faced with a settlement offer that she believes would allow him to escape blame for the alleged assaults. Also today: Lily Kuo on the spread of the deadly coronavirus in China

The actor, model and writer Zoë Brock was on a retreat in the New Zealand bush in 2017 when an email pinged into her inbox. It was from a friend sending a link to a breaking news story of allegations against Harvey Weinstein. The claims from several women against the film producer were eerily familiar to an incident that Brock alleges happened to her.

This week, Weinstein goes on trial charged with rape and sexual assault. But for dozens of women with claims against him, their only recourse is to civil courts. Brock tells Anushka Asthana that while she is part of the class action suit against Weinstein, she is deeply unhappy with the terms of the proposed settlement, which she believes would allow him to accept no blame for the allegations.

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Posted on 22 January 2020 | 3:00 am

Why it could take a century for Australia's animals to recover from the bushfires – video explainer


An estimated 1 billion animals have been killed during or as a result of Australia's catastrophic bushfire season, and experts fear some species now face extinction. Huge numbers of mammals, birds, reptiles, insects and other species have been lost, with images of burned koalas and kangaroos fleeing the fire front beamed around the world. Slow-moving native animals have been hit particularly hard. 

'We really sleepwalked into this disaster,' says University of Sydney ecology professor Christopher Dickman, who explains what the crisis means for the country's wildlife and why it may take up to 100 years for the ecosystems the animals depend on to bounce back.  

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Posted on 21 January 2020 | 11:45 pm

Why 'stronger borders' don't work

Thousands of people die annually trying to cross borders. It’s often argued stronger borders and more checks would deter people from making dangerous crossings. But how accurate is this? Maya Goodfellow explores what the current border regime means for people seeking asylum

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Posted on 21 January 2020 | 2:46 pm

The trial of Harvey Weinstein – podcast

Ed Pilkington looks ahead to Weinstein’s court battle where he faces charges of rape and sexual assault, which he denies. And Jamie Grierson on why counter-terror police have listed Extinction Rebellion as a ‘key threat’

The film producer Harvey Weinstein will stand trial this week in New York City accused of five charges, including rape and sexual assault. Weinstein denies all allegations. The trial, expected to last about six weeks, will focus on the witness accounts of two alleged victims who claim they were assaulted by Weinstein.

The Guardian’s Ed Pilkington has been in court for the jury selection process in which 2,000 potential jurors were whittled down to 12 who will decide Weinstein’s fate. He tells Anushka Asthana that the case will cause a sensation in the US and around the world, but that it should not be seen as #MeToo on trial.

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Posted on 21 January 2020 | 3:00 am

How can we make award shows more diverse? – video explainer

This year, both the Bafta and the Oscar nominations were met with widespread criticism for their lack of diversity, with the Oscars featuring only one person of colour and all the Bafta acting category nominees being white. The Guardian's arts and culture writer Lanre Bakare explores the history of controversy at some of the industry's biggest award ceremonies and looks at what can be done to improve representation

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Posted on 16 January 2020 | 5:52 pm

Why is UFC so popular with men? | Modern masculinity

Iman Amrani is back with series two of Modern Masculinity. Episode one takes her to UFC 244 in New York. From open workouts with Darren Till to Jorge Masvidal vs Nate Diaz on fight night at Madison Square Garden, Iman speaks to fighters and fans about why MMA is growing in popularity with so many men, including Donald Trump

Watch Modern masculinity series one:

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Posted on 16 January 2020 | 12:00 pm

What will be under the tree in 2030? Experts predict the future of Christmas giving

With Christmas 2019 behind us, the bets are already in for next year’s gifts

You’ve probably not given next year’s Christmas a single thought yet. But, for those who make their living predicting trends, next Christmas – in fact, the next few Christmases – are already front of mind. For futurists, trend watchers and innovation experts, there are plenty of clues available right now that can help predict what we’ll be gifting each other in years to come.

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Posted on 27 December 2019 | 11:44 am

'Don't assume bulk is best': top tips from savvy shoppers

Everybody loves a good deal, but for some, it’s become a lifestyle. Here, we speak to self-professed money ‘experts’ about their go-to strategies for smart spending

For many of us, the big shop is a weekly trundle around the same supermarket, picking up the usual array of items and plonking them in the trolley without too much thought. But Lisa Garwood-Cross, 28, from Bury, has revolutionised her approach to it – by refusing to go more than twice a month and being mindful about what she picks off the shelves.

“Shopping is one of those things you often do on autopilot,” says Garwood-Cross. “But simply switching on to what you need – taking 10 minutes to stocktake what’s in the cupboard before you leave the house – and then really thinking about what you put in the trolley, can save you a lot of money.”

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Posted on 28 November 2019 | 3:32 pm

From vegan sausage rolls to smart tech: what Britons bought in 2019

Lifestyle and consumer trends experts reveal what we’ve been buying – and what it says about us as a nation

Some of 2019’s most popular buys tell the story of a Britain that is actively looking to spend more time at home, achieve a better work-life balance, and take steps to be more environmentally friendly.

Though evidence suggests that households have cut back on big purchases such as holidays and cars this year, Jack Duckett, associate director of consumer lifestyles research at Mintel, says research for their British lifestyles 2019 report found respondents were feeling confident about their finances on the whole. “From a consumer perspective, unemployment levels are really low in the UK and real wage growth continues to be positive,” he says.

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Posted on 28 November 2019 | 3:31 pm

‘Make the most of loyalty cards’ and nine other spending tips for spontaneous lifestyles

It’s not easy to save at the best of times – and it’s even tougher if you’re prone to some last-minute spending. None of us want to miss out on that party invite or weekend away. Now you won’t have to

You’ve heard it a million times: the secret to staying on budget is to plan ahead. But, for many of us, that’s easier said than done. We work so hard that we don’t have time to organise things far in advance, nor are we able to devote as much energy to our finances as we should. But, also, it’s simply a lot of fun to be spontaneous and make the most of opportunities that come up.

For that reason, it isn’t always easy to stick rigidly to a budget. Last-minute expenses, invitations for weekends away, or celebrations with friends and family can often come up unexpectedly. But if you’re canny with it, you can be spontaneous without going overboard. So here are 10 smart ways to spend that even the busiest person can stick to.

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Posted on 28 November 2019 | 3:31 pm