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The Guardian

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

Coronavirus live news: Brazil nears 1.5 million infections; South Africa cases surge month after restrictions lifted

Nigeria lifts lockdown in Kano; Philippines reports largest single-day increase in cases; Florida confirms 10,000 new cases in one day; cases worldwide close to 11m

Soldiers were deployed on to the streets of Baku and other cities in Azerbaijan on Friday, to police renewed restrictions on movement aimed at curbing the spread of coronavirus, reports AFP.

The military deployment came as the numbers of new coronavirus infections were accelerating in the oil-rich Caucasus nation of some 10 million people. “Army units are taking part in patrols which oversee the implementation of a special quarantine regime,” the defence ministry’s spokesman, Vagif Dargyahly, told France’s official news agency.

The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in Iraq increased sevenfold in June, the International Rescue Committee said as it urged a redoubling of efforts to contain the spread of the disease in the country.

By 1 July there had been 53,708 infections detected in the country, up from 6,868 on 1 June. The ministry of health has announced that hospitals are almost at full capacity, and that schools and universities will be converted into isolation units to cope with the surging caseload.

The rate at which Covid-19 is spreading through Iraq is extremely alarming. We’re seeing more than a thousand new cases confirmed each day - sometimes more than 2,000 - and it is showing no signs of slowing down. Although tens of thousands of people are suffering because of the disease itself, there are many more whose lives and livelihoods have been affected indirectly as well. People have lost their jobs and are struggling to find the money to even buy bread. They’re eating less, spending their savings and going into debt.

Humanitarian agencies are working hard to provide emergency cash assistance to those most in need, but it is not a long-term solution. As more and more people return to their daily lives, it is imperative that they are able to protect themselves and others, and the most effective way this can be done is through reinforcing public health messaging. Raising awareness among communities on the effect that social distancing and regular hand washing can have will go a long way to helping to bring the disease under control. We are re-doubling our efforts in this regard and are urging everyone in Iraq to follow the recommendations to wash their hands, practice social distancing, limit contact with others and self-isolate if they have symptoms.

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Posted on 3 July 2020 | 12:39 pm

UK coronavirus live: Nicola Sturgeon attacks ministers' 'shambolic' handling of air bridge plan

Sturgeon said list of countries Scotland had seen was different from list UK is to publish; English pubs can open from 6am on Saturday but PM warn public to ‘act responsibly’

Scotland’s closure-threatened theatres and live performance arts companies have been offered another £10m by the Scottish government to prevent them becoming insolvent and sacking core staff.

Fiona Hyslop, the Scottish culture secretary, said the fund will be administered by Creative Scotland and were in addition to previous emergency funding announcements. She said:

We know the impact of this crisis will be long-term so ambitious action to support the future of these organisations, as well as our wider cultural infrastructure, is vital.

We will continue to urge the UK government to use their fiscal levers, such as significant borrowing powers, to back culture and creative industries with major investment. This will enable the Scottish government to offer even more support to respond to this crisis and build for the future.

Related: Arts union slams UK government for 'cultural vandalism' amid theatre crisis

Holidaymakers could risk ending up out of pocket if they start developing coronavirus symptoms just before they were due to embark on a getaway, a consumer rights expert has warned.

Alex Neill, chief executive of consumer resolution service Resolver, told PA Media that UK tourists needed to be aware they were “taking a risk”.

While the government is focused on getting the travel industry and the economy moving again, it’s the consumer who is bearing all of the risk.

It is likely that new travel insurance policies won’t cover you if you develop symptoms before going on holiday - and if the flight or packaged holiday isn’t cancelled then you have no automatic right to compensation.

Holiday companies and airlines should ensure they continue to offer customers flexible rebooking options.

If the government is to get people travelling again successfully, it needs to restore confidence in the sector by providing support for the industry and working with the regulator to ensure companies are abiding by the law on refunds for cancelled travel.

Provided it is deemed by the government safe to travel to your destination, you will be protected by your travel insurance, including cover for any emergency medical expenses.

Most policies taken out or renewed after the pandemic was officially declared are likely to exclude cancellation due to coronavirus as it is a known risk, and travel insurance is designed and priced to cover you against the unforeseen.

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Posted on 3 July 2020 | 12:38 pm

Designers to wrap empty UK theatres with message of hope

Pink barrier tape reading ‘Missing Live Theatre’ will be attached to venues as part of an initiative for the ailing industry

The easing of coronavirus restrictions means that England’s theatres are permitted to reopen from 4 July, albeit without live performance. But many major UK venues are not in a position to open their doors yet. A new design project has been launched to wrap some of these empty buildings with a bright message of hope amid the industry’s deepening crisis.

The #scenechange project will see theatres in the UK and Ireland wrapped with pink barrier tape reading “Missing Live Theatre”. It has been organised by a community of designers who work in theatre and want to bring “joy and colour” to venues that currently stand empty, devoid of their usual hustle and bustle. “Theatres which are usually teeming with life feel stark and bleak,” they said, “some even shut away behind hazard tape to prevent them inadvertently being places of gathering.”

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Posted on 3 July 2020 | 12:33 pm

Copenhagen's Little Mermaid branded 'racist fish' in graffiti attack

Expert on Hans Christian Andersen says it is ‘hard to see what is racist’ about fairytale

The statue of the Little Mermaid in the entrance to Copenhagen harbour has been daubed with the words “racist fish”.

The 107-year-old statue has often been vandalised by protesters, ranging from pro-democracy activists to anti-whaling campaigners. As recently as January, “Free Hong Kong” was scrawled on the rock on which the 1.65-metre bronze sits.

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Posted on 3 July 2020 | 12:16 pm

Trial collapses of three Britons accused of aiding man to go to fight in Syria

Judge directs court in terror trial to enter not guilty verdicts on all charges against men

A controversial terror trial of three Britons accused of helping a fourth to travel to Syria to fight with the Kurdish YPG has collapsed at the Old Bailey after the Crown Prosecution Service abandoned the case.

Had the three men – a father and son and a former paratrooper – been convicted it would have been the first time any Briton would have been guilty of terror offences relating to the YPG, which fought alongside the UK against Isis in Syria’s civil war.

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Posted on 3 July 2020 | 12:16 pm

What to give to the billionaires who have, well, billions | Tim Dowling

Kanye has an enigmatic offering, while my holiday is shrouded in more than the usual mystery

My wife feeds me information about our upcoming holiday plans on a need-to-know basis. This is partly because I get anxious about impending travel, and partly because she’s not interested in my opinion. At some point in the spring she will furnish me with dates; later on she will let slip the name of a destination airport. I don’t mind this, but when I’m asked if I’m going anywhere nice this summer in the course of a conversation, my only answer is: “Apparently.”

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Posted on 3 July 2020 | 12:15 pm

David Beckham leads the way as men flock to 'cottagecore' look

Latest trend conveys ‘a more romanticised ideal of masculinity’, says fashion professor

He took sarongs, bleach-blond locks and all leather outfits into the mainstream, but can David Beckham do the same to the latest trend for whimsical outdoor living: “cottagecore”?

During lockdown, Beckham’s Instagram account has featured him in some distinct poses. With a scythe in hand against a bucolic sky with a field in the background, he’s usually wearing a flat cap, corduroys and a woolly cardigan or jumper. Sometimes he’s wading through fields in his Hunter wellies and trenchcoat and he’s even filmed himself building a beehive in a V-neck smock top. At another time Beckham channelling what could be mistaken for Tory chic from his Cotswold’s home may have sounded an uneasy note, but right now it strikes a chord with the fantasy of agrarian life that is part of cottagecore.

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Posted on 3 July 2020 | 12:10 pm

Chess: Magnus Carlsen chasing another prize despite bizarre four-move loss

Norway’s world champion resigned four moves into the second game of his semi-final with Ding Liren but still reached the final of the Chessable Masters

Magnus Carlsen in another major final hardly rates a headline at the moment, such is the world champion’s dominance over his rivals. The 29-year-old Norwegian was at the height of his skills as he defeated America’s world No 2 and China’s world No 3 at the $150,000 Chessable Masters this week and so put himself in pole position for his fourth tournament victory in three months, with only one failure in the entire period.

The seasoned chess24 commentators, eight-time Russian champion Peter Svidler and four-time US champion Yasser Seirawan, who described Carlsen’s play as “poetry when he’s on his game,” were in awe. However, his semi-final against China’s Ding Liren will be remembered for a unique incident which put the match in the record books.

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Posted on 3 July 2020 | 12:09 pm

UK service sector slump levels off, as China growth surges - business live

Rolling coverage of the latest economic and financial news

The slump in retail sales since the pandemic began has left many retailers unable to meet their rental payments.

Landlords are now counting their losses. Property group Landsec, which owns Bluewater in Kent and the Trinity Leeds shopping centre, has revealed it only received a third of the rent it was due last week, to cover the next three months.

Related: Retailers paid less than a third of June rent – Bluewater co-owner

Here’s my colleague Larry Elliott on the recovery in China’s service sector, and the market reaction:

Related: China's stock market closes at highest level in five years

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Posted on 3 July 2020 | 12:07 pm

Dolphins and a vandalised mermaid: Friday's best photos

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

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Posted on 3 July 2020 | 12:05 pm

West Ham confident of no punishment for defaulting on Haller fee payment

West Ham are confident they will not face any punishment after Eintracht Frankfurt complained to Fifa about the Premier League club defaulting on a £5.4m payment for Sébastien Haller.

West Ham made Haller their record signing when buying the striker for £45m last summer, with 75% of the fee paid up front, but an investigation is in motion after they missed a 15 May deadline to pay the latest instalment. The club could face sanctions from Fifa after Frankfurt lodged a complaint with world football’s governing body.

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Posted on 3 July 2020 | 12:00 pm

How to wear a chain like Normal People's Connell Waldron | Priya Elan

The BBC drama has reignited our love of the neck chain – perfect for those who like their accessories subtle

Men’s jewellery has been “bubbling under” for a while. By which I mean that male peacocks of the Hollywood, music and street style variety have been wearing bright and shiny accessories for years now. In these circles, Harry Styles popularised the renaissance-referencing pearl earring and A$AP Rocky signet ring.

But never has a piece of men’s jewellery gone mainstream until now. In the depths of lockdown, we all binge-watched Normal People and, as a slightly delirious nation, anthropomorphised Connell Waldron’s (played by Paul Mescal) chain, elevating it to National Heart-throb status. The necklace’s charms were subtle. So subtle, in fact, that had we not been in the throes of a universal pause, it might have gone entirely unnoticed.

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Posted on 3 July 2020 | 12:00 pm

A history of Fourth of July protests in America – in pictures

‘This Fourth of July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn,’ Frederick Douglass lamented 13 years before Reconstruction. Since the 19th century, abolitionists, suffragists and civil rights activists have seized the Fourth of July as an occasion to protest injustices sustained by those omitted from the founding fathers’ vision. In the 20th century, the civil rights movement and Vietnam war brought to light legacies of slavery, imperialism and sexism that continue to challenge the narrative of ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness’. Today, the potency of Black Lives Matter has established civil disobedience as an unwavering American tradition

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Posted on 3 July 2020 | 12:00 pm

The Derby 2020: horse-by-horse guide to the Classic contenders | Chris Cook

The strong-finishing Russian Emperor looks the pick in Saturday’s race, while English King is badly drawn in stall one

Regally bred, he’s a son of Galileo, from the family of New Approach and a brother to the Oaks winner, Was. That, along with his name (the Irish national anthem) are the most impressive things about him so far but he showed promise when fourth in a Leopardstown maiden; the first three were then second, third and fourth in the Irish Derby. Finished weakly that day. If that was down to lack of fitness, he could be placed here. A possible pacemaker, though not brilliantly drawn if that is the plan.

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Posted on 3 July 2020 | 12:00 pm

From Skullcrusher to Jockstrap: bands who sound nothing like their names

With alt-folk disguised as speed metal and teen pop masked as skatecore, picking a moniker that suits your sound can be tricky

What they should sound like A biker gang of bionic speed metal abattoir workers playing guitars made by stringing pneumatic drills with electrified barbed wire, while screaming Katie Hopkins tweets at the volume of two black holes colliding, through amps last used to pour molten indestructium into the cast for a Terminator leg.

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Posted on 3 July 2020 | 12:00 pm

Why Republicans are desperate to keep the white status quo as it disintegrates

By 2045, a majority of the population will be people of color, which will enable them to have a transformative political impact

The collective white part of the American electorate has always had priority over others and, at some points in history, even codified the denial of others’ political participation into law. Think Jim Crow. Think voter suppression. Generations have fought and died to push us toward a more equitable future where traditionally marginalized voices can be heard, but it’s only now in modern history that their electoral power has been able to be wielded in truly substantial and significant numbers.

With that in mind, in the 2020 Democratic primary, the topic of reparations became a central part of the conversation. Reparations are, essentially, compensation for the living descendants of enslaved Americans. My ancestors – who built this country and who have never been systematically compensated by the government, which gained its wealth and power by exploiting our labor – may now finally have the numbers to make reparations happen.

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Posted on 3 July 2020 | 12:00 pm

St Paul's bomb-plotter Safiyya Amira Shaikh given life sentence

Isis supporter and Muslim convert had admitted preparing terrorist acts

A Muslim convert and supporter of Islamic State, who plotted to bomb St Paul’s Cathedral at Easter, has been sentenced to life in prison.

Safiyya Amira Shaikh, 37, from Hayes, west London, admitted preparing terrorist acts and disseminating terrorist publications that encouraged others to launch similar attacks. She had been under police and MI5 surveillance.

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Posted on 3 July 2020 | 11:54 am

Alongside the paralysing fear of Covid-19, something else is bubbling up: hope | Maeve Higgins

The virus has shown us how much we need each other. As we emerge blinking into the daylight, we can build on that

As a jumpy person, for me much of this year has been deeply unpleasant. You have to understand that the sight of a mouse sends me screaming for help, and a fear of car accidents means I repeatedly text drivers “stay safe”; an action that, though intended in the kindest possible way, is counterproductive. Then along comes Covid-19, this horror movie-style plague that travels through the air killing hundreds of thousands of people around the world. I find myself, perfectly healthy and thankfully not in an at-risk category, sitting very still in my childhood bedroom and mentally catastrophising well into the small hours. I’m one of the lucky ones, able to do that and not expected to go out and work. My full-time job, it seems, has been fear.

The gradual reopening has not given me any peace. Rather, it has amped up my anxiety. Families wander around packed beaches unmasked, old ladies chat on the street, leaning in to better hear their friends’ news, young people in velour tank tops crowd around tables, drinking and laughing like it’s 1998 again. Aren’t they all frightened too? The thought occurs to me that perhaps they are frightened, and that is what is causing their defiance.

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Posted on 3 July 2020 | 11:51 am

David Starkey dropped by publisher and university positions after racist remarks

HarperCollins will no longer publish books by the historian and is reviewing his backlist after he said ‘slavery was not genocide’

HarperCollins has dropped David Starkey as an author, saying that the racist views the bestselling historian expressed in a recent interview were “abhorrent”.

On Thursday, Starkey told the rightwing commentator Darren Grimes that “slavery was not genocide, otherwise there wouldn’t be so many damn blacks in Africa or in Britain would there? You know, an awful lot of them survived.”

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Posted on 3 July 2020 | 11:40 am

Retailers paid less than a third of June rent – Bluewater co-owner

Tenants of Landsec, which also runs Trinity Leeds shopping centre, paid 92% of bill last year

Landsec, the property group behind the Trinity Leeds shopping centre and Bluewater in Kent, said struggling retailers paid less than a third of the rent due last month.

Retailers paid only £9m of the £31m rent due on stores on 24 June, which equates to 29% of the total. This time last year its retail tenants paid 92% of the bill.

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Posted on 3 July 2020 | 11:34 am

Leicester's coronavirus lockdown is no surprise to its garment factory workers | Meg Lewis

Our new report on the industry has revealed lockdown breaches, furlough fraud and conditions of modern slavery

As the UK’s first local coronavirus lockdown was imposed in Leicester earlier this week, another shocking story joined it in the headlines. The report we compiled at Labour Behind the Label told a stark tale: of lockdown breaches, furlough fraud and conditions of modern slavery in Leicester’s garment factories. After failing to heed warnings to properly monitor conditions there, Alok Sharma, the business secretary, has finally been forced to say he will investigate.

Related: Some Leicester factories stayed open and forced staff to come in, report warns

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Posted on 3 July 2020 | 11:26 am

Unions call for early pay rise for NHS staff

Unions say increase would make staff feel more valued and help boost flagging economy

Unions representing more than 1.3 million NHS workers have written to the government calling for talks to begin on a pay rise to take effect before the end of the year to reflect the efforts of staff during the coronavirus pandemic.

In letters sent to the prime minister and the chancellor on Friday, as the nation prepares to give thanks to the NHS on its 72nd birthday, the 14 unions say the government should build on the huge public support for staff during the Covid-19 crisis and deliver an early pay rise.

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Posted on 3 July 2020 | 11:21 am

Tenby residents feel mixed emotions about tourists' return

Businesses are looking forward to opening up Welsh seaside town but many locals fear a coronavirus spike

For more than two centuries the seaside town of Tenby in south-west Wales has gladly welcomed tourists to its sandy beaches, picturesque harbour and cobbled streets, but the imminent arrival of the crowds this July is provoking a mix of emotions.

Many of those whose livelihoods depend on the tourism industry cannot wait for the first visitors to arrive on Monday when Wales’ stay-local travel restrictions are lifted, but others, including vulnerable people, are worried the incomers will bring Covid-19 to a corner of Britain that has largely escaped the virus.

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Posted on 3 July 2020 | 11:17 am

China's stock market closes at highest level in five years

Caixin/Markit PMI continues to recover from February trough when coronavirus lockdown was most severe

China’s stock market has closed at its highest level in five years after the latest data from the world’s second biggest economy showed the service sector expanding at its fastest pace in a decade.

Shares in Shanghai were boosted by news that the Caixin/Markit purchasing managers’ index had continued to recover from the trough reached in February, when the coronavirus lockdown was at its most severe.

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Posted on 3 July 2020 | 11:17 am

Priti Patel accused of 'shameful' bid to deport girl at risk of FGM

Barrister says Home Office’s unwillingness to protect 11-year-old makes a mockery of FGM protection orders

Human rights lawyers have launched a scathing attack on the Home Office for failing to grant asylum to an 11-year-old girl found by judges to be at high risk of female genital mutilation if removed from Britain.

The girl, who is thriving at school and only speaks English, was brought to the UK in 2012 by her mother, herself a victim of what is known as type 3 FGM whose two sisters died after being cut in their native Sudan.

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Posted on 3 July 2020 | 11:15 am

Alzarri Joseph: 'I had to really put a performance out to remember her'

The young fast bowler, whose mother died last year when he was playing against England in a Test, has a simple aim: to be West Indies’ most successful bowler in history

Alzarri Joseph is a reluctant interviewee. He’s been snoozing all morning in the Old Trafford Hilton Garden and rolled out of bed just in time to be ushered gently towards a one o’clock Zoom call. He stares dubiously into the camera, gold chains coiling round his neck like protective serpents.

In a West Indies bowling squad bursting with young potential, Joseph is the most exciting: 6ft 4in, 23 years old, rapid, sinuous and with a burning hunger to improve. He is also disciplined, described by someone close to the team as approaching his cricket “almost like a strict businessman” and, in an age of professional extroverts, is gloriously content to be quiet – springing out of his shell only when he is playing dominoes.

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Posted on 3 July 2020 | 11:13 am

How to eat: pasta salad

This month, How to Eat is tackling the pasta salad. Is mayonnaise ever an acceptable dressing? Should you ever opt for shop-bought? And is eating it ‘al desko’ a big part of the problem?

What is it about pasta salad that people find so triggering? “Nothing on this earth will ever lead me to make a pasta salad,” wrote Nigel Slater in 2006, describing the concept as “disgusting”. Almost 15 years later, its ability to summon the unbending militant in otherwise reasonable, mild-mannered food writers is undimmed. In May, Diana Henry tweeted: “Two words I do not want to hear together: PASTA SALAD.”

Had Henry been more exact, and specified creamy pasta salad, How to Eat could have given that a like. Possibly created by the fusion of Germanic potato salads and Italian pasta, mayo-drenched pasta salads are, as Daniel Gritzer once put it: “One of the worst things to ever come out of the American kitchen.” And, to be fair, that is not a short list.

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Posted on 3 July 2020 | 11:04 am

Coronavirus: the week explained

Localised spikes in Covid-19 cases ... face mask U-turn in US ahead of Fourth of July celebrations ... and the benefits of watching dystopian movies

Welcome to the last in our series of weekly roundups looking at developments from the coronavirus pandemic. As local spikes in infections continue to crop up in many countries, Amsterdam’s sex workers have had to adopt new measures to prevent infection from Covid-19, and researchers reveal why lovers of apocalyptic movies might have been better prepared than the rest of us when the pandemic struck.

Local spikes in Covid-19 cases

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Posted on 3 July 2020 | 11:03 am

A school bully ruined my life 50 years ago. Should I expose him now on Facebook?

My tormentor subjected me to brutal homophobic abuse – today he is married to a man and well thought of. Will telling my story publicly help overcome the hurt?

Fifty years ago, I was tormented by a bully at school. He was a thuggish skinhead who made learning impossible. For five years, he was physically and mentally abusive. Once, he coerced the entire class to call me “poof” and “creep” for a week.

I changed from a bright, friendly boy to a frightened, lonely young man. Now at 63, I still fear young people, distrust strangers, and flinch when touched, even by my husband. I struggled to succeed in my working life.

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Posted on 3 July 2020 | 11:00 am

Yam mash, eggs and salsa: Zoe Adjonyoh's west African recipes

Golden mashed yam, or oto, in a hot sauce, with suya-spiced roast veg on the side

My cooking champions “new African cuisine”, which, now more than ever, is being defined and elaborated on by black chefs. Oto, a classic west African yam dish, is emblematic of new beginnings, and my twist on it speaks to a hope for turning a page for black representation in the food industry. Suya, a Nigerian spice blend, is traditionally the griot of the meat grill, but can be applied to all sorts, such as today’s vegetables. It uplifts everyday produce and opens a door to west African flavour.

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Posted on 3 July 2020 | 11:00 am

This week's home entertainment: from Stateless to Trump in Tweets

Cate Blanchett oversees interweaving stories at an Australian immigration detention centre, while the Potus’s social media habits go under the microscope

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Posted on 3 July 2020 | 11:00 am

Édouard Philippe resigns as prime minister of France

Philippe’s popularity has grown, as Macron’s has slipped, during the coronavirus crisis

Édouard Philippe, the prime minister of France, has tendered his government’s resignation after seeing the country through the coronavirus pandemic.

His replacement was named as Jean Castex, a relatively low-profile figure who coordinated France’s reopening strategy and is known as “Monsieur Déconfinement”.

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Posted on 3 July 2020 | 10:55 am

Judge fines Greenpeace £80,000 over North Sea oil rig occupation

Scottish court rules that environmental group defied court order banning the protest

Greenpeace has been fined £80,000 after a Scottish court found it guilty of the “wilful defiance” of a court order banning it from occupying a North Sea oil rig.

Lady Wolffe, sitting in the court of session in Edinburgh, said Greenpeace UK had deliberately broken an interdict, or injunction, against occupying a platform owned by the US contractor Transocean in June 2019.

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Posted on 3 July 2020 | 10:51 am

Boris Johnson stands by decision to reopen pubs on a Saturday

PM suggests day of rule change does not matter and declines to comment on father’s Greek trip

Boris Johnson is standing by his decision to allow pubs, bars and restaurants to reopen in England on a Saturday despite concerns from the public that it could put extra strain on the police and the health service.

In a radio interview the prime minister suggested that the day of the week for reopening would not make a difference, but reminded people to enjoy themselves safely.

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Posted on 3 July 2020 | 10:48 am

Atalanta's fairytale overwritten by tragedy but momentum continues | Nicky Bandini

Gian Piero Gasperini’s side continue to win relentlessly amid the shared trauma of a city that was hit hardest by Covid-19

Not even Gian Piero Gasperini knew if Bergamo was ready to start watching football again this June. Before the coronavirus outbreak, his Atalanta team had been enjoying the finest season in their 113-year history. A club representing a city of 120,000 people sat fourth in Serie A, outscoring the giants from Milan, Rome and Turin. Competing in the Champions League for the first time ever, Atalanta reached the quarter-finals by smashing Valencia 8-4 over two legs.

Theirs was the latest great footballing fairytale. And then it was overwritten by tragedy. Bergamo became the one of the cities worst hit by the pandemic, with an estimated 6,000 deaths across the wider province. It is feared that their first leg against Valencia – played in neighbouring Milan, as all of Atalanta’s European home games have been this season, to allow for bigger crowds – contributed to the virus’s rapid spread.

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Posted on 3 July 2020 | 10:46 am

'The pinnacle of storytelling': reader reviews of The Last of Us Part II

‘A phenomenal follow-up’ or ‘a boring slog’? Guardian readers have their say about the hit video games sequel

Warning: spoilers ahead

Beyond being one of the most visually and technically stunning games, the story forces the player to face the consequences of choices made in the first game and refuses to shy away from the pain of those choices. The main character and the player come to the realisation that a cycle of perpetual violence is the result of vengeance and only forgiveness can help us heal. While focusing on issues like transgender rights and homophobia, PTSD, loyalty, and survival, the game also gives representation to a multitude of different women, with varying personalities, motives, and dimensions. A phenomenal follow-up to its iconic original. Erin McDonagh, 26, student and retail associate, Toronto

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Posted on 3 July 2020 | 10:30 am

Heatwaves have become longer in most of the world since 1950s – study

Frequency of heatwaves and cumulative intensity has risen through the decades, research finds

Heatwaves have increased in both length and frequency in nearly every part of the world since the 1950s, according to what is described as the first study to look at the issue at a regional level.

The study found the escalation in heatwaves varied around the planet, with the Amazon, north-eastern Brazil, west Asia (including parts of the subcontinent and central Asia) and the Mediterranean all experiencing more rapid change than, for example, southern Australia and north Asia. The only inhabited region where there was not a trend was in the central United States.

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Posted on 3 July 2020 | 10:26 am

'Our pastures have been taken': Indians rue China's Himalayan land grab

Exclusive: image obtained by Guardian shows substantial Chinese military structures erected despite agreements to disengage

Namgyal Durbuk knows the steep mountainous terrain of Ladakh like the back of his hand. But in the 45 years he has lived here, along the Indian state’s volatile and poorly defined border with neighbouring China, he has watched Indian land disappear before his eyes.

“The Indian government is lying that there is no land capture by China,” said Durbuk, a former councillor. “Our vast green pastures, where local herders used take their cattle, have been taken over. A number of locals have been forced by this situation to sell their cattle and move towards urban settlements for their livelihood.”

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Posted on 3 July 2020 | 10:05 am

E-scooters go on trial in Middlesbrough to aid UK’s green recovery

Tees Valley mayor hails rental scheme as ‘clean energy, socially distant mode of transport’

Residents of Middlesbrough in north-east England will be the first in the UK to legally ride electric scooters on the open road when the law changes on Saturday, as the government struggles to prevent a recovery from coronavirus based on cars.

Though e-scooters have been whizzing illegally around many UK cities for the past few years, the pandemic has prompted the government to speed up plans to pilot public rental schemes.

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Posted on 3 July 2020 | 10:00 am

This week's new tracks: Tom Aspaul, Doves, Boyzlife

This week we’ve got painful breakup bop, dreamlike retro-futuristic pop and dolled-up boyband plop

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Posted on 3 July 2020 | 10:00 am

Football quiz: can you match the club to their cardboard cutout fans?

Football fans have been attending games in cardboard cutout form. Can you identify the clubs they support?

Which club do these 'fans' support?

Sheffield Wednesday



1860 Munich

Where's Wally?

Meadow Lane

The City Ground

Pride Park


Where are these fans?

Fratton Park


The Amex

The Hawthorns

At which club were these 'fans' spotted?



Wigan Athletic

Huddersfield Town

Which team have these fans come to support?

Southend United

Colchester United


Hartlepool United

Which club is hosting these supporters?

Borussia Dortmund

Borussia Mönchengladbach

Borussia Fulda

Borussia Neunkirchen

Where were these fans 'watching' their team play?

Stadium of Light

Griffin Park

Bramall Lane

The Bet365 Stadium

Where were these supporters?





Where was this photo taken?





And finally, which club is Gareth watching?

MK Dons


Nottingham Forest

Preston North End

1 and above.

Hard lines. Have a great weekend

3 and above.

Hard lines. Have a great weekend

2 and above.

Hard lines. Have a great weekend

4 and above.

Hard lines. Have a great weekend

5 and above.

Well played. Have a great weekend

6 and above.

Well played. Have a great weekend

7 and above.

That's a very score. Nice work.

8 and above.

That's a very score. Nice work.

9 and above.

That's an impressive score. Nice work.

0 and above.

Hard lines.

10 and above.

That's extremely impressive.

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Posted on 3 July 2020 | 10:00 am

David Mitchell: 'I think most writers have a deep-seated envy of musicians'

The bestselling author’s new novel Utopia Avenue dives into London’s 60s music scene. He talks about writing cameos for Bowie and Zappa, world-building and not repeating his greatest hits

David Mitchell and I are talking – nerdily, greedily – about a moment in popular music when prog rock, folk rock, acid jazz and psychedelia all bubbled jauntily to the surface of the cultural pot. I’m telling him about how the guitarist and songwriter John Martyn ended his days in the small town near where I live in rural Kilkenny; he’s filling me in on how Jimi Hendrix’s bass player, Noel Redding, lived out his life in Clonakilty, the seaside town in County Cork where Mitchell lives with his wife Keiko and their two children. Redding, he says, continues to dominate conversation: “In people’s memories and anecdotes, he’s still walking the streets now.”

But neither of us was there for the heyday we’re remembering, and which provides the setting for Mitchell’s eighth novel, Utopia Avenue, its title the name of his invented four-piece band. In the late 1960s, both of us were just being born. So why the fascination with recreating this precise period?

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Posted on 3 July 2020 | 10:00 am

'I'm like a plant without water': why metal bands are suffering during coronavirus

For many in underground metal, performance is an outlet for personal trauma and hardship. How are bands coping?

To some outsiders, metal appears chaotic, violent and devoid of emotional value, but inside the message is one of solidarity. Nothing exemplifies this better than the pit. Moshing could be considered dancing, and like any dance, there are rules. If someone falls down, everyone must get that person back on their feet, dust them off and shove them back into the chaos.

For many in underground metal, life is a moshpit and Covid-19 has knocked them down. Many artists have continued to play from home or experiment with ticketed livestreams, but in a world where bands rely on raw decibels, this often isn’t an option. The music is too loud for anything but expensive professional equipment, and the physical heaviness one feels in the chest – and soul – is a vital component of the experience. The musicians, meanwhile, rely on their art as an outlet for personal trauma and hardship.

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Posted on 3 July 2020 | 10:00 am

The best birthday present for the NHS? An end to its institutional racism

Discrimination in the health service has blighted the lives of staff and patients alike

Coronavirus has exposed disparities within the UK, in particular health inequalities. Despite the reverence with which the NHS is held, its 72nd birthday on Sunday will be remembered for the sheer devastation that the virus has caused.

With nearly 44,000 people declared dead, and almost 16,000 in care homes, the UK has become a lamentable statistic in the fight against coronavirus. We have the third largest number of deaths in the world, and the highest number of deaths per million people.

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Posted on 3 July 2020 | 9:58 am

Dear Oliver Dowden, have you even begun to grasp the scale of our arts crisis? | Michael Billington

It’s time to accept artists know more about art than politicians. Without a proper plan, the industry will be decimated

Dear Oliver Dowden,

You presumably heard Boris Johnson, when asked at prime minister’s questions this week about the future of theatre, declare that “the show must go on”. I wonder what your reaction was. Did you let out a silent cheer? Or did you, like the rest of us, groan at Johnson’s hollow bombast at a time when not only theatre but the whole performing arts sector faces decimation by December?

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Posted on 3 July 2020 | 9:57 am

Downing Street plans daily televised briefings in PR shake-up

Spokesperson will be hired to become face of government, in move away from lobby system

Downing Street is to host White House-style daily televised press briefings and will hire an experienced broadcaster to act as spokesperson and become the face of the government.

The successful candidate will be a political appointment and is likely to become a household name. Their responses to journalists’ questions could feature prominently on the evening news and any mistakes might be covered in detail.

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Posted on 3 July 2020 | 9:55 am

England's libraries begin to reopen but grave fears remain over long-term futures

As branches prepare to start restoring services, experts warn a ‘perfect financial storm’ will cause further closures

As libraries around England cautiously prepare to reopen from Saturday, experts are warning that local authority shortfalls could be the “canary in the coalmine” for a fresh wave of cuts to libraries across the country.

Last month, reports suggested that an almost £200m shortfall in funding in Leeds could see the city council forced to close all 34 of its libraries if the government does not approve emergency funding – though six branches will soon open for borrowing. In Peterborough, meanwhile, the not-for-profit trust that has run the city’s 10 libraries for the last decade has been hit by “a perfect financial storm” and has handed control back to the city’s council.

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Posted on 3 July 2020 | 9:49 am

Jay-Z's Team Roc call for prosecution of police officer who shot and killed 3 men

Officer Joseph Mensah was found to have acted in self-defence in two of the shootings, with another currently under review

Jay-Z’s social justice initiative Team Roc has called for a Wisconsin police officer to be fired and prosecuted, after he shot and killed three people while on duty.

Joseph Mensah, of Milwaukee suburb Wauwatosa, killed Alvin Cole, Antonio Gonzales and Jay Anderson in three separate incidents between 2015 and 2020. He is under review for the most recent killing, of Cole, but the earlier two were deemed self-defence and he did not face charges.

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Posted on 3 July 2020 | 9:26 am

Twenty Saudi officials go on trial in absentia over Khashoggi killing

Fiancee of late journalist hopes Istanbul trial will reveal circumstances of death and location of remains

Twenty Saudi officials are on trial in absentia in Turkey accused of the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, almost two years after his disappearance in Istanbul shocked the world and irreparably tarnished the image of Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman as a liberal reformer.

Khashoggi’s Turkish fiancee, Hatice Cengiz, and the UN special rapporteur Agnès Callamard waited for the judges to arrive in a courtroom at the imposing courthouse complex in Istanbul’s Çağlayan neighbourhood before the trial began on Friday. Both women are hoping it will shed more light on the grim circumstances of the journalist’s death and reveal what happened to his remains.

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Posted on 3 July 2020 | 9:16 am

Bolivia in danger of squandering its head start over coronavirus

Despite imposing an early lockdown, containment may be unravelling amid poverty, an underprepared health system and a bitter political standoff

When Pedro Flores and a group of fellow doctors arrived in the Beni, Bolivia’s tropical northern province, at the end of May, they knew the crisis caused by coronavirus would be severe. But what they found still left them shaken.

“The health system, public and private, collapsed,” said Flores. Many doctors in the regional capital of Trinidad fell ill. Other medical staff, terrified, locked themselves in at home or fled to remote farmhouses. As critically ill patients multiplied, the death toll began to climb.

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Posted on 3 July 2020 | 9:15 am

Experience: I didn’t leave my son’s hospital room for 47 days

Sunny bank holidays were especially hard – knowing people were enjoying clear blue skies when we couldn’t even feel fresh air

In January, just after our eldest son turned four, he was diagnosed with high-risk stage 4 neuroblastoma. It’s incredibly rare; only 100 children in the UK get it each year; our Olly was one of the unlucky ones. It was a shock. He was a fit and healthy boy who loved PE and riding his bike. He began a raft of tests, procedures and chemotherapy at Leeds General Infirmary, a 40-minute drive from our home in Ackworth. My wife Laura and I stopped working to focus on Olly.

As coronavirus spread across the UK, we pulled our two-year-old, Alfie, out of nursery, and the four of us began shielding at home. It was an oddly peaceful time, but then came the next stage of Olly’s treatment: inpatient stem cell treatment and high-dose chemotherapy. Doctors told us that one of us would have to isolate fully with Olly in his hospital room for as long as the treatment lasted; the worst-case scenario was that it could be months. Laura and I had never been apart from each other except for a few weekends away with friends. Now we had to split our family in two.

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Posted on 3 July 2020 | 9:00 am

The reopening of restaurants feels like chaos, but at least there's a bar | Grace Dent on restaurants

The delicate, touchy-feely question that we’re possibly too scared to ask each other, is: ‘Are you brave enough to come out?’

Restaurants are go! I’m back in the game. I can return to using my posh pans purely for decorative purposes and opening my fridge to find just a two-day-old doggy bag and a kilo of dissolving carrots. Phew. I can even eat dinner in three specific courses, rather than loading a plate with colliding items: a Quorn sausage, some olives from a jar, leftover takeaway flatbread and hummus that has a partial beard. Dinner will have shape again and, afterwards, the plates will be whisked away. Also – and this will be the best part for some – we can dine with other people again. Sure, there may be bits of Perspex and face masks dotted about the place, but overlook that: 4 July has the vibe of Whitehall slapping the opening chords of Thin Lizzy’s The Boys Are Back In Town on the jukebox.

Clearly, there are new rules, so I began digesting the 47 pages of government guidelines that will allow us this freedom. Then I realised that’s all they are: guidelines. Yards and yards of them, and none of them obligatory or legislated for. Instead, restaurateurs have been put in charge, with a little help from the local authority overlooking the grand comeback in much the same way as they check food hygiene standards. This feels like chaos, but at least it’s chaos with an serving bar, which is the epitome of Britishness. Our fine nation is built on centuries of wild ideas, blind optimism and half-baked plans fuelled largely by daytime drinking.

Obviously, the more delicate, touchy-feely question – the one we’re possibly too scared to ask each other – is: “Are you brave enough to come out?” Brave, foolhardy, nonchalant, keen to get back to normal – whatever you wish to call it. These people will be the first bums on seats, buying marked-up wine, ordering extra fries for the table, paying service charges and flourishing their wallets in myriad ways that may keep some restaurants afloat over the summer. I worry more, however, for the other camp, the quietly-staying-puts and the possibly-too-embarrassed-to-say section of society. All those people who have been scared witless for months by stark thoughts about mortality, germ spread and second waves; the diners for whom restaurants will never again feel safe enough. Nor will any journey to dinner on public transport, let alone the return leg home accompanied by strangers swaying tipsily.

As I booked a table for the big comeback, in central London, where the roads will be closed off and the government seems to have set the whole vibe to that of the 2012 London Olympics’ Super Saturday, the emails I sent my friends were open-ended and tentative. They were less, “When are we having dinner?” and more a gentle, “If you would like to join me, this is where I will be, and possibly you could come along? If it’s too early for all this, I understand.”

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Posted on 3 July 2020 | 9:00 am

Dry tropical forests may be more at risk than wet rainforests, study says

Areas with a drier climate have seen greater loss of biodiversity from global warming

Dry tropical forests are more vulnerable to the impacts of global heating than had been thought, according to new research, with wildlife and plants at severe risk of harm from human impacts.

Some tropical forests are very wet, but others thrive in a drier climate and scientists had thought these drier forests would be better adapted to drought, and therefore more able to cope with the effects of the climate crisis.

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Posted on 3 July 2020 | 9:00 am

Wanted dead or archive: how film-makers repurpose old footage

Werner Herzog did it with Grizzly Man, Adam McKay did it with Vice – from archival libraries to old film canisters from charity shops, the past is waiting to be brought to life

A child sits on a rock ledge buckling his shoe. The camera zooms towards a mysterious dark shape behind him as the boy scampers towards us in fright. A black bear has just lumbered into view. We may never know how this scene played out, who shot it, or why. These grainy images unfurl from a dusty film canister found in a charity shop. Around the world, limitless hours of undiscovered footage like this lie waiting for a new audience; from forgotten newsreels to public information films, astral visions shot by astronauts to “found footage” home movies. Welcome to the rich world of archive film-making.

Directors have long recognised the value of marshalling this material to amplify or even determine their films. “I am firmly convinced that the topic you are interested in is something for a whole workshop, lasting a week,” says Werner Herzog, “or a book project, filling 300 pages or more.”

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Posted on 3 July 2020 | 9:00 am

Covid-19 exposes stark generational housing divide, UK report says

Young more likely than old to be locked down in overcrowded homes with no garden, says study

The coronavirus pandemic has exposed a generational divide in living conditions across Britain, with young people more likely to be locked down in smaller, overcrowded homes with no access to garden than older age groups, a report has found.

The scale of inequalities in living conditions are, the report concludes, “both striking and worrying as we enter a reopening phase that will see many people continue to work from home, alongside the risks of further local or national lockdowns”.

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Posted on 3 July 2020 | 8:52 am

Leroy Sané completes move to Bayern Munich from Manchester City

Leroy Sané has completed his move to Bayern Munich from Manchester City, joining the German champions in a deal worth an initial €45m (£40.9m) plus add-ons.

Sané has signed a five-year contract with Bayern after the two clubs agreed a deal that should quickly rise to €49m (£44.1m) through achievable add-on fees. The total value of the transfer with all additional fees is thought to be €60m (£54.1m).

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Posted on 3 July 2020 | 8:46 am

From Glastonbury to Bluedot: 10 of the best festivals for summer 2021

Though live music is cancelled for the coming months, next year is shaping up to be a bumper season

Since the 2020 festival season has been wiped out by the pandemic, what about next year’s offering of rescheduled musical delights? Things don’t get bigger than Glastonbury as it celebrates its belated 50th anniversary in 2021. The lineup is yet to be finalised, but if the 2020 offering of Diana Ross, Kendrick Lamar and Taylor Swift is anything to go by, expect more must-see sets than you can run to.
23-27 June 2021

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Posted on 3 July 2020 | 8:00 am

The Baby-Sitters Club review – tween reboot delivers good, old fashioned fun

Netflix’s adaptation of Ann M Martin’s charming tales about a group of entrepreneurial schoolgirls is a funny, fresh reimagining that feels both new and nostalgic

The Baby-Sitters’ Club books by Ann M Martin are an American institution. Originally intended as a four-book series, the adventures of best friends Kristy, Claudia, Mary Anne, Stacey and Dawn proved so popular with their tween audience that between the publication of the first book in 1986 and the disestablishment of the club in 2000, the series had grown to more than 200 volumes (plus specials and spin-offs) engendering 180m sales in 20 languages, and uniting generations of readers. The middle schoolers from Stoneybrook, Connecticut, did not embed themselves in the UK psyche to the same extent as, say, Sweet Valley High did for slightly older readers in the 80s, or the Gossip Girl franchise did more recently. As such, while there might not be enough awareness of the books to make the new 10-part Netflix adaptation an automatic UK ratings winner, the pleasures of the adaptation may be enough to make the books a hit in Britain at last.

Showrunner Rachel Shukert (writer for Supergirl and writer and producer of Glow) and executive producer Lucia Aniello (writer-director of Broad City and producer-director of Awkwafina Is Nora from Queens) grew up with the books. Their specialisation in telling female-centred stories with brio, warmth and humour produces fine results. What could have been a sugary nostalgia-fest or worse a reboot that indulged the apparently insatiable urge to sex up material from a more innocent time, regardless of the age and/or continued innocence of its audience, is in fact a funny, fresh reimagining. Building on Martin’s solid, good-hearted tales, it maintains a contemporary feel without losing the old-fashioned charm at its heart.

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Posted on 3 July 2020 | 8:00 am

Max Verstappen: 'I love it, the more fights on track with Lewis the better'

His boyish features belie the steel of a man with a singular purpose and he believes this could be his year to overthrow Lewis Hamilton

Relaxed, smiling and very much at ease, Max Verstappen’s boyish features belie the steel of a man with a singular purpose. Verstappen is in Formula One to win. The Red Bull driver’s manner may be easy, he admits to not overthinking things, but when it comes to this season’s world championship and his determination to fight for the title, his eyes become fixed and his body language forceful. They brook no argument.

“They will always be there,” he says. “My will to win. It’s there all the time. Every single day. I don’t need to worry about that. It is programmed in since I was born. Once I retire, I can relax.”

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Posted on 3 July 2020 | 8:00 am

City crumbles as the sands shift on Senegal's coast – in pictures

Nicky Woo has won the Marilyn Stafford award 2020 with her project As the Water Comes, documenting rising sea levels in Saint-Louis

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Posted on 3 July 2020 | 7:30 am

The data is in: men are too fragile to wear Covid-19 masks. Grow up, guys | Priya Elan

New studies show that men are worried masks are not masculine. Are masks becoming the ‘condoms of the face’?

Last week, our social media feeds were flooded by the image of Dr Anthony Fauci, the top US infectious disease expert, telling US senators that the country was “going in the wrong direction”. The image had a vivid, layered power. Not only did it feel like a national death knell, but Fauci’s appearance – in an imperial-red face mask emblazoned with the insignia of baseball’s Washington Nationals – seemed to signal another culture war. Fauci was making a comment about how to maintain one’s masculinity while wearing a face mask.

Related: 'We don't live in a communist country!': battle over masks rages in Texas

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Posted on 3 July 2020 | 7:15 am

Britain beyond lockdown: can social and climate justice come together?

Communities in Bristol are devising their own solutions to problems linked with the city’s role in slavery

During lockdown, the wild grass in Bristol’s Greenbank cemetery has grown higher than many of the tombstones, transforming the land above the dead into a gothic meadow. Nominally closed to the public before 4pm each day, the grounds are a popular location for joggers, strollers and dog walkers, who enter through a gap in the fence. For Zakiya Mckenzie, a local writer, this is the furthest from home she has been in three months, but she has chosen this spot for an interview because of its historic symbolism – a subject that has has come to the fore like never before in the wake of the pandemic.

She leads me down wooded slopes to a waist-high monument set in a glade, a little apart from the other tombs. It is the relocated grave of a group of Baptist people, including Fanny Coker, who was born a slave in the Caribbean island of Nevis in 1767 and died in Bristol in 1820, serving as a housemaid to one of Bristol’s wealthiest plantation-owning families.

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Posted on 3 July 2020 | 7:00 am

'None of us are powerless': how to be an antiracist student

To assess your university’s commitment to tackling racism, you have to ask the right questions

UK students have more power than ever to effect political change on their university campuses. In the wake of the global resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement, Oxford University’s Oriel College voted in favour of removing the controversial statue of Cecil Rhodes, and calls for other institutions to confront their colonial pasts have been pushed to forefront of the education discourse.

With just a fifth of UK universities revealing they are committed to diversifying their curriculum, we asked two experts what students can do to hold their institutions to account.

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Posted on 3 July 2020 | 7:00 am

Can New England's cod fishing industry survive?

Scientists and fishers agree that cod fishery is at a crisis point – but they disagree on what’s causing it

It’s said cod were once so plentiful in New England they would throw themselves into a boat. It’s said you could walk across their backs to shore.

Gloucester, Massachusetts, grew up around cod. The waterfront teemed with boats and fishermen, heaps of fish thrashing in wire baskets. Boats were inherited from fathers and shipyards boasted of operating since 1684. As late as the 1980s, the cod were so abundant and large (30-50lb each) that the fishermen still brought in big hauls. Cod remains the state fish of Massachusetts.

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Posted on 3 July 2020 | 7:00 am

The greatest: Monica Seles – warrior queen whose reign was shattered | Sean Ingle

Prodigy won eight grand slams as a teenager and was on track to break all records until a shocking on-court attack

Shortly before his death in 1990, the tennis fashion designer, historian and author Ted Tinling, whose immersion in the women’s game began as Suzanne Lenglen’s personal umpire in the 1920s and who knew all the greats from Helen Wills Moody to Steffi Graf, delivered an extraordinary prophecy.

“Monica Seles is the most electric happening in tennis since Lenglen,” he said. “She lights up the court and can hit the ball harder than anyone I have ever seen.”

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Posted on 3 July 2020 | 7:00 am

Sydney seaplane pilot had carbon monoxide in blood when crash killed him and five Britons

Transport safety bureau says pilot and two of the passengers had elevated levels of the gas in their blood

Air crash investigators have revealed the pilot involved in a fatal seaplane crash north of Sydney that killed five Britons and the Canadian pilot had elevated levels of carbon monoxide in his blood.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau on Friday released an update on its investigation into the 2017 New Year’s Eve Sydney Seaplanes crash that killed all six people on board.

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Posted on 3 July 2020 | 6:49 am

Alarm bells ring over aid spending amid lack of clarity on DfID merger

NGOs warn of rising uncertainty over programmes to tackle poverty and Covid-19 despite assurances from ministers

The government’s plans to merge the Department for International Development (DfID) with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office have been criticised for a chaotic lack of clarity as NGOs are told to cut aid programmes.

DfID said it was due to review its aid spending because of a fall in gross national income, but stressed no decisions had been made. However, experts in the aid sector say there are already signs of cuts among programmes tackling poverty and Covid-19.

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Posted on 3 July 2020 | 6:30 am

Fourth of July celebrations increase risk of 'superspreader' events, experts warn

The Fourth of July is traditionally for barbecues, fireworks, boisterous partying and various hijinks to celebrate Independence Day. But this year, with coronavirus cases soaring to all-time highs, medical experts warn that the normal US holiday exuberance could instead create infection “superspreader” events.

Related: 'It's very troubling': alarm grows over Covid-19 spike among young Americans

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Posted on 3 July 2020 | 6:20 am

'Human swan' to take flight on new mission to follow migrating ospreys

Conservationist Sacha Dench will also log marine mammals she sees from her paramotor on the 7,000km journey across Europe and Africa

Sacha Dench is not one to sit still. Known to many as “the human swan” for her record-breaking journey tracking migrating swans in a motorised paraglider, the conservationist and adventurer is planning her next aerial mission: to follow ospreys migrating 7,000km across Europe and Africa.

“It’s really hard to get people to care about migratory species because they are not the responsibility of any one country,” says Dench, who founded Conservation Without Borders and was named as a UN ambassador for migratory species this year. “Birds often don’t fit within borders so they don’t sit in national action plans unless they breed there. But we need to think of conservation in terms of a species’ entire flyway or migratory track.”

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Posted on 3 July 2020 | 6:15 am

Saroj Khan, renowned Bollywood choreographer, dies aged 71

Khan choreographed more than 2,000 songs during a 40-year career

Saroj Khan, a top Bollywood choreographer, has died in a Mumbai hospital, her family has announced. She was 71.

The three-time National Award winner was hospitalised last Saturday after she complained of breathlessness. She tested negative for Covid-19, the Press Trust of India news agency said, and died early on Friday.

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Posted on 3 July 2020 | 6:10 am

UK risks missing net zero target in Covid-19 recovery, Labour warns

Chancellor urged to prioritise plans to realign spending with cuts to carbon emissions

The chancellor of the exchequer must lay out urgent plans to realign government spending with the target to cut carbon emissions to net zero, or risk missing the target and fuelling high carbon emissions for years to come, Labour has urged.

The warning comes as the Treasury prepares key policy announcements on the UK’s recovery from the coronavirus recession, which Rishi Sunak is expected to set out in his spending review next week.

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Posted on 3 July 2020 | 6:00 am

'We shouldn't go back to lectures': why future students will learn online

Universities moved online in response to coronavirus, but experts predict some changes will outlast the pandemic

In the early medieval universities of Europe, masters stood at the front of a hall, reading excerpts from texts and commenting on them, while students copied down notes word for word. If that sounds familiar, it’s because it is. Today’s universities bear remarkable similarities to their antecedents.

This deeply culturally ingrained model has been shaken up by the coronavirus pandemic, which has prevented students from entering lecture theatres in the UK since late March. Universities have been forced to shift online, and while lots of students are unhappy with the speed and quality of the changes, many experts believe that online learning is key to the future of higher education.

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Posted on 3 July 2020 | 6:00 am

Holidaymakers offered little or no coronavirus-related insurance

UK consumers booking last-minute getaways this summer have few options for cover

Travellers booking last-minute getaways face the prospect of severely curtailed travel insurance cover – and in some cases no Covid-19 cover at all – this summer.

Currently a relatively low number of insurers are willing to cover coronavirus-related medical claims, with the clear caveat that they will not pay any future cancellation or curtailment claims that result from a second wave of infections.

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Posted on 3 July 2020 | 6:00 am

Keeping the faith: religion in the UK amid coronavirus

As places of worship prepare to reopen after more than three months of lockdown, we chart the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on faith communities in the UK

It started with a tap on the microphone. Then a voice echoed around the west London housing estate: “We are passing through the valley of the shadow of death, but we are not alone.” It was Sunday 19 April, when the Covid-19 pandemic was at its most intense in London and the earth was shifting beneath our feet.

The Rev Pat Allerton, a Church of England vicar, pressed a button on his phone to play Judy Collins’ powerful rendition of Amazing Grace, and something extraordinary happened.

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Posted on 3 July 2020 | 6:00 am

Refugee victims of Tajoura bombing still lie in unmarked graves one year on

Coronavirus thwarts plan by survivors to light candles for dozens of detainees who died in airstrike on detention centre during Tripoli fighting

One year on from the migrant detention centre bombing in Tajoura, eastern Tripoli, dozens of refugees and migrants who died have never been formally identified.

At least 53 people were killed and 130 injured on the night of 2 July 2019, according to the UN, after an airstrike by a foreign aircraft supporting eastern warlord Khalifa Haftar’s forces hit a hall where migrants and refugees were locked up.

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Posted on 3 July 2020 | 5:30 am

Hong Kong activists planning 'parliament in exile' after China brings in security law

Campaigner Simon Cheng, granted asylum in UK, says shadow parliament would send ‘clear signal’ to Beijing

Hong Kong pro-democracy activists are discussing a plan to create an unofficial parliament-in-exile to preserve democracy and send a message to China that freedom cannot be crushed, campaigner Simon Cheng has said.

Hong Kong, a former British colony that returned to Chinese rule in 1997, was convulsed by months of often violent, pro-democracy and anti-China demonstrations last year, resisting Chinese interference in its promised freedoms and posing the biggest political crisis for Beijing since the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989.

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Posted on 3 July 2020 | 5:24 am

Global report: horror week for US as coronavirus records tumble

US surpasses 40,000 daily cases four times in a week; Brazil nears 1.5 million infections; UN warns on mass bankruptcies in Latin America

The past week has seen the United States break its own one-day case record four times, according data compiled by researchers at Johns Hopkins university.

In the seven days up to and including 1 July, the country, which has the highest number of cases and deaths worldwide, confirmed over 40,000 cases on four separate days.

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Posted on 3 July 2020 | 5:19 am

After the Glasgow hotel attack, a week of shock, anger and compassion

Grassroots groups have rallied to help traumatised former residents of the Park Inn

When Gabriel Vest ran into Asda on Sunday evening with £300 to spend on underwear and socks, staff at Glasgow’s southside branch were initially bemused. He explained he was buying emergency supplies for around 90 asylum seekers evacuated from the Park Inn hotel last Friday after Badreddin Abedlla Adam, from Sudan, stabbed six people before being shot dead by police. “Then they just wanted to help. I didn’t even have to queue.”

Vest, who ordinarily works with Bikes for Refugees, was bulk-buying for Maslow’s, a nearby community shop that supplies second-hand clothing for newly arrived migrants, and that day was hurriedly putting together packages for residents who had had to leave their belongings behind the police cordon. “I got a message from another volunteer who was at the hotel, to say there was one man who was still in his underwear because that was how he’d left his room when the fire alarm had gone off. He was left like that for two days. It was grim.”

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Posted on 3 July 2020 | 5:00 am

Vivica A Fox: 'Black Lives Matter is going to be Trump's demise'

The actor has pushed the envelope for portrayals of black women and been up close with the president and Harvey Weinstein. “You come at me crazy, it’s gonna be on like popcorn,” she warns

It is 8am and Vivica A Fox, the star of two Independence Day films, two seasons of Curb Your Enthusiasm, both parts of Kill Bill and, latterly, two Sharknado movies, has been awake for hours. She sprang out of bed at 4am, pottered around and “did a little social media post” about her podcast, Hustling with Vivica A Fox. It’s a spin-off from Every Day I’m Hustling, her memoir-cum-self-help manual which contains health tips (“Hydrate, girl!”), social media advice (“Use hashtags to join big conversations”) and underwear secrets (“I’m a G-string type of gal”). Once the podcast was online this morning, she explains, “I said to myself: ‘Let’s get some coffee on. It’s showtime!’”

First on the agenda is the droll new thriller Arkansas, in which she plays the mysterious “Her”, who works as go-between in a drugs ring and is first seen in curlers, toe separators and a jazzy kaftan; Liam Hemsworth, Vince Vaughn and John Malkovich struggle in vain not to be outshone. Down the line from her villa in the San Fernando Valley, where she has a spectacular living room view of the Santa Susana mountains, Fox talks through the various traits of Her: the character’s serenity (“That came from my mother, who’s religious”); her cool control (“I brought in a presidential thing there”); her no-nonsense efficiency (“A lil’ bit of my gangsta style”). But we are done with Arkansas in under five minutes, which is roughly the combined length of her scenes in the film.

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Posted on 3 July 2020 | 5:00 am

Prince Andrew under pressure after arrest of Ghislaine Maxwell

Royal ‘bewildered’ after US attorney asks him to come forward following arrest of his friend over alleged sex crimes

Pressure on Prince Andrew to speak to FBI investigators was mounting after his friend Ghislaine Maxwell was arrested on charges of sex trafficking and perjury as part of its ongoing inquiry into the disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein.

At a press conference in New York in which prosecutors detailed the allegations facing Maxwell, they urged the Prince to come forward.

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Posted on 3 July 2020 | 4:59 am

Irish pubs reopened: 'It’s different but it’s nice to be back'

Ireland eased restrictions this week and drinkers have been getting used to the new normal

They had had to book a table, restrict their group to four people, sanitise their hands, shun the bar, not sing, and leave after 105 minutes, but Johnny Knox and Tommy Flannery were not complaining.

After three months of lockdown, Ireland eased restrictions this week and the pair were back in the pub, sinking pints and talking up a storm. “The first pint? Absolutely brilliant,” said Knox, 64, working his way through another Tuborg.

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Posted on 3 July 2020 | 4:00 am

How one neighbourhood in London lost 36 residents to Covid-19 – podcast

Guardian reporter Aamna Modhin meets residents from Church End, a small, deprived neighbourhood in Brent, north London. She examines how housing pressures, in-work poverty and racial inequalities contributed to the deaths of 36 residents from Covid-19

The Guardian journalist Aamna Modhin tells Rachel Humphreys about reporting from Church End, a small neighbourhood in Brent, north London, which has a large Somali population. In early March, residents began to fall ill from coronavirus, eventually resulting in 36 deaths. Locals believe the cluster, which is the second worst in England and Wales according to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics, does not account for the true scale of the devastation, as it does not factor in people who work in Church End but live nearby.

Aamna met Rhoda Ibrahim, a 57-year old community leader who has been left devastated by the deaths of so many people she knew. The virus thrived on the structural inequalities that Ibrahim has spent much of her life fighting against. It flourished in a housing crisis that was 40 years in the making, stark in-work poverty that left many struggling to put food on the table, and deeply entrenched racial inequalities. The council leader, Muhammed Butt, believes the government’s failure to provide tailored support to communities such as those in Brent worsened the situation, and that the country should have gone into lockdown earlier.

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Posted on 3 July 2020 | 2:00 am

Arlene Foster calls on deputy to step down in social distancing row

Northern Ireland first minister asks Michelle O’Neill to resign amid lockdown breach claims

A mass gathering to honour a dead IRA leader in Belfast that allegedly broke social distancing rules has provoked a destablising row in Northern Ireland’s power sharing government.

The first minister and Democratic Unionist leader, Arlene Foster, has called on her coalition partner Michelle O’Neill, of Sinn Féin, to temporarily resign as deputy first minister over the controversy.

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Posted on 2 July 2020 | 6:43 pm

Why is coronavirus still surging in the US? – video explainer

The US recorded a new all-time daily high of 52,000 new Covid-19 cases on 1 July, according to Johns Hopkins University figures, as Donald Trump repeated his belief the virus would ‘just disappear’.

America has now had more than 2.7 million confirmed cases - more than double that of Brazil, the second most-affected country. Dr Anthony Fauci, the US’s top infectious disease expert, has said the country is ‘going in the wrong direction’, infections could more than double and the subsequent death toll ‘is going to be very disturbing’.

The Guardian’s Ed Pilkington looks at why a patchwork approach to lifting lockdowns, as well as the president’s mixed messages on wearing a mask, have led to confusion across the country and why some states are having to clamp down

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Posted on 2 July 2020 | 2:08 pm

Living in Hong Kong: are you thinking about settling in the UK?

We would like to hear from those eligible for the right to settle in the UK on whether they are thinking of leaving Hong Kong

In response to the UK prime minister offering nearly 3 million residents in Hong Kong the right to settle in the UK, China has said it would take “corresponding measures” to stop it from happening.

We would like to hear from people as to whether they are thinking of relocating to the UK or any other country.

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Posted on 2 July 2020 | 9:18 am

World Sports Photography Awards 2020

The winning images have been announced for the inaugural awards, selected by a jury of sports industry professionals, in categories that include joy, celebration, view, determination, precision and speed

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Posted on 2 July 2020 | 7:00 am

Pride, power, pedals and protest: black British photographers pick a best shot

Black Lives Matter has underlined the crucial role played by black photographers. We asked eight British leaders in their field to pick a favourite image from their archives – and explain why it’s so important to them

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Posted on 2 July 2020 | 5:00 am

The scandal of millions of Americans being deprived of running water – podcast

Guardian US environmental justice reporter Nina Lakhani reports on her landmark investigation into America’s water crisis, revealing that millions of Americans are facing unaffordable bills for running water and risk being disconnected or losing their homes

Guardian US environmental justice reporter Nina Lakhani tells Anushka Asthana about her water crisis investigation, which looked into why running water is becoming unaffordable for millions of Americans across the US. Water bills weigh heavily on many Americans as utilities hike prices to pay for environmental clean-ups, infrastructure upgrades and climate emergency defences to deal with floods and droughts. Federal funding for America’s ageing water system has plummeted, and as a result a growing number of households are unable to afford to pay their bills.

Albert Pickett inherited water debts from his mother after she died. Pickett applied to get on to a repayment plan, but the water department refused as he didn’t have the money, several hundred dollars, required as a deposit. Cleveland Water didn’t inform Pickett, who survives on disability benefits, about his right to appeal – instead, they turned off the taps in 2013. “Without water you can’t do anything. I lost my family, my wellbeing, my self-esteem. It was humiliating, like I was less than human,” he says.

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Posted on 2 July 2020 | 2:00 am

Time for a trim: share your pre and post lockdown haircuts

We’d like readers in England to share photos and stories of their lockdown hair before it all comes off

The season of DIY haircuts is expected to come to an end. Hairdressers and barbers in England have been given the green light by the government to reopen their doors on 4 July, with some salons planing to open at midnight to clear a backlog of bookings.

But before you have your hair styled back, we’d like to see photos of your lockdown locks pre-haircut, and ones fresh from the salon next week.

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Posted on 1 July 2020 | 8:00 am

Why hasn't Boris Johnson released the Russia report? – podcast

Parliament’s intelligence and security committee produced a report into alleged Russian interference in UK politics. It was supposed to be published before December’s election, but the UK prime minister withheld its release. Now, six months later it still hasn’t seen the light of day. The Guardian’s Luke Harding investigates what could be in it and says witness testimony from an ex-MI6 officer makes uncomfortable reading for the government

A report by parliament’s intelligence and security committee into alleged Russian interference in UK politics was supposed to be published at the end of last year. But as Boris Johnson decided to call a snap election, he withheld the report promising to publish it ‘in due course’.

Now, six months later, the committee has been in hiatus and the report is still gathering dust. But the Guardian’s Luke Harding (author of a new book Shadow State) has been piecing together evidence seen by MPs in the preparation of the report. He tells Rachel Humphreys that witness testimony from the former MI6 officer Christopher Steele makes uncomfortable reading for the government.

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Posted on 1 July 2020 | 2:00 am

‘Our generation’s world war’: what the first day back at a Birmingham school looks like –  video

Aston University Engineering Academy, a secondary school and sixth form in central Birmingham, has had to overcome myriad issues simply to safely open its doors to vastly reduced numbers of students. The headteacher, Daniel Locke-Wheaton, explains why inner-city schools are disproportionately affected by the pandemic, and why a full return in September will be impossible, while his students discuss their return to this new normal for education

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Posted on 30 June 2020 | 12:52 pm

‘We’ve seen the impact of coronavirus first-hand’: how one Newcastle restaurant served its community during lockdown

Harissa Kitchen is relying on an army of volunteers to support those most in need across Newcastle and Gateshead

Jamie Sadler is the founder of Harissa Kitchen, a popular eastern Mediterranean and north African eatery in Sandyford, Newcastle.

The idea of combining a vibrant restaurant, offering superb food, service and ambience, with a social enterprise has always been a dream for Sadler. So as well as celebrating foodie accolades, such as a top rating from the Sustainable Restaurant Association and a place in The Good Food Guide 2020, Harissa Kitchen doubles as a social enterprise that helps to fuel his other passion, Food Nation CIC. Sadler founded and runs the community organisation designed to inspire local people to live a healthier lifestyle on a low budget and improve their wellbeing through food.

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Posted on 29 June 2020 | 2:45 pm

‘It’s about a lot more than just money in the till’: how lockdown has shifted priorities for Southsea’s purveyor of pies and records

Spurred on by his local community and his passion for music, Steve Courtnell is determined to open his doors once again

In challenging times, we all crave simple comforts: things like good company, good food and good music. All reasons to head to Southsea’s Pie & Vinyl for some well-deserved self-love once lockdown fully lifts then – this is the cafe-cum-record shop and community hub that puts the rave in gravy and the thrash in mash.

“It was conceived in my head while I was working an office job,” says Pie & Vinyl founder and owner Steve Courtnell of the inspiration behind his unusual business, which he thought up while working in management and inventory in the fab world of consumer luxury and beauty. “My big love is music and always has been. So, like a lot of people, I kind of had this dream, which was to run a record shop.” His dream came true in April 2012 when Pie & Vinyl opened its doors for the first time.

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Posted on 29 June 2020 | 2:44 pm

How 'white fragility' reinforces racism – video explainer

Robin DiAngelo’s bestselling book White Fragility has provoked an uncomfortable but vital conversation about what it means to be white. As protests organised by the Black Lives Matter movement continue around the world, she explains why white people should stop avoiding conversations about race because of their own discomfort, and how 'white fragility' plays a key role in upholding systemic racism

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Posted on 26 June 2020 | 11:27 am

‘We never ran out of toilet roll’: the Edinburgh eco store that’s thriving in lockdown

The husband and wife team running The Eco Larder have been stranded in different parts of Scotland in lockdown, but that’s not stopping them from keeping their zero-waste store open

On 5 June, The Eco Larder co-owner Matthew Foulds had his first day off work for 90 days. Making the most of his free time, he picked up a hire bike and went for a ride. An apt choice, given that when lockdown began, The Eco Larder started offering bicycle deliveries for the first time.

This new option is one of the ways that Matthew and his co-owner and wife, Stephanie Foulds, have adapted their business during the coronavirus pandemic. “We started offering a delivery service as soon as the lockdown came into place because of how difficult it was for people to get hold of groceries,” says Stephanie. “And because we’re an environmental company, we decided to do this by cargo bike.”

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Posted on 25 June 2020 | 1:30 pm

‘My online business flourished’: the ethical brand that boomed when the high street shut down

Kaela Mills had to shut her Bexhill childrenswear shop because of the coronavirus crisis, but she soon found success thanks to her savvy decision to expand her website

When the government announced its lockdown measures for the UK, Kaela Mills felt decidedly gloomy about the future of her ethical childrenswear brand, Sprout. “When everything first started, I genuinely didn’t think my business was going to make it through,” she says. “Not knowing how long the lockdown was going to last was incredibly anxiety-inducing. I think a lot of small businesses felt the same.”

Mills usually spends her days at The Workshop, Sprout’s retail space and the hub of production for her bright and playful made-to-order clothes. Just a few minutes’ walk from Bexhill beach, it started life as a shared workspace, but as Sprout quickly grew, she was able to dedicate the whole space to her own business.

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Posted on 25 June 2020 | 1:29 pm

From miracle cures to slowing testing: how Trump has defied science on coronavirus – video explainer

Donald Trump told thousands of supporters at a rally in Oklahoma he wanted to slow down testing for Covid-19 – despite experts saying the opposite.

From masks to 'miracle' treatments, the Guardian's Maanvi Singh looks back at how the US president has long been contradicting and defying science during the coronavirus outbreak and the impact that has had on the country's handling of the pandemic

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Posted on 25 June 2020 | 11:30 am

Shielding in England: how do you feel about coming out of lockdown?

As lockdown restrictions ease we want to hear how you feel about it

From this weekend, pubs and restaurants, cinemas, museums, galleries and hairdressers in England will be allowed to reopen their doors.

On Monday, people in England with underlying health issues who have been shielding since March will be allowed to leave their homes.

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Posted on 23 June 2020 | 9:26 am

Masks, beers and 2m visits: life in a care home after a coronavirus outbreak – video

In April, St Ronans care home in Southsea, Portsmouth, tested positive for coronavirus. Without readily available testing, staff think Covid-19 infected about 25 of their residents. Four died  with symptoms or suspected symptoms. Through a mixture of videos shot by workers inside the home and interviews filmed outside, they discuss how they are coping with the pandemic, and how staff, residents and relatives are adjusting to the 'new normal' 

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Posted on 23 June 2020 | 8:53 am

What does it mean to defund the police? – video

The Black Lives Matter protests in the US, which escalated in response to the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, have brought the little-known but decades-old campaign to abolish US police into the spotlight. But what are abolitionists calling for, and how would a police-free society work? Josh Toussaint-Strauss explores the arguments for abolition with a campaigner from MPD150 and Reclaim the Block, and also Sam Levin, LA correspondent for Guardian US

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Posted on 22 June 2020 | 5:12 pm

‘I'm very aware I’m mixed race here’: organising a rural UK Black Lives Matter protest – video

Small towns, as well as big cities, across the UK have been holding Black Lives Matter protests and continue to do so. Flora, 23, meets fellow activists Hannah, Annabel and Alex for the first time at the demo they are organising together in their home town of Yeovil, in Somerset. Flora, who is mixed race,  moved to the area from south London when she was 10. She talks about the difficulties of living somewhere rural but also about how her parents don’t have any regrets 

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Posted on 19 June 2020 | 12:32 pm

Parents: how do you feel about the full reopening of schools in England in September?

We’d like to hear from parents and teachers about the government’s announcement that all schools and colleges in England will be reopening in full at the start of the next academic year

The government have today announced that all schools and colleges in England will be reopening in full in September.

Current limitations on the number of students that can be in school at once will be lifted, but schools will be expected to keep children in ‘bubbles’ according to their class or year group. Older children will also be ‘encouraged’ to keep their distance from their peers and staff, and measures such as regular cleaning and hand-washing will also be in place.

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Posted on 10 June 2020 | 10:09 am