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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: US deaths could reach 240,000 as UN says world faces worst crisis since WW2

US has one 1 in 5 cases globally; global cases pass 860,000; record daily fatalities in UK, France, Spain and Russia

The UK government is aiming to test 25,000 a day for Covid-19 within a fortnight, housing minister Robert Jenrick has said.

Downing Street is facing mounting criticism over a perceived lack of testing compared to other nations, with only 143,186 carried out to date. By comparison, Germany is testing 70,000 a day.

Housing Secretary @RobertJenrick says the UK will be able to test up to 25,000 people per day for #COVID19 by the middle of April.#KayBurley

Read the latest on #coronavirus here: https://t.co/jsgvwe2oND pic.twitter.com/3UQ4HHHWqn

'I hope on testing, which you rightly identify, you will see significant increases this week.'

'We do need to go further and we need to that faster.'

Housing and Communities Secretary @RobertJenrick responds to @piersmorgan's question over a lack of testing for coronavirus. pic.twitter.com/Apy2HjBuu5

British housebuilding firm, Taylor Wimpey, has scrapped annual bonuses and decided that its board will take a 30% pay cut.

It comes after the company temporarily closed all of its show homes, sales centres and construction sites due to the coronavirus outbreak.

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Posted on 1 April 2020 | 7:10 am

Markets slide as UK banks cancel dividends amid Covid-19 woes - business live

Rolling coverage of the latest economic and financial news, as stocks begin the new quarter with fresh losses

European stock markets have fallen at the start of trading, with Germany’s DAX sliding by 3.2%, Spain’s IBEX down 2.2% and Italy’s FTSE MIB down 2.2%.

Britain’s FTSE 100 has dropped by 2.5%...but it’s a rocky open, as the bank shares haven’t actually traded yet (a bad sign...).

Tin hats to the ready.....

Keep an eye on UK Banks this morning after last nights announcement of dividend cuts.

HSBC down over 9% in HK

Standard Chartered down over 6%

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Posted on 1 April 2020 | 7:05 am

Stuck at home I am starting to miss the things that used to annoy the hell out of me | First Dog on the Moon

It used to be annoying getting a cold but now you think you might die

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Posted on 1 April 2020 | 7:03 am

The great British art quiz: set by the National Trust for Scotland

British heritage sites are closed due to coronavirus – but you can explore their art collections by answering some tricky questions instead. The second of our series is by National Trust for Scotland

This quiz is brought to you in collaboration with Art UK, the online home for the UK’s public art collections, showing art from more than 3,000 venues and by 45,000 artists. Each day, a different collection on Art UK will set the questions.

Today, our questions are from National Trust for Scotland. With industrial buildings, castles, mansions and cottages, the collections range from fine and decorative art to furniture, books and associated archives. NTS collections can be found in more than 50 properties and provide a view into the lives of people across Scotland. The collection cares for around 300,000 objects and has a painting collection of international significance.

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Posted on 1 April 2020 | 7:00 am

Carpe DM: 60 years of the Dr Martens boot – fashion's subversive smash hit

The humble eight-holed work boot has won over everyone from postal workers to punks, teens to today’s celebrities and influencers. How did it stride to world dominance?


Tony Benn wore them. So did Agyness Deyn. Suggs loved them, also Kathleen Hanna and Joe Strummer. And Jordan Catalano. Hailey Baldwin, Rihanna and Bella Hadid still do. Once you start looking, Dr Martens are everywhere. Sixty years after launching the eight-hole 1460 boot – on, as the name suggests, the 1 April 1960 – it is an undisputed classic, one of those rare-as-hen’s-teeth designs that is as likely to be spotted in a museum as it is (until recently, of course) on the streets outside. It is up there with Levi’s 501s, the Fred Perry polo shirt, the Converse All Star and the Harrington jacket.

And, like these other items, the 1460 is enjoying a fashion moment beyond its classic status. Perhaps because the past decade has been so turbulent – even before we had a global pandemic to contend with – fashion has returned to the dependable. The Hadids, Baldwin and Kaia Gerber are all endorsing Dr Martens. In other words, as Vogue declared in October, they have become “model off-duty staple”. While the vegan range and patterned designs have been credited with a 70% rise in profit for the brand in 2019, the 1460 remains the bestseller and it is this history that is likely to have attracted rumours in March of a potential £300m sale to a US private equity firm.

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Posted on 1 April 2020 | 7:00 am

The antidote: your favourite reads beyond coronavirus

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by coverage of the pandemic, try this daily list of non-coronavirus articles that our readers spent the most time with

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Posted on 1 April 2020 | 6:43 am

Sway by Pragya Agarwal review – how we are all unconsciously biased

Does “nudging” work? And how useful is it to assume that people “are not naturally rational”? This is an urgent study of the political harm of bias

In experiments, people perceive an approaching spider to be moving much faster than it really is, and faster than a ping-pong ball or other neutral object moving at the same speed. It is reasonable to deduce, then, that humans generally have an unconscious bias against spiders. Nothing too depressing about society follows from this. But the idea that we are prey to unconscious bias in more important areas – to do with decision-making, and how we treat our fellow bipeds – has in recent decades become a hot topic. It is at the root of what is called “behavioural science” and “nudge politics”, which reports suggested were driving the British government’s laissez-faire early coronavirus strategy. But how strong is the evidence that it exists?

It was the field of behavioural economics, as described in Daniel Kahneman’s bestseller Thinking, Fast and Slow, that demonstrated that humans do not make mathematically perfect decisions about probability; they instead rely on rough rules of thumb, and often go wrong. Some of these habits are uncontroversial, such as confirmation bias (you tend to notice only the evidence that confirms what you already believe). But the inference by the field that such biases mean – as Pragya Agarwal uncritically repeats here – that “humans are not naturally rational” is extremely dubious, especially since it depends heavily on which definition of rationality you use.

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Posted on 1 April 2020 | 6:30 am

'The losses could be profound': floods wreak havoc on wildlife

As rivers and wildflower meadows in the UK struggle to recover from repeated flooding, the ecosystems they support are collapsing

For 900 years, Lugg and Hampton wildflower meadows in Herefordshire have bloomed into a wash of colour in spring. These fertile meadows were highly prized, and the Norman lords who owned them used the hay crop to help fund Hereford’s cathedrals, churches and castles. The secret to their wonderful bounty was the River Lugg flowing through the middle, fertilising the valley floor with lime and silt each winter it flooded.

But this longstanding system is broken. This winter the valley was submerged under several feet of chocolate-coloured water. It has been flooded almost continuously since October, turning the 120-hectare (297-acre) reserve into an inland lake, with just the tops of gates and fence posts peeping out of the water. Now, as spring approaches, the water is still several inches deep and swans and gulls frolic where mice and rabbits would have burrowed six months earlier.

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Posted on 1 April 2020 | 6:30 am

Britain told us to come home from Bali – but there were no planes, and no help | Amelia Sandy

When coronavirus hit, I spent all my savings on flights that were then cancelled. I just hope those still stranded are quickly repatriated

Never did I think I would find myself sat by a pool in Bali, begging to leave at any cost – but that’s exactly the position I was in last week. As coronavirus spread worldwide it halted planes and stranded me and my boyfriend 12,000 miles from home – with no idea how we’d get back.

It’s no exaggeration to say that the Germans are doing more for Brits than Boris Johnson is

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Posted on 1 April 2020 | 6:30 am

Trump warns of 'painful two weeks' as officials predict up to 240,000 US coronavirus deaths

President gives unusually sombre press conference with projections taking physical distancing measures into account

Donald Trump has warned America to brace for a “very, very painful two weeks” as the White House projected that the coronavirus pandemic could claim 100,000 to 240,000 lives, even if current social distancing guidelines are maintained.

Striking an unusually sombre tone at the start a marathon two-hour briefing, the US president defended his early handling of the crisis and displayed models that, he said, justified his decision to keep much of the economy shut down.

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Posted on 1 April 2020 | 6:16 am

UK coronavirus lockdown: police reissued with guidance on enforcement

New guidance aims to quell heavy-handed enforcement and bring consistency across forces

Police chiefs have told officers that people should not be punished for driving a reasonable distance to exercise, and that blanket checks were disproportionate, in a bid to quell a row about heavy-handed enforcement of the coronavirus lockdown.

Related: Overzealous police will soon lose public respect

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Posted on 1 April 2020 | 6:11 am

Coronavirus has put our £20,000 trip to Costa Rica in jeopardy

Travel agent says our trip won’t go ahead, but our choice is postpone or claim on insurance

We’ve just been told by our travel agent, Holiday Architects, that our holiday to Costa Rica will no longer go ahead next month due to the Covid-19 outbreak. Our only choice is to accept a postponement until April next year, or cancel and claim through our insurers. We’re a party of eight and the holiday has cost in excess of £20,000. DG London

In ordinary times the package travel regulations required travel companies who cancelled holidays to refund customers. Technically these rules still apply. The website of the regulator the Civil Aviation Authority confirms that customers whose holidays are cancelled due to Covid-19 can insist on a refund rather than a credit note. However, travel firms, many of whom face bankruptcy, are holding out in the hope that the government will soften the rules.

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Posted on 1 April 2020 | 6:00 am

Coronavirus is now contaminating Europe's democracy | Jarosław Kuis and Karolina Wigura

Viktor Orbán is using the pandemic to seize more power. This backsliding could permanently change the face of the EU

To say that Europe is united by its divisions is an exaggeration – but only a small one. Closing national borders during the pandemic may have been a rational health response, but the longer term political consequences become more troubling when we look at the order in which European governments began to reimpose frontiers.

Italy made the decision on 10 March, when the number of confirmed cases had already exceeded 10,000. Over the next five days, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Poland, and Hungary closed their borders one after the other, even though by that time in any of them the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases had not reach a hundred.

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Posted on 1 April 2020 | 6:00 am

What are Labour leadership candidates' green policies?

Lisa Nandy, Keir Starmer and Rebecca Long-Bailey answer 17 questions put by the Guardian

These questions were put to the candidates before the coronavirus crisis

1. Is the climate crisis the biggest issue the UK faces as a nation and will you commit to making it Labour’s priority for the duration of this parliament?

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Posted on 1 April 2020 | 6:00 am

Coronavirus threatens the safety net I've built around my at-risk parents

My 93-year old mum is in a care home, but Dad relies on care workers and a home help visiting him three times a day. What happens if they get sick?

Supporting two very old parents, especially when you live some distance away, brings challenges at the best of times.

For the last couple of years, I’ve been ordering Mum and Dad’s weekly online shopping from Sainsbury’s, making sure the pharmacy has delivered their medicines, arranging menus from Wiltshire Farm Foods, checking their care workers have turned up, trying to pop over for a social visit every other weekend, and phoning nearly every day. We’ve often joked I have a second job, as their personal assistant.

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Posted on 1 April 2020 | 6:00 am

Do you know how Zoom is using your data? Here's why you should | Arwa Mahdawi

The video-call provider has apologised for sending data to Facebook without users’ permission, showing that we must be vigilant about the tech we use

A couple of months ago, Zoom was a dull, if successful, videoconferencing app that not many people knew about. Now, it is a household name and an integral part of many of our quarantined lives. We conduct business meetings on it; we chat to our mates on it; some people even have sex parties on it.

Yet there are growing concerns over what it does with users’ data. You may think you are working from the privacy of your own home, but the software is probably sharing a lot more information about you than you realise. Zoom has an attention-tracking feature, for example, which notifies the host of some video calls if participants click away to look at something else.

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Posted on 1 April 2020 | 6:00 am

The fossil fuel industry is broken - will a cleaner climate be the result?

Analysts say the coronavirus and a savage price war means the oil and gas sector will never be the same again

The plunging demand for oil wrought by the coronavirus pandemic combined with a savage price war has left the fossil fuel industry broken and in survival mode, according to analysts. It faces the gravest challenge in its 100-year history, they say, one that will permanently alter the industry. With some calling the scene a “hellscape”, the least lurid description is “unprecedented”.

A key question is whether this will permanently alter the course of the climate crisis. Many experts think it might well do so, pulling forward the date at which demand for oil and gas peaks, never to recover, and allowing the atmosphere to gradually heal.

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Posted on 1 April 2020 | 6:00 am

Royals, ministers or even Boy George: Houseparty becomes isolation app of choice

A social app once the preserve of teens is proving a vital way to beat the Coronavirus blues

Like any real-life get-together, you can never be sure who you will bump into in the kitchen – and in much the same way people are now discovering government ministers, famous musicians, and even members of the royal family when using the Houseparty app.

While Zoom has quickly risen to prominence for business meetings, and Microsoft’s Teams function is being rolled out by many large firms, it is Houseparty that is becoming the place for the nation to socialise.

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Posted on 1 April 2020 | 6:00 am

Myths and magic: the new American west – in pictures

Cowboys, sunsets, rodeos and dust ... that’s what people think the west is. But Peter Kayafas travelled from Idaho to Oklahoma, seeking out the real rituals and way of life of a new generation

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Posted on 1 April 2020 | 6:00 am

10 of the best travel podcasts

From a walk along Watling Street to exploring space or the music of west Africa, these podcasts will take you out of your living room and into another world

Frustrated about being stuck indoors rather than out on two wheels? Perhaps affable cycling champion Jack Thurston can help. The author of the popular Lost Lanes cycling guidebooks packs his pannier and pedals alongside fellow bike enthusiasts – poets, inventors, adventurers, activists and even the odd politician – to hear their stories of life in the saddle. Sleeping out in strange places is a Bike Show speciality, so you can spend the night with Jack in a snow-bound Welsh bothy, a church porch, or a French field listening to the joyful noises of wild boar rutting. And you can also hear just how close he and artist Jeremy Deller came to an unscripted dunk in the Regent’s Canal.
thebikeshow.net

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Posted on 1 April 2020 | 5:30 am

'Really amazing': scientists show that fish migrate through the deep oceans

Analysis of underwater photographs has demonstrated what marine biologists have long suspected – seasonal fish migrations

New research has finally demonstrated what many marine biologists suspected but had never before seen: fish migrating through the deep sea.

The study, published this month in the Journal of Animal Ecology, used analysis of deep-sea photographs to show a regular increase in the number of fish in particular months, suggesting seasonal migrations.

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Posted on 1 April 2020 | 5:30 am

China pivots to tackle 'silent' Covid-19 carriers as US says a quarter of cases may have no symptoms

Authorities in China will release tally of asymptomatic patients and order them into quarantine for 14 days as infections rise again

Chinese authorities have shifted their focus to tackling “silent”, or asymptomatic, carriers of the coronavirus as part of the next phase of the pandemic, amid concern among US health chiefs that a quarter of patients do not suffer symptoms.

The National Health Commission in China said it would start releasing a tally of asymptomatic patients from Wednesday and would order those cases into quarantine for 14 days, after the mainland witnessed its first rise in infections in five days.

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Posted on 1 April 2020 | 5:28 am

Wednesday briefing: 'Hard days' ahead, Trump warns

An unusually sombre president says up to 240,000 could die … UK care homes face being ‘overrun’ … Nick Grimshaw on anxiety, Flack and paparazzi

Morning everyone. This is Martin Farrer bringing you all the news you need this Wednesday morning.

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Posted on 1 April 2020 | 5:19 am

Myanmar blocks hundreds of news sites and threatens editor with life in jail

Fears abuses may go unreported after journalist arrest under terrorism laws for interview with rebel group Arakan Army

Myanmar has cracked down on journalists, blocking news websites and maintaining a longstanding internet ban in some areas, prompting warnings it is becoming increasingly hard to monitor abuses in the country.

On Tuesday, Myanmar charged a journalist under a terrorism law for publishing an interview with the Arakan Army, a rebel group that demands greater autonomy for the state’s ethnic Rakhine people. The group had recently been labelled a terrorist organisation.

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Posted on 1 April 2020 | 5:02 am

Newspapers to lose £50m in online ads as firms use coronavirus 'blacklist'

Publishers struggle to make advertising revenue despite record digital readership

UK newspapers face losing £50m in digital revenues as advertisers use “blacklist” technology to block ads from appearing next to all stories that mention the coronavirus pandemic.

When advertisers run digital campaigns they use keyword blacklists – stocked with trigger words such as “attack” and “death” – that automatically stop ads running in potentially problematic stories that feature them. Publishers say that words related to the pandemic – such as coronavirus and Covid-19 - are appearing on blacklists across the industry.

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Posted on 1 April 2020 | 5:01 am

NHS urged to turn hotels into birth centres during crisis

‘Pop-up’ maternity units would help avoid coronavirus risks, say experts

Hotels should be used as “pop-up” birth centres with retired and student midwives drafted in to support NHS staff, maternity experts recommend in a bid to help expectant mothers stay away from hospitals amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Related: Midwife shortage doubles as NHS staff diverted to tend Covid-19 patients

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Posted on 1 April 2020 | 5:00 am

Now the world faces two pandemics – one medical, one financial | Robert Shiller

Coronavirus fears are feeding financial and economic anxiety and vice versa. Breaking the cycle will not be easy, but it is possible

We are feeling the anxiety effects of not one pandemic but two. First, there is the Covid-19 pandemic, which makes us anxious because we, or people we love, anywhere in the world, could soon become gravely ill and even die. And, second, there is a pandemic of anxiety about the economic consequences of the first.

These two pandemics are interrelated but are not the same phenomenon. In the second pandemic, stories of fear have gone viral and we often think of them constantly. The stock market has been dropping like a rock, apparently in response to stories of Covid-19 depleting our lifetime savings unless we take some action. But, unlike Covid-19, the source of our anxiety is that we are unsure what action to take.

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Posted on 1 April 2020 | 5:00 am

TV tonight: an adrenaline-fuelled Lennie James is back on the hunt

A second series of missing-child drama Save Me Too begins. Plus: it’s exam time for Growing Up Gifted. Here’s what to watch this evening

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Posted on 1 April 2020 | 5:00 am

Nick Grimshaw on Caroline Flack: 'She was so funny, engaging and open. And vulnerable'

The DJ had a health scare in the scorching desert doing a Sport Relief challenge – and says the experience changed him. He talks about the dark side of celebrity and the pure joy of radio

Eight hours into a 35-mile cycle across the Namib desert, Namibia, for Sport Relief in February, Nick Grimshaw developed severe heat exhaustion. A medical team put him into a car to shield him from the 44C (111F) temperature, and explained what was happening: he was at risk of organ failure. Grimshaw’s body started “vibrating”, as he puts it, and he began to panic. He needed a sedative injection to calm him down. The next morning, he had recovered, but sat out that day’s challenge.

“I’m gonna be one of those annoying people who does a trek and is like: ‘I was changed in Africa,’” says the 35-year-old Radio 1 DJ. “When I got back to London, I wrote everything down – exactly how I was feeling – so I didn’t forget it. Because it felt really good, and I just want to feel like that for ever.”

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Posted on 1 April 2020 | 5:00 am

The scale of the coronavirus crisis exposes how pointless the Brexit cause is | Rafael Behr

Brexiteers’ war on imaginary threats now looks parochial and self-indulgent – history may judge them harshly

This might not feel like the moment to go on about Brexit, but Brexit goes on whether we are feeling it or not. When people are worried about surviving April, December’s deadline for EU trade talks seems a long way off. Covid-19 may have eclipsed older problems, but they will not solve themselves in its shadow.

The disease has halted negotiations and infected the lead negotiators. All Whitehall capacity is being spent on the immediate crisis. Boris Johnson has no time for Brexit. If he did, he might want to practise some social distancing from the idea.

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Posted on 1 April 2020 | 5:00 am

Afghanistan braces for coronavirus surge as migrants pour back from Iran

Returnees flood across the border after lockdown leads to loss of jobs, amid warnings that influx threatens health catastrophe

More than 130,000 Afghans have fled the coronavirus outbreak convulsing Iran to return home to Afghanistan amid fears they are bringing new infections with them to the conflict-ridden and impoverished country.

The huge spike in Afghans crossing the porous border from Iran, in one of the biggest cross-border movements of the pandemic, has led to mounting fears in the humanitarian community over the potential impact of new infections carried from Iran, one of the countries worst affected by the virus.

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Posted on 1 April 2020 | 5:00 am

Doubts over take-up of UK government emergency food parcels

Food banks and charities also warn that elderly and vulnerable people are already going hungry

The government is anticipating that hundreds of thousands of those identified as being at high risk from coronavirus will not take up an offer of emergency food supplies, it has emerged, as charities warned that other vulnerable people were going hungry.

Questions over the efficacy of the government’s scheme came amid rows between councils and ministers over the volume and nutritional composition of the free food packages, which are being distributed to people with cancer, heart problems and other respiratory conditions who are advised to “shield” themselves at home for 12 weeks.

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Posted on 1 April 2020 | 5:00 am

Government set to make decision on UK's largest coalmine

Verdict expected after four years of protracted talks as production of the fossil fuel fell to record lows of 2.9m tonnes

Ministers will decide this month whether to give the green light to plans for the UK’s largest coalmine after years of fierce opposition from environmentalists.

A letter from the government’s lawyers, seen by the Guardian, said the government will draw a line on the protracted battle to develop an opencast mine at Highthorn in Northumberland by giving a verdict on the plans by Tuesday 7 April.

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Posted on 1 April 2020 | 5:00 am

'A big wake-up call': survey shows work still to be done on women's sexual rights

Efforts to achieve gender equality by 2030 are being hampered by lack of progress on reproductive health issues, says UN body

Almost half of women and girls living in more than 50 countries around the world are not able to make their own decisions about their reproductive rights, with up to a quarter saying they are unable to say no to sex, a new survey has found.

The findings, published by the UN population fund (UNFPA) on Wednesday, have been described as a “big wake-up call” in global efforts to achieve gender equality by 2030.

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Posted on 1 April 2020 | 4:05 am

Nightingales at risk due to shorter wings caused by climate crisis

Migration to European breeding grounds from Africa is harder due to evolutionary changes

The nightingale was feted by John Keats as a “light-winged Dryad of the trees”. But the much-celebrated small bird with a beautiful song may be increasingly endangered because its wings are getting shorter.

The nightingale makes an epic journey from sub-Saharan Africa to breed in Europe each summer but there are barely 7,000 nesting pairs left in England.

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Posted on 1 April 2020 | 4:00 am

Singing stops in Italy as fear and social unrest mount

Three weeks on from start of lockdown, Italians are seeing that everything is not all right

A few days into Italy’s lockdown, people across the country sang and played music from their balconies as they came together to say “Everything will be alright” (Andrà tutto bene). Three weeks on, the singing has stopped and social unrest is mounting as a significant part of the population, especially in the poorer south, realise that everything is not all right.

“They are no longer singing or dancing on the balconies,” said Salvatore Melluso, a priest at Caritas Diocesana di Napoli, a church-run charity in Naples. “Now people are more afraid – not so much of the virus, but of poverty. Many are out of work and hungry. There are now long queues at food banks.”

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Posted on 1 April 2020 | 4:00 am

From Houseparty to Zoom: our digital lives in lockdown

The lockdown across the world has led people to desperately seek out new tools for maintaining their work and social lives online. But UK technology editor Alex Hern argues he’s been living this way for years

The sudden lockdown imposed on millions of people around the world has seen a transition of nearly every aspect of daily life migrate online. From business meetings to religious services and house parties, there are tech solutions which, if not quite as satisfying, have quickly become the new normal.

But for the Guardian’s UK technology editor, Alex Hern, this has been no revolution. He tells Anushka Asthana that for as long as he can remember, he has lived and worked online.

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Posted on 1 April 2020 | 2:00 am

Captain of coronavirus-hit US aircraft carrier warns sailors will die if not let off ship

Carrier with thousands onboard is docked in Guam, which is struggling to handle local caseload of Covid-19 infections

The captain of a US aircraft carrier, with 5,000 people onboard, including an unconfirmed number who have tested positive for Covid-19, has called for help to save the lives of his sailors.

The US aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt was in the Pacific when the navy reported its first coronavirus case a week ago. It has since pulled into port in Guam, a US island territory in the western Pacific.

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Posted on 1 April 2020 | 1:54 am

Teargas, beatings and bleach: the most extreme Covid-19 lockdown controls around the world

Violence and humiliation used to police coronavirus curfews around globe, often affecting the poorest and more vulnerable

As coronavirus lockdowns have been expanded globally, billions of people have found that they are now faced with unprecedented restrictions. Police across the world have been given licence to control behaviour in a way that would normally be extreme even for an authoritarian state.

Related: ‘We can’t go back to normal’: how will coronavirus change the world?

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Posted on 1 April 2020 | 1:01 am

Coronavirus latest: at a glance

A summary of the biggest developments in the global coronavirus outbreak

Key developments in the global coronavirus outbreak today include:

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Posted on 31 March 2020 | 11:05 pm

'We drew up the plan over a brew' - inside operation Nightingale

Army field hospital experts and contractors converted Excel into 4,000 bed mega-hospital in just nine days

London’s emergency coronavirus hospital at the Excel conference centre has been built from scratch over the last nine days in an unprecedented civil-military partnership and is ready to receive its first patients this week.

Planning has involved soldiers with experience from Afghanistan and the west African ebola crisis, working in support of health service staff to create NHS Nightingale, which will be the largest hospital in the UK, with 4,000 beds at full capacity.

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Posted on 31 March 2020 | 11:01 pm

Talking Horses: Newton Abbot feels pinch from 'cruel hand' of coronavirus

Enchanting jumps course on Devon’s Riviera line could be biggest victim of racing’s suspension

Newton Abbot is one of British racing’s great delights: a small, independent jumps course a short walk from a station on the famous Riviera line from Exeter to Paignton.

However your luck runs at the races, the train ride down from Exeter St David’s with the sea, at times, just a few feet from the window, will always make it a memorable day out at the track. But the very elements that make it special also mean Newton Abbot could be hit hardest of all the country’s 60 racecourses by the suspension of racing during the coronavirus pandemic.

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Posted on 31 March 2020 | 11:01 pm

Together with porpoise: dolphins team up to end myth of human uniqueness

Synchronous moving and calling while working together can no longer be counted a characteristic exclusive to humans, researchers say

Male dolphins synchronise their calls while working together as a team, researchers have revealed, in the latest research to show behaviour thought to be unique to humans also occurs between other animals.

There are numerous examples of creatures either moving or making noises in sync – among them, male fireflies flash at the same time and male katydids produce sounds together.

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Posted on 31 March 2020 | 11:01 pm

Push to end low pay may have to be scrapped, UK government warned

Low Pay Commission says cost of fighting coronavirus pandemic endangers flagship pledge to raise national living wage to £10.50 an hour

The government has been warned it could be forced to abandon targets for ending low pay in Britain by raising the legal minimum wage, as the economic costs of Covid-19 mount.

The Low Pay Commission, the independent body which advises ministers on legal wage floors, said the government target to increase the national living wage to two-thirds of average earnings by 2024 could be in danger.

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Posted on 31 March 2020 | 10:59 pm

Mexican journalist gunned down in first fatal attack of 2020

A Mexican journalist has been shot dead in broad daylight as violent crime in the country – and attacks on the press – continue amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Related: Mexico’s human rights chief draws fury for asking if journalists have been killed

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Posted on 31 March 2020 | 10:12 pm

Trump administration revokes tribe’s reservation status in ‘power grab’

Sign of willingness to use discretionary powers to attempt to take lands away from Native American tribes, advocacy group says

A tribe is losing reservation status for its more than 300 acres in Massachusetts, raising fears among Native American groups that other tribes could face the same fate under the Trump administration.

The Mashpee Wampanoag tribe, which traces its ancestry to the Native Americans that shared a fall harvest meal with the Pilgrims in 1621, was notified late on Friday by the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs that it will be rescinding its reservation designation and removing the land from federal trust, according to Cedric Cromwell, the tribe’s chairman.

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Posted on 31 March 2020 | 9:34 pm

Former Marseille president Pape Diouf dies after contracting coronavirus

The former Marseille president Pape Diouf has died. Earlier on Tuesday the French club revealed the 68-year-old had been suffering from coronavirus.

Diouf was being treated in a hospital in Senegal, the country of his birth, after contracting the virus.

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Posted on 31 March 2020 | 9:34 pm

Juventus 2-3 Manchester United: 1999 Champions League semi-final – as it happened

Here’s Michael Walker’s report on an historic night in Turin. Thanks for your company, see you in Barcelona!

Related: United soar over final hurdle

Even Terry Venables, in the ITV studio, can’t contain his excitement: he rubs his hands together with unbridled glee, and looks like he’s about to belt out a few bars of “Glory Glory Man United”. It’s infectious stuff, and even though United have been the team everyone hates in the last five years, I suspect the manner of this victory will generate enormous goodwill around the country. (Except in Leeds, Liverpool, etc.)

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Posted on 31 March 2020 | 8:38 pm

PEN15 review – boobs, bowl cuts, bullying and other joys of puberty

The 30-something creators, Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle, play their 13-year-old selves in a carthartic comedy that has lots of laughs but never mocks

On paper PEN15 has a gimmick, which is that the two 31-year-old writers and creators of the 10-part comedy series – Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle – play their 13-year-old selves trying to navigate middle school, amid a cast of actual teenage actors. So rapidly, however, are they subsumed into their parts that (apart from Konkle being a head taller than everyone else) it becomes unnoticeable. It’s only when you lift your head for air after each half hour of agonising immersion in their immaculately and intimately detailed pubescent world that you remember how old they are, and the collapsing of chronology makes the show’s depiction of the malevolent first stirrings of adolescence even more exquisitely painful.

We are still the children we used to be and the product of the experiences we had then and the influences that gathered around us. I don’t know what it was like for the cool kids, but the rest of us will watch PEN15 (Sky Comedy) round-eyed with horror and laughing through considerable tears.

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Posted on 31 March 2020 | 8:35 pm

Terrawatch: plastic-rich canyons forming in the deep ocean

Study suggests that 99% of the plastic arriving in the ocean is being whisked down to its far depths

The Earth’s oceans are the graveyard for almost everything eventually. Fragments of rock, twigs and old leaves are carried there by glaciers and streams; desert sands hitch a ride on the wind and tiny plankton die, decay and settle to the ocean floor. Last year a survey of ocean floors, using seismic reflection data, revealed that the oceans contain a whopping 3.37 x 108 cubic kilometres of sediment – approximately enough to cover Earth’s continents in a 2km thick layer. However, the sediment is thicker in some places than in others, and now a new study shows how a very modern form of sediment – plastic – is forming plastic-rich channels on the deep ocean floor.

Using a flume tank, scientists mimicked what happens to a mix of sand and microplastic pieces when they emerge from a river mouth and enter the sea. Microplastic fragments tended to get stuck among the sand grains, and travelled with them as they fell in an avalanche off a mock ocean shelf. The results suggest that in the real world around 99% of the plastic arriving in the ocean is being whisked down to the far depths by underwater avalanches, potentially travelling thousands of kilometres across the ocean floor, and accumulating in deep sea canyons.

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Posted on 31 March 2020 | 8:30 pm

Burning question: plastic pollution scars poorest countries – in pictures

A new report by the NGO Tearfund calls out four of the biggest single-use plastic polluters, Coca-Cola, Nestlé, Pepsi-Co and Unilever. Photographs from Tanzania show the scale of the problem

Story: Drink firms’ massive footprint

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Posted on 31 March 2020 | 7:50 pm

Virtual choir practice: 'Singing in dark times we can turn our voices to the light'

Rather than shutting down, some Australian choirs have moved their activities online, providing a welcome distraction for their members

From my bed, propped up with cushions and with my fancy headphones on, I sip gin and watch the screen as I sing an arrangement of Ball Park Music’s Surrender.

“It’s OK, it’s alright, true terror in the middle of the night, give in if it makes you feel better. So surrender, so surrender.”

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Posted on 31 March 2020 | 7:30 pm

Rory McIlroy: 'I had to take a long, hard look at myself after Portrush'

The world No 1 has been undergoing a resurgence since missing the cut at his home Open and feels adversity has helped his game

Rory McIlroy turned responses to personal adversity into an art form long ago. His Masters capitulation of 2011 was followed up by winning the US Open. A courtroom appearance against his former management and the high-profile cancellation of a wedding preceded the hitting of professional heights.

McIlroy was at it again last autumn. Five weeks after missing the cut at the Open - and not any Open - he took delivery of the FedEx Cup and its $10m bounty.

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Posted on 31 March 2020 | 7:16 pm

Football authorities fear season is unlikely to resume before start of June

Senior executives contemplating how to steer football through the unprecedented crisis of Covid-19 are now talking about June being optimistic as a potential time to restart the season rather than the previous hope of having 30 June as a date to conclude it.

At conference call meetings of Europe’s 55 national football associations along with Uefa on Wednesday, and in England between the PFA, Premier League and EFL, questions about extending players’ contracts across the summer, and the cost of that, will be central.

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Posted on 31 March 2020 | 7:15 pm

A Govester briefing is proof we're scraping the trustworthiness barrel | John Crace

Michael Gove tries – and fails – to hit us with ‘the Facts’ at the daily No 10 coronavirus press conference

That sound you just heard?

The barrel being scraped. When the main purpose of the Downing Street press conference is to convey the truly horrific death tolls from the coronavirus and to put the best gloss on the government’s – at best – belated response, the least you might hope for is a cabinet minister of some gravitas and sincerity.

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Posted on 31 March 2020 | 7:12 pm

Welsh surgery apologises over 'do not resuscitate' instruction

GPs’ practice backs down after bid to focus resources on those more likely to survive Covid-19

An NHS health board has apologised after a GP surgery in Wales recommended patients with serious illnesses complete “do not resuscitate” forms in case their health deteriorated after contracting coronavirus.

Llynfi surgery, in Maesteg near Port Talbot, wrote to a “small number” of patients on Friday to ask them to complete a “DNACPR” – do not attempt cardiopulmonary resuscitation – form to ensure emergency services would not be called if they contracted Covid-19 and their health deteriorated.

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Posted on 31 March 2020 | 7:08 pm

‘So much living to do’: stories of UK's latest named coronavirus victims

Personal details have emerged of at least 30 people to have died in Covid-19 pandemic

Of the more than 25,000 people to have contracted coronavirus in the UK by 5pm on Monday, almost 1,800 have died. Most have not been named, and the majority have been older people with underlying health conditions – though in some cases, family members and medical professionals have been keen to emphasise that they were expected to live with their conditions for many years.

Of the deaths so far, in the UK and those connected to the UK, details have emerged in at least 30 cases:

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Posted on 31 March 2020 | 6:50 pm

Johnson rehires election chief to sharpen coronavirus messaging

Isaac Levido, protege of Lynton Crosby, to tighten up public health campaign after criticism

Boris Johnson’s revamped communications strategy to combat coronavirus will be run like a “political campaign” after he drafted in a new team of advisers spearheaded by his Australian former elections chief, senior sources have said.

Following criticism over mixed messages and selective briefings in recent weeks, the prime minister and his key adviser Dominic Cummings recruited Isaac Levido, 36, who ran the Tory general election campaign in December.

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Posted on 31 March 2020 | 6:36 pm

The Guardian view on Jair Bolsonaro: a danger to Brazilians | Editorial

The president is wrecking his country’s attempts to contain the spread of coronavirus

Much of Brazil is now shut down. Governors impose rigorous quarantines. The health minister urges people to stay at home, warning that unless transmission is curbed the health system will collapse by the end of April. Even drug gangs lock down favelas to stop the spread of coronavirus. Meanwhile, a citizen decries the restrictions and heads out for a stroll at a local market. Facebook and Twitter remove his posts for touting unproven remedies and attacking physical distancing. One man cannot normally cause too much damage. Unfortunately, this one is the president.

Jair Bolsonaro’s ascent was always frightening, and his record since taking power last year – with attacks on human rights, minorities, the arts, and destruction of the Amazon – has been shameful. His response to coronavirus has plumbed new depths. Many governments will have to answer for their mistakes and complacency when the pandemic is over. Mr Bolsonaro’s performance is in a league of its own.

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Posted on 31 March 2020 | 6:30 pm

How Trump has reacted to journalists questioning his handling of the coronavirus crisis – video

With Donald Trump under increasing scrutiny over his approach to the coronavirus crisis in the US, the president has used his daily press briefings to lash out at the media. With more than 165,000 recorded cases, the US is now the worst-affected country in the world. 

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Posted on 31 March 2020 | 6:23 pm

Coronavirus: looking for good news and hope in a time of crisis

From a 94-year-old great-grandmother to a postie in fancy dress, we look for the human stories behind the crisis

From the postie raising spirits with his outlandish costumes to the grandparents who have successfully battled the coronavirus and returned home to their loved ones, there is some light amid the gloom.

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Posted on 31 March 2020 | 6:18 pm

The stock markets have rallied, so is peak panic over?

In the past fortnight an optimism of sorts has returned but the rebound rests in part on some pretty heroic assumptions

At the end of the first quarter of the year, stock market investors are counting their losses. The FTSE 100 index has fallen 25% since the turn of the year, its worst single quarter since 1987. The financial crisis of 2008, around the collapse of Lehman Brothers, ran for several quarters and should still be considered more severe. But, whatever your yardstick, 2020 so far has been brutal for equity investors, which includes most people with a pension plan.

Narrow your focus to the last couple of weeks, however, and the picture looks different. You could almost believe normal life has returned. The FTSE 100 overall has risen in seven of the last nine trading days, and in eight of the last 12. And, if you caught the bottom, congratulations: you could have made about 16% in three days.

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Posted on 31 March 2020 | 6:17 pm

How long does coronavirus live on different surfaces?

Coronavirus RNA was found on a cruise ship 17 days after passengers left. What are the risks of handling packages and groceries?

More people are staying indoors to avoid contact with people potentially infected by Covid-19. But in light of a recent report from the US’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that said RNA from the virus that causes Covid-19 was found in the Diamond Princess ship 17 days after its passengers had left, what are the risks of handling packages, groceries and what scientists call “high-touch” surfaces?

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Posted on 31 March 2020 | 6:11 pm

Derbyshire police chief defends force's reaction to lockdown

Supreme court judge Lord Sumption said force’s use of drones reminiscent of a police state

The Derbyshire chief constable whose force was described as “disgraceful” by a former supreme court judge has defended the behaviour of his officers and said other areas were being more draconian in the enforcement of the coronavirus lockdown.

Ch Con Peter Goodman, said the emergency laws were unclear and argued the use of police drones to highlight people exercising on a seemingly empty Peak Districtwas meant to start a conversation.

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Posted on 31 March 2020 | 6:04 pm

How Sonny Pike, the wonderkid who fell to earth, is guiding young players

Former prodigy is running classes to help wannabe footballers develop skills and resilience, and says he is happy at last

On this spot of land, a couple of minutes off the M25 and surrounded by stables, Sonny Pike can see his past fade over the horizon while the future glistens more brightly than ever. It was a few metres from here, on a plot owned by his mother-in-law, that Pike lived in a mobile home during the early 2010s.

Life had been tough, sometimes nightmarish, for a long time but there was light in the form of his now-wife, Rosie, and the birth of their daughter. Freya’s arrival was, he says, “when I started pulling my finger out” and the period since has brought a journey he struggles to comprehend.

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Posted on 31 March 2020 | 6:00 pm

Malaysian ministry apologises for 'avoid nagging' lockdown tips

Citizens mocked advice for women to wear makeup, dress neatly and not nag husbands

Malaysia’s government has apologised after its advice for women to wear makeup and not nag their husbands during the coronavirus lockdown sparked anger and mockery online.

The country has ordered citizens to stay at home to stem the spread of Covid-19. In a series of Facebook posts, the women’s ministry offered tips on how wives should behave while the restrictions were in place.

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Posted on 31 March 2020 | 5:45 pm

ECB could delay the Hundred until 2021 and unveils £60m aid package

The England and Wales Cricket Board has given its strongest hint yet that the launch of the Hundred may have to be delayed until 2021. Announcing a £60m rescue package for the domestic game, the chief executive, Tom Harrison, said the sport’s “core audience” would be the priority amid what he described as “the biggest challenge the ECB has faced in its history”.

The prospect of a significant part of the 2020 season being lost appears to have focused minds, with one upshot being a marked shift in the rhetoric surrounding the flagship 100-ball competition. “It is at times like this when you go back to what is really important,” Harrison said via conference call. “We are going to have county fans who won’t have seen any cricket, players sitting around. All of our decisions are based on those factors.”

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Posted on 31 March 2020 | 5:23 pm

'For 25 minutes I ran out of oxygen': Pepe Reina on battling coronavirus

The Aston Villa goalkeeper Pepe Reina has revealed he endured “endless minutes of fear” after contracting coronavirus symptoms that left him unable to breathe. The 37-year-old said he was on the mend after “the worst moments of my life”.

Reina, on loan at Villa from Napoli, told Corriere dello Sport: “It is only now that I am winning the battle against coronavirus.” He began to feel unwell nearly two weeks ago.

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Posted on 31 March 2020 | 5:21 pm

Germany charters 30 times more rescue flights for citizens than UK

Huge repatriation effort sees German government charter 42 flights as 300,000 Britons remain stranded worldwide

The German government has taken the lead role in the biggest repatriation effort in peacetime, chartering 30 times more rescue flights than the UK and flying home more than 40,000 travellers from across the world, according to figures obtained by the Guardian.

As British tourists waited for details on Dominic Raab’s £75m rescue mission, the German embassy in London revealed it had now repatriated 42,000 German nationals from 60 countries on 160 charter flights over the past two weeks.

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Posted on 31 March 2020 | 5:01 pm

Authoritarian leaders may use Covid-19 crisis to tighten their grip

Hungary’s PM insists extreme measures are only to fight the pandemic, others are not so sure

The coronavirus has already overwhelmed medical services, grounded flights and halted economic growth, but one of its most enduring effects could be to usher in a political age in which soft authoritarians have turned harder, and the surveillance state becomes a way of life even in some democracies.

In Hungary, after a set of measures introduced on Monday, it is now a criminal offence to spread misinformation about coronavirus, and the prime minister, Viktor Orbán, can rule by decree for an indefinite period. In neighbouring Serbia, soldiers patrol the streets as part of the coronavirus response plan. In Moscow, authorities are reportedly mulling measures that would require everyone who wants to go outside to submit the reasons online, and then be tracked via their smartphones.

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Posted on 31 March 2020 | 4:41 pm

Art project captures sound of cities during coronavirus outbreak

Crowdsourced recordings to show how our aural lives are shifting as lockdown affects the world

An anti-coronavirus song from Senegal, applause for health workers ringing out in Paris and the return of the dawn chorus in Warsaw are just a few of the sounds that have been captured as part of an art project that aims to record how the sound of cities is dramatically changing during the Covid-19 outbreak.

The Cities and Memories website has collected field recordings from around the world for the past five years and this week launched a new campaign to build a global crowdsourced sound map, which shows how our aural lives are shifting as lockdown affects the world and urban environments evolve.

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Posted on 31 March 2020 | 4:03 pm

From ambulance to physio: what a Covid-19 NHS patient should expect

Hospital and ambulance staff from paramedics to radiographers share their experiences on the front line

Patients that need hospital treatment for coronavirus may need a team of NHS staff to help them through.

Jessica Murray talks to the people who are key to such treatment – from first responders to intensive care consultants to physiotherapists.

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Posted on 31 March 2020 | 3:49 pm

£3.5m crowdfunding campaign saves Derek Jarman’s Kent home

Campaign secures future of Prospect Cottage, a place of pilgrimage for devotees of artist

A £3.5m fundraising campaign to save for the nation the idyllic home of artist, activist and film maker Derek Jarman has been successful, it has been announced.

The Art Fund said the money had been raised after what was the largest ever arts crowdfunding campaign. As well as big offerings from trusts and foundations and a “substantial personal donation” from David Hockney, there were 7,300 donations from the public including nearly 2,000 in the last week.

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Posted on 31 March 2020 | 3:38 pm

Mountain goats of Great Orme hit Llandudno – in pictures

Mountain goats normally live on the rocky Great Orme Country Park land but are occasional visitors to the seaside town of Llandudno. The herd was most likely drawn this time by the lack of people and tourists due to the Covid-19 outbreak and lockdown measures in place

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Posted on 31 March 2020 | 3:34 pm

Barclays offers triple overtime pay for staff on coronavirus frontline

Boost for thousands working in call centres and branches to implement state aid for businesses and borrowers

Barclays is offering triple overtime pay to frontline staff as it tries to manage an “unprecedented” surge in demand for mortgage holidays and government-backed business loans during the coronavirus lockdown.

The move will affect thousands of lower-paid employees in call centres and branches who are working extra hours to deal with an increase in customer calls and a jump in the number of colleagues off work because they are ill, self-isolating or juggling childcare. It is understood that up to 30% of Barclays’ key staff have been unable to work at any one time during the outbreak.

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Posted on 31 March 2020 | 3:12 pm

A zoologist's view of Tiger King: a crass exposé that could do some good

The smash-hit documentary lets the murder-mystery take centre stage. But it also cunningly conceals a powerful message about the cruelty of small-scale zoos

The “man with questionable fashion sense inflicts abuse on cats” category of true-crime TV has a new monarch: the Tiger King himself, Joe Exotic. This seven-part true-crime doc is a smash hit for Netflix, and that’s no surprise – it’s arresting, gripping, horrifying and jaw-dropping in equal measure. To parrot Mrs Merton: oh Netflix, what drew you to the story of the polyamorous, power-ballad singing, gun-toting, murderous tiger-collector Joe Exotic?

Related: Murder, madness and tigers: behind the year's wildest Netflix series

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Posted on 31 March 2020 | 2:44 pm

Celia Imrie: 'I had to keep upright and breathe in, but I adored this dress'

The actor on her favourite Hervé Léger dress, riding a police motorbike and getting naked with Helen Mirren

This is the glorious Hervé Léger bandage dress that I wore to the premiere of The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. It’s elasticated, so it keeps you held in. The scarf is by Issey Miyake – we specifically chose the orange and pink because they are the colours of Rajasthan. I adore colour, and in India you are surrounded by the brightest colours, so the premiere was a marvellous excuse to go mad – I much prefer it to wearing black. I also wore a blue Hervé Léger dress to the New York premiere of the same film, and a bright green one on The Graham Norton Show. You do have to keep upright and breathe in, but they are comfortable.

For the premiere of the first film, I got dressed up for the red carpet and then had to get on the back of a police motorbike to drive across London to the Old Vic theatre, where I put on an overall and slippers for my role in Noises Off. Then I jumped back on the bike and went to the party. Talk about going from the sublime to the ridiculous – it was a great adventure.

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Posted on 31 March 2020 | 2:42 pm

Scottish lawyers call plan to suspend jury trials 'kneejerk reaction'

Courtroom lawyers say plans designed to fight Covid-19 are ‘premature, disproportionate and ill advised’

Lawyers have attacked plans to suspend jury trials for up to 18 months in Scotland to cope with the coronavirus crisis as a “knee-jerk reaction instigated by panic”.

The Scottish government is pushing through a swathe of emergency powers to help the criminal justice system and public adapt to the pandemic in a bill expected to be approved by Holyrood on Wednesday in a single day.

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Posted on 31 March 2020 | 2:40 pm

Llandudno marauders: the herd of goats running riot through a Welsh town

Taking advantage of the town’s deserted streets because of the coronavirus lockdown, the goats have been branded vandals for munching through gardens

Name: Llandudno.

Age: Old. There’s been a settlement here on the Creuddyn peninsula in North Wales since the stone age.

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Posted on 31 March 2020 | 2:30 pm

TV licence fee could be replaced by broadband levy, says BBC

Corporation responds to government plan to decriminalise non-payment of licence fee

The BBC has said the television licence fee could ultimately be replaced by a monthly levy on broadband connections, in response to the UK government’s proposals to decriminalise non-payment of the licence fee.

The public broadcaster said it strongly supported keeping the current court-enforced television licence fee system in place for the medium-term. But it is willing to consider following other European countries and implement a funding model “linked directly to an existing common household bill” such as an internet connection, council tax, or electricity supply.

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Posted on 31 March 2020 | 2:28 pm

Hungary's emergency law 'incompatible with being in EU', say MEPs group

Measures voted on Monday will allow Viktor Orbán to rule by decree without time limits

Hungary’s emergency law that enables the prime minister, Viktor Orbán, to rule by decree without time limits is incompatible with being in the EU, the European parliament’s liberal group said on Tuesday.

Passing measures ostensibly to tackle coronavirus, the Hungarian parliament on Monday voted to give Orbán the power to rule by decree with no clear end-date. The law also introduces jail terms for spreading disinformation about the virus, raising fears it could be used to neuter critics of the government’s approach.

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Posted on 31 March 2020 | 2:28 pm

The one change that worked: share your coronavirus stories

We want to hear about the biggest lifestyle change you have made as a result of the Covid-19 epidemic

We are living in extraordinary times and coronavirus has meant that for many life as we know it has changed exponentially in a matter of weeks. Things may never be quite the same again. Change is being felt in all areas of our lives, from what we eat to who we socialise with and how we spend our time.

What is the biggest lifestyle change that you have made as a result of the Covid-19 epidemic and how is it impacting on your daily life? Perhaps you have given up smoking as a result of health advice; taken up running or 80s aerobics routines because of limitations to exercise; changed your diet for the better; started volunteering in your neighbourhood and made new friends along the way.

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Posted on 31 March 2020 | 2:15 pm

Norway's hazmat booksellers: keeping Oslo reading during coronavirus - video

Two Oslo bookshop owners choose to go delivery-only to keep their business afloat at the start of lockdown. Pil Cappelen Smith and Anders Cappelen deliver books wearing full hazmat suits and gas masks in order to raise local awareness of the seriousness of the situation. But as the global crisis worsens, they embark on one last delivery run before deciding to shut up shop completely

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Posted on 31 March 2020 | 12:31 pm

The best Instagram cookalongs to follow in your kitchen at home

Create a sourdough starter, roll your own pasta or bake with chocolate – you may not be able to go out to eat but you can sharpen your cooking skills online with expert chefs

Unless you have been ignoring social media, you will have seen a deluge of chocolate-chip cookie images lately. Cue Ravneet Gill, who has a pop-up bakery, Puff, in London, and is the founder of Countertalk, a platform that connects chefs and advocates healthy work environments in the industry. She kicked off her two-day cook-along with this crowdpleasing recipe from her first book, The Pastry Chef’s Guide. Entertaining and full of tips, such as how to get that all-important cookie rise, she plans to log-on for one class per week and there are rumours of a frangipane tart ... Mary J Blige’s backing vocals are an added bonus.

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Posted on 31 March 2020 | 12:09 pm

Mirror images and a robot helper: Tuesday's best photos

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

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Posted on 31 March 2020 | 12:06 pm

The coronavirus crisis has exposed the ugly truth about celebrity culture and capitalism | Arwa Mahdawi

The rich and famous are desperate to prove we are all in this together – in fact, the outbreak has highlighted just how false that is

Would you spare a thought for all the poor, suffering celebrities out there? While this is a difficult time for everyone, it has been particularly tough on the famous. They have been upstaged by a virus. No one cares what they are wearing or who they are snogging any more; the world’s attention has been diverted by a headline-hogging pandemic. It seems as if some celebrities are starting to grapple with the realisation that they are not quite as important or beloved as they thought they were.

Gal Gadot was the first victim of the great celebrity backlash of 2020. “We’re all in this together,” the Wonder Woman star assured us in a video on Instagram a couple of weeks ago, before launching into a star-studded rendition of John Lennon’s Imagine. Can you imagine how little self-awareness you must have to enlist a bunch of multimillionaires to sing about a world with “no possessions” while huge numbers of people are losing their jobs? The tone-deaf performance was swiftly savaged.

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Posted on 31 March 2020 | 11:37 am

Hampshire 112-year-old officially recognised as world's oldest man

Bob Weighton presented with certificate at assisted living home where he is isolating

A Hampshire resident has been officially recognised as the world’s oldest man by Guinness World Records.

Bob Weighton, who is 112 years and two days old, was presented with his certificate by staff at the assisted living home where he lives, while keeping the appropriate distance because he is isolating.

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Posted on 31 March 2020 | 10:06 am

‘One press-up is better than none’: How Mr Motivator and other fitness gurus stay healthy at home

How do you stay active when the gyms are shut? Davina McCall, Lizzie Webb and others explain the secrets to staying motivated

These are trying times. Children run between rooms as parents on video calls shush them in vain; millennials in cramped house-shares attempt to carve out space to work from home. Gyms and leisure centres have closed, and elderly and vulnerable people may feel worried about venturing outside to exercise. So how can we stay active as we hunker down and ride out the coronavirus pandemic?

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Posted on 31 March 2020 | 9:00 am

Planting hope: the Syrian refugee who developed virus-resistant super-seeds

Plant virologist Dr Safaa Kumari discovered seeds that could safeguard food security in the region – and risked her life to rescue them from Aleppo

The call came as she sat in her hotel room. “They gave us 10 minutes to pack up and leave,” Dr Safaa Kumari was told down a crackling phone line. Armed fighters had just seized her house in Aleppo and her family were on the run.

Kumari was in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, preparing to present a conference. She immediately began organising a sprint back to Syria. Hidden in her sister’s house was a small but very valuable bundle that she was prepared to risk her life to recover.

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Posted on 31 March 2020 | 6:00 am

Harsh, blurred and brilliant: the great Daidō Moriyama – in pictures

He is one of Japan’s most renowned photographers, a giant of the Provoke movement whose compelling images take a disturbing view of city life and the chaos of existence

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Posted on 31 March 2020 | 6:00 am

‘We can’t go back to normal’: how will coronavirus change the world?

Times of upheaval are always times of radical change. Some believe the pandemic is a once-in-a-generation chance to remake society and build a better future. Others fear it may only make existing injustices worse. By Peter C Baker

Everything feels new, unbelievable, overwhelming. At the same time, it feels as if we’ve walked into an old recurring dream. In a way, we have. We’ve seen it before, on TV and in blockbusters. We knew roughly what it would be like, and somehow this makes the encounter not less strange, but more so.

Every day brings news of developments that, as recently as February, would have felt impossible – the work of years, not mere days. We refresh the news not because of a civic sense that following the news is important, but because so much may have happened since the last refresh. These developments are coming so fast that it’s hard to remember just how radical they are.

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Posted on 31 March 2020 | 5:00 am

Fears over hidden Covid-19 outbreak in Lebanon, Iraq and Syria

Number of cases may far exceed official figures amid claims of quarantining by non-state actors

Health and other officials focused on Lebanon, Iraq and Syria fear the numbers of people infected with coronavirus far exceed the official figures disclosed by all three governments, and claim non-state actors are quarantining entire communities of patients in areas outside state control.

Officials, including bureaucrats, aid workers and international observers, who spoke with the Guardian over the past week say parts of Lebanon and Iraq in particular are likely to be holding thousands more infected people, and that a lack of disclosure poses a serious health risk over the next three months.

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Posted on 31 March 2020 | 4:00 am

Lessons from the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic - podcast

Science writer and journalist Laura Spinney discusses the outbreak of Spanish flu, one of the worst virus outbreak of modern times, which is believed to have killed up to 100 million people. She believes there are lessons to be learned from that pandemic

The world of 2020 is vastly different from 1918, the year Spanish flu began to spread around the world. By 1920, Spanish flu is thought to have claimed the lives of up to 100 million people. But, as science writer and journalist Laura Spinney notes, many of the public health measures were similar to measures governments are taking today.

Laura tells Rachel Humphreys about the different ways authorities tried to slow the spread of the disease, and the impact that had.

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Posted on 31 March 2020 | 2:00 am

Who is most at risk from coronavirus and why? – video explainer

The best thing to do when trying to understand a new virus like Covid-19 is to look at the data. The Guardian's science correspondent Hannah Devlin uses the latest figures to explain who is most at risk of contracting this coronavirus, why men are more likely to die from the disease, and the reasons health workers could be particularly vulnerable

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Posted on 30 March 2020 | 1:58 pm

Photography then and now: Berlin before and during coronavirus

Photographs taken in Berlin before and since the coronavirus outbreak began reveal an increasingly familiar emptying of urban social spaces

The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in Germany has risen to 57,298 and 455 people have died of the disease here, statistics from the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases showed on Monday.

Germany has been testing around 120,000 people a week, according to NPR, which is partly why this daily rise in confirmed cases is so high. Germany’s testing rate has also led to its mortality rate seeming lower than in other countries – with more tested, fewer people as a proportion of confirmed cases are dying.

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Posted on 30 March 2020 | 6:00 am

Looking for a distraction? Here are 25 of our favourite long reads

If you feel like reading about something other than coronavirus – and filling some more time during lockdown – then dive into a few of these highlights from the long read archive

When a drilling platform is scheduled for destruction, it must go on a thousand-mile final journey to the breaker’s yard. As one rig proved when it crashed on to the rocks of a remote Scottish island, this is always a risky business

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Posted on 30 March 2020 | 5:00 am

Labour leadership interviews: Sir Keir Starmer – podcast

Sir Keir Starmer began his career as a barrister before rising to become the director of public prosecutions. But since his entry into parliament in 2015, he has risen quickly up the ranks to the shadow cabinet’s frontbench. This week he could become Labour’s next leader

Sir Keir Starmer switched from a high-profile legal career to successfully run for parliament in 2015 and quickly became a fixture within Labour’s shadow cabinet. But for a man who can appear at home within the upper reaches of the British establishment, his early life was marked by campaigning, activism and radical politics.

He tells Anushka Asthana how he took on and eventually won the infamous David versus Goliath “McLibel” case for his clients as a young barrister. He rose to the rank of director of public prosecutions, where he initially refused to bring a case against the police officer accused of the manslaughter of newspaper seller Ian Tomlinson.

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Posted on 30 March 2020 | 2:00 am

Your pictures: share your photos on the theme of ‘ambience'

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

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

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

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Posted on 29 March 2020 | 8:00 am

Coronavirus and volunteering: how can I help in the UK?

From lending a hand to local charities to bolstering the efforts of the NHS, there are many ways to get involved

I want to help. Where can I find about about volunteering?

There are plenty of ways to get involved. Many local charities will be keen to attract new volunteers – especially as older stalwarts are forced to stay at home. Or there are national schemes, such as NHS volunteer responders. Some bigger charities, such as the Trussell Trust food bank network, have set up their own online schemes to match volunteers with food banks in their area. Local volunteer centres and organisations such as Volunteering Matters and Do-it can link you up with charities close to where you live. Reach Volunteering will match people with specialist professional skills, such IT expertise, to charities who need their help.

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Posted on 27 March 2020 | 7:18 pm

How are you affected by coronavirus in the South West of the UK?

If you live in the south-west England or Wales, we’d like to find out about the impact of coronavirus on you and your community. Share your stories

You can help us document about how coronavirus is affecting people in the South West and Wales by sharing your stories and news tips.

We want to hear from people working in the healthcare system in Wales and the south west of England, key workers, small business owners, teachers and anyone whose daily life is affected by the new measures.

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Posted on 27 March 2020 | 5:05 pm

Coronavirus cabaret: the online show combating social isolation – video

How can a community keep in touch when it can’t physically be together? A group of performers have set up what they say is the first global cabaret to tackle the social isolation of coronavirus lockdowns. Getting ready for the show, activist Dan Glass says there is a lot to learn from his own HIV diagnosis, which left him socially isolated for years

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Posted on 26 March 2020 | 11:01 am

Are you cohabiting because of coronavirus? Share your stories

We’d like to hear from people who have unexpectedly moved in together due to the coronavirus lockdown, and from partners who’ve had to remain apart

As measures to restrict the spread of coronavirus force people to stay at home, couples who live separately have had to decide whether to move in together or remain apart for the duration of the measures.

Because of the short notice of the lockdown announcement, others may have had to remain at a house which isn’t their usual home, or with people they don’t usually live with.

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Posted on 25 March 2020 | 2:04 pm

How do I know if I have coronavirus and what happens next? – video explainer

What are the symptoms of the Covid-19 virus, what treatments are available and how do I protect myself and the people around me from infection? The Guardian's health editor, Sarah Boseley, answers some key questions as coronavirus spreads across the globe

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Posted on 20 March 2020 | 6:05 pm

Coronavirus: how to cope with anxiety and self-isolation – video explainer

The coronavirus pandemic is causing increased stress and anxiety, particularly people with existing mental health problems, practitioners and campaigners have said. The behavioural psychologist Jo Hemmings has been talking through how to cope with these feelings and offering advice to those who have a fear of isolation

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Posted on 19 March 2020 | 3:16 pm

Coronavirus, racism and solidarity, before and after Italy's lockdown – video

Meet Sonia Zhou who runs a popular Chinese restaurant in Rome's Chinatown. She has been forced to shut up shop, in part, due to people avoiding the area after the coronavirus outbreak. Italy has seen increased incidences of anti-Chinese racism but also much-needed acts of solidarity as it goes into national lockdown.

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Posted on 16 March 2020 | 5:36 pm

Driven to distraction: how cars that take control are helping drivers

With lack of attention behind the wheel one of the major causes of traffic accidents, advanced driver assistance systems have become the focus of vehicle safety design. And these devices are already proving their worth

Who hasn’t found their attention straying behind the wheel? Modern life is riddled with distractions that fight tooth and nail for our attention – whether it’s noisy children, garish adverts, tiredness, traffic cameras, personal pressures, endless to-do lists or those digital devices and social media notifications that we forgot to switch to silent. We always seem to be spreading our attention too thinly or are exhausted from having to think 10 different thoughts.

Driver distraction is a major cause of road traffic accidents. According to the UK’s Department for Transport, driver or rider error or reaction (failing to look properly, loss of control and poor manoeuvring) was cited as a contributory factor in 63% of fatalities in reported road accidents in 2018.

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Posted on 9 March 2020 | 2:58 pm

From Fomo to Jomo: why I now prefer a life less risky

Having once lived life as a high-stakes game, Nirpal Dhaliwal has turned his back on the lemming-like pursuit of high-octane moments. He explains the rich rewards of embracing safety

As a young man, I relished the sharp tang of risk; that piquant charge that accompanies the taste of a first, preferably illicit, kiss, or when stepping off a plane in an unknown city to find hazardous sport among strangers.

Life was a high-stakes game in which it was always best to twist – never to stick. True pleasure, I mistakenly thought, came always at the chance of a painful price. Relationships, money, even my health, were all things I was happy to wager in this endless pursuit of an explosive experience.

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Posted on 28 February 2020 | 9:58 am

Back to the future: why are we opting for nostalgic pop culture?

From rewatching 1990s TV shows to replaying classic computer games, taking the safe option when it comes to entertainment can help audiences rediscover themselves

Never before has civilisation produced so much new pop culture. From the plethora of TV shows on competing streaming platforms to the seemingly infinite choice offered by online music and gaming services, the wealth of new material being released each month is staggering. Yet when it comes to cultural consumption, audiences are increasingly choosing to seek out classic, safe bets – forgoing the next big thing in favour of the last big thing.

According to UK media watchdog Ofcom, the single most-watched programme in the first quarter of 2019 was the 1990s sitcom Friends. In the US, the top Netflix spot has long been held by the US version of the Office, which first aired 15 years ago. Meanwhile at the box office, sequels and reboots abound. Last year’s top five grossing films in the UK included the remake of the Lion King, Toy Story 4, Frozen 2 and Star Wars: Episode IX – the Rise of Skywalker.

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Posted on 31 January 2020 | 2:59 pm

Take the safe option: it's time to ditch edgy fads

There’s no shame in doing something you know to be great. Alexi Duggins explains why playing it safe is a smarter step

Has there ever been a more underrated word in the English language than “safe”? For something that is fundamentally a good thing, people can be weirdly dismissive about it. Eyes are rolled at workplace health and safety as though it’s somehow uncool to not lose a hand to poorly maintained machinery. Romcoms lazily wield it as an unflattering cliche: “Oh, I don’t know. My award-winning humanitarian of a partner is perfect in every conceivable way – but they’re just so … safe, you know?”

Meanwhile, there’s no bigger cliche than being edgy just for the sake of trend-chasing. Over the past two decades, the fad for extreme sports has reached (and plummeted from) ever-crazier heights. Our fetishisation of high-risk, high-wire living has even spread to dining, with foodies flocking to increasingly ridiculous eateries simply because they look cool on social media. How many times have our friends told us they tried out a Hot New Place that wasn’t actually very good – while we pity their gullibility and coo soothing words such as: “Oh what a shame that insect-based menu wasn’t actually that delicious.”

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Posted on 31 January 2020 | 2:57 pm

Have your photos published in the Guardian’s letters pages

We’re highlighting the best reader photography in print in the letters pages of the Guardian. Share your images with us here

The Guardian and Observer has a fresh tabloid format in print and we’re highlighting the best of your photography in the paper.

Since 2014 our letters page has carried amazing images readers have shared: some of them being newsworthy, others more abstract.

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Posted on 15 January 2018 | 10:45 am