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The Guardian

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

Fire at French ski resort of Courchevel kills two

Pre-dawn blaze injured 22 others and forced evacuation of 60 resort workers

Two people have died and 22 others have been injured after fire swept through a building in the French ski resort of Courchevel.

The fire spread rapidly after breaking out on an upper floor of the building, housing nearly 60 resort workers – many of them foreigners – some time after 4.30am on Sunday, forcing several residents to jump from windows.

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Posted on 20 January 2019 | 12:39 pm

Somalia: dozens of al-Shabaab fighters killed in airstrike, says US

Attack follows extremist group’s assault on hotel complex in Nairobi killed 21 people

A US airstrike in Somalia has killed 52 Islamic militants from al-Shabaab, military officials have said.

The strike comes days after a deadly attack by the extremist organisation on a luxury hotel complex in Nairobi, Kenya.

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Posted on 20 January 2019 | 12:26 pm

Brexit: No 10 hits out at MPs trying to delay article 50 to avert no deal

Downing Street says it is ‘extremely concerning’ MPs could attempt to override the government

Downing Street has said it is “extremely concerning” that MPs could attempt to override the government to suspend or delay the article 50 process to leave the EU in their effort to prevent a no-deal Brexit.

A slew of backbench amendments are expected to be attached to the prime minister’s statement on Monday on the way forward for the Brexit withdrawal agreement.

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Posted on 20 January 2019 | 12:19 pm

Stefanos Tsitsipas beats Roger Federer: Australian Open 2019 – live!

Kevin Mitchell’s report will arrive shortly, but here’s a snap report from PA:

Roger Federer’s chances of winning a third consecutive Australian Open title were ended as 20-year-old Stefanos Tsitsipas came of age on Rod Laver Arena.

The Greek, who was not born when Federer made his professional debut, has rapidly established himself as one of the most exciting up-and-coming talents in the game and backed it up spectacularly with a 6-7 (11) 7-6 (3) 7-5 7-6 (5) victory to move through to a first grand slam quarter-final.

Right ... that was an interesting start to everyone’s Sunday. I am off to find a massive coffee and some lunch. You should all do the same.

Have we witnessed a star born in Melbourne? Only time will tell but I am looking forward to finding out.

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Posted on 20 January 2019 | 12:11 pm

Giles Yeo: ‘Love your food but don’t eat quite as much of it as you want’

The obesity expert and author of Gene Eating on fad diets, the magic of miso and why he can’t say no to pork scratchings

Dr Giles Yeo arrives for lunch in Cambridge by bike from his research lab at Addenbrooke’s Hospital. In a corner of the Oak bistro he exchanges his clip-clop cycling shoes for a pair of sandals, hangs his fluorescent jacket on a peg, and explains to me the heart monitor that – if he keeps it above a certain daily level – saves him £250 a year on his life insurance. “Their goal and my goal are aligned – neither of us wants them to pay out…” Yeo, 45, is the scientific director of a group studying the effects of genetics on food intake and a pioneer in studies of the cause of obesity. He is, grinning at the prospect of lunch, a somewhat daunting picture of health.

I’m eager to see what he is going to order. His well-timed new book, Gene Eating, debunks much of what we might have taken as read about diet and dieting. It presents the evidence to show that any kind of one-size-fits-all regime is likely to be of little value. He has a gift for describing the science of how our bodies take in calories at different rates and respond radically differently to food groups. Calorie-counting ignores the fundamentals of calorie absorption, and is at best a very rough guide. Much of the trick is to find what works for you.

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Posted on 20 January 2019 | 12:00 pm

Northern Ireland police condemn 'reckless' Derry bomb attack

Police say they were given only 10-minute warning to evacuate area before explosion

Police in Northern Ireland have condemned Saturday night’s car bomb in Derry city as “unbelievably reckless”.

Police said they received an approximate 10-minute warning before the bomb exploded outside a courthouse on Bishop Street at 8.10pm, giving limited time to evacuate hundreds of people from a nearby hotel, masonic hall, youth club and other sites. There were no casualties.

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Posted on 20 January 2019 | 11:59 am

Action not words needed over biggest public health failure of our time: pneumonia | Larry Elliott

Global elite at Davos 2019 must do more than talk about real-world problems

Davos this year will be like Hamlet without the prince. Donald Trump was all set to be the star of the show for the second year running but has decided that giving a keynote address to a hall full of billionaires is politically problematical at a time when the US government is shut down.

Emmanuel Macron is giving the World Economic Forum a miss for similar reasons. If you have been dubbed the president of the rich the last place you really want to be seen is at the annual gathering of the 1%. Theresa May has decided she has better things to do with her time..

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Posted on 20 January 2019 | 11:47 am

Going solo: the chefs who work on their own

We’re used to seeing bustling restaurant kitchens – but what’s it like to be the only one behind the pass? Four chefs tell of the ups and downs of doing all the cooking by themselves

Anna Tobias at P Franco, London

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Posted on 20 January 2019 | 11:30 am

Beyond the scotch bonnet: the rise of Caribbean food in the UK

A young generation of British-Caribbean chefs are reclaiming their culinary heritage and bringing it to a new audience

The plantain at the Nyamming “explorative dining” experience, held in the belly of TT Liquor in Shoreditch in London, has a lightly fried crust, a starchy bite and is finished with a smear of corn custard and the hot tang of scotch-bonnet chilli jam. It is, as with everything on the four-course menu, evocative of more than just good cooking. Nyamming, which takes its name from Jamaican patois for eating, is investigating Caribbean food and culture beyond jerk chicken and rice and peas; and this first iteration is taking me right back to my roots by combining Caribbean and West African cuisine.

Against the backdrop of the Windrush scandal, it feels as though more British people of Caribbean descent are taking pains to learn about their history but, in general, the rich narrative of British-Caribbean food is not as widely known as it ought to be. Twelve years ago, Jamaican food entrepreneur Wade Lyn declared in the Guardian that it was “still difficult to find a Caribbean restaurant in most of our major cities, let alone some of our smaller towns”. Interest has grown since then, with the expansion of chains such as Cottons and Rum Kitchen, plus the arrival of McDonald’s jerk burger and Jamie Oliver’s jerk rice: Caribbean food is, for better or sometimes worse, part of the mainstream.

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Posted on 20 January 2019 | 11:30 am

The Magic Flute review – dark, eclectic and disquieting

Grand theatre, Leeds
James Brining’s new production with Opera North is a sometimes heavy-handed phantasmagoria that probes the dark heart of Mozart’s work

James Brining’s new production of The Magic Flute for Opera North opens with a young girl sitting on her bed, listening to a recording of the opera we are about to watch. Visible beyond the doors of her room, a somewhat tense dinner party is taking place, at which the relationships between some of the guests resemble those of Mozart’s characters. During a pause in the overture, we hear a man saying grace, whom we we will later identify with Sarastro. A loud bang at the door heralds the arrival of an irate woman, possibly the girl’s mother and clearly an unwanted guest, who will become the Queen of the Night. A second woman, who could be Pamina, brings the girl her supper, and settles her for the night. The opera subsequently plays itself out, we are led to assume, in the girl’s imagination. Or does it?

In keeping with a work in which appearances repeatedly prove deceptive, Brining never returns to the scene of the opening, though we glimpse the girl throughout the production, either among the members of Sarastro’s community or as one of Papageno’s children. Instead, Brining embarks upon an eclectic, at times disquieting phantasmagoria that probes the opera’s darker contradictions and ambiguities, in terms, he tells us in a programme note, drawn from William Blake’s The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, with its idea of progress as the product of tension between contrary forces and its vision that “Attraction and Repulsion, Reason and Energy, Love and Hate are necessary to Human existence”.

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Posted on 20 January 2019 | 11:27 am

Prince Philip has not said sorry for car crash, injured woman claims

Emma Fairweather has reportedly said she is in a lot of pain after breaking her wrist in the collision but feels ignored

A woman who broke her wrist in a car crash with Prince Philip claims she has not received an apology from the royal family even though she could have been killed.

Emma Fairweather, 46, was a passenger in her unnamed friend’s Kia, along with her friend’s nine-month-old baby, when the collision with the Duke of Edinburgh’s Land Rover Freelander occurred as he pulled out on to the A149 near the Queen’s Norfolk estate on Thursday.

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Posted on 20 January 2019 | 11:26 am

Coups and murder: the sinister world of apartheid’s secret mercenaries

A South African militia that claimed to be behind the murder of a UN chief was involved in deadly work across the continent, its members say

Keith Maxwell, the self-declared “commodore” of the South African Institute for Maritime Research (SAIMR), liked to dress up on special occasions in the garish costume of a 18th-century admiral, with a three-cornered hat, brass buttons and a cutlass. Ordinary members of his organisation were expected to show up in crisp naval whites.

Gathered together in upmarket restaurants, or the quiet of the Wemmer Pan naval base in south-central Johannesburg, they had the air of eccentric history buffs. Maxwell talked about the group’s roots in a Napoleonic-era treasure-hunting syndicate, and told outsiders it was still focused on deep-sea exploration.

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Posted on 20 January 2019 | 11:07 am

Does marijuana use really cause psychotic disorders? | Carl L Hart and Charles Ksir

Alex Berenson says the drug causes ‘sharp increases in murders and aggravated assaults’. As scientists, we find his claims misinformed and reckless

Does marijuana cause psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia, and do associated symptoms like paranoia lead to violent crimes? That’s what writer Alex Berenson is claiming. As part of his new book promotion, Berenson published a New York Times op-ed that also blames the drug for “sharp increases in murders and aggravated assaults” purportedly observed in some states that allow adult recreational marijuana use.

Related: We must study marijuana's impact on the environment before it's too late | Vince Palace

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Posted on 20 January 2019 | 11:00 am

How Orkney leads the way for sustainable energy

A tech revolution – and an abundance of wind and waves – mean that the people of Orkney now produce more electricity than they can use

It seems the stuff of fantasy. Giant ships sail the seas burning fuel that has been extracted from water using energy provided by the winds, waves and tides. A dramatic but implausible notion, surely. Yet this grand green vision could soon be realised thanks to a remarkable technological transformation that is now under way in Orkney.

Perched 10 miles beyond the northern edge of the British mainland, this archipelago of around 20 populated islands – as well as a smattering of uninhabited reefs and islets – has become the centre of a revolution in the way electricity is generated. Orkney was once utterly dependent on power that was produced by burning coal and gas on the Scottish mainland and then transmitted through an undersea cable. Today the islands are so festooned with wind turbines, they cannot find enough uses for the emission-free power they create on their own.

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Posted on 20 January 2019 | 11:00 am

Forget the 'border crisis' – it is Trump's shutdown that's made us less safe

With thousands of FBI and TSA staff furloughed and critical functions hit, the shutdown is a disaster for national security

President Trump closed the US government over a fabricated border crisis, and in doing so has sparked a real national security emergency. By shutting down the government, Trump has disabled America’s defenses against threats to national security.

Trump decided to shut down the government over the claim that America needs a wall to deal with a crisis at the border with Mexico. But there is no crisis on the border other than the humanitarian crisis of his own making, best illustrated by the thousands of children separated from their parents and the two children who died in Customs and Border Protection custody. Trump’s claims of more terrorists and crime flowing across the border are lies and the vast majority of hard drugs coming across the border come through official ports of entry, not between ports of entry where a wall might stand.

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Posted on 20 January 2019 | 11:00 am

World’s oldest man dies in Japan aged 113

Masazo Nonaka, who enjoyed watching sumo wrestling and eating sweets, died at home

The world’s oldest man has died at his home, a hot springs on Japan’s northern main island of Hokkaido, at the age of 113.

His family said Masazo Nonaka died peacefully from natural causes in the early hours of Sunday while sleeping in the inn in Ashoro, which has been run by his family for four generations.

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Posted on 20 January 2019 | 10:48 am

The idea that Britain can develop an independent trade policy is absurd | Will Hutton

When selling across borders is ever harder, life without European allies will be parlous

So devastated is the British economy beyond Greater London that only two regions are strong enough to be net contributors to the exchequer – the south-east and the east of England. The rest of the country depends on the buoyancy of London’s service-based economy and accompanying tax revenues to support their schools, hospitals and social benefits.

It is this same economic and trading weakness that explains our current account deficit, estimated to be £85bn in 2018, with a deficit in goods approaching £150bn. Without the surpluses Greater London earns in services, including finance, education, consultancy and law, much of Britain would be flat on its back. Of course there should have been an industrial policy to benefit the whole country and a reshaping of our capitalism decades ago, but Thatcherite Tories and New Labour failed us. We are where we are and the dangers are stark and little understood.

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Posted on 20 January 2019 | 10:30 am

HSBC tells Welsh customer not to complain in 'foreign' language

Bank asked ‘shocked’ customer to resend message in English

A major bank told a customer who wrote to it in Welsh to complain that some services were not available in her language that she should communicate with it in English rather than a “foreign” tongue.

Nia Lloyd, a classroom assistant from Wrexham in north Wales, wrote to HSBC pointing out that online services were not available in Welsh.

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Posted on 20 January 2019 | 10:24 am

Going underground: exploring the world beneath our feet

Down below street level is a mysterious world honeycombed with tunnels and caves. But why does the dark still fill us with foreboding?

You can find signs of it everywhere you go. Step out of your front door and feel beneath your feet the thrum of tube tunnels and electric cables, mossy aqueducts and pneumatic pipes, all interweaving and overlapping like threads on a great loom. If the surface of the Earth were transparent, we’d spend days on our bellies, peering down into this marvellous layered terrain. But for us surface dwellers, going about our lives in the sunlit world, the underground has always been invisible.

In its obscurity, it is our planet’s most abstract landscape, always more metaphor than space. When we describe something as “underground” – an illicit economy, a secret rave, an undiscovered artist – we are typically describing not a place but a feeling: something forbidden, unspoken, or otherwise beyond the known and ordinary.

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Posted on 20 January 2019 | 10:00 am

On my radar: Eimear McBride’s cultural highlights

The author of A Girl Is a Half-Formed Thing on Booker-winner Anna Burns, musician Alasdair Roberts, and her favourite bakery

Born in Liverpool in 1976 to Northern Irish parents, Eimear McBride grew up in Ireland before moving to London at 17. She finished her debut novel, A Girl Is a Half-Formed Thing, in 2004, but it took nine years for it to be published. It won the 2013 Goldsmiths prize and the 2014 Baileys women’s prize for fiction. Her second novel, The Lesser Bohemians (2016), won the 2017 James Tait Black memorial prize. McBride takes part in Imagining Ireland at the Barbican, London on 30 January.

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Posted on 20 January 2019 | 10:00 am

Take your seats for a fight at the opera | David Mitchell

Nothing enhances our lives quite like a good spat between cultural purists and the supposed riff-raff

Sometimes I think I’m the perfect person to analyse the cultural impact of music. I’m pretty sure no one else has ever thought that about me, though. And actually, even I don’t think it very often.

My weakness in the role would undoubtedly be my ignorance of music. Not complete ignorance: it’s impossible, it turns out, no matter how little interest you show, to remain alive for 44 years in modern Britain without having heard of Mozart and Rihanna – though I had to check the spelling of the latter. And, come to think of it, I’m quite partial to Magic FM on a car journey and also I watched that Bros documentary everyone’s going on about.

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Posted on 20 January 2019 | 9:59 am

Pity the little darlings if they are being raised by parents who like to share | Catherine Bennett

There’s little to stop social media obsessives exploiting children who are too young to say no

As one of Instagram’s most highly regarded influencers, with 24 million followers, Victoria Beckham will of course have thought hard before posting a photograph of her seven-year-old daughter, Harper, eyes closed, enjoying a professional facial. It was captioned by Beckham – almost as if she knew something terrifying about soap that she is not, alas, at liberty to disclose – “We MUST use CLEAN products on our children!!”

What kind of message would this send out, Beckham must have considered, particularly to parents cruelly reminded that they are at least a decade too late to extract any value from their own flesh and blood? Try getting anyone interested in a 21-year-old’s pores.

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Posted on 20 January 2019 | 9:30 am

Listeners and stars up in arms as BBC Sounds app backfires

Flaws in replacement for iPlayer radio service attract a deluge of complaints

It was an “upgrade” launched by the BBC with great fanfare at Tate Modern. The next day BBC Sounds, the broadcaster’s sparkling new audio app, even took over the London Eye – renamed the London Ear for that November day.

But just two months on, many listeners are unhappy with the app, and Jane Garvey, the Woman’s Hour presenter at the heart of that showcase event, has become a high-profile victim of the trendy new home for all of the BBC’s radio shows and music.

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Posted on 20 January 2019 | 9:30 am

Tyneside baby at centre of Facebook appeal dies

Carter Cookson’s parents launched social media campaign to find heart donor

A baby whose parents started a social media campaign in a desperate bid to find him a new heart has died.

Carter Cookson, who was born prematurely on Boxing Day, died at 5.44pm on Saturday, his mother, Sarah Cookson, said.

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Posted on 20 January 2019 | 9:28 am

My Oscar goes to... Our film critics reveal their personal shortlists

Ahead of the official Academy nominations, the Observer’s critics pick their own winners

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Posted on 20 January 2019 | 9:00 am

Bauhaus at 100: the revolutionary movement's enduring appeal

Sleek, pared-back, industrial elegance – that’s how most of us think of Bauhaus, the modernist design group born in Germany in 1919. But that was only one side of this short-lived but longlasting movement…

Norman Foster, Margaret Howell, Michael Craig-Martin and others on Bauhaus’s rich legacy

The Bauhaus, simply put, was a German school of art and design that opened in 1919 and closed in 1933. It was also very much more than that. It was the most influential and famous design school that has ever existed. It defined an epoch. It became the pre-eminent emblem of modern architecture and design. The name has become an adjective as well as a noun – Bauhaus style, Bauhaus look. And now it is coming up for the centenary of its founding, which shows both that what was called the “modern movement” is now part of history and that its influence is very much still around us.

It is nowadays usually clear what the word “Bauhaus” means – design stripped down to its essentials, the rational and elegant use of modern materials and industrial techniques, clarity, simplicity, cool minimalism. The device on which I am writing this and the one on which you might be reading it follow these principles. So (with greater or lesser degrees of bastardisation) do buildings without number around the world, countless domestic objects, road signs, the lettering on a tube of toothpaste or the design of a car. The Bauhaus brand is consistent, coherent and universal. Its best-known creations, the tubular steel chairs of Mart Stam and Marcel Breuer or the steel-and-glass building built to house the school, reinforce its image.

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Posted on 20 January 2019 | 9:00 am

Katelyn Ohashi proves smiling can be a serious asset to elite athletes | Tim Lewis

Gymnast’s joyful routine is a happy alternative to putting on that grim ‘game face’ in a business where smiling is, well, frowned upon

Between Brexit and Blue Monday – the most depressing day of the year, aka this Monday– it’s not always been easy of late to sustain the self-satisfied, privileged-white-male grin that greets you in my byline picture. It is perhaps these ambient feelings of dread that have sent me for solace, again and again, to a video of an American university student doing a gymnastics floor routine. The two-minute clip of 21-year-old Katelyn Ohashi tumbling, flipping and pretzeling to cheesy, nightclub staples has had more than 60 million views this week. It’s a blast of concentrated positivity and good vibes that is the time-poor equivalent of days spent under a Sad lamp.

Analysis has already been done on why the world has fallen so hard for the diminutive Ohashi. And the story is a heartwarming one. Ohashi was a junior star – winning four golds at the US nationals aged 14, then beating Simone Biles two years later – but lost her passion for gymnastics. She was injured and put on weight. “I hated myself,” she admitted last year. “I was broken.” A perfect-10 routine is a thing of beauty any time, but it means even more for someone who was written off when she was still a teenager.

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Posted on 20 January 2019 | 9:00 am

From ‘new look’ to royal appointment: the Christian Dior legacy

A major new exhibition at the V&A showcases the fashion pioneer’s brilliance and his love affair with all things British

Fashion is an expression of faith. In this world of ours, that seeks to give away its secrets one by one, that feeds on false confidences and fabricated revelations, it is the very incarnation of mystery, and the best proof of the spell it casts is that, now more than ever, it is the topic on everyone’s lips.”

However relevant these words seem in the era of instagram influencers and fake news, they were spoken by the French fashion designer Christian Dior in 1956, 10 years after he launched his eponymous atelier in Paris at the age of 41. Today, on the eve of a major retrospective of his work at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, it’s not just the late designer’s words that feel prescient.

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Posted on 20 January 2019 | 9:00 am

José Mourinho must bin blame game and learn from his failings at United | Daniel Taylor

Manchester United’s former manager fails to show any hint of humility or to acknowledge he made mistakes at Old Trafford

The people who used to work with Sven-Göran Eriksson tell a story about the former England manager, going back to the European Championship in 2004, when he did something that was totally out of character. He almost lost his temper.

England had just been knocked out by Portugal. Inside the dressing room was a scene of desolation and the Football Association’s staff saw something in his face that day they had never seen before: fury. A bad refereeing decision had denied Sol Campbell a late winner and Eriksson wanted to know where the official was. He was puce with anger. He left the dressing room to rap on the referee’s door and, when it swung open, there were a few interminable moments when nobody could quite be sure how far he was willing to take it. At which point Sven, once again, reverted to being Sven. “Mr referee,” he said, holding out his hand. “I wanted to say thank you for a good game.”

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Posted on 20 January 2019 | 9:00 am

I’m not 50, but it’s a relief to be invisible to men like Yann Moix

The French novelist’s sexist, ageist, racist remarks caused offence – yet there’s some unexpected comfort in what he said

I’m writing this standing up in an Apple store in New York, here in the city for 24 hours without a charger. Nobody has said a word to me, as I furtively steal their power while carefully keeping my face in neutral. The shop is busy with teenagers upgrading their iPhones and aggressively friendly staff, and the only still points are me and a man wearing three coats and broken flip-flops playing Candy Crush on an iPad. It is a quite lovely feeling to be, if not invisible, then at least translucent.

A book called An Unexplained Death came out last month, and I reread it on my journey – it appears to be a true crime thriller about a man’s final days, but quickly and sneakily reveals itself to be a memoir of the writer, Mikita Brottman. Years before starting it, Brottman went to see a psychoanalyst because she’d started to feel invisible. “I appeared to be completely forgettable,” she writes. To be “invisible”, she elaborates, “feels a little like being a ghost – people don’t seem to notice or acknowledge my presence, or look right through me. This has its advantages, though. I often feel as though I can learn people’s secrets, and get away with anything.”

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Posted on 20 January 2019 | 8:59 am

John Scales: ‘I punched a hole in the wall when I had to leave Liverpool’

The former England defender talks of how Alan Sugar and a smoke alarm changed a career that took him from Wimbledon to Anfield to Spurs

The Fox and Grapes sits just off Wimbledon Common. Tucked down a side street, it is now a posh gastropub with pints for £5.75 and well-groomed dogs adorning the floor. It has not always been this way. John Scales sits in a quiet corner in the back, describing the eve of the 1988 FA Cup final and how the Wimbledon team arrived to let off steam the night before facing Liverpool.

Related: 14 May 1988: The first FA Cup final penalty save

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Posted on 20 January 2019 | 8:30 am

Mary Queen of Scots review – power and passion in a battle royal

Margot Robbie and Saoirse Ronan excel as wily foes in Josie Rourke’s striking take on the rivalry between Elizabeth I and her Scottish cousin

Director Josie Rourke makes a very assured move from the theatre to the cinema screen in her feature debut, a full-blooded tale of personal and political rivalries told with wit, flair and passion. Like Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Favourite, which inventively revisits the court of Queen Anne (albeit with a very different tone), the setting may be historical but the core concerns are utterly contemporary: a tale of two “sisters” – Elizabeth I (Margot Robbie) and Mary Stuart (Saoirse Ronan) – caught in the middle of a power struggle between England and Scotland, Protestants and Catholics, men and women.

We begin at the end, in 1587, with a candle being snuffed out as the Catholic Mary is led to the executioner’s block. From here we flash back to 1561, and Mary’s return to Scotland following the death of her husband. Her arrival, and claim to Elizabeth’s throne, alarms her heirless cousin, and sets warring factions in motion on both sides of the border.

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Posted on 20 January 2019 | 8:00 am

Lenders cut mortgage rates to give a kick-start to 2019

As Brexit takes its toll on the property market, there is some good news for borrowers

First-time buyers and homeowners remortgaging their properties have been given some good news at the start of the year as a number of lenders have cut their rates in an increasingly competitive market.

Last week HSBC dropped rates on 31 different mortgages while the market-leading product for a 10-year fixed-rate loan also went down.

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Posted on 20 January 2019 | 8:00 am

Until the Lions review – Akram Khan’s modern masterpiece

Roundhouse, London
Khan performs in his intensely beautiful take on the Mahabharata for the last time

Akram Khan made Until the Lions to be performed in the magical, circular space of London’s Roundhouse some three years ago. It shone then, and after worldwide success in different arenas has returned home to cast its illuminating spell for a final time. Strikingly beautiful, poised somewhere between narrative and metaphor, it features only three dancers – Ching-Ying Chien, Joy Alpuerto Ritter and Khan himself – but is epic in conception, a myth transfigured for modern times.

Related: Akram Khan: ‘My children have forced me to look at the future’

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Posted on 20 January 2019 | 8:00 am

The oligarch, his ex-wife and their bitter £450m divorce. Enter Interpol…

Russian oil tycoon fighting high court ruling over payout calls on international police agency to stop the seizure of his assets

It’s a divorce battle that pitches Moscow against London, involving tax havens, sumptuous properties, a mega-yacht and priceless art. Now, the acrimonious row between Farkhad Akhmedov, a Putin ally and oligarch, and his former wife has taken a new, rancorous twist.

After more than three years fighting a high court ruling ordering Akhmedov to pay Tatiana Akhmedova, who is British, hundreds of millions of pounds, his lawyers have involved the international police agency Interpol in their attempts to stop her from seizing his assets. The highly unusual development has triggered claims that Akhmedov’s lawyers are abusing the legal process, claims that have been strongly rejected.

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Posted on 20 January 2019 | 8:00 am

What must happen next to break Brexit deadlock?

With all sides deeply entrenched after a historic defeat followed by a confidence vote, a solution to the chaos seems no closer

At 7.57pm last Tuesday, as MPs, their advisers and journalists began to file out of the House of Commons after the biggest parliamentary defeat for a government in modern history, Labour’s deputy leader, Tom Watson, tapped Jeremy Corbyn on the arm and signalled to him to look up into the press gallery above the Speaker’s chair.

There Seumas Milne, Corbyn’s director of strategy and communications, had stopped on his way out of the chamber to brief the press and was trying to catch the Labour leader’s eye. As the two men – the most powerful double act in Her Majesty’s Opposition – met each other’s gaze, wide, triumphant smiles lit up their faces.

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Posted on 20 January 2019 | 8:00 am

Manny Pacquiao overwhelms Adrien Broner in play for Mayweather rematch

Manny Pacquiao showed Saturday night he’s still got plenty of fight for a fighter on the wrong side of 40.

Whether Pacquiao’s dominating win over Adrien Broner gets him a rematch with Floyd Mayweather, though, is a question that will have to be answered another night.

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Posted on 20 January 2019 | 7:08 am

Five developments in space, time and fusion

Projects from gravitational wave detection to viewing the Milky Way and generating thermonuclear power march ahead

Cern has announced plans for a Future Circular Collider. The £17.8bn machine would smash particles together inside a 62-mile tunnel – four times the size of the Large Hadron Collider. If funding can be secured, scientists hope the machine would be operational by the 2050s.

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Posted on 20 January 2019 | 7:00 am

Ellen Page: 'I’m not afraid to say the truth'

Taking aim at everyone from Trump to Tinseltown, Ellen Page has become one of Hollywood’s most outspoken gay actors. She tells Eva Wiseman how she found her voice

Ellen Page was standing in a car park in Brazil as a masked man explained why he murders gay people. It was 2015, and she was filming Gaycation, the documentary series she made with her best friend Ian Daniel after coming out on Valentine’s Day a year earlier. “I’m here today because I am gay and because maybe I can make a difference,” she’d said in a speech at a Human Rights Campaign conference that has since been shared many millions of times. “I suffered for years because I was scared to be out… And I’m standing here today, with all of you, on the other side of all that pain.”

I never even touched a woman outside until I was 27. I was depressed…

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Posted on 20 January 2019 | 7:00 am

'The goal is to automate us': welcome to the age of surveillance capitalism

Shoshana Zuboff’s new book is a chilling exposé of the business model that underpins the digital world. Observer tech columnist John Naughton explains the importance of Zuboff’s work and asks the author 10 key questions

We’re living through the most profound transformation in our information environment since Johannes Gutenberg’s invention of printing in circa 1439. And the problem with living through a revolution is that it’s impossible to take the long view of what’s happening. Hindsight is the only exact science in this business, and in that long run we’re all dead. Printing shaped and transformed societies over the next four centuries, but nobody in Mainz (Gutenberg’s home town) in, say, 1495 could have known that his technology would (among other things): fuel the Reformation and undermine the authority of the mighty Catholic church; enable the rise of what we now recognise as modern science; create unheard-of professions and industries; change the shape of our brains; and even recalibrate our conceptions of childhood. And yet printing did all this and more.

Why choose 1495? Because we’re about the same distance into our revolution, the one kicked off by digital technology and networking. And although it’s now gradually dawning on us that this really is a big deal and that epochal social and economic changes are under way, we’re as clueless about where it’s heading and what’s driving it as the citizens of Mainz were in 1495.

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Posted on 20 January 2019 | 7:00 am

California town sets up 'goat fund me' page to finance four-legged firefighters

Nevada City is seeking to raise $30,000 to acquire goats to munch through acres of vegetation that could fuel wildfires

A California town threatened by the sort of wildfires that recently wiped out a neighbouring community is appealing for an unusual type of help: a crack team of goats.

Related: The US won't be prepared for the next natural disaster

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Posted on 20 January 2019 | 7:00 am

Sex education rules could force Haredi Jews into home schooling

Row over Ofsted advice that all pupils be aware of LGBTQ relationships

Ultra-Orthodox Jewish parents and teachers are warning that schools may go underground and children be educated at home if the government presses ahead with guidance on teaching about same-sex relationships and gender reassignment.

Members of the Haredi, or ultra-Orthodox, community also say that some parents may leave the country rather than see their children taught about “alternative lifestyles”.

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Posted on 20 January 2019 | 7:00 am

Sunday's best TV: Vera; Les Misérables; SAS – Who Dares Wins

There’s topicality and tragedy in the north-eastern detective series and Valjean plans a new adventure in Andrew Davies’s drama adaptation

8.10pm, ITV

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Posted on 20 January 2019 | 6:00 am

My rich and grumpy dad said my Christmas gifts were awful | Dear Mariella

Mariella Frostrup tells a man caught up in festive family tensions to ditch the present-giving charade

The dilemma My father complained to my wife that the Christmas presents I bought for him and his partner weren’t good enough. He is 66. I bought them some artisan chocolate, which he described as “broken chocolate” because it came wrapped in a clear plastic bag (it was from a small local business that hand-wraps items), and a handmade candle that was called “crappy” by his partner. Given that they’re both wealthy, retired, own three houses and enjoy numerous holidays each year, should I feel bad that I don’t push the boat out in buying expensive gifts for them? Should I have bought the grumpy old git an iPad or a drone? Their presents to us were the usual haul of thoughtless jumpers and biscuits, and wrong-size clothes for the grandchildren they never see, all bought in the same supermarket. Thanks. Sorry. I’m still angry! I bet you get loads of letters like this at this time of year.

Mariella replies Yes, there have been a couple! I hear you, honestly I do. But, as we both know, this whole Christmas thing is way out of control. Your father is clearly an optimist, expecting more than a token on what’s become a seasonal retail opportunity. By early January it feels as if the whole nation is waking up to the mother of all hangovers – bank accounts depleted and surrounded by piles of discarded junk. Or is that just me? The only people who can afford to be rubbing their hands with glee are the sellers, who are so busy comparing how much people squandered last season to this season that I’m not sure even they gain much pleasure out of the experience.

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Posted on 20 January 2019 | 6:00 am

Outside the Washington circus, shutdown havoc spreads

The government closure has pushed workers into hardship – and weakened the very immigration system it was meant to bolster

Briana Libby is not a federal employee, and she is not into politics. She lives 2,500 miles from the US border with Mexico, where Donald Trump has demanded funds for a wall in exchange for ending the partial government shutdown.

Nonetheless, the shutdown has hit Libby, 26, with devastating force. A mother of two daughters aged four and six, she was on the verge of buying her first home in southern Maine when the shutdown happened.

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Posted on 20 January 2019 | 6:00 am

The shutdown has exposed Trumponomics for what it is: a disaster | Robert Reich

When the president is proud to close government and proud to slash taxes for the rich, American workers get shafted

One of the least talked-about consequences of the partial shutdown of the US government – courtesy of Donald “I’m proud to shut down the government” Trump – is its negative effect on the US economy.

Related: Republicans’ lack of alarm over the shutdown reveals a disturbing truth | Ross Barkan

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Posted on 20 January 2019 | 6:00 am

Guy Kennaway: My sister said, ‘Well done Guy, you killed Mummy!’

When his 88-year-old mother asked him to buy heroin so she could end her life, the author Guy Kennaway decided there was only one thing to do: write a book about it

How can you resist an author who proclaims on his dust jacket: “Guy Kennaway lives for pleasure, producing books only when all else has failed”? He’s someone I’ve been running into at parties for years (he is friends with Jay Jopling of White Cube and the artist Mat Collishaw), but I never once suspected he was a writer. I thought maybe he was an art dealer of some sort, or possibly a collector – he was too well-dressed and socially assured to be an artist, still less a writer. That’s fine, he says; he doesn’t hang out with writers, because he thinks they are rather dreary, bitter people – he prefers artists because, “They know how to have a good time and they’ve got money.” But it turns out he has published five books, and his new book, Time To Go, is a corker which should keep book clubs arguing for years.

It is both a serious discussion of self-euthanasia – which is how the publishers seem to be billing it – and a darkly hilarious account of his tricky relationship with his mother, Susie. It starts with her asking him to get her some heroin because she wants to be able to kill herself when the time comes. She is 88 and her husband, Stanley, is even older. They are both getting frail and she fears they might end up in some ghastly care home. Also, they live in France and are worried Brexit might mean an end to free healthcare. So it would be nice if she and Stanley could die together, in their double bed, at a time of their own choosing. How sweet, you might think, how sensible. But then you don’t yet know Susie. She is “certainly no Mrs Tiggy-Winkle,” Guy warns us, but “a woman of passion, anger and determination. She still relished revenge and had many scores to settle.” He thinks one of the scores might be with him and that she is plotting to get him busted for heroin.

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Posted on 20 January 2019 | 6:00 am

Pucci, London: ‘We revelled in nostalgia’ – restaurant review

If you enjoy large helpings of schmaltz with your pizza, head straight for Mayfair’s Pucci

Pucci, 39 Maddox Street, London W1S 1FX (020 3887 4363). Pizza £8-£45. Sharing plates £6-£26. Desserts £7-£9. Wines from £28

If the past is a foreign country, its embassy is currently located at the corner of Maddox and Mill Streets in London’s Mayfair. This, I think, is intentional. Pucci is presenting itself as the direct descendant of a place on the King’s Road in Chelsea called Pucci Pizza, which was once the haunt of famous people with terrifying haircuts. Rod Stewart, Brian Ferry and Diana Ross went there, as did George Best if he could ever drag himself away from the pub. Or as one review put it in the 90s, eating there meant there was always a danger “that you will share the basement with minor celebs from other decades who will be trying rather sadly to attract attention to themselves”. You get the idea.

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Posted on 20 January 2019 | 5:59 am

Bill bans ‘abhorrent’ quizzing of domestic abuse victims in court

Landmark draft legislation also includes measures to raise awareness and support survivors

Domestic abusers will no longer be able to cross-examine their former partners in family courts under a comprehensive government package of reforms to tackle the issue.

The landmark draft domestic abuse bill, published tomorrow after an 18-month delay, will prevent victims from being subjected to the “abhorrent practice” of being interrogated in court by their abusers, alongside other measures designed to raise awareness, support survivors and tackle perpetrators.

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Posted on 20 January 2019 | 5:59 am

Super blood wolf moon: rare total lunar eclipse to grace northern hemisphere skies

Last blood moon for two years will combine with a supermoon to create unusual celestial phenomenon

An unusual set of circumstances will combine in the early hours of Monday morning in the skies above the northern hemisphere, resulting in a phenomenon called a super blood wolf moon.

A total lunar eclipse will give an apparent reddish colour to the lunar surface – known as a blood moon. At the same time, the moon will be slighty closer to Earth than normal and appear slightly bigger and brighter than usual – a phenomenon called a supermoon.

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Posted on 20 January 2019 | 3:27 am

DRC court confirms Felix Tshisekedi winner of presidential election

Opponent Martin Fayulu rejects ruling, saying the court has enabled a ‘constitutional coup d’etat’

The constitutional court of the Democratic Republic of the Congo has confirmed Felix Tshisekedi’s presidential election win, dismissing a challenge from another opposition leader who had accused him and the ruling party of stitching up the result.

Second-placed Martin Fayulu rejected the provisional tally for DRC’s election released last week, saying it was the product of a secret deal between Tshisekedi and outgoing President Joseph Kabila to cheat him out of a clear win of more than 60%.

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Posted on 20 January 2019 | 1:46 am

Spanish rescuers start drilling to reach boy trapped in well for six days

Julen Roselló, aged two, fell down the 100m borehole while out walking with his parents near Málaga

Rescuers in southern Spain have began drilling in the hope of rescuing a two-year-old boy trapped in a deep well for six days.

The mission to save the child has triggered an outpouring of public support as rescuers struggle with the challenge of bringing heavy equipment up steep access roads and reaching the toddler safely.

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Posted on 20 January 2019 | 1:10 am

Dinghies with 170 migrants on board missing in Med

Three survivors picked up by helicopter after 10 to 11 hours at sea, but charities fear worst after bodies seen in water

An estimated 170 migrants have gone missing in the Mediterranean in two incidents involving dinghies that left from Libya and Morocco, migrants organisations have said.

One dinghy was spotted sinking in rough waters on Friday by an Italian military plane on patrol. The plane dropped two safety rafts into the water but had to leave due to a lack of fuel, Rear Admiral Fabio Agostini told TV channel RaiNews24.

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Posted on 20 January 2019 | 12:35 am

We love... six fashion fixes for the week ahead - in pictures

A Prada necklace that adds a punch, summer basics with a timeless feel and Hanna Moon and Joyce Ng’s new exhibition at Somerset House... Fashion fixes to invest in this week

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Posted on 19 January 2019 | 11:45 pm

Fraser Island dingo attack: boy in hospital after running into pack of wild dogs

Six-year-old in hospital with leg injuries after being bitten by a dingo on a sand dune

A six-year-old boy has been attacked after unexpectedly running into a pack of dingoes on world heritage-listed Fraser Island, where the wild dog population is a protected species.

The child was bitten on the leg on Saturday afternoon after running up a sand dune.

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Posted on 19 January 2019 | 11:33 pm

Man, 18, charged over Jaden Moodie murder

Man held on suspicion of murder of 14-year-old stabbed to death in east London, but more suspects sought

Police have charged an 18-year-old man on suspicion of the murder of Jaden Moodie, who was knocked off a moped and stabbed to death in a targeted attack in east London.

Ayoub Majdouline, of no fixed address but from the Wembley area, will appear at Thames magistrates court on Monday.

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Posted on 19 January 2019 | 11:12 pm

Pelosi rejects Trump shutdown deal before president announces it

Donald Trump forged ahead on Saturday and proposed a deal to end the US government shutdown, despite Democrats having rejected it before he began to speak.

Related: Republicans’ lack of alarm over the shutdown reveals a disturbing truth | Ross Barkan

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Posted on 19 January 2019 | 11:00 pm

‘We feel orphaned’: Polish city mourns Paweł Adamowicz

Gdańsk mayor’s funeral revealed a nation in shock, bereft of a man who stood for openness

Even as Paweł Adamowicz was lying in state at Gdańsk’s European Solidarity Centre, a museum, archive, and public space dedicated to the history and values of the independent trade union born in the city’s shipyards, its grief-stricken staff were preparing his entry into history.

The opening of the museum in 2014 was the realisation of a dream for Adamowicz, a Gdańsk native who had long sought to present his city to the world as a symbol of Europe’s hard-won freedom. In between shifts maintaining an overnight vigil by his coffin, researchers gathered materials with which to commemorate him.

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Posted on 19 January 2019 | 10:17 pm

England’s Quad Series hopes hanging by a thread after South Africa loss

• England 45-48 South Africa
• England must now beat Australia by five goals to win Series

England’s hopes of claiming their first Quad Series title appear in tatters after South Africa tore up the script at London’s Copper Box Arena.

From the high of a repeat 13-goal drubbing of New Zealand in Liverpool last week to this shock 48-45 loss to outsiders South Africa, England now face the daunting prospect of not only having to defeat Australia on Sunday but needing to do so by at least five goals to have any chance of achieving Quad Series history.

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Posted on 19 January 2019 | 10:06 pm

Women’s March 2019 – in pictures

Thousands gathered across the globe to call for equality and the protection of women’s rights

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Posted on 19 January 2019 | 8:51 pm

Ministers urged to halt right-to-buy scheme

More than 40% of former council homes now rented out by private landlords

Ministers are facing calls to shelve Margaret Thatcher’s totemic right-to-buy scheme after a devastating analysis revealed that more than 40% of council houses sold under its terms in London are now privately rented.

The damning findings of an analysis of Freedom of Information data also show that:

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Posted on 19 January 2019 | 8:49 pm

Women around the world march against austerity and violence

Tens of thousands take to city streets to protest against violence and the impact of austerity on their lives

Propelled by a mass public rendition of Sisters Are Doin’ It for Themselves and accompanied by a thudding police helicopter overhead, hundreds of protesters have rallied in central London in solidarity with an estimated 89 Women’s Marches worldwide.

In Athens, Berlin, Washington DC and Los Angeles, to name just a few, tens of thousands of demonstrators turned out to protest against violence against women and the impact of policies of austerity. They also had some choice words for Donald Trump and Theresa May.

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Posted on 19 January 2019 | 8:07 pm

Two dead after pigeon droppings infection at Glasgow hospital

Patients believed to have inhaled cryptococcus at Queen Elizabeth University hospital

Two patients have died at a hospital after contracting a fungal infection linked to pigeon droppings.

The individuals are thought have caught the airborne disease at the Queen Elizabeth University hospital in Glasgow after inhaling the fungus cryptococcus, typically found in soil and pigeon droppings.

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Posted on 19 January 2019 | 7:37 pm

US airstrike in Somalia kills 52 al-Shabaab fighters, military says

The US military said it carried out an airstrike in Somalia that killed 52 al-Shabaab extremists, in response to an attack on Somali forces.

Related: Al-Shabaab's Nairobi attack is a reminder that tit-for-tat terror never succeeds | Mukoma wa Ngugi

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Posted on 19 January 2019 | 7:18 pm

Observer archive: a bummaree, 22 January 1956

Photographer Michael Peto captures the porter at rest in Smithfield meat market, London.

The word “bummaree,” now much in the news, was also on many a Londoner’s lips 199 years ago, when the Lord Mayor issued an order trying to limit the activities of these porters. The origin of the word is obscure, and its spelling has varied, in those days it was a Billingsgate rather than a Smithfield title, and applied to a kind of middleman who bought fish from ships’ captains early in the morning and sold it to fishmongers.

In 1795, the Common Council was petitioned by the fishmongers to get rid of these wholesalers altogether. However, the City officials in the market, the Underwater Bailiff and the Yeoman of the Waterside, had no wish to eliminate the bummarees, who paid them 4d. a day per man for the hire of a site and planks on which to lay out their fish. Private citizens, who could buy salmon at 6d. a pound from the bummarees when the fishmongers charged 1s. 3d., also supported them.

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Posted on 19 January 2019 | 6:00 pm

Eddie Marsan: ‘My wife says Twitter is my midlife crisis’

The British actor, who stars alongside Christian Bale in the forthcoming Vice, talks about politics, playing baddies, and doing the kids’ homework

Eddie Marsan, 50, is a prolific British character actor who has played roles as diverse as Shimon Peres, Heinrich Himmler and Bob Dylan. Born and raised in east London, he left school at 15 and apprenticed as a printer before becoming an actor. It took a decade before he started getting regular work, helped by Mike Leigh casting him in Vera Drake (2004) and as a volatile driving instructor in Happy-Go-Lucky (2008). In the US, where he now mostly works (though he lives in Chiswick), he is best known for his role as Terry, an ex-boxer with Parkinson’s, in the Showtime series Ray Donovan. For his latest film Vice, exploring Dick Cheney’s insidious role in the last Bush administration, Marsan plays deputy secretary of defence, Paul Wolfowitz.

When did you realise that you resembled Wolfowitz enough to play him in Vice?
I got a call saying that [director] Adam McKay would like me to play this part. I knew who Paul Wolfowitz was – I’m a bit of a politics geek – and I saw the physical similarity. It still needed a lot of time in makeup, but I’m used to that – I’m married to a makeup artist.

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Posted on 19 January 2019 | 5:00 pm

After Borgen, will British viewers now be enthralled by the life of a Danish pastor?

TV writer Adam Price moves from state to church for new drama series, Ride Upon the Storm

He convinced us to fall in love with the ins and outs of Danish politics. Now Adam Price, the man behind the hit drama Borgen, hopes to get audiences similarly enthralled by God, faith and the Danish Lutheran church.

Price has solid form in taking seemingly dense themes and making them not merely palatable but positively ambrosial. By the time Borgen finished its third and final series on BBC Four, it was regularly pulling in more than a million viewers, having convinced many along the way that they were experts in the politics of coalition government in Denmark.

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Posted on 19 January 2019 | 4:00 pm

Davos 2019: do the global elite have the will to fix the world's problems?

Globalisation, populism and Brexit are among the issues at the World Economic Forum

Political and economic problems loom heavily over the global elite as they gather at Davos for the World Economic Forum. But is there any political will to fix them?

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Posted on 19 January 2019 | 3:59 pm

New GPs sign up to poorest areas after £20,000 incentives

More than 500 trainee doctors join practices in deprived communities since ‘golden hellos’ two years ago

Record numbers of GPs are working in some of England’s most deprived communities after being given £20,000 “golden hellos” to tackle the under-doctoring of poorer areas.

More than 500 trainee family doctors have begun working in places such as Hull, Blackpool and Cumbria since 2016 in a move NHS bosses hope will tackle stark health inequalities.

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Posted on 19 January 2019 | 1:15 pm

Jamaica's racetrack warriors of Caymanas Park – in pictures

While spending time in Jamaica in the 1980s and 1990s, reportage photographer Wayne Tippetts developed a fascination with the Caymanas Park horse racing track in Portmore, the last remaining track on the island. In recent years he has revisited the track gaining behind-the-scenes access and we take a look at selection of these images

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Posted on 19 January 2019 | 12:28 pm

'Dad has had more comebacks than Elvis': confessions of a reluctant carer

There are a lot of things I have been meaning to do. Pushing 50 and moving back in with my parents wasn’t among them

People react kindly when I tell them I look after my folks, but things are not as selfless as they seem. I care, but I am also captive. When I first came home, temporarily I imagined, to help them through a difficult patch, I had a house, a marriage and some semblance of a career. That was more than 12 months ago. Then the work project that had absorbed the previous two years and all my money came to nothing, my relationship collapsed, and there was a further decline in my parents’ health. Which is more or less how I found myself back in a room and a town I left in the late 80s, caring for people in their late 80s. My siblings work and I am the best person for the job, in part since I have nowhere else to go.

Except sometimes out for lunch.

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Posted on 19 January 2019 | 9:00 am

The 20 photographs of the week

Gunfire and explosions in Nairobi, fast food at the White House, a great white shark off the coast of Oahu and the Australian Open tennis – the week captured by the world’s best photojournalists

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Posted on 19 January 2019 | 8:43 am

Buy your own Guardian classic photograph: Mo Farah, 2012 Olympics

This week in our regular series, an image by Tom Jenkins of Mo Farah winning the men’s 5,000m at the 2012 London Olympics

When Mo Farah won the men’s 5,000m on Saturday 11 August 2012, a week after his first gold of the London Olympics, in the 10,000m, the noise in the stadium was so loud that the sound waves distorted the photo-finish image. Tom Jenkins wanted to capture the wider context: the significance of a Somalian immigrant being cheered by his country, winning a historic double. So Jenkins set up a remote camera beyond the finish line, low down but with a wide angle, in order to include the stands, which were still visible in the early evening light. All he had to do then was cross his fingers. Farah’s face says it all. “It was a sensational night,” says Jenkins, “and Mo’s expression never lets you down. But this picture isn’t just about him – it’s about what his win meant.” Hannah Booth

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Posted on 19 January 2019 | 7:00 am

What's the difference between news and opinion? Gary Younge tells us about his role - video

The Guardian’s editor-at-large on being a columnist and how analysing stories can help others think more about the news, plus advice to future journalists

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Posted on 18 January 2019 | 8:00 am

Is there a Democrat who can oust Donald Trump?

The Democrats are already fighting for the opportunity to take on Donald Trump – but can any of them hope to unseat him? Plus: Nobel peace prize winner Malala Yousafzai on what she would like to tell the US president about building walls

The Democrats are gearing up for the 2020 US election. After being crushed by the 2016 result, this is a party still struggling to define itself – with a fierce battle under way between candidates from its more traditional and radical wings.

Anushka Asthana talks to the Guardian’s US political reporter Sabrina Siddiqui about some of the Democrats who are weighing up a presidential run. They discuss whether the US will ever be ready for a female president and the best tactics to take on Trump.

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Posted on 18 January 2019 | 3:00 am

'As divisive as ever': readers on Theresa May's Brexit

What next? Readers have been debating Brexit the morning after the prime minister survived a confidence vote

I think the prime minister just wants to do this “reaching out” as a PR exercise at the end of which she can announce “I tried, but no one else came up with another answer that respects the referendum... So you have accept my deal.”

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Posted on 17 January 2019 | 10:08 am

10 great affordable winter sun holidays: readers' travel tips

Dodge the British winter, without spending a fortune, with readers’ picks in Spain, including the Canaries, and bargains in north, west and South Africa

We escaped to the north-west coast of Fuerteventura, in the Canary Islands, for a week before Christmas. With flights from £80, reasonable car hire (£50) and a great Airbnb in Lajares (£30 a night), it was a great week of cycling, surfing, hiking, boat trips to the small island off the north coast and epic sunsets from the lovely fishing village of El Cotillo. Lajares is fun, a lively village with cafes, shops and bike hire and it’s in a national park with a backdrop of a volcano. The north track follows the coast from Corralejo to El Cotillo, where you can find beaches with world-class surf and sheltered white sand lagoons.
Sasha Dobrota

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Posted on 17 January 2019 | 6:30 am

How Brexit unravelled

In a disastrous week for Theresa May’s Brexit agreement, her former director of strategy, Chris Wilkins, and the Guardian’s Daniel Boffey chart where it all went wrong. Plus: Polly Toynbee on what Labour should do next

It has been a crushing week for Theresa May. On Tuesday, parliament rejected her Brexit deal in the biggest ever government defeat on the floor of the House of Commons.

Chris Wilkins, Theresa May’s former director of strategy, takes Anushka Asthana on May’s Brexit journey, from the steps of Downing Street in July 2016 to yesterday’s vote of no confidence, while the Guardian’s Daniel Boffey describes how each stage was viewed from Brussels.

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Posted on 17 January 2019 | 3:00 am

Share a tip on ethical breaks for the chance to win a £200 hotel voucher

Tell us about your best eco-friendly, community-based or other ‘holiday with benefits’ anywhere in the world

Going on holiday is often regarded as “me” time, a chance to relax and recover from the daily grind. But this week we’d like to hear about holidays that also have wider benefits for your destination. These could be wildlife conservation trips, tours led by local women, places with impeccable eco-credentials or projects that ensure income stays within the community.

We’re not talking about volunteering holidays here, just breaks that make some sort of difference to people, animals or the planet. Tell us about your ethical trip – being specific about location, price and website where possible, and try to keep your tip to 100 words.

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Posted on 16 January 2019 | 11:04 am

Go behind the scenes with three MPs caught up in Brexit vote chaos – video

As parliament rejected Theresa May’s Brexit deal by a historic margin, the Guardian went behind the scenes with three MPs who have dramatically opposing views: Suella Braverman, a Tory Brexiter; Labour’s Jess Phillips, a remainer in a strong leave seat; and the Greens’ Caroline Lucas, a key member of the People’s Vote campaign. This is how they felt about the twists and turns that ultimately led to Jeremy Corbyn tabling a motion of no confidence in the prime minister

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Posted on 16 January 2019 | 6:59 am

The great Brexit rebellion

On a monumental day in parliament, Anushka Asthana is with the Conservative MP Anna Soubry as she works across traditional party boundaries to defeat Theresa May’s Brexit deal. Political editor Heather Stewart explains what happens now

Plus: the Guardian’s Simon Hattenstone on his time following the Leave Means Leave campaign group

On a monumental day in Westminster for British politics and Brexit, Anushka Asthana follows the action through the eyes of one of the key Conservative rebels. For two years, Anna Soubry has railed against Brexit and her party leader, Theresa May. Today she was one of 432 MPs who voted to reject the prime minister’s EU withdrawal bill, sending her own government deeper into crisis.

Soubry describes her cross-party cooperation with opposition MPs, the abuse and death threats she has received and the future of the Conservative party in one of the most divisive periods of its existence.

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Posted on 16 January 2019 | 3:41 am

What do you think about the future of education?

How can education be improved? Submit your questions and ideas for our panel of experts to discuss what can be learnt from different approaches to education

Do you have good ideas about education, or want to ask a question about what it could like like in the future? If so, let us know by sharing your thoughts with our panel of education experts to examine what can be done to improve education, and make systems more equal. Whether you’re a teacher, student, academic, social worker, policymaker, parent, and wherever you are in the world, we want to hear from you.

This is what Alex Beard, author of Natural Born Learners, and one of our panellists for this podcast, has to say:

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Posted on 11 January 2019 | 3:05 pm

What does a government shutdown mean for the US? - video

In the second-longest shutdown in US government history, Donald Trump continues to demand more than $5bn for a border wall. Congress is in deadlock, and some 800,000 federal employees have been sent home or are working without pay. The president has threatened that the shutdown could last ‘months or even years’. Here’s what that might mean

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Posted on 10 January 2019 | 9:27 am

The Bystander Effect: Neuroscientist shows how our brains dehumanise homeless people - video

The Museum of Homelessness worked with neuroscientist Dr Lasana Harris and several participants who have experienced homelessness to understand what is termed 'the bystander effect', where people form a dehumanised perception of others through a lack of social engagement.

In this film the camera tracks across three scenes to hear stories of homelessness from various different perspectives in an effort to change the way it is understood and discussed.

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Posted on 2 January 2019 | 11:06 am

Marielle and Monica: the LGBT activists resisting Bolsonaro's Brazil - video

Marielle Franco, Brazilian LGBT and human rights activist, was killed in March 2018. Her widow, Monica Benicio, continued her fight for better treatment of the poor, the LGBT community and black Brazilians. Her murder has still not been solved and as the police investigation drifts, Monica is a plunged into a new crisis - the probable election of Jair Bolsonaro. On the eve of his inauguration, the film documents Monica’s involvement in the campaign opposing Bolsonaro and shoots of hope in the election of some local politicians from other parties, plus the aftermath of the election which suggests a terrifying future for LGBT rights and politicians who oppose the Government, and little hope for Marielle’s murder case being adequately solved. 

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Posted on 28 December 2018 | 12:01 pm

'I knew my life could be in danger': the girl on a mission to change Iraq – video

Rowan was born just before the start of the Iraq war. The turmoil of her country sparked a deep sense of social injustice, and she began speaking out for human rights at just eight years old. Now 15, her impassioned criticism of the restrictive Iraqi regime has won her many supporters – but left her in fear of reprisals

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Posted on 27 December 2018 | 10:00 am

Power mentors: the community activists inspiring young Londoners

Anyone’s surroundings can inspire them to change their life – you just have to be willing to see the world with fresh eyes. As part of our Tales of the everyday extraordinary series, we meet a new breed of activists, such as ex-gang member Karl Lokko, who demonstrate just how important this is. Images captured on the Google Pixel 3

When Karl Lokko was 12 years old, his life took its first swerve towards danger. He saw someone shot for the first time, on Brixton’s Myatts Field estate, the south London housing block he called home. For years, the estate had earned a reputation as a place where families and children lived in the crossfire of local conflicts. And for a time, it seemed as though Lokko would commit his life to the gang culture that seemed to thrive in his area. Now, though, he considers that estate one of the most meaningful places in his life.

“It had a terrible reputation – branded at one point by the press as the ‘Devil’s Den’,” he says. Even then, it was still the backdrop for the childhood games he remembers playing with friends: “Knock down ginger, 40/40 home, run outs and park-swing Olympics.” It’s also where Lokko met Pastor Mimi Asher as a young adult – the woman who would eventually turn his life around.

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Posted on 21 December 2018 | 2:31 pm

Best vegan restaurants in London: King Cook’s essential guide

From seitan-fried chicken, to tofu-fish tacos, King Cook has the inside track on London’s best vegan food. We spoke to the chef and owner of Cook Daily as part of our Tales of the everyday extraordinary series – where innately curious people reveal the ‘ordinary’ places and things that inspire them. All images captured on the Google Pixel 3

London’s vegan scene may still be burgeoning, but it’s a behemoth compared with when King Cook, founder of iconic vegan spot Cook Daily, first opened a pop-up in Shoreditch’s Boxpark back in 2015. Inspired by the south-east Asian flavours he grew up with – as well as the huge range of cultures in the capital – King serves up steaming bowls of pad thai, jungle curry, jerk chicken and even chicken and mushroom pie, all with puffed tofu, or seitan chicken and king prawns that are eerily realistic, to curious carnivores and committed vegans alike.

A pioneer of the scene, King makes it his duty to see what the new kids on the block are offering. From market stalls and makeshift pop-ups to full-blown fine dining, he has the inside track on where to find the best vegan breakfast, lunch, dinner and quick bites in the city. Once you know where to look, you’ll discover even the most ordinary of streets are hiding a vegan gem or two ...

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Posted on 21 December 2018 | 2:30 pm

My life in a hotel room: Ireland’s hidden homeless crisis - video

Nuala and her teenage daughter, Laura, were suddenly evicted from their Dublin home when their landlord of 10 years was forced to sell by his creditors. They haven’t been able to find a new place to rent. Despite having been on the council house waiting list for more than six years they are still only around 600th in line. Now, like almost 10,000 other people and 1,700 families across Ireland, Nuala and Laura are homeless. Phoebe Greenwood went to Dublin to meet them and look into Ireland’s hidden homelessness epidemic.

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Posted on 20 December 2018 | 7:00 am

How fashion got woke: The Slumflower and the new breed of influencers

There’s been a sea change in social media, from idolising the perfect to finding the extraordinary in the everyday. As part of our Tales of the everyday extraordinary series, we find out why no one embodies that more than influencer Chidera Eggerue. Images captured on the Google Pixel 3 by Stephanie Sian Smith

At first glance, the words “woke” and “fashion” don’t exactly seem to have much in common. But some time between the former’s emergence in progressive black circles in the US as a term to describe social, political and racial awareness in the early aughts and its co-opting by the internet mainstream as a slang catchall in the 2010s, it became the fashion in fashion. An extraordinary term that became everyday. In 2016, MTV actually added “woke” to its list of 10 words you should know.

The proof is in the wave of catwalk political statements that started with designers such as Maria Grazia Chiuri at Dior and Prabal Gurung reviving the protest slogan tees made famous by Katherine Hamnett in the 1980s. This spirit of activism continues apace with model bookers taking a more considered, diverse approach to casting that’s beyond tokenism: from the cornrowed Sudanese model Adut Akech walking the Valentino runway and Kenyan born Halima Aden in hijab at MaxMara, to trans model Jessica Espinosa walking for Louis Vuitton and the reappearance of older supers, such as Stella Tennant at Salvatore Ferragamo.

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Posted on 18 December 2018 | 3:48 pm

'I'll ask God to intervene': the Christian volunteers doing police work in Reading – video

As government cuts affect police numbers, Reading is feeling the pinch. With one officer claiming there are 'very serious jobs, for instance stabbings, that we cannot get to', Thames Valley police have turned to a group of Christian volunteers to help them police the town centre on Friday and Saturday nights. As well as keeping an eye out for trouble and known criminals, the Street Pastors care for people in no fit state to get home, and even run a taxi service for people too drunk for most drivers to accept 

• Filmed in Reading town centre on 28 and 29 September 2018.

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Posted on 18 December 2018 | 11:26 am

Liv Little: ‘It’s a big thing for a black woman to see yourself reflected back’

Women of colour need their own space, which is why Liv Little set up gal-dem. As part of our Tales of the everyday extraordinary series, we explore how she started a culturequake that’s been felt throughout the media ever since. All images captured on the Google Pixel 3 by Stephanie Sian Smith

Liv Little walks into Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour office with a smile that is as big and bright as her red puffer coat, impressive considering how exhausted she is. We’re here to discuss the rise of women and non-binary people of colour in media, an industry in which Little has emerged as a bright new star. It’s the reason we asked her to be part of the Guardian Labs’s and Google Pixel 3’s Tales of the everyday extraordinary series, where innately curious people discuss how they discover the extraordinary all around them. Little collapses into the waiting arms of a slouchy upholstered chair, humbly receiving congrats on the runaway success of her independent digital and print zine, gal-dem, from a producer who has popped in to say hi.

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Posted on 14 December 2018 | 4:14 pm

Can women save Sumo? The crossroads facing Japan's national sport – video

The ancient Japanese ritual of Sumo is in crisis. Only last week, a Mongolian wrestler was forced to retire after assaulting a teammate – but that's just the tip of the iceberg. Years of controversy and scandal, coupled with the country's declining population, have greatly impacted the sport's ability to attract new talent. The Guardian visits Tokyo's Ryōgoku district, the birthplace of Sumo, to see how this iconic institution is adapting to life in the 21st century, and why - despite women being banned from the ring itself - young female fans are flocking to watch it like never before

Yokozuna, controversies and a 'Dump Truck': a sumo history – in pictures

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Posted on 11 December 2018 | 1:19 pm

Arron Banks: the man who bankrolled Brexit – podcast

Carole Cadwalladr has been covering the biggest pro-leave donor for nearly two years. As each revelation sparks a new investigation, Arron Banks rubbishes her journalism. But those investigations are beginning to bite. Also today: Eva Wiseman on our obsession with true crime

It’s been more than a year since the Guardian and Observer journalist Carole Cadwalladr started investigating Arron Banks and his unofficial Brexit campaign Leave.Eu. She tells Anushka Asthana how each new story brought with it a hail of criticism and ridicule.

But now the National Crime Agency has said it is investigating Banks amid concerns that he was “not the true source” of £8m in funding to the Leave.EU campaign.

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Posted on 9 November 2018 | 3:00 am