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The Guardian

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

Brexit has fuelled surge in UK food prices, says Bank of England policymaker

Britons need to be kept aware of the cost of leaving the EU, says Swati Dhingra

• ‘The slowdown is here’ – read the Observer business profile

Brexit is contributing to a surge in food prices as the country heads into recession, a senior Bank of England policymaker has warned.

Swati Dhingra – the newest member of the Bank’s monetary policy committee (MPC), which sets interest rates – also used an interview with the Observer to suggest that the coming run of central bank rate rises should peak below 4.5%, which is the level that some City investors are expecting. “The market is probably underestimating what damage that [level of interest rates] might cause to the UK economy,” she said.

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Posted on 3 December 2022 | 3:55 pm

Russia-Ukraine war live: Kyiv says ‘sick’ packages sent to its embassies following letter bomb in Madrid

Ukraine’s foreign minister says 17 diplomatic missions have now received suspicious packages

More details have been published about attacks on Ukraine on Friday, in an update from the general staff of the Ukrainian armed forces.

They said Russia continues to shell civilian infrastructure and is trying to go on the offensive in Avdiivka and Bakhmut.

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Posted on 3 December 2022 | 3:55 pm

Netherlands v USA: World Cup 2022, last 16 – live

First question for me from the inbox is … who are you?

Well, not quite phrased like that. From Steve Wiles: “I’m not as up to date with the MBM as I used to be, so maybe you’ve been around a while. Don’t recognize the name though. Just wanted to say: ‘This should be fun. Let’s talk for a bit and then watch, shall we?’ I like your style!”

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Posted on 3 December 2022 | 3:54 pm

Liz Truss took a ‘Spinal Tap approach’ to government, says former speech writer

Asa Bennett told the BBC the ex-prime minister demanded the volume was ‘turned up to 11’ when she arrived

Liz Truss took a “Spinal Tap approach” to government, demanding the volume was “turned up to 11”, her former chief speech writer has said.

Asa Bennett said the former prime minister had arrived in Downing Street determined to put “rocket boosters” under the economy and that it was a matter of “bitter regret” that her efforts had failed.

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Posted on 3 December 2022 | 3:52 pm

Edwardstone sees off Greaneteen to win Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown

Edwardstone, last season’s Arkle Trophy winner, took the measure of Greaneteen on the run to the final fence and then stayed on strongly to win the Grade One Tingle Creek Chase by nine lengths, with Shishkin, the 6-5 favourite, another six lengths away in third.

Shishkin moved into contention around the final turn but made a mistake at the third-last and faded from there as Edwardstone (5-1), making his first start since early April, confirmed himself a leading contender for the Queen Mother Champion Chase in March. Edwardstone is now top-priced at 4-1 for the Champion Chase, in a market headed by last year’s winner, Energumene, at 7-4. Shishkin, though, is out to 10-1 after his second defeat in a row.

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Posted on 3 December 2022 | 3:39 pm

Ukraine detains eight people over theft of Banksy mural in Kyiv

The stencil image, which shows a person in a nightgown and gas mask holding a fire extinguisher in Hostomel, went missing on Friday

Ukraine has detained eight people over the theft of a mural painted by the elusive British street artist Banksy from a wall in the Kyiv suburbs, the authorities said.

The stencil image of a person in a nightgown and gas mask holding a fire extinguisher next to the charred remains of a window in the town of Hostomel went missing on Friday, they said.

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Posted on 3 December 2022 | 3:29 pm

South Africa president to mount legal action in face of impeachment threat

Cyril Ramaphosa to seek judicial review of report that accuses him of ‘serious misconduct’

South Africa is facing a prolonged bout of political instability after Cyril Ramaphosa, the embattled president, told supporters he would mount a legal challenge to forestall looming impeachment.

After first telling supporters he was going to resign, Ramaphosa now appears to have decided to seek a judicial review of a report handed over last week by an independent panel appointed by parliament that accused him of “serious misconduct”.

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Posted on 3 December 2022 | 3:27 pm

On my radar: David Shrigley’s cultural highlights

The darkly comic artist on being starstruck by Pavement, dining mid-river and a football team he can really get behind

The Turner prize-shortlisted artist David Shrigley was born in Cheshire in 1968 and studied at Glasgow School of Art. Known for his deadpan style, his work spans drawing, sculpture, installations and music videos. In 2016, he put a 10-metre-high bronze thumbs up on Trafalgar Square’s fourth plinth. An exhibition of Shrigley’s work – Mainly Multiples, Some Paintings & Other Stuff Too – is at Hang-Up Gallery, London N1 until 27 January. He lives in Brighton with his wife.

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Posted on 3 December 2022 | 3:00 pm

White Noise review – a glorified Don DeLillo ventriloquist act with Adam Driver and Greta Gerwig,

Noah Baumbach’s laboriously quirky adaptation of DeLillo’s 1985 book can’t break free of the author’s voice

Sometimes a book that seems uniquely ill-suited to a cinema adaptation turns out to make an unexpectedly daring and inventive movie. Sometimes an “unfilmable” book is just unfilmable. Don DeLillo’s White Noise, adapted for the screen by Noah Baumbach, falls into the latter camp. It’s not so much the unwieldy structure and the disconcerting tonal swerves between chapters that prove to be a problem, although it was never going to sit entirely elegantly as a screenplay. Mainly it’s the fact that DeLillo’s voice so dominates the storytelling. This isn’t such a problem in a book, but in a film, with every character speaking in the same distinctively verbose verbal patterns, it feels more like a glorified ventriloquist act than a character-driven drama. There are tonal issues also. If a film could smirk, this one would.

Adam Driver stars as Jack Gladney, a provincial college professor whose area of expertise is “Hitler studies”. His wife, Babette (Greta Gerwig), teaches exercise classes for pensioners and shares with her husband a profound fear of death. They tie themselves in knots debating who should die first, sounding like two sides of the same tiresomely neurotic internal monologue. Which is, of course, exactly what they are. The first of several story chapters is fairly uneventful; however, in the second, Jack’s existential dread takes on a visible form, a looming “airborne toxic event”. In the third, Jack discovers that his wife’s infidelity and her use of an unlisted experimental drug are linked. A closing-credits supermarket dance sequence is fresh and fun, but the rest of the picture is laboriously quirky and self-regarding.

In cinemas now/on Netflix from 30 December

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Posted on 3 December 2022 | 3:00 pm

Teenage girl dies after taking drug at Devon nightclub

Police arrest 16-year-old boy on suspicion of supplying unknown substance in Exeter

A 16-year-old girl has died after taking a drug at a Devon nightclub, police said. Officers said a boy of the same age was arrested on suspicion of supplying the unknown substance – thought to be a class A drug such as ecstasy or LSD – in pill form.

Officers were called by paramedics to Move nightclub in Exeter at about 12.30am on Saturday over concerns for the girl, who was taken to the Royal Devon and Exeter hospital before she died.

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Posted on 3 December 2022 | 2:59 pm

Manchester United v Aston Villa: Women’s Super League – as it happened

In front of a record crowd for a WSL match at Old Trafford, Manchester United secured an emphatic win

Our first bit of correspondence has dropped, from Tor Turner. “Big questions about how Villa will perform in the kind of huge playground that is Old Trafford. I can’t see United losing today. Daly is a phenomenal player, but United – and yes I am biased as I’ve supported United since I was a boy – just have something extra. All talk of Russo, Toone and Daly pre-game but don’t count out Parris, I wouldn’t be surprised if she opens the scoring.”

Here’s a fun stat: Rachel Daly has been involved in 75% of Villa’s goals this season. She has 10 goals in all competitions, compared to two for her nearest competitor in Kenza Dali.

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Posted on 3 December 2022 | 2:47 pm

Five key moments from Matt Hancock’s pandemic memoir

In published extracts former health secretary says he broke Covid rules because he ‘fell in love’

Straight from appearing on the ITV reality show I’m a Celebrity, the focus on former health secretary Matt Hancock has turned to his upcoming memoir called Pandemic Diaries: The Inside Story Of Britain’s Battle Against Covid.

Here are five key moments from the book, which have been revealed in extracts published by the Daily Mail and Mail+.

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Posted on 3 December 2022 | 2:38 pm

Pelé moved to end-of-life care in hospital, reports say

Brazilian football legend is reportedly no longer responding to chemotherapy treatment

The Brazilian football legend Pelé is receiving palliative care after chemotherapy treatment for colon cancer stopped having the expected results, it has been reported.

Pelé, 82, who is widely considered one of the greatest footballers of all time, was admitted to hospital on Tuesday to re-evaluate his cancer treatment and later diagnosed with a respiratory infection, according to medical reports.

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Posted on 3 December 2022 | 2:26 pm

Third teenager charged over fatal stabbing of two boys in London

Hussain Bah, 18, becomes third person to be charged over deaths of Kearne Solanke and Charlie Bartolo, both 16

A third teenager has been charged over the fatal stabbing of two 16-year-old boys a mile apart in south-east London, the Metropolitan police have said.

Kearne Solanke was stabbed in Titmuss Avenue, Thamesmead, and Charlie Bartolo was found with stab wounds in Sewell Road, Abbey Wood, on Saturday 26 November.

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Posted on 3 December 2022 | 2:19 pm

Tory whip restored to Conor Burns after being cleared of misconduct

Party says ‘no basis on which to investigate further’ following complaint about MP’s behaviour at October conference

The former minister Conor Burns has had the Tory whip restored after being cleared of misconduct at the party conference in October.

Burns was sacked as trade minister by Liz Truss and had the whip withdrawn after a complaint about his behaviour at the annual Conservative party conference in Birmingham.

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Posted on 3 December 2022 | 2:10 pm

NCA arrests Russian businessman in London suspected of money laundering

Officers from the Combating Kleptocracy Cell, which investigates potential criminal activity by oligarchs, were part of the operation

A wealthy Russian businessman has been arrested at his multimillion-pound London home by officers investigating potential criminal activity by oligarchs.

The 58-year-old man, who has not been named, was held by the National Crime Agency (NCA) on Thursday on suspicion of offences including money laundering, conspiracy to defraud the Home Office and conspiracy to commit perjury.

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Posted on 3 December 2022 | 2:05 pm

Anger at ‘irresponsible’ Christmas sales of e-scooters banned on UK roads

Big-name retailers are marketing the popular mode of transport, despite use of privately owned models being banned in public places

On a wide road dotted with autumn leaves, a picture of a beaming woman rider promoted a £299 e-scooter on Amazon last week, which was described “as your best commuting or outdoor travel companion”.

It is one of several models of popular e-scooters that are marketed in the run-up to Christmas by the online giant and other big retailers, including Halfords, Argos and Currys. There is just one snag: it is illegal to ride privately owned e-scooters on public roads in the UK.

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Posted on 3 December 2022 | 2:04 pm

Midwinter magic: Robert Macfarlane on the enduring power of The Dark Is Rising

Susan Cooper’s 1973 novel, newly adapted for a BBC audio series, has enthralled generations of children and writers with its folkloric tale of an English boy caught in a battle between light and dark

I first read Susan Cooper’s The Dark Is Rising the summer I turned 13, the year the Berlin Wall came down. I read it by torchlight under the bedclothes, not because of parental curfew or power cut, but because that seemed the safest place to read what was, unmistakably, the eeriest novel I’d ever met.

Eeriness is different in kind to horror. Eeriness thrives in edge-of-the-eye glimpses; horror is full-frontal. The eerie lives in the same family of feelings as Freud’s “uncanny”, which in its original German, unheimlich, means “unhomely”. A core power of Cooper’s novel lies in its counterpointing of the homely and the unhomely. It opens in the domestic clamour of the Stanton family house, in a quiet English village in the upper Thames valley. It’s 20 December: the eve of both the winter solstice and the 11th birthday of Will, the youngest of the Stanton children. Inside the house, all is pre-Christmas chaos, baking smells and familiarity. But in the wintry landscape around, something is very wrong. Rooks are behaving strangely, dogs are suddenly afraid of Will, a blizzard is coming, and “a shadowy awareness of evil” is building. Will’s life is about to change for ever – for he will become caught up in an ancient battle between the forces of the Light and those of the Dark, which are always strongest at midwinter. His young shoulders are soon to bear an immense burden.

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Posted on 3 December 2022 | 2:00 pm

Facebook asked for nudes to help stop revenge porn and it worked. Can our culture change next? | Arwa Mahdawi

A tool to stop non-consensual distribution of intimate images has been successful – but there’s still the problem that collecting digital trophies is part of being a man

Would you send your nudes to Facebook? Would you trust a company famous for its somewhat loose approach to data privacy with intimate photos of yourself? The answer, for a lot of people, is “hell no, are you out of your mind?” Five years ago Facebook (which is now Meta) asked Australians for their nudes in a pilot effort to develop a tool to stop the non-consensual distribution of intimate images; the response was sceptical to say the least. In a surprising twist, though, it looks like Meta’s tactics to stop revenge porn are actually working.

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Posted on 3 December 2022 | 2:00 pm

Graham Coxon: ‘Music has always been there for me’

The Blur guitarist, 53, on his addictive personality, making music as you age and being a Britpop brat

I was a brat during Britpop. There was so much to rail against. But I should have been more grateful for my good fortune and looked after myself better and tried to enjoy it innocently. My problem with Blur was when it became a business. But a bigger problem was when my own people started talking in that language. When it all became about breaking America, or whatever.

When people get older their music gets rubbish. You’ve learned a bit more about yourself, mellowed out, maybe done a bit of therapy… – that young, fiery, uncompromising outlook you once had starts to get the edges knocked out of it. I’m not talking about myself, obviously.

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Posted on 3 December 2022 | 2:00 pm

Schools call for end to ‘archaic’ daily worship following UK census results

With fewer than half the population in England and Wales describing themselves as Christian, there are calls to end religious assemblies

Daily worship in schools should end, according to teachers and education experts who have branded the legal requirement “archaic” now that England is not predominantly Christian.

The 2021 census revealed last week that for the first time fewer than half the population in England and Wales described themselves as Christian, while 37% said they had “no religion”.

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Posted on 3 December 2022 | 2:00 pm

Blackpink review – K-pop juggernaut with world-beating attitude

O2 Arena, London
Despite arriving late, and rumours of rifts behind the scenes, the South Korean superstars unleash their expertly blended mega hits with total commitment

K-pop prides itself on vertiginously high standards in all aspects of production, from its choreography to the carefully curated public images of its stars. So it’s surprising that the European leg of the biggest tour ever by an all-female K-pop act begins a tad late. A bemused American voice apologises for “technical difficulties” over the PA. (Blackpink’s world tour has transferred from a successful run in the US.) There’s little for “Blinks” – Blackpink fans – to do but watch the band’s videos and bash their heart-hammer light sticks, which produce a polite squeak, on the nearest hard surface.

When the assault on the senses finally begins, though, it is in earnest. Arena pop is known for its OTT staging and pyrotechnics. K-pop puts a rocket under all that. One of the drivers of the genre’s ubiquity in the past decade is the ability of the all-powerful South Korean production houses to cherrypick the most impactful aspects of western pop – trap beats, Swedish production signatures, anthemic pre-choruses, 1980s keyboard lines – and throw them in a blender, then sell them back to the world in enhanced forms.

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Posted on 3 December 2022 | 2:00 pm

Man who died after being held at Manston asylum centre named

Hussein Haseeb Ahmed, a 31-year-old from Iraq, who tested positive for diptheria, died in hospital on 19 November

A man who died after being held at Manston reception centre in Kent, where initial checks are carried out on small boat arrivals, has been named as Hussein Haseeb Ahmed, a 31-year-old from Iraq.

Ahmed arrived in the UK on a small boat on 12 November and was being processed at Manston when he became ill and died in hospital on 19 November.

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Posted on 3 December 2022 | 1:45 pm

Diverse World Cup knockout stage a leap forward for Africa and Asia

Every inhabited continent is represented at the last 16 in Qatar, aided by a crop of tactically smart, quick-thinking coaches

Amid the stultifying debate over whether the ball had crossed the byline before Ao Tanaka’s winner for Japan against Spain, something more important was lost. The goal ultimately ensured that, for the first time, every inhabited continent was represented in a World Cup last 16. Less than a day would pass before South Korea enhanced Asia’s contingent, guaranteeing the most diverse knockout stage in the tournament’s history.

It makes for a mouthwatering set of ties and will also be music to the ears of Qatar, which assiduously posits itself as a unifying force regardless of evidence to the contrary. Hosting a competition with a greater global spread of participants than any other is not hard to spin positively: the mix is a consequence of drama that, after a slow start, gave this group stage a claim to be the best ever on pure footballing terms.

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Posted on 3 December 2022 | 1:44 pm

Renters forced to pay hundreds in ‘unethical’ fees to secure homes

Observer investigation uncovers cases where people were told to sign up to a ‘zero deposit’ scheme as a condition of their tenancy

Letting agencies are earning thousands of pounds in commission and in some cases flouting the ban on tenant fees by forcing renters to sign up to controversial “zero deposit” schemes.

An Observer investigation has uncovered evidence of pressure-selling tactics by some agencies in England, including cases where people were told they were required to sign up as a condition of securing a tenancy.

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Posted on 3 December 2022 | 1:24 pm

Brazil blow as Gabriel Jesus and Alex Telles are ruled out of World Cup

Brazil’s Arsenal forward Gabriel Jesus and the defender Alex Telles have both been ruled out of the rest of the World Cup after picking up injuries in their final Group G game against Cameroon.

Telles was substituted in the 54th minute of Brazil’s 1-0 defeat by the African side, with Jesus leaving the pitch 10 minutes later. Brazil face South Korea in the last 16 on Monday.

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Posted on 3 December 2022 | 1:22 pm

Father of girl, 4, with strep A ‘praying for a miracle’

Dean Burns, whose daughter, Camila Rose, is being treated in hospital, urges parents to look out for symptoms

The father of a four-year-old girl who is in critical care with strep A has said he is “praying for a miracle” and urged other parents to look out for symptoms.

The UK Health Security Agency has said cases of the most serious kind of infection, called invasive group A strep (iGAS), are unusually high for this time of year, and believe the increase in cases may be linked to more social mixing after the ending of Covid restrictions.

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Posted on 3 December 2022 | 1:16 pm

Indonesian island of Java hit by earthquake of at least 5.7 magnitude

No immediate reports of casualties or major damage after tremor shakes town of Cianjur that was devastated last month

A 5.7-magnitude earthquake has hit Indonesia’s main island of Java, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) said, shaking the same town devastated by another quake last month that left more than 330 people dead.

The quake struck on land at a depth of 112km (70 miles) and the epicentre was located 18km south-east of city of Banjar, according to the USGS. There were no immediate reports of casualties or major damage.

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Posted on 3 December 2022 | 1:15 pm

‘Terror campaign’ on Ukraine embassies continues with more bloody packages

Eighteen diplomatic missions in 12 countries received packages, all sent from one unnamed European country

Eighteen Ukrainian diplomatic missions in 12 countries have received bloody packages in what Ukraine has described as a “campaign of terror and intimidation”. Oleh Nikolenko, a spokesperson from Ukraine’s foreign ministry, said the packages were simultaneously sent from one European country, which he could not disclose while the investigation was ongoing.

As of Friday, Ukraine said 17 embassies had been targeted, indicating that another was delivered on Saturday.

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Posted on 3 December 2022 | 1:12 pm

An Indigenous reservation has a novel way to grow food – below the earth’s surface

Underground greenhouses are helping people to take back control of their nutrition and ease farming amid the climate crisis

Near the southern border of the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, a curved translucent roof peeks out a few feet above the dusty plains. It’s a blustery November afternoon and the last remaining greens outside are fading fast. But below ground, at the bottom of a short flight of stairs, the inside of this 80ft-long sleek structure is bursting with life – pallets of vivid microgreens, potato plants growing from hay bales and planters full of thick heads of Swiss chard and pak choi. Two people bend over the pallets, using scissors to harvest delicate sprouts of microgreens.

This is an underground greenhouse, or walipini, and the harvesters are members of the Oglala Sioux Tribe. It is one of at least eight underground greenhouses that, over the past decade, have been built or are being constructed on the reservation – which has one of the highest poverty rates in the US. Some hope they can help solve the interconnected problems of the lack of affordable, nutritious food and the difficulties of farming in the climate crisis.

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Posted on 3 December 2022 | 1:00 pm

Fakers, fast sign-ups and fraud: the crisis at the UK’s Companies House

Britain’s register of companies was reformed in 2011 to allow incorporations within 24 hours for £12. Now the number of firms on its books has soared – and so have the complaints

It was in June, when she went to get a credit check for a mortgage, that the 20-year-old employee at Japanese beauty brand Shiseido realised something had gone badly wrong.

“My credit rating was trashed. Someone had taken out car finance, a business loan and an overdraft, all in my name, with my details,” says the employee, who has asked to remain anonymous because she still works at the brand. “I’d apparently founded a chocolate company in the Midlands.”

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Posted on 3 December 2022 | 1:00 pm

How a landmark bill and a small patch of land could save Florida’s panthers

The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act would provide $1.3bn annually for wildlife and could speed up completion of a crucial wildlife corridor in one US state

Beyond the dirt tracks and swamps of the Florida Everglades lies a narrow, unremarkable strip of land that has taken on outsize importance in the battle to save the state’s critically endangered panthers. Barely 11 miles (18km) long and a mile wide, Chaparral Slough occupies a forgotten corner of south-west Florida, where cattle roam, cowboys still ride the prairie and birds of prey soar overhead.

This tract of ranchland and wilderness was recently acquired as part of the Florida Forever state conservation programme, which buys, or pays landowners to preserve, parcels of land rich in natural resources or habitat critical to the survival of threatened wildlife species. It is a small but crucial piece in the Florida Wildlife Corridor, a 17.7m-acre network of interconnecting landscapes that allows many of the state’s 131 imperilled animals, including panthers and bears, to roam freely.

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Posted on 3 December 2022 | 1:00 pm

Senegal’s beach ballers aim to cause earthquake by shaking up England

African nation has produced an array of talent in recent years but must overcome key absentees to succeed in last-16 game

There is a daily ritual on Senegal’s beaches that begins just as the sun starts to set at about 5pm. Roughly divided by age, hundreds of young men play football until it gets dark or the tides of the Atlantic Ocean wash away their pitches and the discarded tyres being used as impromptu goalposts.

It only takes a few minutes of watching the dazzling array of skills on show to understand why Teranga Lions have won Africa’s Beach Soccer Cup of Nations on seven of the past nine occasions, although it needed another penalty shootout victory over Egypt to claim their fourth successive title in October.

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Posted on 3 December 2022 | 1:00 pm

Strange Horticulture review – the enjoyably shady business of botanicals

(Bad Viking; Iceberg Interactive; PC, Switch)
Plants can cure or kill in this atmospheric puzzle game

In Strange Horticulture you enter the tangy murk of a rare plant shop of the same name, inherited from your recently deceased uncle. It’s in Undermere, a fictionalised version of Windermere in the Lake District. A few specimens – all fictitious but botanically believable – line the shop’s dusty wooden shelves, each one in need of a good watering. Soon your first customer emerges from the shadows with a request for a medicinal plant to help rid them of the voices they hear at night.

You’re no expert; instead, you must rely on the reference materials left by your uncle, chiefly, his edition of The Strange Book of Plants, a horticultural guide filled with clues for identifying plants from their scent, the shape of their leaves, the colours of their petals, as well as to remedial properties.

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Posted on 3 December 2022 | 1:00 pm

Things we lost in the wildfires: images of the devastating personal cost of a warming world

A camera, a lamp, a child’s tricycle … Photographer Gideon Mendel’s latest project highlights the everyday impact of the climate crisis

“I was looking for a way to respond to the climate crisis for a long time,” says Gideon Mendel. Since the 1980s, the South African photographer has dedicated his career to documenting social issues around the globe – from the atrocities of apartheid to the Syrian refugee crisis. His images have sought to centre the lives and voices of the people who have been affected. But when he turned his attention to the warming planet around 15 years ago, the standard visual language seemed to be all “glaciers and polar bears”. “I wanted to make my work more personal and visceral,” he says.

Now Mendel travels the world, visiting places where increased flooding and wildfires have destroyed homes and ravaged communities. He does not consider himself a photojournalist: you won’t find any dramatic scenes of fleeing or rescue in his portfolio. Rather, he sticks around to see what’s left behind. The Climate Artefact series, from his Burning World project, depicts personal possessions and other objects burnt in unplanned blazes. Mendel began collecting these charred mementoes after the intense bushfires in Australia in 2019–20; further items were acquired on subsequent trips to wildfire sites in Greece, Canada and the US.

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Posted on 3 December 2022 | 1:00 pm

Will Jacks keeps Pakistan in check as England dig deep in search of lead

Necessity is the mother of invention on the subcontinent and on a potentially pivotal third day in Rawalpindi, one on which Babar Azam peeled off a regal century but England hit back impressively late on, nothing summed this up more than Joe Root using the sweaty head of Jack Leach to shine the ball.

It was the type of creativity required on such a docile surface and at stumps, three sessions of toil from Ben Stokes and his players had been rewarded with an uplifting wickets column. Pakistan reached 499 for seven yet were still 158 in arrears after England’s record-breaking surge to 657 first up.

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Posted on 3 December 2022 | 12:59 pm

Cumbria coalmine plan is ‘backward step’, says Alok Sharma

Tory party’s most respected figure on climate says mine will damage UK’s international reputation as well as environment

A mooted new coalmine in Cumbria would be “a backward step”, the UK government’s climate champion has warned before an imminent decision on the controversial plan’s future, expected this week.

Alok Sharma, whose presidency of the Cop26 international climate talks ended last month criticised plans for the mine, which would produce coking coal for steel production.

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Posted on 3 December 2022 | 12:27 pm

G7 countries and Australia to cap price of seaborne Russian oil

Critics including Ukraine say cap of $60 per barrel is still above market value and will not hurt Russia’s war coffers

G7 countries and Australia have agreed to cap the price of Russian seaborne oil, with the aim of reducing Moscow’s income and limiting its ability to finance its war in Ukraine.

But critics, including Ukraine, say the cap of $60 a barrel is still higher than the current market price for Russian crude oil and is unlikely to affect the KremlinRussia’s war coffers.

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Posted on 3 December 2022 | 12:12 pm

Germany must reinvent themselves so that Gary Lineker is right again | Philipp Lahm

Leaving another World Cup early has exposed a lack of strategy and order that means Germany no longer always win in the end

Gary Lineker is no longer right. Football is no longer a game in which Germany win in the end. In Qatar, the big nations have succeeded so far. Only not us; as in the two previous major tournaments, Germany were eliminated early.

A pattern can be discerned in the failures of the past four or five years. Germany have lost defensive stability – the team cannot keep anyone away from their goal. Every opponent creates chances, even Costa Rica and (in the only preparation match) Oman. Germany’s game always suffers a break.

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Posted on 3 December 2022 | 12:00 pm

‘Let’s play ball’: Poland pray for more in World Cup last-16 tie against France

Despite reaching the knockout rounds for the first time since 1986, Poland’s one-sided defeat by Argentina has attracted criticism

Zagrajmy w piłkę” – “Let’s play ball”. That was the headline instruction, front and centre, on the Polish website on Thursday morning after the tense, chaotic conclusion to Group C the night before. Poland had stumbled into the last 16 of the World Cup with a performance so devoid of ambition that the domestic media coverage seemed more like a postmortem than a celebration of reaching the knockout stages for the first time since 1986.

It should have been a day of jubilation. Instead, there seemed to be a wide sense of embarrassment. “We will not tell our grandchildren by the fireplace years later about how the Polish national team progressed from the group at the 2022 World Cup,” wrote Dariusz Tuzimek for “When they ask about it, we’ll try to change the subject.”

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Posted on 3 December 2022 | 12:00 pm

Olly Murs looks back: ‘Our house was like Witham’s Got Talent, without the talent’

The singer and presenter on staying true to his Essex roots, X Factor fame and losing his friend Caroline Flack

Singer Olly Murs is the most successful male solo act to emerge from The X Factor. As a runner-up on the 2009 series, the Essex-born performer went on to release five platinum albums, as well as becoming a TV presenter, an X Factor host with Caroline Flack and a coach on The Voice. His latest album, Marry Me, is out on 2 December.

I’m aged two, outside the house I grew up in, in Witham, Essex. We had a little garden, and just like the rest of my family I was mad about football, even at that age. I wonder what I was thinking.

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Posted on 3 December 2022 | 12:00 pm

As ITVX banks on World Cup gold, is channel too late to streaming party?

Advantage of being late mover may mean ITV avoids lessons gleaned from fall of big US streaming companies

With England roaring into the last 16 and the prospect of maybe, just maybe, airing a quarter-final World Cup clash, the mood at ITV traditionally becomes one of high-fives and talk of bonuses as national fervour turns into advertising gold.

But this time there is much more at stake as the broadcaster rolls out ITVX, an £800m-plus bet on a new national streaming champion fit for the Netflix era, with executives glued to screens hoping it won’t prove to be a digital own goal.

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Posted on 3 December 2022 | 12:00 pm

Homemade Christmas gifts that show you care without breaking the bank

Spending your time being creative can be more rewarding for you and your loved ones

Many people believe the best presents are those that are homemade. Often they can be cheaper, too. So how can you show you care without spending a fortune this Christmas?

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Posted on 3 December 2022 | 12:00 pm

Meera Sodha’s vegan recipe for whole roast cauliflower and nut pilaf | The new vegan

Crisp roast cauli with curry seasoning on a bed of nutty, herby rice that works both as a centrepiece and a showstopping side dish

A vegan Christmas dinner recipe has to perform on many levels. It has to have some showmanship about it, so that it feels special enough to bring to the table. It has to stand alone, yet also sit alongside a traditional turkey dinner and all the trimmings, because that is, I think, how a lot of people still eat at Christmas. And, crucially, it shouldn’t overwhelm the cook, who will already be very busy. I hope this week’s recipe will deliver on all of these things, to ensure you have a joyful day both in the kitchen and at the table.

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Posted on 3 December 2022 | 12:00 pm

Yule love it: the best culture of the festive season

From magical ballet to adult panto, Arthurian exhibits to a touring troupe of comics, we present December’s hottest remaining tickets

The Muppet Christmas Carol (30th Anniversary)
Out now
You can bang on about The Italian Job all you like, but Michael Caine’s finest hour is surely playing Scrooge opposite a cast of puppets. It is hard to believe The Muppet Christmas Carol is turning 30, because it feels like it’s been around for much longer. Surely no generation of human beings had to endure the long winter months without the prospect of The Great Gonzo as Charles Dickens to see them through until the days start getting longer?

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Posted on 3 December 2022 | 11:55 am

Selling the Hundred would require offer of ‘a few billion’, claims ECB chair

Richard Thompson revealed an offer has been made for the Hundred but said the England and Wales Cricket Board would have to receive “a few billion” to consider selling its flagship competition.

Reports last month suggested private equity company Bridgepoint Group had made a £400m offer for 75% of the tournament. However, the ECB chair believes there is significantly more value in the competition and, when asked about a potential price, Thompson said: “To sell the summer would need to be an extraordinary amount of money.

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Posted on 3 December 2022 | 11:50 am

The Christmas travel gift guide: 25 brilliant presents for globe-trotters

Go vintage or sustainable with these beautiful gifts for the wanderluster in your life

Camping cutlery tool

A multifunctional stainless steel tool with a beechwood handle. Includes a knife, fork, spoon, corkscrew and reamer/awl.

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Posted on 3 December 2022 | 11:00 am

‘I still wince when I think about it’: 10 text messages – and the stories behind them

It’s 30 years since the first SMS landed. Writers, authors and comedians share the txt msgs that changed their life

It was 2007: the nation was saying goodbye to Tony Blair and the tightness of my jeans was outrageous. I was 22, fresh out of university and in a thrilling new relationship with the man who would, 11 years later, become my husband. For ages, I kept this relationship from my family, but towards the end of spring I was done with the indignity of sneaking around. I wanted to be open. I eventually told my fairly traditional Ghanaian mother that I was gay and had a boyfriend who I had been seeing for months. Let’s just say that the conversation involved increasingly heated uses of the word “No”.

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Posted on 3 December 2022 | 11:00 am

Sandi Toksvig admitted to hospital with bronchial pneumonia

Presenter and comedian, who is being treated in Australian hospital, cancels New Zealand leg of tour

Sandi Toksvig has cancelled part of her latest tour after being admitted to hospital with bronchial pneumonia.

Toksvig, a former Great British Bake Off co-host, is in hospital in Australia after playing dates in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide as part of her comedy tour, Sandi Toksvig Live.

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Posted on 3 December 2022 | 10:57 am

Balenciaga designer sorry for ‘inappropriate’ campaign featuring children

Demna says using images of teddy bears in bondage gear held by two young girls was ‘wrong artistic choice’

Balenciaga’s creative designer has apologised for a recent fashion campaign that was criticised by Kim Kardashian.

Images for the campaign showed two young girls holding stuffed teddy bears, which were dressed in bondage clothing, while surrounded by an assortment of other items.

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Posted on 3 December 2022 | 10:50 am

Tributes paid to Hull student who died after suspected spider bite

Harry Bolton discharged himself from hospital four days before being found dead at housing in October last year, inquest hears

Tributes have been paid to a 19-year-old student who died of sepsis after a suspected spider bite at his flat.

Harry Bolton, a student at the University of Hull, died on 7 October 2021, having complained of feeling unwell after a spider bit him on the back four days before his death.

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Posted on 3 December 2022 | 10:49 am

War shouldn’t stop us enjoying sport in Ukraine – or steal our Christmas | Andrey Kurkov

Russia has already taken so much from us. Every festive event, every competition, is an act of defiance for our country’s future

While Ukraine lives in fear of the next mass bombing of its energy infrastructure by Russian missiles and Iranian drones, and constantly monitors the actions of troops located in Belarus, there are still small forms of normalcy, small forms of resistance. A blitz chess championship was recently held in Zhytomyr, a city 140km west of Kyiv and a regular target of missile attacks.

Blitz chess – because slow chess is impossible in today’s Ukraine, where everything has to be done quickly or very quickly. The games were played according to the Swiss system, and with nine rounds in which players have only three minutes a move. If in peacetime a person appreciates every hour of tranquility, during a war we appreciate every minute.

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Posted on 3 December 2022 | 10:00 am

Why inheritance is the dirty secret of the middle classes – harder to talk about than sex

Forget boomers v millennials: is the real divide between people who inherit from their parents – and those who don’t?

Isobel had a hard time getting pregnant. After several heartbreaking miscarriages and three gruelling rounds of IVF, she had begun to worry that, at 34, she was running out of time. But, miraculously, the fourth round worked, and when we speak she is weeks from giving birth. Her parents are “amazingly excited” about meeting their first grandchild, not least because they funded Isobel’s fertility treatment – as is the case for an estimated one in eight British couples needing IVF – meaning she and her partner could throw everything into trying to conceive, undergoing several treatment cycles in quick succession.

“I’m so grateful to have been able to rattle through it at the speed we did, when I know friends have taken big gaps between IVF rounds because they had to save up,” says Isobel, who works for a London-based charity. “I didn’t have to think about how much it cost, which really took the pressure off.” The pandemic had also made her acutely aware of her parents’ mortality, worrying they might not live to see any grandchildren. So she and her partner gratefully accepted their offer.

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Posted on 3 December 2022 | 10:00 am

‘I wondered which world this woman was about to shoot out into’: Chris Maliwat’s best phone picture

The New York subway provided the inspiration for this photo of a woman waiting on a platform

Chris Maliwat describes the New York subway as the first slot in a pinball machine. “Whenever I head down there, I know it’s going to be a mini adventure, like I’m about to be launched into the world,” he says. “I saw this woman waiting at Metropolitan Avenue/Grand Street station and wondered which world she was about to shoot out into. Are there people like her where she’s going? Is she headed to her tribe? I think so. Everyone finds their tribe in New York – that’s why people come here.”

He didn’t approach her but instead surreptitiously took her photo for his Instagram page Subwaygram. “The subway is full of people on their phones and the ubiquity means mine disappears. We’re all familiar with what we do when we feel a camera pointing our way; there’s a flit in the eyes, a tightening of the body. I don’t want that. I’m not a travel photographer, a hunter out on safari; I’m a fellow passenger making this a regular part of my day,” Maliwat says.

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Posted on 3 December 2022 | 10:00 am

Chef Gino D’Acampo: ‘My greatest fear? Overcooking pasta!’

The celebrity chef on looking forward to old age, never finishing a book and the joy of Only Fools and Horses

Born in Italy, Gino D’Acampo, 46, moved to London in the 1990s and now owns a string of restaurants including Luciano in both Covent Garden and Alderley Edge, Cheshire. His cooking and travel programmes include Gino’s Italian Escape; he hosts the classic gameshow Family Fortunes and voiced a character in Disney Pixar’s 2021 movie Luca. Gino’s Italy: Like Mamma Used to Make is his new cookbook, which has an accompanying ITV television series. He is married with three children and lives in London and Sardinia.

When were you happiest?
I am always very happy in Sardinia with my family; I spend at least six months of the year there. Six months working and six months relaxing – I think that is a great balance.

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Posted on 3 December 2022 | 9:30 am

The best books of 2022

From Hanya Yanagihara’s epic novel to a brilliant memoir by Bono … Guardian critics pick the year’s best fiction, politics, science, children’s books and more. Tell us about your favourite books in the comments

Hanya Yanagihara’s follow-up to A Little Life, Percival Everett’s biting satire and Ali Smith’s playful take on lockdown – Justine Jordan reflects on a year in fiction.
Read all fiction

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Posted on 3 December 2022 | 9:00 am

Peter Kay brought to tears on opening night of comeback tour

Comedian appeared overwhelmed by reception as he took to stage at start of first comedy tour in 12 years

Peter Kay was moved to tears on the opening night of his first live comedy tour in 12 years.

The comedian received a rapturous standing ovation that lasted several minutes, with audiences chanting his name, as he took to the stage on Friday.

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Posted on 3 December 2022 | 8:40 am

Stark north-south divide in railway reliability, UK figures reveal

Labour demands government close loophole of pre-emptive cancellations

The stark regional divide in railway reliability across Britain has been laid bare, with figures showing 20% of TransPennine Express (TPE) trains were cancelled in November, compared with 2.3% on one commuter line in and out of London and 4.5% on the London Overground.

Exclusive figures obtained by the Guardian show the true level of disruption suffered by passengers because they include pre-emptive cancellations made by 10pm the night before, which are not counted in government statistics.

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Posted on 3 December 2022 | 8:00 am

‘The shaman asks my spirit guides to gently cleanse me’

As the census reveals a twelve-fold rise in followers of shamanism, Amelia Hill experiences a healing ceremony

My ancestors are circled around my space. The shaman gives thanks to the nature spirits, the animals, the trees and my spirit guides (both known and unknown). She asks my guides to gently cleanse me and remove anything from my field that does not belong there, recreating my natural order.

It’s not how I’m used to spending my weekday mornings. My natural order is that of every other working parent: a military operation involving the chivvying of frequently fractious children, followed by a hectic gesture towards my daily 10,000 steps while crowbarring in breakfast en route to my computer.

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Posted on 3 December 2022 | 8:00 am

Was Aspire project a vehicle to deliver votes to Qatar’s World Cup bid?

Football Dreams was ostensibly about players in developing countries but its story makes for remarkable reading now

Look who we are, we are the dreamers. We make it happen. There is something seductively inane about the soundtrack to Qatar 2022, present in the slogans plastered across its surfaces, the sonic assault of the World Cup PA, the playlist of official anthems, centralised messages, approved corporate machine-feelings.

“Believing is magic” read the words across the back of the T-shirts worn by a column of men filing through the service exit of the vast fibreglass tent that is Al Bayt Stadium in the wee hours of Friday morning. The power of dreams. The power of football. The power of Football Dreams. What could ever be wrong with that?

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Posted on 3 December 2022 | 7:30 am

England are World Cup contenders. Does it matter if they are any good? | Jonathan Wilson

Major tournaments are short and freakish things happen – and England, unlike more illustrious opponents, are still here

Three games into their World Cup campaign, 11 games into 2022, 79 games into Gareth Southgate’s reign, the question remains unanswered: are England actually any good?

To which there are probably two answers. The first is simple: yes, reasonably. They finished top of their group. They were joint top-scorers alongside Spain. They kept two clean sheets. The second is a weary sigh as any discussion of England is immediately submerged by hackneyed debates about arrogance and expectation, set against a backdrop of implausible ideals of breezy attacking perfection. What even is good?

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Posted on 3 December 2022 | 7:30 am

Let’s go bogganeering! How I invented a winter sport on my trip to South Tirol, Italy

A snowy cross-country walking break is even more beautiful – and fun – when you combine the hiking with tobogganing

I have invented a new sport, one that will almost certainly catch on and become a Winter Olympics classic. And it is one in which Team GB can narrowly grab fourth place, over and over again. It is wonderful to leave something behind, a legacy that will benefit humanity. It is called “bogganeering”.

It begins with a trip to Italy, the German-speaking part. That is an important factor. Südtirol has not always been an enthusiastic member of the Italian republic. Tucked up in the extreme north-east of the country, its snow-capped mountains are dotted with farms where the old men still wear Tirolean hats and greet strangers with a cheery “Servus!”, like Bavarians do. This is hybrid country par excellence, a rugged amalgamation of the best of northern and southern Europe, the perfect place to blend, meld and weld.

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Posted on 3 December 2022 | 7:00 am

‘I was insanely jealous of Britney Spears’: Billie Piper on teen pop stardom, the fun of her drunk years – and making darkness funny

From 90s singer to celebrated actor then film director – the I Hate Suzie star opens up about the highs and lows of growing up in public

“Hang on, I’ll just lock the door,” says Billie Piper. She is looking a bit goth, with black hair and black nails, though her neck is wrapped in a delicate scarf; she has not quite shaken the remnants of the definitely-not-Covid flu she’s had for the last few days. “I find it so weird doing interviews in front of people,” she says. “It’s so cringe. I guess if you can completely emotionally disconnect from people around you, then it’s fine, but I just find it very tricky. Anyway. So we’re in the bathroom. Hahaha.”

Piper is now 40, and has been in the public eye since she was 15. First, she was a pop star, and is still the youngest person to debut at No 1, with her 1998 earworm Because We Want To. Then, in 2003, she became an actor, winning plaudits in Doctor Who as the Doctor’s companion Rose Tyler. Throughout, she has been a fixture of the tabloids, her two marriages followed with gruesome interest, her ups and downs tracked through a paparazzo lens.

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Posted on 3 December 2022 | 7:00 am

Which tycoon once owned Land’s End and John o’Groats

From luchadores to The Ketchup Song, test your knowledge with the Saturday quiz

1 Which woman had nine works in the first impressionist exhibition?
2 Which bird’s heart beats up to 1,260 times a minute?
3 Who is the all-time most streamed artist on Spotify?
4 Whose neutrality was guaranteed by the 1839 Treaty of London?
5 Which tycoon once owned Land’s End and John o’ Groats?
6 Which book begins with The Sisters and ends with The Dead?
7 What party originated in Coventry as PEOPLE in 1972?
8 Luchadores perform what form of entertainment?
What links:
Carrier (5); destroyer (3); submarine (3); patrol boat (2)?
10 Little Donkey; Automatic; Lost in Music; The Ketchup Song?
11 Nicaea; Rome; Lyon; Constance; Trent?
12 Shared Experience; Punchdrunk; Cheek By Jowl; Complicité?
13 Law; Kidd; Schmeichel; Cole; Tevez?
14 Rhoda; Phyllis; Lou Grant?
15 Werner Herzog (shoe); Matthew Goodwin (book); Paddy Ashdown (hat)?

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Posted on 3 December 2022 | 7:00 am

A Spy Among Friends: an extremely good espionage thriller – if you can figure out how to watch it

Double agents are everywhere. Damian Lewis and Guy Pearce act their socks off. But nobody knows what ITVX is – no matter what the secret service say

Oh, no. I’ve woken up bound to a chair in a gloomy room with Damian Lewis staring at me. This never ends well.

“I’m in a premium, many-moving-parts drama again, aren’t I?”

A Spy Among Friends airs on ITVX on Thursday 8 December.

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Posted on 3 December 2022 | 7:00 am

UK coastguard to receive legal training for inquest into Channel deaths

Course aims to help staff defend actions at future inquiry into how at least 27 people died last year

Search and rescue staff from the UK coastguard are being provided with training that would help them to defend their actions at a future inquiry into how at least 27 people died in the Channel last year, the Guardian has learned.

In August, HM Coastguard awarded a £19,200 contract to the training company Bond Solon to prepare operational search and rescue staff to give evidence in legal hearings, which will “provide assurances that they are performing their duties in line with expected processes that may be challenged in an inquest or inquiry”.

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Posted on 3 December 2022 | 7:00 am

Newt Gingrich warns Republicans that Joe Biden is winning the fight

Former speaker who led charge against Bill Clinton raises eyebrows with column heralding Democrat’s first-term success

Republicans must “quit underestimating” Joe Biden, the former US House speaker Newt Gingrich said, because the president is winning the fight.

Writing on his own website, Gingrich said: “Conservatives’ hostility to the Biden administration on our terms tends to blind us to just how effective Biden has been on his terms.

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Posted on 3 December 2022 | 6:00 am

Ex-warden who allegedly ran California prison ‘rape club’ goes on trial

Ray J Garcia is charged with abusing at least three female prisoners from 2019 to 2021 in prison areas out of view of cameras

First, the prison’s male warden would flatter the incarcerated women under his charge who attracted him, shower them with compliments and promise them early releases or transfers to lower-security facilities, according to authorities.

Eventually, he would allegedly take them to places in his lockup that he knew weren’t watched by surveillance cameras, force sex on them and take nude photos of them.

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Posted on 3 December 2022 | 6:00 am

Blind date: ‘He assumed I was over 30. I had fun watching him dig his way out of that hole’

Olivia, 29, a political consultant, meets Shawn, 32, engineer and YouTuber

What were you hoping for?

A nice evening with good conversation, or at least a good story.

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Posted on 3 December 2022 | 6:00 am

China continues lifting Covid restrictions despite near-record case numbers

Testing booths removed in Beijing as cities across China ease commuter rules following unprecedented protests

Covid-19 testing booths were removed in Beijing on Friday, while Shenzhen followed other cities in announcing it would no longer require commuters to present their test results to travel, as an easing of Covid restrictions in China gathered pace.

As daily cases hovered near all-time highs, some cities took steps to loosen coronavirus testing requirements and quarantine rules as China looks to make its zero-Covid policy more targeted amid an economic slowdown and public frustration that has boiled over into unrest.

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Posted on 3 December 2022 | 5:40 am

Twitter moderators turn to automation amid a reported surge in hate speech

New head of trust and safety Ella Irwin says Elon Musk is urging Twitter ‘to take more risks’ in the wake of mass layoffs

Elon Musk’s Twitter is leaning heavily on automation to moderate content according to the company’s new head of trust and safety, amid a reported surge in hate speech on the social media platform.

Ella Irwin has told the Reuters news agency that Musk, who acquired the company in October, was focused on using automation more, arguing that Twitter had in the past erred on the side of using time and labour-intensive human reviews of harmful content.

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Posted on 3 December 2022 | 3:09 am

Game of cojones: Serbia suffer and give Granit Xhaka the last word | Barney Ronay

Switzerland’s captain offered a snapshot of the bad blood between Albania, Kosovo and Serbia with one crude gesture

Maybe Fifa does have a sense of humour after all. Certainly there was a note of dark comedy in the news, relayed breathlessly over the PA on the final whistle, that the player of the match in this fraught Group E decider was Granit Xhaka.

Not that Xhaka didn’t deserve it. He played well in deep midfield on a steamy night at Stadium 974. He controlled the tempo at times. More to the point Xhaka also controlled the noises off, directing the dark energy that must always accompany this fixture with the poise of a veteran conductor. Albeit, a veteran conductor with one hand down his shorts.

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Posted on 2 December 2022 | 11:59 pm

Martin Rowson: sinking the unsinkable – cartoon

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Posted on 2 December 2022 | 7:30 pm

Tyson Fury and Derek Chisora bang forlorn drum for disturbing rematch

Bleak affair likely to stagger to a conclusion in Tottenham on Saturday night with the fight reflecting abject state of boxing

‘Derek Chisora should retire, end of story,” Frank Warren said emphatically earlier this year. “The only way Tyson Fury fights Chisora again is if we were struggling for an opponent or if Tyson insisted on it. Chisora should retire. He shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near the ring, let alone in there with Tyson.”

Only 11 months later, Warren is promoting the very fight that seemed such a shameful idea in January when Chisora was recovering from a second successive loss to Joseph Parker. Chisora, as always, had fought with great courage against Parker and there was no shame in him suffering his 12th defeat in 45 draining fights which stretched back to his professional debut in February 2007. Yet concern for Chisora intensified as he has endured far too many gruelling bouts in his long career. The damage he has already suffered is obvious and any additional bout could pose a serious threat to his health.

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Posted on 2 December 2022 | 7:00 pm

Women in conservative region of Iran join Mahsa Amini protests

Dozens of women turn out on streets of provincial capital, where men have been protesting for months

Black-clad women in Iran’s Sistan-Baluchistan province have joined nationwide protests on Friday sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini, in what a rights group called a rare move in the staunchly conservative region.

Videos online showed dozens of women on the streets of the provincial capital, Zahedan, holding banners that declared “Woman, life, freedom” – one of the main slogans of the protest movement that erupted in mid-September.

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Posted on 2 December 2022 | 6:31 pm

The Guardian view on the Chester byelection: a victory that poses questions for Labour | Editorial

Sir Keir Starmer does not have a story of how he could better deal with this economic emergency. A mandate for change will need one

“I have been a staunch Tory voter all my life, but cannot support a party that really does not think of the people, but only to balance the books at the moment,” wrote Helena Parker in a letter to the Guardian this week. “I cry myself to sleep each evening, while they are warm and fed. The MPs will not think of me, but I think of them”. Such sentiments are dooming the Tories to electoral oblivion.

Unless something extraordinary happens, the Conservatives look set to be fighting at the next general election only for the difference between a respectable second place and a humiliating second place. In a byelection in Chester, Rishi Sunak’s party recorded its worst ever result since 1832. By comparison, Labour recorded its best performance in the city’s history to retain the seat in Thursday’s vote. At this point in the electoral cycle, opposition parties usually benefit from the government’s difficulties. But the news that Sajid Javid, a former Conservative chancellor, has decided to quit parliament is a sign that the Tory ship is going down.

Do you have an opinion on the issues raised in this article? If you would like to submit a response of up to 300 words by email to be considered for publication in our letters section, please click here.

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Posted on 2 December 2022 | 6:02 pm

‘The original art galleries’: protecting New Zealand’s hidden Māori rock art

Few know of the drawings scattered across Aotearoa, some of them dating from first arrival of humans, but iwi and scientists are working to change that

There are two tricks to seeing Māori rock art. The first is to let your eyes slowly adjust to the black and red markings on the limestone and allow the images to float out of the rock like a mirage: the coiled tails of taniwha (revered water spirits), the outspread wings of the now-extinct giant eagle, figures holding weapons and tools, plants, sea creatures and waka (canoes).

The second trick is knowing the art exists in the first place.

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Posted on 2 December 2022 | 6:00 pm

The Guardian view on the Eadburg writings: the long lost female authors of English | Editorial

A woman’s name found etched in a medieval copy of the Acts of the Apostles has importance beyond the thrill of discovery

“She was so bent on reading,” writes the anonymous biographer of the Abbess of Bischofsheim, “that she never laid aside her book except to pray or to strengthen her slight frame with food and sleep.” This eighth-century abbess, an Englishwoman named Leoba, is thought to have been taught Latin by another woman, Eadburg, Abbess of Minster-in-Thanet, Kent; the poetry that resulted is some of the earliest literary work by a named Englishwoman in existence.

Was this the Eadburg whose name has just been found etched 15 times into an eighth-century manuscript? Possibly – though there are at least eight other Eadburgs known to have lived in the area then. Unearthed by researchers at the Bodleian Library in Oxford, and ratified using photographic technology previously unavailable, the faint scrawls on the Latin copy of a 1,300-year-old Acts of the Apostles are exciting evidence of women’s presence in the literature of the period.

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Posted on 2 December 2022 | 5:59 pm

The reality of Brexit is biting hard. Poor people are suffering most – and now everyone can see it | Jonathan Freedland

We are paying £6bn more just to eat. After years of abstract debate, the human consequences of our exit become clearer by the day

Enveloped in Westminster silence it may be, but every day and in every way Brexit is getting more real. For so long, this was an argument made through the medium of abstract nouns: “freedom”, “sovereignty”, “control”. But now reality is intruding. This week came word that Brexit added almost £6bn to Britons’ food bills over a two-year period, and that it was the households with least that were affected most. There’s a reason politicians refer to “bread-and-butter issues”: because there is nothing abstract about food and what it costs.

Looking back, it was always a tell that leave campaigners sought to avoid the realm of the concrete, preferring to stick with intangible talk of “independence” or a regained mastery of our national destiny. They knew reality was a hostile environment for the Brexit project, one that would expose its folly. Remainers tried to resist, hoping not to fight on the battlefield of dreams but on the terrain of facts and figures, yet it never worked. It just made them sound boring, casting them as spoilsport bean-counters and, besides, all their numbers were themselves abstractions – projections of a hypothetical future. The forecasts of gloom could be, and were, swatted aside as “project fear”.

Jonathan Freedland is a Guardian columnist

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Posted on 2 December 2022 | 5:50 pm

State response to Just Stop Oil must be within the law, says Sadiq Khan

London mayor’s demand comes as civil rights campaigners criticise PM’s promise to increase police powers

The London mayor has demanded the state response to Just Stop Oil remain “within the law”, as civil rights campaigners warned over the prime minister’s suggestion he would grant police new powers to contain the group’s protests.

After a meeting of police leaders and ministers in Downing Street on Thursday, Rishi Sunak promised police whatever powers they need to “clamp down” on the “completely unacceptable” disruptions by the climate activist group.

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Posted on 2 December 2022 | 5:46 pm

Harry and Meghan are showing the royal family how brand management is done | Gaby Hinsliff

As the Sussexes unveil a slick Netflix series, the Windsors are struggling with accusations of racism at a palace reception

If ever there were a love story for the Instagram age, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s beautifully chronicled romance is the one. Here they are, in a series of pictures from their private album released to promote next week’s six-part Netflix documentary on their relationship, sitting atop a Jeep on what looks like their first holiday together. Here he is, serenading her on the guitar. Then the two of them, impossibly glamorous, spinning joyously around the dancefloor at their wedding; and her on a beach, pregnant and delightedly cradling the bump, against an almost too perfect sunset.

Couple goals, luxury travel, a baby: that’s all the influencer boxes ticked. But perhaps the most telling image shows them late at night in their kitchen, just in from an official engagement. Harry has stripped off his dress jacket and is kissing Meghan, who is perched on the counter in an evening gown; it’s sexy, dishevelled and achingly intimate, at least until you ask yourself how precisely there came to be a photographer handy to capture it.

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Posted on 2 December 2022 | 5:35 pm

‘Rage, despair, disgust’: Canada reels from killings of Indigenous women

Serial killing of four women prompts anger at failure of politicians to keep promise to protect Indigenous women and girls

The arrest of an alleged serial killer who targeted Indigenous women in central Canada has prompted fresh anger and despair that the country has once again failed in its promises to protect vulnerable women and girls.

Police in Winnipeg announced late on Thursday they had charged Jeremy Skibicki, 35, with the murder of Morgan Beatrice Harris, 39, and Marcedes Myran, 26, of Long Plain First Nation, months after he was accused of killing Rebecca Contois, 24, from O-Chi-Chak-Ko-Sipi First Nation.

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Posted on 2 December 2022 | 5:22 pm

Just what does it take to be considered unequivocally British? | Letters

Readers discuss being asked ‘Where are you really from?’ after this week’s encounter between the black British charity boss Ngozi Fulani and the Buckingham Palace aide Susan Hussey

Reading Kohinoor Sahota’s article (In Buckingham Palace and outside it, we know what it means when people ask ‘where are you from’, 30 November) brought to mind a jarring encounter some years back. As people gathered for a meeting in the panelled boardroom of a well-known cultural institution, one attender (whom I considered a colleague) handed me a Chinese newspaper article and asked me to relay its contents to them.

Nothing odd about that, you might say. Except that, aside from my name and skin colour, there was no reason whatsoever to assume I could read Chinese. I can, and did, but that’s beside the point. I am a child of the Commonwealth. My parents came to London from Singapore in the 1960s. They met and married in London. I grew up in a colourless north-west London suburb and attended an all-girls independent school. (It was a nicer house or a better school, my parents said. They couldn’t afford both.)

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Posted on 2 December 2022 | 5:12 pm

My illuminating theory about a lovesick monk | Letter

A possible explanation from Marianne Puxley for the secret marks discovered on a medieval manuscript

So the theory is that a woman called Eadburg repeatedly scratched her name, almost invisibly, in the margins of an ancient religious text (Woman’s name and tiny sketches found in 1,300-year-old medieval text, 28 November)?

The PhD student who found the names is quoted as saying “I don’t know why you would write somebody else’s name so many times like that”.

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Posted on 2 December 2022 | 5:11 pm

‘I can’t afford to heat my son’s room’: the people struggling to access UK energy support

Weeks after the government scheme was launched many vulnerable families have either not received or not claimed their vouchers

Half a million vulnerable households miss out on help with energy bills

The government has promised every household £400 to help pay their energy bills this winter, under a scheme which runs for six months from 1 October. The money is automatically credited to those paying by direct debit, but for traditional prepayment meters it’s more complicated. Each household has to wait for a £66 monthly voucher in the post, which can then be used to claim money off when topping up at the Post Office or shops with PayPoint.

However, weeks after the scheme launched, hundreds of thousands of families have not yet redeemed their vouchers, meaning support worth £80m is still unclaimed. Some families may not have claimed the help, but many say their vouchers just have not been sent out.

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Posted on 2 December 2022 | 5:04 pm

Edward Snowden gets Russian passport after swearing oath of allegiance

Whistleblower is ‘happy and thankful to the Russian Federation’ for his citizenship, lawyer says

Edward Snowden has received a Russian passport after swearing an oath of allegiance to the country that has sheltered him from US authorities since 2013, his lawyer has said.

Snowden, 39, a former intelligence contractor who leaked secret files that were reported on by the Guardian, was granted Russian citizenship in an order signed by Vladimir Putin in September.

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Posted on 2 December 2022 | 5:02 pm

Half a million vulnerable households miss out on help with energy bills

Exclusive: Labour says ministers have been told repeatedly that people with prepayment meters are not getting enough support

Up to half a million of the UK’s most vulnerable families have been left without government help to pay their energy bills since October, with an estimated 1.3m vouchers for homes with prepayment meters either lost, delayed or unclaimed.

Charities and MPs are calling on ministers to intervene, with Labour saying the government has been warned “time and time again” that those on prepayment meters are not getting enough support.

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Posted on 2 December 2022 | 5:00 pm

The week around the world in 20 pictures

The evacuation of Kherson continues, protests against Covid restrictions in China, the Mauna Loa volcano erupts on Hawaii, and an art installation at Bondi beach – the most striking images this week

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Posted on 2 December 2022 | 4:41 pm

England doesn’t expect much these days: except when it comes to the World Cup | Marina Hyde

The country is riven by political incompetence and economic distress so expectations are low for everyone bar Gareth Southgate and his players

Well. About last night … to describe the conclusion of the group stages of this World Cup as crazy feels a bit like calling the residents of Arkham Asylum merely eccentric. For three minutes on Thursday, Costa Rica’s lead over Germany would have meant Spain were heading home, with the coach Luis Enrique mercifully in the dark about this potential outcome. “If I’d have known,” he reflected mildly afterwards, “I would have had a heart attack.” It was certainly the evening for it.

ITV’s Graeme Souness appeared to be suffering from a number of baroque medical conditions as he “analysed” the notion that the ball did not go out of play before Japan’s crucial second goal against Spain. Graeme’s conniption swiftly tipped over into such deep conspiracy theory that he is expected to follow his stint in Qatar with a secondment to Donald Trump’s stop-the-steal campaign. “Why have we not seen the evidence?” the studio’s Oliver Stone kept demanding rhetorically.

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Posted on 2 December 2022 | 4:09 pm

Russia’s vicious tactics in Ukraine serve only to further expose its weakness

Moscow had hoped to easily capture Ukraine – having totally failed, it has resorted to simply destroying it

The Kremlin thought it would sweep across Ukraine and take Kyiv in a matter of days.

Now, more than nine months into its disastrous war with Ukraine, the new Russian strategy of targeting the infrastructure that brings light, heat and water into millions of Ukrainian homes has revealed Russia’s own weakness and its desperation in the face of a defiant Ukrainian resistance.

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Posted on 2 December 2022 | 4:04 pm

I am a paramedic trying to answer your 999 calls. Let me tell you about life in the NHS twilight zone | Jake Jones

Ambulance crews are waiting for up to 40 hours at hospitals. For patients, this means distress and possible deterioration

There’s a corridor at my local hospital that has become very familiar to me. It runs from the ambulance entrance to the initial assessment area in A&E. Patients sit in a line on wipe-clean chairs underneath posters about hand hygiene and mask-wearing. I think of this corridor as the twilight zone, a place where time evaporates, because this is where ambulance crews are now waiting for hours, day and night, Monday to Sunday, with their patients on trolleys to be called into the emergency department to hand over.

The news that ambulance crews are experiencing delays at hospital of up to 40 hours is shocking. Every year we hear about the latest challenges facing the NHS, but these problems are now so common they feel routine. We used to talk about winter pressures, but those pressures now seem to be year-round. When I started in the ambulance service more than a decade ago, I would expect to see nine patients in a shift, allowing for journey times, assessment, treatment and handover; that figure is now more likely to be six – on a good day.

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Posted on 2 December 2022 | 1:30 pm

Playful horses and a White House dinner: Friday’s best photos

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

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Posted on 2 December 2022 | 12:57 pm

What would politics look like if Starmer’s plan was working? Like it does now | Rafael Behr

It feels as though a line has been crossed. His own party is cautious, but Tories are pretty sure he is heading for No 10

The Labour party is so haunted by old defeats that it can barely look victory in the eye. Conservatives are more familiar with winning and so quicker to see it coming for the opposition. If you are shopping for conviction that Keir Starmer will make it to Downing Street, visit a Tory. Labour trades in caveat and caution.

Even with 20-point leads in opinion polls, opposition confidence is muted. Thursday’s byelection in Chester reflects the national trend. No one expected Labour to lose the seat, but the Tories barely even turned up to contest it. Their vote share was the lowest it has been in the city since 1832.

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Posted on 2 December 2022 | 11:13 am

Labour stays on course for power with Chester byelection victory

Little sign of Tory resurgence under Rishi Sunak after thumping win for Labour against difficult backdrop

For several months, nervous Labour MPs have looked at the national polls and asked themselves whether their commanding leads can really be trusted. On Thursday night, voters in Chester gave them, at least for now, an answer: yes.

Thursday’s thumping byelection victory, with Labour winning its highest ever majority in the seat in a 14-point vote swing, suggests the party would win a comfortable majority if a general election were held today. It provides further evidence Labour is rebuilding support in the so-called red wall of northern seats, many of which it lost at the last election.

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Posted on 2 December 2022 | 9:54 am

Environmental photographer of the year 2022 – in pictures

This year’s Environmental photographer of the year competition, from CIWEM, WaterBear, Nikon and Arup, showcases some of the most striking images of the natural world, providing an international platform to raise awareness for the issues that threaten our planet. Here’s a closer look at the winning photos

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Posted on 2 December 2022 | 9:04 am

The week in wildlife – in pictures

The best of this week’s wildlife pictures, including a singing robin, a swimming buck and a praying mantis

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Posted on 2 December 2022 | 8:00 am

School leaders report rise in pupils not on free meals going hungry

Increasing numbers of children cannot afford lunch and are coming to school without adequate clothes

More than half of school leaders in England are seeing more pupils who cannot afford a meal at lunchtime yet are not eligible for free school meals, according to a survey.

Research by the Sutton Trust, an educational charity, found clear signs that the cost of living crisis was increasingly affecting young people’s education, with a growing number of pupils arriving at school tired, cold and hungry.

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Posted on 2 December 2022 | 6:00 am

The young people speaking out against the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God | podcast

Rachael Reign was an active member of an evangelical Christian church with branches worldwide. It was only after leaving that she came to believe it had exposed her to a ‘horrendous’ ordeal. Maeve McClenaghan reports

In Finsbury Park, north London, an old theatre building has been taken over by a church. It is covered with a logo containing a heart and doves and it has four letters on it: UCKG. The Universal Church of the Kingdom of God is an evangelical Christian organisation. For years, as she often walked past the branch, the Guardian’s Maeve McClenaghan was intrigued by it.

Then one day, out of the blue, she got an email from a former member asking to talk. It set off a reporting project and led to interviews with dozens of ex-followers who were ready to speak out.

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Posted on 2 December 2022 | 3:00 am

‘They could just evict us’: the tenants hit by huge hikes in UK rents

From Manchester to London, three people tell of stress, fear and eviction as cost of private renting rockets

Soaring rents making life ‘unaffordable’ for private UK tenants

£8,000 a year; £300 a month; 60%. These are just some of the rent rises demanded from private tenants as winter approaches. The alternative can be eviction, sofa surfing or scrambling in an overheated market for another place. With homelessness the fear, it is extremely stressful.

The already expensive housing markets of London and the south-east are worst affected but it is a national problem. In Manchester Clara Graziani, 27, a customer services worker, was paying £695 a month on a city centre flat until she was served with an eviction notice in September. Her landlord used the “no fault eviction” process the government has repeatedly pledged to abolish, but still hasn’t. Graziani had agreed to pay 8% extra, but then, without explanation, she was evicted.

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Posted on 1 December 2022 | 7:04 pm

Why protesters in Iran are risking everything for change – video explainer

People across Iran have been protesting for nearly three months, defying a deadly crackdown by regime forces. The demonstrations are seen as a fierce challenge to four decades of hardline clerical rule. The protesters' cry of 'Woman, Life, Freedom' has galvanised the movement, which has travelled around the world, but within Iran there have been more than 18,000 arrests, violence and a rising death toll. With protesters refusing to back down, we look at what they want and why they are willing to risk everything to get it

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Posted on 1 December 2022 | 4:38 pm

A merry Medea? Inside Lost Dog’s Ruination at the Royal Opera House – in pictures

For an ‘alternative festive show’, Ben Duke and his dance company have created a witty version of the Greek myth in London’s Linbury theatre

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Posted on 1 December 2022 | 3:59 pm

Tell us: do you live in a household that includes different ethnic groups?

We would like to hear from people in England and Wales who live in households that include members from different ethnic groups

Is your household among the 2.5m identified in the census this week as including members who identify as being from different ethnic groups?

A quarter more households identified as such than in the 2011 census and we would like to ask about your experience, at home, going about daily life and dealing with challenges such as prejudice and bias.

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Posted on 1 December 2022 | 3:20 pm

How the British crown has more power than you think – video

The monarch's role in British politics is supposed to be neutral. In theory, a king or queen plays no role in government decision-making or the setting of policy. However, documents discovered by the Guardian in the National Archives tell a different story. Josh Toussaint-Strauss looks back at the Guardian’s investigation into a secretive procedure that led to more than 1,000 laws being vetted by Queen Elizabeth and then-Prince Charles before they were approved by parliament

Royals vetted more than 1,000 laws via Queen’s consent

Revealed: how Prince Charles pressured ministers to change law to benefit his estate

How the Queen lobbied for changes in the law to hide her wealth

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Posted on 1 December 2022 | 9:10 am

Nature calls! We’re looking for children to write for the Guardian

Young Country Diary is back, and taking pieces from children about the natural world in winter

Once again, the Young Country Diary series is open for submissions! Every three months, as the UK enters a new season, we ask you to send us a piece written by a child aged 8-14.

The article needs to be about a recent encounter they’ve had with nature – whether it’s climbing a tree, a chilly birdwatching trip, or watching a big beast like a red deer.

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Posted on 1 December 2022 | 8:18 am

Imprisoned for being HIV positive | podcast

In more than 80 countries, people living with HIV still face criminalisation. We hear from two people who faced criminal charges in the US

“The police come to my job, they’re telling me that this gentleman that I had dated is pressing charges on me because I didn’t tell him I was HIV positive.”

Lashanda Salinas faced criminal charges in Tennessee after her former partner accused her of exposing him to the HIV virus. Although Lashanda had been on medication since she was a teenager, and says she was open about her status, she was convicted and is now on the sex offender registry.

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Posted on 1 December 2022 | 3:00 am

Ambulance workers in England: tell us why you’re striking

We would like to speak to ambulance workers ahead of the planned industrial action

Ambulance workers across England have voted to strike over pay and staffing levels.

Thousands of 999 call handlers, ambulance technicians, paramedics and their colleagues working for ambulance services in the north-east, north-west, London, Yorkshire and the south-west will take industrial action, Unison announced.

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Posted on 30 November 2022 | 2:19 pm

How Iranians protested against country's regime during the World Cup – video report

Iranians have used the World Cup to highlight some of the human rights abuses in their country. Protesters used the slogan "woman, life, freedom" through chants, banners and printed T-shirts but encountered problems with Qatari authorities. This including one man being pinned to the ground after the Iran v USA game and others reporting being watched. Following Iran's exit from the tournament, celebrations took place back home as many see the football team as representing the government and not the people. 

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Posted on 30 November 2022 | 2:19 pm

From blank paper to alpacas: how protesters in China are voicing their anger – video

The largest protests in a generation erupted in cities across China over the weekend against the government’s zero-Covid policy. 

The most widely used symbol in the demonstrations has been a blank sheet of paper. It symbolises censorship, and may also, some Twitter users pointed out, be read as a reference to the deaths last week of 10 people in a building fire in Urumqi, Xinjiang, which was blamed on lockdown restrictions that protesters believe prevented the residents from escaping in time. In China, white is a colour used at funerals. But protesters have found other creative ways to express their anger, as Helen Davidson explains

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Posted on 30 November 2022 | 1:34 pm

Tell us the best TV programmes of 2022

We want to know what your favourite shows have been this year. Share your thoughts now

We would like to hear about your favourite television of 2022. Did you delve into the past with a period drama or invest in an addictive reality TV show? What programmes made for compulsive viewing this year?

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Posted on 30 November 2022 | 9:03 am

How far could China’s ‘zero Covid’ protests go?

China has been rocked by an outpouring of communal anger at the government’s restrictive ‘zero Covid’ lockdown policies. Could the protests develop into something more substantial? Tania Branigan reports

The largest protests in a generation have erupted in cities across China against the government’s harsh Covid restrictions and also, in some cases, the president himself, Xi Jinping. The most widely used symbol in the demonstrations has been a blank sheet of paper, symbolising the censorship all those within China face.

The Guardian’s Tania Branigan tells Michael Safi that while this may not be a revolutionary moment in China, it is hugely significant. China has struck out alone in attempting to keep Covid cases to an absolute minimum, regardless of the restrictions needed. But what has surprised many onlookers is the fact that the authorities have not used the time to implement a widescale vaccine policy that could help the country get back to normality. Instead, China appears caught in a trap of its own devising – and there is no easy route out of it.

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Posted on 30 November 2022 | 3:00 am

What can wellness programmes teach the NHS? A sceptic's guide to wellness – video

Many people with autoimmune conditions across the UK are facing difficult decisions about funding complementary therapies. In the final episode of the series, Guardian journalist Richard Sprenger, who has multiple sclerosis, looks at how access to wellness therapies is under threat amid an acute cost of living crisis – and meets an NHS consultant in Devon championing a more progressive, integrative approach to holistic healthcare

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Posted on 28 November 2022 | 11:43 am

Has wellness become a gateway to conspiracy? A sceptic's guide to the industry – video

Guardian journalist Richard Sprenger goes down the wellness rabbit hole to find out why the industry has become linked with conspiracy theories, so-called 'conspirituality'. From the Cheshire mum offering harmonic egg healing to sound bathing at the Stroud goddess temple, therapists discuss how mistrust of conventional medicine appears to have grown in the wake of the pandemic, while a familiar face from earlier in the series points to the inevitable end point of such alternative thinking

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Posted on 21 November 2022 | 12:23 pm

Could Trump's legal issues derail his 2024 presidential bid? – video explainer

Donald Trump has announced his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024, probably sparking another period of tumult in US politics and especially his own political party. His third candidacy comes as he faces intensifying legal troubles, including investigations by the justice department into the removal of hundreds of classified documents from the White House to his Florida estate and into his role in the January 6 attack. But could they derail his bid? The Guardian US politics correspondent Hugo Lowell explains what Trump is facing and whether he still stands a chance

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Posted on 17 November 2022 | 4:09 pm

‘Salmon smoking is a craft’: meet the man behind the kilns

Master smoker Roy Stevens draws on decades of expertise to bring an artisanal quality to the salmon he sends to M&S. Here, he describes how he uses salt, smoke and spent whisky barrels to give the fish its distinct taste and texture

Tucked away on the edge of remote Spey Bay in Moray, Scotland, a Scottish smokehouse is busy crafting what it believes is the finest smoked salmon in the UK. The smokehouse dates back to 1913 and has a lengthy history within the Spey smoking industry. One of three run by local seafood specialists, its success is built on a deep understanding of environment and community.

“I have been smoking since 1986,” says Associated Seafoods’ master smoker Roy Stevens. “There’s no written formula on how to smoke salmon – but we have knowledge and experience behind us. When I joined the company in 2011, my task was to experiment with materials to create a distinct smoke taste and texture.”

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Posted on 15 November 2022 | 4:38 pm

'Brazil was stolen': the Bolsonaro supporters who refuse to accept election result – video

A week after Brazil's presidential election, Jair Bolsonaro supporters remain defiant and are gathering outside military barracks across the country, asking for armed intervention. The Guardian spent the weekend with different groups of supporters in São Paulo to understand the reasons behind their demands.

Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva won what was widely seen as Brazil’s most important election in decades by a margin of 2.1m votes – 50.9% to 49.1% – and has been quickly embraced by the international community after four years in which Brazil became a pariah under Bolsonaro

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Posted on 8 November 2022 | 3:35 pm

How gas is being rebranded as green – video

Is natural gas renewable? Is it a fossil fuel? A casual google search for natural gas gives the impression that these questions are somehow up for debate. And while natural gas has helped reduce carbon emissions as it was widely adopted as a replacement for coal, it is now up against zero-emission energy such as wind and solar. So how did natural gas end up in the same bracket as renewables? Josh Toussaint-Strauss explores the lengths fossil fuel companies have gone to in order to try to convince consumers, voters and lawmakers that natural gas is somehow a clean energy source

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Posted on 3 November 2022 | 9:05 am

'Built on exploitation': the real price of the Qatar World Cup – video explainer

The Guardian's Pete Pattisson looks at the exploitation of migrant workers in Qatar ahead of the World Cup and explains why any reforms are 'too little, too late'. Pattisson speaks of his own first-hand experience with workers in the country and describes the very poor living and working conditions he saw. In the runup to the tournament, the Qatari authorities claim they have made significant progress with their human rights laws. Migrant workers, however, who make up 95% of the working population, are still suffering 12 years after hosting rights were awarded by Fifa.

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Posted on 1 November 2022 | 12:13 pm

Made in Italy: the family baking thousands of panettones a day

The Brandani family amps up panettone production in the run-up to Christmas, adding a special spiced twist to Uncle Bruno’s original recipe for M&S

“My earliest memories are the wonderful sweet smells: toasted hazelnuts, the fruit, the yeast,” says Marco Brandani, recalling childhood visits to his family’s panettone bakery.

Today he’s the CEO, and while the company, Maina, has grown – with its festive domed bread now finding its way to British tables at Christmastime via M&S – the aromas wafting around the factory in northern Italy are unchanged.

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Posted on 17 October 2022 | 10:18 am

Sign up to House to Home: our free interiors email

Upgrade your space today, with eight emails packed with tips to brighten up your home - whatever your budget.

Embrace your space: the Guardian’s House to Home newsletter is bursting with tips and tricks to help you boost your bedroom and give your living room some love.

Sign up any time, and get eight emails direct to your inbox every Sunday morning.

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Posted on 28 September 2022 | 9:35 am

Georgina Hayden’s recipe for spiced pork gyros with all the trimmings

For the Greek Cypriot food writer, family feasts have always been about help-yourself sharing plates and a crowd of happy people getting stuck in

Having grown up with an open door and a sprawling family, dinner times were rarely just me and my sister. We ate with our parents, grandparents, a cousin here or an aunt there. The dinner table was always a hive of activity – groaning and noisy and busy. It was never a plated affair either, it was always meze.

A casserole of something hearty, bowls of olives and pickles, a large chopped salad, grilled lamb chops if my gran had been to the butchers, a tub of tangy Greek Cypriot yoghurt, slices of cucumber, fresh sesame crusted bread … It was a help yourself situation. And there were never, ever separate meals for kids, we always all ate the same things, at the same time.

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Posted on 21 September 2022 | 3:23 pm

Seema Pankhania’s recipe for parathas and chilli curry eggs benedict

Brunch at the TikTok chef’s house is always a celebration – think close friends and catchups, cocktails and iced coffee – and a feast to be devoured

For me, brunch is a special occasion sort of thing; a treat usually saved for weekends or birthdays – although nowadays finding a spot when everyone is free is difficult, so when we do, it calls for a celebration. I love looking forward to the end of the week when I can cook for my closest friends and we can catch up on our lives.

I don’t want to be waking up too early on the weekend, so this recipe is relatively quick and you can even prep the parathas the night before. After they’re rolled up, place each one between two sheets of baking paper and then freeze until you are ready to use – they can be cooked straight from frozen too.

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Posted on 21 September 2022 | 3:22 pm

Sign up for the TechScape newsletter: our free technology email

Alex Hern’s look at how technology is shaping our lives, direct to your inbox

Get our UK tech editor’s unique insight into the latest goings on in Silicon Valley and beyond direct to your inbox. Sign up to receive our Wednesday email and get the lowdown on everything from crypto to TikTok – and much more.

Explore all our newsletters: whether you love film, football, fashion or food, we’ve got something for you

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Posted on 20 September 2022 | 10:36 am

Tell us: how are you affected by the cost of living crisis?

We need your help to find out more about the impact of the cost of living emergency in the UK

With energy bills soaring and grocery price inflation reaching 11.6% last month, households across the country are having to adjust their budgets for food, electricity, gas, rent or mortgages, and spending on non-essentials.

Your experiences can help inform our reporting on the ongoing crisis – so if you’re struggling with food or energy costs yourself or your job gives you an insight into the different ways people are affected, we’d like to hear from you.

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Posted on 4 July 2022 | 3:00 pm

Sign up for the Hear Here newsletter: our free podcast email

Podcast recommendations for unexpected audio pleasures. Our reviewers and audio producers pick out the top shows

Hear Here highlights the best new podcasts and essential series to catch up on every week. Sign up and we’ll send you an email filled with the latest shows as reviewed by our podcast critics, plus best of lists and talking points from the world of audio. From entertainment to sport to politics and everything in between, you’ll find the best audio recommendations in your inbox every Thursday morning.


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Posted on 30 March 2022 | 3:28 pm

Sign up for the Design Review newsletter: our free design email

Get a dose of creative inspiration. Expect original, sustainable ideas and reflections from designers and crafters

‘Design’ is a word used to describe architecture and products, ideas and visual arts. Design makes your sofa comfortable, but it can also save the planet if you’re developing innovative building materials. In this age, every aspect of design is considered by the switched-on reader, so the Design Review newsletter focuses on thinking and process as much as products to buy.

The way we think about lifestyle is changing. As our focus turns to sustainability and away from the short fix of fashion and trends, we have updated our lifestyle journalism to reflect this. Following on from the Observer’s quarterly Design magazine, our monthly newsletter to bring you more of these features and stories.

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Posted on 9 September 2020 | 12:19 pm