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The Guardian

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

Israel-Hamas war live: reports of fresh strike on Jabaliya refugee camp; ‘75% of Gaza’s population’ internally displaced

New estimate from UN humanitarian agency says around 1.8 million people in Gaza have been forced to leave their homes

Al Jazeera is carrying a quote from Unicef’s global spokesperson, James Elder, who had this to say about conditions inside al-Nassar hospital in Khan Younis:

Everywhere you turn to, there are children with third-degree burns, shrapnel wounds, brain injuries and broken bones. Mothers crying over children who look as if they are hours away from death. It seems like a death zone right now.

The UKTMO has received a report of Uncrewed Aerial Systems (UAS) activity including a potential explosion in the vicinity of the Bab el Mandeb originating from the direction of Yemen.

Vessels in the vicinity are advised to follow industry guidance on loitering munitions and advised to exercise caution and report any suspicious activity to UKMTO.

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Posted on 3 December 2023 | 5:27 pm

Manchester City v Tottenham: Premier League – live

Ange reveals that the lack of Eric Dier, an actual centre-back is due to “Eric pulling up after training hurt”.

Ange gives it some Ange in his chat with Sky Sports: “We’re just going to try and play our football but you’ve always got to remember there’s an opponent there that’s going to try and stop you and a very, very good opponent today so we’re going to have to make adjustments during the game but what won’t change is the way we play our football.”

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Posted on 3 December 2023 | 5:25 pm

England set West Indies target of 326 to win first one-day cricket international – live

1st over: England 8-0 (Salt 8, Jacks 0 ) Joseph strides in giantly from the Sir Andy Roberts End. Salt inside edges friskily the first ball, and whallops the fourth for four, bouncing just before the boundary. An inside edge down to the long leg boundary follows.

It doesn’t look packed at the ground though there are a fair scattering of Brits. Good to see Phil Salt applying some moisturiser to his hands. And here come the players.

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Posted on 3 December 2023 | 5:21 pm

Thousands of new foster carers urgently needed in England, experts say

Social workers scrambling to find places for children after net loss of 1,000 foster families in past year

Child protection experts have called for an urgent nationwide hunt for thousands of new foster carers after a net loss of 1,000 families in the past year and a record number of children being placed far from home.

Social workers have described scrambling to find friends and family to take children in urgent need of safety, and reported that children are sometimes placed in hotels.

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Posted on 3 December 2023 | 5:00 pm

Bombing of Catholic mass in southern Philippines leaves four dead

Police say explosion at Mindanao State University gymnasium in Marawi could be revenge by pro-Islamic State militants

Philippine forces were on high alert after a bomb killed four people and wounded many more during a Catholic mass in a university gymnasium in the south of the country, an attack the authorities called Islamist terrorism.

“I condemn in the strongest possible terms the senseless and most heinous acts perpetrated by foreign terrorists,” said the president, Ferdinand Marcos Jr. “Extremists who wield violence against the innocent will always be regarded as enemies to our society.”

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Posted on 3 December 2023 | 4:53 pm

Glenys Kinnock, former minister and ‘proud democratic socialist’, dies at 79

Family say she died in her sleep and her husband Neil, the former Labour leader, was with her in her final moments

Glenys Kinnock, the senior Labour politician and wife of the former leader Neil Kinnock, has died aged 79.

In a statement on Sunday, her family said: “It is with the deepest sorrow that we announce the death of Glenys Kinnock. Glenys died peacefully in her sleep in the early hours of Sunday morning at home in London. She was the beloved wife and life partner of Neil, the cherished mother of Steve and Rachel and an adored grandmother.”

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Posted on 3 December 2023 | 4:50 pm

Ukraine investigating ‘execution’ of surrendering troops by Russian forces

Video shows two unarmed Ukrainian soldiers being shot dead as they emerged from dugout near Avdiivka

Ukraine is investigating the “execution” by Russian forces of two Ukrainian soldiers who emerged from their trench near the town of Avdiivka and were shot dead as they surrendered.

The public prosecutor’s office said it had launched an inquiry into the gruesome incident. Video showed the Ukrainian soldiers’ last moments. One raised his arms in the air. Next, Russian service personnel gunned both men down at point-blank range.

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Posted on 3 December 2023 | 4:49 pm

FA Cup roundup: non-league Eastleigh stun Reading to book third-round slot

Paul McCallum’s stoppage-time strike enabled Eastleigh to pull off a Cup upset as they beat Reading 2-1 in the second round.

The National League side took the lead against the League One strugglers through McCallum but Femi Azeez drew Reading level in the 84th minute.

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Posted on 3 December 2023 | 4:43 pm

Most Garrick club members favour admitting women, poll reveals

Members campaigning against men-only rule say numbers opposed to change had fallen due to revised legal advise

The slow-moving campaign to force the Garrick, one of London’s last remaining gentlemen’s clubs, to admit women has notched a partial victory with an internal poll revealing that a majority of members are in favour of dropping the men-only rule.

This is the second significant development in the space of a year in the remarkably languid battle for gender equality at the club, which counts among its members the former supreme court judges Lord Neuberger and Lord Sumption, actors Hugh Bonneville and Stephen Fry, and Michael Gove, a cabinet minister.

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Posted on 3 December 2023 | 4:41 pm

NHS trust under investigation accused of hypocritical email to staff

CEO of University Hospitals Sussex urges staff to have courage to raise concerns, despite whistleblowers previously being sacked

The boss of a hospital trust being investigated by police for alleged negligence over 40 patient deaths has been accused of sending a hypocritical email urging staff to have the courage to raise concerns despite the dismissal of whistleblowing doctors.

Last week the Guardian revealed that the University Hospitals Sussex trust is under pressure to suspend surgeons whose cases are being reviewed by Sussex police in an investigation that involves more than 100 patients who either died or were seriously harmed between 2015 and 2021.

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Posted on 3 December 2023 | 4:32 pm

Ten-man Chelsea hold on to beat Brighton after Enzo Fernández double

It is not easy to understand why Mauricio Pochettino has likened himself to a university professor. Chelsea’s manager must have felt as if he was in charge of a class of unruly toddlers during a performance that began in commanding fashion and ended with Thiago Silva making heroic blocks, Levi Colwill almost giving away a penalty in the 110th minute and a general air of chaos almost allowing Brighton to snatch an undeserved point.

If anything there were times when Chelsea were too intense as they chased only their fourth home win in the Premier League in 2023. They were up for a fight and were down to 10 men when their captain, Conor Gallagher, got himself sent off just before half-time. Pochettino loved the intensity and despaired at the naivety.

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Posted on 3 December 2023 | 4:32 pm

Liverpool beat Fulham in seven-goal epic after late Alexander-Arnold winner

Things do not always have to go perfectly to create perfection as Liverpool found out, maintaining their 100% home record in a seven-goal thriller against Fulham. Trent Alexander-Arnold, albeit via Bernd Leno’s back, and Alexis Mac Allister scored two incredible goals from a combined distance of 55 yards to twice put Liverpool into the lead. But Fulham repeatedly fought back, netting through Harry Wilson, Kenny Tete and Bobby De Cordova-Reid, all from close range, before Wataru Endo and Alexander-Arnold lifted Anfield into delirium.

It was rare that Alexander-Arnold was stationary on the pitch. He nominally started the game at right-back but could be found operating as a sweeper, in central midfield or at left wing. When he did get a moment of calm, the full-back lined up from 25 yards before curling in off the bar with the sweetest of strikes, although it will be slightly tainted as it hit Leno’s back on the way down.

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Posted on 3 December 2023 | 4:18 pm

Brexit-backer Richard Desmond invokes EU law to sue Gambling Commission

Ex-Express owner is expected to claim regulator made errors during bidding war for national lottery contract

Richard Desmond, the Brexit-backing media tycoon, is invoking EU law to sue the gambling regulator after it rejected his “fanciful” bid to run the national lottery, in a suit that could deprive good causes of millions of pounds.

The former owner of the Daily Express has vowed previously to seek damages from the Gambling Commission after his company Northern & Shell missed out on a 10-year contract, worth £6.5bn, to run the lottery from next year.

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Posted on 3 December 2023 | 4:00 pm

German tourist killed and two others injured in central Paris attack

Man known to authorities as radical Islamist detained after German man killed and two – one British and one French – injured near Eiffel Tower

A man who had served a prison sentence for planning a radical Islamist attack and who was undergoing psychiatric treatment allegedly stabbed a German tourist to death and wounded two others – one British, one French – in a neighbourhood near the Eiffel Tower in Paris on Saturday night.

The attack took place shortly after 9pm near the Bir Hakeim bridge in an area popular with tourists. France is on its highest alert for attacks against the background of the war between Israel and Hamas.

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Posted on 3 December 2023 | 3:48 pm

London’s biggest minicab firm Addison Lee makes emissions U-turn

Lack of public chargers blamed for decision to be only ‘zero-emissions capable’ by April 2024

London’s biggest minicab company has U-turned on plans for all its cars to produce zero emissions this year, blaming a lack of public chargers in the capital.

Addison Lee said it had spent £30m on new Volkswagen Multivans, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), which combine a small battery with a polluting internal combustion engine, and admitted that the switch to electric cars had been harder than it had expected.

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Posted on 3 December 2023 | 3:30 pm

Dozens attend protest in Tel Aviv against Israeli bombardment of Gaza

Demonstration is first time abductees’ families have come together with other activists

Dozens of people attended a noisy fringe protest in Tel Aviv on Saturday night outside the Israeli military’s headquarters, protesting against the renewed bombardment on Gaza that they blame for the halt in the release of the estimated 130 hostages still held by Hamas.

The group gathered after the regular weekly rally demanding the release of all the hostages held by Hamas, and marched around the Israel Defense Force’s Kirya military base demanding an urgent meeting with the country’s war cabinet and pressing for a ceasefire.

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Posted on 3 December 2023 | 3:17 pm

Arsenal host Liverpool and Newcastle face Sunderland in FA Cup third round

Arsenal will host Liverpool in a blockbuster third-round FA Cup tie next month. The Premier League giants are meeting for the first time in the competition since Arsenal won a fifth-round tie 2-1 in 2014.

The Gunners have come out on top in their past three FA Cup clashes, with Liverpool’s last victory back in the final of 2001.

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Posted on 3 December 2023 | 3:01 pm

Dove Cameron: Alchemical: Volume 1 review – high-camp, dark-edged pop

The former Disney star’s debut packs a lot of drama into its eight seductive songs, with nods to Billie Eilish and K-pop

“I’ve gone from the girl next door to the bad girl next door,” mused former Disney actor Dove Cameron to the LA Times earlier this year, shortly after her queer banger Boyfriend went viral. While that line was delivered with an almighty eye-roll, acknowledging the well-trodden path taken by fellow Disney alumni such as Britney, Miley and Selena, superficially it’s not far from the truth.

Boyfriend prowls around with a seductive swagger amid volcanic beat eruptions, with Cameron, blond hair dyed jet black, attempting to steal a poor simp’s girlfriend. Almighty opener Lethal Woman, meanwhile, is like early goth-pop Billie Eilish fused with a delicious, K-pop-esque sonic breakdown. Even on ballads such as the delicate Still, the 27-year-old’s low, sultry voice adds a sinister dimension, not least when Fragile Things starts to disintegrate in its closing moments.

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Posted on 3 December 2023 | 3:00 pm

‘People want something that’s not on Amazon’: the rise of the UK craft fair

A growing number of people are discovering the joys of going to makers’ markets, where the public buy directly from craftspeople

When product designer Ben Watson went to his first ever craft fair in October, he didn’t have great expectations. “I thought it would be akin to a car boot sale, with retirement-age couples having a nose around to fill their Sunday,” he says.

Watson is part of Green Grads, a scheme that supports makers using recycled or waste materials. So the University of Northumbria student had already had his elegant lamps made from discarded vape cases displayed at Heal’s furniture store in London and at Grand Designs Live, Birmingham. A stall at the Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair (GNCCF) at Victoria Baths, Manchester, didn’t seem like a big deal. “Safe to say I was surprised at the huge variety of attendees, most of whom engaged with makers throughout the day, creating a buzzing atmosphere,” he says. “Each stall offered something wholly unique, which made walking the halls of the fair a real journey of discovery, never quite sure what’s around the corner.”

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Posted on 3 December 2023 | 3:00 pm

Norfolk care home accused of waking residents with loud music to save money

Staff at Iceni Care Home say vulnerable residents were treated as if they were ‘on a farm’ to reduce workload

Care workers at a private care home forced dementia sufferers out of bed as early as 5am and woke them by blasting loud radio music to save money, whistleblowers have alleged.

The management of Iceni Care Home in Swaffham, Norfolk, received repeated complaints about the practice this summer, as concerned staff said vulnerable residents were being treated as if they were “on a farm” in order to reduce the workload on daycare staff.

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Posted on 3 December 2023 | 3:00 pm

Should I worry about bruising?

Do you have an unexplained bruise? A bruise in an unlikely place? A bruise that seems to be getting worse rather than better? Here’s what might be going on – and what you should do about it

Bruises are most common at either end of life: in childhood because bumping into things is part of the rough-and-tumble of learning about the world; in old age because it becomes less avoidable. But for a few of us, bruises are a regular occurrence, perhaps because of diet, illness or a vigorous five-a-side schedule. But when do they go from inconvenience to alarm bell? And is there anything you can do to make yourself a bit less … peach-like?

To get the basics out of the way, a bruise is what happens when blood vessels get damaged, allowing blood to leak into the tissues under the skin. You can typically get an idea of how old (and close to healing) a bruise is by the colour: bruises are often red when they first appear, but within a day or two, the heme that gives blood its signature colour will break down, and the bruise will look bluish-purple or even black. Later, as that heme is metabolised into different compounds, the bruise will eventually turn green, then yellow or light brown, especially on lighter skin. The body is entirely capable of taking care of these sorts of bruises on its own.

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Posted on 3 December 2023 | 3:00 pm

Celtic survive scare as champions come from behind to beat St Johnstone

Celtic survived a stoppage-time scare as they came from behind to beat St Johnstone 3-1 at McDiarmid Park.

The league leaders trailed to Diallang Jaiyesimi’s first goal for St Johnstone at half-time after failing to deal with an inswinging corner for the second weekend running – Motherwell scored a late equaliser at Parkhead from the same source.

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Posted on 3 December 2023 | 2:56 pm

Yorkshire folklore and Bolivian mountain guides: photos of the weekend

The Guardian’s picture editors select photographs from around the world

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Posted on 3 December 2023 | 2:40 pm

Snow in Cumbria strands motorists and leaves homes without power

Travel warnings issued after snow forces motorists to abandon cars and sleep in village halls and council chambers

About 7,000 homes and businesses were left without power after snowfall brought down trees and stranded hundreds of motorists in Cumbria.

Drivers had to be rescued from their cars after up to 3ft (36in) of snow fell in parts of the Lake District on Saturday, when the area was busy with day-trippers.

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Posted on 3 December 2023 | 2:16 pm

Can Spinal Tap sequel live up to film’s ludicrous legend, 40 years on?

It was the rock-mockumentary that set a standard for those that followed. Now Macca and Elton are joining the band for an encore. Will its lethal wit survive?

Early next year, shooting starts for a sequel to the 1984 cult rock-mockumentary This Is Spinal Tap. It stars the actors who played the perma-delusional UK rockers back then: Michael McKean as hair-tossing frontman David St Hubbins; Christopher Guest as guitarist, Nigel “one louder” Tufnel; Harry Shearer as bassist Derek Smalls (“Hello, Cleveland!”). No drummers of course: they all perished, exploding on drum stools, dying in “freak gardening accidents”, and so on.

Spinal Tap II has the same director, Rob Reiner, who also played interviewer Marty DiBergi in the original. Reiner has said the plot springs from the death of Spinal Tap’s harassed manager, Ian Faith, played by Tony Hendra, who himself died in 2021. Faith’s fictional widow will inherit a contract that says Spinal Tap owes one more concert. Cameo appearances will include Paul McCartney, Elton John and Garth Brooks.

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Posted on 3 December 2023 | 2:00 pm

Readers reply: what is the most unlikely event to have taken place?

The long-running series in which readers answer other readers’ questions on subjects ranging from trivial flights of fancy to profound scientific and philosophical concepts

What is the most unlikely event to have taken place? Eva Tilman, County Durham

Send new questions to [email protected].

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Posted on 3 December 2023 | 2:00 pm

Why are so many of us addicted to drama?

Today’s attention economy feeds into our worst desires to overstress everything. But a new theory reveals that it doesn’t have to be this way. We can, in fact, choose a calmer life

Do you know someone who is “addicted to drama”? A name and face may spring to mind – the colleague who treats gossip as if it’s in their job description, the neighbour hellbent on turning molehills into mountains, the relative who can be counted on to stoke tension at Christmas, that one friend who is never not in chaos.

These are the people who keep Nextdoor and community Facebook groups turning, who might routinely claim on Twitter to be “screaming, crying, throwing up” – who seem, on being mildly inconvenienced, to feel more deeply about it than you can ever remember feeling about anything.

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Posted on 3 December 2023 | 2:00 pm

How do we bring about peace in a world of war and chaos? Quakers like me might have the answer | Alan Clayton

The struggle for peace starts well before conflict arises – with small acts of tolerance and compassion

Every day we are confronted with images of the horrors of war – the ongoing conflict in Gaza and Israel and the devastation in Ukraine. Then there are the myriad other conflicts around the world, including in Myanmar, Afghanistan, Yemen and Syria.

These are matters that concern any engaged world citizen. But they are of particular concern to members of the Religious Society of Friends, better known as Quakers.

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Alan Clayton has been a Quaker for almost half a century. He is a former co-clerk of Victoria Regional Meeting and has held a number of roles within Yearly Meeting of Quakers in Australia

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Posted on 3 December 2023 | 2:00 pm

My mum was so desperate for medical care that she went private. Then came the bill ... | Nell Frizzell

After enduring a debilitating infection for months, she went to see a private urologist – and discovered how inaccessible paid healthcare really is

What price would you put on a wee? After three months of having such a debilitating urinary infection that she couldn’t leave the house, my 73-year-old mum recently did something controversial – well, controversial in our leftwing, public-sector, cheese-and-pickle branch of the family. She went to see a private urologist.

I don’t approve of private healthcare, in the way I don’t approve of private education or private jets. In a taxpaying democracy, having a service available only to people with money is divisive, unfair and unethical. To have one for something as fundamental as blood, bones, breath and the very ability to live is gross. Hideous. Extremely uncool, even.

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Posted on 3 December 2023 | 2:00 pm

UK union leader’s mass defiance warning over ‘attempt to ban strikes’

Exclusive: Fire Brigades Union chief speaks as TUC meets to discuss new minimum service laws

New government anti-strike laws for public sector workers could prompt the start of a campaign of mass defiance not seen since the 1970s, a union leader has warned.

Matt Wrack, the general secretary of the Fire Brigades Union, said the minimum service levels legislation passed earlier this year was effectively a ban on strikes, and the biggest attack on the rights of workers since the second world war.

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Posted on 3 December 2023 | 1:37 pm

Brigit Forsyth obituary

Actor who played Thelma, Bob’s prim girlfriend, in the 1970s sitcom Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads?

The actor Brigit Forsyth, who has died aged 83, made her name as Thelma in the BBC television series Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads? One critic described Thelma as so prim that she could turn the lifting of a lace curtain into an art form.

Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais’s creation, which ran from 1973 to 1974, was the sequel to the popular 1960s sitcom The Likely Lads, which starred Rodney Bewes and James Bolam as Bob Ferris and Terry Collier, two single north-east England factory workers who share a flat and the same interests – women, drink and football.

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Posted on 3 December 2023 | 1:12 pm

I used to be a huge people pleaser, but when I became seriously ill I finally learned to say no

After being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, I stopped trying to please everyone else. Now I have better relationships and a healthy, joyful life

I’m a recovering people pleaser. Suppressing and repressing my needs, desires, expectations, feelings and opinions used to be as natural to me as breathing. To me, it was normal to tell people what they wanted to hear (read: lie) to make them feel better. Yes, I’ll be there for Christmas. Yes, I’ll do that for you. Yes, I can fit that in. And then I’d seethe with resentment and feelings of self-loathing, even as the Good Person in me knew I had ticked off at least some of the requisite qualities – kind, loving, hardworking and eager to help – that people pleasers hold dear.

Despite being a Good Person, I felt like, well, shit most of the time. It baffled me that while I devoted so much time, energy, effort and emotion to being a Good Girl, I did not feel good about myself. Which is why I never felt I had the right to say no.

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Posted on 3 December 2023 | 1:00 pm

‘Drug use is a health problem’: inside one of the world’s oldest legal consumption rooms

At Quai 9 in Geneva, safe equipment and healthcare have cut overdoses and illnesses among addicts. But around the world, opinion is divided on whether such projects really work

In a lime-green room behind Geneva’s main train station, a man is slumped over a chair, the heroin he has just injected taking effect. Around him, a handful of others are in the process of reaching that same state of bliss: administering bands to their arms to produce a vein, unpeeling plastic-clad syringes, exhaling as the needle goes in. Some will return later today – maybe a handful of times – to get their hit at one of the oldest supervised drug consumption rooms in the world, where users can take their own illicit substances without fear of prosecution.

A state-provided supply of safe injecting equipment, along with tea, croissants and hot showers, may seem an unusual way to handle a citywide drug epidemic, but Geneva’s Quai 9 facility – which turned 20 this year – may well provide a blueprint for Britain. In September, it was announced that the UK’s first legal consumption room is to open in Glasgow, a city in a country with higher fatal overdose rates than anywhere in Europe; deaths caused by drug poisoning in Scotland are 2.7 times higher than the UK average. First proposed seven years ago, the site – five minutes from the city centre’s main drag, by a Morrison’s and a pram shop – will cost £7m to build.

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Posted on 3 December 2023 | 1:00 pm

Turner prize 2023 – and the winner should be…

Towner, Eastbourne
In an exemplary showcase of this year’s four Turner prize contenders, Barbara Walker’s devastatingly direct Windrush scandal portraits and Jesse Darling’s antic take on broken Britain lead the field

The winner of the Turner prize 2023 will be announced at the seaside on Tuesday 5 December. This is one of Tate’s colonising years, when it sends the prize out to benefit the provinces. Eastbourne follows Liverpool, Gateshead, Derry, Glasgow, Hull, Margate and Coventry in receiving the annual honour – or burden – of mounting the exhibition and footing the bill. Tate pays only for the prize itself.

The galleries have to take whatever the jury selects. This year, after sundry collectives, community art groups and the distribution of the money to 10 different beneficiaries during Covid, the shortlist has reverted to an old-fashioned quartet of artists. Each has one of the Towner’s generous and light-filled spaces, and the combined show is generally more affecting, skilful and sincere than in recent years. Alas, half of it tends to the winsome or pious.

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Posted on 3 December 2023 | 1:00 pm

Here in Egypt, to protest is to risk prison. But we must speak out for our Palestinian neighbours | Ahdaf Soueif

The pain of those on the other side of the Rafah border is keenly felt: we know that their rights are inseparable from our own

On the steps of the journalists’ union in Downtown Cairo last Thursday evening, a woman held up a poster that showed eight babies: four parcelled up into small, green packages, four in just their nappies. Dead, all dead. The woman next to her held her own precious baby tight and jumped and stamped as we called out: “Open up the Rafah border!” There were maybe 100 of us.

A hundred people sounds like nothing compared with the multiples of thousands marching in cities across the world. But in Egypt, protests were outlawed in November 2013; 57 people who took part in protests after 7 October are currently in detention pending investigation. Everyone on the steps was demonstrating for Gaza and at the same time making a claim for the right to protest, their chants amplifying what you constantly hear in homes and on streets.

Ahdaf Soueif is the author of Mezzaterra: Fragments from the Common Ground

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 3 December 2023 | 12:57 pm

Jack and the Beanstalk review – a spirited panto with droll touches

Theatre Royal Stratford East, London
It may not attempt anything new but there are eye-catching costumes, catchy songs, some sparkling performances and a droll script by Anna Jordan

Mud, glorious mud … Splatford is full of it, and it’s got healing properties. But Giant Belch is stealing this cruddy elixir, and ratcheting up the rent on Milky Linda’s dairy, too. Such is the backdrop to this Christmas fare at Stratford East – and it’s as flimsy a backdrop as you’d expect in a panto. The mud motif is soon forgotten, as that familiar tale takes centre-stage of gullible Jack, his beloved bovine Winnie, and some grand larceny perpetrated against an ogre in the clouds.

The writer is Anna Jordan, sometimes of Killing Eve and Succession. She brings droll touches (“Me and that beanstalk,” cries our glamorous dame, “we’re an up-skirter’s dream!”), but this is a trad not a rad take. There’s no love interest: that’s a departure. But the show does little that’s new with the fairytale, nor anything interesting with its giant in the sky, whose threat evaporates on contact with some soppy words from Jack about learning to love oneself.

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Posted on 3 December 2023 | 12:54 pm

Genie review – soulless Richard Curtis New York festive caper

Melissa McCarthy’s 2,000 year-old genie grapples with modernity while granting wishes galore to home alone dad Paapa Essiedu in this blandest of festive comedies

In the overstuffed banquet of Christmas movies, this Richard Curtis-scripted fantasy directed by Sam Boyd is the bread sauce: bland, predictable and seemingly chucked together with minimal effort at the last minute from the most basic ingredients. A frazzled, overworked dad, Bernard (Paapa Essiedu), disappoints his wife and daughter one too many times when he prioritises his extravagantly mean boss (Alan Cumming) at a Manhattan auction house over his family. His wife enforces a trial separation, which leaves Bernard staring down the barrel of the loneliest of Christmases.

But then, thanks to some fairly ropey CGI effects and a jewellery box of uncertain provenance, Bernard finds himself lumbered with a temporary roommate: a 2,000-year-old genie named Flora (Melissa McCarthy). Flora offers unlimited wishes, and a chance for Bernard to reconnect with the true spirit of Christmas consumerism. Jokes hinge upon McCarthy mugging her way through the film, interacting loudly with elements of modernity such as pizza restaurants and gym equipment. It’s all sparkle, no soul.

On Sky Cinema

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Posted on 3 December 2023 | 12:30 pm

‘Justice being served’: ex-soldier’s extradition signals hope for reckoning of Pinochet-era crimes

Pedro Barrientos touched down in Santiago on Friday to face trial for the execution of folk singer Víctor Jara in 1973

One of the most emblematic human rights cases of Gen Augusto Pinochet’s bloody dictatorship is inching towards a conclusion, with the extradition from the US of a former soldier charged with the kidnapping and murder of folk singer Víctor Jara.

Late on Friday afternoon, a plane from Miami landed in Santiago with Pedro Barrientos aboard. Accompanied by a Chilean police escort, the former lieutenant was transferred to a helicopter and flown across the capital for processing at a police barracks.

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Posted on 3 December 2023 | 12:30 pm

It’s time to admit Bake Off is feeling stale. As a former contestant, I know how to make it rise again | Michael Chakraverty

The show needs to return to its original recipe: focus on the triumphs, not the mishaps, and keep the bakes accessible

Utter the words “bin-gate” and you would be hard pressed to find any Great British Bake Off fan who wouldn’t go misty-eyed. Ingrained in our collective consciousness is 2014 contestant Iain Watters’ baked alaska-fuelled tantrum, resulting in the iconic presentation of a bin to judges Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood in place of his showstopper.

Iconic moments have been in plentiful supply since The Great British Bake Off’s inception in 2010: Sue Perkins’ elbow inadvertently sabotaging a contestant; the Great Custard Robbery of 2013; Nadiya Hussain’s empowering winner’s speech.

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Posted on 3 December 2023 | 12:00 pm

‘Moderate’ or Roe v Wade killer: can Trump have it both ways on abortion?

The former president is proud of appointing the supreme court justices who overturned the right to abortion – now the issue is a vote loser for Republicans

A few months ago, the former president Donald Trump accused the Republican party of speaking “very inarticulately” on abortion. And yet, for the GOP presidential frontrunner, inarticulateness seems to be a feature, not a bug, of his own approach to abortion.

Trump thinks he can run in 2024 as a “moderate” on abortion, Rolling Stone reported this week – even though he’s currently running ads in Iowa, a crucial state in the Republican primary, proclaiming himself “the most pro-life president ever”. It’s a title to which Trump has a legitimate claim: his three nominees to the supreme court not only handed the nation’s highest court a definitive conservative majority, but all three voted to overturn Roe v Wade in summer 2022.

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Posted on 3 December 2023 | 12:00 pm

‘I’m not buying new stuff any more’: the young people getting into ‘degrowth’

Amid the cost of living crisis and threats to the climate, many are pledging to consume less and spend sustainably

“I’ve always been a charity shop girl,” says Rosie Coltman, a 32-year-old teacher from Leicestershire.

In recent years, she has shifted from fast fashion towards renting and repairing clothes, or buying secondhand or higher-quality items. She has bought a waxed Barbour jacket that, while more expensive in the short term, she hopes will be cheaper overall due to its durability. For a friend’s wedding, she hired a black Ganni dress for £50 from the app By Rotation. She also batch-cooks food to avoid waste, and prioritises buying from ethical and sustainable companies.

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Posted on 3 December 2023 | 12:00 pm

Benjamina Ebuehi’s Christmassy spiced cranberry and chocolate tart | The sweet spot

Chocolate? Tick. Rich, but not so rich that you can’t have another slice? Tick. This tart will be first to disappear from your Christmas table

This tart ticks a lot of boxes. A chocolate-based dessert for the festive season, as well as one that’s pretty enough to take centre stage, but not so rich that you can manage only one slice. Puddles of spiced cranberry sauce are baked into the chocolate frangipane for a pairing that puts any surfeit of cranberries to good use. Get ahead by making the sauce and pastry beforehand, then finish it all off on the day you serve.

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Posted on 3 December 2023 | 12:00 pm

From a 100-mile city to a desert ski resort: why is Saudi Arabia spending billions on architectural ‘gigaprojects’?

The Saudi crown prince is creating wildly ambitious projects masterminded by renowned architects, curators and designers. The upshot is either progressive modernisation or image-laundering, depending who you ask

“We think we can help change the situation here,” says Iwona Blazwick, who for 21 years was director of the Whitechapel art gallery in London, “particularly for women.” She’s wearing, like many westerners working in Saudi Arabia, a stylish version of the abaya, the traditional garment that extends to ankles, wrists and neck, but with her head uncovered. Around us is the profligate splendour of the cliffs and pillars of the local geology, not lunar or Martian but from some stranger planet, its bare wind-carved forms suggesting beasts and faces. We’re in the north-western region of AlUla, at the two-year-old Habitas resort, where 96 luxury cabins, each containing one bedroom, are scattered across an arid but spectacular valley like a high-end, low-density trailer park. A succession of influencers, posing in front of tripod-mounted phones, bring a Triangle of Sadness vibe to the infinity pool. It’s not the Saudi Arabia of the popular imagination.

Blazwick has been a leading force in British art over the past three decades: in 1992, she gave Damien Hirst his first major public London show, at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, and she played a significant role in the creation of Tate Modern. She is now overseeing Wadi AlFann, or Valley of the Arts, a park of land art to be made out of 65 sq kilometres (25 sq miles) of AlUla’s scenic desert. Here three venerable giants of the genre, Agnes Denes, James Turrell and Michael Heizer, with the Saudi artists Manal AlDowayan and Ahmed Mater, are planning to carve and build their large creations out of the rock and sand. It will take to the limit the proposition that art can change the world for the better.

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Posted on 3 December 2023 | 12:00 pm

Gaza diary part 31: ‘Santa, this year don’t bring dolls and bicycles, bring blankets and food’

Ziad, a 35-year-old Palestinian, writes a letter to Santa, asking if he has any safety or hope he can offer the children of Gaza

4pm Dear Santa

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Posted on 3 December 2023 | 11:33 am

Sunak’s pledge to cut NHS waiting lists at risk from industrial action, says minister

Health secretary, Victoria Atkins, urges doctors to settle with government over pay and conditions

Rishi Sunak is in danger of missing his target to cut NHS waiting lists unless doctors drop plans to take industrial action over the coming months, the UK health secretary has warned.

Victoria Atkins on Sunday urged doctors to come to an agreement with the government over pay and conditions, suggesting the prime minister’s waiting list pledge would not be hit unless they do.

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Posted on 3 December 2023 | 11:13 am

‘On stage, I feel like we’re all in year 11’: Comedian Guz Khan on leaving teaching, a tough start and having the last laugh

The Coventry comedian knows full well the power that humour has to change people’s lives – just look at what it’s done to his

When it comes to discussing his career, the comedian Guz Khan prefers not to take things too seriously. The fourth season of his hit Bafta-nominated, critically acclaimed BBC sitcom, Man Like Mobeen, aired earlier this year. He’s about to embark on another national standup tour. He’s landed multiple major Hollywood acting gigs. And yet, he’s reluctant to talk about it all with much sincerity. “It’s just,” Khan says, “I can never get it out of my head that there are more important things in life. Some standups get a bit annoyed when I say this, as if I’m belittling what we do. I’m not. But look at the state of the world, our communities… There’s so much that’s more urgent than… [he puts on a smooth public school voice, one of many impressions he’ll drop into over the next two hours] ‘Hey, so I’ve got this idea for a really well-constructed joke.’” He laughs. “It just seems so goddamn silly to me.”

It’s a Monday lunchtime in late November. Khan, 37, and I are sitting in an otherwise empty Kashmiri restaurant on the outskirts of Coventry. We met in the carpark to find the restaurant closed. No bother. Khan walked straight inside and warmly greeted staff with a flurry of banter, salaams and bearhugs. He’s a regular here – he grew up with the owners. Khan only started comedy in 2014; the team knew him pre-fame. He cherishes this familiarity; Khan’s rapid rise to success has, at times, felt disorientating.

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Posted on 3 December 2023 | 11:00 am

Intention: a short story written in the aftermath of Hamas’s 7 October attack on Israel by Etgar Keret

Keret is an Israeli writer of short stories and a film-maker. His books have been translated into more than 45 languages. His latest collection, Fly Already, won the Sapir Prize in 2018

For 20 years, Yechiel-Nachman prayed to his God. Twenty whole years in which not a day passed without him praying for marriage, for livelihood, for good health, and for peace upon Israel. But nothing happened: Yechiel-Nachman remained a penniless, asthmatic bachelor, and peace was nowhere on the horizon. Yet still he communed with God each and every day, never missing a single one of the three daily prayers.

Deep in his heart, Yechiel-Nachman had made peace with his prayers going unanswered. Because prayer was the pure yearning for compassion and justice, whereas life was life: cruel, dispiriting, insulting. It was therefore only natural that two such contrasting worlds could never converge. But on October 7, 2023 – the 22nd day of Tishrei in the year 5784 – something in Yechiel-Nachman broke. On that morning, when the joyous holiday of Simchat Torah was to be celebrated, hundreds of his people were slaughtered, with many more snatched from their homes and taken to an enemy city.

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Posted on 3 December 2023 | 11:00 am

Waterfront wonders: 10 glorious lakeside winter stays around the UK

From romantic hideaways to fun-filled activity centres, a few days by the water is the perfect seasonal tonic

Spectacular views come as standard at this comfortable home set on the banks of Loch Lochy on the outskirts of Fort William. Opposite the house, the auburn slopes of the Great Glen rise up above the loch, with the Nevis Range – offering breathtaking hiking and skiing – just 15 minutes’ drive away. The house sleeps six, with an open-plan living space and outdoor decked area complete with patio heater, making it possible to cosy up outside and enjoy the views even on the wintriest of days. It’s an ideal base for exploring the west coast. The village of Spean Bridge – home to one of Scotland’s best restaurants, Corriegour Lodge – is just 10 minutes’ drive.
A week from £1,300;

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Posted on 3 December 2023 | 11:00 am

‘The devil was in that building’: New Orleans church orphanages’ dark secrets

Survivors of institutions run by Catholic diocese recall litany of sexual abuse as bankruptcy process keeps documents hidden

This is the final installment of a three-part series exploring how the archdiocese of New Orleans’s bankruptcy stands apart from other cases of its kind. The first installment ran on Wednesday 29 November 2023, and the second installment ran on Friday 1 December.

Call her Sheila.

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Posted on 3 December 2023 | 11:00 am

Exit strategy: why I’ll be saying no to a funeral

A YouGov poll says that nearly half of us don’t want a traditional send-off, and not just because of the expense

In the 1970s, Professor Ronald A Howard of Stanford University worked out a unit of risk in death which he called a micromort. So, an operation with a general anaesthetic clocks up 10 micromorts, while running a marathon comes in more modestly at seven. How many micromorts there are in a 12-month run of attendances at funerals he didn’t calculate. However, from personal experience, metaphorically and practically, it turns the Grim Reaper into an uncomfortably close companion that does give pause for reflection about the best way that I can bow out.

For me, there will be no “joyful” tangerine-themed celebration; no eulogy from a vicar struggling hard to paint a portrait of a person they never met; no trek to a woodland glade in a cardboard box; no final opportunity for friends and relatives to collectively say goodbye. With luck, I may occasionally pop back in the shape of a memory, flaws erased, personality polished to perfection by the passage of time.

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Posted on 3 December 2023 | 11:00 am

A knife-edge quest: Lord of the Rings resonates at Cop28 climate summit | Larry Elliott

Tolkien’s hostility to rampant industrialisation should chime with nations represented in Dubai

Back in the 1960s, no self-respecting hippy would be seen dead without a well-thumbed copy of the Lord of the Rings. Along with a copy of Sgt Pepper and the Tibetan Book of the Dead, it came to epitomise the counterculture.

Times change. Tolkien’s most prominent fan at present is Giorgia Meloni, the most rightwing prime minister Italy has had since the second world war. That has set alarm bells clanging.

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Posted on 3 December 2023 | 10:55 am

Cop28 president says there is ‘no science’ behind demands for phase-out of fossil fuels

Exclusive: UAE’s Sultan Al Jaber says phase-out of coal, oil and gas would take world ‘back into caves’

The president of Cop28, Sultan Al Jaber, has claimed there is “no science” indicating that a phase-out of fossil fuels is needed to restrict global heating to 1.5C, the Guardian and the Centre for Climate Reporting can reveal.

Al Jaber also said a phase-out of fossil fuels would not allow sustainable development “unless you want to take the world back into caves”.

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Posted on 3 December 2023 | 10:33 am

Male, pale and out of step: why fashion houses have such a problem with diversity

While privileged white men continue to dominate the industry, women and minorities are finding it harder to make their mark. Here’s what must be done…

When Sarah Burton announced she was stepping down as creative director of Alexander McQueen this year, she left big shoes to fill. Burton, who designed the Princess of Wales’s wedding dress, had led the brand for 13 years, making it one of the most popular British fashion houses. When Seán McGirr was announced as her replacement in October, though his talent was never in question, his appointment meant that all the creative directors at Kering – the group that owns McQueen – were now white men.

Following McGirr’s appointment a picture – or grid of pictures – started doing the rounds in fashion circles, showing the faces of the six men who worked at Kering, which also owns Gucci, Saint Laurent and Balenciaga. With it came a conversation about who gets to ascend to the top jobs – the creative directorships of the big houses. These are the most visible roles, the public-facing side of an industry full of faceless cogs.

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Posted on 3 December 2023 | 10:00 am

‘Game of Thrones effect’ is driving force behind William the Conqueror epics

The huge popularity of fantasy historical series has sparked a renewed interest in historical characters, according to producers

The global success of Game of Thrones, the fantasy historical series, has sparked a renewed interest in history among film-makers, according to the writer behind a new movie based on the life of William the Conqueror.

HBO’s adaptation of author George RR Martin’s epic novels drew millions of viewers for each episode, making Game of Thrones one of the biggest television series of all time. Its plots and characters were rooted in historical characters, with Aegon the Conqueror supposedly based on William the Conqueror.

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Posted on 3 December 2023 | 10:00 am

I’m not keen on our aversion to keenness | David Mitchell

Princess Kate is criticised for being enthusiastic in a new royal book, but using eagerness as a slur is silly and snobbish

Controversy raged last week over the issue of whether or not the Princess of Wales has regularly been called “Katie Keen”. In Endgame, his new book about the royals, Omid Scobie claims she has. Her “pliable” and “coachable” approach to royal duties led, he writes, to the nickname “Katie Keen” becoming a “popular refrain on social media for several years”. Tuesday’s Daily Mail disputes this: “A search of social media last night… found no mention of the moniker before it appeared in the book.”

So what’s going on here then? I must say, to my ears “Katie Keen” doesn’t have the ring of social media about it. Where’s the antisemitism or Islamophobia? Where are the makeup tips? Plus I’ve never heard her called that. Still, it’s not beyond the bounds of possibility. But the Mail’s view is clear: the disgraceful Scobie, relentless advocate of Meghan and Harry’s cause, has made it up as a vicious slur. How dare he call her keen, thinks the Mail, and suggest other people have also called her keen?!

David Mitchell’s new book, Unruly: A History of England’s Kings and Queens, is out now

Do you have an opinion on the issues raised in this article? If you would like to submit a letter of up to 250 words to be considered for publication, email it to us at [email protected]

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Posted on 3 December 2023 | 10:00 am

My young boy’s daily profanities are truly shocking | Séamas O’Reilly

Where on earth can he have picked up all the effing and blinding?

‘Forfookinsake,’ my son says, under his breath and not for the first time. He started saying this after a nine-hour drive from Holyhead to London this summer, during which I may have uttered a similar phrase several times while trying to get his baby sister to stop being violently car sick.

His odd pronunciation of said phrase is partly due to his lack of profane vocabulary and partly his deep-seeded English need to mock the boggy diction of his parents’ accents. My tongue probably does swing a little closer to my roots when my mind is clouded with anger, but it doesn’t help to be reminded of this from the unblemished lips of my five-year-old son.

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Posted on 3 December 2023 | 9:35 am

Almost 400,000 Palestinians have lost jobs due to war, report says

Many have little or no income after the closure of crossings into Israel and restrictions on workers, according ILO

Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in the West Bank have lost their jobs or had their salaries frozen after the Israeli authorities cancelled their work permits and imposed severe restrictions on crossings after the 7 October attacks.

Approximately 182,000 Gaza residents who work in Israel and the settlements had their employment terminated, initial estimates by the International Labour Organization (ILO) suggest, while about 24% of employment in the West Bank has also been lost – equivalent to 208,000 jobs – as a result of the Israel-Hamas war.

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Posted on 3 December 2023 | 9:10 am

If the Tories needed proof that Rishi Sunak is a loser, they found it in a game of marbles | Isabel Hardman

Too many in his party have the impression that the PM doesn’t know what he’s doing, over Rwanda or the Parthenon sculptures

‘Why is he just so bad at politics?” fumed one Tory MP after Rishi Sunak’s abrupt cancellation of the Greek prime minister over the Parthenon marbles last week. “This says everything about where his antennae point: away from what ordinary MPs think about, let alone ordinary voters.” Even supporters of the prime minister view the row as unfortunate, not least because they suspect that many “ordinary MPs” had, until last week, thought the sculptures were just very precious toy marbles.

Sunak’s decision to nix a meeting with Kyriakos Mitsotakis wasn’t a calculated way of showing that he was standing up to European countries: it was a personal reaction to “grandstanding” about an issue that he fears could have implications for other artefacts. But the way the row unfolded does say a lot about the PM – and about his party.

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Posted on 3 December 2023 | 9:00 am

Families of Covid victims to confront Johnson at inquiry over ‘Let the bodies pile high’ comment

Attending the inquiry midweek with photos of relatives, Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice will unveil a powerful billboard

Families bereaved during the Covid-19 pandemic will this week confront Boris Johnson over claims that he told colleagues he would prefer to see people die in large numbers than order a second lockdown that would harm the economy.

Many relatives who lost loves ones will descend on the Covid inquiry en masse on Wednesday and Thursday, when Johnson will give two days of evidence in what promises to be the most emotionally charged and explosive sessions of the official investigation so far.

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Posted on 3 December 2023 | 8:00 am

Supermarkets in England ‘blatantly disregarding’ rules over where they place crisps, sweets and fizzy drinks

Survey found stores put foods high in fat, salt or sugar in prominent locations despite government regulations

Some supermarkets are flouting “pester power” rules aimed at tackling childhood obesity, a report has found.

In a survey, Obesity Health Alliance (OHA) and Food Active found that about a quarter of the 25 stores they visited had put sweets, crisps, fizzy drinks or other so-called “less healthy” foods in prominent parts of the shop, such as close to checkouts or in end-of-aisle displays.

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Posted on 3 December 2023 | 8:00 am

‘I studied the play in school – I hated it’: Cush Jumbo and David Tennant on playing the Macbeths

The Shakespeare virtuosos are about to share a stage in a modern-day version of the Scottish play. Fresh out of rehearsals, they discuss PTSD, childhood ambition and what makes them angry

David Tennant and Cush Jumbo walk into the Donmar Warehouse’s offices, above the theatre’s rehearsal rooms in Covent Garden, and sit down on a sofa, side by side. Tennant has that look his many fans will instantly be able to call to mind of being at once stressed – with a desperado gleam in his eye – yet mischievously engaged, which has to do with the intelligence he applies to everything, the niceness he directs at everyone. He is wearing a mustard-coloured jersey and could be mistaken for someone who has been swotting in a library (actually, he has been rehearsing a fight scene). If I am right in supposing him to be tense at this mid-rehearsals moment, I know – from having interviewed him before – that it is not his way to put himself first, that he will crack on and probably, while he’s at it, crack a joke or two to keep us all in good spirits. But some degree of tension is understandable for he and Jumbo are about to perform in a play that explores stress like no other – Macbeth – and must unriddle one of the most dramatic marriages in all of Shakespeare’s plays.

This is star billing of the starriest kind. Tennant, at 52, has more triumphs under his belt than you’d think possible in a single career (including Doctor Who, Broadchurch’s detective, the serial killer Dennis Nilsen in Des, and the father in There She Goes). Jumbo has been seen on US prime time in The Good Wife and The Good Fight and in ITV’s Vera. But what counts is that each is a Shakespeare virtuoso. Jumbo, who is now 38, won an Ian Charleson award in 2012 for her Rosalind in As You Like It and, in 2013, was nominated for an Olivier for her Mark Antony in Phyllida Lloyd’s all-female Julius Caesar. More recently, she starred as a yearningly embattled Hamlet at the Young Vic. A dynamo of an actor, she is described by the former New York Times theatre critic Ben Brantley as radiating “that unquantifiable force of hunger, drive, talent usually called star power”. Tennant, meanwhile, who has played Romeo, Lysander and Benedick for the RSC, went on to embody Hamlet and Richard II in performances that have become the stuff of legend.

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Posted on 3 December 2023 | 8:00 am

Royal book at centre of racism row barely stirs a ripple on London streets

Few rushed to buy the book, despite hype over claims two royals discussed skin colour of Prince Harry and Meghan’s first child

In the last two centuries London’s oldest bookshop, Hatchards on Piccadilly, has sold stories of royal scandals, ructions and rifts.

The latest book in the royal genre, Endgame by journalist Omid Scobie, was at the centre of a media frenzy for most of last week, but was barely causing a ripple among shoppers this weekend. It was not on prominent display at the five-storey bookstore, which has royal warrants. The single copy had been put aside on order. At the nearby Waterstones, about 14 copies were stacked on a table near the entrance, but there was limited interest there too.

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Posted on 3 December 2023 | 8:00 am

Ashleigh Buhai denies Minjee Lee to win successive Australian Opens

Ashleigh Buhai has held on to become the first back-to-back Women’s Australian Open champion in more than a decade.

The South African denied Minjee Lee an elusive maiden national championship with a tension-filled one-stroke triumph over Australia’s popular pre-tournament favourite.

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Posted on 3 December 2023 | 7:14 am

Kissinger on Kissinger: ‘My job was to inspire, not to gratify’

Reflections on America’s role in the world and, as a Jew, his negotiations with Arab leaders from 1977 interview

In 1977, Douglass Cater, vice-chairman of the Observer, and Kenneth Harris, associate editor, called on Dr Henry Kissinger in his 10th-floor office at the Georgetown Centre for Strategic and International Studies where he was professor of diplomacy. This is an extract from that exclusive interview.

Did your early years, up to the age of 15 in Germany, have a formative influence on your thinking?

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Posted on 3 December 2023 | 7:00 am

The Observer view on the BBC: watering down Newsnight is a bad omen for public service journalism | Observer editorial

Trimming £7.5m from programmes such as Newsnight endangers the corporation’s brief

Throughout the 100-year history of the BBC, a fierce debate has raged about how, in the words of its founder, John Reith, it should uphold its public service mission to “inform, educate and entertain”. To what extent should it focus on competing with commercial rivals for viewers – the viewers who, after all, pay for it through their licence fee? Or should it, instead, prioritise programming in the public interest that would not otherwise happen?

If there were ever an area where doggedly pursuing what’s not in the commercial interest of others should be front and centre of the BBC’s remit, it is news. At its best, public service news broadcasting is a vital part of the fourth estate, of a democracy where the powerful are held to account without fear or favour. But the BBC’s announcements last week about cuts to its news programming reveal its most senior executives do not attach enough value to its public service remit.

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Posted on 3 December 2023 | 6:30 am

Greenhouse gas emissions soar – with China, US and India most at fault

Satellite tracking data shows many countries and firms do not provide accurate figures

Electricity generation in China and India, and oil and gas production in the US, have produced the biggest increases in global greenhouse gas emissions since 2015, when the Paris climate agreement was signed, new data has shown.

Emissions of methane, a greenhouse gas 80 times more powerful than carbon dioxide, have also risen, despite more than 100 countries signing up to a pledge to reduce the gas, according to data published on Sunday by the Climate Trace project.

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Posted on 3 December 2023 | 6:01 am

Merchants 1688, Lancaster: ‘Seriously impressive food’ – restaurant review

Don’t be put off by the tacky website and dodgy decor, Merchants 1688 is a complete gem

Merchants 1688, 29 Castle Hill, Lancaster LA1 1YN (01524 66466). Starters £7-£11, mains £12-£32, desserts £8-£9, wines from £21

It’s tempting to describe Merchants 1688 in Lancaster as a lovely painting in a terrible frame, but that doesn’t quite do the job. The restaurant’s setting, that frame, is potentially gorgeous. It’s a trio of ancient, brick-lined arched cellars dating back, as the name suggests, to the 17th century. By the door, scribbled up on a blackboard, is a timeline, detailing their construction in 1688. By the mid-19th century, they were home to a wine and spirits merchants called Richard Hinde & Co who remained there until at least 1934. Intriguingly, it says the address was at the same time also the site of a temperance hotel. Presumably it occupied the building above, for those swearing off the booze stored in the cellars below. The whole site was listed in 1970, and in 1984 the subterranean space, reached via smoothed flagstone steps and arched doorways like you’re entering a hobbit house, was converted into a pub. The whole place is deliciously seasoned with history.

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Posted on 3 December 2023 | 6:00 am

Heavily pregnant Afghan women eligible to come to UK stuck in Pakistan

People who worked for or were affiliated with the British Council may lose babies as government delays relocation to UK

Pregnant Afghan women who are eligible for resettlement in the UK have been told their babies may not survive unless they are urgently evacuated.

The women, who worked for or are affiliated with the British Council, should be entitled to relocation through the Afghan citizens resettlement scheme (ACRS). Despite Foreign Office and Home Office instructions to move to Pakistan and await relocation, they are stuck in hotels with limited access to medical care nearly two years after the scheme launched.

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Posted on 3 December 2023 | 6:00 am

We’re laughing at Nigel Farage, not with him | Letters

His appearance on I’m a Celebrity… shouldn’t worry us. It’s humiliating him

Although Stewart Lee has presented an excellent summary of the obnoxious conduct of Nigel Farage, he probably doesn’t have to be that worried about his appearance on I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!, a programme clearly designed to humiliate anyone foolish enough to go into its fake “jungle” (“We’re only making platforms for Nigel”, the New Review).

It is unlikely that many people who work at ITV supported Brexit, more probable that they are out to get the vain Farage. He has already been made to eat several animal penises. How Julius Caesar would have laughed if he’d been able to get one of his enemies – Cato, for example – to suffer such humiliation in the Roman amphitheatre.

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Posted on 3 December 2023 | 6:00 am

‘It was crazy’: Saoirse-Monica Jackson on her whirlwind life after Derry Girls

She was top of the class in the worldwide hit Derry Girls, but Saoirse-Monica Jackson was terrified she’d never work again… How wrong she was. The show opened so many doors for her – from superhero movies to a 14th-century period drama

When the first season of the Channel 4 sitcom Derry Girls debuted in 2018, the show’s lead actor Saoirse-Monica Jackson had something of a flip out. Her performance as Erin Quinn, one of four Catholic schoolgirls (and an English fella) living in Derry on the Northern Ireland border in the final throes of the Troubles, was – she now realised – quite out there: full of adolescent facial contortions that dripped with awkwardness, disdain and indignation. Jackson had been inspired by the punk irascibility of her teenage cousin and the animated comic tics of Jim Carrey and Rowan Atkinson. But now she feared that she had blown her big break.

“I felt in a perpetual state of fear,” recalls the 30-year-old Jackson now. “It’s crazy: I didn’t think of it as a risk when I was doing it because Lisa [McGee], the writer, instilled such faith in me. I’d basically auditioned and I just thought that Erin was very physical and that the madness of the world and all the characters around her would lend itself to a physical comedy performance.”

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Posted on 3 December 2023 | 6:00 am

Rishi Sunak’s snub boosts Greek hopes for return of marbles

PM’s ‘blunder’ highlights the issue of the disputed Parthenon sculptures, fuelling campaign to send them home to Athens

An air of optimism pervades the Acropolis Museum. Blown in on a breeze from Britain, it has come to fill its cavernous lobby, corridors and upper gallery, home of the embodiment in marble of the glory that was the golden age: the Parthenon sculptures.

In a week when the row over the fifth-century BC antiquities has erupted with renewed vigour, the goalposts have moved in unexpected ways. Which is why Nikos Stampolidis, classical archaeologist by profession, and for the past two years the museum’s director, is in ebullient mood. “It has been a magnificent week,” he told the Observer. “I think it’s fair to say events are moving us forward and are in our favour. I’m hopeful and very optimistic.”

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Posted on 3 December 2023 | 5:00 am

‘It’s not worth risking your life’: fears over painkiller Nolotil grow for Brits in Spain

Links between the deaths of UK patients and the popular drug have spurred on action among expats in Jávea and beyond

As Britain faced widespread frosts last week, there were blue skies, a warm breeze and temperatures above 20C on white sand beaches dotted with palm trees in Jávea on the Costa Blanca.

About 5,000 Britons live in this small town, once walled and fortified to protect it from marauding pirates.

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Posted on 3 December 2023 | 5:00 am

‘My mum’s books survived Putin’s missiles’: defiance after blast destroys Kherson children’s library

A Ukrainian library to which Ed Vulliamy donated works by his late mother, the author Shirley Hughes, is trying to rebuild itself

There it is, on a wintry morning: charred masonry, gnarled metal, glass shards, rubble and dust.

Yet another ravaged building in Ukraine: each has its own story, and this violation is against Kherson’s regional library for children, a place of effervescent creativity with a wonderful collection, named Dnipro Seagull library, after the birds that soar over the city’s mighty river – a symbol of the region.

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Posted on 3 December 2023 | 5:00 am

Class act: Saoirse-Monica Jackson in pictures

She was top of the form in the worldwide hit Derry Girls, meet the actor Saoirse-Monica Jackson.

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Posted on 2 December 2023 | 11:50 pm

Snuggle up: 10 of the best cosy fashion pieces – in pictures

Keep out the chill with warm clothes that are cool, too!

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Posted on 2 December 2023 | 11:45 pm

Suspect arrested in fatal shootings of three unhoused men in LA, police say

Jerrid Joseph Powell, 33, had already been in custody for the robbery and killing of a fourth man

A Los Angeles man who had already been arrested in another shooting investigation has been identified as the suspect in three recent killings of unhoused men, police said Saturday.

The Los Angeles police chief, Michel Moore, said 33-year-old Jerrid Joseph Powell was identified as the suspect in the three killings after authorities determined that a firearm found in the vehicle he had been driving when he was arrested earlier was linked to the shootings.

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Posted on 2 December 2023 | 11:43 pm

Keir Starmer praises Margaret Thatcher for bringing ‘meaningful change’ to UK

Labour leader says former PM ‘set loose our natural entrepreneurialism’ in appeal to Tory voters to back him

Keir Starmer has praised Margaret Thatcher for effecting “meaningful change” in Britain in an article directly appealing to Conservative voters to switch to Labour.

Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, the Labour leader said Thatcher had “set loose our natural entrepreneurialism” during her time as prime minister.

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Posted on 2 December 2023 | 11:10 pm

When the farm burns or the grass runs out, it’s a battle to keep valuable livestock alive

When farmers’ businesses are built on the strength of certain bloodlines, they’ll go to extraordinary lengths to preserve their herd

The short message went viral: “Kenmay burned yesterday, we need to sell cattle.”

The plea came from Dr Robert Scanlon of Parawanga Droughtmaster Stud. Scanlon and his wife, Karen, manage the stud on a 970-hectare property called Kenmay near Miriam Vale in central Queensland. It burned on 29 October in the Mount Tom fires.

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Posted on 2 December 2023 | 11:00 pm

Thérèse Coffey says she ‘came close to dying’ from brain abscess

Conservative MP blames stress of job as under-secretary of state in Department for Environment for 2018 illness

The Conservative MP Thérèse Coffey has claimed she “came close to dying” from a brain abscess and blamed it on the stress of being a government minister.

In an interview with the Sunday Times, Coffey revealed she was diagnosed with the rare brain abscess in May 2018, after she had pain in her head for several days.

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Posted on 2 December 2023 | 7:58 pm

Israel using captured Hamas prisoners to track down top leaders

As pressure grows on Israel to avoid civilian deaths, IDF believes killing leaders will collapse organisation

The Israeli military’s coming push into southern Gaza is driven by the belief that intelligence gleaned from hundreds of militants captured during the fighting in the north will allow them to find and kill leaders of Hamas.

Israel’s politicians and generals believe that taking out top commanders – and leader Yahya Sinwar – is their best chance of forcing the collapse of an organisation that is deeply embedded in Gaza, after nearly two decades controlling the enclave.

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Posted on 2 December 2023 | 7:34 pm

US House close to vote on Biden impeachment inquiry, speaker says

After months of Republican investigations, Mike Johnson told Fox he believed GOP conference has enough votes to launch

The US House speaker Mike Johnson signaled on Saturday that Republicans are nearing holding a formal vote to launch an impeachment inquiry into Joe Biden.

“I think it’s something we have to do at this juncture,” Johnson said during a Saturday appearance on Fox and Friends Weekend.

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Posted on 2 December 2023 | 7:25 pm

Rishi Sunak accused of hypocrisy after backing phase-out of fossil fuels at Cop28

UK prime minister attacked for inconsistency after allowing more gas and oil exploration in the North Sea

Rishi Sunak has been accused of hypocrisy on the international stage after pushing for a phase-out of fossil fuels at the UN Cop28 climate summit in Dubai – weeks after backing more oil and gas exploration in the North Sea.

The prime minister’s lack of “consistency” over climate policy was ridiculed by several senior Conservatives, as well as the former US vice president Al Gore, while members of other international delegations said the UK’s incoherent approach meant it was no longer a global leader on climate issues.

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Posted on 2 December 2023 | 7:25 pm

Israel must heed warnings over Gaza death toll | Observer editorial

The White House is becoming increasingly insistent that the huge loss of civilian lives cannot continue

The war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza has reached a fateful juncture. Last week’s breakdown of a seven-day “pause” in the fighting has been swiftly followed by resumed Israeli bombardment, targeting all areas of the territory, and by renewed Hamas attacks. The collapse of the truce, deplorable and avoidable in itself, has potential to spark violence and suffering on a level surpassing even that of recent weeks. Israel says it plans to take the war deep into the heart of southern Gaza, where up to 2 million people are trapped. Hamas’s leaders, pledged to Israel’s destruction, show no sign of ending their resistance.

The resumption of hostilities has dashed hopes that Antony Blinken, the US secretary of state, who visited Israel last week, would persuade the two sides to prolong the pause or even make it permanent. It means the horrendous humanitarian crisis inside Gaza will inevitably worsen. Aid agencies and the UN say the health system has all but imploded and food, clean water and other basics are desperately short. It means aid deliveries from Egypt are being disrupted again and the releases of hostages and prisoners, which brought limited joy last week, will cease.

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Posted on 2 December 2023 | 7:02 pm

Extreme weather could shut down one in 12 hospitals worldwide, report warns

Total of 16,245 hospitals at high risk by end of century unless fossil fuels phased out, analysts say

One in 12 hospitals worldwide are at risk of total or partial shutdown from extreme weather events without a rapid phase-out of fossil fuels, a new report warns.

A total of 16,245 hospitals, twice as many as are currently at high risk, will be in this category by the end of the century without a change in pace, according to a report released on Saturday by Cross Dependency Initiative (XDI), a climate risk analyst. It adds that a residential or commercial building with this level of risk would be considered uninsurable.

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Posted on 2 December 2023 | 7:00 pm

Bespoke retro-futuristic synthesisers – in pictures

As a boy, Love Hultén used to tear electronics apart trying to understand their insides. Now, the Swedish audiovisual artist creates bespoke retro-futuristic synthesisers; his clients include Eminem, A$AP Rocky, Danger Mouse and Michael B Jordan. “I love analogue synths: learning how to manipulate sounds using hands-on controls and tactile waypoints is very intuitive and fun,” says Hultén. Unlike the touchscreens the music industry now tends to favour, his handmade synths are encased in wood, resulting in visually striking, high-concept objects. “I try to present alternatives to today’s tech. Commercial products go through strict processes that in my opinion kill the product. I’m a small-scale, one-man studio, unaffected by corporate principles, and I don’t need to compromise.”

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Posted on 2 December 2023 | 5:00 pm

Kamala Harris addresses Cop28 amid mixed reaction to US climate pledges

US vice-president, deputising for Joe Biden, tells summit that world faces a ‘pivotal moment’ in the climate crisis

The world is facing a “pivotal moment” in the climate crisis, Kamala Harris has told the Cop28 summit after the US vowed to phase out coal plants and slash methane emissions, but also came under attack for meagre assistance to developing countries and for its own booming oil and gas extraction industry.

The US vice-president, deputising for Joe Biden – who skipped the UN climate talks – said Biden’s administration had made the “largest climate investment in the history of our country, and some have said the world” via the Inflation Reduction Act.

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Posted on 2 December 2023 | 4:05 pm

Iran ‘using Gaza conflict as cover’ for execution of 127 people since war began

Human rights groups record alarming rise in number of prisoners put to death by Tehran regime since 7 October

The Iranian regime has executed more than 127 people, including women and children, since the Hamas attacks of 7 October, according to human rights groups.

According to data collected by Iran Human Rights (IHR) and the Norway-based organisation Hengaw, which have been cross-referenced by the Observer, there has been an alarming rise in executions since the beginning of the war between Israel and Hamas.

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Posted on 2 December 2023 | 4:00 pm

A mushrooming trend: how fungi became an It food

The mushroom moment of the past few years shows no sign of ending. What’s feeding its enduring popularity?

You can’t walk more than a few aisles in the grocery store these days without running into some kind of new mushroom product. Fresh white button mushrooms are increasingly joined by specialty varieties like lion’s mane, maitake or oyster mushrooms. There’s sparkling cordyceps tea and chaga coffee boasting a range of health benefits, mushroom chips and even chocolate bars infused with reishi.

Mushrooms have been steadily growing in popularity in the US over the last decade, said Eric Davis, a representative of the Mushroom Council. Mushrooms frequently top food trends lists and were even named “ingredient of the year” in 2022 by the New York Times. According to the consumer consultancy Circana, grocery store sales of fresh mushrooms have increased by 20% over the past decade, while sales of specialty mushrooms have doubled in the same timeframe.

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Posted on 2 December 2023 | 4:00 pm

Russia paying wives of soldiers in Ukraine not to stage protests, says UK

Some women also discredited online after Moscow protests last month, British defence ministry says

Russian authorities are paying the wives of Russian soldiers not to protest against their long-running deployment after demonstrations in Moscow, the UK Ministry of Defence said.

The MoD said in its daily intelligence briefing that some women were being paid off while others had been discredited online.

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Posted on 2 December 2023 | 2:50 pm

‘To hell with this place’: George Santos sharpens attacks after expulsion

Fabulist says he will file ethics complaints against ex-colleagues and accuses others of affairs and missing votes due to hangovers

George Santos, the disgraced New York Republican who was expelled from the US House on Friday, spent his first hours as a former congressman railing against his former colleagues and saying he would file ethics complaints against four of them on Monday.

Santos told reporters after his expulsion he was done with Congress.

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Posted on 2 December 2023 | 2:46 pm

Lula’s bid to style himself climate leader at Cop28 undermined by Opec move

Brazilian president’s plans to approve new fossil fuel projects sit awkwardly with pledge to meet 1.5C target

The Brazilian president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, has roared into Cop28 with a mega-delegation of more than 2,000 people and grand ambitions to address inequality and protect the world’s tropical forests.

Lula, as he is known, said his country was leading by example: “We have adjusted our climate goals, which are now more ambitious than those of many developed countries. We have drastically reduced deforestation in the Amazon and will bring it to zero by 2030,” he said.

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Posted on 2 December 2023 | 12:00 pm

Original Observer photography

From the Old Gays in California to actors Cush Jumbo and David Tennant: the best original photographs from the Observer commissioned in November 2023

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Posted on 2 December 2023 | 11:00 am

Boris Johnson’s legacy will be shaped by Covid inquiry appearance

Discredited ex-PM faces a demolition job in one of the few policy areas to which he and his allies still cling

Even at the height of his popularity, Boris Johnson routinely avoided close questioning – to the extent of once hiding in a fridge to dodge a TV inquisitor. The former UK prime minister is likely to be dreading next week’s appearance at the Covid inquiry. And he probably should.

It is no exaggeration to say that events on Wednesday and Thursday at the inquiry’s repurposed office building in Paddington, west London, could help define the post-power image and legacy of Johnson, and very possibly not for the good.

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Posted on 2 December 2023 | 7:27 am

Weekend podcast: Gareth Gates, John Crace on Rishi losing his marbles, and the profound effect of nature on our brains

Rishi Sunak loses his marbles and causes a diplomatic spat in the process (1m18s); Gareth Gates on bullying, resilience and tabloid gossip (7m32s); and the nature cure: how time outdoors transforms our memory, imagination and logic (21m06s).

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Posted on 2 December 2023 | 5:00 am

Copping out? Biden skips UN climate conference – podcast

The UN’s Cop28 climate conference has kicked off in Dubai this week – but one notable absence will be the US president. Joe Biden pledged to make the fight against climate breakdown one of his top priorities when he took office, and news of his absence from this year’s gathering has frustrated activists.

Jonathan Freedland speaks to one such activist, Jerome Foster, who in 2021 became the youngest adviser to the White House when he was asked to sit on its environmental justice advisory council

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Posted on 2 December 2023 | 5:00 am

The week around the world in 20 pictures

The continuing war between Israel and Hamas, Cop28 in Dubai, snowfall in Zurich and the Wildlife Photographer of the Year: the last seven days, as captured by the world’s leading photojournalists

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Posted on 1 December 2023 | 11:08 pm

The Guardian view on Cop28: energy companies are not the only ones with a carbon addiction | Editorial

Just like oil and gas businesses, and petro-states, carbon-intensive industries including meat will fight to keep on polluting

Agriculture companies and lobbyists are among those who arrived in the United Arab Emirates for Cop28 determined to resist pressure on them to transform their businesses. Documents show that JBS, the world’s biggest meat company, and allies including the Global Dairy Platform, planned to make arguments in favour of livestock farming with “full force”. While the sincerity of fossil-fuel businesses’ commitment to a green transition has long been doubted, they are not the only energy-intensive businesses to approach Cop28 as an opportunity to promote their activities – rather than a threat.

While the ostensible purpose is to safeguard the planet for the future, the fear is that the Cop process has been captured by the short-term interests of carbon-emitting industries that will do anything to protect their wealth. This year’s gathering is hosted by Sultan Al Jaber, the chief executive of the UAE’s national oil company.

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Posted on 1 December 2023 | 5:35 pm

Tell us your favourite films of 2023

We want to hear about the best film you have seen this year. Share your thoughts now

We would like to hear about your favourite films of 2023. Was it a romantic drama that had you swooning, or a horror that gave you chills? Which film released in 2023 tops your list?

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Posted on 1 December 2023 | 4:17 pm

Tell us your favourite music albums of 2023

We would like to hear about the best album you have heard this year and why

Taylor Swift has been pronounced Spotify’s most streamed artist in 2023 – but now we would like to hear about your favourite album of the year.

Tell us your nomination and why you like it using the form below.

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Posted on 1 December 2023 | 4:14 pm

‘I was told not to make eye contact with Tom Cruise’: meet the world’s most prolific film extra

As a new film spotlights her 60-year career, record-breaking background artist Jill Goldston discusses turning down Warren Beatty’s indecent proposal and hanging out with David Bowie

Jill Goldston has only recently moved into this airy flat, on the site of the old Teddington television studios in south-west London, but there are already two framed items on prominent display. One is her newly awarded Guinness World Records certificate for “The most appearances by an extra/background actress”. The other is the poster for Jill, Uncredited, the strangely moving documentary short that has brought her into focus at last. “I’ve had an amazing career,” Jill says, as she sits down at the dining room table, to tell her film industry fable over a cup of tea. “Self-indulgent, really – I was getting paid to have fun and I always found the people fascinating.”

Now a vivacious 80-year-old, Goldston was born nearby in 1943, within people-watching distance of Twickenham Studios, the birthplace of British classics such as The Italian Job. She discovered her love of dance aged three, and at 15 ran away from home to join the Butlin’s revue company. “Not because I didn’t like my parents, who I liked very much indeed, but because it was an adventure. So I left them a note and went.” It was at Butlin’s that Jill met her husband, Geoff, with whom she’s recently celebrated a 60th wedding anniversary, although when I congratulate her, Jill says airily, “I think it shows a lack of imagination, actually.” If so, she’s more than compensated for that lack in other areas.

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Posted on 1 December 2023 | 2:00 pm

‘The biggest gift I’ve ever given myself is learning to love life without booze’: Grace Dent on being festive and sober

Sober Christmas is more fun. I’ve got back some of the magical vibes

I was never an alcoholic before I went sober two and a half years ago. Rather, I was a classic British drinker, and never more so than at Christmas, when, just like little Aled Jones, I was walking in the air or, more accurately, three sheets to the wind from about 8 December until the end of the year. The term “alcoholic”, I thought, was for those who simply cannot face a day without a drink, but as a non-alcoholic mere “reveller”, I too couldn’t face any part of Christmas without a glass in hand.

The difference was that I did so in a sequined dress and, sometimes, an antler headband, so that was fine. If I drank four glasses of cotes du rhone after a carol service, followed by mulled wine with colleagues the next night, then champagne after shopping with friends and cocktails after ice skating, that was fine, too. I was just being festive. Traditionally, by the week before Christmas, I’d be feeling rather un-ho-ho-ho, with bloated, grey skin, a bit depressed and overwhelmed by the to-do list waiting for me.

Listen to all the episodes of Grace Dent’s Comfort Eating podcast here. Her new book of the same name is published by Guardian Faber at £20. To order a copy for £17, visit

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Posted on 1 December 2023 | 12:00 pm

Henry Kissinger and the man who wanted to confront him - podcast

Henry Kissinger, the former secretary of state under Richard Nixon, died at the age of 100 this week. One of the most famous and powerful diplomats of the 20th century, some will remember him as the person who won a Nobel peace prize for his work negotiating the end of the Vietnam war. For others, he will forever be known as a war criminal.

So what is Kissinger’s legacy? This week, Jonathan Freedland speaks to journalist and author Michael Goldfarb about how Kissinger came to be one of the most powerful people of the 20th century, and why back in the 1970s he had the opportunity to criticise the man to his face – and chose not to. Does he regret staying quiet?

Archive: CSPAN, ABC News, Richard Nixon Foundation

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Posted on 1 December 2023 | 5:00 am

A violent murder, a child on death row – podcast

Paula Cooper was 15 when she murdered 77-year-old Ruth Pelke in her Indiana home, and was sentenced to death. But a campaign for her life came from an unexpected quarter

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Posted on 1 December 2023 | 5:00 am

Israel-Gaza: a week of tearful reunions and an uneasy truce – podcast

As Israeli hostages were exchanged for Palestinian prisoners, the intense fighting was paused this week. Jason Burke reports on an emotional few days and what happens next

The seven-week war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza was put on pause this week as the two sides agreed a series of temporary truce agreements to allow for the release of Israeli hostages and Palestinian prisoners.

As the Guardian’s Jason Burke in Jerusalem tells Michael Safi, there have been scenes of joy as families are reunited on both sides of the conflict. The pause in fighting has allowed aid supplies to further trickle into Gaza but the humanitarian crisis grows more grave by the day.

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Posted on 1 December 2023 | 3:00 am

Parents: are you happy with your child’s screen time?

We want to hear from parents from around the world: what is your child’s relationship with smartphones?

Whether you think being online offers educational benefits, are worried that your teenager is spending too much time scrolling Instagram, or are simply perplexed by the latest TikTok fad, we would like to know more about how parents around the world feel about their children’s screen time.

We’re keen to hear from parents with children of all ages, from toddlers to teenagers. Has their relationship to smartphones changed over time – positively or negatively?

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Posted on 30 November 2023 | 5:40 pm

Young people in the UK: are you unable to work due to longterm illness?

We would like to speak to under-30s in the UK who are unable to work because of a longterm health condition

We would like to speak with young people in the UK who are unable to work due to longterm health issues.

How long have you been unable to work and why? How has it affected you – both financially and psychologically? Have you been able to access healthcare, or have you faced challenges?

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Posted on 30 November 2023 | 2:08 pm

'Don't cry, I'm here now': free after eight years in an Israeli prison – video

Seven weeks into the new war between Israel and the militant group Hamas, a four-day ceasefire was called and an exchange began of Israeli hostages and imprisoned Palestinians.

On 24 November, the Guardian's Jerusalem correspondent, Bethan McKernan, witnessed celebrations at the Betunia checkpoint in Ramallah, and was allowed access to a family awaiting the release of their daughter Noorhan. That night, 39 Palestinian women and children were freed from an Israeli jail. Most of the prisoners were held for minor offences, but some were more serious; though none who had murdered Israelis were released

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Posted on 30 November 2023 | 12:33 pm

A chaotic Istanbul classic and Arsenal’s easy night – Football Weekly Extra

Max Rushden is joined by Barry Glendenning, Mark Langdon and Lars Sivertsen as Manchester United throw away a two-goal lead twice to leave themselves in a perilous Champions League position

Rate, review, share on Apple Podcasts, Soundcloud, Audioboom, Mixcloud, Acast and Stitcher, and join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and email.

On the podcast today: possibly one of the all-time great chaos Champions League games between Galatasaray and Manchester United, as both throw caution to the wind in Istanbul. The panel ask just how much of the blame can be laid at André Onana’s feet (hands)?

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Posted on 30 November 2023 | 12:26 pm

Everything you need to know about Cop28 as the summit begins – podcast

Every year the world’s leaders gather for the UN climate change conference, and after a year of record temperatures, this year’s summit has been called the most vital yet. As Cop28 begins in Dubai, Ian Sample hears from Guardian environment editor and resident Cop expert Fiona Harvey. She explains why this summit proved controversial before it even began, what the main talking points will be, and how countries can still collaborate to meet the goals set out in 2015’s Paris agreement

Clips: BBC, Cop28, Sky

Keep up to date with all the Guardian’s Cop28 coverage here

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Posted on 30 November 2023 | 5:00 am

The Isleworth Mona Lisa: have Leonardo da Vinci fans worshipped the wrong portrait for centuries?

Some argue this painting depicts the artist’s subject in her younger years and is the first version of his iconic work. Others are less convinced

Move over, Salvator Mundi. That holy image, marketed as a rediscovered masterpiece by Leonardo da Vinci, sold for $450.3m (£335m) six years ago and holds the record for the most expensive painting ever sold at auction – in spite of scepticism about its authorship, quality and history. Now there is potentially an even more sellable Leonardo doing the rounds, with similarly questionable claims being made as it goes on public view in Turin. Although it is not currently for sale, it’s hard not to believe that the private owners aren’t sorely tempted. Is this painting’s exhibition in Italy the start of a campaign that will end in Leonardo beating his own world record?

Salvator Mundi became known as “the male Mona Lisa”, lending it the glamour of Leonardo’s most well-known work. But the Mona Lisa Foundation in Zurich, which is championing the painting showing in Turin on behalf of its anonymous owners, is suggesting that it is the original Mona Lisa. It argues that it’s the first version of the famous painting, depicting a younger Lisa than the one Leonardo worked on all his life and had with him at the chateau of Amboise where he spent his last years, and which now attracts an unending selfie-snatching crowd in the Louvre.

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Posted on 29 November 2023 | 10:00 am

How I survive: a seven-year-old’s life in Gaza – video

Seven-year-old Lina and her family are sleeping on the floor of a tent outside al-Aqsa hospital, in central Gaza. They were forced to flee their home in Jabaliya in the north of the Gaza Strip when the war between Hamas and Israel broke out after Hamas' murder of 1,200 people in southern Israel. Now displaced, Lina and her siblings spend their time searching for food to buy, queueing for water and playing games. The Guardian spent one day on the 9 November with Lina to see how children are surviving in Gaza. She told film-maker Majdi Fathi how she wishes she could sleep comfortably at night, without the sound of rockets and ambulances

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Posted on 28 November 2023 | 10:07 am

Quiet luxury: how to shop pre-loved – and land one of fashion’s favourite looks

Trishna Goklani’s pre-loved pieces make the ‘quiet luxury’ aesthetic more attainable, sustainable and interesting. She talks to Emma Jane Palin about the thrill of shopping secondhand

If I’m ever in need of a dose of “cool girl style”, there’s one Instagram feed that I’ll head for. London-based content creator Trishna Goklani (@trishnagoklani) is the embodiment of timeless taste, fusing casual basics with statement silhouettes, elevating her aesthetic with artfully chosen luxury accessories.

That coveted “quiet luxury” look, with its good tailoring and great knitwear, usually signals a degree of sophistication that comes with a personal shopper or stylist. But many of Goklani’s aspirational “outfits of the day” have been bought secondhand.

“I didn’t shop at all for a while,” she says. “I was almost fatigued. Then I found the thrill of shopping secondhand – mostly online. I find that when shopping pre-loved, you are more intentional with what you search for, and you buy the things that you know you’re going to wear.”

Goklani with her vintage Gucci bamboo handle bag

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Posted on 17 November 2023 | 10:50 am

Gaza City before and after: footage shows destruction wreaked by war – video

Hamas's 7 October attack on Israel triggered a declaration of war and a military response by Israel that has reduced large parts of Gaza to rubble. Apartment blocks, shops and streets lie in ruins amid a humanitarian catastrophe that has displaced at least 1.5 million people from their homes and left more than 11,000 Palestinians dead, according to officials in Gaza

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Posted on 16 November 2023 | 4:31 pm

Inside a frontline Ukrainian field hospital – video

Since the start of 2023, a prolonged and bloody battle has been waged for the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut. In May Russian forces occupied the city, and during the height of fighting, Ukraine was suffering an estimated 100-200 casualties a day.

The Guardian's Luke Harding was granted access to one of several Ukrainian medical stabilisation points close to the frontline near Bakhmut. Inside these medical points, frequently targeted with Russian drones and missile strikes, teams of doctors work in makeshift conditions to stabilise patients before they can be evacuated via ambulance to fully equipped hospitals

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Posted on 13 November 2023 | 6:36 am

A safe space for Gaza’s children: 'They still have dreams for the future' – video

The sound of singing and music drowns out the ambulance sirens in this school for displaced families in Khan Yunis, in southern Gaza. Thousands of children have lost their homes and had to flee since the Israel-Hamas conflict began.

Now, volunteers like Mohammed Aborjela spend their days going from school to school and offering these children a glimpse back into their childhood with games and fun activities.  'The kids come back really happy, they revive their playful spirit,' said one parent. While it won’t bring back their homes or loved ones, volunteers are hoping that making time for play in a war zone will help these children recover from the trauma of living under siege.

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Posted on 10 November 2023 | 11:03 am

'I'm scared to leave my home': West Bank resident on increasing settler violence – video

Masafer Yatta, a collection of shepherding hamlets, is in Area C, the sparsely populated 60% of the West Bank under full Israeli control and under threat of annexation. Palestinian water cisterns, solar panels, roads and buildings are frequently demolished on the grounds that they do not have building permits, which are nearly impossible to obtain, while surrounding illegal Israeli settlements flourish. One Palestinian resident, Alaa Hathleen, told the Guardian he and his neighbours were under threat. Over the past three weeks, he says, settlers have burned down homes and attacked Palestinians residing there, as violence from Israeli settlers and IDF forces has intensified in the aftermath of the Hamas attack on Israel on 7 October

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Posted on 7 November 2023 | 10:22 am

Why are Republicans still supporting Donald Trump? - video

Despite facing multiple criminal charges, Donald Trump remains the frontrunner in the 2024 Republican presidential primary. But in South Carolina, a traditionally conservative southern state, a split is opening up between Trump loyalists and more moderate Republicans who are fearful of what their party has become. The Guardian’s Oliver Laughland and Tom Silverstone investigate

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Posted on 6 November 2023 | 8:09 am

Ilya: the AI scientist shaping the world

Ilya Sutskever, one of the leading AI scientists behind ChatGPT, reflects on his founding vision and values. In conversations with the film-maker Tonje Hessen Schei as he was developing the chat language model between 2016 and 2019, he describes his personal philosophy and makes startling predictions for a technology already shaping our world. Reflecting on his ideas today, amid a global debate over safety and regulation, we consider the opportunities as well as the consequences of AI technology. Ilya discusses his ultimate goal of artificial general intelligence (AGI), ‘a computer system that can do any job or task that a human does, but better’, and questions whether the AGI arms race will be good or bad for humanity.

These filmed interviews with Ilya Sutskever are part of a feature-length documentary on artificial intelligence, called iHuman

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Posted on 2 November 2023 | 11:46 am

From a classic clutch to a proper watch: five iconic accessories that never go out of style

A fashion editor’s pick of the ooh-inducing investment pieces that will stand the test of time – and where you can find vintage versions to love for ever

The Christmas gifting conundrum goes something like this: a gift card or candle that covers all bases could come across as impersonal, but anything too specific might send the recipient running to the returns queue, and anything right on-trend may not make it into next year.

Far better, of course, to give something special to that special someone. Something with the ooh-factor. Something they’ll treasure forever.

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Posted on 1 November 2023 | 5:04 pm

Chic, unique and sustainable: why we’re giving pre-loved presents this year

This will be Melanie Rickey’s (AKA Fashion Editor at Large) second Christmas gifting vintage and secondhand to friends and family. She explains why – and how to get it right

The why: luxury at a fraction of the price – and footprint
Cast your mind back over the last few decades of fashion. The incredible catwalk shows, hundreds of stores offering on-trend styles, new collabs, and drops – all the time. What happens to these mountains of well-made outfits, ‘it’ bags and designer jewels after they stop being brand new? They’re still out there somewhere. Ideally loved and worn by one careful owner, but if not, hopefully set free to re-enter the marketplace rather than sent to landfill.

Pre-loved style has fascinated me since I was a teenager. My first part-time job as an editor at the iconic London vintage store Rokit, coupled with my obsession with fashion, meant I learned young how to recreate a straight-from-the-runway look using well-made vintage pieces at a fraction of the price.

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Posted on 1 November 2023 | 4:02 pm

Wish lists, watch lists and luxe wrapping: eight expert tips for giving pre-loved presents

For a more sustainable, meaningful Christmas this year, scale back on ‘the stuff’ and seek out secondhand treasures on eBay

It’s been almost 10 years now since I first pressed send on the round robin email to my family ahead of Christmas, humbly, if not a little tentatively, asking them to consider only buying pre-loved gifts for me.

With it, I sent a list of ideas of the things I would like to receive. I explained that while I’ve always been a fan of the magic of Christmas – and I do truly love the sound, the smell, the glow of Christmas cheer – I would like to try to scale back on the sheer volume of “stuff” that this time of year had begun to symbolise and cultivate a more sustainable Christmas. Part of that, for me, had to be about avoiding waste.

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Posted on 1 November 2023 | 4:01 pm

Into the wild to fight Scotland’s addiction problems – video

Scotland has some of the highest drug deaths in Europe, a deepening mental health crisis and loses between three and four people a day to suicide. Yet at the same time, services are being stripped back leaving a gap in support that is often filled with volunteers who have a personal experience of addiction. Guardian reporter Danny Lavelle, joined one of those organisations, Fire & Peace, which aims to encourage bonds with nature to help people beat the cycle of addiction, on a trip to the Scottish Highlands. As a natural sceptic of alternative therapies, could he be convinced of the benefits?

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Posted on 17 October 2023 | 10:19 am

How British colonialism increased diabetes in south Asians

People of south Asian origin today are between four and six times more likely to get type 2 diabetes than white people. While the role of diet and lifestyle has been explored, it’s only recently that the impact of the disproportionate number of famines under British colonial rule has been uncovered. Neelam Tailor looks into the history of famines during the British Raj and their lasting impact on south Asian genes

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Posted on 12 October 2023 | 12:00 pm

Occupy Tottenham: a community defends its home - video

Homegrown was a grass roots community group that stood in the middle of a new housing development in rapidly gentrifying Tottenham in north London. The group was led by Rose and Emma whose message to the young people they helped was to be their best, and never give up. So when they were told they had to leave, there was only one thing to do: occupy.

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Posted on 10 October 2023 | 12:39 pm

Why the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is so complicated – video explainer

Israel and Palestine jump from crisis to crisis, but a string of deadly attacks over the past few weeks has raised fears the Holy Land is spiralling toward unrelenting bloodshed, with speculation it is on the brink of an intifada – a Palestinian uprising or, literally, a 'shaking off' of Israeli control. The first two uprisings failed to end the occupation, with several thousand people killed, mostly Palestinians. Some believe a third intifada has already started. 

But what makes the decades-old conflict so complex? The Guardian's Jerusalem correspondent, Bethan McKernan, examines the key figures and issues at play – and looks at why experts fear peace is further away than ever

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Posted on 1 March 2023 | 4:49 pm

Guardian Traveller newsletter: Sign up for our free holidays email

From biking adventures to city breaks, get inspiration for your next break – whether in the UK or further afield – with twice-weekly emails from the Guardian’s travel editors. You’ll also receive handpicked offers from Guardian Holidays.

From biking adventures to city breaks, get inspiration for your next break – whether in the UK or further afield – with twice-weekly emails from the Guardian’s travel editors.

You’ll also receive handpicked offers from Guardian Holidays.

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Posted on 12 October 2022 | 2:21 pm

Sign up for the Fashion Statement newsletter: our free fashion email

Style, with substance: what’s really trending this week, a roundup of the best fashion journalism and your wardrobe dilemmas solved, direct to your inbox every Thursday

Style, with substance: what’s really trending this week, a roundup of the best fashion journalism and your wardrobe dilemmas solved, delivered straight to your inbox every Thursday

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 | 11:06 am

Sign up for the Feast newsletter: our free Guardian food email

A weekly email from Yotam Ottolenghi, Ravinder Bhogal, Felicity Cloake and Rachel Roddy, featuring the latest recipes and seasonal eating ideas

Each week we’ll send you an exclusive newsletter from our star food writers. We’ll also send you the latest recipes from Yotam Ottolenghi, Nigel Slater, Meera Sodha and all our star cooks, stand-out food features and seasonal eating inspiration, plus restaurant reviews from Grace Dent and Jay Rayner.

Sign up below to start receiving the best of our culinary journalism in one mouth-watering weekly email.

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Posted on 9 July 2019 | 8:19 am

Sign up for the Guardian Documentaries newsletter: our free short film email

Be the first to see our latest thought-provoking films, bringing you bold and original storytelling from around the world

Discover the stories behind our latest short films, learn more about our international film-makers, and join us for exclusive documentary events. We’ll also share a selection of our favourite films, from our archives and from further afield, for you to enjoy. Sign up below.

Can’t wait for the next newsletter? Start exploring our archive now.

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Posted on 2 September 2016 | 9:27 am