Opinion Drama

  • Democratic debate: candidates questioned on Trump impeachment – live
    by Joan E Greve in Westerville, Ohio on October 16, 2019 at 12:11 am

    Largest presidential primary debate ever marks first event since launch of Trump impeachment inquiry and Sanders’s campaign returnFull story: Democrats to face off in debateSign up for the US briefing and get a new perspective 1.11am BSTAmy Klobuchar said Trump had engaged in “illegal conduct” in his communications with the Ukrainian president.But the Minnesota senator then shifted to a much more sweeping condemnation of the president, citing his decision to withdraw US forces from northern Syria and abandon America’s Kurdish allies. 1.08am BSTCalling upon her record as a former prosecutor, Kamala Harris said that Trump has told the American people about the ways in which he has violated the constitution.Harris said of Trump’s comments on his controversial Ukraine call: “I know a confession when I see it.” Continue reading…

  • Meat the Family: new reality TV show challenges carnivores to eat their ‘pets’
    by Agence France-Presse on October 15, 2019 at 11:39 pm

    Channel 4 programme will follow meat-eaters as they adopt a farm animal that they must cook unless they go vegetarian It is one of the most shocking ultimatums delivered on television. Go vegetarian or we kill your pet.But a new British reality TV show called Meat the Family goes even further. Not only will a family of unrepentant carnivores have to let an animal they have adopted and grown to love go for slaughter if they refuse to stop eating meat – they will be asked to cook and eat it. Continue reading…

  • Twitter explains how it handles world leaders amid pressure to rein in Trump
    by Julia Carrie Wong in San Francisco on October 15, 2019 at 11:26 pm

    Blogpost sheds new light on how tweets will be treated but is unlikely to satisfy those calling for Trump’s censorshipTwitter on Tuesday published additional information about how it plans to act if a world leader tweets something that violates its rules. The update follows the announcement in June of a policy whereby the company would choose not to delete tweets by major political figures that violated the company’s rules if the company decided it was in the public interest.Since the election of Donald Trump, Twitter has been in the unenviable position of having the ability to censor the president of the United States on the very platform where he is the most unguarded. It has largely resisted the intense pressure to do so, even when it seemed that Trump’s tweets might have fallen afoul of Twitter’s rules if they had been sent by anyone else. Continue reading…

  • Humpback whales recorded using huge fins to forage
    by Ian Sample Science editor on October 15, 2019 at 11:01 pm

    Researchers notice whales’ unusual feeding behaviour in south-east AlaskaHumpback whales have been captured on film herding shoals of fish into their cavernous mouths with their oversized pectoral fins.Marine biologists recorded the extraordinary feeding behaviour for the first time off the coast of Alaska, where the whales lurk around salmon hatcheries that release juvenile fish into the sea. Continue reading…

  • Northern Powerhouse seeks more control of HS2 rail scheme
    by Gwyn Topham Transport correspondent on October 15, 2019 at 11:01 pm

    Business and city leaders warn of economic damage of cancellation and call for 2012 Olympics-style authorityA review of HS2 by northern business and city leaders has called for control of construction of the high-speed railway to be devolved to the north and Midlands – and warned that its possible cancellation would leave no viable alternatives for transforming their economies.The Northern Powerhouse Independent Review (NPIR), established to inform or pre-empt the government’s own review of HS2, recommended a new body, HS2 North, be established to integrate HS2 with proposed Northern Powerhouse Rail links. Continue reading…

  • Offer cancer screenings during lunch breaks, report urges
    by Denis Campbell Health policy editor on October 15, 2019 at 11:01 pm

    NHS could tailor appointments so people don’t have to take time off work under proposalsPeople could be offered cancer screenings in their lunch breaks in a bid to reverse the alarming fall in those attending appointments, under plans being considered by NHS bosses.Those invited for screening should be able to go in the evening or at weekends, to stop them having to take time off work, according to a major report ordered by ministers and the NHS. Continue reading…

  • Atletico’s Toni Duggan returns to Manchester City with point to prove
    by Suzanne Wrack on October 15, 2019 at 11:01 pm

    Striker has dropped out of the England reckoning after a poor World Cup but is back at her former club in the Champions League on WednesdayThe England forward Toni Duggan will face a familiar foe when she pulls on the red and white of Atlético Madrid in Manchester on Wednesday night.The 28-year-old was a key part of the Manchester City project, spending four years at the club and helping them to a first League Cup win, a first Women’s Super League title and another League Cup in 2016, and a first FA Cup in 2017. Continue reading…

  • Buy a classic David Squires cartoon from our collection
    by David Squires on October 15, 2019 at 11:00 pm

    Our cartoonist looks back at 25 of his favourite strips from down the years, all of which are now available at our Guardian Print Shop, a link to each can be found by clicking on the title of each caption belowDavid Squires is away this weekContinue reading…

  • UK vulnerable to malicious meddling in election, warns study
    by Dan Sabbagh Defence and security editor on October 15, 2019 at 11:00 pm

    Urgent action needed to prevent ‘abuse and deception’ of democratic process, say expertsBritain needs to take concerted action to reduce the risk of malicious actors in the UK and abroad from contaminating the results of a looming general election, according to a new study that warns of the risks of public “abuse and deception”.A group of experts say government, political parties and social media companies all need to take immediate action, at a time when there is rising concern within Whitehall about the integrity of the democratic process. Continue reading…

  • Testosterone boosts women’s athletic performance, study shows
    by Hannah Devlin, Science correspondent on October 15, 2019 at 10:30 pm

    Research confirms increase in endurance as IAAF imposes upper limit on trans female athletes Boosting testosterone levels significantly improves female athletic performance, according to one of the first randomised controlled trials.The findings come as the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) announced on Monday it would impose an upper limit for testosterone levels on trans female athletes competing in middle-distance events. Continue reading…

  • ‘They were sent to the slaughter’: Mexico mourns 13 police killed in cartel ambush
    by Jo Tuckman in Morelia on October 15, 2019 at 10:20 pm

    Ambush the latest in string of brazen attacks by Mexico’s drug cartels, as President Amlo defends strategy to halt the violenceWith an AR-15 assault rifle in his hand and six spare magazines across his chest, the burly policemen looked nothing if not intimidating as he prepared to attend a memorial service for 13 fellow officers who were killed in an ambush in western Mexico on Monday.Inside, he didn’t feel so tough. Continue reading…

  • Gareth Southgate and England take strength from odious Sofia experience | David Hytner
    by David Hytner on October 15, 2019 at 9:38 pm

    England’s firm but dignified handling of shameful scenes in Bulgaria was character-building in the extremeJadon Sancho walked towards the tunnel of the Vasil Levski Stadium in the bitter and slightly surreal aftermath of England’s Euro 2020 qualifying win over Bulgaria – a match in which the football had seemed almost incidental. Ten yards in front of him were two of his black teammates, Tyrone Mings and Marcus Rashford, and a group of Bulgarian children were shouting for their shirts.Mings and Rashford had been targeted for abhorrent racial abuse from a section of the home support, with the former saying he first heard the monkey chants when he went out for the warm-up, and they kept on walking, eyes fixed on the exit door a little way away. That is when they heard the noises, yet another round of them, from the so-called grown-ups in the vicinity. It is inconceivable Sancho did not hear them. Continue reading…

  • Boris Johnson calls on Uefa to take strong action against Bulgaria
    by Ed Aarons on October 15, 2019 at 9:37 pm

    Charges laid in regards to racist chanting during England winPrime Minister describes events in Sofia as ‘stain on football’Boris Johnson has joined demands by anti-racism campaigners for Uefa to take strong action after the racist chanting that marred England’s Euro 2020 qualifier against Bulgaria on Monday night.European football’s governing body has opened disciplinary proceedings against the Bulgarian Football Union (BFU) for racist behaviour of its supporters after the incidents at the Vasil Levski Stadium in Sofia, in which some home fans made monkey noises at Tyrone Mings, Raheem Sterling and Marcus Rashford in the 6-0 victory for Gareth Southgate’s side. Continue reading…

  • Jordan Henderson says England wanted to make racist fans ‘suffer’
    by Ed Aarons on October 15, 2019 at 9:30 pm

    • Entire team agreed with decision to play on in Bulgaria • Midfielder also praises Tyrone Mings for debut displayJordan Henderson has admitted England’s players decided to play on in the face of racist abuse from Bulgarian supporters during the Euro 2020 qualifier in Sofia on Monday because they wanted their opponents and their fans to “suffer”.With the match having already been halted twice before half-time following repeated monkey chants and Nazi salutes from more than one section of the Vasil Levski Stadium, the manager, Gareth Southgate, left it up to his team to discuss whether or not to come out for the second half in Sofia. But despite discussing before the match what action they would take should there be a repeat of the racist abuse which marred England’s qualifier in the Bulgarian capital in 2011, Henderson insisted that the entire team was in accordance about continuing because they felt to do otherwise would have sent the wrong message. Continue reading…

  • Barcelona hit by more unrest over sentencing of Catalan separatists
    by Stephen Burgen in Barcelona on October 15, 2019 at 9:25 pm

    Police and protesters clash in city centre, as well as other Catalonia townsClashes between protesters and police erupted in Barcelona late on Tuesday after peaceful demonstrations over the jailing of nine Catalan separatist leaders descended into running battles.Protesters lit fires and erected makeshift barricades in the centre of the city before the crowd was dispersed by baton charges by Spanish and Catalan police, as far as Passeig de Gràcia, the elegant boulevard that is home to many of the city’s most exclusive shops and hotels. Continue reading…

  • Felicity Huffman reports to prison to serve 14-day sentence in college scandal
    by Associated Press on October 15, 2019 at 9:20 pm

    Actor was also sentenced to a $30,000 fine, 250 hours of community service and a year’s probation after pleading guiltyThe Desperate Housewives star Felicity Huffman – AKA prisoner no 77806-112 – reported Tuesday to a federal prison in California to serve a two-week sentence in a college admissions scandal that ensnared dozens of wealthy mothers and fathers trying to get their children into elite schools.Huffman’s husband, the actor William H Macy, dropped her off at the Federal Correctional Institution, Dublin, a low-security prison for women in the San Francisco Bay Area, according to Tasc Group, which represents Huffman. Continue reading…

  • Lenny Henry’s Race Through Comedy review – Britain’s blackface shame
    by Chitra Ramaswamy on October 15, 2019 at 9:00 pm

    Henry revisits half a century of multicultural sitcoms, from the good to the bad and the truly stomach-churning Oh, the horrors a dig through our country’s black cultural archives can unearth. How’s this for vintage stomach-churning racism, punchlined by a national treasure in blackface? In 1969 – two years, indeed, after my dad arrived in the UK from India – Spike Milligan created a new sitcom, Curry and Chips. Even the title is a masterclass in stereotyping. Written by Johnny Speight, who also gifted Alf Garnett to the nation, it starred Milligan in blackface as a Pakistani immigrant called Kevin O’Grady. (His name, presumably, a joke about the immigrant’s pathetic stabs at assimilation.) “I leave Pakistan because there are far too many wogs there,” he says in a clip in Lenny Henry’s Race Through Comedy (Gold). I’ll leave you to imagine the accent. “So I come to England and there are still too many wogs.” Cue canned laughter.It only lasted one series, which, frankly, is one too many. “If Spike Milligan wanted to do a comedy series and Johnny Speight wanted to write it, you didn’t say no, did you?” says Humphrey Barclay (head of comedy at LWT from 1977 to 1983), half a century later. Well no, clearly you didn’t. Continue reading…

  • ‘Wales can win it’ – No room for doubt in Liam Williams’s world
    by Alex Bywater in Beppu on October 15, 2019 at 9:00 pm

    • France up next for Wales, who have won four from four• Full-back Williams three games from unique four-timerLiam Williams says Wales believe they can go all the way in Japan as they prepare for Sunday’s World Cup quarter-final against France. They are not brash or ahead of themselves but Warren Gatland’s players have complete faith in their ability.Williams summed up that self-assurance in Beppu on Tuesday. “There is only one thing we think we can do and that is to win it,” the Wales full-back said of their World Cup chances. “I wouldn’t say we’ve got the easy route but we’ve got France next and we need to beat them to be looking at the bigger picture. I think we can go on and win it.” Continue reading…

  • Joe Marler embraces England’s positivity and ‘bring-it-on mentality’ | Robert Kitson
    by Robert Kitson in Oita on October 15, 2019 at 9:00 pm

    Only four of Eddie Jones’s squad have played in a World Cup knockout game but prop is confident nerves will not be a problem against AustraliaEngland have moved into the Japanese equivalent of Rotorua with hot springs all around them and a whiff of sulphur in the air. Look out of the hotel window and there is so much rising steam it suddenly becomes easier to understand why the tournament organisers chose unflashy Oita to stage two of this weekend’s four quarter-finals.Because this week is all about staying relaxed under pressure: who will respond best and not blow their tops as the tension mounts? Given only four of England’s squad – Ben Youngs, Manu Tuilagi, Dan Cole and Courtney Lawes – have experienced a World Cup knockout game, it is an area Australia will hope to examine given the way their opponents imploded during the 2015 pool stages. Continue reading…

  • Your heart can only bleed for Kanye West – his wife is too sexy, apparently | Poppy Noor
    by Poppy Noor on October 15, 2019 at 8:42 pm

    The rapper said Kim Kardashian West’s 2019 Met gala dress, designed to make her look wet, affected his ‘soul and spirit’If you ever want to know what sort of a feminist someone is, just ask them about the Kardashians.Some will tell you that the women of the family, who have made billions thanks to their sense of style, are great businesswomen who have reclaimed their bodies by monetizing them. Others will slate their feminism because it doesn’t apply to anyone who isn’t hot. Continue reading…

  • Labour MPs lukewarm over prospect of snap election this year
    by Rowena Mason and Kate Proctor on October 15, 2019 at 8:11 pm

    Despite Jeremy Corbyn’s enthusiasm, there is scepticism about going to polls if Brexit is unresolved Jeremy Corbyn is still prepared to vote for an election this year, despite growing concerns in his party about the practicalities of a pre-Christmas poll and speculation that it could end up being pushed into early 2020.His shadow cabinet discussed Labour’s readiness for a poll in late November or early December at a meeting on Tuesday. Corbyn has repeatedly said he will vote and whip for an election as soon as a no-deal Brexit is off the table. Continue reading…

  • Cuba Gooding Jr pleads not guilty to forcible touching charge
    by Reuters on October 15, 2019 at 8:05 pm

    The actor was accused of pinching a woman’s buttocks and, in a separate incident, groping another woman’s breastsActor Cuba Gooding Jr pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to pinching a woman’s buttocks in a nightclub last October, four months after he was charged with groping a woman in a separate incident.Manhattan prosecutors said Gooding pinched the woman at Manhattan’s Tao nightclub after making a sexually suggestive remark to her earlier in the evening, and denied it when she confronted him. Continue reading…

  • ‘LeBron stands for money’: Hong Kong protesters burn James jerseys
    by Guardian sport and agencies on October 15, 2019 at 7:30 pm

    NBA star said freedom of speech can carry ‘a lot of negative’Relationship between NBA and China is under strainProtestors in Hong Kong have burned LeBron James jerseys after the NBA star said that freedom of speech can lead to “a lot of negative”.James made his comments after the fallout between the NBA and China over the anti-government protests in Hong Kong. The lucrative relationship between the league and China has been damaged since the Houston Rockets general manager, Daryl Morey, tweeted in support of the protestors earlier this month. Morey subsequently deleted the tweet but China has threatened to cut ties with the NBA, and some Chinese companies have backed out of broadcasts and sponsorship deals. Continue reading…

  • Trump tells Harry Dunn’s parents that envoy’s wife will not be sent to UK
    by Patrick Wintour Diplomatic editor on October 15, 2019 at 7:18 pm

    Family refuse to meet Anne Sacoolas in the White House after talks with US presidentThe wife of a US intelligence officer who left the UK after being involved in a traffic collision in which a teenager died will not be returned to the country, his parents have been told during a visit to the White House.Charlotte Charles and Tim Dunn, whose 19-year-old son Harry died in August, met Donald Trump on Tuesday. They said he was was sympathetic but ruled out Anne Sacoolas being sent back to the UK. Continue reading…

  • Steve Bell on Boris Johnson’s Irish border concessions – cartoon
    by Steve Bell on October 15, 2019 at 7:07 pm

    Continue reading…

  • Rees-Mogg’s dim brand of banter entertains no one but himself | John Crace
    by John Crace on October 15, 2019 at 7:02 pm

    Leader of the house’s unctuous insincerity fails to hide the fact he hasn’t a clue what’s going onCrack open the English sparkling wine. Boris Johnson has just won his first Commons vote. OK, it was only a statutory instrument to carry over EU air quality legislation to the UK after Brexit – the parliamentary equivalent of a second round victory in the Johnstone’s Paints Trophy – but these days the prime minister has learned he gets what he can get. Much more of this and he might even get an expression of confidence from the club chairman.That, though, was the high point of yet another day in which the government struggled to convince even itself that it knew what it was doing. It began with Jacob Rees-Mogg giving a short business statement, the sole point of which was to avoid saying that he didn’t have a clue what was going on so he couldn’t tell MPs whether they would need to be sitting on Saturday or not. Continue reading…

  • In Japan they call it doryoku – but effort alone won’t beat South Africa | Andy Bull
    by Andy Bull in Oita on October 15, 2019 at 6:59 pm

    The concept of hard work is a core part of Japanese sport even if it seems to be inspiration rather than perspiration that is firing Japan in this World CupLate one night, and lost, drunk, in the dairy aisle of a Tokyo convenience store, I spent five minutes trying to work out whether the carton I’d just picked up had milk in or not. Google Translate’s camera app didn’t help. “Bulgaria!” the label read when I scanned it with my phone, ‘4 arrange the lance! Of bacteria in the hen! Tummy Keep Good.” You get used to it. There are awkward bits and pieces of English all around Japan. “Let’s watch the great power of live battle of men on the big screen!” is my favourite, from a poster advertising a rugby fanzone in Fuchu. The jacket-back slogan “vigorous throw-up – since 1973” is a close second. Related: Homeward bound: The lesser known lights who shone in World Cup pool stages Continue reading…

  • Boris Johnson ‘on brink of Brexit deal’ after border concessions
    by Daniel Boffey in Luxembourg Jon Henley in Paris, Lisa O’Carroll and Rowena Mason on October 15, 2019 at 6:53 pm

    Negotiators understood to have agreed in principle to customs border down Irish SeaBoris Johnson appears to be on the brink of reaching a Brexit deal after making major concessions to EU demands over the Irish border.A draft text of the agreement could now be published on Wednesday if Downing Street gives the final green light, according to senior EU and British sources. Continue reading…

  • Out of Sorts review – deeply tender drama about belonging
    by Arifa Akbar on October 15, 2019 at 6:49 pm

    Theatre 503, LondonDanusia Samal’s complex drama explores the double life of a young Muslim millennial heading for marriageZara is a British-Arab millennial who feels the strain of her double-barrelled identity: to her white British friends, she is a vegan hipster who loves to party. To her Arab refugee family, she is a modern Muslim woman, engaged to her sweetheart, Jameel, and on her way to becoming a lawyer.In reality, Zara (Nalân Burgess) isn’t quite sure of who she wants to be and the conflicted sides of her identity play out in parallel scenes: her family kitchen is on one side of the stage and the trendy breakfast bar of her house-share with her best friend, Alice, is on the other. Continue reading…

  • Shredded Trump documents and spy games: Ronan Farrow’s biggest scoops
    by Ed Pilkington in New York on October 15, 2019 at 6:47 pm

    Farrow’s new book Catch and Kill draws in many powerful figures in politics and media – and offers shocking revelationsFarrow reveals extreme measures Harvey Weinstein tookRonan Farrow’s book Catch and Kill, published on Tuesday, is causing a stir with its extraordinary array of scoops about how powerful figures and institutions across media and politics sought to cover up some of the biggest stories of the #MeToo era. Related: Ronan Farrow on investigating Harvey Weinstein: ‘When family issues are thrown at me, it’s a dirty move’ Continue reading…

  • Six freed after years living in Dutch cellar ‘waiting for end of time’
    by Jon Henley European affairs correspondent on October 15, 2019 at 6:44 pm

    Six adults removed from house and man, 58, arrestedA group described by local media as a man and his adult children have been found after spending several years living in the cellar of remote farmhouse in the north-eastern Dutch province of Drenthe “waiting for the end of time”.The group of six were discovered after the oldest son, 25, visited a local bar, the Kastelein cafe. On the first occasion, 10 days ago, he “ordered and drank five beers on his own”, the owner, Chris Westerbeek, told broadcaster RTV Drenthe. When the man reappeared last Sunday, he “looked confused”, Westerbeek said. “He was unkempt, with long tangled hair. We got talking. He said he had run away and needed help, and that he had never been to school. Then we called the police.” Continue reading…

  • Infected blood inquiry hears evidence from woman who lost two husbands
    by Simon Hattenstone on October 15, 2019 at 6:20 pm

    Liz Hooper tells inquiry the project to support victims ‘was nothing short of rubbish’A woman who lost two husbands within a decade to the contaminated blood scandal has said the project set up to support victims “was nothing short of rubbish”.The infected blood inquiry heard how Liz Hooper fell in love with and married each husband only to lose them because of contaminated blood. Continue reading…

  • UK plans to accelerate decarbonisation of transport sector
    by Jillian Ambrose on October 15, 2019 at 6:10 pm

    Government vows to unveil climate roadmap next year but critics demand action not more policies and plansThe UK government has vowed to accelerate its climate action for transport sector by drafting new plans to end emissions from trains, planes and cars by 2050.Ministers promised to begin the groundwork on the government’s first detailed plan to decarbonise the transport sector immediately, and unveil the plan in full next year. Continue reading…

  • How to eat roadkill: everything you need to know
    by Poppy Noor in New York on October 15, 2019 at 6:10 pm

    Some chefs and activists say animals killed on the road are the most organic and most ethical to eat – and bear meat is great in chilliOn Monday, California made it legal for people who fatally hit an animal in the road to take it home to eat. The law only applies to certain animals – deer, elk, pronghorn antelopes or wild pigs – and the perpetrator must apply for a “wildlife salvage permit” within 24 hours in order to legally move the animal. California is the 29th US state to enact such a law; many US states have been happily serving up roadkill for years. In West Virginia, there is even an annual roadkill festival, where local chefs compete with their best roadkill recipes. Continue reading…

  • ‘Rise in homophobic attacks’ in Birmingham after LGBT teaching protests
    by Nazia Parveen on October 15, 2019 at 6:05 pm

    Anderton Park primary headteacher testifies in hearing over protest ban around schoolThe headteacher at the centre of a row over LGBT equality teachings in schools told a court there had been 333% rise in homophobic attacks in a part of Birmingham, blaming the surge on protests outside her school.Sarah Hewitt-Clarkson, who was subjected to almost six hours of cross-examination, made the remarks during the second day of a hearing to rule whether an exclusion zone around Anderton Park primary school banning protests should be made permanent. Continue reading…

  • Thomas Cook bosses clearly had their heads buried in the sand | Nils Pratley
    by Nils Pratley on October 15, 2019 at 6:04 pm

    Testimony to MPs demonstrates a spectacular level of delusion in the boardroomTwo hours of testimony from the failed bosses of Thomas Cook confirmed what we had suspected: the level of delusion in the boardroom was spectacular.On one hand, the former directors argued to MPs that their self-help plan for the business was a rip-roaring success, right up until the moment it wasn’t. In the next breath, they suggested their jobs were always near-impossible because £150m in interest costs had to be paid every year to banks and bondholders. Continue reading…

  • The Guardian view on automating poverty: OK computers? | Editorial
    by Editorial on October 15, 2019 at 6:00 pm

    The use of AI and ‘welfare robots’ by governments around the world presents moral as well as technical challengesAcross the world, governments are investing in machines that they hope will run their social security systems and other services more cheaply and effectively than humans. The Guardian’s Automating Poverty series includes reports from the US, Australia and India as well as the UK. The roles played by technology in these countries are all different. But taken together, the articles reveal how automation, machine learning and artificial intelligence are extending their reach into people’s lives through the delivery of public services.As with all automation processes, speed and efficiency provide the rationale. But our reporting on systems such as those used in the US to collect government debts, and in the UK to administer social security payments, gives cause for concern on several grounds. These include practical questions such as whether the new systems work, and particularly whether they are equipped to rectify errors and false results. Continue reading…

  • The Booker prize judges have exposed the doublethink behind our arts awards | Charlotte Higgins
    by Charlotte Higgins on October 15, 2019 at 5:57 pm

    Naming Margaret Atwood and Bernardine Evaristo joint winners has pulled back the curtain on what we’re told is the ‘best’You can see the dilemma. On the one hand, there is a bestselling novel that has nailed a political moment, by a writer hailed as a prophet of our times. On the other, there is a verse novel capturing the hidden voices of black British women, by a writer who has honed her art for years outside the spotlight. To give the prize to Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments would put the Booker in the centre of the cultural tide. To give it to Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo would push a deserving but unsung book towards a much wider audience.That, at least, is how this year’s Booker fudge looks from the outside. Inside the judging room on Monday, all kinds of arguments and rhetoric may have been employed; all kinds of views aired and argued. I have been on enough prize panels to realise how very odd these conversations can be, how you get the feeling that it all could have gone differently on another day, in another mood, let alone with another set of judges. Of course, there can be only one winner of the Booker prize. Until, that is, the very judges themselves choose to flout the regulations, as they did on Monday, and give it to two. (Confusingly, it used to be OK to split the prize, until the rules were changed after the 1992 prize was given to both Michael Ondaatje and Barry Unsworth.) Continue reading…

  • No 10 rejected Thomas Cook rescue plan for fear of precedent, MPs hear
    by Rob Davies on October 15, 2019 at 5:33 pm

    Committee attacks board over bonuses and ‘misjudgments’ but directors say a £200m UK loan would have saved firmThe prime minister’s office was aware of a financial rescue plan that could have saved Thomas Cook but “didn’t want to set a precedent” by lending the company money, its former boss told MPs, as an inquiry into the tour operator’s collapse got under way.In a sometimes bruising encounter with the business, energy and industrial strategy (BEIS) committee, Thomas Cook bosses drew stinging criticism for their role in the demise of the 178-year-old travel company. Continue reading…

  • Exam board AQA to pay out £1.1m over rule breaches and errors
    by Richard Adams Education editor on October 15, 2019 at 5:28 pm

    Watchdog’s reprimand comes after failings such as markers re-marking their own workThe exam board AQA is to pay more than £1.1m in fines and compensation for a string of rule breaches, errors and failings in GCSEs and A-levels that regulators said could seriously undermine public confidence in the qualifications system.Ofqual, which oversees school exams in England, said it had levied its largest ever fine on AQA after 50,000 appeals for exam papers to be reviewed or re-marked, spread across three years between 2016 and 2018, were carried out by AQA staff who had already marked the same papers. Continue reading…

  • Will Boris Johnson have a deal to put to MPs on Saturday?
    by Daniel Boffey in Luxembourg on October 15, 2019 at 5:27 pm

    After a series of U-turns, there are signs a deal is possible. We look at the potential outcomesLatest Brexit news – live updatesBy Wednesday afternoon, it will be clear whether Boris Johnson will have a deal to put to parliament on its “super Saturday” sitting or not. Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, will inform members whether the prime minister has conceded enough on the Irish border for there to be a draft treaty to present to leaders when they hold a summit on Thursday. Continue reading…

  • Goldman Sachs announces $80m loss on WeWork investment
    by Dominic Rushe in New York on October 15, 2019 at 5:09 pm

    Loss contributes to 26% drop in profits from a year agoWeWork faces cash crunch and 2,000 workers face sackGoldman Sachs has so far lost $80m on its investment in WeWork, the troubled office rentals group, the bank said on Tuesday. The loss contributed to a 26% drop in profits from a year ago. Related: WeWork set to sack 2,000 staff as anger towards founder Adam Neumann grows Continue reading…

  • UK family arrested in US for ‘inadvertently crossing border’
    by Matthew Weaver on October 15, 2019 at 5:05 pm

    Four adults and three children were held in ‘baby jail’ in what they call ‘scariest experience’ of their lives The Foreign Office is helping a British family of seven who were arrested in the US and subject to the “scariest experience” of their lives at the hands of the immigration authorities after inadvertently crossing the border from Canada.David and Eileen Connors and their three-month-old son were on a family road trip on 3 October near Vancouver with David’s cousin Michael, his wife Grace, and their two-year-old twin daughters. Continue reading…

  • Nicola Sturgeon to demand powers for 2020 referendum
    by Libby Brooks Scotland correspondent on October 15, 2019 at 5:03 pm

    SNP leader tells conference she will ask Westminster to transfer powers by end of yearFollow the day’s politics news – liveNicola Sturgeon has urged Scotland to “reclaim its independence”, confirming in an upbeat party conference address that she intends to hold a second independence referendum in 2020 and will demand that the Westminster government transfer the powers to do so by the end of this year.But Scotland’s first minister did not offer a practical alternative route to a referendum should the request for a section 30 order, which transfers the requisite legal power to Holyrood, be rebuffed. Continue reading…

  • Frankie Dettori ‘buzzing’ that Enable will race on with 2020 Arc in mind
    by Chris Cook on October 15, 2019 at 5:02 pm

    • Jockey gets one more year with ‘world’s favourite horse’• ‘Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe remains an important target’Frankie Dettori is “absolutely buzzing” following the surprise announcement that Enable is to race on next year at the age of six, a reaction that will be widely shared among racing fans.The veteran mare, whose winning run came to an end in Paris last week, had already been ruled out of Champions Day this weekend and followers of the sport had begun to reconcile themselves to the likelihood she had run her last race and would now be packed off to her owner’s stud in Newmarket. Continue reading…

  • Booker winners Bernardine Evaristo and Margaret Atwood on breaking the rules
    by Claire Armitstead on October 15, 2019 at 5:00 pm

    The judges staged a ‘joyful mutiny’ to name the pair joint winners of the literary prize. And that’s not all that unites themIt was clear that things were not going to plan when, just half an hour before the guests began to arrive, the judges of this year’s Booker prize had yet to make a decision. Five hours after they had begun their deliberations, they finally emerged in a state of “joyful mutiny” to announce that they had decided to break with convention, throw out the rule book and anoint two winners rather than the usual one.By happy coincidence, Bernardine Evaristo is the same age that Margaret Atwood was when, in 2000, she first won the Booker prize with The Blind Assassin. “And I’m happy that we’ve both got curly hair,” quipped Atwood as they took to the stage arm in arm. They talk about it again the following morning, comparing notes about hair etiquette and handy products for curls. “People used to review my hair back in the day,” says Atwood. Continue reading…

  • Nam June Paik review – Move over Tim Berners-Lee, here’s the real web prophet
    by Jonathan Jones on October 15, 2019 at 4:53 pm

    Tate Modern, LondonHe built a garden of tellies, revelled in digital overload and foresaw the internet back in 1974. What a shame this revealing show smothers Paik in seriousnessThe first room says it all. By which I mean it shows you all the work by Nam June Paik you need to understand his contribution to modern art. There you will see, among other things, his masterpiece: TV Garden, an array of different-sized monitors embedded among greenery, their multicoloured screens blossoming like flowers in a gorgeous electronic pastoral.The more you think about this installation, the more insidiously provocative it is. Paik, who died in 2006 at the age of 73, was a polymath philosopher who prophesied our technological age. In 1974, he predicted the coming of an “electronic super highway” that would link everyone on Earth. Move over, Tim Berners-Lee. In 1994, when his vision was coming true, Paik celebrated it with a work called Internet Dreams, in which multiple ever-changing screens glory in information overload. Continue reading…

  • Jennifer Aniston’s Instagram debut sends platform crashing
    by Martha Brennan on October 15, 2019 at 4:33 pm

    Former social media recluse’s Friends selfie attracts 116,000 followers in an hourJennifer Aniston’s new Instagram page is “on a break” after crashing hours after the star signed up for the platform.The former Friends actor, one of social media’s most famous recluses, officially made her debut on Tuesday, causing the platform to temporarily crash as fans flocked to follow her account. Continue reading…

  • ‘Barbaric’ tests on monkeys lead to calls for closure of German lab
    by Mattha Busby on October 15, 2019 at 4:30 pm

    Shocking footage shows conditions ‘clearly breach’ EU standards on animal welfare, say campaignersAn animal testing laboratory in Germany that subjected monkeys to “barbaric” treatment and kept unwell dogs in squalid conditions is under investigation amid calls for its closure.Undercover footage at the Laboratory of Pharmacology and Toxicology (LPT) near Hamburg published by Cruelty Free International and Soko Tierschutz shows technicians with metal prongs grabbing macaque monkeys by the neck. The monkeys are restrained by braces during testing. The footage also shows primates being handled “violently” by technicians: in one incident a monkey has its head smacked against a door frame. Continue reading…

  • Backlash after Booker awards prize to two authors
    by Alison Flood on October 15, 2019 at 4:25 pm

    Decision to make first black female winner, Bernardine Evaristo, share £50,000 prize with Margaret Atwood causes controversyThe Booker prize judges’ decision to break the rules and jointly award the prize to Margaret Atwood and Bernardine Evaristo has been criticised, with detractors pointing out that the first black woman ever to win Britain’s most prestigious literary award has had to share it – while receiving half the usual money.Chair of the judges Peter Florence shocked the literary world on Monday night when he revealed that the jury had decided – unanimously, he said – to flout rules, which have been in place since 1992, that the Booker “may not be divided or withheld”. After more than five hours of deliberation, he announced that this year’s £50,000 award would be split between Atwood’s follow-up to The Handmaid’s Tale, The Testaments, and Evaristo’s polyphonic novel Girl, Woman, Other. Told in the voices of 12 different characters, mostly black women, Evaristo has said that the novel, her eighth, stems from the fact that “we black British women know that if we don’t write ourselves into literature, no one else will”. Continue reading…

  • Tour de France 2020 hogs the south and favours day-to-day climbers | William Fotheringham
    by William Fotheringham on October 15, 2019 at 4:11 pm

    Route described as ‘the toughest’ by Chris Froome as race organisers plan to use all the mountain ranges and include only one time trialThe Tour de France’s search for novelty and excitement in recent years has taken it in one direction: hillier, shorter, more intense, with occasional ventures off the Tarmac. The 2020 route heads down that road at breakneck speed, with only one time trial – and that up a severe climb – only one stage over 200 kilometres, and so many climbs that they risk becoming interchangeable, a blur of constant action.“The toughest Tour I’ve ever seen,” said Chris Froome, who hopes to return from a severe crash to try for his fifth title, as long as his teammate Egan Bernal does not snatch the leadership of Ineos from him. The toughness comes not so much in the actual volume of climbing – there are relatively few classic set-piece ascents in the Alps and Pyrenees, no Mont Ventoux, no Alpe d’Huez – but in the constant day-to-day intensity that will make it virtually impossible for the race to settle down. “It’s more a mid-mountain all‑rounder route. I don’t think that makes it more difficult to control,” said Froome’s boss, Dave Brailsford. Continue reading…

  • Any Johnson Brexit deal sows seeds of future confrontation with the EU | Rafael Behr
    by Rafael Behr on October 15, 2019 at 3:59 pm

    The prime minister’s chosen path will fail to secure Britain’s long-term interest and boost division and nationalismBoris Johnson wanted to be prime minister long before he wanted to take Britain out of the EU. The novelty of Brexit among his ambitions prompts a thought experiment: imagine there was no referendum. By some other craft Johnson has reached Downing Street. Would he propose swapping full EU membership for the latest version of a deal being hammered out in Brussels today? Related: Boris Johnson ‘on brink of Brexit deal’ after border concessions Continue reading…

  • How older people became the heroes of Extinction Rebellion
    by Polly Toynbee on October 15, 2019 at 3:46 pm

    It is a generation that contains veterans of Greenham, the miners’ strike and the poll tax and anti-Iraq war protests – and, with no need to worry about damaged CVs, they are perfect ‘arrestables’Protest hits its mark when campaigners look as ordinary as possible, such as the platoons of grandparents swelling the ranks of Extinction Rebellion. Cameras seek out the picturesque – the luminously dreadlocked, tie-dyed stereotype. Although few and far between, they let the rightwing press dismiss the whole huge global uprising as “not people like us”.But anyone who was on Saturday’s London march or joined this week’s protests has seen how the great majority are unphotogenic “normals” of all ages, with battalions of those well past retirement. Nor are there many of the usual bothersome far-left groupuscules trying to hijack a mighty, mainstream event. Continue reading…

  • Scotty Bowers, ‘male madame to the stars’, dies aged 96
    by Martin Pengelly on October 15, 2019 at 3:39 pm

    Claimed to have slept his way through golden-age Hollywood Helped stars hide and indulge their true sexual naturesScotty Bowers, a former US marine, gas station attendant and bartender who became the “infamous male madame to the stars”, has died. He was 96. Related: Hollywood’s secret history: Scotty Bowers on sex and stars in the Golden Era Continue reading…

  • Google launches cheaper Pixel 4 to undercut Apple’s iPhone
    by Samuel Gibbs Consumer technology editor on October 15, 2019 at 3:36 pm

    Smartphone comes with radar tech and is joined by revamped Nest Mini, Pixelbook Go and other devicesGoogle has launched its latest iPhone-competitor, the Pixel 4 and 4 XL, with new radar technology, dual-camera and a lower price.Google’s consumer hardware division unveiled a series of new devices in New York, led by the Pixel 4 smartphone and including an updated Nest Mini smart speaker and Nest Wifi system, among other products. Continue reading…

  • Scottish ministers face criticism for £5m Shell tree-planting scheme
    by Severin Carrell Scotland editor on October 15, 2019 at 3:32 pm

    Government accused of greenwashing after accepting funding from oil firmScottish ministers have been criticised for accepting £5m from Shell to help fund a tree-planting programme as part of its climate strategy.The oil company said it would give the government agency Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS) the money to plant or regenerate 1m trees in Scotland to help offset about 20% of its petrol and diesel sales at UK service stations. Continue reading…

  • Ugandan MPs press for death penalty for homosexual acts
    by Jason Burke and Samuel Okiror in Kampala on October 15, 2019 at 2:42 pm

    Parliamentarians seek to resubmit bill to introduce capital sentences for gay sexMPs in Uganda are to push for new laws to make homosexual acts punishable by death.James Nsaba Buturo, an MP, said parliamentarians wanted to retable a bill ruled unconstitutional by a court in 2014 that would introduce capital sentences for gay sex. Continue reading…

  • Moody blooms: how dark florals became the new Breton stripe
    by Jess Cartner-Morley on October 15, 2019 at 2:24 pm

    Winter florals are glamorous but casual, womanly rather than girlish – and are an instant style updateYou probably think this is about a trend. It’s not. Floral patterns on a dark background is not so much a fashion trend as a fashion takeover. It is a look that is absolutely everywhere – so much so, that you have probably stopped noticing it. It is in my wardrobe and – as a glance around the Guardian office confirms – in a whole lot of other wardrobes too. The formula is simple: flowers of any variety bloom against a dark-coloured background. Perhaps on a blouse, possibly a trousersuit or an evening gown, but most likely on a dress or a skirt.Without much fuss or fanfare, dark floral has lodged itself into modern life. Like the Breton stripe a decade before it, it has become style shorthand for looking current. And for looking good, but not looking as if you thought about it too much. Alessandro Michele’s super-maximalist aesthetic at Gucci has amped up the resting pulse rate of fashion, so you need a bit of print and colour for an outfit to feel really contemporary. On the other hand, the mood music of the #MeToo era doesn’t lend itself to a bunting-and-cupcakes vibe, so viewing the traditional femininity of the floral print through a darker lens feels right. And as fashion moves towards a more sustainable, less fast-moving model, a print that is a bit summery (because, flowers) and at the same time autumnal in its colours also feels right for now. Continue reading…

  • Bolshie, biting, brilliant: is Succession the new Game of Thrones?
    by Hannah J Davies on October 15, 2019 at 2:11 pm

    After an Emmy award-winning second season and with an ever-growing fanbase, the gripping HBO drama could be about to hit TV’s big leagueDespite an errant Starbucks cup and a finale that has since been described by its director as “rushed”, when Game of Thrones (GoT) ended its eight-season run in May this year, it was the biggest television show in the world. Now, though, it seems another HBO show is on its way to TV’s big league: the bolshie yet biting thriller Succession, which follows a string of morally misguided media scions somewhere between the Trumps, the Murdochs and Tatler.The show is full of 2019 hallmarks, from fake news and corruption to “stealth wealth” dressing (wearing deceptively plain, inexpensive clothing). With a second season that notched the tension up week on week – and was sealed with a twist in a finale that aired in the UK on Monday – the show has gained serious ground, and looks as though it could be the next “event TV” hit. Continue reading…

  • Red poppy to be used to remember civilian victims for first time
    by Robert Booth Social affairs correspondent on October 15, 2019 at 2:06 pm

    Exclusive: Royal British Legion decision means symbol will also mark terror attack deathsIf you wear a red poppy this year, it will mean something different. The Royal British Legion has said that the symbol that has long represented remembrance of the UK’s armed forces will also stand for civilian victims, not just of war, but terrorism too.The position taken by the 98-year old charity, which distributes 40m red poppies a year, opens up the official meaning of the famous symbol to encapsulate the memory of victims of the Manchester Arena attack in 2017, as well as civilians in Nazi Germany in the second world war. Continue reading…

  • Russian troops patrol between Turkish and Syrian forces on border
    by Bethan McKernan in Istanbul on October 15, 2019 at 2:04 pm

    Soldiers’ presence underlines Moscow’s role as power broker after evacuation of US personnel Russian units have begun patrolling territory separating Turkish-backed Syrian rebels from the Syrian army around the flashpoint town of Manbij in north-east Syria, in a clear sign that Moscow has become the de facto power broker in the region after the evacuation of US troops.Oleg Blokhin, a Russian journalist usually attached to mercenaries in Syria, posted a video on social media on Tuesday from a deserted US military base in the village of al-Saadiya, near Manbij. Continue reading…

  • Why the UK was at its cheeriest in the 1920s
    on October 15, 2019 at 12:46 pm

    By analysing books and newspapers going back to 1825, researchers have concluded that we were happier back thenName: The Good Old Days.Age: Old. But good. Continue reading…

  • One in three councils using algorithms to make welfare decisions
    by Sarah Marsh on October 15, 2019 at 11:30 am

    Exclusive: machine-learning tools being deployed despite evidence they are unreliableHow Bristol assesses citizens’ risk of harmOne in three councils are using computer algorithms to help make decisions about benefit claims and other welfare issues, despite evidence emerging that some of the systems are unreliable.Companies including the US credit-rating businesses Experian and TransUnion, as well as the outsourcing specialist Capita and Palantir, a data-mining firm co-founded by the Trump-supporting billionaire Peter Thiel, are selling machine-learning packages to local authorities that are under pressure to save money. Continue reading…

  • A king cobra and a Blackpool globe: Tuesday’s best photos
    by Guy Lane on October 15, 2019 at 11:27 am

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

  • Leomie Anderson: ‘Putting on this dress took 30 minutes – but it was such fun to wear’
    by As told to Leah Harper on October 15, 2019 at 11:09 am

    The model talks about the tulle and Perspex dress she helped design for a Cannes premiere, and how the red carpet can be surprisingly intimidatingFor the premiere of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood at the Cannes film festival this year, I designed my own dress from scratch with the designer Rami Kadi. We had three months to put it together – it was such an incredible experience. The dress was made from tulle with Perspex shards, so it looked like a mirrored body piece, with a massive matching train. I got to decide the shape and the colour – I felt as if I had total control of the final look, which was really important to me. As a model, it’s not something I often experience, so I felt really grateful.Putting on the dress was a true struggle; it took about 30 minutes. We didn’t account for the body piece being so heavy and, because it was covered in the Perspex shards, it was quite painful to do it up. Once the dress was on, I couldn’t go to the toilet and I had to do my hair and makeup wearing it, but it was so much fun. Rami had to take the dress back after I had worn it because I couldn’t travel with it – and there is no space for even a bra in my room where I live, let alone a ballgown. But once I get my new house, I am definitely requesting it back. Continue reading…

  • Nigel Slater’s quesadilla recipe
    by Nigel Slater on October 15, 2019 at 11:00 am

    Tasty cheese, toms, chillies and herbs inside a crisp tortilla baseMake a loose, green paste with 3 medium-sized green tomatoes, 3 jalapeño chillies, 3 cloves of peeled garlic and 100g of coriander leaves and their stems. It is done in seconds in a blender or food processor. Continue reading…

  • ‘The untouchables’: Ireland horrified by brutal mafia-style abduction
    by Rory Carroll in Derrylinn on October 15, 2019 at 9:19 am

    Mystery surrounds vicious abduction of manager of former companies of failed businessman Seán QuinnA certain genius enabled Seán Quinn to make his name in the Irish borderlands. A farmer’s son who left school at 14, he turned a region of dark hedgerows and stony farms, poverty and emigration, into a thriving industrial hub.He started by selling gravel from the family farm and expanded, creating one company after another. Quinn Cement, Quinn Glass, Quinn Energy, Quinn Manufacturing, Quinn Thermos, Quinn Packaging, Quinn Rooftiles, Quinn Building Products, Quinn Innovation Academy, the name so ubiquitous that some signs simply said Q. Continue reading…

  • David LaChapelle’s Lavazza 2020 calendar – in pictures
    by David LaChapelle on October 15, 2019 at 8:00 am

    The photographer best known for his surreal celebrity portraits has teamed up with Lavazza to create their 2020 calendar. Shot in Hawaii, his shoot is a hymn to the relationship between humankind and the natural word. Continue reading…

  • Buy a classic sport photograph: Kelly Holmes’ eye-popping celebration
    by Tom Jenkins on October 15, 2019 at 7:22 am

    The fifth of a new Guardian Print Shop series featuring classic sports images from the likes of Gerry Cranham, Mark Leech and Tom Jenkins – yours to own for just £55 including free delivery Those eyes! Having just crossed the line to win 800m gold at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, British athlete Kelly Holmes is pictured bursting into celebration. Part shock, part jubilation, her expression spoke volumes of her remarkable journey to success. Holmes’ career had been blighted by injuries, anaemia, asthma and depression, and her undeniable talent was frequently stymied on the greatest stage of all: at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta she competed with a stress fracture in her shin, narrowly finishing fourth in the 800m; at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney she overcame a calf tear to win bronze. By 2004, aged 34 and injury-free for the first time, she targeted gold in the 800m and 1,500m. In both finals she waited until the home straight before powering to the front of the field, becoming only the third woman in history to do the middle-distance double. “I can’t believe it!” she yelled repeatedly after her 800m triumph. This image captures that feeling perfectly. Continue reading…

  • 2019 Earth Science Week photo competition winners
    on October 15, 2019 at 7:00 am

    The Geological Society has announced the winners of this year’s competition, which for the first time allowed in images taken from around the world. According to the society, the photographs showcase the rich diversity of environments in which scientists, live, work and travel.• The images will appear in the society’s 2020 calendar and will also feature in a free exhibition at its London HQ to mark Earth Science Week Continue reading…

  • I only get pleasure by squeezing my thighs together – will I ever enjoy sex?
    by Pamela Stephenson Connolly on October 15, 2019 at 7:00 am

    I do not enjoy sex at all – and can only masturbate this way. Can I learn to move on?I am a 22-year-old woman and have been bothered by a sexual issue for a few years. I do not enjoy sex at all (not just penetrative sex ). Even oral sex or stimulating the clitoris does nothing for me. I have been masturbating by squeezing my thighs together since I was very young and, even today, it is the only way I can feel any pleasure sexually. I wonder if I am simply unable to adapt to other methods. Can you advise me?You are probably correct about being hampered by your well-entrenched masturbation style. It is not unusual for a person to develop self-pleasuring methods that do not easily bridge to sex with a partner. This happens over time – sometimes in response to environmental pressures. For example, children learn that they must be secretive about their sexual feelings and start to find ways of stimulating themselves without even using their hands. But you can change this. Start by summoning sexual thoughts and feelings without any physical motion. Once your desire is strong, embark on systematic discovery efforts by connecting the erotic fantasies with different types of movement, touching and strokes, incrementally departing from your preferred method. Spend time exploring sexual feelings that emanate from stimulation of many different parts of your genitals and non-genital parts of your body. By enlivening nerve-endings in areas you did not previously consider erogenous zones, you will begin to create more diverse pathways to pleasure – and will eventually be able to share these discoveries with a partner. Continue reading…

  • No Straight Lines in Nature – in pictures
    by David Bebber on October 15, 2019 at 6:30 am

    Over the past 10 years, David Bebber has photographed for World Land Trust, capturing their crucial conservation projects across the globe that protect threatened natural habitats through land purchase. This exhibition brings together a collection of work from both personal projects and his time photographing WLT sites, which couple together on the theme of environmental celebration. No Straight Lines in Nature at theprintspace Gallery 17 October – 4 NovemberContinue reading…

  • Somnox sleep robot – like being in bed with a baby Darth Vader
    by Rhik Samadder on October 15, 2019 at 6:00 am

    The kidney-shaped cushion comes with a birth certificate and mirrors your breathing patterns to help you nod off. I would rather spoon a forkOnce you cyborg, you never go borg? We’ll see. This week I am testing a sleep robot (£549, meetsomnox.com) that aims to banish insomnia, aiding natural rest and reducing stress. It is an example of soft robotics, and could be revolutionary in the field: most tech is hard-edged, and many overnight devices merely track sleep rather than promoting it. Somnox describes itself as a “sleep companion.” The kidney-shaped, possibly sentient cushion breathes softly in and out, and plays calming noises. The idea is that users hold it close to them in bed, building up an emotional bond over time. Every night, you breathe together in time until you fall sleep, perchance to dream of electric sheep.There is obvious industry and sophistication here. The product is made of high-quality material, with nothing extraneous in the design. It is heavy – like organic-material heavy. It is the weight of a baby. And it is comforting, cushioned with foam and soft, thick fabric. We climb into bed and I switch it on. A warm light within the fabric comes to life, pulsing in and out. The robot has a soft belly part, which gently expands and deflates, with a noise like a discreet ventilator. I start getting a strange feeling in my belly, too. “Creating life is our design philosophy” is the chilling strapline printed on the “birth certificate” included with each purchase. “It took us nine months to create your new sleep companion, just like a real baby.” (I hope the process wasn’t exactly the same.) It is a weird timeframe. Nine months to R&D, prototype, test and market a complex robot sounds insufficient. Unless they are talking about the manufacture of the specific item I am holding, in which case that is way too long. You couldn’t scale a cookie business if each biscuit took a month to make. Continue reading…

  • #MeToo and the justice system: complaints up, but convictions down
    by Owen Bowcott Legal affairs correspondent on October 15, 2019 at 6:00 am

    UK lawyers say more women are coming forward, but are police and prosecutors ready?The clearest impact of the #MeToo movement on the British justice system has been a sharp rise in the number of complaints made to police of rape and sexual assault over the past two years.That surge, however, has coincided with a chaotic response by police and prosecutors, who have been engulfed in problems over disclosure and allegations they have refined their approach to the crime in order to improve conviction rates, although this has been denied by the Crown Prosecution Service. Continue reading…

  • DIY drugs: should hospitals make their own medicine?
    by Chris Stokel-Walker on October 15, 2019 at 5:00 am

    If pharmaceutical companies rapidly inflate the price of their products, is there an alternative? One Dutch chemist thinks so. By Chris Stokel-WalkerWhen a pharmaceutical company raised the price of an essential medicine to unacceptable levels, there was only one thing for pharmacist Marleen Kemper to do: start making it herself. When Kemper was in primary school, she had watched two of her classmates get ill. One had a brain tumour, the other contracted an infection in his gut. Both of them died.Kemper was about 10 at the time, and knew she did not want to see another friend perish. She told her parents she wanted to do something that would prevent others dying. She wanted to be a doctor. Continue reading…

  • Gyula Remes died on parliament’s doorstep. Was the outcry of MPs just for show?
    by Simon Hattenstone and Daniel Lavelle on October 15, 2019 at 5:00 am

    The homeless death of Gyula Remes 1975-2018: The demise of the ‘gentle giant’ on the streets of Westminster is a chilling illustration of the hostile environment’s impact on EU citizensWhen Gyula Remes died on 19 December 2018, across the road from the Houses of Parliament, there was an outcry. Remes, aged 43, was Hungarian and homeless. He had been sleeping in a passage in Westminster tube station that led into Parliament square. It was the second homeless death in the same underpass in 10 months. The Labour MP David Lammy tweeted: “There is something rotten in Westminster when MPs walk past dying homeless people on the way into work.”Later that day, Remes’ death was discussed in the House of Commons. The Liberal Democrat MP and former health minister Norman Lamb said: “It is grotesque and obscene that we have a homelessness crisis visible just outside the building.” The next day James Brokenshire, then secretary of state for housing, communities and local government, told parliament: “Every death of someone sleeping rough on our streets is one too many. Each is a tragedy, each a life cut short. We have a moral duty to act.” Brokenshire said the government was already acting, with an investment of £1.2bn to reduce and prevent homelessness, and its commitment to halve rough sleeping by 2022 and end it by 2027. Continue reading…

  • Native American canoes circle Alcatraz to honor 50 years since occupation – in pictures
    by Talia Herman on October 15, 2019 at 2:01 am

    Native American tribes from up and down the west coast came together in San Francisco Bay to celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day on 14 October. Starting at dawn people paddled traditional tribal canoes around Alcatraz Island – the famous former prison site which was occupied by Native Americans from 1969-71. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the historic act of resistance that launched the modern era of indigenous rights Continue reading…

  • Hong Kong: the story of one protester – podcast
    by Presented by Anushka Asthana with Polly Toynbee; produced by Rachel Humphreys, Courtney Yusuf, Verna Yu and Axel Kacoutié; executive producers Nicole Jackson and Phil Maynard on October 15, 2019 at 2:00 am

    A Hong Kong protester describes why he has returned to the streets, week in week out, in the face of an increasingly brutal crackdown by the authorities. And: Polly Toynbee on the Queen’s speechHong Kong has been rocked by four months of violent protests against what is seen as Beijing’s tightening grip on the city. The unrest has plunged the city into its worst crisis since Britain handed the territory back to China in 1997. The protests were prompted by a now-abandoned bill that would have allowed extradition of suspects from Hong Kong to China and Communist party-controlled courts. But they have widened into a pro-democracy movement.Anushka Asthana talks to one protester about why he has been returning to the streets, week after week. He discusses his fears over the escalating violence and why people are willing to die for this cause. Continue reading…

  • Share your experiences of pregnancy and giving birth while in prison
    by Guardian readers on October 14, 2019 at 8:52 am

    Whether you or someone you know has been pregnant or given birth behind bars, we would like to hear from youThe death of a newborn baby after a woman gave birth alone in her cell last month has prompted a wave of concern from MPs, medical professionals and those working with prisoners. Since the Guardian’s initial report on the case, 11 separate investigations have been announced aimed at uncovering how this tragedy came about. A central question is how the woman had come to be without medical or emotional support during her labour and the birth of her baby at HMP Bronzefield in Surrey, Europe’s largest female prison.There are an estimated 600 pregnant women held in prisons in England and Wales, and about 100 babies are born there each year. Continue reading…

  • How fracking is taking its toll on Argentina’s indigenous people – video explainer
    by Nicholas Williams Marina Costa Katie Lamborn Samaneh Moafi & Robert Trafford on October 14, 2019 at 6:00 am

    An oil fire burned for more than three weeks next to a freshwater lake in Vaca Muerta, Argentina, one of the world’s largest deposits of shale oil and gas and home to the indigenous Mapuche people. In collaboration with Forensic Architecture, this video looks at the local Mapuche community’s claim that the oil and gas industry has irreversibly damaged their ancestral homeland, and with it their traditional ways of lifeIndigenous Mapuche pay high price for Argentina’s fracking dreamwith thanks toO11CE (Arena Documenta + m7red, Comunidad Mapuce Campo Maripe, Confederación Mapuce del Neuquén, Observatorio Petrolero Sur and Jorgelina VillarrealContinue reading…

  • What is the truth about vaping?
    by Presented by Anushka Asthana with Jamie Doward, Max Sanderson and Frances Perraudin; produced by Hannah Moore, Gary Marshall and Iain Chambers; executive producers Phil Maynard and Nicole Jackson on October 14, 2019 at 2:00 am

    Jamie Doward and Max Sanderson join Anushka Asthana to navigate a way through the haze of the debate around vaping. Is it really safe? Plus: Frances Perraudin on the anniversary of #metoo – what has really changed after two years of the campaign against sexual harassment and sexual assaultThe rapid rise of e-cigarettes has spawned a social media subculture, but in recent months fear has spread about the safety of vaping. A number of deaths in the United States have been linked to vaping with hundreds of apparently healthy young people contracting serious lung disease. Meanwhile in the UK, where regulations are far stricter, e-cigarettes are promoted as an effective way for smokers to quit tobacco. So what is the truth about vaping?The Observer’s Jamie Doward and the Guardian’s Max Sanderson join Anushka Asthana to discuss the rise of e-cigarettes. Continue reading…

  • Have you taken part in Extinction Rebellion events?
    by Guardian readers on October 11, 2019 at 12:30 pm

    If you have protested with the group in the UK we would like to hear about your experiences People have been taking part in Extinction Rebellion events, from a ‘nurse-in’ in London to an activist climbing a plane at London City airport, as part of two weeks of climate protests by the group.The Guardian view on the protests said: “The movement’s three demands in these October protests are that the government does more to communicate the urgency of the climate crisis; that it legally commits to net zero carbon emissions by 2025; and that a citizens’ assembly be convened to oversee the changes”. Continue reading…

  • A fatal crash and the problem of diplomatic immunity – podcast
    by Presented by Anushka Asthana with Patrick Wintour and Jonathan Safran Foer, produced by Mythili Rao, Gary Marshall and Axel Kacoutié; executive producers Nicole Jackson and Phil Maynard on October 11, 2019 at 2:00 am

    Harry Dunn died in a collision in August with a car allegedly being driven by the wife of a US diplomat, who left the UK soon after under the rules of diplomatic immunity. Patrick Wintour looks at what might happen next. And: author Jonathan Safran Foer on changing the way we eat to avoid climate catastropheHarry Dunn, 19, died on 27 August when his motorcycle collided with a car allegedly being driven by Anne Sacoolas, who then left the UK. Dunn’s family have been campaigning for her to return. On Wednesday, Donald Trump gave a statement at a press event, saying: “We’re going to speak to her and see what we can come up with so there can be some healing.” But according to briefing notes provided to the US president and photographed at the event, Scoolas will not return to the UK for trial. Continue reading…

  • ‘He said: “I’d break the law for you.” I was 13’: calling time on street harassment – video
    by Kyri Evangelou, Maeve Shearlaw , Lizzie Musa and Katie Lamborn on October 10, 2019 at 9:00 am

    Rape threats, racist slurs, being followed home, just some of the things that women and girls are subjected to on a daily basis. But there is a growing generation of young women who are no longer prepared to put up with it and have launched a campaign to make street harassment illegal. On-the-spot fines were introduced in France in 2018, but could it make a difference in the UK? Continue reading…

  • Share your experiences as a BAME person in the armed forces
    by Guardian readers on October 10, 2019 at 7:44 am

    We want to hear from those who are serving – or have served in recent years – in the armed forcesMilitary police have launched 35 investigations into racially aggravated crimes over the past five years, the Guardian has revealed, prompting warnings that many service personnel from BAME backgrounds are “suffering in silence”.It’s also known that disproportionate numbers of BAME service personnel use the service complaints procedure (when compared with their numbers in the forces overall), and that a very large proportion of those complaints concern allegations of bullying, harassment and discrimination. Continue reading…

  • After Windrush – Paulette Wilson’s visit to Jamaica, 50 years on
    by Shanida Scotland, Irene Baqué Christopher Cherry, Amelia Gentleman, Lindsay Poulton, Ken Macfarlane and Charlie Phillips on October 7, 2019 at 11:02 am

    A letter from the British government classifying Paulette Wilson as an illegal immigrant shook her sense of identity and belonging. ‘Hostile environment’ policies years in the making meant that Wilson and other victims of the Windrush scandal had their right to residency in the UK called into question. She had been detained for a week pending imminent deportation though she had done nothing wrong. It was devastating, but luckily she was released before she was deported. Here we follow Wilson as she returns to Jamaica for the first time in 50 years, trying to make sense of her place in the world and rebuild a sense of security and belonging Continue reading…

  • Anywhere but Westminster | We must deliver: Brexit, Johnson and the robots of Milton Keynes – video
    by John Domokos, John Harris, Bruno Rinvolucri, Marina Costa and Katie Lamborn on October 5, 2019 at 6:53 am

    As Tory conference cheers Boris Johnson’s do-or-die vision of leaving the EU, Anywhere but Westminster moves to Milton Keynes, a town evenly split between leave and remain, and hurtling into the future. Robots are delivering people’s shopping, but there’s also homelessness and glaring inequality, and clear signs that most people want no part of all the Brexit madness   Continue reading…

  • Sophie Morgan on researching her family tree: ‘We are finding a secret dark side’
    by Sue George on October 4, 2019 at 1:44 pm

    TV presenter Morgan always had questions about her lineage. Sue George helps her find out more than she imaginedWhen you start researching your family tree, you never know what you might find. Sophie Morgan – TV presenter and campaigner – knew very little about her family’s dark past.“We knew a few things about my mother’s side,” she says, “but nothing about my father’s.” Continue reading…

  • From flea markets to wine museums: the undiscovered side of Bordeaux
    by John Brunton on September 30, 2019 at 2:19 pm

    There’s so much more to the city than delicious red wine, from thriving arts projects to scenic river tours. John Brunton guides you to the region’s lesser-known gemsExperience urban BordeauxBordeaux has enthusiastically embraced urban regeneration, converting abandoned spaces into art, music and community projects. Kick off with the Darwin Ecosysteme, a sprawling army barracks that now houses an urban farm, artisanal brewery, skatepark, and venues for live music. Stroll along the Garonne river, marvelling at magnificent 18th-century palaces “mirrored” in the world’s largest reflecting pool, Miroir d’Eau. And from summer 2020, experience the Bassins de Lumières, exploring the immense water bunkers of an old Nazi submarine base, immersed in giant projections of Gustav Klimt’s art.Sample the local marketsThe Marché des Capucins, established in 1749, is the belly of Bordeaux and boasts locally produced caviar, charcuterie and around a hundred different cheeses. Head to Chez Jean-Mi, packed with locals jostling for a glass, while tourists vie for a table to feast on plump local oysters. Down the street, enter the vibrant square of Basilique Saint Michel, which transforms, four days a week, into a giant flea market. Continue reading…

  • Planes, trains and automobiles – which is the most sustainable way to travel?
    by Anna Turns on September 20, 2019 at 3:02 pm

    You know planes are not great for the environment, and trains are better – but do you know why? Anna Turns delves into the stats behind travel and sustainabilityThis year, the 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg travelled across Europe by train before setting sail in a yacht from Plymouth to the US. Thunberg hasn’t flown since 2015 and her journeys have added momentum to the growing #flygskam (a Swedish word meaning flying shame) campaign and triggered a new hashtag #tagskryt (which translates as train brag) with more people following her lead to stay grounded and choose more carbon-conscious modes of transport. The number of Interrail tickets sold in Sweden surged by 45% in 2018 and the Dutch airline KLM has even called for its customers to fly responsibly and consider alternatives where possible.Scheduled flights emitted more than 900m tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2018 (pdf) and the aviation sector currently accounts for more than 2% of global emissions – if it were a country, aviation would have been the sixth-largest emitter of CO2 last year, emitting more than Germany. Globally, aviation is the fastest-growing source of greenhouse gases, with soaring emissions increasing by about 5% more each year according to the World Health Organization. The International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) estimates aviation CO2 emissions are on track to triple by 2050. Generally, ICCT finds that flying short distances is much more fuel-intensive than flying longer distances, so reducing the number of flights (rather than cutting out just long-haul flights) is one of the best things anyone can do to cut carbon. Shorter flights are less efficient – with up to 25% of jet fuel consumed during takeoff – but longer flights have a larger carbon footprint. Continue reading…

  • ‘We will fight to the last drop of blood’: embattled Kashmiris target freedom – video
    by Sami Ullah , Siddarth Bokolia, Rebecca Ratcliffe, Ahmer Khan, Alex Healey, Claudine Spera, Katie Lamborn on September 19, 2019 at 6:00 am

    Determined to prevent security forces from entering their community, people in the suburb of Anchar, in the disputed region of Kashmir, stand united in their desire to achieve freedom from India. Defying teargas and pellets, they are the last remaining pocket of resistance in the country’s only Muslim-majority state Continue reading…

  • I’ll kick out Iain Duncan Smith because of ​’​austerity he inflicted on my ​mum’ – video
    by Kyri Evangelou, Maeve Shearlaw and Katie Lamborn on September 18, 2019 at 10:21 am

    Is the chaos in Westminster breeding a new type of politician? We hit the campaign trial with Labour’s Faiza Shaheen, who is trying to kick out the Tory grandee Iain Duncan Smith from his Chingford and Woodford Green seat. Shaheen grew up in the area and describes herself as the polar opposite of Duncan Smith. What are her chances of success? And could she be hindered by Labour’s Brexit position?  Continue reading…

  • Edward Snowden in exile: ‘you have to be ready to stand for something’ – video
    by Ewen MacAskill, Laurence Topham, Marina Costa and Katie Lamborn on September 13, 2019 at 3:47 pm

    Edward Snowden has spent the last six years living in exile in Russia and has now decided to publish his memoirs, Permanent Record. In the book he reflects on his life leading up to the biggest leak of top secret documents in history, and the impact this had on his relationship with his partner, Lindsay Mills. The Guardian’s Ewen MacAskill, who helped break Snowden’s story in 2013, has been given exclusive access to meet him‘I was very much a person the most powerful government in the world wanted to go away’Continue reading…

  • Brexit: tell us if you are a business owner who’s preparing
    by Guardian readers on September 12, 2019 at 4:03 pm

    We’d like to hear from small business owners about how they are preparing ahead of BrexitWith the cut-off date to secure a Brexit deal looming, the likely outcome of negotiations this week is still uncertain. While EU sources have expressed “cautious optimism,” anything could happen. Last month, a five-page document spelling out the government’s “planning assumptions” warned that no-deal Brexit could result in rising food and fuel prices. Continue reading…

  • ‘Life is better at the Lake’: discover Canada’s Ontario
    by Joe Callaghan on August 22, 2019 at 11:19 am

    With vast and beautiful wilderness areas, and a staggering quarter of a million lakes, Ontario is the perfect place to experience outdoor relaxation and adventure“It is wonderful to feel the grandness of Canada in the raw,” wrote Emily Carr, an icon of 20th-century Canadian art, whose vibrant landscape works charted the colours and shapes of the country more evocatively than any before – or since.To speak of this grandness in the raw is to speak of Ontario, the country’s most populous province. Long before the 14 million who now call Ontario home got here, the place was shaped forever by glacial erosion that gouged and quarried so much of the land that falls within the province’s boundaries. Continue reading…

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