Opinion Drama

  • ‘Eyesore’ London tower approved despite housing concerns
    by Robert Booth Social affairs correspondent on February 28, 2020 at 6:42 pm

    Residents criticise 55-storey skyscraper in Ealing while mayor warns over affordabilityPlans for one of Britain’s tallest residential skyscrapers have been approved in west London despite complaints from residents that the proposal is “obscene” and an “eyesore” and a warning from the mayor of London that it lacks affordable housing.The 55-storey twin-towers development in Ealing, sponsored by the Egyptian developer Aldau, will be visible from miles around and will feature 1,000% more floor space than is currently at the site. Continue reading…

  • Federal court blocks Trump’s Remain in Mexico border policy – live
    by Joanna Walters (now) and Martin Belam (earlier) on February 28, 2020 at 6:42 pm

    Panel ruled in 2-1 vote to hold Trump policyMulvaney accuses media of stoking fear over coronavirus ‘hoax’Support the Guardian’s independent journalism. Make a contribution 6.42pm GMTHarvard law professor Larry Tribe has this reaction to the news that a court has blocked Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy that sends asylum seekers crossing into the US back across the border to Mexico, where they find themselves waiting for months and months in often squalid and dangerous conditions for their court hearings in America.The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals was right to block Trump’s ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy nationwide. The policy is facially and flatly illegal.https://t.co/qxIUKZfizJ 6.32pm GMTResponding to the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit’s ruling, upholding the preliminary injunction halting the Trump administration’s so-called “Remain in Mexico” policy, under which the U government forcibly returns asylum-seekers to Mexico indefinitely while they ask for asylum in the US, Amnesty International USA’s advocacy director for the Americas, Charanya Krishnaswami, said:“This policy was never designed to work; it was designed solely to deter people from exercising their right to seek asylum. Continue reading…

  • Gare de Lyon in Paris evacuated after fire outside station
    by Kim Willsher in Paris on February 28, 2020 at 6:23 pm

    Fire reportedly started by protesters opposed to concert nearby by Congolese singerPolice have evacuated the Gare de Lyon in Paris after scooters and rubbish bins were set alight outside the station, reportedly by protesters opposed to a concert being given by a Congolese singer.Photos on social media showed flames reaching several metres into the sky and a cloud of black smoke around the station, which was evacuated at the height of rush hour. Continue reading…

  • The Guardian view on the coronavirus outbreak: leadership is required | Editorial
    by Editorial on February 28, 2020 at 6:19 pm

    Managing the economic and health risks of Covid-19 is difficult. In the UK, as elsewhere, ministers must step upA passenger on the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan became the first Briton to die of the Covid-19 coronavirus on Friday. Further UK cases beyond the 19 already confirmed are expected, while countries including Mexico, Nigeria and Denmark have announced their first positive tests. The World Health Organization assesses the level of risk as “very high at global level”. But the scale and impact of the Covid-19 outbreak that began in Wuhan, China, in December, remain deeply uncertain. That is because while viral outbreaks have happened before, each one is different. While severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) had a higher death rate, Covid-19 appears to be more contagious. Its spread is already being determined in hard-to-predict ways by human behaviour.To limit the damage as far as possible, trust and information are of the essence. In the UK, as elsewhere, it is imperative that the government, and other public bodies, provide straightforward advice about travel and sanitation as well as the disease. For the health secretary, Matt Hancock, to say earlier this week that he would not travel to northern Italy was unwise because it contradicted official guidance. Instead, ministers must lead by example. Continue reading…

  • Donald Trump’s war on coronavirus is just his latest war on truth | Jonathan Freedland
    by Jonathan Freedland on February 28, 2020 at 6:16 pm

    The president is reacting to this disaster the way authoritarians always do – by covering up the facts and dodging the blameThe coronavirus crisis is a war against a disease, but it’s also the most serious battle yet in the war on truth. That much was clear from the start, as China moved to hush up the first outbreak and gag the doctor who had spotted it. It was a classic case of what we might call Chernobyl syndrome: the tendency of authoritarian systems to react to disaster by rushing to downplay or cover up the problem, focusing more on shifting blame than tackling the threat head on. Viewers of last year’s TV dramatisation of the Chernobyl nuclear accident could recognise the pattern immediately, as the priority of those in charge becomes avoiding embarrassment rather than saving lives. Related: Coronavirus: man from Diamond Princess cruise first Briton to die from illness – latest updates Continue reading…

  • Sun Yang benefited from convenient friendship with swimming’s chiefs
    by Andy Bull on February 28, 2020 at 6:02 pm

    Rivals were scathing, but the freestyler enjoyed a close relationship with senior figures at Fina, the governing bodyIn August 2016, two years after Sun Yang was banned for three months because he’d been caught using an illegal stimulant, he won the Olympic 200m freestyle. It was his third gold medal, after his victories in the 400m and 1500m at London 2012. Sun explained the drug was medication for a heart problem. Still, it’s fair to say that some people there weren’t too happy about it. Australian freestyler Mack Horton called him a “drugs cheat”, French backstroker Camille Lacourt said he “pisses purple”. Others, though, seemed to be genuinely pleased for him. Particularly Cornel Marculescu, the executive director of Fina, the international swimming federation, who gave Sun a long hug after he stepped off the podium.Afterwards, Sun explained that Marculescu had been “like a grandfather” to him. “He is a very good friend of the Chinese swim team,” he said. “So I was very happy to see him see me win the gold. I hope this friendship will last.” It did. A year later, Fina made a special point of celebrating “this friendship” at their World Aquatics Gala in the Chinese city of Sanya, when they presented Sun with a bespoke award for “Outstanding Contribution to Swimming Popularity in China”. Asked about it afterwards, a Fina spokesman told Inside the Games the award had been made at “the request of the China Swimming Association”. Continue reading…

  • Drowned Somali girl ‘feared getting into trouble over outing’
    by Diane Taylor on February 28, 2020 at 5:57 pm

    Inquest hears Shukri Abdi was worried about excuse to tell her mother for after-school tripA 12-year-old Somali refugee was reluctant to accompany two other children on an after-school outing that led to her drowning because she feared she would get into trouble for not going straight home, an inquest has heard.The body of Shukri Abdi, who first came to the UK in January 2017, was found in the River Irwell in Bury, Greater Manchester, in June 2019. A group of children were with her at the river in the period before she died. Continue reading…

  • The right to a dignified and less painful death | Letters
    by Letters on February 28, 2020 at 5:55 pm

    Guardian readers respond to the ongoing debate about assisted suicide, and share their own personal experiences of terminal illnessAs someone who cared for their terminally ill partner, Helen, for her last eight years of life, and who felt the force of the law after her death at the Dignitas clinic in 2016, I found Dr Matthew Davis’s letter (25 February) on assisted dying deeply disturbing. Dr Davis appears to imply that calls for changing existing legislation are morally motivated. As a moral issue, the public has the right to make its voice heard and to be respected.The confusion exemplified in Dr Davis’s letter continues in relation to that slippery notion of “harm”. Rightly, Dr Davis points out that protection of the “weak and vulnerable” is of paramount importance in any medical scenario. What I find difficult is that medically intervening to extend a life near its end, or passively withdrawing treatment to allow a so-called “natural” death, can itself constitute a harm, particularly where the chances of intense pain and suffering are considered by all as a reasonable expectation. This is not just a moral harm, it condemns those whom do not wish it to physical harm as well. Continue reading…

  • People crave the redemptive violence of Tyson Fury: it’s worth asking why | Barney Ronay
    by Barney Ronay on February 28, 2020 at 5:51 pm

    Fury has come back from a place people don’t come back from yet we as a society don’t usually forgive like this, let alone cherish and adoreIt is hugely disappointing that Tyson Fury isn’t fighting again this weekend. Or indeed, that he isn’t fighting every Saturday and midweek too, part of a 68-game Tyson Fury fixture pileup, bookended in summer with four weeks of Tyson Fury tournament competition.It is still worth saying. How good was that fight? How good was the buildup? How good was it watching Fury sit behind a table saying stuff, looking like some ancient mulch-stinking ogre, driven out of his cave, hosed down, crammed into a tracksuit and asked to offer his thoughts on belts and rematches, on maypoles, solstice and the vengeful ways of the earth goddess. Continue reading…

  • Giving millionaires the boot: why Cahiers du Cinéma editors quit en masse
    by Elena Lazic on February 28, 2020 at 5:48 pm

    The staff of the magazine that kicked off the French New Wave say its new elite owners pose threat to editorial independenceThe mass resignation of the staff of Cahiers du Cinéma, the film journal that launched the French New Wave, has reignited debate in France about the possibility of critical independence in a society whose major stakeholders frequently operate in several spheres.On Thursday, the 15 staff writers and editors announced their resignation, saying they believed its new owners posed a threat to the magazine’s cherished independence. Continue reading…

  • Arsenal reveal £27.1m loss as Champions League absence bites
    by PA Media on February 28, 2020 at 5:31 pm

    Accounts published for year ending 31 May 2019Chairman says this is Arsenal’s first loss since 2002Arsenal have been left counting the cost of life outside the Champions League as the club’s latest accounts showed a £27.1m loss.Arsenal went out of the Europa League to Olympiakos on Thursday, leaving them to face a further loss of potential prize money and broadcasting revenue as well as a rebate payment to season-ticket holders for fewer cup fixtures. Continue reading…

  • Hand sanitiser or hand washing – which is more effective against coronavirus?
    by Dale Berning Sawa on February 28, 2020 at 5:26 pm

    Supermarkets are running out of hand sanitiser as people rush to protect themselves from Covid-19. But does it beat using soap and water?As the public and governments grapple with understanding Covid-19 and how to curb its spread, sales of hand sanitiser gel have soared. In the UK, some supermarkets have already run out and Boots is rationing purchases to two bottles a customer. But is hand gel really effective against coronavirus? And, if so, should we be making our own if it is not available in the shops or online?Hand sanitiser is not new. In 1966, Lupe Hernandez, a student nurse from Bakersfield, California, patented the idea of an alcohol-based gel to clean hands in the absence of handwashing facilities. However, it was not until the H1N1 swine flu pandemic in 2009 that the product went from being used in institutions to something the public carried with them. That year, sales of antibacterial gels and wipes in the US soared by more than 70% in six months. By 2010, little bottles of the stuff were everywhere – from checkout counters in airport bookshops to online retailers offering customisable dispensers. Continue reading…

  • Coronavirus leads to worst week for markets since financial crisis
    by Richard Partington on February 28, 2020 at 5:21 pm

    More than $5tn wiped off global stocks with travel, retail and manufacturing all hitThe rapid spread of the coronavirus has triggered the biggest plunge in global stock markets since the financial crisis, amid rising fears over the impact on the world economy of the deadly disease and the efforts to contain it.An increasing number of countries and companies are imposing tough measures to limit the spread of the Covid-19 disease, with mounting costs for company profits and growth. Continue reading…

  • Will the Olympics be cancelled? The sports events coronavirus threatens
    by Guardian sport on February 28, 2020 at 5:13 pm

    Multiple sporting events have been postponed, moved or cancelled, with others now cast into doubtTokyo 2020 officials are sounding defiant but options are being discussed. The events start on 24 July and 25 August respectively; IOC member Dick Pound says a final decision could be made as late as the end of May, with cancellation, rather than postponement or relocation, the most likely outcome. The athletics world indoor championships, scheduled to take place in China next month, are already off. Continue reading…

  • Woman wins payout for stymied career in landmark divorce case
    by Amelia Hill on February 28, 2020 at 5:06 pm

    Lawyer gets £400,000 and half of £10m estate after she quit working to raise childrenA woman who “sacrificed” her career as a solicitor so she could look after her children has won compensation on top of an equal share of the family’s wealth after her divorce.The ruling could have implications for other divorce cases in which one partner has stepped back from their career for the good of the family, a lawyer said. Continue reading…

  • Greece and Bulgaria crack down on Turkish borders as refugees arrive
    by Bethan McKernan in Istanbul and Daniel Boffey in Brussels on February 28, 2020 at 5:01 pm

    Move appears designed to put pressure on Europe to support Turkey’s Idlib operationHundreds of refugees in Turkey began arriving at the country’s borders with Greece and Bulgaria on Friday after Ankara suddenly indicated it would no longer block their passage to Europe.The move prompted both neighbouring nations to shore up their borders as their governments insisted they would not allow anyone to enter. Greek police used smoke grenades at one border crossing, while Bulgaria sent an extra 1,000 troops to its frontier with Turkey. Continue reading…

  • Sports quiz of the week: whiskey, football history and archery mystery
    by Paul Campbell on February 28, 2020 at 5:00 pm

    Who had a tipple? Who couldn’t watch? Who said goodbye?According to PSG goalkeeper Marcin Bulka, what can his teammate Ángel Di María not bear to watch on television?Weather forecasts Anyone speaking in French Manchester United gamesPerfume advertsMaria Sharapova retired from tennis this week at the age of 32. Which grand slam did she not win?French Open WimbledonUS Open Australian Open She won them all Who says he was “minding his own business” in a hotel bar in London this week when he saw Bayern Munich players “sipping whiskey and having a good old time” on the night before their Champions League match against Chelsea?Jon Bon JoviBonoMeat Loaf Rod Stewart Birmingham is hosting the Commonwealth Games in 2022. Where are the archery and shooting events being held?ColchesterStourbridgeDerbyIndia Deontay Wilder said he didn’t want to give any excuses for his defeat to Tyson Fury on Saturday night. But then he came up with something that sounded like an excuse. What did he say?His shorts were drenched with sweat and became too heavy He broke his little toe in training before the fight His gloves were too tight The “uniform” he wore on his ring walk drained his energyManchester City are playing Aston Villa in the League Cup final on Sunday. City are aiming to win the trophy for the third season in a row. Which other club has achieved this?Aston Villa BlackpoolLiverpoolIt has never been done beforeOlympiakos knocked Arsenal out of the Europa League this week. Which English side did Olympiakos beat in the competition last season?EvertonWolves SouthamptonBurnleyIreland’s game against Italy in the Six Nations has been postponed because of concerns around the coronavirus. Why were Ireland’s games against England, Scotland and Wales postponed in the 2001 Six Nations? Flight were grounded after 9/11 Travel was stopped due to the foot and mouth disease A volcanic ash cloud caused travel problems across Europe Dublin was flooded after heavy rainfall Kasper Schmeichel saved a penalty from Sergio Agüero at the weekend, meaning he has now saved four penalties in the Premier League. How many did his dad, Peter, save in the competition?NoneThreeFiveTwelveWhich England international announced this week that his days of playing football are over?Rickie Lambert Shaun Wright-Phillips Darren Bent Rory Burns Of the 98 clubs in Europe’s top five leagues (La Liga, Premier League, Bundesliga, Serie A and Ligue 1), which two have not lost a competitive game since Christmas?Borussia Dortmund and LyonLiverpool and LazioBayern Munich and VeronaPSG and Everton 1 and above.Have a great weekend.2 and above.Have a great weekend.3 and above.Have a great weekend.4 and above.Have a great weekend.5 and above.Have a great weekend.6 and above.Have a great weekend.7 and above.Have a great weekend.8 and above.Have a great weekend.9 and above.Have a great weekend.10 and above.Brilliant. Have a great weekend.0 and above.Have a great weekend.11 and above.Incredible. Have a great weekend. Continue reading…

  • Erotic reveries from Beardsley and a Jedi robe – the week in art
    by Jonathan Jones on February 28, 2020 at 5:00 pm

    Decadence and scandal from Victorian Britain’s most subversive artist, female wrestling and a cultural history of the kimono – all in your weekly dispatchAubrey BeardsleyThe devil is in the detail of Victorian Britain’s most subversive artist. Prostitution, homosexuality and many more un-Victorian realities are portrayed in his black and white erotic reveries. Hogarth on absinthe.• Tate Britain, London, 4 March to 25 May. Continue reading…

  • The problem with Wendy: how did an Oscar-nominated director get it so wrong?
    by Charles Bramesco on February 28, 2020 at 4:58 pm

    After breaking out with Beasts of the Southern Wild, Benh Zeitlin has stumbled with his misjudged take on Peter PanIt’s a tale as old as time, or at least as old as Hollywood: a hotshot young director scores on their first outing and, awash with accolades and flattering box-office receipts, goes out to make their big follow-up. Then … nothing. The curse of the sophomore slump strikes, leaving a once-promising talent on the skids, their initial flickers of greatness now called into question. The latest retelling of this narrative also happens to be one of the most stark, in terms of the distance between a hit’s point A and a bellyflop’s point B. This week, the new film Wendy becomes the latest spurned by that fickle mistress show business. Related: Wendy review – Peter Pan fantasy that never grows up into an interesting film Continue reading…

  • ‘It’s terrifying’: why young pop stars are suddenly playing arenas
    by Rhian Jones on February 28, 2020 at 4:57 pm

    Musicians used to start out playing pubs – now the likes of Lewis Capaldi are booking arenas before their debut album. Is this sudden success damaging long-term careers?Picking up an honour last week at LA’s Pollstar awards, which celebrate achievements in live music, Elton John delivered some advice. “To people who manage people who are young: don’t put them in big arenas too soon, make it interesting. If I was Lewis Capaldi’s manager, I wouldn’t put him into Madison Square Garden. I’d say, we’ll play two nights at Radio City. Let him have the demand … You build up a career.”But Capaldi, the Grammy-nominated Scottish singer who had 2019’s biggest-selling album in the UK and a No 1 single in the US, is already at arena level – his 2020 tour, beginning next week, will see him play some of the UK’s biggest venues, including two nights at London’s Wembley Arena. He is one of a few artists playing giant rooms after just one album: Sam Fender and Dermot Kennedy will soon play two shows each at Alexandra Palace, and Billie Eilish plays four O2 Arena dates in July. Scottish troubadour Gerry Cinnamon is set to play arenas, castles, parks and even Glasgow’s Hampden Park stadium. Selling that many tickets on a debut album campaign contrasts with the slow-and-steady strategy that worked for Elton John and many more of the world’s biggest acts. Even Adele didn’t play the O2 Arena until releasing her third album, and Ed Sheeran visited on his second. Continue reading…

  • If Idlib falls to Assad, it will not just be Syrians who pay the price | Labib al-Nahhas
    by Labib al-Nahhas on February 28, 2020 at 4:55 pm

    The humanitarian disaster in Idlib would also create a new refugee crisis for EuropeThe Syrian province of Idlib is under relentless attack from the forces of Bashar al-Assad and his Russian and Iranian allies. There are more than three million people in the region, many of whom have already been displaced several times from elsewhere in Syria.The enclave is subject to the Sochi agreement between Russia and Turkey, which was supposed to create a de-escalation zone to protect civilians from violence. However, in the past 12 months, Assad’s forces, backed by Russian aviation and mercenaries, as well as Iranian sectarian militias and Hezbollah, have launched a campaign against Idlib – it has been intensifying since December and is close to coming to a disastrous conclusion. Continue reading…

  • Europe’s epidemic: how coronavirus radiated out from Italy
    by Peter Beaumont on February 28, 2020 at 4:39 pm

    In week in which Covid-19 jumped fence into Europe, serious questions emerge over continent’s preparednessCoronavirus crisis – latest updatesA Spanish football journalist. A pair of young tourists visiting Innsbruck. The parent of a pupil from a primary school in Derbyshire. A young man from Croatia. A businessman and passenger on a train between Frankfurt and Saarbrücken.All are confirmed or suspected cases of the new coronavirus – Covid-19. What links them is that they contracted the disease while visiting northern Italy. Continue reading…

  • Let’s move to Masham, North Yorkshire: beer and sheep run through its veins
    by Tom Dyckhoff on February 28, 2020 at 4:30 pm

    The keeping of one and brewing of the other have long gone hand in hand in this beautiful market townWhat’s going for it? Sheep and beer. Beer and sheep. Sheep, beer. Beer, sheep. Often together (ahhh, a pint of Black Sheep! A lamb and ale stew! A lamb and ale stew with a pint of Black Sheep on the side… now you’re talking). There’s no getting away from them in Masham. There can’t be many places this size with two – TWO! – illustrious breweries in them. I wouldn’t be surprised if the citizens of this beautiful market town on the flanks of the Yorkshire Dales were buried with a fleece and a flagon of ale. Thanks to the monks (Jervaulx and Fountains Abbeys dominated these parts for centuries), the keeping of sheep and the brewing of beer have long gone hand in hand round here. They’re in the blood, in the culture (the fabulous Masham Sheep Fair is a sight to behold), in the landscape and definitely in the history. There are, it’s true, other things to do in Masham. A teacake, perhaps, at Johnny Baghdad’s. Fish’n’chips at Harry’s. You could potter round the giftshops, buy a canvas in one of the art galleries, play an over on the cricket pitch. There is, whisper it, a fine wine merchant in town. But remember, these are but sideshows to the main events. Move here and ewe will think beer and dream sheep. There’s no escape.The case against What? You’re a vegan teetotaller? Also, out of the way, though not particularly remote; and quietly rural for those who like their hubbub. Continue reading…

  • The week in wildlife – in pictures
    by Compiled by Eric Hilaire on February 28, 2020 at 4:28 pm

    The pick of the world’s best flora and fauna photos, including orphan elephant calves and the ‘Brad Pitt of mountain lions’ Continue reading…

  • Fears that Surrey GP is UK’s latest coronavirus case
    by Denis Campbell and Matthew Weaver on February 28, 2020 at 4:28 pm

    Doctor would have seen scores of patients over last week before he was diagnosedCoronavirus – latest updatesA GP in Surrey is being taken to one of the NHS’s six specialist centres for infectious diseases amid fears he is the latest British case of coronavirus, the Guardian has been told.The development is understood to have triggered an urgent investigation to see if any of his patients have the coronavirus too. Continue reading…

  • A silhouette is born: Loewe changes shapes with new collection
    by Hannah Marriott on February 28, 2020 at 4:24 pm

    Spanish brand sashays into Paris fashion week with unfamiliar shapes for autumn 2020A new silhouette was born on the catwalk at Paris fashion week on Friday morning. Flat at the front, with a tight black panel running from the abdomen to the throat, it puffed out at the hips and lower belly around the curve of a deep scooped bodice.That unfamiliar shape was presented three times, in forest green, cobalt blue and buttercream brocade, on the Loewe catwalk. Other novel shapes followed: three more gowns with tight black bodices, in cinnamon, cream and electric blue, covered the upper torso with a large off-the-shoulder ruffle, and sprouted out, in a cascade of brocade, at the mid-back. Later there were three dresses with drop shoulders, balloon sleeves and a drop waist at the side of which were two pannier-like points of fabric. Continue reading…

  • Trump ‘could suck coronavirus out of 60,000 people’ and he’d still be criticized – Huckabee
    by Martin Pengelly on February 28, 2020 at 4:17 pm

    Top Republican on Fox News defends Trump and Mike Pence Vice-president leading coronavirus containment effort in USWhistleblower: US coronavirus staff were untrained and unprotectedDonald Trump could “personally suck” the coronavirus “out of every one of the 60,000 people in the world, suck it out of their lungs, swim to the bottom of the ocean and spit it out, and he would be accused of pollution for messing up the ocean”, a top Republican has claimed. Related: Coronavirus: man from Diamond Princess cruise first Briton to die from illness – latest updates Continue reading…

  • Priti Patel is far from the first minister to fall out with a Whitehall mandarin | Chris Mullin
    by Chris Mullin on February 28, 2020 at 4:16 pm

    Frosty relationshps with civil servants can thwart a minister’s ambitions, as I discovered to my costPriti Patel, who is reportedly giving her top civil servant the “silent treatment”, is by no means the first cabinet minister to fall out with her permanent secretary. The breakdown in relations between my old friend Tony Benn, when he was secretary of state for industry, and his permanent secretary, Sir Antony Part, is a legend across Whitehall and beyond.To take but one example, recorded in Benn’s diary for 11 April 1974: “Sir Antony Part came to see me. He hummed and hawed a bit and then said, ‘Minister, do you really intend to go ahead with your National Enterprise Board, public ownership and planning agreements?’ ‘Of course.’ ‘Are you serious?’ he asked.” Continue reading…

  • Dubai ruler loses appeal over release of two UK court judgments
    by Owen Bowcott Legal affairs correspondent on February 28, 2020 at 4:09 pm

    Appeal court rejects challenge by Sheikh Mohammed, who may now go to supreme courtThe ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, has failed in his latest attempt to prevent publication of two family court judgments involving his children with his ex-wife Princess Haya of Jordan.The court of appeal in London also refused his lawyers permission to take the case to the supreme court but said they had until 4pm on Tuesday to lodge an application directly with the UK’s highest court if they wished to object. The two family court judgments cannot be published until any such potential further appeals have been determined. Continue reading…

  • Cocktail of the week: Hide Below’s Dillusion | The Good Mixer
    by Oskar Kinberg on February 28, 2020 at 4:00 pm

    A lively take on gin and lemon, sweetened with elderflower and freshened up by cucumberI came up with this crowdpleaser way back in 2005 and now, 15 years later, it’s the welcome drink at Hide Below in Mayfair, London. Continue reading…

  • Naomi Seibt: ‘anti-Greta’ activist called white nationalist an inspiration
    by Stephanie Kirchgaessner and Emily Holden on February 28, 2020 at 4:00 pm

    German teenager is due to speak at US rightwing conference CPACA young campaigner who has been hailed by climate sceptics as the right’s answer to Greta Thunberg has previously described a white nationalist who appeared to promote “white genocide” theories as one of her “inspirations”.Naomi Seibt, a 19-year-old from Münster, Germany, who styles herself as a “climate realist”, has also had to deny she made remarks that could be seen as antisemitic following an attack on a synagogue last year. Continue reading…

  • Waiter, there’s a fly in my waffle! Scientists try baking with insects
    by Reuters in Ghent on February 28, 2020 at 3:56 pm

    Fat from larvae could be a more sustainable alternative to dairy, say researchersScientists at Ghent University in Belgium are experimenting with larva fat to replace butter in waffles, cakes and cookies, saying using grease from insects is more sustainable than dairy produce.The researchers soak black soldier fly larvae in a bowl of water, put it in a blender to create a smooth greyish dollop and then use a kitchen centrifuge to separate out insect butter. Continue reading…

  • Zimbabwe’s president appeals for help to end country’s ‘financial isolation’
    by Nyasha Chingono in Victoria Falls on February 28, 2020 at 3:53 pm

    Emmerson Mnangagwa makes passionate plea for support as he targets upper middle-income status by 2030The president of Zimbabwe has appealed for help in pulling his debt-ridden country out of “financial isolation”.Emmerson Mnangagwa made his passionate call for international funding after he failed to secure new loans from the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, African Development Bank and the Paris Club due to outstanding foreign debts of $8bn (£6.2bn). Continue reading…

  • Storm damage leaves councils facing big cuts to pay for repairs
    by Josh Halliday North of England correspondent on February 28, 2020 at 3:52 pm

    Public services to suffer after tens of millions of pounds of damage to roads and bridgesThe worst storms in years have left some councils facing “disastrous” cuts to public services to pay for widespread damage to roads and bridges that will cost tens of millions of pounds to fix, the Guardian has learned.While the full scale of the destruction caused by storms Ciara and Dennis is not yet known, council leaders have expressed alarm about the spiralling repair bill and the implications for their already-stretched budgets. Continue reading…

  • Prince Harry treads in Beatles’ footsteps on Abbey Road visit
    by Caroline Davies on February 28, 2020 at 3:50 pm

    Harry poses with Jon Bon Jovi and choir members during recording of charity single The Duke of Sussex joined Jon Bon Jovi on a rainy London zebra crossing to recreate the Beatles’ Abbey Road album cover at the recording of a charity single.In one of his final engagements before stepping back as a working royal, Harry attended a re-recording of Bon Jovi’s song Unbroken, performed with the Invictus Games Choir to raise money for the international multi-sport event for injured or sick military personnel. Continue reading…

  • ‘Amazing kid’: family pay tribute to 13-year-old pulled from river in Durham
    by Josh Halliday North of England correspondent on February 28, 2020 at 3:50 pm

    Body of John James Ritchie-Wilson was recovered on Monday a day after he went missing near Bishop AucklandThe family of a 13-year-old boy whose body was pulled from the River Wear in County Durham have paid tribute to him as “an amazing kid” who had “a heart for life”.The body of John James Ritchie-Wilson was recovered by police on Monday morning, a day after he went missing from his home near Bishop Auckland. Continue reading…

  • Crown courts ‘should sit more often to end delays to justice’
    by Owen Bowcott Legal affairs correspondent on February 28, 2020 at 3:50 pm

    Lord chief justice calls for action as government announces plans to raise legal aid fees for lawyersCrown courts should sit more often to deal with a backlog in cases, the head of the judiciary in England and Wales has urged, as the government launched a consultation in response to demands for improved legal aid fees for lawyers.The lord chief justice, Lord Burnett of Maldon, lamented that delays to justice had been allowed to grow and criticised the state of many court buildings. The courts service last year underestimated the number of days required to hear the volume of criminal cases, Burnett added. Continue reading…

  • Bristol River Cottage restaurant to close at end of March
    by Sarah Butler on February 28, 2020 at 3:37 pm

    Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall says restaurant ‘cannot find a way to continue trading’Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is closing his Bristol restaurant next month as he becomes the latest celebrity chef to be hit by the dining industry crisis.The campaigning cook blamed “rising costs and challenging market conditions” as well as the size and location of River Cottage Canteen Bristol for the decision to close it on 27 March. It is not clear how many jobs will be affected, but the company said it hoped to offer affected staff alternative employment “where possible”. Continue reading…

  • Anarchist climate protesters evicted from Paddington Green
    by Damien Gayle on February 28, 2020 at 3:29 pm

    Green Anti-Capitalist Front had held former police anti-terror HQ for three weeksSquatters who had occupied Paddington Green police station, the UK’s former counter-terror policing hub, have been evicted after holding the building for three weeks.“More than 60 bailiffs, police and private security stormed the building just past seven o’clock in the morning,” the squatters said on their website. Continue reading…

  • Crossbow murder: man jailed for minimum of 31 years
    by Steven Morris on February 28, 2020 at 3:29 pm

    Terence Whall given life sentence for murder of Gerald Corrigan in AngleseyA sports therapist has been jailed for at least 31 years after being found guilty of murdering a retired lecturer by shooting him with a crossbow at his remote island home.Terence Whall, 39, targeted Gerald Corrigan, 74, as his victim adjusted his satellite dish outside his house in Anglesey, north Wales, in what police described as a “medieval-style execution”. Continue reading…

  • Delhi’s Muslims pray under armed guard after week of riots
    by Staff and agencies in New Delhi on February 28, 2020 at 3:27 pm

    Regular Friday prayers take place amid heightened sectarian tensions in India’s capitalMuslims in Delhi have held Friday prayers under the watch of riot police after a week in which 42 people were killed and hundreds injured during the city’s worst sectarian violence in decades.Scores of mosques in the north-east of the Indian capital held their first sermons since mobs armed with swords, guns and acid razed parts of the district on Monday. Continue reading…

  • French minister enters Césars row over Roman Polanski nominations
    by Kim Willsher on February 28, 2020 at 3:11 pm

    Director says he will not attend Friday’s awards ceremony for fear of ‘public lynching’France’s culture minister has entered the row over Roman Polanski’s film J’accuse, saying that to give the controversial director a César – the French equivalent of an Oscar – would send the wrong signals.Franck Riester’s comments came hours after Polanski, 87, said he would not attend Friday’s awards ceremony for fear of being subject to a “public lynching” by feminists. Continue reading…

  • Luxembourg is first country to make all public transport free
    by Agence France-Presse in Luxembourg on February 28, 2020 at 3:11 pm

    Country is first to implement measure nationwide in attempt to reduce congestionLuxembourg is to become the first country to offer a free public transport system, as the government tries to reduce particularly dense car traffic.Some cities have taken similar partial measures but the transport ministry said it was the only time such a decision had encompassed an entire country. Continue reading…

  • Joe Biden sees South Carolina as ‘launching pad’ for his campaign
    by Daniel Strauss in McClellanville, South Carolina on February 28, 2020 at 3:08 pm

    The former vice-president looks to be in the driver’s seat as the first state in the deep south casts its voteJoe Biden is heading into South Carolina’s Democratic presidential primary vote on Saturday as the heavy favourite to win, which would provide a much-needed boost just days ahead of the crucial Super Tuesday elections.There was a point in the last few weeks when it seemed like the former vice-president’s South Carolina “firewall” might actually have some cracks in it. It seemed that the Vermont senator Bernie Sanders, Biden’s ideological polar opposite, might prevent him from winning the state decisively. Continue reading…

  • Van Gogh’s Sunflowers under coronavirus quarantine in Tokyo
    by Tim Jonze on February 28, 2020 at 3:07 pm

    Painting part of 60 masterpieces on tour that have been affected as Japan’s museums temporarily close It’s lucky they don’t need watering – for Van Gogh’s Sunflowers have become the latest casualty of the coronavirus outbreak. And they’re currently being forced into a period of self-isolation.The painting was on its way from London’s National Gallery to Tokyo’s National Museum of Western Art as part of a travelling show of 60 lauded artworks. It was the first time Van Gogh’s masterpiece had left Europe. However, following the Covid-19 outbreak in Japan, the country’s culture ministry has ordered the two-week closure of all national art museums. Continue reading…

  • Rose McGowan: ‘I won’t be free of Harvey Weinstein until he’s dead – or I am’
    by Zoe Williams on February 28, 2020 at 3:06 pm

    The actor has been battling for justice since the Hollywood producer attacked her more than 20 years ago. She talks about how that fight cost her motherhood and her career – but helped spark a movementWow, has it been a huge week.” Rose McGowan is speaking on the phone from New York, vivid, unguarded, persuasive, so much more campaigner than celebrity. On Monday, Harvey Weinstein was found guilty of rape and sexual assault. McGowan was not in court, and her accusation of rape against Weinstein will never be brought, as a civil or criminal case. One of the stunning side notes of this scandal is the impact of having a statute of limitations in cases of sexual violence: more than 100 women have made chillingly similar allegations against Weinstein, yet only a handful of them were recent enough for charges to be pressed.McGowan woke up an hour after the verdict was delivered, to a “raft of messages on my phone. And I thought: ‘He must be guilty because otherwise nobody would have texted me.’ The week before the trial, I got very little contact.” This has been McGowan’s reality since 1997, when Weinstein assaulted her at the Sundance film festival: she had pariah status, peppered periodically in gossip columns with insinuations about her character. Weinstein, as many of his victims attested, could freeze out an adversary so comprehensively that their phone would never ring again. “Everybody expected him to get off, including me,” says McGowan. “In my experience with this stuff, his defences were so strong. The two cases that were chosen to prosecute had never been successfully prosecuted in a court of law [because his accusers had continued to have contact with him after his attacks]. And also, I’m just a woman. We expect to get absolutely nothing. We’re so used to being dumped on that why would anybody believe us?” Continue reading…

  • I want to know who my father was. Should I take a DNA test?
    by Annalisa Barbieri on February 28, 2020 at 3:00 pm

    Be aware that there are two types of DNA test, and prepare yourself for answers you aren’t expecting, says Annalisa BarbieriI am 60, and have known for years that my father was not my real father. My mother once explained that when I was conceived my father was away, so it couldn’t have been him. She had an affair with a man she won’t tell me about; also, at the time was raped by my father’s brother. I share many physical traits with my sisters, so have always assumed my uncle was my real father. My father died 25 years ago, followed by my uncle 10 years later, so I cannot get DNA samples.It has never bothered me in the past, but, strangely, as my children and I get older, I want to know who my father was. There are so many DNA-testing kits and websites that I don’t know where to start. Continue reading…

  • Japanese minister goes to Lebanon to press for Carlos Ghosn’s return
    by Reuters on February 28, 2020 at 2:52 pm

    Hiroyuki Yoshiie will meet officials to make case for ex-Nissan boss to be tried in JapanJapan’s deputy justice minister is travelling to Lebanon this weekend to make the case for the fugitive ex-Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn to be tried in Japan.Hiroyuki Yoshiie will leave Tokyo on Saturday and meet the Lebanese justice minister, Marie-Claude Najm, on Monday, Japan’s justice ministry said. Continue reading…

  • ‘Goodbye to our history for nothing’: why West Ham fans are protesting
    by Stephen Cross on February 28, 2020 at 2:30 pm

    Stephen Cross, of the Hammers United supporters’ club, on why he and others will protest against the board on Saturday Next-level football: that was the dream West Ham fans were sold when we were asked to leave Upton Park. That was the rhetoric the board spun to convince us to swap our spiritual home for the London Stadium. We were shown a grand vision of the future, one featuring a world-class team playing in a world-class stadium, and it caused us to make the move with an open mind.But after four years in Stratford we are still waiting for the world-class West Ham to emerge. The club has proven incapable of delivering on its promises and many supporters have lost faith with the owners, David Gold and David Sullivan, and the vice-chairman, Karren Brady. We said goodbye to our history for nothing and that is why we protested before last month’s home game against Everton, it is why we protested at Liverpool on Monday night and it is why we are protesting before Saturday’s visit from Southampton. Continue reading…

  • Larry Tesler obituary
    by Jack Schofield on February 28, 2020 at 2:28 pm

    Computer scientist who made the cut, copy and paste commands simple to useAnyone who uses the cut, copy and paste commands on their computer or mobile device has Larry Tesler to thank for making them so simple and easy to use. Tesler, who has died aged 74, began his work on cut, copy and paste in 1973, when he was hired by Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center (Parc) in California. Among other things he worked with a fellow computer scientist, Tim Mott, on the development of Gypsy, a “modeless” word processor. At the time most software had modes: for example, you might press I to enter the insert mode, or R for the replace mode. But Tesler’s research showed that non-expert users found modes confusing – and so he began to fight against them. He had “Nomodes” as his car numberplate and, later, a website at nomodes.com. Continue reading…

  • Anger as F1 teams get go-ahead to drive on Dutch nature reserve
    by Daniel Boffey on February 28, 2020 at 2:14 pm

    Teams allowed to take beach route to get to Netherlands’ first F1 grand prix in 35 yearsThe return of Formula One to the Netherlands after 35 years has become mired in controversy after two racing teams got the green light to drive across a beach nature reserve to ensure their staff avoid traffic on the way to the circuit.The teams of Red Bull Racing and AlphaTauri will be allowed to drive from their hotels along two miles of beach within the Noordvoort reserve, a popular resting spot for seals and breeding birds located between the Zandvoort racetrack and the North Sea. Continue reading…

  • Celebs on demand: shoutout app Cameo hopes to expand in UK
    by Elle Hunt on February 28, 2020 at 2:12 pm

    Fans can use the platform to order personalised messages by stars from Snoop Dogg to Dick Van DykeIt has raised $65m in funding, it features thousands of stars including the actors Billy Zane, Nigel Havers, Tom Felton and Dick Van Dyke – and now its creators have their sights set on Britain.But Cameo is not seeking British talent for movies and TV shows, or even to endorse brands. Instead, it is asking them to hold their phones at arm’s length, smile and wish you a happy birthday. Continue reading…

  • Why Bernie Sanders won the week in US politics – and Mike Pence lost
    by Paul Owen on February 28, 2020 at 2:07 pm

    The Vermont senator saw a landslide victory in Nevada while the vice-president faces criticism for leading the US coronavirus responseBernie Sanders steamrollered through the Nevada primary and Donald Trump played down the coronavirus threat. Who’s up and who’s down this week in US politics? Continue reading…

  • I’m getting up at 5am to ‘chase the tiger’. How long can I sustain this madness?
    by Romesh Ranganathan on February 28, 2020 at 2:00 pm

    Sleep deprivation makes perspective a long-forgotten friend, my days spent mentally spiralling off the smallest thingA while ago, I came across the work of motivational speaker Eric Thomas, who is a bit like the US megastar life coach Tony Robbins, except, in his own words, “hip hop”. Thomas’s talks (I found them on YouTube) are shouty, inspirational monologues in which he berates people for not wanting success enough: they think they want it, but they need to want it the way they want to breathe. And I do find them quite motivating, once you get past the fact that this logic completely ignores social circumstance as the primary driver of success.One of the things that Thomas asserts is that he wakes up at 3am. This enables him to get loads of stuff done while everyone else is asleep, and so stay ahead of the competition. He says cool-sounding things like, “I use pain to push me to greatness”, and “I do not take constructive criticism from people who have never constructed anything”, which implies you should only take advice from builders. Continue reading…

  • ‘Surreal immediacy’: how a 1,000-page novel became a 45-hour audiobook
    by Laura Snapes on February 28, 2020 at 2:00 pm

    Lucy Ellmann’s Ducks, Newburyport has attracted much attention for its length, but one publisher believes the spoken word might be its perfect mediumFinishing a good book should leave you feeling bereft for a little while, but it’s rare to leave a novel with your brain vibrating at a different frequency. After I finished Lucy Ellmann’s Ducks, Newburyport – a single-sentence stream of consciousness set entirely within the mind of an Ohio housewife – I experienced a comedown. Her unnamed protagonist starts every new thought with “the fact that”, a banal phrase that felt like an exposed secret whenever I spotted it in the wild. Scrolling through examples of the clickbait that litter her thoughts (“Dog Sees Himself On TV And Freaks Out”), absurdist headlines took on a new profundity. When I finished it, I missed her.It’s one thing to read Ellmann’s 1,030-page novel; it’s another to read it aloud. When tiny press Galley Beggar signed Ducks, Newburyport, they didn’t give much thought to an audiobook, says co-founder Sam Jordison. It still didn’t have an audio publisher when it was nominated for the 2019 Booker prize – but as the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) makes all shortlisted titles available to members of its library, it commissioned US actor Stephanie Ellyne to tackle the challenge. Continue reading…

  • Plan to drain Congo peat bog for oil could release vast amount of carbon
    by Phoebe Weston on February 28, 2020 at 2:00 pm

    Drilling in one of the greatest carbon sinks on the planet could release greenhouse gases equivalent to Japan’s annual emissions, experts warnThe world’s largest tropical peatlands could be destroyed if plans go ahead to drill for oil under the Congo basin, according to an investigation that suggests draining the area would release the same amount of carbon dioxide as Japan emits annually.Preserving the Congo’s Cuvette Centrale peatlands, which are the size of England and store 30bn tonnes of carbon, is “absolutely essential” if there is any hope of meeting Paris climate agreement goals, scientists warn. Continue reading…

  • Yes, it is worse than the flu: busting the coronavirus myths
    by Hannah Devlin Science correspondent on February 28, 2020 at 1:59 pm

    The truth about the protective value of face masks and how easy it is to catch Covid-19Many individuals who get coronavirus will experience nothing worse than seasonal flu symptoms, but the overall profile of the disease, including its mortality rate, looks more serious. At the start of an outbreak the apparent mortality rate can be an overestimate if a lot of mild cases are being missed. But this week, a WHO expert suggested that this has not been the case with Covid-19. Bruce Aylward, who led an international mission to China to learn about the virus and the country’s response, said the evidence did not suggest that we were only seeing the tip of the iceberg. If borne out by further testing, this could mean that current estimates of a roughly 1% fatality rate are accurate. This would make Covid-19 about 10 times more deadly than seasonal flu, which is estimated to kill between 290,000 and 650,000 people a year globally. Continue reading…

  • Greta Thunberg in Bristol: schools shut as students join climate strike
    by Steven Morris on February 28, 2020 at 1:53 pm

    Teenage activist tells huge crowd: ‘We will not be silenced because we are the change’Tens of thousands of people, many of them children skipping school, braved heavy rain to join a climate strike headed by Greta Thunberg in Bristol city centre.The vast crowd fell silent as the 17-year-old activist told them governments were acting like children and so it fell to young people to be “the adults in the room”. Continue reading…

  • ‘I flip the male gaze on its head’: the woman behind Cynthia Nixon’s viral video
    by Kate Finnigan on February 28, 2020 at 1:50 pm

    Claire Rothstein’s Be a Lady They Said is a fashion film for the #MeToo generation and an unflinching look at the impossible standards forced on womenWithin six days of being posted on Vimeo and Instagram, the fashion film in which Cynthia Nixon reads a poem about the impossible standards imposed upon women had amassed 20m views around the world and been shared by Cara Delevingne, Dua Lipa and Madonna.Going viral was one thing, but the Madge seal of approval is another – Claire Rothstein, the British photographer and publisher of the fashion magazine Girls Girls Girls, which is behind the Be a Lady They Said video, is “lying down and breathing” when I contact her. “We thought it might get a response, but it’s been completely mad,” she says. Continue reading…

  • It’s about time film began representing the lesbian gaze
    by Róisín Tapponi on February 28, 2020 at 1:39 pm

    In Céline Sciamma’s Portrait of a Lady on Fire, we finally steer away from seeing intimacy through the male gazeThe portrayal of lesbians in mainstream cinema tends to involve prosthetic vaginas and gratuitous sex scenes; so Céline Sciamma’s Portrait of a Lady on Fire comes as a breath of fresh air. It is the story of the burgeoning relationship between two young women – emancipated artist Marianne (Noémie Merlant), who is commissioned to paint a portrait of sexually repressed Héloïse (Adèle Haenel), leading to a heated romance.On paper, it looks like the classic lesbian cinematic narrative – there is a buildup of tension, they finally kiss, and then their possibility of a future together seems doomed. However, what makes Portrait of a Lady on Fire different is its heightened self-awareness. The film is constructed with lesbian representation in mind through careful interrogation of the lesbian gaze. There is a lot of looking. Marianne looks at Héloïse because she has to secretly paint her, and Héloïse looks at Marianne out of curiosity. Eventually, there is a shift in the way they start looking at each other – out of desire. Continue reading…

  • UK house prices rise at fastest rate for 18 months
    by Kalyeena Makortoff on February 28, 2020 at 1:31 pm

    Increase in home values comes as estate agent Foxtons reports £8.8m lossUK house prices have risen at their fastest rate since mid-2018, after December’s decisive election result triggered a rebound in demand.The average price of a home climbed 2.3% year on year to £216,092 in February, Nationwide said, the strongest growth rate in 18 months. Continue reading…

  • Too filthy to print – Aubrey Beardsley and his explosions of obscenity
    by Jonathan Jones on February 28, 2020 at 1:24 pm

    His erotic ink drawings, full of nudity and sex, influenced everyone from Klimt to Picasso. But, ahead of a Tate Britain show, we look at the pictures that were deemed just too outrageous. WARNING: explicit contentA woman who is naked except for fancy stockings touches what the artist calls her “coynte” while a winged cupid teases her bottom with a powder puff. A wizened man admires a young man’s elephantine erection, the glans as big as his bald head – all delineated in sharp black outlines and shadowed with inky pools against expanses of white. These are a few of the many explosions of obscenity that a slender, pale young man created in the room he checked into at the Spread Eagle hotel in Epsom, Surrey, in June 1896.The drawings Aubrey Beardsley completed in this suburban hideaway were to illustrate the ancient Greek comedy Lysistrata by Aristophanes. The works, that can be perused at your leisure in Tate Britain’s forthcoming exhibition, had an incalculable effect on the birth of modern art. Beardsley’s eroticism would soon be emulated all over Europe by revolutionaries such as Klimt, Schiele and Picasso, while James Joyce summed up his impact on modernism in a double entendre: “Kunstfull”. Continue reading…

  • UK races to find extra 50,000 staff for post-Brexit paperwork
    by Lisa O’Carroll on February 28, 2020 at 1:01 pm

    New recruits needed to process millions of extra declaration forms from 1 January 2021A race to hire 50,000 people in the next six months to process Brexit paperwork is under way after the government confirmed they would be needed for border operations.But experts have warned it will be a challenge to train enough people in time to be competent in the complexity of customs declarations and the second layer of red tape involving entry and exit declaration forms that are mandatory for trading with the EU. Continue reading…

  • ‘People have likened it to the therapist’s couch’: Fraser T Smith on working with Dave and Stormzy
    by Jesse Bernard on February 28, 2020 at 1:00 pm

    You may not have recognised him during Dave’s performance of Black at the Brits, but the producer helped shape the sound of UK rap and grimeFraser T Smith is exhausted but buoyed. The veteran producer joined Dave at the Brits the night before we speak, helping out on the rapper’s single Black, an already extraordinary unpicking of ingrained racism sent interstellar by a new verse touching on Boris Johnson (“The truth is our prime minister’s a real racist”), Windrush and Grenfell. “You feel this huge rush of human energy,” Smith says on the phone, “and when Dave did his last verse, I felt the emotion move right through me.” Smith co-executive produced Dave’s debut album, Psychodrama, which earned the rapper a best album Brit to go alongside the 2019 Mercury prize.Despite not coming from a grime or rap background, Smith has built a considerable reputation as UK hip-hop’s go-to producer. It is all a far cry from his start in music. After growing up in Buckinghamshire and moving to west London, Smith began his career in the early 90s as a session player and touring musician, working with the likes of Rick Wakeman. In 1999, he met a then-unknown Craig David, working on his first two albums, before collaborating with a host of Britain’s most successful artists including Sam Smith and Adele. More recently, Smith has become known for his work with MCs such as Kano, Ghetts, Stormzy and Dave, helping them achieve success beyond the underground (both Stormzy albums reached No 1 in the UK). Continue reading…

  • The tawdry secrets behind the press campaign to deny Tom Watson a peerage | Alan Rusbridger
    by Alan Rusbridger on February 28, 2020 at 12:38 pm

    Elements of the press attacking the former Labour MP’s elevation to the Lords have interests to declareThis is a column about tawdry secrets. But first, I should declare an interest. I know the former deputy Labour leader Tom Watson a bit, even if our paths haven’t crossed for seven or eight years. At a crucial moment in this newspaper’s life he was fearless to the point of being foolhardy. I came to like and respect him.The context today is a vociferous press campaign to prevent Watson from being elevated to the House of Lords. I have no strong feelings about that. But it’s as well for all involved to show their hand. Continue reading…

  • Malawi legalises cannabis amid hopes of fresh economic growth
    by Alice McCool on February 28, 2020 at 12:32 pm

    Law change hailed by supporters as chance for country to benefit from rising global demand for medicinal cannabis productsMalawi has passed a bill decriminalising cannabis for medicinal and industrial purposes, almost five years after a motion to legalise industrial hemp was adopted.The country follows in the footsteps of Zimbabwe, Zambia and Lesotho, neighbouring south-east African states that have legalised medicinal cannabis, as well as South Africa, where medicinal and recreational use was decriminalised in 2018. “Today is a very glorious day for me personally and, I think, for the entire nation,” said Boniface Kadzamira, the former MP who tabled the topic in 2015, following the successful passage of the bill on Thursday.The economic potential of the fast-growing global medicinal and industrial cannabis industry has been the main driver of the law change in Malawi. In 2019, the World Bank said Malawi “remains one of the poorest countries in the world despite making significant economic and structural reforms to sustain economic growth”. The national poverty rate was more than 50% in 2016.While Malawi is famous internationally for its recreational cannabis strain “Malawi Gold”, the bill to legalise medicinal and industrial production faced huge opposition from social and religious conservatives in the country.“It is my strong view that cannabis will in the long run replace tobacco to become our major cash crop – that will contribute hugely to the GDP,” said Kadzamira, who explained that the industry will create employment opportunities in the farming and industrial sectors.Agriculture offers employment to nearly 80% of Malawi’s population. Tobacco is the country’s major export, and the global decline in its use has impacted the economy. Malawi’s tobacco industry is also marred by exploitation, as international companies such as British American Tobacco have sought cheap labour – including child labour – and low tariffs on raw tobacco for export. Continue reading…

  • HMS Prince of Wales and Hulk the hermit crab: Friday’s best photos
    by Guy Lane on February 28, 2020 at 12:08 pm

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

  • Football Leaks’ Rui Pinto in prison with hard-drive passwords in his head
    by Ed Aarons on February 28, 2020 at 12:07 pm

    Website provided evidence that led to Manchester City’s ban but Pinto has more information and ‘authorities are afraid’ Lisbon’s Judiciary Police prison is situated just down the road from Eduardo VII Park, one of the Portuguese capital’s most popular tourist attractions that is famed for its spectacular views of the city and the River Tagus. With only around 25 tiny cells and based in the depths of the giant white building which is the headquarters of the country’s antiterrorist and serious crime authorities, the high-security facility is usually reserved for only the most dangerous criminals. For almost the past year, however, it has also been home to Rui Pinto.The 31-year-old, who created the Football Leaks website which provided some of the evidence that led to Manchester City’s Champions League ban and numerous other investigations into tax evasion and corruption in football and beyond, is still awaiting trial for alleged extortion, violation of secrecy and illegally accessing information despite being extradited to his homeland from Hungary in March 2019. Last week, his lawyers filed a complaint to the European Commission over inconsistencies in the original arrest warrant that accused Pinto of only six offences before that was increased to 147 while he was in custody. Continue reading…

  • Own a Guardian classic photograph: Abandoned car, Peak District, 1979
    on February 28, 2020 at 12:00 pm

    This week’s photograph in our weekly archive print series is a wintry image of a Mini abandoned in the snow and surrounded by sheep, shot by Don McPheeA Mini appears to have careered off the road and been abandoned in heavy snow near Buxton, in Derbyshire. The Guardian photographer Don McPhee captured the image in January 1979. It was published on the front page of the paper on 29 January that year, alongside a report that troops were on emergency standby because of the weather. Sharp shadows suggest the sun has broken through the cloud, while the sheep boast their thick winter coats. Only the presence of the car dates this photograph, in what is an otherwise timeless landscape. McPhee, who died in 2007, had a long career at the Guardian, photographing in particular his beloved northern England.Words: Hannah Booth Continue reading…

  • Johnson shows again he can get away with stuff other PMs couldn’t
    by John Crace on February 28, 2020 at 11:58 am

    For a leader to holiday while floods hit the country isn’t normal, but ours believes in his own exceptionalismEight years after she died, Whitney Houston is to make a stadium comeback tour. At least a hologram of her is. So thousands of people will be paying to see someone who isn’t really there, while a live band plays along to a recording of her voice. However much you may have loved Whitney, it’s hard to think of anything more genuinely pointless. Do people imagine they are getting the same experience as if she was still alive? I’ve always felt that I lost out by being too young to see Maria Callas on stage, but nothing would induce me to attend a performance of Tosca in which a hologram of her appeared alongside current opera stars. Just about the only place where such fakery might work would be Eurovision. Personally, I’ve never got why so many people take the song contest so seriously. It seems self-evident both that most nations don’t much like the UK and vote in blocs against us and that we actually quite like the feeling of coming nearly last. Which is why the public invariably has chosen an entirely forgettable and rubbish song. Nor does this year’s attempt to professionalise the UK entry by cutting out the public middlemen and getting a record company to make the selection appear to have made any difference. On one hearing – more than enough – the chosen song is just as crap as ever. If we really wanted to get serious about winning the competition again, we should enter a hologram of a barefooted Sandie Shaw singing Puppet on a String. That would clean up, just as it did back in 1967. Continue reading…

  • Three former Barclays executives found not guilty of fraud
    by Kalyeena Makortoff Banking correspondent on February 28, 2020 at 11:18 am

    Trio had been accused of funnelling secret fees to Qatar in exchange for emergency funding in 2008 financial crisisThree former Barclays bankers accused of funnelling secret fees to Qatar in exchange for emergency funding at the height of the 2008 financial crisis have been found not guilty of fraud, in a fresh blow to the credibility of the Serious Fraud Office.Barclays’ ex-investment banking chief, Roger Jenkins; the former head of its wealth division, Thomas Kalaris; and the lender’s ex-European financial institutions head, Richard Boath, were accused of devising fraudulent advisory services agreements in order to disguise payments worth £322m to Qatar. Continue reading…

  • Experience: I was a gay-conversion therapist
    by McKrae Game on February 28, 2020 at 10:00 am

    I believed that God loved me and had a plan for me – and that plan did not include homosexualityI moved out of home when I was 18. My first place was an apartment and I became friendly with the guy who lived above me. I was having a beer with him one night and asked him if he was gay. I told him I had always wondered whether I was.I had sex with him that night. He was much older than me, and I wasn’t attracted to him, but I wanted to experience what it was like to be with a man. Afterwards, I felt awful about what had happened. When I was growing up, the word “gay” was a slur; I’d only ever heard negative things about homosexual life. My parents would call and I’d start crying, but I could never tell them why. Continue reading…

  • Betrothals, babies and big birthdays: how people make the most of the Leap Day
    by Jedidajah Otte and Guardian readers on February 28, 2020 at 10:00 am

    The last time 29 February fell on a Saturday was almost 30 years ago. So how will people make the most of their 2020 bonus day?There will be women proposing to men, teenagers celebrating their fourth birthday and no shortage of people tying the knot. Yes, 2020 is a leap year, which means we all get an extra day, and this year, for the first time in almost 30 years, 29 February falls on a Saturday. People born on 29 February will be able to celebrate their birthdays on the right day for the first time in four years. Being a “leaper” or “leapling” makes some feel special, but others are peeved about logistical pitfalls such as with driving licences or passports expiring on days that don’t exist. Continue reading…

  • Campaigners celebrate Heathrow ruling as ‘beginning of the end’
    by Sandra Laville and Gwyn Topham on February 28, 2020 at 8:00 am

    Activists hope appeal court’s decision will mean death of third runway expansion planIn the bar of the Five Bells pub, campaigners against a third runway at Heathrow were celebrating.The 400-year-old establishment in Harmondsworth has been at the centre of the fight against the airport’s expansion for nearly 20 years. Under the plans, half of the ancient village would be destroyed, including a number of listed buildings and a small housing estate. The rest would be at the perimeter fence of the new runway, and would be, residents say, uninhabitable due to the thunderous noise and pollution. Continue reading…

  • Art and commerce: a history of the art of advertising – in pictures
    by Sarah Gilbert on February 28, 2020 at 7:00 am

    A new book examines the artistic development of advertising and the innovative ways that ads combined images, text and product to communicate and attract potential customers. Drawing on the John Johnson Collection held at the Bodleian Library, The Art of Advertising is published on 2 March with an accompanying exhibition at the Bodleian from 5 March to 31 August Continue reading…

  • Amazon people turn to water tanks after environmental disaster
    by David Hill on February 28, 2020 at 7:00 am

    Scheme provides clean water and helps foster trust between indigenous groupsRomelia Mendúa was handing out plantain drinks served in aluminium bowls. Guests were seated in a hammock and on the bare wooden floor. Beyond the window was the lush vegetation of Ecuador’s north-eastern Amazon.Chocula, as the drink is called, is made by mashing plantains into water, and is a common refreshment in the Amazon. But the water in Mendúa’s chocula was no ordinary water. It came through a tap in her kitchen connected to two tanks outside collecting and filtering rainfall. Continue reading…

  • Illegal metal-detecting at English Heritage sites doubles in two years
    by Mark Brown Arts correspondent on February 28, 2020 at 6:00 am

    Public urged to help tackle rise in nighthawking blamed on organised crimeOrganised crime is being blamed for a rise in illegal metal-detecting at heritage sites, including one of England’s finest medieval castles and the battlefield of Hastings.English Heritage said December last year was the worst month for such incidents in more than four years and there were more than double the number of incidents in 2019 as there were in 2017. Continue reading…

  • What Noma did next: how the ‘New Nordic’ is reshaping the food world
    by Kieran Morris on February 28, 2020 at 6:00 am

    In our time of climate crisis and inequality, as top chefs dream less of Michelin stars and more of changing the world, the New Nordic movement is reaching beyond haute cuisine into classrooms, supermarkets and parliaments. By Kieran MorrisFew restaurants have enjoyed as much acclaim and influence, or been as widely caricatured, as the Copenhagen fine-dining institution Noma. In its 16 years of existence, it has been at the top of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list four times. There are three Noma books, two feature-length films and a Noma documentary series. There are Noma dissertations and dozens of “Nomaheads” – dedicated diners who follow the restaurant all over the world, from Yucatan to Tokyo to Sydney and back again. In the early 2010s, there were so many articles about hunting for wild produce with Noma’s charismatic head chef that one writer declared it “The Era of the ‘I Foraged With René Redzepi’ Piece”. There is even a 240-page travelogue, written by an Esquire editor who followed Redzepi across the world for four years.But all the attention that has been lavished on Noma’s hyperlocal, micro-seasonal food – butterflies moulded from blackcurrant leather; 100-year-old mahogany clams served in their shell – has obscured the much more ambitious aims that the restaurant’s creators, alumni and allies have been trying to achieve. Noma as a traditional haute cuisine restaurant, with its elegant cookbooks and high-concept food, is being overtaken by a grander project. The people behind the restaurant are trying to expand New Nordic, a culinary movement they began in Scandinavia 15 years ago, to the rest of the globe. In doing so, they want to transform every link in the long chain of how food is produced and consumed, from the dirt up to your dinner table. Continue reading…

  • Coronavirus spreads around the world – in pictures
    on February 28, 2020 at 5:45 am

    As cases of people infected with the coronavirus or Covid-19 grow rapidly in Italy, Iran and South Korea, the rest of the world is bracing for a pandemic Continue reading…

  • Who should lead Labour? – podcast
    by Presented by Anushka Asthana with Peter Walker and Yankuba Fatty; produced by Elizabeth Cassin, Courtney Yusuf and Axel Kacoutié; executive producers Phil Maynard and Nicole Jackson on February 28, 2020 at 3:00 am

    Ballots went out to Labour members this week as the race to succeed Jeremy Corbyn as leader intensifies. The remaining candidates, Keir Starmer, Rebecca Long-Bailey and Lisa Nandy, all made their pitches to a live audience at this week’s Guardian hustings in ManchesterLabour members began voting for their next leader this week as candidates continued to make their case for why they should be picked to replace Jeremy Corbyn. Keir Starmer, Lisa Nandy and Rebecca Long-Bailey all took to the stage for the Guardian hustings with Anushka Asthana. In a testy encounter, the candidates sparred over their analysis of why the 2019 election went so badly for the party and whether it could have better handled the issue of Brexit. But there was also agreement when it came to moving towards a green new deal, expanding council housing and the need for electoral reform. Continue reading…

  • Pride of Sydney: glamming up for Mardi Gras 2020 – in pictures
    on February 28, 2020 at 2:35 am

    Ahead of Saturday’s annual parade down Oxford Street, participants muscling up, perfect their dance moves and put the finishing touches to floats Continue reading…

  • Tell us: do you have an inner voice?
    by Guardian community team on February 27, 2020 at 2:56 pm

    We’d like to find out how you express thoughts in your head? Share your experiencesWe’d like to understand more about how people think. We want to find out what having ‘an inner voice’ means to different people. We’re interested in the many ways people express their thoughts whether that be an internal monologue or something more abstract like sounds, shapes and colours rather than simply a singular voice. Continue reading…

  • Tell us: have you not bought clothes for more than 10 years?
    by Guardian community team on February 27, 2020 at 1:50 pm

    We’re interested in hearing from people who haven’t bought any clothes for the last 10 years Konnie Huq has revealed that she hasn’t bought any clothes in 10 years. We’re interested in hearing from people who can beat that record or who have items of clothing they still wear that are more than 10 years old. Continue reading…

  • How the Harvey Weinstein trial ended in a guilty verdict – podcast
    by Presented by Rachel Humphreys with Zoe Brock, Lauren Aratani and Hannah Devlin, produced by Hannah Moore, Courtney Yusuf and Axel Kacoutié; executive producers Nicole Jackson and Phil Maynard on February 27, 2020 at 3:00 am

    On Monday the jury returned a guilty verdict on two of the five charges against the movie producer, who is now awaiting sentencing. The Guardian US reporter Lauren Aratani discusses covering the trial and what the verdict means for the #MeToo movement. And: the latest in the coronavirus outbreakOn Monday a New York jury found Harvey Weinstein, the former Hollywood film producer, guilty of two of the five charges he faced. On 11 March he will be sentenced – the charges mean a minimum prison sentence of five years and a maximum of up to 25 years.Zoe Brock, who was not part of the trial but is one of more than 100 women who have accused Weinstein of sexual harassment and assault, describes her shock and relief at hearing the verdict, while the Guardian US reporter Lauren Aratani tells Rachel Humphreys about covering the trial and what the outcome means for the #MeToo movement. Continue reading…

  • Fake babies, real love: the women who care for lifelike baby dolls – video
    by Tom Silverstone on February 26, 2020 at 6:00 am

    A growing number of collectors are cuddling, changing and caring for ‘reborns’ – individually crafted baby dolls that can cost up to $20,000. For some, it’s about rekindling their baby-rearing years. For others, it’s about dealing with their own inability to birth real human babies. Despite the finger-pointing from outsiders, it’s a subculture that’s thriving globally. Continue reading…

  • India, Modi and the rise of Hindu nationalism – podcast
    by Presented by Anushka Asthana with Samanth Subramanian and Daniel Boffey; produced by Rose de Larrabeiti, Courtney Yusuf and Axel Kacoutié; executive producers Nicole Jackson and Phil Maynard on February 26, 2020 at 3:00 am

    With Delhi rocked by deadly protests as Muslim and Hindu groups clash violently, Guardian writer Samanth Subramanian looks at the rise of Hindu nationalism within India. And: Daniel Boffey on the EU’s negotiating position with the UK Narendra Modi has been grappling with continuing domestic unrest since his Hindu nationalist BJP government passed the CAA in December, which grants citizenship for refugees of every major south Asian religion except Muslims. In conjunction with a planned national register of citizens, it is feared the law will make India’s Muslim community aliens in their own country and undermine the secular foundations of the country by making religion the basis of citizenship.The Guardian writer Samanth Subramanian talks to Anushka Asthana about the rise of Hindu nationalism and the impact it is having on India. Continue reading…

  • How the resale revolution is reshaping fashion – video explainer
    by Grace Shutti, Ian Anderson, Francesca de Bassa, Simon Roberts, Ben Kape, Ryan Baxter and Paul Boyd on February 20, 2020 at 5:24 pm

    We’re buying more clothes than ever, but it’s not all fast fashion. More than half of 25- to 34-year-olds buy secondhand or vintage clothes, and resale apps such as Depop, Stock X and Vestiaire Collective are tapping into the millennial and generation Z market. But if people are buying secondhand they’re not buying new. Grace Shutti investigates how the fashion world is responding Continue reading…

  • ‘Why should I stand on the sidelines?’: women in Bangladesh are taking the lead in disaster response
    by Thaslima Begum in Barishal on February 17, 2020 at 12:33 pm

    Responding to the threat of cyclones, the Hatkhola Women’s Squad in the Barishal region is leading rescue and clean-up operations as well as improving day-to-day living conditions for the communityFor as long as she can remember, Shahanaz has been running from cyclones. Her family first fled their home in 1970 when it was hit by the devastating Cyclone Bhola, considered one of the deadliest cyclones in history. An estimated half a million people perished, including Shahanaz’s grandparents. It was a cyclone that triggered a civil war, such was its impact, and prompted the events that would later lead to Bangladesh’s independence.Today, natural disasters continue to shape the politics of social, cultural and economic life in Bangladesh. Situated on the Bay of Bengal, its unique geography forms one of the largest deltas in the world; a dense network of tributaries made up of the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna rivers, making the country particularly susceptible to extreme weather events. This is further exacerbated by socioeconomic factors, such as poverty, population density and a high dependence on agriculture. The IPCC predicts that by 2050, approximately 27 million people in Bangladesh will be at risk due to the effects of rising sea levels. Continue reading…

  • The breadwinners of Barishal: how women in Bangladesh are starting their own businesses
    by Thaslima Begum in Barishal on February 17, 2020 at 12:33 pm

    Women in this flood-hit area are supporting their families through small businesses backed by the British Red Cross. From tailoring to tea making, the success of these enterprises is inspiring other young women to follow suitIn the sprawling urban slums of Barishal, where monsoons and flooding are inescapable, life for women is hard. They are more likely to miss out on getting an education, and without the proper knowledge and skill set, many struggle to make a living. As they are more likely to live in poverty, they are more affected by disasters. But despite these challenges, with the help of livelihood grants from the Red Cross, many women in Barishal are finding innovative ways to eke out a living.Rina, 37, from Palashpur, wakes up early every day to start preparing for work. From a side road of a small slum with heavy foot traffic, she has been running a successful tea stall for the last two years. Brightly coloured crisp packets hang like a banner across her shopfront, where Rina sells roughly 160 cups of tea a day at 5 taka (under 5p) a cup. Continue reading…

  • Wuhan’s cat rescuer: the man saving pets abandoned during coronavirus outbreak – video
    by Christopher Cherry, Yuan Yue, Charlie Phillips, Katie Lamborn and Nikhita Chulani on February 14, 2020 at 2:42 pm

    It is estimated that more than 30,000 pets have been left stranded after the Chinese government sealed off Wuhan following the coronavirus outbreak. In response, people trapped in Wuhan have been volunteering and checking in on the animals whose owners are stuck outside the city. Here’s Ye Jialin’s story of helping those who are currently not allowed to return homeVisual explainer: how the coronavirus spread across China and the worldHow to protect yourself from coronavirusContinue reading…

  • ‘They achieve incredible things’: how women are building safer futures in disaster-prone Barishal
    by Martin Wright on February 14, 2020 at 11:13 am

    Thanks to British Red Cross grants and training, women in a deprived area of Bangladesh are learning new skills and working together to protect their communities Lying just above sea level, close to the coast, with a network of canals winding through its heart, the southern Bangladeshi city of Barishal has been called the “Venice of the East” – and like Venice, it’s a city in peril from rising tides.But there the similarity ends, because many of its residents face perils unimaginable to their Italian counterparts, with nothing like the same resources available to tackle them. Continue reading…

  • ‘The tailor taught me how to measure up and sew’: learning new skills in Barishal
    by Martin Wright on February 14, 2020 at 11:13 am

    From tailoring to scrap metal dealing, women in disaster-prone communities in Bangladesh are being backed to set up their own enterprises by a UK-supported charity programmeIt’s not easy starting a new business at the best of times. Certainly not if you left school at 13, and just four years later you’re trying to learn a whole new trade to support your family. It’s even tougher if your home is a shack that’s sometimes knee-deep in floodwater, in a slum community in the outskirts of Barishal, in southern Bangladesh. But none of this held back 17-year-old Munia, who has started up her own sewing and tailoring business. She’s one of 830 women in the Barishal area who are being supported by the British Red Cross and its counterpart, the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society. With a carefully targeted mix of small cash grants and training, the It Starts With Her campaign will enable 2,500 people like Munia set up microbusinesses, bringing much needed income – and self-reliance – to families on the frontline of the climate crisis. Continue reading…

  • Tell us: have you been affected by the coronavirus?
    by Guardian community team on February 13, 2020 at 8:53 am

    If you have been affected or have any information or news tips for our journalists, we would like to hear from youIf you’ve been affected by the coronavirus, we’d like to hear from you.A British man who was quarantined on Diamond Princess cruise ship has died, Japanese media reports. Continue reading…

  • Tell us how you have been affected by flooding in the UK
    by Guardian community team on February 11, 2020 at 3:03 pm

    We want to hear from people who are still recovering from the effects of flooding in their local areaWe’d like you to help us document the impact of flooding across the UK.In the wake of Storm Dennis at the weekend, more than 300 flood warnings are still in place across the UK. Parts of Britain still recovering from Storm Ciara. Continue reading…

  • Teranga – the migrant-run Afrobeat nightclub uniting Naples – video
    by Sophia Seymour, Lou Marillier, Daisy Squires, Irene Baqué , Charlie Phillips, Jacqueline Edenbrow and Chris Michael on February 7, 2020 at 12:00 pm

    Fata and Yankuba are two young Gambians with ambitious dreams, who fled dictatorship and poverty and landed in Naples, only to discover a new kind of violence: a pernicious climate of racism and an unhelpful immigration system. Their only escape from the psychological torture of years spent waiting for documents in squalid camps is a small underground club in the heart of the city. The Teranga nightclub provides a rare safe space for migrants to meet young Italians while dancing and singing away the collective trauma of their journeys to Europe and the discrimination they face in Italy Continue reading…

  • Six packs, success and solitude: men in the media | Modern Masculinity
    by Iman Amrani, Adam Sich, Tom Palliser, James Turner, Grace Shutti, Paul Boyd, Ken Macfarlane and Ben Kape on February 6, 2020 at 12:02 pm

    In this week’s episode of Modern Masculinity, Guardian journalist Iman Amrani looks at how images of men in advertising and the media may be negatively affecting how men see themselves. While campaigns targeted at women have changed hugely in the past 20 years – with campaigns such as Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty changing the images of beauty for women – men’s adverts haven’t had the same transformation. Iman speaks to those in the advertising industry who are working to change the way we see men in adverts. She also takes the conversation around aspiration and success to the streets of Bolton, and puts questions to pupils at Ladybridge high schoolWatch the rest of the Modern Masculinity series hereContinue reading…

  • How the Democrats will decide who fights Trump – video
    by Lauren Gambino, Tom Silverstone, Tim Marriott, Alex Healey and Katie Lamborn on January 30, 2020 at 2:07 pm

    More than a dozen candidates are running to take on Donald Trump in the presidential election this year. But first they must win the Democratic nomination. Lauren Gambino explains the processHow the impeachment trial is upending Democrats’ race for IowaWho is running for president? The full list of 2020 candidates Continue reading…

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