Opinion Drama

  • Coronavirus live news: British holidaymakers arrive home with minutes to spare before quarantine as Denmark makes face masks compulsory
    by Aamna Mohdin (now), Aaron Walawalkar, Michael McGowan and Lisa Cox (earlier) on August 15, 2020 at 1:49 pm

    Australian death toll stands at 379; France removed from UK travel corridor; Greece and Croatia impose midnight curfew on bars and restaurants Theatres, casinos and bowling alleys reopen in England France could add British visitors to quarantine list after UK measures UK adds France to Covid-19 14-day quarantine list ‘Critical moment’: cases rise again in Spain 2.48pm BST Almost half of Brazilians think president Jair Bolsonaro bears “no responsibility at all” for the country’s more than 100,000 dead from the coronavirus pandemic, the world’s second highest death toll, according to a new Datafolha poll. Reuters reports: The poll was published on Saturday in Brazil’s Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper and says 47% of Brazilians do not assign him any blame for the body count, whereas 11% do. Brazil has the world’s worst outbreak outside of the United States and Bolsonaro’s response to the pandemic has been widely condemned by health experts. 2.46pm BST Four more people who tested positive for coronavirus have died in hospital in England, bringing the total number of confirmed reported deaths in hospitals to 29,456, NHS England said on Saturday, PA reports. The patients were aged between 66 and 88 and they all had known underlying health conditions. Continue reading…

  • A-levels row: Oxford college to honour all offers despite results
    by Aaron Walawalkar on August 15, 2020 at 1:49 pm

    Worcester College move comes as thousands of Oxbridge alumni call on others to follow suit An Oxford college said it will accept all students with offers regardless of their A-level results, as thousands of Oxbridge alumni call on others to show equal “kindness and generosity” to downgraded pupils. Laura Ashe, the tutor for admissions at Worcester College, Oxford, said it had decided to honour all UK offers this year because it is the “morally right thing to do”. Continue reading…

  • England v Pakistan: second Test, day three play delayed – live!
    by Adam Collins (earlier) and Rob Smyth (now) on August 15, 2020 at 1:43 pm

    Day three updates from the second Test in Southampton County cricket – live! Get the latest from Tanya Aldred And feel free to email Rob 2.43pm BST And that, my friends, is me done. Thanks for your company on this rainy Saturday. For the second birthday in a row, I’ll reflect on this as time nicely spent. Enjoy the afternoon with Rob Smyth, who I hand the baton over to now. Chat tomorrow! 2.40pm BST The umpires are having their first look. So, more good news via my press box colleagues watching on. The rule of thumb after a long delay is at least an hour to clean the ground up, assuming no further rain that is. A big assumption. Continue reading…

  • A-level students speak: ‘I always dreamed of going to Cambridge’
    by Mattha Busby on August 15, 2020 at 1:41 pm

    Downgraded A-level students protest over ‘classist’ bias of government algorithm As thousands of A-level students in England seek to replan their futures after being downgraded by an algorithm, some have spoken of feeling cheated and as if they can never recapture their dreams. For Leah Glenday, 18, in Essex – the first pupil from her school to be offered a place at Cambridge – the system’s bias towards private schools with more resources than state schools has been exposed. And she has no hope in appealing. Continue reading…

  • Watchdog to investigate US Postal Service changes ahead of election – live
    by Tom Lutz on August 15, 2020 at 1:38 pm

    Warnings that changes to USPS could disenfranchise voters From Oakland to the White House? The rise of Kamala Harris Flu and Covid: winter could bring ‘double-barrel’ outbreak to US Sign up to our First Thing newsletter 2.38pm BST Donald Trump has spent the early part of today retweeting stories that promote the (unproven) theory that mail-in voting is subject to widescale fraud. The president retweeted allegations of voting fraud in Paterson, New Jersey, along with the comment: “The Democrats know the 2020 Election will be a fraudulent mess. Will maybe never know who won!” The Democrats know the 2020 Election will be a fraudulent mess. Will maybe never know who won! https://t.co/tEWKJ5NcUj 2.17pm BST Good morning. We start this morning with news that the United States Postal Service’s inspector general will investigate claims that recent changes could affect this November’s presidential election. Donald Trump has long issued baseless claims that mail-in voting is ripe for fraud and there are real concerns that cuts to the service could weaken the agency and mail-in ballots may not arrive on time to be counted. Continue reading…

  • RMT salutes worker who overturned racist recruitment at Euston station
    by Aamna Mohdin on August 15, 2020 at 1:37 pm

    Rail union praises ‘brave actions’ of Dominica-born Asquith Xavier, who overturned 1960s colour bar Union leaders have praised the “brave actions” of a railway worker who overturned a racist recruitment policy in the 1960s. The Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) marked the 54th anniversary of the breaking of the colour bar at London’s Euston station by pledging to continue its campaign against racism. Continue reading…

  • Sheffield United to sign Aaron Ramsdale from Bournemouth for £18.5m
    by PA Media on August 15, 2020 at 1:19 pm

    Goalkeeper made his desire to return to Blades clear Dean Henderson will not return for a third season Sheffield United are close to completing the £18.5m signing of the Bournemouth goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale. The Blades have had a second offer reluctantly accepted by Bournemouth, and the 22-year-old is only formalities away from completing a return to his first club. Bournemouth signed Ramsdale from United for £800,000 in 2017, with the England Under-21 international making 37 senior appearances for the Cherries. Continue reading…

  • ‘We must give black talent the stage’ says Young Vic’s Kwame Kwei-Armah
    by Vanessa Thorpe on August 15, 2020 at 1:17 pm

    Playwright and director says BLM and the lockdown have prompted him to stage a financially risky season of black work British culture has been guilty of “hoodwinking” black people into thinking they are “invaders”, the artistic director of London’s Young Vic theatre, Kwame Kwei-Armah, has told the Observer. In his strongest comments yet on race, the British actor, playwright and director said the Black Lives Matter protests had prompted him to speak out. “This is no longer the time for shadow-boxing on these issues,” said Kwei-Armah, urging his contemporaries to stop being so diplomatic in their demands for more diversity. Continue reading…

  • Give refugees crossing Channel a chance, say Windrush survivors
    by Mark Townsend on August 15, 2020 at 1:15 pm

    Priti Patel risks replicating Home Office failings that led to scandal, victims and human rights campaigners warn Survivors of the Windrush scandal have attacked the home secretary, saying her approach to the Channel migrant crossings is creating “the same set of conditions” that led to the government victimising the children of Commonwealth immigrants. A letter to Priti Patel from 100 prominent refugee and human rights campaigners, including members of the Windrush generation, warns that the “pattern of ignoring expert advice, failing to engage with civil society and branding migrants as criminal” replicates Home Office failings that caused the 2018 Windrush scandal. Continue reading…

  • ‘How does this make sense?’ Gatwick arrivals who missed 4am deadline
    by Nosheen Iqbal on August 15, 2020 at 1:08 pm

    British holidaymakers returning from France express a mix of anger, resignation and confusion at 14-day quarantine order Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Weary and bedraggled, the first set of quarantiners from France began arriving at Gatwick airport at 10.20am today, missing the UK deadline to get back by a handful of hours. A mix of fury, resignation and confusion descended on the north terminal as five flights from the south of France arrived within an hour. “How does it make sense?” asked Reda, who had spent two weeks in Bordeaux with his wife Elodie and their five-year-old daughter, Sara. “Either you allow people proper time to stagger getting back or you say quarantine is effective immediately. A 12- or 24-hour deadline just means that 100,000 people rushed back one day earlier than us, they’re more high risk because of that, and we are in quarantine and they’re out in open spaces.” Continue reading…

  • Power naps and big steaks: meet Sarina Wiegman, new England Women head coach
    by Annemarie Postma on August 15, 2020 at 1:01 pm

    How the 50-year-old’s attention to detail and superb man-management made Netherlands one of the best teams in the world The first time Sarina Wiegman was offered the chance to become head coach of a women’s team, she said no. Her two daughters were still young and she wanted to focus on them. Deep down, however, she knew that it was a big opportunity and it wasn’t just any club: it was Ter Leede, the club where she enjoyed the most success as a player. She changed her mind and a few days later in a pancake restaurant down the road from her home town, The Hague, she signed a contract that kickstarted her coaching career. Continue reading…

  • Dillian Whyte: ‘I was shot and stabbed. These things happen’
    by Rich Pelley on August 15, 2020 at 1:00 pm

    The boxer, 32, talks about hustling, surviving, relaxing and growing up hard in Jamaica I had a hard childhood. I was born in Portland, Jamaica. My mum left when I was two and my dad wasn’t around, so I grew up with another family. There was no money and I didn’t go to school. I was pushed around a lot. I wasn’t taken care of. Some days I was so hungry I thought I was going to die. I wasn’t a sports kid. I never had that luxury. I never had time to think about sports. I was too busy surviving, wondering where I was going to get my next meal. I had to do stuff that no child should have to. I remember collecting glass Coke bottles from the beach and using the deposit money to buy sweets, because they were the cheapest food I could find. Continue reading…

  • The Killers: Imploding the Mirage review – Boss business as usual
    by Kitty Empire on August 15, 2020 at 1:00 pm

    (Virgin EMI)Brandon Flowers is in Springsteen territory again in an engaging, if bombastic collection The thing that strikes you as unusual about the latest Killers album is that it sounds just like a Killers album. It’s all here: the boosterish anthemics that rise, soar and then find another gear; the swagger of Springsteen cutting some rug at an indie disco; the Christian-adjacent uplift that singer Brandon Flowers channels much as Coldplay’s Chris Martin or U2’s Bono have before him. In allegedly lean times for guitar bands, a Killers juggernaut was ready to be rolled out on a global stadium tour, this growing outfit’s biggest yet. That’s postponed until 2021 because of you-know-what. The fact that Imploding the Mirage sounds like the Killers is no mean feat, however. They may be a festival-headlining behemoth, but they remain deeply fractured; the sessions for this, the Killers’ sixth album, were long and vexed. The dramatis personae who eventually put Imploding the Mirage together were many and varied, often sourced from the cooler parts of LA. Continue reading…

  • The WAP uproar shows conservatives are fine with female sexuality – as long as men control it | Arwa Mahdawi
    by Arwa Mahdawi on August 15, 2020 at 1:00 pm

    The same conservatives who dismiss Trump’s ‘pussy-grabbing’ comments want women to think that it’s immoral to enjoy themselves Sign up for the Week in Patriarchy, a newsletter​ on feminism and sexism sent every Saturday. Continue reading…

  • Tom Kerridge: ‘My relationship with food and alcohol has been excessive – now I try to find control’
    by John Hind on August 15, 2020 at 1:00 pm

    The Michelin-starred chef on hot dogs at rugby, kitchen nicknames – and why he doesn’t like watching himself on TV My first food memory is eating corned beef and mustard in a hot crusty roll while watching The Pink Panther on a Saturday evening. Or having a fish and chips takeaway. Or maybe it was picking and eating my own strawberries – fond memories of long summers spent in the sunshine with mates. I grew up in the centre of Gloucester, but it wasn’t too far to get out into fields. After my first coffee, I’m out jogging at 6am, thinking how much I hate it and wishing the jog was over. But it’s necessary for me. My relationship with food and alcohol has been excessive and now I try to find control and balance. Using the brain is fantastic, but as I get older I realise that I need to be doing more physically. I’ll allow myself a burger and chips, but I don’t have them every day. Continue reading…

  • Beirut explosion: FBI to take part in Lebanon investigation
    by Associated Press in Beirut on August 15, 2020 at 1:00 pm

    US diplomat David Hale calls for a thorough and transparent investigation into the blast A team of FBI investigators is due to arrive in Lebanon this weekend to take part in the investigation into Beirut’s explosion, a senior US official has said, after visiting the location of the blast. David Hale, the US undersecretary of state for political affairs, called on Saturday for a thorough and transparent investigation. He said the FBI team was taking part at the invitation of Lebanese authorities in order to figure out what caused the 4 August explosion that killed nearly 180 people and wounded thousands. Continue reading…

  • US defense department creates taskforce to investigate UFOs
    by Guardian staff on August 15, 2020 at 12:48 pm

    Taskforce to detect and anlyze unidentified aerial phenomena that could ‘potentially pose a threat’ to national security, Pentagon said The US department of Defense has formed a new body to investigate what it calls “unidentified aerial phenomena” (UAPs) following reported sightings of what most people call UFOs. The move is likely to spark wide interest in alien hunters worldwide looking for signs that humanity is not alone in the universe. Although the dry language of the Pentagon’s announcement of the new group belied its intent as watchers of the sky for potential first contact. Continue reading…

  • Spain’s vineyards destroy record harvest as wine sales crash
    by Stephen Burgen in Baix Penedès on August 15, 2020 at 12:44 pm

    Covid pandemic hits nation’s grape growers in what should have been a bumper year Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage It should have been a great year for Spanish wine: a bumper crop of grapes resulting in millions and millions of extra bottles for sipping or swilling at home and abroad. But with Covid-19 leading to a catastrophic drop in wine sales, the Spanish government is offering growers subsidies to destroy part of this year’s record grape harvest. Continue reading…

  • Lukashenko and Putin say Belarus ‘problems’ will be resolved
    by Agencies in Minsk on August 15, 2020 at 12:03 pm

    Pressure mounts on Alexander Lukashenko to go as protests threaten to spill beyond Belarus’s borders Women in Belarus take protests into their own hands ‘It’s like a war’: armed men roam streets of Minsk The Belarusian president, Alexander Lukashenko, and the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, have expressed confidence that all problems that had arisen in Belarus would soon be resolved, the Kremlin said. “These problems should not be exploited by destructive forces seeking to harm the mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries within the framework of the union state,” the Kremlin said in a statement on Saturday. Continue reading…

  • Kevin Maxwell: ‘We need police officers who think different, not just look different’
    by Kevin Maxwell on August 15, 2020 at 12:00 pm

    The first step to change is to admit that systemic racism exists. To own it. Only then can we root it out • Time to reset: more brilliant ideas to remake the world Ever since I was a boy, it was my dream to become a policeman. Growing up in Toxteth, Liverpool, amid the riots of the 1980s, it must have seemed crazy: black gay scousers from working-class estates didn’t go into the police. I joined Greater Manchester police three months after 9/11. From training, through to my transfer to the Metropolitan police in London, racism blighted my career. I fell ill with depression, and challenged the police in the courts. The Metropolitan police was found to have harassed, victimised and discriminated against me, because of my sexuality and the colour of my skin. I was then forced out after 11 years’ service. Continue reading…

  • This year’s A-level results are a fiasco – but the system was already broken | Dan Davies
    by Dan Davies on August 15, 2020 at 12:00 pm

    Coronavirus has shown the fragility of grading pupils and exposed problems with the entire examination process A revered former boss of mine had a proverb to wheel out on the many occasions when our team was called on to do research into an obviously doomed project: “If something isn’t worth doing, it isn’t worth doing well.” It’s hard not to be reminded of that saying when looking at the carnage caused by the application of the Ofqual algorithm to the predicted grades of this year’s A-level students, who were unable to sit exams because of the Covid-19 lockdown. The problem was fundamentally insoluble, from a mathematical point of view. If the system is dependent on exams to allocate the grades, but it can’t have the exams, then it can’t allocate the grades. No statistical method in the world is going to be able to give you good results if the information you’re looking for is fundamentally not there in the dataset that you’re trying to extract it from. (Hollywood is just wrong on this one when it has people looking at grainy CCTV footage and saying “Let’s enhance.”) Continue reading…

  • Raul Sanllehi, Arsenal head of football, leaves club in structural shakeup
    by PA Media on August 15, 2020 at 11:59 am

    MD Vinai Venkatesham assumes board-level responsibilities Mikel Arteta and Edu given control of footballing matters Raul Sanllehi, the club’s head of football, has left Arsenal, with the managing director, Vinai Venkatesham, assuming responsibility for the director-level football work. Sanllehi joined Arsenal from Barcelona in 2017 but the Gunners are understood to have wanted to streamline their off-field structure. The technical director, Edu, and Mikel Arteta, the manager, will now lead the footballing and recruitment direction at the club. Continue reading…

  • Should we stop calling rape victims ‘survivors’? | Moira Donegan
    by Moira Donegan on August 15, 2020 at 11:26 am

    Michelle Bowdler’s superb book Is Rape a Crime? questions the conventions of the ‘rape story’ Michelle Bowdler doesn’t want you to call her a rape “survivor”. “I don’t love the word ‘victim’ but I disdain the word ‘survivor’,” she tells me over Zoom, sitting in her red-walled study. She thinks the word survivor implies resolution to an event whose repercussions are in fact often lifelong, and that the use of “survivor” rather than “victim” tends to obscure a woman’s pain in favor of pat triumph. Survivor is a word that often seems aimed more towards honoring other people’s feelings than a woman’s dignity. “I do feel strongly that people use it to make their own discomfort go away,” she says. Bowdler’s new book, Is Rape A Crime? A Memoir, an Investigation and a Manifesto, is an invitation to dwell in the discomfort that rape stories cause us. She proceeds from her experience of being raped by two armed strangers who broke into her Boston apartment one summer night in 1984. The book follows her in the aftermath, winding through the unfeeling bureaucracies of the hospital and the police and the claustrophobic, torturous experience of PTSD. Bowdler dwells on the continued indignity of rape victims’ status as objects of moral curiosity, alternately rendered invisible or tainted as damaged and pathetic. When, after decades of keeping her rapes mostly to herself, she began disclosing them, the looks of concern and worry on people’s faces “felt intolerable to me”, she says. “But I did it anyway. I felt like it was important to name it.” Continue reading…

  • Chicago 1968: glimpses of when the Democrats met amid a summer of unrest
    by Jefferson Siegel on August 15, 2020 at 11:00 am

    The Democratic national convention took place amid protests about the Vietnam war, a police riot and a looming flu pandemic Every four years in the US, political parties convene to nominate their respective candidates for November’s presidential election. The conventions are historically grandiose affairs with a circus-like atmosphere. Speeches are given, balloons are dropped and the party message of uniting behind their candidate is beamed to the nation. Continue reading…

  • Each week Bejing’s message to Hong Kong gets clearer: we can do what we like | Ilaria Maria Sala
    by Ilaria Maria Sala on August 15, 2020 at 11:00 am

    Publisher Jimmy Lai’s arrest shocked Hongkongers, but since the anti-sedition law they’ve entered uncharted waters On Monday, 10 August, Hong Kong woke up to the startling news of the arrest of Jimmy Lai, the 71-year-old publisher of Apple Daily, the only pro-democracy high-circulation newspaper in the territory. As the day progressed, more arrests linked to Lai and his businesses were carried out (including that of his two sons), and hundreds of police officers entered the paper’s headquarters. Much as Hong Kong has had to get used to shocking news, such an open move against a major media outlet was unexpected, as was the arrest of pro-democracy activist Agnes Chow, 23, also escorted from her home handcuffed by police. It all seems to be too much and too fast, but ever since the national security law against secession, sedition and terrorism was imposed on Hong Kong by the central government in Beijing on 30 June, the city has entered uncharted waters. And while Hong Kong has been relatively spared from the worst disasters of the pandemic, for months now there have been serious limitations on how much people can gather – to discuss what is happening or protest against it. The draconian law has been imposed from above, hastily approved and supported by the local government without any space for public debate. Continue reading…

  • Swimming with sharks – off Pembrokeshire
    by Kevin Rushby on August 15, 2020 at 11:00 am

    You don’t need to travel to the Caribbean or Indian Ocean for an exotic experience – there are fantastic big beasts off the coast of Wales When I lived in London, I never went to the Tower. A Madrileño I met claimed never to have entered the Prado. There are Cairenes, I’m sure, who keep meaning to visit the Pyramids. I know I’m not alone in often ignoring what is in my own backyard. The attractions of faraway always seem more alluring. But with the Covid crisis we have all become aware of how important it is to look for the treasure under our noses. That’s why I’m on a fishing boat heading out of the tiny Pembrokeshire port of Dale with oceanographer Richard Rees and skipper Andy, plus several excited – and slightly apprehensive – photographers and divers. The group is a little diminished to keep social distance. Andy has been sailing these waters off the Welsh coast all his life, mostly ferrying anglers out to the rich feeding grounds 30 miles offshore. We are on a mission to see, and swim with, marine creatures that most people, including myself, associate with more distant, exotic locations. Continue reading…

  • For Manhattan’s retail industry normal may never return
    by Dominic Rushe in New York on August 15, 2020 at 11:00 am

    Brands and restaurants have decided the city’s sky-high rents are just too expensive for them ‘It’s the worst I’ve seen’: London’s West End struggles to bounce back On a damp and humid Thursday afternoon Manhattan’s Union Square is looking sorry for itself. There’s 73,000 sq ft of empty retail space up for grabs at 44 Union Square in the now boarded up neo-Georgian landmark that was once Tammany Hall. There’s more space to rent on the opposite corner and the neighbouring thoroughfares, Broadway and Fifth Avenue, some of New York’s retail arteries. Continue reading…

  • Classical home listening: Falla from Mexico City, Elgar from Berlin
    by Fiona Maddocks on August 15, 2020 at 11:00 am

    The Orchestra of the Americas is on sizzling form, while Daniel Barenboim celebrates 70 years of concert life with another great Elgar recording • Spanish by birth, drawn to the musical sensibilities of France, Manuel de Falla (1876-1946) combined diverse passions in his scores: from early church music to folk song, zarzuela and splashes of European avant garde. In Paris he encountered Debussy, Ravel, Diaghilev and Stravinsky. Steeped in these influences, he fled back to Madrid in 1914 at the start of war. Continue reading…

  • UK marks 75th anniversary of Victory over Japan Day
    by Kevin Rawlinson on August 15, 2020 at 10:42 am

    VJ Day was declared when emperor Hirohito ordered his people to stop fighting in second world war The 75th anniversary of VJ Day – the victory over Japan which signalled the very end of the second world war – has been commemorated with a series of events honouring those who fought in east Asia. A televised remembrance service took place at the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, Staffordshire, where a two-minute silence at 11am was led by the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall. Continue reading…

  • Coronavirus UK map: the latest deaths and confirmed Covid cases
    by Seán Clarke and Pablo Gutiérrez on August 15, 2020 at 10:26 am

    Latest figures from public health authorities on the spread of Covid-19 in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Find out how many confirmed cases have been reported in each local authority Please note: Cases data for the 13th August is not available from Public Health England (see notice), it will be updated as soon as it is published. These are government figures on numbers of confirmed cases – some people who report symptoms are not being tested, and are not included in these counts. Continue reading…

  • Thai king commutes Myanmar men’s death sentence over Britons’ murder
    by Agence France-Presse in Bangkok on August 15, 2020 at 10:15 am

    Zaw Lin and Win Zaw Tun were found guilty of killing Hannah Witheridge and David Miller in 2014 Two men on death row for the murder of a pair of British backpackers in Thailand have had their sentences commuted to life imprisonment after a mass royal pardon. The men’s lawyer, Nadthasiri Bergman, said the pardon decree – which was published on Friday and applies to all inmates on death row – was effective immediately. Continue reading…

  • From ‘alert’ to ‘zoom’: Steven Poole’s lexicon of lockdown
    by Steven Poole on August 15, 2020 at 10:00 am

    From ‘Covid-secure’ offices to healthcare ‘heroes’ bracing for a new ‘wave’, the language around coronavirus is infected with political rhetoric The word “alert” comes from the Italian “all’erta”, literally “at a high place”, describing a military watch or guard duty. The UK government’s advice to “stay alert” in order to “control the virus” therefore implied that it would be easier to spot an invisible microbe if one were standing on a hill. Perhaps the underlying motivation for this much-ridiculed slogan was that it set the rhetorical scene for future spikes in deaths to be blamed on the people themselves. Did you die of Covid-19? Too bad: you weren’t alert enough. Survival of the fittest, and all that. Continue reading…

  • Bryant Terry’s recipes for warm vegan salads
    by Bryant Terry on August 15, 2020 at 10:00 am

    The award-winning US vegan chef celebrates plant-based cooking with three cooked salads Smoky roasted peppers provide a bright contrast to the delicate, buttery flavour of big lima beans in this dish. The pili pili oil adds the subtlest kick – you’ll notice it, but it doesn’t overpower. Peppery rocket adds freshness, and a squeeze of lemon brightens everything. Continue reading…

  • Is the future of TV Freddie and Paddy shouting over old shows? Let’s hope not
    by Joel Golby on August 15, 2020 at 10:00 am

    The BBC are repeating vintage episodes of Total Wipeout with new commentary by celeb duo Flintoff and McGuinness. Who is this for, exactly? One thing about the passage of time is that it’s very hard to know what your era is going to be defined by while you’re still in it. Think about now: you know what haircuts people have, the T-shirt trends they wear and stuff like that – you know what 2020 feels like and looks like, because you’re living in it. But society won’t have enough distance from the year 2020 to make a pastiche film set in 2020 until our tastes have changed enough to notice. That’s roughly when we’ll know which cultural signifiers will stand the test of time: our equivalent of a Walkman, a Miami Vice sleeve-roll or an armful of Madonna bangles. Related: The Guide: Staying In – sign up for our home entertainment tips Continue reading…

  • The movement to defund police has won historic victories across the US. What’s next?
    by Sam Levin in Los Angeles on August 15, 2020 at 10:00 am

    A dozen local governments have moved to reduce their police budgets by more than $1.4bn, marking a significant shift in American politics In the days after the killing of George Floyd, an extraordinary wave of mass protests erupted across the US, with demonstrators setting fire to police buildings and cars, shutting down freeways and bridges and storming city halls and neighborhoods. Amid familiar chants of Black Lives Matter, a new slogan emerged: “Defund the police.” Continue reading…

  • ‘We are creating change’: the ethical phone maker making business fair
    by Samuel Gibbs Consumer technology editor on August 15, 2020 at 9:30 am

    As Covid puts a focus on where spending goes, Fairphone wants us to consider people and planet With the pressures on society and the world thrown back into the spotlight by Covid-19, now is the time to readdress where and how we spend our money to do so in a way that is better for all, not only ourselves. That means trying to buy as ethically and sustainably as possible, which for consumer technology covers both the materials pulled out of the ground and the way the products are made. Continue reading…

  • Thunderstorms and heavy rain expected in England and Wales
    by PA Media on August 15, 2020 at 9:17 am

    Forecast for downpours triggers warnings of floods and travel disruption Thunderstorms and heavy rain are forecast to lash England and Wales over the weekend, triggering warnings of flooding and travel disruption. The Met Office has issued a yellow thunderstorm warning for large swaths of England and Wales on both Saturday and Sunday. Continue reading…

  • Barcelona’s disintegration and the decadence that can befall a super-club | Jonathan Wilson
    by Jonathan Wilson on August 15, 2020 at 9:01 am

    The humiliation by Bayern was a capitulation of a major side on a level not seen since the World Cup semi-final in 2014 Barcelona cannot say they were not warned. Since 2017, their exits from the Champions League have been becoming increasingly embarrassing. Humiliation has followed humiliation. Perhaps finally now, after their 8-2 humbling against Bayern, their worst defeat since 1946, a performance that became shameful in its ineptitude, action will be taken. Occasionally, matches take place that are the meeting of two historical trends. Here, on the one hand, was the tactical dominance of Germany, the high line and the hard press, the slick muscularity, the rapid exchanges of a well-structured attack, that have become increasingly familiar at the highest level. And there, fatted on success, was the decadence that can befall a super-club. Continue reading…

  • This oil spill could destroy the beautiful Mauritius I once knew | Alex Lenferna
    by Alex Lenferna on August 15, 2020 at 9:00 am

    Leaking oil now threatens the majestic ocean ecosystems of my home island – already at risk from the climate crisis The news has been awash with images of an oil spill off the coast of Mauritius – a beautiful, tropical island in the middle of the Indian Ocean where my family is from. For me the images are gut-wrenching. The lagoon where this massive spill is happening is where many of my family lives. It’s where I used to swim and snorkel for hours and hours as a kid. It’s where I used to go fishing with my late grandfather who lived on the shore of this lagoon for decades with my grandmother. It’s one of the most beautiful places on Earth I know, and it is being devastated. Already over 1,000 tonnes of oil have leaked out of the Japanese carrier MV Wakashio that ran aground on the coral reef, and thousands more could follow if the ship breaks apart. Continue reading…

  • 10 of the best motorway stop-offs: readers’ travel tips
    by Guardian readers on August 15, 2020 at 9:00 am

    Your pick of places to refuel and stretch legs near motorway junctions ranges from pubs and chippies to waffle delights and a llama cafe We discovered Penllergare Valley Woods off junction 47 of the M4, en route to Tenby. What a delightful find – its on-site cafe has ample parking, delicious snacks, cheerful staff and sparkling clean toilets. As we sampled our treats on the terrace overlooking an amazing garden, the resident robin accompanied us and shared crumbs. Later, we took a leisurely walk around the woods, lake and to the waterfall, chatting to the volunteers and discovering the place’s history. Visit this secret, magical find!• Penllergare Valley WoodsCrystal Continue reading…

  • Pull the other one: is it time for canned laughter to return to TV?
    by Phil Harrison on August 15, 2020 at 9:00 am

    An artificial laugh track hasn’t been used for decades, but with Covid making studio audiences impossible it could be a useful tool During the disorientating early days of lockdown, a horrible realisation dawned. Despite the impossibility of either a studio audience being present or the panellists all being in the same room, the BBC was going to persevere with Have I Got News for You?. Ian Hislop, Paul Merton and co would ignore the deathly two seconds of silence during which perfectly presentable quips plunged into the vast, empty chasm of an unstable Zoom connection and press on with their jaunty, topical comedy. This turned out to be toe-curlingly awkward – a graphic illustration of how intrinsic audiences were to the success of certain shows. And yet, as suboptimal as the situation was, really HIGNFY had no choice but to carry on. What else was there? Were the Friday schedules to be filled with yet more out-of-date repeats of Have I Got More News for You? Surely not. Also, weren’t we trying to get our heads round one of the most profound crises of our lifetimes? How were we supposed to process the situation without topical humour? As with many of the dilemmas posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, it was lose-lose. But was a solution staring us in the face all along? Continue reading…

  • ‘I feel like I’m failing at life’: the terrible plight of music event staff
    by Michael Hann on August 15, 2020 at 9:00 am

    The pandemic has shut down concert tours – and with them go thousands of jobs in sound, lighting, catering and more. As the industry lobbies the government, road crews tell their stories Edd Sedgwick is a sound engineer and tour manager who normally works for the Vaccines, but with that group having long planned to take 2020 off, he was preparing to go on the road with Radiohead’s Ed O’Brien. Then, as the coronavirus crisis worsened, he got a call: “Put everything on hold for the rest of the year.” Sedgwick’s life emptied out. “The weirdest thing is knowing every day by its date or the day of the week – so you call a day ‘Monday’ instead of ‘Barcelona’ or ‘Milan’.” You can apply Sedgwick’s experience across the live music industry: thousands of workers suddenly learned their working year had ended in March. Tre Stead, for example, is Frank Turner’s tour manager. She was in the last week of Turner’s European tour when the world began to fall apart. They plugged on until Donald Trump intervened, with three shows left. “We had three Americans on the crew, and then Trump did his travel ban.” Faced with the prospect of being stranded in Europe indefinitely, the Americans – with Turner’s blessing – flew home. “And that’s when Frank decided it was the end.” Continue reading…

  • Flu and Covid: winter could bring ‘double-barrel’ outbreak to US, experts say
    by Jessica Glenza on August 15, 2020 at 9:00 am

    But the same measures that fight coronavirus are effective against the flu – and vaccines offer another weapon against it Public health experts, researchers and manufacturers warn the coming flu season could bring a “double-barrel” respiratory disease outbreak in the United States, just as fall and winter are expected to exacerbate spread of Covid-19. At the same time, researchers said the strategies currently used to prevent Covid-19 transmission – namely, hand-washing, mask-wearing and social distancing – could also help lessen flu outbreaks, if Americans are willing to practice them. Continue reading…

  • ‘It’s the worst I’ve ever seen’: London’s West End struggles to bounce back
    by Joanna Partridge on August 15, 2020 at 9:00 am

    Shoppers and office workers are shunning UK cities with footfall in the capital’s once busy centre down by 63% Mid-August should be boom time for central London. The streets would usually bustle with shoppers, workers and tourists, looking to spend their cash in the West End’s shops, restaurants and leisure attractions. But not this year. Vast swathes of the capital’s streets that once hummed with traffic and pedestrians lie quiet. On Friday morning just a scattering of shoppers were browsing the heavily discounted summer clothes and shoes inside department stores such as Debenhams, John Lewis and Selfridges on Oxford Street, usually Europe’s busiest shopping street. Continue reading…

  • From tomato salad to Persian noodles: Yotam Ottolenghi’s cooling summer recipes
    by Yotam Ottolenghi on August 15, 2020 at 8:30 am

    A fresh, bright feast that means little time in a hot kitchen: a garlicky, gingery tomato salad, a classic melon and feta salad with toasted seeds for crunch, and an icy, sweet noodle dish I write this on the hottest day of the year so far. With the sun glaring through my window and the outside calling my name, a hot kitchen is the last thing on my mind. That’s not to be confused with food, of course, which is always on my mind. Luckily, today’s recipes are all about fresh, bright dishes that are cooling and soothing and involve very little actual cooking. Zesty lime and tomatoes, creamy cheese and summer fruit, sweet noodles and icy granita: cooling food to offset the scorching sun and temper the spirits with a proper summertime meal. Continue reading…

  • 20 photographs of the week
    by Jim Powell on August 15, 2020 at 8:00 am

    The aftermath of the Beirut explosion, demonstrations after the election in Belarus and the impact of Covid-19: the most striking images from around the world Continue reading…

  • Bolsonaro ‘led Brazilian people into a canyon’, says ex-health minister
    by Tom Phillips Latin America correspondent on August 15, 2020 at 8:00 am

    Luiz Henrique Mandetta accuses president of playing a ‘pivotal’ role in steering economy towards catastrophe Historians will savage Jair Bolsonaro for leading Brazilians into a deadly “canyon” with his shambling, self-interested and anti-scientific response to Covid-19, according to his former health minister. In an interview with the Guardian, Luiz Henrique Mandetta accused the Brazilian president of playing a “pivotal” role in steering Latin America’s largest economy towards a catastrophe. Bolsonaro played politics with citizens’ lives at a time of global crisis, he said, as Brazil’s death toll rose to more than 105,000. Only the US has suffered more deaths. Continue reading…

  • A clusterpocalyse is heading our way – so stock up on good times (not loo roll) | Hadley Freeman
    by Hadley Freeman on August 15, 2020 at 8:00 am

    We should be watching movies that have nothing to do with the current depressing situation Exciting news, everyone: this winter will be terrible! This is palpably and collectively beginning to sink in, with conversations transitioning from, “It seems like we’ve flattened the curve now, right?” to “Oh, the apocalypse is coming. Well, something to put in the diary at last, I guess.” In case anyone was daring to nurture a flicker of optimism, a recent article by the Spectator’s political editor, James Forsyth, dampened that spark: “This winter the government could be dealing with flu, Covid-19, flooding, mass unemployment and all the issues arising from the end of the Brexit transition period. The cabinet is assessing how ready the state is to handle multiple crises at once.” Haha – Brexit! Oh my God, remember that? Brexit feels like the annoying boyfriend you’d forgotten about because your house burned down. And as you clear the ashes from what was your life, you realise he’s still there, holding a boombox. I’m going to take a casual punt here and say the state will probably be not that ready to deal with this incoming clusterpocalypse, judging by the past and current state of affairs. But we can be more prepared than we were for lockdown which, I would wager, took most of us by surprise. Not all of us, of course: my father was sending me emails about the coronavirus from late January, which I merrily ignored. For many of us who grew up in the 1990s – an era so comparatively drama-free it birthed a genre of films in which the protagonists had to make up fictional villains (Fight Club, The Game) because even Hollywood admitted there weren’t really any threats any more – it took a while to realise how bad things were. And now, they are going to get worse. Continue reading…

  • Theatres, casinos and bowling alleys reopen in England
    by Jessica Murray, Alex Mistlin and agency on August 15, 2020 at 7:41 am

    Latest easing of restrictions comes as tougher fines for people repeatedly not wearing mask are announced Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Theatres, casinos and bowling alleys are opening on Saturday as part of the latest easing of lockdown restrictions in England. From Saturday, physically distanced audiences will be allowed back into indoor venues, while wedding receptions of up to 30 people will also be permitted. Continue reading…

  • A-level students are victims of a farce that Gavin Williamson had five months to avoid | Laura McInerney
    by Laura McInerney on August 15, 2020 at 7:00 am

    The education secretary has ruined exam results for thousands of young people. Next week, with GCSEs, things could be even worse One day, the pandemic will be over, and face masks and sanitisers and alert levels and Rishi’s dishes will all be a memory. But the Covid Class of 2020 will still have their A-level and GCSE exam grades on their life’s records. Some will have lost places on degrees, or training, and their lives will have been changed. Others will be struggling to explain to future employers why their results nosedived at age 18. All will carry the fallout of Gavin Williamson’s lamentable decision-making. Every teacher takes exam results seriously. It’s one of the main reasons why they work 50 hours a week planning and delivering lessons, putting on extra unpaid revision classes, marking late into the night. It’s why even ordinary results days are agony. That is another reason why this year’s A-level fiasco is unforgivable and, if it continues into GCSEs, will become a full-blown scandal. Continue reading…

  • The best holiday scents that cheer at home, too | Sali Hughes
    by Sali Hughes on August 15, 2020 at 7:00 am

    Easy, wearable fragrances to transport you to that post-shower pre-aperitif golden hour wherever you are I type with one eye on travel news, hoping, like many thousands of Britons, not to see my summer holiday shelved. It could be considerably worse, and should I have to return the cutoff Levi’s, vest tops and what was worryingly described online as a “linen rompersuit” (I am 45) to their attic storage, I will not forsake my holiday scent wardrobe. There’s something extremely intoxicating and gladdening about holiday scents. Easy, carefree and wearable, they evoke that very moment when, after a long day in the sun anywhere from Newquay to Nice, one emerges for dinner, freshly showered, skin hot, hair still salty through the shampoo, mouth glossed and gasping for an aperitif. I need any summer holiday scent to transport me to that golden hour in an instant, whether or not my flight’s grounded. Continue reading…

  • UK museums turn to innovation to keep doors open in times of Covid
    by Lanre Bakare Arts and culture correspondent on August 15, 2020 at 7:00 am

    Virtual field trips and dynamic stylus are some of proposals that received Art Fund’s grants Virtual field trips, a dynamic stylus and the digitisation of a vast aviation archive are three of the ideas British museums have come up with as a way to future-proof their offering in the face of damaging Covid-19 restrictions. The museums are among the first successful batch of applicants awarded Respond and Reimagine grants by the Art Fund, which split £600,000 between 18 projects that came up with new ways of working during the Covid-19 pandemic. Continue reading…

  • From Oakland to the White House? The rise of Kamala Harris
    by Kari Paul in Oakland and Ed Pilkington in New York on August 15, 2020 at 7:00 am

    The Democratic vice-presidential candidate, a daughter of immigrants, inspires hope – and conflict – in supporters Bancroft Way in Berkeley, California, is quaint and slow, the kind of street where everyone seems to know each other by name. This week, neighbors sat outdoors drinking wine under the evening sun, as they chatted animatedly about their childhood companion who had just become headline news. It was on Bancroft Way that Kamala Harris spent her formative years with her single mother, Shyamala, and sister, Maya. Today, former neighbors reminisce about her following her selection this week as Joe Biden’s Democratic running mate in his bid to evict Donald Trump from the White House. Continue reading…

  • Ronnie O’Sullivan sparks snooker debate after an event like no other
    by Aaron Bower on August 15, 2020 at 7:00 am

    Ken Doherty hits back at five-time champion’s attack on lower-ranked players and says the standard has never been higher From the automated crowd noise to the swathes of empty seats, nothing about this year’s World Snooker Championship has been normal. Well, almost nothing. Whether Ronnie O’Sullivan or Kyren Wilson is crowned champion on Sunday evening, they will have won a tournament like no other in its 93-year history – especially after Friday’s remarkable pair of deciding-frame thrillers. But despite all the peculiarity hanging over snooker’s flagship event and a sense that the sport has seized upon the opportunity presented to it post-lockdown, one man has again thrust the game into the spotlight like few others seem capable of. Having already suggested snooker players were being treated like “lab rats” in the run-up to the championship, O’Sullivan had courted his share of the headlines. But even by his standards, his claim that he would “have to lose an arm and leg” to fall out of the world’s top 50, saying many at the lower end of the rankings wouldn’t even cope as “half-decent amateurs”, certainly was explosive. Continue reading…

  • Never knowingly under-leased – John Lewis moves to rent out its furniture
    by Hilary Osborne on August 15, 2020 at 7:00 am

    Chain targets shoppers such as millennials for whom renting goods rather than owning them is normal It’s typically been the preserve of landlords and property dressers trying to sell a home, but furniture rental could be about to go mainstream. From Monday, high street favourite John Lewis will be renting out sofas, sideboards and desks, as part of the plan to remodel its business announced last month. Tenants who are in short-term lets, or shoppers who want to try before they buy, can choose between 50 different items from the retailer’s range. Prices start at £17 a month for a desk or chair rented for 12 months, and rise for larger goods on shorter contracts. Continue reading…

  • UK infrastructure inadequate for climate emergency, experts warn
    by Fiona Harvey Environment correspondent on August 15, 2020 at 7:00 am

    British building stock is ill-suited to modern heatwaves, infrastructure experts say Government advisers and leading infrastructure experts have said ministers must do much more to protect the UK’s infrastructure from extreme weather, as the fiercest heatwave in decades gave way to thunderstorms and deluges over large parts of the country. Storm warnings are in place over the weekend for most of England, Wales and large parts of Scotland. The Met Office said the current weather was likely to stay in place at least until next Tuesday, bringing heat, lightning and downpours to many regions of the UK, though some of the far north was likely to avoid the worst of it. Continue reading…

  • Stranger in the Shogun’s City by Amy Stanley review – a woman’s life in 19th-century Japan
    by Kathryn Hughes on August 15, 2020 at 6:30 am

    Forget the tea ceremonies and geishas. This is a vivid examination of the life of an ordinary if much-married woman In 1839 a priest’s daughter called Tsuneno ran away from her village in Echigo, otherwise known as the Snow Country of north-central Japan. Her destination was Edo, the shogun’s city, which she had longed to see from the moment she first heard of its existence. The journey took two weeks and involved a treacherous mountain trek, but to Tsuneno it was worth it. Her village home was not only on ice from equinox to equinox, but its customs and expectations seemed frozen too. The shogunate, an ancient feudal system of governance, might be on its last legs but Edo still meant warmth and sizzle and the kind of social melt that allowed for fresh starts. Tsuneno, though, was no one’s idea of a lovely young heroine, nor did she, as you might expect from the slackly orientalist cover design and title of Amy Stanley’s book, end up as a tip-top geisha with a sideline in erotic yet subversively feminist poetry. She was, in fact, a much-married middle-aged woman with such a bad temper that, on the occasion of her fourth marriage, her eldest brother Giyu felt obliged to warn the groom: “As you probably know, she’s a very selfish person, so please return her to us if things don’t go well.” Continue reading…

  • Thailand protests: police arrest student activist for sedition
    by Rebecca Ratcliffe, south-east Asia correspondent on August 15, 2020 at 6:29 am

    Pro-democracy rallies continue with large event due to be held in Bangkok on Sunday A prominent student protest leader in Thailand has been arrested on charges of sedition as pro-democracy rallies continued across the country. Parit Chiwarak, 22, whose arrest was livestreamed on social media, was stopped on the outskirts of Bangkok on Friday night. As he was physically carried into a car, he raised his hand in a three-fingered salute – a gesture borrowed from the Hunger Games that is used by protesters and symbolises opposition to the military-backed government. Continue reading…

  • Tale of two Cities: FTSE 100 rises despite economic collapse
    by Patrick Collinson on August 15, 2020 at 6:00 am

    Surge in shares contrasts with Covid-related downturn and growing unemployment Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage The economic collapse in Britain during the second quarter of 2020 was the most brutal on record. Unemployment is forecast by the Bank of England to soar to 2.5m by Christmas. The Brexit cliff edge approaches. Yet in the City, the FTSE 100 has been on the up. Never has the disconnect between financial trading and economic fundamentals appeared so extreme. What explains surging asset prices (the FTSE jumped 2% on the same day it was revealed the economy had slumped by 20%) when the outlook for many workers is so grim? Continue reading…

  • Skip the services: 20 stopovers off British motorways and A roads
    by Alastair Sawday and Laura Collacott on August 15, 2020 at 6:00 am

    Long, hot journeys are more bearable if broken at a pleasant pitstop. Refuel at these farm shops and cafes with great food, and gardens for the kids All places listed have Covid-safe regulations in place – but check individual opening hours in advance Continue reading…

  • Khizr Khan: ‘Trump may damage American democracy permanently’
    by David Smith in Washington on August 15, 2020 at 6:00 am

    Khan, whose army captain son died in Iraq, gave a speech at the 2016 Democratic convention that was a moral indictment of Trump. Joe Biden, he says, has the character to be president It was a warning that America chose to ignore, but a moment remembered long after the speeches of career politicians were done and forgotten. Four summers ago, in the lead-up to the pivotal 2016 US election, Khizr Khan stood before the Democratic national convention in Philadelphia and told how his son, an American Muslim and army captain, died in Iraq. He had a question for Donald Trump, the Republican nominee threatening to ban Muslim immigrants. Continue reading…

  • ‘We need to show children we can survive’: how to parent through a pandemic
    by Joanna Moorhead on August 15, 2020 at 5:00 am

    There is much you can do to make your children (and yourself) more resilient for the long haul. Experts share their advice for all ages Uncertainty, confusion, fear: we’ve known all these and more, in bucketloads, since March. But how have our children fared? What are the long-term effects of Covid-19 on them, and how can we help them navigate it all, whatever their age? According to the experts, kids are resilient, and while we won’t know for a long time how affected they’ve been by the pandemic, they are wired to cope. However, children who have already experienced difficulties, especially mental health issues, are at particular risk. Just as important is your own mental health, which will have a huge effect on how your child deals with what’s happening, so don’t forget to look after your own needs, and to seek help – from friends, your GP, a therapist – if you’re finding it tough. Continue reading…

  • Blind date: ‘If he had gone in, I would’ve kissed him back’
    on August 15, 2020 at 5:00 am

    Olivia, 28, costume designer, meets Jeremy, 32, client relationship manager What were you hoping for?To meet someone like-minded to hopefully grow a relationship with. Continue reading…

  • Fury in Spain at US plans to produce ‘Iberian’ ham in Texas and Georgia
    by Stephen Burgen in Barcelona on August 15, 2020 at 5:00 am

    Purists are angry with the Spanish government for failing to protect jamón’s integrity For the purist – and there are many purists – top-class jamón ibérico de bellota (acorn-fed Iberian ham) must come from Iberian blackfoot pigs that spend the last months of their lives eating acorns on the dehesa, a traditional Spanish or Portuguese pasture shaded by mature oak trees. After being hung and dry cured for at least 36 months, the meat produced is silky with fat, and, say experts, has a flavour that can only come from the acorns. Spaniards consider jamón ibérico their greatest gift to international gastronomy – the caviar of the Iberian peninsula. Continue reading…

  • Jellyfish bloom reports soar from Cornwall to the Outer Hebrides
    by Caroline Davies on August 15, 2020 at 5:00 am

    Busy beaches and warm, calm seas fuel sightings of lion’s manes, compasses and moons From a “mile-long” swarm in Devon to warnings to swimmers in the Outer Hebrides, it seems jellyfish are difficult to ignore this summer. High temperatures, calm and warm seas and packed beaches have resulted in large numbers of reports of jellyfish blooms around the UK coast, and combined with a glut of the plankton on which they feed, some are reaching record sizes, experts said. Continue reading…

  • New Zealand coronavirus: seven new cases confirmed
    by Staff and agencies on August 15, 2020 at 3:17 am

    Auckland’s lockdown extended for two weeks; start of provincial women’s rugby season delayed New Zealand reported seven new cases of coronavirus up to Saturday morning after a lockdown in Auckland was extended. Six of the seven new cases were linked to the cluster at the centre of all the previous community cases, said Ashley Bloomfield, the director-general of health. Continue reading…

  • ‘The press has to go on’: Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai defies Beijing
    by Helen Davidson on August 15, 2020 at 12:38 am

    Apple Daily founder and pro democracy activist says his case will likely be a ‘litmus test’ of Hong Kong’s legal system Wary but defiant, Jimmy Lai is determined to keep fighting for a democratic Hong Kong, even as he acknowledges that China’s goal is to take full control of the region. Speaking to the Guardian five days after his arrest on foreign collusion allegations – he is currently out on bail – media tycoon Lai argues the press must keep going. But he also believes that Monday’s round up was a warning from Beijing. Continue reading…

  • US sees embarrassing UN defeat over Iran arms embargo proposal
    by Julian Borger in Washington on August 14, 2020 at 11:21 pm

    Just one country joins US in vote, highlighting Washington’s isolation as it seeks more drastic action against Iran The US has suffered a humiliating defeat at the United Nations as its proposal to extend an arms embargo on Iran won support from only the Dominican Republic at the security council vote. The US resolution was never likely to be passed in the face of Russian and Chinese opposition. It was proposed as a ploy by the Trump administration to open the way to more drastic action against Iran. Continue reading…

  • ‘Sheer fear’: mental health impacts of Covid-19 come to fore
    by Nicola Davis on August 14, 2020 at 11:01 pm

    Cases of PTSD, anxiety, depression and insomnia lead to calls for routine follow-up of survivors Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Two months after falling ill with Covid-19, Julie had her first hallucination. “It started slowly. I was struggling to track the plot of a TV show, then I couldn’t read the words on my phone screen,” she said. Things deteriorated, with an overwhelming sense of her mind and body being consumed. “I know it sounds crazy, and I don’t know how to properly articulate it, but in the moment it really felt like something was taking over my brain and my body. Continue reading…

  • UK firm’s solar power breakthrough could make world’s most efficient panels by 2021
    by Jillian Ambrose Energy correspondent on August 14, 2020 at 11:00 pm

    Oxford PV says tech based on perovskite crystal can generate almost a third more electricity British rooftops could be hosting a breakthrough in new solar power technology by next summer, using a crystal first discovered more than 200 years ago to help harness more of the sun’s power. An Oxford-based solar technology firm hopes by the end of the year to begin manufacturing the world’s most efficient solar panels, and become the first to sell them to the public within the next year. Continue reading…

  • Letters to a lost son: ‘The war didn’t end for everyone in 1945’ | Erica Cervini
    by Erica Cervini on August 14, 2020 at 8:00 pm

    Writing to her missing son was an act of longing and hope, but the years of silence took their toll on my great-great grandmother Seventy-five years ago on 15 August 1945 Japan surrendered, bringing the second world war to an end. My great-aunt Faye, who was 23 at the time and living in Melbourne, described how the day unfolded in an exercise book she used as a diary: “Soon after I started work the announcement of the end of the war was made so we were given the rest of the day off and tomorrow as well. This is the moment we waited almost six years for and we thank God and our wonderful allied combined forces for its successful conclusion and hope for a permanent and happy peace. Continue reading…

  • William Norways: a prisoner of war’s sketches on the Thai-Burma railway – in pictures
    by Guardian Staff on August 14, 2020 at 8:00 pm

    British soldier Bill Norways was captured by the Japanese after the fall of Singapore and forced to work on the infamous Thai-Burma railway. During his time as a PoW he created sketches and artworks under appalling conditions • Families of British prisoner and Japanese guard united by poem 70 years on Continue reading…

  • GCSEs: 2 million results set to be downgraded, researchers warn
    by Richard Adams Education editor on August 14, 2020 at 5:37 pm

    Exclusive: analysis suggests disadvantaged pupils will be even worse hit than in A-levels debacle Two million GCSE grades recommended by teachers are to be downgraded next week, with disadvantaged pupils even worse hit than those affected by the A-levels debacle, according to analysis from leading researchers. Thousands of headteachers have called for urgent action to avoid “serious injustices” that could blight the life chances of their pupils, after exams were cancelled because of coronavirus and the results consequently being decided by an algorithm that has been condemned as unfair. Continue reading…

  • ‘It hasn’t sunk in’: Residents win 60% rent reduction in London council flats
    by Aamna Mohdin on August 14, 2020 at 5:19 pm

    Tenants to pay lower social rents after campaign against corporate landlords at Custom House and Canning Town in Newham Hundreds of families in temporary accommodation in east London have had their rent reduced by about 60% following a four-year campaign against their corporate social landlord. The London borough of Newham announced this week that “following a series of management issues” 250 properties in the borough, which were leased out by the council to the property management company Mears, would be transferred back into council management. Continue reading…

  • Student loan interest rate in England and Wales to rise in September
    by Miles Brignall on August 14, 2020 at 4:59 pm

    Move comes as as thousands of school leavers seek university places in clearing Universities brace for the biggest ever clearing day As thousands of school leavers scramble for university places, the Department for Education has announced that the interest rate applied to student loans is rising to 5.6%. Each year, student loan interest rates are calculated according to March’s retail prices index (RPI) inflation figure which this year was 2.6% – plus an extra 3% on top. Continue reading…

  • Afghanistan releases more Taliban prisoners to pave way for talks
    by Emma Graham-Harrison and agencies on August 14, 2020 at 4:56 pm

    Kabul frees around 80 of last group of 400, removing last obstacle to negotiations Afghan authorities have started to release a final batch of 400 Taliban prisoners, removing the last obstacle to talks between the government in Kabul and the insurgents. Negotiations on a possible end to Afghanistan’s decades of war could begin as early as next week, one source said. The Associated Press also reported that 20 August had been suggested as a possible start date, citing several Afghan leaders. Continue reading…

  • Speculation grows over pardon for Edward Snowden after Trump remarks
    by Joanna Walters in New York on August 14, 2020 at 4:06 pm

    Trump: ‘A lot of people think he is not being treated fairly’ Congressman calls for Trump to pardon NSA whistleblower Speculation is growing over whether Donald Trump might pardon Edward Snowden after the US president told an interviewer that the exiled former intelligence operative was “not being treated fairly”. Related: Edward Snowden on 9/11 and why he joined the army: ‘Now, finally, there was a fight’ Continue reading…

  • Officers ‘tried to force asylum seeker to airport’ despite court ruling
    by Diane Taylor on August 14, 2020 at 3:48 pm

    Man who was granted injunction due to risk of suicide says he sustained an injury during attempted removal An asylum seeker who crossed the Channel to the UK on a small boat claims he was forced out of his cell in a detention centre by officers who wanted to put him on a flight even though a judge had halted his removal hours earlier, the Guardian has learned. He was restrained and sustained an injury during the attempted removal in the early hours of Wednesday morning by officers unaware of the high court decision. Continue reading…

  • ‘I have destroyed my life for my children’: the families trying to cross the Channel
    by Harriet Grant on August 14, 2020 at 3:08 pm

    More families arrive in Dunkirk each day and they would rather sleep in woods than seek asylum in France “They are kids, so they are always playing. Like children in the UK play mums and dads or doctors and nurses, our children will re-enact boat crossings, getting patted down by the police, going to food distributions, meeting smugglers. Because one of the way parents safeguard their children is to present attempted border crossings as an adventure.” In a nature reserve near Dunkirk, Caia Fallowfield runs a play project for migrant children who live among the trees with no running water or toilets. These are the children who vanish overnight off the French coast and reappear on the front pages of British newspapers, being pulled out of dinghies in Dover, often cold, wet and frightened. Continue reading…

  • Stonehaven crash: train derailed by landslip, investigators confirm
    by Gwyn Topham Transport correspondent on August 14, 2020 at 2:49 pm

    ScotRail service then hit bridge and fell down embankment, killing three people The ScotRail train that crashed near Stonehaven travelled nearly 100 metres (330ft) after derailing due to a landslip, before striking a bridge parapet and falling down an embankment, accident inspectors have found. Three people including the train driver and conductor died in the accident near Carmont, about four miles west of Stonehaven, on Wednesday. It was Britain’s worst rail disaster since 2002. Continue reading…

  • Turkey threatens to suspend UAE ties over deal with Israel
    by Oliver Holmes on August 14, 2020 at 2:46 pm

    ‘The move against Palestine is not a step that can be stomached,’ says Erdoğan Turkey has threatened to suspend its diplomatic relations with the United Arab Emirates and recall its envoy, a day after the Gulf state announced it would become the third Arab country to establish full ties with Israel. “The move against Palestine is not a step that can be stomached,” President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told reporters on Friday. Continue reading…

  • US coronavirus death toll set to reach 200,000 by Labor Day, CDC forecast says
    by Oliver Milman on August 14, 2020 at 1:57 pm

    Rate of new deaths could rise in California and Colorado over the coming four weeks and decline in Arizona, CDC says The US death toll from the coronavirus pandemic is set to reach 200,000 by Labor Day as children across the country prepare to return to school, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) forecast. The rate of new deaths could rise in California and Colorado over the coming four weeks and decline in Arizona, the CDC said. More than 160,000 people have died from Covid-19 in America, although scientists have pointed out the number of excess deaths so far this year exceeds even this toll. Continue reading…

  • Welcome to Gavin Williamson’s disasterclass – where incompetence is core curriculum | Marina Hyde
    by Marina Hyde on August 14, 2020 at 1:18 pm

    The education secretary’s handling of the A-levels results has all the hallmarks of Johnsonian government. He’ll probably get promoted When Gavin Williamson was sacked as Theresa May’s defence secretary for leaking information from the National Security Council, he swore his innocence “on his children’s lives”. This seems to have been the gateway drug to the lives of other people’s children, with an entire A-level generation the latest batch of youngsters to experience the Williamson effect. Gavin is now Boris Johnson’s education secretary – because really, why not? – and his handling of the pandemic year’s A-level results has been a disasterclass even by his own standards. On the one hand, gotta feel for him. He’s had a mere five months’ notice that students would not be sitting their exams and to come up with ways of handling the situation as fairly and accessibly as possible. On the other, the upshot is such a demonstrable shambles that the prime minister has felt moved to come out and call the grade system “robust” and “dependable”. As bad as all that, then. You’ve heard of the Kitemark – any Johnson imprimatur is the guaranteed shitemark. Continue reading…

  • UK potato farmers fear another washout for this year’s crop
    by Fiona Harvey Environment correspondent on August 14, 2020 at 1:00 pm

    Growers hope to avoid a third bad year but have already been hit by lockdown and a heatwave The humble spud, staple of the British dinner table, has weathered storm, flood and lockdown, but farmers are on tenterhooks ahead of the crucial growing season for the key crop as the UK heatwave is followed by thunderstorms and deluges. Farmers are desperate to avoid a repeat of last year, when good growing weather over the summer was followed by heavy rains in some areas from late September that left the ground too sodden to harvest for months, spelling disaster for many potato growers. Continue reading…

  • Seven top oil firms downgrade assets by $87bn in nine months
    by Jillian Ambrose on August 14, 2020 at 12:09 pm

    Thinktank says changes to forecasts reflect accelerated shift away from fossil fuels The world’s largest listed oil companies have wiped almost $90bn from the value of their oil and gas assets in the last nine months as the coronavirus pandemic accelerates a global shift away from fossil fuels. In the last three financial quarters, seven of the largest oil firms have slashed their forecasts for future oil market prices, triggering a wave of downgrades to the value of their oil and gas projects totalling $87bn. Continue reading…

  • Have you retrained to be a health worker due to the coronavirus pandemic?
    by Guardian community team on August 14, 2020 at 9:11 am

    We would like to hear from people who have turned to work in the health and care industries after losing their jobs BBC Radio 4’s Today programme has revealed how arts freelancers have turned to work in the health and care industries after losing their jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic. We would like to speak to people who have also changed careers and are retraining as health and care workers due to the pandemic. Continue reading…

  • British travellers: how have you been affected by the France quarantine decision?
    by Guardian community team on August 14, 2020 at 8:34 am

    We would like to hear the experiences of those who are returning to the UK early The UK government has confirmed that France would be removed from the UK’s travel corridor safety list, following a sharp rise in Covid-19 cases. The decision will mean holidaymakers arriving into the UK from France, after 0400 on Saturday morning, will be forced to self-isolate for 14 days or face a fine. Continue reading…

  • Colombian pop star J Balvin in recovery after ‘getting coronavirus bad’
    by Ben Beaumont-Thomas on August 14, 2020 at 8:25 am

    Balvin, one of the most streamed artists in the world, warns fans ‘this isn’t a joke – the virus is real and it’s dangerous’ J Balvin, one of the world’s most-streamed pop stars, has said he contracted coronavirus and is in recovery. The Colombian vocalist, 35, revealed his illness while accepting a best video prize at the Premios Juventud awards. Speaking via video in Spanish and as reported by Billboard, he said: Continue reading…

  • The underwater future of the Maldives – in pictures
    by Giulia Piermartiri and Edoardo Delille on August 14, 2020 at 8:00 am

    By 2100 the island nation could be submerged. As a representation of the looming future Giulia Piermartiri and Edoardo Delille projected tourists’ photos onto residents’ homes in a series for Festival Images Vevey Continue reading…

  • Zaido: the ancient Japanese ritual to bring good luck – in pictures
    on August 14, 2020 at 8:00 am

    After the death of her father and the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, Yukari Chikura found solace by travelling to a remote village to document the 1,300-year-old annual ceremony. Her book Zaido is published by Steidl Continue reading…

  • Allotment life in Bristol – in pictures
    by Chris Hoare on August 14, 2020 at 6:00 am

    Bristol photographer Chris Hoare’s Growing Spaces, a project focusing on local allotments. In collaboration with Bristol Photo Festival, allotment holders, societies and food producers, the festival will create an archive of images representing this aspect of city life. National Allotments Week lasts until 16 August Continue reading…

  • Could a Belarus protest movement bring down Alexander Lukashenko? – podcast
    by Presented by Rachel Humphreys with Hannah Lubakova and Andrew Roth, produced by Sam Colbert and Axel Kacoutié; executive producers Nicole Jackson and Phil Maynard on August 14, 2020 at 2:00 am

    Since Sunday, thousands of protesters have taken to the streets in Belarus to contest the claimed election victory of the president, Alexander Lukashenko, and met a violent police response. Hanna Liubakova, a Belarusian journalist, describes being on the ground, while the Guardian’s Andrew Roth looks at how Lukashenko has remained in power for 26 years On 9 August, presidential election day, clashes broke out across Belarus as riot police used rubber bullets, flash grenades, teargas and water cannon to quash protests. Alexander Lukashenko, who has ruled for 26 years, claimed he had won a landslide victory in an election marred by accusations of vote-rigging. The election commission announced the next day that he had taken 80.23% of the votes while his main opposition challenger, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, who has held some of the country’s largest political rallies since the days of the Soviet Union, had only 9.9%. Hanna Liubakova, a Belarusian journalist, tells Rachel Humphreys what it has been like covering the protests over the past few days, while the Guardian’s Moscow correspondent, Andrew Roth, discusses how Lukashenko has remained in power for so long. Meanwhile, Tikhanovskaya has left for Lithuania. Vocal critics of the government say she was blackmailed, pointing to a trend, stretching back more than a decade, of putting pressure on opposition politicians and their families. Continue reading…

  • ‘I feel useless’: A-level students in England tell of their disbelief after downgrades
    by David Batty and Rachel Obordo on August 13, 2020 at 6:12 pm

    Pupil after pupil say they have not achieved expected grades, with many unsure what to do next Dozens of A-level students have told the Guardian of their shock and disbelief after receiving grades far lower than they were predicted to get, leaving some in limbo because they are unable to take up a place at university. Continue reading…

  • Beirut explosion devastates Sursock Palace and Museum – in pictures
    on August 13, 2020 at 9:43 am

    Among the many homes and buildings damaged by the Beirut explosion were the Sursock Palace and Museum. The 19th-century palace was once one of Beirut’s grandest town houses, and the mansion housing the museum was left to the city of Beirut in 1952 Continue reading…

  • How Britain’s deepest recession is becoming a jobs crisis
    by Presented by Mythili Rao with Aditya Chakrabortty; produced by Courtney Yusuf and Axel Kacoutié; executive producers Phil Maynard and Nicole Jackson on August 13, 2020 at 2:00 am

    Economics writer Aditya Chakrabortty describes how the coronavirus crisis has sent Britain plunging into a record recession and what it means for the millions of people fearing for their jobs Britain is officially in its deepest recession since records began following the unprecedented economic shutdown in response to the coronavirus crisis. It has left millions of people fearing for their futures and especially their employment. In the past six months, the UK has shed nearly 750,000 jobs. Economics columnist Aditya Chakrabortty tells Mythili Rao that the chancellor’s initial response of the government-backed furlough scheme was pivotal. But as Rishi Sunak looks to wind down the scheme by October it risks pitching people out of work just as the economy is beginning its recovery. Continue reading…

  • Why Joe Biden picked Kamala Harris as his running mate – video explainer
    by Lauren Gambino, Tom Silverstone, Nicholas Williams, Nikhita Chulani and Katie Lamborn on August 12, 2020 at 2:40 pm

    Joe Biden has picked his former one-time presidential rival Kamala Harris to be his running mate, making her the first woman of color on a major party presidential ticket. The Guardian’s Lauren Gambino explains Harris’s trailblazing background, the  ‘hunger for black, female leadership’ and the excitement around the Californian senator’s nomination  What to make of the Kamala Harris VP pick? Our panel’s verdict Good day for our country’: Democrats hail Kamala Harris as VP pick Continue reading…

  • How one hotel outbreak of Covid-19 put an Australian state back in lockdown – podcast
    by Presented by Rachel Humphreys with Melissa Davey; produced by Serena Barker-Singh, Miles Martignoni and Axel Kacoutié; executive producers Phil Maynard and Nicole Jackson on August 12, 2020 at 2:00 am

    Melbourne bureau chief, Melissa Davey, discusses life under a second lockdown after a hotel security breach in Victoria caused a resurgence of coronavirus cases The south-eastern state of Victoria in Australia is in the midst of a second lockdown. A breach in infection control procedures by security staff contracted by the government to monitor returned international travellers was one of the factors that triggered Victoria’s resurgence of infections. Melissa Davey, the Melbourne bureau chief for Guardian Australia, tells Rachel Humphreys how Australia fought the virus so effectively during the first wave and how people have responded to this new infection. Australia’s only free 24/7 counselling service for young people has reported that demand in Victoria increased 8% in July compared with the previous month. Continue reading…

  • Beirut explosion: the volunteer clearing up the wreckage of her home city – video
    by Adrian Hartrick, Christopher Cherry, Alex Healey, Charlie Phillips and Katie Lamborn on August 8, 2020 at 12:58 pm

    In the days after the Beirut explosion, the Guardian followed yoga teacher Jana Saleh as she volunteered to help clear up. She finds chaos, disorder and a lack of support from Lebanese authorities: ‘there is no government, no army … nothing’. In the immediate aftermath, she searches through wreckage, helps out older people and clears a hospital smashed beyond repair.  More than 150 people died in the blast, around 5,000 were injured and at least 60 are still missing, according to the health ministry What we know about the Beirut explosion – video explainer ‘Martyrs for corruption’: the family mourning three firefighters missing in Beirut explosion Continue reading…

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