After a week of walking and hitching rides across Central America, the first members of a 3,000-strong caravan of migrants were preparing on Friday morning to cross the Suchiate river into Mexico – despite threats of retaliation from Donald Trump.Continue reading...
Next week it will be my first day in a new job, after almost 20 years in public life in Europe and Britain. It could not be more of a contrast. Instead of the gothic splendour of Westminster, I will be surrounded by the gleaming glass and steel of Silicon Valley. Instead of the clout of the state in Whitehall, I will now experience the dynamism of the private sector in Palo Alto. Instead of the impact of Brexit, I will now be focused on the impact of tech.
A job at Facebook is – literally and metaphorically – a long way from SW1. I have mixed feelings about leaving the UK’s public debate about the future of our country’s relations with the rest of Europe. Since the referendum, I have devoted my energies to making the case – often in uncompromising terms unavailable to those still in office – for a rethink of what I believe may turn out to be the greatest act of self-harm committed by a mature democracy. It is being made against the interests and wishes of those who have to bear the heaviest consequences: the young.Continue reading...
It was as predictable as it was despicable. “I’m going to rape and kill you,” read the message from the Instagram user benhughes_15 at 8.28am on Friday. Then, as if taunting the unnamed England player he was addressing following the abuse received by Karen Carney after Chelsea’s Champions League victory against Fiorentina this week, he added: “Can I get a headline on bbc sport?”
Six hours after sending that hurtful message, the user’s account had yet to be suspended by Instagram despite it being highlighted by the England Women manager, Phil Neville, to his 450,000 followers and subsequently covered by various media outlets. “Another disgraceful, awful, despicable message sent to one of my @lionesses,” wrote Neville. “@instagram can you do a better job of protecting my players who use your social media platform!!”Continue reading...
Late-night hosts discussed Trump’s latest remarks on the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and attempts to suppress voters before the midterms
Late-night hosts covered Donald Trump’s latest refusal to attack the Saudis for their alleged involvement in the presumed death of Jamal Khashoggi and discussed voter suppression in Georgia.Continue reading...
WikiLeaks founder accuses government of violating his ‘rights and freedoms’
Julian Assange is to launch legal action against the government of Ecuador, accusing it of violating his “fundamental rights and freedoms”.
The move follows a deterioration in relations between the Ecuadorian government and the Wikileaks founder, who was granted refuge at Ecuador’s London embassy in 2012 while on bail in the UK over sexual assault allegations against him in Sweden.Continue reading...
There are two Racines: a richer, whiter county and a poorer, more diverse city. Which will weigh heavier at the ballot box in crucial midterm elections for House, Senate and governor?
When I checked in at Heathrow for my flight to Racine the woman helping me tag my bags asked the purpose of my journey. When I told her I was going to cover the midterm elections she asked: “Do you think it’ll make any difference. He just does what he wants.” Then she leaned in conspiratorially and whispered. “I think he’s mad.”Continue reading...
Journalists expressed disgust with Donald Trump’s remarks at a rally Thursday night in Montana, where he praised and joked about the unprovoked assault on a Guardian US journalist by the state’s congressman, Greg Gianforte.Continue reading...
• He might not be ready to play 90 minutes, City manager adds
• Ilkay Gündogan is still injured but Fabian Delph is fit again
Pep Guardiola has confirmed Kevin De Bruyne is ready to make his Manchester City comeback, after a two-month absence, against Burnley on Saturday.Continue reading...
Sir John Sawers says theory that rogue Saudi military officers were responsible is ‘blatant fiction’
A former head of MI6 has said all the evidence suggests Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was behind the death of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and that the theory that rogue elements in the Saudi military were responsible was “blatant fiction”.
Sir John Sawers told the BBC his assessment was based on conversations with senior Whitehall sources and his knowledge of the Turkish intelligence services.Continue reading...
Under immense pressure from Ferrari there were slips, errors and obstacles to surmount but out of the lowest moment of the season came the combined strength to propel Hamilton to the verge of his fifth world title at the US Grand Prix
Lewis Hamilton stands ready to prove that his rivals have searched in vain for any weaknesses to exploit at this weekend’s US Grand Prix. This season he has been under pressure as never before but has come through it; he is champion elect and Austin will likely see him crowned. If so he will rightly collect the approbation a five-time world champion deserves; only two other drivers have managed it in the history of the sport.
Yet he knows it will be an honour truly shared. He is an exceptional driver but more than aware of how hard his Mercedes team have worked to make it happen. Much of the focus this season has been on Ferrari’s failures yet this will be a championship won by Mercedes as much as lost by the Scuderia.Continue reading...
Spain is on course to become home to the world’s longest-lived people, with researchers crediting diet and lifestyle
The Mercado de Maravillas lives up to its name. Should you ever find yourself in Madrid and desperate to buy half a kilo of pigs’ ears, a pair of fluffy slippers, a whole beef heart, a poncho, a jar of Peruvian chilli sauce and a bottle of good, strong bleach all under one roof, the stallholders of the Market of Wonders will be happy to oblige.
Its most life-enhancing marvels, however, may lie in the piles of neatly stacked fruit and vegetables, the bags of nuts and in the treasuries of fish reclining, dead-eyed but odourless, on beds of ice.Continue reading...
If you’ve ever thrown your console controller across the room, you’ll understand when I say that some games are worth a bit of cheating.
Like Ezio Auditore of Assassin’s Creed ascending the Sistine Chapel, downloads of dodgy software for the all-conquering Fortnite continue to rise. Fortnite’s developer, Epic Games, is suing one person for selling cheats to the hugely popular game. But I wonder whether cheating at video games is really anything to feel bad about. While downloading unverified cheat programs and exposing yourself to malware is not something to encourage, there are wider and greyer areas of game manipulation that deserve consideration.Continue reading...
Huge rise in number of requests from descendants of refugees who fled Hitler
British descendants of refugees who fled Nazi Germany, including many Jewish families, are racing to secure German nationality so they can remain EU citizens after Brexit, according to official data.
The number of Britons applying for German passports using a special legal provision, article 116-2, that aims to make amends for Nazi-era persecutions has soared by more than 1,500% since the UK voted to leave the bloc in June 2016.Continue reading...
Our photo editors round up their favourite photos from the past 24 hours, including a baby gorilla in Amsterdam and royals in SydneyContinue reading...
Also this week: an encounter with a Python and a Tory MP turns invisible in the Commons
In the normal course of events, the prime minister would come to the House of Commons on the Monday following an EU summit to update MPs on progress. This week Theresa May took the unusual step of giving a pre-summit statement to tell everyone she had nothing to say, that no progress had been made to resolving the Northern Ireland backstop, and that she did not expect to make any progress any time soon. It was politics at its most meta: an occasion to make up for the absence of occasion. Sometimes when you haven’t got anything to say, it’s best to say nothing. My friend John Sutherland has just written a book, The Good Brexiteer’s Guide to English Lit, that goes some way to explaining why Brexit can make fools of the cleverest people – as well as making fools of fools. He argues that Brexit is essentially hollow: an idea without political apparatus, without sustaining history and without field-tested ideology. Rather, it was an atavistic set of competing interests. Some wanted to get rid of immigrants; some wanted to restore British sovereignty; some just wanted to give the political elites a kicking. A diehard remainer, Sutherland has performed the ultimate sacrifice. He has given the Brexiters something they were never able to give themselves: a cultural and literary hinterland around which they can unite, and against which Brexit can be better understood.Continue reading...
• Bairstow sits out nets session and will be assessed on Saturday
• Joe Denly the other option to open against Sri Lanka in ODI
Alex Hales is preparing for a return to the England XI for Saturday’s fourth one-day international against Sri Lanka after Jonny Bairstow twisted an ankle during the team’s regular pre-nets football warm-up.
Bairstow, the side’s leading batsman in 2018 with 1,025 runs from opener, suffered the injury to his right ankle while stretching for the ball and was not seen during the remainder of Friday’s training session.Continue reading...
Stenberg is the star of a new adaptation of the YA novel phenomenon. The actor, and the film’s director, discuss cinema’s new generation of resistance
Any resemblance between The Hate U Give and your average teen movie evaporates about 20 minutes in, when 16-year-old Starr Carter, played by Amandla Stenberg, witnesses a police officer shoot dead her friend Khalil at point-blank range. By this stage, Starr’s father has already given her The Talk, the time-honoured ritual where African-American parents instruct their children how to behave if stopped by the police: be polite, stay calm, put your hands where they can see them. When their car is pulled over, Starr follows the drill. Khalil reaches for a hairbrush. The police officer thinks it’s a gun. That’s all it takes.
The Hate U Give is fictional, but barely. To see the stricken expression on Stenberg’s face during the shooting scene is to recall Diamond Reynolds, partner of Philando Castile, who livestreamed the aftermath of Castile’s 2016 police shooting from the passenger seat while he bled to death beside her. The victims’ names have almost become a mantra: Castile, Freddie Gray, Oscar Grant, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, Sandra Bland – all young African Americans killed by law enforcement, each an avoidable tragedy.Continue reading...
When I was younger, I was terrified they would make me lose my mind. Now, I embrace them which I think is a sure sign of maturity
I have been told, by a sleep professional no less, that I am a “vivid dreamer”. I remember my dreams often, the twilight theatrics of my unconscious seared into memory by their intensity. Sometimes my dreams upset me, rehashing painful memories and serving them up with an extra side of terror. But mostly they’re just a bit odd, and leave me wondering what I’ve witnessed in the still of the night.
Perhaps that’s why interpreting dreams is one of my favourite activities. You can tell a lot about a person by how they do it. Do they subscribe to the superstitious (“A message from the other side!”), the psychological (“This speaks to a wider sense of insecurity”) or the physical (“The human body is not designed to eat whole wheels of cheese”)? Sometimes, the reading of the dream can be more telling than the vision itself: such as the time I told Auntie B that I had had a dream about an owl with guillotine talons. “It’s a message. I knew it would come,” she said, straight-faced. “God is telling you to lose some weight.” This was an interpretation that told me nothing about the dream and everything about why I don’t call Auntie B.Continue reading...
A 1,000-metre spider web and a hellbender devouring a snake are among this week’s pick of images from the natural worldContinue reading...
Saturday’s march in London shows that progressives still refuse to listen to those who pressed the Brexit button
Some of my best friends will be marching for a people’s vote on Saturday. Some of them are the type who don’t normally go on marches, but they feel strongly and they want to make their voices heard. I won’t be joining them. Not because I don’t care about their feelings or voices, but because of the strange denial of what this is all about.
Remainers would like a second referendum where all the deluded leavers suddenly see the light. They see themselves as wholly on the side of good. They want collaboration and cheap flights, good cheese and Spanish carers. They want to safeguard scientific research and human rights. Sure, I want those things too.Continue reading...
Knightley has ‘banned’ the Disney princess film, while Kristen Bell uses Snow White to teach her children about lack of consent
Actors Keira Knightley and Kristen Bell have both commented on their unease about using Disney princesses as role models for their children.
Speaking on the Ellen Show, Knightley said her daughter (who was born in 2015) was “banned” from watching Cinderella, which Disney produced as a cartoon in 1950 and a live-action film in 2015. “[Cinderella] waits around for a rich guy to rescue her. Don’t. Rescue yourself! Obviously.”Continue reading...
Make your own history in these fantastic houses, from Suffolk to the HighlandsContinue reading...
Boasting the largest organ in Asia and four theatres, this enormous performing arts venue invites people to exercise, nap and even break into song
Looking like the colossal love child of a container ship and a whale, writhing above the treetops of Weiwuying park in the southern Taiwanese city of Kaohsiung, the world’s largest performing arts centre has a suitably immense presence. By turns galumphing and graceful, the roughly £260m hulk contains an opera house, concert hall, theatre and recital hall, seating up to 7,000 people within its curvaceous shell. As Taiwan faces ever more pressure for assimilation from mainland China, whose cultural building boom has led to a new museum or concert hall open practically every week in recent years, the National Kaohsiung Centre for the Arts, AKA Weiwuying, is a monumental statement that this plucky nation means business on the international cultural stage.
Gaping openings in the building’s hefty flanks beckon you into a cave-like landscape, where the floor rides up in great waves as the ceiling plunges down to meet the ground, forming a world of tunnels and canyons. The glossy-white steel skin is sliced open in places, bringing shafts of light into the space and offering intriguing glimpses of the venues within. It provides cooling respite from the tropical heat of this coastal city, channelling the breeze beneath its bulging belly to make a welcome place for picnics, tai-chi, yoga classes and some exhilarating swings.Continue reading...
What’s new in the podcast world and a look at the best shows for obsessive fans of TV’s great seriesHear Here podcast tips: sign up now for more audio delights
Likened to a UK This American Life by the wise minds at Hot Pods, the BBC’s new podcast series Multi Story makes inventive use of the corporation’s local reporting. Each episode assembles a collection of regional stories from across England on a single theme: this week’s instalment on parenting features one couple’s story of how they came to terms with the loss of their child and the tale of a prolific sperm donor.Continue reading...
Dimitris Papaioannou’s show at Dance Umbrella is a painterly piece that leaves little to the imagination, while Le Patin Libre deliver a haunting show on ice
London’s Dance Umbrella festival has a knack for programming artists who seem to inhabit genres of their own, like Le Patin Libre’s contemporary ice-skating (more of which later) and the Greek choreographer Dimitris Papaioannou’s distinctive stripped-back dance-theatre.
Papaioannou made his debut at Dance Umbrella two years ago and is still relatively unfamiliar to UK audiences, but he has been making dance for 30 years and it shows. The craftsmanship is immense and this is an accomplished piece of theatre that creates so much from very little. The stage is an empty slope covered in large black tiles, and contrast is everywhere: dark versus light, black clothes versus pale naked flesh. Quite a lot of naked flesh, as it happens. (Be prepared for penises.) The Great Tamer (★★★★☆) is a work that spins its magic so slowly it seems as if barely anything is happening, but then the 10 dancers suddenly coalesce into a striking scene, a small coup de theatre, something funny or recognisable, mostly imitations of great paintings. Rembrandt’s The Anatomy Lesson appears, for example, the dancers with stiff ruffs around their necks and a body on the slab having its sausagey innards pulled out.Continue reading...
Former UK deputy prime minister to move to Silicon Valley in January
Facebook has hired Sir Nick Clegg, the former UK deputy prime minister, as its head of global policy and communications.
Clegg, 51, will join Facebook as it struggles to cope with mounting political pressure over issues including fake news, data protection and the threat of government regulation.Continue reading...
Alex Carter had created his own romantic story of how he came into the world. But then he met the twin he never knew he had...
On a summer’s night in 1969, in the only maternity ward in a small town in North America, a woman gave birth to a baby. She was a teenager, unmarried, and she knew well before the little boy was put in her arms that she’d give him up for adoption. That little boy was me – but I was not the only baby born there that night.
Growing up, I did not have much in common with my older brother and two younger sisters, who were also adopted. Along with my adoptive parents, they would tease me for spending all my time reading everything from encyclopedias to comics, and call me “the intellectual”. There was no blood link to my parents or siblings, and we shared no characteristics or personality traits.Continue reading...
Research forecasts Iowa corn yields could drop in half within the next half-century thanks to extreme weather – yet it’s not part of the political conversation
Farmers around here are itching to go after that amber wave of soya beans, but there was that 5in rain a couple of weeks ago and then a 7in rain, and it drives even the retired guys batty.
Those beans aren’t worth much at the elevator thanks to a Trump trade war with China, but they’re worth even less getting wet feet in a pond that was a field which the glacier made a prairie bog some 14,000 years ago – until we came along and drained it.Continue reading...
Virginia court to decide whether Manafort will be sentenced for fraud before or after he completes cooperation with prosecutors
The former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort is due back in a Virginia courtroom to decide whether he will be sentenced on fraud charges before or after he completes his cooperation with prosecutors.Continue reading...
Conditions would have to be met before invitation from Kim Jong-un could be accepted
Pope Francis will seriously consider making an unprecedented visit to North Korea, but some conditions would have to be met, a senior Vatican official has said.
An invitation from the closed state’s leader, Kim Jong-un, was relayed to the pope by South Korea’s president, Moon Jae-in, who is Catholic, during a private audience at the Vatican on Thursday. The South Korean presidential office said Moon had “conveyed [Kim’s] desire for a papal visit to North Korea”, with a formal invitation directly from Pyongyang to follow.Continue reading...
The full rundown of winners at the Observer Food Monthly Awards 2018. The event was held at the Freemasons’ Hall, London, on 18 October.Continue reading...
In breaking all the usual protocol the royal couple have done everything right to bewitch a nation
Republican sentiments may be simmering, but this was the week that Australia fell in love with Prince Harry and Meghan.
It certainly helped that hours after touching down in Sydney, Kensington Palace announced that the Duchess of Sussex was pregnant, as if they had been saving it up as a gift for the Australian public. (Or at the very least a present to newspaper editors, who responded with gusto – “Heir Dinkum!” wrote Murdoch’s Sydney newspaper the Daily Telegraph.)Continue reading...
A chance cookbook purchase turned Jack Monroe on to a cheeky, chatty, more confident way with food
One of the only books I had as a single mum on the dole was 30 Minute Meals. I had bought a copy at my local Waterstones while I was still working at the fire brigade. It jumped out at me. At the time, cookbooks were glossy, beautiful, aspirational, whereas this was: “Look, you can do this in half an hour or less, what are you waiting for?” And I thought, “All right, I’ll give it a go.”
I’ve riffed off his recipes so often. All the pastas, the quick pizza doughs, the mushroom risotto, tomato soup, the curries. I’d flick through the book, knocking out ingredients I didn’t have and changing them to fit whatever I could afford at the time. It is a comforting classic.Continue reading...
Mohammed Hanif was living in London when his award-winning first novel was published. Now back in Karachi, he discusses the threats he’s faced and why he continues to speak out
They put GPS chips in pets and migratory birds now. How can someone flying around in a 65-million-dollar machine get lost?” With these words – spoken by a US airman who has just crashed his jet in an unnamed desert – Mohammed Hanif upends his own premise in the opening pages of his new novel. It is a typically bold manoeuvre from a satirical writer who was himself once a pilot – “a really bad one” – and whose work is full of references to military hardware. His Booker-longlisted debut A Case of Exploding Mangoes placed a cart of the fruit alongside Pakistan’s president Zia ul-Haq on a doomed C-130 Hercules; his second told of a spirited convent nurse married off on a nuclear submarine. But jokey though his fiction appears, its political mission is Orwellian – his work is underpinned by a sense of a corrupt world that is constantly embattled. “I think I must have been at high school when the Afghan war started, so we grew up with these kinds of conflicts, and then they started to replicate themselves around the world. These wars never end. The attention just moves somewhere else,” says the 53-year-old novelist, journalist and occasional playwright.
Never-ending war is the location of Red Birds, albeit one in which the bombing has mysteriously stopped. The lost airman, Major Ellie, is transported to a refugee camp by a young boy who discovers him while scouring the desert for his injured dog. The boy, Momo, is the book’s most vivid creation – an adolescent huckster who drives a “jeep Cherokee with a fat, fading USAid logo” and is hell-bent on rescuing his older brother from a sinister military base known as The Hangar.Continue reading...
Twelve-year deal, which had sparked environmental protests, expired in January
Shell has ended its 12-year sponsorship of the National Gallery, to the delight of campaigners who have fought to keep fossil fuel financing out of the arts.
The partnership with the Anglo-Dutch firm has made the London art gallery the target of protests over the years, including Greenpeace dropping a banner off the building’s roof and activists gatecrashing the launch of a flagship Rembrandt exhibition.Continue reading...
Decision taken despite officials saying poll delay would hand Taliban propaganda victory
Saturday’s parliamentary election in the southern Afghan province of Kandahar has been postponed for a week following the assassination of the local police chief.
The national security council approved the recommendation by the Afghan electoral commission on Friday, dealing a severe blow to an election process already bedevilled by security threats as well as technical and organisational problems.Continue reading...
When Australia’s cricketing world finished falling apart in early April 2018, no one much noticed the central contract list that came out a week later. But it was no more encouraging for the country’s immediate Test future than the ball-tampering scandal or the mountainous thrashing in Johannesburg that had preceded it.
With a 50-over World Cup to account for in the forward estimates, the list was largely a hodgepodge of T20 bowlers, all-rounders and white-ball batsmen, along with an excellent Test bowling quartet and a couple of batting discards.Continue reading...
• From 2019 tie-break will be played when score reaches 12-12
• Change follows 26-24 set between Anderson and Isner this year
Wimbledon has finally bowed to pressure from players, coaches and pundits to introduce a final-set tie-break – but it will only kick in when the score reaches 12-12.Continue reading...
Former road world champion hopes a return to cycling will inspire women and show motherhood does not have to end careers
There are three of us in this interview, and in the best of ways. As Lizzie Deignan details her pregnancy and her hopes and plans for her cycling future from a half-complete house in Yorkshire, her new-born daughter Orla is cooing and chirping in that engaging way newborns have. She is, Deignan tells me, very calm, doesn’t cry much, “not much fazes her”, and at four weeks she appears to be taking this little episode in her stride.Continue reading...
Frédéric Lagrange travelled to every corner of Mongolia over a 17-year period, to photograph the landscapes and rural life of this east-Asian wildernessContinue reading...
Dench is to play elderly mog Deuteronomy, a role traditionally played by a man, in adaptation of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical
Having already herded Taylor Swift, James Cordon, Jennifer Hudson and Ian McKellen, director Tom Hooper has added two new arrivals to the Cats litter.
On Wednesday it was announced that Idris Elba is to join the cast of his movie version of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical as Macavity, the villain of the piece. On Friday, Judi Dench was also added, playing Old Deuteronomy, the Jellicle leader who is kidnapped by Macavity.Continue reading...
The Spanish actor has spoken in defence of the director, calling him a ‘genius’ with whom he’d work again immediately
Javier Bardem has spoken out in support of Woody Allen, who directed him and his wife Penélope Cruz in the 2008 comedy Vicky Cristina Barcelona.
Bardem’s comments emerged from a masterclass at the Lumiere festival in Lyon, France. The Spanish actor, who also appeared in the 007 film Skyfall and won an Oscar for best supporting actor for the Coen brothers’ No Country for Old Men, said he would be happy to work for Allen again.Continue reading...
A combination of energy, cheer and her message of self-love has brought the Minneapolis musician to the brink of international recognition
Lizzo didn’t sleep well last night: too much coffee. “I don’t normally drink it, but I love London coffee!” she exclaims. “It’s just, like, frothy and delicious.” You can’t detect the lack of rest, though. Clad in a leopard-print mini-dress accessorised with fluffy pink earrings and matching eyeshadow, the singer-rapper vibrates with energy and cheer.
One of the most promising talents to emerge out of Minneapolis’s music scene, Lizzo is poised for international recognition with the release of her third studio album. We meet in a London hotel, and I’ve been following her stay on her Instagram feed, where she shares pictures of her extravagantly colourful outfits, promotes a body-positivity message and posts clips of herself rapping in studio sessions or twerking in her apartment and tour bus.Continue reading...
Manchester United’s trip to face Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea offers a clash of styles on and off the pitch and starts a defining run of matches for Mourinho
One reason put forward to explain why the great plague did not just keep on ravaging the human race forever is that it ran out of people to kill. The vulnerable succumbed. Those who were resistant grew stronger. Meanwhile the plague remained the same, stuck in its old plague ways, scowling on the periphery, reduced to the odd destructive burst.
There are of course many points of difference between José Mourinho’s approach to winning at football and the bubonic plague. But like the great plague Mourinho’s voracious early success has been followed by a period of dying back; like the plague Mourinho is still basically doing the same thing; and like the plague the high Mourinho style seems, at times, to have simply run out of people to kill.Continue reading...
Church agrees to pay €22m to fund transport upgrades under deal with Barcelona council
More than a century after its first stone was laid and 92 years after its famously ascetic architect was fatally struck by a tram, the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona is finally getting its paperwork in order.
A deal between the church’s trustees and the city council means the project, on which construction began in 1882, will be granted a building licence for the first time.Continue reading...
The queer woman with autism
If you met me, it’s unlikely you would know I had autism. As is common with autistic women, I have become good at mimicking social skills, although you may find me slightly eccentric and outspoken. I have no filter and can talk about the time that I struggled to breathe while an ex-girlfriend sat on my face as comfortably as I can talk about what I had for breakfast.
I also get extremely upset and stressed in group situations. I like everything in even numbers and I am hypersensitive to noise, smell, bright lights and textures.Continue reading...
People are saying I am the queen of Sweden because of the legend of King Arthur
Every summer, my parents, my six-year-old brother and I go to stay in a cabin by a lake called Vidöstern in Tånnö in southern Sweden, not far from where we live. I like to build sandcastles on the beach, or find rocks to skim across the water and see how many times I can make them bounce. Mamma says she used to play and swim in the lake when she was little, too.
On 15 July this year, I was playing on the beach with my friend, when Daddy told me to get a buoy from the cabin: he said the water level in the lake was very shallow and we had to warn any boats that might come along because it was dangerous. He said it had been the hottest summer for 260 years.Continue reading...
The perfect place to check out of city life and rehabilitate alone
The Ribble valley is possibly still so beautiful because many people have no idea where it is. I went on holiday to Clitheroe recently. Yes, I know that sounds like something Alan Bennett would have Thora Hird say, but it was an excellent break, full of dinners about which I still dream: fine country pubs, genuinely warm service. Don’t make me delve into my black book of joyless Lake District experiences yet again, but suffice to say, a recent trip to the Daffodil in Windermere rekindled my wrath.
Meanwhile, the magical Ribble valley, somewhere between Lancashire and the southernmost edge of the Yorkshire Dales, hides in plain sight as Britain’s finest jewel for the tourist-who-does-dinner.Continue reading...
Lawyers examine possible consequences of the proposed reforms to the Gender Recognition Act
A year ago, Theresa May announced that the government was seeking to “streamline and demedicalise” the process of changing gender in the UK because “being trans is not an illness”.
In July this year the government opened a public consultation on proposed changes to the Gender Recognition Act 2004 that would allow people to “self-ID”, meaning that a person seeking to legally change their gender would no longer have to undergo a long legal and medical process. The consultation closes on Friday.Continue reading...
This absorbing posthumous book draws on essays, lectures, speeches and the questions the physicist was so often asked
The late Stephen Hawking did not believe in an afterlife, but he has one all the same. He has appeared as a co-author in two posthumous research papers since he died in March. One takes a fresh look at the problem of just how complex the universe far beyond our horizon could be; the other returns to the intractable but apparently not entirely insoluble problem of what happens to information once it falls into a black hole. This second paper is a response to a paradox that concerns only theoretical physicists but the first addresses the machinery of creation that seems to have needed no creator.
Not surprisingly, he returns to both themes and many more in what his publishers call his final thoughts. Pioneering thinkers leave their names on their science. Hawking and Roger Penrose proved mathematically in 1965 that time, space and matter must have had a beginning in an infinitely small, dense point. Radioastronomers separately identified tantalising evidence of creation inscribed in the cosmos that year. Hawking also pursued another unknowable object to establish the theoretical reality of an elusive entity, instantly dubbed Hawking radiation, from within the forbidden frontiers of a black hole.Continue reading...
The church is reeling from the fallout as at least 13 states have launched investigations, and pews are emptying
A few weeks after the devastating extent of child sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests in Pennsylvania was laid bare in a 900-page grand jury report, Father Michael Stumpf was approached by one of his parishioners.
“She demanded: ‘What do you know?’ And with a shock, I realised that because I’m a member of the clergy, people think I’m complicit. And I can totally understand why,” said the priest at St Mary of the Mount, which overlooks downtown Pittsburgh.Continue reading...
Measures range from voter ID laws to restrictive voter registration procedures and bids to exclude former felons from casting a ballot
With just over a month before the crucial midterm elections, Americans in some states will return to the polls two years after the election of Donald Trump to face new laws that could make it harder to vote.
Since a landmark supreme court ruling in 2013, which repealed key provisions of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, over a dozen states, mostly Republican controlled, have imposed a swathe of laws that critics argue are intended to suppress the franchise among often vulnerable, Democratic leaning, groups.Continue reading...
History is littered with failed rehashes of shows that tried to cross the Atlantic. But, just occasionally, lighting strikes twice
Time for a can of superstrength lager and a slurred but celebratory sing-along: midway through its (current) ninth season, the US remake of Shameless hit the milestone of 100 episodes. There may still be some ground to make up on Paul Abbot’s trail-blazing UK original, which ran for 11 series on Channel 4 until 2013, but for a Chicago-set relocation of a riotous family saga so emphatically rooted on a Manchester council estate, it is still an impressive innings (or “inning”, as they say in baseball).
The wretched history of US remakes of UK TV shows and vice versa is littered with ill-conceived or half-baked efforts, although that has never seemed to discourage executives on either side of the Atlantic. While streaming services with global reach may signal the end of such optimistic TV recycling – will anyone attempt to redo Bodyguard when the original becomes available globally on Netflix later this month? – for now, there are still a handful of successful remakes that, as with Shameless, have matched or even surpassed the quality of the source material.Continue reading...
Myanmar leader’s relative launches court bid, saying ‘I already let her live for free for 12 years’
The crumbling lakeside villa that served as Aung San Suu Kyi’s prison for 15 years during her house arrest has become the source of a bitter family dispute between the Myanmar state counsellor and her brother.
Aung San Suu Kyi’s estranged older brother, Aung San Oo, an engineer who lives in the US, has submitted an appeal at the supreme court, petitioning for the auction of the home and a share of the proceeds.Continue reading...
Manhattan’s skyline is the most famous in the world. Its horizon has been interrupted by verticals from the first 10-storey office buildings in the late 1800s, and will only continue to rise higherContinue reading...
Grace Meng speaks out about ‘cruel, dirty’ Chinese authorities after disappearance of France-based Meng Hongwei
The wife of Meng Hongwei, incumbent president of Interpol who has been detained in secret by China, says she is not sure her husband is alive after he disappeared mysteriously last month, to turn up under investigation in China.
In an emotional interview with the BBC, Grace Meng said she and her children have been waiting for news of Meng Hongwei, who has not been seen or heard from since 25 September when he flew from France to China. “I tell them Daddy is on a long business trip … We want to hear his voice,” she said in an interview published on Friday.Continue reading...
The habits of the wealthiest mirror the supposed ‘pathologies’ of the poor. But while those in poverty are called lazy, the rich are dubbed bon vivants
If nearly a decade interviewing the wealth managers for the 1% taught me anything, it is that the ultra-rich and the ultra-poor have a lot more in common than stereotypes might lead you to believe.
In conversation, wealth managers kept coming back to the flamboyant vices of their clients. It was quite unexpected, in the course of discussing tax avoidance, to hear professional service providers say things like:Continue reading...
Despite policy change by UK government offering them free abortion in England, women risk stigma and prosecution
Women in Northern Ireland who want an abortion are caught between the costs, stigma and complexities of travelling to Great Britain and the risk of prosecution if they access pills online to take at home, according to new research.
A policy change by the UK government last year allowed women from Northern Ireland to have a free abortion in England on the NHS, but it has not solved the problems they face, says a study based on a series of interviews published in a medical journal.Continue reading...
Experts say planet that ‘doesn’t fit’ could offer new insights into how solar system formed
A mission to Mercury, one of our solar system’s least studied planets, is about to embark on its seven-year journey.
Experts say BepiColombo could not only shed light on the mysteries of our neighbourhood’s smallest planet, but also offer new insights into how the solar system formed and even provide vital clues as to whether planets found orbiting other stars – so-called exoplanets – could be habitable.Continue reading...
Sorting people by ‘merit’ will do nothing to fix inequality. By Kwame Anthony Appiah
Michael Young was an inconvenient child. His father, an Australian, was a musician and music critic, and his mother, who grew up in Ireland, was a painter of a bohemian bent. They were hard-up, distractible and frequently on the outs with each other. Michael, born in 1915 in Manchester, soon found that neither had much time for him. Once when his parents had seemingly forgotten his birthday, he imagined that he was in for a big end-of-day surprise. But no, they really had forgotten his birthday, which was no surprise at all. He overheard his parents talk about putting him up for adoption and, by his own account, never fully shed his fear of abandonment.
Everything changed for him when, at the age of 14, he was sent to an experimental boarding school at Dartington Hall in Devon. It was the creation of the great progressive philanthropists Leonard and Dorothy Elmhirst, and it sought to change society by changing souls. There it was as if he had been put up for adoption, because the Elmhirsts treated him as a son, encouraging and supporting him for the rest of their lives. Suddenly he was a member of the transnational elite: dining with President Roosevelt, listening in on a conversation between Leonard and Henry Ford.Continue reading...
Movement increasingly appeals to voters frustrated with traditional mainstream parties
In conservative Bavaria, Greens doubled their vote in state elections to become the second largest party. In local elections in Belgium, record scores of more than 30% won them several Brussels districts and left them runners-up overall. In Luxembourg, they increased their tally of MPs by 50%.
Elections in three European countries last weekend suggest that as the continent’s historic mainstream parties plummet in the polls and struggle to see off the far right’s challenge, for liberal-minded voters the Greens are looking like an answer.Continue reading...
Relief for trans community after country fell behind in offering the procedure
The New Zealand government has lifted a cap on gender reassignment surgery to address a 30-year plus waiting list.
Under the previous government the state funded three male-to-female surgeries and one female-to-male every two years. The waiting list for around 100 people stretched into the decades.Continue reading...
Threat joins backlash from Middle East over possible move of embassy to Jerusalem
Indonesian officials have threatened to “adjust” policies towards Australia if the Morrison government decides to move Australia’s embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
The warnings from officials in the Indonesian foreign ministry and ministry of defence – first reported by ABC’s AM – add to a growing backlash from 13 Middle Eastern and north African nations and the Palestinian National Authority against the Coalition’s plan to reconsider the location of the embassy.Continue reading...
In 1989 five teenagers – four black and one Hispanic – were arrested for the brutal rape and assault of Trisha Meili, a white woman attacked while jogging in Central Park in New York. Less than two weeks later, Donald Trump took out full-page advertisements in all four of the city’s newspapers calling for a return of the death penalty. In an interview later that year, he told CNN’s Larry King: “The problem with our society is the victim has absolutely no rights and the criminal has unbelievable rights,” and that “maybe hate is what we need if we’re gonna get something done.”
The boys, aged between 14 and 16, confessed but later claimed they had been intimidated and coerced. They were, between them, convicted of rape, assault, robbery, riot, attempted murder, sexual abuse involving Meili and other cases, and jailed. In 2001, their convictions were overturned after a convicted serial rapist and murderer confessed to the rape. His story was corroborated by DNA evidence that identified him “to a factor of one in 6,000,000,000 people”.Continue reading...
After the announcement of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's baby news on the first day of their Australian tour, the pair were given some very Australian gifts – a stuffed kangaroo and a pair of tiny Ugg boots.
The royal couple, who married in Windsor Castle in May, also met some real Australian animals, watched an Indigenous dance performance and met admirers outside Sydney Opera HousePrince Harry and Meghan given some very Australian baby giftsContinue reading...
Activists have attempted to blockade a fracking site in Lancashire as operations began for the first time in seven years in the UK. Campaigners from Reclaim the Power used a van to block the entrance to the site on Preston New Road near Blackpool early on Monday. One protester climbed on top of a scaffold and locked his neck to it. Police dispersed the protesters and the energy company Cuadrilla commenced with planned operationsFracking begins in UK for first time since 2011Continue reading...
Pope Francis has made a saint of murdered Salvadoran archbishop Óscar Romero, one of the most contentious Roman Catholic figures of the 20th century. In a ceremony before tens of thousands of people in St Peter’s Square, Francis declared Romero and Pope Paul VI saints along with five other lesser-known people.Pope Francis canonises Óscar Romero and Pope Paul VIContinue reading...
The Guardian’s journalism can change the story. When some of the Windrush generation found themselves branded illegal immigrants, our reporting gave them a voice, urging the government to change its policy. And when our journalism investigated the misuse of social media data, it prompted an inquiry that held those responsible to account. The Guardian is a space for clarity, imagination ... and hope. It is a space worth supporting. Now and for the next time. Become a digital subscriber today.Continue reading...
Procter & Gamble is starting conversations with its hard-hitting advertisements, tackling issues from gender and racial equality to the environment and attracting criticism and plaudits along the way
The announcement earlier this year of a potential new rule in the UK aimed at cracking down on offensive stereotyping in advertising heralds a new dawn in the way companies address gender bias.
The new rule, currently being considered by watchdog the Committee of Advertising Practice (Cap), would steer advertisers away from creating ads overtly portraying, say, a “typical family” scene, with gender-specific roles depicted such as a wife working hard in the kitchen while her husband reclines in the living room, feet on the table, beer in hand, watching the telly.Continue reading...
One person was central in supporting Anni Bannerman through her pregnancy and helping her overcome her fear of hospitals – community midwife Bernie Quigley. Here, they share their experiences
Anni Bannerman had started a new job in a new city when she was surprised to discover she was pregnant. “I’d more or less given up on ever having a family, and now my husband and I were embarking on a very different life in another part of the country,” she says.
Pregnancy changed everything – but in the circumstances in which she found herself, it was isolating. “I didn’t have close friends in Manchester, and my family were thousands of miles away in South Africa, where I grew up,” she says. Plus, she had another reason to be worried: when she was a child, her father had been very severely injured in an accident. “As a result, I was very wary of medical people and hospitals, and being pregnant meant I was going to have to engage with them. It was all quite scary, and unsettling.”Continue reading...
A growing number of organisations and activists are working to end a phenomenon that’s depriving vulnerable young women of time in education. At the same time, efforts are under way to eliminate tampon tax and taboos around menstruation
From the time we’re old enough to get our periods, girls can be made to feel ashamed of them. Everyone who sat in a classroom through those strange, secretive years will remember the absolute horror and dread of being caught short or having to ask a teacher for menstrual products. We learn not only to come prepared but to be silent about what’s going on too. It’s second nature for us to conceal the very fact that we have periods at all – hiding tampons and pads on the way to the bathroom, stuffed into pencil cases, bras, sleeves.
If it was difficult for those of us fortunate enough to always have these products to hand, it’s shocking to consider the girls among us who are forced by poverty to go without them entirely. Several years ago the concept of period poverty began to rise in public consciousness in the UK. The Ken Loach film I, Daniel Blake, a harrowing account of the realities of poverty in modern Britain, sent awareness of this particular struggle soaring. After its release, food bank managers around England reported that a scene in which a young woman named Katie is forced to shoplift pads sent toiletry donations skyrocketing.Continue reading...
Do you know where Der Eigene was published in 1896, what TV show featured the first same-sex kiss and where the first Pride was held? Test yourself with our LGBTQ+ history quiz
While Pride season is a great time to learn about the history of LGBTQ+ people in culture, arts, politics and more, beyond that, we could probably all do more to brush up on our knowledge of the community and its history. So: how much do you know about the history of LGBTQ+ rights? Take our quiz to find out.
Where was the first Pride held?
When was homosexuality decriminalised in the UK?
To which political party did Chris Smith, the first openly gay MP, belong to?
The Labour Party
The Conservative Party
The Liberal Democrats
In what year did it become legal for gay personnel to serve in the UK armed forces?
Which country, in 2001, became the first in the world to allow same-sex marriages?
On which TV show was the first same-sex kiss shown?
Will & Grace
In what year did the US Supreme Court rule that same-sex marriage should be legal?
Aydian Dowling was the first transgender man to grace the cover of an international magazine. But which one was it?
On which UK soap was the first transgender person cast to play a regular transgender character?
Georgina Beyer was the first openly transgender member of parliament, four years after she became the first transgender person to be appointed mayor. But in which country was she elected in 1999?
Which Greek poet’s home gave rise to the modern word ‘lesbian’?
In 1896, the first worldwide gay periodical appeared. But in which city was it published?
10 and above.
Well done: you’re clearly an LGBT history buff!
0 and above.
Ouch – time to hit the history books!
6 and above.
Not bad – you may need to brush up on your history a bit more, but you’re getting there!Continue reading...
Invaders continue to seize land within the Chaparrí ecological reserve, one of Peru’s most biodiverse forests
Shortly after sunset, along an isolated stretch of highway leading out of a dusty hamlet in northern Peru, a band of five weary farmers clad in reflective neon vests and armed with traditional whips made of bull penises set out on a solemn march.
The Ronderos – self-governing peasant patrols – are resuming their nightly rounds five months after the brutal killing of their lieutenant governor, Napoléon Tarrillo Astonitas.Continue reading...
Nearly two years after the signing of a historic peace agreement, violence in the country continues
Enrique Fernández cannot remember the last night he slept peacefully.
He is tall and heavyset, and does not look like someone who scares easily, but as he sits in his humble rented home in western Colombia, his eyes dart nervously from left to right, scanning for any threat.Continue reading...
At 9am on 9 May, Luis Arturo Marroquín walked out of a shop in the main square of the small town of San Luis Jilotepéque in central Guatemala. Eyewitnesses say a black Toyota Hilux pick-up then drove up and, in full view of passersby, two men wearing hoods shot Marroquín repeatedly in the back.
The vehicle sped off but was identified and, within hours, police had stopped and reportedly questioned the men and found the weapons. But since then, no arrests have been made or charges levelled and the investigation has stalled.Continue reading...
On a planet of billions, nine represent the strong minority battling murder in the global corruption of land rights
Individually, they are stories of courage and tragedy. Together, they tell a tale of a natural world under ever more violent assault.
The portraits in this series are of nine people who are risking their lives to defend the land and environment in some of the planet’s most remote or conflict-riven regions.Continue reading...