PreviousHeadlines United KingdomNext


Greek referendum: Germany says it won’t leave Greece in the lurch
German finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, appears to bolster No vote in last-minute intervention on SaturdayInvestors around the world held their breath on Saturday as 10 million Greeks prepared to vote in a referendum that presents the biggest challenge to the euro since its adoption.After more than five months of eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation between Alexis Tsipras’s radical left-led government and Greece’s creditors, and with only hours to go before voting began, one of the most hawkish of the lenders appeared to blink. Germany’s finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, until now even more of a hardliner than his chancellor Angela Merkel, suddenly turned a more conciliatory face towards Athens. Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 17:49:50 GMT)

Firms must be forced to raise low pay, says key ally of David Cameron
Ex-Downing Street aide Rohan Silva puts forward radical plan to make the living wage a requirementGeorge Osborne will come under new pressure to tackle the scourge of low pay, as a former senior adviser to David Cameron calls for all employers to be forced to pay the living wage as a way to combat poverty and boost the economy.Before his first all-Tory budget on Wednesday, in which he will spell out how to cut £12bn from the social security bill, the chancellor is expected to sweeten the pill by offering help to low earners through the tax system, and by pressuring or incentivising employers to pay higher wages. But writing in the Observer, Rohan Silva, who worked with Cameron at No 10 from 2010-13, says the time has come to tell all employers to pay the living wage – an hourly rate well above the minimum wage. Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 19:44:47 GMT)

Revealed: the role of the west in the runup to Srebrenica’s fall
Classified documents and research show that British, American and French governments were negotiating to cede ‘safe area’ town to Serbs The fall of Srebrenica in Bosnia 20 years ago, prompting the worst massacre in Europe since the Third Reich, was a key element of the strategy pursued by the three key western powers –Britain, the US and France – and was not a shocking and unheralded event, as has long been maintained. Related: How Britain and the US decided to abandon Srebrenica to its fate Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 19:55:51 GMT)

Isis video shows killing of Syrian troops at Palmyra amphitheatre
Teenage boys appear to shoot dead 25 men at Unesco world heritage site, in footage linked to Islamic State accountsA video purportedly showing Islamic State militants shooting dead 25 men in the amphitheatre in the ancient city of Palmyra in Syria has been posted online.The footage apparently shows the murder of soldiers fighting for the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, who were captured in Homs. It was distributed by accounts known to be linked with Islamic State militants. Stills from the video show the killers to be young, possibly in their early teens. They are pictured holding guns and dressed in desert camouflage and brown bandanas. Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 21:33:48 GMT)

France and Germany intervened over World Cup votes, says Sepp Blatter
The German football body was told to vote for Qatar for ‘economic reasons’, Fifa president tells a newspaper, adding that he is ‘tired of taking the blame’Fifa president Sepp Blatter has said that France and Germany applied political pressure before the 2018 and 2022 World Cups were awarded to Russia and Qatar, respectively.Blatter told the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag that “there were two political interventions” from former French president Nicolas Sarkozy and his German counterpart Christian Wulff before the hosts were announced on 2 December 2010. Continue reading...
(Sun, 05 Jul 2015 01:25:32 GMT)

China freezes new share offers in bid to shore up plunging stock markets
Beijing has also set up a market-stabilisation fund, according to reports, as fund managers pledge to invest $19bn in the local share marketChina has frozen share offers and set up a market-stabilisation fund, according to reports, as Beijing intensified efforts to pull stock markets out of a nose-dive that is threatening the world’s second-largest economy.The Wall Street Journal report that Beijing has suspended initial public offerings (IPOs) came a few hours after major brokers and fund managers collectively pledged to invest at least $19bn of their own money into stocks. Continue reading...
(Sun, 05 Jul 2015 02:16:48 GMT)

London 'anti-Jewification' demo dwarfed by anti-fascist counter-protest
Lines of police keep two groups apart as neo-Nazis stage demonstration against Jewish neighbourhood watch groupPolice were forced to escort around 20 neo-Nazi protesters out of Westminster on Saturday afternoon after they staged an “anti-Jewification” protest.Hundreds of counter-protesters chanted “Scum, scum, scum” as they followed the far-right activists from Whitehall towards Westminster tube station. Lines of police kept the two groups apart. Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 15:01:07 GMT)

Theresa May backs down in college ‘hate preachers’ row
Home Office responds to criticism over how universities could apply ban on radical speakersTheresa May has been forced into a U-turn on key counter-extremism proposals designed to ban “hate preachers” from university campuses, the Observer understands.The most contentious measures in an original draft of the rules published last year, including the demand that universities obtain advance notice of the content of presentations, have been cut out in the wake of a barrage of criticism from figures such as the former MI5 chief Baroness Manningham-Buller. Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 20:50:45 GMT)

Police criticise motorists for taunting woman who threatened suicide on M3
Social media taunts of distressed woman on footbridge ‘totally unacceptable’ say Surrey police after road closure caused traffic jamPolice have criticised motorists stuck in a traffic jam for taunting a woman on social media as she threatened to jump to her death from a bridge on Saturday.They said the remarks on Twitter were “totally unacceptable” and called on the public to be more understanding of people in distress. Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 18:12:28 GMT)

Michael Gove’s school reforms ‘ignored’ rise in pupils’ mental illness
Former education secretary was ‘just not interested’ in number of children falling ill, says ex-health minister Paul BurstowA former health minister has claimed Michael Gove quietly downgraded the importance of mental health in schools during his time at the Department for Education amid an explosion in the number of young people falling ill. Related: Children’s mental health must be cared for. Or the consequences will be dire | Paul Burstow Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 20:24:24 GMT)

'Offensive and inaccurate': Marco Rubio rejects Donald Trump's Mexico remarks
Trump fires back at fellow Republican candidate, calling him ‘very weak on immigration’ as Venezuelan president says business mogul is ‘mentally ill’As controversy over his remarks about Mexican immigrants to the US continued to attract international condemnation and damage his commercial relationships, the White House hopeful Donald Trump drew heavy fire from Marco Rubio, a Hispanic member of the 14-strong GOP presidential field.On Friday, Rubio released a strongly worded statement which said: “Trump’s comments are not just offensive and inaccurate, but also divisive.” Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 18:38:43 GMT)

Channel tunnel delays after points failure and migrants storm Calais
Calls to address Calais crisis renewed after 150 migrants try to enter restricted areas of terminal with problem compounded by points failureCalls to address the crisis in Calais have been renewed after about 150 migrants tried to storm the Channel tunnel terminal in northern France in a bid to board UK-bound freight trains.Services were delayed and cancelled after migrants accessed restricted areas on the French side overnight on Friday, Channel tunnel operator Eurotunnel said. Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 10:02:55 GMT)

Iran and world powers reach tentative agreement on sanctions relief
John Kerry and Iranian foreign minister still must sign off on package, but news on thorny issue points to progress as negotiators work to reach dealWorld powers and Iran have reached tentative agreement on sanctions relief for the Islamic Republic, among the most contentious issues in a long-term nuclear agreement that negotiators hope to clinch over the next several days, diplomats said on Saturday.The annex hammered out by experts, one of five meant to accompany the agreement, outlines which US and international sanctions will be lifted and how quickly. Diplomats said senior officials of the seven-nation talks, which include Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, still had to sign off on the package. Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 14:51:40 GMT)

Tunisia beach attack: local heroes now face unemployment
Local people saved many foreigners from Seifeddine Rezgui’s bullets but if his attack destroys Tunisian tourism, the jihadis will have hit this Arab democracy hardThere will be no medals for the Tunisian beach crews who threw themselves in the way of bullets in the bloody Sousse tourist massacre. In fact, by next week many of them will have no jobs.In this forest Tunisia is the only flower of democracy. And the terrorists want to cut this flower. Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 23:00:03 GMT)

‘Show some respect’, Plácido Domingo urges directors after opera rape row
The great singer, whose Operalia competition comes to London next week, says stage productions need to stay close to composer’s intentionPlácido Domingo, one of the world’s greatest opera stars, has expressed sadness at an explicit rape scene staged at his beloved Royal Opera House last week. The Spanish singer, who famously performed with Luciano Pavarotti and José Carreras as the Three Tenors, told the Observer he prefers opera productions to stay close to the original intentions of the composer.His words come in the wake of the controversy surrounding director Damiano Michieletto’s ROH production of Rossini’s opera Guillaume Tell. The opera, which opened at Covent Garden on Monday, was met with loud booing from the audience, many of whom were outraged by scenes showing an uncredited actress being violently sexually abused during a banquet, accompanied by a jaunty passage in the score. Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 21:11:02 GMT)

Feminists fall out over ‘violent, misogynistic’ Rihanna video
A track on the singer’s new album has caused outrage – and been watched 12 million times“Language. Nudity. Violence”, warns the first frame of the latest video from pop provocateur Rihanna. What follows certainly lives up to the billing.Depending on which commentator or social media spat you choose, the video – viewed 12 million times since its release – is either an empowering challenge to music industry stereotypes or a racist and gory piece of misogyny. Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 17:36:38 GMT)

Our love affair with trainers
A sell-out exhibition and new book chart the inexorable rise of the sneaker. How did our love of sports shoes become a cultural phenomenon?• Pumped: our long love affair with trainers – in picturesThe Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto has seen its fair share of specialist exhibitions. In 2001, they put on Every Step a Lotus: Shoes in the Lives of Chinese Women from Late Imperial China. Before that there was Little Feats: A Celebration of Children’s Shoes. Most recently they went with Socks: Between You and Your Shoes. Far be it from me to speculate on the popularity or otherwise of these shows, but last winter they hit upon a subject that proved an unequivocal smash hit. Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 21:00:01 GMT)

The seven ages of family life: from shotgun weddings to silver splitters
It’s an institution that has undergone huge social change since the Victorian era – and now 90% of Britons say that they are happy with their own family. We chart the progress of a resilient, adaptive way of livingNo other institution can have had the last rites administered so often over the centuries and with such relish only to spring back to life, tweaked, transformed, reinvigorated; the death of the family postponed once more. The Greek gods were among the first to bloody the ties that bind. In The Oresteia, written by Aeschylus (458 BC), now adapted for the London stage at the Almeida, father kills daughter, mother kills father, son kills mother and the Furies of Greek mythology beset all those who murder their kin. Nobody wins. Add to that the themes of unnatural mother-son interest (the Oedipus complex) and father-daughter machinations (the Electra complex), and the message echoing through the ages – a favourite of Shakespeare, and fodder for every television soap – is all too clear; in the bosom of the family, no one is safe. And yet …In spite of the toxic framework in which the family has traditionally been framed, and the continual flow of negative statistics about divorce and breakdown, the latest news for Britain is surprisingly positive. Last week, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, drawing on an international study, reported that the UK is one of the happiest nations for family relationships, with more than 90% of respondents saying they were very happy or fairly happy with their family life, the fourth highest in the developed world. Given the dark tenor that colours kinship in popular culture and the family’s regular battering by critics from left, right and centre, how can that be? Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 23:05:04 GMT)

US rallies to stop British actors taking Hollywood movies by storm
Actors have always crossed the Atlantic seeking fame and fortune, but the recent slew of plum roles – mostly for men – has led to growing anger in the US film and TV industry. So why aren’t US drama schools producing the talent?The invasion of British and Irish leading men in Hollywood has now gone beyond a joke for many in the American entertainment industry. First noticed some time in 2011, the trend was initially dismissed as a novelty: an interesting phase that would pass, rather than as a threat. But this summer actors and directors are calling for action to mobilise American drama teachers and schools to counter it.In Britain, of course, the same trend is greeted gleefully as another chance to cry out, “the Brits are coming!” One by one, each wave of the invasion has been characterised and cheered off at the dock. Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 23:03:04 GMT)

'We blame the sick for being expensive': the mother whose baby cost AOL $1m
After AOL’s CEO told employees he was cutting retirement benefits partly because of the cost of two ‘distressed babies’, one mother fought backDeanna Fei is not a healthcare expert. She is also not a privacy expert. According to her, she is just a mom – a mom forced to defend the decision to save her daughter’s life. Fei came into the spotlight in February 2014 when Tim Armstrong, AOL’s CEO, sparked an nationwide debate about healthcare and privacy when he told employees that he was cutting their retirement benefits because of Obamacare and costs associated with two “distressed babies” born to the tech company’s employees. One of those babies was Fei’s. Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 11:00:09 GMT)

Katy Perry, the archbishop and the nuns who won’t budge from their convent
The singer wants to buy their property, but even a personal audience with her did not sway the sistersIt was probably the first audition that Katy Perry had to do in a long time – an improvised performance in a former convent to a handful of elderly Catholic nuns who, all things considered, preferred Perry Como. It didn’t go well.“She pulls out her phone to get the words for Oh Happy Day,” Sister Rita Callanan, 77, recalled. “I was looking at my attorney, thinking, ‘What on earth?’” Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 23:05:00 GMT)

New Minecraft: Story Mode details revealed at Minecon 2015
Mojang and Telltale Games’ partnership will take a narrative approach to popular game, but players will have to play as male character Jessie.Live coverage of Minecon 2015 day oneMinecraft: Story Mode was announced in December 2014 as a partnership between developers Mojang and Telltale Games to make a narrative-driven adventure set in the world of Minecraft.Due for release in 2015, when it was announced it was described as a new original story, driven by player choice, rather than one focusing on the “Steve” character that has been Minecraft’s default hero over the years. Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 16:12:01 GMT)

We Africans love the US, so why can’t we accept gay marriage?
A homophobic backlash is the instinctive African response to America’s same-sex marriage revolution. But do the continent’s leaders dare outrage the west?Millions of Africans are enamoured with all things American. In high school, to show their loyalty and maintain a connection to the great American men and women of God, some of my classmates would send money to American preachers all the way from Uganda. When these teenagers prayed, they did not say God. They said Gawd – like Americans. The worldlier of us wore crop tops and fancied we looked like Ashanti. At school parties we danced to American music, favouring as partners the boys who wore headscarves that reminded us of Ja Rule.Africa’s apparent obliviousness to the US marriage equality decision is an exception to this tradition of devoted adoration. Not that anyone expected Africa to leap for joy. South Africa is the only African country where gay marriage is legal. Most of the countries either criminalise homosexuals or, at best, pretend they do not exist. Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 14:02:28 GMT)

What a dish: the UK’s most beautiful plates of food
Restaurant plates have never looked more lovely. But do they have to be so complicated? The Guardian’s restaurant critic considers five modern masterpieces, from the Ledbury and Sat Bains, to Hedone and the SportsmanIt was Noma that started it. When Copenhagen’s two Michelin star restaurant first launched its now legendary signature dish – vintage carrots with camomile – in the Noughties, a generation of chefs gasped in awe and reached for their tweezers. Suddenly, vegetables everywhere were to be lightly pickled and teased into decorative little tubes of myriad colours, tottering down a specially designed plate in a wave of exquisiteness.But they were still just vegetables, right? Did the intricate and painstaking presentation make them taste any better? Apparently so: a research team at Oxford University found last year that a salad plated up to resemble a Kandinsky painting was judged by human guinea pigs to be more delicious than exactly the same ingredients delivered any old how. Beauty, as ever, matters. Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 10:00:09 GMT)

Forget EL James, let’s have some real dirty fiction
As Grey smashes UK sales records, Scarlett Thomas reveals a lifelong love of dirty books, and asks whether female writers who focus on sex are taken seriouslyI have always enjoyed a really dirty book. As a child, I loved the sensual thrill you could get from reading – before I was old enough for books with sex in them, I would read food scenes again and again. At school, people practised kissing and looked at each other’s knickers. I wondered why no one in my books did things like this. They had midnight feasts, but no midnight assignations. Some children believe their toys come to life when they are asleep. I hoped that the Famous Five characters were secretly getting off with one another when the pages were closed. What were they doing? I wanted it to be more exciting than what I had already encountered in the playground – literature is supposed to broaden one’s horizons after all – but had no idea what this would mean.It was 1982. Christian Grey did not exist. To enlighten me, along came a collection of progressive, no-holds-barred sex-education books from Compendium Books, Camden, in north london. Previously, I had suspected the Famous Five of things like showing their bums to pirates. “Have you ever put a pillow between your legs and squeezed it?” asked The Playbook for Kids about Sex. Was this what other children were doing? Was this what George and Anne were doing? I didn’t know what to think. I was 10, and already felt twee and repressed. Damp‑looking pages from pornographic magazines would sometimes flutter sadly past the gates of my primary school, but I was not allowed to touch them. I wanted to know as much as I could about life, but felt that the important details were being kept from me. Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 09:00:07 GMT)

What happens to my late husband’s digital life now he’s gone?
Since her husband, Iain, died seven months ago, Caroline Twigg has had to face an unexpected problem – what to do with his online legacynyctwigg: Ah, there you are; a Skype username you created while working in New York for a month. And here I am, trying to call someone yet absent-mindedly pulling up your profile. In the tiny square picture icon, you are there in your blue T-shirt, leaning over the table and smiling at the camera. Next to your name it says, “Hear me now”. That drove me mad; you’d sit there and repeat, “Hear me now? Hear me now?” A deliberately annoying mantra, because you knew I could hear you perfectly well. I would hang up and redial to a laughing you and we’d catch up, but today I sit and stare, wishing I could conjure up that annoying voice again. Even just once. Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 06:30:04 GMT)

Chile 0-0 Argentina (Chile win 4-1 on pens) | Copa América final match report
• Chile 0-0 Argentina (Chile win 4-1 on pens)After 99 years, it came down to Alexis Sánchez against Sergio Romero from 12 yards. The Arsenal forward attempted a Panenka, scuffed it badly, and scored anyway as the goalkeeper dived to his left. Misses from Gonzalo Higuaín and Éver Banega in the shootout proved decisive and, finally, Chile, one of the four participants at the inaugural Copa América, had a first international trophy. For Argentina the drought goes on: 22 years since their last trophy and an increasing sense that this gifted generation of players will remain unfulfilled. Related: Chile win Copa América after beating Argentina on penalties – as it happened Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 23:31:55 GMT)

Germany 0-1 England (aet) | Women’s World Cup third-place play-off match report
• Germany Women 0-1 England Women• Williams scores winning goal from the spot in 108th minuteEngland may have failed to reach the World Cup final but the Lionesses did the next best thing. After 31 years of consistent disappointment against Germany, Mark Sampson’s side beat them for the first time and will return home with the set of bronze medals awarded to the tournament’s third-placed side.Fara Williams had been excellent all afternoon and, appropriately, it was her extra-time penalty in Edmonton which secured this famous victory. Much more than a local squabble between the two losing semi-finalists, the match served as a barometer of England’s impressive progress since Silvia Neid’s side swatted them aside 3-0 in a friendly at Wembley last November. Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 22:58:49 GMT)

Andy Murray stumbles against Andreas Seppi but bounces back to victory
• Murray loses way in third set but triumphs 6-2, 6-2, 1-6, 6-1• Seppi wins six games in a row but Scot revives after treatmentAndy Murray had to come through a disturbing funk and a lot of drama to beat Andreas Seppi on the sixth evening of the 2015 championships, yet the character he showed in overcoming a third-set blip suggested he remains the biggest threat to Novak Djokovic’s title defence.After two hours and eight minutes of enthralling tennis, Murray can come away from his 6-2, 6-2, 1-6, 6-1 win over the Italian relieved and happy with the way he handled what he appeared to regard as Seppi’s outrageous gamesmanship in the third set. At the end, they smiled and hugged at the net, after Murray had clinched the win with his 10th ace, but the atmosphere was not so friendly for a long stretch of the match. Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 19:38:12 GMT)

Tour de France 2015: Rohan Dennis claims yellow jersey with time trial win
• Australian rider sets fastest average speed ever in a Tour time trial• Defending champion Nibali steals time on main race rivalsThe Australian time trial specialist Rohan Dennis will be a vision in yellow when the Tour de France leaves here, having crushed his rivals while recording the fastest average speed for an individual time trial in the race’s history. The result was surprising, but no huge shock. The 55.446km per hour generated by the BMC rider over a 14km, road-kill flat city centre course certainly was.The speed Dennis posted surpassed Chris Boardman’s record, set in the 1994 prologue in Lille. The course Boardman negotiated was similarly unencumbered by anything more steep than a speed bump, but was only half as long. Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 16:03:16 GMT)

Andrew Strauss: Paul Farbrace could be future England head coach
• ‘I hope our No2 has whetted his appetite for the top job at some point’• ‘Trevor Bayliss has role and will do a great job but Farby could, too, one day’Andrew Strauss has praised England’s assistant coach, Paul Farbrace, for his leadership during the recent series against New Zealand and hopes he will become the head coach in the future.When the position became available in May, Farbrace indicated to Strauss that he did not want to be considered for the top England job but would be happy to continue as the assistant. Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 19:00:03 GMT)

Purple hair, dreadlocks, bad boys: who says Wimbledon has no characters left?
Though the all-white dress code may be restrictive, some competitors – Dustin Brown, Nick Kyrgios and Bethanie Mattek-Sands among them – are doing their level best to stand outIt is a perennial refrain: where are the characters in tennis? Who are this generation’s rabble-rousers, our Jimmy Connors, Ilie “Nasty” Nastase, and, the most indulged brat of all, John McEnroe? Where are the psychologically impenetrable enigmas like Bjorn Borg and Ivan Lendl? Why has the sport become so straitlaced and humourless? Related: Andy Murray stumbles against Andreas Seppi but bounces back to victory Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 23:05:05 GMT)

F1 commercial rights holder CVC denies that it will sell stake
• BSE Ventures and Qatar had been linked with £8bn deal• Co-chairman Donald Mackenzie: ‘We like owning it, we don’t want to sell’Formula One’s commercial rights holder, CVC Capital Partners, is under no pressure to sell its controlling stake in the sport and wants to keep it, according to the co-chairman Donald Mackenzie. He would not comment on reports that RSE Ventures, the investment vehicle of the Miami Dolphins’ owner, Stephen Ross, was teaming up with Qatar to buy CVC’s stake in an $8bn deal.Asked at the British Grand Prix whether the private equity fund had a deadline by which it had to sell its 35.5% stake, Mackenzie replied: “No, we don’t. There is no end date. We have 12-year funds, which we have to return the original money. We have already done that. So the pressure’s off. We like owning it [F1], we don’t want to sell it. There are always some people who’d like to buy it, it’s a very good business.“ Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 22:29:46 GMT)

Manchester United’s Robin van Persie agrees personal terms with Fenerbahce
• Exclusive: Manchester United striker’s agent in Istanbul discussing deal• Dirk Kuyt understood to have been influential in convincing Van PersieThe Manchester United striker Robin Van Persie is edging closer to a move to Fenerbahce after reaching an agreement in principle with the Super Lig side.It is understood that Van Persie’s agent, Kees Vos, has been in Istanbul for the past two days, involved in negotiations with the Turkish club to secure a deal. The two clubs are currently negotiating a fee for the 31-year-old, who has agreed personal terms with the club and is ready to sign a four-year deal. Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 13:57:20 GMT)

Joe Root disappointed by David Warner interview over 2013 Walkabout clash
• Warner banned for punch he says was caused by Root taking a friend’s wig• Root: ‘Those who know me realise how ridiculous Warner’s excuse sounds’Joe Root has defended his character after David Warner talked to an Australian newspaper about his fracas with the England vice‑captain two years ago.Warner hit the headlines in June 2013 after the Australia batsman made an “unprovoked physical attack” on Root in a Birmingham bar following England’s 48-run win over Australia in the Champions Trophy at Edgbaston. Warner apologised for the incident but was subsequently suspended by Cricket Australia and missed the first two Tests of that summer’s Ashes series. Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 20:36:39 GMT)

Jessica Ennis-Hill third in 100m hurdles but will delay decision on Beijing
• Olympic heptathlon champion undecided over world championships• Ennis-Hill happy with improvement at British Athletics ChampionshipsJessica Ennis-Hill believes her speed is returning after finishing third in the 100m hurdles final at the British Athletics Championships on Saturday but says she won’t make her decision over whether to compete in the world championships until the last minute.Ennis-Hill looked noticeably sharper and more explosive than she had when she last competed, in Gotzis five weeks ago, as she finished behind Tiffany Porter and Cindy Ofili in 13.10sec. While that time was more than half a second down on her personal best of 12.54, it was probably better than the clock suggested given it was into a -1.5m/s headwind. Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 17:21:00 GMT)

Lewis Hamilton on pole position for F1’s British Grand Prix
• British driver edges out Mercedes team-mate at Silverstone• Williams’ Massa third on grid as crowd of 110,000 watch qualifyingFormula One has its critics at the moment but Lewis Hamilton is certainly not one of them. Judging by the enthusiasm the huge crowd at Silverstone greeted his pole position, the paying punters are none too dissatisfied either. With Mercedes so dominant, the title battle may be a fight between Hamilton and his team-mate Nico Rosberg – and the knowledgeable and passionate British F1 fans doubtless want it to go to the wire – but, well, just not here. At his home meeting it was clear who was favoured to claim the top spot and doubtless Hamilton will receive the same fervent support in Sunday’s race in front of a sellout crowd.“It’s a special day and an extra special feeling getting pole on my home turf in front of all the fantastic fans that have come out here to Silverstone,” Hamilton said. “They’ve been absolutely incredible, so a big thank you to everyone for the support.” Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 13:26:32 GMT)

Gilles Simon thrives on Wimbledon Centre stage to beat Gaël Monfils
• Match played out under roof to the delight of ground pass holders• Simon to face Czech No6 seed Tomas Berdych in next roundFans enjoyed a bonus late on Saturday night as the match between Gilles Simon and Gaël Monfils was moved from Court No1 to Centre Court under the roof in an effort to finish it before the 11pm curfew.Simon was leading by two sets to one but trailing 2-1 with a break in the fourth when they resumed just before 9.30pm with ground pass holders allowed in for free. Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 22:13:11 GMT)

South Africa’s Jaco van Zyl takes two-shot lead at Open de France
• Van Zyl scores a flawless 64 with final round ahead• Germany’s Max Kieffer sits second, Austrian Bernd Wiesberger thirdAfter a bogey-strewn finish to his second round, South Africa’s Jaco van Zyl scored a brilliant 64 to claim a two-shot lead heading into the final round of the Open de France in Paris.Van Zyl fell victim to the daunting, water-dominated closing stretch at Le Golf National on Friday, finishing that round with a bogey on the 17th and double-bogey on the 18th to squander a two-shot lead. But the 36-year-old made no such mistake with a flawless performance on Saturday, holing three birdies on the front nine and four more on the back nine, the last coming from a matter of inches on the 18th. Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 22:07:55 GMT)

Heather Watson must work hard to prove Serena Williams scare was no fluke
• British No1 has an ambitious target of breaking into world’s top 25 this year• Williams’s coach praises 23-year-old Watson following “incredible match”At some stage, whether it be in a matter of days or weeks, Heather Watson will reflect on her performance here this year and make a choice. The disappointment of being so close to beating the great Serena Williams will take a while to disappear but the 23-year-old will resolve to dig in, kick on and achieve her goal of being one of the world’s best players.The Briton’s run to the third round will take her back into the top 50 and the way she played against the world No1 has convinced her that she can go much higher. A top-25 place is her target by the end of the year and to do that she will need to show the same kind of focus and determination in the smaller events as she did on the biggest stage of all. Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 18:45:52 GMT)

Australia’s Ashes party diminished by the departure of Ryan Harris | Vic Marks
Retiring paceman is known as Rhino but there was a delicacy in those fingers behind the seam that ensured that the ball swung late. Harris remains the embodiment of a true Aussie cricketerThe enforced retirement of Ryan Harris is a considerable setback to Australia five days before the first Test, though it is not on the same scale as the injury to Glenn McGrath about 40 minutes before the start of the Edgbaston Test of 2005.Harris has been a phenomenal Ashes cricketer. The figures prove it. Out of his 113 Test wickets, 57 have been against England, at the remarkable average of 20. Two years ago in England he was Australia’s best bowler, taking 24 wickets in four matches – he was “rested” in the first Test at Trent Bridge to protect a body that often rebelled, a decision Australia came to regret. Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 13:19:42 GMT)

British motor racing fans break the mould as crowds flock to Silverstone
• 350,000 spectators expected over the three days at British Grand Prix• ‘We decided to lose some of the Silverstone arrogance’Grey skies of gloom caused by falling attendances have been hovering over some of this season’s Formula One races, but at Silverstone this weekend the sun could not have shone brighter as the circuit bucked the trend.Those looking to portray a sport struggling for popularity – viewing figures are down in the UK because of the shift to pay-per-view TV – will need to excise this year’s British Grand Prix from their arguments. The last race in Austria dropped from a 90,000 race-day attendance in 2014 to just 55,000 this year. Contrast that with Silverstone, which is enjoying record numbers, with Friday’s practice attracting 85,000 alone. A further 140,000 people have tickets for Sunday’s race, 20,000 up on last year and 350,000 are expected over the three days. Only Wimbledon attracts more spectators and that is counted over the full two weeks. It is a success story that can certainly be attributed to clever management but also to the unique place motor sport occupies in this country. Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 16:59:00 GMT)

Tiffany Porter and Cindy Ofili secure places at world championships
• Michigan-born sisters dominate 100m hurdles on Ofili’s debut• Lucy Hatton’s selection in doubt after fall at fourth hurdleOn American Independence Day, two accents straight out of Ypsilanti, Michigan, rang out from the podium of the Alexander Stadium. “It was really special,” said Tiffany Porter, reflecting on her 100m hurdles victory over her sister Cindy Ofili which secured them both a place in the British team for the world championships in Beijing. “It’s been such a great experience,” added a smiling Ofili, who transferred her allegiance from the US a fortnight ago and only set foot in the UK for the first time last week.Meanwhile, down the final straight, a distraught Lucy Hatton was being helped to her feet, having tumbled over the fourth hurdle. It was Hatton, the European Indoor 60m hurdles silver medallist, who had warned Ofili she was “not taking my spot” for Beijing. Only now she had. With only the top two at these UK trials being automatically selected – provided they have the qualifying standard – Hatton will have to rely on the selectors’ grace for the one remaining place. Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 17:26:19 GMT)

Caroline Wozniacki beats Camila Giorgi to match Wimbledon best
• Former world No1 beats Italian 6-2, 6-2 to reach Wimbledon fourth round• Dane faces Spain’s Garbiñe Muguruza next for quarter-final placeIt seems a long time since Caroline Wozniacki sat atop the world rankings for 67 consecutive weeks in 2010 and 2011. But there have been resurgent signs over the past 12 months that she is capable of winning a grand slam.On a becalmed No1 Court, she progressed effortlessly to the fourth round with a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Camila Giorgi, the 31st seed. The Dane swatted aside the hard-hitting Giorgi to match her best performance here. It is one curiosity among several in the 24-year-old’s career that she has never progressed beyond the last 16 at SW19. Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 14:28:40 GMT)

Roger Federer stutters but proves too good for Sam Groth at Wimbledon
• Australian hits 147mph serve but Swiss wins 6-4, 6-4, 6-7, 6-2• Federer will face Robert Bautista Agut for place in the quarter-finalsLosing a set to someone capable of serving at 147 miles an hour will not spread panic in Roger Federer’s Wimbledon household, but then the coolest player ever to come down from the Swiss mountains has never been one for overreacting.Nonetheless, the second seed did have to sweat a little on Centre Court on Saturday to get by Sam Groth 6-4, 6-4, 6-7 (5-7), 6-2 in two and a quarter hours and book a fourth-round match against Roberto Bautista Agut on Monday. The 27-year-old Spaniard with the sharp grass-court game took a mere 95 minutes to beat the Georgian qualifier Nikoloz Basilashvili 7-6 (7-4), 6-0, 6-1 on Court 12. Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 14:59:36 GMT)

Wimbledon 2015: Dustin Brown’s heroic journey ended by Viktor Troicki
• Serb defeats Rafael Nadal’s conqueror 6-4, 7-6, 4-6, 6-3 in third round• Troicki able to get himself out of trouble with big servingThree days after the biggest win of his career, Dustin Brown, dreadlocks and all, will be back in action on Sunday, strutting his stuff once more. The only shame is that it will not be at Wimbledon after his time in the sun was ended by Viktor Troicki in four sets, succeeding where Rafael Nadal had failed.Having lifted his ranking to around the 80 mark as a result of reaching round three, Brown will get direct entry into next month’s US Open and has a golden chance to head towards the top 50 by the end of the year. But he will be turning out for his club in Cologne. You get the feeling he would not have it any other way. Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 13:42:39 GMT)

Joe Root’s sense of fun matched by his poise and passion for the England cause
The Yorkshire batsman has been central to the unburdened approach that has been fostered as England prepare for the Ashes battle It is one of the standout images of what has already proved a memorable summer: Joe Root, at the centre of the England balcony on the fourth day of the first Test with New Zealand at Lord’s, offering a salute of military crispness in tribute to team-mate Ben Stokes, as the all-rounder celebrated a century of military brute strength.Even the pious minority who grumbled when the gesture first surfaced in April – a cocksure send-off by West Indies’ Marlon Samuels after Stokes’s dismissal in Grenada – will have cracked a smile at Root’s re-enactment. As with his batting over the past 18 months, he appeared to have timed it perfectly. Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 14:31:58 GMT)

Astana ignore moral code by giving Lars Boom Tour de France green light
• Vincenzo Nibali’s team invite further scrutiny over decision• MPCC moral code says Boom’s cortisol level requires his removal from raceAstana, the team of defending champion Vincenzo Nibali, invited further scrutiny over its moral code after announcing that the Dutch rider Lars Boom would start the Tour de France on Saturday.The 29-year-old rider has not failed a drugs test, but as Astana are members of the Movement for Credible Cycling (MPCC) he should, under the organisation’s voluntary code, be removed from competition for a period of eight days after returning cortisol levels under the normal level. Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 14:18:45 GMT)

Australia’s Ryan Harris announces shock retirement after knee injury
• Pat Cummins will replace 35-year-old on Australia’s Ashes tour• Harris sustained injury in practice match last week against KentAustralia have suffered a devastating blow four days before the start of next week’s Ashes series with the news that Ryan Harris, one of their key bowlers, has been forced to retire through injury.Harris, 35, was ruled out of the Australians’ final warm-up match against Essex on Wednesday after suffering what team management termed soreness to his right knee. The problem with that joint has been a long-standing one for Harris and it flared up again after he bowled 30 overs in his country’s opening tour match against Kent. Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 10:37:08 GMT)

Children’s mental health must be cared for. Or the consequences will be dire | Paul Burstow
While one in 10 children and young people has a treatable mental illness just one in four receives treatmentThe chancellor tells us that he is putting into law the obligation to generate budget surpluses in the “interests of our children”. But the axing of funding for children’s mental health in the service of economic dogma will condemn a generation of young people to a life of misery for want of the right mental health support in their early years. Related: Michael Gove’s school reforms ‘ignored’ rise in pupils’ mental illness Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 23:03:04 GMT)

Islamism prevails even as we suppress free speech | Nick Cohen
The death of Bangladeshi secular blogger Avijit Roy should give pause to all those in the west who refuse to confront the fascism of our ageNo one could have predicted that the Bangladeshi writer Rafida Bonya Ahmed would make it to London last week. That she is alive at all is a miracle – to use a word of which she would thoroughly disapprove. As I watched her deliver the British Humanist Association’s annual Voltaire lecture , I saw a dignified and principled intellectual it was our duty to emulate and defend. I could not understand why anyone would want to harm, let alone kill, herBut many do. In February, Islamist fanatics hacked her husband, Avijit Roy, to death with meat cleavers as the couple left a book fair in Dhaka. They nearly killed Ahmed too: slicing off her thumb and covering her body with wounds. To hear her talk about her murdered husband made me long to have met him. He was a typical intellectual – hopeless with anything practical but in love with literature, science and free debate. Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 17:15:01 GMT)

Why we’re so confused about Amy Winehouse
A new movie about the singer has provoked hugely divergent reactionsThere’s an unfashionable bar I drink in on the edge of Soho – you can always find a table – and what makes it unfashionable isn’t so much the neon lighting, the scant bowls of crisps or the pink straws in the gin and tonic so much as the Amy Winehouse fan art covering the walls. Amy’s five-day-old mussed-up beehive, smudged Cleopatra eyeliner and shy-bold eyes, features as unmistakable as Marilyn’s platinum curls, heavy eyelashes and delighted red-lipped smile, multiply around you in photorealist or more impressionistic oils.Winehouse, who died four years ago this month, is already a too classical and universal part of pop culture to be fashionable. But we still can’t decide on what we witnessed during her last three years. Asif Kapadia’s new found-footage documentary of her life, Amy, was met with astonishment when it premiered at Cannes and was reviewed on its release on Friday as both “mawkish tabloid fare” and “a tragic masterpiece”. Was she a decent jazz singer made glorious by notoriety or a real musician unfairly cut down in her prime? Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 23:05:06 GMT)

We’d dig ourselves a deep hole if we took politics out of planning | Andrew Rawnsley
We may be slow as a country when it comes to major infrastructure projects. That’s the price of living in a democracyNew York in the 1920s was a mess. Let down by its venal politicians, the city’s transport was hopeless and its housing dreadful. Then along came a man with a plan. A grand plan. His name was Robert Moses. Armed with autocratic powers, and fuelled by a titanic megalomania, the urban planner ruthlessly transformed the place. Some of what he did in park creation and bridge construction was magnificent; much of his legacy was terrible. Expressways were sliced through neighbourhoods as he prioritised cars over people. His construction projects had scant regard for the fabric or the quality of human life. Scores of traditional communities were ripped apart. Hundreds of thousands of people were displaced. All in the name of progress. And masterminded by a man who was never elected to anything.Robert Caro, in his superb and recently republished biography of Moses, writes: “Democracy had not solved the problem of building large-scale urban works, so Moses solved it by ignoring democracy.” To which the defenders of Moses will retort: “Well, at least he got things built.” Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 23:03:05 GMT)

Beware powerful women intoxicated with their agendas | Catherine Bennett
When it comes to closed circles and influence, women can be as bad as men, as the Blair-Clinton emails show‘Confidential”. “My friend from Q”. “Our friend”. In emails newly released by the US State Department, Cherie Blair demonstrates to her old enemies in Whitehall how they erred by overlooking one of the most imaginative amateur diplomats since the old Etonian, James Lonsdale-Bryans, who flew to Italy in 1940 and attempted to strike a peace deal with the Nazis.It has been Mrs Blair’s scarcely less ambitious project not merely to strengthen Anglo-Qatari relations, but to cultivate in the US, also, a greater appreciation of a kingdom that is perhaps best known to Britons for its savagery towards foreign workers, hospitality to the Afghan Taliban and soon-to-be-completed annexation of London . In just a few years, the Qatari royal family has achieved with hard cash – and, no doubt, credit where it’s due, the undying support of Mrs Blair – something of which Napoleon and Hitler could only dream: the permanent besmirching, with the Shard, of the capital’s skyline; the colonisation of its iconic buildings and businesses; even the affections, it is said, of the royal family. Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 23:05:04 GMT)

Our Greek referendum offers catastrophe or absolute catastrophe. Some choice | Aggeliki Spanou
Whatever the result, the fraying of ties with our European allies will be difficult to mendSo we get to choose today. Some choice – between a catastrophe and an absolute catastrophe. But at least now we appear to be arriving at a conclusion, of sorts, in contrast to the recent Greek story that has moved from near climax to near climax. Whatever happens, a brutal realisation of national failure is bound to emerge from the ruins, while at the same time we are unable to foretell if yet more failure lies further down the road.For the moment, however, the most common question on the streets is: “€50 or €60, which button should I press?” heard among people waiting patiently in line at bank cash machines ever since “capital control” was implemented. Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 23:03:05 GMT)

Has Europe lost its hold on our collective imagination? | Fintan O’Toole
Europe never existed. It was a story made up to deal with the legacies of warWhen I was a teenager in Dublin in the early 1970s, the phrase “We’re into Europe!” gained a peculiar currency. It was half-jokey but not really sardonic. You used it for good things that promised even better things – when a girl you fancied smiled at you or your team scored the first goal.It came from what was (in retrospect quite amazingly) a popular TV show called Into Europe that the state broadcaster put on to educate the populace of a peripheral nation that was going to join the European Economic Community in 1973. I remember documentaries about farm consolidation in Denmark or students sitting around some castle in Germany discussing “What does it mean to be European?” It seemed terribly exciting that we, too, would soon be able to discuss that question with the same earnest enthusiasm. We were into Europe. Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 23:03:04 GMT)

Labour should be slaying dragons, not chasing trolls | Kevin McKenna
It’s no wonder Scottish Labour is becoming a spent force when it can waste its time, after electoral disembowelling, in compiling a useless cybernat blacklistIf we have indeed witnessed the end of the Labour party in Scotland as a meaningful force, its demise will soon be reduced to a single question in a modern studies exam paper: to what extent did it contribute to its own downfall? If its bizarre and worrying behaviour last week is indicative of its current mental health, then the game is surely up for the party in Scotland. And it won’t have anyone to blame but its own hubris and the roll-call of clowns, chancers and persistent losers who were granted well-paid jobs in its advisory and strategic executive.For those of us who still harbour some forlorn hope that the party will recover, its decision last week to publish a blacklist of the 50 most vile and beastly cybernats demonstrated that it is still employing the sort of people who have been responsible for driving it towards oblivion these last 12 years. Barely a month after it suffered the biggest annihilation in its history, we wondered how it might have been occupying itself in beginning the process of recovery. Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 23:04:04 GMT)

The readers’ editor on... Buddhism and organised lobbying | Stephen Pritchard
How the International Shugden Community took exception to the Observer’s reporting of its activitiesHundreds of protesting emails demanding retractions and apologies poured in last month after the Observer reported on planned demonstrations in Britain against the Dalai Lama, Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader. Coupled with a storm on Twitter and placard-waving near our office in London, it had all the hallmarks of a carefully organised campaign to pressure the paper to kill a story, and all from apparently peace-loving Buddhists.The article alleged that the Chinese authorities were encouraging a “toxic” campaign by the International Shugden Community to undermine the Dalai Lama and which could threaten Buddhism itself. The sect, described as extremist by the International Campaign for Tibet, had disseminated images of the guru as a pig, described him as a Muslim and compared him to Hitler. The story added, without attribution, that the sect believed in an evil spirit that inflicts madness and death on its enemies. It said demonstrations, organised by the Shugden-following New Kadampa Tradition, were planned when the Dalai Lama arrived at a new Buddhist centre in Hampshire and at the Glastonbury festival. NKT declined to comment. Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 17:46:26 GMT)

You can't ignore the Confederate flag. But you can burn it and then bury it | Steven W Thrasher
Artist John Sims invites people to confront their fears of the racism and violence embodied by the Southern flag to eulogize it, then light it on fire Related: Progressive rebels in the American south fight a flag – and the Klansman next door It’s some 150 years after the end of the Civil War, and the question of what to do with the Confederate flag has been looming daily over the United States – even as the burning of black churches is under investigation and we celebrate the founding of the nation. Should we pull the flag right down from the South Carolina statehouse, as Bree Newsome heroically did? Remove it from physical and cyber store shelves, as Walmart and Amazon have done? Ban video games depicting it, like Apple did last week, and pull TV shows like the the Dukes of Hazzard, which glorify it from reruns, as TV Land did this week? Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 10:45:09 GMT)

Europe has tried to financially carpet-bomb Greece into submission. Yet it offers no vision of a better future | Paul Mason
Sunday’s referendum is taking place against the background of a kind of financial warfare. If the idea is to terrorise the population, it has only half workedWhen Times correspondent George Steer entered the city of Guernica in April 1937, what struck him were the incongruities. He noted precisely the bombing tactics “which may be of interest to students of the new military science”. But his report begins with a long paragraph describing the city’s ceremonial oak tree and its role in the Spanish feudal system.Sitting in Athens this week, I began to understand how Steer felt. Sunday’s referendum will take place under a kind of financial warfare not seen in the history of modern states. The Greek government was forced to close its banks after the European Central Bank, whose job is technically to keep them open, refused to do so. The never-taxed and never-registered broadcasters of Greece did the rest, spreading panic, and intensifying it where it had already taken hold. Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 07:30:05 GMT)

This euro is destroying the European dream | Jonathan Freedland
The deficit fetishists of Brussels and Berlin must cut Greece some fiscal slack and work to promote growthOn Sunday the Greeks vote while the rest of Europe holds its breath. No matter how clunky the wording on the ballot paper, everyone knows what’s at stake. This is a moment of great peril, not only for the euro but for the European project itself.If Greece votes no, it’s hard to see how it can stay in the euro, which will represent the most grievous blow in the 16-year history of a currency whose momentum was always meant to be irreversible. Continue reading...
(Fri, 03 Jul 2015 18:58:17 GMT)

Barbecue is an American tradition – of enslaved Africans and Native Americans | Michael W Twitty
The traditional holiday cookout has its roots in the cooperation between black and indigenous peoples struggling to get or keep their freedom from colonialistsBarbecue is a form of cultural power and is intensely political, with a culture of rules like no other American culinary tradition: sauce or no sauce; which kind of sauce; chopped or not chopped; whole animal or just ribs or shoulders. And, if America is about people creating new worlds based on rebellion against oppression and slavery, then barbecue is the ideal dish: it was made by enslaved Africans with inspiration and contributions from Native Americans struggling to maintain their independence. The common cultural narrative of barbecue, however, exclusively assigns its origins to Native Americans and Europeans; the very etymology of the word is said to derive from both Carib through Spanish (barbacoa – to roast over hot coals on a wooden framework) or from western European sources (barbe-a-queue in French – “head to tail” – which fits nicely with contemporary ideas of no-waste eating and consuming offal). Some American barbecue masters have taken to attributing the innovation of barbecue to their German and Czech ancestors. Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 11:00:10 GMT)

Gove is right: our antiquated court system produces two-nation justice | Heather Brooke
As legal aid cuts force people to represent themselves, the costly, tortuous steps to access court records threaten access to justice. But it needn’t be this way – as the US showsJustice must be seen to be done. It is a famous aphorism laid down in 1924 by Lord Hewart, the lord chief justice. But what happens when people put this principle to the test? When they actually go to court?Michael Gove has given his own account of this exercise, narrating in his first speech as justice secretary his experience of today’s courts. He found “snowdrifts of paper held in place by delicate pink ribbons”, cases derailed by the late arrival of prisoners, broken video links or missing paperwork, a rape victim who had waited nearly two years for her case to be heard: overall, a “creaking, outdated system”. Continue reading...
(Fri, 03 Jul 2015 23:26:20 GMT)

‘Unacceptable’ is the new ‘something must be done’. David Cameron likes it because it lets him off the hook | Ian Jack
The prime minister declares the migrant crisis in Calais “totally unacceptable”, but that’s hardly going to stop it happening. The phrase is a neat way of expressing outrage without taking responsibilityEdward VIII had already decided to abdicate when, on 18 November 1936, he set off on a short tour of the depressed areas of south Wales, and in the ruins of the recently closed Dowlais steel mill, surrounded by hundreds of unemployed men, made his celebrated statement. “These works brought all these people here,” he said. “Something must be done to find them work.” He spoke the words to an official rather than in a speech, and there is some uncertainty over whether he said “must” or “ought to”. That they became the second-most famous lines he ever spoke says a lot about the conservatism and public reticence of the British monarchy at that time; it was on this slender evidence that Alf Garnett dubbed him “the workers’ king”. But only three weeks later he was broadcasting to the world that he couldn’t be king “without the help and support of the woman I love”, and the fate of the workless in south Wales, however seriously this Trotsky of monarchs had taken it in the first place, was just one of the many items that disappeared from his list of duties and concerns.Did his small intervention do any good? Two days later, the Times thought his comments had greatly helped “to concentrate attention on the state of the distressed areas and the failure of the industrial revival to penetrate the economic backwaters that are particularly affected”. Writing 40 years later, his biographer Frances Donaldson felt that he had demonstrated a capacity for sympathy and shown a genuine distress that brought “something very like happiness … to men who had for so long known only despair”. In fact, plans to revive the area’s pits and factories had already been drawn up and what did most to end the depression – the something that had to be done – was the coming world war. Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 07:00:05 GMT)

National memorial planned for British victims of overseas terrorism
Memorial to victims of the Tunisia attack, plus other atrocities, announced as country prepares to remember those killed in 7/7 London bombingsA memorial dedicated to the victims of the terrorist attack in Tunisia and a separate site of remembrance for all UK nationals who have been killed in terrorist atrocities overseas will be funded by the government, David Cameron has announced.The prime minister also confirmed plans for a special service for those caught up in the Tunisian atrocity to be held in the autumn. The announcements come as the country prepares to remember the 52 victims, and hundreds of survivors, of the 7/7 London bombings 10 years ago. There will be a wreath-laying ceremony at the memorial in Hyde Park and a national service of remembrance at St Paul’s Cathedral. Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 23:04:04 GMT)

Tim Farron calls for UK to let in 60,000 migrants
Liberal Democrat leadership contender becomes first senior politician to back EU quota systemLiberal Democrat leadership candidate Tim Farron has called on Britain to welcome about 60,000 non-EU migrants into the country as part of a joint European response to the growing refugee crisis.Farron, who is fighting former health minister Norman Lamb for the right to succeed Nick Clegg, told the Observer that his party should show compassion by supporting an EU quota system under which refugees would be shared out between member states. Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 21:20:33 GMT)

More than 100 firefighters battle warehouse fire in west London
Plumes of thick smoke visible for miles from fire in two-storey building at Wadsworth road in Perivale, with 15 fire crews sent to the sceneDramatic pictures have emerged of more than 100 firefighters battling a warehouse blaze on Saturday. Plumes of thick black smoke could be seen for miles as the flames tore through the two-storey building in Perivale, west London. One photograph posted on Twitter showed the smoke rising over the roof of Wembley stadium. Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 22:57:04 GMT)

George Osborne’s £13bn ‘northern powerhouse’ fund includes routine council spending on potholes
Embarrassment for government as it confirms only £5bn of announced £13bn funding is allocated for major road schemes and £3bn for railGeorge Osborne’s pledge to build a “northern powerhouse” has been condemned as “cynical pre-election spin” as it emerged that the £13bn committed to build it includes routine spending on potholes and maintenance for the A1, which comes out of London.In further embarrassment, a communities minister was also accused of misleading parliament over the money after he claimed to MPs in the Commons last week that the government was “investing £13bn in rail in the north” for “more trains, newer trains and more regular journeys”. A spokesman for the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has now confirmed that the money is not just for rail. Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 23:05:06 GMT)

Peatlands burn as gamekeepers create landscape fit for grouse-shooting
Climate change experts say burning heather to increase bird yields is a threat to protected peat bogsThey are home to a diverse range of wildlife and up to 8,000 years old. And, according to a damning analysis by an independent government advisory body, the UK’s upland peat bogs are facing a sustained threat from the shooting classes’ desire to bag grouse.The Committee on Climate Change’s 2015 progress report to parliament notes: “Wetland habitats, including the majority of upland areas with carbon-rich peat soils, are in poor condition. The damaging practice of burning peat to increase grouse yields continues, including on internationally protected sites.” Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 23:05:06 GMT)

Throwaway pup trend makes Britons dogs’ worst enemies
Fickle owners, poor training and battery farms threaten UK reputation as nation of dog loversBritain risks losing its standing as a nation of dog lovers thanks to a new and appalling trend in “throwaway” puppies, according to charities. TV vet, author and animal welfare campaigner Marc Abraham said impulse buying of dogs, fuelled by unscrupulous internet dealers and bad practices in puppy farming, is leading to a rapid rise in cruelty cases while legislation to protect animals is “a total mess”.“We’re getting worse as a nation of supposed animal lovers. Puppies are so easy to get hold of that they have become disposable. You can just dump them when you have had enough, and rescue centres up and down the country are bursting at the seams. We have seen a massive increase in demand for whatever breed is fashionable, whether it’s a husky from Twilight or Game of Thrones, or Lady Gaga and YouTubers like DanTDM with their French bulldogs and pugs. They see a cute dog on EastEnders, google it, find out they can order one and have it delivered the next day.” Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 23:05:04 GMT)

Charlotte, royal family's newest princess, to be christened in Norfolk
Queen and other royals gather as Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their two children prepare to appear in public for first time as family of fourThe Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their two children will appear in public for the first time as a family of four on Sunday when Princess Charlotte is christened in front of the Queen and close family.Large crowds are expected to gather for a glimpse of the nine-week-old at her baptism at St Mary Magdalene church in Sandringham, Norfolk – walking distance from Prince William and Kate’s country mansion, Anmer Hall. Continue reading...
(Sun, 05 Jul 2015 00:25:30 GMT)

How charisma of Kids Company leader failed to stop rows and funding standoffs
Forced exit of Camila Batmanghelidjh ends an era when charity enjoyed fame but courted controversyFor the children’s charities waiting for their government funding allocations, the news came as a bolt from the blue: their grants were going to be delayed.They had filed their applications in October 2013, expecting to learn what they would receive from the Department for Education by the end of December. Instead it was not until March 2014 that they discovered the size of their grants. Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 17:21:47 GMT)

UN demands urgent release of British activist on death row in Ethiopia over torture fears
The Foreign Office has pushed for consular access to Andargachew Tsige with no tangible results, since the British citizen was abducted in Ethiopia a year ago The UN has demanded the immediate release of a Briton held on death row in Ethiopia for more than a year, an intervention that campaigners say exposes Britain’s poor diplomacy towards the case. Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 23:21:04 GMT)

Is the future now looking brighter for beach towns?
An influx of holidaymakers and new residents is helping to turn the tide for seaside resortsA bucket and spade and the smell of the sea; a wobbly deckchair and the prospect of an ice cream; the hope of something other than weed being caught in a holed fishing net. All watched over by an aggressive seagull or two.There’s nothing quite like a day at the British seaside. Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 23:04:04 GMT)

Missing UK family of 12 'feel safe after joining Isis'
Statement sent to BBC rejects claims that Mannan family, not seen since 17 May, were kidnapped and forced to join Islamic StateA British family of 12 who went missing have joined Islamic State and feel safer than they ever have, according to a statement purportedly issued on their behalf.The statement, sent to the BBC by a member of Isis, rejected claims that the Mannan family, who have not been seen since 17 May, had been kidnapped and forced to join the extremist group. Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 15:43:19 GMT)

Independence Day event at UK military base cancelled over security fears
Red Arrows had been due to perform on Saturday but public gathering in Norfolk was scrapped by the US Air Force after ‘local threat assessments’The US Air Force has cancelled an Independence Day event at a UK base over security concerns.The Royal Air Force’s aerobatic team the Red Arrows had been due to perform on Saturday at RAF Feltwell in Norfolk, during a two-day public event hosted by USAF members based at RAF Lakenheath and RAF Mildenhall. Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 04:39:40 GMT)

Powerhouse or poorhouse? Why the north-east fears devolution won’t help
In Tyneside and Co Durham, braced for news of more cuts in Wednesday’s budget, there is doubt the ‘Devo Manc’ model will make it across the PenninesPeterlee, near Sunderland, was once a mining town. Now, it’s home to a vast, hi-tech manufacturing plant for US truck-maker Caterpillar. In every direction, blue-overalled workers clamber over the massive yellow vehicles, whose tyres are taller than a man, brandishing drills or lowering giant parts meticulously into place from ceiling-mounted hoists.Chris Fairs, the human resources manager, explains that his staff manufacture almost every part of the vehicles here: rolled steel comes in, giant trucks roll out, in what they call a “plate to gate” process. Many of the workers are former miners, or welders from the defunct Sunderland shipyards. “This is a world-class manufacturing facility,” he says. Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 15:00:03 GMT)

Two Bethnal Green schoolgirls 'now married to Isis men' in Syria
Teenagers Shamima Begum, Kadiza Sultana and Amira Abase, 15, fled from Britain in February, and two have had husbands ‘approved’ for themTwo of the three east London schoolgirls who fled to join Islamic State in Syria have married men approved for them by the terrorist group, their families have told the Guardian.Shamima Begum, 15, Kadiza Sultana, 16, and Amira Abase, 15, fled in February from Britain after deceiving their parents and siblings. Continue reading...
(Fri, 03 Jul 2015 23:22:57 GMT)

Thousands of Ashes spectators could be hit by rail strike affecting Cardiff
• Strike would affect First Great Western trains for first three days of Test• Final talks to try to avoid strike to be held on SundayThousands of cricket fans could be hit by a rail strike affecting First Great Western trains serving Cardiff during the first three days of the first Ashes Test. Talks will be held on Monday in a final attempt to avert the strike due to start at 6.30pm on Wednesday evening, the opening day of the Test at the Swalec Stadium. Related: Darren Lehmann’s nous gives Australia Ashes edge | Jason Gillespie Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 15:20:00 GMT)

Children 'in complete meltdown' over exams
Teachers in England seeing unprecedented levels of school-related anxiety, according to National Union of Teachers reportTeachers in England are seeing unprecedented levels of school-related anxiety, stress and mental health problems among pupils of all age groups and abilities, particularly around test or exam time, according to a new report.Children aged 10 or 11 are said to be “in complete meltdown”, in tears, or feeling sick during tests, and problems can be made worse by their competitive parents, according to the Exam Factories? report commissioned by the National Union of Teachers and conducted independently by Merryn Hutchings, emeritus professor at London Metropolitan University. Continue reading...
(Fri, 03 Jul 2015 23:01:06 GMT)

Former UK ministers urge Obama to free Shaker Aamer from Guantánamo Bay
Tory and Labour MPs, writers and actors among signatories of open letter to Barack Obama calling for release of UK resident held without charge for 14 years Boris Johnson has placed himself at the head of cross-party group, including a former Tory attorney general and a Labour leadership contender, who are calling on Barack Obama to secure the release of Shaker Aamer, the last British resident held in Guantánamo Bay.In an intervention timed to coincide with US Independence Day, six former cabinet ministers have joined leading writers, actors, directors, musicians to warn the White House that the continued detention of Aamer is undermining US standing in the world. Continue reading...
(Fri, 03 Jul 2015 18:06:56 GMT)

British woman says she was separated from newborn daughter in Spain
Dental nurse from east London claims access to her baby has been restricted after Málaga doctors doubt she is the motherThe Foreign Office is investigating the case of a British woman who says she has been separated from her newborn baby after giving birth in southern Spain, following doubt from local doctors that she is the infant’s real mother.The 27-year-old London woman is a dental nurse from Newham, east London, who has an older daughter, aged three, and is of British Caribbean origin. She told the Guardian she feared her treatment in Málaga, a region with a large immigrant population from outside Europe, was influenced by race. Continue reading...
(Fri, 03 Jul 2015 19:28:03 GMT)

Vladimir Putin's Independence Day greeting calls for US-Russia dialogue
Despite differences, Kremlin says working with Obama remains important for global stability and Clinton weighs in – the US has to be ‘smarter’ Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated President Barack Obama on Independence Day on Saturday, and expressed confidence that Russia and the US could work together to find solutions to international problems.The Kremlin said Putin noted in a telegram to Obama that despite the differences between the two countries, their relations remain important for global stability and security. Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 19:49:08 GMT)

Tunisia's president declares state of emergency following terrorist attack
Eight days after the Islamist attack in Sousse that killed 38 foreign tourists, prime minister admits police were too slow to respond to the shootingTunisia’s president, Beji Caid Essebsi, has declared a 30-day state of emergency, eight days after 38 foreign tourists, most of them British, were killed in an Islamist gun attack.The state of emergency temporarily gives the government more flexibility, and can be used to give the army and police more authority. Under a decree dating back more than 30 years it could also potentially be used to restrict the right of public assembly, the right to strike, and press freedom. Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 19:24:29 GMT)

Clinton defends progressive record as campaigns hit Independence Day
Clinton says she takes ‘a backseat to no one’ as Sanders draws crowdsRepublicans and Democrats swarm New Hampshire and Iowa Related: 'Grassroots movement working': Bernie Sanders gains on the Clinton machine As 2016 presidential candidates flocked to spend Independence Day in early voting states such as Iowa and New Hampshire, Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton found herself defending her record on policy and the size of crowds at her events. Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 19:41:00 GMT)

Syrian rebels advance in government-held Aleppo
Rebel capture of army barracks from pro-Assad forces means regime has lost important line of defence in northern citySyrian rebels have gained ground in government-held western Aleppo, seizing an army barracks in one district, but have been pushed back elsewhere.The fighting in the country’s former economic powerhouse is some of the fiercest since the Syrian conflict began in the northern city in mid-2012. Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 13:18:39 GMT)

Women's World Cup: bigger, better – but still treated as the poor relation
The prize money is a tiny sliver of what the men get – and games have been played on artificial turf. Should Fifa divert more money to the women’s game?Whoever wins the Women’s World Cup on Sunday will receive a $2m cash prize from Fifa. It’s a handsome reward for a job well done at the highest level. That is, unless it’s put into a broader context: when the German men won the World Cup in Brazil last year, they were given $35m. Related: USA's soccer moms aim for one final effort before returning to family life Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 13:59:59 GMT)

Anti-gay marriage video by US pressure group CatholicVote plays victim card
Viewers give massive thumbs-down to video, with slogan ‘You are not alone’, which shows people coming out to admit they are against same-sex marriagesAn anti-gay marriage video has provoked a massive backlash after it was viewed more than a million times on YouTube in just 10 days.In the two-and-a-half minute film, six people “come out” by admitting they are against gay marriage. “We’re here because we have something to say and we’re no longer afraid to say it,” the video’s description reads. Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 11:48:08 GMT)

French soldier charged with Burkina Faso child abuse
Soldier charged in France over claims that camera containing footage of abuse of girls aged three and five was left in home of one of the alleged victimsA French soldier has been charged with child abuse over claims a video was discovered showing him touching young girls at a swimming pool in Burkina Faso. Agnès Thibault-Lecuivre, a spokeswoman for Paris prosecutors, on Saturday confirmed that the soldier had been charged with sexual abuse of a minor. A second suspect was freed without charge. Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 14:11:00 GMT)

Reddit CEO sorry for 'letting down' users after popular subforums shut down
Ellen Pao would not comment on firing of director of talent but said company was working on providing moderators with a better infrastructure and network Related: Reddit revolts: subforums shut down in protest over AMA co-ordinator sacking The chief executive of the social media site Reddit, Ellen Pao, has apologized for “letting down” users after the company fired a well-liked employee. Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 17:42:28 GMT)

Nepal signals peak season recovery
While the damage from April’s earthquake will take years to overcome, Nepal is making progress in its bid to attract visitors back for the autumn trekking seasonInternational donors pledge $3bn aid to NepalWhether recent events in Greece, Tunisia and even Calais have a long-term impact on tourism, beyond the immediate effects of changed and cancelled bookings, remains to be seen, but there is no doubt that the 7.8 magnitude earthquake Nepal suffered on 25 April, and its severe aftershocks, served a crushing blow to the country’s industry.Yet already, just two months later, Nepal is gearing up to tell the world it’s back in the travel business. Nepal’s government is desperate to change the narrative after April’s disaster, which killed almost 9,000 people, in time for the peak tourist season in October and November. Visitors bring in $1.6bn to a poor country whose economy has been recovering from a decade-long civil war (1996-2006). Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 06:00:07 GMT)

Free marijuana for all: Oregonians exercise the right to Weed the People
State legalizes recreational marijuana, but it still can’t be sold to the general public – yet growers and dispensaries find way around the law with event“A line this long that never ends and everybody is happy,” marveled Jim Leighton, a 30-year Oregon resident. “Isn’t that great?” He and some 1,300 others stood in a queue that snaked around the block in the sweltering Portland heat Friday afternoon, waiting for entry to an event where they could get up to seven grams of marijuana for nothing more than a smile and a handshake.Oregon is the fourth state in the United States, in addition to the District of Columbia, to legalize marijuana for recreational use for adults 21 years and older. But even after parts of the law went into effect Wednesday that legalized possession and growing of small amounts, marijuana still cannot be sold to the general public. Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 14:06:19 GMT)

LGBT activists call for new focus on violence against transgender community
While the supreme court victory on gay marriage sparked celebrations, the lives of transgender individuals – particularly black trans women – remain in dangerAdvocates for transgender rights are hoping that last week’s historic US supreme court ruling on gay marriage will pave the way to renewed public focus on what they see as a national crisis of violence, sexual assault and custodial abuse against trans individuals.So far this year alone, at least nine trans women have been murdered, putting 2015 on track to be one of the most violent periods for transgender individuals in recent times. In the most recent incident, the body of a 17-year-old trans woman called Mercedes Williamson was found last month hidden under the brush in a desolate area of southern Mississippi, reportedly displaying stab wounds. Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 11:00:10 GMT)

At least 50 dead as five more bodies pulled from capsized Philippine ferry
Victims found after crane pulled 36-tonne vessel that sunk on Thursday off port of Ormoc city to shoreRescuers have retrieved five more bodies from a ferry that capsized shortly after departing from a Philippine port, raising the death toll to 50.The bodies were recovered hours after coastguard spokesmancommander Armand Balilo said all 187 passengers and crew members on the Kim Nirvana had been accounted for, with 45 dead, 142 survivors and no reports of anyone else missing. Continue reading...
(Fri, 03 Jul 2015 23:32:15 GMT)

Honduras protesters stage biggest march yet to demand president resign
Estimated 60,000 Hondurans gather in capital Tegucigalpa for a sixth week, calling for Juan Orlando Hernández to step down over corruption claimsTens of thousands Hondurans poured onto the streets of the capital Tegucigalpa on Friday to demand the resignation of the president, Juan Orlando Hernández, in the biggest demonstration yet against the country’s leader over allegations of corruption. An estimated 60,000 demonstrators, many holding torches, took part in the noisy protest that converged on the presidential palace for what was the sixth Friday-evening march in a row. Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 03:50:23 GMT)

Man in wheelchair allegedly robs bank in New York
Kelvin Dennison accused of making off with more than $1,200 after telling staff at Santander bank branch he had a gunA man in a wheelchair has been arrested for allegedly stealing $1,212 in a daytime bank robbery, US authorities said on Friday.Kelvin Dennison, 23, from New York City, was picked up by officers at a hospital two days after he rolled into a Santander bank branch in Queens on Monday afternoon and claimed to be armed, police said. Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 05:08:39 GMT)

Mormon leader Boyd K Packer dies aged 90
The president of the faith’s highest governing body dies in Salt Lake CityMormon leader Boyd K Packer, president of the faith’s highest governing body, has died at the age of 90.Packer died on Friday afternoon at his home in Salt Lake City from natural causes, according to church spokesman Eric Hawkins. Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 00:10:24 GMT)

Golfer Bubba Watson criticised for vow to take Confederate flag off 'General Lee' car
Two-time Masters champion abused on social media for making gesture in wake of wider debate about flag’s meaningGolfer Bubba Watson has drawn fire for pledging to paint over the Confederate flag on the car made popular in The Dukes of Hazzard TV series amid ongoing controversy about the symbolism of the flag. The two-time Masters champion said on Friday that he would instead add the US flag to the roof of the General Lee 01. Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 03:01:05 GMT)

Syrian mosque blast kills at least 25 with al-Qaida links
Islamic State militants blamed by rivals for explosion in town of ArihaAn explosion at a mosque in Syria’s Idlib province on Friday killed at least 25 members of the al-Qaida linked al-Nusra Front, the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said. The blast in the town of Ariha in north-western Syria went off as members of the al-Nusra Front gathered at the mosque for iftar, the meal with which Muslims break their fast during the holy month of Ramadan. Continue reading...
(Fri, 03 Jul 2015 23:42:21 GMT)

Vietnam Communist party chief to make first US trip
Barack Obama expected to reciprocate later this year amid shared concerns about territorial disputes with ChinaThe powerful head of Vietnam’s Communist party will travel to the United States for the first time next week, and said he expects President Barack Obama will visit Vietnam later this year.Party general secretary Nguyen Phu Trong said on Friday he hopes to build trust and create more opportunities to improve relations between one-time foes as they mark the 20th anniversary of normalized diplomatic ties. They are also being brought closer together by shared concerns over China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea. Continue reading...
(Sat, 04 Jul 2015 02:32:21 GMT)

Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. 2015