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One pilot dead as Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo rocket plane crashes
Virgin Galactic says plane designed for commercial space travel was undertaking test flight in California when in-flight anomaly occurredBransons ambitious project beset by problems and delaysA Virgin Galactic spacecraft crashed after an explosion during a test flight over the Mojave desert on Friday, killing one of the pilots, seriously injuring another and leaving debris scattered over a wide area. The plane, SpaceShipTwo, was undertaking a test flight as part of Sir Richard Bransons plans for commercial space travel when a serious anomaly occurred, the company said. Branson was on his way to the Mojave base on Saturday in the wake of the crash.During the test, the vehicle suffered a serious anomaly resulting in the loss of SpaceShipTwo. WK2 landed safely. (2 of 4) Continue reading...
(Sat, 01 Nov 2014 07:31:47 GMT)

Fiona Woolf resigns as chair of governments child abuse inquiry
Embarrassment for No 10 after senior legal figure quits over links to Westminster political establishmentThe governments child sex abuse inquiry was thrown into crisis after Fiona Woolf became the second senior legal figure to quit as chair over her links to the Westminster political establishment.Woolfs departure is a major embarrassment for the government and raises questions about the judgment of the home secretary, Theresa May, just months after retired judge Lady Butler-Sloss stepped down over similar concerns. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 22:20:00 GMT)

Ukip MEP apologises for apparently calling charity boss a paedophile
Jane Collins deletes tweet to Church Army boss Mark Russell, saying she was a bit hot headedA Ukip MEP has been forced to apologise for apparently calling the head of a Christian charity a paedophile on Twitter.Jane Collins, one of Ukips leading politicians, agreed to make a donation to the charity after she implied that Mark Russell was a criminal on the social networking site on Thursday. Continue reading...
(Sat, 01 Nov 2014 08:40:41 GMT)

Scotland would now vote for independence, poll finds
Just six weeks after majority voted no, YouGov survey finds 52% of people in favour of leaving UKScotland would vote yes to independence if another referendum were held today just six weeks after a majority voted no, a poll has found.Independence now has the backing of 52% of people in Scotland compared with 48% for the union, a YouGov poll for the Times has found. Continue reading...
(Sat, 01 Nov 2014 09:16:26 GMT)

Power struggle in Burkina Faso after Blaise Compaoré resigns as president
Two rival military leaders declare themselves to be in charge as popular uprising topples president after 27 yearsBurkina Fasos president, Blaise Compaoré, one of Africas longest-serving leaders, has been swept from power after 27 years by a violent popular uprising.Compaoré announced his resignation on Friday as hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets in protest at plans to extend his rule. Continue reading...
(Sat, 01 Nov 2014 05:27:06 GMT)

Three dead after London stabbings
Man found dying in street soon after woman was murdered in Ilford, while teenager is killed in Borough, says Scotland YardTwo murder investigations have been launched after separate fatal stabbing incidents in London on Friday.A man was found collapsed on a road in east London, 90 minutes after a woman was murdered one street away. The victims, both aged in their 20s, were not related but knew each other, Scotland Yard said. Continue reading...
(Sat, 01 Nov 2014 06:10:59 GMT)

Miliband calls for second chamber to represent all UKs cities and regions
House of Lords not representative of much of the country, says Labour leader as he calls for senate to meet outside LondonEd Miliband will broaden his drive for the devolution of political and economic power to the cities and regions, and away from London, by saying he wants an elected second chamber completely recast as representative of the cities, regions and nations of the UK.His aides said he did not rule out ideas for the second chamber to meet outside London permanently, or sometimes. The ideas will be put to a constitutional convention that Miliband intends to stage very soon after the election. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 22:04:01 GMT)

Canada suspends visas for residents of west African Ebola outbreak countries
Canada, which has not reported any cases of Ebola so far, will not process visa applications from those who have been to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra LeoneCanada will stop issuing visas to people from the three west African nations where the Ebola virus is widespread, the government said on Friday.The federal citizenship ministry, explaining the move, said in an official document that the introduction or spread of the disease would pose an imminent and severe risk to public health. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 20:59:18 GMT)

Conservatives put under further pressure by £2.7bn EU contributions
British contributions to being a member of the European Union now four times 2008 figureGeorge Osborne is facing further criticism over the scale of Britains payments to the European Union after it emerged that the Treasury quietly handed over an unexpected £2.7bn last year and total net contributions have quadrupled since 2008.Labour accused the chancellor of falling asleep at the wheel for a second time when it comes to the EU, after the Treasury previously failed to tell the prime minister for almost a week that the UK was facing an additional £1.7bn bill to be paid by 1 December. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 19:59:21 GMT)

Italy: end of ongoing sea rescue mission puts thousands at risk
Refugee expert says to expect 3,000 death toll to multiply as Europe cuts back on its patrols of waters used by migrantsEurope has been warned it faces the risk of far greater loss of life in the Mediterranean, after Italy formally ended its year-long mission to rescue stricken migrants and doubts persisted about a new EU force that will replace it.Italy insisted there would be no abdication of search and rescue duties in the waters where its navy has plucked out more than 100,000 shipwrecked refugees since last October. But as it announced the end of its 9m(£7m)-a-month Mare Nostrum mission, refugee groups and experts warned that the deadliest year yet in the Mediterranean could get even worse. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 19:39:44 GMT)

Two bodies found in Stafford fireworks warehouse following blaze
Police release 53-year-old who had been held in connection with incident as joint investigation is launched to find cause of initial explosionThe bodies of two people have been found in the remains of a fireworks warehouse in Stafford after it caught fire on Thursday.Staffordshire police said the remains were discovered almost 24 hours after an explosion at the Baswich Industrial Estate in Stafford, sparking a huge fire which tore through an industrial unit at 5.15pm on Thursday. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 17:14:19 GMT)

British travellers warned they could be target of revenge terror attacks
Foreign Office issues advice over heightened threat of attack in retaliation for UK air strikes against Islamic StateBritons travelling abroad are being warned that they could be targeted by extremists seeking revenge for UK air strikes against Islamic State (Isis).The Foreign Office (FCO) has updated its travel advice for all destinations across the globe that British nationals faced a heightened threat of attack from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 20:03:23 GMT)

Washington school shootings: third victim dies in hospital
Shaylee Chuckulnaskit, 14, and two others have died after being shot by Jaylen Fryberg, who later killed himselfA 14-year-old girl has died from the injuries she received when a fellow high school student went on a shooting rampage in Washington state.Shaylee Chuckulnaskit, known affectionately as Shay to her family and friends, passed away at Providence Regional Medical Centre as a result of severe injuries from last Fridays school shooting, the hospital announced on Friday. Continue reading...
(Sat, 01 Nov 2014 04:54:52 GMT)

Firefighters strike over pensions
Members of the Fire Brigades Union in England will not return to work until the evening before Bonfire nightWhy I am taking part in the firefighters strikeFirefighters have walked out on strike for the weekend in their bitter row with the government over pensions. Members of the Fire Brigades Union in England left their stations at 6pm on Friday and will not return until 6pm on Tuesday, the evening before Bonfire night.Picket lines were mounted outside fire stations, and will continue throughout the next few days. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 19:45:20 GMT)

Canadian Mountie killer jailed for five life sentences
Justin Bourque, 24, who shot dead three RCMP officers, will serve terms consecutively with no parole for 75 yearsA man who killed three Canadian mounted police officers, has been given five life sentences in prison with no parole for 75 years the harshest sentence handed down by a Canadian court since the death penalty was eliminated. Justin Bourque, 24, pleaded guilty to three counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder over the June shootings in which he walked down the streets of the eastern Canadian city of Moncton carrying multiple weapons and then shot police who responded to calls from concerned neighbours. Continue reading...
(Sat, 01 Nov 2014 04:25:43 GMT)

Russia could resume gas supply to Ukraine by next week
Deliveries to start once Kiev pays $2.2bn in debt and pre-payments after agreement reached by Moscow, Kiev and EURussia could resume natural gas deliveries to Ukraine as soon as next week if Kiev pays $2.2bn (£1.4bn) in debt and pre-payments, gas exporter Gazprom said on Friday, under a deal that also safeguards winter deliveries to Europe.Moscow, Kiev and the European Union reached an agreement on Thursday over the gas supplies despite tensions over a pro-Russian separatist rebellion in east Ukraine. Gazprom cut off Ukraine in June amid a bitter dispute over unpaid bills and pricing for the former Soviet republic, which is seeking closer ties with the West. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 16:56:15 GMT)

Brighton jihadi vows to fight to the death in Syria despite family pleas
Amer Deghayes says he will not leave the battlefield, following the deaths of his two brothers in Jabhat al-Nusra ranksA British jihadi whose two brothers have been killed fighting in Syria has said he is ignoring pleas from his father to return home and will continue to battle pro-Bashar al-Assad forces till death.Amer Deghayes, 20, the last surviving member of a group of four jihadis from Brighton who secretly travelled to Syria this year to fight for al-Qaida-affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra, told the Guardian: I didnt come here ... [for the] experience, adding that he was praying for his ending to be the best martyrdom in the front lines. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 21:29:07 GMT)

Puppy farmer jailed for at least 25 years for double murder
John Lowe told he will die in prison for shooting dead partner and her daughter on his dog farm in SurreyAn 82-year-old puppy farmer has been jailed for at least 25 years for murdering his partner and her daughter in a double killing on his dog farm in Surrey.John Lowe was told he would die in prison for shooting dead Christine Lee, 66, and her daughter, Lucy Lee, 40, at Keepers Cottage Stud near Farnham, Surrey, in February. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 15:03:14 GMT)

Rolf Harris loses first appeal bid over convictions
Judge refuses the entertainers application to appeal over indecent assaultsRolf Harris has lost the first round of his bid to appeal against his convictions for a string of indecent assaults.A spokesman for the judicial office confirmed on Friday that a judge has refused his application for permission to appeal. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 18:06:45 GMT)

Terror police chief in Stephen Lawrence spying row back on duty next month
Commander Richard Walton will resume his role on 1 December, even though he is still facing an IPCC inquiryA counter-terrorism chief who was moved from his post over claims that undercover officers spied on the family of Stephen Lawrence will be reinstated to full duties despite still being under investigation.Scotland Yard confirmed that Commander Richard Walton, who was removed from operational duties in March, will resume his role on 1 December, even though he is still facing an inquiry by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC). Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 18:16:55 GMT)

Ed Miliband: Labour faces a fight to save its Scottish MPs
Labour party leader reacts after poll suggests Scottish National party could win up to 54 Scottish seats in 2015 electionEd Miliband has admitted that his party must fight for every hour and every day to hold on to its Scottish MPs after a shock poll predicted Labour could be wiped out by the Scottish National party next year.The dramatic poll for STV said the SNP could win up to 54 Scottish seats and said Labours popularity was its lowest level since 2007, only a month after Labour had spearheaded a victorious referendum campaign against independence. Continue reading...
(Thu, 30 Oct 2014 22:00:05 GMT)

Probation inspector at centre of row over wifes job at outsourcing firm
Paul McDowells wife is the deputy managing director of a private justice company that runs some UK probation servicesThe future of the chief of the probation watchdog has been put into question as a fresh conflict of interest row hit Whitehall.Paul McDowell, the chief inspector of probation, is at the centre of a row following the disclosure that his wife is the deputy managing director of a private justice company that this week won the largest number of contracts to run probation services in England and Wales. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 19:25:43 GMT)

Morgan urges Muslims to become school governors after Trojan horse
Education secretary says it was right to investigate Birmingham schools allegations although no violent extremism was foundEducation secretary Nicky Morgan has sought to reassure Muslim parents by saying that the Trojan horse affair in Birmingham was an exception, and that it was important for Muslims to sign up as school governors because they had a huge amount to contribute.We are not aware of anything else like Birmingham, in terms of the scale, across the country, Morgan said of the investigations into a series of schools with large numbers of Muslim pupils, in an interview with Muslim News. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 19:27:43 GMT)

Verdict due on British-Iranian woman arrested at Tehran sports stadium
Ghoncheh Ghavami went to watch mens volleyball match, breaching Islamic republics ban on women at big sports events A British-Iranian woman detained in Iran for trying to watch a volleyball game will learn on Saturday whether she has been found guilty of propaganda against the regime. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 21:06:38 GMT)

Zero-hours contract workers turned away by some of UKs biggest landlords
As well as high rents, workers with no fixed hours or income face problems finding a landlord who will agree to house themSome of the UKs biggest landlords are refusing to take tenants on zero-hours contracts or are insisting on payment guarantees, seen as further evidence of the problems faced by workers forced to sign up to the restrictive employment terms.Around 1.4 million workers are on zerohour contracts, which offer no fixed hours or income, making it hard to prove their income to landlords or mortgage lenders. Fergus Wilson, who made headlines in January when he announced he was evicting tenants who received housing benefits, said he had never let any of his near-1,000 properties in Kent to workers on zero hours. No landlord in his right mind will accept tenants who do not have a guaranteed wage, he said. No rent insurer will accept them so that effectively makes the landlords decision for them. No hay no pay nowhere to live. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 16:29:01 GMT)

Halloween costumes that mock mental illness are a matter for the market PM
Downing Street responds to health minister Norman Lambs criticism of psycho and schizo joke outfits available onlineDowning Street has declined to back calls by health minister Norman Lamb for retailers to stop selling outfits that demonise mentally ill people at Halloween, saying it is a matter for consumers and companies.Lamb, the Liberal Democrat care minister, urged shops not to sell trick-or-treat and party outfits that mock psychiatric patients, after several joke outfits depicting dangerously violent mental patients in chains and wearing masks made headlines after going on sale online. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 16:33:18 GMT)

Police hand Libyan abduction evidence to Crown Prosecution Service
Met files are part of Operation Lydd, an investigation into MI6 involvement in rendition of activists in 2004Police investigating MI6s involvement in the secret abduction of Libyan suspects and their forced return to Tripoli have handed over a file of evidence to the Crown Prosecution Service.The latest development in the inquiry comes the day after Abdul Hakim Belhaj, one of the men who was returned to Muammar Gaddafis intelligence services, won the right to sue the British government in court over his treatment. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 19:39:13 GMT)

MH17: more human remains found at crash site, says Dutch PM
Mark Rutte says lull in fighting allowed investigators to re-enter eastern Ukraine site where Malaysia Airlines plane came down A Dutch team took advantage of a pause in fighting between government forces and pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine on Friday to recover human remains from the Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash site, the Dutch prime minister said.Mark Rutte said the team recovered human remains from the so-called burn site where the plane hit the ground, but he gave no more details. Continue reading...
(Sat, 01 Nov 2014 00:40:28 GMT)

Obama fixates on economic growth to boost Democrats' midterm chances
President speaks at Rhode Island college in speech on better-than-expected GDP report in the final days before midterm electionsBarack Obama has seized on better-than-expected US economic news to try to turn around Democratic party fortunes in the last few days of campaigning before Tuesdays midterm elections.Low personal approval ratings have kept the president away from the most competitive swing states this election but, in a series of last-minute speeches to more sympathetic audiences in Maine and Rhode Island, Obama is attempting to build a more positive narrative by focusing on buoyant GDP figures. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 17:32:07 GMT)

Ozone hole remains size of North America, Nasa data shows
Antarctic hole in protective layer of gas stands around same level as 2010, 2012 and 2013, but scientists say recovery is on trackThe Antarctic ozone hole, which was expected to reduce in size swiftly when manmade chlorine emissions were outlawed 27 years ago, is stubbornly remaining the size of North America, new data from Nasa suggests. The hole in the thin layer of gas, which helps shield life on Earth from potentially harmful ultraviolet solar radiation that can cause skin cancers, grows and contracts throughout the year but reached its maximum extent on 9 September when monitors at the south pole showed it to cover 24.1m square km (9.3m sq miles). This is about 9% below the record maximum in 2000 but almost the same as in 2010, 2012 and 2013. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 13:33:26 GMT)

Millionaire landlords Fergus and Judith Wilson begin evicting large families
Kent tycoons, also banning those on zero-hours contracts, insist they have no choice but housing empire known to be for saleBritains most controversial landlords, Fergus and Judith Wilson, whose property empire extends to nearly 1,000 homes in Kent, have begun evicting families with more than two children, banned tenants on zero-hours contracts and thrown out extended families where the grandmother comes to stay.Last January, the Wilsons sparked a national outcry after it was revealed they were evicting anyone on housing benefit. They sent the eviction notices to 200 tenants, saying they preferred eastern European migrants who defaulted much less frequently than single mums on welfare. They said at the time that the move was purely an economic decision and was entirely legal as landlords do not have to give a reason before obtaining a possession order on a home. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 09:32:55 GMT)

Hungarys prime minister scraps draft law taxing internet use
Viktor Orbán says the proposed legislation, which has prompted protests in the country, cannot be introduced in its current formHungarys prime minister, Viktor Orbán, has announced that he will scrap plans for a controversial internet tax for now. The internet tax cannot be introduced in its current form, Orbán said in a radio interview on Friday morning.The tax, which was due to be voted in on 17 November, had drawn tens of thousands of protesters to the streets of Budapest on Sunday and Tuesday. Critics saw the tax as an attempt to crack down on opposition voices and curtail civil liberties. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 10:01:18 GMT)

Google fined for 'disrespectful' Street View photos of woman's cleavage
A Canadian woman said she was derided and abused after a Google Street View car captured an image of her outside her house Google has been fined 2,250 Canadian dollars for an image on Street View that captured images of a Canadian womans cleavage.A Canadian court judge ruled that despite being in public, sitting on the steps of her private property, Maria Pia Grillos privacy had been disrespected and that her modesty and dignity had been violated. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 18:08:53 GMT)

Stop selling Halloween outfits that demonise mentally ill, says minister
Address by Norman Lamb to care conference follows outcry over marketing online of psycho and schizo joke costumesHalloweens ghoulish festivities have turned into a dangerous culture that brands mentally ill people as psychos or schizos or freaks, a government minister warns.Norman Lamb, the Liberal Democrat care and support minister, will give a speech urging retailers not to demonise people with mental health problems by selling trick-or-treat and party outfits that mock psychiatric patients. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 08:55:19 GMT)

Introduction of water charges in Ireland cause widespread street protests
Government says it needs money for infrastructure, but some citizens say they are willing to go to prison for refusing to pay Ireland is facing mounting anger over controversial moves to introduce water charges, with street protests against the measure likened to the revolt against the poll tax in Britain. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 15:51:00 GMT)

Is there such a thing as ethical porn?
The actors say theyre happy, the makers say its guilt-free but what exactly is fair trade porn? We find outThey mainly call it ethical porn, though some people call it fair trade. The term free range was essayed, but its agricultural connotations have proved too strong. Its the kind of porn you would buy in Waitrose, is how D, 40, described it. He is one of the boyfriends and sometime co-star of Pandora Blake, 29, who runs a site called Dreams Of Spanking.Youre making the audience into better people? I asked him. Continue reading...
(Sat, 01 Nov 2014 08:00:02 GMT)

June Steenkamp interview: Now its crystal clear Reeva is never coming back
June Steenkamp sat silent for the duration of Oscar Pistoriuss trial, but now shes speaking out. She forgives her daughters killer even though she thinks he hasnt told the truth about how Reeva diedJune Steenkamp is posing for photographs. She wears a denim jacket and jeans, white blouse and brown high-heeled shoes. This was my daughters jacket, she says. I love wearing it because I feel maybe her DNAs still on it But Ill have to wash it one of these days.Reeva Steenkamp juggled competing identities before she was shot dead by Oscar Pistorius on Valentines Day 2013 one of more than 1,000 women killed by her partner in South Africa that year. There was Reeva the brunette law graduate, linguist and feminist, a devout Christian due to deliver a speech against gender violence on the day she died. Then there was Reeva the blonde model, a cover girl for lads mag FHM who shared Pistoriuss love of fast cars and cultivated celebrity on a reality TV show. Continue reading...
(Sat, 01 Nov 2014 08:00:03 GMT)

My booky wook for the kids: Russell Brand is telling fairy stories
Russell Brand is the latest in a long line of celebrities to produce a childrens book. The Pied Piper of Hamelin is the first in a series of retold fairytales and legendsIs there anything more spiritually bankrupt and presumptuous than celebrities who think they can write for kids? Dont these boneheads remember that episode of Black Books where Dylan Moran and Bill Bailey decided to become Rowling-rich by knocking off a story about an elephant whod lost its balloon? Now theres a story that didnt have a happy ending. Writing for kids, like everything else about raising the little horrors, is harder than youd think.But that, heaven knows, doesnt stop them. Yes, even now you may be reliving the trauma of sullying your dearests childhood by introducing into it Budgie, Sarah, Duchess of Yorks fearful helicopter. And seven years ago, Anita Silvey, author of 100 Best Books for Children, told the Guardian: Celebrity books are one of the great negative features of childrens publishing in the 21st century. Continue reading...
(Sat, 01 Nov 2014 06:28:34 GMT)

History and all its grisly facts are worth more than the illusion of memory
Cameron is wrong. Poppies muffle the truth about world war oneIn 1924 the German artist Otto Dix depicted a skull, lying on the ground, a home to worms. They crawl out of its eye sockets, nasal opening and mouth, and wriggle among patches of hair and a black moustache or are they growths of grass? that still cling to the raw bone.This horror comes from Der Krieg, a series of etchings in which Dix recorded his memories of fighting in the first world war. He was a machine gunner at the Somme, among other battles, and won the Iron Cross, second class. But he remembered it all as pure horror, as did other participants who happened to be artists or writers such as George Grosz, Siegfried Sassoon, Ernst Jünger and Robert Graves. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 20:23:52 GMT)

Alex Salmond: Ive never had a problem taking decisions
Last month Alex Salmond brought Scotland to the brink of independence and then dramatically resigned as SNP leader. In his first interview since the vote he looks at how Scotland has changed and wont rule out a return to WestminsterThe black elasticated arm support is just visible beneath the cuff of his dark blue suit. Not many people get a repetitive strain injury from shaking hands. But then not many people have shaken as many hands as Scotlands first minister in the last two years.Alex Salmond traversed Scotland many times over in his quest for a Yes vote on 18 September. And the next day, having attracted 45% of the vote, he announced his resignation. In two weeks' time, at his partys annual conference in Perth, his deputy, Nicola Sturgeon, will be elected unopposed as his successor. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 16:11:00 GMT)

Elena Ferrante: the global literary sensation nobody knows
She shuns publicity and her identity is a mystery. Yet, as the last in her acclaimed series of novels about two friends in Naples is published, Elena Ferrantes reputation is soaring, with Zadie Smith, James Wood and Jhumpa Lahiri among her fans. Meghan ORourke on a literary mysteryElena Ferrante is an Italian novelist who was born in or near Naples. She seems once to have been married; she may have lived in Greece; she appears to be a mother. Or so we think. In our self-promoting, Twitter-saturated age, Ferrante is an outlier, an author who wishes to remain totally private. She refuses face-to-face interviews, has only given a handful of written ones (a few of her letters have been published), and makes no personal appearances; no photographs of her have been published. In 1991, shortly before the publication of her style-defining first book, Troubling Love, Ferrante sent a letter to her editor, explaining that she would not be promoting it: I believe that books, once they are written, have no need of their authors. If they have something to say, they will sooner or later find readers; if not, they wont. Anonymity, she thought, would preserve a space of absolute creative freedom, a freedom all the more necessary because her books stick a finger in certain wounds I have that are still infected.That absolute creative freedom has resulted in a series of brilliant novels. (Six are now available in English, all exquisitely translated by Ann Goldstein, an editor at the New Yorker.) Ferrantes project is bold: her books chronicle the inner conflicts of intelligent women (professors, novelists) who, having made their way to Florence or Rome and to good jobs, find themselves confronting memories of the crude violence and misogyny of their youth. Shaken by a surprising event, they lose their grip on reality, lapse into a Neapolitan dialect full of obscenities, and are drawn into hallucinatory quests to heal old emotional injuries. The books taglines might be No self can be left behind: in Ferrantes world, no character can escape her past.When my daughters moved to Toronto, where their father had lived and worked for years, I was embarrassed and amazed to discover that I wasnt upset; rather, I felt light, as if only then had I definitively brought them into the world. For the first time in almost twenty-five years I was not aware of the anxiety of having to take care of them. The house was neat, as if no one lived there, I no longer had the constant bother of shopping and doing the laundry.I touched it with the hem of my bathrobe, it moved and became immediately quiet. Male, female. The stomach of the females doesnt have elastic membranes, it doesnt sing, its mute. I felt disgust. One April afternoon, right after lunch, my husband announced that he wanted to leave me. He did it while we were clearing the table; the children were quarrelling as usual in the next room, the dog was dreaming, growling beside the radiator. He told me that he was confused, that he was having terrible moments of weariness, of dissatisfaction, perhaps of cowardice. He talked for a long time about our fifteen years of marriage, about the children, and admitted that he had nothing to reproach us with, neither them nor me. He was composed, as always. Then he assumed the blame for everything that was happening and closed the front door carefully behind him, leaving me turned to stone beside the sink.You wounded me, you are destroying me, and Im supposed to speak like a good, well-brought-up wife? Fuck you! What words am I supposed to use for what youve done to me, for what youre doing to me? What words should I use for what youre doing with that woman! Lets talk about it! Do you lick her cunt? Do you stick it in her ass? Do you do all the things you never did with me?They were magnificent hours of play, of invention, of freedom, such as we hadnt experienced together perhaps since childhood. Lila drew me into her frenzy. ... With extreme precision (she was demanding) we attached the black paper cutouts. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 15:00:00 GMT)

Spooks and ghouls: Halloween around the world in pictures
As the world celebrates Halloween, or All Hallows Eve, we take a look at the festivities around the globe Continue reading...
(Sat, 01 Nov 2014 00:05:45 GMT)

The secret to making great curry
The complex flavours of curries are governed by just three things: generous spicing; onion, ginger and garlic done just right; and something to give it body. Then simply improvise...The most thrilling moment in the study of any subject comes when you realise that what seems an impossibly complicated discipline is in fact underpinned by a few simple principles. Its like that moment when Keanu Reeves learns to read the Matrix. A sudden, exhilarating rush of clarity.The novice piano player experiences it when realising that you only need to learn four chords E, B, C# minor and A to play almost all your favourite pop songs. (Lou Reed thought you could narrow it down further. One chord is fine. Two chords is pushing it, he said. Three chords and youre into jazz.) Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 12:30:00 GMT)

Ministers high on their war on drugs need a speedy cure
A psychology of macho law-making dominates British drugs policy in defiance of both public opinion and common senseThe government should ban all reports on drug legalisation. They get you hooked on rage. Evidence-based reform is a gateway substance to common sense. Just send a message: no thought means no.Parliaments response to this weeks report on the 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act shows that psychoactive substances are the last taboo to afflict Britains elite. It has got over past obsessions with whipping, hanging, sodomy and abortion, but it is still stuck on drugs. There is no point in reading the latest research on drugs policy worldwide. It is spitting in the wind. The only research worth doing is on why drugs policy reduces British politicians to gibbering wrecks. Continue reading...
(Sat, 01 Nov 2014 00:01:03 GMT)

Footballer banned for 50 years after kicking ball in referees face
Ricardo Ferreira also sprayed water at Swiss official I had expected one or two years maximum. But 50?A fourth division player in Switzerland has been handed a 50-year ban after kicking a ball in the referees face and then spraying him with water.According to the Swiss newspaper Blick, the defender Ricardo Ferreira of Portugal Futebol Clube was an unused substitute in the 1-0 defeat by SC Worb in the local Bern league. But it was not until after the match that he entered the fray, kicking the ball in the referees face and then hurling insults as the official made his way to the tunnel before squirting him with water. Continue reading...
(Sat, 01 Nov 2014 00:15:45 GMT)

Hello Kitty conference brings Japanese kitsch to Los Angeles
Timed to celebrate the brands 40th birthday, a conference and exhibition has brought fans of the self-consciously cute brand out in their thousandsLove her or hate her, you cant avoid her. Certainly not this weekend in downtown Los Angeles, where the LA Museum of Contemporary Arts warehouse space in Little Tokyo has been stripped of artwork to make way for what is billed as the worlds first convention for Japanese brand Hello Kitty. Mocas highbrow art-lovers may balk at seeing their hallowed space filled with the super-cute Kittyphernalia but the convention is drawing record-breaking crowds. So is the related exhibition in the adjacent Japanese American National Museum. Called Hello! Exploring the Supercute World of Hello Kitty, it includes Lady Gagas 2009 dress made entirely of plush Kitty toys shes a big fan.More than 20,000 Kitty fans snapped up tickets for the sold-out, four-day convention. Timed to celebrate 40 years of the brand, it runs through Sunday. Ticket holders get a sneak preview of the first ever travelling Kitty show, a feelgood, techno-pop tribute touring US arenas, and first dibs at exclusive Kitty merchandise. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 20:23:05 GMT)

Amazon rainforest losing ability to regulate climate, scientist warns
Report says logging and burning of Amazon might be connected to worsening droughts such as the one plaguing São PauloThe Amazon rainforest has degraded to the point where it is losing its ability to benignly regulate weather systems, according to a stark new warning from one of Brazils leading scientists.In a new report, Antonio Nobre, researcher in the governments space institute, Earth System Science Centre, says the logging and burning of the worlds greatest forest might be connected to worsening droughts such as the one currently plaguing São Paulo and is likely to lead eventually to more extreme weather events. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 20:47:33 GMT)

Jeanette Winterson: How pretty do you have to be to work on a building site?
Dressed to drill: what message does this hoarding on a Manchester hotel send out about women in the workplace?One of my roles in life is professor of new writing at the University of Manchester. Last week I was given an honorary doctorate, along with Dame Julia King, vice-chancellor of Aston University, previously principal of the engineering faculty at Imperial College London, after a distinguished career with RollsRoyce. We were discussing why more women dont go into engineering or applied science. The vice-chancellor of Manchester University, Dame Nancy Rothwell, is a physiologist, a director of AstraZeneca, and co-chair of the Council for Science and Technology. Both women agreed there is an image gap. Women dont see themselves as practical scientists even when they enjoy science and maths. And there are still so few role models out there.Manchester is a university strong in the sciences we have 25 Nobel prize winners. And Manchester has always been a theory-into-practice kind of a place thats why the Industrial Revolution started here. So if anywhere in the UK can encourage women into traditionally male-dominated professions, skills and research, then it is Manchester. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 12:37:41 GMT)

Close call with a shark - in pictures
Surfer Andy Johnston had a close call with a shark at West Beach in Perth, Western Australia on 21 September 2014, as these images show. Captured by Frits De Bruyn, a tourist in the area, they have emerged more than a month after the near shark attack Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 16:19:29 GMT)

A letter to My mother, who was gay but kept it a secret all her life
The letter you always wanted to writeMum, the last time we talked, you told me you were gay. I did not realise it was to be our final conversation I thought we would have some time to talk further and ask more questions (I had plenty), but it wasnt to be.You were in hospital about to have an operation. You were near the end, no doubt, but it had not occurred to me that you would not make it. Continue reading...
(Sat, 01 Nov 2014 06:15:11 GMT)

Arca: Nothing is off limits emotionally
Hes only 24 but hip-hop producer Alejandro Ghersi, aka Arca, is already a muse for both Björk and Kanye. What do they know that we dont?Internet commenters can be all kinds of awful, but scroll through an artists SoundCloud page and the time-stamped reactions are often as illuminating as any critics review. In the case of rising producer Arca, theres an overarching theme. Put simply its, What the actual fuck? I dont even think you are human! cries one listener, flabbergasted by Broke Up and its squiggling rave synths, which sound as if theyre gasping for life. Huhhhhhhhh, goes another, when the drowsy, pitched-down vocal of DOEP drops in, a sliver of R&B squashed under a hobnailed boot. This is just too crazy! is a common observation when his freaky beeps and blips clatter and collide.Somewhere in there, beneath all the clattering beeps and blips, is hip-hop music, but Venezuelan-born Arca real name Alejandro Ghersi doesnt want you to have it that easy. His tracks are ambiguous and, deviating from conventional notions of melody and bass, are more likely to make you think than dance. If this sounds challenging, its the way music production is going. Arcas generation of Ableton-manglers begin their careers making hybrid R&B, hip-hop and electronic music in their bedrooms. These songs then attract the attention of pop vanguardists searching for a way to capture or, if you like, leech off the zeitgeist. The trickle-down effect is such that, once the trendsetters have had done with it, youll probably end up hearing it on the next Alexandra Burke record. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 14:30:03 GMT)

Psycho: the film that frightened me most
Joe Queenan wraps up our Halloween series by reluctantly remembering an unwise solo outing to the cinema when he lived alone on the sixth floor of a strange Parisien apartment blockI saw Psycho when I was 21, and it had a permanently disruptive effect on my psyche. It terrified me in part because it is a weird, unconventional horror film that mixes reassuring touchstones of American life motels, state troopers, the lure of the open road with the grotesque in a new and unexpected way. Psycho seems real in a way that The Ring does not. It seems like something that could happen to you. If you check into the wrong motel. And since I saw it in 1972, I have proceeded on the assumption that all motels are the wrong motel. But the film also terrified me because of the circumstances in which I saw it. Psychowas already 12 years old when I first took it in while living in Paris in 1972. I am not sure why I had never seen it before, as I loved Alfred Hitchcocks films, and had already seen more recent, far less successful offerings like Marnie and Topaz and Torn Curtain. But none of those movies have creepy, scary names. The word psycho itself is scary. At the time, the word psycho was almost pornographic. Maybe thats why I stayed away from it in my early teens. I was raised Catholic, and the film was on a list of officially condemned motion pictures. That meant that you could go to hell for all eternity if you went to see it. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 11:48:05 GMT)

Ask Molly Ringwald: I fancy my friends ex should I go out with him?
Our agony aunt advises a woman who doesnt know whether to risk her friendship for the chance of loveMy friend recently broke up with someone after a short relationship. She is acting totally heartbroken, even though she was always complaining about his behaviour and how she hates his friends. Ive always liked him and think he likes me. Would it be terrible of me to go out with him? On the spectrum of terrible things, yours falls somewhere in the vicinity of the generally lousy but not super uncommon. You and I and all the women out there know that what you are planning to do is to break one of the key tenets of the girl code. (A refresher course: thou shalt refrain from dating thy friends current crushes or recent exes.) This is one of the tacit understandings that we all agree upon when we enter into a friendship. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 16:00:05 GMT)

I was a late developer
As his friends went through puberty, Neil Brennan remained stubbornly boyish and undeveloped. By 18, he was desperately anxious would he ever catch up with his peers?The bouncer looks me up and down. Then, as he beckons the rest of my 17-year-old schoolmates into the nightclub without hesitation, he looks me up and down again. He calls another bouncer over. They take it in turns to look me up and down. Everyone in my school year looks on from inside the club, passersby stop to gawk. My head turns so red that it threatens at any moment to blast off into space. What do you think, the first bouncer asks his pal, does he look 18 to you?The truth is, I dont. Not even close. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 15:00:03 GMT)

Hold Your Own review powerful poetry from Kate Tempest
She may have been pipped to the Mercury prize, but her latest collection is a winnerAt the heart of Kate Tempests latest work is a captivating dichotomy. On the one hand, she is the soul of modernity: now 28, she began her professional career as a rapper at 16; became the youngest-ever winner of the Ted Hughes prize for innovation in poetry for her spoken story, Brand New Ancients, last year; was named by the Poetry Book Society as one of its 20 Next Generation poets in September; and, this week, was tipped to win the Mercury prize for her debut album, Everybody Down, in which she lays out the lives of three friends struggling with loneliness and insecurity in 21stcentury London, over the course of 12 densely plotted, dashingly articulate tracks. By the notoriously fusty standards of the poetry world, in which performance poetry can still be regarded as daringly outre, she is beyond modern; shes practically science fiction.Then, intriguingly, theres the other hand. When it comes to straight poetry (and this, her first full-length collection with Picador, is the straightest thing she has done by far: looking and sounding like a traditional slim volume; conforming unselfconsciously to time-honoured conventions of line length and layout), Tempests focus is firmly classical. She is fascinated by the deep past. Hold Your Own, like Brand New Ancients before it, takes for its subject the lives of the gods and monsters of Greek mythology not, perhaps, what you would expect from an urban former rapper who cites Roots Manuva and the Wu Tang Clan among her other key influences. What makes her work so irresistible, then, is her method of synthesis; the manner in which she brings her hands together. Her poems arent simply routine retellings of time-worn tales; rather, she picks up the fabulous, familiar characters, dusts them down and hauls them into the present. In Brand New Ancients, the gods were recast as two warring, intergenerational south London families; here, the update is more sophisticated and, if anything, more compelling. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 16:30:05 GMT)

Thats me in the picture: Lady Glenconner, maid of honour, coronation day, 1953
The Duke of Edinburgh was telling everyone where to stand. Cecil Beaton said, Sir, if youd like to take the photographs, do!There wasnt a spare bed in the whole of London before the coronation, so I was on a mattress on the floor of my uncles house. I was woken at 5am by the makeup artist. Shed been instructed to make me up quite strongly, because the television lighting would leach the colour from our faces. She painted on huge dark eyebrows and an enormous red mouth I did a bit of scrubbing off after shed left.Two maids of honour were in the carriage with the Queen, while the rest of us were taken by car to Westminster Abbey. We were all daughters of dukes, marquises and earls, and had been carefully chosen for our height and shape you can see in the photo that we all had good figures. In the lead-up to the coronation, there had been huge interest in us. We were treated like a girl band, with endless articles commenting on our clothes, our hair and our hobbies. I was photographed at my mothers ceramics business where I worked, holding a china pig. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 16:00:05 GMT)

The trouble with modern friendship
Panic-merchants worry that online social networks will replace offline friendships, turning users into basement-dwelling zombies, unable to converse face-to-faceFew ideas from social science have burrowed their way into the public imagination like Dunbars Number, the famous finding that we humans cant cope with a social circle much larger than 150 people. Its little surprise that its proven so captivating. As Maria Konnikova explained recently in a New Yorker profile of the anthropologist Robin Dunbar, the way it pops up unbidden in wildly different contexts is almost spooky. The average size of modern hunter-gatherer communities, its been calculated, is 148.8. The average size of army companies through history, from the Romans to the USSR, hovers around 150. And the average number of people to whom Britons send Christmas cards, according to a 2003 study, if you count every member of each household receiving a card? 153.5. No wonder so many panic-merchants worry that online social networks will destroy society. To accumulate 1,000 Facebook friends, Dunbars Number suggests, is to violate a law as old as humanity itself.Judging by the research, the panic merchants are wrong: social networks dont replace offline friendships, or turn users into basement-dwelling zombies, unable to converse face-to-face. Nonetheless, Dunbars work does suggest something troubling about modern friendship. For centuries and especially since the Industrial Revolution weve been uprooting ourselves from the communities in which we were born. But until recently, on arriving in a new place, youd inevitably lose your ties with the one youd left; youd be forced to invest fully in a new social circle. These days, thanks to motorways and airliners, email and Skype, you need never cut those ties. You never leave your old life behind, so your emotional investments are scattered. Ironically (and as a British transplant to New York, I speak from experience), its precisely your continuing bonds with the people youve loved for longest that risk leaving you feeling alienated where you are. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 15:00:03 GMT)

Experience: I swam out of a train
A fountain of water was exploding through the carriage. The back of the train was our only escape, so I waded towards the door that was no longer thereTwenty-one years ago, I spent my summer backpacking across America. I was taking an overnight train called the Sunset Limited, from New Orleans to Tallahassee, about 400 miles away in Florida. I was one of the first to arrive at the station and I queued up for the double-decker carriage.I had a big rucksack and I accidentally knocked the person behind me, who got a bit annoyed. To avoid any hassle, I went to the back of the queue. People were allocated their seats: those at the front of the queue were put on the bottom deck, while those at the back myself included went to the top deck. Moving to the back of that queue saved my life. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 14:00:02 GMT)


Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 14:09:58 GMT)

Put calorie labels on beer, wine and spirits, say public health experts
Alcoholic drinks are fuelling obesity epidemic and most have no idea how many calories their drinks containBeer, wine and spirits are fuelling the obesity epidemic and should be labelled with the calories they contain, say public health experts.A large 175ml glass of 13% ABV (alcohol by volume) wine contains 160 calories, a bottle of alcopop contains 170 and a pint of 4% ABV beer contains 180. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 05:59:04 GMT)

The 10 best disputed artworks
As Greek efforts to reclaim the Parthenon Marbles receive a boost from Amal Clooney, Laura Cumming considers other artworks caught up in legal and artistic wranglingHave we missed an artwork from the list? Leave your suggestion in the comments below and it could feature in the alternative list next weekThe Parthenon MarblesThe great frieze of figures removed from the Parthenon by Lord Elgin in the early 19th century remains the most perennially disputed of all artworks, the arguments as divided as the sculptures themselves the goddess Iriss head is in Athens, her body in the British Museum; Poseidons torso is split between them. Defenders argue that Elgin bankrupted himself to save the marbles from local destruction, with full Greek authority, and London is their legal home. The opposition (which has included Byron, Christopher Hitchens and of course now the Clooneys) argues that the marbles were literally ripped off the Parthenon, and ruinously scoured, and must be returned to Greece. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 12:00:00 GMT)

I hope Tim Cook has set an example that other business leaders will follow
By coming out as a gay man, Apples Tim Cook will accelerate change in the corporate worldBy deciding publicly to disclose his sexuality, Tim Cook will accelerate change in the corporate world. When you become chief executive of a multinational, you become a public figure, and you have the power to demonstrate that being LGBT need not get in the way of success. Cook has done just that.When writing my book The Glass Closet, I spent a great deal of time talking to people who had come out in a good way, and people who had come out in a bad way. I collected their stories so that they could serve as role models to inspire others to come out when it is safe so to do. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 10:03:47 GMT)

When the time comes, who will succeed Irans Ayatollah Ali Khamenei?
His succession is taboo in Iran, but when he dies his countrys political trajectory will change at home and on the world stageIn a closely guarded compound in central Tehran, often referred to simply as Beyt (the house), lives a 75-year-old man whose tenure as Irans supreme leader will expire only on the day he dies. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, one-time revolutionary, has maintained his job-for-life as the politician with ultimate power in Iran for nearly 25 years. But recent news about his health has revived debate on who will replace him and what it will mean for the future of Iran.The supreme leader is more powerful than Irans elected president, trumping him on decisions of national security and sensitive international issues as well as domestic policy. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 13:39:00 GMT)

How Manchester United became the new noisy neighbours
Louis van Gaals improving side are banging the drum as they seek to wrest the balance of power back from the blue to the red side of ManchesterHere we go then, same old Manchester derby. Settled champion team against big-spending upstarts. Well-grooved star names against a roster of new faces. Commercially sensitive owners against financial incontinents. And above all a measured, trophy winning machine against some galvanising memories of glory. All things considered Manchester City might just feel a little wary right now of those energetic noisy neighbours in the red shirts.This is of course to take a slightly mischievous view of the current state of altered gravity between these two teams. City have still never been past the last 16 of the Champions League and have won two league titles in 46 years. By any sensible measure there is a fair way to go before Peter Schmeichels slightly odd suggestion this week that City have now eclipsed Manchester United and become a bigger club makes any wider sense. But still there are elements of genuine transformation in the ongoing rise and fall of Manchesters two big city clubs ahead of Sundays derby at the Etihad Stadium. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 22:00:01 GMT)

Wayne Rooney hands Manchester United boost but City miss Silva
Citys derby nemesis will start at the Etihad Stadium David Silva out for three weeks with knee injury Big interview: Manchester Citys Stevan JoveticWayne Rooney has given Manchester United a big boost by being passed fit to lead the attack in Sundays derby while the champions will be without their key man David Silva for the next three weeks. Manchester City have lost their past two matches and Silvas absence means Manuel Pellegrini will be without the player he identifies as his most vital, while United arrive at the Etihad Stadium with the record scorer in the fixture able to start. Radamel Falcao, though, will again be absent due to his calf problem.Rooney was reportedly seen limping at a sponsors event on Monday, causing doubt about his participation. However, the striker is available to return following a three-match suspension. Louis van Gaal confirmed that Rooney, his captain, will go straight back into the team while denying that the striker was ever a doubt. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 22:30:01 GMT)

Alexis Sánchez proving the South American street fighter Arsenal needed
Arsène Wenger failed with his £40,000,001 bid for Luis Suárez but he ended up with arguably the next best thingSuch is the curious cycle of football, Arsène Wenger could hardly believe his luck when one year after that infamous £40,000,001 bid for Luis Suárez he ended up buying arguably the next best thing.The sequence fell into place like dominos: Arsenal could not get Suárez, but Barcelona could, and to generate the funds Alexis Sánchez found himself expendable at Camp Nou. Wenger finally got hold of a South American forward with the street fighting qualities he recognises as invaluable in the modern game. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 22:30:01 GMT)

Formula One facing crisis as teams threaten to boycott US Grand Prix
Lotus, Force India and Sauber all weighing up options Its a serious situation. Teams want to know where they standFormula One faces a potential walkout from Lotus, Force India and Sauber which would leave Sundays US Grand Prix in ruins. With the sport already reeling from the collapse of Caterham and Marussia in the past week, the latest twist in events has created a full-blown crisis as the smaller teams demand clarification concerning the future of the sport.Bob Fernley, the deputy team principal of Force India, said yesterday: All options are open and have to be left on the table. Ultimately that would mean not taking part in Sundays race. Continue reading...
(Sat, 01 Nov 2014 00:01:35 GMT)

Novak Djokovic beats Andy Murray in ATP Masters quarter-final in Paris
Djokovic wins 7-5, 6-2 after Roger Federer loses Murray already qualified for Tour finals in LondonNovak Djokovic defeated Andy Murray in straight sets to book his place in the semi-finals of the Paris Masters on Friday night. The Serb edged into the lead after claiming a hard-fought first set before easing to victory in the second with three breaks of the Murray serve.Djokovic triumphed 7-5, 6-2 in a match time of one hour and 41 minutes to line up a last-four meeting with David Ferrer or Kei Nishikori. The first set progressed on serve, although Murray survived a scare in the eighth game after a successful review when Djokovic appeared to have claimed the first break of the match, only for the ball to be shown to be out. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 20:50:08 GMT)

Brendan Rodgers preaches patience as Liverpool transition continues
The manager is adamant his new signings will reach their potential but recognises that expectancy has grown at AnfieldBrendan Rodgers had reached his first cup quarter-final as Liverpool manager 48 hours earlier but his mood was decidedly tetchy when previewing Saturdays trip to Newcastle. I read some of your [Swansea City] match reports, he said, and I thought I was watching a different game to be honest. Cue a collective look of Is he talking to me?, the thought that at least hes politer than the Guardian comments section and the inescapable conclusion the Liverpool manager is now operating in a different game.There are different expectations at Anfield after last seasons thrilling, yet painful near-miss in the Premier League title race. There are different things for Liverpool to do on a Champions League night after a four-season absence from the competition and they confront Real Madrid next week with a different team. Rodgers is responsible for all of that. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 22:30:01 GMT)

Lewis Hamilton fastest in F1 practice for US GP despite gear problem
Hamilton called into pits after topping both sessions Nico Rosberg close behind with Fernando Alonso thirdLewis Hamilton topped both practice sessions in Austin on Friday as he prepared for the US Grand Prix with hopes of repeating his victory in 2012, the first time the race was staged here.The Mercedes driver made it the 14th time in 17 race weekends he had come top in the second session but had to abort the final 18 minutes. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 21:47:03 GMT)

Norwich back to winning ways as Cameron Jeromes double sinks Bolton
Cameron Jeromes brace got Norwich City going again in the Sky Bet Championship as they beat Bolton Wanderers 2-1 at Carrow Road on Friday night. Neil Adamss side had gone five games without a win and were in desperate need of a boost. Jerome gave them it, scoring a goal in each half to secure an impressive success over Neil Lennons revitalised Bolton.It was due reward for an industrious showing from City, who appeared keen not to let the grass grow under their feet after not winning at home in the league since 19 August. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 22:06:57 GMT)

Borussia Dortmund and Jürgen Klopp hope karma defeats Bayern Munich
BVB are impervious to the Bundesliga champions interest in Marco Reus and do not lack motivation for Saturdays game Reus says he is not set for move to BayernBorussia Dortmunds fall from grace, all the way down to 15th in the table, might have tempted a few German newspapers to do without the Der deutsche Clásico headlines this year. But the buzz surrounding Saturday nights match between Bayern Munich and the Bundesliga leaders closest rivals in recent years has proved that this duel has indeed acquired classic status. Its appeal has become timeless, wholly independent of current trends and table rankings.A big part of the attraction lies in the highly contrasting styles of both sides. Dortmund have not been able to keep up with Bayern domestically since winning the double in 2012 but Jürgen Klopps aggressive, fast-paced counterattacking team retain a unique capacity to outfox the more technical, possession-orientated Bavarians. The Black and Yellows have won three out of their past four games at the Allianz Arena, beat Bayern 2-0 in the Super Cup in August and were extremely unlucky to lose the DFB Cup final in Berlin by the same margin in May. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 16:30:18 GMT)

F1s meritocracy undone by letting richest teams write the regulations
Money always talked but once you could rise from sweeping the floor to running teams built from scratch. Now, as Marussia and Caterham teeter, the best-funded have all the powerOne by one, the legendary figures of a golden era Stirling Moss, John Surtees, Tony Brooks, Jackie Stewart rose from their chairs to pay tribute to one of their great contemporaries. Above them as they stood at the microphone was a giant black and white photograph of the late Jack Brabham, captured in a moment of glory as he celebrated one of his 14 grands prix victories. Addressing a large audience gathered at Silverstone for a memorial to the three-times world champion, who died earlier this year, his old rivals recounted the still-compelling tales of their battles on the track.But it was later in the afternoon that the best story of the day was told by a man in his late 60s, whose name would be known to few outside the inner circles of motor racing. This was a story that, in the end, said a lot about how Formula One has changed in the past half-century. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 12:26:19 GMT)

Suspect charged with murder of South Africa goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa
Zenokuhle Mbatha makes brief appearance in court Meyiwa was shot dead on Sunday night Soweto unites to say farewell to murdered goalkeeperA suspect has been charged with the murder of Senzo Meyiwa, South Africas national football team captain, authorities said on Friday.The suspect, 25-year-old Zenokuhle Mbatha, will be held in custody until his next court appearance on 11 November, according to the Twitter account of the South African police force. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 17:36:15 GMT)

Jonathan Trotts England Lions selection revives the glow of past times
The batsmans return gives him a deserved chance to heal the wounds of his sudden demise and is a comforting throwbackAt first glance there was something very welcome but also slightly startling about the news this week of Jonathan Trotts selection in the England Lions squad, accompanied by some cautious talk of a possible reinstatement in time to the full Test team. For the bruised and wary England cricket follower this was all a little unexpected, a rustling back into life from some improbable corner. From a certain angle it feels a bit like the Beatles split up six months ago but no one told Ringo, and here he is now bounding back in through the patio doors, drumsticks under his arm saying: Yeah, that yogic retreat really did the trick, lets get back in the studio and  Hey. Wheres John? And Paul? And, er, Kevin?In reality, enough time has passed now for Trotts return to seem, if not likely, then a reasonable prospect on its own merits. November will bring the one-year anniversary of the traumas of the first Ashes Test in Brisbane and the moment England became effectively post-Trott. If it feels longer this is perhaps a consequence of what came after, and also of the way things ended. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 12:36:41 GMT)

Football quiz: whose moustache is this?
Can you guess whose face these soup strainers belong to? And here's another facial hair quiz if this wasn't enough Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 10:30:00 GMT)

Stevan Jovetic: I am ready to make my mark against Manchester United
The Montenegrins time at Manchester City has been blighted by injuries and, he believes, a lack of opportunitiesStevan Jovetic smiles and pulls up the left sleeve of his T-shirt and begins pointing to the tattoos he had done recently. There are several and they reach down towards his wrist to make a vibrant, colourful mosaic. I did these like four or five months ago. Each has meaning, Jovetic says, then indicates some lines of writing. This is something for the family. I also have this big watch because I like watches. What else do I have? This is Venice because I like Venice. And here, I have some angels to protect me.While Jovetic says his right arm may soon also feature tattoos, heavenly protection would have been welcomed during his injury and illness-blighted debut Manchester City season. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 13:00:01 GMT)

Premier League: 10 things to look out for this weekend
Aaron Cresswell is crucial for West Ham, Manchester United should play on the counter and is this Burnleys moment? Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 08:32:59 GMT)

Fina defends decision to award its highest honour to Vladimir Putin
Our award was only related to the sport, says Fina executive German MP says that giving Putin award is insensitiveSwimmings world governing body has defended a decision to award its highest honour to the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, saying it had nothing to do with politics.Fina has been criticised over the timing of the decision with relations between Russia and the Nato alliance under strain, but the bodys executive director, Cornel Marculescu, said that the award was related only to sport. Our constitution is very clear, Marculescu said. [There is] no discrimination for the political region or anything like that. Our award was only related to the sport, not with the rest. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 10:41:57 GMT)

Why were the most loyal Irish fans denied tickets for the Scotland game?
Republic of Ireland travel to Glasgow next month for a Euro 2016 qualifier without many of the fans who have supported them in Georgia, Kazakhstan and the Faroe Islands in recent years because their football association failed to reward their loyaltyLast Friday hundreds of the Republic of Irelands most dedicated supporters, some who havent missed a game home or away in several years, found out that they would not be given a ticket for their crucial Euro 2016 qualifier against Scotland in Glasgow next month. Cue a week of fury directed at the beleaguered Irish association, which has sought to point the blame at the Scottish FA for not increasing Irelands ticket allocation.The situation is so severe that the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) has even taken the extraordinary step of buying £125 corporate tickets and selling them to affected fans for a knock-down £45. John Delaney, the chief executive, said the association has bought 150 tickets, setting them back almost £19,000. To put that figure into context, Dundalk FC were awarded 100,000 in prize money for winning the League of Ireland this season. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 13:07:26 GMT)

Borussia Dortmunds Marco Reus says he is not set for Bayern Munich move
Other people are thinking more about my future than me Another defeat puts Dortmund in the doldrums Klopp: we cant bask in success ... we havent had anyBorussia Dortmunds Marco Reus has sought to play down mounting speculation that he is set for a move to Bayern Munich, saying that other people were thinking more about his future than he was.The German international, whose contract runs to 2017, has been targeted by Bayern according to reports in the media, with a spell of impressive form marking him out as one of the most promising attacking players in the game. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 14:15:52 GMT)

New Zealand ready to leave USA a lasting legacy in Chicago
The prospect of a sellout crowd watching a rugby match at Soldier Field would have been unheard of two decades ago Interview with USA captain Todd CleverIn the run-up to Saturdays historic Test between the USA and New Zealand at Soldier Field, the All Blacks have been in Chicago for a week. The citys 2.7 million residents have thus had genuine world champions in their midst. However, many of them appear not to have noticed.Such ambivalence has also stretched to the media, with only three local journalists attending the All Blacks first press conference in the city, leaving some Kiwi scribes pointedly concerned about the whole concept of this trip. Assurances have followed, from New Zealand players and staff, that anonymity made rather a refreshing change yet by the end of the week reports came in of taxi drivers asking questions. Something was definitely afoot. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 13:00:01 GMT)

USA v All Blacks: who are the US Eagles?
A teacher, a former tennis starlet and plenty of NFL experience all feature in the United States squad to face the All Blacks New Zealand ready to leave lasting legacy in Chicago Interview: USA Eagles captain Todd CleverAge 27 Caps 26 Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 13:43:09 GMT)

Jammed to bursting: Ruby's rhubarb and custard split buns recipe
Rhubarb jam is easy to make and sumptuous in these split buns, accompanied by its trusty companion, custard but any fruit jam would be just as good.It might not be the first thing that comes to mind when deciding what to do with your weekend, but I can think of worse ways to spend a Saturday afternoon than making a vat of jam. Thats not to romanticise it I challenge anyone to feel like a domestic goddess when nervously brandishing a wooden spoon over a pan of boiling sugar but theres certainly something comforting about it. It makes a big difference to your baking too, if you can complement a crusty loaf, victoria sponge or buttery bun with a jam thatll do it justice.Although this recipe is for a simple rhubarb jam dont be afraid to shake things up, depending on what you have to hand in the house or on the allotment: a glut of blackberries would work, as would a few raspberries to perk up a punnet of peaches. Play around with liqueurs and aromatics too a capful of cassis, for example, will add depth to a plum jam, or some grated root ginger can spice things up a little. Continue reading...
(Sat, 01 Nov 2014 05:59:12 GMT)

Beauty: super serums
Want a great, multipurpose anti-ageing serum to treat a bit of everything? I can personally vouch for theseI am frequently asked to explain the difference between serum and moisturiser. Think of when you feel a bit poorly: serum is the metaphorical Nurofen to help fix your tummy ache, while moisturiser is the nice warm blanket you climb under to recuperate. One is problem-solving, the other is comfy and protective. And generally, this targeted fixing approach (discoloration or wrinkles, for example) is what you should keep in mind when choosing a serum. Continue reading...
(Sat, 01 Nov 2014 06:00:12 GMT)

Mix master: Yotam Ottolenghis recipes for cooking with spice mixes
From dukkah and zaatar to ras el hanout and panch phoron, theres a spice mix out there to suit any eventualityI know theres a difference between black and white sesame seeds the black seeds are unhulled and arent quite as nutty as the white but the reason I often sprinkle both on a dish has less to do with taste and more to do with the way the two look together. Against certain backgrounds cubes of white tofu, say, or a beige rice its the black sesame seeds that help make a dish attractive and tempting. Its what happens when two (or more) ingredients combine to produce a result that is more than their sum. Likewise, I know theres a difference between a violin and a viola, though my credentials for explaining that are are far less apparent. What I do know, however, is that Mozarts duo for the two instruments is a very special interplay between similar-but-different instruments, working off each other to great effect. Lets not stretch the culinary-musical analogy too far, though (I wouldnt dream of suggesting that a sprinkle of sesame seeds on a dish belongs on the same planet as a Mozart duo). Suffice to say, this sort of interplay is why I adore seed, spice and herb mixes, which often use pretty much the same ingredients to produce remarkably different results. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 18:00:07 GMT)

What Im really thinking: the IVF patient
Scans revealed that I hadnt miscarried but the embryo had attached itself to the scar tissue in my cervix. If left there, Id dieWe did the sensible thing. We waited until we were married, had our own home and good jobs. When I fell pregnant after just one month of trying, we felt elated and naively confident. A month later, I miscarried.I had a large fibroid in my uterus. What I didnt know was that the surgery to have it removed would scar my fallopian tubes shut, and that we would need IVF. Continue reading...
(Sat, 01 Nov 2014 06:00:13 GMT)

Sophie Heawood: the normality perverts are coming for us all
Even big cities arent safe any more. Readers, an insidious perversion called normality is on the riseGrowing up in smallish-town Yorkshire as I did, you knew when you were a weirdo. For a start, groups of strangers would ask, What have you come as? or I like your trousers, did you win them? when you strolled into the pub wearing purple harem pants, zebra-skin clogs and your mothers bowler hat, you would brush off their fancy-dress jeers, your face full of blushing thunder, sort of loving the attention a bit.And then, on your way home, another group of lads would wind down their car windows and shout FASHION VICTIM! as you wobbled along the pavement of the A19 in your striped mammalian shoes. And youd think, all right, Im getting a bit tired of this now, Ill just have to hold it in until I can move to the big city, where nobody will care if Im a weirdo. And so I did. Continue reading...
(Sat, 01 Nov 2014 05:59:10 GMT)

Ten things we learned this week
From calorie labels on beer and cancer detecting pills, to football Twitter fines a roundup of the weeks newsWe'll redeem £218m of 4% Consols, including debts incurred because of South Sea Bubble. Another financial crisis we're clearing up after...The UK is now back to being a world leader in mobile networks. Just two years since we were behind every developed market from the US to Japan, weve invested in innovation, driven competition and given people in London a mobile network thats as faster than almost any other in the world, and even faster than most fibre broadband available here.15,000 have gone to Syria and Iraq to fight alongside IsisAnything to do with snacking and ready-to-go is growing very quickly in France and a lot of British manufacturers are very good at that.Essentially the idea is simple; you just swallow a pill with the nano particles, which are decorated with antibodies or molecules that detect other molecules. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 14:48:15 GMT)

Citizen Khan review very traditional British sitcom
Watch out for the Khans in the arrivals hall theyre the family who seems to have flown in from a 1970s sitcomAh, the return of Citizen Khan (BBC1). To the schedules, and from Pakistan. The Khan family has just landed, with plenty of excess baggage, including Mrs Kahns mother, whose heavy trunk lands on Mr Kahns foot. But then the lady under the headscarf turns out not to be the mother-in-law she is someone else altogether, a stranger. So where is Naani? Still on the plane! Which is just about to leave for Somalia! (What is that flight, Karachi to Mogadishu with a 15-minute stopover in Birmingham?)So Mr Kahn goes off, doing his comedy run, and because the plane has already left for Mogadishu, he falls out the end of the jet bridge. (Thats what the mechanical lamprey that attaches itself to a planes door, through which you board, is called. I looked it up.) There is further luggage-based humour, before Naani shows up by the carousel she was in the toilet and Accessorize (in baggage reclaim? Really?). They go home to decide which cultural approach to adopt over Naanis care. Pakistani style, and keep her with them, the family together; or the British way, and dump her in a home until Christmas? Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 23:29:02 GMT)

The fashion edit: the top 10 ankle boots in pictures
These boots are made for walking, and thats just what youll want to do Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 16:30:05 GMT)

Halloween costume ideas: six quick fixes
Its Halloween! Still havent sorted your costume? Try these last-minute ideas, from step-by-step zombie makeup to an easy Frankenstein manicureNear a Hershesons blow-dry bar? For £15 theyll give you a thick, voluminous, dragged-through-a-hedge hairdo using dry shampoo. It usually takes 15 minutes, but theyll go more quickly if youre pushed. Or you can try something similar yourself: spray your hair with dry shampoo, squish it around a bit with your fingers and dont dust any of it out. The dusty white-grey streaks are perfect for that Bride of Frankenstein look. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 11:16:13 GMT)

Bend It Like Beckham to be made into musical
Stage adaptation of hit film that launched careers of Keira Knightley and Parminder Nagra to come to LondonIt was the film that launched the careers of Keira Knightley and Parminder Nagra, while also bringing issues such as interracial relationships, sexual identity and religion to mainstream cinema audiences.Now, 12 years after the box office success of Bend It Like Beckham, the tale of a football-infatuated London Sikh teenager who defies her parents and joins a local womens team has been turned into a stage musical which will open next May. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 18:42:29 GMT)

Stereo Kicks: when bands have too many members
The X Factor group are an unwieldy eight members strong, but thats nothing compared to Japans AKB48Youd think that being in a band with umpteen members would be a right old gas. I get to work with my best friends, every day! youd cheer, before realising you all make about 0.002p each from every download sale. Look how funny we all look in our matching outfits, youd enthuse, only to have to take turns changing in the dressing room, which is really the gig venues cleaning cupboard.None of that, however, stopped Simon Cowell from deciding to put a massive boyband together from eight solo acts during this years X Factors bootcamp stages. Stereo Kicks, as they were named, were a fun idea during week one, but now its possible that even eight people is just too big for a band. Mainly because nobody can remember any of these identikit auditionees names. Photos surfaced to reveal that Chris, Jake, James, Tom, Reece, Charlie, Barclay and Casey had to wear name signs during rehearsals to help Louis Walsh recall who they were. The fact that theyve survived so far suggests the novelty hasnt worn off yet but just wait till they have to live off crisps because their food allowance has to be split by eight. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 13:00:01 GMT)

20 best iPhone and iPad apps and games this week
Auxy, Audio Defence: Zombie Arena, Makies Fashion, Rival Stars Basketball, Tidal, Code School, Blloon and moreIts time for this weeks roundup of the best new iPhone and iPad apps and games released on Apples App Store.As ever, the prices provided in brackets are for the initial download only: when an app uses in-app purchases, this will be listed as (Free + IAP). Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 12:35:29 GMT)

A Roman knows: a recipe for perfect meatballs
Romans have strong opinions about what goes in to a meatball. Rachel Roddy serves hers two ways: a solitary sphere atop pasta, with the rest accompanied by buttery mash the next dayIt wasnt exactly a tut; more a click of the tongue. I heard it after I asked my Roman butcher at Testaccio market if he would put a sausage through the mincer with the beef, as I was making meatballs. I know the sound well. It means no. My Sicilian partner, Vincenzo, makes it so often it has been demoted from irritating to ordinary. As the mincer growled, I turned to see where the tut had come from, and found a signora in her late 60s wearing a purple cardigan, now looking at me shaking her head. Non si mette la salsiccia nelle polpette, cara you dont put sausage in meatballs, dear.A few years earlier this would have made me upset, or cross and then frustrated as I searched for the words in Italian to defend myself and my sausage. These days I am used to impertinent opinions about food; I even like them, and was just about to voice my own opinion when another, much older woman, did it for me. Certo, puoi mettere le salsicce nelle polpette, cara, she said of course you can put sausage in meatballs, dear turning to the butcher who was wrapping the meat in red and white paper, and then to the couple behind her, herding people into the discussion. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 12:53:37 GMT)

In the Patagonian desert I met a petrol attendant who spoke perfect Welsh
Actor Matthew Rhys explains the benefits of speaking a minority language and why its survival is so important to himWelsh is my first language.Growing up in an age where the language was legitimately under threat has given me an appreciation for its journey and survival and, consequently, an enormous sense of pride. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 14:34:41 GMT)

The scariest video game moments of all time chosen by developers
What better way to celebrate Halloween than run around the GameCity festival in Nottingham asking game creators about what terrifies them?Video games have always done horror. From the earliest text-based adventures to the most up-to-date action chillers, designers have used the interactive elements of the medium to scare the bejesus out of us. We have endured the survival horror genre, with its references to George Romero and Japanese ghost stories. We have done sci-fi scares with Dead Space and Stalker; we have done rural horror with Slender; and military horror with the F.E.A.R titles. Everyone has a jump scare moment, or a creeping toward a door looking at the screen through your fingers moment. Even the people who make games. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 13:41:12 GMT)

My five top and bottom family activities
Overrated circuses and swimming pools. Underrated walking and gunsMy office room overlooks a London green space, and the other day tents started to go up, and enclosures for horses, and caravans, and I thought, How wonderful, a circus. Then it came back to me, all in a flash: circuses are crap.There are exceptions Giffords Circus is one of my all-time favourite family experiences but the run-of-the-mill travelling circus with its high-ish wires, bulging acrobats, prancing horses and unfunny clowns is more ordeal than epiphany. Its no surprise that Leiber and Stoller chose to include it in their list of bathetic experiences for that masterpiece of disillusion, Is That All There Is? Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 13:00:01 GMT)

Cheryls I Dont Care, this weeks best new track
A bombastic pop blast teetering on the edge of ridiculousness, it has the same energy as Erasures A Little Respect Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 13:00:01 GMT)

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