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Greece’s new anti-austerity government set on collision course with Brussels
Alexis Tsipras, at 40 Greece’s youngest-ever prime minister, heads coalition of left and right parties with mandate to take on country’s paymastersGreek radicals sought on Monday to redraw the political map of Europe, forming a coalition government of left and right, united only by their desire to defy the European financial establishment and shrug off the constraints of austerity.The new coalition, led by 40 year-old Alexis Tsipras, was expected to dispatch its new finance minister to Brussels in the next few days to seek a fundamental renegotiation of Greece economic bailout package, vowing “the end of humiliation has come”. Tsipras and his Syriza party have promised to replace the austerity programmes imposed by its international creditors with policies aimed at helping the third of the population now living in poverty. Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 19:06:30 GMT)

Greek fighter-jet crash in Spain leaves at least 10 dead
Spanish defence ministry says F-16 crashed at military base in Albacete while taking part in Nato manoeuvresTen people have died in an F-16 jet crash at a military base in Albacete, Spain, the country’s defence ministry has said.A defence ministry official said on Monday that the jet was Greek and that most of the victims were believed to be foreigners. The jet crashed at a military base in south-east Spain while it was participating in Nato manoeuvres. Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 18:18:00 GMT)

Family of man left in vegetative state hit out at IPCC over police brutality allegations
Family of Julian Cole speak out after 21-year-old left with broken neck after arrest by six officers in 2013The family of a 21-year-old athlete who blame excessive police force for leaving him with a broken neck after he was detained have spoken for the first time, complaining they are no clearer as to what happened 20 months after the incident.Julian Cole’s brother condemned the lack of progress made by the Independent Police Complaints Commission, after he was left in a vegetative state following his arrest outside a nightclub in Bedford, in May 2013 - and say that they have been inspired by US campaigners to speak out. Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 15:24:06 GMT)

State of emergency declared in New York and New Jersey as blizzard approaches - live
Regional state of emergencyFlights cancelled, schools closedBoston in crosshairsState-by-state emergency resources guideRead the latest blog summary 2.20pm ET Here’s an animated view, via Nasa’s Goddard space flight center:Satellite video from space shows massive developing nor'easter in U.S. : http://t.co/Dlgiwv3qkV #blizzardof2015 pic.twitter.com/q2SJ5SgiFj 2.10pm ET The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that governor Tom Wolf has followed the lead of his colleagues to the east:Gov Wolf signed a disaster emergency proclamation to enable state and local authorities to respond to any unmet needs during the snowstorm. 2.06pm ET 1.59pm ET Connecticut governor Dan Malloy took a question earlier about whether the pro wrestling event scheduled for the XL Center in Hartford would go on. Monday Night Raw has been cancelled:The @WWE has canceled Monday Night Raw at the @XLCenter. http://t.co/AhP3pQ4aY3 pic.twitter.com/yPag0LsRlK 1.53pm ET Some early, manageable snowfall totals for the New York area:Some totals so far as of 1 pm: NYC: 0.5", LGA: 0.3", JFK: 0.3", EWR: 0.5", BDR: 0.1", and ISP: 0.5" 1.50pm ET Another look at that Euro model, showing a stripe of “3 feet” deep red running right over a certain northeastern capital:Euro model is in, shows a little less snow for NYC, and A LOT of snow for E. Mass. Updates: http://t.co/uZsLEcnk8M pic.twitter.com/ST1uSp4oP3 1.41pm ET Philadelphia is not in the current blizzard warning zone, but Mayor Michael Nutter has declared a snow emergency starting at 6 p.m., philly.com reports. The city has banned parking from designated snow routes. Under a new law, residents could face fines for leaving cats and dogs outside in winter storms. 1.35pm ET 1.34pm ET Massachusetts has announced that all modes of Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority service will be suspended all day and night on Tuesday, January 27, 2015. The MBTA posts these updates:Subway 1.27pm ET New Jersey transit will close by 10pm but trains will continue to run to keep tracks and wires clear:Trains will run up & down the tracks after suspension of service to ensure tracks & overhead wires remain clear of snow/ice #NJTWinterAll NJT service (rail, bus, light rail) scheduled to reach its final destination by 10PM will be the last to run tonight #NJTWinter 1.23pm ET That Euro model run that shows Boston getting buried has rather good news for New York City (if you consider less snow good news), FiveThirtyEight’s Harry Enten writes:Euro is still over a foot in NYC... but it's well down from the 2+ it had in previous runs. 1.21pm ET Monday midday Penn Station is looking like Friday afternoon Penn Station:A packed Penn Station right now #BlizzardOf2015 pic.twitter.com/ilJsp0OuPt 1.17pm ET Based on the latest European weather model, FiveThirtyEight’s Harry Enten sees Boston getting “absolutely crushed.”Here's the Euro snow map... Boston gets absolutely crushed. pic.twitter.com/whZObNukIJMayor Walsh cancels Boston schools for BOTH Tuesday and Wednesday. Good move! Makes planning easier. 1.11pm ET Video: ‘It’s going to be an all-snow event’ 1.08pm ET The blizzard has delayed jury selection in the federal death penalty trial of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the judge said. Judge George O’Toole Jr. acknowledged Monday that jury selection has been moving more slowly than anticipated but said, “We’re making good progress.”O’Toole originally said he hoped to question about 40 people per day. But during the first six days, a total of 81 people were questioned. 1.06pm ET School will be closed tomorrow, Tuesday, the mayor says. All after-school programs Monday are cancelled. Alternate-side parking rules are cancelled through Wednesday. Garbage and recycling collection will “very likely” be suspended through Wednesday, “if not beyond,” De Blasio says.De Blasio says that if anyone experiences or witnesses price gouging, a call should be placed to 311. 1.03pm ET De Blasio declares a state of emergency and a vehicle ban in New York City starting at 11pm. “You can’t underestimate this storm. THis is not a typical storm. It’s going to pack a real punch,” he says. 1.01pm ET De Blasio is up. He details the emergency response effort already under way:He says there are nearly 500 salt spreaders. 2,400 sanitation workers per shift. Untold tons of salt. Over 1,800 snow plows have been deployed. In grand total, over 2,300 vehicles with plowing capacity, plus 250 other vehicles from other agencies.WATCH NOW: Mayor @BilldeBlasio gives an update on blizzard preparations live on http://t.co/10woiev32p. #SafeNYC 12.54pm ET It was announced at governor Cuomo’s news conference that an estimated 70% of flights in and out of NYC-area airports were expected to be cancelled. That is a bit grimmer even than the current depiction on FlightAware’s misery map. Flight Aware currently is counting 1,084 total delays within, into, or out of the United States today; and 2,604 total cancellations within, into, or out of the United States today. The cancellations affect flights of American Airlines, US Airways and all regional partners, Huguely said in an email. The company plans to resume operations “as soon as it is safe to do so,” she said. As of early Monday afternoon, the company had canceled 626 flights that were scheduled for Monday and 970 scheduled for Tuesday, she said. 12.44pm ET Here’s what 2-feet-plus of snow in NYC looks like:Flashback: Manhattan after 26.9" in 2006 -- snowiest storm on record. http://t.co/uZsLEcnk8M (via @wunderground) pic.twitter.com/ytKPBZO2Aq 12.40pm ET The New York governor reiterates a warning about climate change he memorably delivered after Superstorm Sandy in October 2012.“There is a pattern of extreme weather that we’ve never seen before,” Cuomo said today. NYC Gov. Cuomo: "There is a pattern of extreme weather that we've never seen before ... Part of the changing climate..." #NYCblizzardCuomo said the climate has changed and the city needs to prepare for high water.“Anyone who says there’s not a dramatic change in weather patterns is probably denying reality.” 12.33pm ET As our live blog coverage continues, here’s a summary of where things stand, as a major blizzard develops in the region: 12.26pm ET Massachusetts announces a travel ban to begin at midnight. Connecticut’s is at 9pm. New York’s may begin at 11pm. From @MassEMA, announcing a state of emergency effective now & a statewide travel ban starting at midnight in preparation for the blizzard. 12.24pm ET Cuomo says “once the weather clears up”, regular transit service should return in short order.“Part of the closure rationale is to make sure you don’t damage the trains so they can get back in service as soon as possible,” he says. 12.22pm ET Cuomo says Connecticut could get the storm worse than New York, and that’s why New York’s potential travel ban would be later – at 11pm, if it happens, instead of 9pm. “They are gonna get hit worse than we are, theoretically,” he says. 12.19pm ET PATH trains will operate as usual until 9pm, when it will go on weekend schedule, Cuomo announces. There will be a tractor-trailer ban on the southern thruway and other major highways from 4pm on, he says.“We are considering at this time a travel ban on all main roads starting at 11pm tonight,” he says, to be confirmed after the 4pm forecast update. 12.17pm ET Update: Cuomo had said “7-8pm,” now his office says 8pm:.@MTA subways will run normally until between 7 pm & 8 pm, after which service will be limited. #Blizzardof2015 12.15pm ET Cuomo’s conference opens:“This is gonna be a blizzard. It is a serious blizzard, and it could affect health and safety.” 12.12pm ET Boston has announced the closure of all public schools for Tuesday, the Globe reports. 12.10pm ET Back to Christie:The overall message is this, everybody. We’ve been through this plenty of times before.... This is my sixth winter as governor.. But you never know how bad these conditions are going to be. 12.09pm ET Rhode Island has now declared a state of emergency.Live video: Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo holds a news conference on storm preparedness - @NBCNews http://t.co/Mr2J2x9899 12.08pm ET “If you do not have to drive, please remain home,” Christie says. He says there’s a “full statewide mobilization” of emergency vehicles and “manpower.” There are nearly 3,700 trucks at the ready already spreading salt. Tow trucks are ready to clear stalled vehicles. Safety patrols are at large. NJ transit vehicles have been equipped with plows. 12.05pm ET Christie says he has closed state offices for Tuesday. He said in the south, there could be as little snow as 6 inches. But the northeast could see two feet and blizzard-force winds, he says. “The worst conditions will be overnight tonight, from 9pm until around noon tomorrow,” he says. 12.04pm ET Christie appears first. “This is gonna be a significant storm,” he says. He announces a state of emergency. 12.02pm ET New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will also hold a noon news conference. You can watch it here. 11.58am ET You can watch the imminent briefing by New York governor Andrew Cuomo here. 11.56am ET 11.48am ET Massachusetts governor Charlie Baker has announced a news conference to begin at the same time as New York governor Cuomo’s scheduled news conference:At noon, we will be hosting a press conference at @massema with important information on the blizzard. Stay tuned. 11.42am ET For those of you on Twitter, a list of forecasters and news outlets is here, and a list including regional emergency officials is here. 11.36am ET New Yorkers are demonstrating their legendary mettle by standing in long lines at Fairway in hopes of exchanging cash for foodstuffs:Getting ready for #blizzardof2015 upper west side. Line at #Fairway get the latest @NBCNews pic.twitter.com/kywaatbuOk"I've lived in NYC for 26 years and there has never been a food problem because of a storm!" -Dude at coffee shop begging to get eaten first 11.33am ET The Weather Channel has named this blizzard Juno. People hate that the Weather Channel, a wholly owned subsidiary of NBCUniversal, presumes to do this, christen whole storm systems.This time, at least one Connecticut news station is not playing ball. WFSBnews is calling the storm Colbie:I thought naming these storms would cut down on confusion...but @WFSBnews (CT) has #BlizzardColbie and @weatherchannel has #BlizzardJuno...BLZA #BetterBlizzardNamesBLZA #BetterBlizzardNames 11.26am ET On our radar: the New York governor’s upcoming news conference with officials in charge of emergency response.At 12 Noon, we’re holding a storm briefing with @MTA Chairman Tom Prendergast & @PANYNJ ED Pat Foye. Watch live: http://t.co/otgaGHU3mg 11.11am ET Most deaths from winter storms occur from traffic accidents, fires from improper use of heaters, overexertion, and exposure, according to the New York City office of emergency management. The office lists these tips for “what to do before a storm strikes”: 11.05am ET 10.53am ET Boston’s main airport will not even try to fly this evening, the local Fox station reports. Flightaware has 2,676 flight cancellations so far today, and 3,230 total delays. If schadenfreude is your thing you can enjoy their misery map here. JUST IN: Logan anticipates no flights out of airport after 7 pm. Airlines may not be flying in or out at all Tuesday. #Fox25Blizzard #BOSnow 10.49am ET Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy has just given an update on preparations for the storm. Public transit will cease at 8pm ET and a ban on cars will follow an hour later, he said.Update: As part of this announcement, Malloy declared a state of emergency for Connecticut. 10.45am ET Good morning and welcome to our live blog coverage of a major snowstorm descending on the north-east. Multiple weather models show possible record-breaking levels of snow – more than 26.9 inches in New York City – falling between Monday morning and the end of the day Tuesday.The region is moving into a defensive crouch. Some schools are closed, thousands of flights have been cancelled, and city, county and state officials are mobilizing a big-as-it-gets emergency response. The National Weather Service has issued a blizzard warning extending from Atlantic City, New Jersey, to far eastern Maine, warning of a “crippling and potentially historic” storm.Today's Weather: Major #noreaster expected to bring hvy snow, blizzard conditions to Northeast http://t.co/vT29JlRubR pic.twitter.com/lY3jv6Vb40 Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 19:20:26 GMT)

First female Church of England bishop consecrated in York
Libby Lane made bishop of Stockport, despite interruption of Paul Williamson, who has history of opposing female priestsThe Rt Rev Libby Lane has been made the bishop of Stockport with solemn oaths, high ceremony, and a sermon that drew on Call the Midwife in York Minster.Since it was first built in AD637, the building has seen Viking raids, civil war, and even German bombing, but never a woman among the tends of thousands of bishops made here. Bishop Lane’s consecration was greeted with joy within the building and outside it – although the ceremony was interrupted by a lone protester who objected when the archbishop of York asked the congregation to consent to Lane’s appointment. Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 13:07:42 GMT)

Mass surveillance is fundamental threat to human rights, says European report
Europe’s top rights body says scale of NSA spying is ‘stunning’ and suggests UK powers may be at odds with rights conventionEurope’s top rights body has said mass surveillance practices are a fundamental threat to human rights and violate the right to privacy enshrined in European law.The parliamentary assembly of the Council of Europe says in a report that it is “deeply concerned” by the “far-reaching, technologically advanced systems” used by the US and UK to collect, store and analyse the data of private citizens. It describes the scale of spying by the US National Security Agency, revealed by Edward Snowden, as “stunning”. Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 14:30:07 GMT)

Demis Roussos, Greek singer of Forever and Ever, dies aged 69
Former member of progressive rock group Aphrodite’s Child who was featured in TV play Abigail’s Party has died, Athens hospital saysDemis Roussos, the Greek pop and rock singer who became an unlikely international star in the 70s and 80s, famed for his soaring, high-pitched voice, and voluminous kaftans, has died aged 68.The death of Roussos, who had a No 1 UK single in 1976 with Forever and Ever, was confirmed by the Hygeia hospital in Athens, the BBC reported. He had been having treatment for some time with an undisclosed illness, the BBC said. Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 12:42:08 GMT)

David Cameron: include Northern Ireland parties too in TV debates
PM says good progress has been made in debate negotiations but questions why Northern Ireland parties are missing outPolitical parties from Northern Ireland should be included in the general election television debates, David Cameron has said, as he rowed back from suggestions by the Tory chairman Grant Shapps that Downing Street is happy with the new format.The prime minister welcomed a proposal tabled by the main broadcasters last week that will give the Green party, Plaid Cymru and the Scottish National party places in two seven-strong debates. But to cheers from a Tory election audience in Eastleigh, Cameron questioned why Northern Ireland parties were missing out. Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 13:03:21 GMT)

Britons warned to take care as more wintry weather is forecast
Met Office issues yellow warning for north of England and calls for public to be aware of possible disruption to travelBritons have been warned to take extra care as cold weather, strong winds and snow sweep the country this week.The Met Office on Monday issued a yellow warning for the north of England – which means be aware – and called for the public to be aware of possible disruption to travel. Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 14:07:53 GMT)

Lance Armstrong: I would probably cheat again in similar circumstances
• In 1995 doping was ‘completely pervasive’, says Armstrong• Banned cyclist says he would not have to dope if racing now• Mark Cavendish wins final stage of tour in ArgentinaMore than two years since Lance Armstrong’s television interview with Oprah Winfrey, the disgraced seven-times Tour de France winner has said that, if he were in the same position as he was 20 years ago, he would again dope to win bike races.In reply to the BBC sports editor, Dan Roan, Armstrong said: “My answer is not a popular answer. If I was racing in 2015, no, I wouldn’t do it again, because I don’t think you have to. If you take me back to 1995, when it was completely and totally pervasive, I’d probably do it again. People don’t like to hear that. When I made the decision – when my team-mates made that decision, when the whole peloton made that decision – it was a bad decision and an imperfect time. But it happened.” Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 17:34:18 GMT)

Legal highs and prescription drugs face ban in English and Welsh prisons
Justice secretary gets new powers in bid to crackdown on substance misuse linked to rising violence and self-harm in jailsThe justice secretary will be able to ban any legal drug inside prisons, including prescription drugs and “legal highs”, under a crackdown to start this week.Chris Grayling linked the rising use of “legal highs” behind bars to more cases of assault and self-harm in jails in England and Wales. In a speech at the Centre for Social Justice thinktank on Monday, he said: “We will take a zero-tolerance approach to stamping out their use.” Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 14:01:44 GMT)

Archbishop urges PM to intervene on visas for Andrea Gada funeral
John Sentamu adds to pressure on David Cameron to allow five-year-old girl’s Zimbabwean grandparents to travel to UKThe archbishop of York has called on David Cameron to intervene personally in the “tragic” case of a five-year-old girl whose Zimbabwean grandparents have been refused permission to travel to the UK to attend her funeral.Archbishop John Sentamu added his support to calls for the prime minister to reverse a Home Office decision that refused visas to the grandparents of Andrea Gada, who died after being hit by a car near her home in Eastbourne, East Sussex, shortly before Christmas. Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 18:58:56 GMT)

English pubs deemed important to communities to be protected by law
New government proposal would see pubs saved from demolition or change-of-use without planning permissionPubs in England listed as important by communities will not be demolished or have their use changed without planning permission under proposed legislation.Kris Hopkins, the communities minister, said the changes in England, which would be brought into law at the earliest opportunity, offered greater protections for pubs and allowed people to have a say in their preservation. Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 18:58:47 GMT)

Energy giants more disliked than banks, poll finds
Guardian/ICM survey says gas and electricity suppliers, banks and insurance companies are more despised businessesEnergy giants are now even more disliked than banks, according to a Guardian/ICM survey.People were asked to pick which two or three villains from a ‘rogue’s gallery’ of businesses they most disliked, and 46% picked gas and electricity suppliers – more than any other sector. Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 12:30:43 GMT)

David Cameron rejects call for fracking ban
Prime minister renews his support for exploiting shale gas as MPs call for moratorium and anti-fracking campaigners protest in WestminsterDavid Cameron has rejected calls for a moratorium on fracking from senior MPs, including his former environment secretary Caroline Spelman, saying the US shale gas revolution can be repeated in the UK.The prime minister’s renewed backing for increasingly controversial shale gas exploration comes at the start of a pivotal week for the industry, with key votes by parliament on Monday and Lancashire County Council from Wednesday. 'Stop the infrastructure bill': ex-FCO diplomat John Ashton rallies hundreds opposing fracking #banfracking pic.twitter.com/82Qt1DZxIq Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 15:09:03 GMT)

Autism cases in same family more often carry different genetic risks – study
Research on 85 families finds less than a third of siblings with autism carry the same genetic risk, and in nearly 70% of cases known contributory mutations do not overlapA major study of autism in families has found that brothers and sisters who have the condition often carry different genetic risk factors that make them prone to the disorder.Research on 85 families found that siblings with autism had the same genetic risk factors less than one third of the time. In nearly 70% of cases, tests on the siblings revealed little or no overlap in the mutations known to contribute to the condition. Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 17:21:27 GMT)

Barbie-maker Mattel fires boss after firm reports plummeting profits
Bryan Stockton, Mattel’s chairman and chief executive, fired with immediate effect after company reported 59% collapse in profitsThe boss of Mattel, the company that makes Barbie dolls, was fired on Monday after the firm reported collapsing profits as girls fall out of love with Barbie and Ken.Bryan Stockton, Mattel’s chairman and chief executive, was sacked by the company’s board on Monday morning after the firm reported a 59% drop in profits. Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 17:37:03 GMT)

Lobbying tsar vows to launch register before election
Critics say legislation will penalise charities while letting many commercial lobbying firms off the hookA register for lobbyists who contact ministers and senior civil servants will be introduced within the next 10 weeks, according to the government’s new lobbying tsar, in spite of criticism that it will be unfair and riddled with loopholes.Alison White, the registrar for consultant lobbyists, told the Guardian she was aware of protests from the industry and transparency campaigners but she would launch the register before parliament moves into election purdah on 30 March. Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 15:57:05 GMT)

UK economic recovery running out of steam, forecasters say
Growth expected to slow to 0.6% in last quarter says poll of economists but annual GDP rise could be 2.6% – the strongest since financial crisisThe UK’s economic recovery lost steam at the close of 2014, official figures are expected to confirm this week.Growth is forecast to have slowed to 0.6% in the fourth quarter, from 0.7% in the third, according to a poll of economists by Reuters. Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 00:01:22 GMT)

IBM denies plans to cut 26% of workforce
Technology giant says US technology blogger’s claims of 110,000 job cuts are ‘ridiculous’ speculationIBM has issued a strong rebuke to a report that it is preparing to cut more than a quarter of its global workforce.A US technology blogger claimed on Forbes.com that the US technology giant was about to announce plans to slash 110,000 jobs under a scheme known internally as Project Chrome. Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 18:17:00 GMT)

Belfast inquest cancelled because murder suspect has ‘on the run’ letter
PSNI apologises for mistakenly giving letter granting immunity to man suspected of killing Gareth O’Connor in 2003An inquest into a paramilitary-related murder has been cancelled in Belfast after it emerged the chief suspect was incorrectly given one of the government’s “on-the-run” letters that grant IRA fugitives immunity from prosecution.The Police Service of Northern Ireland has also been forced to apologise to the family of Gareth O’Connor, who disappeared in 2003 and whose body was eventually pulled out of the Newry canal two years later. Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 16:01:00 GMT)

David Cameron detected phone hoax when caller apologised for waking him
PM said no harm was done and no national security was breached by caller pretending to be GCHQ directorDavid Cameron has spoken of how he detected a hoax caller after the anonymous man apologised to him for waking him up at 11am on Sunday.In his public comments, after Downing Street admitted the caller had tricked the No 10 switchboard into connecting him to the prime minister, Cameron laughed off the incident but said that a review would be carried out to try to avoid a repeat. Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 12:25:50 GMT)

Gary Glitter fan’s mother tells court of alleged sexual assault
Singer asked child to sit on his lap, forced her to kiss him and put his hand up her skirt, jury at Southwark crown court toldA mother of a 13-year-old schoolgirl fan of Gary Glitter wept as she told a court she had taken her daughter to meet the star backstage as a “surprise” after a concert.Her idol asked her to sit on his lap, forced her to kiss him and put his hand up her skirt when they were alone in his dressing room, the jury was told. Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 14:00:07 GMT)

Young mother tries to trace anonymous benefactor who gave her £5 on train
Passenger signed message ‘man on train at table with glasses and hat’ and complimented Sammie Welch on son’s mannersShare your random acts of kindnessA young mother is trying to get in touch with a man on a train who praised her for her parenting skills and left her £5 to buy herself a drink. Sammie Welch, 23, was travelling with her three-year-old son, Rylan on a busy First Great Western train from Birmingham to Plymouth on Thursday evening when a man handed her a note as he got off in Bristol.The mystery passenger, who signed the message “Man on train at table with glasses and hat”, complimented her on dealing with her son. The note, in capital letters, read: “Have a drink on me. You are a credit to your generation, polite and teaching the little boy good manners. PS I have a daughter your age, someone did the same for her once. Hope when she has children she is as good a mother as you. Have a lovely evening.” Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 14:49:55 GMT)

Detectives release CCTV footage of missing Samantha Henderson
Dorset police have arrested a man on suspicion of murdering the 25-year-old mother-of-four, last seen on WednesdayDetectives searching for a missing mother-of-four who is thought to have been murdered have released CCTV footage of her visiting a sweet shop on the day she vanished.Samantha Henderson, 25, has not been seen since she left her home in the Dorset village of Corfe Castle on Wednesday afternoon. A 27-year-old man known to Henderson has been arrested on suspicion of her murder and remains in custody. Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 16:35:36 GMT)

Rosetta spacecraft makes first close analysis of comet 67P dust coating
Spacecraft observations of tiny grains collected by Cosima instrument find them to be fragile, rich in sodium and contain smaller inter-planetary particlesThe Rosetta spacecraft has made the first detailed observations of the dusty coating that formed on comet 67P on its journey through the distant reaches of the solar system.Tiny grains collected by the European probe’s Cosima instrument found them to be fragile, rich in sodium, and made up of smaller particles that are probably the main source of the dust that astronomers can see between planets. Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 16:00:47 GMT)

The Pirate Bay set to return on 1 February
Notorious piracy site taken offline by Swedish police raid hints rise from the ashes with phoenix Pirate Bay’s revival seems certain after the torrent site has started to display a logo of phoenix with a timer counting down to 1 February.The timer was unveiled last week along with a revived but non-functioning site. Now the phoenix, a symbol of rebirth used by the Pirate Bay in previous relaunches of the site, has replaced the iconic battleship logo and the animated waving pirate flag. Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 12:18:01 GMT)

UK should consider ban on Mein Kampf, says Scottish Labour MP
Ahead of Holocaust Memorial Day, Scottish Labour MP Thomas Docherty has written to culture secretary urging a ‘sensitive debate’ on allowing its saleScottish Labour MP Thomas Docherty is calling for a national debate on whether the sale of Adolf Hitler’s “repulsive” manifesto Mein Kampf should be prohibited in the UK.Docherty has written to culture secretary Sajid Javid about the text, pointing out that it is currently “rated as an Amazon bestseller” and asking the cabinet member to consider leading a debate on the issue. An edition of Mein Kampf is currently in fifth place on Amazon’s “history of Germany” chart, in fourth place in its “history references” chart, and in 665th place overall. Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 15:35:54 GMT)

Exercise is not a lifestyle statement so why spend a fortune on sportswear?
The theory behind designer fitness clothes is that if you look good, you’ll exercise more. I can tell you that this is gold-plated nonsenseI read that sportswear is now in fashion. Does this mean I can describe my old Man United shirt as vintage?Anonymous, by email Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 15:44:04 GMT)

How Greece made history in a day - video
Greece's anti-austerity Syriza party swept to victory in Sunday's elections. The Guardian's Phoebe Greenwood met voters from across the capital, Athens, from Golden Dawn diehards to pragmatic communists, as they headed to the polls – and then again as they began to take in the historic change they had voted in Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 09:36:00 GMT)

Bill Browder: the Kremlin threatened to kill me
The former banker claims Vladimir Putin runs Russia like a crime syndicate. He should know: corrupt officials seized his assets and stole $230m. His lawyer was beaten to death in jail. And now sinister text messages warn he might be nextI’m due to meet Bill Browder at Mari Vanna, a favourite hangout for rich Russians in Knightsbridge. But when we get there the restaurant, with its rustic dacha-style Russian decor, leaves us both feeling slightly spooked. So we wander across the road to an anonymous sushi bar. Browder’s reluctance to avoid bumping into anyone with Kremlin connections is understandable. As he explains, matter-of-factly: “They [the Kremlin] threatened to kill me. It’s pretty straightforward.”American-born Browder is one of Vladimir Putin’s most prominent critics. For over a decade he lived in Moscow and ran the most successful investment fund in Russia. Initially, he was a fan of Putin’s. But in 2005 he was deported from the country. A corrupt group of officials expropriated his fund, Hermitage Capital, and used it to make a fraudulent tax claim. They stole $230m (£153m). Continue reading...
(Sun, 25 Jan 2015 18:00:15 GMT)

Tales from Auschwitz: survivor stories
Tuesday 27 January is the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz. Six survivors, some of whom will be returning to the site for the last time, tell Kate Connolly their storiesWe lived in Bótrágy, a very small, mostly poor town in Czechoslovakia with a population of approximately 1,000 mainly farming families, including about 10 Jewish families. The town was a typical low-income community with a tailor, a shoemaker, a grocery store, where people struggled to get by, but where everyone knew each other and there was easy communication between the neighbours, though that didn’t mean we were equal. All of a sudden you are told to leave it all and walk out with a single suitcaseThis is my last chance to make sure this tragedy is not forgottenWhen I watch programmes on the Holocaust it’s as if I’m watching some made-up horror filmI’ve always been careful not to tell my children too much about what I went through so as not to traumatise themAuschwitz has been in my head all these years. I just need to close my eyes and instantly the horror comes back to me Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 15:00:08 GMT)

The UK's unhappiest workers - retail staff, nurses and teachers
A new survey shows deep unease across the UK over pay but particularly if you work in shops, hospitals or schools Shop assistants, nurses and teachers are among the unhappiest workers in the UK when it comes to their pay, according to a survey that highlights widespread dissatisfaction after years of falling real wages.Ministers have seized on news that average pay growth is now faster than inflation, but behind the headline numbers there is still plenty of evidence many households are not feeling any better. Retail - 65% dissatisfied with current payLegal - 63% dissatisfied with current payHospitality & Catering - 59% dissatisfied with current payHealthcare & Nursing - 51% dissatisfied with current pay Teaching & Education - 50% dissatisfied with current payWages have been stagnant and consistently lagging behind inflation. That said, our data suggests that employers across the country are starting to lift the lid on rates of pay. Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 15:31:18 GMT)

Mock my Nokia all you like – I’m happier since ditching my smartphone
I was addicted to my smartphone, but withdrawing from social media has calmed my mind and made me a better real-life friendTowards the end of 2014 I was burned out, for a variety of reasons. My job at the time involved working in a busy open plan office, with constant interruptions and competing demands. Like most of my colleagues, I spent my breaks checking social media, email and YouTube or playing Candy Crush. Yes, I was as addicted as the next person, and yes, I probably did send you those annoying Facebook requests. Guilty as charged.The defence for the screen-addicted is simple: according to Daniel J Levitin’s latest book, The Organized Mind, replying to texts, emails and Facebook messages delivers a shot of dopamine straight to the brain, which makes us feel good. That cute sneezing panda takes our minds off our troubles, and makes us feel connected. Levitin says we also feel as if we are accomplishing something every time we hit send. Not only do we have to be productive at work, we also need to be sufficiently productive in our virtual lives. Nobody wants to feel irrelevant. Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 08:59:53 GMT)

Shaun the Sheep the Movie review – Aardman have woolly mammoth hit
The big screen version of Shaun the Sheep sees our four-legged hero going on the lamb in an intricate off-farm adventure that will further swell the Brit studio’s flockBaa-hind the scenes on the Shaun the Sheep movie: ‘In a good week we can shoot two minutes’In retrospect, turning their immensely successful TV series into a feature film seems like a no-brainer on the part of Aardman, the Bristol-based animation house who have steadily progressed into a major global force over the two-and-a-half decades since the appearance of their Oscar-winning short Creature Comforts in 1989. Having pushed out 130 seven-minute episodes since 2007, and sold to dozens of territories all over the world, Shaun has astutely turned its non-language-specific articulation and predilection for slapstick and visual comedy into the kind of show that can entertain Moroccan toddlers as easily as metro passengers in Beijing. It’s what you might call the Mr Bean equation. And like Bean, there’s movie money to be made. Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 12:58:36 GMT)

When you say you 'don't see race', you’re ignoring racism, not helping to solve it
Race is such an ingrained social construct that even blind people can ‘see’ it. To pretend it doesn’t exist to you erases the experiences of black peoplePeople love to tell me that they often forget that I’m black. They say this with a sort of “a-ha!” look on their faces, as if their dawning ability to see my blackness was a gift to us both.When I point out that their eyesight had never left them, that my skin has never changed colors, and that they probably did not really forget that I am black, they inevitably get defensive. First, they try to argue that it was a compliment; the smart ones quickly realize that complimenting someone on not being black is actually pretty racist, so they switch gears. Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 17:06:53 GMT)

Doughnut bacon buttie: the ultimate breakfast combo
The London restaurant Bird’s mashup doughnut – with a dash of maple syrup – sounded so bizarre to our reviewer that he had to eat three …Breakfast is one of my very favourite meals, right up there with brunch, elevenses, lunch, tea, high tea, dinner and supper. As an equal-opportunities glutton, I’ll happily start the day with cereal, porridge, toast, croissants, pains au chocolat, eggs, sausage, bacon, fried bread, fried tomatoes, mushrooms, potato farls, crumpets, bananas, bubble and squeak, kippers, kedgeree, cheese, black pudding or ham, to say nothing of the previous night’s pizza, frankfurters or lamb chops.But still I felt queasy when I heard that the London restaurant Bird was offering bacon-filled doughnuts as part of its breakfast menu. This was, inevitably, in trendy Shoreditch, a short walk from the much-mocked Cereal Killer Café. Was Bird’s “fresh plain doughnut filled with thick-cut bacon with maple drizzle” a publicity stunt, or the latest example of the food business’s obsession with gussying up classic dishes whether or not they need it? Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 12:11:00 GMT)

Wolf Hall: a challenging book should also be challenging TV
The BBC’s adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s novels has been criticised by some for its tricky plot. But what’s wrong with treating viewers like grownups? • Read John Sutherland’s episode one recapA notable aspect of the opening episode of Wolf Hall (Wednesdays, 9pm, BBC2) was the crisp clarity of the actors’ delivery. This is partly because the dialogue was being spoken by some of the nation’s greatest stage actors – Mark Rylance, Jonathan Pryce, Anton Lesser – but may also have been a response, conscious or sub-conscious, to last year’s row over alleged incomprehensibility in the BBC’s Jamaica Inn. (A controversy repeated, after Wolf Hall had finished filming, by the start of series two of Broadchurch.)But having avoiding a “mumblegate row”, Wolf Hall has stumbled into “candlegate” – complaints that the realistic period lighting made scenes hard to see – and “tanglegate”. The latter an objection from some viewers that they had difficulty following a plot which, in Peter Straughan’s adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s two Man Booker prize-winning novels about Thomas Cromwell, begins with the sacking of Cardinal Wolsey and then employs overlapping flashback strands to explain why. Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 11:23:36 GMT)

Quiz: Can you identify the detective from their description?
From hardboiled PIs to mustachioed gentlemen amateurs, fictional detectives give detailed descriptions of suspects but rarely talk about themselves. Can you pick these iconic detectives out in a lineup?Guardian Live: John Banville, also known as Benjamin Black, will be talking about the joys and challenges of resurrecting Raymond Chandler's detective Philip Marlowe on 5 February. To book tickets, click here. Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 14:56:00 GMT)

Forget normcore. Meet babycore, the clothing trend's juvenile counterpart
A New York artist has created the ultimate in nostalgia – a reconstruction of the clothes he wore as an infant. He swears there’s more to it than mere regressionThe normcore trend may have put your more fashionable friends in dad jeans and heather gray last year. Now, thanks to a New York artist, the same friends may soon be dressing in adult-sized versions of 90s infantwear. Matt Starr, a 26-year-old new media artist, reckons he has pioneered “babycore”. Inspired by normcore, he and his “conceptual designer” roommate Bryn Taubensee have re-created Starr’s favorite Gymboree threads “stitch for stitch” in adult sizes, including a giant version of his Osh Kosh B’Gosh romper suit. Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 18:58:35 GMT)

Oscars 2015: who will win best supporting actor?
Four of the names on the best supporting actor ticket would be worthy picks – but only one is a shoo-in• Read all the Oscar predictionsJust because people refer to an Oscar race as “competitive”, it doesn’t mean it’s an especially high-quality one. In some categories, multiple nominees of comparable mediocrity can fight for golden statuettes. In others, a surfeit of outstanding contenders are declared also-rans from the outset, simply because one nominee has unbeatable momentum. So it is in this year’s best supporting actor race, for which the word “race” is hardly fitting: four top-form actors have award-worthy work to offer, but one of them has had this whole thing licked for the better part of a year.Note that I said four top-form actors. The exception, as agreed by pretty much everyone except those who voted to put him on the ballot – and even they can’t be entirely convinced – is Robert Duvall. A near-annual slot is reserved in this category for an esteemed veteran who has done a film the great service of showing up, usually to scowl in an ornery fashion before expiring wheezily on screen. In this regard, Duvall’s work in the title role of The Judge – a failed vehicle for Robert Downey Jr that has already slipped the minds of critics and audiences – is a textbook slot-filler; certainly, no other branch of the Academy thought the film merited their attention. But Duvall, an Oscar winner and seven-time nominee, is 84-years-old (for trivia hounds, that makes him the oldest man ever nominated for an acting Oscar), and working less frequently in roles even of this marginal calibre. Consider this a hat tip to a remarkable career, if not a remarkable performance. Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 17:14:34 GMT)

The world’s biggest gif? Art’s biggest hype more like
We may be able to see it from space, but the world’s largest gif is really just an advertising stunt. We still need a real artist to create the first digital masterpieceSo where is art headed in the digital age? Can we see the future yet?We must be experiencing the fastest rate of technological change in human history. The industrial revolution was a meandering process compared with today’s acceleration. And because communication is at the heart of this historical leap, it instantly and constantly creates new opportunities and challenges for artists. Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 15:04:49 GMT)

Robots, rental popstars and Spotify domination: is this the future of music?
Music’s next frontier is uncertain but if anyone can predict what will happen next it’s future-thinking musician Emmy The Great, who has already acquired her own hologramHooray everyone, the future is here! As we enter the year once deemed so far away that you could build a time-travel film franchise on it, it’s safe to say that up to this point, the effect of technology on the music industry has been worrisome. Any musician who didn’t crowbar their album into an iPhone update, or whose name doesn’t rhyme with Twailor Twift, will tell you that last year was an event horizon for album sales. The music industry as we know it? Probably dead. Have no fear, though, and lament not those big budgets of yore. The way I see it, music is evolving, and the next few decades will give us dazzling innovations. You can trust me, too, because I am a musician who once owned a Myspace page. Here are my predictions for the future of music. Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 06:00:01 GMT)

Spoon me: how cutlery design can blow your tastebuds away
Zinc for fizz, steel for saltiness, gold for mango sorbet … the right type of spoon can make a meal, finds Oliver Wainwright as he wraps his chops round the future of cutlery designSeven metal teaspoons are set out on a table in front of me, neatly lined up on a white napkin, as if awaiting the arrival of Uri Geller, or a banquet consisting only of boiled eggs. Thankfully, neither of these scenarios turn out to be the case. I’m at the Science Museum, surrounded by experts in spoon science, here to enlighten me on the future of the most shapely member of the cutlery family, in advance of a forthcoming exhibition on the science of taste.“My ambition is to make the best spoon in the world,” says Zoe Laughlin, director of the Institute of Making, a research group at University College London, who made my seven-spoon place setting. “The first question is, what would it be made of?” As the gaggle of cutlery experts look on, it feels a little like I’m being inducted into a secret spoon society, or else I’ve wandered into an interview for Private Eye’s satirical column, Me and My Spoon. Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 07:59:03 GMT)

How to find your first teaching job
Teaching isn’t the most competitive of graduate job markets, but it can still be challenging to find the right school for youIf you started your postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE) in 2014, now is the time to think about finding your first teaching job. Many local authorities operate a newly qualified teacher (NQT) pool, and applications must be received by February or March for positions that begin in September. Direct advertisements by schools on sites such as Guardian Jobs and TES connect reach a peak between March and May. Related: Thinking about a career in teaching? Here are 5 ways to get started Related: What every would-be teacher should know before they qualify Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 10:22:31 GMT)


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(Tue, 20 Jan 2015 15:22:35 GMT)

Gabriel Paulista granted work permit ahead of £11.3m Arsenal move
• Brazilian undergoing medical on Monday• Defender qualifies for permit under ‘exceptional talent’ rule• Transfer window – liveArsenal are to complete the signing of Gabriel Paulista from Villarreal, subject to the player passing a medical, for around £11.3m after the Brazilian was granted a work permit under the Football Association’s “exceptional talent” guidelines.Gabriel was undergoing medical tests at the club’s London Colney training complex on Monday afternoon with Arsenal hopeful the centre-half will be available for Sunday’s visit of Aston Villa to the Emirates Stadium. The 24-year-old has not been capped by Brazil at any level, meaning he did not qualify for a work permit to play in this country, but Arsenal successfully appealed on his behalf, arguing he was of sufficiently high calibre and would “contribute significantly to the development of the game” in England. Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 15:19:46 GMT)

FA Cup fifth round draw – live!
Live updates of the fifth-round draw, due to take place at 7.20pm GMTAnd you can email john.ashdown@theguardian.com or tweet @John_Ashdown 7.17pm GMT “Evening John!” Evening Simon McMahon. “One of the best FA Cup weekends in recent history, and the draw is on Monday night during The One Show. Who said romance is dead?”It may not be romantic, but it is definitely educational. I’ve learned all about Christopher Eccleston’s latest projects – they had a blast making Fortitude – and discovered that Romford is the luckiest place in the UK. Seriously, though, it’s dismal isn’t it? 7.07pm GMT As is the way of these things these days, the FA Cup draw is a subsection of BBC One’s The One Show. Christopher Eccleston is currently telling Alex Jones and Matt Baker about his new TV series. Which is nice. 6.50pm GMT 1. Crystal Palace2. Cambridge United or Manchester United3. Blackburn Rovers4. Bradford City5. Derby County6. Preston North End or Sheffield United7. West Bromwich Albion8. Aston Villa9. Reading10. Liverpool or Bolton Wanderers11. Leicester City12. Arsenal13. Rochdale or Stoke City14. Sunderland or Fulham15. West Ham United16. Middlesbrough 6.50pm GMT What a weekend! Chelsea: out. Manchester City: out. Southampton: out. Tottenham: out. Liverpool and Manchester United facing replays. It means Arsenal are the bookies’ favourites to retain the Cup and that only 10 of the 23 teams in the hat for the fifth round are from the Premier League.Still feeling the need to catch up on the weekend action? Check out our weekend talking points blog! And here’s the Football Weekly gang reviewing all the shocks. Wowzers McTrousers indeed. Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 19:17:20 GMT)

Michael van Praag emerges as new rival to Sepp Blatter for Fifa presidency
• Head of Dutch FA to enter presidential race• Deadline for confirmation of entry is Thursday• Uefa lacks courage to challenge me, says BlatterA challenger to Sepp Blatter has emerged from Europe with Michael van Praag from the Netherlands entering the contest for the Fifa presidency.Uefa’s executive committee discussed on Monday the case for Van Praag, the president of the Dutch football federation, standing as a candidate against Blatter. Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 18:23:20 GMT)

Africa Cup of Nations: DR Congo v Tunisia and Cape Verde v Zambia – live!
Live updates as Group B comes to an end in Equatorial GuineaEmail alan.smith@theguardian.com. Or tweet @alansmith90 7.20pm GMT The rain is dying down in Ebebiyin. Panic subsiding. It remains scoreless. 7.19pm GMT 62 min: Mbokani heads onto the roof of the net in a rare show of intent from DRC from about 10 yards. 7.17pm GMT 61 min: A shot! Akaichi is fed by Chikhaoui but he puts it wide from the edge of the box despite Sassi being unmarked to his left. 7.15pm GMT 59 min: Back in Bata, Tunisia enjoy a spell in possession but don’t do anything with it. DR Congo then do the same. And the repeat happens over and over and over. The onus is on DRC to attack but they appear incapable of creating a move of note. 7.13pm GMT Or maybe not …#AFCON: Ebibeyin conditions getting worse. Caf ref expert says game can only be stopped if ball doesn't "move" or GKs say they can't "see" 7.13pm GMT Can no longer see the ball on TV in Ebebiyin, so poor is the weather. But it remains scoreless and probably will stay that way seeing as the ball is barely moving on a waterlogged pitch. It’s an absolute farcical situation and it must surely be moments away from being at least temporarily halted. 7.10pm GMT 53 min: DRC a bit more hurried now but Tunisia are defending in numbers. Makiadi concedes a cheap free-kick on the edge of the area, allowing Tunisia the chance to take the sting out of the game. 7.08pm GMT 51 min: Bolasie wins another free-kick. It’s taken short to Kasusula on the wing, who crosses towards Mbokani but it comes to nothing. 7.07pm GMT If the rain keeps falling with such ferocity at Ebebiyinm, you could nearly see it being abandoned. The ball has taken on a futsal-effect: it’s taking a shallow bounce and stopping dead. Not exactly easy on the eye. 7.04pm GMT 48 min: DRC make inroads down the left through Mbokani. He cuts in and shoots with his right but it’s low and right at Mathlouthi who smothers with ease. 7.02pm GMT And Cape Verde get us going 90 seconds later in the other game, where visibility and the pitch have deteriorated substantially since the end of the opening period. There are puddles developing on the pitch! 7.02pm GMT 46 min: Tunisia starts us off for the second half in Bata. 6.48pm GMT As it stands Cape Verde, who have marginally been the better side, will go through with a draw. 6.47pm GMT Tunisia look to be easing into the quarter-finals here, thanks to Akaichi’s goal. DR Congo need to up it considerably if they are to mount a comeback. 6.46pm GMT 45 min: So, so poor from DRC. Mbemba finds Mubele but his low ball across goal is dreadful and drifts yards behind Mbokani, allowing Tunisia to clear. 6.44pm GMT 44 min: The ball works its way to Mbokani in a move started by Bolasie but he gets the ball stuck underneath him, can’t turn and is closed down. 6.42pm GMT 41 min: Everything goes through Bolasie when it comes to DRC looking for attacking inspiration. They have had around three-fifths of the ball but don’t really appear capable of doing much with it. 6.41pm GMT 38 min: The rain is lashing down at both grounds, now, with forks of lightning, making it difficult for the players to control on such slippy surfaces. Have some sympathy for those getting drenched in the uncovered stands at Ebebiyin. It doesn’t matter in Bata though, because those in the seats near the bottom can move where they like in a stadium which is almost empty. I’m told there are around 1,000 there, it has a capacity of 35,700. 6.36pm GMT 35 min: DRC have been rocked by conceding and look very, very unsettled.Cape Verde and Zambia remains scoreless, though the former’s centre-half, Carlitos, has been booked for a mistimed challenge. 6.33pm GMT Chikhaoui volleys an absolute beauty into the top left corner with his right boot from 12 yards but it’s ruled out for offside. 6.32pm GMT 31 min: And it’s Akaichi who scores his second of the tournament with a good reflex header from eight yard after Chikhaoui’s shot following a neat dribble inside the area takes a slight deflection en route. 6.29pm GMT 28 min: Bolasie is robbed of possession by Akaichi. Tunisia are two-on-two but Akaichi squanders possession cheaply just as he crosses halfway. Poor. 6.28pm GMT 27 min: DR Congo have a free-kick around 25 yards out. Kasusula and Bolasie stand over it … the former takes it, curling a left-footed attempt towards the bottom right corner but Mathlouthi gets across to make the save. Corner. 6.27pm GMT 25 min: We’re not really seeing much in the way of excitement here. All about containment for Tunisia, while DRC are still unable to really manage a way through their back five … but just as I type that Cedrick finds the ball coming to him from Bolasie’s centre but he kicks fresh air in a promising position. Gotta do better.Zambia have a couple of attacks which amount to nothing more than a corner in Ebebiyn. 6.23pm GMT 23 min: DRC have a corner after some Bolasie trickery. The delivery reaches Mbokani but his header fails to find the target. 6.21pm GMT 20 min: Tunisia are taking charge now and Chikahoui unleashes a right-footed shot towards goal after some tasty one-touch build-up play from midfield but Kidiaba saves well, turning it round the post to his left for a Tunisia corner.Cape Verde enjoying more possession in Ebebiyn but yet to register a shot on target. 6.18pm GMT 17 min: Understandably, it’s all a bit tense. Tunisia, despite having the only chance of note so far, are happy to sit back and attack sporadically, while DRC are trying to find a gap in the group leaders’ defence without anything of note to show for it yet. 6.14pm GMT 15 min: Chikhaoui, Tunisia’s match winner against Zambia, is penalised for handball when it actually hit his shoulder. 6.13pm GMT 13 min: Good spell of possession for DR Congo in midfield but they lose it and Tunisia’s defence hoof it all the way to Kidiaba.It also remains scoreless in the other game. Little has happened there apart from Kennedy Mweene, the Zambia keeper, flapping at a couple of crosses. 6.11pm GMT 10 min: The DRC defence are a mess but Tunisia cannot punish them as Chikhaoui misses an absolute sitter from five yards. A good run from Akaichi down the right reaches Sassi, whose shot is blocked on the line and Chikhaoui somehow puts his attempt wide from close range. 6.09pm GMT 9 min: Tunisia’s Yacoubi is booked for a sliding challenge on Bolasie. 6.08pm GMT 7 min: Another DRC free is delivered by Bolasie from the left but his well-placed delivery also amounts to nought. 6.06pm GMT 6 min: DRC have a free-kick 35 yards out. Three of them size it up but Makiadi is the one to deliver. It’s cleared easily, back all the way to Kidiaba in the DRC goal. 6.05pm GMT 5 min: Tunisia are going with three centre-halves here instead of the two they lined up with in their opening two fixtures. They do need only a draw, of course.In the other game Zambia have a corner cleared off the line in the other game. 6.04pm GMT 3 min: Tunisia win a corner, the DRC keeper Kidiaba comes out but misjudges the flight of the ball and Chikhaoui has a header deflected over for another corner which comes to nothing. 6.02pm GMT 2 min: We have a break in play after 70-odd seconds as DRC’s Mubele is taken down by Ragued. He’s now limping off but expect him to come back on. 6.01pm GMT Zambia have got things going in Ebebiyin, while DR Congo get us going in the game we will focus on in Bata 5.57pm GMT Anthems over with, flags being folded up and carried off the pitch, we’re almost set … 5.55pm GMT The teams are emerging from the tunnel at the same time at both grounds.You might notice that DR Congo’s kit is manufactured by O’Neills, the Irish sportswear company whose vast amount of gear is for Gaelic games. 5.50pm GMT Cape Verde: Vozinha, Fernando Varela, Carlitos, Stopira, Gege, Toni Varela, Rocha, Lima, Heldon, Rodrgues, Ryan Mendes. Subs: Sousa, Kay, Babanco, Semedo, Odair Fortes, Kuca, Platini, Tavares, Nivaldo, Djaniny, Jeffrey Fortes, Somada. 5.39pm GMT Congo DR: Kidiaba, Mbemba, Kimwaki, Issama, Kasusula, Mongongu, Makiadi, Bolasie, Cedrick, Mubele, Mbokani. Subs: Kudimbana, Oualembo, Munganga, Kage, Kebano, Mabele, Kabananga, Zakuani, Bokila, Mabidi, Mandanda. 5.21pm GMT Evening all!Group B may not throw up permutations as mind-boggling as the group of 1-1 (previously known as group D) but all four sides retain hopes of progressing to the quarter-final before tonight’s concluding games. Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 19:20:04 GMT)

John Carver to stay in charge of Newcastle until end of season
• Caretaker given extended contract as club take gamble• I am confident that we can deliver exciting successful football’ says Carver• De Boer interested in taking over in summerJohn Carver will remain in charge of Newcastle United until the end of the season after the club confirmed they have postponed appointing Alan Pardew’s successor until the summer.Carver, who has served as caretaker coach since Pardew’s defection to Crystal Palace, wants the job long term and believes that over the next four months he will prove he is the outstanding candidate to take it on a permanent basis. Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 14:46:29 GMT)

Williams sisters head for first slam semi meeting since Wimbledon 2000
Serena and Venus Williams are have not met in a grand slam semi-final for 15 years, though first they must beat Dominika Cibulkova and Madison Keys respectively at the Australian Open• Serena Williams sees off Garbiñe Muguruza It is increasingly difficult to gauge what constitutes an upset in tennis, tougher in the women’s game than the men’s, it has to be said, and nowhere is the uncertainty more obvious than in the fortunes of the Williams sisters at the Australian Open.Both are through to the quarter-finals and on schedule to meet in the semi-final of a slam for the first time since they met at Wimbledon 15 years ago. They are not only great players but indomitable survivors – 6-2 in Serena’s favour in regards to slam finals – but they are surrounded by hungry aspirants who care little for reputations, and rightly so. Respect is earned not handed out like sweets in elite sport. Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 16:41:33 GMT)

European Rugby Champions Cup talking points from the weekend
Wasps are enjoying home comforts, Racing resolve can be difficult to stop and Castres have put up the white flagEddie Butler: tournament has gone same way on the field as off it Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 08:00:15 GMT)

Gary Street steps down as coach of England women’s rugby union team
• Mutual decision made after RFU’s review of World Cup• Nicky Ponsford to take interim charge during Six Nations• Katy Mclean: I’d love to go Rio Olympics and play at 2017 World Cup• August 2014: Emily Scarratt’s boot hands England World Cup finalGary Street is looking for a new job after leaving the Rugby Football Union and his position of the head coach of England Women less than six months after leading the team to a first World Cup title and 13 days before the start of the Six Nations.The RFU and Street said in a joint statement the decision was made by mutual consent. It followed a review of the World Cup campaign by the RFU’s performance department, which reported earlier this month and recommended changes if England were to mount a successful World Cup defence in 2017. Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 13:01:20 GMT)

England call up Tom Croft and Christian Day as injury crisis deepens
• Forwards brought into Six Nations training squad• Parling, Wood, Barritt, Burrell and Farrell among the injury concerns• Farell injury raises Cipriani poser for LancasterRobert KitsonFears that England may enter the Six Nations under a serious injury cloud are multiplying with six of their potential starting XV struggling to be fit in time for next week’s game against Wales. Owen Farrell has been forced to seek specialist advice on the knee damage he suffered in France on Sunday while concerns about Tom Wood and Geoff Parling have prompted Stuart Lancaster to call up Tom Croft and Christian Day to training. Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 18:03:48 GMT)

Bryan brothers in shock defeat to Dominic Inglot and Florin Mergea
• Briton and Romanian partner beat Bryan brothers 7-6 (7-4), 6-3• Win leaves Inglot eyeing spot for Great Britain in Davis CupAs satisfying, and surprising, as it was for Dominic Inglot to combine with his new Romanian doubles partner Florin Mergea to put the fabled Bryan brothers out of the Australian Open in straight sets, the Londoner would love another crack at the Americans for Great Britain in the Davis Cup in Glasgow in March.However, he suspects the team captain, Leon Smith, will lean towards Jamie Murray to partner his brother, Andy. Still, on Monday, Inglot had his day in the sun – or clouds, as it happened. Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 10:33:53 GMT)

Stan Wawrinka defeats Guillermo García-López in Australian Open
• Wawrinka beat García-López 7-6 (7-2), 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (10-8)• Defending champion plays Kei Nishikori in the next roundThe Australian Open defending champion, Stan Wawrinka, has lined up a quarter-final showdown with Japan’s Kei Nishikori.Wawrinka keep his title defence on track with a hard-fought win over Spain’s Guillermo García-López with the fourth-seeded Swiss saving four set points in the fourth set to triumph 7-6 (7-2), 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (10-8). Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 08:53:00 GMT)

Australia v India washout leaves England in winner-takes-all match
• Winners of ODI will face Australia in the final of Tri-Series • Australia v India – as it happened!England will have to win their final Tri-Series match against India in Perth on Friday to qualify for the final following the washout between Australia and India.The Australia Day celebrations fell flat in Sydney as persistent drizzle more akin to a summer’s day at Edgbaston meant only 16 overs of play were possible. This result meant little to Australia given they had already booked their place in the final with wins in each of their first three games. Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 10:07:21 GMT)

Talking Horses: Win a Cheltenham Festival bet in our tips competition
Cape Caster could score under Paul Moloney at Ludlow, plus your chance to take early odds about a Festival fancyIf the more pessimistic weather forecasts are correct, there may not be much jumps racing in the latter part of the week, so we should be grateful to Ludlow for getting in early today with an interesting and well-supported meeting. Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 12:29:39 GMT)

Keira Knightley and the art of maternity dressing
Keira Knightley has perfected the art of maternity dressing on the red carpet in this dreamy number from ErdemKeira Knightley is pregnant. Judging by her appearance at the Screen Actors Guild awards, it’s not screamingly obvious because, unlike a lot of Famous Pregnant Women, rather than eschew couture, she’s embraced it. Here, she is wearing a pretty, tiered lace aubergine dress by Erdem, which she has accessorised with a matching smokey eye in plum. Little tip: go full length, so if and when you want to remove your heels (which Keira did), no one need notice. Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 13:22:16 GMT)

How Alexis Tsipras got the Cassandra story wrong in his victory speech
The newly elected Greek leader dipped into Greek mythology to hit back at Syriza’s doubters. Unfortunately, unlike Cassandra, he got it wrongDuring his victory speech on Sunday night, newly elected Greek leader Alexis Tsipras made a faux pas (you can hear it here at 6 mins 05 sec). Before an audience of thousands of supporters, he announced: “Friends, the new Greek government will prove all the Cassandras of the world wrong. [There will be] no mutually destructive clash … We have a great opportunity for a new beginning.”Tsipras is a total hero but the Cassandra story is in Myth 101 and he flubbed it. #schoolboyerrorIsn't it a mistake for Tsipras to knock Cassandra(s)? After all, she wasn't an idle doomsayer but someone who got it right Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 09:51:14 GMT)

What is Trivia Crack and why are 100m people playing it?
The latest mobile game craze has launched in the UK, complete with questions about Prince George and Cheryl Cole for local tastes.From Angry Birds and Candy Crush Saga to Draw Something, Clash of Clans and SongPop: the mobile gaming world has had its fair share of crazes since Apple and Google launched their app stores in 2008. Now you can add Trivia Crack to the list.The game has only just launched in the UK, but it’s already hugely popular in the US and Latin America, with more than 100m downloads so far and currently around 800k more every day. Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 11:45:57 GMT)

Monday’s best TV
David Starkey scrutinises the Magna Carta, the Broadchurch case continues and Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney try to cope with Catastrophe. Plus: Matthew VanDyke’s Arabian Motorcycle Adventures and fame-hungry teens in South Side StoryQuestion Time’s regular bile duct returns to his Dr Jekyll day job. In Starkey’s latest constitutional history lecture, the Magna Carta is sealed within 15 minutes; the focus instead is on the enduring legacy of that sheepskin inked with Latin. After our civil war it was cited as parliament nudged monarchy aside, while at the birth of the United States it guided Thomas Jefferson’s thinking. To his credit, Starkey provides a withering critique of how America and Britain are now placing its fundamental principles under threat. Jack Seale Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 06:00:01 GMT)

Keep calm and carry on: Brits getting intolerant of noise pollution
Noisy neighbours, barking dogs and traffic now perceived as environmental problem on a level with air pollution, survey finds People are becoming increasingly intolerant of loud music, barking dogs, noisy neighbours, road traffic and aircraft noise, a major government survey has found.According to a government survey of attitudes conducted once a decade, noise has risen from ninth to fourth since 2000 in the league table of perceived local environmental problems and is now on a level with air pollution and only behind dog fouling, litter and the loss of green belt land. Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 16:42:45 GMT)

What does the fall in the euro mean for you and your summer holidays?
Syriza’s success in Greece has pushed the euro down, but it’s still nowhere near as weak as it was a decade ago• Greece election: Syriza forms coalition with Independent Greeks – live updatesSyriza’s success in the Greek elections has sent the euro to new lows, with the pound now worth €1.337 in early trading, compared to €1.25 as recently as eight weeks ago. But what does this mean for you – and your summer holidays? Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 13:33:57 GMT)

Rationing ravens and merciful monkeys: can animals be altruistic?
Is there a conscious generosity in how ravens or bats share food, or monkeys or elephants save others, or is it simply the selfish instinct of group survival?Bernd Heinrich was on a hike through the woods of New England when he observed something which would go on to change our perception of animal psychology.A group of ravens had gathered to feed on a dead moose. But rather than choosing to keep the bounty for themselves, they were making a strange call, one which seemed to be deliberately attracting more ravens to the feast. Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 15:07:14 GMT)

Nutella not a girl’s name, French court rules
Child renamed Ella after court decides parents’ original choice would cause ‘mockery or disobliging remarks’A French court has barred a couple from naming their daughter Nutella after the popular hazelnut chocolate spread.The unusual choice of name by the couple from Valenciennes, in northern France, was noticed by the registrar who recorded the baby’s birth last September. He alerted the local prosecutor who referred the case to a family court judge. Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 14:01:08 GMT)

Paul McCartney collaborations: the good, the bad and the stadium rock dubstep
Rihanna’s new single may involve Paul McCartney strumming an acoustic guitar, but this is only the latest in a long and not always impressive list of Macca collaborations …If buzzworthy new artist Paul McCartney really was boutta blow earlier this month when Kanye West let him play some keyboards on his new track, then this week could see the hip youngster’s brand go stratospheric. Rihanna’s new single Four Five Seconds sees her reaching out to both Kanye and P-Mac, letting the latter strum some acoustic guitar like the glorified pop intern he no doubt is. It’s arguably not the greatest single you’ll hear this week – in fact, it’s possibly one of the most rubbish singles you’ll hear all year – but it does succeed in keeping McCartney in the public eye, which gives us a great chance to uncover some of his underground work with other artists before he went global. Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 13:35:31 GMT)

On the trail of the first dogs to put their paws in the Americas
DNA research into early canine remains also raises clues about migration patterns of ancient humansHumans began migrating to the Americas roughly 15,000 to 20,000 years ago. But domesticated canines likely didn’t show up on American continents until 10,000 years ago, long after humans first arrived, according to a new analysis of ancient dog DNA by University of Illinois researchers. Their findings were published in the Journal of Human Evolution.“We were interested in seeing if we could see when dogs arrived in the Americas,” said study author Kelsey Witt. “It’s assumed they came with humans, but no one has actually looked at it.” Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 15:50:35 GMT)

Care workers: the other side of the story
My wife’s care workers were a delight despite being let down by an unfair system. Why won’t politicians talk about that as the election approaches?There have been a lot of bad news stories about care homes and care workers. Our experience has been very different. The care workers were wonderful. But the system that arranges care does not treat them fairly. Reform is urgent. Yet it hardly figures among the issues our politicians will be talking about in the buildup to the election.My wife, Hilary, was diagnosed with dementia in 2010. She died in the first week of January this year. I looked after her at home for as long as I could. Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 14:00:07 GMT)

Huge asteroid set to fly past Earth – get that telescope ready
Nasa says asteroids pass Earth often, but size of 2004 BL86 is unusualAnother object of comparable scale isn’t scheduled to pass for another 12 yearsThe closest pass to Earth by a large asteroid until 2027 is due to happen on Monday, according to Nasa, which said the half-kilometre wide object posed no danger to the planet.The asteroid, which is called 2004 BL86, will pass within 745,000 miles of Earth – around three times the distance to the Moon – meaning it will be visible from the surface with telescopes or even binoculars. Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 13:38:22 GMT)

I rarely orgasm with sexual partners
It’s different when I pleasure myself and I think I’m missing outI’m a 28-year-old woman who rarely orgasms with sexual partners. It feels as if the sensations I experience when I pleasure myself and those with partners are different. I often feel sensorily overwhelmed during intercourse, in an unpleasant way, and so will change position or take a break. I try not to put pressure on myself, but I definitely feel as if I’m missing out.Self-pleasuring is qualitatively different from sex with partners, and many people who are satisfied during lovemaking are still drawn to masturbation because of the easy, reliable and intense orgasms it can produce. Like many people, you know your own body and sexual response so well that it is understandable you might struggle to be satisfied when you do not have full control. It takes bravery to share one’s exact needs with someone else. Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 08:00:03 GMT)

After mortifying Mortdecai, is Johnny Depp's career decaying?
Depp has added to a string of flops including Transcendence and The Rum Diary with his caper Mortdecai – so is it time for the once-bankable star to hang up the sunglasses?• Mortdecai: a one-star review from Mark KermodeFor a good long while, Johnny Depp had a firm grasp on the strange elixir that is Hollywood mojo. He was who you went to when you needed gothic cheekbones, zanily self-aware camp, and even leftfield hunkiness. And when he blended them all, as Captain Jack Sparrow, he was that most valuable asset of all – someone who could turn base studio metal into box-office gold.But with the release of Mortdecai, that mojo is draining away fast. The comedy caper only made $4.1m over the weekend in the US, the worst opening for a major Depp film in 15 years, and it follows a string of flops: Transcendence ($23m in the US off a $100m budget), The Lone Ranger (despised by critics), The Rum Diary (only made back half its spend). Related: Johnny Depp labels actor-musicians 'sickening – I hate the idea' Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 10:18:34 GMT)

Single parents don’t need anonymous generosity but public respect
I’m glad a mum’s efforts were praised. Still, the ultimate kindness would be to relieve us of the top-down blaming for societal illsAre random acts of kindness so rare that they are actual news? Apparently so. A young woman Samantha Welch was on a long train journey with her three year-old son. She did her best to entertain him, playing games with him and letting him listen to music. Eventually he fell asleep and because the train was full, she pulled him on to her lap so that she could offer his seat to other people.Anyone who has travelled with a child will be familiar with this. Trains and boats and planes. Or actually buses. You try your best to keep the child quiet and happy and it’s exhausting. There are times when they become fractious, whatever you do. There are tantrums that not even a bag of Wotsits can soothe. There are stairs in most stations where people rush by as you bump up a buggy with a child and a heavy bag.“Have a drink on me. You are a credit to your generation, polite and teaching the little boy good manners. Man on train at table with glasses and hat. Have a lovely evening.“PS I have a daughter your age, someone did the same for her once. Hope when she has children she is as good a mother as you.” Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 11:51:36 GMT)

American Sniper illustrates the west’s morality blind spots
From Guantánamo Bay to King Abdullah, beneath our talk of defending civilised values lies a deep hypocrisySay what you like about the film American Sniper, and people have, you have to admire its clarity. It’s about killing. There is no moral arc; no anguish about whether the killing is necessary or whether those who are killed are guilty of anything. “I’m prepared to meet my maker and answer for every shot I took,” says Bradley Cooper, who plays the late Chris Kyle, a navy Seal who was reputedly the deadliest sniper in American history. There is certainly no discursive quandary about whether the Iraq war, in which the killing takes place, is either legal or justified. “I couldn’t give a flying fuck about the Iraqis,” wrote Kyle in his memoir, where he refers to the local people as “savages”.The film celebrates a man who has a talent for shooting people dead when they are not looking and who, apparently, likes his job. “After the first kill, the others come easy,” writes Kyle. “I don’t have to psych myself up, or do anything special mentally. I look through the scope, get my target in the crosshairs, and kill my enemy before he kills one of my people.” Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 06:00:07 GMT)

It's time to stop playing the Girl That Got Away in your ex-boyfriend's fantasies
We have all fallen in love with the idea of a person, rather than the reality. But it’s not interesting playing a supporting role in someone else’s storyIn the past six months, four men that I dated – none for longer than half a year – sent me e-mails, texts and phone calls, all with the same gist: I made a mistake.While I am single, they all have fiancées, wives, girlfriends, children and, apparently, a sense that they zigged when they should have zagged. Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 10:00:02 GMT)

Imagine if we neutered all the cats – how the birds would sing
My birdwatch loitering has got me fantasising about what would happen if we had just 20 more years of feline companyMore people than ever before took part this weekend in what is surely the world’s largest piece of citizen science. The RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch has been going since 1979, providing ecologists with a vast set of data about British wildlife (7 million birds were counted in 2014 alone).I have recently moved to a place with the kind of garden that the naturalist Mark Cocker describes as a coffin: towering leylandii framing a close-cropped lawn behind a concrete terrace filled with other exotic plants of little use to native bird species. Until this weekend I had been so focused on hacking away at non-native conifers to make the garden more wildlife-friendly that I’d barely noticed the creatures that already live here. Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 17:39:22 GMT)

Syriza has allowed Greeks to dream again. But the real struggle is just beginning
As the first anti-austerity party to claim power in Europe, Syriza must navigate a political minefield. Failure will be a disaster for GreeceAs the first leftist party to win a national election in Greece, and the first anti-austerity party to claim power in Europe, Syriza has pulled off the impossible. Last night hope for real change brought the smiles back to Greek faces after five long years. Greeks needed this desperately, which is why we ignored the scaremongering. Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 15:34:17 GMT)

The Doomsday Clock: why there’s no point worrying about Armageddon
We have moved closer to global destruction, according to scientists, but it’s just a hypothetical threat – nothing to get worked up about• The end of the world: three minutes and countingThe end may not quite be nigh, but according to a bunch of eminent scientists, it is getting nigher. Every year they reset the Doomsday Clock, which represents how far from Armageddon we are. Currently, it’s three minutes to midnight.“The probability of global catastrophe is very high,” says the Science and Security Board of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists in Chicago, which moves the hands back and forth. “And the actions needed to reduce the risks of disaster must be taken very soon.” Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 12:36:16 GMT)

Why Labour opposes this fanatical faith in shale gas
We will vote to prevent any developments of shale gas in the UK unless the Tories and Lib Dems concede to reforms of the regulatory regimeThere are two fundamental principles that have to underpin any debate about shale gas development in the UK. The first is that fracking cannot go ahead without proper environmental safeguards in place. The second is that the development of shale gas, cannot come at the expense of meeting our legally binding obligation to avoid dangerous climate change.No sensible government can govern in these challenging times without putting climate change at the core of what they do. That’s why Labour has committed to a 2030 decarbonisation target for our power sector and pledged to make climate adaptation a national priority to protect the country from extreme weather caused by climate change. David Cameron however has gone from promising to lead the “greenest government ever”, to ditching the “green crap”. Now he is pursuing shale gas development at any cost. Labour will take a different approach. Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 08:54:58 GMT)

Counter-terrorism is supposed to let us live without fear. Instead, it's creating more of it
How many ‘terrorism plots’ initiated by FBI informants will the agency interrupt before Congress finally performs some oversight?People think that catching terrorists is just a matter of finding them – but, just as often, terrorists are created by the people doing the chase.While making our film (T)ERROR, which tracks a single counter-terrorism sting operation over seven months, we realized that most people have serious misconceptions about FBI counter-terrorism efforts. They assume that informants infiltrate terrorist networks and then provide the FBI with information about those networks in order to stop terrorist plots from being carried out. That’s not true in the vast majority of domestic terrorism cases. Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 12:52:46 GMT)

What would Winston Churchill have made of King Abdullah’s death?
Churchill’s first involvement in the Arab world came in 1898, and his footprints have not yet been washed awayDid you notice that some of the weekend newspapers tried to encapsulate two of the day’s big stories in a single photograph: in the background a flag flew at half mast over the Foreign Office in mourning for King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, while silhouetted in the foreground was Ivor Roberts-Jones’s brooding statue of Winston Churchill on the 50th anniversary of his death.What would the old boy have made of all this fuss over the death of a desert autocrat? Good question. And the answer would have been a typically Churchillian bundle of contradictions, much like his views on Europe – where both sides claim him as one of their own. Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 12:13:24 GMT)

Just how hard can it be to purge prisons of drugs?
Chris Grayling’s new zero-tolerance drive could finally see the interests of prison authorities and public convergeWhen I returned to the UK after almost a decade abroad, one aspect of 21st century Britain astonished me more than almost anything else. This was the prevalence of illegal drugs in prisons, and what seemed the resigned tolerance on the part of politicians and prison authorities alike. If the powers-that-be either would not, or could not, prevent prisoners getting hold of drugs, what use were many custodial sentences at all?That was in 2002. More than 10 years on, prison walls seem as porous as ever, with the traffic in illegal substances now augmented by so-called legal highs. These are being blamed for an upsurge in prison violence, prompting new calls for “something to be done”. Now, on paper at least – and, of course, unrelated to the imminence of an election – something is being done. Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 07:00:02 GMT)

Sexism is making women sick
Evidence shows that violent and harassing environments can lead to mental illness. Why would women exposed to daily misogyny be any different?Sexism is certainly nauseating – the disgusting leers on the street, the discrimination, the violence. But those everyday expressions of misogyny could be seriously impacting our mental health as well.A study published this month in the journal Sex Roles reveals that some of the sexism women face – from catcalling and sexual harassment to sexual objectification and violence – makes women generally more fearful and anxious. The researchers from the University of Missouri-Kansas and Georgia State University found a substantive “link between physical safety concerns and psychological distress”. Related: Talking about mental health: 'So much of this is behind closed doors' Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 09:30:06 GMT)

'It was cold, very cold': migrant children endure border patrol 'ice boxes'
Carla’s recollections are all too familiar to immigration lawyers and advocacy groups who have long complained about the brutal conditions in temporary holding cells for undocumented border-crossers of all ages. But of all the stories that have been recounted, those involving children are the most visceral.Imagine being taken into a room. It is cold – very, very cold – and you shiver under the single layer of clothes that is all you are allowed to wear. The room is concrete and entirely bare: nothing on the walls, no furniture, no bedding of any sort other than the thin sheet you have been given. The only window allows guards to look in at you, but gives you no view of the world outside.You sit in the room, huddled on the cold, hard floor, seeking warmth under the sheet. The room is lit by neon lights that are kept on 24 hours a day, and after a while you lose track of time. Is it day, is it night – you no longer know. Though there are many other people in the room with you, they are all strangers and no-one speaks to you. You are utterly alone. Related: Freezing cells and sleep deprivation: the brutal conditions migrants still face after capture Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 12:00:04 GMT)

The United States of fear: Alec Soth photographs the death of community in America
Men ballroom dancing on their own, lone figures dwarfed by the desert, and the last snow globe repairman ... with his sad pictures punctuated by heartwarming lyrics from golden oldies, Alec Soth shows how fear overtook hope in everyday AmericaIn 2000, the US academic Robert D Putnam published Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community. His thesis was that Americans had become increasingly insular, disconnected from family members, friends and neighbours and disinterested in joining clubs or social groups. Individualism had replaced community and though, for instance, more Americans were visiting bowling alleys than ever before, many were doing so alone.Bowling Alone is one of two starting points for Alec Soth’s Songbook. The other is the canonical Great American Songbook – which is not a book at all but a yardstick for old-fashioned, well crafted lyrics and melodies composed by the likes of Jerome Kern, Lorenz Hart and Johnny Mercer and sung by the likes of Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett and Ella Fitzgerald. Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 11:00:40 GMT)

Nepal's 'poor woman's problem': how obstetric fistula blights lives
Obstetric fistula can cause incontinence and leave women outcasts, but Nepal is finally trying to address a condition that need not ruin so many livesAnita Rai does not look like a woman who has just been successfully cured of her fistula – one of the most debilitating, but least known, health issues affecting women in Nepal. Her face wears an expression of exhaustion and resignation. In a small hotel room in the eastern city of Dharan, she sits on a bed staring into space as her husband puts their belongings into a bag. “We have a long journey back,” Anita says. “A full three days from here to my village of Pathekha. Two days on a bus, and then a day walking.” That was how long it took for her to get to a hospital after her miscarriage two years ago. “The travel is very difficult, and most people avoid it.” It’s why she had a home birth, like most women in her village. Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 12:46:04 GMT)

Ukraine at war: 'People feel abandoned'
Food and medicine are getting scarce, and those in the conflict zone wonder why the world has forgotten themThe fighting has intensified dramatically since last week and the situation here is deteriorating rapidly. In the past five days, there has been heavy fighting. We hear the constant boom of shelling and crackle of shooting. More than 70 houses are reported to have been damaged or destroyed in the last week, and several hospitals have been damaged since the fighting began in the summer. In recent days, a building of a psychiatric institution that we’re supporting was destroyed by shelling. We are still here, we are trying, but we’re treating people with words Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 15:50:34 GMT)

Blood money: is it wrong to pay donors?
In some countries, people get paid for giving blood. And in the UK, we have to buy in plasma. But is safety compromised when money changes hands?A recent black-and-white documentary, Blood, about a mobile blood collection unit in rural Russia, shows scenes familiar to many: dusty halls, anxious donors queuing to register, the occasional struggle to find a vein. Cups of tea, too, albeit just for the team. Then there are the differences. Donors sit upright on uncomfortable, hard chairs. Some have just come off night shift; others have no money for food. Staff are concerned about how many units will test positive for blood-borne viruses. Potential donors worry about being accepted. A woman without an up-to-date residency certificate is turned away. A man insists he should be allowed to donate; he is broke and desperate for the 850 roubles (£8.85) payment. It is clear that most donors come for the money: for some, it is a lifeline. Continue reading...
(Sun, 25 Jan 2015 18:00:15 GMT)

How viable is nuclear fusion as an energy source? - podcast
Are scientific and industrial ideas about commercial nuclear fusion reactors in the near future just wishful thinking? Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 11:16:00 GMT)

Greek election: ‘The hour of the left has come. Hope has arrived’
Euphoria among Syriza supporters as once-marginalised activists take power – but party knows the hard work begins nowIt was a euphoric moment and it was a long time in the making. When it erupted, at approximately 7.15pm, it exploded with a bang.“The hour of the left has come. The hour of the left has come. Hope has finally arrived.” Continue reading...
(Sun, 25 Jan 2015 22:54:35 GMT)

The underworld of US sex trafficking: 'If there were no johns, there would be no prostitutes'
Each year 100,000 American girls and women are coerced into prostitution. The first part of the PBS documentary A Path Appears explores a pervasive problem It’s the dead of winter in Chicago. A man enters a hotel and rings the woman waiting for him in room 238. He found her number on Backpage.com, a Craigslist-style site that hosts listings for “adult entertainment” services.The woman on the other end answers and invites him up. When he gets to her room, they negotiate a price – her services are advertised at $60 for half an hour. As soon as the man agrees, a loud beep alerts the undercover officers waiting next door. They rush in to bust the man for solicitation. Such clients are referred to as “johns”. Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 17:51:44 GMT)

World's largest palm oil trader commits to zero deforestation
Wilmar is the latest palm oil company to commit to halting deforestation. But with little control over small, independent farms, will it be able to keep its promise? From rainforest to your cupboard: the real story of palm oil - interactiveLet’s start with some good news. Wilmar International, the largest palm oil trader in the world, recently committed not to engage in deforestation. A year on from announcing the policy, the Singapore-based agribusiness was lauded in a report on deforestation-free supply chains (pdf) by the pro-transparency organisation CDP.On the face of it, the praise appears merited. Wilmar’s new policy (which also includes a ban on developing palm on peat areas) stands to save more than 1.5 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide by 2020 – equivalent to the combined annual energy-related carbon emissions of Central and South America. Related: Palm oil risk to Africa as prospectors eye swaths of land Related: EU labelling changes force industry action on palm oil Related: Why does palm oil still dominate the supermarket shelves? Related: 10 things you need to know about sustainable palm oil Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 07:00:02 GMT)

The sound of Africa in 2015
Eromo Egbejule picks five acts set to dominate the continent’s music scene this yearA protégé of iconic Nigerian producer OJB Jezreel, Yemi Alade has grown in leaps and bounds since winning a talent show as a teenager in 2009. Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 05:00:00 GMT)

Guantánamo Diary: Brian Eno reads an extract – podcast
Our series of extracts from Mohamedou Ould Slahi's account of his ongoing internment continues as he reviews the questions he has been asked over and over Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 09:00:05 GMT)

Why fragile cities hold the key to stability and development
City planners who have made some of the world’s most dangerous urban areas safer must share lessons with those where ‘anarchy rules’, says a leading expertAs some of the world’s large cities turn themselves around and thrive – just 600 now account for two-thirds of global GDP – countless smaller and medium-sized cities, mainly in Africa, Latin America and Asia, are descending deeper into violence and becoming less liveable, says a leading Latin American urban specialist. Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 07:00:02 GMT)

Greece: Syriza juggles coal, pipelines and climate ambitions
Syriza may be eco-friendly on renewables, energy efficiency and decentralised energy production but it faces internal tensions over plans for new coal plants and, potentially, the world biggest gas pipelineSyriza’s election victory has kindled hopes of an environmental champion pushing for greater climate ambition on the European stage, but the party will need to balance its green credentials with a commitment to new coal plants, and ambivalence about a major gas pipeline.Syriza is in an alliance with a faction of the Greek Green party, which will have at least one MP in the new government, and it is seen by many as a tribune of European social movements, particularly environmental ones. Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 17:45:55 GMT)

Kiev ‘punishes’ civilians in Donetsk with travel permits and drugs blockade
Ukrainians in disputed areas suffer as Kiev restricts access to food, electricity and medicinesAs the conflict in East Ukraine enters another hot phase, residents of the rebel-controlled territories say they are now stranded due to a new travel permit system introduced by Kiev, while aid organisations have warned that a medical crisis could be on the horizon as Ukrainian authorities refuse to let through vital medicines.“Since November, a series of measures taken by the Ukrainian government has effectively cut off civilians living in rebel-controlled areas and made it increasingly difficult to provide humanitarian aid,” said a statement by Médecins sans Frontières. The organisation said it had tried to deliver medical supplies to hospitals in the frontline city of Gorlovka on two occasions last week and failed to get through. Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 15:30:49 GMT)

Hundreds dead as Boko Haram clashes with Nigerian army in Maiduguri
200 combatants, mainly insurgents, reportedly killed in northern cityRebels on violent spree through villages, witnesses reportJohn Kerry pleads for peaceful elections on visit to LagosJohn Kerry asks Nigerians to refrain from post-election violenceAnalysis: prospects of defeating Boko Haram look bleakMore than 200 combatants have been killed after Nigerian troops clashed with Islamic extremists who attacked the north-eastern city of Maiduguri on Sunday.As the battle raged, suspected Boko Haram insurgents continued scorched-earth attacks on villages some 200km (125 miles) to the south in Adamawa state. Related: Boko Haram - the Guardian briefing Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 00:57:53 GMT)

Bettencourt corruption trial rocked by defendant’s suicide attempt
Defence lawyers call for postponement of trial, in which 10 people are accused of exploiting frailty of L’Oréal heiressA corruption trial in which 10 people are accused of trying to defraud France’s richest woman is in danger of unravelling before it begins after one of the defendants attempted to kill himself.A politician and nine alleged high-society predators were due to appear in a Bordeaux court on Monday charged with exploiting the mental frailty of Liliane Bettencourt, the L’Oréal heiress, at the climax of a seven-year saga dubbed a judicial “Dallas” by the French press. Continue reading...
(Mon, 26 Jan 2015 17:45:01 GMT)

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