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GM embryos: time for ethics debate, say scientists
Wellcome Trust, Medical Research Council and others call for debate on potential of altering DNA to prevent diseases – and risk of ‘designer babies’Leading UK research funders are calling for an urgent national debate on the ethics of genetically modifying human embryos and other tissues to prevent serious diseases.The plea has been prompted by scientists’ rapid progress in developing a powerful tool called genome editing, which has the potential to transform the treatment of genetic conditions by rewriting the DNA code of affected cells. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 23:01:05 GMT)

Migration crisis: bid for united EU response fraying over quota demands
Governments divided over how to deal with unprecedented migration to the EU, with states increasingly blaming each otherEurope’s fragmented attempts to get to grips with its worst ever migration crisis are disintegrating into a slanging match between national capitals ahead of what is shaping up to be a major clash between eastern and western Europe over a common response.Berlin has won plaudits for seizing the moral high ground and opening its doors unconditionally to Syrian refugees but Austria and Hungary attacked it on Tuesday for stoking chaos at their railway stations, on their roads and at their borders as thousands of people seek transit to Germany. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 21:53:33 GMT)

Ex-Chetham’s music school teacher facing sex offence charges found dead
Chris Ling, who faced extradition from US to Britain, shot himself in Los Angeles home, US marshals reportA former violin teacher who faced extradition to Britain for allegedly sexually abusing pupils at a prestigious Manchester music school shot himself on Tuesday when United States marshals came to arrest him at his home in Los Angeles.The marshals found Chris Ling dead from a gunshot wound after they entered his home in Sherman Oaks at about 6am, Laura Vega, a marshals service spokesperson, told the Guardian. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 22:21:15 GMT)

Hillary Clinton emails: Cherie Blair lobbied for Qatari crown prince
In 2010 email, Blair seeks meeting between US secretary of state and Sheikh Tamim ‘to discuss potential partnership issues’New emails released from Hillary Clinton’s private account show that Cherie Blair lobbied the US secretary of state on behalf of the crown prince of Qatar, writing: “As you know I have good links to the Qataris.”In a 2010 email marked confidential, Blair sought to arrange a meeting between Clinton and Qatar’s young crown prince, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 13:50:25 GMT)

Partner of pianist Natalia Strelle charged with her murder
John Martin has also been charged with attempted murder of Strelle’s teenage son The partner of a world-renowned pianist has been charged with her murder and the attempted murder of her teenage son. Natalia Strelle, 38, died on Sunday after suffering serious head and neck injuries at the family home in Newton Heath, Greater Manchester.Her partner, John Martin, a double bassist, was arrested at the house. On Tuesday, he was charged with murder and the attempted murder of a boy under the age of 17, understood to be Strelle’s son. Both incidents took place on Sunday 30 August 2015. Martin has been remanded in custody to appear before Manchester magistrates court on Wednesday. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 17:51:39 GMT)

We must all work with Jeremy Corbyn, says Chuka Umunna
Moderniser says there is ‘no choice to be made’ between Labour party principles and electabilityChuka Umunna, a leading Labour moderniser, has urged his wing of the party to work with a Jeremy Corbyn leadership and not to make the mistake of giving the impression that electability requires the party to ditch its principles.I do not think we can simply dismiss out of hand those who hold critical views of New Labour. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 20:38:19 GMT)

Great British Bake Off presenter Sue Perkins tells of eight-year brain tumour
Broadcaster reveals she has benign growth in pituitary gland, preventing her from having children, in interview with Good Housekeeping magazineSue Perkins, the comedian and co-host of The Great British Bake Off on BBC2, has revealed that she has been living with a brain tumour for the past eight years. The broadcaster said the benign growth, which is on her pituitary gland, was found during tests which she underwent as part of another BBC show, Supersizers.In an interview with Good Housekeeping magazine, she said: “I was at a point where I was spending so much of my life doing TV that I only found out about my real life through a television procedure.” Continue reading...
(Wed, 02 Sep 2015 00:16:54 GMT)

French justice ministry hired 40,000 undeclared workers, report finds
Leaked 2014 material reveals interpreters, experts and social helpers not hired ‘on proper terms’ meaning welfare and value-added tax (VAT) not paidFrance’s justice ministry has promised to take action after an investigation leaked in the press found it had hired more than 40,000 undeclared casual workers.The 2014 report, obtained by the satirical weekly Le Canard Enchaine, found that 50,000 “occasional public service workers” had not been hired on proper terms, meaning contributions to France’s welfare system or value-added tax (VAT) were not paid. Continue reading...
(Wed, 02 Sep 2015 00:37:43 GMT)

Southwest flight had to land because of 'aggressive and hostile' passengers
Six people charged after disorderly behaviour and obscene language prompts plane to make unscheduled landing in Amarillo, TexasSix people face federal charges in the US after cabin crew and passengers of a Southwest Airlines flight said the group’s aggressive and hostile behaviour caused an unscheduled landing in Amarillo, Texas.A federal criminal complaint says the six are charged with interference with a flight crew and aiding and abetting others. All were being held without bond in the Randall county jail in nearby Canyon, Texas, pending a federal detention hearing in Amarillo on Wednesday. Continue reading...
(Wed, 02 Sep 2015 00:30:21 GMT)

Anthony Horowitz apologises after calling Idris Elba 'too street' to play James Bond
Author makes statement after being criticised for telling the Daily Mail that Idris Elba should not play Bond, and says he is ‘mortified’ by any offence causedJames Bond author Anthony Horowitz has apologised for his comments about the prospect of Idris Elba being cast as 007, saying he “clumsily” chose the words “too street” to describe the Luther actor. Related: Idris Elba ‘too street’ to play James Bond? Get with the times | Maurice Mcleod Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 18:04:55 GMT)

US Open 2015: Andy Murray v Nick Kyrgios – live!
Tweet Bryan at @BryanAGrahamOr email him at bryan.graham@theguardian.com 2.27am BST Third set: *Murray 3-4 Kyrgios (*denotes next server)Kyrgios punctuates another comfortable hold with a casual inside-out forehand that Murray doesn’t even make a move toward. Here’s Dale Nankivell, via email.Sad as it is, I am an Aussie, living in Toronto, hoping that Murray, a Pom, gives my little compatriot upstart a thrashing. I can’t believe I feel this way, but that would be a good outcome and maybe help Kyrgios mature a little (actually, a lot!). 2.26am BST Third set: Murray 3-3 Kyrgios* (*denotes next server)Another hold for Murray, who’s doing it with his serve (a 16th ace), his forehand (a winner there) and backhand (and there). On serve in the third. Crowd strangely muted, no doubt taken out by the strange rhythm and textures of this one. Continue reading...
(Wed, 02 Sep 2015 01:27:42 GMT)

David Bowie joins roster of stars writing songs for SpongeBob musical
Cyndi Lauper and John Legend will also compose pieces for soundtrack of new stage productionEven for a man with a reputation for radical reinvention, David Bowie’s latest move is surprising: the former Ziggy Stardust and Thin White Duke is to contribute songs to a musical about a talking sponge.Bowie is one of several pop names lined up for The SpongeBob Musical, a stage show about children’s cartoon character Spongebob Squarepants. Joining him on an impressive roster will be Cyndi Lauper, John Legend and Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, along with a host of more alternative names including the Flaming Lips, They Might Be Giants and the Brooklyn-based experimentalists, Dirty Projectors. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 16:56:08 GMT)

I’ve been dismissed as a silly girl and an activist for hire, but it won’t stop me fighting for the Arctic | Charlotte Church
The online response to my campaigning with Greenpeace against Shell’s plans has been fascinating. But who can really think that drilling in the Arctic is OK?It has come to my attention that public response to my recent activity – I have been campaigning with Greenpeace against drilling in the Arctic – has been really quite angry. Not necessarily because these critics disagree with what I am saying, but because it is me who is saying it. I can sympathise – I have felt the same thing. It’s always galling to hear an actor telling us all why they object to the gay marriage laws or a multi-millionaire musician imploring us to put our hands in our pockets while avoiding tax. People feel they are being preached to by self-absorbed, self-promoting celebrities who know next to nothing about the issues they are moaning on about, other than the information pack they skimmed through 10 minutes before the interview.But, in the face of overwhelming scientific consensus against it, how can anybody possibly think that drilling in the Arctic is OK? There have already been many, much more scholarly and informed articles and books written on the subject than I could offer, such as Rick Steiner’s essay on Arctic drilling, Terry MacAllister’s book Polar Opposites: Opportunities and Threats in the Arctic; and Naomi Klein, Bill McKibben and Annie Leonard, published in June. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 19:00:12 GMT)

The 20 autumn fashion trends you need to know about
Where can you get a decent maxi coat? What is school-bully hair and should you be scared? And which decade are you supposed to be chanelling? Here is our guide to the clothes that will fill the shops this season – and what you will actually be wearingIf you’ve seen any of the following in Zara or Topshop – shaggy faux-fur coats, pussybow blouses or floral dresses that look like 1970s upholstery – then you’ve already spotted the beginnings of the Guccification of the high street. This is all thanks to the brand’s new creative director, Alessandro Michele, who has transformed Gucci from a purveyor of bling-tastic yacht chic to a haven for glamorous geeks, and has won the hearts of the fashion industry in the process. High-street homages are everywhere; spectacles and a bobble hat are the finishing touches. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 18:08:18 GMT)

Google unveils new logo at turning point in company's history
Search giant says the new design will soon be seen across all its products just a month after a major restructuring of the company gave rise to AlphabetFirst they changed their name, now they’ve changed their logo. Google introduced a new sans-serif and slightly toned-down four-colour logo on Tuesday in the biggest redesign since 1999. Google said the new design would soon be seen across all its products. Google’s homepage introduced the redesign with an animation that wiped away the old logo and drew the new one. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 16:47:00 GMT)

US police act against federal guidelines with shootings into moving cars
US police have fatally shot 30 people in moving vehicles this year, despite federal guidelines advising them not to. Why have police departments pulled the trigger on drivers rather than reform?Tommy Maness had no choice but to shoot, they said. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 13:42:30 GMT)

Why depriving your kids of toys is a great idea
In this new weekly series, writer Madeleine Somerville makes the case for having less, and enjoying life moreMy five siblings and I grew up in a cruel wasteland of deprivation that included whole-wheat cereals, secondhand clothing and shared rooms. To add insult to injury, we didn’t even have a TV to distract us from our hardship.My parents weren’t poor, so as a child I simply assumed they had a sadistic streak. Looking back now, as a wise old 31-year-old, I get it. And not only do I get it, I’ve come to realize that depriving your children is wildly underrated. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 14:00:07 GMT)

Steve Bell on Tony and Cherie Blair – cartoon
Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 19:31:55 GMT)

Wasp study finds sting in the tail for cancer cells
Research has found a Brazilian wasp’s venom could destroy tumours of leukaemia, prostate and bladder cancer without harming healthy tissueThe venom of the Brazilian wasp Polybia paulista contains a powerful “smart” drug that selectively targets and destroys tumour cells without harming normal cells, a study has shown.In laboratory tests, the poison has been shown to suppress the growth of prostate and bladder cancer cells, as well as leukaemia cells resistant to a range of drugs. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 16:00:03 GMT)

'She's a wild woman, she's a shaman': Nicki Minaj becomes a feminist art muse
Inspired by Minaj’s ‘radical’ video Anaconda – and outraged by the slut-shaming that followed – French artist Camille Henrot is reimagining the rapper in a series of delicate line drawingsNicki Minaj called Miley Cyrus a bitch at the MTV VMAs last weekend after Cyrus had accused the rapper of being “not very polite”.Meanwhile, a French artist and rising star called Camille Henrot has just released a series of evocative drawings inspired by the rapper that are, in fact, decidedly polite. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 14:18:24 GMT)

Chris Packham slams 'shameful' silence of Britain's conservation charities
BBC presenter and naturalist targets RSPB and Wildlife Trusts for keeping quiet on fox hunting, badger cull and the plight of hen harriers Chris Packham has slammed the “shameful” silence of some of Britain’s major conservation charities on fox hunting, the badger cull and the plight of hen harriers.In his column in this month’s BBC Wildlife Magazine, the TV presenter and naturalist said: “We want more action from Britain’s conservation leaders, not the fence-sitting and ineffectual risk-avoidance that have contributed to the mess we’re in now.” Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 15:52:44 GMT)

The nine greatest stealth games
Metal Gear Solid V: Phantom Pain is finally out so, to celebrate, here’s a furtive glance back at our favourite sneak-n-shoot adventuresAfter years in development, a fascinating prelude and some interesting marketing decisions, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain was finally released Tuesday. Following grizzled hero Big Boss on his journey into war-torn Afghanistan, the latest title in the series is looking like another epic, bewildering and brilliant stealth adventure.Metal Gear Solid, of course, popularised the stealth concept in 1998, introducing millions of gamers to the basic conventions of this then formative genre. You need a protagonist who relies more on watching and avoiding enemies than shooting them; you need an artificial intelligence system that gives baddies predictable patrol behaviours but also lets them see and hear the hero; and you need an environment that allows players to hide. A lot. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 13:22:15 GMT)

Danny and the Human Zoo; An Evening with Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse review – Let’s face it, blacking up is never funny
Yes, they were being satirical, but Enfield and Whitehouse’s blackface was a mistake – as Lenny Henry’s complex autobiographical drama makes clearHere’s a question. Were white comedians Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse right to black up for a comedy sketch or were they, as Lenny Henry’s Jamaican mother might have put it, bumbaclot idiots? I tend towards the bumbaclot thesis, but let’s suspend judgment for a moment.The question is topical because last night the BBC broadcast two scenes of blacking up at the same time on different channels. In Lenny Henry’s Danny and the Human Zoo (BBC1), his thinly veiled autobiographical drama of rising as a black comedy star in the 1970s, the last 20 minutes dealt with the self-disgust our hero felt after performing on the same bill as white men in blackface. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 06:10:03 GMT)

Plays on the waterways: how Mikron turned a narrowboat into a theatre
Despite having to deal with endless locks, cabin fever and chemical toilet mishaps, the Mikron theatre company is flourishing, thanks to its passionate followingSmall-scale touring is all about mucking in, humping the set and putting up with the personal habits of a group of actors for months on end. But Mikron is the only theatre company that requires you to grease a canal boat’s sump gland in order to get a good night’s sleep.“It’s not that difficult when you get used to it,” artistic director Marianne McNamara assures me as I’m introduced to my berth for the next couple of days: a prettily painted but particularly tiny cabin at the rear of the 80-year-old narrowboat that has been the company’s home for over 40 years. “If you hear steady dripping, that’s fine. But if it begins to sound like running water, come and get me, because it means we’re sinking.” Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 11:14:42 GMT)

Premier League transfer window review: how did they all do? | Guardian writers
Manchester City looked the big winners as Manchester United’s dealings faded into confusion and Chelsea were frustrated by not landing John StonesArsène Wenger’s belief in his players is total and he was only ever going to make important signings if he felt they were an upgrade on what he already had. Petr Cech fitted the bill in goal but, in what the Arsenal manager felt was a bizarre market, nobody else who was obtainable did Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 22:55:35 GMT)

George Ford and Owen Farrell still fight it out for England No10 shirt
Ford warned starkly by Stuart Lancaster that rival Farrell is pushing hard to be first-choice Rugby World Cup fly-halfThe Rugby World Cup is barely a fortnight away but England are still not entirely sure whom to pick in the most pivotal position of the lot. While George Ford will remain in situ for Saturday’s final warm-up fixture against Ireland the conspicuous praise showered on his fly-half rival Owen Farrell by the head coach, Stuart Lancaster, strongly implied the tussle for the No10 jersey is far from over.Ford, outstanding during last season’s Six Nations when his team-mate was injured, did not have his best or most accurate game behind a perspiring pack in Paris and Farrell’s efforts in training have been described by Lancaster as “the best I’ve seen from him”. If Ford were to endure another lean afternoon at Twickenham it could yet be Farrell who starts against Fiji on the World Cup’s opening night. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 21:00:01 GMT)

Everton add Aaron Lennon to Ramiro Funes Mori in last-minute business
• Defender Ramiro Funes Mori joins from River Plate for £9.5m• Aaron Lennon signs from Tottenham for fee believed to be £4.5mRoberto Martínez said Ramiro Funes Mori represented “value and ambition” after Everton paid an increased £9.5m fee for the Argentina defender but failed to land the playmaker and striker their manager wanted before the transfer deadline.Funes Mori became the most expensive defender in Everton’s history after joining from River Plate, Argentina’s Copa Libertadores’ champions, on a five-year contract. He was the first of two transfers at Goodison Park on deadline day, with Aaron Lennon rejoining the club where he spent a successful loan spell last season for a fee believed to be £4.5m from Tottenham Hotspur. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 08:39:55 GMT)

Warren Gatland is scheming for England to be ‘Pool of Death’ fatality | Robert Kitson
It is an overused phrase yet Pool A is about as close it gets in sport to a deadly group and the Wales coach is in no mood to make Stuart Lancaster’s life easier between now and their Rugby World Cup clash at TwickenhamWarren Gatland’s dream World Cup scenario is no secret. First he unveils a Wales squad talented enough to worry England before a ball is kicked. His team subsequently limber up with a 70-point victory over Uruguay in Cardiff, 48 hours after a clutch of England players pick up injuries against the physical Fijians in the tournament opener. Then he crosses the Severn Bridge to spring the trap he has spent months laying, cementing his global reputation as the wiliest coach of his generation.Wishful thinking? Either way, England supporters are starting to twitch. Wales suddenly sit above them in the world rankings – fifth to England’s sixth – and this week’s squad announcement was classic Gatland: bold, assertive, no-nonsense and coolly delivered. Having already dropped the likes of Richard Hibbard, Mike Phillips and James Hook, the final tweaks sent out a subtly different kind of message. Who might just inconvenience England in the final quarter should Liam Williams or Alex Cuthbert be unavailable? Step forward the elusive Matthew Morgan or the speedy Hallam Amos. Who has up-to-date knowledge of England’s lineout jumpers if required? Ah yes, Bath’s Dominic Day. Even if these fringe players do not actually take the field, a few handy extra seeds of doubt have been scattered. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 11:06:44 GMT)

Rafael Nadal sees off young lion Borna Ćorić at US Open
Struggling Nadal wins 6-3, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 win over rising star ĆorićWorld No8 advances to face Diego Schwartzman in second roundAs the most difficult season of Rafael Nadal’s career turned into the homestretch on Monday night at the US Open, many among the Spaniard’s manifold followers had reason to fear the worst. Not only had the 14-times grand slam champion entered as the No8 seed – the first time he’s been seeded outside the top three at Flushing Meadows since George W Bush’s first term – but he had drawn for his first-round opponent Borna Ćorić, the Croatian teenager presently soaring up the rankings who had beaten Nadal in their only previous meeting last fall. By the time Nadal uncorked a 110mph service winner down the middle on match point at 11.43pm and throttled his fist to the New York sky, the sense of relief from the Spaniard was as palpable as the humidity that had kept the grounds a sweatbox long after sundown. The 6-3, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 victory over one of the tour’s young lions will no doubt bolster a confidence that for the past year has been shaken to its foundation. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 05:51:03 GMT)

West Ham sign Michail Antonio, Victor Moses, Nikica Jelavic and Alex Song
• Antonio sign from Forest on a four-year deal; Jelavic signs two-year deal• Song back after last season’s loan; Moses arrives despite four-year Chelsea dealWest Ham United were the big movers on a relatively placid transfer deadline day as the Premier League club brought in a quartet of new faces.The long-expected return of Alex Song on a second successive season-long loan from Barcelona was the first completed deal of the day and he was soon joined by a trio of attacking talents. Victor Moses also moved on a season-long loan, having agreed a new four-year contract with Chelsea beforehand, while Nikica Jelavic and Michail Antonio were signed from the Championship sides Hull City and Nottingham Forest, respectively. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 07:00:58 GMT)

Transfer window: how did clubs in Spain, Germany, France and Italy fare?
The David de Gea fallout dominated in Spain, Julian Draxler’s £26m move to Wolfsburg in Germany, Napoli’s farcical failure to sign Roberto Soriano in Italy, while the headlines in France focused on Anthony MartialWhen the Spanish league published its list of completed transfers not long after its midnight deadline on Monday, David de Gea’s name was not on it but plenty of others were. This has been a record-breaking window for Spanish clubs, who have spent £410m on players, selling £295m worth (so far) — and that is despite the fact that neither Real Madrid nor Barcelona were, this time, the motors behind the market. Atlético Madrid and Valencia both spent more on signings. Even in net spend, the traditional big two have not spent the most: Valencia have, with £63.5m (€100m) spent in total. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 12:24:30 GMT)

Hayley Turner confirms retirement at end of turf season at Doncaster
• Jockey is eager to embrace a life beyond the weighing room• The 32-year-old is the most successful female rider in British racingHayley Turner has denied that a lack of opportunities has played any part in her decision to quit the saddle. The most successful female jockey in British racing history spoke on Tuesday for the first time in response to reports that she is soon to retire and explained that her decision, made three months ago, had more to do with the timing being right for a new career in broadcasting. Related: Hayley Turner announces she will retire at the end of the season Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 10:36:21 GMT)

Defending champion Serena Williams marches into US Open second round
Williams 6-0, 6-2 ahead when Vitalia Diatchenko retires hurtWorld No1 faces Dutch qualifier Kiki Bertens in round twoSerena Williams, as befits the grand dame of tennis, began the pursuit of a calendar grand slam with a regal swat on the first evening of the 2015 US Open. This time, it was the turn of the poor Russian Vitalia Diatchenko, in her second appearance in New York, to fall, almost literally, before the finest player of modern times in a mere half an hour in the Arthur Ashe Stadium.It was not just one-sided, it was farcical. Diatchenko, who has had surgery on her left achilles, served lollipops from the start and retired in tears after winning just five of the 37 points played – as one might expect of someone who pulled out of her last tournament in Vancouver and was double-bageled in Stanford recently. She had her chronically weak ankle strapped at 0-5, then gently rolled over, to the bemusement and mixed sympathy of the crowd. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 01:28:26 GMT)

Novak Djokovic beats João Souza to move into US Open second round
• Aces a perfect response to doubts over serving shoulder• Djokovic shows familiar ease to win 6-1, 6-1, 6-1It is a year since Kei Nishikori embarrassed Novak Djokovic in the US Open semi-finals – an impossibility this year after his shock departure on day one – but the Serb looked far happier at the start of this campaign than he has done for weeks, moving into the second round after beating the Brazilian João Souza. Related: Rafael Nadal sees off young lion Borna Ćorić at US Open Continue reading...
(Mon, 31 Aug 2015 23:02:46 GMT)

Football Weekly: Swansea soar as Chelsea stumble again
Swansea's excellent start to the season continues with a defeat of Manchester United. Plus, Chelsea lose at home to Crystal Palace, West Ham stun Liverpool, and Juventus lose once againOn today's grey and miserable bank holiday edition of Football Weekly, AC Jimbo, Rafa Honigstein, Barry Glendenning, John Ashdown and Alan Smith (not that one, or indeed that one either) try their damnedest to bring some sunshine into your life.We start in south Wales, where Swansea once again did a number on Manchester United to continue their fine start. And while Chelsea and Liverpool suffered bad home defeats, Manchester City put in another stonking showing at home to Watford to extend their lead at the top. Continue reading...
(Mon, 31 Aug 2015 14:06:00 GMT)

Saido Berahino vows never to play for West Brom again as Spurs bids rejected
• England Under-21 striker had handed in transfer request• WBA remain determined to keep striker at The HawthornsMauricio Pochettino was left without the recognised striker he craved when Tottenham Hotspur’s efforts to prise Saido Berahino from West Bromwich Albion on transfer deadline day failed amid drama and anger.Spurs had already had offers worth £18m and £22m for Berahino turned down, and it emerged that one of the packages had been structured around payments of £3.5m each year for five years, which had served to infuriate West Brom and their chairman, Jeremy Peace. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 15:51:03 GMT)

Dancing, onesies, magicians ... is baseball in danger of becoming fun?
Not to threaten the sanctity of the national pastime, but is there an argument that a happy team is a good team?Minutes after Jake Arrieta completed his first career no-hitter against the Dodgers on Sunday night, he showed up to his press conference in onesie pajamas covered in mustaches. Earlier this season, Cubs manager Joe Maddon brought in a magician to perform for his team after they had been swept by the Cardinals. The Cubs then won five of six. Continue reading...
(Mon, 31 Aug 2015 12:14:41 GMT)

The fate of the temple of Bel is a symbol of the tragedy engulfing Syria | Tom Holland
The temple was a treasure of incalculable value that stood as a monument to religious accommodation. No wonder Isis hated itSomething incalculably precious has been wiped off the face of the Earth. Satellite photos have confirmed that the temple of Bel, a monument that for almost 2,000 years had stood resplendent amid the ruins of Palmyra, is no more. Scholars had been dreading the worst since the fighters of Islamic State annexed the ancient city back in May.Few had put much faith in the initial assurances of the conquerors that they would spare the archaeological site: too much ruin had already been visited on the antiquities of the territory under their control for that. And sure enough, at the end of June, the militants demolished the iconic statue of a lion sacred to Allat – a goddess who had suffered the signal misfortune of being condemned by name in the Qur’an. Then last month they destroyed a temple dedicated to Baal Shamin, a deity often paired with Allat. That was tragedy enough. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 14:55:09 GMT)

Let Elizabeth reign until the end – then stop this charade | Polly Toynbee
Next week, she’ll be our longest-reigning monarch. But historians will struggle to find glory in her eraLong to reign over us – that old incantation has worked, so next week the Queen’s reign becomes the longest ever. She overtakes Victoria, who kept going for 63 years, seven months and two days. That’s all they need do – stay alive, procreate and do nothing to upset the multitudes.She is past-mistress of nothingness. A dutiful enigma, say her flatterers, or a conveniently empty vessel into which Helen Mirren can imagine any amount of knowingness and intelligence. Another avalanche of adulation is about to asphyxiate us; with glossy supplements on “The Greatest Reign”, exhibitions in royal palaces selling souvenir albums, and Douglas Hurd’s gushing biography, Elizabeth II: The Steadfast. Steadfast or hanging on until grim death? Charles is now the oldest ever heir to the British throne. If the Queen lives as long as her mother, he’ll be 79 when/if he accedes. His lugubrious presence at Queen Beatrix’s abdication in 2013 couldn’t but suggest a certain longing, the same year Belgium’s King Albert stood down for his son. Is steadfastly denying her son so admirable, when other parents remortgage and raid pensions to help their children on their way? But then, “they” are not at all like us. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 05:00:02 GMT)

What’s wrong with a pedalo ride if it makes you well? | Christina Patterson
Medicine can’t cure the lifestyles that are making us ill, so let people spend the NHS’s cash on healthy activitiesLast time I went to see a doctor, he grabbed a prescription pad and sent me off for some pills. He didn’t suggest a ride on a pedalo or a gentle canter on a horse. He didn’t offer me a robot. He didn’t offer me a summer house. He didn’t even offer me aromatherapy, or shiatsu, or some new clothes. All he gave me was a measly piece of paper with a prescription for some antibiotics.If I’d lived in Cornwall or the Scilly Isles, I might have found myself listening to someone playing a pan pipe, and feeling fingers dipped in geranium oil massage my tension away. If I’d lived in Northamptonshire, I might have got a holiday, or had shiatsu, or a personal trainer, or some nice new clothes. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 19:27:09 GMT)

Idris Elba ‘too street’ to play James Bond? Get with the times | Maurice Mcleod
Anthony Horowitz might think he knows Bond but there’s more to being suave than knowing what cutlery to use with your quinoa saladIdris Elba’s chances of being cast as the first black screen Bond took a hit this week when the author Anthony Horowitz claimed the star of Luther and The Wire was “too street” to be Britain’s favourite spy.Hackney-born Elba, 42, has been one of the frontrunners to play 007 since leaked Sony emails suggested he was being considered to replace Daniel Craig. Might the filmmakers now be influenced by the writer’s comments? Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 16:16:36 GMT)

The Guardian view on Europe’s refugee crisis: a little leadership, at last | Editorial
Angela Merkel has faced up to how a humanitarian emergency is threatening a continent’s defining values. The rest of Europe should pay attention, and follow suitVisionary language is rarely heard from pro-Europeans these days; attempts to cast the EU as a morally based endeavour risk ridicule and scorn. The brave stance that Angela Merkel, not an easy woman to mock, has taken on the refugee and migrant crisis thus deserves close attention. The German chancellor has taken the lead on an issue that has, for too long, produced nothing but squabbling among member states, and fodder for the populists who would wall their countries off from the outside world.Hundreds of thousands are fleeing war zones and persecution in Europe’s worst refugee crisis since the second world war. The situation is not likely to change any time soon, and so it is welcome that someone with clout is taking the high ground, instead of pandering to demagoguery. Mrs Merkel has put it bluntly: “If Europe fails on the question of refugees, its close connection with universal civil rights will be destroyed.” Days after European opinion was shaken by the discovery of 71 decomposing bodies of migrants inside a truck on an Austrian highway, the chancellor is sending out a strong message. Mrs Merkel had already taken a unique initiative in announcing that all Syrian refugees would be eligible to claim asylum in Germany – unilaterally, and rightly, waiving the so-called Dublin procedures, under which displaced people must claim asylum in the first EU state that they arrive in. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 17:18:35 GMT)

Yes or no? In or out? It’s not just the phrasing of the EU vote that’s a mess | Steve Richards
The fact that David Cameron hadn’t thought the wording of the question through should worry those who want to stay in the European UnionBefore we have a date for the EU referendum the question to be asked is changed. Until now voters were going to decide on a yes or no question as to whether Britain should remain a member of the European Union. Now, after an intervention from the Electoral Commission, voters will be asked whether the UK should remain a member of the EU or leave it. There will be no chance for a positive yes to be connected with continuing membership. Related: EU referendum's reworded question welcomed by experts and campaigners Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 18:39:45 GMT)

Rentboy wasn't my 'brothel'. It was a tool to stay alive in this economy of violence | Anonymous
The prosecution of the escort site is a symptom of law enforcement’s insidious efforts to sex workers’ networks of mutual support and safetyPushed out of home by Evangelical parents as a teen when I came out, I worked double shifts as a bus boy, pieced together odd construction jobs and yardwork and informally traded sex for money and shelter – sometimes with “friends” my age, but more often with well-moneyed older men.So by the time I posted my first ad on Craigslist’s “Erotic Services” section, it was just another – albeit particularly – odd job. I hadn’t been paid a living wage before Craigslist. After months of knee-scraping encounters, I began to get a handle on it. It took three years to make the transition from $50-blow-and-gos to a $200-an-encounter rentboy; my business weathered first Craiglist’s move to charge $10 for posts during its “Adult Services” rebrand and then the prohibitionist panic of 2008 (the activists among us dubbed it the “Pink Scare”), which triggered an escalating machinery of fees, phone authentication and credit card-capturing requirements designed to facilitate Craigslist’s emerging collaboration with the boys in blue. Phone authentication reduced ads by 80%, Craigslist announced, and as a result 2.88 million US posters were pushed to other means of soliciting clients. (The Polaris Project estimated there were 3.65m adult services ads per year on Craigslist.) Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 15:15:05 GMT)

To Farage the opportunist, the EU referendum is his chance for glory | Simon Jenkins
Britain’s membership of the EU is essentially about immigration, according to Ukip, so what better time for Farage to assert that we should go it alone?The phoenix rises from the ashes. Nigel Farage’s Ukip today became the third army to join the crusade for Britain to leave Europe in the 2017 referendum. Why he should do so is hardly a secret: Farage is a master opportunist. The refugee crisis has plunged Europe into a turmoil of confusion over migration. To Farage, Britain’s membership of the EU is essentially about immigration. With a sporting chance of the referendum going in favour of not remaining in the EU, he is not going to deny himself a share in the glory.Cameron has clearly nailed his colours to the yes mast, before even a whisper of a concession from his European partners Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 10:40:24 GMT)

Trident is too important to be used for bank holiday political football
George Osborne’s tactical manouvre in Scotland cheapened the upcoming nuclear defence question George Osborne didn’t give up much by way of his weekend by spending a grey and wet bank holiday Monday visiting Britain’s Trident nuclear submarine base at Faslane – where it wasn’t a bank holiday anyway. But did his blatantly tactical manoeuvre on a serious and divisive issue cost him in terms of reputation?I can see why ministers from David Cameron down can’t wait to get a crack at Jeremy Corbyn’s imminent leadership of the opposition. Andrew Sparrow sets out their thinking admirably in Tuesday’s Guardian, though our Tory pundit Matthew d’Ancona has been among those warning No 10 that an enfeebled Labour party will unleash the demons of rightwing Euroscepticism to torment them instead. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 11:46:52 GMT)

Why zombies are the coldest comfort | Catherine Shoard
The best horror directors don’t just scare us but make us feel we’re in a safe pair of handsOne of the upsides of getting older is learning to appreciate the undead. Just as the palate adjusts to anchovies and early nights, so too zombies become enjoyable. Twenty years ago they would have worried me, a decade ago bored me. Now I find them reassuring as old friends. A couple of weeks ago the pilot episode of Fear the Walking Dead set records worldwide. Viewing figures in the US caused the network AMC’s stock to rocket. The trick was repeated in almost every territory where the pilot aired.Having recently become fond of the original show, I now see why it’s so infectious. Zombies are a threat it’s easy to rationalise. They are unlikely. For this reason, plus issues with speed and intelligence, they are not especially scary. They are essentially a pest control problem with metaphor potential. Even squirrels run quicker. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 16:27:00 GMT)

Alcohol addiction is ruining older lives, too | Clare Allan
A radio documentary about my beloved Uncle Pad shows how easily ‘normal’ drinking can escalate in response to the stresses that come with ageingProblem drinking among older people is on the increase, with an estimated 20%-25% of over-65s drinking at unsafe levels, according to research published last week by the institute of psychiatry, psychology and neuroscience at King’s College London. Moreover, prosecutions for drink-driving of adults over 65 have increased by a sobering 40% in the last 10 years.I know something of the devastation alcohol addiction can bring from experience within my own family. My much loved aunt struggled with severe alcoholism for 20 years, before falling while drunk in her early 60s and suffering a brain haemorrhage, which led her to develop dementia. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 12:00:10 GMT)

Sorry Mr Obama, but presidents shouldn’t behave like reality TV stars | Rupert Myers
Macho posturing from Vladimir Putin I can deal with, but Obama drinking his own urine with Bear Grylls? Say it ain’t soAn award-winning golf aficionado and micro-brewer is to appear on reality television as part of a pre-retirement publicity tour. A trip to Alaska, accompanied by Bear Grylls, wouldn’t be the stuff of international news in normal circumstances, but this particular star also happens to be the leader of the free world.The Nobel peace prize winner responsible for the launch of the largest number of cruise missiles in the award’s history, Barack Obama, will go where Kate Winslet and Zac Efron have gone before, and venture into the wild for entertainment TV. There is already a petition calling on the president to drink his own urine on the show. Viewers will be treated to the undignified sight of a lame duck waddling on ice. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 13:17:12 GMT)

To solve the crisis in care for older people, think health, not ill health | John Ransford
Proposed solutions such as integrating health and social care can’t tackle the shortfall in care for older people. We need a different approachFew doubt that we are facing a crisis in the care of older people. Most of us are living longer and will have more complex health, social and mobility needs. The Care Act raises expectations of solutions, yet the government’s promised £8bn investment in the NHS soaks up any additional resource in the system and, indeed, raises the pressure on social care through greater clinical activity. Related: The scandal of 70,000 older people who aren’t getting the support they need Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 13:59:06 GMT)

Thousands of tenants 'suffering abuse' from private landlords
Housing charity Shelter says 17,000 renters have called its helpline during the last year with complaints including harassment, threats and assaultsThousands of private tenants have suffered abuse at the hands of landlords, including harassment, threats and assaults, which could have resulted in legal action, according to research by Shelter.The housing charity said it had heard from renters whose landlords had cut off utilities, entered their homes without permission and, in some cases, even burned their possessions. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 23:01:04 GMT)

Senior journalists quit Sun after pay-for-stories legal battle
Graham Dudman, former managing editor, and John Edwards, picture editor, seek fresh starts after acquittalsTwo of the Sun’s most senior journalists have quit the paper in the wake of a three-year legal battle that saw them tried and acquitted of charges in relation to payments for stories.Graham Dudman, the former managing editor of the Sun, and John Edwards, the paper’s picture editor, chose to sever ties with the paper after the lengthy ordeal. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 17:59:11 GMT)

Eurostar service suspended after people seen on tracks near Calais
Five trains halted outside Channel tunnel while police clear people on tracks close to freight terminal Rail services between Britain and France were suspended once again on Tuesday night after what was described as fresh “migrant activity” on the tracks close to the French city of Calais.Passengers on one halted train were told by the driver that people were on the tracks between the tunnel’s entrance in France and Calais Frethun, a freight terminal to the south that has become a focus point for those trying to get into Britain. Shortly before midnight, passengers were told that their trains would be returning to their places of origin in Paris and London. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 23:07:17 GMT)

Turkish authorities detain British family believed to be Syria-bound
British police say they are liaising with Turkey after Zahera Tariq and her four children were found safe and wellA British woman who left her London home and was feared to be on her way to Syria with her four children has been detained in Turkey, counter-terrorism police have said. Zahera Tariq, 33, and her four children, aged between four and 12, from Waltham Forest in east London, were last seen a week ago leaving London City airport on their way to the Netherlands. Turkish authorities have detained Tariq along with her four children, who are all said to be safe and well, the Metropolitan police’s counter-terrorism command said on Tuesday. British officers are liaising with the Turkish authorities and inquiries continue. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 15:52:12 GMT)

Anti-EU campaigners welcome Cameron's reworded referendum
Prime minister accepts Electoral Commission’s recommendation that referendum should ask if Britain ought to leave or remain in EUAnti-EU campaigners have received a boost after David Cameron accepted a recommendation by the Electoral Commission to change the wording of the referendum question.Nigel Farage, the Ukip leader, welcomed the revision, which will mean voters are asked whether Britain should remain a member of the EU or should leave the EU. The government had intended to ask voters simply whether the UK should stay in the EU, prompting the Electoral Commission to warn that this could favour the status quo in the referendum. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 19:15:12 GMT)

Antipsychotic drugs may be used as 'chemical cosh' to control behaviour
Unexpectedly large numbers of people with learning disabilities treated with drugs normally reserved for those with severe mental illiness, study findsUnexpectedly large numbers of people with learning disabilities are being prescribed strong psychiatric drugs, possibly as a “chemical cosh” to quieten those with challenging behaviour, according to new research.A study published online by The British Medical Journal found that the number of people registered with GP practices with an intellectual or learning disability, who are being treated with psychotropic drugs far exceeds those with mental illness. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 22:30:03 GMT)

NHS workers to be offered health checks and yoga classes
Simon Stevens, NHS England’s chief executive, will launch initiative to improve staff health and cut amount of sick leave NHS staff are to be offered health checks, yoga and Zumba classes while at work as part of a major drive to improve the wellbeing of the country’s biggest workforce. Health professionals will also be given the option of having a session of physiotherapy or a talking therapy for psychological problems. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 23:01:05 GMT)

Four face charges over death of lawyer hit by window frame
Four people to appear in court three years after Amanda Telfer was killed when half-tonne wooden frame fell on her in LondonFour people face charges of manslaughter by gross negligence over the death of a lawyer crushed by a half-tonne window frame as she walked through central London three years ago. Amanda Telfer, 44, died after the 13ft x 13ft wooden frame, which had been propped up against a wall at a building site, fell and pinned her to the ground in Hanover Street, central London. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 14:46:57 GMT)

One in three baby girls in England will live to 90
With life expectancy increasing by almost three years a decade in the west, state pension age is likely to pass 70 by mid-centuryOne in three women in England will live to at least 90 years old, according to official figures on longevity, which raise fears that the state pension age will have to rise to 70. A female baby born between 2010 and 2012 can, on average, expect to live to 82.8, while a male should live to 79, according to the Office for National Statistics. When the ONS last issued figures a decade ago, female longevity was 80.6, while for males it was 76. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 14:07:12 GMT)

Premature babies 'more likely to end up in lower-paid jobs'
Study of 15,000 British adults finds those born preterm are more likely to suffer long-term financial as well as health consequences Premature babies are more likely to be less intelligent, do worse at school and end up in lower-paid jobs than those born at full term, new research shows.An analysis of the circumstances of more than 15,000 British adults also found that those born prematurely are much more likely to become unemployed, be less wealthy and not own a house. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 18:27:24 GMT)

One in four families move house to secure school place – survey
Parents are willing to pay well above average to be within catchment area of sought-after schools, with one in six buying or renting a second propertyOne in four families in the UK have moved house or changed address to obtain a school place for their children, according to a new survey, with one in six saying they have deliberately bought or rented a second property within desirable catchment areas.The survey of nearly 1,100 parents of school-age children – conducted by Opinium Research on behalf of Santander bank – also found that some parents were willing to pay a substantial premium to buy houses close to desirable schools. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 23:01:04 GMT)

Martin McGuinness urges Cameron not to suspend Stormont assembly
Call from Northern Ireland’s deputy first minister is counter to pressure from Democratic Unionists for London to reintroduce direct ruleMartin McGuinness has urged David Cameron not to meet Democratic Unionist demands to suspend the Northern Ireland assembly over the crisis threatening power sharing in the region.Northern Ireland’s deputy first minister and Sinn Féin’s chief negotiator during the peace negotiations that led to IRA ceasefires and eventual devolution, called on Cameron to resist calls for London to introduce new laws that would allow Downing Street to put the assembly into cold storage. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 18:46:40 GMT)

ITV apologises for poll asking if rape is 'ever a woman's fault'
Online survey for talk show Loose Women, prompted by recent comments by singer Chrissie Hynde, leads to angry criticism from viewers and charitiesITV has issued an apology after a backlash over an online poll for its Loose Women programme, which asked whether women were ever to blame for being raped.Results of the poll, carried out in light of comments by the Pretenders singer Chrissie Hynde last week, were overwhelmingly negative but the fact the question was even asked sparked anger. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 18:37:07 GMT)

Gay priest forced to wait for verdict in church discrimination tribunal
Jeremy Pemberton is taking Church of England to tribunal in Nottingham over alleged unlawful discrimination after bishop refused him a licence to officiateA clergyman who wed his partner in a same-sex marriage may have to wait until next year to find out whether a decision by the church to remove his right to officiate was discriminatory.Canon Jeremy Pemberton, who married Laurence Cunnington last April, was told a job offer as a chaplain for Sherwood Forest hospitals NHS trust was being withdrawn. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 18:00:13 GMT)

Corbyn proposes more help for the arts and vows to defend BBC
Labour leadership contender says more can be done to fund public art and argues party must lead campaign to defend licence fee and reverse cuts Public art could be installed in all open spaces and new big buildings to help support the incomes of painters and other creative artists, the Labour leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn has suggested.The leadership frontrunner, who writes poetry and enjoys abstract paintings, raised the possibility of changes to the planning system to place an obligation on developers and local councils to fund local art as he launched his creative manifesto. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 20:33:07 GMT)

Nicola Sturgeon puts schools, jobs and homes at top of plans
First minister says programme is ‘ambitious and reforming’ but Labour says SNP’s record ‘should shame us as a nation’Scotland’s first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, defended her party’s eight years in power as she unveiled plans to standardise school testing, step up jobs competition with other parts of the UK and extend a home-buying programme.Enduring values … can be applied to make Scotland a fairer and more prosperous country Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 16:52:42 GMT)

US markets plunge as Chinese economy fears revive global jitters
Dow Jones loses more than 450 points, or 2.8%, at closing bell in sell-off that came after more signs of weakness in China’s economyWorld stock markets got off to a rocky start in September closing sharply down on fears that China’s slowing economy will hurt economies across the globe.In the US all the major indices closed down, the second fall of the week, following similar falls in Europe and Asia. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 2.8% at 469 points, the S&P 500 closed down 2.95% and the Nasdaq down 2.95%. US stocks are on course for their worst performance since the end of 2011. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 20:16:54 GMT)

Otto Pérez Molina loses presidential immunity in Guatemala congress vote
Opposition cheers decision that paves way for outgoing president to face prosecution in sprawling customs corruption caseGuatemala’s Congress has stripped President Otto Pérez Molina of his immunity from prosecution, opening the way for a criminal investigation into his alleged leadership of a major customs corruption ring.Opposition deputies clapped and cheered as it became clear that the votes in favour of putting Pérez Molina’s fate in the hands of the Guatemalan courts had reached the required two-thirds majority of the 158-member chamber. Continue reading...
(Wed, 02 Sep 2015 00:58:59 GMT)

Isis is systematically destroying Palmyra, top antiquities official says
Maamoun Abdulkarim says Islamic State militants have also begun excavations to unearth artefacts to sell on black marketSyria’s top antiquities official has said that the world is witnessing the systematic destruction of Palmyra, and that he has lost all hope of the historic city’s treasures being salvaged while Islamic State militants stalk the ruins. Speaking after satellite images confirmed the destruction of the Temple of Bel, Maamoun Abdulkarim said the militants had also begun excavations in the city to unearth artefacts to be sold on the black market. He said they would continue to plunder the ancient Silk Road oasis town barring international action or intervention by the Syrian military. “This is the start of the total loss of Palmyra in the coming days,” he said. “The city is being raped.” Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 17:17:21 GMT)

Video ​shows Texas officers shooting man who appears to have his hands up
In video footage shot by a student and provided to local news network, there appears to be no visible attempt by the deputies to use non-lethal forceA Texas sheriff’s department is coming under pressure from civil rights groups following the release of the full version of a video that shows two officers shooting and killing a man who appears to have his hands up.Gilbert Flores was killed on Friday after deputies Greg Vasquez and Robert Sanchez responded to a domestic disturbance call at 11.30am, according to the Bexar county sheriff Susan Pamerleau, who said they found a woman who had suffered a cut on her hand “and a baby … who appeared to have possibly been injured”. It is unclear when and under what circumstances the officers encountered Flores. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 19:26:28 GMT)

Defiant Kentucky clerk summoned to federal court over gay marriage refusal
Rowan County clerk Kim Davis cites ‘God’s authority’ after turning away several couples seeking marriage licenses Tuesday morningA county clerk in Kentucky has again refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples on religious grounds, risking jail time or fines as she continues to ignore orders by courts and the governor. Rowan County clerk Kim Davis’s office denied licenses to several couples on Tuesday morning in spite of a supreme court order on Monday night that meant she had to comply with a lower court decision ordering her to issue marriage licenses. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 16:38:34 GMT)

Iran nuclear deal poised to go ahead after key Democratic votes secured
Senators Bob Casey and Chris Coons, regarded as swing votes, voice support for deal as Obama approaches number of needed to withstand Republican blockadeThe Iranian nuclear deal is poised to clear remaining political hurdles in Washington after key Senate Democrats indicated there was now enough support in Congress for Barack Obama to withstand any Republican-led effort to block it.Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, regarded as a critical swing vote, became the 32nd Democrat to declare his support on Tuesday for the deal, which will ease sanctions on Iran in exchange for steps aimed at preventing it from developing a nuclear weapon. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 19:37:44 GMT)

Rio 2016 Olympics organisers to step up testing of polluted waters
• Pledge to improve safety measures in area where 1,400 athletes will compete• No indication of when test for viruses will be ready in sewage-polluted watersOlympic organisers have promised to introduce viral testing in the polluted waters in Rio de Janeiro where about 1,400 athletes will compete in next year’s Games.The International Olympic Committee and Brazilian organisers have repeatedly insisted that only bacterial testing was required despite an independent five-month analysis by the Associated Press showing dangerously high levels of viruses from human sewage at all Rio Olympic water venues. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 17:10:40 GMT)

Pope Francis tells priests to pardon women who have abortions
Pontiff overrules traditionalists within Catholic church, before Vatican clarifies it does not condone abortionPope Francis has opened the door for women who have had abortions – an act considered a grave sin by the Catholic church – to be absolved if they express contrition and seek forgiveness from their priest.“The forgiveness of God cannot be denied to one who has repented,” the pontiff wrote in an extraordinary letter that was released by the Vatican on Tuesday. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 15:46:35 GMT)

Hungary closes main Budapest station to refugees
Move follows chaotic scenes after thousands of people were allowed on to trains for Austria and Germany without visa checksHungarian authorities have closed Budapest’s main station to refugees and migrants following chaotic scenes on Monday, when people who had been camped outside for weeks were suddenly allowed to leave for Austria and Germany without visa checks.The move followed the station’s complete closure earlier, when all trains to the west had been stopped from leaving. Police in helmets and wielding batons surrounded Keleti station’s grand, crumbling facade and dozens of refugees and migrants who were inside were forced out. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 12:50:12 GMT)

Georgia police shoot man and kill his dog after responding to wrong house
Fellow DeKalb County officer also seriously wounded after police entered home on suspicious activity call without knowing correct address and opened firePolice officers who arrived at the wrong metro Atlanta home after a report of suspicious activity shot the man who lives there, killed his dog and “likely” shot a fellow officer, leaving him seriously wounded, authorities said Tuesday.Christopher McKinley ran bleeding outside where a neighbor heard him asking, “Why did they come in my house? Why did they shoot me? Why did they shoot my dog?” Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 21:59:11 GMT)

Russian data law fuels web surveillance fears
Rules requiring firms to store data of Russian citizens on Russian soil seen as a way for Putin to tighten control over internetA new law has been implemented in Russia that in theory demands companies store data about Russian citizens on Russian territory, throwing thousands of firms with online operations into a legal grey area. The law, which came into operation on Tuesday, is part of an attempt to wrest control of the internet, which president Vladimir Putin has called a “CIA project”. The Russian authorities are keen to ensure greater access for domestic security services to online data, and lessen the potential for foreign states, especially the US, to have the same access. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 16:35:57 GMT)

Jurors weigh death sentence for white supremacist convicted of murder
Jurors who convicted Frazier Glenn Miller Jr of killing three people at Jewish sites near Kansas City will hear more evidence Tuesday before deciding sentenceJurors who convicted a white supremacist of killing three people at Jewish sites in suburban Kansas City were set to hear more evidence on Tuesday before deciding whether to recommend a death sentence.During opening statements in the penalty phase, assistant prosecutor Chris McMullin called Frazier Glenn Miller Jr a “proud and remorseless killer that regrets only that he didn’t kill more people”. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 17:10:20 GMT)

Twitter: tweets in James Woods cocaine defamation case were 'hyperbole'
Social media site fights legal bid to uncover the identities of users the combative rightwing actor says defamed him as a drug abuser and sex offender Twitter has rebuffed claims in a defamation lawsuit filed by the Hollywood actor James Woods, arguing that users who labelled the film star a “cocaine addict” and “registered sex offender” were simply engaging in “hyperbole”.Woods took the social media company to court on 28 August in an effort to force executives to reveal the identities of “Abe List” and “TG Emerson”, who, the actor says, are responsible for a campaign of insults against him. The double Oscar-nominee filed a $10m (£6.5m) defamation lawsuit against Abe List in July, arguing the user’s comments “jeopardised Woods’ good name and reputation on an international scale”, and warning: “AL, and anyone else using social media to propagate lies and do harm, should take note. They are not impervious to the law.” It is not clear if he is also suing “TG Emerson”. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 15:32:55 GMT)

Bill Gates calls for more funds to help world's poorest farmers
Billionaire philanthropist puts focus on protecting small farmers saying they are likely to suffer the most from climate changeBill Gates called for more funds to help the world’s poorest farmers deal with climate change on Tuesday, in an appeal that could help pry open the coffers of industrialised countries.The call from the tech billionaire and world’s biggest philanthropist to focus on the poor could spur more finance from industrialised countries to small-scale farmers during negotiations for a global deal to fight climate change in Paris at the end of the year. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 17:00:10 GMT)

California to end practice of keeping prisoners isolated for a decade or more
Class-action lawsuit settled Tuesday on behalf of 3,000 inmates will restrict practice that once kept hundreds of prisoners in notorious segregationCalifornia on Tuesday agreed to end its unlimited isolation of imprisoned gang leaders, restricting a practice that once kept hundreds of inmates in notorious segregation units for a decade or longer.No other state keeps so many inmates segregated for so long, according to the Center for Constitutional Rights. The New York City-based nonprofit center represents inmates in a class-action federal lawsuit settled Tuesday on behalf of nearly 3,000 inmates held in segregation statewide. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 16:06:14 GMT)

Lego space mission: Denmark's first astronaut gets toys for company
Andreas Mogensen will take 26 specially designed toys on his mission to the International Space Station Denmark is sending its first man into space – along with 26 Lego toys to keep him company on the journey. Andreas Mogensen, a 38-year-old aerospace engineer from Copenhagen, will leave for the International Space Station on 2 September. The specially designed plastic toys joining him will bear the official logo of his mission for the European Space Agency (ESA) and will be given to schoolchildren as a competition prize once the mission is complete. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 17:47:18 GMT)

Kermit the Frog's new girlfriend is younger, thinner – and blander
How could the veteran Muppet trade in someone as fabulous as Miss Piggy for boring new model Denise? In 2015, that’s a move worthy of Ben AffleckLet’s make one thing perfectly clear: after the release of pictures of Kermit the Frog’s new girlfriend, Denise, it’s clear who was the real pig on the Muppets.Miss Piggy was always the more charismatic performer, the more powerful presence in that relationship: she was Angelina to Kermit’s Billy Bob, the Cher to his Sonny, the Liz to his Larry (Fortensky). And yet he always got the top billing, the most screen time and the most credit for his intelligence. It’s now clear that he was also always colluding with the producers and directors to make sure that Miss Piggy looked like a violent, egotistical harridan and he was seen as the sensitive, Rainbow-Connection-bleating ex-hippie who gracefully put up with both her personality and living in her shadow. Woe is him, we all said – and that’s exactly what he wanted us to say. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 21:33:05 GMT)

David de Gea’s transfer fiasco: another great admin error of our time
Real Madrid didn’t get their man after an unspecified office mix-up, but the goalkeeper is not the only person to suffer as a result of a clerical mishapIt’s not clear exactly what happened in the admin offices of Manchester United and Real Madrid football clubs on Monday night. Murmurs from Real claim that United sent over the transfer documents too late, or in a file format they couldn’t open, or that was protected with a password. Murmurs from United insist they did everything properly before Spain’s transfer window closed. All we know for sure is that Madrid have not bought David de Gea, the goalkeeper they desperately need; United will not get £29.3m for him in the next window (because they’ll lose him for nothing if they don’t sell); and poor De Gea, who had travelled back to his home city expecting his dreams to come true ... well, at least he won’t have to unpack.Extraordinary as it seems, this fiasco should be a reminder that huge clerical mistakes happen everywhere, and regularly. In the financial markets, so-called “fat-finger errors” – when traders mistype their orders – have long been a menace. In 2005, a Japanese trader cost his brokerage, Mizuho Securities, $335m (£218m) when, instead of offering to sell one share for ¥610,000, he offered 610,000 shares for ¥1. Four years before that, a dealer for Lehman Brothers in London almost capsized the FTSE, which at one stage had lost £30bn in value, after he accidentally typed £300m instead of £3m. In April 2012, a German bank clerk actually fell asleep at his keyboard and ended up taking not €62.40 (£46) out of a pensioner’s bank account, but €222,222,222.22. Thankfully, that mistake was soon spotted and corrected, as was the biggest blunder of all time, when another trader in Japan very nearly bought £380bn worth of shares last autumn. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 18:07:40 GMT)

Raising Dion: a diverse comic book that turns its back on superhero tropes
‘The story is not all about diversity, but it’s an important part’ says Dennis Liu, whose titular hero is a seven-year-old black child being raised by a single motherNo one ever said being a single mother was easy, but raising a child with superpowers takes things to a whole other level.That is the premise for Raising Dion, a new comic book that focuses on Nicole, a widowed, African American mother, and the challenges she faces in bringing up her son Dion – a seven-year-old who can become invisible in an instant, teleport, or use telekinesis to move objects. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 20:32:13 GMT)

And Then There Were None declared world's favourite Agatha Christie novel
Famously ‘impossible’ tale, already the bestselling crime novel of all time, voted readers’ favourite in global pollAgatha Christie’s story of 10 strangers who are picked off one by one after being lured to an island mansion, And Then There Were None, has beaten Murder on the Orient Express and The Murder of Roger Ackroyd to be named the world’s favourite Christie novel.The book, which Christie described as “so difficult to do that the idea had fascinated me”, and which the New York Times, on its publication in 1939, said was “utterly impossible and utterly fascinating … the most baffling mystery Agatha Christie has ever written”, triumphed in a public vote launched by the author’s estate to find her most popular novel. Set up to mark Christie’s 125th birthday on 15 September, the poll saw more than 15,000 people from around the world cast their votes, with And Then There Were None collecting 3,211. Murder on the Orient Express came in second, with The Murder of Roger Ackroyd third. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 19:00:12 GMT)

Mama Merkel: the ‘compassionate mother’ of Syrian refugees
Her stance over Greek debt earned comparisons to Hitler, but Syrians have taken to social media to post heartfelt tributes to the German chancellor Angela Merkel is seven months old and currently lives in a refugee camp in Hanover, with about 700 other migrants from 33 countries. Her mother, 26-year-old Ghanaian Ophelya Adé, arrived in Germany this year, after crossing the Mediterranean while heavily pregnant. In an interview with Der Spiegel, she said she named her daughter after the German chancellor because: “I was so grateful, so relieved that Angela Merkel is accepting us, so impressed with what this woman is achieving here.”Heartfelt tributes such as these are not exceptional among the migrant communities stationed on Europe’s borders: barely a month after Germany’s intransigence over Greek debt saw protesters likening her to Hitler, Merkel is suddenly finding herself at the receiving end of a virtual love-in on social media. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 18:03:00 GMT)

Markus Persson: the Minecraft billionaire sending lonely late-night tweets from Ibiza
He might have sold his creation to Microsoft for $2.5bn, but the mega-rich Scandinavian games developer says money doesn’t guarantee happinessName: Markus Persson.Age: 36. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 18:04:00 GMT)

Ashley Madison? Sign me up!
Thousands are said to have subscribed to the infidelity website in the last week, suggesting the recent leak of client information proved little deterrent for those keen to cheat on their spousesNobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public, H L Mencken famously said. It looks like you can double the truth of that the moment penises get involved.According to Avid Life Media, the parent company of the recently hacked infidelity website Ashley Madison, hundreds of thousands of people have signed up for its services in the past week, despite the fact that the hack not only released details of millions of its adulterous clients, but had also apparently shown that most of the female users were fake. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 14:59:37 GMT)

New San Francisco restaurant replaces humans with iPads
Eatsa in the city’s financial district offers iPad-based ordering, with meals prepared by people whom customers never have to see Those sick and tired of having to deal with their fellow humans all the time have a new respite – a fully automated restaurant in San Francisco.Customers at Eatsa in the Financial District will order from an iPad, sending the order to the kitchen. When the meal is ready, it appears in a small glass compartment. The food is prepared by real people, but the patrons never have to see them. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 17:45:50 GMT)

Forklift moves portable toilet with festivalgoer inside
Woman uninjured after she was transported across harbour at Newlyn fish festival in Cornwall A woman was “teleported” across a festival site in a portable toilet – when it was moved by a forklift truck.The woman, who has not been identified, was using the toilet before the opening of Newlyn fish festival in Cornwall, but it was picked up by a forklift truck and transported to the other side of the harbour. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 16:11:55 GMT)

Which fictional school do you belong in? - quiz
As the new term begins, ever wondered which of your fave made-up schools you would thrive in? Should you really be studying at Hogwarts, CHERUB, Malory Towers, Camp Half Blood or the Shadowhunter Academy? Take this quiz and find out!1What would your dream school teach you?How to be a super spyHow to fight monsters!How to use magic, of course!How to protect humans and kick demon buttEnglish, drama - or something else you can actually use in the real world2Which of these describes your personality best?BadassClever and artisticSportyBraveEasily bored3What would your perfect Saturday be made up of?Going on some daring adventure!An adventure in the morning, then a warm drink in the pubTraining, studying - and then dancing at a clubHanging out with your friendsDoing something sporty - maybe freerunning4What do you like most in books?Realism, friendship, humourAction, thrills and a little fightingClassic mythology, action and loads of jokesFantasy, action and romanceMagic, adventures and awesome new worlds5Which of these would be your worst nightmare ever?Getting kicked out of school!Being stared down by a duck. *shudders*A surprise test you haven’t studied forGetting caught doing something naughty - like sneaking aroundProbably something to do with monsters and being chased6Imagine the world is full of awesome things and you could have any job you ever dreamed of having. What would you do?A spy - maybe be the next 007Something in music or maybe an authorSomething exciting - a magical adventurer?A god!Supernatural police - someone’s gotta keep the wannabe gods and adventurers in order7If you could have any pet ever, what would you have?Something cool, like a panther. A magical panther! WEREPANTHER!A phoenixHmm… a pegasus!A dog - best pet everA spider or something that doesn’t die if you’re away for a few weeks8Which of these sounds like your every-day fashion choice?School uniform, but obviously with a few individual touchesSporty clothes all the wayAll black, of course, with awesome bootsSchool uniform - neat so you don’t get detention!Something you can run in easily9What is your worst trait?Danger-magnet. It’s uncanny!Please - you have no worst traitsToo nosy and sneakyToo chattyYou daydream about magic way too much10If you could have any of these superpowers, which of these would you choose?Invisibility - all the better to spy on you!Some kind of summoning - so you could materialise a midnight snack!Is magic a superpower?Super strength, speed and awesomenessControlling the elements would be awesome! Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 14:13:24 GMT)

From Scratch: locally sourced, small-batch cuisine – for cats
Humans aren’t the only mammals benefiting from artisanal offerings in Brooklyn – so I decided to sample food for felines with refined tastesAdd this to the list of things I never thought I would attempt: seeking out cat food at a fashionable cafe and then tasting it. Voluntarily.To be sure, it is gourmet, small-batch, Brooklyn-made, locally sourced cat food. Matt Rosenberg, who first developed the recipe, tells me the multivitamin in it is made for humans. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 13:00:12 GMT)

Six things I have learned about building mental fitness
Nonsensical euphoria, lying to yourself and hours alone with just your thoughts for company: the weird and wonderful world of the mind when running Earlier this year, I ran my first marathon. I blistered my feet and shed toenails like blackened blossom. Physically, it was hard. It hurt. Yet mentally, it was fascinating. Here’s what I learned about the baffling, but sometimes beautiful balance between the mind and functioning limbs. 1. Three miles can feel as hard as 13 Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 10:51:39 GMT)

My Eyes Went Dark review – unleashing the power of vengeance
Finborough, London Matthew Wilkinson’s play about the rage of a grieving man is given acute expression by Cal MacAninch and Thusitha JayasunderaWritten and directed by Matthew Wilkinson, this is an extremely powerful play about justice, revenge and forgiveness. It is said to be “inspired by real events” but what matters is less its documentary veracity than Wilkinson’s uncanny ability to get inside the skin of a man tormented by grief. As the play unfolds, we gradually piece together the key facts. Nikolai Koslov is an Ossetian architect whose wife and children have been killed in a collision between two planes while en route to joining him in Nice. Koslov is convinced that an air-traffic controller, Thomas Olsen, is responsible for the crash and, when Olsen is publicly absolved, decides to take the law into his own hands. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 11:14:21 GMT)

The art of Burning Man: skeletons, temples and flaming Tetris
Besides pounding techno and swirling dust, the desert festival is home to a host of spectacular art installations. Here are some of the bestBurning Man is not the typical place people would go to view art in the “default world” (the term “Burners” have for the “muggle world” those of you who are not here in Black Rock City inhabit). It’s extremely hard to get here – far less accessible than most public municipal art – and upon arrival, it is more physically inhospitable than the most uptight New York art gallery. It’s so filthy here that the least dusty place you visit each day is a port-a-potty, and the cleanest part of your body is the inside of your shoe – not exactly the way you feel when visiting the Museum of Modern Art. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 16:49:05 GMT)

The fortune-teller of Kabul | May Jeong
For centuries mystics have channelled the hopes and fears of Afghans. With the nation in turmoil, their services are as popular as ever. But can they survive the latest crackdown by religious hardliners?Last November, Abdullah Sharifi visited a spirit medium. By his own admission, Sharifi was the last person you would expect to indulge in mysticism. Twenty-two years old, tall, handsome, with slicked-back hair, Sharifi usually wears blue jeans and a leather jacket, and walks with a swagger. But by that autumn, he had lost the spring in his step.Five years earlier, Sharifi had begun working as a shopkeeper’s assistant in Kabul selling carpets, gemstones, and other souvenirs. His customers were the hundreds of thousands of foreigners who came to Afghanistan following the US-led Nato invasion in 2001. They were experts, advisors, aid workers, and adventurers, each with their own ideas about what Afghanistan needed the most. Sharifi sold them chapan robes with vertical stripes, the kind worn by former president Hamid Karzai, or Jinnah caps made from the fur of aborted lamb foetuses – things foreigners could bring home and brag about. Business boomed. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 04:59:02 GMT)

Igor Levit: the leaner, meaner piano machine
He has been called the future of piano and the player of the century. But Igor Levit recently felt compelled to give himself a complete makeover to improve his performance. As he prepares for his Prom, the pianist talks about physio, losing 70lbs – and why he finds Chopin dumbWhen you meet a virtuoso pianist, the temptation is to stare at their hands. The night before our interview, Igor Levit had played a recital of such violence, pounding the keys as he performed the monumental music of American experimentalist Frederic Rzewski, that it seemed impossible for the young Russian-German’s fingers not to end up red and raw. “Well, it’s much easier since I stopped biting my nails!” Levit says, laying out smooth, unknotty hands with long spatulate fingers and closely clipped nails. “Doing a glissando up and down the keyboard is way less tricky now.” Related: Igor Levit review – this pianist has got it all Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 17:19:13 GMT)

The Jeremy Corbyn victory scenario: confrontation or cooperation?
The issue of how the one-time Labour mainstream responds to a Corbyn victory is the central question among its MPsIn a fortnight’s time, if opinion polls and most other available evidence are to be believed, Jeremy Corbyn will be elected leader of the Labour party, placing the most unexpected pressure on the political management skills of a man who has previously run only the planning committee of Haringey council in north London. Related: We fear the public won't back Corbyn, but he can win and here's the proof | David Edgar Continue reading...
(Mon, 31 Aug 2015 21:31:21 GMT)

What EMI's six-month sample amnesty means for the music industry
The world’s biggest music publisher has announced an amnesty on using samples from its library – a first for the industry Gun, knife, drug, International … these may be the more commonly known forms of amnesty, but Sony/ATV, the biggest music publisher in the world, is looking to introduce another category: sampling. From Tuesday 1 September, any artist who has used a sample from the company’s EMI Production Music division – the library music arm that controls both the composition rights and the sound recordings to a vast number of musical works including the News at Ten, Mastermind and Grandstand theme tunes – will have a six-month window in which they can step forward and hold their hands up. Sony/ATV will then do a licensing deal, at current market rates, for future exploitation of the works but, crucially, it will not seek retrospective royalties for past sales or exploitations, no matter how many years back they might stretch. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 13:19:35 GMT)

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