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David Cameron kept in the dark over EUs bill for 2.1bn
PM denounces conduct of European commission as he admits Osborne knew of demand for cash two days before he didDavid Cameron admitted that he had been left in the dark by George Osborne for two days as he complained that he had been hijacked by Brussels over an unexpected demand to pay £1.7bn (2.1bn) to the EU.The prime minister said he would refuse to comply with the sudden bill, which he first learned about on Thursday, but questions were raised about Whitehalls competence once it emerged that the chancellor had known since Tuesday. Labour said ministers should have expected the higher bill months ago. Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 19:22:43 GMT)

Kurds fear Isis use of chemical weapon in Kobani
Doctor in besieged Syrian town reports arrival of patients with blisters, burning eyes and breathing difficulties after explosionKurds battling Islamic State militants for control of Kobani fear the extremist group may have used an unidentified chemical weapon, according to officials and one of the few doctors still working in the besieged Syrian town.Patients with blisters, burning eyes and breathing difficulties turned up at a clinic after a blast was heard on Tuesday evening, Dr Walat Omar said. He described the symptoms as abnormal and said he could not identify their cause, but suspected a chemical weapon. Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 16:22:47 GMT)

Johann Lamont resigns as leader of Scottish Labour party
Lamonts decision comes as she accuses colleagues of trying to run Scotland like a branch office of LondonJohann Lamont is to stand down as leader of the Scottish Labour party, after describing some of her Westminster colleagues as dinosaurs who do not understand the politics they are facing since the referendum.At the end of a week in which two former Labour first ministers expressed grave concerns about the future of the party, Lamont accused colleagues of trying to run Scotland like a branch office of London. Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 23:02:00 GMT)

Teenager shoots one person dead at Washington high school before killing himself
Marysville-Pilchuck high school went into lockdown at 11amFour wounded, two critically, after shooting near SeattleThe story as it unfolded our live blogA student at a Washington state high school is dead after opening fire in the cafeteria, killing one person and seriously wounding four others before apparently turning the gun on himself.The teenager opened fire with a handgun at Marysville-Pilchuck high school at about 10.40am on Friday, prompting chaos as hundreds of students and staff members fled and hid in classrooms. Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 21:58:42 GMT)

Asda faces mass legal action from staff over equal pay
Mostly female Asda shopfloor workers say they are paid less than mostly males colleagues working in warehousesAsda is facing mass legal action from thousands of female employees who claim they are paid less than men to do equally valuable jobs at the supermarket chain.Law firm Leigh Day said that since revealing in April it was representing 400 Asda employees it had been approached by more than 19,000. Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 17:36:51 GMT)

Body of British-born Hannah Graham identified in Virginia
The 18-year-olds body was discovered in Albermarle county, near to where the University of Virginia student went missingA body found by US police is that of British-born student Hannah Graham, it has been confirmed.The 18-year-old University of Virginia student disappeared on 13 September and her body was found by police five weeks later on derelict property in Albermarle county, near to where she went missing in Charlottesville, Virginia. Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 22:21:49 GMT)

MPs shall go to the ball thanks to more than £100,000 of free hospitality
Analysis of register reveals MPs have accepted VIP tickets, often from corporations, and £800,000 worth of foreign trips MPs have been given free tickets to sports events, balls and the opera, worth more than £100,000, alongside £800,000 worth of foreign trips, an analysis of the current register of members interests reveals.Perks received by parliamentarians, often from large corporations, include free VIP tickets to Wimbledon, trips to the Glyndebourne opera festival, and tours of the Chelsea flower show. Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 13:41:46 GMT)

James Bulger killers new name used as codeword by ex-Daily Star reporter
Tom Savage used secret identity of Jon Venables to verify source who he says he did not know was a serving prison officerJames Bulgers killers secret new identity was used by a former Daily Star reporter as a codeword to verify an anonymous source who rang up with stories about Jon Venables, a court heard.Tom Savage said it never occurred to him that the contact he knew as Adam was in fact a serving prison officer, but if he had known, it would not have mattered in the slightest. Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 10:11:53 GMT)

WHO: several hundred thousand Ebola vaccine doses expected by mid-2015
World Health Organisation says trials could start in west Africa in December, but warns vaccines arent magic bulletEbola vaccine trials are to start in west Africa in December, a month earlier than planned, and hundreds of thousands of doses will be available by mid-2015, the World Health Organisation says.A high-level meeting of government representatives, including donor countries and those affected, together with vaccine manufacturers, has decided to push ahead with unprecedented speed, even though the early data on safety and the immune system response to the vaccines will not all be in. Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 21:53:00 GMT)

Rwanda bans BBC broadcasts over genocide documentary
Suspension of local-language radio services follows anger in country over film questioning official accounts of 1994 genocideThe Rwandan government has suspended all BBC radio broadcasts in Rwandas most common language to protest against the news organisations recent documentary about the 1994 genocide in the country.President Paul Kagames government, members of parliament and genocide survivors have expressed their anger at the BBC over the recent documentary that suggested the countrys president may have had a hand shooting down his predecessors plane, a crash that triggered the mass killings. Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 18:03:16 GMT)

Ministers told to act over holiday hunger of schoolchildren
Poor fall behind after term ends, says Leon cofounder amid reports of children taking months to return to healthThe founder of the Leon restaurant chain and co-architect of the governments school food programme has urged ministers to tackle holiday hunger faced by hundreds of thousands of children from low-income families who struggle to eat healthily outside term time.John Vincent said children living in poverty dropped further behind their better-off peers when schools closed and they had no access to free school meals, and they were often physically and mentally unprepared for learning when they returned. In a Guardian interview, Vincent said: Theres enough anecdotal evidence to say that some children come back to school less well nourished and generally in less good shape [than when they left], and they go backwards academically. Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 18:41:30 GMT)

Italian art historian claims magnificent Caravaggio masterpiece found
Mina Gregori, author of several books on the painter, says she is 100% sure she has found original Mary Magdalene in EcstasyOne of Italys most eminent art historians has claimed to have solved a centuries-old mystery after identifying a previously unknown painting in a private collection as a magnificent Caravaggio masterpiece.Mina Gregori, 90, president of the Roberto Longhi foundation of art history studies in Florence and author of several books on the baroque painter, said she was 100% sure she had found the original Mary Magdalene in Ecstasy. Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 17:58:03 GMT)

Attack on Egyptian military checkpoint kills dozens
Death toll expected to rise after incident in northern Sinai peninsula, where jihadi fighters have waged an insurgencyEgypts army suffered one of its biggest losses in recent years when militants killed at least 26 people at a military checkpoint in the northern Sinai peninsula, where jihadi fighters have waged an insurgency since the summer of 2013.Unofficial accounts of the attack on Friday differed, with one linking it to a car bomb and another to a mortar strike. Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 18:18:50 GMT)

Blind man was pushed on to railway tracks
Police release footage of terrifying ordeal for blind man and his brother as they were shoved on to train tracks in EssexCCTV footage of a registered blind man being pushed on to the tracks during a violent assault at a train station has been released by British Transport police.The video shows the man being pushed off the platform at Chelmsford station in Essex and then punched as he tried to pull himself back up. Police said his brother was also thrown on to the track during the appalling incident in which the two men could have been killed. Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 18:13:43 GMT)

G4S and Serco pay out £100,000 in youth restraint claims
Fourteen say unlawful measures used on them as children, with cases coming to light after deaths of two teenagersFourteen children who were assaulted by G4s and Serco staff while being detained in secure training centres (STCs) between 2004 and 2008 have received damages following a Guardian investigation.Neither company has admitted liability, but they have paid out almost £100,000 in compensation to the complainants who are now adults. Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 18:46:11 GMT)

Boy, 12, among 11 youths arrested over sexual assault in Liverpool
Merseyside police launch appeal for witnesses after woman, 43, is sexually assaulted in Anfield homeA 12-year-old boy and 15-year-old girl are among a gang of 11 teenage suspects arrested over a sexual assault on a woman in her own home.The 43-year-old was attacked in her flat in Liverpool on 24 September. In its first widespread public appeal for help on Friday, Merseyside police said officers were called to the flat in Ullswater Street, Anfield, at around 4.20pm that day, after paramedics found she had been attacked. Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 17:05:00 GMT)

Vladimir Putin blames US for Islamist terrorism and Ukraine conflict
President denies Russia has been aggressive in Ukraine and has encroached on the sovereignty of its neighboursVladimir Putin used a meeting with foreign journalists and Russia experts to rail against the United States and the current world order, blaming Washington for many current global problems, including unrest in Ukraine and Islamic terrorism.Putin said that over the past two decades, the US had behaved as if it were someone nouveau riche who had suddenly received a lot of wealth in this case, global leadership. Instead of using its powers wisely, said Putin, the US had created a unilateral and unfair system. Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 18:06:01 GMT)

Palestinian-American teenager killed during West Bank clashes with Israeli military
Israeli military say soldiers prevented an attack by opening fire on a Palestinian who was throwing firebombs at trafficA Palestinian-American teenager was killed during clashes with the Israeli military on Friday amid heightened tensions in Jerusalem and the West Bank.A relative identified the teen as 14-year-old Orwah Hammad and said he was born in New Orleans and came to the West Bank when he was six. Hammads cousin Moath said he was among a group of Palestinians who were throwing rocks at Israeli soldiers. Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 20:50:25 GMT)

Move over JR Ewing: oil discovered near Gatwick airport
Discovery of an estimated 20m barrels of oil raises prospects for a home counties version of Southfork RanchA town close to Gatwick airport has inched closer to becoming Englands version of Dallas after test results showed an exploration well could contain almost 20m barrels of oil.In contrast to the gleaming corporate headquarters, cattle herders and endless prairies in the opening credits of the fabled TV soap, the oil find is in woodland at Horse Hill, on the border of Surrey and Sussex. The nearest commercial centre is the commuter town of Horley with its two business parks, modern leisure centre and bustling hospitality industry. Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 11:37:53 GMT)

New York hatchet attack was terrorist act by homegrown radical, police say
Police searching for motive after brazen attack that left an officer seriously injured and the attacker, Zale Thompson, deadNew York City police commissioner William Bratton says the hatchet attack on four rookie officers was a terrorist act by a homegrown radical.Bratton said Friday the suspect, Zale Thompson, was a Muslim convert who ranted online against America, but had no clear ties to international terrorism. He believes Thompson was self-radicalized. Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 20:55:17 GMT)

Council cracks down on wild west landlords
Islington consults on licensing scheme for area bedevilled by flats deemed too tiny and dirty for human habitationA north London council that is home to two streets described by a councillor as the frontier of the wild west of the rental market is to crack down on flats deemed too tiny or dirty for human habitation.Islington will start consulting on Monday on a licensing scheme for Holloway Road and Caledonian Road, both major routes that together contain about 600 properties subdivided into flats to allow landlords to maximise their income in Londons booming rental market. Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 22:05:59 GMT)

Canadian PM hid in store cupboard while gun battle was fought nearby
Stephen Harper without security detail when Michael Zehaf-Bibeau stormed building before being killed by sergeant-at-armsPolice release video of gunman during Ottawa attackOpinion: the fault lines in the battle for two CanadasCanadas prime minister, Stephen Harper, hid in a cupboard used to store electrical boxes and a ladder while a gun battle ensued in a nearby hallway of the parliament building in Ottawa this week, it emerged on Friday.Members of parliament and party leaders including Harper were meeting in the centre block of Parliament Hill when the attacker, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, stormed into the building at about 10am on Wednesday morning. Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 17:08:55 GMT)

Sayeeda Warsi: Tories will lose if they focus only on Europe and immigration
Lady Warsi claims that while contending with Ukip is necessary, a lurch to the right by David Cameron would spell defeatThe Conservatives will lose the next election if David Cameron lurches to the right and talks only about Europe and immigration, the former party chair Sayeeda Warsi has warned.Lady Warsi said that while it was necessary to contend with the rise of Ukip, concentrating on the two issues would result in returning to a focus on policies that had previously led to defeat. Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 18:24:15 GMT)

£200,000 smart drugs seizure prompts alarm over rising UK sales
Experimental medicine Sunifiram among record haul of drugs that are increasingly being bought online by studentsA record haul of smart drugs, sold to students to enhance their memory and thought processes, stay awake and improve concentration, has been seized from a UK website by the medicines regulator, which is alarmed about the recent rise of such sites.The seizure, worth £200,000, illustrates the increasing internet trade in cognitive enhancement drugs and suggests people who want to stay focused and sharp are moving on from black coffee and legally available caffeine tablets. Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 13:00:31 GMT)

Burmese men accused of Koh Tao murders confessed after death threats
Father says Thai police tortured son and co-accused, arrested over death of Britons Hannah Witheridge and David MillerTwo Burmese men accused of murdering a pair of young British tourists in Thailand only confessed to the killings after police threatened to douse them in petrol and set them alight, or dismember them and dump their bodies in a river, according to the father of one of the suspects.Htun Htun Htike, the father of Win Zaw Htun, said his son and the co-accused, Zaw Lin, told him they were tortured by police and a translator, as well as threatened, after being arrested over the deaths of Hannah Witheridge and David Miller on the popular holiday island of Koh Tao. Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 12:46:42 GMT)

Mother poisoned herself and her two daughters with acid
Heena Solanki found dead alongside children Jasmine, 9, and Prisha, 4, at family home in west London, inquest hearsA mother poisoned herself and her two young daughters with acid after struggling to get on with her live-in mother and father-in-law, an inquest has heard.Heena Solanki, 34, was found dead in her bed alongside Jasmine, 9, and Prisha, 4, by her widower at their home in the suburb of Ruislip, west London, in April last year. Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 18:55:19 GMT)

Camerons join secondary school dash as admissions deadline looms
Prime minister and his wife are expected to send their daughter Nancy to a top state comprehensive in LondonFor David and Samantha Cameron, like every other parent of a child in their final year of primary school, time is almost up. After all the open days, the headteachers speeches, and the poring over Ofsted reports and league tables, next Friday is the deadline for applications for secondary school admissions.The Camerons have been looking for a school for their daughter Nancy, 10, and the expectation is she will attend a state secondary in central London a far cry from Eton and Marlborough College (day fees £28,000 a year), the institutions attended by her parents. Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 16:49:19 GMT)

UK on track to be fastest growing G7 economy despite slowdown
Markets breathe sigh of relief as 0.7% GDP rise proves lower than previous quarter but still meets forecastsThe UK remains on track to be the fastest growing G7 economy this year despite new figures showing that GDP growth slowed in the third quarter.A rise of 0.7% a slowdown from 0.9% in the second quarter was in line with most forecasts. But after recent economic indicators showing a weaker housing market, and slower manufacturing and consumer spending, some had feared growth could be weaker. Relief in financial markets at the figures, which confirmed seven consecutive quarters of growth, gave the pound a boost. Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 17:44:00 GMT)

Farc chiefs join Colombian peace talks in Cuba
Presence of political artillery could signal shift towards a lasting resolution in Latin Americas longest-running warHigh-ranking guerrilla commanders joined the Colombian peace talks taking place in Cuba on Friday, injecting a sense of urgency into negotiations seeking to end Latin Americas longest-running war.The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc) called the presence of top commanders political artillery. They appeared before reporters in the latest round of talks with the government of recently re-elected President Juan Manuel Santos. Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 17:50:59 GMT)

Teenage boy stabbed on south London bus
Police say 15-year-old was on 151 bus near Sutton when he was attacked, and is currently in hospitalA teenager is in serious but stable condition in hospital after being stabbed in broad daylight on a bus in south London, police have said.Officers were called at around 2:30pm on Friday to reports of a 15-year-old boy having been attacked on the number 151 bus in Sutton. Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 16:27:26 GMT)

British woman dies during cosmetic surgery in Thailand
The 24-year-old was said to have been undergoing a procedure by an allegedly uncertified surgeon in BangkokA British woman has died during cosmetic surgery at a clinic in Thailand, authorities in the country have said.The 24-year-old was said to have been undergoing a procedure by an allegedly uncertified surgeon in Bangkok before her death. Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 11:43:37 GMT)

Scotland drink-drive limit to be reduced
Blood alcohol limit for driver to be cut from 80mg to 50mg in every 100ml of blood, in time for ChristmasScotland is to reduce its drink-driving limit in time for Christmas, with motorists advised not to get behind the wheel if they have drunk any alcohol whatsoever.The reduction from 80mg to 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood means that drivers could be breaking the law if they have drunk a small glass of wine or single pint of beer. The new limit brings the country into line with Northern Ireland and most of Europe, while the limit in England and Wales remains at 80mg. Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 09:32:10 GMT)

Tunisia terror standoff: five women and a man killed in Tunis suburb
Police officers storm property after 24-hour standoff with terror suspects in runup to parliamentary elections on SundayTunisian authorities stormed the home of suspected militants to end a 24-hour standoff on Friday, leaving five women and one man dead in a suburb of the capital Tunis.Police officers responding to a tipoff had surrounded the home in Oued Ellil on Thursday and were shot at by the inhabitants. One policeman was killed. Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 12:32:00 GMT)

Ashya King to return to Spain after completing proton beam therapy
Parents of five-year-old who were subject of continental manhunt say they still fear potential risks of returning to UKThe parents of Ashya King say they still fear returning to Britain, after a clinic treating the boy in Prague said he had completed his proton beam therapy for a brain tumour.Brett and Naghmeh King, from Portsmouth, triggered an international police hunt when they removed their five-year-old son from Southampton hospital in August without the consent of doctors and travelled to Spain. Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 17:17:00 GMT)

Ex-police officer jailed for at least 28 years for pregnant girlfriends murder
Jonathan Sutton pleads guilty to murder of Emma Siswick, whom he stabbed 81 times, and grievous bodily harm of two boysAn obsessively jealous former police officer who stabbed his pregnant girlfriend to death has been jailed for a minimum of 28 years.Jonathan Sutton, 40, wrongly believed Emma Siswick was cheating on him when he stabbed her 81 times in anger and possessive rage. Sutton also stabbed two boys, aged nine and 11, in an attack that was described in court as little short of torture. Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 16:49:44 GMT)

A tale of two New York Cities: I was rich, my brother was down and out
It is the city of dreams and cinema cliches, but also of poverty, soaring rents and inequality. The divide between rich and poor has never been greater, as John Freeman discovered when his brother Tim moved into a homeless shelter a few blocks from his smart apartmentSeveral years ago, I bought an apartment in Manhattan with an inheritance passed to me from my grandmother, who was the daughter of a former attorney for Standard Oil. She outlived three husbands and managed her money well, and in one moment hoisted me out of one social class and into another. Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 14:00:01 GMT)

David Shrigley at Sketch, London W1 restaurant review
This might be the most absurd restaurant in the country. Is Jeff Koons cooking?I bow to no restaurant fan in my admiration of Mourad Mazouz, aka Momo. In a landscape where nobody takes risks, where the sure-fire route to success is to pinch somebody elses ideas (yes, Paesan and Tomboy Burrito, I am looking at you), he continues to go his own oddball way.Of his remarkable Sketch, he said when it opened, I could have opened a safe little brasserie like the Ivy. Instead, in this grand, sprawling Georgian town house, he created a multi-venue pleasurama, a sensory overload of challenging artworks, aliens egg loos and extraordinary and curious food. Itll never last, said everyone, clutching their pearls. Yet here we are, nearly 12 years later, and the place as busy as ever. Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 20:00:09 GMT)

In his anger, Cameron has made Britain a toxic brand
The prime minister rages at the EUs £1.7bn bill, but his miscalculations have lost Britain vital allies in EuropeAnger suits David Cameron. Its one of the modes he does well. He is skilled at contrition his Bloody Sunday apology was the moment he became, rather than merely held the office of, prime minister but fury is his forte. The cheeks colour, the fist pounds the lectern, the words turn plain and demotic. On Friday he channelled the voice of middle-aged men everywhere as they open a brown envelope to discover an unexpected demand for cash. Im not paying that bill, he said, the face puce. Its not going to happen.The sceptical will say Cameron was play-acting, that he cant really have been surprised by the European commissions demand that Britain top up its contribution by an extra £1.7bn to reflect the UKs better than realised economic performance over the past two decades and cough up by 1 December. Treasury officials have known this was in the works for months. Still, even if this was no October surprise, Cameron had to turn his facial setting to purple. He couldnt afford to be out-angered by Nigel Farage. With the Rochester byelection looming, a Tory-Ukip showdown, the right of British politics has become an auction of rage: two parties competing to display more vein-bulging ire at Brussels. Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 19:08:12 GMT)

Lauren Laverne: More charisma than any woman presenter of her generation
The former Kenickie frontwoman has overcome accusations of triviality to become one of Britains best-loved radio DJsLauren Lavernes big break came when Bob Stanley stumbled across her band Kenickies single in a record shop, loved what he heard, and called the number on the sleeve. Laverne was the bands lead singer and, this being the mid-1990s, it was her home phone number. She was very cool about it and not acting shocked when I rang, says Stanley, a journalist and musician with the band Saint Etienne, who at the time was running a small imprint of the record label EMI. But I think they were quite excited about EMI calling up. Obviously she lived with her parents at the time they were only 16 then.Two decades later, Laverne is a wife and mother, an enthusiastic user of social media, the author of a novel for young adults, a newspaper columnist and a multi-talented TV presenter who can turn her hand, seemingly effortlessly, to everything from pop music to high culture to comedy and current affairs. Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 18:40:00 GMT)

Death in Syria: a man on a mission of mercy
As one family mourns a man who left to join an aid convoy, a campaign group urges a rethink on returnees from SyriaThe last texts of Kamran ul-Haque to his elder brother tell a story of a young man fearful yet thrilled by the prospect of war in Syria. I might be going on a mad mission very soon. Theres a place that has been heavily attacked and bombarded, he wrote.The 29-year-old east Londoner, who had been in the country since December last year, had spent months ferrying the dead and injured to field hospitals in the country in his own words, bloody, gruesome work far from his old life as an Indian takeaway delivery man in Whitechapel, east London. [They] need me here and my ambulance to take people out. Very risky mission but I love the feeling. Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 23:28:00 GMT)

Why you should never, ever wash your jeans (unless you really, really have to)
What do winners smell like? Dirty jeans or so say some manufacturers of raw denim who claim that not washing your jeans will make them last longer. But what on earth do you do when nobody wants to come near you any more?Most clothes come with simple washing instructions which Id hazard most men interpret as pick quickest setting, use same for everything, hope for best. Raw denim on the other hand comes with much starker diktats. For anyone whos invested in* (*forked out for) a pair of raw jeans, youre confronted with a whole new attitude to washing basically, dont do it.Take this from Hiut Denim: Raw denim is best given a good six months before washing. The longer you can leave it, the better your jeans will look. Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 13:44:09 GMT)

Richard Dawkinss cosmic tombstone: what would you add?
Evolutionary biologist has called for a massive posthumous space-brag, giving future lifeforms the chance to understand usRichard Dawkins would like to create a cosmic tombstone adorned with humanitys greatest achievements that can be beamed out into space when we are gone.The evolutionary biologists idea for a massive posthumous space-brag came in a discussion with physicist Prof Laurence Krauss in London hosted by The Skeptic magazine. Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 07:24:26 GMT)

Happy families: half-term activities for autumn
Crunching through the autumn leaves is only fun for so long. Keep the kids busy over half-term with our selection of indoor and outdoor activities across the countryTheres a decrepit charm to the Meare in Thorpeness, Suffolk. A Peter Pan-themed boating lake, it was the brainchild of eccentric Scot Stuart Ogilvie (a friend of JM Barrie). You hire a basic 1913 boat there are kayaks, family rowing boats, dinghies, canoes, punts and sailing boats then set off to tour the Smugglers Cove, Wendys House and the Dragons Lair. Boat hire from £4. Over-12s can captain their own vessel, thorpenessmeare.co.uk Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 09:00:01 GMT)

Ten things we learned this week
From the hole in Tescos profits and the Ukip Calypso to Renée Zellwegers face a roundup of the weeks news Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 14:49:02 GMT)

My mums a sex therapist
Ann-Marlene Henning, a best-selling Danish sexologist, is on a crusade to give the internet generation a porn-free sex education with a little help from her sonAnn-Marlene Henning gives a sad shake of her head and rolls her eyes as she recalls her attempts to talk to her teenage son about sex. I tried but he didnt want me to! she exclaims. James reached puberty and I thought, Ive got to tell him something, havent I? Hed say, No! I dont want to hear this! Hed say, Mum! Im a boy! I dont talk!Henning laughs, then looks wistful. Maybe a daughter would have asked me more Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 12:30:04 GMT)

Illegal foragers are stripping UK forests of fungi
Gangs commercially picking edible fungi to sell to restaurants and markets are leaving a trail of destruction across ancient woodlands, such as Epping and New ForestHere we go this is one of the really nasty ones, says Jeremy Dagley, pointing at the cappuccino-coloured cap of a two-inch mushroom nestled in the coppery leaf litter in Epping Forest. The brown roll rim will kill you and it is not a slow death.But a few steps further on he discovers a mushroom the size and shape of a toasted tea cake. This is a penny bun - also called a cep - and its really edible, he says. It is the one the pickers love. They are really expensive and really lovely to eat. Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 13:12:16 GMT)

Transrealism: the first major literary movement of the 21st century?
Its not science fiction, its not realism, but hovers in the unsettling zone in between. From Philip K Dick to Stephen King, Damien Walter takes a tour through transrealism, the emerging genre aiming to kill off consensus realityA Scanner Darkly is one of Philip K Dicks most famous but also most divisive novels. Written in 1973 but not published until 1977, it marks the boundary between PKDs mid-career novels that were clearly works of science fiction, including The Man in the High Castle and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, and his late-career work that had arguably left that genre behind. Like VALIS and The Divine Invasion that followed it, A Scanner Darkly was two stories collided into one a roughly science-fictional premise built around a mind-destroying drug, and a grittily realistic autobiographical depiction of PKDs time living among drug addicts.It is also, in the thinking of writer, critic and mathematician Rudy Rucker, the first work of a literary movement he would name transrealism in his 1983 essay A Transrealist Manifesto. Three decades later, Ruckers essay has as much relevance to contemporary literature as ever. But while Rucker was writing at a time when science fiction and mainstream literature appeared starkly divided, today the two are increasingly hard to separate. It seems that here in the early 21st century, the literary movement Rucker called for is finally reaching its fruition. Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 07:30:10 GMT)

Cerys Matthews on setting Dylan Thomass poems to music
It was a Christmas in South Carolina that reawakened the musician and Radio 6 DJs love for Thomas and inspired her to mark his centenary with her most ambitious project yetDylan Thomas, whose centenary we will celebrate on Monday, was the most musical of poets. His work is so full of rhythm and melody that one of lifes great pleasures is to read him aloud, feeling those syllables roll around your mouth while the rhythms find their ebb and flow. It is no surprise that his poetry has exerted a special appeal to composers. It was his childhood friend Daniel Jones a fellow Kardomah boy with whom Dylan would talk Einstein and Epstein, Stravinsky and Greta Garbo, death and religion, Picasso and girls who provided music for the songs in Under Milk Wood as well as dedicating his Fourth Symphony to Dylans memory. Stravinsky himself set Do not go gentle into that good night. Later, jazz maestro Stan Tracey, composers John Corigliano, Mark Anthony Turnage and many others would be inspired by his work.I was brought up in Swansea. Our house enjoyed almost the same view over the crescent of Swansea Bay as had Dylans childhood home in Cwmdonkin Drive. I knew about Dylan and I read his work. But the idea that I should set his work to music didnt come until about 10 years ago, when I was living far from Swansea, in South Carolina. Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 08:00:00 GMT)

Jake and Dinos Chapman review a hilarious, horrifying orgy of darkness
Jerwood Gallery, HastingsFrom copulating plastic dinosaurs to crucified Ronald McDonalds and the severed feet of God, the arch-provocateurs teeming macabre landscapes offer a powerful vision of modern brutalityJake Chapman is looking down from the balcony of the Jerwood Gallery in Hastings on to a pebbled beach scene with fishing boats and seafood stalls. The seaside towns quaint old quarter is, he insists, all trompe loeil. He points to a sign on a fish-sellers hut that he interprets to mean all its produce comes from Lidl. The boats on the horizon are cardboard cutouts, he says.The Chapman brothers, arch-provocateurs of Young British Art, have returned to their hometown to put on a bold exhibition titled In the Realm of the Unmentionable at its beachside art gallery. It seems a generous, affectionate gesture to come back to the place where they grew up and which is so keen to welcome them that locals have crowdsourced nearly £30,000 to fund the show. Yet they just cant be sentimental about growing up here. Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 15:16:33 GMT)

Nightcrawler: the story of TV's seedy underbelly
As Jake Gyllenhaals new film Nightcrawler hits our screens, we delve into the world of LAs real-life ambulance-chasersNightcrawler: read our review from the Toronto International Film FestivalHorror: Black Bear Eats Man. That was the headline ABC Los Angeless Eyewitness News chose to lure viewers to its nightly 11pm broadcast. Over on KCAL 9, the 11 oclock news was trailed with footage of a gunfight between cops and an armed man who turned out to be a plain-clothes policeman. KTLA 5s late-night show was running with the corpse found on the highway. This is the world of Los Angeles local news. Seven shows three at 10pm, four at 11 crammed with blood, blondes, bullets and rampaging bears designed to send you to bed with nightmares. Seven more, starting at 3.30 the following morning, make sure you wake up scared to leave the house.This is the world Jake Gyllenhaal inhabits in the lurid new satire Nightcrawler. Gyllenhaals Lou Bloom is a skeletal sociopath whose desperation to succeed makes him almost unemployable. That is, until hes in the vicinity of a gruesome car wreck and sees swarms of cameramen buzzing gleefully around the twisted metal. These are the freelance cameramen who haunt LAs freeways, listening to police scanners for reports of accidents and homicides. Once something suitably bloody occurs, they try to beat the cops to the crime scene, film the carnage and sell the footage to the plethora of sensation-hungry news shows. Here Lou Bloom finally finds the career for which hes best suited. When he sells his first piece of car-crash video to Rene Russos Nina, the news director of a low-rated early morning show who tells him to Think of our newscast as a screaming woman running down the street with her throat cut, he finds his soulmate. Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 13:30:01 GMT)

Eat (lentils) as the Romans do
Cook once, eat twice is writer and blogger Rachel Roddys philosophy, and its the theme of her three-part residency. In todays first part, braised lentils offer two ways to celebrate the hearty food of Rome, her adopted home.Watch Rachel prepare the braised lentils in our short film below.When I first moved to Rome nearly 10 years ago I lived in a third floor flat above a bread shop and shared a courtyard with a trattoria. After a month or so, the smell of baking bread and the clatter of plates and pans had become the everyday backdrop to my life.Similarly familiar was the sight of laundry shunting past my window on lines strung across the communal courtyard eeck, eeck, eeck as they ran through the rusty pullies. My neighbours at the time were two elderly sisters whod lived all their lives in the building and had laundry-hanging down to an art. The sequence began at about 7am when rugs were hung, thwacked and reeled back in. Cloths, clothes and sheets followed and, once a month, I was reminded that Id never washed a seat cover in my life, as a set of them shuddered, like a surrealist photo, into the frame. Im sure the sisters noticed my neglect. They certainly noticed that I never polished my front door, because when I did, they said: Brava, finalmente. Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 12:00:03 GMT)

William Hill Sports Book of the Year: 25 years of runners and riders
After a quarter of a century judging the prize, we sometimes feel weve read it all but with Gareth Thomass Proud among the pack this year, the quality of the work continues to surprise usWhen we start the process of reading for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year, we sometimes have only five or six books already entered. It is like the early stages of the racing season, when every horse just might be a Derby winner, according to its owner, trainer and jockey, but as each one appears on a racecourse it has to be judged against the other contenders and either eliminated from, or promoted up, the list of potential champions.Then we have to worry about making sure every eligible book is entered. One would think that after more than quarter of a century as the richest sports book prize in the world, wed be at the forefront of every publishers mind, with every author desperate to send their work to us. Youd be staggered how hard we have to work sometimes to have a specific book entered. This year there was a particular, high-profile title we were desperate to put in front of our judges, but it took us over six months to get hold of it from the publisher. Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 15:05:31 GMT)

The weekend cook: Mexican-inspired recipes to celebrate the Day of the Dead
How better to celebrate one of Mexicos most famous holidays than with recipes based on the countrys key flavours?It is Day of the Dead, or All Souls Day, on 1-2 November, a global festival to celebrate those we have loved and lost. In Mexico, it is a time of great festivity, when families get together, cook and make toasts to relatives. Last weekend at the market, I picked up lots of pumpkins, and decided to use some in my own Day of the Dead feast. Theyre so versatile: you can roast or steam them, and use as a vegetable side or main course; they even work in sweet dishes, too. Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 17:00:05 GMT)

Growing up in the family funeral parlour
Kate Mayfields father was an undertaker and his workshop was at their home her early memories of life were all about its endIts one thing to choose to be in the death business and quite another to be born into it. My first introduction to all things funereal began when my parents carried me from the hospital straight to the funeral home. My playground, carefully curated by my undertaker father, consisted of rooms full of gleaming coffins, the neon glare of brightly coloured embalming fluid bottles, and the bodies, always the bodies.We lived in a small town in southern Kentucky on the Tennessee border. On Main Street, the old, sprawling house was large enough to host the business of death on the ground floor, while our family lived quietly, as silent as the grave, on the floor above. The staircase led straight up to our living quarters and offered no door of comfort, no solid thing to shut us away from the funerals and visitations that occurred below. Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 15:00:03 GMT)

India Knight: Chick lit is in its death throes
Bridget Jones look out a new breed of risk-taking, not-so-nice literary heroines is replacing the sad singletonsIn 1963 Cliff Richard had a No 1 hit with Bachelor Boy, which remained at the top of the charts for three weeks. The song is about a father advising his son to remain a bachelor boy until his dying day. Every time I hear it, I reduce myself to complete hilarity by imagining, say, Alma Cogan, delightedly singing Spinstery Girl and thats the way Ill stay-ay! while everyone in the country hums along approvingly, thumbs aloft. A single woman is a complicated thing, for society and for novelists (though not usually for songwriters, for whom she and her broken heart are bread and butter). A single woman of a certain age a spinster is more alarming still. Spinsters! Brr. All desiccated and withered, all lonely, all weird. Whiskery, probably. Cat-loving, stout-shoed, possessed of unusually intense and unsettling internal narratives, like Barbara Covett in Zoe Hellers Notes on a Scandal. Its never helped that while bachelordom was presented as groovy James Bond, say spinsterhood has always seemed like an imposition. Bond gads about sexily, and no little lady can pin him down, but a woman placed on a shelf gathers dust and cant get down by herself.Whats odd is that the spinster has a perfectly respectable literary history, from Kate in The Taming of the Shrew, resisting wedlock with every iota of her being, to Barbara Pyms contentedly solo heroines, via well, so many: Lily Briscoe in Virginia Woolfs To the Lighthouse, Miss Bates in Jane Austens Emma, Agatha Christies Jane Marple, EF Bensons Mapp and Lucia, Lady Slane in Vita Sackville-Wests All Passion Spent, among others not to mention George Gissings remarkable The Odd Women, written in 1893 (But I am proud of your magnificent independence, proud of your pride, and of your stainless heart. Thank heaven we are women!). Where the necessity of marriage was a daily preoccupation, the need was financial first and social second. Spinsterhood either per se or in the form of widowhood was not considered offensive or problematic of itself (see, for instance, Miss Matty Jenkyns in Elizabeth Gaskells Cranford). Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 09:00:01 GMT)

Experience: Ive paid for my body to be frozen when I die
Of course the whole thing is a complete leap of faith. I have nothing to confirm they will unfreeze me. I just have to trust that when the technology is there, theyll do itFrom a very young age, I was aware of how short life is and how abruptly it can end. I remember sitting in my parents council house in Carshalton and hearing about the incredibly opulent funeral of Queen Mary and thinking, no matter how rich or important you are, life always ends the same way.Twenty years later, I was running an old peoples home in Brighton with my wife, Sylvia, and saw a TV programme that mentioned cryonics, the practice of freezing people in the hope that they might one day be brought back to life. I instantly thought it was a good idea, and Sylvia agreed. It was the mid-80s and heart and lung transplants were becoming common. Louise Brown, the first baby conceived through IVF, had been born, and we knew by then that DNA wasnt destroyed by nitrogen. After some research, we became optimistic that cryonics could work. Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 13:00:00 GMT)

Mourinho was a gopher under Robson. With Van Gaal he got a total education
At Barcelona they were Dutch master and Portuguese apprentice. Barney Ronay looks at their reunion on SundayShortly before the 2010 Champions League final between Internazionale and Bayern Munich, José Mourinho sent his opposite number, Louis van Gaal, a text message that read: A big hug before the final a big hug after the final. Yes, that José Mourinho. Well, its better than a poke in the eye. That match at the Bernabéu was the only previous time Mourinho and Van Gaal have met on opposite sides in a competitive match, as they will again when Manchester United play Chelsea at Old Trafford on Sunday. It is a fixture that has for nine of the past 10 seasons been cast as a collision of title hopefuls but that this season is, from a certain angle, just as significant as a meeting of two unusually intimate managerial grandees.There is of course a famous coaching confluence at work here, a re-entwining of two of the most significant offshoots of European footballs own mid-1990s Bloomsbury set. The Van Gaal era at Barcelona also featured Mourinho as assistant coach, Pep Guardiola as club captain and the managers of Barça, PSV Eindhoven and Ajax Luis Enrique, Phillip Cocu and Frank de Boer as fellow members of the playing staff. Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 21:30:10 GMT)

Luis Suárez: 'Everyone has different ways of defending themselves' video interview
Luis Suárez, one of the world's best footballers, talks to Simon Hattenstone about biting Italy's Giorgio Chiellini in the 2014 World Cup and other controversies, including accusations of racism, which he denies. He helps Simon hone his keepy-up skills while training in Barcelona and unexpectedly ends the interview with a very gentlemanly walkout Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 13:44:00 GMT)

Philadelphia 76ers owner Josh Harris interested in buying Crystal Palace
Harris owns 76ers and the New Jersey Devils Reports of deal being close are premature Harris would become sixth American owner in Premier League Premier League still quintessentially English, says ScudamoreThe owner of the New Jersey Devils and Philadelphia 76ers, Josh Harris, has contacted the board at Crystal Palace and expressed an interest in buying the south London club as he seeks to become the sixth American owner of a Premier League side.Harris, the co-founder of Apollo Global Management, has been seeking to invest in the English game for some time and, with his business partner, David Blitzer, sounded out his compatriot Randy Lerner over a potential purchase of Aston Villa this year. Palace are one of a number of prospective investment opportunities he is considering as he seeks a foothold in the Premier League. Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 22:52:56 GMT)

Rafael Nadal to have surgery and is out of ATP World Tour Finals
Its the day to say goodbye for the season, says Nadal Decision a boost for Andy Murray in race to London Murray reaches semi-finals in Valencia Andy Murrays chances of qualifying for next months ATP Tour Finals received a significant boost on Friday night when Rafael Nadal pulled out of the season-ending tournament. The British No1 had earlier strengthened his cause by beating Kevin Anderson to secure a place in the semi-finals of the Valencia Open.Nadal announced he was to undergo appendix surgery on 3 November, six days before the start of the tournament in London for which eight players qualify. The Spaniards withdrawal has in effect promoted Murray to the No7 spot in that race. Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 19:53:37 GMT)

The sports quiz of the week: Champions League, own goals and rugby results
This week's quiz tests your knowledge of European goalscorers and the first weekend in the European Rugby Champions Cup Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 13:30:43 GMT)

Hugo Rodallega double helps Fulham thrash sorry Charlton
Kit Symons is very confident he will be made Fulhams next permanent manager. The former Craven Cottage defender made it five wins out of eight games in caretaker charge as his side blew Charlton away 3-0. who has put together a five-man committee to identify a new manager still seems in no hurry to make the appointment. However, Khan is due back in the country over the next fortnight when he could finally take what appears the easiest of decisions. Symons said: I havent checked my phone yet but I am very confident Ill get it. It has to be getting more difficult, with the team winning games, for the five-man panel not to see the obvious thing to do for this football club. The chairman is over the week after next. I dont know what to expect, I understand the process but not when a decision will be made or how it will come about. Hopefully well find out sooner rather than later. Scott Parker opened the scoring against his old club after six minutes, latching on to Chris Sollys wayward pass and playing in Ross McCormack before smashing the return ball in off the crossbar. Hugo Rodallega doubled the lead in another six minutes when he snaffled the rebound after Stephen Henderson had palmed out McCormacks half-volley. Charlton, who had lost only once all season, improved after the break but could not find a way back into the match, with Marcus Bettinelli saving well from George Tucudeans header and Franck Moussa firing wide.Instead Fulham wrapped up the victory, and sent another emphatic message to Khan, when Lasse Vigen Christensen set up Rodallega for the third. Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 21:01:20 GMT)

Louis van Gaal says Manchester United may sign Víctor Valdés
Former Barcelona goalkeeper to train at United Van Gaal: Manchester United always have their eyes open Real Madrid v Barcelona: the biggest game on EarthManchester Uniteds manager, Louis van Gaal, has refused to rule out signing the goalkeeper Víctor Valdés.United announced on Thursday that Valdés, a six-times Primera Division winner, is being allowed to use the clubs training facilities as he recovers from the anterior cruciate ligament injury that has kept him out since March. Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 16:50:26 GMT)

Louis van Gaal expects misfiring Robin van Persie to return to form
Manchester United manager backs striker to score at Chelsea Dutch striker has scored only twice this season Van Persie confident United will frighten teams againListen to Louis van Gaal on Robin van Persie and the impression given is hardly that the striker is fighting to retain his place in the Manchester United XI. The manager is confident that although his Dutch compatriot has scored only twice for him at United, the 31-year-old requires only luck to rediscover his prolific form.Yet Chelseas arrival at Old Trafford on Sunday may be a last chance to prove himself before Wayne Rooneys return from a three-game suspension for the trip to Manchester City for the derby in the following match. Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 21:30:10 GMT)

Bernie Ecclestone agrees to allow Caterham F1 to miss next two GPs
Administrators to use time to find a buyer for F1 team Caterham hope to be back on the grid for Abu Dhabi Caterham threaten former owner with legal action F1 teams future in doubt as Tony Fernandes hits back Administrators move in at CaterhamBernie Ecclestone has given special dispensation to Caterham to miss the next two grands prix while a buyer is sought for the cash-strapped team.A statement issued by the administrators in the London-based accountancy firm Smith & Williamson has effectively confirmed Caterham will not be in a position to compete in next weekends United States Grand Prix and the subsequent race a week later in Brazil. Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 17:58:39 GMT)

Premier League: 10 things to look out for this weekend
Chelsea may have to adapt, its time Rickie Lambert got his chance and Leicester must find a way to stop SigurdssonJosé Mourinho was a man out of touch when he took his team to Old Trafford last season and played for a 0-0 draw, failing to appreciate that Manchester United were no longer worthy of such deference. He is unlikely to make that mistake this time, not with Chelsea in a creative groove and United still a rabble at the back. Having said that, Chelseas ability to fully exploit Uniteds doggedness may be compromised by a lack of strikers, depending on whether Diego Costa and/or Loïc Rémy is fit. Didier Drogba does not look capable of posing even Uniteds defence problems for 90 minutes and André Schürrle suggested last season that, while he may be one of the finest finishers in the Premier League, he is not a centre forward. Might Cesc Fàbregas find himself deployed as a false nine? Chelseas imperious start to the season has led many to rashly proclaim them as champions already but, if Costa and Rémy are unavailable, Mourinhos men will have to demonstrate their ability to adapt. United may yet be relevant to the title race. Paul Doyle Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 08:01:00 GMT)

Irish Turf Club will act quickly over Philip Fenton steroids case
Denis Egan plans inquiry in weeks over drugs raid Trainer loses Gigginstown Stud horses after verdictDenis Egan, the chief executive of the Irish Turf Club, said on Friday that the sports regulator in Ireland will act as quickly as is humanely possible to convene a disciplinary hearing into the case of trainer Philip Fenton, who was convicted on Thursday of possessing illegal animal remedies including anabolic steroids.Fenton was found to have had two steroids at his stable in Co Tipperary when investigators from Irelands department of agriculture conducted a raid in January 2012. The raid uncovered 1kg of Nitrotain, enough for 250 doses of the powerful performance-enhancing drug, and a much smaller quantity of Ilium Stanabolic, which contains the steroid stanozolol. Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 17:37:42 GMT)

Andy Murray beats Kevin Anderson to reach semi-finals in Valencia
British No1 wins 6-7, 6-4, 6-4 Murray hoping to book place at ATP Tour FinalsAndy Murray survived a test of his credentials to see off Kevin Anderson in three sets and secure a place in the semi-finals of the Valencia Open.The world No10 had endured few problems in earlier wins over Jürgen Melzer and Fabio Fognini but found the South African No7 seed a different prospect. He lost the opening set on a tie-break, but fought back bravely to claim a 6-7, 6-4, 6-4 victory which kept the players on court for two hours and 43 minutes. Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 14:41:04 GMT)

Mark McCall stays upbeat after Rhys Gills rush of blood costs Saracens
Munster 14-3 SaracensThe Saracens director of rugby, Mark McCall, believes his side can still qualify for the knockout stages of the Champions Cup despite leaving here on Friday night without even a losing bonus point. McCall admitted that the game turned when his replacement prop Rhys Gill was sent to the sin-bin for a dangerous tackle on Munsters CJ Stander.It was a turning point; we had a bit of momentum, he said. We were playing some good rugby at that time but Munster took advantage of that yellow card like they always seem to do. Overall we probably made too many more set-piece errors than we normally would. We lost the territory battle and that proved crucial. Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 21:02:38 GMT)

Brendan Rodgers rules out bringing in defensive coach at Liverpool
Liverpool manager believes more time in training is required Rodgers will continue to give Mario Balotelli a chance Manager gives Balotelli two months to prove his worthBrendan Rodgers has dismissed the possibility of bringing in a specialist defensive coach to try to help Liverpool stop leaking goals. While Mario Balotellis shortcomings as a striker and undiminished nose for controversy have dominated the headlines since Liverpool suffered their worst ever home defeat in Europe at the hands of Real Madrid, the underlying story in the present malaise is of a defence conceding too many goals too easily.There was not much any defence could have done about the way James Rodríguez and Cristiano Ronaldo combined for a sublime opening goal on Wednesday, though Rodgers thought the next two were down to poor defending. Yet, even though many feared for Liverpool against Real after their inept display against Queens Park Rangers a few days earlier, the manager remains adamant there is no need to send for outside help. Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 21:30:10 GMT)

Would Chelseas José Mourinho have been a good fit at Manchester United?
The Portuguese is not a man of regrets but how different might the landscape be if he had succeeded Sir Alex Ferguson?On Sunday, a little before four oclock, José Mourinho will leave the tunnel at Old Trafford and walk along the front of the South Stand.He will see ahead of him the touchline along which he sprinted and slid in 2004 after his Porto side had beaten Manchester United in the Champions League with a late goal. And before the halfway line he will turn right, and take his place in the away dug-out. Given he is not a man who seems particularly to regret, he may not even cast a glance to the bench 15 yards in front of him and wonder what might have been but there is another reality, not that far removed from this one, in which he would have been sitting in the home dug-out. Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 19:20:00 GMT)

Albanian FA president angry at Uefas sanctions for Serbia abandonment
Armand Duka says their appeal will go to CAS if required Serbia will also appeal against punishments imposedAlbania will appeal against Uefas punishment for their role in last weeks abandonment of their Euro 2016 qualifier with Serbia in Belgrade and are prepared to take their case as far as the court of arbitration for sport (CAS) if necessary.Armand Duka, president of the Albanian Football Association (FShF), told the Guardian on Friday that the governing bodys decision to award Serbia a 3-0 win and impose a 100,000 fine was unjust and said that there was no foundation for the charge that Albania had refused to play the games remaining 49 minutes after it was suspended. Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 15:41:24 GMT)

Sam Burgess switching codes does not mean rugby league is under siege
Burgess searching for a buzz says Sam Tomkins England full-back believes NRL is a tougher challengeThe England full-back Sam Tomkins says absent team-mate and international player of the year Sam Burgess is leaving for rugby union in search of a buzz more than a tougher sporting challenge.Rugby leagues Four Nations kicks off in Brisbane on Saturday in somewhat curious circumstances when England take on Samoa and Australia meet New Zealand before an anticipated Suncorp Stadium crowd of up to 50,000. Englands Burgess, New Zealands Sonny Bill Williams and Australias Jarryd Hayne each played a full season of NRL but have chosen other sports in preference to the international series. For Burgess and Williams it is rugby union, for Hayne it is training alone in Los Angeles in the hope of winning an NFL contract. Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 13:33:54 GMT)

Former England captain Rio Ferdinand plans to retire at end of season
QPR defender hoping to stay in football Ferdinand: I can see good stuff happening aheadThe former England captain and Queens Park Rangers defender Rio Ferdinand plans to retire from football at the end of the season.The 35-year-old has told Jonathan Ross in an interview to be broadcast on Saturday evening that this season with Rangers is likely to be his last. Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 13:46:31 GMT)

Caroline Wozniacki sets up semi-final with Serena Williams at WTA Finals
Dane beats Petra Kvitova in straight sets in Singapore Agnieszka Radwanksa to face Simona Halep in other semiSerena Williams reached the last four at Singapores WTA finals and tied down the year-end world No1 ranking without hitting a ball on Friday.Simona Halep, who inflicted Williams heaviest defeat for 16 years on Wednesday, tended the wound by stealing a set in defeat to Ana Ivanovic. That was enough to usher Williams through to the BNP Paribas events semi-finals, where she will meet Caroline Wozniacki. Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 14:18:12 GMT)

Érik Lamela: rabona goal for Tottenham was best of my career
Forward hopes strike against Asteras sparks season I just wanted to score and it was the most effective way Harry Kane scored hat-trick in 5-1 Europa League win Jacob Steinberg: Joy of Six: rabonasÉrik Lamela has said his rabona against Asteras Tripolis was the best goal of his career, even though he scored a similar effort in the youth ranks at River Plate. The Argentinian forward hopes the wonder strike will prove to be a catalyst that sparks his Tottenham Hotspur career into life after a difficult start to life in north London.Lamela scored the remarkable effort, his first of the night, with Spurs leading 1-0 against the Greek side in the Europa League, although his manager, Mauricio Pochettino, showed no emotion as the ball arced into the net. Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 11:00:02 GMT)

Paul Lambert: Aston Villa could sign Tom Cleverley on a permanent basis
Midfielder impressing Lambert on loan from Manchester United The option is there, but we still have a couple of monthsAston Villas manager Paul Lambert has announced that the club have an option to sign Tom Cleverley from Manchester United on a permanent basis in January.The midfielder is on loan from Louis van Gaals side at present and Lambert has been impressed with him since his summer arrival. Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 14:21:01 GMT)

The Joy of Six: celebrating big-boned footballers
In homage to the spat raging between Harry Redknapp and Adel Taarabt, we present the players who have succeeded in English football despite carrying a bit of extra timberI dont mind what they call me as long as they dont call me late for my lunch, said William Foulke on more than one occasion. The massive goalkeeper is on record as being the fattest person to play professional football and his size made him a target of regular abuse from fans. As the mischievous soundtrack tacked over the closing stages of this archive video footage hints, Foulke may well have been the inspiration for a particularly famous terrace anthem pertaining to the consumption of pies that remains popular in football grounds the length and breadth of the UK to this day. Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 11:37:24 GMT)

ISL investigates allegation Robert Pires was punched by opposition coach
Atletico de Kolkata coach Antonio López Habas accused FC Goa coach Zico says Pires attacked in tunnel at half-time Indian Super League aims to ignite football fever The Indian Super League (ISL) said on Friday it is looking into an allegation that the former France midfielder Robert Pires was punched in the face by an opposition coach during a half-time altercation in Thursdays match in Goa.Former Brazilian great Zico, the coach of FC Goa, said Pires told him about being hit by Atletico de Kolkata coach Antonio López Habas in the tunnel when the teams left for the half-time break. Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 09:26:16 GMT)

Everything you need to know about the clocks going back
The clocks go back one hour this Sunday 26 October at 2am, but why do we do it? And why is it so controversial?Daylight saving time (DST) is the biannual event when we forget whether to put our clocks one hour back or one hour forward, and whether this means well get some extra sleep or not.In the UK, clocks go back one hour this Sunday the 26 October at 2:00am, marking the end of British Summer Time (BST). It means that we end up having a 25-hour day.To alter the time of the clock at the equinoxes so as to bring the working-hours of the day within the period of daylight, and by utilising the early morning, so reduce the excessive use of artificial light which at present prevails. Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 13:13:44 GMT)

Ask Molly Ringwald: my girlfriend cant forgive my stag do prank. Do I beg?
Our agony aunt advises a man whose girlfriend says she is disappointed in him and is ignoring himMy girlfriend of two years is furious because of a prank I played while on my way to a stag do. I sent everyone a photo of a (fully clothed) girl, joking that she was a stripper who was coming to the stag do with me (this was made up, I found the photo online). My girlfriend found out and says she is disappointed in me, that it was indecent, and insulted my friends. She has ignored me since. Were pretty happy together normally, but sometimes she gets really angry for no apparent reason and I have to beg for forgiveness. Do I do that now, or should I make a stand?Disappointed? Indecent? Did she also give you a spanking and send you to your room without dinner? Begging for forgiveness should be saved for the really big stuff forgetting anniversaries, betrayal, leaving the toilet seat up. Using it up on the tiny stuff is just bound to make you resentful and further entrench you in your already somewhat unhealthy relationship dynamic. Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 15:00:02 GMT)

Lines on the leaves: Yotam Ottolenghis cabbage recipes
Other greens may be more fashionable, but this versatile vegetable bowls me over every timeSome foods are regarded as sexy while others are not it is a distinction I often find myself on the wrong side of. Im not sure what that says about me, but Id far rather have a thick slice of pickled herring on rye bread with bits of raw onion and some dill, say, than a lavish platter of oysters.I feel the same way about the cabbage family. Ive nothing against green curly kale the current favourite but more often than not Ill reach for the less venerated brussels sprouts, firm white cabbage, pale green Chinese cabbage, stout white turnips and the dark green leaves of a crinkly savoy. For anything to be worthy of the term sexy, I think it needs to be versatile and receptive to different contexts, to stand out in a range of outfits and situations. Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 17:00:05 GMT)

20 best Android apps and games this week
Nokia HERE, Inbox by Gmail, Skylanders Trap Team, Autodesk SketchBook, République, New Words With Friends and moreIts time for our latest roundup of the latest, greatest Android apps and games, this time from the last two weeks worth of releases on the Google Play store.As ever, the prices provided in brackets are for the initial download only: when an app uses in-app purchases, this will be listed as (Free + IAP). Something to look for: a new section of each apps Google Play store listing, which explains the full range of IAP (for example, £1.23-£8.01 per item for Ultralingua Dictionaries from this weeks roundup). Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 14:23:11 GMT)

Travel quiz: wine, beer and spirits of the world
Where do caipirinhas come from? How do you say 'cheers!' in Spanish? If you like a tipple on your travels, see how much 'knowledge' you've soaked up in our world booze quizTry our other quizzes and prove how much you know about flags, the UK and the world. Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 11:08:00 GMT)

The 10 best ghosts
With Halloween just around the corner, Michael Hogan chooses his favourite otherworldly charactersHave we missed a ghost from the list? Leave your suggestion in the comments below and it could feature in the alternative list next weekSam Wheat from GhostThe clues in the title of the 1990 mega-hit Ghost, meaning Patrick Swayzes dead banker is one spook we can safely mention without fear of spoilers (were looking at you, The Sixth Sense). New York ceramicist Molly (Demi Moore) is in danger from criminals, so the spirit of her murdered lover tries to save her with the help of a psychic (Oscar-winning Whoopi Goldberg). Its most remembered, though, for its potters wheel scene, in which shirtless Swayze and Moore get erotically clay-coated to the strains of Unchained Melody. Worryingly, a US TV adaptation is in development. Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 11:00:02 GMT)

Have you changed your political allegiance?
Were looking for people who are planning to vote for a different party in the next election. Perhaps youve gone from Labour to Green, or Lib Dem to Ukip. If so, we want to hear from youAre you thinking about voting Ukip, because youve had enough of the mainstream parties? Perhaps you voted Lib Dem last time, and now youre thinking never again? Were interested in whats happening in your area, and how you feel about the main political parties. If youre planning to vote for a different party at the next election, wed like to know which one - and why. Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 17:14:42 GMT)

What I wore this week: three-storey dressing
Three-Storey Dressing means an outfit consisting of three vertical sections like a traffic light, or a Fab ice lollyWhen we were taking the pictures for this page, the photographer was looking through the camera and frowning Lean in a bit, leg a bit straighter, um, thats not working, try the other one, and I was shifting about awkwardly in my Thunderbirds-puppet modelling style, and eventually he sighed and asked, imploringly: Jess can you try and be a bit taller? Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 15:30:06 GMT)

New band of the week: Pinkshinyultrablast (No 28)
Introducing the finest Russian shoegaze band in the world today! Hometown: St Petersburg, Russia.The lineup: Igor (bass), Lyubov (vocals), Sergey (drums), Rustam (synths, electronics), Roman (guitars). Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 16:16:50 GMT)

20 best iPhone and iPad apps and games this week
Ruby Tandoh, Flickr, Angry Birds Transformers, Best Fiends, Inbox by Gmail, Toca Boo, Skylanders and moreIts time for this weeks roundup of the best new iPhone and iPad apps and games released on Apples App Store.As ever, the prices provided in brackets are for the initial download only: when an app uses in-app purchases, this will be listed as (Free + IAP). Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 15:42:00 GMT)

The Flash: are there too many superheroes on TV?
Do we really need to see another doofus who moonlights as a crimestopper? Two writers argue the tossBarry Allen, AKA the Flash, is the fastest man alive, zig-zagging across Starling City at inconceivable speeds. But despite his impressive nippiness, Bazza feels a little late to the party. TV has finally cracked the comic-book code, or at least jemmied the floodgates open: The Flash joins existing adaptations such as Arrow, Agents of SHIELD, The Walking Dead, Gotham and Constantine. In a few months, well also have Agent Carter, featuring plucky Hayley Atwell in tales of SHIELD-related derring-do during the second world war. Thats not to mention Preacher, Daredevil, Powers, Supergirl, Teen Titans, Scalped and even the slightly rubbish Hourman all comics properties at various stages of TV development. Weve reached peak Spandex, or whatever futuristic material superheroes wear in 2014 to look cool. And it feels really good, like some colossal karmic apology to those of us who endured 10 long, soapy years of Smallville. Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 12:00:03 GMT)

Living vroom the only place to park your supercar
The latest must-have feature for a luxury home? Its livingroom with a showcase for your supercarThe latest home design trend for billionaire property buyers in London is a glass garage where the owner can show off their supercar to admiring guests from the comfort of their sofa. A Knightsbridge house has gone on sale for £16.5m which, alongside the swimming pool, spa, bespoke wine cellar and media room that are now a given at the top of the property market, features a glass wall in the study offering a view of the garage.James Forbes, partner at Strutt & Parker in Knightsbridge, the estate agent selling the four-bedroom Park Lodge, says he has seen a number of properties refurbished to include high-end garages. People who are buying these properties often like cars and want to look after those cars and keep them off the street, he says. As a result, developers have been fitting leather dado-rails, heating and lights to guide you in. Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 10:28:44 GMT)

Britain, dont put your faith in Russell Brands revolution
The comedians excitable appearance on Newsnight this week betrayed the incoherence of his political viewsOh, Britain have you not read your King James Bible recently? Permit a New York Jew to quote some to you: Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheeps clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits.It is one such fruit that is up for discussion today: Russell Brands interview on Newsnight with Evan Davis on Thursday night. If you missed this because you were too busy washing your hair, I shall catch you up. As you doubtless remember, it was Brands appearance on Newsnight exactly a year ago that, after an article by him in the New Statesman, changed the popular perception of him as an amusing chap who confused a thesaurus with eloquence into the political prophet the country had been waiting for. In the cold light of 365 days later, it is not entirely clear why this happened. Perhaps somewhere in the New Testament the Lord sayeth, And my son will return, and ye shall know him by his lack of fear of Jeremy Paxman. But as I said, I am a Jew. So, well, dont count on it. Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 19:05:13 GMT)

Martin Rowson on David Cameron and the EU bill  cartoon
Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 19:46:33 GMT)

Ripping up the sea floor on behalf of royal profits
Even the pathetic laws protecting marine life in this country are instantly swept aside in response to lobbying by Prince Charless tenantsA few days ago, I visited the Flamborough Head no take zone, one of the UKs three areas in which commercial fishing is prohibited. Here marine life is allowed to proliferate, without being menaced by trawlers, scallop dredgers, drift nets, pots and all the other devices for rounding it up, some of which also rip the seabed to shreds. A reef of soft corals, mussels, razorfish and other species has begun to form, in which plaice and cod, crabs and lobsters can shelter, unmolested by exploitation. Fantastic, isnt it?We are not apologists for farming and fishing, nor pushing out propaganda for them ... The [display] board does not take a view on farming it offers no support nor is it designed to campaign against the appalling state of British farming today. Likewise for fishing. We, of course, understand that fishing has devastated the North Seas wildlife it is why YWT has built capacity to campaign on marine wildlife protection over the last five years. But again, regardless of our views on fishing, fishing has been part of the Flamborough community for thousands of years it is part of the story of the people who live and work at Flamborough. Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 12:07:02 GMT)

Dont let those high achievers bring you down
Thanks to social media were all aware of the feats of Mark Zuckerberg and his superhuman ilk. But its OK to be a mortalAs someone who works from home, I consider getting up and getting dressed in the morning the pinnacle of achievement. Getting up without an urgent need to is a herculean task. I have been known to get round this tricky problem by, on occasion, working from bed.And often I get up but somehow fail to get dressed. Yesterday my neighbour asked me to help him move a heavy picture, and I had to go outside in the street in my pyjamas. To be fair, he could see me working in my window, and my top half was dressed like a newsreader. Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 19:14:35 GMT)

Spiritual but not religious? Youre not alone
Is it time for rationalists who think spirituality is a meaningless term to get over themselves, asks Oliver BurkemanIts been reported that 20% of British people and 25% of Americans describe themselves as spiritual but not religious. The others probably rolled their eyes and muttered, Oh, please. Its a maddening phrase, exuding both smug superiority (Im deeper than an atheist but smarter than a believer!) and new age credulity of the wind-chimes-cure-cancer variety. Yet its how Id reluctantly describe myself. So its jolting to learn that Sam Harris, the celebrity atheist much of whose work I think is wrongheaded is one of us, too. While denouncing religion in public, it turns out Harris spent years studying with gurus in India, going on meditation retreats, and using mind-expanding drugs to feel boundlessly at one with the universe. His new book, Waking Up, makes a powerful case that theres no contradiction here and that its time for rationalists who think spirituality is a meaningless term to get over themselves. Pretty much literally, in fact.What Harris means by spirituality stems from the realisation that the feeling of being a distinct self the sense of being perched somewhere behind your eyes, looking out at a world that is separate from you is an illusion, and can be altered, even extinguished. Meditation and magic mushrooms are among the ways of achieving that. But why bother? Because not realising this truth is what keeps us trapped in the endless quest to acquire the things we think will make us happy: relationships, money, power. That quest locates happiness in the future, yet the reality of your life is always now. Step out of the self, even briefly, and you step into the present and a kind of happiness that doesnt depend on certain criteria being met. Is it possible to be happy before anything happens, before ones desires are gratified in the very midst of physical pain, old age, disease and death? Harriss answer is yes. Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 14:00:01 GMT)

25 years since the Berlin Wall came down. Now Germany must be bold
Angela Merkel has helped turn a unified Germany into a great country. It must start acting like oneA quarter of a century ago I went for a beer with a friend from East Berlin. We downed our frothy brew in the Märkischer Markt, a stroll from Checkpoint Charlie. Afterwards he stayed locked behind the Berlin Wall as one of the majority of East Germans who had never been permitted to travel to the west while I headed past the grim-faced guards to my parallel world of late bars and tinned tomatoes.Our standing joke was that we did our beer-drinking under communism, but only I went to the loo afterwards under capitalism. By late 1989 that quip felt sour and the mood more bitter than I had experienced, living in the east on and off since 1983. Hungary had opened its border with Austria, and young East Germans were taking the opportunity of the first mouse hole since the Wall went up in 1961, even if it seemed likely to mean permanent estrangement from those they left behind. Fear, always nagging in a country that relied on the secret police to tamp down dissent, mingled with hopes of reform. Mikhail Gorbachev, the Soviet president, had come to East Germany and wagged a finger at the countrys ailing leader, Erich Honecker and even after a nominal change at the top, the system looked resistant to perestroika, impervious to glasnost. Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 17:59:50 GMT)

Forget the Bible, tax collectors are now the heroes of democracy
Russell Brands anti-politics politics damages the cause of economic justice by undermining the states legitimacyIt was refreshing to hear it being said so loud and clear: tax is good. Hooray for tax. Speaker after speaker made the same basic point. Taxation is not something imposed by some external alien them on some hard-done-by us. Taxation is all about the us: it is the way we organise ourselves as a society, it is the support we owe to each other a tick in the box for the common good. So we ought to be proud of paying tax rather than being proud of the clever ways we invent of getting round it. But what political party had the guts to say such things? Has the Labour party finally found its bottle? Of course not. It wasnt politicians at all. It was collection of vicars, NGO-types and an ex-archbishop at the launch of Christian Aids new report on taxation and morality. I know: Central Casting do-gooders, you might think. Easy for them to say.But why cant politicians say similar things? The NHS, for instance, is loved by the vast majority of people in this country. And its obvious to anyone who has looked into the numbers that it requires a significant injection of money if it is not to collapse the sort of money that is not to be found down the back of the sofa (or, as politicians like to call it, via efficiency savings). Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 18:05:34 GMT)

Ill drink to child-free pubs and cafes
The increased presence of children in adult spaces might reflect progress, but sometimes I want a drink without someone screaming in my earAn Australian business owner did a brave thing this week. Jodie Morris announced that her cafe would no longer be accepting badly behaved children. If parents were looking for somewhere for children to run rampant and annoy other customers, she wrote on Facebook, then her premises were not child friendly.This has upset some customers, but I imagine others will breathe a sigh of relief. I would have gone further. The well behaved rule will no doubt lead to conflict further down the line (Why does my darling have to leave when that other child can stay?). So why not ban the whole lot of them? I believe in the sanctity of child-free spaces. Am I the only one; will someone not think of the adults? Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 06:00:08 GMT)

Without porn, the world would be a better place
Being an anti-porn feminist isnt to advocate censorship, but to highlight the fact that pornography contributes to misogynyPornography is one of the most contentious issues of the feminist movement today, with polarised views on whether it is liberating or degrading, allows and promotes sexual freedom, or if it promotes a view of female sexuality as submissive and based on rape fantasies. As a feminist firmly on the anti-porn side, I am used to the vitriol and passion this topic provokes, but is the debate becoming so vicious it is becoming a hindrance to progress?Pornland, a film by leading anti-porn academic Gail Dines, will debut at a feminist conference in London on Saturday, and has already caused controversy before its screening, with some speakers and participants expressing anger at its clear anti-porn position. Continue reading...
(Fri, 24 Oct 2014 13:28:56 GMT)

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