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Grenfell fire: Combustible cladding found on at least 3 more tower blocks, government reveals - Politics live
Rolling coverage of the day’s political developments as they happenGrenfell Tower fire statement - Summary 2.18pm BST Tenants in 700 flats in the five tower blocks that make up Chalcot Estate in Swiss Cottage in London received a hand delivered letter from Camden Council this morning advising them that the cladding was the same as that in Grenfell Tower and would be removed immediately. (See 12.09pm.)Rydon, the company that won the contract for refurbishment in both Swiss Cottage and Grenfell, is now facing potential legal action.I have been very worried ever since the fire and I feel better now the cladding is coming off.When there was a fire here a few years ago it didn’t spread. But with the refurbishment they changed the windows and they don’t open fully they just tilt out so I don’t know how you could even jump out if you had to. 2.01pm BST Samples are being taken of the cladding used on three high-rise blocks within Barnet borough by specialists using abseiling equipment.Two workers in helmets were seen dangling on climbing rope off the edge of Harpenmead Point, removing panels with drills. Similar samples are to be taken from neighbouring blocks Templewood Point and Granville Point.Specialists using abseil equipment are removing samples of cladding from this tower block in Barnet, to be sent off for further testing. pic.twitter.com/Y3pxyhi6Jq Continue reading...
(Thu, 22 Jun 2017 13:18:49 GMT)

Justin Welby asks George Carey to quit over church abuse report
Archbishop of Canterbury asks predecessor to step down from honorary position after report on church collusion with Peter BallThe archbishop of Canterbury has asked his predecessor George Carey to step down as an honorary assistant bishop after a damning independent report found that senior figures in the Church of England colluded over a 20-year period with a disgraced former bishop who sexually abused boys and men.Justin Welby, said the report on the church’s handling of former bishop Peter Ball made harrowing reading. Continue reading...
(Thu, 22 Jun 2017 12:42:37 GMT)

Brexit economy: UK faces slowdown amid living standards squeeze
The latest monthly Guardian analysis finds households experiencing rising costs and firms concerned over political uncertaintyBritain’s vote to leave the EU has squeezed living standards, hit consumer spending and dampened the country’s growth prospects, a Guardian analysis of economic news over the year since the referendum shows.One year since voters narrowly opted for Brexit, the Guardian’s monthly tracker of economic news paints a gloomy picture, with households facing rising costs and firms fretting over falling demand and political uncertainty. Continue reading...
(Thu, 22 Jun 2017 11:01:36 GMT)

Finsbury Park attack victim died of multiple injuries, postmortem finds
Preliminary examination of Makram Ali, 51, who died at scene of attack on Monday, reveals multiple injuriesTests ordered by detectives investigating the Finsbury Park terror attack have found that a man who lost his life died from multiple injuries.Makram Ali, 51, had been taken ill in the street just before the attack, and people had rushed to help him. Then a van ploughed into the crowd, just after midnight on Monday. Continue reading...
(Thu, 22 Jun 2017 12:40:55 GMT)

DUP sees 'very good' chance of Tory deal after winning big concessions
Northern Irish party’s chief whip Jeffrey Donaldson says DUP has shown it’s ‘no pushover’ after agreement looked in doubtThe Conservatives and Democratic Unionists have a “very good” chance of reaching an agreement, a senior DUP MP has said, hinting that the Northern Irish party had won significant concessions as the price of a deal.Jeffrey Donaldson, the DUP’s chief whip at Westminster, said it was “nonsense” to claim the party was seeking an extra £2bn for Northern Ireland’s NHS and infrastructure projects. Continue reading...
(Thu, 22 Jun 2017 08:07:08 GMT)

Benefit cap on lone parents of under-twos is unlawful, court rules
Policy has caused ‘real misery to no good purpose’ as parents of children under two do not qualify for free childcareThe government’s policy of imposing the benefit cap on tens of thousands of lone parents with children under the age of two is unlawful, discriminatory and has resulted in “real damage” to the families affected, the high court has ruled.The benefit cap, which limits the total amount households can receive in benefits to £20,000 a year, or £23,000 in Greater London, was envisaged as an “incentive” to persuade unemployed people to move into work. Continue reading...
(Thu, 22 Jun 2017 12:13:06 GMT)

May urged to match EU's offer on free movement for Britons in Europe
Campaign groups call on prime minister to mirror EU’s proposal as she prepares to set out offer at dinner in BrusselsTheresa May must match the EU’s lifetime guarantee to preserve the rights of Britons living on the continent with a reciprocal package for EU citizens living in the UK, say campaign groups. She is expected to finally outline her proposal for the 3 million EU citizens living in the UK at a dinner in Brussels on Thursday night. The EU sent its proposal to the British government on 12 June but has heard nothing since. Continue reading...
(Thu, 22 Jun 2017 12:48:46 GMT)

Supreme court to consider appeal to allow Trump's travel ban
Court is considering an appeal by the Trump administration to allow the president’s order restricting travel to the US from six Muslim-majority countriesThe US supreme court is set to begin action on Donald Trump’s travel ban, leading to a potential final resolution to the defining legal battle of the administration’s early days. Related: Another appeals court upholds block on Trump's revised travel ban Continue reading...
(Thu, 22 Jun 2017 12:03:50 GMT)

Israeli airline can't make women move seats for religious reasons, court rules
El Al loses case brought by Holocaust survivor asked to move after ultra-orthodox man refused to sit next to herFlight stewards working for Israel’s national carrier El Al cannot request female passengers to move seats to accommodate ultra-orthodox men who do not want to sit next to them, a court has ruled.The landmark case was brought by 82-year old Holocaust survivor Renee Rabinowitz, who sued the airline for discrimination after being asked to move seats to accommodate an ultra-orthodox male passenger in 2015. When she challenged the practice, she was told by staff that the policy had been approved at board level. Continue reading...
(Thu, 22 Jun 2017 09:15:27 GMT)

Andy Burnham pledges to replace Prevent strategy in Manchester
New scheme must command confidence of region’s Muslim communities, says Greater Manchester mayorThe much-criticised Prevent programme is to be replaced in Greater Manchester as part of a broad review of the region’s counter-terror strategy in the wake of the Manchester Arena bombing.Andy Burnham, the mayor of Greater Manchester, said the deradicalisation scheme had achieved some success but was “too top-down”. He said: “Prevent, as it’s currently configured, will only take you so far. There has been a feeling of disengagement because of the way it goes about its work. We’re saying that can’t be allowed to carry on. It will only succeed if there’s true community buy-in at grassroots level, and the information comes that way.” Continue reading...
(Thu, 22 Jun 2017 12:07:31 GMT)

Overheated French male bus drivers don skirts in defiance of dress code
Nantes crew respond to ban on shorts by turning up in skirts in protest against ‘unacceptable working conditions’French bus drivers angry at a ban on wearing shorts in the ongoing heatwave have turned up to work in skirts. Related: Teenage boys wear skirts to school to protest against 'no shorts' policy Continue reading...
(Thu, 22 Jun 2017 12:42:36 GMT)

Brexit Shorts: Your Ma's a Hard Brexit by Stacey Gregg and starring Bronagh Gallagher – video
“We know what it means to be divided.” A mother reflects on Brexit’s consequences for Northern Ireland Continue reading...
(Mon, 19 Jun 2017 13:15:13 GMT)

Boris Johnson’s interview disaster won’t be treated like Diane Abbott’s | Hugh Muir
When Abbott floundered in interviews, the media pounced. But the foreign secretary’s blundering is filed in the folder marked The Joy of Good Old BorisSo, people of Britain and beyond, a question: which kind of car crash do you prefer? There’s the Diane Abbott kind of car crash, where she, debilitated as we now know by complications from diabetes, flounders in that now infamous interview with LBC’s Nick Ferrari. It makes news. Boy, does it make news. The media replay it endlessly, the focus groups remember it as an indicator of Labour sloppiness, voters raise it on the doorstep. It adds, in a malevolent kind of way, to the gaiety of the nation.Then, of course, there is the Boris Johnson car crash. Funny about Boris Johnson. He is a highly intelligent bloke, but he has a lot of these interviews when he hums and haws and yammers and dissembles and truly, madly, deeply doesn’t know what he is talking about. Continue reading...
(Thu, 22 Jun 2017 10:22:07 GMT)

Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl: ‘I got 6,000 muffins from Lionel Richie after missing Glastonbury’
When a broken leg scuppered the Nirvana legend’s plans to headline the Pyramid stage in 2015, his only consolation was a present from a pop hero. But now, the Foos are ready to finally hit Worthy FarmHello, Dave. How are you?I’m good. How are you?Quite hot, to be honest, it’s very warm here in the UK.I’m in Latvia right now, but I read the other day that they are expecting the hottest Glastonbury ever (1). Is that even possible? I can’t even imagine that! But I like it hot and sweaty, so I can’t wait. Continue reading...
(Thu, 22 Jun 2017 12:29:42 GMT)

The Royal College of Nursing is spot on – dogs absolutely belong in hospitals | Michele Hanson
The suggestion that certain dogs be allowed on wards is welcome – there is masses of evidence of their beneficial impact on human healthHospital is rarely the most relaxing or cheery of places, but the Royal College of Nursing has just come up with a suggestion that might well improve your stay – allow the dogs in. Not just any old dog, of course. They wouldn’t be bounding in fresh from the garden or park, trampling excrement, spraying slobber and germs about. These would probably be calm, trained therapy dogs, to soothe patients and aid recovery – mental and physical.Sounds good to me. I might have been a little worried that the dogs would accidentally dislodge a delicate and vital bit of tubing, or jump on an injured body part, but that wouldn’t happen with an efficient handler about. And my personal experience is that dogs tend to know when and when not to bounce around. I’ve seen a Reading Education Assistance dog treat every child differently. He danced around to perk up a sad one, lay down to calm a jittery one, kept his distance from a nervous one, got close to and kissed a peaky-looking tatty one, who looked as if he badly needed some affection, apparently instinctively. His handler gave no instructions. And the children all started reading to the dog. Which they wouldn’t do for anyone else.   Continue reading...
(Thu, 22 Jun 2017 12:31:21 GMT)

Hawaii's largest homeless camp: rock bottom or a model refuge?
Long America’s vacation paradise, Hawaii is in a state of emergency as it battles a homelessness crisis. Could Pu’uhonua safe zones help alleviate the problem?Sign up to our monthly Outside in America newsletterThree backpack-laden children chattered happily as they trudged down a dirt path and disappeared into a patch of thorny brush along a highway.Tucked around a corner, a woman named Twinkle Borge greeted the schoolkids from her metal folding chair. A seven-year-old girl tugging a red wagon full of water jugs paused to give Borge a kiss on the cheek. Then all three walked into their home: the largest homeless encampment in Hawaii. Continue reading...
(Thu, 22 Jun 2017 11:00:02 GMT)

Nobody Speak: Trials of the Free Press review – Hulk v Gawker in portrait of wealthy arrogance
This new Netflix docu-feature examines Hogan’s case against the gossip site, highlighting other wealthy figures aggressively seeking to silence the pressThe extraordinary case of Hulk Hogan’s 2015 legal action against the gossip website Gawker is far shadier, far creepier than many appreciate. Certainly, I didn’t realise that, until I saw this punchy documentary which sites it in a new context. The Hogan attack was a vanguard operation in the aggressive new reactionary philistinism and hatred of press freedom being nurtured by some of America’s super-rich which is encouraged as a political diversionary tactic by the US president. Continue reading...
(Thu, 22 Jun 2017 11:08:38 GMT)

Grenfell isn’t just about people being left to die. It’s about how we expect them to live | Frances Ryan
Housing inequality doesn’t exist in a vacuum, it’s a result of the wilful abandonment of government duty labelled ‘austerity’There are moments in which nations come to realise the cost of state-sanctioned inequality – of the belief that certain citizens should have safety, dignity and wellbeing and that it is perfectly permissible that others do not. The Grenfell Tower fire is increasingly being understood as such a moment, a brutal indictment of a housing system by which – in one of the richest boroughs in the country, in one of the richest countries in the world – children, fathers and grandmothers were crammed into a death trap. Related: Grenfell Tower residents say managers 'brushed away' fire safety concerns Continue reading...
(Thu, 22 Jun 2017 07:00:31 GMT)

Theresa May booed as she leaves Kensington housing estate – video
Theresa May is booed and heckled as she leaves Lancaster West housing estate. The PM returned to North Kensington on Wednesday to meet families affected by the Grenfell Tower fire. Local residents say she was there for about 45 minutes Grenfell fire – latest updates AJ Tracey on the Grenfell Tower fire: ‘We’ve seen no government response’ – video Continue reading...
(Thu, 22 Jun 2017 10:36:59 GMT)

Rehousing of Grenfell Tower families in luxury block receives mixed response
While some residents welcome the families to Kensington Row others are less positive with concerns over future property pricesTwo miles south of the charred skeleton of Grenfell Tower is a large complex of sleek new apartments that some of those displaced by last week’s inferno will soon be able to call home.Kensington Row’s manicured lawns, clipped trees and burbling fountains are a haven from the rumbling traffic of two busy London thoroughfares, and its spacious, air-conditioned foyers a relief from June’s oppressive heatwave. Continue reading...
(Thu, 22 Jun 2017 06:32:33 GMT)

Does your tower block have external cladding?
If you’ve been contacted by your council about external cladding on your building, we’d like to hear from youCouncils in England estimate that about 600 high-rise buildings have exterior cladding and are being tested for similarities to that used on Grenfell Tower where at least 79 people died last week. Related: Six hundred high-rises in England thought to have flammable cladding Continue reading...
(Thu, 22 Jun 2017 11:48:24 GMT)

All local authorities will feel the consequences of the Grenfell fire | David Walker
Why did Kensington and Chelsea, seen in Whitehall and more widely as a safe of pair of hands, handle the crisis so badly?Grenfell Tower has dealt a severe blow to the reputation of local government. It will hit the devolution agenda, reform of council finance and will have ramifications for the future of social care and councils’ role in NHS sustainability and transformation plans.The departure of Kensington and Chelsea’s chief executive Nicholas Holgate – regarded for the past week as a dead man walking by his London peers – sums it up. He was ordered to go by Sajid Javid, the communities secretary. So much for local autonomy; here was a reminder that Whitehall always tries to keep reserve powers, just in case of local failure. Continue reading...
(Thu, 22 Jun 2017 11:49:54 GMT)

First funeral held of Grenfell victims as families urged to come forward
Syrian family remember ‘loving and caring’ son as immigrant families without legal UK residency are urged to come forward without fearThe first funeral for one of the victims of the Grenfell Tower disaster has taken place in a packed ceremony attended by relatives who had flown in from Syria and the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan.Syrian refugee Mohammad Alhajali, 23, was studying civil engineering at the university of West London, lived on the 14th floor of the block. His brother Omar, 25, managed to escape from the fire after becoming separated from Mohammad, who was unable to get to safety. Continue reading...
(Wed, 21 Jun 2017 16:04:53 GMT)

David Lammy: ‘If burning in your home is not political, I don’t know what is’ – video
Owen Jones speaks to the Labour MP for Tottenham about the Grenfell Tower fire. Lammy says the people found responsible ‘should have their heads on the block’, and calls on the Metropolitan police not to ‘let anyone get off’ its criminal investigation into the west London blaze in which scores of residents were killedAn extended version of this interview is available on Owen Jones’s YouTube channel Continue reading...
(Wed, 21 Jun 2017 12:48:17 GMT)

Royal Ascot 2017: buildup to the Gold Cup – live!
Rolling updates from the races on day threeChris Cook: Sheikhzayedroad can win the Gold CupAnd feel free to email Barry or tweet @bglendenning 2.09pm BST 2.04pm BST Having picked pink as the colour of the Queen’s hat in an impromptu office sweep, it is with great pride that I can announce that on Day Three of this year’s Royal Ascot, I have finally backed a winner. Officially it’s fuchsia, but I’m not being diddled out of this one. We’ll bring you pictorial proof just as soon as we have it. There’s quite a strong wind coming off the straight mile as the Royal Procession makes it’s way down the course, prompting the ladies involved to hold on to their hats. Continue reading...
(Thu, 22 Jun 2017 13:09:39 GMT)

Transfer window 2017 – every deal in Europe's top five leagues
All the moves in the top leagues of England, Spain, Italy, France and Germany as well as a Premier League club-by-club guide for all the ins and outs this summer Continue reading...
(Thu, 22 Jun 2017 11:46:07 GMT)

FA announces end to all sponsorship deals with betting companies
• Decision comes after three-month review into betting sponsorship• FA’s current partnership with Ladbrokes to be terminated this monthThe FA is to end all sponsorship deals with betting companies this month following a three-month review.The governing body signed a “long-term” deal with Ladbrokes in June 2016 to become its “official betting partner” following a similar agreement with William Hill. Continue reading...
(Thu, 22 Jun 2017 10:41:56 GMT)

How defence expert Dave Ellis switched sides to become All Blacks' Lion tamer | Gerard Meagher
Dave Ellis was rejected for a coaching role by 2005 Lions so the then Gloucester coach threw in his lot with the All Blacks, who coasted to a 3-0 series winIf the British & Irish Lions tour of New Zealand in 2005 is best summed up as a circus then perhaps Clive Woodward’s lingering regret is overlooking the self-styled “lion tamer”.Woodward decided against handing a place on his staff to the defence coach Dave Ellis, who subsequently became the Englishman working for the enemy – seconded by Graham Henry to help the All Blacks before their 3-0 series win. “It was satisfying because I was disappointed to be overlooked by the Lions,” Ellis says. “On the flight home I wore a T-shirt that my brother had sent me which said ‘lion tamer’ on the back – it didn’t go down very well.” Continue reading...
(Thu, 22 Jun 2017 11:05:02 GMT)

Women’s Cricket World Cup: team-by-team guide to the tournament | Vithushan Ehantharajah
Australia are the team to beat in England but which players could star at the tournament and who are the dark horses who could spring a surprise?World Cup best: Winners – 1978, 1982, 1988, 1997, 2005, 2013 Continue reading...
(Thu, 22 Jun 2017 11:02:56 GMT)

Thomas in Team Sky Tour de France squad but Stannard and Kennaugh miss out
• Chris Froome gets support from Mikel Landa, Luke Rowe and Sergio Henao• Mikel Nieve, Michal Kwiatkowski, Vasil Kiryienka and Christian KneesGeraint Thomas and Mikel Landa have been named in the Team Sky squad to support Chris Froome’s bid for a fourth Tour de France title next month.Thomas and Landa led Sky in the Giro d’Italia in May but their overall hopes were ended when a police motorbike caused a crash on the Blockhaus climb on stage nine. While the Spaniard Landa continued in the race and took victory on the mountainous stage 19, Wales’s Thomas was forced to withdraw but has recovered from his injuries in time to head to France. Continue reading...
(Thu, 22 Jun 2017 12:03:11 GMT)

John Terry weighs up Aston Villa move as he waits on Premier League interest
• Terry has offer from Villa which could be worth more than £4m a year• West Brom may win race if they follow up interest with a proposalJohn Terry is weighing up an offer to extend his career with Aston Villa in the Championship, but anticipates top-flight clubs proposing terms over the next few weeks as he prepares for life away from Chelsea.The former England captain returned to the Premier League champions’ training base at Cobham this week to maintain his fitness before the expiry of his last contract at the club on 30 June. The 36-year-old, who ultimately wants to move into management, is determined to play on and has received a lucrative offer from Villa which, after bonuses and incentives, could be worth more than £4m a year. Continue reading...
(Thu, 22 Jun 2017 11:02:41 GMT)

Bubbling under: Football League players who should be on Premier League radars
Fulham’s implausibly talented Ryan Sessegnon, Leeds United’s Charlie Taylor and the League One prodigy Ezri Konsa are among those with top-flight potentialFulham’s manager, Slavisa Jokanovic, might want to have a word with Ragnar Sigurdsson. Jokanovic has spoken on a number of occasions about his desire to keep his star players after their hugely impressive run to the play-offs, so when Sigurdsson was asked if the implausibly talented youngster Ryan Sessegnon was good enough to play in the Premier League, a polite “no comment” might have been a politically wise response. “One hundred per cent,” the Fulham defender said. “He’s a great talent … he has a very bright future. I’m just surprised he didn’t get any offers during the season. I think he was that good.” Ah. Sigurdsson’s opinion isn’t massively surprising because it’s shared by half of the Premier League, whose scouts have been seemingly tripping over their tongues as they relay tales of his talent to those who make the financial decisions. Sessegnon is only just 17, so the strengths of his game – pace, enormous threat going forwards from left-back, a fizzing shot – are exciting while the weaknesses can be worked upon. Whether that will be at Fulham or in the Premier League, may depend on just how much they want to keep him. Continue reading...
(Thu, 22 Jun 2017 09:06:50 GMT)

County cricket: Essex v Warwickshire, Hampshire v Lancashire and more – live!
Live updates from Chelmsford and around the groundsMiddlesex hammer Yorkshire in three days to finally resemble championsAnd feel free to email Will or tweet @willis_macp 2.20pm BST Harmer finishes with 14 as Sunny Singh edges straight to Cook. He took eight wickets in the innings and seven on the spin today. Remarkable. Match figures of 14 for 126, a career best, and eight for 36 are career best innings figures too.Essex take 22 points and remain very much top. Warwickshire 94 all out and very much bottom. 2.16pm BST Worcestershire have 199, and need 200 more. They are two down. Continue reading...
(Thu, 22 Jun 2017 13:20:25 GMT)

Japanese team skipping, Parma's return and the Lions in New Zealand | Classic YouTube
This week’s roundup also features a perpendicular putt, purple umbrellas and mountain bike legend Rachel Atherton going through the pain barrier1) The wait is almost over; the first Lions test against the All Blacks kicks off this Saturday. The last New Zealand tour back in 2005 was a painful one, not least for Brian O’Driscoll, whose tour was ended by an infamous tackle in the opening seconds of the first Test, which ended in a 21-3 defeat. The second Test was even worse, Dan Carter inspiring a 48-18 thrashing in one of the all-time great No10 displays, before the tourists’ misery was completed in the third fixture at Eden Park. Lions fans looking for a little cheer might enjoy England’s women winning in New Zealand this weekend, these five classic Lions moments, or two Lions tries against the All Blacks from the vault: Rory Underwood in 1993 and JJ Williams back in 1977.2) It’s Queen’s this week, Wimbledon’s fancy cousin, a tournament which takes an awful lot of work and coordination to get ready. There have been some wonderful moments for Andy Murray in recent years – here he is winning last year’s event, having to come from behind against Milos Raonic to claim his fifth title. The lowest point of recent times came in 2012 when David Nalbandian inadvertently injured a line judge, getting himself disqualified and handing the title to Marin Cilic. Queen’s Club has hosted tennis for 130 years, including a Davis Cup tie in 1930 and a memorable women’s tournament one year later. Continue reading...
(Thu, 22 Jun 2017 09:15:00 GMT)

Stephen Hendry: ‘In a fight, it would be hard to get past Jimmy White’
The seven-time world snooker champion talks his poker face, his golf handicap, Alex Higgins, Neutral Milk Hotel and why he never felt sorry for the WhirlwindHello Stephen! Small Talk isn’t good at much, goodness knows, but we like to think we can read a face. You’re a big poker fan, we’re guessing? It’s written all over your coupon! Yeah I am. I began playing during the boom when online poker first started around 2001. I played a lot. Steve Davis got me into it. I saw him doing it on his laptop all the time. We used to have a little school at night. A few players got into it. That’s how I learned to play.Are you any good? I’ve certainly improved, there’s no doubt about that. You get sick of handing over money! But I wouldn’t say I’m a expert by any stretch of imagination. It’s a bit like chess to me: I know what the pieces do, but playing it well is the hard thing. But I enjoy it, and my association with Poker Stars is great. I’m an ambassador for them, and get to play at these massive events like the Marbella Poker Festival. It’s cool. Continue reading...
(Thu, 22 Jun 2017 10:00:01 GMT)

Goldie Sayers ‘gutted’ not to get 2008 Olympic bronze in London
• Team GB athletes unlikely to receive reallocated medals this summer• Legal challenges jeopardise London ceremony in AugustGoldie Sayers will be “gutted” if she is one of the British athletes robbed of the chance to receive medals denied to them by drug cheats at a special ceremony at the world championships in London in August.Organisers have offered to host extra ceremonies for Sayers and other British athletes, including Jessica Ennis-Hill, Jo Pavey and Kelly Sotherton, who also missed out on medals at Olympic Games and world championships owing to athletes subsequently found to have taken performance-enhancing drugs. Yet because of legal challenges it appears unlikely the reallocation of medals will happen before 10 August, when the ceremonies are due to take place. Continue reading...
(Wed, 21 Jun 2017 19:54:50 GMT)

Jonny Bairstow and Alex Hales send England cruising past South Africa
• First T20: South Africa 142-3, England 143-1; England win by nine wickets• England chase down victory target with ease in one-sided matchIn the opening game of a three-match Twenty20 series, likely to remain in the memory for at least a week, England thrashed South Africa by nine wickets with 33 balls to spare. England played extremely well, their opponents tepidly (to be polite). It was another disappointingly one-sided contest – we have seen plenty of those in the Champions Trophy – but sadly not much was residing on the outcome of this one.Both sides were experimental, including interesting debutants with memorable names. Mason Crane of England and Tabraiz Shamsi of South Africa are wrist spinners with the latter propelling the ball with his left arm. One of the unforeseen benefits of T20 cricket has been the increased craving for wrist spinners. Every side should have one. Continue reading...
(Wed, 21 Jun 2017 20:41:17 GMT)

Football transfer rumours: Real Madrid to buy Kylian Mbappé for world-record fee?
Today’s rumours are out of kilter It’s expensive-forward dominoes in the transfer market! Real Madrid are poised to make a record-breaking move for Monaco’s astronomically priced Kylian Mbappé, but first they need Manchester United to put in an astronomical bid for Álvaro Morata, which now looks a little more likely after Bayern Munich told United to stop sniffing around Robert Lewandowski. Bayern meanwhile are closing in on Bayer Leverkusen’s talented 21-year-old forward Julian Brandt, forcing a disappointed Jürgen Klopp to look elsewhere. Ah, that’s about the end of that disjointed chain (The Mill was never very good at dominoes). Somewhere down the stairs and along the hallway Everton’s Oumar Niasse has hands on hips waiting for a nudge to a new club. Continue reading...
(Thu, 22 Jun 2017 09:17:14 GMT)

Royal Ascot day three preview: Sheikhzayedroad can win the Gold Cup
The selection was not at home on the soft ground when third in this race last year and Thursday’s faster surface will be right up his streetNow that Highland Reel has calmed any nerves about Aidan O’Brien’s recent form, Order Of St George will be a warm order to repeat his Gold Cup success of last year. But punters are reminded that he was beaten here in October by Sheikhzayedroad (4.20), who is available at double-figure odds to beat the favourite again.That was a shorter race but I have no doubt about Sheikhzayedroad’s stamina. He wasn’t at home on the soft ground when third in this last year and the faster surface will be right up his street. His stable is finally coming into form after a slow spring. Continue reading...
(Wed, 21 Jun 2017 16:33:38 GMT)

Jack Kyle: the student who skipped class to play for the Lions against the All Blacks
Jack Kyle’s parents weren’t happy when he ditched his exams for a four-month tour but he paid them back with tries against the All Blacks and the WallabiesBy Jonathan Drennan for Behind the Lines, part of the Guardian Sport NetworkDr Jack Kyle was voted Ireland’s greatest ever rugby player in 2002, more than four decades after he has last represented his country. He first played for Ireland during the second world war in a friendly against a British Army XV but made his official international debut in 1947, the year before he helped Ireland win their first ever grand slam. He went on to represent the newly named British Lions in New Zealand and Australia but, regardless of what he achieved as a fly-half, he was most proud of his 34-year career working as a surgeon in Zambia. Related: Jack Kyle, one of Ireland’s all-time rugby greats, dies aged 88 Continue reading...
(Thu, 22 Jun 2017 09:05:19 GMT)

England Under-21s prepare to put lid on Polish passions and reach semis
• We have a job to do with 15,000 people against us, says Aidy Boothroyd• England expect to stick with the side who saw off SlovakiaAidy Boothroyd has urged his England players to rise to the challenge of facing the tournament hosts, Poland, in their final group stage match at the European Under‑21 Championship as they bid to reach the semi-finals for the first time in four attempts.Despite being heavily outnumbered in the stands during their games against Sweden and Slovakia, England go into the game on top of Group A with four points and knowing victory on Thursday would secure a last-four place. Continue reading...
(Wed, 21 Jun 2017 21:30:19 GMT)

Actors usually envy each other. But Daniel Day-Lewis is a class apart | Michael Simkins
The actor is retiring – and those of us used to playing angry policemen or affable dads could see just how exceptional his talent isIt’s the news I’ve been waiting for. Daniel Day-Lewis, one of the most widely respected and sublimely gifted actors of his generation, is finally hanging up his codpiece and pig’s bladder and, in the words of his representative, “will no longer be working as an actor” (although this carefully worded statement presumably allows him some wriggle room if he ever wants to pursue an alternative career on the tills at Claire’s Accessories). Related: Daniel Day-Lewis: an extraordinary career of acting artistry – is it really all over? Continue reading...
(Thu, 22 Jun 2017 12:00:14 GMT)

All white and just one woman. Why is our Brexit team like this? | Tania Branigan
With more beards than females and no ethnic minority members, the UK team negotiating our leaving the EU will not reap the benefits diversity bringsThere is nothing shocking about the photos of the UK’s Brexit negotiating team. They are almost exactly as you would expect. Somehow, it is normal that a team working on behalf of 65 million people should contain no person of colour and “more beards than women” – an indication not of hipster tendencies in the civil service, but of the fact there is just one female member among the nine. These are the people charged with fulfilling Theresa May’s promise that “as we leave the European Union … we will make Britain a country that works not for a privileged few, but for every one of us”.That the EU side is only slightly better is a demonstration of wider shortcomings, not a defence of the UK. That one very competent and capable woman made the cut does not prove meritocracy triumphed. People irked by all-male panels should consider this: while the Foreign Office boasts of the most diverse parliament ever, Brexit – the single issue likely to have the greatest impact on our future – is being negotiated by a team only marginally more representative than the Bullingdon boys who got us into this mess. Continue reading...
(Thu, 22 Jun 2017 08:07:38 GMT)

Can the Tories cling on, or should we brace ourselves for another election? | Anne Perkins
It’s been two weeks since the country voted, yet how the minority Conservatives are going to govern is still unclear. Here’s what could happen nextTheresa May did her best to sound as if she had no intention of going anywhere on Wednesday, as she defended the slender programme laid out in her first – and probably her last – Queen’s speech. She tried to sound as if she had a purpose in holding on to power. But the vivid contrast between her beleaguered performance and the confidence and energy of a reinvigorated Jeremy Corbyn showed just where momentum in this new parliament actually lies.But it’s one thing to sound upbeat, and to believe that victory is close at hand, and another to make it happen. So how could Labour force an election? Continue reading...
(Thu, 22 Jun 2017 10:29:44 GMT)

How sad that English-speaking parents are afraid of their children being taught in Welsh | Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett
The English colonial legacy has left its mark in Wales, and it sticks in the craw that otherwise liberal people might criticise minority-language activists in the UK Tuesday’s Guardian article about Welsh language education caused huge controversy. In it, some parents protested about their village school switching to Welsh-language teaching. The print headline was: Welsh-only teaching – a political tool that harms children?The framing of the teaching of Welsh to children as a question of ethics, and the suggestion that it could put any child in Wales at a disadvantage, upset me and other Welsh speakers. Focusing on a bitter row that took place last year in Llangennech, Camarthenshire, the article emphasised the concerns of one parent, with voices on the other side of the debate largely absent, leading to a rather one-sided argument. Continue reading...
(Thu, 22 Jun 2017 11:53:33 GMT)

With the government in paralysis, and fear, anger and grief everywhere, it feels explosive | Suzanne Moore
There is a growing anxiety in our cities and those feigning strong and stable leadership are anything but. It’s up to us to ask how best to take care of each otherThe helicopters are very near again. Circling, searching, their noise almost a constant these days. I am sleepless because of the heat, because of the helicopters. It is better not to know what they are doing as it will only be terrible news. The other night it was because of the attack near Finsbury Park mosque. Last, there were riots in Stamford Hill, north London. Kids with machetes some said, and knives found after a stabbing.I can’t think about this, I decide. These multiple blows to the place where my children and I live. It is not OK. It can no longer be processed as just “city living”. First the killing of little girls and pop fans in Manchester. And now the fire, this awful fire, looms over everything. Because it was preventable and because it was allowed to happen and because living in a vibrant or diverse city – or whichever estate agent phraseology we use – means a kind of cognitive dissonance, whereby many simply do not “see” the people they live beside. To some extent, it’s protection. To encounter the reality of those we live beside is shaming because the level of inequality is shaming. It is one thing to “know” this, another to feel it. Continue reading...
(Wed, 21 Jun 2017 17:53:18 GMT)

‘I feel like a hunter-gatherer when I barbecue’ | Comment
Surrounded by urban sprawl, where can you get your fix of flame-grilled fodder? Why, the local park of course, if they haven’t banned them there too ...I am not, by instinct, a summer person. I see the benefits: the sunshine, the smell of hot pavements after rain, daylight in the morning and the evening, and so on. But the problem is that summer is, ultimately, a time best enjoyed on holiday, and that most of us have to spend the majority of it in an office. Apart from teachers, who spend it rocking back and forth and muttering things like “Class 9D, man. You weren’t there. I can still hear the shrieking ...”Our working days in the summer tend to be spent feeling sweaty, sluggish and irritable – or at least mine do. The summer months are only really any good on our days off. And the crown of the season is, surely, the barbecue. Continue reading...
(Thu, 22 Jun 2017 11:00:02 GMT)

The Queen’s speech has made Brexit Britain an international laughing stock | Rafael Behr
The world looks on aghast at a once highly regarded country affirming this tragic folly with all the state pomp and pageantry it can musterThe pageantry can be depicted as splendid or ridiculous, according to taste. Black Rod, the arrival of Her Majesty’s crown in its own car; the cap of maintenance borne on its special ceremonial millinery pole – the whole spectacle testifies to the venerability and inflexibility of parliament. The Queen’s speech performance encapsulates the best and the worst of our legislative arrangements. It is easily mocked, sometimes with republican rage but mostly with affection. Related: Here’s what the Queen’s speech needed to say – but didn’t | Jonathan Freedland Continue reading...
(Thu, 22 Jun 2017 09:10:02 GMT)

As a GP treating Grenfell fire victims, I marvel at the human talent for caring | Mohammedabbas Khaki
This atrocity choked the nation. But perhaps we can now find a way to harness the indomitable spirit of selflessness and equality that it has revealedI have volunteered as a doctor in Iraq, Lesbos, and Calais – but sometimes it’s the events closer to home that hit you the hardest. This is London – how could this happen in our own back yard?“Hi, I’m Dr Khaki. How can I help?” Continue reading...
(Thu, 22 Jun 2017 09:46:25 GMT)

The Guardian view on the Queen’s speech: In office but not in power | Editorial
The minority government’s programme junks many of the things it wanted to do, in favour of measures it thinks it can get away withWestminster in the record-breaking high heat of midsummer. The elderly Queen opening parliament for the 64th time in this longest of royal reigns. A crowded and noisy Commons chamber, with the party leaders straining to make their points across the despatch box. The unwary, catching the event on the television news afterwards, may have got the impression today that this was all very familiar, that the 2017 Queen’s speech marks the resumption of British political business as usual. Yet the unwary would be very wrong.British politics were radically recast on 8 June. The new political landscape is different in almost every way bar the names of the two main party leaders. The Conservatives are in office but not in power. Labour is in one-more-heave mode for the first time since the 1990s. The SNP challenge has retreated though not ended. In this hung parliament, shaped by what is now a minority government, this was a Queen’s speech from a humbled Tory party under a leader whose authority has suddenly drained away. Continue reading...
(Wed, 21 Jun 2017 17:48:15 GMT)

Zakat requires Muslims to donate 2.5% of their wealth: could this end poverty?
Estimated at almost $2tn in 2015, Islamic finance is often overlooked by development organisations as a potential source of fundsUsman, a fisherman in North Sumatra, used to have a rickety fishing boat that could only take him as far as the mouth of the river, just before it meets the sea. He could not catch enough to feed his family of five but last month, he was able to buy a new boat with the help of Islamic donations. Now he can sail further into the sea, he catches more fish and his income can pay for school fees and even some pocket money for his children. This is just one of countless examples of how zakat can improve livelihoods and reduce poverty worldwide.For Muslims around the world, the month of Ramadan is a time of deep reflection, sacrifice and joyous family gatherings. It’s also a time when Muslims make donations known as zakat; the giver is believed to be purified through the act of transferring wealth to the poor. Zakat is also a powerful source of good with untapped potential for contributing to sustainable development in communities, such as the small fishing village in North Sumatra. Continue reading...
(Thu, 22 Jun 2017 11:17:19 GMT)

Greek debt: IMF and EU's temporary fix isn't enough | Mohamed El-Erian
Last week’s bailout is only a short-term compromise – the two creditors must work together on a proper solutionThe International Monetary Fund has resurrected an old technique – commonly used in the 1980s during the Latin American debt crisis – that would allow Greece to avoid a payment default next month on debt owed to European creditors. The reprieve also gives the IMF and its European partners time to sort out their technical differences on the struggling country’s growth and budget outlook. But the fund’s elegant compromise still leaves Greece under the shadow of an enormous debt overhang; reducing it requires that Europe find a way to set aside national politics and act on the basis of economic logic and necessity.Europe and the IMF have been unable to reconcile two views of Greece’s debt sustainability, with the two sides’ differences spilling over into the public domain. Guided mainly by a cash-flow analysis, European authorities argue that low interest rates and long maturities have made the nation’s debt sustainable. But the fund notes that, at almost 200% of GDP, Greece’s stock of debt deters investment and capital inflows. For the IMF, meaningful debt reduction is critical for generating the confidence and credibility needed to break Greece out of a prolonged period of impoverishment. Continue reading...
(Thu, 22 Jun 2017 10:03:47 GMT)

A lesson from Grenfell Tower: mourn in public, but grieve in private | Simon Jenkins
The collective response demanded by disasters on this scale must not deny us the space to move on. Life must be lived forwardsAre you grief or rage? Three days ago I watched a news crew at work outside Grenfell Tower. They were interviewing an elderly Muslim woman and needed a composite shot of the blackened tower, her face and a picture she was holding. They clearly wanted her to cry. I sensed her dignity in being unable to oblige. Amid the overwhelming sadness of the place, I felt fury at such an intrusion on private agony.We surely risk exhaustion from the demands of collective grief. From Westminster through Manchester to London Bridge and on to Kensington and Finsbury Park, we have been subjected to a running drama of public mourning, as of a nation at war. It has brought out the best in us – but sometimes the worst. Continue reading...
(Thu, 22 Jun 2017 06:00:30 GMT)

The world needs wildlife tourism. But that won't work without wildlife
Habitat loss, pollution, climate change, over-exploitation and poaching are all threatening a lifeline for local communities Wildlife-based tourism is growing rapidly worldwide as the number of tourists continues to grow and as we, as travellers, seek out new and more enriching personal experiences with local cultures and wildlife. This is what inspired me to take six months unpaid leave from the grind of legal practice many years ago and backpack around South America with my little sister. Experiencing the natural beauty of places like the Amazon rainforest, Iguazú Falls and Machu Picchu and the local people fighting to protect them was life-changing. The UN World Tourism Organisation estimates that 7% of world tourism relates to wildlife tourism, growing annually at about 3%, and much higher in some places, like our Unesco world heritage sites. A WWF report shows that 93% of all natural heritage sites support recreation and tourism and 91% of them provide jobs. In Belize, more than 50% of the population are said to be supported by income generated through reef-related tourism and fisheries. Continue reading...
(Thu, 22 Jun 2017 07:00:30 GMT)

Teenage boys wear skirts to school to protest against 'no shorts' policy
Dozens of pupils at Isca academy in Exeter stage uniform protest after school insists they wear trousers despite heatwaveDozens of teenage boys have turned up to school wearing skirts after their headteacher refused to relax the uniform code banning shorts despite the heatwave gripping Britain.Pupils at the Isca academy in Exeter argued it was too hot for long trousers and asked if they could wear shorts as temperatures this week rose above 30C. Continue reading...
(Thu, 22 Jun 2017 13:19:01 GMT)

Glastonbury weather to cool after heat left dozens needing medics
Festivalgoers sprayed with water on hottest day in festival’s history, with police presence ramped up after terrorist attacksFestivalgoers can expect cooler weather at Glastonbury after scorching temperatures led to paramedics treating dozens of people at the 900-acre site in Somerset. Wednesday was the hottest day in Glastonbury’s history, with people seeking shade in bushes and wearing bikinis rather than wellies in 31C (87.8F) temperatures. Continue reading...
(Thu, 22 Jun 2017 10:24:23 GMT)

Sadiq Khan adds voice to calls for UK to remain in single market
Mayor of London tells Theresa May to ‘heed the message’ of the electorate and shelve all notions of a hard BrexitSadiq Khan, the mayor of London, is calling on the government to fight to keep Britain in the single market, as senior opposition politicians step up the pressure on Theresa May for a softer Brexit after her Commons majority was wiped out at the general election. Related: Labour politicians join forces to fight against Tories' hard Brexit Continue reading...
(Thu, 22 Jun 2017 12:33:14 GMT)

UK population shows sharpest rise in almost 70 years
ONS figures show 538,000 increase on year before to 65.6 million people, with London experiencing highest growth rateThe UK population has risen at its sharpest rate in nearly 70 years, official figures show, with London accounting for a significant chunk of the increase.Demographers’ latest calculations show an estimated 65,648,000 people living in the country at the end of June last year, up 538,000 on the year before, which is the largest increase since the 12 months to mid-1947. Continue reading...
(Thu, 22 Jun 2017 10:39:47 GMT)

Top UK universities miss out on gold award in controversial Tef test
London School of Economics only managed to receive bronze award in teaching quality assessment, but industry figures urge caution over resultsMany of the UK’s leading universities have failed to achieve the highest awards in a controversial assessment of teaching quality that has sent shockwaves through the traditional higher education hierarchy.Among the elite Russell Group universities, just eight out of 21 institutions that took part in the government’s “teaching excellence framework” (Tef) were awarded the gold rating, while 10 got silver. Continue reading...
(Thu, 22 Jun 2017 11:32:19 GMT)

Prince Harry says no one in royal family wants to be king or queen
In revealing interview, Harry says despite reluctance to sit on the throne, the family will ‘carry out our duties at right time’Being the monarch is a tough job, but someone has to do it, even if reluctantly. In a magazine interview, Prince Harry has suggested that none of the royal family actually wants the throne. “We are involved in modernising the British monarchy. We are not doing this for ourselves but for the greater good of the people,” he said. Continue reading...
(Thu, 22 Jun 2017 07:11:06 GMT)

Low wages are 'return to pre-industrial Britain', says Bank of England economist
Andy Haldane says rise in self-employment and drop in union membership mirrors weak workforces of pre-1750 eraThe lack of wage growth in Britain’s economy is the result of turning the clock back to the days before the Industrial Revolution when there were no trade unions and self-employment was rife, the chief economist of the Bank of England has suggested.Andy Haldane said the current relationship between pay and employment had more in common with the period between 1500 and 1750 than in the subsequent period, because in the post-1750 era, collective bargaining and the expansion of full-time paid employment meant workers were able to secure generous pay awards when labour was scarce. Continue reading...
(Thu, 22 Jun 2017 06:34:22 GMT)

Islamophobic attacks in Manchester surge by 500% after arena attack
Police vow to take tough action to curb hate crime and warn true number of incidents could be even higherIslamophobic attacks soared more than 500% in Greater Manchester after the suicide bombing at an Ariana Grande concert last month, police have said.There were 224 reports of anti-Muslim hate crimes in the month after the attack compared with 37 in the same period in 2016, official figures show. Continue reading...
(Thu, 22 Jun 2017 09:16:22 GMT)

Protect children from online cosmetic surgery apps, say campaigners
Nuffield Council on Bioethics calls for social media to take down games such as one that allows girls and boys to alter images of themselvesChildren as young as nine are the target of cosmetic surgery apps and makeover games that are likely to make them feel dissatisfied with their own faces and bodies, a new report warns.The Nuffield Council on Bioethics is calling for social media sites to investigate the apps and take them down, warning that they have a pernicious effect on the young, who may be tempted to go under the knife. “We’ve been shocked by some of the evidence we’ve seen, including makeover apps and cosmetic surgery ‘games’ that target girls as young as nine,” said Jeanette Edwards, professor of social anthropology at the University of Manchester, who chaired the council’s inquiry. Continue reading...
(Thu, 22 Jun 2017 10:36:45 GMT)

Manchester gets UK's first high energy proton beam cancer therapy machine
Ninety-tonne cyclotron at Christie hospital will give NHS patients access to treatment that is currently only available abroadA 90-tonne machine that will allow cancer patients to receive state-of-the-art high energy proton beam therapy on the NHS for the first time is to be installed at a hospital in Manchester.The cyclotron delivers a special type of radiotherapy currently only available overseas. The NHS has been paying for patients to travel abroad for the treatment since 2008. Continue reading...
(Thu, 22 Jun 2017 13:18:45 GMT)

Southern rail system in poor shape, with renewed threat of strike looming
Long-awaited report finds all elements of infrastructure under strain as Aslef union ballots members on action over paySouthern rail infrastructure is in “poor and unreliable” condition and all elements of the system have been under strain, a delayed report into the company’s performance says. The long-awaited document by Network Rail director Chris Gibb criticises industrial action taken by Aslef and the Rail, Maritime and Transport union over the past year in protest at driver-only trains, which has caused travel chaos. Continue reading...
(Thu, 22 Jun 2017 11:22:47 GMT)

UK factories have best month for orders since 1988 – business live
All the day’s economic and financial news, as the CBI reports that UK manufacturing picked up in JuneLatest: UK manufacturing orders jump,says CBIExperts are still cautious, thoughEarlier:Brent crude has hit a seven-month low, below $45/barrelMarkets ‘lose faith’ in OpecSugar, wheat, cocoa and coffee also falling 2.12pm BST Back in London, shares in UK tech firm Imagination have jumped by 16% this morning, after it effectively put itself up for sale.It was never going to be easy for Imagination Technologies when it lost its biggest customer and efforts to offload two of its three main businesses – MIPS and Ensigma - in a bid to strengthen the balance sheet clearly weren’t enough. These were both strong potential growth areas that could have delivered lasting revenue accretion to offset the loss of Apple.That was a pretty dire scenario, akin to selling off the family silver to keep the estate going a little longer. Now the shutters are up and a buyer sought. A pretty ignominious end to what was a great British tech success story.” Related: Imagination puts itself up for sale amid Apple dispute 1.50pm BST The number of Americans signing on for unemployment benefit has inched up, but remains at historically low levels.Some 241,000 US citizens filed initial jobless claims last week, new figures show, up from 238,000 the previous week. US Cont Jobless Claims creep up for another week, albeit still v close to 28yr lows #usd pic.twitter.com/QhQf13R0iM Continue reading...
(Thu, 22 Jun 2017 13:12:26 GMT)

Prince Philip leaves hospital after two nights of treatment
Duke of Edinburgh exits King Edward VII hospital in London just before 10am on Thursday after an infectionThe Duke of Edinburgh has been discharged from hospital after spending two nights being treated for an infection that forced him to miss the state opening of parliament and Royal Ascot.Prince Philip was admitted to hospital on Tuesday evening as a “precautionary measure” after an infection arose from a pre-existing condition. Buckingham Palace did not say what the condition was. Continue reading...
(Thu, 22 Jun 2017 09:30:29 GMT)

Tories aim to block full EU ban on bee-harming pesticides
Move to block EU ban comes despite environment secretary Michael Gove saying, ‘I don’t want to water down’ EU protectionsConservative politicians are trying to stop a complete EU ban on bee-harming pesticides, despite the new environment secretary Michael Gove’s statement earlier this week, in which he said “I absolutely don’t want to water down” EU environmental protections.Neonicotinoids are the world’s most widely used insecticides but have been banned on flowering crops in the EU since 2013. However, the European Food Safety Authority (Efsa) found in 2016 that use of the pesticides on all crops poses a high risk to bees. As a result, the European commission has proposed a ban on all uses outside greenhouses, first revealed by the Guardian in March. Continue reading...
(Thu, 22 Jun 2017 10:28:59 GMT)

Banned ex-mayor of Tower Hamlets loses latest appeal bid
Lutfur Rahman, barred from running for office after being found guilty of corruption, fails in attempt to challenge rulingA former mayor barred from running for office for five years after a specialist court hearing found him guilty of corrupt and illegal practices has lost the latest stage of an appeal bid.Lutfur Rahman, who was the directly elected mayor of Tower Hamlets in London, asked two senior judges to reconsider his case at a high court hearing in London in May. Continue reading...
(Thu, 22 Jun 2017 09:37:17 GMT)

Donald Trump says he doesn't want a 'poor person' handling economy
President tells crowd during Iowa tour that economic adviser and commerce secretary had to give up a lot to work for himDonald Trump has said he doesn’t want “a poor person” to hold economic roles in his administration as he used an Iowa rally to defend his decision to appoint the wealthy to his cabinet.The US president told a crowd on Wednesday night: “Somebody said why did you appoint a rich person to be in charge of the economy? No it’s true. And Wilbur’s [commerce secretary Wilbur Ross] a very rich person in charge of commerce. I said: ‘Because that’s the kind of thinking we want.’” Continue reading...
(Thu, 22 Jun 2017 10:42:36 GMT)

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly's graveyard comes back from the dead
Documentary honours film fans who laboured to restore setting for 1966 spaghetti western’s climactic sceneAfter more than 50 years, several fistfuls of euros and countless wheelbarrow journeys, one of the most famous graveyards in cinema history has been rescued from oblivion and is to be honoured in a new documentary.Sad Hill cemetery is the setting for the climax of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, when Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef and Eli Wallach face off against each other to the strains of Ennio Morricone. Continue reading...
(Thu, 22 Jun 2017 11:20:31 GMT)

Destroying Great Mosque of al-Nuri 'is Isis declaring defeat'
Iraqi PM denounces levelling of Mosul building where Islamic State leader declared a caliphate three years agoThe Iraqi prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, has said the destruction of the Great Mosque of al-Nuri in Mosul is an admission by the militants that they are losing the fight for the country’s second-largest city.One of Islam’s most venerated sites, the mosque has been destroyed by explosions as Iraqi forces battled Islamic State fighters who had holed up nearby. Continue reading...
(Thu, 22 Jun 2017 07:14:49 GMT)

Portugal forest fires under control after more than 60 deaths
Officials say some fires could reignite after huge blaze ravaged tens of thousands of hectares around Pedrógão GrandeWildfires that killed 64 people in Portugal have been brought under control, firefighters have said, as the government insisted it was still too early to say whether the disaster could have been handled better.Portugal’s worst forest fire broke out on Saturday in the central municipality of Pedrógão Grande before spreading to neighbouring areas including Góis, Pampilhosa da Serra and Arganil. Continue reading...
(Thu, 22 Jun 2017 10:19:02 GMT)

Donald Tusk channels John Lennon in pitch to UK at EU summit
European council president quotes lyrics from Imagine to express hope that Britain could change its mind and cancel BrexitDonald Tusk has used the first summit of EU leaders since the start of the Brexit negotiations to suggest that there is a chance the UK could still remain a member, and has quoted John Lennon to make his point.In a statement ahead of the meeting in Brussels, the president of the European council deployed the lyrics of Imagine to express his hope – however unlikely – that Britain could change its mind. “We can hear different predictions, coming from different people, about the possible outcome of these negotiations: hard Brexit, soft Brexit or no deal,” Tusk said, of what he described as a difficult process. Continue reading...
(Thu, 22 Jun 2017 12:10:02 GMT)

Millions of mysterious 'sea pickles' swamp US west coast
Huge and unexplained bloom has fishers racing to save their nets, and scientists hurrying to study the rare animal A rare, tiny marine creature known as the “unicorn of the sea” has swarmed in its millions on the west coast of America, ruining fishermen’s nets and baffling scientists who are scrambling to find out more about them.Fishers along the west coast have told researchers that in some places they are unable to catch anything because the pyrosome clusters are so dense and tightly packed. Their hooks, when pulled from the ocean, wriggle with the odd-looking creatures, which are sometimes referred to as “sea pickles” or “fire bodies”. Continue reading...
(Thu, 22 Jun 2017 01:30:37 GMT)

Suicide car bomb causes multiple deaths in Afghanistan
Explosion at bank in Helmand province as civilians and officials queued to withdraw salaries leaves at least 30 deadAt least 30 people have been killed in Afghanistan’s Helmand province after a car bomb targeted soldiers, government employees and other civilians queueing to collect pay cheques from a bank in the provincial capital. Related: Ramadan on the Afghan frontline: after heavy fighting, hunger and boredom Continue reading...
(Thu, 22 Jun 2017 11:01:04 GMT)

Rift between Iran's ayatollah and re-elected president widens
Hassan Rouhani questions political legitimacy of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei after supreme leader embarrassed president at high-profile meetingTensions are mounting between Iran’s supreme leader and the country’s president after the latter’s landslide victory in last month’s election. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, 78, has sharpened his criticism of the reformist president, Hassan Rouhani, including humiliating him in a meeting of the country’s most senior officials. Continue reading...
(Thu, 22 Jun 2017 05:00:28 GMT)

Saudi crown prince's ascendancy gives hope of reform – but it may be premature
Talk of social change is in the air in Riyadh after King Salman announces Mohammed bin Salman as heir to Saudi throneOn the streets of Riyadh, in its shopping malls and public spaces, Saudi Arabia’s religious police had long been a foreboding presence. They could reach into private lives at will, with powers that few could challenge, enforcing an ultra-conservative brand of Islam as a dogma for society.For people who had lived in fear of the force, one late winter evening earlier this year came as a watershed. On the side of one of their headquarters in the city’s suburbs, a 10-metre wide emblem of the country’s reform programme – Vision 2030 – had been projected. And no one inside the building dared to block it. Continue reading...
(Thu, 22 Jun 2017 04:50:37 GMT)

Uber criticized for standing by executive accused of ignoring discrimination claim
As Uber CEO departs, questions have been raised as to why its CTO – who was included in a viral post about discrimination and harassment – still has a jobThe resignation of Uber’s embattled CEO Travis Kalanick has led some to question why the company’s chief technology officer (CTO), who was included in an engineer’s viral account of sexual harassment and discrimination, has kept his job. Kalanick announced his departure this week after months of scandals, most notably the allegations of former employee Susan Fowler, who published a detailed blogpost in February about rampant sexism at Uber and management’s repeated refusal to respond to her complaints. Continue reading...
(Thu, 22 Jun 2017 07:00:31 GMT)

'A useful punching bag': why Hungary's Viktor Orbán has turned on George Soros
There are fears that the far right could be emboldened by a campaign against the Hungarian-born American billionaire. Shaun Walker reports from BudapestIn 1989 the American-Hungarian financier George Soros paid for Viktor Orbán to study in Britain. Two decades later, he donated $1m to Orbán’s government to help the cleanup after the “red sludge” environmental disaster.Over the years, the billionaire has spent hundreds of millions of dollars financing education and civil society projects in Hungary, the country of his birth, through his Open Society Foundations (OSF). Continue reading...
(Thu, 22 Jun 2017 05:00:28 GMT)

New Zealand's net migration hits record high
Those arriving outstrip those leaving by 73,000 in past year, with Chinese as biggest group of migrants, followed by UK and AustraliaNew Zealand annual net migration hit another record in May driven by foreign immigrants, with most coming from China, the UK and Australia.Annual net migration reached 72,000 in the year to 31 May versus 68,400 in the same period a year earlier, Statistics New Zealand said. Continue reading...
(Thu, 22 Jun 2017 01:03:06 GMT)

New Zealand paper names and shames every drink-driver at tourist 'party town'
Queenstown paper puts names of 100 people on front page amid concern the town, which attracts 2 million tourists a year, is bucking drink-drive trendA newspaper in New Zealand has taken a stance against drunk drivers by printing their names on its front page, in response to what it calls an “epidemic” of the crime.The Mountain Scene is a weekly newspaper for the small but booming South Island town of Queenstown, which has about 30,000 permanent residents and up to two million tourists every year. Continue reading...
(Thu, 22 Jun 2017 05:08:22 GMT)

Hawaii's homeless have few places to go: 'They don't know what to do with us' – video
With barely enough shelter to house even 11% of the homeless people on its main island, Hawaii lawmakers struggle for solutions amid rising costs of living and low wages. But one group of homeless Hawaiians has taken matters into their own hands, forming a highly organized and self-sustaining community. Could a key part of solving Hawaii’s homelessness problem actually come from its homeless citizens?Hawaii’s largest homeless camp: rock bottom or a model refuge?Sign up to the Outside in America, our monthly newsletter on homelessness in the US Continue reading...
(Thu, 22 Jun 2017 11:00:02 GMT)

Diane Keaton: 'People in London drink in the afternoon ... wow!' – video interview
Diane Keaton’s new film is set in, and named after, the prosperous London district of Hampstead; she co-stars with Brendan Gleeson in a romantic comedy about an American woman who strikes up a relationship with an eccentric itinerant who lives in a shack on Hampstead Heath. Directed by Joel Hopkins and also featuring Simon Callow and James Norton, Hampstead is released on 23 July Continue reading...
(Wed, 21 Jun 2017 14:28:56 GMT)

One tragedy after another – what's this summer doing to us? | Jonathan Freedland
Under normal circumstances the tragedies of the last month would each be the defining event of an entire year, argues Jonathan Freedland. But in the last month we have been forced to grieve at an unprecedented rate, and the risk is that our wounds will not properly heal – or worse, that we will grow used to tragedy Continue reading...
(Wed, 21 Jun 2017 06:00:23 GMT)

Six bizarre moments we won’t let Sean Spicer forget – video report
Sean Spicer is said to be looking for another role in the Trump administration following an uneven tenure as press secretary. Since taking the position, Spicer has clashed with journalists over the Trump inauguration, and even hidden in bushes outside the White House, leading to widespread ridicule ranging from Melissa McCarthy’s SNL impression to garden decorationSean Spicer said to be seeking a new role away from press briefings Continue reading...
(Tue, 20 Jun 2017 18:36:33 GMT)

Kristin Scott Thomas, Penelope Wilton, Meera Syal and Joanna Scanlan star in Brexit Shorts – video
A year after the EU referendum result revealed a deeply divided nation, the Guardian and Headlong theatre company present Brexit Shorts. This major new series of online dramas stars Kristin Scott Thomas, Penelope Wilton, Meera Syal, Steffan Rhodri, Bronagh Gallagher, Dean Fagan, Nasser Memarzia, Scott Reid and Joanna Scanlan. The first five films will be released on Monday 19 June.News: Leading playwrights create Brexit Shorts for the Guardian Continue reading...
(Fri, 16 Jun 2017 11:24:29 GMT)

Barbie’s boyfriend Ken gets a new look - video
Ken hadn’t changed much since he was introduced 56 years ago as Barbie’s chiseled, blue-eyed boyfriend. Now he’ll be sold in four ethnicities and two more body shapes: broad and slim Continue reading...
(Wed, 21 Jun 2017 07:42:03 GMT)

Grenfell Tower fire: 'Families are dead, they've got to do something' - video
Residents of Notting Hill say they are proud of the community, who have come out in force to help those who have lost everything in the Grenfell Tower fire. Locals worked tirelessly to provide food, water and clothing. However, with the search for friends and relatives continuing, there are clear frustrations with the authorities Continue reading...
(Wed, 14 Jun 2017 22:41:20 GMT)

How Nicholas Serota’s Tate changed Britain
Over three decades, he transformed a nation’s attitude to art. But is his revolution now in danger of being reversed? By Charlotte HigginsIn 1970, if you had said that London would one day become the centre of the international art world, the successor to Paris before the first world war and New York after the second, most people would have thought you mad. The gleaming commercial galleries, the art fairs, the record-breaking sales at Christie’s and Sotheby’s, the arrival of the super-rich from every corner of the globe – all of this was decades away. Large parts of the city were still pitted and scarred from the bombs of the blitz. The port and docks on the Thames in east London were so completely derelict that people assumed they would be like that for ever. Most people didn’t even notice the power station that crouched opposite St Paul’s Cathedral – for there was no Southwark tube station, no elegantly engineered footbridge across the river, no glassy apartments, no Shakespeare’s Globe, no scenic path along the water’s edge to Tower Bridge. No one imagined that this behemoth, then still a decade away from being decommissioned, would one day become the world’s most popular museum of modern and contemporary art.Tate, now an empire of four museums, and a global brand, was then a single entity: the Tate Gallery, which occupied the building now known as Tate Britain, in Pimlico. It played second fiddle to the grander National Gallery, from which it had recently become independent, and had a rambling and uneven collection divided into “British art” and “modern foreign paintings”, as if contemporary art were a vice conducted mainly overseas. It had some great pictures, and hosted some memorable exhibitions: among them was 1964’s Painting and Sculpture of a Decade, a survey of the previous 10 years of contemporary art that, for an 18-year-old Hampstead schoolboy named Nicholas Serota, had fanned the flames of an interest in art; five decades later, he recalled its “bright colours and American art and a sense that things were changing”. But for most British artists, particularly those of the rising generation, the Tate Gallery was marginal. “The best you could hope for there was a one-man show the year before you kicked over,” recalls sculptor Richard Deacon, who was a student in 1970. Continue reading...
(Thu, 22 Jun 2017 05:00:28 GMT)

Otello review – Kaufmann thrills in a dark, expressionistic staging
Royal Opera House, London In his role debut, Jonas Kaufmann’s arrestingly-sung Otello is a charismatic and troubled outsider in a production that can feel heavy-handedDirected by Keith Warner, the Royal Opera’s new production of Verdi’s Otello marks Jonas Kaufmann’s long-awaited debut in the title role, one frequently regarded as a turning point in the careers of tenors who have tackled it. His interpretation will doubtless deepen over time, but this is already an accomplished portrayal, sung and acted, for the most part, with considerable intelligence. Related: Otello: opera, identity politics and blacking-up Continue reading...
(Thu, 22 Jun 2017 11:49:41 GMT)

No Is Not Enough by Naomi Klein – Trump the master of disaster
Klein’s new study in shock politics is a warning of the enormous toxic potential of the Trump presidency and a call to oppose it. Refusal needs to turn into resistanceLately the pace of news has felt so fast and its volume so overwhelming that the very idea of a political book seems quaint, a relic of the gentler and more carefree time before we were all pinned to the floor by the social media firehose. Naomi Klein has written No Is Not Enough at near internet speed, a warning of the enormous toxic potential of the Donald Trump presidency and a call to oppose it. As the title suggests, Klein wants her readers to move from refusal to resistance, from a passive stance of opposition to engagement in a programme of action. If the convulsions of the last year have taught us anything, it’s that we can’t wait for the dust to settle and clarity to emerge. Turbulence is, at least for the foreseeable future, our new condition, and we must learn to function within it. We have to teach ourselves to stand upright on a moving deck.Klein emerged as a star of the 1990s social movements that were trying to frame a politics of opposition to capitalist globalisation. Was exchange value the only kind of value? What about the environmental, social and cultural formations that were being reorganised (and in some cases damaged or destroyed) by the logic of the market? Klein’s widely-read 2000 book No Logo packaged and synthesised ideas that had been circulating in anti-capitalist circles during the previous decade, helping a general readership to understand changes taking place in corporations, which had begun to outsource many of their functions and view themselves primarily as “brands”, deployers of intellectual property that did not need, for example, to do their own manufacturing or distribution. It was, as she puts it in No Is Not Enough, “a race toward weightlessness; whoever owned the least, had the fewest employees on the payroll and produced the most powerful images as opposed to things, won the race”. Continue reading...
(Thu, 22 Jun 2017 13:00:00 GMT)

Gloria review – superb hatchet job on modern American journalism
Hampstead theatre, LondonThere are shades of Neil LaBute’s In the Company of Men in Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ merciless modern satire, set in the offices of a Manhattan magazineNothing can quite match the pulsating, postmodernist brio of Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’s An Octoroon at the Orange Tree theatre. But, even if his later play Gloria tackles the more familiar topic of the rancid joylessness of the modern media and the urge to commodify personal tragedy, it is still sharp, witty and inventive and hinges on a coup it would be criminal to reveal. Jacobs-Jenkins sets his play in the offices of a smart Manhattan magazine. Although he denies it is a likeness of the New Yorker, where he worked for three years, it is significant he names one of his characters Shawn, after the legendary editor William Shawn. But what hits one is the competitive rancour of the young editorial assistants. Dean is a boozing schmoozer, Ani is a nerdy computer geek and Kendra is a waspish shopaholic who specialises in lacerating put-downs. Even the older staffers don’t exactly radiate happiness. In Lorin we have a funny portrait of the harassed fact-checker; Gloria is the classic loner who has dedicated her life to the magazine. Continue reading...
(Thu, 22 Jun 2017 12:04:34 GMT)

Brexit Means Brexit review – a political farce with terrifying implications
It’s been an almost comically volatile year in politics, as this documentaty reminds usFilm-maker Patrick Forbes has been hanging about behind the scenes for the past year, making a documentary about the battle for the heart and soul of Britain. It’s called Brexit Means Brexit (BBC2).Patrick’s not a political journalist; he mainly just watches, and listens. When he does ask a question, it’s almost embarrassingly deferential. “Forgive me for this, I have to ask a boring question,” he says to Boris Johnson, post the general election result, before just about managing to ask Boris if he is going to run against Theresa May. Not a boring question, and I don’t think Laura Kuenssberg needs to worry about her job. But the approach – more poodle puppy than rottweiler – does mean that they come and play with him, say things; a lot of things. Continue reading...
(Thu, 22 Jun 2017 05:00:28 GMT)

Police killings: the price of being disabled and black in America
Normal police procedures often force people with disabilities to stay closeted, even to themselves. How can there be justice without addressing the stigma of disability and race?On Sunday morning, Charleena Lyles called the Seattle police to report a burglary. She was a black woman, pregnant, the mother of four children (including a child with Down syndrome), living in housing for formerly homeless individuals.The police showed up, found her in a mental health crisis and allegedly armed with a knife, and killed her. Continue reading...
(Thu, 22 Jun 2017 10:00:01 GMT)

Is TfL's new cycling plan revolutionary or a waste of time?
A data map of 25 London cycling corridors could be crucial for future superhighways, but critics say it’s a distraction from getting the job doneMike Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York, once said “in God we trust; everyone else bring data”. London has moved towards the mantra of one man who transformed a city for cycling by using a major data analysis to show where cycling routes could be built to get the greatest number of people on to two wheels.Transport for London (TfL) has taken census data, cycle counts, surveys and data from the city’s hire bikes to identify future urban development and growth hotspots and collision data. They have created a map of 25 corridors across London, along which the greatest number of cycling trips could be generated. Continue reading...
(Thu, 22 Jun 2017 06:00:29 GMT)

Uncommon People: The Rise and Fall of the Rock Stars by David Hepworth review – which songs will truly last?
From the meeting of John and Paul to the death of Bowie – this sharply observed book looks at key dates in the golden era of rockLittle Richard putting one of his bowel movements into a shoebox and presenting it to an elderly neighbour as a birthday present; the already married Jerry Lee Lewis marrying his 13-year-old cousin; the Rolling Stones on their legendarily debauched 1972 US tour; Michael Jackson’s terrified scream after accidentally dropping one of his signature white gloves into the lavatory – it must have been tempting for David Hepworth to turn Uncommon People into a rock version of Kenneth Anger’s still notorious Hollywood Babylon.Mercifully, he resists the lure of an all-singing, all-dancing, scandal-ridden anthology. Instead, he has come up with a neat, more purposeful framework for his colourful, richly marinated survey of the phenomenon of the rock star between the mid-1950s and mid-1990s: one chapter per year, with each chapter having as its focus one particular day when something significant or emblematic happened. On 6 July 1957, for instance, those two Liverpool teenagers John and Paul meet for the first time; on 1 October 1967, Jimmy (not yet Jimi) Hendricks (not yet Hendrix) unveils his talent to Eric Clapton and other guitar aristocracy; on 16 August 1977, Elvis checks out; on 1 August 1987, a film is shot at a Greyhound bus station recreating the arrival in Hollywood five years earlier of Axl Rose (Guns N’ Roses). By 1997, it is all over. Continue reading...
(Thu, 22 Jun 2017 06:30:30 GMT)

Game of Thrones season seven: five things we learned from the latest trailer
A stirring new trailer for the show’s penultimate season has been released – and most of the spats seem to be taking place in southern climesWe are now just 13 episodes from the great Game of Thrones finale, due some time in 2018, when all shall be revealed. Will it be bogus Queen Cersei’s head on a spike above the Red Keep’s Traitor’s Walk, or will Daenerys Targaryen and Tyrion Lannister find themselves at the wrong end of a pointy stick? Could a new and unexpected pretender to the Iron Throne yet be primed to emerge? In the absence of Maggy the Frog to deliver credible predictions, we’ll have to make do with a stirring new trailer for the show’s penultimate season. Here’s what it taught us: Continue reading...
(Thu, 22 Jun 2017 06:28:53 GMT)

That time I made my mom guess the meaning of English expressions
After Uganda’s president said he and Queen Elizabeth were ‘friends with mutual benefits’, I was inspired to investigate some other confusing idiomsUganda’s president, Yoweri Museveni, recently tweeted that he and Queen Elizabeth II were “friends with mutual benefits”. I sympathize: English expressions are confusing, some of them feel almost deliberately obscure – designed to exclude non-native speakers from the joke. Museveni later deleted his tweet. I wish he hadn’t. We should celebrate linguistic ambiguity and explore the universe of meanings in words. Continue reading...
(Thu, 22 Jun 2017 11:00:02 GMT)

Sex without fear – ​my experiment with ​the HIV-prevention drug PrEP
PrEP is controversial even on the gay scene. Does the drug encourage dangerous ‘barebacking’ or could it be the game-changer that wipes out HIV for good? Matt Cain decided to take it for three months and find outWhen I first heard about the HIV-prevention drug PrEP – pre-exposure prophylaxis – I had mixed feelings. The NHS is already at crisis point and cannot afford to pay for certain cancer treatments, so why should it pay for PrEP? Currently, PrEP is only available on the NHS in Scotland and not in England and Wales, and it remains controversial even among readers of the gay magazine Attitude. “Why should my taxes pay for these sluts to have bareback sex?” is a typical comment. But I was worried that my reaction was the result of anti-gay conditioning, being brought up to think that I didn’t deserve the same rights as the rest of society, and I wanted to challenge this by taking the drug for three months to find out more.I am lucky enough to be able to afford to buy PrEP legally online. Within the EU, PrEP is still under licence from the US pharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences, and the NHS has no choice but to buy the drug from them, under the brand name Truvada, at a cost for each user of £400 per month. I order “generic” PrEP from a Bangkok clinic recommended on iwantprepnow.co.uk. It is priced at about £40 a month and I buy a three-month supply. A few weeks later three boxes of PrEP arrive in the post. Continue reading...
(Thu, 22 Jun 2017 05:00:28 GMT)

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