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Sepp Blatter comes out fighting after re-election as Fifa president – live
Head of football’s world governing body holds press conference in Zurich after winning a fifth term and blasting US authorities’ Fifa investigation and what he calls Europe’s ‘hate’ campaignSepp Blatter blasts US authorities over investigation into Fifa corruption 12.20pm BST From our US office, DJ Gallo writes – to a USA! USA! USA! soundtrack – about this week’s battles between Team America and Fifa, and wonders: did the US accidentally make itself popular?While the rest of the world has been busy enjoying the beautiful game, mostly ignoring the ugly corruption in the sport’s governing body as long as there was good soccer to watch, US authorities were unraveling a 24-year scheme of bribes and self-enrichment. Fifa’s grafters probably thought the US was too dumb to take them down. I mean, just three years after the corruption allegedly began, US Soccer willingly wore denim uniforms in public. That seems pretty dumb. But just add that to Fifa’s list of humiliations: they’ve been done in by blue jeans-wearing cowboys who think a “football” is an oblong ball best carried or thrown through the air.America’s return to international awesomeness didn’t stop with spiking the football on Fifa. As an extra favor to the world, we also pissed off Vladimir Putin. The President of Russia and King of Shirtless Horse Riding said, via the Kremlin’s website: “These officers are not United States’ citizens, and if anything did happen, it did not happen on the territory of the United States and the USA have nothing to do with it. This is yet another obvious attempt to spread their jurisdiction to other states.” 11.57am BST Some reaction from the members of the media in attendance:Sepp Blatter faced media questions for 18 minutes. FIFA has now ended news conference amid shouting from other journalists. #SSNHQInteresting Blatter pretty much only took questions from British media - allows him to claim there's an agenda? @JamilChade not pleased!This guy failed to get into Blatter's press conference. Serial prankster Simon Brodkin (AKA Lee Nelson). pic.twitter.com/JJtxOzGQiH 11.51am BST No surprises from that Blatter display, with the usual mixture of self-promotion, sniping and straight batting in the face of his interrogation, primarily from the western media. Some of the key points re: Blatter: 11.39am BST Final question, then, and Blatter is interrogated as to why he has failed to take action against a number of corrupt officials. He launches into a pre-planned speech, discussing Uefa, his transparent innocence and even a barb at David Gill:He's back onto another familiar riff - blaming Uefa for reform agenda being watered down.We're in Ministry of Truth territory - loads of our people have been caught for dodgy behavior, therefore we're not corrupt.Ends with a pop at Gill: "You can't take responsibility when you are elected and don't come to the first meeting."We will be more communicative in future, and we will give more information. 11.34am BST Jérôme Valcke says we’re down to the last two questions. First up, Blatter asked if he worries about sponsors: We have already had contact with the sponsors after the revelations … we have exchanged letters … and the contact with our partners, I am sure I will bring them all back with a personal visit to them.Blatter reveals will make personal visit to sponsors after their criticism: clearly their concerns have shaken him 11.32am BST Owen Gibson then asks Blatter directly about the culture of Fifa and his tenure being mired by corruption, and whether he has fostered this:Definitely not. We try, always, and in my tenure of office during these years to eliminate all these elements. If you go backwards, you will see how many members have left Fifa, either by themselves or they have been investigated by our committees.Blatter refuses to accept that he is responsible for Fifa's culture of corruption. Says its committees have banned lots of individuals. 11.31am BST The question comes in: “Are you worried you’ll be arrested?” Blatter: “Arrested for what.” 11.29am BST It’s as one-sided a press conference as you would imagine, but Blatter remains calm in the face of questioning. Now, when asked about the US authorities’ suggestion that there is far more to come, in terms of their investigation, he replies:The Americans are making investigations … they have right to do so. I have no concerns, I especially have no concerns about my person. 11.26am BST On we go.Blatter asked about $10m bribe: "If such a thing is somewhere in investigations, let the investigation go. Definitely, that's not me." 11.25am BST This is a textbook Blatter display thus far, as everyone would have expected. 11.24am BST Asked about David Gill’s decision not to serve under him, he deadbats it again:I don’t know exactly what the projects of David Gill are, he has written no excuse for his absence from the executive committee. 11.23am BST On the charge sheet facing him on his watch, Blatter is asked why he has not resigned:It is very easy, you have seen the results of the Congress and they think that I am still the man to solve these problems. 11.22am BST Blatter is asked what impact the past week’s events will have to US chances of a bid for the 2026 World Cup.I am the president of everybody and those associations that have been against me, so they will have no impact, in my view. When it comes to personal attacks, I say yes, I was affected. 11.20am BST I am here as president of Fifa, I will continue my work, I will continue to fight for good things and, as I said, it is now my duty to live up to a lot of responsibilities. But I am not alone. The executive committee has said it is with me.And now the questions are thrown to the floor. 11.18am BST Blatter confirms what Owen Gibson reported earlier regarding the allocation of World Cup places remaining the same. On the ExCo’s reaction to the news:Some were more grumpy than others. 11.16am BST Now Blatter re-visits his criticism of the US authorities after their raids earlier in the week:All these events culminating in the police storming a hotel and, curiously there were already three American journalists at the location …Fifa corruption will be a thing of the past, says Blatter. Rattles off a list of committees that will allow them to "avoid surprises". 11.14am BST The Times’ Oliver Kay has long argued that Blatter’s ultimate dream is the Nobel Prize, previously saying: “His priorities these days seem to be self-interest, self-preservation and self-aggrandisement. His one remaining ambition is to win the Nobel Peace Prize. Seriously, it is. This is no laughing matter.” And Blatter’s talk about Israel and Palestine suggests likewise:Maybe football can be the precursor to the solution everyone wants.Now Blatter is talking about how Fifa helped stop the spread of ebola. 11.11am BST More stuff about boats and calmer waters from Sepp. Now onto his attempts to position himself as a peacemaker between Israel and Palestine. 11.10am BST Blatter opens up:I’ll take responsibility with the storm but I will share it with the executive committee because it’s the government that has to take responsiblity.We will take our boat back into calmer water and take the Fifa ship into tranquility and happiness. 11.06am BST Here we go, then. 11.05am BST The latest delay gives me an opportunity to flag up Barney Ronay’s colour piece from Zurich on Friday evening:Even by Fifa standards this was a bizarre and indeed rather disorientating day. Not only is Blatter back, re-elected by a concession on the second round of voting. He is apparently back as a reform candidate, here to root out the corruption, wire fraud and racketeering that afflicted the world’s most lucratively beleaguered sport during the reign of his long-term predecessor, who also happens to have been Sepp Blatter. “We cannot let this go on!” – Blatter announced at one point during his gorgeously, almost sensuously deluded stump speech. And yet, here it is all the same. Still very much going on.Even in the late-breaking tension of the second vote there was a sense of something massaged, as the gathered Fifa wonks pondered their piles of blue card, muttering behind their hands, brooding over clipboards, and almost apologetically signing off on a ballot that brought Blatter to 133 votes, seven short of a first round knockout. 10.51am BST It sounds like we are just about ready to get this thing started. Again, if you want to watch, the livestream from Zurich is embedded at the top of this article. Oh, there’s another short delay, due to sound bother.Fifa press conference delayed, apparently to fix a "sound problem". 10.48am BST Owen Gibson reports that Fifa looks set to maintain its allocation of places for the next two World Cups, with Europe getting 14 in 2018 and 13 in 2022.All World Cup slots maintained as they are until 2018/22 according to exco member Juan Napout. That means 14 for Europe in 18 and 13 in 22. 10.42am BST While we wait, a recommendation for you to check out Marina Hyde’s take on the week’s events. By way of an excerpt:For those of us who’ve been mired in Fifa-watching for years, the most clear and present danger this week was of succumbing to Stendhal syndrome, and passing out at the majesty of it all. It was difficult not to feel a few ecstatic flutters watching footage of Fifa bigwigs being publicly escorted into police cars with hotel staff apparently shielding them with their dirty linen. Or hearing that a certain US-headquartered sportswear company was soon to face some awkward questions. There are just so many tantalising angles yet to be explored. There has barely even been time to begin properly reminding people that Uefa boss and clean-up-man-come-lately Michel Platini voted for Qatar, and was accused of having been given a Picasso by Vladimir Putin. Denied, of course, with lawyers involved, but we look forward to hearing more about him in the weeks and months ahead.The only thing I’d have done differently would have been to take Diana Ross along on the dawn raid in Zurich. I very much doubt she’s ever got over that calamitous penalty miss during the 1994 World Cup opening ceremony, and it would have been great for the erstwhile Supreme to have just stood in the lobby of the Baur au Lac hotel and let out a primal scream like Stuart Pearce exorcising his 1990 World Cup penalty miss in Euro 96, in the victory over Spain that put England through to the semis. But Diana aside, the FBI have played a blinder. 10.37am BST We’re still waiting for the press conference to begin. You’re not missing anything. 10.32am BST Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, has been quick to congratulate Sepp Blatter on his re-election, sending a telegram with his best wishes. Reuters report a Kremlin statement as saying:The head of the Russian state expressed confidence that experience, professionalism and high authority will help Blatter in future encourage the spread in the geography and popularity of football in the whole world. 10.23am BST A reminder that the press conference, which is sure to be essential viewing, begins at 10.30am BST. And you can watch it right here: 10.21am BST Our chief sports correspondent, Owen Gibson, is still pounding the streets of Zurich today and he’ll be at Blatter’s upcoming press conference. His take on those comments that have emerged overnight:Blatter basically suggests British media and US authorities bitter over losing 2018 and 2022 World Cups so driving campaign to get him out.Blatter questions why arrests weren't made at ex co in March when fewer media in Zurich: “The journalists made a deal: Blatter out.” 10.16am BST As he had said he would should Blatter be re-elected, the FA vice-chairman David Gill has rejected his place on Fifa’s executive committee. In a statement to the Press Association, Gill said:This action is not something I take lightly but the terribly damaging events of the last three days have convinced me it is not appropriate to be a member of the Fifa executive committee under the current leadership.I do recognise that Mr Blatter has been democratically elected and wish Fifa every success in tackling the many troubling issues it faces. However, my professional reputation is critical to me and I simply do not see how there will be change for the good of world football while Mr Blatter remains in post. 10.08am BST Welcome to Saturday’s Fifa liveblog, as newly re-elected president Sepp Blatter prepares to face the media in Zurich. The press conference is due to take place at 10.30am BST, 11.30am local time. He’s been busy already, mind, having spoken to Swiss television channel RTS to decry the conduct of US authorities and bemoan a European campaign of ‘hate’. Some of the key elements: Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2015 11:20:33 GMT)

Minister worked as spin doctor for tobacco giant that paid workers £15 a month
Priti Patel worked for PR firm Shandwick on improving BAT’s image over Burma factory, and also lobbied MEPs against EU tobacco regulationsThe employment minister, Priti Patel, was part of a team of spin doctors paid hundreds of thousands of pounds to help a tobacco giant counter negative publicity, including that surrounding its joint venture with one of the world’s most brutal military regimes.Documents unearthed by the Observer shine new light on Patel’s work for Shandwick, a lobbying and PR firm that worked for British American Tobacco (BAT) in the early years of this century. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2015 10:37:59 GMT)

Benefit cap could drop 40,000 children into poverty, leaked memo warns
Internal government assessment seen by the Guardian shows lowering of welfare cap will be disastrous for families if parents are unable to find extra workTens of thousands of children face being plunged into poverty by government plans to lower the household benefit cap, leaked advice to ministers shows.The reduction in the upper limit of what families will now be able to claim annually from £26,000 to £23,000 was announced in Wednesday’s Queen’s speech. Related: The welfare state saved me. To need it isn’t a moral failure | Lola Okolosie Continue reading...
(Fri, 29 May 2015 19:00:01 GMT)

London should be treated as city state, says Labour mayoral hopeful
Former trade minister Gareth Thomas wants capital to have tax-raising powers equivalent to those given to Scotland, to ‘deal with the tragedy of our poverty’London should be treated as a city state and given tax-raising powers to match its equal standing with the four nations of the UK, according to a potential Labour candidate for mayor.Gareth Thomas, a former trade minister who hopes to succeed Boris Johnson next year, says that as the country inevitably moves towards a federal system, it was time to recognise that “our UK is made up of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and the city state of London”. Related: I want the city state of London to join the other nations reshaping the union Related: George Galloway tweets his intention to run for London mayor Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2015 10:40:30 GMT)

Silk Road operator Ross Ulbricht sentenced to life in prison
Thirty-one-year-old behind illegal online drug emporium handed five sentences – including two for life – to be served concurrently with no chance of paroleRoss Ulbricht, the man behind illegal online drug emporium Silk Road, was sentenced to life in prison on Friday by Judge Katherine Forrest of Manhattan’s US district court for the southern district of New York.Before the sentencing the parents of the victims of drug overdoses addressed the court. Ulbricht broke down in tears. “I never wanted that to happen,” he said. “I wish I could go back and convince myself to take a different path.” Continue reading...
(Fri, 29 May 2015 20:02:59 GMT)

HMRC waives tax return penalties 'whenever someone appeals'
Too costly to investigate reasons for missing self-assessment deadline, staff are told, so £100 fine should be cancelled if an excuse is givenPeople who filed late tax returns have been let off a £100 fine for missing the deadline, it has been reported.Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has waived the penalty for those who provided a “reasonable” excuse for being late, according to the Daily Telegraph. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2015 06:14:30 GMT)

Liz Kendall 'will back white working-class young'
Shadow minister gives speech on child aspiration, as Labour leadership rivals Andy Burnham and Yvette Cooper focus on engaging with ‘the disillusioned’Children from white working class backgrounds in particular need to be taught more about aspiration and the chance to improve their lives, Liz Kendall, one of the Labour leadership candidates, has said.The shadow minister for care and older p eople put education at the heart of her mission to be Labour leader as she promised to launch a project encouraging businesses, unions and volunteers to go into state schools to show how learning can transform lives. Related: The British left must learn to speak a new language – Spanish | Owen Jones Continue reading...
(Fri, 29 May 2015 17:45:02 GMT)

Nigerian troops repel Boko Haram attack on Maiduguri
Witnesses say hundreds of Islamist gunmen tried to advance on north-eastern city, but security sources say situation is under controlNigeria’s military has repelled a Boko Haram attack on Maiduguri, a day after the country’s new president vowed to strengthen the defences of the key north-eastern city that was the birthplace of the militant group.The Islamists’ assault on the Borno state capital saw rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) fired into homes, witnesses and security sources said. It came after Muhammadu Buhari’s inauguration, where he promised a new command and control centre to better coordinate the counter-insurgency effort in the region. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2015 09:00:47 GMT)

Merkel suggests a deal can be reached over Cameron's EU demands
At talks in Berlin, the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, does not rule out revising Lisbon treaty to accommodate the British PM’s plans Related: David Cameron's European diplomatic offensive - in pictures David Cameron has received a boost to his EU renegotiation plans after Angela Merkel left the door open to revising the Lisbon treaty to accommodate British demands. Related: The Guardian view on Cameron’s European diplomacy: tilting at windmills | Editorial Continue reading...
(Fri, 29 May 2015 16:23:43 GMT)

US defense chief Ash Carter says China's island-building erodes security
Defense secretary expresses deep concern about China’s push to claim resource-rich disputed islands and warns against attempts to find a military solutionThe US defense secretary, Ash Carter, has warned Beijing’s island-building in the South China Sea was undermining security in the Asia Pacific and he called for a diplomatic push to solve the territorial dispute that is driving China’s effort.The Japanese government has also warned such projects risk plunging the region into disorder. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2015 01:57:58 GMT)

Cancer drugs rankings suggest many are of little benefit to patients
Leading experts call on pharmaceutical industry to focus on coming up with meaningful drugs and boost levels of effectivenessMany modern cancer drugs are of very little benefit to patients, according to a group of leading European experts, who have devised a way to score them.More and more medicines have been going on to the market with lower and lower levels of benefit Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2015 07:05:04 GMT)

Broadcasters attack Theresa May's plan to vet TV programmes for extremism
Industry figures say powers proposed by home secretary for Ofcom to approve content prior to transmission are ‘completely impractical’ and ‘difficult to justify’Senior figures in broadcasting have criticised proposals to introduce counter-extremism powers allowing the vetting of British television programmes nefore transmission as impractical and unjustified.A government plan to strengthen the role of media regulator Ofcom to take “tough measures against channels that broadcast extremist content” was outlined in the Queen’s speech last week. Continue reading...
(Fri, 29 May 2015 17:48:03 GMT)

Londoners drag doubledecker bus off injured unicyclist
Witnesses describe dozens of people helping to move bus away after accident in Walthamstow that left cyclist in a serious condition in hospitalDozens of people have dragged a London doubledecker bus from on top of a fallen unicyclist, who is now in a serious condition in hospital after the collision in north-east London.More than 50 people, including diners from a nearby Pizza Express, plus staff at a launderette and an estate agents, worked to free the man’s leg.Serious incident Hoe St/ High St Walthamstow. Man under 212 bus. @Ldn_Ambulance @LondonFire on scene pic.twitter.com/Hsstdv7NUG Continue reading...
(Fri, 29 May 2015 17:57:53 GMT)

Couchsurfing rapist Dino Maglio escaped investigation for months
Italian ex-policeman – convicted last month of raping Australian girl – fell through bureaucratic cracks after American woman filed a complaint in the UKWomen travelling in Italy were left at the mercy of a suspected serial rapist in the city of Padua for more than a year after authorities in Italy and the UK failed to cooperate on a rape complaint by a student that was filed in England in 2013.Italian authorities were sent a formal complaint, forwarded by British police, that alleged Dino Maglio had used the Couchsurfing.com website to lure a 20-year-old American woman to his home, and drug and rape her in spring 2013. Continue reading...
(Fri, 29 May 2015 11:48:38 GMT)

Can Mars One colonise the red planet?
Alexandra Doyle has signed up for a one-way trip to Mars. What makes her, and 99 others, so ready to leave Earth behind? Meet the red planet’s would-be pioneers – and the man who promises he can get them thereWhen Nasa’s first rover set down on the surface of Mars in 1997, its streamed colour images caused an early internet sensation. After centuries of dreaming, here we were, at eye level to our closest potentially habitable neighbour, and the sight was as bleakly majestic as we could have imagined: a rocky, red desertscape on a scale entirely alien to Earth. One mountain, Olympus Mons, was the largest in our solar system (three times the height of Everest, with a footprint the size of Sweden); dune-seas swept its northern hemisphere while 7km-deep canyons veined the south.Watching on a clunky desktop computer in the Dutch university town of Twente, 20-year-old Bas Lansdorp’s first thought was one of wonder; his second of longing (“I want to go there!”), then the melancholy realisation that, being Dutch, he could never fly with Nasa. So he’d have to do it himself.It's become an issue for my parents. I mean, it was a big step for me to move from Blackpool to LondonWhat makes a good reality TV show? Tension, conflict. But you don't send four kooky divas to Mars!Why send people for a holiday – when there are 200,000 applicants who don't need to come back? Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2015 10:00:08 GMT)

Andy Murray v Nick Kyrgios: French Open 2015 – as it happened
No 3 seed through to week two of Roland Garros after 6-4, 6-2, 6-3 winMurray will play David Goffin or Jeremy Chardy in the fourth round 12.23pm BST So that’s all for now. Murray goes through to the second week, where he will play the winner of the match between David Goffin of Belgium and the Frenchman Jeremy Chardy in the fourth round, ahead of a possible semi-final against Novak Djokovic or Rafael Nadal. Thanks for your emails and have a good afternoon. 12.19pm BST That was an impressive win from Murray. A brilliant shotmaker like Kyrgios is never an easy proposition in the third round of a major, but Murray dealt with the Aussie beautifully, bringing all his experience to bear to claim a 13th clay-court win in succession. The latter statistic offers a rather different perspective on his post-match assertion that he is no clay-court specialist. If he continues in this vein, a rethink may be in order. “It is never easy for me,” says Murray. “Clay is not a surface that I have ever felt comfortable on. The matches get tougher every round and hopefully I can play some good tennis next week.” 12.15pm BST Third set: Murray 6-3 Kyrgios* (sets 2-0) Kyrgios in a nutshell, this game. He hits a beautiful sliced forehand drop shot for a winner, shows some wonderful touch around the net, and then blasts a few forehands out. At deuce, he saunters into the net and seals the point with a drop volley of casual brilliance. But Murray hits back to reach deuce before moving to match point with a lovely forehand pass. The Scot then takes the match with an absolutely superb backhand return, struck past the onrushing Kyrgios at an exquisite angle. Game, set and match Murray! 12.10pm BST Third set: Murray*5-3 Kyrgios (sets 2-0) He’s a surgeon when in full flight, Murray. He wrong foots Kyrgios again, he slams down a couple of aces, and within moments he’s won a love game and stands a game away from the second week of the French Open. 12.07pm BST Third set: Murray 4-3* Kyrgios (sets 2-0) Oh dear. Things are really getting away from Kyrgios here. He falls 0-40 behind in the blink of an eye, and – though he saves the first break point with a brave drive volley – Murray is not to be denied. The Scot is now two sets and a break to the good, and it would take something seriously special for Kyrgios to turn this around now. 12.05pm BST Third set: Murray* 3-3 Kyrgios (sets 2-0) Murray races 40-0 up before steering a backhand into the alley. He’s not happy, and he channels his displeasure into a booming ace that leaves Kyrgios stranded. Will the “vital seventh game” cliche hold true in the next game? 12.03pm BST Third set: Murray 2-3 Kyrgios* (sets 2-0) You really don’t know what’s coming next from Kyrgios. At 30-30 he bends a lovely forehand winner down the line, and seconds later the game is his. The difference between the two players is that you do know what’s coming next from Murray. He may not have matched his opponent’s flashier stroke play, but the Scot has certainly maintained a solid, consistent level of play so far. Still, it’s Kyrgios who edges a game ahead. 11.59am BST Third set: Murray* 2-2 Kyrgios (sets 2-0) At 30-15, Murray produces arguably his best shot of the match so far, flicking a running, volleyed forehand pass from the baseline – if you please – beyond the stranded Kyrgios. It sets up a comfortable hold. 11.56am BST Third set: Murray 1-2 Kyrgios* (sets 2-0) A woeful service game from Kyrgios punctuated by plenty of expletives – why hasn’t he been warned yet? – ends with the Aussie slamming a ball high into the stands. Finally the French umpire, Damien Dumusois, loses patience and dishes out a code violation. Not before time, although it could just as easily have been Murray, who has also uttered a few choice words this morning. Murray back on serve. 11.52am BST Third set: Murray* 0-2 Kyrgios (sets 2-0) Was there a slight drop in Murray’s mental focus there? He certainly fell away from a forehand at 30-30 to go wide. And this time Kyrgios needed no second invitation, clinching a brief exchange with a blistering forehand winner. Interesting. 11.47am BST Third set: Murray 0-1 Kyrgios* (sets 2-0) The freshly-swept court his canvas, Kyrgios produces two lovely little pieces of artistry in the form of backhand drop shots that Murray can only watch and admire. But his first serve speed has dropped substantially, and clearly that arm is bothering the Aussie. Still, he soldiers on and his efforts eventually reap dividends. A double fault at deuce produces a break point for Murray that Kyrgios saves with another deft drop shot, and the Aussie then manages to ramp up the speed of his delivery enough to clinch the game. That’s an important hold. 11.40am BST Second set: Murray* 6-2 Kyrgios (sets 1-0) “Good comments,” writes Bronwyn Mitchell as Kyrgios receives treatment on his lower right arm at the change of ends. “Viewing on my phone while watching Aussie rules on TV.” I’m not sure whether Bronwyn’s referring to my comments or the more potty-mouthed ones periodically emanating from Kyrgios, but I’m hoping it’s the former. As for Aussie rules: sorry, Bronwyn, but there’s not much sign of an Aussie reigning on Court Suzanne-Lenglen just now. At 30-30, Kyrgios works himself into a promising position only to net a forehand. It’s becoming a recurrent theme in this match, and it’s no surprise when he coughs up another mistake on the next point. That’s two sets to the good for Murray. 11.34am BST Second set: Murray 5-2 Kyrgios* (sets 1-0) Murray seems to be having flashbacks of his win over Kyrgios in Australia. A little belatedly, he’s starting to slow things down and take his time between points, just as he did in Melbourne. Kyrgios, who likes nothing better than to storm through his service games at breakneck pace, doesn’t like that one bit. At 30-30, Murray hits a lovely angled forehand winner. Kyrgios makes an unforced error – something we’re seeing more and more here – to concede another break. 11.30am BST Second set: Murray* 4-2 Kyrgios (sets 1-0) What a force this man Kyrgios is. At 15-30, Murray is on the receiving end of an absolute barrage of groundstrokes that forces him further and further back. But what a flatterer-to-deceiver this man Kyrgios is, too. On the next point, he delivers another baseline salvo to earn a short ball, only to wallop the simplest of forehands long. Let off the hook, Murray claws his way back to deuce before earning a game point. Guess what, though? Kyrgios, from deep in his backhand corner, thunders down another immense forehand to pull the game back to deuce. And then another one to earn break point. Smarting, Murray responds with a penetrating first serve before demonstrating just how to deal with a short ball. Then, just for good measure, he slams down a stinging first serve and an ace to wrap up the game and maintain his advantage. 11.22am BST Second set: Murray 3-2 Kyrgios* (sets 1-0) “Oh wow,” exclaims Kyrgios midpoint after being wrong-footed yet again by Murray. Generously, Murray – who loses the point after the Aussie recovers with a fine lob – doesn’t complain about the distraction, which by rights should have earned him the point. Perhaps that’s because he’s focusing instead on earning another break. At 30-40, Kyrgios saves the game with a blistering forehand that must have had tennis balls everywhere shaking their heads and wincing. But when a Murray groundstroke kisses the line two points later, Kyrgios – who goes on to call for the trainer – sportingly rules in his opponent’s favour, saving the umpire the trouble of descending from his chair. 11.16am BST Second set: Murray* 2-2 Kyrgios (sets 1-0) Returning to the question of colourful clothing, Simon McMahon has this to say: “Players who wear a back to front baseball cap should automatically be docked a point before the game starts. And a pink shirt with blue shorts? That’s a game penalty. Not often you can say this but, dressed all in black, Murray wins the style contest hands down.” That he does, Simon, although I think Murray would gladly trade in his sartorial splendour for a couple of first serves round about now. Rather than stripping off, though, he simply takes a bit off his first delivery to fight back from 15-30 down and keep step with Kyrgios at 2-2. We can all be grateful for that. 11.12am BST Second set: Murray 1-2 Kyrgios* (sets 1-0) Kyrgios starts the game with a crunching backhand winner down the line that sets the tone for a decisive hold. 11.11am BST Second set: Murray*1-1 Kyrgios (sets 1-0) Speaking in commentary, the former French and Australian Open champion Jim Courier makes the point that Murray and Kyrgios both know what it is to carry the hopes of a nation. It’s an interesting comparison, and it may explain why Murray has shown a certain empathy with his opponent, offering the Aussie advice and practising with him. Kyrgios looks like he could do with a few tips, too, as Murray shrugs off the indignity of being dragged back to deuce by another scintillating Kyrgios forehand. Dragging his opponent hither and thither, the Scot wrong-foots him to draw level at 1-1. 11.03am BST Second set: Murray 0-1 Kyrgios* (sets 1-0) Kyrgios needs to produce some eye-catching play here to match his garish pink shirt, electric blue shorts and fluorescent yellow cycling shorts, and boy does he rise to the occasion. Even Murray acknowledges the excellence of a lovely rolled backhand winner that drags the Scot way beyond the tramlines. An exquisite drop shot is bookended by a couple of big forehands, and that’s the game in the bag. An impressive start to the second set from the ebullient Aussie. 10.57am BST First set: Murray* 6-4 Kyrgios (*denotes player who just served) Clinical. Murray serves out the set to love with some really solid play. He just gets that first serve in and gets it done. There was a time when a British player on the big stage would have put us all though the wringer at such a stage. Those rollercoaster days are gone. And does anyone really miss them? 10.55am BST First set: Murray 5-4 Kyrgios* (*denotes player who just served) Serving to stay in the set, Kyrgios once again shows some fine touches at the net as he holds to 15. Murray will serve for the set, though, which is pretty much what Simon McMahon was anticipating. “Morning Les,” says Simon. “A tough match ahead for sure, but Murray’s superior experience and knowhow on clay, plus the fact that he is high on confidence and supremely fit, should see him through.” Well, it’s looking good so far Simon. Just about. 10.52am BST First set: Murray* 5-3 Kyrgios (*denotes player who just served) Amid multiple breaks of serve and some choice language from both players, you sense that the first man to consolidate a break will claim this set. It appears that man won’t be Murray when he finds himself 30-40 down again. But a superb topspin lob off his backhand side is followed by the cutest of drop shots, and when Kyrgios makes another mistake from the back, Murray has the game, the psychological edge and the momentum. 10.47am BST First set: Murray 4-3 Kyrgios* (*denotes player who just served) Kyrgios belongs firmly to that line of showmen that includes the likes of Ilie Nastase, Jimmy Connors and Henri Leconte, a point underlined by a wonderful exchange early in the game when Murray draws him in to the net before sending him scampering him back towards the baseline again with a deftly executed lob. Recalling his exploits against Nadal last summer, the Aussie hits the ball through his legs and over Murray, who gets a racket on the ball but can’t put it back in play. Marvellous stuff. Still, tennis is about consistency, not just moments of magic, and Kyrgios makes way too many mistakes. He drops serve tamely in the end and it’s advantage Murray again. 10.41am BST First set: Murray* 3-3 Kyrgios (*denotes player who just served) Murray is remonstrating with the umpire about the now infamous overhead camera that claimed the life of a pigeon earlier in the tournament and has been bothering him all week. He complains that the camera is getting in his eyeline as he serves. Not ideal. And it almost looks like it might prove costly. But at 30-40, Kyrgios slams a forehand out on break point, enabling Murray to open up on the serve and seal the game with an ace. Important hold that. 10.34am BST First set: Murray 2-3 Kyrgios* (*denotes player who just served) The danger signs are clear for Murray here: he’s being drawn into a baseline slugfest with the ebullient Aussie, and that’s the last thing he wants. Give Kyrgios the chance, and he’ll just hit right through you. He also boasts a deft touch at the net, as he demonstrates twice in this game en route to a pretty comfortable hold. 10.31am BST First set: Murray* 2-2 Kyrgios (*denotes player who just served) Looking to consolidate the break, Murray is outrallied on the opening point and then finds himself on the wrong end of an enormous forehand. Another huge forehand draws a groundstroke error from the Scot, and suddenly he’s three break points down. Murray comes out fighting, though, with two big serves … only to double-fault on the third break point. He swipes his racket angrily; Murray knows that was a missed opportunity to edge ahead in this set. 10.27am BST First set: Murray 2-1 Kyrgios* (*denotes player who just served) Kyrgios’s game plan is clear: hit the ball hard, and if that doesn’t work then hit it harder. It doesn’t do him much good here, though. The Aussie belts a reverse crosscourt forehand wide to cough up two break points, and Murray simply gets the ball back in play to claim the game. First blood to the Scot. 10.24am BST First set: Murray* 1-1 Kyrgios (*denotes player who just served) We’ll keep an eye on those drop shots, because Kyrgios is not the best mover when he has to race forward. It was a tactic Murray deployed to wonderful effect when he beat Kyrgios in the last eight of this year’s Australian Open … although, let’s face it, he doesn’t exactly require much encouragement on that front. Another thing Murray did well in Melbourne was to mix up his baseline play – plenty of slice, plenty of changes of pace and direction – to prevent Kyrgios from getting into a rhythm. He does much the same here, opening up a lead with a winning pass before repeatedly frustrating his opponent from the back of the court. Kyrgios digs in to get the game back to deuce, but from there it’s a comfortable hold for Murray. 10.17am BST First set: Murray 0-1 Kyrgios* (*denotes player who just served) Murray won the toss and elected to received. Straight out of the Brad Gilbert school of thought, that one: have a crack at your big-serving opponent’s delivery early on, before they’ve had a chance to warm up. The initial results look promising for Murray, who wins the opening point with a drop shot after a brief rally. At 40-30, the same ploy earns him another point. But Kyrgios finishes the game with a huge forehand winner and a cry of “C’mon!!!” Lleyton Hewitt would approve. 10.12am BST The players are out and have almost finished their warm-up. Kyrgios wandered on to Suzanne Lenglen court wearing pink headphones – ever the showman. Murray followed him out looking calm and relaxed. 10.10am BST Speaking of that fine run, Murray has now racked up 12 consecutive clay-court wins. That impressive sequence has earned him the first clay-court titles of his career, in Munich and Madrid. But Kyrgios won’t care a jot about Murray’s form or reputation, such is his swaggering self-belief. 10.06am BST Good morning and welcome. Today’s narrative has a familiar ring: the next big thing in men’s tennis comes up against one of the big four, and suddenly all and sundry are hailing a new era. How many times have we heard that one over the years dominated by Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray? So whether Nick Kyrgios can live up to the hyperbole surrounding him in this morning’s papers is a moot point. Murray, his opponent today, will certainly be hoping not. Still, it can’t exactly be comforting to roll out of bed on a Saturday morning and be greeted by John McEnroe proclaiming your opponent as a potential “No 1 player in the world in the next couple of years” who – with hard work – is on the road to becoming “a truly great player”. Mats Wilander, writing in L’Equipe, was a little more circumspect, highlighting the difficulty the sport’s young pretenders face in upsetting the status quo … but still went on to predict Kyrgios would win at least one major. The young Aussie beat Federer on clay in Madrid recently – and also famously claimed the scalp of Nadal at Wimbledon last year – so Murray will certainly need to be on his guard if he is to continue his fine recent run on the red dust. 9.49am BST Les will be here shortly. In the meantime, here’s Kevin Mitchell on Nick Kyrgios, before this third-round match at Roland Garros:Nick Kyrgios swaggers into his third-round match against Andy Murray on Saturday overflowing with self-belief – and the backing of John McEnroe, who thinks the young Australian hotshot could be “the No1 player in the world in the next couple of years”.That is baggage to bear but the kid from Canberra whose mother may still not be sure he is going to make it – “She’s a bit weird like that,” Kyrgios says – is not only comfortable with praise, he revels in it. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2015 11:24:49 GMT)

‘The more deprived and edgy, the better’: the two sides of London’s property boom
The day after the election, the capital’s luxury flat market soared, as the global elite rushed to buy a piece of ‘real’ London life. Here, long-term residents and estate agents in one of Britain’s poorest inner-city boroughs count the costIn the hours after the Conservatives won a majority at the general election, London estate agents reported a surge in luxury property sales. Shares in Foxtons rose by 13%, and more than £100m of central London property was sold in a 24-hour frenzy, as estate agents worked through the night to deal with the renewed interest from wealthy buyers. Their fears over Labour’s proposed mansion tax had been allayed, and the tax loophole for non-doms had been preserved.Meanwhile, there is a growing sense among those on low incomes that they are being pushed out of the capital. According to a recent Oxfam report, the five wealthiest families in the UK are richer than the poorest 20% of the entire population. Nowhere is this disparity more apparent than in Tower Hamlets, located at the heart of London’s East End, which has long been associated with some of the worst poverty in Britain. As many as 23% of families here live on less than £15,000 a year, and 53% of children come from families living on unemployment benefits. Tower Hamlets is also home to the towers of Canary Wharf, a hub of banking and commerce, making the borough one of the wealthiest parts of Britain, too. Its economy, worth more than £6bn a year, is greater than that of Monaco.More than £100m of central London property was sold in a 24-hour frenzy'You hear the phrase "social cleansing" being used – and that's exactly what this is' Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2015 08:00:07 GMT)

‘Farewell, readers’: Alan Rusbridger on leaving the Guardian after two decades at the helm
After 20 years as editor, Alan Rusbridger is stepping down. Here he reflects on two decades of sweeping change – from broadsheet to Berliner, Aitken to Snowden, and newsprint to pixels – and recalls his fervent wish when he took the job: “Please, please let me not drop the vase”This, if you’re reading the physical paper – which, of course, you are not – is my last edition as editor. In just over 20 years we have put nearly 7,500 papers “to bed”, as almost no one says nowadays. At some point in the 24-hour, seamlessly rolling digital news cycle, you’ll have a new editor. I will have slipped away and my successor, Katharine Viner, will have materialised at the helm.Since 1821 there have been just 10 editors of the Guardian – or 11 if you count Russell Scott Taylor, the 18-year-old who helped edit for a brief period in the 1840s. The greatest of them, CP Scott, managed 57 years in the hot seat. His son, Ted, drowned on Windermere only three years into his stint. Twenty years is, give or take, about the average. Related: Enter Katharine Viner at the Guardian: new editor, old hand Related: History of the Guardian Related: History of the Guardian website Related: What Comment is free means to you: in celebration of its late founding editor, Georgina Henry | Open thread Related: NSA files decoded: Edward Snowden's surveillance revelations explained Related: The pervasive power of Rupert Murdoch: an extract from Hack Attack by Nick Davies Related: Guardian and Washington Post win Pulitzer prize for NSA revelations Related: Climate change: why the Guardian is putting threat to Earth front and centre | Alan Rusbridger Continue reading...
(Fri, 29 May 2015 15:14:33 GMT)

My son said no to drugs
He’d been taking recreational drugs since his teens, so when his own 14-year-old son took a hard anti-drugs line with his friends, one father wondered if his boy was needlessly making life hard for himself“They’re arseholes who don’t know what’s right or wrong.” So said my 14-year-old son the other day, dismissing his school friends with a characteristically sweeping summary. Until recently, J’s mates were the one good thing about school. He walked there and back with them every day, they all hung out as a gang at break time and ate lunch at “their table”. Every spare moment in uniform was spent together.Being with his friends was J’s life raft in a school day awash with loathsome lessons. But now it’s become an ordeal, with J repeatedly checking his watch, wishing break time would hurry up and finish. “I used to hate everything about school except for break, but now break is the thing I hate most.”I told him, just be yourself. And if that means you don’t smoke dope, then good – don’t Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2015 06:30:03 GMT)

Melissa McCarthy and Paul Feig on Spy: 'When it works, it works like jazz'
Bridesmaids and The Heat marked out them out as a distinctive actor-director duo willing to explode lazy stereotypes about funny women. As they discuss their new secret agent comedy, the pair explain how they’re only getting startedPlease spare a thought for the plight of the middle-aged actress in Hollywood. Undervalued, underpaid and underemployed, these women are marooned in a youth-worshipping world that exists on a diet of robots and mutants. Maggie Gyllenhaal recently bemoaned the fact that, at the ripe old age of 37, she was considered too decrepit and doddering to convincingly portray the love interest of a 55-year-old leading man. A recent survey found that only 12% of the lead characters of last year’s 100 highest-grossing films were female. All the more miraculous, then, that in such a bleak environment Melissa McCarthy can become a star.By the time she turned 41, Chicago-born McCarthy was making a decent living playing sweetly quirky TV sidekicks whose main function was to assure the leading lady Mr Right was just about to walk through the door. In 2010, she became the co-star of Mike & Molly, a bland sitcom built around the idea that two heavyset people in a relationship is, in itself, hilarious. Then she auditioned for Bridesmaids, the ensemble comedy co-written by Saturday Night Live’s Kristen Wiig and directed by Paul Feig, creator of the immortal Freaks And Geeks. Related: Spy review – uproarious Paul Feig comedy tickles SXSW Related: Paul Feig: Hollywood's accidental feminist Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2015 07:59:05 GMT)

I found love at 88: three true romances
What’s it like to fall madly in love in your 80s? Three couples who found each other late in life talk romance, regret and second chancesThe first time Ron kissed Barbara, she wasn’t overly impressed. She was in her late 80s, he was four years younger, and a long-standing friendship was developing into something more. But that first kiss wasn’t, well, quite what Barbara had been expecting. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2015 07:30:05 GMT)

Why did the Boston marathon bombers do it? An interview with Masha Gessen
Vladimir Putin’s biggest critic talks about exile, conspiracy theories and the uncomfortable truth about the Tsarnaev brothers and their ‘radicalisation’Masha Gessen is the first journalist to fully lay bare contemporary Russia, “a country where political rivals and vocal critics are often killed, and at least sometimes the order comes directly from the president’s office”. Gessen wrote these words in The Man Without a Face, her 2012 book about Vladimir Putin’s rise to power, which she worked on in secret for fear of retaliation. A remarkably prolific author, publishing at a rate of about a book a year, she’s already well into a second book about Putin, she says, which focuses on the last three years of his regime. Related: The Tsarnaev Brothers: The Road to a Modern Tragedy by Masha Gessen – extract Related: My life as an out gay person in Russia Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2015 06:00:02 GMT)

Tim Dowling: I’m on tour again. What chaos am I leaving behind?
‘When I get home that afternoon the house is dark and oppressively silent’While searching for a phone charger with the right end, my eye snags on something on the kitchen table: the cover of a GCSE history revision guide, featuring a black and white photo of a wounded soldier lying on the scarred earth, looking imploringly at the huddle of comrades gathered above him. One has a wobbly balloon drawn in ballpoint pen emerging from his mouth. Inside the balloon, in a cramped, joined-up hand, are the words “shut up you batty crease”.“Are you off?” my wife says, striding into the kitchen. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2015 05:00:01 GMT)

Sex with Marc again – this time he was keen to take off my clothes
It should have been sexy, but it made me feel even more awkward than the first time. And when I put my giant shirt on afterwards, he asked why I was trying to hide from himMarc and I went to the cinema when his mother went home. We ate popcorn and he held my hand on his lap. When we came out, he asked, “Are you coming back to mine?” I said I was and we smiled at each other. We drank red wine in his kitchen and trashed the film, and then he picked up the bottle and said, “Come on, let’s go and finish this somewhere more comfortable”, leading the way to his bed.I was enormously attracted to him, but nonetheless more nervous than the first time. He decided he was going to take my clothes off, which should have been sexy but was unspeakably awkward. Somewhere along the way, from the end of a long marriage to here, I’ve become more awkward than I’ve ever been in my life. “Hey, just relax,” he kept saying, trying to be kind, which didn’t help. He started coaching me a little bit. A ‘tell me what you like’ mutual conversation is good, but being coached isn’t likely to make a person less anxious. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2015 05:45:03 GMT)

More models, more applications: 2015 set to be the year of the smartwatch
An estimated 36m smartwatches are predicted to be sold by the end of 2015, as more consumers allow smart techonology to grace their wristsIt is the smartwatch that broke crowdfunding records, with more than 78,000 people pledging over $20m in support of the Pebble Time – a digital watch evolved to transplant the bings, bongs and vibrations of your phone from your pocket or bag to your wrist. This week those funders have begun to receive their smartwatches, as the Pebble Time entered an increasingly competitive and crowded field. With smartphones at saturation point, and failing to dramatically improve, tablets only getting marginally thinner, and cameras, music players, portable gaming consoles and satnavs killed by smartphones, wearables are currently the most innovative area of consumer technology. While fitness trackers led the way, 2015 is the year of the smartwatch. Continue reading...
(Fri, 29 May 2015 23:44:59 GMT)

Mystery of the antique box
Julie Myerson bought an old box in an antique shop. It had clearly once been a family heirloom – and suddenly she felt oddly compelled to trace its originsI found it in a Suffolk antique shop. Dusty black, a little smaller than a shoe-box, wooden, hinged, lined with ancient, hand-painted paper. You could see that it had once had a key. Pasted inside the lid, in childish handwriting: My much loved mother sent me this box to (illegible). I keep it as a repository for very dear relicts.Inside, a yellowed card listed all its owners: Howlands, Coanes, Thorneycrofts, several female generations of the same family, each of whom had passed it on for a new little girl to store her “relicts”. “I hope that Margery will love and keep it for my sake,” the writer of the note said of the box’s final recipient. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2015 05:00:04 GMT)

Homes: easy as SCP – 30 years at the cutting edge of British design
As British design firm SCP turns 30, its founder Sheridan Coakley talks modernism, shopping for furniture and discovering Philippe StarckI got started in the furniture business because I needed to earn a living. When I left school, I had this idea that I’d be a photographer, so I started buying old photographs at auction and selling them from a friend’s book stall. I also bought furniture that was being sold cheaply – it seemed silly not to when there were things going for £1. The real bargains were 20th-century tubular steel pieces – no one was interested in that stuff in the early 1980s. I had them re-chromed – there was no market for vintage-looking furniture then – and launched my first collection, Pel. It then occurred to me that if I was making things look new, I may as well start manufacturing my own pieces.I opened the shop on Curtain Road [in Shoreditch, London] in 1985. The concept was simple: to produce new, modernist designs under our own label, and try to sell them. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2015 05:00:03 GMT)

Ardal O’Hanlon: ‘I was a nervous wreck before standup shows’
The standup, actor and author talks about stage fright, life after Father Dougal, being the son of a politician and how he prefers to snipe from the sidelinesHow much standup do you do now?I do it year round and I work on it every day, [though] I’m more selective about the types of show I do nowadays. I do a fair few gigs a month, whereas I used to do 10 shows a week, which is fine when you’re starting out, but now I can treat each one as a real event rather than a routine appointment. Continue reading...
(Fri, 29 May 2015 06:59:03 GMT)

In Mexico's tequila-making heartland an age-old craft is in danger of dying out
The skills of the jimador are traditionally passed from father to son but, although demand for tequila is booming, the younger generation are deserting the landMexican tequila harvest – in picturesStanding tall amid the latticework of burnt orange and blue that embroiders the north-western highlands of Jalisco, Mexico, Armando Acevez takes a sleeve in his hand and wipes it across his sweaty brow. His hands are rough; blistered portraits of a life which for almost two decades has been spent working on this unforgiving terrain. Related: From firewater to fine dining: exports triple for tequila’s poor cousin, mezcal Continue reading...
(Fri, 29 May 2015 15:45:28 GMT)

The biggest story in the world podcast: Episode 10, Shell
Shell's CEO, Ben Van Beurden, has agreed to be grilled by the Guardian on everything from divestment to economics and responsibility – but will he give some unguarded answers? Continue reading...
(Fri, 29 May 2015 10:54:46 GMT)

Should I stop my daughter wearing shorts if people call them hotpants?
She is nine and doesn’t like skirts or trousers. Am I wrong to think she should wear what she feels comfortable in? Annalisa Barbieri advises a readerI have what seems like a small problem, but I think it could have quite big implications and I can’t work out what to do. My daughter has just turned nine. She has never liked wearing pyjamas or thick clothes and hates any fabric flapping about her legs. At school, she won’t wear dresses or skirts because she wants to be able to do cartwheels and so on without people seeing her knickers, but she doesn’t want to wear trousers or baggy knee-length shorts because she finds them uncomfortable. So she has always worn short shorts with tights in the winter and long socks in the warmer months. Continue reading...
(Fri, 29 May 2015 14:00:02 GMT)

Legal highs: which drugs will be banned in the UK?
The sale of laughing gas is to be outlawed in the latest government crackdown on legal highs. Which other drugs will be affected by the ban?Whether it’s a high that’s been around since the 17th century, or a chemical cocktail created last weekend, successive governments have found it difficult to get a grip on legal highs. Ban one thing then tweak the compound slightly and the revamped drug becomes legal again. This is because the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 classifies drugs as illegal by their chemical compounds. Related: Laughing gas sales to be outlawed in government's legal highs clampdown Continue reading...
(Fri, 29 May 2015 11:27:29 GMT)

Experience: I survived a high school massacre
‘I fell and pretended to be dead, but I saw him shooting the other children’I can remember everything from that day, 7 April 2011. I was 13 and lived in Realengo, Rio de Janeiro. I woke up and didn’t want to go to school, so I was dawdling, but my mother said, “You have to go, even if you’re late.”I was in Portuguese class when we heard a sudden noise. It sounded like firecrackers and someone said not to worry, that someone had probably set them off in the playground. But the noise continued and we started to realise something was wrong, that it wasn’t firecrackers. Continue reading...
(Fri, 29 May 2015 13:00:01 GMT)

Quiz: Monkey Tennis, Britain's Hardest Grafters … which are real TV shows?
Oh how we laughed when Alan Partridge begged to make a TV programme called Monkey Tennis. Youth Hostelling With Chris Eubank?, he continued desperately, Cooking … in Prison?As it turns out, it was a grim augury of the future of broadcasting, in which TV execs appear to create shows by starting with a title and working backwards. The latest example being Britain's Hardest Grafter, in which 25 low-paid workers compete for a cash prize. Critics say it's 'poverty porn', but the BBC insists it is 'a serious social experiment'. Which brings to mind Japan's unerring commitment to whaling 'research'.Back in 2005, then BBC1 controller Peter Fincham said, 'I always said quite a few of those [Partridge suggestions] would have been commissioned.' And lo and behold, in 2012, Cooking in Prison became a reality (show) thanks to Gordon Ramsay.So, it's quiz time! Can you tell the real shows from the fake? All answers to be read in a Partridge voice, of course … Continue reading...
(Fri, 29 May 2015 12:38:00 GMT)

Meet the Oregon police dogs who have a big drug problem
Trained to sniff out marijuana, these canine cops face unemployment after the state’s legalisation of cannabis made their skill suddenly surplus to requirements There’s little doubt that Travis Dahl adores his dog, Dora, and absolutely none that she adores him. But their partnership is on borrowed time. Soon, Dora will leave for a new home and a new job. “It’ll be a bittersweet moment when she leaves, that’s for sure,” he says ruefully.Dora, you see, has a drug problem. When it comes to marijuana, she can’t help herself. She’ll find it in sealed bags in the trunks of cars, hidden under floorboards, inside walls, drawers or pockets. And when she finds it, she won’t move until Dahl retrieves it and rewards her. Continue reading...
(Fri, 29 May 2015 13:51:24 GMT)

The 10 best things to do this week
From Sheffield doc fest to art that interrogates identity (and a bit of Russell Brand), the most interesting cultural activities for the next seven daysTHEATREThe Red Lion(London) Continue reading...
(Fri, 29 May 2015 12:28:18 GMT)


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(Sat, 30 May 2015 09:52:38 GMT)

England v New Zealand: second Test, day two – live!
Second Test over-by-over updates on the second day at HeadingleyEngland’s Jimmy Anderson admits surreal feeling of 400 Test wicketsEmail niall.mcveigh.casual@theguardian.com or tweet @niallmcveigh 12.33pm BST 12th over: England 29-0 (Lyth 16, Cook 13) Henry will get another crack at Lyth – but he’s up to the challenge, controlling a shorter ball for four behind point. Cat and mouse ensues, with Henry keeping Lyth guessing, and the batsmen, for his part, moving onto the front foot. That coaxes Henry into attempting the yorker, but Lyth (just about) keeps it at bay. 12.29pm BST 11th over: England 25-0 (Lyth 12, Cook 13) Cook’s conservatism forces Boult to offer up a straighter ball, which Cook clips serenely away for four. For a variety of reasons, the New Zealand attack will be keen to get shot of Cook – and Boult appeals heartily when the captain looks to have edged one. Replays show it caught his back leg – hence the lack of appeal from Ronchi behind the stumps. Two balls later, Boult’s at it again, calling for lbw – but it looks to be outside the line. Boult getting closer, though. 12.24pm BST 10th over: England 21-0 (Lyth 12, Cook 9) Here comes Matt Henry for his first spell. Lyth and Cook, both used to dealing with Southee’s swing, have a new challenge to puzzle out – and Henry looks dangerous, beating Lyth all ends up with a first ball that slides by outside off, and building from there. Lyth is lucky to avoid an outside edge from a fuller delivery, and suddenly looks shaky once again. A maiden, and an impressive one to boot. 12.20pm BST 9th over: England 21-0 (Lyth 12, Cook 9) Lyth picks up the habit of leaving things well alone down the off side, before snicking a single to deep square to keep the strike. That’s the sum total of the over. I can’t imagine either captain will be too deeply concerned by the opening exchanges in this innings. 12.16pm BST 8th over: England 20-0 (Lyth 11, Cook 9) Southee to Cook, and a maiden. You sense England won’t have it quite so easy for much longer, with both bowlers finding their range and doing their best to mix things up. Southee outfoxes Cook with a delivery that doesn’t swing back as expected, but it evades the edge. Otherwise, steady stuff from Cook. 12.15pm BST Laura Ashe has this: “Trent Boult looks like Bolt the Dog. This cannot be coincidence, surely?”Are you suggesting he is Bolt the Dog, Laura? I’ll let you decide – personally, he more readily brings to mind Jay from the Inbetweeners, particularly when grinning away at the crease. 12.11pm BST 7th over: England 20-0 (Lyth 11, Cook 9) McCullum has four slips, plus a gully, lined up, and Ronchi playing his first Test innings behind the stumps. Lyth has looked composed so far, biding his time with Boult searching for swing, before pushing daintily through the covers for four. Twenty from seven overs; New Zealand managed more than fifty. Diff’rent strokes, and all that. 12.07pm BST 6th over: England 16-0 (Lyth 7, Cook 9) Interesting over from Southee, starting with a filthy full toss that Cook should do better with. The captain is a pillar of patience so far, demonstrated by a couple of canny leaves before pouncing on a full delivery, driving through covers for four. Shot! McCullum chases it gamely, crashing over the rope and into an advertising hoarding at a decent lick. He seems to be OK. 12.03pm BST 5th over: England 11-0 (Lyth 7, Cook 5) Boult and Southee are both struggling for swing, making life easier for the openers. Just two singles off the over, as England try to see off the new ball. The crowd give a sleepy rendition of ‘God Save the Queen’. The day has lost a fair chunk of its earlier oomph. 11.58am BST 4th over: England 10-0 (Lyth 6, Cook 4) Lyth drives down the ground, beyond Southee’s half-hearted dive, but Brendon McCullum is on hand with a sterling piece of field work at mid-on. Just a single when it looked like a four all day long. Cook is back on strike, and Cook is leaving it, leaving it, leaving it. 11.55am BST 3rd over: England 9-0 (Lyth 5, Cook 4) I’d love to say Cook is swinging the willow at everything in sight, but that’s patently not the case. An over of leaving well alone from the England captain – if he’s going to overtake Gooch today, he’ll be doing it the old fashioned way. A maiden – the first of the day. 11.52am BST 2nd over: England 9-0 (Lyth 5, Cook 4) Southee comes in from the Kirkstall Lane End, and Lyth is off to a positive start, twice pushing pitched deliveries through the covers for a couple of doubles. The rest of the over sees Southee go fuller, with Lyth staying on the defensive. Interesting puzzle for the New Zealand pacemen, with three left-handers at the top of the order. 11.47am BST 1st over: England 5-0 (Lyth 1, Cook 4) A side note, but a pretty important one: Alastair Cook will become England’s all-time leading Test run scorer with 32 more of the things today. I mean, it doesn’t have to be today. But it would be nice. He’s in no hurry here, leaving Boult’s wide deliveries well alone, before flicking a straight delivery away to fine leg for four. 11.41am BST Only ten minutes before England get their innings off and running. “New Zealand’s run rate seems close to an English one day innings”, quips Zia Faruqui. The tourists’ rate was 4.84, and rose to 6.30 for the final ten overs. And why not – if this is a big Test match for England, it’s equally significant for New Zealand. Winning this particular Test is the difference between 3rd and 7th in the next ICC rankings, such is the congestion below South Africa and Australia. 11.35am BST Broad has had enough, and with a good length delivery outside off, he catches Boult cold, and his looping shot is easily taken by Lyth at point. So, England do tidy up the tail, but at the expense of an extra fifty runs. Stuart Broad collects a five-wicket haul, but he won’t be celebrating too wildly. 11.32am BST 72nd over: New Zealand 350-9 (Craig 41, Boult 15) Trent Boult may never face a field like this again, but he and Craig have earned England’s respect with this start. A tighter over from Stokes here, who keeps Craig guessing until the final ball, which is punched through the covers for four. That’s 350, and New Zealand will be delighted. 11.28am BST 71st over: New Zealand 346-9 (Craig 37, Boult 15) Regrettable scenes here, as Cook implores Lyth down at deep midwicket to move left to field a Craig drive. He needs, in fact, to move right, and instead stands frozen as the ball trundles away for four. It doesn’t get much more basic than that. Broad changes his line with Boult on strike – but the No11 gets back in on the boundary action, cutting away for four past third man. That was the shot that did for Boult at Lord’s – much better this time. 11.23am BST 70th over: New Zealand 337-9 (Craig 32, Boult 11) Well, this isn’t quite the start Alastair Cook had in mind. Craig punishes a wide delivery from Stokes, sending it haughtily back down the ground for another six! The pace bowlers keep firing it short and wide, and that’s the results you’re gonna get. Time for Moeen? Time for a yorker? Time for something, with New Zealand accelerating towards 350. 11.19am BST 69th over: New Zealand 328-9 (Craig 24, Boult 10) Another boundary, this time from Craig, with the left-hander sending Broad over backward point. A single puts Boult back in the spotlight, and Broad goes short – but Boult is ready for it, and smacks it over mid-on for another four. He’s grinning from ear to ear, is Boult – and he’s only denied another by exceptional fielding work from Joe Root at deep cover. 11.14am BST 68th over: New Zealand 317-9 (Craig 19, Boult 4) Craig flicks a Stokes delivery away for a couple, before the field closes in as Boult moves onto strike. He catches them cold with a canny drive through the covers for four. The tail enders enjoying themselves out here. 11.11am BST 67th over: New Zealand 310-9 (Craig 16, Boult 0) So Henry goes after a tasty cameo appearance, and here comes Trent Boult, who was good value in the first Test, facing deliveries from a starting position about a foot to the left of the stumps. 11.10am BST That was fun while it lasted, but from the final ball of the over, another short ball has Henry swiping at thin air, and he top-edges through to Buttler. 11.08am BST 67th over: New Zealand 310-8 (Craig 16, Henry 27)Stuart Broad, who went for almost six an over yesterday, is the next man in. With the field spread far and wide, Broad fires down a few feisty short ones, the third of which catches poor Henry in the ribs. Henry remains resolutely unruffled, pulling Broad dismissively into the Western Terrace for six... 11.03am BST 66th over: New Zealand 304-8 (Craig 16, Henry 21)So it’s Ben Stokes who gets things started, from the Football Stand End. After fielding the first delivery nervously, Henry takes two with a flick to square leg, before pummelling a shorter ball in the same direction for four! No signs of slowing down from the New Zealand batsmen. That’s 300 up, and smart fielding was required to keep it to seven off the over. 10.58am BST The players are out, ready for an 11am start. Why didn’t we start a little earlier, with overs to be made up? Listen, this is England. That’s not how things are done. 10.56am BST McGrath, Walsh, Dev, Hadlee, Pollock, Akram, Ambrose. Those are the pacemen other than Jimmy Anderson that have notched over 400 wickets. He’s being pressed on the issue ahead of play starting, but is staying humble. So we’ll let Vic Marks sing his praises instead. 10.49am BST Here’s Headingley helpers The Yorkies, with attire that in no way conforms to lazy linguistic stereotypes: 10.45am BST A big day for England opener Adam Lyth in prospect – he’s at his county ground, playing his second Test after knocks of 7 and 12 at Lord’s, looking for a marked improvement with the Ashes looming. No pressure, then. 10.31am BST So, New Zealand start the day on 297/8, with Mark Craig and Matt Henry at the crease. Now, nothing says heavy metal like Saturday morning cricket – so here’s one for Luke Ronchi after yesterday’s efforts: 10.19am BST PreambleHello. I’ll cut straight to the chase – what we have here is a Test match that’s beautifully poised, even as early as the second morning. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2015 11:33:29 GMT)

Arsenal’s Héctor Bellerín fast-tracked to Wembley after breakthrough season
The former Barcelona youth player has seized his chance to shine at right-back for Arsenal and now looks forward to his first FA Cup finalAs Héctor Bellerín boards the bus bound for Wembley on Saturday, it will be impossible for him not to reflect on the journey he made a year before. When Arsenal played Hull in last season’s FA Cup final the Spaniard got together with the club’s other young players, sporting their boyband civvies, pretty relaxed, and made his way there to sit in the crowd and watch. At the time Bellerín had made just one appearance for Arsenal – roughly 25 minutes as a substitute in extra time of a Capital One Cup tie at West Brom. Watching the first team parading around the silver, he felt a surge of desire to have that feeling himself some day. “It was an inspiration,” he says. Related: Arsenal’s Wojciech Szczesny hits back at father’s ‘idiotic comments’ Continue reading...
(Fri, 29 May 2015 21:30:04 GMT)

Amir Khan fights off spirited challenge from Chris Algieri
British boxer wins on unanimous points decisionAmerican puts on aggressive show in front of home crowdKhan v Algieri: as it happenedAmir Khan outpointed Chris Algieri to stay on course for a September showdown with Floyd Mayweather, but failed to deliver the statement that might have made the fight a mandate.Khan overcame a spirited challenge from Algieri to win a unanimous decision in a 12-round welterweight fight before a crowd of 7,372 on Friday night. One ringside judge scored it 115-113, while the other two had it 117-111. (The Guardian had it 116-112.) Related: Amir Khan beats Chris Algieri – as it happened Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2015 05:01:10 GMT)

Justin Gatlin rejects ‘ridiculous’ claims about steroid effects
• Sprinter reacts angrily to questions about long-term impact of doping• ‘I’m not sure why you would match a laboratory mouse to a human being’• Gatlin was not kicked out of Beijing event, say organisersJustin Gatlin has dismissed suggestions that he is still benefitting from anabolic steroids nearly a decade after taking them as “ridiculous”.Gatlin was banned from athletics for four years in 2006 after testing positive for testosterone. He has always maintained his innocence and claimed that a masseur rubbed a cream containing the banned substance on his back – something the masseur denies. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2015 10:06:17 GMT)

Bath reinvent golden era with a modern twist as Premiership final awaits
Stuart Hooper and his squad decided ‘to reconnect with what the club are all about’ – now Saracens stand between them and a first league title since 1996One of the central planks of Bath’s renaissance often goes unnoticed. Even in a Twickenham final week, amid the splendour of the club’s manor house HQ in Farleigh Hungerford, surprisingly few choose to seek him out. “Anyone want to speak to Stuart Hooper?” asks a plucky press officer, sticking her head around the door of the music room: this is Bath, remember. Her audience, their notebooks already full of quotes from Kyle Eastmond and Jonathan Joseph, fall guiltily silent. Their editors will always find space for a “Slammin” Sam Burgess story but good old Stuart not so much.Too many are missing the bigger picture. Hooper was working towards such days long before Burgess arrived. As the club’s captain since 2011, Hooper has seen such respected coaches as Sir Ian McGeechan and Gary Gold come and go. Even Bruce Craig, whose millions have funded the grandest of rugby designs, and Mike Ford, the head coach, are marginally less qualified to pinpoint why the team are back tilting for a Premiership title. Related: Salary cap may not fit Bath or Saracens but critics have to wear it – for now Related: Bath and Saracens final may offer a few clues for England at the World Cup Continue reading...
(Fri, 29 May 2015 21:00:03 GMT)

The gifs that keep on giving: Roger Federer, rugby, anger and romance
Featuring a few tricky wingers, a backheel, a defensive shield, red mist, an acrobatic slam dunk and a rugby player who must think he’s playing in the NFL Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2015 08:45:06 GMT)

Jessica Ennis-Hill to put body to test in heptathlon return at Hypo meeting
• Briton in first competitive event since London 2012• Olympic champion returned to training in November after giving birthOf all the mountain peaks that overlook the frayed six-lane running track in the Austrian town of Götzis, none is as steep as the challenge Jessica Ennis-Hill has set herself in the next 15 months: to return from giving birth and retain her Olympic heptathlon title. As she says, she is entering unknown territory. However, as she makes the final preparations for her first heptathlon since London 2012, she is on familiar ground.It was in Götzis in 2012 that Ennis-Hill broke Denise Lewis’s British record by scoring 6,906 points, and showed she was ready to face the physical and psychological pressures of a home Games. This weekend, however, the sights are set far lower. Her first target is to score the 6,200 points required to make the qualifying standard for the Rio Olympics. The next is to convince herself that aiming for a medal at the World Championships in Beijing in August has any basis in reality. Continue reading...
(Fri, 29 May 2015 19:00:01 GMT)

Jonás Gutiérrez hits out at Mike Ashley after release by Newcastle
• Gutiérrez’s goal against West Ham helped Newcastle avoid relegation• Defender Ryan Taylor is also to leave St James’ ParkNewcastle have released Jonás Gutiérrez less than a week after he helped stave off relegation from the Premier League.The 31-year-old started the season battling back from testicular cancer and ended it by inspiring Newcastle to a vital 2-0 win over West Ham. Gutiérrez provided one goal and scored the other in what proved to be his last match for Newcastle, who confirmed Ryan Taylor is also leaving.Two things I learn from my illness how you can support a player (newcastle fans) and how you leAve a player alone (newcastle owner) Continue reading...
(Fri, 29 May 2015 22:19:00 GMT)

Rory McIlroy disappoints sell-out crowds as he misses Irish Open cut
• World No1 misses cut for a third successive Irish Open• Padraig Harrington one off lead as he seeks second title Whether through external pressure, charity commitments or basic matters of technicality, Rory McIlroy’s Irish Open trouble will linger for another year as he missed the cut. This time the damage was done during Thursday’s round of 80. Friday’s 71 was hardly the stuff of embarrassment but for a third time in succession he has lasted only 36 holes.This one will hurt the most, given McIlroy’s charity foundation is the tournament host. The world No1’s departure is painful, too, for sell-out crowds who had hoped to see a four-times major winner in full flow. Not to be, once again, alas. Related: Rory McIlroy misses cut at Wentworth but Luke Donald hits the roof Continue reading...
(Fri, 29 May 2015 20:00:03 GMT)

Stuart Lancaster looks to England’s future without Dylan Hartley
• Lancaster: ‘My priority is to move on to players I have available’• Leicester’s Tom Youngs is likely to become first-choice hookerBefore Stuart Lancaster started his media conference one hour after the announcement that he had dropped Dylan Hartley from England’s World Cup training squad the head coach made it clear that he preferred to talk about Sunday’s match against the Barbarians and the preparations for the World Cup rather than the errant Northampton hooker.The hooking is dead, long live the hooking. Most of the questions were about Hartley, who was removed from the squad after receiving a four-match ban this week for pushing his head into that of Saracens’ Jamie George in last week’s Premiership play-off semi-final – the player has replaced him in the 50 preparing for the World Cup – which meant he would not be available for the tournament opener against Fiji but Lancaster rarely referred to him in the future tense. Related: England drop Northampton’s Dylan Hartley from World Cup training squad Continue reading...
(Fri, 29 May 2015 21:00:03 GMT)

Chris Gayle hammers Essex as Somerset win T20 Blast match on last ball
• Essex 176; Somerset 177-7• West Indies batsman Chris Gayle hits 92 off 59 ballsChris Gayle was Somerset’s star as they secured a thrilling last-ball, three-wicket victory over Essex in their NatWest T20 Blast match at Chelmsford.After an uncertain start the West Indies batsman hit 92 from 59 balls after Essex had been bowled out for 176. Jesse Ryder and Tom Westley scored half-centuries in a losing cause for the hosts. Continue reading...
(Fri, 29 May 2015 22:21:07 GMT)

Fabio Aru cuts Alberto Contador’s Giro d’Italia lead after stage 19
• Italian moves into second place ahead of Mikel Landa• Contador’s lead now less than five minutes with two stages to goItalian Fabio Aru attacked in the final climb to win the 19th stage of the Giro d’Italia to reclaim second spot overall form his Astana team mate Mikel Landa on Friday.Aru, one of the pre-race favourites, slumped to third overall after cracking in a gruelling mountain stage on Tuesday, leaving Spaniard Landa to move up behind dominant leader Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo). Continue reading...
(Fri, 29 May 2015 15:47:02 GMT)

Super League heads to Newcastle expecting good things for Magic Weekend
• Record attendances expected at St James’ Park• Ninth edition begins with Salford against WidnesSuper League’s Magic Weekend heads to Newcastle for the first time on Saturday and Sunday, with the league’s general manager, Blake Solly, adamant it will be the best yet.All 12 teams will play at St James’ Park after the event had to be moved from Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium because of renovation work. Newcastle is the fourth host, with Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium and Murrayfield in Edinburgh being the other homes since its inception in 2007. Continue reading...
(Fri, 29 May 2015 15:04:34 GMT)

I want the city state of London to join the other nations reshaping the union
Londoners should have powers to make our own decisions over the wealth we create – we didn’t vote for the Tory cuts about to be imposed London has the wealth and London has all the power. That is the view which most of the rest of the UK has about our capital city and it is one I seek to challenge.Yes, London creates more of the wealth than any other region or nation in this country. But we are also the city with some of the worst poverty and deprivation in our country and we don’t have the power to tackle that. Related: London should be treated as city-state, says Labour mayoral hopeful Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2015 10:39:16 GMT)

This is Fifa’s Watergate. Let me remind you how it all ended, Sepp
The parallels between Nixon in 1972 and Blatter today spell bad news for the Swiss president – in spite of his victory this eveningOh America, America, America! I adore you as the world’s policeman. Not the world’s policeman as the role was previously defined: which was to say, the world’s bungling warmonger (bunglingly assisted by sidekicks such as ourselves). As that, you were somewhat less lovable. But with this business of being an actual policeman, and hunting down Fifa felons, you are really spoiling us.It is possible you have hit on the perfect foreign policy for your post-foreign policy era: tasking the FBI’s finest with solving the emotive cases other jurisdictions somehow can’t bring themselves to nail, despite being given literally decades to have a crack. In fact, without wishing to add to the caseload of the elite Quantico-based team currently taking down Fifa, maybe when they’re done with this one they can come and arrest all our establishment paedophiles and those who protected them, as you get the feeling that’s going to be another one mysteriously beyond the powers of our authorities. Continue reading...
(Fri, 29 May 2015 17:59:55 GMT)

The obsession with ‘natural’ birth is just another way to judge a woman
Judgments rain down on pregnant women – not least when they opt for a little medical assistanceFew things drive the British press quite so demented as the thought of a pregnant woman with a choice. Illegal immigrants eating swans? This week’s most dangerous woman in Britain? Mere side issues to the spectre of horror that is a pregnant woman making a decision about what suits her best as an individual. An individual! After all, we know that as soon as conception happens, a woman stops being her own person but is instead generic “mum”, and should be talked to accordingly. But I’m getting ahead of myself here (typical bloody woman). “Mothers ‘risk losing ability to give birth’” screamed the front of the Sunday Times last weekend. Various other papers eagerly seized on the story, too, based on the latest book from French doctor Michel Odent, who claims that because childbirth has become so medicalised, women are no longer able to go through it without intervention. Odent writes that the use of synthetic drips of oxytocin means women will no longer be able to produce “the hormone of love” naturally. That’s right, women: not only are you foolishly allowing doctors to divest you of your ability to give birth, but you soon won’t even love the few kids you manage to produce. You disgust me, women.Saying you’d opt for a c-section is like admitting you’d give your kids heroin to keep them quiet during EastEnders Related: The cult of natural childbirth has gone too far | Eliane Glaser Continue reading...
(Fri, 29 May 2015 15:09:34 GMT)

Sophie Heawood: Think the world of poetry is a gentle one? Sharpen your quills…
‘Poetry is more entertaining than anything Simon Cowell ever produced, and far more vicious’So Wole Soyinka, the Nigerian Nobel laureate, might get the job of professor of poetry at Oxford University – except that he’s 80, might not visit Oxford much, and his backers are starting to publicly shift their allegiances, to Simon Armitage or one of the other candidates. The whole thing has been described as “a hornet’s nest of intrigue and back-biting”. Just as it was six years ago, when Ruth Padel had to withdraw from the job mere days after being given it, after another controversy involving fellow candidate Derek Walcott. In the end, it went to Geoffrey Hill, who then used his position to compare our nation’s first female poet laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, to Mills & Boon. Poetry: it’s more entertaining than anything Simon Cowell ever produced, and far more vicious.I spent a year working in the poetry industry, if you can call it that, as an office assistant, and I promise you that advertising, the music industry and journalism have all turned out to be quite compassionate places to work in comparison. I have sat on tour buses with bands deciding whether they should flog their own VIP festival tickets for drug money, and the vibe has felt eminently reasonable compared to that of three poets and their factions competing for a prize and a publishing deal. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2015 05:00:05 GMT)

Housing policy is a disaster – so let’s make it worse
The chancellor trumpets his long-term economic plan, but right-to-buy is a short-term charadeGeorge Osborne reminds us so often of his “long-term economic plan” that it’s hard sometimes to remember he hasn’t got one. The chancellor does have a long-term economic belief, though, which is that if you cut taxes and state subsidy, economic plans will sprout up all over the place, melding together into one big “plan”. Hopefully. The government has a long-term economic hope that the consequences of its short-term economic plan will be positive.Even though the Blair-Brown interregnum involved quite a lot of state spending, they left one aspect of the previous Tory government’s long-term economic hope pretty much to its own devices. The UK’s long-term economic plan for housing has been running ever since tenants got the right to buy their council house in 1980. Part of the plan was that councils should refrain from supplying affordable housing, liberating the home-building sector from unfair competition and causing it to start providing affordable housing itself. Alas, the result instead has been a chronic housing shortage, making homes less affordable than ever. What went wrong? Related: Ex-council homes in London are a 'gold mine' for landlords Decent houses built now could be providing the pension income of the future Continue reading...
(Fri, 29 May 2015 18:15:00 GMT)

The attack on Douglas Carswell was wrong, but that doesn’t make him right
The logic of Ukip’s only MP when he dismisses anti-austerity protests is that the whole population must submit to an ‘elected dictatorship’Confession time: I like Douglas Carswell. Sure, I abhor everything Ukip stand for: they’re a millionaire-funded party advocating privatisation and tax cuts for a thriving wealthy elite, encouraging struggling Britons to direct their fire at immigrants rather than financiers, poverty-paying employers or tax avoiders. But Carswell is a charming and thoughtful bloke more interested in technology-based libertarianism than kneejerk rightwing populism.The son of a doctor who helped pioneer the treatment of HIV, he was clearly upset at Nigel Farage’s contemptible pre-election attempt to tap into resentment of foreign-born HIV-positive patients. His libertarianism, if implemented, would be nothing short of a social and economic disaster; but his critique of crony capitalism – of the fusion between corporate interests and the state – is one many on the left could easily identify with. Related: Ukip MP Douglas Carswell surrounded by anti-austerity protesters in London Continue reading...
(Fri, 29 May 2015 12:09:08 GMT)

Chasing Flying Saucers: why kids should work for their pocket money
Benign bribery can teach valuable life lessons. And who knows? It may even be the way to raise a generation of boys who clean up after themselvesAn aunt of mine, who is formidable in an almost Wodehousian sense, once objected that the amount tendered to me by the tooth fairy (50p) was inconsistent with what said fairy gave her children (20p), thus necessitating an adjustment. It wouldn’t do for a creepy, dentally fixated mystical being who sneaks into children’s bedrooms late at night to be found guilty of favouritism, after all.With adults, children’s pocket money is a similarly touchy subject. Parents will naturally have their own policies on the topic, often as dependent on their own principles and ideals as it is on income. But, as any parent who has had the discussion with their child will know, these considerations mean nothing to a furious six-year-old galvanised by a keen sense of monetary injustice. Continue reading...
(Fri, 29 May 2015 13:46:38 GMT)

It's time to wean ourselves off the fairytale version of farming
Children’s tales bear no resemblance to the cruelty of most modern farms, yet this image enables us to turn a blind eye to animal welfare and is exploited by the industry for profit – as Kerrygold’s recent Guardian advertorial showsThe way that meat, eggs and milk are produced is surrounded by one of our great silences, in which most people collaborate. We don’t want to know, because knowing would force anyone with a capacity for empathy to change their diet.You break this silence at your peril. After I published an article on chicken farming last week, I had to re-read it to check that I hadn’t actually proposed the slaughter of the firstborn by terrorist devil worshippers – so outraged and vicious were some of the responses. And that was just the consumers.In the UK 90% of all chicken is produced to Red Tractor standards and this demonstrates that the chicken has met production standards developed by experts on animal welfare, safety, hygiene and the environment. Farmers take the welfare of their birds extremely seriously, and therefore to accuse the sector of cruelty is absolutely unfounded.The maximum stocking density for chickens kept to produce meat for the table should be 34 kg/m2, which should not be exceeded at any time during the growing period.Planned stocking densities must not exceed 38kg/m2 for broilers Related: Crops for animal feed destroying Brazilian savannah, WWF warns “This friendly, Friesian familywere free to roam and browseand eat the freshest, greenest grasswhich made them happy cows.“They belonged to farmer FinnWho called them by their namesAnd when it was their birthdayHe brought party hats and games.“He played his violin for theminside the milking shed,and sung them soothing lullabieswhen it was time for bed.”All branded content should be clearly labelled for the benefit of our readers in line with our guidelines. On this occasion the insert was not correctly labelled and we apologise for this error.Do children’s authors not have a responsibility towards those they write for? Is there not an issue of conscience here for you? After all, if a children’s author is misleading children on behalf of a corporation, that’s a serious matter, surely? It has been done in your name, and promoted as your “latest book”, so simply shrugging off responsibility like this feels wrong to me. You must have a view about whether or not accepting this commission was the right thing to do, and whether you were justified in discharging it as you did.... to the best of my knowledge, Kerrygold seem to be particularly strong on animal welfare so there wasn’t a question that what I created was going to be misleading. The brief was very simple: Kerrygold cows spend a lot of time outside feeding on grassy meadows so let’s tell some fun stories about our cows. I don’t feel it’s exploiting kids because the only take out is that it’s better to feed cows on grass and ensure they spend as much time outside as possible.I’m very careful which brands I work with to avoid this exact situation – I wouldn’t have done this if I thought it was morally wrong. It’s a storybook for families to enjoy. There is no overt message to buy butter. It’s just about the cows. That said, it clearly says Kerrygold on the inside cover and on the back. Continue reading...
(Fri, 29 May 2015 11:06:14 GMT)

What did Cannes teach me this year? ‘Scoping’
Showbiz players have gleaned a craft tip from special branch, I’ve learned – the art of covertly surveilling a packed party at 3am for Harvey Weinstein’s stubbleI have just returned from the Cannes film festival, in whose many packed and disorderly parties I witnessed a strange new mannerism, which had to be explained to me by the showbusiness lawyer I was with: right-to-left scoping. Now, we have all had the experience. Someone you’re talking to shifts their glance over your shoulder, and then they reluctantly return their gaze to yours. They have clearly spotted someone more important and must wind up this tiresome conversation with you as soon as decently possible. But this is different. Loads of people seemed to be raking the crowds with their gaze continuously, right to left, even while talking. Related: Natalie Portman on Israel, Hollywood sexism and ‘being the boss’ I tried telephoning Fifa’s Zurich headquarters to ask if the council of wisdom was now in permanent emergency session Continue reading...
(Fri, 29 May 2015 13:33:55 GMT)

Little wonder that my dreams in Nablus are so disturbing
One features dominion, another separation. It’s no surprise that one academic describes Israel’s West Bank policy not as petty apartheid, but grand apartheidIt had the size and colour of a mouse, bulging in the middle, with legs like a spider. It scuttled across the floor and into a cardboard box, set in a confusing diagonal shadow. A ginger cat sat on the top of the box, peering down into it. Nothing happens. The cat just waits. I wake up. It’s after 3am. Nablus is silent, no traffic, nothing stirs. The air conditioning has stopped working. I walk down the dark hotel corridor and wake the porter to ask him for a light. But there is nothing to drink and my mouth is too dry to enjoy the cigarette. I clean my teeth and try to sleep again.But dreams return. I am walking down the street with a woman, next to a large concrete wall. I can hear panicked shouts, the sound of a large number of young people on the other side. Suddenly, one of the panels of the wall rotates, like a revolving door. Through the opening I glimpse people running away from something, but the source of the panic is unclear. She goes through the concrete door. I do not. The door closes. I hear more shouting. I don’t know if I should have gone through with her. All I know is that we are separated. I wake again, sweating, confused, frightened.Later I recall it was here, around Nablus, that Joseph dreamed of the domination of his brothers in the book of Genesis Continue reading...
(Fri, 29 May 2015 15:07:25 GMT)

The Guardian view on Freakonomics: quirky, charming and far too ambitious
Freakonomics was fun and offered new insights. But its tone of certainty was misleadingIt began with a question: what do teachers and sumo wrestlers have in common? It ended in a phenomenon. When Freakonomics (and its all-important subtitle: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything) was published 10 years ago, it became much bigger than a bestseller – the book of quirky questions with answers drawn from economics signalled nothing less than a cultural change. It sold millions in the first year alone, was translated into more than 30 languages and got turned into a film. Its authors, economist Steven Levitt and journalist Stephen Dubner, have spent the following decade writing enough follow-ups to sustain a franchise: Superfreakonomics, Think Like a Freak… the latest, When To Rob a Bank, is out this month and surprises mainly by not having freak in its title. Not a bad harvest for a work of micro-economics, co-written by a university academic. And – here’s where a commercial triumph turns into a cultural turn – soon every publisher felt it needed a Freakonomics equivalent, or 17.Before Levitt and Dubner, the work in America of popularising big ideas had fallen almost solely on the slim shoulders of Malcolm Gladwell. After them, it became a boom industry. Readers have spent most of the past decade surfing a wave of titles proffering social-science research to help navigate life. The Why Axis: Hidden Motives and the Undiscovered Economics of Everyday Life; Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces that Shape our Decisions… further references are available on your nearest table of three-for-two offers. Continue reading...
(Fri, 29 May 2015 18:06:49 GMT)

Sepp Blatter: For the game, for the world, finally do the right thing. Go
Fifa’s lavish HQ has often been portrayed as a Bond villain’s lair. Never has that description seemed more appropriateFifa’s lavish £150m headquarters in the hills above Zurich has been so often described as a Bond villain’s lair that the comparison has long since passed into cliche. But never has it been more appropriate than yesterday, when a self-pitying Sepp Blatter spent the morning holed up in his office receiving a string of visitors as he tried to plot a way out of the worst crisis of his 17-year tenure as president.Naturally, his scheming concerned his personal survival in a role that carries with it an estimated $10m (£6.5m)salary and all the trappings of a head of state, rather than the future of his tattered and discredited governing body. Continue reading...
(Fri, 29 May 2015 06:06:35 GMT)

Nigeria's free and fair elections are an inspiration for nascent democracies
As Goodluck Jonathan relinquishes the Nigerian presidency to Muhammadu Buhari, Kofi Annan explains why electoral integrity is vital to peaceful societyFor the first time in Nigeria’s history, an elected president is today handing power to another elected president following an election that was, by and large, free, fair and comparatively peaceful. President Goodluck Jonathan, in particular, deserves much credit for conceding defeat promptly and elegantly. Related: Nigerian election: readers tell us what should be on President Buhari's agenda Related: Ethiopia's election is a wake-up call on human rights and sound governance | Daniel Calingaert and Kellen McClure Continue reading...
(Fri, 29 May 2015 12:13:19 GMT)

From plitter to drabbletail: the words we love
Dialect terms such as yokeymajig or whiffle-whaffle; all-time favourites like cochineal, clot or eschew; antiquated phrases such as ‘playing the giddy ox’ … leading writers on the words they cherishTell us the words you treasure in the comments below – whether in everyday use or in danger of disappearing Continue reading...
(Fri, 29 May 2015 10:21:44 GMT)

Wasting water is a luxury we can no longer afford
Worrying about how much water to drink each day is misleading – our real problem is the growing shortage that threatens four billion people on EarthHow much water should you drink every day? Roughly two litres sound about right? Perhaps you keep a bottle next to your desk at work and swig from it all day in a bid to stave off all those problems you’ve been convinced will arise the moment your body’s hydration levels dip below “perfect”?And perhaps you should worry. A poll of GPs this week, carried out by the Natural Hydration Council, found that one in five of their patients were coming into surgeries and clogging up their valuable time with ailments such as feeling tired, headaches or poor concentration, mostly caused by them not drinking enough water. Of course, it’s a not-so-small detail that the Natural Hydration Council is the trade body for the bottled water industry, and it’s in their interest to make you worry about how little water you’re drinking. But surely it’s hard to argue against the basic advice that drinking lots of water is good for you?You will never see or touch most of the water you are responsible for using Continue reading...
(Fri, 29 May 2015 14:00:09 GMT)

Government 'shocked' by report of Dignitas link to struck-off doctor
Daily Mail reports that unregistered psychiatrist is assessing patients who want to go to Swiss assisted dying clinicThe Department of Health has described claims an unregistered doctor is giving medical assessments to patients who want to go to Dignitas as shocking.The Daily Mail reported that the Swiss assisted dying clinic was referring patients who wanted to end their lives to a British psychiatrist who was struck off nine years ago for serious professional misconduct. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2015 09:52:35 GMT)

Golden ales come of age as flavour of the British summer
Big brewers react to trend for paler beers as younger drinkers turn their backs on lagerIt is the beer that no brewer can afford to ignore and is being credited with spearheading the real ale revival. Golden ale, a light, more hoppy cousin of bitter, is stealing drinkers away from lager to such an extent that it is now being described as a game-changer in brewing circles.Demand for the ale has soared by nearly 70% in the UK over the past two years. Sales rose from 47,133 barrels in the 12 months to April 2013 to 79,565 barrels in the same period last year. Golden ales are now outselling fashionable craft ales by 10 to one, according to official industry figures. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2015 10:44:11 GMT)

UK boy in court charged with two Colchester knife murders
Youth aged 16 to appear in court over murders of Nahid Almanea and James Attfield in Colchester last yearA 16-year-old boy accused of killing two people, allegedly stabbing one more than 100 times, was remanded in custody as he appeared in court today.The teenager was arrested on Tuesday at the same riverside footpath in Colchester where he allegedly stabbed a student to death last year. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2015 09:23:04 GMT)

Orthodox Jewish sect's female driver ban condemned by Nicky Morgan
Department for Education launches investigation into order issued by Belz sect, which runs two schools in north LondonThe education secretary has condemned an ultra-Orthodox Jewish sect’s decision to ban women from driving, saying the edict was “completely unacceptable in modern Britain”.Nicky Morgan, who is also the minister for women and equalities, spoke as the Department for Education launched an investigation into the order issued by the Belz sect, which runs two schools in Stamford Hill, north London. A letter to parents said that, from later this year, children driven to school by women would be turned away. Continue reading...
(Fri, 29 May 2015 16:10:00 GMT)

RMT and Network Rail hold talks in move to avert strikes
Track operator and Rail, Maritime and Transport union to continue attempt to resolve pay dispute Talks between unions and rail bosses will continue this weekend in an attempt to avert planned strikes by rail workers over a pay dispute. Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union at Network Rail are due to walk out for 24 hours from next Thursday evening and 48 hours the following week, threatening travel chaos after a new pay offer was rejected.Network Rail and the RMT met at the conciliation service Acas on Friday afternoon to try to avert strike action. An Acas spokesman said: “Talks took place at the conciliation service Acas this afternoon to attempt to resolve the Network Rail dispute. These talks adjourned early evening and will reconvene tomorrow morning.” Continue reading...
(Fri, 29 May 2015 22:29:10 GMT)

Fewer adults dying because of smoking, figures for England suggest
Proportion of deaths in 35+ group estimated to be caused by smoking fell from 19% in 2003 to 17% in 2013, but hospital admissions linked to habit rose slightlyFewer people aged 35 and over are dying in England because of their smoking habit, figures suggest, although hospital admissions linked to tobacco usage are rising slightly.From 2003-13 – a decade which saw the introduction of a ban on smoking in public places and a rise in cigarette prices – the proportion of all deaths in the 35+ age group estimated to be caused by smoking fell from 19% to 17%. Continue reading...
(Fri, 29 May 2015 12:38:05 GMT)

Eight years for teenager in UK terror grooming case
Kazi Islam, 19, groomed a young man with learning difficulties to carry out a Lee Rigby copycat killingA teenage terrorist has been sentenced to eight years for grooming a young man with learning difficulties to carry out a Lee Rigby copycat killing.Kazi Islam, 19, tried to persuade 19-year-old Harry Thomas to buy the ingredients for a pipe bomb and to attack one or more soldiers with a kitchen knife or meat cleaver on his command. Continue reading...
(Fri, 29 May 2015 23:38:51 GMT)

No prosecution for police involved in death of man in psychiatric care
Olaseni Lewis died after being restrained in 2010 at Bethlem Royal hospital in south-east London Prosecutors have decided not to take action against police involved in the death in 2010 of a man who was restrained by officers at a psychiatric hospital.The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said there was insufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction against any of the officers involved in the death of Olaseni Lewis , an IT graduate.[The officers] invoked their right to silence (the right of every suspect) and did not answer questions Continue reading...
(Fri, 29 May 2015 16:16:14 GMT)

Non-dom status claimed by 800 UK-born taxpayers living in Britain
The controversial tax status – which does not exist in most other jurisdictions – is different from a person’s tax residence, nationality or citizenshipAt least 800 UK-born individuals who are resident in the country enjoy the controversial “non-domicile” tax status most commonly associated with super-rich foreign footballers, hedge fund managers and entrepreneurs. The tax status allows so-called non-doms to name another country as their true domicile, meaning they do not have to pay UK tax on overseas earnings despite being resident in Britain. Only income and capital gains generated in Britain, or sent back to the UK, must be subject to tax by HMRC. Related: Non-dom status: living and working in the UK, without paying all your tax in the UK Related: HSBC files reveal how UK's non-dom tax concession is being exploited Continue reading...
(Fri, 29 May 2015 18:10:33 GMT)

Officers deny misconduct over death of man falsely accused of being paedophile
Bijan Ebrahimi was murdered by his neighbour Lee James, who claimed that Ebrahimi had recorded video of his childrenThree Bristol police offers have denied charges of misconduct in the case of a disabled man murdered in June 2013. Bijan Ebrahimi, 44, was beaten to death and his body burned by Lee James in Brislington, Bristol. James falsely believed his neighbour was a paedophile.The four police officers, three constables and one community support officer, were present at Bristol crown court following allegations of misconduct in public office. The charges come as a result of an investigation into Avon and Somerset police by the Independent Police Complaints Commission following Ebrahimi’s murder. Continue reading...
(Fri, 29 May 2015 18:09:14 GMT)

US formally drops Cuba from terrorism 'blacklist'
Cuba was placed on list in 1982 but has ‘provided assurances it will not support acts of international terrorism in the future’ yet economic sanctions remainThe United States has formally dropped Cuba from its list of state sponsors of terrorism, the State Department announced on Friday, adding a symbolic punctuation mark to talks that aim to end decades of antagonism. The removal of Cuba from the terrorism list eliminates an obstacle to restoring diplomatic ties between the countries after a 50-year estrangement. Cuban diplomats had urged rescission as a condition of normalizing relations, alongside the restoration of bank services for Cubans in the US. Related: Obama to remove Cuba from list of state sponsors of terrorism Related: Cuba-US thaw brings fate of cold war-era fugitives on the island into focus Continue reading...
(Fri, 29 May 2015 22:17:38 GMT)

Facebook users plan protest against site's 'real name' policy at headquarters
Drag queens, transgender people and others part of #MyNameIs coalition will demand removal of fake name reporting option and clearer appeals processDrag queens plan to lead a demonstration outside Facebook’s Silicon Valley headquarters on Monday in response to the company’s “real name” policy. Facebook has repeatedly stated its opposition to anonymous users and has suspended accounts when people do not use their officially recognised name. The policy has incited drag queens, transgender people, Native Americans, domestic violence survivors and others who do not use the names on their birth certificates to come together against the policy as part of the #MyNameIs coalition. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2015 11:00:08 GMT)

Texas flooding: Obama signs disaster declaration after 24 people killed
Hundreds are staying in shelters after the floods turned streets into rivers, ripped homes off their foundations and swept over thousands of vehiclesRescue teams have recovered more bodies in Texas, bringing the total death toll to 24 in the storm-lashed state.The US president, Barack Obama, signed a disaster declaration late on Friday for areas in the state hammered by severe weather that also caused massive flooding and prompted evacuations throughout the week. Related: Texas residents pick up the pieces after devastating floods – in pictures Related: Texas residents rescued from flooding as more rain drenches waterlogged state Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2015 05:44:05 GMT)

French farmer jailed for killing suspected truffle thief
Laurent Rambaud receives eight-year sentence for shooting man he thought was stealing his trufflesA French farmer has been sentenced to eight years in prison for shooting and killing a man he thought was stealing his truffles. Laurent Rambaud, 37, had grown increasingly frustrated with a spate of thefts in the south-eastern region of Drome.On the night of 20 December 2010, he headed out into his fields armed with a shotgun. He came across 43-year-old Ernest Pardo, who was known as a truffle hunter and had previous indictments for theft, who was walking with his dog. Continue reading...
(Fri, 29 May 2015 20:55:22 GMT)

Police believed to be the target as Philippine mosque attack injures 15
10 police officers among those wounded in dual-blast attack on mosque on remote Philippine island long plagued by Islamic militancy, say officialsFifteen people including 10 police officers were wounded in an attack on a mosque on a remote Philippine island long plagued by Islamic militancy, officials said on Saturday.Successive blasts struck a mosque on the island of Jolo – an initial grenade attack followed by a bomb explosion that was intended to target police who rushed to the scene, local authorities said. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2015 03:37:00 GMT)

Italian navy recovers corpses of migrants in Mediterranean
Navy manages to rescue 217 people from boat off the Libya coastSeventeen migrants died on a boat off the coast of Libya, the Italian navy said on Friday, in the latest episode in the Mediterranean migrant crisis. The navy said it had rescued 217 migrants in an operation carried out by its ship Fenice. No further details were immediately available. Continue reading...
(Fri, 29 May 2015 20:47:43 GMT)

Second Saudi Arabia suicide bombing fuels Isis campaign fears
Attacker detonates bomb in car park of Shia mosque in Dammam, killing four people a week after suicide blast kills 21 at another mosque in east of countryIn the second attack of its kind in a week, four people have died after a suicide bomber targeted a Shia mosque in Saudi Arabia’s eastern province, fuelling fears of an organised campaign by Islamic Stateto foment sectarian tensions inside the conservative Sunni kingdom.Reports from Dammam described a car bomb explosion at the entrance to the al-Anoud mosque, despite security measures put in place because of last Friday’s incident near Qatif, in which 21 people were killed and 120 injured in the worst attack in Saudi Arabia in a decade. Continue reading...
(Fri, 29 May 2015 16:02:22 GMT)

Canada's conservatives under pressure after another senior minister resigns
Justice minister Peter MacKay’s resignation comes after former foreign minister announces exit from politics, putting yet more strain on Harper governmentThe political pact binding Canadian conservatives together has come under renewed strain after yet another senior cabinet minister announced that he was bailing out of the increasingly unpopular government of Conservative prime minister Stephen Harper.Justice minister Peter MacKay declaration on Friday that he would not to seek re-election in this fall’s upcoming federal election came after former foreign minister John Baird unexpectedly announced he was leaving politics earlier this year, increasing speculation that even the ruling Conservatives are seeing the end of days for their majority government in October. Continue reading...
(Fri, 29 May 2015 21:43:56 GMT)

Pentagon admits live anthrax may have been shipped to Australian lab in 2008
Few details were revealed about the incident after army facility in Utah recently sent anthrax to 11 US states, as well as South Korean military base Related: Pentagon anthrax blunder reveals 'chain of errors' in government lab protocols The Pentagon said on Friday the army may have mistakenly sent live anthrax to a laboratory in Australia in 2008, in addition to the suspected live anthrax it sent this year to more than a dozen labs in the US and South Korea. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2015 04:11:27 GMT)

Isis fighter in Syria was 'beheaded in revenge attack'
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights claims Assyrian fighter captured and murdered Isis jihadi in Hasakeh provinceA Christian fighter in Syria has beheaded an Islamic State (Isis) militant to avenge people killed by jihadis in north-east Syria, a monitor said on Friday. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the incident took place on Thursday in Hasakeh province, where Isis occupies large areas of the countryside.According to the monitor, the Christian fighter – a member of the minority Assyrian community – found the Isis fighter in the local village of Tal Shamiram. “He took him prisoner and when he found out he was a member of Isis, the Assyrian fighter beheaded him in revenge for abuses committed by the group in the region,” Observatory spokesman Rami Abdel Rahman said. Continue reading...
(Fri, 29 May 2015 20:12:14 GMT)

American Express president suddenly dies on corporate plane
Plane made emergency landing after Ed Gilligan, 55, fell ill; he worked at credit card company for 35 years, becoming president in 2013American Express said on Friday the company’s president, Ed Gilligan, died suddenly after falling ill while flying on a corporate plane to New York.The company said the 55-year-old executive was coming back from a business trip. It said the plane made an emergency landing in the US, but did not say where Gilligan had been. Continue reading...
(Fri, 29 May 2015 20:00:41 GMT)

Blind date
Gemma, 29, healthcare manager, meets Dean, 28, public affairs managerWhat were you hoping for? I had low expectations. I was preparing for it to be boring. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2015 05:00:03 GMT)

Beauty: dry shampoos without the dust
‘What used to feel like a slightly grotty product is now a mainstream staple for any woman who’s had to endure lank hair and a stringy fringe’Dry shampoo has been one of beauty’s biggest success stories in recent years. What used to feel like a slightly grotty product is now a mainstream staple for any woman who’s had to endure lank hair and a stringy fringe. Ingenious and gamechanging though they are, dry shampoos have not been without their problems. Users will know that chalky, patchy, flaky residue has been par for the course and required vigorous brushing to shake off the powdered wig look. The new generation of dry shampoos have all but eradicated the issue.Kérastase’s VIP Volume In Powder (£15.50, and worn here) is a case in point. It gives much increased volume and oil absorption without leaving your black jumper looking like a spilled ashtray. Colab’s Sheer + Invisible (from £2.50) is also dustless, excellently priced, and comes in little handbag canisters for handy use halfway through the day, when everything is prone to falling a bit flat (I’m not crazy about all the scents, but London is nice and unobtrusive). It’s also worth noting that many next-gen dry shampoos are hiding under a different name, but essentially do the same job. Windle & Moodie’s Matte Texture Spray (£20 for a huge can) is among my favourites, and in addition to all the usual dry shampoo benefits, it offers a good, scruffy, matte finish to stop hair flopping (I often use it immediately after blow-drying, when my hair is too slippery to behave). Toni & Guy Matt Texture Dry Shampoo (£4.99) works similarly, and is a longtime resident in my bathroom cabinet. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2015 05:00:03 GMT)

Make four different meals from one batch of broccoli
A big batch of roast broccoli sprinkled with sesame seeds is not just an excellent side to grilled meat or fish, but the ideal base for a salad, a gratin, a soup and a sarnie … four tasty mealsEspecially tasty, exceedingly local and reliably affordable, this “superfood” can be eaten raw and finely sliced in salads and stir fries, simply steamed, barbecued or roasted.In our household, we roast it with sesame seeds to reveal a deeper flavour and satisfying texture. Below is my go-to recipe for roasting an armful of broccoli. It works as a side with any number of meat or fish dishes, and keeps well in the fridge for up to four days, allowing you the opportunity to transform the florets into any number of these quick, flavourful meals. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2015 11:00:09 GMT)

Modern tribes: the midlife cycling obsessive
‘Some of those Scottish gradients are mental, seriously 16-18%, and man, the terrain – here’s me landing on the sheep’Got a second to look at this? It’s only 15 minutes, did I mention the Scotland trip, when I hit the sheep, right, well I GoPro’d it, comedy gold, man the bruising was insane, that’s on top of the chafing, even with a whole tub of arse butter, won’t go into the details. Do I go with the Prodigy for the soundtrack: “I got the pulsating rhythmical remedy, yeah”? Or I could leave it au naturel, so you hear the sheep, working title is Am I Seriously Crazy Or What?Look, so that’s me putting the bike on the train – in the pink helmet with the orange silk scarf and pink oversocks? Took the old hardtail in the end, bit controversial, but what you gain from full suspension you definitely lose with the added weight. Some of those Scottish gradients are mental, seriously, 16-18%, and man, the terrain – here’s me landing on the sheep, you can’t stop, obviously, you’d forfeit the whole segment. I’m so glad I went for a wider saddle with enhanced mounts and that external adjuster on the fork upgrade. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2015 05:00:05 GMT)

Help stop poaching: go on safari in Africa
As tourist numbers in east and southern Africa fall due to terrorism fears, local incomes and anti-poaching patrols drop too – which is when the poachers step inRead the Foreign Office advice on travel to Kenya and you’d be forgiven for avoiding the place altogether. Words like terrorism, piracy, kidnapping and violence are splattered through it like bullets. Although this advice refers to the coast and Somali border, the entire country is suffering. According to Kenyan government statistics, British visitor numbers have fallen by more than a third since 2012 (from 185,976 to 117,201 in 2014).Paul Goldstein, a guide for Exodus and co-owner of Kenya-based Kicheche Camps, says: “If the tourists don’t go on safari, there are no eyes on the ground and the locals don’t get paid. The poachers move in.” Related: Top 10 affordable safaris in east Africa Related: World view: Lewa wildlife conservancy, Kenya Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2015 06:00:04 GMT)

Is it worth it? Zone Dome
‘The fact that the footage plays at the pace of your run is said to be so motivating that you’ll last for an average of 25% longer than on a normal treadmill’What is it? Gyms are boring and outside is unpredictable. What you need is a Zone Dome – a huge curved screen that sits in front of a treadmill, playing footage of running trails from around the world to make you feel as if you’re really there. It’s a fancy Google Street View, basically.How much does it cost? For now, it’s available only at selected gyms around the country, so you’ll need to be a member to use it. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2015 05:00:05 GMT)

What I’m really thinking: the celibate wife
‘It didn’t start well. Almost as soon as the wedding service was over your libido, which was never that high, plummeted’Few people who know us as a couple realise that, for most of our long marriage, we have had no intimacy whatsoever; we have slept apart and existed apart for most of those years. If we touch in passing, it is clumsiness, not affection.It didn’t start well. Almost as soon as the wedding service was over your libido, which was never that high, plummeted. I rationalised it in so many ways over the years: it must be my fault somehow (no), illness (all tests proved negative), the stresses of a demanding job (though mine was infinitely more stressful than yours). I could not have children, so that was never an issue. Had it been one, I might have taken a different course, but I will never know. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2015 05:00:03 GMT)

Take the biscuit with these jammie dodger and bourbon cream recipes
Old-school biscuits are hard to beat – unless, that is, you’ve made them yourself. These twists on two all-time favourites – the jammie dodger and the bourbon cream – make teatime treats so good you’ll have a hard time not scoffing the lotI would love to be able to tell you that these biscuits evoke nostalgic memories of erstwhile days. However, I would be lying; I eat far too many of these family favourites for them to be anything but a vivid memory. They’ve been around for as long as I can remember, nestled within a big red box next to those impossible-to-make and even more impossible-to-resist pink wafers.Granted, some things are best left to the magicians at biscuit kingdom HQ. However, a few of the old-school classics can be improved with a little kitchen tinkering to bring them up to date. I am hopeful that the few simple efforts that go into making these biscuits will prevent you from scoffing the lot before offering them to others – which so often happens with a packet of their shop-bought counterparts! Related: Dan Lepard's baking: 10 best biscuit recipes Related: The 10 best jam recipes Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2015 05:00:06 GMT)

On the road: Vauxhall Adam Rocks Air – car review
‘In town, it darts and scuttles like a tiny, exotic insect’It is called the Vauxhall Adam or, to give its full name, the Adam Rocks Air. The colour it describes as “goldbusters”, but to picture the actual hue, you have to think of some kind of human effluent (bile, say) given a metallic shimmer. In town, it darts and scuttles like a tiny, exotic insect. On longer journeys, I could hardly believe it had only a one-litre engine, so poky was it. It does 0–60 in 9.9 seconds, and everything seems so effortless. The claimed top speed, 121mph, is quite something, though I didn’t come anywhere near to verifying it.What you notice, as a regular civilian driver, is a sense of ever-readiness. There were times when I couldn’t tell what was cool and what was a gimmick, what was modern and what a cut-corner. The system it uses instead of a satnav – you download BringGo, then plug in your phone and the screen shows on the display – feels a bit second-rate, but it works, and fast. Gunning through Brixton, trying to get to a civil-unrest event before anyone (everyone) had been arrested, I darted in and out of traffic, while the photographer buzzed the folding roof in and out. I lack the poetry in my soul to understand the point of a roof that opens, but he and the children were delighted. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2015 05:00:03 GMT)

Obesity 'causes one in five cancer deaths'
Heavier people are more at risk, warns cancer expert at Chicago conferenceTackling obesity is a major priority, the UK government has said, as a report warns that it is the cause of one in five cancer deaths.At the world’s biggest conference on cancer, it was claimed that obesity was killing tens of thousands of people a year in Britain and it is about to replace tobacco as the leading preventable cause of cancer in the west, according to a report in the Times. Continue reading...
(Fri, 29 May 2015 22:20:18 GMT)

Daily Telegraph's BBC weather jibe meets soggy reaction
Minister criticises the paper’s ‘cynical reaction’ to the BBC’s efforts to get more disabled people on-screenWhen the BBC advertised for a weather presenter with a disability to improve its on-screen diversity, the Daily Telegraph said it was yet another real-life instance of the comedy W1A.But in an unusual instance not of life imitating art but the government defending the BBC, the minister for disabled people, Justin Tomlinson, commended the corporation on its efforts to get more disabled people on-screen. Continue reading...
(Fri, 29 May 2015 16:15:13 GMT)

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas in graphic novel reincarnation
Hunter S Thompson’s ‘gonzo’ account of a drug-addled road trip has been adapted into a graphic novel by artist Troy LittleHunter S Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas – intimately bound up in most readers’ minds with Ralph Steadman’s hallucinatory illustrations – is set to be turned into a graphic novel by the artist Troy Little.The adaptation, the first ever graphic novel take on Thompson’s work, has been approved by the late rebel journalist’s estate, and will be published this October by Top Shelf Productions. Little, who has been nominated for an Eisner award for his Angora Napkin series, said he “agonised” over the project, because the work of Ralph Steadman, whose pen-and-ink illustrations peppered the original, “is so synonymous with Hunter you just know from the outset nothing can compare”. Continue reading...
(Fri, 29 May 2015 11:22:07 GMT)

Don’t fear the reaper
‘We are desperate not to think of ourselves as animals, subject to the usual creaturely cycles of birth and death’Nearly 60 years ago, in an anthropology journal, the US academic Horace Miner reported on the exotic customs of the Nacirema, a people noted for their rituals designed to deny the inevitability of death. Each Nacirema home, he explained, had a shrine with a small chest on the wall, full of “charms and magical potions” for prolonging life; tribe members made twice-yearly visits to “holy-mouth-men” with the power to rejuvenate their teeth. The Nacirema showed “pervasive aversion to the natural body and its functions”, including procedures “to make women’s breasts larger if they are small, and smaller if they are large.”You might wonder what kind of messed-up people such a reality-denying culture would produce – until you get the joke. (Spell it backwards.) But it’s not just the Nacirema. All we supposedly rational modern people construct our lives so as to feel, as much of the time as possible, like we won’t have to die. Continue reading...
(Fri, 29 May 2015 14:00:02 GMT)

Planet's happiest human – and his app
Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard takes time out from Nepal monastery to spread positivity and altruism on a world tour, aided by a few electronicsThe happiest man in the world does not own a house or car, or earn any money, and he spends three months each winter alone in a tiny Nepalese hermitage without home comforts or even any heating. Matthieu Ricard does, however, carry in his simple fabric bag a laptop in a padded case, and when our conversation is interrupted by the wail of a loud Himalayan chant, the 69-year-old Frenchman reaches into the depths of his saffron robes to pull out a smartphone, which he quickly silences.A lot of people might consider the key to happiness is getting rid of their technology, I suggest to Ricard. He is a molecular biologist turned Buddhist monk who, for almost a decade, has enjoyed (or laboured under) the title of the most content human on the planet. Continue reading...
(Fri, 29 May 2015 13:19:17 GMT)

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