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Ed Miliband: Labour faces a fight to save its Scottish MPs
Labour party leader reacts after poll suggests Scottish National party could win up to 54 Scottish seats in 2015 electionEd Miliband has admitted that his party must fight for every hour and every day to hold on to its Scottish MPs after a shock poll predicted Labour could be wiped out by the Scottish National party next year.The dramatic poll for STV said the SNP could win up to 54 Scottish seats and said Labours popularity was its lowest level since 2007, only a month after Labour had spearheaded a victorious referendum campaign against independence. Continue reading...
(Thu, 30 Oct 2014 22:00:05 GMT)

Fiona Woolf is urged to quit child abuse inquiry as victims meet Theresa May
Personal links to Leon Brittan and lack of experience are enough to mean she should stand down, says abuse victims groupSurvivors of child abuse are calling on Fiona Woolf to stand down as the second head of the governments inquiry at a crucial meeting on Friday.Woolf is under pressure over her personal links to Leon Brittan, the former home secretary, who is likely to be called to give evidence to the inquiry over a dossier allegedly detailing Westminster paedophile activity that vanished from his department in the 1980s. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 10:37:12 GMT)

Foreign jihadists flocking to Iraq and Syria on 'unprecedented scale'  UN
UN report suggests decline of al-Qaida has yielded an explosion of jihadist enthusiasm for its even mightier successor organisations, chiefly IsisThe United Nations has warned that foreign jihadists are swarming into the twin conflicts in Iraq and Syria on an unprecedented scale and from countries that had not previously contributed combatants to global terrorism.A report by the UN security council, obtained by the Guardian, finds that 15,000 people have travelled to Syria and Iraq to fight alongside the Islamic State (Isis) and similar extremist groups. They come from more than 80 countries, the report states, including a tail of countries that have not previously faced challenges relating to al-Qaida. Continue reading...
(Thu, 30 Oct 2014 21:13:49 GMT)

David Cameron accused of getting sums wrong on spending cuts claims
Thinktank claims that not even half of the austerity measures mentioned by the prime minister would be implemented by 2015David Cameron has been accused of getting his sums wrong, after appearing to suggest the government had already made most of its proposed spending cuts.The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) said not even half of the austerity measures would be implemented by 2015. Continue reading...
(Thu, 30 Oct 2014 23:35:33 GMT)

Man held as fireworks warehouse blaze in Stafford leaves two people missing
Police arrest 53-year-old as joint investigation is launched to find cause of initial explosion at SP Fireworks buildingA 53-year-old man has been arrested in connection with a blaze in a fireworks warehouse that left two people missing.Staffordshire police said the two remain unaccounted for following the fire, which broke out at the industrial unit at about 5.15pm on Thursday. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 11:01:03 GMT)

Royal Bank of Scotland sets aside £400m for forex-rigging fines
Bank follows Barclays and Citigroup in preparing for expected penalties and adds £100m to provision for mis-selling PPIRoyal Bank of Scotland is the latest bank preparing for a fine for rigging the currency markets, by setting aside £400m to cover the cost of the investigation into the £3.5tn-a-day market.The 81% taxpayer-owned bank is also adding £100m to its provisions to cover the cost of mis-selling payment protection insurance, following responses by other high street banks to increased applications for compensation in what is already the costliest mis-selling scandal in history. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 08:30:37 GMT)

UK bonds that financed first world war to be redeemed 100 years later
Treasurys redemption scheme stretches all the way back to Napoleonic and Crimean wars and Irish potato famineThe UK government is to repay part of the nations first world war debt 100 years since the start of the war.The Treasury said it would pay off £218m from a 4% consolidated loan next February, as part of a redemption of bonds stretching as far back as the eighteenth century. They also relate to the South Sea Bubble crisis of 1720, the Napoleonic and Crimean wars and the Irish potato famine that began in 1845 and lasted for six years. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 10:53:40 GMT)

Boxing ring that staged Rumble in the Jungle has been stolen
As world marks 40 years since Muhammad Ali and George Foreman showdown, stadium that hosted it is falling apartOfficials in Kinshasa have revealed that the ring used for the rumble in the jungle has been stolen as boxing fans marked 40 years since one of the most famous and brutal bouts in the sports history.As the sporting world remembers Muhammad Alis epic showdown with George Foreman, the search is on for the ring which the two boxers climbed into at dawn on 30 October, 1974. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 11:27:23 GMT)

Hungarys prime minister scraps draft law taxing internet use
Viktor Orbán says the proposed legislation, which has prompted mass protests, cannot be introduced in its current formHungarys prime minister, Viktor Orbán, has said he will scrap a draft internet tax law that has sparked mass demonstrations. The internet tax cannot be introduced in its current form, Orbán said in a radio interview.The proposed legislation was seen by critics as another attempt by the rightwing prime minister to silence dissent in the country and had led tens of thousands of demonstrators to take to the streets twice this week in protest. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 10:01:18 GMT)

Google fined for 'disrespectful' Street View pictures of woman's cleavage
A Canadian woman said she was derided and abused after a Google Street View car captured an image of her outside her house Google has been fined 2,250 Canadian dollars for an image on Street View that captured images of a Canadian womans cleavage.A Canadian court judge ruled that despite being in public, sitting on the steps of her private property, Maria Pia Grillos privacy had been disrespected and that her modesty and dignity had been violated. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 11:31:40 GMT)

Burkina Faso president refuses to resign in face of violent protests
Blaise Compaoré says he will lead transitional government after parliament is dissolvedTens of thousands of people took to the streets of Burkina Faso on Friday to press President Blaise Compaoré to step down, a day after the army dissolved parliament and announced a transitional government.Compaoré has refused to resign in the face of violent protests that pose the greatest threat to his 27-year rule, saying instead he will lead the transitional government. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 12:50:00 GMT)

Education study finds in favour of traditional teaching styles
Report from Sutton Trust and Durham University says way that pupils learn remains a mysterious subjectWhat makes great teaching? expert viewsSchools need to put more effort into evaluating what makes effective teaching, and ensure that discredited practices are rooted out from classrooms, according to a new study published by the Sutton Trust and Durham University.The study suggests that some schools and teachers continue using methods that cause little or no improvement in student progress, and instead rely on anecdotal evidence to back fashionable techniques such as discovery learning, where pupils are meant to uncover key ideas for themselves, or learning styles, which claims children can be divided into those who learn best through sight, sound or movement. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 07:00:05 GMT)

Stop selling Halloween outfits that demonise mentally ill, says minister
Address by Norman Lamb to care conference follows outcry over marketing online of psycho and schizo joke costumesHalloweens ghoulish festivities have turned into a dangerous culture that brands mentally ill people as psychos or schizos or freaks, a government minister warns.Norman Lamb, the Liberal Democrat care and support minister, will give a speech urging retailers not to demonise people with mental health problems by selling trick-or-treat and party outfits that mock psychiatric patients. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 08:55:19 GMT)

Greek police evict rebel monks from monastery headquarters
Move followed court ruling to clear Thessaloniki apartment, which was being used as a base for schismatic monksAssociated Press in ThessalonikiDozens of Greek police have taken part in an operation to clear an apartment used as a hostel by a rebel monastery whose monks have been declared schismatic by the Orthodox church. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 12:10:00 GMT)

Israel reopens al-Aqsa mosque compound before Friday prayers
Rare closure followed fatal police shooting of Palestinian suspected of having been the attempted killer of a rabbiIsrael reopened the al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem on Friday before the weekly Muslim prayers, after a rare closure following clashes sparked by the killing by police of a Palestinian shooting suspect.The streets of east Jerusalem were calm before midday prayers, following an Israeli clampdown on the shrine on Thursday. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 09:21:18 GMT)

Petition calls for Disney to create Down's syndrome princess
Campaign asking studio diversify its cast of animated characters has collected close to 60,000 signatures A petition calling for Disney to create an animated hero with Downs syndrome has picked up more than 58,000 signatures online.Animated films from Disney have featured various disabled characters, from 1937s Snow White and the Seven Dwarves to Frozen. They include Quasimodo from The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Gabriella, who is deaf and communicates through sign language, in The Little Mermaid. But the studio has yet to produce a film that centres on a character with Downs. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 11:36:24 GMT)

DfID not doing enough to protect poor from corruption, says aid watchdog
Independent Commission for Aid Impact says women bearing brunt of corruption as department gets second-worst ratingThe UKs Department for International Development (DfID) is failing to address the petty but widespread corruption that blights the daily lives of the worlds poorest people and has a particularly corrosive impact on women and girls, Britains aid watchdog has warned.In a report published on Friday, the Independent Commission for Aid Impact (Icai) acknowledges the departments awareness that everyday corruption is a critical challenge for development, but says it has neither developed an approach equal to the challenge, nor focused its efforts sufficiently on the poor. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 00:01:08 GMT)

Russian gas set to flow to Ukraine again after new supply deal agreed
EU steps in as guarantor for Kiev in three-way agreement, with sanctions against Russia in place as Ukraine conflict continuesUkraine, Russia and the European Union signed a deal on Thursday on the resumption of Russian natural gas supplies to Ukraine for winter after several months of delay during the conflict in Ukraine.European commission president José Manuel Barroso, who witnessed the three-way signing ceremony in Brussels as he prepares to leave office on Friday, said: There is now no reason for people in Europe to stay cold this winter. Continue reading...
(Thu, 30 Oct 2014 23:10:30 GMT)

A treat for the kids as hottest Halloween continues 'remarkably' warm year
South-east of the UK could enjoy unseasonable 21C on Friday, eight degrees higher than is normal for the end of OctoberFriday is expected be the warmest Halloween on record, continuing a remarkable year of high temperatures, weather experts have said.The mercury could hit an unseasonably warm 21C (70F) in the south-east, eight degrees higher than is normal for this time of year. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 09:10:21 GMT)

Burma considers altering law that bars Aung San Suu Kyi from being president
Opposition leader in talks with Thein Sein before election widely expected to be won by her National League for DemocracyBurmas parliament will consider amending the countrys constitution which currently bars the opposition leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, from becoming president before crucial elections next year, an official said on Friday.Suu Kyi is trying to change key sections of Burmas charter ahead of 2015 polls that are widely expected to be won by her National League for Democracy (NLD), if they are free and fair, after decades of military rule. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 11:20:04 GMT)

Tony Blair warns curbing immigration would be disaster for Britain
Former prime minister tells Ed Miliband chasing Ukip support would take UK backwards economically and politicallyTony Blair has intervened in the increasingly fractious debate on how to counter Ukips appeal over immigration by saying any attempt by Labour to chase its policies would only validate the argument of Ukips leaders.He said ending immigration would be a disaster for the country, and urged the Labour party to show greater clarity. Continue reading...
(Thu, 30 Oct 2014 21:59:00 GMT)

People wearing Halloween outfits on Beijing subway face arrest
Police in Chinas capital says donning fancy dress may cause crowds to gather and create trouble in runup to Apec summitBeijing police have warned people they face arrest for wearing Halloween fancy dress on the subway as it may cause crowds to gather and create trouble, a state-run newspaper said on Friday, unveiling a list of Apec summit-related restrictions.Next months meeting of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation leaders is being billed as the Chinese capitals highest-profile international event since the 2008 Olympics. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 09:43:08 GMT)

Fighting Ebola in Sierra Leone: The world is not safe
Sparsely-equipped hospitals and beleaguered staff battle a disease whose victims outpace the number of beds being builtAll over Freetown, buildings, vehicles and people are being commandeered in the fight against Ebola. In the suburb of Wilberforce, in an old building for the telecommunications company Airtel, a dozen students loiter on a wall waiting to relieve staff from the trauma at the Ebola hotline they are manning.Outside, the din of ambulances would not be noteworthy until the driver and passenger appear in regulation yellow overalls, mask, goggles, hood and visor. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 07:17:56 GMT)

China upholds death penalty for three who led mass stabbing in Kunming
Intermediate court rejects appeals by terrorists convicted over railway station incident in which 31 people were killedA Chinese appeal court has upheld death sentences for three people convicted over a mass stabbing this year in which 31 people were killed, say state media.The higher peoples court of Yunnan province rejected Hasayn Muhammads appeal and upheld the penalty meted out by the Kunming municipal intermediate peoples court last month, Xinhua said in a dispatch from Kunming. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 08:06:51 GMT)

MH370 passenger's family sue Malaysia Airlines and government
Lawyers claim negligence in disappearance of Jee Jing Hang, one of 239 people on board plane when it vanished A Malaysian family is suing the countrys government and Malaysia Airlines for negligence in the disappearance of flight MH370.The suit was filed by lawyers on behalf of the two young sons of Jee Jing Hang, who was on board the plane when it disappeared on 8 March with 239 people on board. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 05:54:00 GMT)

Eurozone inflation rate rises to 0.4%, but jobless rate unchanged at 11.5% - business live
Eurozone inflation inches up this month, but analysts are worried that core inflation has dropped back Latest: eurozone CPI up, but unemployment flatEarlier: Bank of Japan expands monetary stimulus 12.44pm GMT Canadas economy has posted its first monthly contraction since the end of 2013, in a worrying signal for the G7 economy.Canadian GDP shrank by 0.1% in August, according to data just released, following an unchanged reading in July.Canada Aug GDP -0.1%; manufacturing output decreased 1.2% and construction fell 0.5% after posting increases in JulyCanada GDP contracts (-0.1%) for first time in eight months in August 12.35pm GMT US economic data on the wires.... and it shows a surprise fall in spending, and a weaker-than-expected rise in earnings.Personal spending fell by 0.2% month-on-month in September, the first drop since January (economists expected a 0.1% rise)U.S. SEPTEMBER CONSUMER SPENDING FALLS 0.2%, INCOMES RISE 0.2%US Economic Indicators: Consumer spending down 0.2% in September, first drop in 8 months 12.32pm GMT Bad news for gold bugs (again) - the spot price of gold has hit a new four-year low of $1,162 per ounce.Japans stimulus boost is helping to drive money out of gold and into equities. 11.48am GMT In other news.. the UK is to redeem some of its legacy debt that helped to finance the first world war.The Treasury announced this morning that it has decided to redeem £218m of war debt. It is also considering repaying £2bn of war debt, as the recent falls in UK borrowing costs make it a profitable move.4% consols was issued in 1927 by Winston Churchill, then chancellor, to refinance national war bonds originating from the first world war. The Debt Management Office estimates that the nation has paid £1.26bn in interest on these bonds since 1927.The national war bonds, which paid out a rate of interest of 5% initially (cut to 3.5% in 1932), were issued in 1917 as the government sought to raise more money to finance the ongoing cost of the first world war, which started with the issue of the first war loan in November 1914. The bonds were sold to private investors in 1917 with the advertisement: If you cannot fight, you can help your country by investing all you can in 5 per cent Exchequer Bonds ... Unlike the soldier, the investor runs no risk.In value terms the bulk of Britains First World War bonds are held by big City institutions, but over 100,000 War Bonds are worth less than £1,000 and are held by ordinary members of the public.In many cases these bonds will have been passed down through the generations.Government looking at repaying the £2 billion Britain borrowed 100 years ago to fund the First World War. My blog: http://t.co/OqM0nODWSv 11.37am GMT Advertising group WPP has warned that the eurozone economy remains tough.WPP CEO Martin Sorrell said this morning:Its going to be tough for Germany. Western continental Europe is not a pretty place at the moment.If China sneezes we all catch a cold. 11.28am GMT Japans new stimulus plan is expected to send shares higher on Wall Street, when trading begins in two hours time...Futures are soaring this morning with the Dow set for a 170+ point gain at the open » http://t.co/ck4YGB5r00 pic.twitter.com/HnjmPnRYP6 10.56am GMT Russias surprisingly big rate hike hasnt impressed the currency markets much -- the ruble is still down against the US dollar today, at 42.22 rubles to the $. 10.52am GMT #Russia's CB raises rates to 9,5%, GDP growth seen close to zero, inflation at 8.4%. Not a great picture for semi-god Vlad. 10.44am GMT NEWS FROM MOSCOW: the Russian central bank has hiked interest rates sharply, from 8% to 9.5%.150BP?! Russky bazooka 10.32am GMT Mario Draghi should put the party balloons back in the drawer. Although the headline eurozone inflation rate has risen to 0.4%, the core inflation (stripping out volatile components such as food and energy) has fallen to 0.7% from 0.8%.ING: The low core inflation reading for October will reinforce concerns about deflationary risks in the eurozone + keeps pressure on the ECB 10.27am GMT Todays eurozone unemployment report confirms that there are still huge differences in labour markets across the single currency region.Eurostat reports that the lowest unemployment rates were recorded in Germany (5.0%) and Austria (5.1%).EZ unemployment at 11.5% as expected and unchanged .... looks like Italy and Germany roughly cancelled each other out for this.The largest decreases were registered in Hungary (10.0% to 7.6% between August 2013 and August 2014), Spain (26.1% to 24.0%) and Portugal (15.7% to 13.6%), and the highest increases were registered in Finland (8.2% to 8.7%) and France (10.3% to 10.5%). Unemployment dropping in all EU countries not beginning with "F" pic.twitter.com/KU6faSM1VK 10.20am GMT So, why did eurozone inflation rise (slightly) this month to 0.4%?Eurostat reports that service sector prices rose by 1.2% annually in October (not September as I mistyped initially), up from 1.1% the previous month. 10.06am GMT Todays rise in eurozone inflation shows that the region will avoid full-blown deflation, reckons Frederik Ducrozet of Credit Agricole.Eurozone inflation: the beginning of a very slow grind higher. 10.02am GMT Eurozone inflation has risen, slightly, but remains uncomfortably low.The euro area consumer prices index inched up to 0.4% in October, up from 0.3% in September. Euro area annual inflation up to 0.4% - bang in line with expectations.Shock: EZ inflation goes up! 0.4% on yr in Oct vs 0.3% in sept. 10.00am GMT BREAKING: The eurozone unemployment rate was stable in September at 11.5%, unchanged compared to August. 9.58am GMT Back to the main story of the morning (so far....), Japan boosting its stimulus programme.J.P. Morgan Asset Management Chief Investment Officer for Fixed Income, Nick Gartside, says the move shows that the days of central banks taking unorthodox steps to stimulate their economies isnt over: With the two year anniversary of Abenomics approaching, and growth and inflation faltering, the strong and decisive action from the Bank of Japan shows that it is not just the ECB that will do whatever it takes. For central banks, with monetary policy at the zero bound, there is no Plan B. Depending on the evolution of economic growth and inflation from here, the risk remains that we see more (rather than less) easing.Japan gross household real income fell 6% in September. pic.twitter.com/NoY9y8A1LA 9.53am GMT Heads-up.... we get the overall eurozone unemployment, and inflation data, in just under 10 minutes. Economists had hoped that euro area CPI would rise to 0.4%, from 0.3% last month -- but that was before surprisingly weak German price data yesterday.Russia central banks decision in 45'. Trader: "The market is set up for something big either way. The CBR better not disappoint." 9.49am GMT What to do when world's biggest QE program doesn't work? Ramp it up of course! Good luck BoJ. http://t.co/ISAyAr50Ef pic.twitter.com/9OBuJrXIc9 9.26am GMT And heres a handy chart from fastFT, showing that Italys unemployment rate is back at its eurozone-crisis highs: 9.20am GMT The economic malaise in Italy has deepened, with the unemployment rate jumping unexpectedly last month.Data just released by the countrys statistics body, ISTAT, showed that the jobless rate rose to 12.6% in September. This matches levels last seen in the 1970s, according to Reuters data.In September 2014 22.457 million persons were employed, +0.4% compared with August 2014. Unemployed were 3.236 million, +1.5% with respect to the previous month. Italy unemployment rises to 12.6% v 12.4% expected .... yuck.A tale of two Europes - figures today show Italian unemployment at 12.6%, Norwegian unemployment 2.7%. 9.05am GMT So a mere 35 hours after many declare the end of #QE the Bank of Japan declares "I'm Back" just like Arnie as The Terminator! #Abenomics 9.02am GMT Shares in SuperGroup have slumped by 10% this morning, after it issued a profit warning and blamed warm autumn weather (more details here). 8.58am GMT The picture is no better in Germany either -- retail sales there slumped by 3.2% in September, compared with August. Thats the biggest fall since May 2007. More details here. 8.47am GMT Gloomy news from France this morning -- consumer spending fell by 0.8% month-on-month in September, with households reining in their spending on clothing.France data : Dreadful France data - consumer spending drops -0.8% in Sep vrs -0.3% expected .... the y/y rate is 0.2% v 0.9% expected. 8.44am GMT Bank of Japan governor Haruhiko Kuroda has warned that Japans battle against deflation has reached a critical moment.Now is a critical moment for Japan to emerge from deflation. Thats why we expanded QQE.Todays step shows our unwavering determination to end deflation.Japan is different from countries like the United States, which has inflation expectations anchored at 2 percent. Actual price moves have a big impact on inflation expectations. If actual price rises slow, it hurts momentum. There was a risk that despite having made steady progress, we could face a delay in eradicating the publics deflation mindset.Its important for the BOJ to strongly commit to achieving its price target to get its price target firmly embedded in peoples mindset. 8.28am GMT Marc Ostwald, economist at ADM Investor Services, reckons the decision to beef up the BoJs monetary expansion to 80 trillion yen per year, up from ¥60-70bn before, is a desperate move.Financial markets will certainly welcome the BoJ ostensibly stepping into the QE void left by the Fed, he adds.#japan 1) BoJ moves can only be described as desperate, and sits uncomfortably with modest downward revisions to the BoJ's CPI & GDP f'casts 8.26am GMT The people happiest today will be those convinced that central banks are all in cahoots together to keep 'inflating mkts'. 8.24am GMT Details of this mornings rally in Europe: 8.08am GMT The London stock market has opened, and shares are surging as investors welcome the news that Japans central bank has boosted its stimulus plan.The FTSE 100 jumped 85 points at the open, with almost every share gaining ground. Thats a 1.2% gain, to 6549 points. 8.02am GMT The Bank of Japan has also halved its growth forecasts for this financial year.It now expects growth of just 0.5% in the year to March, down from 1.0% three months ago. 7.58am GMT The BoJ got the timing of todays surprise stimulus boost just right, reckons Eric Burroughs of Reuters, as the markets were adjusting to the end of Americas QE programme.Pretty cheeky of Kuroda, yet again playing on lack of/low expectations and timing it with shift at Fed for maximum impact 7.48am GMT FTSE 100 forecast to start +70 at 6534 after Bank of Japan surprise move. 7.48am GMT Another morning, another profit warning from a UK retailer.As widely reported by other retailers in the apparel sector, after a strong start to the quarter, September and October have both seen an exceptional period of warm weather across the UK and the rest of Europe which is expected to continue into November. 7.39am GMT In other news... Royal Bank of Scotland has just become the latest bank to make provisions for a fine over the foreign exchange-fixing scandal.RBS latest bank to make provision for forex: £400m. And more for PPI: £100m"Some of the bills are already in the post" says RBS boss Ross McEwan in reference to up-coming fines 7.32am GMT More reaction to the BoJs move:Aggressive move by the BOJ this morning. Perhaps policymakers are reconsidering implementing the second half of the scheduled sales tax.BoJ, Fed, BoE all done several rounds of QE. The ECB will follow, even if they don't want to. The big boys have probably already decided it. 7.30am GMT 7.18am GMT Financial experts are scrambling to react to the surprise news that Japan will launch a more aggressive stimulus programme.Junko Nishioka, chief economist at RBS Securities Japan, says (via Reuters):It was a total surprise that the BOJ eased further at this time given that BOJ executives have not voiced such pessimistic views lately. The move was apparently made in response to underlying weakness in prices. Governor Kuroda couldnt be bullish anymore -- inflation has slowed to 1 percent and oil prices are going to weigh on prices, Kuroda also thought about Abes decision on the sales tax. He really didnt want Abe to postpone it.More BOJ QE has whiff of panic. Yen down, of course, but more widely the contrast with QE-ending Fed is sending $ up across the board.Two days after the Fed stops easing, Bank of Japan boosts monetary stimulus. #QE4EVA.Asia stocks surged overnight and the resultant rally is likely to filter through to European markets this morning as investors cheer a further bout of monetary largesse, as the stimulus jamboree continues. 7.07am GMT There was euphoria on trading floors across Tokyo after the Bank of Japan announced it will extend its stimulus programme: 7.00am GMT The new Japanese stimulus plan has send the yen tumbling to a seven-year low.It slumped to as low as 111.22 yen to the US dollar, the weakest level since 2007.Yen hits 110 against the dollar, its weakest level since 2008: pic.twitter.com/VY5gNF6Dgc 6.54am GMT Good morning.Big news from Tokyo - the Bank of Japan has bowed to pressure and extended its stimulus programme in a renewed bid to stave off deflation, stunning the markets.Japans economy has continued to recover moderately as a trend and is expected to continue growing at a pace above its potential. However, on the price front, somewhat weak developments in demand following the consumption tax hike and a substantial decline in crude oil prices have been exerting downward pressure recently.If the current downward pressure on prices remains, there is a risk that conversion of deflationary mindset, which has so far been progressing steadily, will be delayed.Impressed that Kuroda is willing to push through more easing with just a 5-4 majority. Thats how you do it. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 12:44:30 GMT)

Nato frontline in life-or-death war on cyber-terrorists
From attackers trying to bring down planes to criminals targeting banks, the danger is growingIts been a busy week in the skies above Europes periphery, as Nato has repeatedly scrambled jets to track unusual sorties by Russian bombers.However lively the aerial game of cat and mouse has been, it is nothing compared to the digital skirmishing that goes on in and around the servers and systems that sustain the western alliance. Continue reading...
(Thu, 30 Oct 2014 23:52:07 GMT)

Ex-archbishop of York quits church position over report into alleged abuse
Lord Hope steps down from role following finding of systemic failures by the Church of England over child abuse allegationsA former archbishop of York has resigned from his position as an honorary assistant bishop after a report into into allegations of child abuse by a former cathedral dean found systemic failures by the Church of England.Last weeks report by Judge Sally Cahill QC said Lord Hope of Thornes failed to follow policy and take advice after he was informed of complaints against Robert Waddington relating to boys in Manchester and Australia. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 00:19:24 GMT)

Libyas highest spiritual leader banned from UK over support of Islamists
Sheikh Sadik Al-Ghariani used website based in Devon to celebrate violent capture of Tripoli by militia force Libya DawnLibyas highest spiritual leader, the grand mufti Sheikh Sadik Al-Ghariani, has been banned from entering the UK after it emerged he had been helping direct the Islamist-led takeover of Tripoli from England.Ghariani fled the UK in August after the Guardian revealed that he was broadcasting to militants in Libya using an internet television station owned by a relative in Devon. Continue reading...
(Thu, 30 Oct 2014 18:58:57 GMT)

US and Australia lift Fiji sanctions
Thawing of diplomatic relations follows democratic elections in September that brought coup era to an endThe US and Australia have removed sanctions against Fiji following democratic elections.Australias foreign minister, Julie Bishop, on Friday began a two-day visit to Fiji, describing it as the start of a new era in the relationship between the two countries. She announced that Australia had lifted all remaining sanctions, including on weapons sales. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 03:29:16 GMT)

Jeanette Winterson: How pretty do you have to be to work on a building site?
Dressed to drill: what message does this hoarding on a Manchester hotel send out about women in the workplace?One of my roles in life is professor of new writing at the University of Manchester. Last week I was given an honorary doctorate, along with Dame Julia King, vice-chancellor of Aston University, previously principal of the engineering faculty at Imperial College London, after a distinguished career with RollsRoyce. We were discussing why more women dont go into engineering or applied science. The vice-chancellor of Manchester University, Dame Nancy Rothwell, is a physiologist, a director of AstraZeneca, and co-chair of the Council for Science and Technology. Both women agreed there is an image gap. Women dont see themselves as practical scientists even when they enjoy science and maths. And there are still so few role models out there.Manchester is a university strong in the sciences we have 25 Nobel prize winners. And Manchester has always been a theory-into-practice kind of a place thats why the Industrial Revolution started here. So if anywhere in the UK can encourage women into traditionally male-dominated professions, skills and research, then it is Manchester. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 12:37:41 GMT)

Put calorie labels on beer, wine and spirits, say public health experts
Alcoholic drinks are fuelling obesity epidemic and most have no idea how many calories their drinks containBeer, wine and spirits are fuelling the obesity epidemic and should be labelled with the calories they contain, say public health experts.A large 175ml glass of 13% ABV (alcohol by volume) wine contains 160 calories, a bottle of alcopop contains 170 and a pint of 4% ABV beer contains 180. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 05:59:04 GMT)

Millionaire landlords Fergus and Judith Wilson begin evicting large families
Kent tycoons, also banning those on zero-hours contracts, insist they have no choice but housing empire known to be for saleBritains most controversial landlords, Fergus and Judith Wilson, whose property empire extends to nearly 1,000 homes in Kent, have begun evicting families with more than two children, banned tenants on zero-hours contracts and thrown out extended families where the grandmother comes to stay.Last January, the Wilsons sparked a national outcry after it was revealed they were evicting anyone on housing benefit. They sent the eviction notices to 200 tenants, saying they preferred eastern European migrants who defaulted much less frequently than single mums on welfare. They said at the time that the move was purely an economic decision and was entirely legal as landlords do not have to give a reason before obtaining a possession order on a home. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 09:32:55 GMT)

Creepy vintage Halloween costumes in pictures
Todays Halloween outfits come from supermarkets and chain stores, but vintage pictures show homemade creations that are darker and much scarier than their modern equivalents Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 07:00:05 GMT)

The secret to making great curry
The complex flavours of curries are governed by just three things: generous spicing; onion, ginger and garlic done just right; and something to give it body. Then simply improvise...The most thrilling moment in the study of any subject comes when you realise that what seems an impossibly complicated discipline is in fact underpinned by a few simple principles. Its like that moment when Keanu Reeves learns to read the Matrix. A sudden, exhilarating rush of clarity.The novice piano player experiences it when realising that you only need to learn four chords E, B, C# minor and A to play almost all your favourite pop songs. (Lou Reed thought you could narrow it down further. One chord is fine. Two chords is pushing it, he said. Three chords and youre into jazz.) Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 12:30:01 GMT)

The 10 best disputed artworks
As Greek efforts to reclaim the Parthenon Marbles receive a boost from Amal Clooney, Laura Cumming considers other artworks caught up in legal and artistic wranglingHave we missed an artwork from the list? Leave your suggestion in the comments below and it could feature in the alternative list next weekThe Parthenon MarblesThe great frieze of figures removed from the Parthenon by Lord Elgin in the early 19th century remains the most perennially disputed of all artworks, the arguments as divided as the sculptures themselves the goddess Iriss head is in Athens, her body in the British Museum; Poseidons torso is split between them. Defenders argue that Elgin bankrupted himself to save the marbles from local destruction, with full Greek authority, and London is their legal home. The opposition (which has included Byron, Christopher Hitchens and of course now the Clooneys) argues that the marbles were literally ripped off the Parthenon, and ruinously scoured, and must be returned to Greece. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 12:00:00 GMT)

The 2014 Guardian World Cities Day Challenge live
To celebrate World Cities Day, in conjunction with UN-Habitat, were putting 36 contestants in the hot seat to tell us their citys best idea and why other cities should adopt it. Cheer them on!What exactly is this?Right. And who are the judges?Latest contestants will be listed in the left-hand marginYou can choose to order by oldest first 1.24pm GMT Oscar would know. OK Chris, youre in the hot seat three minutes to tell us why this is Londons best idea. Go! 1.22pm GMT Hello Chris! Ello me old china!Tell us a fascinating fact about London. In 1840, Baron De Berenger of Chelsea instigated a six-day swimming Olympic Games. Races included naked gentry donning different coloured jockey caps and racing in the Thames. 1.19pm GMT The idea in 10 words: Re-introducing swimming in the River Thames. 1.16pm GMT Dan Hill asks: Really great. The networked approach enables it to grow while retaining necessary diversity but what does it need for that? Will it be able to genuinely challenge the supermarket sector? We cluster our provision: social eating spaces, close to growing spaces in the heart of a neighbourhood. It is a low-cost model to set up without too much bureaucracy and lots of demonstrable added value, so our community/social-led actions are influencing policy. We provide for need not greed like supermarkets.Most food banks cant accept donations of fresh produce. We distribute through routes such as social cafe networks, soup kitchens, hospice, womens refuges, homeless centres, church groups and schools. We are working with social housing providers and local politicians to increase access to local fresh food for food-poor tenant families. 1.14pm GMT Moving on ... lets hear about your city idea. You have three minutes. Go! 1.12pm GMT Hi, Penney! Ay up mi duck! 1.11pm GMT The idea in 10 words: Make a fair food city by wasting less and growing more. 1.10pm GMT Porto Alegres project seems to be popular!Oh this is an awesome idea from Porto Alegre #CitiesDay #ShoottheShit 1.08pm GMT Anna Minton and the UEL students want to know: Why doesnt the council put bus numbers on bus stops?Good question. I dont know. It doesnt make any sense. There are laws saying they must, but they dont. So we did it.Instead of only exerting pressure by saying We want it, we are saying Hey, here is an idea, what do you think? It is really important to make things happen and show them that we are living now in an era of people power. If the government doesnt do it, people will, and thats OK, you know?This isnt a problem for us. We checked a few times after pasting stickers, and all the information was right. People even write things like This bus doesnt pass on Sundays, or If you want to go to ____, take this other bus thats not too crowded. But if that problem happened elsewhere wed suggest pasting the sticker with all the bus lines already written. 12.55pm GMT OK, tell us about Which Bus Stops Here. You have three minutes ... go! 12.53pm GMT Hello, Gabriel! Olá de Porto Alegre! 12.51pm GMT The idea in 10 words: Blank bus stop stickers where people can write the bus routes that stop there. 12.49pm GMT Anna Minton and the UEL students ask: Can you give a couple of specific examples of your interventions so far?Marco Clausens Prinzessin Garten is a community garden which has become one of the most successful urban gardens in Berlin. The founders worked with local communities and volunteers to turn a disused site into a working garden. It now also contains a cafe and learning space through which people can learn to grow their own food.Although the work which is highlighted via Urban Knights might come from the edge, it does not always remain on the fringe. Often it is the most radical examples that lead to change in the policy or laws which govern a city. The projects cited also have changed ways of living on a more micro, local, community or street level. 12.44pm GMT Stop. My sides.OK tell us about the Urban Knights programme! You have three minutes. 12.42pm GMT The idea in 10 words: A programme of events about practical approaches to urban change. 12.36pm GMT Florences angelic idea is already getting some love on Twitter ...Great video, great idea @angelidelbello @guardiancities #CitiesDay 12.35pm GMT Dan Hill asks: Nothing to fault with this project. Although a preservation culture is partially what holds Italian cities back how could such movements address the 40% youth unemployment and 40% vacant spaces in Firenzes centre, giving the city a future rather than simply preserving its past?To call the Angeli del Bello a culture of preservation sort of misses the point. We are a culture of respect for our environment and each other and are working to build a community that is worthy of Florences heritage. We do offer some employment: our director, restorers, consultants, and people completing their civil service with us are paid. But we also offer something unique: inspiration, hope and community. You cant put a price on that.The Angeli del Bello are not chain gangs forced to work! We do collaborate (with very positive results) with community service agencies, but the bulk of our force comes from the private citizen sector. We are a mix of young and old, students, teachers anyone who wants to give some time to any of our numerous projects. Since we began in 2010, over 1,500 people have wanted to do that. 12.29pm GMT All right Marco, you have three minutes to tell us about the Angels. Vai! 12.27pm GMT Hello, Marco! Saluti da Firenze! 12.27pm GMT The idea in 10 words: Angeli del Bello volunteer angels who preserve Florences beauty through community. 12.26pm GMT Anna Minton and her UEL students have been discussing Dharavis Biennale. Heres some of their feedback: Education is important but how much can another festival achieve? This doesnt seem to be offering anything new. 12.20pm GMT Dan Hill says: Excellent! How might such a festival contribute to ideas to change the citys physical infrastructure in order to improve sanitation? The Biennale is the culmination of a series of workshops Artboxes in which Dharavi residents not only create artworks, but also discuss urban health, personal health and sanitation. One Artbox created an image of water and sanitation inequity through an architectural representation made of iron and pipe, in which a group of dwellings with one shared tap and a communal toilet is contrasted with a new block of flats with individual water supply.Yes and no. Dharavi is one of the most well-known informal settlements in the world. After 15 years of working with communities to improve health, were sanguine about the potential for change, but we believe that we must walk down the road. Were not looking to affect major infrastructure, but we can give people space to talk about challenges, bounce ideas off each other and learn. 12.13pm GMT Im waiting for the other shoe to drop. (See what I did there?)Sorry. I should leave the jokes to you guys. Yours was actually funny, too. OK Benita, youre in the hot seat, lets hear what makes the Dharavi Biennale so great! You have three minutes...go! 12.11pm GMT Hello Benita! ! 12.09pm GMT The idea in 10 words: Dharavi Biennale an art-for-health festival in one of Asias largest informal settlements. 11.54am GMT Usman Haque asks: Does this toilet require plumbing, or is it compostable?Though we have trialled the compostable toilet, this is not yet approved by our internal management on a larger scale. So far we loan households an attractive, branded toilet and collect the waste 2-3 times per week. From our central processing facility, we transport the waste to the municipal treatment site. In time we plan to convert the waste into energy and organic fertiliser to sell to commercial farms.Unilever facilitated the implementation of Clean Team Ghana, but it has no intention to use the service as a channel for commercial purposes. Clean Team Ghanas parent company is Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP), UK. It is run entirely by a highly qualified local team, headed by a Ghanaian CEO. 11.52am GMT Eager to hear about this project. Please explain!Kumasi is the second-largest city in Ghana with about 2 million residents. Many of these urban dwellers do not have access to safe and clean sanitation. About 38% of people in Kumasi use public toilets at a high cost, and 12% of the people use unhygienic bucket latrines. Clean Team Ghana is offering the best in-house toilet, and aims to make it affordable, too.After the death of my husband, I was supposed to stay indoors for about 5 months before I could leave my house due to our cultural customs. This meant I could not use the public toilet anymore, which was not entirely clean anyway. I got a better option which is the Clean Team toilet; its clean and affordable and its an in-house toilet as well Hajai FatiI used to visit the public toilet but its not clean or safe for me. At night, I couldnt visit the public toilet because it was not safe to walk alone as a woman at night. Having the Clean Team toilet provides me with dignity and safety a Clean Team user 11.50am GMT The idea in 10 words: An innovative, affordable in-house toilet. 11.47am GMT Back of my neck getting burned and pretty just thinking about it. What do you think of this city beach cabin idea? Here are some comments from Twitter ...A beach cabin in the city! in the Park, a City Cabin #CitiesDay #brussels @guardian #loveit#citiesday nice idea from Brussels but there's an imbalance in public space. We need to 'win back' large areas first #mycabinbxl 11.37am GMT Dan Hill says: Nice idea, and common in some other cities (like Helsinki) where shared cabins store communal toys in playgrounds. But I like the diversity of the designs. How might you make the construction easier? Wonderful to hear that Helsinki has a similar idea. We cant find it on the web, could you give us more details? We focus on a diversity of forms because we want to make the city cabin accessible for all people by providing a double use. Putting boxes next to boxes would only fill up public space, but using a bench or a table as a storage possibility at the same time is a win-win situation. The cabins are self-made and we work together with AYAY.From brainstorming sessions with resident groups in the Tivoli zone in Brussells, weve learned that public gardening, sandpit and play area, rest points with hammocks and shared library, seating places facing the waterfront are among the most wanted.You can make them, buy or rent them. The city council gives permission where a cabin can be placed. A city at the seaside gives the rent/buy-in concession, and turns it into a business. Now were negotiating with Brussels to extend these rules of cities at the seaside to rules in a normal city. 11.33am GMT Brel. Mais oui. Can you tell us your idea, in no more than three minutes? 11.32am GMT Hi ladies! De goeiendag van Brussel! Bien le bonjour de Bruxelles! 11.32am GMT The idea in 10 words: Share a beach cabin in the city 11.24am GMT Eight more cities have just shown us how its done.Five extra points to Fiskars for being the smallest city of the World Cities Day posse. Weve heard about Manila and the Escolta district preservation, Addis Ababas light railway, Hong Kongs sky bridges, Izmirsmodular floating docks, portable community centres for migrants in Beijing, Fiskars local education model, digital walking tours in Manchester and a cultural roof network in Seville.@guardiancities Manila is seen by many as hopeless But with Escolta Revival + other efforts, we can bring back the Paris of Asia #CitiesDay#CitiesDay Escolta, Manila - It's like walking down a museum featuring architectural wonders of a bygone era. We need to preserve it!@guardiancities bizzare to see a pedway/sky sidewalks taking off (no pun intended) elsewhere when it's completely avoided in uk now.#citiesday #UELstudents Izmir Docks project VG social experiment, playful, using unused water space. Gets our vote@guardiancities #citiesday #UELstudents like general idea of Manchester city app but think it should be more spontaneous & for the people@AnnaMinton @guardiancities thanks Anna. It's just a pilot project at the moment - we'll be looking to create nice new features over time@OskariSundstrom @guardiancities of course! thought Beijing's container cubes for migrant communities are perfect for #mumbai as well.Hong Kong's best idea is a democratic government.Wy not whole #world have #PublicArtGallery in their #streets #neighbourhood #Bhubaneswar @guardiancities #CitiesDay ! pic.twitter.com/AOtGWYmDkF@guardiancities We love Paris market idea! 11.12am GMT Party at Jaimes rooftop! Guardian Cities takes no responsibility for damage.Dr Clos of UN-Habitat has some thoughts on the presentations so far:Great to see these ideas that balance long terms city planning with the everyday! Its so important that we make our cities accessible to all, more liveable and walkable, like Auckland is trying to do, or with light rails systems, like Addis. Having citizens participate in design and empowering local governments is something we are really passionate about at UN-Habitat. But at the same time, sometimes its the street level activities, like painting street walls in Bhubaneswar that can have an instant effect on peoples lives and they way they feel about their city. 11.12am GMT Dan Hill asks: Nice. We should certainly use rooftops more than we do, but did you explore other uses energy production, or other community activities? We are focusing on culture, but open to new uses (green rooftops, open WiFi, etc). We licensed the project on CC with the idea of sharing our knowledge to be reused in other projects. We are confident that those partnerships will help us to visualise all the new possibilities of using a rooftop.Redetejas proposes a structure in which citizens use their own spaces to generate alternative culture in their cities. The project can be organised at any time of year and in any city around the world. We provide the tools and the knowledge. The rest is up to citizens. 11.05am GMT What a legend. I love that theres still a market for handkerchiefs in this world. Now, Jaime, please explain your idea to us, in no more than three minutes. Go! 11.03am GMT Hello, Jaime! ¡Hola desde Sevilla! 11.02am GMT The idea in 10 words: Redetejas a cultural rooftops network that is connected by app 10.56am GMT Charlie on Twitter has another city idea for Manchester. Love the sound of those trams ... @ramblingmoore @guardiancities how about a pedestrianised oxford road with energy producing treadmill pavements and trams serving real ale 10.54am GMT Ivan Harbour wants to know: How is the content of the app kept up to the minute and by whom?The app can use live and dynamic content if required it just depends on what kind of audio tour were creating. Ultimately, content can controlled in any way. A retailer might want to include live and dynamic offers around their products to people across the city. However, cultural and heritage based tours might have content that doesnt change much over time, and therefore require more of a fixed content approach. We hope that over time, more organisations choose to create audio tours with us and we can extend how we control and manage content to meet a multitude of needs.We have created a flexible platform with just this kind of thing in mind. As a trusted resident of Manchester, what if I could add my own off the beaten track recommendations? And then make them available to a visitor of Manchester who has similar tastes and preferences? Personally, Id love to have that kind of information when I visit a new city. 10.54am GMT And why should other cities adopt it? The Manchester Walking Tours app is an innovative way to discover your city, its culture (from football to music and galleries), the history and those hidden gems showcasing your city and its proudest moments. Every city has its secrets, and with the app you can find them all at your own pace. 10.50am GMT Ha! So whats this idea all about? You have three minutes ... 10.46am GMT Ey up, Tom! Ee are! 10.46am GMT The idea in 10 words: A tour app that uses GPS to trigger audio-visual experiences. 10.46am GMT Some very big ideas from a very small urban settlement. But I love the idea that Fiskars has something to teach New York or London. Megacities could spend a little less time gazing adoringly at their own navel. Maybe. Possibly. Just a thought.On to northern England ... 10.41am GMT Fiskars and their school model has a fan! (As well as everyone here at Guardian Cities HQ, of course)Unschooling for the win! You do need an education - but you don't necessarily need a school to get it. #CitiesDay@plyytinen Exactly! Pupils learn in other environments as well! #CitiesDay 10.40am GMT Anna Minton and the UEL students ask: The workplace featured is a forge are more contemporary workplaces included or is it that children enjoy traditional crafts? In Fiskars, we have nine different workshops: paper production, woodworks, art, knitting, ceramics, ironworks, glass blowing, pedagogical museum tours and exhibitions. But these workshops are fitted into the local environment; if done, for instance, in London, workshops could be radio broadcasting, architecture, programming, digital photography etc.It is true that we have a strong community and a lot of specialised professionals, which makes this kind of model easier to build. Maybe thats the reason it was invented here. But the basic structures can be found in any community, small and large alike, so I think when this has been structured into a model, as it has here, it will be easier to adopt by others as well. 10.38am GMT Why should cities adopt it? The Fiskars model makes learning more interesting for schoolchildren and bonds them with the local community and adults. The focus is on workshops where children leave the school and spend time on the premises of local professionals, such as forges or glass workshops, and learn by doing. It offers an alternative to reading a book in a classroom setting, and it gives the pupils an alternative route to gaining skills and knowledge. 10.38am GMT I can relate. So tell us about this local schools model ... 10.32am GMT Hi, Oskari! Terveisiä Fiskarsista! 10.30am GMT The idea in 10 words: A local school model that takes learning into the community. 10.30am GMT Incredible stuff, there, I think. Now were taking it down a peg to a place thats a lot smaller, but a personal favourite here at Guardian Cities. We like to think of it as our adopted hometown. Focus your eyes on Finland ... 10.26am GMT Dan Hill asks: A problem that really needs solving. But leaving aside that housing does little to address the root cause, what other materials and construction choices could be used without the inadvertent connection to human trafficking?While we do not provide housing solutions, mobility is an obvious architectural theme for our community centres, and a link to human trafficking didnt seem to correlate with our intentions. We strive to renovate the containers to a high standard so that the space feels uplifting and not oppressive. Where shipping containers are a challenge to acquire, we are exploring prefabricated panel systems for migrant communities.We primarily run early-childhood development, afterschool programmes, adult education and vocational skills training. The centres also act as information banks for the community. We feel our community centres should provide a safe, uplifting, dignified space for people to come learn, bond and grow stronger as a community. This has been a challenge for us at INCLUDED over the years, though on many levels the government recognises the importance of internal migration for economic growth and modernisation. This can be seen through shifting policy happening in some second-tier cities. INCLUDED has always strived to balance working with the government and empowering the people we serve. Recent praise and support from local governments in China seem to reflect that this approach is working. 10.25am GMT And why should other cities adopt it? When migrants enter our cities, they find exclusion and barriers to achieving their full potential. Our community centres help bridge the gap between migrants informal lives and the formal institutions of the city, helping them improve their lives, achieve success and ultimately better the cities in which they live. 10.24am GMT Peking ... peeking ... I get it.Lets talk container cubes. Tell us about them! 10.21am GMT Hello, Matt! ! ! 10.20am GMT The idea in 10 words: Container cubes portable community centres to serve informal migrant settlements. 10.20am GMT Those floating docks would look great on the Thames, wouldnt they? Next up, China, with an idea I suspect may prove controversial ... 10.15am GMT Dan Hill asks: Beautiful project. But popups are easy because they can also pop-down. How do you ensure a structure that is as enduring (materially, socially and financially) as the concrete shoreline it is trying to replace?Materially: As long as the marine wood is taken care of, it lasts long. Since Izmir has many harbours and fishing villages, everything required for maintenance is already in place. Socially: The modular nature of the structure makes it shrinkable, expandable and variable, responding to changing needs of the city. And financially: The shoreline is the only open space left in overcrowded Turkish cities, so municipalities prefer making investments there.We presented the structure as a boat, which does not leave any trace when it is removed and is for the public benefit. Since Izmir has been trying to take action regarding the design of the shoreline, everyone was very willing and accommodating. The permit process, to our surprise, was extremely easy.Although the waving motion of the modules has been a great attraction, we are working on controlling it better. First, by designing the module width larger than the wave length of the sea. Second, by tying the modules together more loosely so they can move more naturally. 10.11am GMT Heroism takes many forms. OK, sell us on these docks you have three minutes. 10.08am GMT Hello, Can! zmirden Merhabalar! 10.07am GMT The idea in 10 words: A modular, floating dock system that serves as public space. 10.07am GMT An interesting idea indeeed. Personally, Ive been wondering how the skywalks have been used in the recent protests. Can anyone tell me?In the meantime, its Turkey time ... 10.03am GMT Another question here from Richard Rogers firm (of which judge Ivan Harbour is a partner):@guardiancities #CitiesDay Hong Kong has a degree of separation between pedestrian and car, how do you imagine Hong Kong can reinvent this?@RSHP_News @guardiancities ...our bridge systems reconnects the pedestrian to our traffic infrastructure 9.59am GMT Judge Ivan Harbour asks: Hong Kong, with its density and topography, necessitates a degree of separation between pedestrian and car. In other cities this separation has not been very successful, as is dilutes street life and often leads to personal safety and security concerns. How can Hong Kongs experience reinvent this concept in a better way? In Hong Kong, we are not just erecting bridges, we are in fact laying a web of elevated links to fit tightly on to our urban fabric. Our bridges are conceived not merely as independent, elevated structures, but more an organic, three-dimensional arterial system feeding up and down to connect street life on the ground with the various raised public levels of our buildings, infrastructures and green decks. The success of its transformative impact hinges mostly on the extent of its connectivity and integrated planning in the vertical developments of a city.Our bridge-web in Hong Kong is composed of both publicly and privately owned spaces, with their boundaries blurred seamlessly, augmenting or even interchanging their original functions: footbridges become retail decks and commercial arcades double as raised streets. 9.59am GMT Why should other cities adopt it? The web of skywalks will make cities vertically more walkable, more accessible, more adaptable, more sharable and more resilient. By elevating our urban capital and liveability, this floating urban realm could elevate every city in the world to a height of public life that is above and beyond the ground! 9.54am GMT A very cool dude.So tell us about these skywalks ... 9.51am GMT Hello! Ha Lo (Chinglish) or Nei Ho (Cantonese)! 9.48am GMT The idea in 10 words: Skywalks that connect districts without touching the ground. 9.45am GMT The judges weigh in ...Dan Hill asks: Compelling presentation! And clearly a good initiative. What can we learn from it to enable other African (and other) cities to replicate? What was the breakthrough? Political will is the first, probably: Ethiopias government has a very strong development ethos and vision, and the wherewithal to implement it.I think the city government wanted to take the opportunity to really redraw the map of the city. Its not only the rail project that is underway, but also roads and buildings. Addis is getting a complete makeover, rather than a few adjustments. Again, this sits well with a strong political will that is committed to bringing about change - and all the better if that change is very visible. So this is not only an utilitarian move, but also a symbolic one, that speaks to outsiders as well as to inhabitants themselves: look! this is where you live! and this will make your life better! But Addis Ababa is also the political capital of Africa, home to the African Union. So its part utilitarian, for the good of the citys inhabitants, but its also strongly symbolic. 9.44am GMT Why should cities adopt it? Transport is a major challenge for the middle and low income inhabitants of the worlds emerging megacities. Its not just about affordability: road safety and pollution are other major concerns for the inhabitants of these centres of growth and innovation. Is Addis Ababas new light train network the solution? Is it replicable elsewhere? 9.40am GMT Gotcha. Always difficult to have to explain a joke in another language: five extra points.Now whats so great about this light rail? You have three minutes. 9.38am GMT The idea in 10 words: A new light rail to ease the pain for Addis commuters 9.38am GMT Smashing job, Kjerrimyr. Five extra points for what is sure to be todays greatest profile picture. Who the heck are those guys behind you? Do I want to know?Anyway, over to Ethiopia ... 9.36am GMT Some support for Manilas idea:#CitiesDay #Escolta is a business district since 1594 & became a major commercial hub in Asia Pacific for many centuries. @guardiancities@TheKejOfGlory -- BONIFACIO ROCKS! Hahahaha! #CitiesDay #MNL #MLA #Escolta 9.34am GMT Dan Hill asks: Great to preserve carefully. Yet over and above preserving the fabric, how can you help citizens, businesses and other organisations collectively imagine futures for these important places?All are rooted in resurrecting Manilas pre-war glory. Because of the internet and organizations like HCS-Y (Heritage Conservation Society-Youth), more people are involved with Escolta, and by extension, historical downtowns throughout the Philippines. Stronger campaigns to inform people about their history would make them value it more, and equate heritage preservation to progress.It encourages government, organisations and citizens to improve services to a city otherwise seen as chaotic. In Escolta, ECAI (Escolta Commercial Association) has done major security revamping, and during special events government police have also helped make it safe. The same changes are now becoming a trend throughout Manilas other districts. 9.33am GMT Why should other cities adopt it? Because of modernisation, many cities tend to replace old structures with new ones that have no historical and cultural value. The souls of these cities disappear; the government may not be able to reverse such actions. Escolta Revival Movement proves that citizens have the power to revive historic downtowns to boost tourism. 9.33am GMT Zing! OK, sell us on this business district revival. You have three minutes. 9.27am GMT Hello! Mabuhay! Mula sa Maynila! 9.27am GMT The idea in 10 words: A citizen-led effort to revive the historic Escolta business district. 9.16am GMT Weve just heard from six cities across four continents: Auckland, Bhubaneswar, Helsinki, Tallinn, Paris and Johannesburg. Five points to Helsinki for best photograph and to Bhubaneswar for biggest cheering section.Auckland kicked it off with Living Streets - the transformation of roads into shared flexi-people spaces where pedestrians come first.Good Luck #Bhubaneswar @guardiancities #CitiesDay let every other city make their wall as beautiful as the Heritage City #Bhubaneswar !@guardiancities @UrbanFinBlog #CitiesDay #Helsinki great use of technology to engage people with the future city plans!#Bhubaneswar streets have become amazingly cheerful and artsy thanks to the murals and paintings. Joy to drive down there :) #CitiesDayNice idea from Johannesburg: bridging the citys economic divide with pedestrian bridge RT@guardiancities http://t.co/a2vUqAvl3d #CitiesDayAll public walls should be painted with the local art to display local culture to make the cities beautiful. #Bhubaneswar #CitiesDayExcellent presentation by #Bhubaneswar in the #CitiesDay Challenge ! Fingers crossed. May the best city win! 9.12am GMT I feel about ziplines the way Christopher Walken feels about cowbells. 9.09am GMT Great. But what do the judges think?Dan Hill asks: Sounds sensible and long overdue. Is there a masterplan to scale similar structures across the rest of the city, or remodel the car-centric fabric?The bridge development is part of a greater plan to upgrade non-motorised transport between Alex and Sandton and is part of mayor Parks Taus Corridors of Freedom legacy project, a series of targeted road infrastructure projects aimed at alleviating Joburgs spatial fragmentation, the legacy of apartheid urban planning. Bike lines are being systemically integrated, as well as policies for future roads to accommodate bike lanes protected either by parked cars or via small barricades.Its embarrassing that people drive past in one-manned cars, and the dust of the cars settles on the stream of pedestrians making their way to work in the business district. The bridge may not be the cheapest option, but its the most uplifting: it is a motif that connects class and eradicates separation with grandeur. A zipline would be super fun though perhaps they can implement one on top of the bridge! 9.05am GMT Fittys all about the rands. Right you have three minutes to sell us this idea. Go. 9.01am GMT Hello! Hallo, sawubona, hi!Whos your hometown hero? Respected the world over as a lyrical master, Spoek Mathambo bussed across the country in an effort to capture some of South Africas unique musical culture, which might otherwise be lost.Got a good joke about your city? Where does 50 Cent stay when he comes to Johannesburg? MIDRAND! (An area in Joburg and the currency is rands!) 9.01am GMT The idea in 10 words: Bridging the citys economic divide with a short, elevated walkway. 8.57am GMT Guardian Cities judges ask: Whos funding this? The founders are an American film-maker and several Parisians already active in small purchasing cooperatives. They have raised 42,000 on the KissKissBankBank crowdfunding platform. Now they are launching a membership fundraising drive to raise a further 100,000, which would allow them to secure low-interest loans to launch the supermarket. The project, which has the backing of the local government for the 18th arrondissement and the City of Paris, is closely inspired by the Park Slope Food Cooperative in Brooklyn. 8.52am GMT Why should other cities adopt it? La Louve (She-wolf), the co-operative store in La Goutte dOr neighbourhood, makes high-quality, organic products - normally the preserve of well-heeled Parisians - affordable to the areas low-income residents. Its members just have to volunteer three hours a month, in order to be able to shop there at prices well below those of supermarkets. 8.52am GMT A classic. Right, youve got three minutes. Go! 8.50am GMT Hello! Bonjour de Paris! 8.50am GMT The idea in 10 words: A non-profit supermarket in a multicultural, working-class neighbourhood. 8.49am GMT Im not voting, but if I were Id give five points for funniest video so far. Great stuff, Tallinn! Next up ... the City of Lights ... 8.43am GMT Adam Greenfield asks: Everything this entry argues strikes me as being both indisputably true, and a very good idea. But talking to your neighbor kind of stretches the idea of an urban innovation to the breaking point, dont you think?Talking to your neighbour is just the beginning. Whats important and innovative is the collaboration between different active neighbourhoods and drafting the agreement with the city government (the Good Collaboration Pact, drawn up by the 20+ associations with city officials). So our message is: even with an ignorant mayor and city government, dont give up, but propose the ways to collaborate in the name of a more citizen-friendly urban development. We are proposing a process of building trust. 8.42am GMT Judge Anna Minton and the UEL students ask: How did you get all 20 neighbourhood associations round the table? Was there funding?Yes, it was an initiative called Urban Idea (Linnaidee in Estonian), for which we got funding from the Open Society Foundation of Estonia. But the initial idea to start collaborating among neighbourhood associations came from neighbourhood enthusiasts themselves. 8.41am GMT Why should other cities adopt it? If local residents care about a place, they should be cherished for that! Neighbourhood associations are good partners and an invaluable source of information and knowledge for the city government in urban development, since they unite the city inhabitants who care beyond their house walls or courtyard. 8.38am GMT Ouch. OK, you have three minutes ... go! 8.38am GMT Hello! Tere Tallinnast!Tell us a fascinating fact about Tallinn: Chimney-sweeps in Tallinn continue to wear 19th-century uniforms. If you come across one, touch his brass buttons it brings good luck! 8.37am GMT The idea in 10 words: Local residents associations theyre the best neighbourhood experts! 8.37am GMT Lovely stuff, Timo! Beautiful singing voice. And now to Estonia ... 8.34am GMT Helsinkis idea has a big fan!My favourite city idea so far: crowdsourcing city planning #Helsinki RT @guardiancities #CitiesDay http://t.co/qbjFg5Erf4 @UrbanFinBlog 8.31am GMT Anna Minton and the UEL students ask: How time-consuming is this process? Your film mentions mapping 5,000 residents views how long did this take?It is a fairly light process for both respondents and planners. In this case, the average respondent needed about 10 minutes to map his or her ideas. Naturally, times vary between individuals and their mapping interests. It took about a month to collect over 30,000 mappings from roughly 5,000 respondents. 8.31am GMT Judge Dan Hill asks: Great to see civic participation platforms include the City Planning department but its all in the execution. Ultimately, who decides, and how?All planning decisions are made by Helsinkis city council following variegated development processes. But to prevent only the loudest voices getting heard, Helsinki applies tools like Maptionnaire to make civic engagement easier and more diverse. This project essentially served decision-making by bringing about important information for planners and decision-makers. 8.30am GMT Why should other cities adopt it? Helsinkis example shows that residents can get excited about participatory planning, when done right. Place-based tools for e-participation and co-participation, like Maptionnaire, allow masses to convey ideas about future development online or through facilitated workshops. High participation levels mean valuable information for planners and resident commitment to growth patterns. 8.26am GMT Three minutes. Hit it. 8.26am GMT Ha! OK, whats your idea in 10 words? Crowdsourcing city planning with a map of experiences. 8.26am GMT Hello! Terveisiä helsingistä! 8.25am GMT Maptionnaire 8.25am GMT OK, nice job India faintly disapproving take on graffiti, maybe, but hey, who wants their house tagged? (Well probably some people do ...)Drum roll for the next challenger ... 8.22am GMT Weve heard about some other great ideas from Bhubaneswar too: Bhubaneswar neighborhood vending zone has successfully rehabilitated street hawkers in a win win partnership with the Bhubaneswar Municipal AuthoritySent via GuardianWitness By Devasis Sarangi 28 October 2014, 9:39 Bhubaneswar is going to be one of the few cities to be entirely WiFi enabled, and in India where internet penetration is at a miserly 19%, it;s a huge achievement.Sent via GuardianWitness By Biswajeet Mallik 28 October 2014, 11:28 Pink Auto service for women commuters in Bhubaneswar.First of its kind in the Country. @guardiancities @discoverbbsr pic.twitter.com/QCiZOmzm73 8.20am GMT Usman Haque asks: Who decides what is good and bad graffiti, ie the difference between colourful street art and illegal graffiti? There is no rule to define what is good or bad graffiti. The idea was to create a series of painting in walls that will stand as a public art gallery, for people who dont often go into art galleries or museums, along with ensuring that the public space remains for everyone, not just for the few who litter it. 8.20am GMT Dan Hill asks: Good. But graffiti is partly about the citizens desire to make a mark who is producing the street arts, and how? How do you engage those who want to make a mark? Well, graffiti is certainly partly about the citizens desire to make a mark on their environment. But sometimes graffiti is simply vandalism, and not acceptable. Here, after we began to paint street art on both public & private walls, some of the citys graffiti activists accepted an organised form of art rather than making the walls uglier. The public spaces were available initially for local school artists. But as the project gathered momentum it spread across other walls in the city, owned by the government or private owners. People started painting of their own volition. 8.19am GMT Judge Anna Minton and the UEL students ask: How are the artists chosen? Initially the artists were brought in from the local art schools and supported by various public and private sector organisations. But now the whole project has gathered momentum and everyone has become artist and owner of their own walls. 8.19am GMT Why should other cities adopt it? Cities are searching for solutions to illegal graffiti, while emerging economies struggle to keep public space attractive for its citizens. So painting our street walls solves two problems: it fills walls with colourful street arts and makes these place attractive for tourists and businesses, too. 8.14am GMT Youve got our attention. Three minutes go! 8.14am GMT Fascinating indeed. So whats your citys best idea, in 10 words? Painting street walls to create a living, public art gallery. 8.13am GMT Hello! Namaskar! 8.13am GMT Public art galleries 8.13am GMT Great start, Auckland. Its always difficult to go first. Five extra points for bravery. Now, without further ado, to India ... 8.11am GMT Heres what you think about Aucklands idea:@AKLdesignchamp All the best Ludo. I'm sure you will be a star talking AKL's world #CitiesDay idea @guardiancities I will be cheering u on#CitiesDay It feels great living and working in a design-led city #AKL #Auckland@guardiancities @AKLdesignchamp #CitiesDay Shared Space means walking now feels like the purpose of the city - love it! #AKL #auckland 8.09am GMT Adam Greenfield asks: I couldnt agree more. But theres nothing about this thats particularly novel, is there? Or unique to Auckland? Surprising to many, but Auckland has for many years had the highest ownership of cars per capita it is sometimes called the city of cars. So Aucklands look, feel and function was designed around the car. This project has been more about a developing a new attitude or psyche for our city than merely a single project. It is about instilling a behaviour change and changing our views as to what we want from our city. People are finding a new love affair with their inner city in many respects, we are bringing back fond memories of a European-styled, human-scaled city; one with street cars, where going downtown was something you did as a treat. 8.09am GMT Usman Haque asks: There are a lot of goals cited, but its not clear from the video what exactly is being proposed to achieve these goals, whether technical, regulatory or logistic. Please clarify how the proposals do actually meaningfully put people back into space. The approach turns traditional traffic engineering approaches on their head. To traffic engineers, shared spaces are counterintuitive, so there has been a great effort made in terms of training and awareness raising. All the shared spaces are design-led; a collaborative team of urban designers, landscape architects and transport engineers typically form the design team. The principles of shared spaces have had to be clearly understood by all the team to ensure that pedestrians have the priority over all other users, signs are kept to a minimum and regulatory rules support the overall outcome. 8.08am GMT Sounds great! But I like everything. Our panel of judges, on the other hand, are made of sterner stuff.And here they come...Auckland responds: Initially sceptical, most small businesses are now requesting that shared streets be rolled out further. The massive increase in pedestrian numbers, the decrease in accidents and the uplift in hospitality spending have been clinchers. Developers are now purchasing properties in areas that are earmarked for change, because they know that value uplift will occur. 8.07am GMT Why should other cities adopt it? Imagine a space where love can be declared, shop tills clang with delight and people flock among cars to twitter and dance. Aucklands shared spaces provide a venue for all of lifes activities, 24/7. Auckland is crafting a liveable city by designing liveable streets. 8.05am GMT Great. Youve got three minutes. Go! 8.05am GMT THREE jokes! You kiwi maniacs. OK, can you tell us your idea in 10 words? Shared streets not anti-car, but pro-pedestrian. 8.03am GMT Hello! Kia ora! 8.00am GMT Living streets 7.56am GMT Weve got an esteemed panel of judges to grill the contestants. And for those of you who are still baffled as to what the Challenge is all about, heres a primer. We kick off officially at 8:00am (GMT) and go till 4:00pm, shortly after which well announce the winner. I have been deeply impressed by the ideas that have poured in from around the world for the Guardian and UN-Habitats World Cities Day Challenge. They clearly demonstrate the pioneering and innovative spirit of cities and citizens and remind us that all ideas - big or small - can make an impact. By continuing to share ideas such as these we can start to unlock the potential of urbanisation to improve life for people around the world. 7.45am GMT Happy World Cities Day, world! World Cities Day is expected to greatly promote the international communitys interest in global urbanization, push forward cooperation among countries in meeting opportunities and challenges in urbanization and contribute to sustainable urban development in cities and towns around the world. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 13:24:27 GMT)

JK Rowling reveals the secrets of Dolores Umbridge
Rowling tells how Harry Potters least favourite teacher was based on a former teacher of her own, whom the author disliked intensely on sightJK Rowling has revealed that Dolores Umbridge, the witch who forces Harry Potter to cut the words I must not tell lies on to his hand, was inspired by a real person.In an essay for her website Pottermore, released to mark Halloween, Rowling says the inspiration for Umbridge was someone whom I disliked intensely on sight. The novelist has not revealed the persons identity, but did write that she had been her teacher long ago ... in a certain skill or subject. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 10:02:12 GMT)

I hope Tim Cook has set an example that other business leaders will follow
By coming out as a gay man, Apples Tim Cook will accelerate change in the corporate worldBy deciding publicly to disclose his sexuality, Tim Cook will accelerate change in the corporate world. When you become chief executive of a multinational, you become a public figure, and you have the power to demonstrate that being LGBT need not get in the way of success. Cook has done just that.When writing my book The Glass Closet, I spent a great deal of time talking to people who had come out in a good way, and people who had come out in a bad way. I collected their stories so that they could serve as role models to inspire others to come out when it is safe so to do. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 10:03:47 GMT)

When the time comes, who will succeed Irans Ayatollah Ali Khamenei?
His succession is taboo in Iran, but when he dies his countrys political trajectory will change at home and on the world stageIn a closely-guarded compound in central Tehran, often referred to simply as Beyt (the house), lives a 75-year-old man whose tenure as Irans supreme leader will expire only on the day he dies. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, one-time revolutionary, has maintained his job-for-life as the politician with ultimate power in Iran for nearly 25 years. But recent news about the ayatollahs health has revived debate on who will eventually replace him and what it will mean for the future of Iran.Although the topic of succession remains taboo at home, when its time comes Irans political trajectory will change after a quarter of century, domestically and at international levels. In September, pictures of an ailing Khamenei in a Tehran public hospital following prostate surgery triggered speculation about the succession. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 07:00:14 GMT)

I dont want my kid to end up on the scrapheap. So I send her private
Middle-class parents who choose state schools for their kids shouldnt be so smug. It does little for equalityToday thousands of parents seeking a secondary-school place for their children will be having a final mini-panic. The fiercely competitive application process for admissions is at an end, along with the seemingly endless school open-day trips and the scrutiny of Ofsted reports and league tables. Theyll have to wait until March to find out whether their child is to be offered a place at their first preference.Among them will be middle-class liberal-progressive types who could afford private education but choose to send their kids to state schools as a sign of solidarity with those of less privileged backgrounds. In their eyes, theyre doing their bit to address Britains huge and growing inequality gap. But what impact does this really have on equality? Do children from rich, middling and poor backgrounds all enjoy similar life chances by attending the same state school? Continue reading...
(Thu, 30 Oct 2014 20:52:48 GMT)

From Network to Nightcrawler: why has Hollywood got it in for TV news?
Jake Gyllenhaals accident-chasing cameraman is a direct descendant of characters in classics such as Network, Broadcast News and even Anchorman. Steve Rose scans cinema history for a small-screen newshound who isnt an amoral egomaniac Interview: Jake Gyllenhaal on NightcrawlerHere are the headlines: the TV industry is solely concerned with ratings; it puts garish entertainment over principled journalism; corporate interests trump public interest; and news networks are largely populated by vain airheads, borderline sociopaths and ambitious screw-ups with no lives outside their careers usually women. At least thats what its like according to the movies. The dynamics of TV news have made for some of the best cinema of the past 50 years, but when it comes to being fair and balanced, you start to wonder.The latest recruit to this shady industry is Jake Gyllenhaal in Dan Gilroys bracing new satire Nightcrawler. Armed with a camcorder, a police radio and a head full of secondhand business tips, he cruises the Los Angeles night like a vampire, feeding off the blood of murder and car-crash victims, all the better to rejuvenate the career of his producer Nina Romina, played by Rene Russo. Russos dream footage is a screaming woman, running down the street with her throat cut, she says, and Gyllenhaal goes the extra distance to get it for her. Its a match made in TV hell. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 07:00:12 GMT)

24 Hours in A&E review a measured, moving series that doesnt mess with the formula
This emergency department show is wonderful, allowing stories to unfurl naturally and letting people even stroppy madams keep their dignityTwenty-four hours, seven days a week, says the receptionist, before putting the phone down and turning to her colleague. I love that question, Whens your opening hours?So begins the seventh series of 24 Hours in A&E (Channel 4). The scenery has changed, slightly we are now in St Georges emergency department in south-west London rather than Kings College hospital in the south-east but the makers have, refreshingly, had the confidence not to fix something that isnt broken, so the format remains the same. Tales of two major events in this episode, a motorbike rider who has been brought in after a crash with half her leg amputated at the scene and a boy with learning difficulties and severe epilepsy admitted after a massive fit are interspersed with staff talking about their work, and relatives talking about their injured loved ones, while the hospital drama is leavened with scenes of the treatment of someones more minor injury. This week, the latter came courtesy of the marvellously stroppy and ungrateful little madam Tina, who had a sewing needle stuck in her foot and whose mother was on the other end of the phone telling her that she would probably die from an infection if the doctors who would want to hack her to pieces to get it out didnt kill her first. Afterwards, the saintly registrar who deals with her, Mo Tahir, just grins and shrugs. Mothers, he says. They always have the edge on you. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 06:00:07 GMT)

Corinthians constructing cemetery for their fans to spend eternity in
Cemetery will be able to house 70,000 burial places Will contain full-size replica of a football stadiumThe Brazilian football club Corinthians has revealed that the club is building a cemetery where fans will get a chance to spend eternity buried next to their favourite players.The Corinthians Forever Cemetery marketed by the club under the slogan: For those who are fans from the beginning to the end is currently under construction in the outskirts of São Paulo and will be able to house 70,000 burial places when completed, according to Globo Esporte. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 11:22:36 GMT)

Fina defends decision to award its highest honour to Vladimir Putin
Our award was only related to the sport, says Fina executive German MP says that giving Putin award is insensitiveSwimmings world governing body has defended a decision to award its highest honour to the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, saying it had nothing to do with politics.Fina has been criticised over the timing of the decision with relations between Russia and the Nato alliance under strain, but the bodys executive director, Cornel Marculescu, said that the award was related only to sport. Our constitution is very clear, Marculescu said. [There is] no discrimination for the political region or anything like that. Our award was only related to the sport, not with the rest. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 10:41:57 GMT)

Female sport stars should earn the same as their male counterparts
There is no possible justification for the disparity in prize money. Why cant sport move into the 21st century?Had I been born with testicles, Im pretty sure Id be spared much humiliation when discussing my finances during my sporting career. I remember picking up my first winners cheque of 500 at a small competition in Ireland and thinking I had made it. Until I realised that men in the 100m at the same event received 2,000. It was a rude awakening.Although many sports have moved into the 21st century and award equal prize money at major competitions, 30% of sports, including football, cricket and squash, refuse to move forward, as was highlighted this week in a study by the BBC. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 07:00:11 GMT)

Tory MP mistakes stop and search campaigner for Mario Balotelli
Conservative Party MP Guy Opperman tweeted claiming to have seen the Liverpool striker in the Commons public galleryIts not a place youd expect to find a Premier League striker, but today Conservative Party MP Guy Opperman was so convinced hed seen the Liverpool footballer Mario Balotelli in the Commons public gallery that he tweeted to his 5,000 followers: Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli has popped in to Commons Gallery to watch the Drug Policy debate -wearing sharp suit, pink shirt &a poppy. Continue reading...
(Thu, 30 Oct 2014 17:38:34 GMT)

Premier League: 10 things to look out for this weekend
Aaron Cresswell is crucial for West Ham, Manchester United should play on the counter and is this Burnleys moment? Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 08:32:59 GMT)

The sports quiz of the week: Andy Murray, Ed Sheeran and small pitches
This week's quiz requires good knowledge of playing surfaces, pop stars and league tables from the English football pyramid Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 10:33:19 GMT)

Helen Grant: deplorable comment highlights work left to eradicate sexism
Sports minister hits out after county FA officials comments Interim report published into development of womens sport Female referee told her place was in the kitchenMore work must be done to eradicate sexism in sport following the deplorable and disgraceful comments by a Northumberland County Football Association official towards a female referee, according to the sports minister, Helen Grant.John Cummings, the Northumberland FA vice-president, was this week suspended for four months by an independent regulatory commission after telling a female referee in March that a womans place is in the kitchen and not on a football field. Lucy May, a referee development officer, had asked about the possibility of officiating in the North East Sunday League at a workshop event. Continue reading...
(Thu, 30 Oct 2014 18:24:31 GMT)

Fifa apologises for video showing Crimea as part of Russia
Governing body has expressed regret over mistake Video was shown at launch of logo for 2018 World CupFifa has expressed regret after its video launching the logo for the 2018 World Cup showed the disputed Crimean peninsula as part of Russia.The video, broadcast as the logo was beamed on to Moscows Bolshoi Theatre on Tuesday, included a map of the host nation Russia, including Crimea. Continue reading...
(Thu, 30 Oct 2014 19:18:01 GMT)

Brendan Rodgers: Daniel Sturridge out of Real Madrid and Chelsea games
Liverpool forward still not recovered from calf strain Rodgers side begin demanding week at Newcastle Sturridge: my injury problems may be hereditaryBrendan Rodgers expects Daniel Sturridge to miss Liverpools most demanding week of the season as they play Newcastle United, Real Madrid and Chelsea in quick succession.Sturridge has not featured for Liverpool since 31 August because of a thigh injury suffered on England duty plus a calf strain sustained before his first full training session back with the club. Continue reading...
(Thu, 30 Oct 2014 22:30:06 GMT)

Talking Horses: Charlie Hall chatter and best bets for Friday racing
Seven horses have been declared for the first major race of the core jumps season, plus tips for Fridays actionThe Charlie Hall has been reduced to seven runners at the overnight stage, so, as anticipated on here earlier in the week, each-way players are reduced to hoping for two places at a quarter the odds. From a betting perspective, its hardly ideal for one of the good early races of the core jumps season but it may be that there are more non-runners to come because the going at Wetherby is good, good to soft in places after little recent rain and well find it today whether it might actually be riding even a little faster than that. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 12:30:52 GMT)

Halloween costume ideas: six quick fixes
Its Halloween! Still havent sorted your costume? Try these last-minute ideas, from step-by-step zombie makeup to an easy Frankenstein manicureNear a Hershesons blow-dry bar? For £15 theyll give you a thick, voluminous, dragged-through-a-hedge hairdo using dry shampoo. It usually takes 15 minutes, but theyll go more quickly if youre pushed. Or you can try something similar yourself: spray your hair with dry shampoo, squish it around a bit with your fingers and dont dust any of it out. The dusty white-grey streaks are perfect for that Bride of Frankenstein look. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 11:16:13 GMT)

San Diego's real-life superhero squad in pictures
With names like Light Fist, Midnight Highwayman and Fallen Boy, the Xtreme Justice League is a team of volunteers who have patrolled the streets of San Diego since 2006 dressed as superheroes. Reuters photographer Mike Blake has been following them as they patrol street fairs, break up fights and help people with directions. Anyone with a costume and their own transportation can join up Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 11:24:23 GMT)

20 best iPhone and iPad apps and games this week
Auxy, Audio Defence: Zombie Arena, Makies Fashion, Rival Stars Basketball, Tidal, Code School, Blloon and moreIts time for this weeks roundup of the best new iPhone and iPad apps and games released on Apples App Store.As ever, the prices provided in brackets are for the initial download only: when an app uses in-app purchases, this will be listed as (Free + IAP). Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 12:35:29 GMT)

Say hello to Zilzar.com, the Islamic answer to Amazon
Online market platform will specifically cater to Muslim consumers looking for halal products and servicesFirst there was Amazon and its ubiquitous internet retail model. Next came Alibaba, a Chinese behemoth valued at more than $200bn. Now the Islamic world has launched its own competitor to the great global online giants, in the hope of cornering the mouthwatering trillion-dollar Muslim consumer market. Zilzar.com was unveiled by the Malaysian prime minister, Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak, at the World Islamic Economic Forum. Zilzar means earthquake in Arabic.The global market for halal products and services not just foods but anything that conforms to Islamic rules, including financial services, is currently estimated to be worth $1.6tn and forecast to reach almost $2.5tn by 2018. There are 1.6 billion Muslims in the world, a population growing at twice the rate of the global average. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 12:30:46 GMT)

The daily quiz: Halloween
Today's questions cover classic horror films, the origins of Halloween, spooky music and horror screen legends Follow @GuardianQuiz on Twitter for daily notifications Would you like to set the quiz? Email 10 questions to daily.quiz@theguardian.com along with your name, and they may be used in the weekly Friday readers' edition Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 05:45:00 GMT)

US midterm elections the Guardian briefing
The Republicans appear set to win a majority in the Senate, giving them control of both houses. We examine how this has happened, and what the implications are for US politicsUS midterm elections: the 10 key races to watchRepublicans appear poised to win a majority of seats in the US Senate, giving them control of both houses of Congress for the first time since midway through George W Bushs presidency. It is highly routine for the presidents party to lose seats in a midterm election. Democrats currently enjoy a functional 10-seat advantage in the Senate and had hoped to emerge from election day on 4 November with a slim majority intact. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 10:16:43 GMT)

Halloween: the science of cashing in
Halloween is increasingly popular, so you can expect to see countless articles, adverts, TV shows, products and more all themed around it, even if the association is extremely tenuous. Why does this happen? And isnt this article just another blatant example of it? Yes, yes it isIts Halloween again. It feels like its only been a year since this blog last clumsily tried to combine science and Halloween in a desperate bid to gain extra traffic from the fleeting society-wide interest in commercially-acceptable occult. Fat chance of that, by the way; given the onslaught of all-things Halloween, youre just adding to the noise. Its like sneezing into a hurricane and hoping someone says bless you. Where does all this come from though? Halloween is confusing enough as it is when you think about it logically. Its nominally meant to be scary, but its also strongly emphasised as being child-friendly. Thanks to Halloween it is now perfectly acceptable to dress small children as a vampire or a devil, a reanimated corpse that sustains itself by feasting on the blood of unwilling victims, and the biblical manifestation of all that is evil and responsible for the suffering of mankind (respectively). You wouldnt normally get away with that sort of thing. Continue reading...
(Thu, 30 Oct 2014 23:04:14 GMT)

How I fight the bigotry I feel for a minority (even if they drive up house prices)
Ive failed to overcome my prejudice against the children of rich families, but Im trying to be nice to my new London neighboursDeep down, Ive always been a bit of a bigot. Thats not an easy thing for a ranting lefty to admit, but I can only change what I accept exists so its time for my ego to face the music and do the dance of contrition.If we are being truly open minded, our beliefs evolve, nurtured by experiences both ours and those of other people, throughout our lives. Over the years, Ive faced down my sexism, become comfortable with diverse religious doctrines and got over my homophobia. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 09:00:07 GMT)

Im Bengali and Im black in the same way that my parents were
Although we fixate on our differences, ethnic minorities are bound together by the injustices and frustrations of racismBefore I was Asian, I was black. No, I havent since undergone some Jacko-style operation, or doused myself in Fair & Lovely. Rather, black was one of the terms my family and I used to describe ourselves.I grew up in 80s London, which still echoed with the Anti-Nazi Leagues chant of We are black, we are white, together we are dynamite. At her primary school, my sari-wearing mother was a member of the local NUT black teachers caucus. As late as university in the mid-90s, I was handed a black prospectus, featuring action shots of a Punjabi pointing at a noticeboard (sadly, this was to prove an all-too-accurate guide to student entz). Continue reading...
(Thu, 30 Oct 2014 20:48:55 GMT)

How Winston Churchill is making life difficult for David Cameron
Boris Johnsons new book lauds a model of leadership no modern politician can live up toAmid the splendour of Blenheim Palace, west Oxfordshire, an area we might reasonably describe as David Camerons manor, Boris Johnson will on Friday night weave his spell. The mayor of London is promoting his new book a thing he rattled off to suppress the ennui of running the capital The Churchill Factor: How One Man Made History.Johnsons theme is leadership, and as he visits the great mans birthplace, he considers two leaders. One returned from exile to save the nation in its darkest hour. The other, more contemporary, will arrive dramatically, on a zip wire perhaps, to save the Conservative party. The nations salvation will be as much a certainty as night following day. Continue reading...
(Thu, 30 Oct 2014 20:40:48 GMT)

A day of difference for Comment is free
On the final day of Black History Month weve given the section over to black contributors and it wont be a discussion about raceNotice anything different about the Comment section today? As an editor, I hope the answers yes. But part of me also hopes its no. Today, the final day of Britains Black History Month, weve given our section, and our website Comment is free, over to black contributors. Some names youll be familiar with; some are working with the Guardian for the first time as is our cartoonist.Whos included? For the most part weve interpreted black, as the Month itself does, as meaning those of African or Caribbean heritage (Aditya Chakrabortty explains the terms different political and racial meanings). But we also had another rule: apart from this one article, nothing else should be centred on race. The worst thing we could have done today would be to inadvertently feed the idea that black people can only talk about this one subject: that we are all skin-obsessed and have little to add to other debates. In a media landscape where most national newspapers have, between them, a mere handful of minority opinion-formers, we wanted to show that there is expertise and variety that many and we dont exclude ourselves here too often miss out on. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 11:00:10 GMT)

What kind of Nigeria will the Chibok girls come back to?
Hopes of release faded into weary cynicism this week. Its a feeling Nigerians have grown used toThe news that the Nigerian government and Boko Haram had reached a deal that would secure the release of the Chibok girls was received with excitement all over the world. I landed in Nigeria the day the news broke, and my phone was flooded with texts and messages to the effect of Have you heard?. Then, as the days passed and the girls did not materialise, anticipation cooled into watchfulness and watchfulness soured into cynicism. Theyre always releasing false statements, a relative of mine said the other day. Just let us know when they get home.The Chibok girls have become a symbol of everything that is wrong with Nigeria. They were abducted because the state failed to protect them. They have remained in captivity, first because their disappearance was not treated as an issue of national significance and then because despite pouring billions of dollars into defence, the army tasked with finding them is worse equipped than Boko Haram. Almost the entire population of this country can give instances where state neglect or state greed or state indifference has led to calamity in our lives. Continue reading...
(Thu, 30 Oct 2014 21:00:04 GMT)

The Republicans: over-reaching and underscoring
When Kansas starts rejecting the Republican agenda, you know its a party in long-term declineIn 2006, Kansas Republican Sam Brownback was crowned Gods Senator by Rolling Stone magazine. As he struggles for re-election as governor in this reliably conservative state, he is now praying for divine intervention. In 2010 he won the governorship by a 30-point margin. This year he is in a dead heat with his Democratic challenger, who has the support of more than 100 Republicans, most of them former or current state-wide office holders.Brownbacks problems arent difficult to fathom. Caffeinated by the Tea Party movement and funded by the billionaire Koch brothers, he came into office with a plan to slash taxes and spending while simultaneously creating jobs, stimulating economic growth and bridging the deficit. He said it would be like a shot of adrenaline in the heart of the Kansas economy. Instead, Kansas flatlined. Since he took over the state has gone deeper into debt, the poverty rate has risen 3%, the economy is growing at half the rate of the four neighbouring states, and its credit rating has been downgraded. Continue reading...
(Thu, 30 Oct 2014 19:53:04 GMT)

Praise has its place in every classroom
Whod be a teacher? The advice and reports come thick and fast the latest suggesting we should praise children lessLast March, I had the chance to nominate a former teacher of mine for a community award. Ms LC was my English teacher at secondary school, way back in the 90s, and she is the teacher who made the most impact on my life. I doubt she even remembers me. But I remember her, and there is no doubt in my mind that I would not have gone on to study journalism without her.I am thinking about Ms LC today because of new research led by Prof Robert Coe of Durham University for education charity the Sutton Trust. The 57-page report, What Makes Great Teaching, says some schools are employing teaching strategies whose efficacy is not backed up by evidence. Among the unverified methods the ineffective practices as the report has them are when teachers group learners by ability, allow learners to discover key ideas for themselves, and my personal favourite, use praise lavishly. It adds: Children whose failure was responded to with sympathy were more likely to attribute their failure to lack of ability than those who were presented with anger. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 11:15:10 GMT)

When it comes to Bob Lambert, the truth is stranger than fiction
The saga of the undercover police officer may be hard to believe, but the Mets £400,000 payout is certainly realIts been said that satire died the day Henry Kissinger was awarded the Nobel peace prize, but satirists fight a constant battle with the news. As Europe descended into war in the 1930s, one French caricaturist said hed given up on pen and ink and was using a camera instead. Whats true of satire also goes for thrillers about the secret state and its operatives and I know because Ive just written one. Recent headlines have been so unlikely that if one of them had popped into my head Id have dismissed it as too far-fetched.Any newspaper reader following the continuing story of undercover cop Bob Lambert and the secret unit to which he belonged could be forgiven for wondering if theyve turned to the TV pages by mistake. And many writers would hesitate before trying to persuade viewers to take such a story seriously. Whos going to buy the idea that an environmentalist who had a child with a fellow activist was actually a police officer on a spying mission? Even so, the police have been forced to admit it. Theyve just paid more than £400,000 to the mother of Lamberts child. Continue reading...
(Thu, 30 Oct 2014 20:14:28 GMT)

Banking is set up for scandal dont blame the individual bankers
Bankers are human as the rest of us, which is why we need to rethink the size, structure and unwieldiness of the banking system itselfImagine that you were wired $1.5m by mistake. What would you do? Well, thats hardly a serious question you say. Return it post haste of course. But would you really? If you had debts, a passport, a home elsewhere, and could easily skip town? After all, its not as if youd actually stolen the money.Earlier this year, according to a lawsuit it has filed, Credit Suisse accidentally sent $1.5m to a hedge fund trader in New York, and was expecting the money to be returned once the man in question was notified. It never was. The trader appears to have moved abroad (and challenges the banks version of events). In a separate development, Barclays has had to set aside £500m to cover the cost of fines that will likely result from an investigation into the alleged rigging of currency markets. Its currency traders are accused of meeting in virtual chatrooms and planning the fixing of benchmark prices. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 12:30:00 GMT)

While the internet is accountable to nobody, privacy will be in crisis
It is time to bring humanity back to the networks that hear everything, track our lives, and mine information bought and soldThe Edward Snowden documentary Citizenfour opens in UK cinemas on Friday, putting the dangers of surveillance squarely in the public eye. But Laura Poitras film isnt the first time that an artist has explored the threat that technology poses to privacy. John Cheever did it, too, in 1947.Everybody knows that privacy is in trouble. We know that we are being monitored, we agree that it is disturbing and yet we continue with our online lives regardless. Why are we so nonchalant, so blithe? Why dont we care? Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 11:21:09 GMT)

The 10 greatest changes of the past 1,000 years
In Europe, the last millennium has been shaped by successive waves of change, but which shifts, in which centuries, have really shaped the modern world? Historian Ian Mortimer identifies the 10 leading drivers of change Ten of the worst years in British historyMost people think of castles as representative of conflict. However, they should be seen as bastions of peace as much as war. In 1000 there were very few castles in Europe and none in England. This absence of local defences meant that lands were relatively easy to conquer William the Conquerors invasion of England was greatly assisted by the lack of castles here. Over the 11th century, all across Europe, lords built defensive structures to defend them and their land. It thus became much harder for kings to simply conquer their neighbours. In this way, lords tightened their grip on their estates, and their masters started to think of themselves as kings of territories, not of tribes. Political leaders were thus bound to defend their borders and govern everyone within those borders, not just their own people. Thats a pretty enormous change by anyones standards. Continue reading...
(Thu, 30 Oct 2014 11:34:53 GMT)

How insects could feed the world
Is eating bugs the solution to feeding the worlds growing population of human beings and livestock? Emily Anthes chews on locusts, beetles, mealworms and more as she tries to find outAt first, my meal seems familiar, like countless other dishes Ive eaten at Asian restaurants. A swirl of noodles slicked with oil and studded with shredded chicken, the aroma of ginger and garlic, a few wilting chives placed on the plate as a final flourish. And then, I notice the eyes. Dark, compound orbs on a yellow speckled head, joined to a winged, segmented body. I hadnt spotted them right away, but suddenly I see them everywhere my noodles are teeming with insects. I cant say I wasnt warned. Ive agreed to be a guinea pig at an experimental insect tasting in Wageningen, a university town in the Netherlands. My hosts are Ben Reade and Josh Evans from the Nordic Food Lab, a non-profit culinary research institute. Reade and Evans lead the labs insect deliciousness project, a three-year effort to turn insects into tasty treats. The project began after René Redzepi (the chef and co-owner of Noma, the Danish restaurant that is often ranked the best in the world) tasted an Amazonian ant that reminded him of lemongrass. Redzepi, who founded the Nordic Food Lab in 2008, became interested in serving insects at Noma and asked the researchers at the lab to explore the possibilities. The Food Lab operates from a houseboat in Copenhagen, but Reade and Evans are in the Netherlands for a few days, and theyve borrowed a local kitchen to try out some brand new dishes. Along with three other gutsy gastronomes, I am here to taste the results. We take our seats at a long, high table as Reade and Evans wheel in a trolley loaded with our meals. We each receive a different main course. I get the Asian-style noodles and fixate on the bug I can see. Thats a locust, Reade says. [It] was alive this morning. Very fresh. But hes much more excited about another, hidden ingredient: fat extracted from the larvae of black soldier flies (or, to put it less delicately, maggot fat). The whole dish has been stir-fried in it.I believe youre the first human being on the planet to have ever been served anything cooked with this, Reade tells me. But not to worry: Ive eaten some of it myself, an hour ago. Im still alive.Yellow jacket wasp larvae are big in Japan, cicadas are treasured in Malawi, and weaver ants are popular in ThailandIn some ways, roaches are no different to gorillas, gerbils or iguanas, or any creatures that we dont routinely eatThe mealworm quiche tasted fine, the mealworms had a slightly nutty, toasted flavour, but it still made my stomach turn Continue reading...
(Thu, 30 Oct 2014 06:00:37 GMT)

Muhammad Ali through the eyes of the photographers who know him best
Muhammad Ali has been the subject of some of the most celebrated photographs ever taken. To mark the 40th anniversary of one of his most bruising fights, the Rumble in the Jungle, our sport picture editor, Jonny Weeks, has talked exclusively to several of the photographers who have known and shot Ali among them, Neil Leifer, Carl Fischer and Thomas Hoepker to hear their experiences and to learn the stories behind the iconic photos they capturedMuhammad Ali 25 of the best photographs of the legendary boxerThink of a photograph of Muhammad Ali besides those pictured above I suspect theres a good chance you thought of that wonderful shot of Ali towering over Sonny Liston in the first round of their heavyweight title fight in 1965, where Ali, visibly irate, is beckoning his opponent up from the canvas with a digger-like swing of his right arm. If not, then you doubtless know the photograph Im talking about: its that famous. Continue reading...
(Thu, 30 Oct 2014 12:00:04 GMT)

Politics Weekly podcast: Scottish Labour, Mediterranean migrants and US midterms
Libby Brooks, Anne Perkins, Ken Rudin and Martin Kettle join Hugh Muir to discuss Labour's Scottish meltdown, migration across the Mediterranean Sea and the US mid-term elections Continue reading...
(Thu, 30 Oct 2014 17:39:00 GMT)

Will coal or solar power fuel Indias drive to bring electricity to its villages?
Narendra Modi says 400 million Indians without electricity will be connected, but plans for new coal mines are controversialThe village of Geer in Madhya Pradesh is about to undergo the simplest of revolutions. After 25 years of being told electricity is coming, it is finally here. After sunset we cant do anything so we sit in the darkness. The children cannot study. We go to bed early, says Chotelal Gupta, who runs the nearest thing Geer has to a shop. It is no more than a cupboard really, selling sweets and biscuits. But in the last few weeks Gupta has started to stock lightbulbs as the villagers wire up their homes.A small crowd of villagers stand around the transformer for the big switch-on. This is India, where no such moment can happen without a few prayers, the breaking of a coconut and the burning of incense. In the absence of a local dignitary they turn to me to do the honours. It reminds me of my wedding; I had no idea what was going on then either. Continue reading...
(Thu, 30 Oct 2014 20:03:50 GMT)

London housing crisis: seven bright ideas from Islington
The Labour-run borough of Boris and Blair has some imaginative policies for meeting local affordable housing need The cluster of predicaments that make housing too expensive for so many Londoners manifests in Islington with striking clarity. The birthplace of Blairism, the home of Boris Johnson and the sixth most deprived local authority area in the UK, the borough is as trendy as it is pricey as it is poor. Like other inner London boroughs, Islington knows both the gains and the strains of gentrification. Indeed, it can claim to be the phenomenons spiritual home, the place where the lately deceased architect Harley Sherlock helped pioneer it by reviving neglected streets and sociologist Ruth Glass critiqued it. As London entered the 1980s, Upper Street, linking Highbury to the Angel by way of the Town Hall, was one of its most bohemian avenues, all alternative theatre, radical book shops and social deviants. I know all about those - I was one of them. Continue reading...
(Thu, 30 Oct 2014 15:19:44 GMT)

Nicola Sturgeon on tour
The SNPs incoming leader meets new party members in Edinburgh, but can she transform them into an election-winning army?Big Country has been playing on a loop for what feels like my entire life but is probably only ten minutes. So when the audience get to their feet for Nicola Sturgeon at the Edinburgh Corn Exchange, its hard to tell if they are simply relieved that the eighties rock anthems have ceased.When I interviewed her the other week, Sturgeon seemed a wee bit allergic to the word tour, perhaps because it conjures images of blouson jackets with Team Nicola on the back. But thats what it says on the press release for her - um - tour of the country to meet the thousands of new members who have joined the SNP since the referendum. Continue reading...
(Thu, 30 Oct 2014 14:29:16 GMT)

Bob Dylans back pages: the truth behind the Basement Tapes
The Basement Tapes have never before been heard in their entirety. Now, with the official release of all 138 songs, Dylan expert Clinton Heylin examines the myth and the reality of one of rocks seminal long-lost masterpiecesIn June 1975, between Blood on the Tracks and Desire, Bob Dylan approved the release of the most famous publishing demos in pop. The Basement Tapes, recorded off the radar in the summer of 1967, in the garage of the Bands rented house in West Saugerties in upstate New York (which a previous owner had painted a gaudy pink), are seen as the missing link between the expansive Blonde on Blonde and the pared-down simplicity of John Wesley Harding. They were also the first music Dylan made as he recovered from a serious motorcycle accident on 29 July 1966, even as the dust of rumour conspired to cover him.For six months after the accident Dylan, recuperated by cutting himself off from music, as he had done once before, after the Kennedy assassination, just jotting down lyrics. The rest of the time Dylan spent poring over books by people you never heard of, thinking about where Im going, and why am I running and am I mixed up too much and what am I knowing and what am I giving and what am I taking. Or so he told the one journalist he spoke to on the record at the time, Michael Iachetta of the New York Daily News. Continue reading...
(Thu, 30 Oct 2014 18:26:27 GMT)

John Lydon: My family values
The former Sex Pistols singer on not knowing the truth about his birth and the sustaining love of his long-time wife NoraA picture from my parents wedding has always fascinated me because in the far right-hand corner Auntie Agnes is holding a baby. The most likely explanation is that the baby is me and Im illegitimate, but I have no birth certificate and never could get honest answers out of my parents.I grew up in a Victorian monstrosity of a building in Holloway, north London, with my parents and three younger brothers. Dad was a crane driver and spent long periods working away from home. It was often down to Mum to look after us, but she was always ill endless miscarriages didnt help her so it fell to me to manage the household. I enjoyed the responsibility. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 13:01:01 GMT)

Chip off: Nigel Haworths final meal
The Northcote chef would invite Michelle Obama to a final feast of scallops, chips and trifleScallops have replaced peppered steak as my go-to final-moment dish. There are certain things that nature churns out that humans could never replicate, and scallops are one of them. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 12:30:00 GMT)

Seth Rogen set to play Steve Wozniak in Danny Boyle's Steve Jobs biopic
Comedy star set to play Steve Jobss right-hand man opposite Christian Bale in new movie scripted by Aaron SorkinSeth Rogen is in early talks to play the Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak in a high profile biopic of Steve Jobs, according to the Hollywood Reporter.Christian Bale is in line to play Jobs himself, the famed technology guru who died on 5 October 2011 of cancer. The Oscar-winning writer of Facebook movie The Social Network, Aaron Sorkin, is writing the screenplay for Britains Danny Boyle to direct.Rogens appointment is said to be in no way a done deal, especially given that Bale has not yet signed on the dotted line. The Canadian star of This Is the End and Neighbours is best known for his work in comedic fare, and would be taking a rare step into the dramatic spotlight with the untitled biopic. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 08:49:06 GMT)

Robin Thicke and Pharrell lose first round in Blurred Lines copyright battle
Judge says Marvin Gayes family made a sufficient showing that elements of Blurred Lines may be substantially similar to protected, original elements of Got to Give It UpRobin Thicke and Pharrell Williams have lost the first round in their court battle with Marvin Gayes family. Judge John Kronstadt denied the musicians motion for summary judgment, ruling that Blurred Liness similarities to Gayes Got to Give It Up are sufficient for trial.Lawyers for the Gaye family have made a sufficient showing that elements of Blurred Lines may be substantially similar to protected, original elements of Got to Give It Up, Kronstadt wrote on Thursday, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The judge also pointed in particular to the substantial similarity of the two songs signature phrases, hooks, basslines, keyboard chords, harmonic structures and vocal melodies. Even though the musical essence of Got to Give It Up can be reduced to very small parts a four-note hook, four-note vocal melody and 16-bar harmonic structure these may indeed represent protectable expressions. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 11:26:41 GMT)

Football transfer rumours: Manchester United move for Abdul Majeed Waris?
Todays rumours are counting the daysIts Halloween, and cute little kiddies all around the world go out to observe the time-honoured custom of Food And Coin Now Or Window Put Through With Brick. Steven Gerrard is too old to play that game these days, but that hasnt stopped him issuing a threat of his own today. Hes told Liverpool he might be off in the summer if they dont get a wriggle on and offer him a new contract. Where to? Good question.Manchester United are in for a couple of strikers, because theyve got that habit now. Abdul Majeed Waris of Trabzonspor and Italian hitman Mario Balo hold on Mattia Destro are in their sights. Chelsea are also interested in the Roma forward. Arsenal, meanwhile, desperately need a defensive midfielder and as many defenders as they can source, so naturally theyre in for Destro too, as well as Barcelonas 73rd-choice striker Pedro. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 08:57:47 GMT)

FGM: Ban Ki-moon backs Guardians global media campaign
UN chief launches grants initiative in Kenya as part of Guardian-UNFPA push to change how female genital mutilation is reported and perceivedThe UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, is backing a groundbreaking global media campaign led by the Guardian to revolutionise how female genital mutilation is reported and perceived across the world, with the aim of ending the practice.Speaking at a key meeting with the heads of all of Kenyas main media organisations at the UN headquarters in Nairobi, he announced five international FGM reporting grants co-funded by the UNFPA, the UNs population fund, and the Guardian which will see key journalists in Kenya focus on FGM in an attempt to eradicate the harmful practice within a generation. Ban said he hoped the Kenyan model could act as a template that could be replicated across the continent. Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 09:12:38 GMT)

What have Katie Price and Oscar Pistorius been chatting about?
The star and the athlete swapped messages on Twitter, Price has revealed at her latest and inexplicably low-key book launch, which featured not one single black stallionThis week, Lost in Showbiz arrives bearing important news for the intellectuals among its readership: no, it cant imagine there are many of them either, but lets press on. Thinkers and scholars, stop whatever it is that youre doing! Put down that copy of the Paris Review, cease making notes in the margin of The Kreutzer Sonata, press pause on that podcast about triangulation and the intersections between languages and literary traditions. Pray silence, bibliophiles, for the literary event of the year is upon us: Katie Price has published her ninth novel, and Lost in Showbiz couldnt be more excited.Yes, there are those who churlishly make a song and dance about the fact that Price doesnt actually write her novels, who raise a knowing eyebrow when the question of authorship crops up in interviews (Have you always channelled your life into your books? Not completely.). It can only direct them to the recent interview in which, challenged to prove she could actually write, Price came up with the opening paragraph to a novel: Im sitting on a swing in the garden with the wind hitting my face and the grass freshly cut and it smelled nice. I had my hair in pigtails with red bows with bright polka dots, with suspenders on and no knickers. And I lifted the dishwasher open and it smelled like wet labradors. Continue reading...
(Thu, 30 Oct 2014 18:10:40 GMT)

Top literary agent Andrew Wylie calls Amazon Isis-like distribution channel
Wylie calls for fellow publishers to stand firm and not to blink during negotiations over ebook royalties with digital retailerHe is the sinister jackal of the literary world who counts Salman Rushdie, Philip Roth and Martin Amis among his formidable roster of clients.Andrew Wylie, arguably the most powerful literary agent in the world who once described himself as a ravenous dog has now sunk his teeth into Amazon, describing the online retailer as a sort of Isis-like distribution channel. Continue reading...
(Thu, 30 Oct 2014 19:53:09 GMT)

Hillary Clinton heckled by immigration activists at latest stop in campaign tour
With the possible exception of husband Bill, Clinton has been in demand in the lead-up to the midterm elections to bolster Democratic candidates chances Hillary Clinton was repeatedly heckled during a campaign stop on Thursday after immigration reform activists took turns to interrupt her speech before being escorted out of an auditorium by police.The coordinated protest during a rally for Maryland gubernatorial candidate Anthony Brown, involved about two dozen students dotted around the audience who intermittently shouted at Clinton and held aloft placards that read Put Families Over Politics. Continue reading...
(Thu, 30 Oct 2014 23:35:00 GMT)

Game of Thrones stars reportedly sign up for seventh season
Actors including Lena Headey and Kit Harington reported to have negotiated huge salary increases in return for re-signing with HBOs hugely popular showGame of Thrones looks set to return for a seventh season netting its stars a bumper payday.The Hollywood Reporter writes that the shows lead actors have renegotiated their contracts, which only covered six seasons of the show, to include an option for a seventh. Continue reading...
(Thu, 30 Oct 2014 18:33:17 GMT)

An American horror story: 'real' haunted houses in pictures
Halloween special: Photographer Seph Lawless whose eerie images of abandoned shopping malls we featured this summer has explored houses blighted by tragic histories in his new book, 13: An American Horror Story Continue reading...
(Thu, 30 Oct 2014 16:18:20 GMT)

Planting tulip bulbs in autumn video
Alys Fowler peppers her garden with tulip bulbs in autumn for one of the easiest and earliest harbingers of spring colour. Whether you have a big garden or a tiny urban space for a few pots, tulips reliably deliver brilliant rainbow colours come spring. Six months later Alys reveals the tulips she planted in October popping up right, left and centre around her garden Find the tulips in the Guardian garden Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 12:00:00 GMT)

Shoshana Roberts speaks out about New York street harassment video video
Shoshana Roberts, the actor in the two-minute New York street harassment video released this week, defends the project. Roberts says the video didn't show all the incidents of harassment or document more serious cases of harassment, such as groping or sexual assault. She says harassment causes 'unnecessary stress' and that people need to be told to stop doing it Continue reading...
(Thu, 30 Oct 2014 14:24:00 GMT)

Austria's Matthias Brändle breaks hour cycling record video
Austrian cyclist Matthias Brändle set a new hour cycling record in Switzerland on Thursday with a total distance of 51.85km (32.21 miles). Brändle broke the record previously set by German Jens Voigt who set the previous record of 51.1km (31.75 miles) six weeks ago Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 12:25:26 GMT)

Halloween preparations around the world in pictures
Halloween is almost upon us. Heres a look at how guys and ghouls around the world are getting ready for this freaky FridayEmma Brockes: What your offensive Halloween costume says about you Continue reading...
(Thu, 30 Oct 2014 17:49:40 GMT)

The week in wildlife in pictures
This weeks best images from the natural world include a deaths head hawk moth and a grizzly bear scrumping apples Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 10:17:10 GMT)

How to build a business: 'Accept all the blame and defer all the praise'
In the debut of the Guardian's Small Business Conversations video series, Wayne Sosin, the owner of Worksman Cycles, compares experiences with Kent Kilroe, owner of bespoke menswear maker Freemans Sporting Club Continue reading...
(Thu, 30 Oct 2014 18:55:00 GMT)

Golden goal: Juninho Pernambucano for Lyon v Bayern Munich (2003)
Our series celebrating specific goals recalls an artist who brought dead balls to life like no other Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 10:00:09 GMT)

What makes great teaching? expert views
A new report has reviewed all the research into what makes teaching effective. Our experts share their thoughts about the findings have your say in the comments thread or tweet us @GuardianTeachEducation study finds in favour of traditional teaching styles Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 07:00:05 GMT)

Steven Gerrard: its up to Liverpool whether Im at Anfield next season
Former England captain has yet to sign contract extension I wont be retiring this summer. I will play beyond this season Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 00:16:20 GMT)

Stephen King: Religion is a dangerous tool but I choose to believe God exists
Blockbuster author reveals his spiritual side in lengthy Q&A to launch new novel that deals with a ministers loss of faith Continue reading...
(Wed, 29 Oct 2014 14:02:35 GMT)

Heads up: people around the world carry their possessions in pictures
French photographer Floriane de Lassée has travelled across rural landscapes, from east Africa to South America, in search of subjects for her photo series, How Much Can You Carry Continue reading...
(Fri, 31 Oct 2014 11:05:01 GMT)

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