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UK prisons chief warns of terrible toll of inmate suicides
Nick Hardwick says 69% rise in self inflicted deaths during 2013-14 provides evidence for rapidly deteriorating safety in jailsA warning over a steep rise in prisoner suicides formed the heart of a critical report from the chief inspector of prisons yesterday as he said that jails were gripped by rising violence, worsening safety and overcrowding.Nick Hardwick, giving his annual report, said the rate of self inflicted deaths was at its highest for a decade amongst inmates in England and Wales and had risen by 69% during 2013-14. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 20:16:58 GMT)

Oscar Pistorius jailed for five years but short sentence fiercely criticised
Outrage on social media as defence lawyers for disgraced Paralympian seek his release into house arrest after 10 monthsThe last the world saw of Oscar Pistorius on Tuesday was a sombre figure, still wearing suit and tie, under police guard in the back of an armoured vehicle as he was transported to Kgosi Mampuru II prison in Pretoria.It was left to the imagination what fate awaited the disgraced Paralympian as he prepared to have fingerprints taken, don an orange jumpsuit and spend his first night behind bars at the start of a five-year jail term for killing his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 19:51:52 GMT)

Five Britons a week travel to Iraq and Syria to join Isis, says Met chief
Britains top police officer warns about terror threat of returning fighters, as third Portsmouth jihadi reported dead in KobaniFive Britons are travelling to Iraq and Syria to join Islamic State (Isis) every week, the UKs most senior police officer has revealed, after reports that a third jihadi from Portsmouth has been killed in the conflict.The Metropolitan police commissioner, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, said the figure was a minimum and the drumbeat of terrorism in the UK was now faster and more intense. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 20:21:09 GMT)

Rochdale taxi firm admits providing white drivers on request
Car 2000 minicab company, which serves area where Asian grooming gangs have operated, says it is catering to demandCustomers ordering minicabs in the town at the centre of Britains biggest grooming scandal are being offered white drivers on request.Residents in Heywood in the Greater Manchester borough of Rochdale have been offered the service after two local drivers of Pakistani origin were jailed for their part in the rape and trafficking of young white girls. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 18:18:21 GMT)

Ben Bradlee, Washington Post editor during Watergate, dies aged 93
Legendary editor also published Pentagon papers on the Vietnam war and turned the Post into a global authorityBen Bradlee, the former Washington Post editor who oversaw the reporting that brought down a president, united the worlds of journalism and politics in tribute on Tuesday after he died at the age of 93.An editor of the paper for 26 years, during which time it won 17 Pulitzer prizes and doubled its circulation, Bradlee was remembered by colleagues and competitors as an icon of American journalism. Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 02:01:53 GMT)

A sixth of foreign criminals absconded before being deported from UK
Monitoring, arrest, prosecution and deportation of foreign-national offenders is failing, says spending watchdogOne in six foreign offenders living in the community have absconded, including 58 dangerous individuals who have been missing since 2010, the National Audit Office has revealed.The NAO also found that police were failing to conduct overseas criminal record checks on more than two-thirds of arrested foreign nationals. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 23:01:02 GMT)

Nigel Farage deal with Polish far-right party raises serious questions say Jews
Leading British Jewish group criticises Ukips fund saving tie-up with Congress of the New Right MEP Robert IwaszkiewiczBritains leading Jewish organisation has accused Nigel Farage of putting Ukips credibility on the line by striking a deal with a far-right Polish party whose leader has a history of Holocaust denial and racist and misogynistic comments.The Board of Deputies of British Jews said Farage had very serious questions to answer after the Ukip leader confirmed that an MEP from Polands Congress of the New Rightwould be allowed to join his European grouping. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 17:42:45 GMT)

Cause of death of 13-month-old Poppi Worthington in 2012 still unexplained
Father Paul Worthington, 46, arrested but not charged as details of case remain veiled in secrecy at Cumbria coroners courtA coroner took seven minutes to rule on Tuesday that the death of a 13-month-old girl in Cumbria was unexplained, in a brief hearing that left most of the details of the horrific case veiled in secrecy nearly two years after she died.The circumstances of Poppi Worthingtons death on 12 December 2012 triggered a police investigation, which eventually led to the arrest of her father, Paul, 46. He was questioned on suspicion of sexually abusing Poppi, but has yet to be charged with any offence. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 20:14:24 GMT)

Devo max and giving power to cities will boost UK productivity thinktank
Devolving tax and immigration decisions to metropolitan areas and fuller powers for Scotland could lift economy by 5%Allowing cities to set their own tax, immigration and planning policies alongside devo max for Scotland could boost UK productivity by 5%, according to a thinktanks report. The UK needs devo met devolution of power to metropolitan areas as well as north of the border, the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) City Growth Commission said.The north of England should also see greater connectivity to create one north, particularly the north-west region dubbed ManSheffLeedsPool, which has a combined population greater than Scotland. This could include an Oyster card for the north, similar to Londons integrated transport card, a high-speed tube system and superfast broadband. The UKs centralised political economy is not fit for purpose and attempts to manage down the deficit and national debt will be futile and unsustainable in the long term. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 23:01:02 GMT)

UK storms leave woman dead, homes without power and transport disrupted
Trees fall, killing woman in London and injuring three others in West Sussex as remnants of hurricane Gonzalo bring high windsA woman died on Tuesday after she was crushed by a falling tree in London as Britain was battered by strong winds caused by the remnants of hurricane Gonzalo.Another three people were taken to hospital after being injured by a fallen tree in West Sussex as gusts and heavy rain left hundreds of homes without power and brought widespread disruption to people travelling by road, rail, air and sea. A wind speed of 108mph was recorded in the Cairngormsin the Scottish Highlands, while there were gusts of more than 60mph in several other areas, including north-west Wales, the Isle of Wight, West Yorkshire and Cumbria. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 16:47:41 GMT)

Man in £40,000 scam who faked disability is caught on shopping trip
Alan Knight pretended to be quadriplegic for two years to avoid prosecution for conning elderly neighbourA fraudster conned an elderly neighbour out of £40,000 and pretended to be quadriplegic for two years in order to evade justice before he was finally caught by police going on shopping trips and on holidays with his family.Alan Knight had mounted the deception after engaging in an elaborate fraud in which he targeted an elderly neighbours life savings over a three year period. Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 00:14:45 GMT)

Angry-looking grey men told they will lose campaign for Britain to leave EU
Conservative Eurosceptic Michael Fabricant says those who want UK to exit EU in referendum must craft modern message Michael Fabricant: The EU outers must win hearts and mindsOpponents of Britains membership of the European Union would lose a referendum if it were held now because the campaign would be run by angry-looking grey men, a leading Conservative Eurosceptic has said.In a sign of the unease among anti-EU Tories that they could squander a once-in-a-generation chance to take Britain out of the union, the partys former deputy chairman Michael Fabricant said campaigners needed to redouble their efforts to craft a positive and modern message. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 19:26:16 GMT)

Ebola in Sierra Leone increasing to rate of more than 20 deaths per day
Government estimates confirm rise with 49 new cases at start of week across two Ebola zones in capital FreetownThe number of people infected with Ebola in western Sierra Leone is increasing to more than 20 deaths daily, according to government estimates.Forty-nine new cases of were confirmed on Monday in two Ebola zones in and around the capital Freetown, the National Ebola Response Center reported on Tuesday. There are 851 total confirmed cases in the two zones, called Western Area Urban and Western Area Rural, the centre said. The Ebola outbreak previously primarily affected eastern Sierra Leone. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 18:13:02 GMT)

Wife of man killed in Bali arrested over his murder
Body found in rice field with throat slashed identified as British citizen Robert Ellis, who had lived in Australia for many yearsThe wife of a former Australian resident found with his throat slashed and dumped in a Bali rice field has been arrested on suspicion of ordering his death.Noor Ellis was in police custody on Tuesday night after reporting the disappearance her businessman husband Robert Ellis, 60, earlier in the day. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 21:01:50 GMT)

UK should campaign for international ban on autonomous killer drones
Fromer GCHQ boss says existing drone technology poses no convincing ethical problems but there must be safeguardsBritain should lead the campaign for an international ban on development of autonomous killer robots but existing armed drone technology poses no convincing ethical problems, according to a policy commission headed by a former director of GCHQ.The University of Birmingham review headed by Sir David Omand, who was also the UKs first security and intelligence coordinator, argues that under legal regulation unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) provide significant military and civilian benefits. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 23:04:02 GMT)

British couple found dead in Indian hotel
Police officers say there is no suggestion of a crime after couple in their twenties die in Agra hotel near Taj MahalA British couple have been found dead in their hotel room in the Indian city of Agra, local police have said.Officers told the BBC that the couple, who were in their twenties, may have died of a drug overdose and that there was no suggestion of any crime. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 16:41:43 GMT)

Canadian soldier killed by convert to Islam in hit and run
Martin Couture Rouleau shot dead by Quebec police after driving his car into two soldiers in act linked to terrorist ideologyTerrorist ideology inspired a recent convert to Islam to drive his car into two Canadian soldiers, killing one, before he was shot dead by police, authorities said on Tuesday.Quebec police spokesman Guy Lapointe said the act was deliberate and that one of the two soldiers was in uniform. There were no other suspects. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 19:24:47 GMT)

Django Unchained actor Danièle Watts charged with lewd conduct
Danièle Watts and chef Brian Lucas accused of having sex in a car outside CBS studios in LA after high-profile arrest that prompted accusations of racism The actor Danièle Watts and her boyfriend Brian James Lucas have been charged with lewd conduct, after a highly publicised incident in which they accused an LAPD officer of racial bias.The pair were detained, though not arrested, by police on 11 September after a complaint that they were having sex in their car, which was parked outside CBS studios in the Studio City area of Los Angeles. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 20:40:24 GMT)

US ordered to explain withholding of Iraq and Afghanistan torture photos
Obama admistration must justify suppression of never-before-seen photographs depicting US military torture of detaineesThe Obama administration has until early December to detail its reasons for withholding as many as 2,100 graphic photographs depicting US military torture of detainees in Iraq and Afghanistan, a federal judge ordered on Tuesday.By 12 December, Justice Department attorneys will have to list, photograph by photograph, the governments rationale for keeping redacted versions of the photos unseen by the public, Judge Alvin Hellerstein instructed lawyers. But any actual release of the photographs will come after Hellerstein reviews the governments reasoning and issues another ruling in the protracted transparency case. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 21:02:51 GMT)

Parents 'too desensitised to judge appropriate films for children'
New research suggests that viewers may be partly responsible for ratings creep which has seen younger children exposed to increasing levels of big screen sex and violenceParents become desensitised over time when viewing movies featuring adult content such as sex and violence, according to a new US study.Researchers for the Annenberg Public Policy Centre found that viewers watching a series of bloodthirsty or erotic scenes from films such as Casino Royale, Collateral, 8 Mile and Die Hard were less able to gauge their suitability for children as time went by. The rise of violence and gun violence in PG-13 movies means that lots of kids are able to go into movie theatres and see explicit violence, said Dan Romer, the policy centres associate director and lead author of the study lead. We wanted to find out why parents didnt show more concern. Why was this happening without pushback?Research, conducted online in January, showed scenes from six movies with similar levels of sex and violence to parents of children aged six to 18. The study found that viewers of the first scene felt an appropriate age would be, on average, 16.9 for violent content and 17.2 for sexualised content. But by the time they had watched the sixth scene, respondents perception of the appropriate age had dropped to 13.9 for violent content and 14 for sexualised content. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 08:18:00 GMT)

Tory party returns impermissible donation linked to Russian banker
Electoral Commission says it was not clear Henley Concierge Limited, associated with exile Andrei Borodin, was trading in UKThe Conservative party has handed back a £28,000 donation from a company believed to be associated with an exiled Russian banker which the Electoral Commission has ruled is an impermissible donor.Conservative central office accepted the sum from a company called Henley Concierge Limited following the auction of a portrait of Margaret Thatcher by the artist Darren Baker at the partys 2013 summer fundraising ball. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 14:52:09 GMT)

Hong Kong leader extends olive branch to pro-democracy protesters
Leung Chun-ying says Beijing will not back down on vetting his successor but election committee could be more democraticHong Kongs embattled leader has said he is open to creating a more democratic selection committee before elections in 2017, extending a potential olive branch to democracy protesters as crunch talks to end the demonstrations got under way.Parts of the Asian financial hub have been paralysed for weeks by rallies calling for the chief executive, Leung Chun-ying, to resign and for China to revoke a ruling in August that candidates for the citys next election be vetted by a pro-Beijing committee something protesters have called a fake democracy. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 12:41:42 GMT)

UK to fly military drones over Syria
Government says Reaper drones will be deployed soon to gather intelligence, but insists move is not a military interventionBritain is to send military drones over Syria to gather intelligence in a move that will deepen its involvement in the campaign against Islamic State (Isis), Michael Fallon, the defence secretary, has revealed.Downing Street insisted that the flights did not amount to military intervention and said there was a clear legal case for drone surveillance in Syria under the principles of national and collective defence. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 12:31:02 GMT)

Fiona Woolf urged to step down from abuse inquiry over Leon Brittan links
Lawyer who replaced Butler-Sloss in official inquiry into alleged paedophile politicians says no close association with Tory peerThe second head of the governments child abuse inquiry is facing calls to stand down over her social links to Lord Brittan, who was home secretary when a dossier about alleged Westminster paedophiles went missing from his department.Fiona Woolf, a prominent QC and Lord Mayor of London, was brought in after Lady Butler-Sloss resigned from her role leading the inquiry when it emerged that her late brother Lord Havers was attorney general at the time of some of the historical allegations. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 20:30:01 GMT)

David Cameron Ukip desperation over MigrationWatch UK founders peerage
Prime minister accused of hurrying through position for Sir Andrew Green in the face of Tory worries about Ukip popularityDavid Cameron has been accused of showing desperation in the face of Ukip by giving a peerage to Sir Andrew Green who leads a group lobbying for lower immigration.Labours leader in the House of Lords, Lady Royall of Blaisdon questioned why Green, founder of MigrationWatch UK, was not appointed at the time of the last list of new peers, raising the suggestion his position was hurried through in the face of Conservative worries about Ukips popularity. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 19:24:20 GMT)

Jury to deliberate as trial of Boston Marathon suspect's friend closes
Closing arguments heard in trial of Robel Phillipos, who is accused of lying to investigators in days following deadly attackA friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev told a string of lies to investigators, a prosecutor told a jury on Tuesday, but a defense lawyer said the defendant was a frightened 19-year-old who couldnt remember certain details because he had smoked marijuana for at least 12 hours straight.Robel Phillipos, of Cambridge, is charged with lying to the FBI about being in Tsarnaevs dorm room at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth while two other friends removed a backpack containing fireworks and other potential evidence several days after the 15 April 2013 attack. Two bombs placed near the marathon finish line killed three people and injured more than 260. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 18:39:52 GMT)

Green politician Jenny Jones arrested in Occupy London protest
Deputy chair of London assemblys police and crime committee among 15 held at Parliament Square demonstrationPolice erected a 2 metre metal fence around much of Parliament Square on Tuesday and arrested 15 demonstrators including Green party peer Jenny Jones.Lady Jones, 64, chairwoman of the London assemblys economy committee and deputy chair of its police and crime committee, was arrested for obstructing police as they moved in to break up the demonstration. She was de-arrested after giving details suitable for a summons.The politician could now face prosecution, Scotland Yard said. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 11:03:36 GMT)

Tyne and Wear deregulation U-turn angers bus firms
After long consultation, regional authority to counter reforms brought in by Thatcher governmentTyne and Wear has voted to press ahead with reforms that will mean a bus service outside London being taken back under public control for the first time since privatisation.After a long consultation and more than a year of debate with bus operators, which are fiercely opposed to the moves, the regional authority will counter the deregulation brought in by the Thatcher government in the 1980s, and franchise services while setting routes, timetables and fares. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 16:25:11 GMT)

North Korea releases one of three Americans held captive, US confirms
State Department says Jeffrey Fowle was home Tuesday after negotiators left Pyongyang, and that the US was working to free two others held by North KoreaNorth Korea unexpectedly and suddenly freed an American citizen, Jeffrey Fowle on Tuesday after holding him for nearly six months, the US State Department announced. The State Department deputy spokeswoman, Marie Harf, said Fowle was on his way home on Tuesday after negotiators left Pyongyang. She said the US is still trying to free two other Americans, Matthew Miller and Kenneth Bae. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 23:20:48 GMT)

Breaking Bad dolls withdrawn from sale
Toys R Us recalls figurines of characters from hit drama after petition by Florida mother attracts 8,000 signaturesToys R Us is pulling its collectible dolls based on the characters of AMCs hit series Breaking Bad after taking heat from a Florida mother who launched a petition campaign last week.The dolls are based on the series about a high school chemistry teacher who turns into a crystal meth dealer. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 23:43:18 GMT)

Outgoing GCHQ boss defends agency activities after Snowden revelations
Sir Iain Lobban uses valedictory address to praise extraordinary job of staff with mission of liberty, not erosion of itSir Iain Lobban, the outgoing director of Britains eavesdropping agency GCHQ, has used his valedictory address to deliver a full-throated defence of its activities in the wake of the Edward Snowden revelations.In a speech referencing cryptographer Alan Turing and wartime codebreaking efforts, Lobban praised GCHQ staff as ordinary people doing an extraordinary job, and said his agencys mission was the protection of liberty, not the erosion of it. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 12:30:00 GMT)

Total boss killed in plane crash: investigators blame drunk driver
Christophe de Margerie, who was killed when a private jet collided with a snow plough, was one of the worlds most recognisable oil executivesFrench authorities have opened a manslaughter investigation after it emerged that the driver of a snow plough involved in a plane crash that killed the head of French oil company Total was drunk.Christophe de Margerie, the chief executive of Total, was killed when his private jet collided with a snow plough in poor visibility at Moscows Vnukovo international airport on Monday night. He was the only passenger. All three members of the crew were also killed.Touché par la mort de C. de Margerie: un grand capitaine d'industrie, un patriote, un homme de conviction et d'amitié. Tristesse et respectA very sad day. Christophe de Margerie of @Total was a creative, inspiring, breath of fresh air, severely missed by me and the oil industry. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 09:49:14 GMT)

Cluster bombs used in eastern Ukraine, says human rights group
Human Rights Watch evidence suggests use by Ukrainian government forces and possibly rebels in Donetsk attacksEvidence collected by the New York-based Human Rights Watch suggests both government forces and pro-Russian separatists have used cluster munitions in eastern Ukraine.A spokesman for the Kiev governments military operation against the uprising in the east denied the accusations. The rebels were not available to comment. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 11:45:26 GMT)

Man found guilty of attempted murder over London hammer attack
Philip Spence bludgeoned three female tourists before robbing them and leaving them for dead at Cumberland hotelA man who savagely beat three sisters in a sustained and vicious hammer attack as they slept with their young children in a luxury London hotel has been found guilty of attempted murder.Philip Spence, 32, bludgeoned the three female tourists from the United Arab Emirates in the four-star Cumberland hotel and left them for dead. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 16:55:17 GMT)

Egypt in classism row over prosecutors sacked because parents had no degrees
Officials refuse to reinstate 138 prosecutors sacked last year because their parents did not attend universityFresh concerns have been raised about Egypts judicial system, after officials refused to reinstate dozens of young prosecutors who were sacked because their parents lacked a university education.Just months after they were appointed, 138 new prosecutors were removed from office in September 2013 following a ruling from the judiciarys governing body that said only those born to parents with undergraduate degrees could join the state prosecution. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 17:30:58 GMT)

Hadley Freeman on the horror of eating fish: Weird get this out of my mouth now
When the lifelong vegetarian decided it was time to widen her diet, fish seemed the obvious choice. But she reckoned without the prawn goo, the squid-chopping and the mackerel-gutting ... Felicity Cloakes top fish tipsI dont remember the moment I decided to be a vegetarian, which is not that surprising as I was four years old at the time. But I certainly know why I made that decision: it was because I couldnt imagine eating something that had once been running around alive, and, all these years later, I still cant. Being a vegetarian has never had anything to do with the environment or health for me: it has purely come down to, well, revulsion, which sounds sort of childish. Thats understandable at four, but less forgivable in a 36-year-old. Anyway, when I announced to my mum back in 1982 that I would no longer eat meat or fish, she being a sweet and liberal sort of mother who took her children seriously acquiesced. Since then, not a piece of meat or fish has passed my lips, and its now been so long that I cant imagine, let alone remember, what meat would taste like.A lot has changed in 32 years. For a start, its much easier to be a vegetarian. Back in the 80s, being a vegetarian was almost like a niche quirk, sort of how I imagine being unable to eat wheat is today, and meal choices outside my home were, to say the least, limited. Here is a list of meals my friends parents would make for me when Id go round for play dates: Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 17:00:08 GMT)

The little-known musicians behind some of music's most famous moments
Raphael Ravenscrofts sax line on Baker Street was better known than he was but hes not alone in being the little known creator of something famousRaphael Ravenscroft, Baker Street saxophonist, dies aged 60When you think as we are of famous musical parts or breaks, its hard not to start with Lou Reeds 1972 hit, which has not one but two famous instrumental breaks. Although Reeds lyrics which detail the lives of various Warhol/Factory drag queens are rightly famous, the song hinges on the bass hook devised by session musician Herbie Flowers and performed by him on upright double bass overlaid by electric bass. Not that the modest musician will himself blow his own trumpet. You do the job and get your arse away, he once said, humbly, of his vital contribution to one of the best-known songs in rock. You take a £12 fee, you cant play a load of bollocks. Wouldnt it be awful if someone came up to me on the street and congratulated me for Transformer? In fact, Flowers received the grand sum of £17 for his now legendary work. At those eyewatering rates, its unsurprising that producer David Bowie pushed the boat out for further additional musicians, booking his own jazz tutor saxophonist Ronnie Ross to nail the famous solo in one take. Furious debate has raged for years over just why the song fades out while that melliflous sax solo is still in all its sublime glory. Perhaps allowing it to run a bitlonger might have cost them another 50p. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 16:28:26 GMT)

The future has arrived: the sci-fi inventions that have become reality
Tractor beams, hoverboards and invisibility cloaks were once just futuristic impossibilities. Not any more Hey, Marty McFly! Hoverboard available on Kickstarter for $10,000They are the inventions and happenings that were once only dreamt up in the pages of fantasy novels and the far-flung corners of the imagination.But, in a week where the first man with a severed spine has walked again and scientists have created their own versions of a tractor beam, it seems that inventions that were once a futuristic impossibility are now moving into the realm of realty. Will this be remembered as the week the future happened? Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 14:30:35 GMT)

I would know if another prisoner wanted to give me a kicking
As report reveals poor safety in a third of UK adult male prisons, ex-inmates reveal impact of lack of support in bullying cultureEach night, shortly after the guards locked Phil Rowland in his cell, the bullying would begin. Prisoners would shout to each other through their windows, trying to set up fights and warning others not to come out in the morning.I would know straight away if someone wanted to give me a kicking the next day, that is just how it was, said the 17-year-old, who spent two months in a young offender institution before being released in August. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 17:25:42 GMT)

Egon Schiele: The Radical Nude review a feminist artist ahead of his time
Cortauld Gallery, LondonThe Austrian artists passionate love of women is illuminated in one of the most important and sexy exhibitions of the year Sex and stockings: Egon Schieles nudes in picturesEgon Schiele is the man who loved vaginas. He quite liked stockings, too, as the Courtauld Gallery reveals in its sensational exhibition of his erotic art. But while his delight in stereotypical garb how many colours of stockings did they manufacture in the last years of the Austro-Hungarian empire, anyway? may make him seem like just another male voyeur, his delight in the vagina sets him apart as an artist who not only lusts after but genuinely adores women. No one can call him phallocentric.Many great modern artists in his age lived in terror of women. Picassos explosive painting Les Demoiselles dAvignon is full of fear and loathing. The spectre of female sexuality is a jagged, castrating threat in this and other modernist images. The surrealists can also be branded misogynists for their obsessive yet objectifying images of dream lovers. Vaginas in their art often have teeth. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 15:31:35 GMT)

Gamergate is loud, dangerous and a last grasp at cultural dominance by angry white men
The outrage isnt about ethics or even really gaming. Its about harassing women to protest the movement for female equalityAs the cultural relevance of angry white men on the internet withers away and ends, their last words muttered angrily at an empty room will surely be Gamer ... gate. The recent uproar said to be over ethics in journalism but focused mostly on targeting outspoken women who arent journalists at all is just the last, desperate gasp of misogynists facing an unwelcoming future. But this particular bitter end, while long overdue, is loud, angry and extremely dangerous.The harassment is becoming more intense towards women and other marginalized communities, and it seems to be happening more to women in male-dominated fields, and to women who speak out or make critiques. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 11:30:10 GMT)

Sweden bathes in echoes of cold war drama as submarine hunt continues
Commander ready to use force in chase for probable Russian vessel, while media seize on scraps amid furtive excitementPeering out at the narrow stretch of gunmetal grey sea separating the small harbour from an island at the southern tip of the vast Stockholm archipelago, Johannes gave a shrug.I am 99% sure there is something out there, he said. But Im 100% sure they wont find it. One tiny submarine has got the entire Swedish navy tied up, all 200 sailors, with neither the resources nor the weapons to deal with it. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 19:12:01 GMT)

Ten myths about migration
Writers from the Guardian, Le Monde, El País, Süddeutsche Zeitung and La Stampa address some common claims about migration and assess whether they are true in their countryImmigrants represent 9% of the active population in France and contribute 8.9% to the labour market, according to a study for the French governments stategic analytical centre in 2012. They also experience more unemployment than non-immigrants: 16.1% compared to 9.1%, according to data from the same year at the French National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (Insee). Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 09:00:08 GMT)

Grayson Perrys latest tapestry celebrates mongrel Britain
In show at National Portrait Gallery in London, artist has a go at defining Britishness with a diverse collection of imagesIts hard to define Britishness. When Gordon Brown attempted to pin down British values a decade ago it all fell a little flat: liberty and tolerance were, after all, ideals not just of Britain but of any country with a healthy respect for human rights. During the recent referendum campaign on Scottish independence, the no camp found it hard to articulate the shared characteristics and ideas that bind together the people of the union.Can an artist do better with this slippery idea? Grayson Perry has had a stab at it in his latest tapestry, which goes on public view at the National Portrait Gallery in London on Saturday. It is a kind of portrait of a nation (you could lay it out for a national picnic, he says) and, like a lot of Perrys work, teeters at the junction between earnestness and satire. The form is based on a £10 note with, of course, the Queen presiding over the image but not depicted as the stern regal personage of our real currency, but rather as if she were your auntie, says Perry. She might have stitched the whole thing in front of her hissing gas fire, with her brass ornaments twinkling in the background, Corrie playing on the telly and The Hay Wain over the fireplace. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 17:50:27 GMT)

Spot the difference: why do more men teach in independent schools?
While women dominate both sectors, significantly more men enter and stay in private education. Lucy Ward explores what the statistics mean for teachers career optionsThere are plenty of misconceptions about the differences between state and private education in the UK. But when considering teaching employment options, there are some reassuringly solid facts including statistics showing clear contrasts between the gender balance in maintained and independent school staffrooms.While women dominate both sectors, the proportion of men teaching in private schools is significantly higher than in their state counterparts. According to a 2014 census by the Independent Schools Council (ISC), which represents more than 1,200 independent schools in the UK and overseas, almost 40% of full-time equivalent teachers in its member schools are men. In state schools, in contrast, the latest Department for Education statistics show that in 2013 men accounted for just over a quarter of teaching staff. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 06:00:09 GMT)

Nevilles Island review descent into savagery stretches credulity
Duke of Yorks, LondonAwayday adventurers Adrian Edmondson, Robert Webb, Miles Jupp and Neil Morrissey go wild in the Lake District Ade Edmondson: I never laughed as hard as I did with RikTim Firths comedy, imported from Chichester, was first seen in Scarborough 20 years ago and, not surprisingly, shows the influence of Alan Ayckbourn: its big idea that temporary isolation is a test of character is specifically reminiscent of Way Upstream. But where Ayckbourns play, which takes place on a cabin cruiser, has a hideous momentum, Firths setting of a Derwentwater islet remains irredeemably static.Initially, it all looks promising. Four middle-management types from a Salford mineral water company find themselves cluelessly stranded in the Lake District during a team-building exercise. And, to be fair, Firth distinguishes clearly between the four men. Neville is the doggedly incompetent team leader, Angus a uxorious fusspot, and Roy a birdwatching Christian with a history of mental instability. Most vivid of all is Gordon, a working-class loner with a talent for mockery that becomes cruelly destructive. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 20:59:00 GMT)

That never happened: the biopic conundrum
The new Hendrix film, Jimi: All Is By My Side, is entertaining but is it true? Henry Barnes talks to the friends and families of those portrayed in biopics about the line between artistic licence and liesThe tens of thousands of parakeets that squat and squawk in the trees of south London could be Jimi Hendrixs fault. Some say he released a pair of them into the sky above Carnaby Street in the 1960s. They were birds of their time. They advocated free love. They bred and bred, and their descendants are here to stay.It could be true, it could be false. Either way, its a harmless urban myth about Hendrix. Another more ugly story will be raked over this week with the release of Jimi: All Is By My Side, a biopic about the rock legend written and directed by the Oscar-winning 12 Years a Slave screenwriter John Ridley. The film includes a scene in which Hendrix, played by Outkast rapper André Benjamin, clubs his girlfriend Kathy Etchingham around the head with a telephone handset. Soon after, Etchingham, played by Hayley Atwell, is shown overdosing on sleeping pills, before waking up in a hospital bed. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 17:15:19 GMT)

Dawn of the Dacia: how Romanias no-thrills car maker raced ahead
Once the butt of car jokes, demand for cheap, reliable vehicles have helped Dacia become Europes fastest-growing brandWalking through the assembly plant at Dacias sprawling factory complex in Mioveni, 80 miles north-west of Bucharest, Cristian Negoita talks proudly of the factorys output.We make about 65 cars an hour, 1,389 a day, says the 25-year company veteran and deputy chief of the assembly plant. Before we joined Renault we were making 110,000 cars a year here with 30,000 workers, today its 340,000 cars, with 14,000 workers. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 15:17:38 GMT)

Dear White People: satire with bite but a fractured funny bone
Justin Simiens satire offers up familiar stereotypes: black separatists, white-wannabes and liberals in denial. Its when we dont fit into any of them that the real race confusion startsDear white people, dont dance. Thats one of the pieces of unasked-for advice delivered by Sam White, student at Ivy League establishment Winchester University, whose radio show Dear White People helps to keep the campus racial tensions simmering. Another? Dear white people, the minimum requirement of black friends needed to not seem racist has just been raised to two. Sorry, but your weed man, Tyrone, does not count.Sams show gives Dear White People, the debut feature from writer/director Justin Simien, its title and her calm but ferociously judgmental voice speaks loudest, clearest and longest. But just as Dear White People seems to be a valentine to Sam (Veronica Marss Tessa Thompson) and her withering dismissal of the black students she sees as tap-dancing for white approval and the white students clownishly adopting hip hop diction, Simien reveals his heroines biracial parentage and clandestine affair with a sensitive white teaching assistant. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 13:34:15 GMT)

A childs eye view of death: the power of picture books to explain
Death and bereavement are difficult facts for parents to teach small children, made harder still if they are grieving themselves. But many authors have found elegant ways to start the processDealing with death, in picture books and early readers, is a challenge for parents and publishers alike. Theres often a knee-jerk feeling of revulsion to contend with Thats a bit dark, or Surely theyre too young for that? the readerly equivalent of the sign against the evil eye.But toddlers and pre-schoolers are likely to encounter some form of loss, even in their early lives whether in animal form, or when a grandparent or even a parent dies. For a choked-up, grieving adult, or for one who wants to prepare a child for lifes only inevitability, a well chosen book can speak volumes. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 14:06:17 GMT)

The Boomtown Rats review Geldof bounces back in wild style
02 ABC, GlasgowIrish new-wavers launch their reunion tour powered by high- energy nostalgia and their frontmans prancing charismaBob Geldof would have been well within his rights not to give two of his favourite four-letter words about this Boomtown Rats reunion. The prospect of swapping face time with presidents, power nerds and Bono for touring UK venues again cant have held much appeal especially given his familys recent tragedies.So to hear him introduce the Irish new wavers in a throaty, mid-Atlantic bellow as the greatest fucking rocknroll band in the world, then to see him give it what could only be described as full Bob for the next 90-minutes is a pleasant surprise. Dressed in, as he describes it, a fuck-off pretend snakeskin suit, Geldofs a dancing, prancing, restless mess of a frontman, all manic gum-chewing, grey scarecrow hair and goofy limbs. Fantastic value, in short. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 12:42:32 GMT)

Chelsea crush Maribor with Didier Drogba and John Terry on scoresheet
Such is the swagger and confidence coursing through Chelseas squad that José Mourinho swatted aside any concerns over an injury picked up by Loïc Rémy during this Stamford Bridge breeze. It leaves Chelsea potentially short of firepower when they travel to Old Trafford on Sunday, with doubts over Diego Costa as well as Didier Drogbas capacity to play for 90 minutes at full pelt.On Rémys situation Mourinho appeared audaciously unconcerned. Its a muscular injury. I dont know the dimension and I am not worried. When a player is injured, I play another one. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 22:20:00 GMT)

Sir Alex Ferguson: David Moyess Manchester United failure not my fault
Former manager hits back at critics in updated book Massive jump from Everton proved too big for Moyes Playing style was too slow, other mistakes were made Daniel Taylor: Ferguson marginalised by Moyes errorSir Alex Ferguson has hit back at suggestions that he is partly to blame for Manchester Uniteds decline, insisting it is absurd to think he left behind an ageing team and an antiquated club and distancing himself from the common belief that he was solely responsible for the appointment of David Moyes.Ferguson described as nonsense the suggestion that Moyes had inherited a team in decline and says the problem for the former Everton manager was that he had found it a massive jump to move to Old Trafford. He hadnt realised just how big United is as a club, Ferguson writes. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 15:04:00 GMT)

Manchester City forced to settle for point after late CSKA Moscow penalty
The Bebras Natcho 86th-minute penalty that gave CSKA Moscow a draw leaves Manchester Citys Champions League hopes dangling by a thread.Now on two points, Manuel Pellegrinis side would have been delighted with Bayern Munichs win over Roma later in the evening to give them a chance of qualifying for the knockout phase. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 18:27:22 GMT)

Atlanta Falcons owner: NFL London franchise is six or seven years away
Arthur Blank welcomes fabulous support for Wembley games No one knows for sure but we are moving in that directionArthur Blank, owner of the Atlanta Falcons, says a NFL London franchise could be only six or seven years away because the leagues owners have been blown away with the fabulous support for the international series of American Football matches at Wembley.Speaking before the Falcons game against the Detroit Lions in London on Sunday, Blank also said the logistics of having a UK franchise flying back and forth to the US were solvable and that young men and their families would love the chance to play in Europe. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 17:39:02 GMT)

Vincent Kompany questions why Uefa banned Manchester City supporters
Captain hits out after CKSA Moscow fans were allowed in Kompany: The only team being punished here is City City forced to settle for point after late CSKA Moscow penaltyVincent Kompany has questioned Uefas decision to ban Manchester Citys supporters from Tuesday nights Champions League match against CSKA Moscow after the Russians rescued a valuable point with a late penalty that leaves Manuel Pellegrinis side with an uphill struggle to qualify for the knockout stages.City have made an official complaint regarding the presence of some CSKA spectators in the stadium despite being told they must play the match behind closed doors after a series of incidents, some of them racist. Goals from Seydou Doumbia and a late penalty from Bebras Natcho allowed the hosts to battle back from 2-0 down to leave the Premier League champions two points behind Roma in Group E at the halfway stage. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 22:32:55 GMT)

Maria Sharapovas world No1 hopes hit by Caroline Wozniacki at WTA Finals
Wozniacki triumphs 7-6, 6-7, 6-2 in Singapore Sharapova needs to reach final to maintain No1 hopes Serena Williams makes winning start to WTA FinalsCaroline Wozniacki continued her impressive form by defeating the world No2, Maria Sharapova, 7-6, 6-7, 6-2 at the WTA Finals in Singapore. The Dane, who reached the US Open final last month, defeating Sharapova along the way, wrapped up the opening set in 75 minutes, taking the tie-break 7-4. Wozniacki, seeded No8, was closing in on a straight-sets victory at 5-4 in the second set but got a bad line call and saw Sharapova hit back. She forced a tie-break and third set but ran out of steam in the decider.Sharapova needs at least to reach the final in Singapore to have a chance of overtaking Serena Williams and finishing the season as the world No1 the first time. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 15:32:34 GMT)

Englands Steve McNamara hopes Sean OLoughlin will be fit to face Australia
It is a blow he will miss game against Samoa. He is our leader James Graham to be the captain in Four Nations opener Liverpudlian has Saintly incentive More rugby league newsSean OLoughlin will have to wait at least another week before leading his country for the first time after conceding defeat in his battle to shake off an injury sustained in the Super League Grand Final. Instead James Graham, the former St Helens prop who was OLoughlins major rival to take over the national captaincy following the representative retirement of Kevin Sinfield, will lead England in the opening match of the Four Nations series against Samoa in Brisbane on Saturday.Injuries have been a regular frustration for OLoughlin since he made his international debut for Great Britain against Australia in the 2004 Tri-Nations series but Englands coach, Steve McNamara, said he is confident that the Wigan loose forward will have recovered from a strained thigh muscle to face the Kangaroos in Melbourne on 2 November. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 15:49:08 GMT)

Manchester City struggled with the cold, says Manuel Pellegrini
It was the same for both teams, admits Joe Hart City complain to Uefa about presence of home fansManuel Pellegrini and Joe Hart admitted Manchester City struggled with the freezing conditions in Moscow but refused to use them as an excuse for allowing a 2-0 half-time advantage to slip against CSKA as their hopes of reaching the knockout stages of the Champions League were dealt another major blow.Goals from Sergio Agüero and James Milner had given Pellegrinis team a commanding lead. Yet the manager, who urged City to win their final three matches to try to ensure qualification for the knockout rounds, criticised how his side allowed concentration to waver. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 20:42:11 GMT)

Neymar and Lionel Messi score as Barcelona sweep past Ajax
Neymar and Lionel Messi maintained their lethal partnership with a goal apiece as Barcelona swept aside Ajax 3-1 in Group F.The Argentinian was the provider, slipping the ball through for Neymar to hit the opener with a clinical finish into the corner after seven minutes. He then struck midway through the half to put the hosts in control. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 23:13:00 GMT)

Bayern Munich crush Roma to earn their biggest away win in Europe
A ruthless Bayern Munich scored five goals in the first 36 minutes on their way to an astonishing 7-1 Champions League win at Roma that left the home players and supporters stunned.Arjen Robben scored twice and Mario Götze, Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Müller, from the penalty spot, also chipped in before half-time as the visitors exploited the many gaps left by the Roma defence in the Group E match. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 21:39:49 GMT)

West Indies warn India of serious implications of suing over tour
BCCI announces legal action over abandonment of India tour WCIB: A way can be found to repair the damage ICCs first giant test: saving West Indies cricket from implosionThe West Indies Cricket Board has called on its Indian counterparts to consider the serious implications of taking legal action against the WICB after the abandonment of the recent tour.The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced on Tuesday that it plans to sue for losses of more than $60m (£37.2m) in sponsorship and television contracts and suspend all future bilateral series against West Indies after last weeks decision to return home after the fourth of five one-day internationals. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 18:37:34 GMT)

Alex Horne will leave FA after privilege of helping to develop football
General secretary wants to change direction after 11 years The 42-year-old was part of Wembley and St Georges projectsThe manner of departure for the Football Association general secretary, Alex Horne, who has announced he is leaving the top executive post at the governing body in January, will be most unusual.In his 11 years at the FA in a variety of roles, including financial director, Wembley Stadium managing director and general secretary, he has watched a succession of colleagues come and go in a blaze of controversy and headlines. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 18:58:09 GMT)

Chelsea 6-0 Maribor: five talking points
The home side went in for the kill early, Loïc Rémy had a mixed night and Didier Drogba is still finding his feet despite scoring Match report: Chelsea 6-0 MariborChelseas players made their manager look quite foolish in the first half. José Mourinho spent a fair portion of his press conference on Monday talking up the threat of Maribor, pointing out that the Slovenians were unbeaten in their past eight matches in the Champions League. Yet it was immediately clear that they would be no match for Chelsea when the Premier League leaders are in this mood. There are times when Chelsea can lose their focus and allow lesser opponents back into matches, as they did when they relinquished their lead in the 1-1 draw with Schalke but this time there was no messing around and, while Maribor were out of their depth in these surroundings, Mourinho will nonetheless be pleased with the way his team went straight infor the kill. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 21:13:42 GMT)

Wolves Bakary Sako and Nouha Dicko knock wind out of Middlesbrough
Such is the topsy-turvy nature of this Championship that Wolverhampton Wanderers can go from mislaying the best defensive record in the country to shipping 11 goals in four games before returning to top form to end Middlesbroughs seven-game unbeaten run and move within three points of the summit.Goals from Bakary Sako, with a cheekily dinked penalty, and Nouha Dicko enabled Kenny Jacketts team to resume what they trust is normal service with a first win and first clean sheet in five games. Aitor Karanka, the Middlesbrough manager, had no complaints with the result. For me its not important whether its a penalty or not, he said, because they were better than us and deserved to win the game. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 20:57:03 GMT)

Steven Gerrard: Liverpool are underdogs but can shock Real Madrid
Players need a performance in the Champions League Brendan Rodgers: Mario Balotelli will be well-motivated Gareth Bale ruled out with muscle injury Álvaro Arbeloa: Anfield is uniqueSteven Gerrard is demanding a much improved performance from his inconsistent Liverpool side against Real Madrid on Wednesday night. Anything resembling the lacklustre display against Queens Park Rangers on Sunday, the captain has warned, and the result could be embarrassing.I think every player in the dressing room realises that we cant have any passengers against opposition of Real Madrids quality or we will get beat convincingly, Gerrard said. That applies to me personally as well. Everyone who is picked for the Real Madrid game, from the starting 11 to the subs, has to be on their game. We are playing against the best side in Europe and, if we have just two or three passengers, it can become embarrassing. We need to be right on it because sides as good as Real Madrid can be deadly on the counterattack away from home. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 21:43:00 GMT)

The new ICCs first giant test: saving West Indies cricket from implosion
The West Indies Cricket Board is more concerned with appeasing India than repairing relations with its own players West Indies Test future in doubt as crisis grows Clive Lloyd: withdrawal from India tour is a mistakeAnd so to India, and another fine mess. Last Friday the West Indies team pulled out of their tour of the country, abandoning the fifth game of the ODI series, a single T20 fixture, and three Tests. It was a strictly internecine conflict, a three-way tussle between the players, their union, and the board. But it has exploded, and the blast, no exaggeration, threatens the future existence of the West Indies Cricket Board. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 12:25:28 GMT)

Sheffield United overcome Yeovil but Ched Evans spectre looms large
Nigel Clough celebrates a year in charge of Sheffield United with his team in the League One play-off positions following a 2-0 victory over Yeovil.Marc McNulty and Jamie Murphy scored the goals that lifted them into sixth position and afterwards Clough spoke about the match as well as his year in charge. But there is one question that hung in the air and is not going to go away any time soon: the possible return to the club of Ched Evans. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 21:09:38 GMT)

Amir Khan v Devon Alexander likely to be confirmed this week
Khan still keen to fight the undefeated Mayweather There are still little details we are working on, said De La Hoya Amir Khan sees off CollazoConfirmation that Amir Khan will meet the former world champion Devon Alexander in Las Vegas on 13 December is expected this week, with the Briton still aiming to fight the undefeated Floyd Mayweather.Khan opted out of a proposed bout against Alexander last year in the hope he could face Mayweather but saw the American choose to fight Marcos Maidana instead. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 18:04:51 GMT)

BHA to scrap low-grade races with four runners or fewer
Trial to begin in new year at racing fixtures Authority keen to halt overall decline in field sizesThe British Horseracing Authority took a first step towards halting the historic decline in field sizes on Tuesday when it announced a three-month trial of new powers to delete races from the programme after the final declarations have been made.Between January and March 2015 all races of Class 4 or below which attract 10 entries or fewer at the five-day stage will be flagged up as being at risk by the BHA. If the final declared field is four runners or less, the race will be scrapped unless there are no broadly similar options within the next seven days. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 18:00:34 GMT)

Caterhams F1 future appears more secure after talks with administrators
Hopes of financially acceptable deal with associated company Team expected to compete in US, Brazil and Abu Dhabi Bailiffs seize items including a test carCaterhams immediate future in Formula One appears to be secure, despite an associated company being placed in administration.At the start of the month bailiffs from the Sheriffs Office seized a variety of goods from Caterham Sports Limited, including a 2013 test car, a simulator, wheels, memorabilia and other equipment. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 16:42:42 GMT)

Rory McIlroys enforced break shows his concern over Horizon dispute
The Northern Irishmans surprise withdrawal from two tournaments highlights the seriousness of a legal battle with his former management firm and golf is poorer for it Im the same Rory. Im a home bird, the same little boySuddenly, this all seems very real. For months the received wisdom has been that Rory McIlroy would be spared a Dublin court appearance in early 2015 by the kind of settlement which routinely arrives before the planned culmination of lucrative commercial cases. In September, when a judge all but ordered the legal parties of McIlroy and Horizon Sports Management to resolve their dispute away from a courtroom, that sense was only heightened.There may still be the kind of multimillion pound reconciliation which spares McIlroy from taking to the witness box. On the steps of the court, perhaps. But for now, the unfortunate reality is that the worlds No1 golfer has seen his schedule affected for the first time by the Horizon dispute. And that is wholly significant. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 15:50:24 GMT)

Apple iPad mini 3 review: a touch more of the same
Apples smaller tablet is about the size of a book and gains a Touch ID fingerprint sensor, gold colour and extra storage option but thats itApple released a new iPad mini alongside its iPad Air 2, but rather than a better processor and thinner body, it only gained a Touch ID fingerprint sensor and new gold colour. Is it worth £319?The iPad mini has been the tablet of choice for many people looking for the iPad experience but smaller and cheaper. It was first introduced in 2012, essentially 2011s iPad 2 squeezed into a new thinner iPad design with slim bezels around the screen and a flat back, which the iPad Air eventually adopted in 2013.Pros: compact, good screen, fingerprint sensor, good battery life, solid buildCons: barely any change from last year, expensive, no expandable storage, square screen Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 01:01:04 GMT)

How household plastics could ruin your sex life
Phthalates are found in numerous items around the home, and even in food packaging. So its a little worrying that theyre being linked to, among other things, a decrease in libido in womenResearch into the effects of phthalates on womens libido has yielded some strange headlines. Witness the Daily Telegraphs Rubber ducks can kill your sex drive. Apparently, plastic shower curtains the bath theme is coincidental are also to blame. These, along with countless other household items, contain phthalates (pronounced THALates), a group of chemicals usually introduced to plastics in order to increase their flexibility. The libido problem is best not addressed with a sex toy because lots of those are thought to contain phthalates too. In fact, phthalates there are around 25 of them proliferate in daily life to such an extent that they are present even in the enteric coating of some pills. (Last year, the EU published a draft guideline [pdf] on phthalates in medicinal products.)The latest study, led by Dr Emily Barrett at the University of Rochester in New York State, was presented this week to the American Society for Reproductive Medicines annual conference in Honolulu. Barrett measured the levels of phthalates in the urine of 360 pregnant women. She collected further evidence by interview, asking the same women how often they lost interest in sex in the months leading up to their pregnancy. Asking people to express publicly a memory of their feelings from several months ago may not appear to be the most watertight research method. However, each of the 360 women showed traces of phthalates in their urine. Those with the most were two and a half times as likely to have low libido as those with the least. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 16:37:20 GMT)

Ohio couple married 73 years die within 28 hours of each other
Helen and Joe Auer, who weathered the Great Depression, a world war and had 10 children, die just over a day apartHelen and Joe Auers love story spanned seven decades, surviving the Great Depression, a world war, and 10 children. When Helen died last Wednesday, Joe leaned over to give his wife of 73 years a final kiss goodbye, and whispered to her: Call me home, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported. Just 28 hours later, Joe joined her.Their children were not surprised. They told the Enquirer they believed their dad could survive one night without her, but not two. They were simple, humble people. They wanted nothing and got everything in return, the couples youngest son, Jerry Auer, told the paper.The couple married in 1941, as war raged in Europe and threatened to entangle the US in the fight against the Germans. They had their first child and Helen was pregnant with their second when Joe was called to fight.Joe survived the horrors of D-day and battled his way through Europe. When Joe was in France, he received a letter from his wife. She sent him a photograph of herself with their two young children. It was Joes first glimpse of his second child. He placed the photo in his wallet, where it would remain for the rest of his life. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 22:40:11 GMT)

Benefit fraud the facts and figures
The government is launching a £1m advertising campaign to tackle benefit fraud. But is it money well spent? Here are some figures to help you decideThe government is to roll out another campaign to warn claimants who dont report changes in their circumstances that they are risking jail. With 600 people a day calling the benefit fraud hotline, its an issue many are happy to help stop. But how big an issue is it really? Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 18:10:51 GMT)

The Guardian overtakes New York Times in comScore traffic figures
theguardian.com becomes worlds second most popular English-language newspaper website, with 42.6m uniques in SeptemberThe Guardian has passed the New York Times to become the worlds second most popular English-language newspaper website, according to the latest monthly traffic figures from comScore.Last month theguardian.com website network recorded 42.6 million worldwide unique visitors, a 12.3% month-on-month increase, according to the latest comScore report on desktop web usage. The New York Times drew 41.6 million worldwide unique visitors, up 8% month on month. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 16:13:54 GMT)

Yik Yak: the anonymous app taking US college campuses by storm
Its the latest anonymous app after Whisper and Secret but what is it, how does it work, and why are more than 1,000 US colleges active on it?The new hotshot on the college campus social media scene is Yik Yak. Much like Facebook, which was established back in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg as a Harvard student, Yik Yak has rolled up in a frat house hoodie with a lever-arch file tucked under its arm, leaning casually against a locker.So what exactly is the app, how does it work, and why is it so popular? Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 08:59:50 GMT)

Right up there with the greatest protest songs: why is the Ukip Calypso getting five-star reviews on Amazon?
A rash of reviewers are rushing to laud Mike Reads anti-immigration song. But not all their comments can be taken at face valueOn Monday morning, the Ukip Calypso by the Independents had garnered three five-star reviews on Amazon. At the time of writing the number had grown to 128. Masterpiece and genius were just two of the superlatives used to describe the track, which sees Mike Read the former Radio1 DJ best known for banning records singing in the worst Jamaican accent since Dan Aykroyd in Trading Places. Lets look at this curious avalanche of hyperbole:Having been deaf since birth one can only imagine my surprise and delight at hearing the haunting strains of this calypso masterpiece. At first I thought I was perhaps having a stroke... Miss s l soley Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 14:59:33 GMT)

Dumbledore, Satan or Percival? How Chinese media are offering tips for choosing an English name
Its common for Chinese people to take a western name for business purposes. Beijings CCTV has discussed the pitfalls to avoid choosing an inappropriate optionName: Dumbledore.Age: According to JK Rowling, about 150. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 12:21:51 GMT)

Night at the bookshop: Waterstones stages a sleepover after a tourist got trapped in the store
After an American tourist got locked in to one of their bookshops, Waterstones are inviting volunteers for a sleepover. Here are ten short books you could read in an evening but what would you do if you could spend the night in a bookshop? Let us know in the comments belowWandering around bookshops has its dangers. One minute youre browsing; the next thing you know, youre locked in for the night. Thats the situation a Texan tourist, David Willis, found himself in last week, in a London Waterstones. He took it in good humour, at least, sending this out on Instagram:Hi @Waterstones I've been locked inside of your Trafalgar Square bookstore for 2 hours now. Please let me out.How it all began: The initial panic. @Waterstones @DWill_ #freethewaterstones1 #waterstonestexan pic.twitter.com/UTzV9Y5HRMI'm free Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 16:17:04 GMT)

Conservative Americans distrust most news that isn't Fox News, survey finds
Pew study on media preferences also finds liberal Americans are willing to cut ties with friends who dont share political views Conservatives and liberals not only have different political views, they diverge sharply on what news sources they rely upon and trust, a survey has found.Liberals favor CNN, MSNBC, National Public Radio and the New York Times, but none of those sources more dramatically than another. Conservatives have an overwhelming favorite: Fox News Channel, according to a study of media habits released Tuesday by the Pew Research Center. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 14:51:51 GMT)

Northern Soul is a surprise top 10 hit at the UK box office as the Turtles roll in
Photographer Elaine Constantines feature debut lands inside the top 10 despite a release on just 83 screens; while Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles sends Gone Girl packingTurned down by countless UK distributors and presented to cinema audiences without benefit of a UK film festival platform, British indie Northern Soul has astounded the film industry with a sensational result at the weekend. Landing inside the top 10, despite a release on just 83 screens, and limited showings at many of those venues, Northern Soul grossed a mighty impressive £279,000, according to official data gatherer Rentrak. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 15:05:38 GMT)

Ring: the film that frightened me most
Japanese cult horror Ringu scared Stuart Heritage (and a whole houseful of his friends) rigid, he reveals in our continuing Halloween series. Mind you, his cinemagoing life took a nasty turn from the start Threads: the film that frightened Peter Bradshaw the mostMy Uncle Vince will tell you that the scariest film Ive ever seen is Return to Oz. This is purely because, when he took me to see it in 1985, I immediately embarked upon such a sustained series of full-volume terror-fits that we were forced to leave halfway though. I was four years old. Who takes a four-year-old to see a film with decapitated heads in it, though? An idiot, thats who.I cant tell you the name of the film that caused me the most psychological distress, either, because I dont actually know it. I know it was broadcast on TV in the late 1980s. I know that I only saw the ending, in which a woman has a breakdown, chops off all her hair, smears her face with lipstick, goes to a theatre and murders a man onstage with a machine-gun while screaming and cackling. I know it singlehandedly prevented me from getting a proper amount of sleep for about six months. But I have no idea what it was called. If you know, please tell me. Its been 25 years, and Im desperate for closure. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 10:31:24 GMT)

Noel Fielding review solo standup set is a holiday from reality
G Live, GuildfordInfuriating, mildly amusing and then wonderfully unforeseen, the Mighty Boosh mans show has some reality-busting set-piecesI dont know if people want me to get older, Noel Fielding told a recent interviewer. This Peter Pan of comedy is our go-to talent for trippy, dippy surrealism, for childlike nonsense in Cuban heels and glam-rock makeup. But now the ex-Boosh man is 41, and judging by his touring show, anxious about how long he can keep this up. Between the jokes about his never having had a job and the nightmare scenario in which his (fictional) wife bears him a child, the show dramatises Fieldings imprisonment in a gaudy but 2D plasticine world, from which hes desperate to break free.The show runs the gamut familiar to Fielding-watchers, from infuriating via mildly amusing to now and then wonderfully unforeseen. I count his endless tittering at his own zaniness in the first category. Its much in evidence in an opening standup section, where Fielding reflects on age and recalls a recent monkey encounter in Costa Rica. There follows three reality-busting set-pieces. The one about Fielding dreaming hes a teabag is effective: the world (ladders made of pasta and scenes of Chapmans-esque carnage in the sink) is vividly imagined and thought-through. Another, starring a chicken-human hybrid with a deep south drawl, peters out in fits of self-amusement. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 10:49:30 GMT)

How do I become a scriptwriter
Immerse yourself in drama, be good at working alone and handling rejection and make sure you can support yourselfWith a successful play and a portfolio of scripts for familiar television programmes and theatre productions under his belt, Richard Stockwell has built a solid career in scriptwriting. But becoming a scriptwriter was something of a twist in Stockwells own story. It was no intention of mine to become a script writer. I did an English degree, and spent most of my time messing about in theatre, he says. When I graduated I decided I would go on to do a post-graduate actor training course. Then I became a jobbing actor for the next 10 years, and in gaps between jobs I started writing.His main aim was to develop stage plays he could act in. But one of the things I discovered was that there was no part left for me when I had finished writing it. The play took itself on its own path and went the way it went. A play has a life of its own. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 12:13:11 GMT)

Angry Birds Transformers review a warmer, crafted homage than the films
Birds disguised as robots in disguise bring fresh gameplay to Rovios mobile franchise, following earlier Star Wars gamesAs a child, I loved Transformers: the toys, the shows, the branded pyjamas, etc. Watching those cartoons back as an adult was a bit dispiriting though.With grown-up eyes, it was hard not to see them as just a marketing vehicle for toys, branded pyjamas, etc. I suspect if I watched He-Man again, itd be a similar story. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 12:50:10 GMT)

Taylor Swift's Out of the Woods and other in-between anthems
There are plenty of great pop songs about unrequited lust, the rush of love or the pain of heartache, but fewer talk about that emotionally exhausting transitional zone. Heres some of the best Taylor Swift: Sexy? Not on my radar Taylor Swift tells fans shes watching closely after UK iTunes unrestWhen I was a teenager, lurching through that wonky production line of unrequited love affairs and awkward fumbles at cider-fuelled house parties, I would often end up sitting on my single bed at night, knees clutched to my chest, listening to the Smiths Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want. To me, an English Literature student prone to morose drama and reading way too much Larkin and F Scott Fitzgerald, it was a sort of prayer: can this one just work out? Can this actually go somewhere? You see, the luck Ive had, could make a good man bad, sang Morrissey in that plaintive drawl. I would mouth the words, grimly.I was wrenched right back to that feeling last week, when I heard Taylor Swifts Out of the Woods, a driving electro pop paean to a fragile relationship, taken from her forthcoming album, 1989. A lot of attention has been paid to the songs supposed connection to a fractious few months she spent with One Direction singer Harry Styles, but dont let that distract you from its emotional weight. A beautiful, churning incantation, set delicately on that tipping point between casual fling and heartfelt romance. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 11:33:17 GMT)

Are British students getting fitter or fatter?
One recent report claims todays students are super healthy, another that they are piling on the pounds. Which is correct? Read more from the Students by numbers seriesThey say you are what you eat. At no point in my freshers week do I recall eating a lazy fast-food addict, who drank heavily and thought exercising was something priests did to rid people of demons; but then I am an unreliable witness I was mostly inebriated. A recent survey showed that 46% of freshers miss their mums cooking more than anything else from home, and its not hard to imagine why. My attempts at cooking in my own student days would inevitably produce unsightly failures; inducing indigestion after I was forced to stuff them down at a lightning pace to hide the evidence. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 09:01:30 GMT)

Nothing is wrong with Renee Zellweger's face. There's something wrong with us
Pity the woman so brazen as to pull back the curtain on our hypocrisy by letting herself be seen in public past a certain ageTo be a female celebrity is to lose at every turn. Dare to age? Face-shame at best and be out of work at worst. Get noticeable plastic surgery on your face to combat the inevitable ageing? At best, you will be mocked for your narcissism and delusional attempts at hanging on to your youth; at worst, youll be out of work again. The continued evolution of our obsession with famous people has birthed a strange phenomenon: the bodies of total strangers are considered collective public property to be casually evaluated, critiqued ... and discarded.As disturbing as it may be sometimes to see a public figure physically transform before our eyes, its even more troubling to see how effortlessly we rush to say something about that transformation. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 19:51:28 GMT)

Steve Bell on peerages cartoon
Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 22:01:00 GMT)

Cleansing the stock and other ways governments talk about human beings
Those in power dont speak of people or killing it helps them do their job. And we are picking up their dehumanising euphemismsTo blot people out of existence first you must blot them from your mind. Then you can persuade yourself that what you are doing is moral and necessary. Today this isnt difficult. Those who act without compassion can draw upon a system of thought and language whose purpose is to shield them and blind us to the consequences.The contention by Lord Freud, a minister in the UKs Department of Work and Pensions, that disabled people are not worth the full wage isnt the worst thing hes alleged to have said. I say alleged because what my ears tell me is contested by Hansard, the official parliamentary record. During a debate in the House of Lords, he appeared to describe the changing number of disabled people likely to receive the employment and support allowance as a bulge of, effectively, stock. After a furious response by the people he was talking about, this was transcribed by Hansard as stopped, rendering the sentence meaningless. Ive listened to the word several times on the parliamentary video. Like others, I struggle to hear it as anything but stock. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 14:25:28 GMT)

Attention, men: dont be a creepy dude who pesters women in coffee shops and on the subway
The railway Romeo targets women who are trapped in a sealed metal tube underground. Guys: womens time and space is their own dont be a douchebagI was writing in a quiet corner of a Starbucks on Monday when a young blonde woman with a book took a nearby seat. She hadnt even been there five minutes when a man, probably 20 years her elder and clearly a stranger, grabbed the chair next to her and started talking. About absolutely nothing. Dude literally opened with, Mondays. The worst, right!? It somehow got less interesting from there. It didnt matter to him that this womans response was tepid at best, or that she was busy reading an act that explicitly says: I am choosing not to be in this universe right now. He wanted her attention and it was her place to provide it. The guy was friendly, gregarious, poised (as if hed been through these motions before) and even though he didnt say a single sentence with any substance whatsoever, his delivery was studiously, unimpeachably innocent. He couldnt be violating anyones boundaries he was being nice! Whats next are the feminazis going to outlaw smiles!?The woman sat through it, subdued but polite. So he took and took and took, as much as he could get away with. Eventually, she left. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 19:00:08 GMT)

David Cameron has now passed the point of no return on Europe
The prime ministers impossible red lines on the EU will place him in the out camp in any referendumDavid Cameron has crossed the Rubicon. There is no going back. By proposing to limit free movement of labour from the EU he has planted himself on the side of the outs, as José Manuel Barroso made crystal clear in his Chatham House speech on Monday. The other 27 nations will never agree: if limiting national insurance numbers for EU workers is Camerons new red line then he has joined the Ukip wing of his party, who wont let him renege.I will go to Brussels, I will not take no for an answer when it comes to free movement, he told his conference, and now thats confirmed. In a riposte to Barrosos plain statement of the facts on EU law, No 10 rudely warned him that he should be under no illusion that the status quo is not acceptable to the UK. Cameron went one worse and told him who is the boss on immigration. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 04:59:02 GMT)

Why do academics dress so badly? (Answer: they are too happy)
Paisley body warmers? Cornish pasty shoes? Amusing cufflinks? Fortunately, Marx can explain our crimes of fashionI do like your shirt, said a female colleague. And your suit. She then paused before adding: But what I particularly like is that your shirt goes with your suit. So rare for academics. Sadly the observation is well made.A few years ago another colleague read out an invitation to an event where the dress code was smart casual. What would be the opposite, he asked? It struck us both at once: scruffy formal. And what would that describe? Easy. A male professor, not too far from retirement, going to a university function, wearing clothes that have aged even faster than their owner. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 06:00:04 GMT)

The EU outers must win hearts and minds in 2017
A Europe without Britain looks possible now, but the out campaign will need strong leadership, not Little Englanders at the helm Angry-looking grey men told they will lose campaignA starting pistol has been fired by the outgoing president of the European commission, José Manuel Barroso. His strongly expressed views this week have put fire into the bellies of many Eurosceptics, and the demand for an in-out referendum will now grow ever more strident. But would a vote in 2015 yield the result that Eurosceptics, including me, so want?It is now almost inevitable that a simple in-out referendum will be held on our continued membership of the EU. David Camerons commitment to hold one in 2017 will have to be replicated by other parties (though they havent done so yet) through the pressure of public opinion and the reality of a changing Europe under Jean-Claude Juncker. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 19:25:26 GMT)

If I could choose one government policy? Id abolish tuition fees
Free education is not a crazy dream; some countries already have it. We should too, or we face a future where the study of literature or art becomes a luxury available to the rich aloneWhen the government raised tuition fees, it made me angry and thirsty for political change. It felt as if they were taking away from people from poor backgrounds or on a low income the chance for social justice. The meaning of education changed from something that is inherently good and improving for society, to simply a means to being employable. Degrees became a transactional process about exchanging a qualification for money. Thats why, if I could choose any government policy, I would choose to abolish tuition fees.University is often seen as a middle-class pursuit. Historically, middle- and upper-class people gained an intellectual education, while working-class people were expected to learn practical trades. So when you talk about abolishing tuition fees, people often think youre only interested in the middle class. But free universal education is good for everybody. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 16:15:11 GMT)

Oscar Pistorius should not be going to jail
Pistoriuss life is ruined. No one will be deterred by his sentence. Imprisonment is a brutal response that achieves nothing in such cases Pistorius jailed for five years Deborah Orr on a troubling verdict Roxane Gay on the mythical black intruderOscar Pistorius was guilty. However gripped by anger, its difficult to accept he didnt know whom he was likely to kill. He had a violent history and his claim that he thought he was shooting a burglar stretches credulity. He killed his girlfriend.Given the leniency South African courts used to show towards white people killing black people, it is hard to see how the court could show leniency to a white person killing another white person. That said, Judge Thokozile Masipas argument for a light sentence of five years was meticulously reasoned. In Britain there is a tendency to lock away famous people just to make an example of them. South African justice has shown a sort of maturity. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 09:47:58 GMT)

The Guardian view on the jailing of Oscar Pistorius: mirror to a nation
The athletes sentence is in some ways a verdict on modern South Africa tooIt is easy to grasp why the trial of Oscar Pistorius captured global public attention from its opening in March. All the way through to its closing scene on Tuesday, when the athlete was sentenced to a maximum of five years in prison for killing his girlfriend, this trial has had all the ingredients of a Hollywood thriller, and has often been treated largely as though it were one.The drama is obvious: the spectacular downfall of a star who had overcome disability to become an Olympic champion, the emotional outbursts in the courtroom, the long painstaking descriptions of how bullets were fired through a door, causing the death of a woman. The case has been broadcast live to the world, sometimes for hours on end, reflecting the fascination that celebrities can inspire, especially when their lives plunge into tragedy and when the most minute details of their story can be instantly shared worldwide through new technologies. Continue reading...
(Tue, 21 Oct 2014 18:54:59 GMT)

Gamergate: the internet is the toughest game in town if youre playing as a woman
Its a stealth adventure with nowhere to hide and hundreds of respawning enemies waiting to attack you the moment you stand out in any wayI havent always been the kind of man who plays videogames. I used to be the kind of boy who played videogames. Were inseparable, games and I. If you cut me, Id bleed pixels. Or blood. Probably blood, come to think of it.Games get a bad press compared with, say, opera even though theyre obviously better, because no opera has ever compelled an audience member to collect a giant mushroom and jump across some clouds. Nobody writes articles in which opera-lovers are mocked as adult babies who never grew out of make-believe and sing-song; obsessive misfits who flock to weird opening nights wearing elaborate tuxedo cosplay outfits. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 19:00:01 GMT)

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