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Prison whistleblowers being threatened with dismissal
Tory MP Gavin Williamson attacks arrogant, high-handed attitude to those raising concerns about safety and violenceWhistleblowers in the Prison Service are being threatened with dismissal for raising serious concerns about their ability to keep inmates safe and their fears over soaring levels of violence.The attempts to silence staff have been condemned by a Conservative member of parliament, who was approached in confidence by a number of officers working at a prison in his constituency during the summer with details of how staffing shortages were causing concerns over safety. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 17:57:56 GMT)

Miliband to sharpen Europe strategy as Cameron hardens line on immigration
Pat McFadden appointed shadow minister to make hard-headed case for EU as PM responds to election threat from FarageThe pre-election battle lines over Europe were drawn up on Monday as the Blairite former business minister Pat McFadden was appointed shadow Europe minister and Downing Street confirmed David Cameron would harden his stance on EU immigration before Christmas.In a sign Ed Miliband believes he needs to have a sharp edge to his EU policy in the runup to the general election, the former Downing Street aide agreed to return to Labours frontbench after a four-year gap. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 20:16:24 GMT)

Some paedophiles will never face justice National Crime Agency chief
Law-enforcement agencies must focus on the greatest risk and tackle those people, says NCA director Keith BristowSome of the UKs estimated 50,000 suspected paedophiles will escape prosecution, according to Britains leading law-enforcement officer, who said that authorities had to rethink how to pursue suspects and how they could be prevented from perpetrating crimes.Keith Bristow, director general of the National Crime Agency (NCA), said it was uncomfortable to accept that some of those in the UK who regularly access indecent images of children will not end up facing justice but admitted that the police were simply unable to pursue all of those engaged in such crimes. He said law-enforcement agencies must instead focus on the highest-risk offenders, who at the top end were criminals who sexually abused children. This meant that lower-risk suspects could fall through the net. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 22:13:00 GMT)

Turkey to allow Kurdish peshmerga across its territory to fight in Kobani
Dramatic shift in the Turkish position due to internal protests on government inaction and support for regional fight against IsisTurkey will allow Kurdish peshmerga forces from northern Iraq across its territory to defend Kurds in the besieged Syrian border town of Kobani, in a move that fighters say could tip a month-long battle against Islamic State (Isis) insurgents in their favour.The announcement marked an abrupt shift from Ankaras position of refusing to militarily help the Kurds of Kobani and came hours after the US military dropped 24 tonnes of weapons and medicines in the first supply run it had made to the besieged town in nearly five weeks of fighting. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 17:33:48 GMT)

British people are my only boss on EU reform, says David Cameron
PM hits back at criticism from José Manuel Barroso over plans to cap migrants from EU and signals in/out referendum in 2017David Cameron has said the British people are his only boss on the EU as he hit back at criticism from the outgoing president of the European commission, José Manuel Barroso, who accused him of making an historic mistake on Europe.As Downing Street sources confirmed that the prime minister would lay out plans before Christmas to curb the rights of EU migrants to work in Britain, Cameron said he would answer to the British people in a referendum in 2017. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 13:39:00 GMT)

Ukip does deal with far-right, racist Holocaust-denier to save EU funding
The agreement with the Polish Congress of the New Right will save Nigel Farages European parliament groupingUkip has struck a deal with a Polish MEP whose far-right party leader casually uses racial slurs and questions the Holocaust following fears that its grouping in Europe would lose millions of pounds in taxpayers funds.Nigel Farages Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy group recruited an MEP from the Congress of the New Right with the blessing of its controversial leader Janusz Korwin-Mikke, according to reports from Poland. The Polish MEP Robert Iwaszkiewicz is to join the EFDDs ranks as an individual, which will restore the group, a Ukip spokesman said. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 18:18:42 GMT)

Only three Ebola-infected travellers per month are likely to fly from west Africa
Lancet study says that exit screening from Ebola-hit countries most efficient; only 8.7% of travellers from the region go to UKFewer than three people a month infected with the Ebola virus are likely to try to board planes out of west Africa, according to a study that says exit screening would be the most efficient way to try to prevent travellers spreading disease.The UK and US have set up entry screening at airports for passengers arriving from west Africa, but the paper in the Lancet medical journal says this will have little chance of detecting somebody infected with the virus and that it will cost money that could be better spent. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 23:01:06 GMT)

Gough Whitlam dies at age 98
Prime minister for just three years, he brought in sweeping changes that transformed Australia and inspired a generation of progressive politicians Gough Whitlam dies live reactionGough Whitlam, who was prime minister for just three years but became a defining political figure of modern Australia, has died aged 98.Whitlams family said in a statement on Tuesday: Our father, Gough Whitlam, has died this morning at the age of 98. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 21:14:07 GMT)

Bank of England payment system crashes leaving homebuyers in limbo
Bank apologises for failure of system used for large transfers as governor Mark Carney orders urgent investigationThe Bank of England apologised last night after a crucial payments system collapsed, forcing Mark Carney to launch an urgent investigation following the delay of hundreds of thousands of payments, including for homebuyers waiting for money to be transferred to pay for their new homes.The Bank of England governor promised a thorough, independent review after MPs demanded answers into how the system which processes payments worth an average £277bn a day had failed for nearly 10 hours. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 21:23:00 GMT)

NHS needs bigger budget rises to ward off perfect storm, says watchdog
Regulator calls for annual multimillion-pound funding increases to tackle problems caused by ageing and population growthThe NHS must once again start receiving annual multimillion-pound increases in its budget to help it survive a perfect storm of pressures, the boss of the services economic regulator has warned.The health service will struggle to cope with the ageing and growing population unless it goes back to getting above-inflation annual boosts to its funding, said Dr David Bennett. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 19:19:31 GMT)

MPs urged to decide whether to act over phone-hacking evidence
Culture select committee requests action over three News International executives who gave it misleading evidenceThe Commons committee on standards is being pressed to decide what action parliament should take against three leading News International executives alleged to have misled the culture select committee about their knowledge of phone hacking.The request by the culture select committee last week is a test case for parliament on how it will respond if witnesses are judged to have knowingly misled a parliamentary inquiry. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 20:33:38 GMT)

Remnants of Hurricane Gonzalo bring winds of up to 75mph to UK
Met Office has issued a yellow, be aware warning, with the weather moving eastwards across the UK on TuesdayRemnants of hurricane Gonzalo are set to arrive in Britain later on Monday bringing strong winds and heavy rain.Gusts of up to 75mph in coastal areas and 65mph inland will tear across much of the country bringing disruption to many areas, particularly to travel. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 17:03:33 GMT)

Gay couple thrown off London bus for kissing
Transport chiefs investigating incident where driver reportedly shouted: Its disgusting. Get off the bus at kissing coupleTransport chiefs have launched an investigation after a gay couple were reportedly thrown off a bus for kissing.Jack James, 23, said he and his partner were ordered off a number 89 bus near Blackheath in south-east London by the driver, who subjected them to a volley of abuse. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 09:58:59 GMT)

Swedish armed forces widen hunt for suspected submarine
Civilian shipping evacuated off Stockholm as helicopters and navy search for vessel that experts think is Russian midget subSwedish armed forces widened the hunt for a suspected submarine on Monday, with helicopters, naval vessels and some 200 military personnel combing the Stockholm archipelago for foreign underwater activity.As the search expanded, the Swedish military warned civilian shipping to evacuate the search zone, and non-essential air traffic was banned from the area. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 18:04:37 GMT)

Google removes results linking to stolen photos of Jennifer Lawrence nude
Links to sites hosting the hacked photos have started to be removed by Google after copyright takedown requests filed by Lawrences lawyersGoogle has removed two links to a site hosting stolen nude photos of Jennifer Lawrence after requests by the actors lawyers.The takedown requests were filed under the digital millennium copyright act (DMCA), with her lawyers Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp stating that the stolen photos impinged on Lawrences copyright. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 13:01:54 GMT)

Apple sells nearly 40m iPhones in three months of year 'for the record books'
CEO Tim Cook says company is selling everything weve made even as it prepares for crucial holiday shopping periodApple sold a record 39.3m iPhones in the last three months, the company said on Monday, helping the tech giant win its highest revenues of the year.Entering the Christmas shopping season, its strongest sales period of the year, Apple predicted its latest iPhones would help boost sales by at least 10% during the crucial holiday quarter. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 21:58:07 GMT)

Didcot B power plant blaze stokes blackout fears
Lights will not go out this winter, insists energy department, after fire leaves part of Oxfordshire power station non-operational Didcot B fire investigation under wayThe government has attempted to quell blackout fears this winter after a fire shut down half the capacity at a power station in Oxfordshire.The blaze tore through the gas-fired Didcot B plant on Sunday night. Its owner, RWE npower, had closed the site to stop the flames spreading. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 16:40:30 GMT)

Russian artist cuts off earlobe in protest at use of forced psychiatry on dissidents
Pyotr Pavlensky, who once nailed his scrotum to Red Squares cobblestones, says protest is over return to Soviet-era methodsA controversial Russian artist who once nailed his scrotum to the cobblestones of Red Square has been taken to hospital after cutting off his earlobe to protest at the forced psychiatric treatment of dissidents.Pyotr Pavlensky, a St Petersburg-based performance artist, climbed naked on to the roof of the Serbsky psychiatric centre in Moscow on Sunday and cut off his right earlobe with a large kitchen knife. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 15:26:52 GMT)

2014 on track to be hottest year on record, says US science agency
Global average temperatures in September were highest ever, following warmest year to date since 1998The world is on course for this to be the hottest year ever, with global land and sea temperatures for September the highest ever recorded for the month, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said on Monday.The findings, which confirm September as the warmest such month on record, continue a string of record-beating months for global temperature.September is the 4th month this year to set record for warmth. SEE maps & more http://t.co/VZOhotkRth #StateofClimate pic.twitter.com/6gfr0N2XzN Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 16:57:21 GMT)

Man jailed for antisemitic tweet to Labour MP
Labours Luciana Berger was called a communist jewess in tweet sent by Garron HelmAn internet troll accused of sending an antisemitic message to Labour MP Luciana Berger has been sentenced to four weeks in prison at Merseyside magistrates court.Garron Helm, 21, from Litherland, north of Liverpool, tweeted a picture of the MP with a Holocaust yellow star superimposed on her forehead, with the hashtag Hitler was right. The tweet, which referred to Berger as a communist jewess, read: You can always trust a Jew to show their true colours eventually. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 17:26:30 GMT)

UK to introduce measures to stop girls being taken abroad for FGM
Courts will be able to use FGM protection orders to prevent girls at risk being taken out of countryGirls who are at risk of being removed from the UK to undergo female genital mutilation will have their passports confiscated so they cannot be taken out of the country, under unprecedented legal reforms announced by the government.If a girl is suspected to be at risk, courts will be able to use new FGM protection orders to prevent her parents taking her out of the country. They could also pave the way for the mandatory medical examination of girls believed to be at risk, who will be required to live at a named address so that authorities can check they have not been subjected to the practice. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 15:26:39 GMT)

Former minister Pat McFadden gets Europe brief in Labour mini-reshuffle
New Europe spokesman promises to make hard-headed, patriotic case for Britain to stay in the EUEd Miliband has brought in the Blairite former frontbencher Pat McFadden as Labours new shadow minister for Europe to make a hard-headed, patriotic case for Britain to stay in the EU.As part of a mini-reshuffle, the Labour leader said McFadden would replace Gareth Thomas with immediate effect, along with three other changes to his frontbench team. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 18:49:21 GMT)

Ed Balls seeks to reassure London homeowners over mansion tax plans
Shadow chancellor says £2m threshold could be raised if house prices continue going up and says less wealthy can delay payingEd Balls, the shadow chancellor, has tried to reassure London homeowners that his plans for a new mansion tax will not hit most of them by saying the threshold could be higher than £2m if house prices continued rising.The proposal, giving greater detail than announced by Balls at the party conference in September, will mean the number of properties liable for the tax will not increase. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 12:56:16 GMT)

Shrien Dewani trial: court told of cold and controlling behaviour
Anni Dewani did not want to go on South African honeymoon and had been thinking about getting divorce, court also hearsAnni Dewanis best friend and cousin has told of the swift but devastating process by which she came to suspect Shrien Dewani of murder.Giving witness evidence at Shrien Dewanis murder trial, Sneha Mashru claimed Anni never wanted to go on honeymoon with Shrien and had in fact been thinking about getting a divorce at the time of her death. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 16:09:00 GMT)

Oscar Pistoriuss disability not a factor in his sentencing, says Jacob Zuma
South African president criticises defence team for arguing Olympian should be spared jail because he is disabledSouth Africas president, Jacob Zuma, has criticised Oscar Pistoriuss defence team for arguing the Paralympian should be spared prison because he is disabled and has money.Zumas first public comments about the most closely watched trial in the countrys post-apartheid history came as Pistorius, convicted of culpable homicide for the killing of Reeva Steenkamp, awaits sentencing on Tuesday. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 15:20:06 GMT)

Journalists should be given public interest defence in law, says Nick Clegg
Lib Dem leader says journalists should not fear being prosecuted under computer misuse, data protection and bribery lawsJournalists should be able to rely on a public interest defence if they break some laws relating to computer misuse, data protection and bribery, Nick Clegg has said.The Liberal Democrat leader said he believed journalists should be able to go after information in the public interest without fear of being prosecuted. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 17:06:55 GMT)

Paul McCarthy 'butt plug' sculpture in Paris provokes rightwing backlash
American artist slapped and artworked vandalised, as right-wing protesters accuse him of humiliating ParisShocked by McCarthys butt plug? You havent seen his phallic PinocchioParis has no shortage of towering columns that amateur psychologists like to view in sexual terms. But nothing here has made the link between monumental sculpture and sexual desire as literal as a green, abstracted Christmas tree that looked disconcertingly like a plug anal the mildly more polite French term for a butt plug. The Los Angeles provocateur, whose aggressive sculptures, installations and videos have in the past depicted Snow White in sexually compromised positions and figures wearing George Bush masks copulating with pigs, had installed the inflatable sculpture in the middle of Pariss elegant Place Vendôme, home to the French justice ministry and the Ritz hotel. Yet less than a day after its installation it was gone a victim of the conservative populist backlash that has upended French politics over the past year. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 16:21:33 GMT)

Met Opera rejects antisemitism claims rising from Klinghoffer protests
Demonstrators including Rudy Giuliani to gather outside MetThe Death of Klinghoffer depicts murder of Jewish man in 1985Emma Brockes: niche art form meets niche protestLibrettist Alice Goodman on how furore over The Death of Klinghoffer ended her careerIn the face of protests by politicians and Jewish organisations who have described it as an operatic Kristallnacht, The Death of Klinghoffer makes its debut at New York Citys Metropolitan Opera on Monday.Demonstrators are set to gather across the street from Lincoln Center Plaza, where the Met stands, to protest against the opera houses debut of a work they consider antisemitic. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 18:01:52 GMT)

Return of the paupers funeral
In austerity Britain life for many is a struggle and now, so is death: a combination of dwindling state support and soaring funeral costs is leaving hard-pressed families dependent on the council to bury their loved onesAt 9.30am, seven family members gather in the south chapel at the City of London crematorium to celebrate the life of a mother and grandmother who has died at the age of 77. The minister reads through The Lords My Shepherd and a granddaughter struggles through tears to make a speech recalling a shared love of bingo. The minister remarks that this was a woman who was extremely honest and plain-speaking. Sometimes her honesty was refreshing and sometimes it wasnt welcome, but you knew where you stood, he tells the family. Outside, there is the noise of vehicles reversing as the hearse draws away for its next appointment.There is nothing remarkable about the service, except the time. The 9.30am slot is when public health or environmental funerals are held once known as paupers funerals. These are services paid for by the local authority when someone has died without relatives or money, or when their relatives have been unable to fund the service. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 17:00:26 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)

Alternative Miss World: latex, inflatables and giant jellyfish
Inspired by Crufts, Alternative Miss World has welcomed everyone from Angie Bowie to David Hockney. Ellie Violet Bramley goes behind the scenes at the riotous dressing-up extravaganza and is still picking the glitter out of her hairThe Alternative Miss World in picturesIm backstage at Shakespeares Globe and a man dressed as Mary Queen of Scots is taking exception to my offer of a handshake. You may curtsy, says the Queen. The air is thick with glitter and hairspray and, everywhere I look, there are men in tights wrenching at wedgies.This is not some strange Shakespeare production, though. This is the 13th Alternative Miss World. A riotous, queer celebration of the art of dressing up, the competition sees men and women disguised as telephone boxes, poodles and fried eggs. Anything goes. This years theme is neon numbers, and Andrew Logan, the sculptor who started it all in 1972, fully expects it to end up looking like a builders convention, such is the amount of hi-vis on the go. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 15:52:28 GMT)

Reverend Richard Coles on sex, pomposity and faking HIV
Did the Radio 4 presenter really go cruising in lay-bys? Is he actually friends with atheist-in-chief Richard Dawkins? And how accurate is his Wikipedia entry? Britains top media vicar Googles himselfThe Reverend Richard Coles is coming out for the third time. The first, at 16, was when he told his parents he was gay, after a fashion, by playing them Tom Robinsons Glad to Be Gay until they guessed. (Although he wasnt glad: a year later they were visiting him in a mental hospital after a suicide attempt.) Second, after he and Jimmy Somerville enjoyed two hit singles with the Communards in the 1980s, and lived well off it, he had to tell his baffled friends that he had become a Christian. Now, having established himself fairly securely as Britains top media vicar, the calm voice that chips in on QI and soothingly presides over Radio 4s Saturday Live, he has decided to make another announcement. He is not the lovable uncle we had thought. Or, at least, he hasnt always been.Because to open Coless new memoir, Fathomless Riches, is to gaze upon a past made up almost entirely of enthusiastic sinning, by no means all of it repented. The book begins with him leaving his family on Christmas day to go looking for sex in a lay-by. It covers the disintegration of his and Somervilles principled stab at socialist pop into a travelling orgy of excess and jealousy. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 17:00:26 GMT)

Japans pocchari trend celebrates chubby women
Japan is a country where thinness is the norm. So can a trend embracing chubbiness help young women reject fat-shaming stereotypes?Ui Ando was about 10 years old when the negative comments began. People told me that I wasnt normal, says Ando, 22, who grew up near the city of Gifu in central Japan. They said I was too heavy for a girl. At school she was called debu or fatty. At university her classmates thought her rounder physique lent her a homely air. They nicknamed her Mama.Today, at 5ft 3in tall and just over 11 stone (70kg), Ando is, coincidentally, exactly the same height and weight as the average British woman. But in Japan, a country that has the slimmest population in the developed world, shes not so typical. Japanese women across all ages weigh an average of around eight-and-a-half stone. Fewer than 20% are officially overweight and a mere 3.2% are classified as obese. Combine this with a youth culture filled with childishly cute pop idols and petite fashion the credo of kawaii and its easy to see how larger women feel stigmatised. For a long time I was very ashamed about my size, says Ando. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 17:12:40 GMT)

Lynda Bellingham, actor and presenter, dies aged 66
Actor who played mother in long-running Oxo advertisements died in her husbands arms after suffering from cancerThe broadcaster and actor Lynda Bellingham, known as the nations favourite mum for her role in a long-running series of adverts for Oxo, has died after a very public battle with cancer.Her agent, Sue Latimer, said the 66-year-old died in the arms of her husband Michael Pattemore on Sunday. She had been suffering from cancer of the colon since July 2013. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 11:23:11 GMT)

Get Mike Reads Ukip calypso song to number one, urges Nigel Farage
Leaders committed a cardinal sin, opened the borders let them all come in, sings former Radio 1 DJ in faux-Caribbean accentUkip has attracted criticism over its new calypso theme tune sung in a fake Caribbean accent, with lyrics about open borders and illegal immigrants in every town.The song was performed by former Radio 1 DJ Mike Read and endorsed by Nigel Farage, who encouraged supporters to help it reach No 1 in the UK charts.Help get the UKIP Calypso by The Independents to Number 1 http://t.co/ChKeW2QKVs pic.twitter.com/KB8erhPnat Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 14:46:55 GMT)

Thaw reveals photographers notebook from Captain Scotts Antarctic hut
Notebook belonging to George Murray Levick remarkably legible after conservation work, with find blamed on global warmingA photographers notebook lost for more than a century has washed out of the melting snow at Captain Scotts hut in the Antarctic, the base for his fatal 1911 Terra Nova expedition. It was left behind when George Murray Levick, a photographer, surgeon and zoologist, returned safely with the surviving members of the party after Scott and two others had died in their tent on the Ross Ice Shelf in March 1912.Levick had endured a horrific winter when he and five other members of the expedition spent months studying one of the largest penguin colonies in the world, only to find that early pack ice made it impossible for their ship to collect them. They survived the winter of 1912 in a cramped ice cave which they dug on Inexpressible Island, using blubber for food and fuel, and finally escaping by walking 200 miles back to Hut Point. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 18:09:02 GMT)

Brian May turns up the stereo with Victorian 3D photos at Tate Britain
Show features selection from Queen guitarists vast collection of images that appear three dimensional through special viewerAfter badgers, foxes, and five-minute guitar solos, Brian Mays most passionate campaign has been to revive interest in the lost and almost forgotten art of Victorian stereo photographs. A selection from his vast collection has gone on display at Tate Britain, showing the photographs for the first time alongside the paintings that inspired them and, in at least one case, a painting by a famous artist apparently inspired by a photograph taken by a now forgotten craftsman.Its actually a shock to see them here I never thought for one moment theyd agree to show them, May said, gazing round the large gallery at the Tate that for the next six months will host a free exhibition of his photographs and the Victorian narrative paintings, which for decades fell equally out of fashion. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 17:05:09 GMT)

Could you be on the National Quiz Team? Take its fiendishly difficult quiz
England's National Quiz Team has compiled a new book of questions, The Only Quiz Book You Will Ever Need. The questions below, which are taken from the book, combine standard difficulty questions with some fiendish head-scratchers. How will you do? Continue reading...
(Sun, 19 Oct 2014 18:00:00 GMT)

Lee Mack review latterday Eric Morecambe is gloriously daft
Hammersmith Apollo, LondonThis is comedy that time forgot meticulous, gag-heavy tomfoolery with a great sense of attackTheres a fine joke about Blackpool in Lee Macks new set, drawing on the towns shall we say imperviousness to modernity. The same could be said of Macks standup. Its the comedy that time forgot: gag-heavy tomfoolery marked by meticulous professionalism, with scarcely a wasted word nor slightest indication of what, in the real world, Mack thinks and feels. The jokes need to be good, then, and usually are at least as dispatched by this latterday Eric Morecambe, whose every strut, gurn and squawk of ignominy is bent on maximising his ridiculousness and our delight.Its a short set. Mack is done in under 80 minutes; the evenings beefed up by support act Mike Gunn, whos even older-school than Mack. Theres an er-indoors air to both: Mack plays the familiar role of beleaguered husband and father, albeit one with a roving eye. Less Jack-the-lad, alas, more Mack-the-dad. One juvenile but irresistible running gag finds him trying to seduce a woman in the front row with magic. Elsewhere, his wife is described curating a collection of her childrens offcut hair and milk teeth. (Mack, in mock-terror: Shes building another one!) Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 12:50:56 GMT)

Attack of the killer spiders and other stories sure to upset all arachnophobes
A deadly spider crawling over your bananas is the last thing you want to see, but if youre terrified of the eight-legged horrors, just reading the press reports about it is almost as badI give you, fellow bipeds, the latest from Spiderwatch, an organisation powered on terror alone that toils day and night (especially night!) to bring you news on giant arachnids crawling all over the world. Dont thank me. Just go and put the bath plug in.First, a house in south London, owned by the kind of aspirational folk who get their shopping delivered from Waitrose. So far, so spider-free. But into this haven of peace and inflated house prices comes a bunch of Fairtrade bananas and, well, you can see where this is going And so it came to pass that the worlds deadliest spider, the Brazilian wanderer, was delivered by Waitrose. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 14:55:47 GMT)

Tractor beam created: the holy grail for laser physicists
First long-distance optical tractor beam can repel and attract objects and could be used in controlling atmospheric pollutionLaser physicists have built a reversible tractor beam and are using it to retrieve tiny particles.It has nowhere near the pulling power of tractor beams envisaged in science fiction, but the first long-distance optical tractor beam has so far moved particles one fifth of a millimetre in diameter a distance of up to 20cm. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 07:36:07 GMT)

Daley Blind earns Manchester United point with late goal at WBA
There was a touch of the old Manchester United about their ability to score late on and salvage something from a thrilling game that had looked to be slipping through their fingers, yet it was hard to escape the feeling that this was another unsatisfactory evening for Louis van Gaal and his players.United provided evidence of their powers of recovery by twice coming from behind to peg back a courageous Albion team but, once again, it was impossible to ignore their weaknesses in defence. The broader picture shows that they have only one point more on the board than they did at the same stage last season, by which point David Moyes had come up against Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 21:01:24 GMT)

Roy Keane says he and Alex Ferguson were on same wavelength at United
Former Manchester United captain remains disappointed with Sir Alex Ferguson but is happy to praise his managerial qualitiesRoy Keane believes he and Sir Alex Ferguson had similar traits and an understanding of Manchester United during their time together at the club, insisting he is not bitter towards his former manager despite their relationship breaking down.Keane, who was signed by Ferguson in 1993 from Nottingham Forest, recently stated that he is unsure whether forgiving his former manager will ever be possible following his infamous departure from United in 2005. He also claimed that comments made about him over the years were a pack of lies. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 22:52:57 GMT)

West Brom 2-2 Manchester United: five talking points
Talk of the title at United remains some way off, while Saido Berahino and Stéphane Sessègnon impressed for West BromVictory here would have catapulted United into the title reckoning, according to Louis van Gaal. This flaccid performance not only made even the briefest mention of finishing top look hugely premature but a look at the fixture list Chelsea and Manchester City are up next means such talk should not be uttered for a long time to come. If their defensive frailties are easily highlighted by perceived lesser players then the likes of Diego Costa and Sergio Agüero must relish the thought of the chances which could fall their way. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 21:01:28 GMT)

Adel Taarabt accuses Harry Redknapp of making him QPR scapegoat
Taarabt denies he is unfit after three stone overweight claim Redknapps claims hurt my reputation says midfielderAdel Taarabt has denied claims by Harry Redknapp that he is overweight and accused the Queens Park Rangers manager of making him a scapegoat for the bottom sides poor run of form. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 22:46:18 GMT)

Fernandinho warns Manchester City to stay alert in empty Moscow stadium
Brazilian says City really need six points from CSKA games City favourites to win Champions League, says CSKA coach Leon Slutzky plots Citys downfallThe warning from Fernandinho to his Manchester City team-mates is stark. Switch off against CSKA Moscow because of the eerie atmosphere of an empty Arena Khimki on Tuesday evening and elimination could loom.Despite a tally of a single point from their two Group E matches, the match cannot quite be billed as sudden death for Citys Champions League hopes. But it is close. Manuel Pellegrinis team really must return home with three points to maintain control of their destiny. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 21:33:04 GMT)

Liverpool must rise above QPR scare to tackle Real Madrid, says Lovren
It was the first time I was unhappy after a win, says Lovren We have to play as a team against Cristiano Ronaldo and Co Steven Caulker own goal decides match in chaotic finaleDejan Lovren has delivered a brutally honest assessment of Liverpools performance against Queens Park Rangers on Sunday, saying that he took little satisfaction from their 3-2 win at Loftus Road, and he has called for a vast improvement against Real Madrid on Wednesday.Liverpool were deeply unimpressive against the Premier Leagues bottom club and Lovren admitted his side cannot afford to defend so poorly in their daunting Champions League encounter with the European champions at Anfield. Carlo Ancelottis squad, including the attacking might of Cristiano Ronaldo and James Rodríguez, are unlikely to be as charitable with their finishing as QPR were on several occasions. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 21:30:04 GMT)

Jack Colback calls on Newcastle United to build on first Premier League win
Alan Pardews side remain in relegation zone It has been tough for manager but he kept us positiveJack Colback believes Newcastle United are in a false position and that their long-awaited first Premier League victory at home to Leicester City last Saturday can serve as a springboard to success.With Alan Pardews side still in the relegation zone and facing a trip to Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday before a home game against Liverpool on Saturday week, many Newcastle fans feel the scrappy 1-0 victory merely represents a crisis averted. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 21:40:00 GMT)

Premier League 2014-15: which new strikers are the best value for money?
Diego Costa and Graziano Pellè have been hitting the high notes for Chelsea and Southampton respectively but Mario Balotelli is yet to find the net in the Premier LeagueChelseas attack has been transformed by the signing of the bullish Costa, who has the hard-eyed demeanour of a man who looks like he would be as comfortable in a bar fight as he is grappling with Premier League defences. The former Atlético Madrid striker has taken no time to settle, scoring nine goals in his first nine matches, and has relished the battle with defenders. But those pesky hamstrings are a cause for concern. Chelsea are managing the situation carefully. They are not dependent on Costa but they could do without him getting injured. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 11:00:36 GMT)

Wasps wing Christian Wade uses gas to reignite his England hopes
Wades try against Leinster well-timed for autumn internationals Tuilagi and Eastmond injury worries for Stuart LancasterTiming is everything in professional sport. England will announce this week a squad of around 40 players for the QBE autumn series and are looking for potential match-winners to face New Zealand a fortnight on Saturday. Step forward Christian Wade, whose individual try for Wasps against Leinster was definitely international class.There will be several other pacy wings in Stuart Lancasters squad, with Anthony Watson, Marland Yarde, Semesa Rokoduguni and Chris Ashton among those vying for places against the All Blacks, but the electric Wade deserves a selectorial break more than most. He was due to make his home Test debut last season only to fall victim to a hamstring injury, and subsequent surgery to correct damaged ligaments in his left foot kept him out for the remainder of last season. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 21:00:03 GMT)

Mario Balotelli must toughen up before Liverpool team spirit is damaged
Italians struggle to find form following his £16m move to Anfield is in danger of affecting Brendan Rodgers blueprint for success Luis Suarezs exit has stalled Liverpools progressHacking other peoples phones is clearly not the done thing but even so it would be rather fascinating to tap into the occasional conversation between Mario Balotelli and Davide Santon.The Liverpool forward and the Newcastle United full-back are old friends who went to the same school in northern Italy before playing alongside each other at Internazionale. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 19:38:45 GMT)

Rory McIlroy pulls out of China tournaments to focus on legal dispute
World No1 suing Horizon management company Trial likely to take place in Dublin in February McIlroy and Graeme McDowell may be split for Ryder CupRory McIlroys legal dispute with his former management company has intensified, with the world No1 withdrawing from tournaments in China to prepare for a trial that is expected to take place in February.In what marks a serious blow to the BMW Masters and WGC HSBC Champions events, to be played in Shanghai at the end of this month and the start of next respectively, McIlroy issued a statement on Monday evening explaining he needs a break from competitive action. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 19:39:30 GMT)

FIA sets up accident panel to look into the Jules Bianchi crash at Japanese GP
Panel includes Ross Brawn and led by Peter Wright Aims to propose safety recommendations F1 drivers to demand assurances after Bianchi crashRoss Brawn, Emerson Fittipaldi and Stefano Domenicali are three of the names on a 10-strong FIA accident panel formed following Jules Bianchis crash in Japan.One of the measures announced by the FIA president, Jean Todt, after Bianchis collision with a recovery truck at Suzuka that has left him fighting for his life was the formation of a body to not only look into the incident but also to propose safety recommendations. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 17:29:48 GMT)

Police investigating reported nightclub brawl involving Samoa players
Brisbane Courier Mail reported Tatau Moga was arrested Samoa players involved may be suspended for England gameEnglands Four Nations squad awoke on the Gold Coast on Monday morning to lurid headlines suggesting they may face a weakened Samoa team in Saturdays tournament opener in Brisbane as the result of a nightclub brawl in the citys Fortitude Valley. The Brisbane Courier Mail reported that Tautau Moga, a centre with the North Queensland Cowboys, had been arrested after a disagreement broke out at the Hot Gossip nightclub on Sunday morning. Matt Parish, the former Salford coach who steered Samoa to their first Four Nations place with a win against Fiji this year, said: We are co-operating with the authorities. As there is a police investigation, it would be inappropriate for me to comment further. Australias National Rugby League, which is hosting the tournament, also confirmed its integrity unit was investigating the incident. The Courier Mail suggested Reni Maitua, an experienced Canterbury Bulldogs player with a chequered past, was also present, and that any players found to have been involved could be suspended from Saturdays game.Englands only concern before the match, which will be the first part of a double header at Suncorp Stadium before Australia face New Zealand, has been the fitness of their captain Sean OLoughlin, who pulled a muscle in his thigh in Wigans Grand Final defeat by St Helens. Richie Myler, the Warrington scrum-half who was a notable omission from their squad, has been linked with a possible long-term loan move to Hull KR. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 18:19:48 GMT)

Should Sunderland's players pay their fans' costs after their 8-0 defeat?
Sunderland goalkeeper Vito Mannone says he will ask his team-mates to cover the costs of their fans' tickets and travel after their humiliating defeat at St Mary's. Should they pay? Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 13:23:46 GMT)

Serena Williams makes winning start to WTA Finals in Singapore
Williams defeats Serbias Ana Ivanovic 6-4, 6-4 Williams slams Russian official over comments IOC to seek explanation over Williams brothers slurSerena Williams won her opening match at the WTA Finals on Monday, beating Ana Ivanovic 6-4, 6-4 in the Red Group for her 16th consecutive victory at the season-ending tournament in Singapore.Williams came into the finals after injuries forced her out of her previous two outings and following the Russian official Shamil Tarpischevs disparaging comments about her and sister Venus. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 13:58:16 GMT)

Can a kiss on a bus count as public disorder?
A spate of recent cases involving public displays of affection highlight that, for some, it can be an emotive subjectThe song was wrong a kiss isnt just a kiss. Or at least not on the No 89 to Blackheath, according to two passengers who say they were kicked off their London bus when the driver objected to their public display of affection.Jack James, 23, said his partners quick peck led to a homophobic tirade from the driver. The story echoes a similar report from Brighton, where two women said they were asked to leave a Sainsburys store when a customer complained they were kissing. Outraged equality campaigners reacted by staging a kiss-in in the store a tactic that was tried out in similar circumstances in a Soho pub a few years ago when a gay couple on their first date were chucked out of the John Snow for locking lips. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 17:50:34 GMT)

Holy smokes! Possible $5m fine for Batman extra who leaked female Robin
Jena Malone said to be playing Carrie Kelley in Superman v Batman, Zack Snyders followup to Man of Steel information that could cost extra who broke non-disclosure agreement dearBen Afflecks Batman will be teaming up with a female Robin for his debut as the caped crusader in Warner Bros Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, according to an anonymous extra on the forthcoming superhero epic.Jena Malone, who recently made an appearance in the Hunger Games fantasy saga as the tempestuous Johanna Mason, is reputedly in line to play Carrie Kelley. The character was introduced in Frank Millers seminal 1986 graphic novel The Dark Knight Returns, and has been called the first full-time female version of Batmans best-known sidekick in the DC Comics title.The news broke through the WILX-10 News station in Michigan, where Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice has been filming at the Michigan State University. The extra told reporter Kirk Montgomery: Ive also learned that the character of Robin is now female. Meanwhile, Malone has been spotted on set and at recent film premieres sporting Kelleys trademark red crop. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 08:33:04 GMT)

Giovanni Battista Moroni at the Royal Academy review quietly magical and erotically charged
The little known 16th-century Italian painter loved to paint exquisite clothing and craftsmen, but it was lavish portraits of men that really inspired himThe tailor looks back at you with an intimate, familiar cock of the head. He must have been a close friend of Giovanni Battista Moroni. It is easy to picture them both as local characters in their small north Italian city. The tailor and his mate the painter, drinking wine on an evening in downtown Bergamo. Their pal the doctor also hangs nearby, in another of Moronis beguilingly frank portraits.There are almost no other paintings from the Renaissance that can be compared with Moronis masterpiece The Tailor (which dates from around 1570) in the way it praises and dignifies manual work. The tailor is busy tailoring. Even as he looks at us with such sensitivity, he is cutting a piece of black cloth for a client. What makes Moroni break with the elitism of his age to praise a worker and his work? Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 15:41:00 GMT)

Energy saving for extremists: put a sponge in your letterbox
To mark Big Energy Saving Week, we share eight unusual ways to slash your energy bill and cut carbonCheck your tariff, switch provider and insulate your home. Then take some simple measures to reduce your daily energy use: switch appliances off standby and set your thermostat to come on when you need it. All these steps will help you to save energy and behave more sustainably.But there are some among us who like to take things to extremes. We at the Energy Saving Trust know of many tips and tricks to reduce your carbon footprint and save you money in the process. To mark Big Energy Saving Week, heres our roundup of the more unusual ways to be an energy conserver. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 09:00:16 GMT)

Craft beer: top 10 supermarket buys
The big breweries are keen to muscle in on the craft beer market and their often ineffectual craft ales are now commonplace in high street stores. But it is worth remembering that our supermarkets do stock some truly world class beers. Here are 10 of the best.You have to hand it to Britains major brewers and big drinks conglomerates; they are firmly across consumer trends. Craft beer had barely established itself as a new category in the UK, when they started leaping on the bandwagon. The market is now awash with craft-not-craft beers which, for all their trendy packaging, use of cascade and mosaic hops and adoption of du jour beer styles, still fall short on that crucial component flavour.From Brains Barry Island IPA to Marstons rather sorry Revisionist saison, Greene Kings mystifyingly taste-free attempts at craft, such as Yardbird or St Edmunds, to the comparatively impressive Adnams Innovation IPA, these beers tend to offer, to varying degrees, little more than a distant echo of the real thing. Guinness is the latest to enter the fray with two new porters. The 3.8% Dublin is thin, fizzy and sweet, a stout beer, but one, in so much as it tastes of anything, that is curiously reminiscent of dandelion and burdock pop. At 6%, the West Indies is a better beer boozy, with initially interesting hints of molasses, tar and vanilla but it lacks the fulsome complexity and the long, lingering finish of a good craft porter. At best, you would describe both these beers as entry-level examples of the style. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 11:16:55 GMT)

I'd been unemployed for a year so I formed a band, of course
Whats a 34-year-old single mum on benefits meant to do when all else fails? Pursue the most unrealistic career path imaginable!In January, I decided to try to become a pop star. In retrospect, this was ridiculously delusional. Im a slightly overweight 34-year-old single mum on benefits who doesnt smoke, drink or take drugs, the least likely candidate for pop stardom since White Town. But Id been unemployed for more than a year, since being made redundant, and after 50 rejected job applications it seemed that there was nothing left to lose. Fuck you, society! Think Im unemployable? Im going to follow the most bombastic, unrealistic career path imaginable!I didnt want to do it alone, so asked my best mate of 17 years if he wanted to join me. He replied: Totally who wouldnt want to be in a band? He is 37, cant sing and doesnt play any instruments. I hadnt written a song in more than 10 years, had no contacts in the music industry, and had barely listened to any new music since the 1990s and yet the naive pop-loving 12-year-old in me couldnt accept that it was a bad idea. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 09:25:02 GMT)

Why are Halloween costumes so slutty?
Its time to ditch the sexy Halloween witch. This is the perfect opportunity for women to show off their creativity, not their side boobWhy are Halloween costumes for women so slutty? (I dont know if that word is allowed in the Guardian but I couldnt think of an alternative.) Also, Im going to a party this year and want to look vaguely fashionable. What should I wear?Marie, by email Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 13:05:43 GMT)

Jeff Koons retrospective targeted by vandal
Christopher Johnson arrested after spraying large black letters next to Koonss Hanging Heart sculptureA man has been charged after spraying graffitti on a wall of the Whitney Museum of Art during the final weekend of its Jeff Koons retrospective. New Yorker Christopher Johnson, 33, sprayed large black letters next to Koonss sculpture Hanging Heart. The New York Times reports that after a scuffle with the museums security guards he was taken into custody and charged with criminal mischief, making graffiti, possession of a graffiti instrument and criminal nuisance. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 14:31:52 GMT)

Shocked by Paul McCarthy's butt plug? You obviously haven't seen his phallic Pinocchio
McCarthys controversial sculpture, Tree, has been vandalised in Place Vendrome and the artist assaulted. Why are Parisians being so prudish? This is nowhere near his scandalous best Paul McCarthy butt plug sculpture in Paris provokes rightwing backlashAnality is in the eye of the beholder. An inflatable sculpture by American artist Paul McCarthy has been vandalised and the artist himself assaulted after a flurry of outrage in Paris over a sculpture that is said to resemble a type of sex toy known, I am informed, as a butt plug.I feel old fashioned that I had to be told that. The work is called Tree, and if I didnt know about the accusation that it looks like a sex toy, I would probably have taken the title at face value. Well, perhaps not entirely. The chances of McCarthy erecting anything as innocent as a tree seem slight when you consider this surrealists oeuvre. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 12:22:03 GMT)

My search for the perfect wig
After emergency surgery following a fall left Tara Oakes with a shaven head, she embraced the chance to do something she had never done with her real hair experiment I dont know what they did with my hair when they cut it off. I imagine it nestling somewhere, thick and red, defeated in the end not by years of chemical enhancement, but by emergency neurosurgery.One evening last year in Dresden, Germany, I fell over and hit my head on the curb. I wasnt even drunk; a mere half pint, not dirndl-clad Oktoberfest excess. I dont remember it. I woke up in hospital in November 2013 after suffering a series of haematomas. The surgeons had removed part of my skull and locked it away in a freezer. My head remained similarly chilly. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 13:29:16 GMT)

Toys R Us Breaking Bad dolls: the must-have Christmas toy for your kids?
Walter White figurine comes with tiny bag of crystal meth, as shocked and appalled Florida woman starts petition to get them removed from shelvesYoure probably already aware there are only 65 shopping days until Christmas. If youre a parent, this means youre frantically fretting about what the must-have toy of winter 2014 will be, but stop looking right now. A woman called Susan Schrivjer, from Florida, has discovered that US branches of Toy R Us are stocking a highly desirable range of Breaking Bad action figures. The Walter White figurine comes packaged with a duffle bag filled with presumably pre-laundered non-sequential banknotes and a tiny bag of (fake) crystal meth, while the Jesse Pinkman figure sports a gas mask, teaching children an important lesson about the dangers of inhaling the noxious byproducts of the methamphetamine production process. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 11:39:00 GMT)

Venomous spider found in Waitrose shopping 'beautiful but aggressive'
While most spiders scurry away when confronted, the Brazilian wandering spider stands its ground, says David Clarke of London ZooKiller spider found in familys supermarket shoppingHow dangerous are Britains household spidersThe Brazilian wandering spider which according to reports over the weekend emerged from a South London familys Waitrose delivery is one of the most infamous species of venomous spider.It is actually a very beautiful spider, quite big, with about a 15-centimetre (six-inch) leg span. It is also quite aggressive, and while most spiders run away when confronted, the Brazilian wandering spider might stand its ground and has a particularly impressive stance it rears up on its back legs and looks quite menacing. If it feels threatened it adopts an attack first, ask questions later sort of defence. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 13:35:46 GMT)

Threads: the film that frightened me most
In the first of a new Halloween series, Peter Bradshaw says he was a shivering wreck for weeks after watching Mick Jacksons post-nuclear masterpiece. Just dont call him a baby I have never regarded myself as a hardcore horror fan, although no cinephile can possibly deny the genres habitual brilliance and flair. Polanskis Rosemarys Baby and Friedkins The Exorcist are masterpieces and there is a real case to be made, incidentally, for the first Saw, by James Wan, now enjoying its 10th anniversary. I have been unnerved, thrilled, sometimes shocked and often thoroughly creeped out, by horror films. But hand on heart I dont think I have ever been scared, really properly scared by horror: and this is despite being a fantastic scaredy-cat in real life. I often describe myself as a lover (of my own safety), not a fighter. What disconcerts me sometimes is whats expected of the genre. People coming out of a great comedy will be laughing. People coming out of a great action movie will be whooping and fist-pumping. But people coming out of a great horror movie dont look horrified theyre laughing and whooping and fist-pumping. Which of course is fine. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 11:39:21 GMT)

If youre disabled, its not just Lord Freud who holds you in contempt
The lives of Britains most vulnerable people have been hit far harder than any other group by austerity cuts and vilificationYoull know the observation attributed to Gandhi that the true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable members or, if not, you will recall a similar sentiment expressed by someone else. Samuel Johnson, Dietrich Bonhoeffer just about anybody whos ever appeared in a GCSE textbook has come up with such a line.For most of my life the truism has seemed precisely that: so uncontroversial as to be a cliche. Sure, you could argue the toss over what good treatment means, or who should be included among the vulnerable. But no matter how moth-eaten and means-tested their welfare state, how dilute their social democracy, the first world, G7-club British would never publicly repudiate their commitments to the sick, the elderly, the poor. Until the past four years, and the election of a government that treats disabled people with a scarcely believable callousness. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 20:40:03 GMT)

Steve Bell on David Cameron's plans to curb EU migrants cartoon
Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 21:12:00 GMT)

John Craces sketch: scary times for the Russian submarine as the Commons harks back to Trafalgar
The defence secretary must pretend the world depends on British armed services until Julian Brazier ruins the illusionThe Royal Navy is still, without doubt, the best in the world, said Labour MP Stephen Pound to rousing grunts of approval from the Conservative benches. How then is the minister planning to celebrate Trafalgar Day? Junior minister Philip Dunne pushed his crutches out of harms way and struggled on to his one good foot; the other is wrapped in a plastic cast, having been presumably hit by a stray cannon ball in a battle re-enactment at the weekend. Kiss me, Poundy, he sobbed as the morphine wore off, before adding his thanks to the navy for saving us from the French in 1805.Defence questions are like a game of poker in which both sides know they are bluffing, but have come to a gentlemans agreement that their hands are full of aces. One day a defence secretary may be caught off guard after a psychotherapy session and say: You know what? Weve got little global influence, less money and our combat troops barely run into double figures. I can barely keep the Red Arrows in the air, so what you expect me to do about Ukraine, Isis and Ebola, I have no idea. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 18:45:26 GMT)

I volunteered to fight Ebola in Sierra Leone with MSF. Heres what happened
You pour the sweat out of your boots, see body bags and miracles, and constantly monitor your own health. Sierra Leones health system is in desperate troubleIve volunteered to go to west Africa because I heard that Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) was getting desperate for people.When I tell Mary in HR, she says she has three questions: 1) Do you know that you dont have to go? 2) Do you know that if you get sick, we wont bring you home? 3) Do you know that if you die, we wont bring your body back and youll be buried there? I know MSF is famous for being straight-talking, but Im still a bit taken aback. I answer yes to all three and go home to look for my passport. My children are unphased Yeah, whatever but promise to email. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 11:00:18 GMT)

Who will help Turkey help Kobani?
We can no longer continue to act like the UN. A global response to the crisis in Syria and Iraq is imperativeThe plight of the small town of Kobani has become the focus of the worlds attention amid the devastation and misery of Syria. With each day the reign of terror of Islamic State (Isis) has been moving too close for comfort.Its worth remembering that Kobani was not Isiss first target the extremists have overrun a vast terrain from Azzaz in Syria to Kirkuk in Iraq. Just as they have been driving the Kurds out of Kobani they have killed, intimidated and driven Turkomans out of Çobanbey on the Turkish border; Arabs in Raqqa, Deir Ezzor and Mosul; Yazidis in Sinjar; and Christians in Aleppo. The tales of horror there are just as atrocious. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 20:21:57 GMT)

Why The Apprentice is the worst of a depressing bunch of TV shows yes, even Bake Off
Put the humans in the ring and watch them being ripped apart, despised and rejected. Why do we love watching these demolition jobs?What a pity The Apprentice is back. It is so depressing. I watched it a couple of times years ago, but never again, because it is everything horrible about life: ferociously competitive; grovelling; ruthlessness; greed; the crushing and humiliation of the weak; desperation; showing off; sneering; mockery; and money, money, money.Its like life, says Fielding glumly. The workplace is a jungle. And he should know, he has been a teacher. Same thing: sucking up, panicking, slaving away, total obedience to the rules, fighting for your livelihood before a critical, heartless, nitpicking, unsupportive panel of judges, AKA Ofsted. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 12:28:48 GMT)

While Didcot B burned, renewable energy powered on
Fire at Oxfordshire power station is a reminder of the energy security risks of centralised fossil fuel power and that all energy sources suffer from intermittencyRenewable energy, such as wind and solar power, is frequently criticised for being unreliable. But the major fire at RWEs Didcot gas-fired power station on Sunday evening shows that traditional energy generation is also intermittent. Moreover, accidents at coal, gas and nuclear plants frequently involve much larger amounts of electricity dropping off the grid and at much shorter notice.The Didcot station was running at full capacity on Sunday evening, RWE told me. So the cooling tower fire, which forced unit 5 to close, led to the instantaneous loss of 700MW of electricity just after 8pm. That is about half-a-million-homes-worth of power that the National Grid had to find with zero seconds notice. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 13:35:57 GMT)

RIP RIP: we need to be more creative with mourning in the digital age
The news that Lynda Bellingham has died is deeply sad. She deserves more of a tribute than just an RIP hashtag, as do all those we mournRest in peace. That three-word phrase, expressing a sincere hope that the dead will find peace in the afterlife, is a fitting inscription for a tombstone, and now a very popular hashtag on social media. The deeply sad news this morning that the actor Lynda Bellingham had died was met with a flood of tributes from friends and colleagues. Thousands of people who had never met her also joined in on social media networks such as Twitter, making the top trend in the UK #RIPLyndaBellingham.Its thoroughly unsurprising that the power of social media should change the way we deal with loss. In a matter of seconds we are able to pay our respects to someone who we admired, and show our peers that we have contributed to the conversation at the same time. Even politicians find it the easiest way to acknowledge the death of an icon. While some will still write heartfelt letters of condolence, and others deal with their grief privately or with loved ones, many take to the web to share their thoughts. The standard offering when death invades the online world appears to be RIP, Requiescat in pace. Often its used on its own, without any further comment on a persons life, and is widely seen as an acceptable tribute. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 14:49:59 GMT)

Guide dog laws are being flouted and its ruining my life
The sort of distressing discrimination Maya Makri experienced at Tesco is sadly not unusual for blind people even though there are laws in placeLast week, Maya Makri, a 39-year-old student who is registered blind, was reduced to tears by staff at a London branch of Tesco when a cashier told her that her guide dog was not allowed because of a no pets policy. When the retailer was criticised, it added insult to injury, offering to make amends with a £20 voucher. I know every little helps but this is just ridiculous. A Tesco spokesperson issued a statement saying that they do allow guide dogs in store and have reminded colleagues of that.As a blind owner of a guide dog, I know from bitter experience just how soul destroying it is to be told youre not allowed somewhere because of your disability. Its happened to me dozens of times and each time, a little bit of me dies inside. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 09:39:49 GMT)

Must the Anthropocene be a Manthropocene?
A working group exploring a potential new geological era has only one female scientist. This gender bias within the scientific community needs consigning to the pastAre we entering a new planetary era? A working group of scientists met in Berlin last week to start answering this Earth-shifting question. Is it farewell to our home-sweet-home of the Holocene, the past 10,000 years or so of benevolent conditions on our planet, and hello to a new geological era tentatively named the Anthropocene that is being forged by the environmental impacts of human activity?Its a fascinating question, and one that deserves a fantastic team of brains bringing their diverse perspectives into the two-year discussion process. But if this first Berlin meeting of the Anthropocene Working Group (AWG) was anything to go by, the matter might as well be settled now: just call it the Manthropocene. Out of the 29 scientists listed as members of the working group, only one is a woman. And, as the map below shows, only four are based in countries outside of the OECD tempting the nickname of the Northropocene, too. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 12:42:01 GMT)

On immigration, David Cameron has joined Ukips paranoia bandwagon
José Manuel Barroso has exposed the PMs slapdash policy, which only replicates the anxiety of the electorateFirst I was bored, now I am just bemused. We have had months of talking nonstop about how we dont talk about immigration. Now we have entered the realm of fantasy politics with politicians vying with each other to crack down on immigration. These promises are detached from any reality.Much of this is to do with Ukip, but it also is about a central dishonesty about whose interests the Tory party actually represents: a part-time shop worker in Margate or big business which needs to be tempted to invest in that area. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 11:30:13 GMT)

Progressive Catholics still have faith in Pope Franciss vision
The final report of the churchs extraordinary synod on family may have removed gay-friendly language, but great strides were made. Reform will comeThe extraordinary synod of bishops on marriage and family proved to be a barometer of climate change in the Roman Catholic church. It had started with a questionnaire circulated to garner Catholic opinion from around the world on broad family issues. Unthinkable in the preceding papacies of John Paul II and Benedict XVI, the pastoral needs of same-sex couples, along with those of children in such families, figured in the synods working document setting the agenda for this recent meeting.Progressive Catholics, sceptical as a result of previous disappointing assemblies, had their worries reinforced when the list of invited special advisers was published. This was stacked with those averse to change on artificial contraception, divorce and remarriage, and same-sex unions. For LGBT Catholics there appeared little prospect of light at the end of the tunnel. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 12:00:20 GMT)

Obama's presidential library: four radical visions of the future from top architects
Hope and change may have been a little overdramatic. But hopefully these bold ideas will change the way you think about a politicians legacy or at least designBarack Obama still has two long years left to cement his legacy as something between yes we can and at least I tried. Regardless of how history remembers him, Obama will always represent a shift from the old guard, an idealistic starting point for what (and who) future presidents could be. For now, though, his official museum, his keeper of secrets: couldnt that still be a tangible change we can believe in? At least an architectural one?Dedication libraries are an expectation and a right for American presidents, one that Congress signed into law in 1955. But the countrys 21 versions of the presidential library are all rather ... traditional. With behind-the-scenes plans already in motion and design critics very much coming out of the woodwork, we asked historian HW Brands if the mold needed an upgrade:Presidential libraries serve two purposes that are often conflated. As libraries, they are the repositories of the confidential records of their administrations. They are neutral. As museums, they are the public faces of those administrations. They present the view the keepers of the flames wish to present. Their records are the best guarantee of telling the story as it actually happened.The purposes of written history would be better served if all presidential records were located in a single place, presumably Washington. But this would not serve the purposes of experiential, public history that museums specialize in. I for one think the two purposes ought to be severed. Put the records in Washington, and let the presidents site their museums where they wish. But Im not holding my breath.President Obama has broken stereotypes and challenged the norm the presidential library should reflect just that. We propose building a library that is not one single, large-scale building, but rather a series of interventions within existing buildings throughout the whole neighborhood.Connected at different levels, the library would be deeply embedded within the citys urban fabric.The main design objective is to create open space, providing an opportunity for social gathering. Also important is the flexibility and adaptability through time that is the main reason for the space frame.Located opposite Jackson Park on Chicagos south side, the Barack Obama Presidential Library would be a dramatic new landmark for Chicago and a world destination. This historic location was the site of the 1893 Worlds Columbian Exposition and what became known as the White City, which had a huge impact on American architecture and Chicagos identity.The round, organically spiraling form contrasts with former presidential libraries by rejecting dated monumentality, inflexibility and formalism. Its structure is transparent and open, accessible, sustainable and engaged with the surrounding community, city and region.The aspirational, rising spiral form grows toward the sky housing stepped platforms for program functions, and terminating in a ceremonial hall and outdoor roof terraces with 360-degree views. The entire rising roof is planted and accessible creating a verdant ring seen as a distinctive green O from the air.Hope is an active verb. To us, the Obama Presidential Library and Center respects history, but the centers emphasis is on our present and future, honoring the presidents legacy through active engagement. For a presidency that has operated on an unprecedented global scale, Hawaii is the one site that reflects the link between the United States and the global community.Our design is organized around three core ideas central to Obamas presidency: community, collaboration and conservation. We see the library as a living archive that provides a platform for public exchange. Dialogue is fostered through the Centers Sustainability Institute and Global Leadership Education Facility that includes classrooms, a teaching kitchen, café, greenhouse, public market, flexible office space and a conference center with seminar rooms and lecture hall.The building is dynamic the landscape and plaza are framed by a roof canopy but it very much embraces the Hawaiian landscape, with two massive roofs that create a large civic space, which frames the ocean beyond.Architecture is always both a project of architecture as well as an idea about architecture. Institutions like presidential libraries offer an idea about a person, and an administration a past, and a future still unfulfilled.In this proposal, exterior weirdness and an egalitarian interior plan replace traditional hierarchies and formalities, encouraging visitors to have smaller personal experiences with a very large history.This proposal arranges a set of quite big, blocky objects in a peculiar composition, and allows for a direct and easy-to-reach entrance into the building through multiple massive doors. This immediacy continues through the interior, where displays and library contents provide ample access to research. The building offers a comprehensive view of its contents from anywhere and everywhere, and encourages miniature relationships with the tables, shelving and seating throughout. It explodes the density of meaning, actions and histories so readily accessed within. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 11:30:19 GMT)

The Extinction Marathon: the art world's bid to save the human race
Yoko Ono, Gilbert and George, Gustav Metzger, Lily Cole and dozens of scientists and anthropologists come together at Londons Serpentine Gallery to confront the end of humanityOn Saturday, one of the seven northern white rhinos left on this planet died, leaving just a single breeding male to ensure the survival of a species aggressively hunted into near-extinction.This was the haunting and apt backdrop for the ninth festival of ideas held at Londons Serpentine Gallery, a two-day marathon that this year grappled with the topic of extinction and the worryingly prescient spectre of the end of the human race. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 16:15:00 GMT)

What women should know about menopause
Hormone therapy is a key tool in treating symptoms, but not all doctors are taught to manage the health of menopausal patientsIn the 1970s, my friends and I learned everything we needed to know about menstruation from each other and from a popular Judy Blume book, Are You There God? Its Me, Margaret. We even had a club, and we met after school to share stories about breasts, boys, periods and sanitary protection. We would no more have asked our mothers for such information than we would have asked a boy to dance.In those days, it was simply not done. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 09:00:16 GMT)

Spice the synthetic drug gaining a grip on Russia
Cannabis substitute smoked in a pipe appears to be a soft drug, but it is addictive and can be lethalValentina sifts a flaky mixture from a purple sachet into the end of a small pipe, holds a lighter to it, and inhales. Her voice becomes tense and high-pitched for a moment, then she relaxes. A faint, almost Christmassy odour of lightly stewed fruits wafts through the room.This is a hit of spice, the collective name given to various synthetic smoking mixtures making headlines in Russia. On the market for five years, spice has the potential to be deadly. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 17:08:46 GMT)

Migrants tales: I feel for those who were with me. They got asylum in the sea
Who are the people who die in the Mediterranean on an almost daily basis? And why dont we care? The Guardian has worked with a team of reporters from five other European newspapers to track a very 21st-century odysseyDeath at sea: Syrian migrants film their perilous voyage to Europe The boat sank quickly. One minute Fahad Abdul Kariem was wedged into the hold, legs apart so that another migrant could sit in front of him. The next, the Mediterranean swell was rolling the vessel, the motion aggravated by the scores of African and Indian migrants clinging to the roof canopy. And everyone was in the water. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 13:45:22 GMT)

UK General Election: 200 days to go - three key trends to follow
In 200 days Britain heads to the polls. With less than seven months to election day, now is a good time to take a step back and look at the state of the raceElections are coming.In 200 days Britain heads to the polls. With less than seven months to election day, now is a good time to take a step back and look at the state of the race. Over the past month the political agenda has primarily rotated around three events: party conferences, byelections in Clacton and Heywood & Middleton, and the Scottish independence referendum.My poll of 11 Con-Lab marginals, at a glance: pic.twitter.com/ZXDV0xYeem Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 16:20:31 GMT)

Halloween special: the science of scary apparitions podcast
Why are we obsessed with ghosts, werewolves, witches and voices from the other side? Psychologist Chris French and vampire slayer Deborah Hyde explain Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 05:00:00 GMT)

Kailash Satyarthis child-friendly villages are changing rural India
The Nobel winners NGO, Bachpan Bachao Andolan, champions childrens rights by tackling education and poverty in tandemHanumanth Sai, a 65-year-old small farmer, is the most engaging storyteller in his village by a distance. From his modest home in Raghunathpura, located nearly 300km from Delhi in the north-western state of Rajasthans Jaipur district, he recounts the changes he has witnessed since activists from the New Delhi-based NGO Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA) started working there in 2008. The BBA founder, Kailash Satyarthi, a child rights activist, is this years Nobel peace prize winner, along with Pakistans female education activist Malala Yousafzai.The world has changed, so have we, although a bit slowly, says Sai, a tall man with a weather-beaten face, settling down on a charpoy. Before 2008, child labour and child marriage were rampant in this Gujjar-dominated village [the Gujjar are a pastoral ethnic group]. Girls did not go to school and many boys would even drop out after class six. But now, thanks to BBA, we have become a Bal Mitra Gram [child-friendly village or BMG]. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 11:46:37 GMT)

Housing First: the 'counterintuitive' method for solving urban homelessness
Despite the global recession, homelessness in cities around the world is falling. Can a controversial strategy to give homeless people a roof first that is, before addressing drug abuse or mental health take the credit?At a soup kitchen in Detroit, a former crack addict in a wheelchair is explaining how he lost his legs. They were amputated in 2000 because I had frostbite from sleeping on the streets, says Clayton, 54. Fourteen years on from becoming a double amputee, Clayton is still homeless in his home town, but hes been off drugs for more than a decade, and remains remarkably sanguine about his plight. It aint easy sometimes, but at least Im still alive, he says, breaking into a smile.Its winter 2013 and we are in the Central United Methodist Church, a stones throw from Comerica Park, home of the Detroit Tigers baseball team. It is noon, a soup kitchen is in full flow, but outside its bitterly cold, December snow piled high on the streets, the Detroit River frozen. When dark falls, the temperature can plunge to -20oC. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 08:52:45 GMT)

Lynda Bellingham: a life in clips
The actor and presenter, who has died aged 66, was famous for her role as the Oxo mum, but also starred in Doctor Who, All Creatures Great and Small and The Bill, and hosted Loose WomenThe actor and presenter Lynda Bellingham, who has died aged 66, enjoyed a long and varied career on British television. In addition to her iconic Oxo mum role in the long-running adverts, and her presenting stint on the chat show Loose Women, she also had roles in iconic shows such as Z Cars, Doctor Who, The Sweeney and The Professionals. Here are some of her finest small-screen moments. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 08:49:11 GMT)

Magnum photographer René Burri dies
Swiss photographer best known for iconic portraits of Che Guevara and Picasso dies aged 81 after a long illness René Burri in picturesThe Swiss photographer René Burri, celebrated for his portraits of Che Guevara and Pablo Picasso, died on Monday in Zurich aged 81, the Magnum Photo agency said.Burri, who lived between Zurich and Paris, had been suffering from a long illness, Magnum said. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 19:46:41 GMT)

Candy brothers: One day they were likely lads, then they were everywhere
Property tycoons who delight in showing off their wealth are the biggest ambassadors of their brand opulenceChristian Candy is a tax exile, and proud of it. What! he once exclaimed during a game of Monopoly with a Financial Times reporter, when he had the misfortune of landing on the super-tax square. I dont pay tax. Im a tax exile.The high-profile property developer who with his brother, Nick, developed the superluxe One Hyde Park apartment complex for Londons oligarchs and is now converting a row of seven houses overlooking Regents Park into a single 4,600 sq metre London mansion even named his twins Isabella Monaco Evanthia and Cayman Charles Wolf. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 16:48:54 GMT)

Dr Stella Ameyo Adadevoh: Ebola victim and everyday hero
The doctor prevented the spread of Ebola in Nigeria and paid with her life. Now we should honour her, and the other health workers whose dedication is inspirationalLast month, the Nigerian government released the 2014 National Honours award list: more than 300 people, many of them serving government officials, seemingly recognised simply because of the public office they hold, not for anything particularly honourable or heroic. An outcry followed, largely due to the absence of one name: Dr Stella Ameyo Adadevoh. A government spokesman was forced to explain that the awards are never given posthumously. The publics indignation was understandable: Adadevoh was the Nigerian doctor who oversaw the treatment of Patrick Sawyer, the Liberian national who brought the Ebola virus to Nigeria. She died of the virus on 19 August, one of eight fatalities out of 20 cases (each linked to Sawyer) in the country. Without her dedication, it is quite possible that the World Health Organisation would not have declared Nigeria the most populous country in Africa Ebola-free on Monday. The significance of her actions, and those of her hospital colleagues, cannot be overstated. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 17:45:00 GMT)

Harry Dean Stanton: at 88, still going strong down Route 66
A screening of an acclaimed documentary about the actor offered a rare chance to see him in concert Stanton interviewed by Sean OHaganCalifornia is crippled by a three-year mega-drought. The rivers are withering, the landscape a scratchy brown, and woe betide those who break the hosepipe ban.Perfect weather, then, for a gravelly performance from Harry Dean Stanton: a man with a face like dust bowl, dessicated further by 70 odd years of cigarettes.Stanton has appeared in more than 200 movies including Paris, Texas, Wild At Heart and as cat loving Brett in Alien. I first saw him as the dad in Pretty in Pink. Laconic, beaten-down, accepting, I thought he was the coolest thing since Molly Ringwalds prom frock.His backstory was explored Sophie Hubers brilliant documentary, Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction (released in 2012, now available on Netflix).This Swiss-born film-maker first meets her subject in his regular drinking haunt, Dan Tanas in Santa Monica, and uses music as her route in to this intensely private man. She follows him as he potters about his day-to-day routine, splicing the footage with pared down renditions of his favourite songs, such as Danny Boy and Blue Bayou, which are performed from the safety of his living room. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 17:10:25 GMT)

Dave Gibbons, first comics laureate: Theyre not just cheap, lurid entertainment
Watchmen artist spearheads campaign to improve child literacy in the UK by using comics and graphic novelsCarol Ann Duffy has been flying the flag for poetry as the UKs poet laureate for the last five years, while childrens laureate Malorie Blackman has been championing kids books since last summer. Now theres a new laureate in town in the shape of Dave Gibbons, the bestselling graphic novelist and Watchmen artist who has just been named the UKs first comics laureate.Gibbons, who collaborated with Alan Moore on the critically acclaimed graphic novel Watchmen and who has also worked on 2000AD and Doctor Who, was appointed to the biennial role by new comics charity Comics Literacy Awareness. He will spend his two-year stint, which starts in February, acting as an ambassador for comics and their potential to improve literacy. He will be championing the role of comics in getting children to read as well as visiting schools and attending training events for staff and education conferences. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 15:05:19 GMT)

José Manuel Barroso: the unelected bureaucrat telling Britain to shape up
The outgoing head of the European Commission has told the British prime minister hes making a big mistake with his anti-EU stance. How would he know?Age: 58Appearance: Beleaguered football manager. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 14:54:39 GMT)

John Holt: five great performances
One of reggaes great singers has left us here are five classic tracks to remember him byJohn Holt dies, aged 69When Atomic Kitten went to No 1 in the UK with their version of The Tide Is High, scores of ill-informed pop snobs tutted that it was hardly Blondie. Well-informed pop snobs tutted that Blondies version was hardly the original. Holt wrote the song for his vocal trio the Paragons, but its brought to life not just by his voice, but by the wonderful instrumental arrangement, especially the violin of White Rum Raymond. The combination of Raymond and Holt gives the song a sweet, almost courtly feeling: Im not the kind of man who gives up just like that, Holt sings, and you know that doesnt mean hes about to become a sex pest. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 12:37:00 GMT)

Jo Paveys golden moment: Before I ran too hard. This time I felt ready
Jo Pavey won European gold 10 months after giving birth and now has her sights set on competing in her fifth Olympics Jo Paveys mother of all victoriesJo Pavey has created one of the years great sporting stories but the real power of her running, which saw her win her first major gold medal at the age of 40 when she became the European 10,000m champion this summer, emerges in more subtle ways. It can be heard in the understated tribute to her junior coach, Tony White, who is now blind and could only listen to her exploits on the radio. White heard commentary of Paveys win in Zurich and, before that, her courageous bronze-medal run in the 5,000m at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.Hes just an amazing man, Pavey says of White, and I still speak to him regularly. Tonys been blind for a few years now but he still goes for a five-mile walk every day with his guide dog. Hes very brave and, sadly, his wife has become ill with dementia and he spends most of his time looking after her. Who would think a blind man could be her main carer? Other people come into the house to help and hell be the one making tea for them. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 15:00:08 GMT)

Efua Dorkenoo OBE, the incredible African female warrior, has died
Dorkenoos lifelong dream of a global, Africa-led movement against FGM was realised just a week before her deathEfua Dorkenoo, widely seen as the mother of the global movement to end female genital mutilation, has died after undergoing treatment for cancer, her family have confirmed. She was 65. Dorkenoo known affectionately to many as mama Efua was a leading light in the movement to bring an end to FGM for more than 30 years, campaigning against the practice since the 1980s.The girls and womens rights campaigner saw the progression of the movement to end FGM go from a minority, often ignored, issue to a key policy priority for governments across the world. Proof of this arrived with the launch of The Girl Generation on October 10 a major Africa-led campaign to tackle FGM across the globe, run by a consortium of charities and organisations and funded by the department for international development. Dorkenoo the natural choice to lead the consortium, wrote simply on the day of its launch: Finally, The Girl Generation: Together to End FGM is here, and I hope you like it. A week later she died in hospital. Continue reading...
(Mon, 20 Oct 2014 13:24:49 GMT)

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