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Rotherham child abuse scandal: Labour urges police commissioner to resign
Shaun Wright, ex-councillor for children and young people's services, refuses to quit after allegedly failing to act on abuse reports Continue reading...
(Wed, 27 Aug 2014 11:55:00 GMT)

Christine Lagarde to be investigated for alleged role in political fraud case
IMF chief and former finance minister says decision to investigate her for alleged negligence is unfoundedThe head of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, has been charged with "simple negligence" over her handling of a controversial 400m payout to French business tycoon Bernard Tapie when she was finance minister.Lagarde announced that she had been placed under investigation by a magistrate on Tuesday the French equivalent of being charged in the UK after being questioned for 15 hours at the court of justice in Paris, which deals with cases of alleged ministerial wrongdoing. Continue reading...
(Wed, 27 Aug 2014 09:44:52 GMT)

Met chief apologises for officer's unlawful use of CS spray on protesters
Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe admits officer used excessive force when he sprayed teargas into faces of UK Uncut protestersBritain's most senior police officer has been compelled to apologise to a group of protesters after admitting that one of his officers used excessive force when he unlawfully sprayed CS gas into their faces at close range. Continue reading...
(Wed, 27 Aug 2014 10:02:00 GMT)

No 10 rejects reports that UK is willing to join US air campaign against Isis
Downing Street says there have been no requests from Washington for UK to contribute to air strikesGovernment sources have expressed surprise over US media reports indicating that Britain is willing to take part in an air campaign alongside the US against Islamic State (Isis) fighters in Syria.Downing Street said there had been no request from Washington for the UK to contribute to air strikes. Ministers have not ruled out air strikes, but they have consistently played down the prospect of Britain getting involved in a bombing campaign. Officials have insisted that Britain's focus is on helping the Iraqis and Kurds fight Isis by providing assistance with surveillance and supplying equipment. Continue reading...
(Wed, 27 Aug 2014 10:31:39 GMT)

Syria and Isis committing war crimes, says UN
Report by United Nations commission says both Damascus government and Islamist militant group should face trials at ICCThe Syrian government and Islamic State (Isis) insurgents are both committing war crimes and crimes against humanity, UN investigators have said.Syrian government forces have dropped barrel bombs on civilian areas, including some believed to contain the chemical agent chlorine in eight incidents in April, and have committed other war crimes that should be prosecuted, they said in a 45-page report issued in Geneva on Wednesday. Continue reading...
(Wed, 27 Aug 2014 10:00:29 GMT)

Case for Scottish independence has not been made, say business leaders
More than 130 bosses from various industries sign open letter urging Scots to vote no in next month's referendumMore than 130 prominent Scottish business leaders have signed an open letter warning that the case for Scottish independence has not been made.The 133 signatories include chief executives from famous high street names including the bank HSBC, Audrey Baxter of soup and food firm Baxters, and Ian Curle, chief executive of the Scottish whisky firm that makes Famous Grouse and Macallan. Continue reading...
(Wed, 27 Aug 2014 07:56:18 GMT)

Zara removes striped pyjamas with yellow star following online outrage
Social media users likened the babys pyjama top, featuring horizontal stripes and a Sheriff star to clothes worn by Jewish concentration camp prisoners High street retailer Zara has pulled a striped shirt featuring a yellow star on the front on Wednesday after social media users likened it to the uniform worn by Jewish prisoners in concentration camps during the second world war.The striped sheriff T-shirt, aimed at children aged three months to three years, drew criticism for a design which featured white and blue stripes and a six-pointed yellow star on the front. The star itself had the word sheriff written across it, which was not completely clear in the zoomed-out images on the Spanish chains website.The new #ZARA Sheriff T-Shirt is somewhat #Holocaust ish in its design don't you agree? http://t.co/PY9RymfTc4 pic.twitter.com/EdQMghaXO8What were the designers thinking @ZARA ? http://t.co/SukupXR3XN pic.twitter.com/hzhcUbO0KzOh #Zara, really? As if the text on your shirt 'White is the new black' wasn't bad enough. pic.twitter.com/wfww1RO8aA@eylanezekiel We honestly apologize, it was inspired by the sheriffs stars from the Classic Western films and is no longer in our stores@christianmutter Wir bitten um Entschuldigung. Das T-Shirt hat sich an den Westernfilmen inspiriert und ist nicht mehr in Filialen verfügbar Continue reading...
(Wed, 27 Aug 2014 10:51:22 GMT)

Nigel Farage is certain Ukip will send MPs to Westminster in 2015
Party leader, who will run in South Thanet, Kent, repeats pledge to resign if general election bids fail but insists that won't happenNigel Farage, the Ukip leader, has insisted that his party would definitely send MPs to Westminster for the first time in 2015.Speaking the morning after his adoption as Ukip's candidate in South Thanet in Kent, Farage repeated his pledge to resign as party leader if Ukip failed to win a seat in parliament. But he insisted that would not happen. Continue reading...
(Wed, 27 Aug 2014 09:45:28 GMT)

Ukraine crisis: Nato plans east European bases to counter Russia
Nato chief announces move in response to Ukraine crisis and says alliance is dealing with a new Russian military approachNato is to deploy its forces at new bases in eastern Europe for the first time, in response to the Ukraine crisis and in an attempt to deter Vladimir Putin from causing trouble in the former Soviet Baltic republics, according to its secretary general.Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the organisations's summit in Cardiff next week would overcome divisions within the alliance and agree to new deployments on Russia's borders a move certain to trigger a strong reaction from Moscow. Continue reading...
(Wed, 27 Aug 2014 08:12:00 GMT)

RBS fined £14.5m over mortgage advice
Financial Conduct Authority found 'serious failings' in its advice to mortgage customersState-backed Royal Bank of Scotland has been fined £14.5m after the City regulator found "serious failings" in its advice to mortgage customers.The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said only two of the 164 sales it reviewed between June 2011 and March 2013 were considered to meet the standard required overall in a sales process. Continue reading...
(Wed, 27 Aug 2014 06:40:07 GMT)

Met chief calls for new anti-terror powers and backs 'presumption of guilt'
Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe also calls for return of 'something like' control orders, which tighten authority over terror suspectsBritain's most senior police chief has called for wide-ranging new powers to tackle homegrown terrorism, including a "rebuttable presumption" that anyone who visits Syria without prior notice should be treated as a terror suspect.Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, chief constable of the Metropolitan police, also called for a return of control orders and said Britons who wage jihad in Syria or Iraq should be stripped of their passports. Continue reading...
(Wed, 27 Aug 2014 10:00:00 GMT)

Arizona gun instructor accidentally shot and killed by nine-year-old girl with Uzi
Mohave County sheriff said instructor was standing next to the girl when she pulled the trigger on an UziA firearms instructor has died after he was shot by a nine-year-old girl when she fired an Uzi at a shooting range in the Arizona desert.Mohave County sheriffs officials said 39-year-old Charles Vacca, of Lake Havasu City, Arizona, died at the hospital on Monday after he was shot at the Last Stop outdoor shooting range. Continue reading...
(Wed, 27 Aug 2014 08:09:28 GMT)

Gaza ceasefire: Israel and Palestinians agree to halt weeks of fighting
No reports of violence on Wednesday after Egypt brokered indefinite ceasefire between two sidesThe war in Gaza ended on Tuesday after Israel and the Palestinians agreed to halt fighting indefinitely, putting an end to seven weeks of catastrophic loss of life and destruction, but on terms which are likely to leave many on both sides of the conflict wondering what was achieved.Hamas and Islamic Jihad the main militant groups in Gaza the Palestinian Authority and Israel agreed on an open-ended ceasefire beginning at 7pm on Tuesday evening, bringing relief to civilians on both sides of the border. The Israeli army said in a statement on Wednesday that there had been no reports of violence since the ceasefire began. Continue reading...
(Wed, 27 Aug 2014 07:50:00 GMT)

Indian woman kills leopard with sickle after it attacks her
Kamla Devi, 56, says she battled with the animal for half an hour after it attacked her while she was tending her fieldsA 56-year-old Indian woman is recovering in hospital after killing a leopard that attacked her, as she tended her fields armed only with a sickle.The woman told Indian broadcaster CNN-IBN that she battled with the leopard for half an hour on Sunday morning before finally delivering a killer blow with her sickle. Continue reading...
(Wed, 27 Aug 2014 11:28:00 GMT)

Self-harm by mental health patients in NHS has risen by 56%, figures show
Labour links rise in self-harm and suicide attempts to 'intolerable' pressure from staff and budget cutbacksGrowing numbers of people being treated in mental health units are harming themselves and trying to take their own lives, new NHS figures suggest.The number of such incidents at 29 of England's 52 NHS mental health trusts rose from 14,815 in 2010 to 23,053 last year, an increase of 56% over four years. Continue reading...
(Wed, 27 Aug 2014 00:08:00 GMT)

Ryanair launches business service
Airline reveals perks of 'business plus' fares and confirms it will submit non-binding offer this week to buy Cyprus AirwaysRyanair has launched a business service in the airline's latest move to revamp its image and catch up with travellers' demands for better treatment.The airline said its "business plus" fares would give customers flexible tickets, more check-in baggage, priority boarding and "premium" seats in the first five rows for quick boarding, or on exit rows with extra legroom. It said business passengers already make up more than a quarter of its customers and that the new fares, starting at 69.99 (or £59.99 for UK customers), were designed to get more of their business. Continue reading...
(Wed, 27 Aug 2014 11:07:00 GMT)

Jhon Jairo Velasquez, hitman to Pablo Escobar, walks free in Colombia
Popeye, responsible for thousands of deaths during reign of Medellin cocaine cartel, out on good behaviour after 22 yearsOne of Colombias most feared drug cartel assassins has walked free after serving 22 years in jail for scores of murders ordered by the notorious drug lord Pablo Escobar during the cocaine trafficking heyday of the 1980s.Jhon Jairo Velasquez, known by his alias Popeye, was released early from the high security Combita prison in central Boyaca after completing about three-fifths of his sentence and receiving a reduction for studying and good behaviour. He left the prison heavily guarded by state-provided protection. Continue reading...
(Wed, 27 Aug 2014 03:25:57 GMT)

Polish men accused of beating university lecturer face trial in January
Lecturer Paul Kohler was left with serious facial injuries after four men broke into his home in Wimbledon, south-west LondonA trial date has been set for two Polish men accused of brutally beating a university lecturer during a burglary in south-west London.Paul Kohler, 55, was left with serious facial injuries after four men broke into his home in Wimbledon at around 10pm on 11 August and attacked him, demanding money. Continue reading...
(Wed, 27 Aug 2014 11:23:56 GMT)

Christine Lagarde under investigation in fraud case; German consumer confidence hit by geopolitical fears - business live
The head of the International Monetary Fund has been placed under formal investigation over the Bernard Tapie case, but insists she will not resign.Earlier: Lunchtime summaryGerman consumer confidence hit by geopolitical risksFrench industrial morale down tooItaly to revise growth forecasts downGerman bond yields dragged to new record lows 1.05pm BST To recap...Christine Lagardes position as the head of the International Monetary Fund is under scrutiny today after magistrates put her under formal investigation, over the Bernard Tapie fraud inquiry.I have instructed my lawyer to appeal this decision which I consider totally without merit.I return back to Washington where I will indeed brief my board. 12.50pm BST Another photo from Paris, of Christine Lagarde speaking to her lawyer, Yves Repiquet, today. 12.48pm BST So, how serious is a charge of negligence? The Financial Times says it could potentially lead to a prison term (were a long way from that at this stage, though)From Paris, Hugh Carnegy reports:Ms Lagardes spokesman told the FT that the charge was relatively minor but one that nevertheless carried a maximum penalty of one year in prison and a fine of 15,000 if convicted. 11.59am BST The AFP news agency has confirmed that Christine Lagarde has no plans to resign.From the wires:The investigating commission of the court of justice of the French Republic has decided to place me under formal investigation, she said in exclusive comments to AFP. In France, being placed under formal investigation is the nearest equivalent to being charged, and happens when an examining magistrate has decided there is a case to be answered. It does not, however, always lead to a formal charge. 11.51am BST Lagardes lawyer, Yves Repiquet, has told Reuters that the IMF chief believes the decision to formally investigate her for negligence over the Bernard Tapie case was unfounded:We are appealing it, Repiquet said by telephone, adding that Lagarde, who was due to return to IMF headquarters in Washington later on Wednesday, had no plans to resign.In previous rounds of questioning, Lagarde accused Richard of having used her pre-printed signature to sign off on a document facilitating the payment, local media has said. However Richard has stated that Lagarde was fully briefed on the matter. 11.35am BST Christine Lagarde has been questioned for 15 hours yesterday by the Court of Justice of the Republic over her involvement in the Bernard Tapie case, flags up City AM. 11.16am BST Christine Lagarde, head of the International Monetary Fund, has been placed under formal investigation by French magistrates who are investigating a political fraud case that has gripped the nation.IMF chief Christine Lagarde has been put under formal investigation for negligence in fraud case. Says no intention of resigning. 10.52am BST Britains supermarkets remain locked in a toe-to-toe price war, meaning prices are rising at their lowest rate since at least October 2006.Grocery price inflation fell for the eleventh consecutive quarter to just 0.2%, according to the latest figures from Kantar Worldpanel. The battle to cut prices on staple items such as vegetables, milk and bread all drove down inflation over the summer. Of the UKs biggest six supermarkets, only Asda and Waitrose managed to increase their share of the market in that tough environment while Tesco, Morrisons, Sainsburys and The Co-op all lost ground. 10.41am BST In the City, speculation that a US e-commerce giant could snap up British online fashion success ASOS has sent its shares up 15% this morning, having gained 7% yesterday. 10.13am BST Italian consumers, like their German counterparts, have suffered a drop in confidence this month. But their worries are mainly domestic based, as they watch the Italian economy slide back into recession.Italian consumer confidence falls more than expected: Index down to 101.9 in August, from 104.4 in July (RT poll was 104.4) - ISTAT 9.49am BST Shorter-term German bond yields are now in negative territory, meaning investors are actually paying for the chance to own one, two, and three-year bunds.German government bond yields are now negative out to 3 years pic.twitter.com/0482E0tEIJ 9.47am BST The tumble in eurozone bond yields is a clear signal that investors expect the eurozone to become bogged down in a low-growth, deflationary spiral, repeating Japans experience over the last two decades.The Euro Abenomics trade is ON. Italian 10-years yield hit new record low at 2.375%, German 10-years yield hit new record low at 0.921%, 9.41am BST I'd love to know who's buying German 10 years bunds with a sub-1% yield. Anyone owning up? 9.40am BST The yield, or interest rate, on German 10-year bonds has hit a new record low this morning.Strong demand for German 10-year bunds has pushed their price to new highs, meaning they are now yielding just 0.917% this morning.When the EMUs largest economy is falling behind, this is very much increasing the chances of the ECB heading for further monetary measures, above all QE. 9.20am BST Foxtons, the London estate agent famous for pushy sales tactics and garish Minis, has sounded a cautious note on the housing market.The range of policy initiatives introduced in 2014 aimed at controlling mortgage lending, together with the expectation of early increases in interest rates, is now having an impact on short term demand among buyers. Consistent with others in the sector, we expect this to lead to lower rates of market growth in both property sales transactions and prices during the second half of the year. 9.16am BST Labours shadow business secretary, Chuka Umunna, says hes shocked by the poor sales practices exposed at RBS and NatWest today. Hes also alarmed that it too so long to address them.Taking out a mortgage is the biggest purchase a consumer makes and, as such, the FCA findings into RBS are both shocking and disappointing.Swap misselling by banks to small businesses happened 8yrs ago - this mortgage misselling by RBS was happening less than 18months ago!The FCA raised concerns with RBS on mortgage sales in 2011- it's disgraceful this was not immediately acted on.We still have some way to go in reforming our banking sector so it serves individuals and businesses - the real economy - properly. 9.05am BST Budget airline Ryanair has taken another step towards scrubbing up its image, launching a new business class service today.Features include flexible tickets, more check-in baggage, priority boarding and premium seats, as it tries to lure more executives onboard. 8.52am BST Britains banking sector continues to demonstrate a remarkable inability to treat its customers properly.Todays culprit is Royal Bank of Scotland, which has been fined £14.5m for failing to offer decent advice to mortgage customers. Only 2 of the 164 sales reviewed were considered to meet the standard required overall in a sales process. In the firms own mystery shopping there were examples of advisers giving personal views on the future movement of interest rates. This was highly inappropriate and may have resulted in the borrower being sold the wrong type of mortgage for them.Ross McEwan: Taking a mortgage is one of the biggest moments in our lives, and our customers should expect the best service (2/5)In the past we just didnt get this right; this was unacceptable and should never have happened (3/5) 8.36am BST German consumer confidence had been steadily rising over the last 18 months until todays drop (see 8.00am for details), as this tweet shows:German consumer climate falls in September: GfK index drops to 8.6 pic.twitter.com/W9dKQm77cZMajor upheavals in the global economy have so far only affected the consumer mood in Germany to a very limited extent. In order to ensure that this remains the case for consumers in future, it is important that the situations in the crisis regions do not escalate further and that long-term solutions are found instead. However, if domestic framework conditions also deteriorate decisively as a result of any potential further escalation, it is probable that more difficult times will also lie ahead for the German economy. 8.32am BST Italys economy minister has predicted that it could lower its growth forecasts making it a hat-trick of bad news for the eurozone this morningThe Italian governent currently predicts that GDP will rise by 0.8% this year, but that was before Italy fell back into recession. A rethink is now needed.We must revise the GDP (gross domestic product) growth forecast to the downside. Italy to revise down its GDP growth forecasts. French government too busy to think about that right now. 8.18am BST Bad news from France too -- morale among French companies has fallen again.Statistics body INSEE reports that the industry morale dipped again in August, to 96 from 97 on its monthly survey (where 100 is the long-term average). 8.00am BST German consumer confidence has suffered its first fall since January 2013, as the weakening eurozone economy and geopolitical risks hit Europes largest economy.The forward-looking survey of German morale, by polling firm GfK, found that economic expectations have collapsed this month, as the wider consumer climate suffers a setback. Consumers are increasingly taking the intensified geopolitical situation into consideration in their assessment of how the German economy will develop over the coming months. The indicator dropped by 35.5 points, plummeting to 10.4 points. A decline of this magnitude in just one month has not been recorded since the survey began in 1980. Consequently, virtually all improvement in the economic expectations indicator over the past year has been negated in one fell swoop. In August 2013, the indicator value was 1.8 points. Consumers are expecting the economy to shift down a gear or two at least. Given that no long-term solutions appear to be on the cards yet for any of the crises, uncertainty is rising in the population on the potential consequences for the German economy. In particular, the sanctions against Russia, which are already significantly impacting exports, could become a real risk for the German economy. German Consumer Confidence: Actual: 8.6 vs Forecast: 9 pic.twitter.com/JodHiKbXfl 7.54am BST Good morning, and welcome to our rolling coverage of the financial markets, the world economy.Coming up today -- a new survey of German consumers has found that confidence has been hit by economic weakness in the eurozone, and geopolitical threats across the globe. Continue reading...
(Wed, 27 Aug 2014 12:07:05 GMT)

Foxtons shares fall sharply despite jump in first-half profits
Estate agents' pre-tax profits rise 57% to £23.1m but shares slide 6.2% to 278p in early trading after slow sales warningFoxtons announced a strong increase in profit for the first half of the year but the London-focused estate agent's warning that sales growth would slow sent its shares down sharply.Pre-tax profit rose 57% to £23.1m in the year to 30 June as strong sales and mortgage broking fees sent revenue up 16% to £72.8m. Excluding debt repayments, which were higher a year earlier, and other items, earnings rose 29% to £24.9m. Continue reading...
(Wed, 27 Aug 2014 08:56:01 GMT)

Government considers steps against Britain First over use of crown
Cabinet Office asks far-right party to remove all official royal images after BNP offshoot refused request from the ASAThe government is considering "next steps" after Britain First, an offshoot of the British National party, failed to remove an image of the crown from its uniform and publicity materials.The Cabinet Office, which is responsible for authorising use of official royal symbols, said it had written a letter to the far-right party asking it to remove all images of the crown from its website, marketing materials, stationery and stock "with immediate effect". The Cabinet Office said it had received a number of complaints about Britain First's use of the official symbol, which it said it had not authorised. A spokesman added: "It appears that Britain First has not fully complied with our requirements and we are considering the most appropriate next steps." Continue reading...
(Wed, 27 Aug 2014 11:21:25 GMT)

Thieves on mopeds and motorbike in Knightsbridge Rolex robbery
Smash-and-grab incident is latest in string of similar, well-planned thefts in west London this yearThieves using hammers and an axe took part in a smash-and-grab robbery of a Rolex shop in Knightsbridge, west London, before fleeing on mopeds and a motorbike.Police said no one was injured in the robbery on Wednesday morning as five or six men made a getaway. Police are investigating. It was the latest in a series of smash-and-grab incidents in west London this year. Continue reading...
(Wed, 27 Aug 2014 12:41:43 GMT)

British Ebola patient Will Pooley taking experimental drug ZMapp
Royal Free hospital in Hampstead says next few days are critical for 29-year-old nurse who contracted virus in Sierra LeoneWill Pooley, the first British person to contract the Ebola virus, has been given an experimental drug as part of his treatment in London, it has been revealedon Tuesday.Pooley, a 29-year-old nurse from Eyke in Suffolk, was flown back to the UK by the RAF on Sunday after contracting Ebola while volunteering at a treatment centre for people with the deadly virus in Kenema, Sierra Leone. Continue reading...
(Tue, 26 Aug 2014 16:35:40 GMT)

New assessments for non-European nurses to be introduced
Nursing and Midwifery Council to introduce new registration system this autumnNurses and midwives who completed their training outside Europe are to face new assessments of their eligibility to work in the UK. The Nursing and Midwifery Council said the registration system, to be introduced this autumn, would ensure that the hundreds of staff who trained overseas and wished to practise in the UK were assessed in a robust way, in order to protect the public.Nearly 5,000 people who trained outside the European Economic Area have registered with the NMC over the last five years. The majority of nurses and midwives who trained overseas come from India, the Philippines or Australia. Continue reading...
(Tue, 26 Aug 2014 23:32:17 GMT)

Moscow may ban anti-Russian films from cinemas in new censorship threat
Russian culture committee threatens to outlaw movies that show the country and its citizens in a 'primitive and silly way'Politicians in Moscow are calling for new powers to ban foreign films that "demonise" Russians from showing in cinemas, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Continue reading...
(Wed, 27 Aug 2014 12:28:05 GMT)

US alarm as Vietnamese democracy activists jailed for 'obstructing traffic'
Embassy says trio were imprisoned for expressing political views after government used public order laws to prosecuteThe US has expressed concern over prison terms given to three Vietnamese democracy activists for "obstructing traffic".Bui Thi Minh Hang, Nguyen Thi Thuy Quynh and Nguyen Van Minh were sentenced to three years, two years and two-and-a-half years respectively on Tuesday on charges described by human rights groups as "bogus". Continue reading...
(Wed, 27 Aug 2014 07:50:13 GMT)

Gay club advert sparks controversy in Kazakhstan
Advertising firm responsible for poster featuring Russian poet Alexander Pushkin kissing Kazakh composer Kurmangazy Sagyrbayuly has promised not to display it in public after widespread complaint. EurasiaNet reportsAn advert featuring an image of Russian poet Alexander Pushkin and Kazakh composer Kurmangazy Sagyrbayuly kissing has sparked widespread complaint in Kazakhstan.The poster which features the two of the regions most prominent 19th century cultural figures is designed to promote a gay club in Almaty, one of the most liberal cities in Central Asia. The club, Studio 69, sits at the corner of streets named after Pushkin and Kurmangazy. Continue reading...
(Wed, 27 Aug 2014 09:39:46 GMT)

Shannon Matthews TV drama plans causes anger in Dewsbury
MP and residents voice concerns about mooted drama about the 2008 kidnapping hoaxA proposed BBC drama about Shannon Matthews, the nine-year old girl from Dewsbury in West Yorkshire who endured a hoax kidnapping organised by her own mother, has met with concern among her former neighbours and been described as "inappropriate" by a local MP.During her 24-day disappearance in 2008, Dewsbury's Moorside estate came under intense media scrutiny, being branded "Beirut" by the Sun and compared to the Channel 4 show Shameless. Continue reading...
(Tue, 26 Aug 2014 21:17:14 GMT)

Gary Lineker: why not let the players choose the new England captain?
With Wayne Rooney and Joe Hart the obvious contenders, perhaps it is time Roy Hodgson followed the example of other countries and let his squad pick the new captain England left to wonder: where have all the captains gone?It was a warm sunny day in August 1990. My phone rang. Hello. Gary, this is Graham Taylor. I am calling because I would like you to be the new England captain.OK, I made up the weather part, but the rest is verbatim. Not too many players receive that kind of phone call, and no one ever turns down the invitation. It was without question the proudest, most thrilling moment of my career. I felt like I imagined Terry Butcher always feels. Continue reading...
(Wed, 27 Aug 2014 12:21:32 GMT)

England v India: second ODI live!
ODI updates from the match in CardiffEmail daniel.harris.casual@theguardian.comOr get in touch via Twitter: @DanielHarrisLook in on Australia v South Africa here 1.48pm BST 44th over: India 255-4 (Raina 97, Dhoni 32) Dhoni waits for Tredwells first ball - its only just outside off, and full - then deflects a delectable cut for four. But the rest of the over is tight, giving Tredwell a decent 2-42 from his ten overs. 1.46pm BST 43rd over: India 249-4 (Raina 96, Dhoni 27) Dhoni is just happy to get Raina on strike here, so they swap singles before Raina steps away to leg, then clatters Stokes through off - a blow he follows with a power-caress down the ground. Four more. Though hes not been helped by his bowlers, Alastair Cook has tried very little to stem the flow of runs here, and Englands confidence is sagging, Woakes misfield at 45 not the first tell. 1.41pm BST 42nd over: India 237-4 (Raina 85, Dhoni 26) Tredwell - there can be no other - resumes, and Raina is down the track to his first ball, knucking it high over his head for six. The rest of the over is tighter, yielding three singles - but this is ominous for England. 1.39pm BST 41st over: India 228-4 (Raina 77, Dhoni 25) By process of elimination, Stokes returns, and Dhoni clouts his first ball over the head of mid-off for four. That powerplay was apparently the second-worst in Englands history, though very little to do with Dhoni - he redresses the imbalance with another four, slammed DTG to long-on. Greetings from Gothenburg Airport Business Lounge, chirps Gary Naylor, where, as usual, there is not much business being conducted but plenty of lounging. Anyway, my readingmaterial en route home (at least until I get to the motorbike at Gatwick) isClive Jamess Unreliable Memoirs. Theres a warning in the blurb not to read iton a train as people will stare as you convulse with giggles - its a warningthat went unheeded by me as blond heads turned to look at the fat man in the Is it cowardly to pray for rain t-shirt on the Karlstad to Gothenburg chugger.Giving Australians a good name is Clive. (PS Hang in there mate). 1.34pm BST 40th over: India 218-4 (Raina 76, Dhoni 16) England are running out of bowlers here, Woakes hit and Jordan wided out of the attack. Anderson returns, and after two dots - the second and third of the powerplay, in its final over - a single brings Raina on strike. He backs away to leg, so Anderson follows him - but is lofted for four behind square anyway. Then, Raina waits for the next ball to arrive and waves the bat at it, edging for four over Buttlers head, before flowing into a cover drive for four more. 62 off the powerplay, 86 off 71 for the partnership, and India are bossing ting. 1.27pm BST 39th over: India 205-4 (Raina 64, Dhoni 15) Suddenly this is getting away from England, Dhoni opening the face to one outside off-stump and driving square for four. Jordan then over-compensates (yes, again), the consequence a leg-side wide, before a single lapped down to wide third man brings Raina back on strike. He nips another one off on the leg-side, as does Dhoni, and Jordan responds with his eighth wide of the innings; this left-hand/right-hand batting combination cant be helping much. Perhaps he might try going around the wicket, because this is getting painful - another wide, to Dhoni, and then another, and then another. Deep breaths are taken, the crowd cheer him in, and he delivers a straight one that beats bat but not pad. Theres an appeal, but it looked like it was going over the top to me, and the umpire concurred. Suresh Raina's last ODI 50 came vs Zim at Bulawayo on 1 Aug 2013. His 50 at Cardiff is his 1st in 16 innings since then. (HS 39) #EngvInd 1.20pm BST 38th over: India 191-4 (Raina 62, Dhoni 9) Oh what a shot from Raina, picking the fullness of Woakes length almost before ball left hand and clouting him back over his head for six. The next delivery is shorter, so Raina turns it around the corner to long leg, which brings up his fifty - off 49 balls. Then, after a Dhoni single brings him back on strike, he dives into another short ball, top-edging a pull hard enough to add six more over long leg. And he gets two more through midwicket, before flicking over the head of short-midwicket for four. Twenty off the over, 19 of them to Suresh Raina. 1.14pm BST 37th over: India 171-4 (Raina 43, Dhoni 8) Jordan replaces Anderson and his first ball is wide enough for Raina to advance; he swats through cover, not off the middle, but off enough to get four. Raina then turns one off his pads for a single and the lights come on, before more singles make this a profitable over; Jordan needs a trademark wicket with bad ball urgently. 1.09pm BST 36th over: India 162-4 (Raina 36, Dhoni 7) India take the powerplay and Woakes returns to greet it and/or them. The batsmen swap singles and then Dhoni swipes towards cover, seizing on poor backing-up when Cook misses with a shy to turn one into two. Sadly the reason Taylor is out of favour is his lack of top class cojones, reckons Alex Coe. Those few occasions hes played for England hes failed to impose himself and has looked cowed - a bit like I Ron Bell has turned out.... Technically great temperamentally flawed. Sorry. 1.05pm BST 35th over: India 156-4 (Raina 34, Dhoni 3) Raina plays a sort of one-armed drive away from his body, edging behind - and the ball bounces in front of Buttler, whos nae chance of stopping the four. Anderson responds with a bouncer, too high to freaten ve fizzog - and Raina sort of ducks and plays a loose hook at the same time, missing by a distance. Then, after another bouncer, a four off the middle, back-cut through third man. 1.01pm BST 34rd over: India 148-4 (Raina 26, Dhoni 3) Raina paddles Tredwell away square on the off-side for a single, and Dhoni continues in defensive manner, the ODI supercomputer that he stores where most of us have brains determining it as the optimal way of proceeding. 12.58pm BST 33rd over: India 145-4 (Raina 25, Dhoni 1) Anderson comes back on, and a loose one is easily turned behind his legs by Raina, earning four. A further single to square-leg makes it five off the over. Watching Tredwells girth has made me think an England debut for myself at 45 might be possible after all. I can do the drinks, reflexive pronouns Ian Copestake. Such behaviour is also, indisputably, on the OBOs banned list. 12.52pm BST 32nd over: India 140-4 (Raina 20, Dhoni 1) Tredwell coaxes one to straighten as Raina heaves into a sweep. It hits him in line, but might have been going down, and the umpire says not out; looked close, though, and hawkeye says out. Then, three balls later, Raina lofts one over cover and they run two. 12.48pm BST 31st over: India 137-4 (Raina 17, Dhoni 1) Raina flicks a single to fine leg, and then Dhoni back-cuts to backward point, Morgan leaping sideways to dash hopes of a run. This earns him three separate handslaps, but Jordan then delivers his fifth wide and Dhoni turns to square-leg to get off the mark. Then another wide, then another single. 12.43pm BST 30th over: India 132-4 (Raina 15, Dhoni 0) Dhoni plays his first ball down the ground, and Tredwell dives for it, various fielders appealing when stumps are broken. But he couldnt get a touch, disappointment assuaged by a wicket maiden. 12.39pm BST India plan on getting stuck in now, Rohit cant go on, and all that. He shuffles down the track with ill intentions, looking to massacre Tredwell over the top - er, just as he did Moeen Ali in the Test series. But he cant find the middle of the bat, and Woakes, skipping in off the long-off fence, takes the catch easily. 12.39pm BST 29th over: India 132-3 (Rohit 52, Raina 15) Jordan replaces Stokes and his first two balls yield singles, before his fourth scoots right past Rainas back - wide by miles. And, after a leg bye, another on the leg side is helped around the corner by Rohit. India will happily keep this going, looking at around 270, but planning on getting stuck in in the final 15 overs to get up to somewhere around 300. 12.33pm BST 28th over: India 127-3 (Rohit 50, Raina 14) Tredwell drags one down whilst darting it in - he might be good against Raina, forcing him to hit against the spin if he wants to go leg side - and his man isnt quite sure whether to make sure hes not stumped or make sure to get bat on it. He contorts himself to do both, then smears four to midwicket when looking to hit much straighter - but might now consider himself in. 12.29pm BST 27th over: India 122-3 (Rohit 50, Raina 9) Raina drives Stokes through cover and Anderson hurtles around the boundary to save a single as they run three. Stokes responds well, just back of a length and forcing Rohit to defend on the back foot. But then he strays straight, is turned away on the leg-side, and thats Rohits fifty; theres obviously no such thing as a bad fifty, but thats a really good fifty. Can he go on? 12.26pm BST 26th over: India 117-3 (Rohit 49, Raina 5) A single for each batsman from this over. I wonder if England would quite fancy having RS Bopara to call upon here - this is a very RS Bopara kind of pitch. 12.23pm BST 25th over: India 115-3 (Rohit 48, Raina 4) 3-1 and you still dont sing, bellow items in the crowd whove confused events with a terrible football match. Immediately following the wicket, the scoring rate is staunched - just one from the over - until Raina snaps the final delivery through midwicket for four, Bell slipping in the chase. 12.19pm BST 24th over: India 110-3 (Rohit 47, Raina 0) Raina was one of two Indian cricketers invited to MS Dhonis wedding - fellow floppy hair-haver, RP Singh was the other, for all those wondering. 12.17pm BST Smart work from all concerned - Tredwells change of angle worked, he tempted Rahane with his length, beat him with his line, and Buttler let himself in on the ruse very sharply indeed. Lazy from Rahane, though, who was on the line of the crease, and ought not to have been caught that way. England really needed that. 12.15pm BST 24th over: India 110-2 (Rohit 47, Rahane 41) Tredwell goes around the wicket - Athers thinks this is a good move, because he didnt like playing off-spinners who did that and those that dont turn able beat the outside edge, those that do able to be the inside edge. Holding, on the other hand, sees it as a defensive controlling method because of the line - oh, and whats this? Rahane misses a slider, Buttler whisks off the bails, his foot doesnt look grounded behind the line - and were off upstairs... 12.12pm BST 23rd over: India 107-2 (Rohit 45, Rahane 40) Stokes and Jordan gave a bit of light relief after Anderson and Woakes, says Athers gently. Stokes was a little unlucky - the no ball that also cost him a six probably wasnt - but theres been very little threat since the opening pair went off, though theres not as much movement around either. Stokes is back on here, and cedes four singles. We all know how this ends. 12.08pm BST 22nd over: India 103-2 (Rohit 43, Rahane 38) A single to Rohit brings up Indias hundred, and there follow three more. India are setting this up. England are being set up. About 5 years, on a night home with my future wife, I recognised a middle aged woman sitting opposite us on the Northern Line, admits Jim McClemont. I just couldnt place her name. She was in something my mum liked, some play about a dinner party. It suddenly came to me that it was Alison Steadman. Yes! That was her. Thinking I could show off a bit about my knowledge of old (but great) plays, I tapped out Alison Steadman on my phone and showed it to my partner. She turned to me, and drunkenly shouted over the din of the tube who the ahem is Alison Steadman? 12.05pm BST 21st over: India 99-2 (Rohit 41, Rahane 36) More milking, to the tune of just four this time. Just to go back to the issue of Finn, emails Leo Allen, I was at the Middlesex vs India game and was surprised by how innoccous he looked. Im still a fan and think/hope hell be back for the Ashes to do a Mitchell Johnson but I reckon that performance coupled with his issues with leaking runs means hes not quite ready for ODIs yet. 12.01pm BST 20th over: India 95-2 (Rohit 39, Rahane 34) Tredwell into the attack, and hes milked for four straight singles - this is getting away from England now - and Rahane then slashes two as Root dives, slips, slips, dives, and flounders. Then another single. 11.59am BST 19th over: India 88-2 (Rohit 37, Rahane 29) Root sneaks one that skids past Rahanes outside edge and Buttler cant stop it, so a bye is run. Sharma then adds a single, Rahane does likewise, and then Sharma waits for one, crashing it away on the off-side. Jordan chases and dives, but gets nowhere near. This is excellent from India. 11.55am BST 18th over: India 80-2 (Rohit 32, Rahane 28) Sharma bunts Jordan down into the off-side and dashes a single - theres a matter-of-principle shy, but speed of call and of foot rendered it useless. Then, Jordan tries a fuller one - and again, hes caned down the ground for four. Every time Im looking down the team list in the morning and Im looking for Steven Finn, says Ganguly in commentary. I bet Graeme Swann greets him by saying wotcha. Manners, begins Frederick Myles. The approriate scorecard for today, based on social standing; 11.51am BST 17th over: India 77-2 (Rohit 31, Rahane 23) On comes Root - Tredwell is still hanging - and thats a curious one. This isnt a time to try fiddling, with two batsmen confident and set- England need a wicket, or to exert pressure. Root is milked for four singles.Supposing any OBO readers came round to us for dinner, offers John Starbuck, we might well offer grapefruit spoons (for the avocado pear), fish knives and forks for the smoked salmon, steak knives for the venison and dessert spoons and forks for the nectarines in peach liqueur; not to mention all the correct glassware for various drinks. Just because other people have given up on the fine arts doesnt mean we have to. 11.46am BST 16th over: India 71-2 (Rohit 29, Rahane 21) Rahane is a gorgeous player, and when Jordan donates some width, he has no qualms about freeing arms and slotting him through extra-cover for four. Then consecutive wides - this could be a particular ODI problem for old CJ (further shortened, no doubt, to Ceej) given his propensity to stray to leg. Drinks.But if its not pudding, then what is it? returns Ben Powell. Dessert, Ive always thought of as coming from the same unacceptable linguistic place as toilet and settee. Afters it is sometimes called in Yorkshire I suppose. All of which points up the almost complete disappearance of the savoury course as being a very real sign of the decadence of modern society. I am now retreating to my Edwardian themed study, to peruse my etchings. 11.40am BST 15th over: India 64-2 (Rohit 29, Rahane 16) After a couple of singles, a no ball - not by much, and Stokes might perhaps have slid over the line. The batsmen run a single anyway, and then Rohit powers a swipe for six - he was going for somewhere over midwicket and ended up hitting squarer, but connected middle with middle. Twelve off the over, and this is now a significant partnership; if India make the most of it, theyll rack up a proper score, if England can break it, theyll be set. 11.35am BST 14th over: India 52-2 (Rohit 20, Rahane 14) India are starting to motor now. Rahane inside-edges Jordan to fine leg, unlucky for the bowler, but all grist to the batsmens confidence mill. As it were. Then, after a leg-bye brings Sharma onto strike, he stands and waits before applying an enormous heave to fresh air - but Jordan and Buttler are both convinced that there was an edge. There was, too, of the feintest variety, but Paul Reiffel thinks not. 11.30am BST 13th over: India 47-2 (Rohit 20, Rahane 10) Ben Stokes must be seriously relieved to be playing here, after an abortive summer thats called his immediate Test future into question. He replaces Anderson, and after Rohit eases his third ball away to third man - by way of spooky coincidence - Rahane leans into one thats slightly overpitched, which rushes through mid on and down to the fence. Signs of the decadence of modern society: touches Michael Brown. Complaining that two teams are wearing too similar a colour (4th over) when they ought to be all wearing white anyway. 11.25am BST 12th over: India 41-2 (Rohit 19, Rahane 5) Jordan on for Woakes, and Rahane funnels him away for a single behind square on the off-side, then Rohit relaxes one to third man - that was actually a good ball, full and swinging away. There follows a wide - which, reckons Nasser, came due to Jordans curious grip which sometimes squirts the ball towards leg.Signs of decadence of modern society? asks Ben Powell. Spoons and forks with pudding no longer seems to happen. I think my mother is perhaps one of the few surviving humans to insist on this. 11.20am BST 11th over: India 36-2 (Rohit 18, Rahane 4) The other thing about no Finn is that the World Cup will be played in Australia; that will suit his pace, whereas the lack of swing might not help those lacking his clicks. Anyway, Rohits beaten by a fuller one, so gambles that hes getting the same again - he does - coming down the track to Anderson and swiping him away from off to leg. Not pretty, but four, and then after two more earned to fine leg, pretty and four, a half-volley spanked through cover. 11.15am BST 10th over: India 26-2 (Rohit 8, Rahane 4) End of the powerplay, and England have done very well indeed. Just a single off that over, Rohit finding a gap behind square on the off side. Signs of the decadence of modern society, emails Paddy Murphy. No separate changing room for England cricket captain. 11.13am BST 9th over: India 25-2 (Rohit 7, Rahane 4) Rohit controls one down to third man, Rahane edges two more, and a then a wide completes the overs scoring. Change strip? harrumphs Tom Atkins. A good rule of thumb in this situation is that the two lads with the pads and helmets on, facing the bowling, are the batting side, and the blokes in the field bowling and fielding are the fielding side. I use that rule for Test cricket as well, and it works a treat. 11.09am BST 8th over: India 21-2 (Rohit 6, Rahane 2) Looking again at the Kohli dismissal, that drive was premeditated - he was swiping at whatever came his way. Anyway, once again, India are in shtuck. Douglas Jardine famously wore his Harlequins cap while captaining England, writes Christoper Dale. Another wonderful tradition fallen by the wayside. 11.03am BST Perhaps Kohli needs to change his name to Nicholas, because at the moment, hes miles away. Trying to force the issue, he comes down the track, whales at a drive, slices it, and picks out Cook at mid-off - who only just hangs on. 11.00am BST This is textbook but excellent: Woakes, whos bowled well this morning, sends down a fuller one, finding a modicum of away-movement. Dhawan plays an expansive drive - is expansive used to describe anything but? - and edges behind. 10.59am BST 7th over: India 19-0 (Rohit 6, Dhawan 11) Sharma plays and admires a forward defensive, but Dhawan wants a run, so hes forced to curtail. The ball goes to Bell at short cover, who, for reasons unexplained and inexplicable, dives to stop it when he could just have picked up, then loses his footing as he goes to shy. Then Dhawan plays his first serious shot of the innings, flicking hard - if thats possible, I think it is - over midwicket when Woakes strays onto his pads. The decadence of modern society, says Jack Fray. Following two OBOs at once..? 10.55am BST 6th over: India 11-0 (Rohit 5, Dhawan 6) Another good over from Woakes, just one from it. India will probably be satisfied, though, because they have so much expert batting to come. 10.53am BST 5th over: India 11-0 (Rohit 5, Dhawan 5) Both batsmen are keen to extricate themselves from striking duties, swapping singles - Rohit edging to third man, and Dhawan dropping into the off side. Those are the only runs off the over.Meanwhile, heres Michael Sones: Morning. Im enjoying reading the OBO almost as much as I enjoyed watching my work colleague throw a full cup of coffee over his crotch this morning. Round of applause for **** ******. Hell be reading the OBO too. He sits directly in front of me and I look forward to seeing him writhe in shame as he reads this. 10.48am BST 4th over: India 9-0 (Rohit 4, Dhawan 4) Someone really needs to be wearing a change strip here. Anyway, Dhawan tries an expansive drives and bottom edges it behind on the leg side. He hares down to the other end, while Rohit, whose call it was, does unharing. But somehow, in the time it takes Buttler to run down the ball and throw, he gets back, running two to score nee runs. Then another similar shot for no reward, then another similar shot, only this time, he gets hold of it, the ball speeding to the point boundary. The Vince scoring heavily thing doesnt really seem to be the case, emails Jos Roberts. This years RL cup hes scored 141 runs @ 35.25 compared to Taylors 330 @ 82.5 with 2 hundreds (the one against Middlesex was off 55 balls). Admittedly Wee Jimmys played 2 more innings, but still. For the Lions Vince scored 58 runs @ 14.5 compared to Taylors 142 @ 47.33 (with 1 hundred).The question we have to ask is would any other country sideline a player with a list A average of over 50? Hed walk into pretty much any other countrys middle order. 10.42am BST 3rd over: India 5-0 (Rohit 4, Dhawan 0) A wide from Anderson gets India going, but he responds with one that swings too much, again beating Rohit as he pushes forwards. Then Rohit nudges one to mid on and the batsmen begin a run and turn back, an unnecessary shy at the stumps forcing the umpire to leap with feet riverdancing. Cook, backing up, dives to save an overthrow. Then, after more plays and misses, Rohit takes tow and half steps down the track and caresses Anderson to the long on fence. Lovely shot. Signs of the decadence of modern society: Sky failing to include middle initials on scorecards. More, please. 10.38am BST 2nd over: India 0-0 (Rohit 0, Dhawan 0) Decent pace and lift from Woakes, whos improved so much over the last year. The pitch is actually looking quicker than might have been expected - the carry is decent - and Woakes draws Dhawan forwards, beating the outside edge. Then, from the final ball, Dhawan walks him down slightly, but can only edge into his front pad. Maiden. Heres John Starbuck: Given that England have six players whose surnames all have an o as the second letter (is this a record) shall we be referring to them as The O Team from now on? 10.34am BST 1st over: India 0-0 (Rohit 0, Dhawan 0) Its swinging for Anderson first up, and he shapes his second ball away from Rohit with elegant, languid ease. The pitch isnt especially quick, but theres some movement, and theres another past the outside edge, Rohit again on the front foot and playing tentatively. An excellent maiden.On Finn: begins Indy Neogy. It may just be that they are going to look at all the options this series and well see Finn in a later game. Still, it sort of looks like England arent sure Finns action is solid enough to survive contact with the England coaching team - and given the way things turned out last time, whod argue? 10.31am BST So, then, have Indias batsmen discovered a way of dealing with James Anderson over the last two weeks? 10.27am BST I see no Ravi Bopara in the England team, asserts Ravi Nair. Shurely shome mishtake?! So what if he wasnt picked for the squad, everyone knows that by Hawkings principle of Quantum Tunnelling he could have got into the final XI, and should have. I am outraged, and my have to move to Tunbridge Wells to fully express my outrage. Harrumph!His exclusion is not all that easy to grasp. 10.23am BST First email of the day, with Christopher Dale: Cant help but wonder what James Taylor has done to justify being overlooked so consistently, at ODI level at least? Scores significant quantities of runs, playing on a Trent Bridge pitch which is as close to international standard as county level gets, makes the sort of scores around which large totals can be built, and presents challenges to bowlers by virtue of his size (can play off the back foot almost exclusively). Are there technical issues which the uninitiated dont see, or is this more a case of face not fitting?I really dont know the answer to this - sometimes it seems like being small somehow counts against him, as though he cant hit over the top, though he can, or cant deal with fast bowling, though he can. And the thing is, with James Vince scoring so heavily, hes probably not next in line for either format. 10.15am BST So, no Finn, then. I dont precisely get this one, I confess. Woakes and Jordan are both much improved, good, handy batsmen and decent fielders - but who would opponents rather face, them or Finn, and who is a potential world beater, them or Finn? 10.12am BST Wa teams:England: Cook, Hales, Bell, Root, Morgan, Buttler, Stokes, Woakes, Jordan, Tredwell, Anderson. 10.06am BST Toss news: England have won it and will bowl. 9.28am BST During the course of a life, we get to meet, know, like and love a variety of people - all very nice. But, in the end, however we spin it, were on our own. No one is us, we are no one, how dya like them apples?By curious coincidence and happy chance, cricket is similar, individual sport masquerading as team game. And for England, this series takes that truism a step further. Yes, itd be nice to win, but more particularly, the pressure is on individuals to either play themselves in or out of the World Cup team. Continue reading...
(Wed, 27 Aug 2014 12:48:18 GMT)

Crystal Palace appoint Neil Warnock for second spell on two-year contract
Palace bring Warnock back to club to replace Tony Pulis Warnock turned down Nottingham Forest job in March Keeper Speroni wants caretaker Millen to stay at clubCrystal Palace have appointed Neil Warnock as their new manager on a two-year deal to replace Tony Pulis.Palace had been linked with a series of potential replacements for Pulis following his decision to leave on the eve of the season, and were close to hiring Malky Mackay before details of offensive text messages he sent while managing Cardiff City were made public.#CPFC are delighted to announce that Neil Warnock has been appointed as the club's new first team manager with immediate effect Continue reading...
(Wed, 27 Aug 2014 12:12:00 GMT)

Australia v South Africa: tri-series live!
Email russell.jackson@theguardian.com with your thoughtsWhy cricket needs Richie Benaud back Check in on England v India here 10.45pm AEST Mitchell Marsh is into the attack now and it will be very interesting to see how his bowling has come along. Australian selector Rod Marsh has been glowing in his praise of the 140 kmph+ pace of the youngest Marsh and says its what has made him an irresistible prospect for the NSP.Marsh squares up du Plessis with his first delivery but also gives him a rank half-tracker thats gleefully dispatched through mid-wicket for a boundary. That one barely looked 120kmph to be completely honest. 10.41pm AEST Im struggling to think of a more irritating way to be dismissed than after an over had been prematurely called to an end. de Kock looked like hed had his school lunch order stolen and the bully had just stood there and eaten it in front of him.Starc carries on in slightly erratic fashion this time around with two quite pedestrian deliveries followed by a couple of jaffas and then some short trash that de Villiers slaps over the head of point for a boundary. Hes probably more angry with himself when he digs in an accurate bouncer that has de Villiers ducking for cover to finish the over. 10.36pm AEST Richardson comes in to the new man, AB de Villiers, and the Proteas skipper is immediately on the attack. He cuts wide of point for three but otherwise its another frugal over from Richardson on the heels of the dreadfully unlucky demise of Quinton de Kock. 10.32pm AEST An error here and an error there and it all crashes down, says Pommie Mbangwa, possibly talking about his own commentary work. Starc is not giving this fledgling pairing of de Kock and du Plessis much room for error and continues his more consistent efforts from two overs back. du Plessis drives for three but that wont bother Bailey too much because it continues to bring the cordon into play.There is some confusion when the over is called to a halt a ball too early but the umpires see the error of their ways and call Starc back to send down his final delivery. Its a good thing they do as well because de Kock gets a top edge on a short ball and skies it to a fast-moving Faulkner in the deep. Oh dear, what a way to go. 10.25pm AEST After that lengthy delay to confirm the catch, Francois du Plessis arrives at the crease and gets an awkward lifter from Richardson, who appears to be bowling a different kind of cutter nearly every ball and bowling them reasonably well. He also squares up du Plessis but the leading edge sprays through cover for two to get the batsman off the mark. That was a terrific over of variation and experimentation from Richardson. 10.22pm AEST Amla is gone! Having spooked him slightly with a a sharp leg-cutter, Richardson bangs one in outside off stump and Amla cuts it hard and low to Steve Smith at point. The Aussie makes no mistake with the catch but the umpires want to make sure it carried. It did! Australia has the wicket they desperately needed. 10.18pm AEST Starc is back now for another go and he does a little better, drawing Amla forward and into a false stroke from his first ball and then almost squaring him up. He finishes with an accurate yorker to de Kock and Bailey should be relieved that at least one of his bowlers looks capable of sticking to the plan. 10.13pm AEST Richardson continues and de Kock strokes him elegantly through cover for three, after which Amla eases another two through the leg side. They look like theyre playing a gentle game of beach cricket right now, so lacking is any kind of pressure from the bowlers. This batting pair are really not even having to unduly impose themselves on the game.It would be an understatement to say that Australia needs a circuit-breaking wicket. 10.09pm AEST Johnson continues to Amla and again his length is slightly off, so the upright and orthodox batsman smashes him straight for another boundary and then lets a wide fly down the leg side. The Proteas are going at 7 an over now and the Aussie bowlers have been underwhelming. Is it too early for spin? Oh hang on... 10.04pm AEST Well I spoke too soon on Starc getting another over to get it right; hes immediately banished from the attack and now its Kane Richardsons turn. Like Our Wayne hes got the Pitchfork blogger beard and like Our Wayne hes immediately thumped for a boundary. Richardsons unlucky as well though, because his next delivery to Amla takes the outside edge and falls just short of Brad Haddin before skipping away to the boundary. He also goes past the edge from his final delivery, one at which Amla wafted in most uncharacteristic fashion. There are plenty of runs out here for him if he reigns in loose strokes. 9.59pm AEST Now its Johnsons turn to give the South Africans some width and having seen enough now, Amla savagely cuts him behind point for a majestic boundary. That was just smoked to the fence with both timing and power. Johnson tightens up a little but his final delivery is tucked around the corner for three down to fine leg. This is a bright start for the Proteas. 9.55pm AEST Mitchell Starc partners Johnson and though his first ball shapes away from de Kock its short and a little wide, allowing the diminutive Protea to punch it off the back foot for a boundary to deep extra cover. The bowler over-corrects a few balls later and de Kock whips him through mid-wicket for two more and then watches a wide sail down the leg side. After two more, de Kock creams a cover drive to the boundary to finish off what was an asbolute Parnell of an over from Starc. Thirteen runs come from it and Bailey has an early issue to deal with if Starc cant get it right in his next over. 9.50pm AEST Johnson steams in from the clubhouse end and starts by jamming a yorker towards the toes of Quinton de Kock, wholl be hoping for a better showing with the bat than he managed with the gloves. Once hes off the mark, Amla has four sighters from Johnson and starts in subdued and watchful fashion. 9.45pm AEST re. Mitch six-hitting splurge. Where do you stand on the penalties or benefits of letting th oppo opening bowlers swipe a few runs at the end? asks Robert Wilson. Does it reduce their venom in a glow of unexpected achievement or do they get generalised testosterone surges right up their noses? It depends whether you subscribe to the Devon Malcolm or Malcolm Marshall school of thought. Memorably a bad idea to upset Devon but when Marshall scored a fifty, opposition batsmen would lie down in a darkened room and jut sob. 9.26pm AEST The Aussies should be pleased with that effort after a couple of mid-innings stumbles and their total is an imposing one, but de Villiers and Amla could just as likely knock off these runs themselves so we might be in for an epic chase.Bearing in mind that Ill be motoring through the second 50 overs as well, Im sure youll excuse me a quick refreshment break during this changeover period. 9.23pm AEST Parnell is back! The battlers have been heard and our dodgy-haired King is back in the thick of the action. He starts with a tragi-comic half tracker, which Johnson duly cross-bats over the boundary rope at deep mid-wicket. This is deliciously predictable stuff and I love you for making it hapen, AB de Villiers!From there he concedes two singles but then Johnson takes to another shabby slot-ball and clubs it over the fence for six before lobbing two more off the next delivery. Parnells final delivery is straight and full and Johnson creams it six inches wide of the bowlers end stumps for a boundary. 9.17pm AEST Mitchell Johnson arrives at the crease now and hell be hoping to add to that batting highlight reel from the Zimbabwe clash, when he sent one crashing though the window of the commentary area. Standing in his and Faulkners way is Dale Steyn, who succeeds at death bowling where McLaren had mostly failed the over prior.With one over remaining and despite the semi-regular momentum-killer of wickets, Australia are on track for 315-320. Its a beautiful day but that will still take some getting. 9.11pm AEST Boo! AB de Villiers keeps hings conservative and brings back Ryan McLaren, who has two overs up his sleeve and has bowled with far better control than Parnell today. Well, I say that but then he produces a massive wide to gift the Aussies a run and an extra delivery fron which to clear the front foot and swing. Smith does just that from the next delivery, cross-batting a wide full toss for a boundary through cover and then replicating the exact same stroke from the next ball. Maybe de Villiers should have gone with Parnell after all... 9.05pm AEST Steyn continues as the threat of an expensive over or two from Parnell looms. Will AB de Villiers risk him? My guess would be no but it would be a win for cricket comedy if he threw him the ball. Steyn does nothing wrong except maybe set his third man too wide, because Faulkner slashes him through gully for three and then Smith gets four through the empty slip region, turning a potentially frugal over into a good one for the Aussies. 8.59pm AEST Smith squirrels another single off Tahir and is looking his normal busy self but the Aussies are getting a little desperate for boundaries at this point. Theyll be glad to see the back of Tahir, who finishes his 10th and final over with 2-45. 8.55pm AEST James Faulkner is the new man for the Aussies and as we found out in memorable style during that last Australian ODI tour of India, the burly Tasmanian can give them some serious licks. He gets off the mark with a single and Smith pinches another to keep the strike. 8.53pm AEST Steyn finally gets some luck, just when it appeared to have desserted him. Following on from a rare AB de Villiers mis-field that resulted in three to Smith, the bowler draws an expansive drive from Haddin but the Aussie can only feather an edge to Amla at first slip. 8.50pm AEST Haddin has picked up exactly where he left off on Monday and slog-sweeps Tahir for a majestic six over deep mid-wicket to get off the mark and then squeezing out a single. He has a little more trouble with Tahirs wrong un, which is a beauty again. Its deliveries like that from Tahir that make you wonder how he hasnt become a star.**Please do not store up that statement and use it against me in a weeks time. 8.47pm AEST Brad Haddin enters the fray for Australia and they need him to establish his authority quickly with only 7 overs remaining.You should be grateful for the Crazy Frog! 2003 was also the year of Guy Sebastians ANGELS BROUGHT ME HERE. I think the frog was marginally less grating, says Wayne Allen. 8.44pm AEST Quinton de Kock has had another shocker, this time standing in front of the stumps as a throw came in from the deep and thus in no position to take the bails ahead of a lunging Glenn Maxwell. Perhaps were now seeing why the Proteas have been reluctant to install him as their go-to Test keeper. Hes looked like a schoolboy at times today. Thats harsh but I also think its fair. Hes shaking his own head in disappointment. The man he replaced has less trouble holding onto the ball when Glenn Maxwell slogs wildly and skies it to mid-on. Its disappointing that Maxwell couldnt hang around for a final tilt in the last 5 overs, but hes an all or nothing player so you cant really complain about his approach there. 8.39pm AEST That Bailey decision was a howler, in fact. The ball had clearly passed his bat before the sound came but in lieu of any technological assistance, we have to go with the umpires call so Steve Smith is out there to join Maxwell.I feel like Finch is deserving of a better nickname than Finchy, says Rudi Edsall, who is clearly not a fan of The Office. I submit Kelvinator cause hes built like a fridge! Well, Dave Warner is calling him The Grinch, further confirming my theory that Australians are generally pretty lame in the nickname-generation stakes. 8.35pm AEST Australia scored 143 off their last 10 overs against Zimbabwe but they might find the going a little tougher this time around, even with Maxwell and Bailey at the crease. South Africa miss a trick when Bailey skies one to the on-side and a mis-communication between de Villiers and McLaren ends with the ball plugging safely into the outfield turf. Even worse is that after the resultant two runs, Bailey then swings around on the back foot and deposits Morkel over the fence at deep backward square leg. 8.29pm AEST One of the great things about cricket matches at sparsely-populated African grounds is the pop-cultural time-warp that is the DJ sets. Finchs demise then was rather bizarrely sound-tracked by the Crazy Frog song. Hello 2003, glad you stopped by. 8.25pm AEST Maxwell will get his chance after, because a tired-looking Finch has tried to hit one out of the surrounding suburb but instead skies a top edge to deep mid-wicket and departs for a most excellent century. 8.23pm AEST AB de Villiers has seen enough of Parnell again so asks him to cool his jets while Morkel has another go. Bowling changes dont seem to matter to Bailey at this point and he gives Morkel the full face of his Gray Nicolls to thump one over mid-off and bring up his half-century from 46 deliveries. This Australian pair is coasting along at a very comfortable rate and Glenn Maxwell also looks eager to get out there and take this Proteas attack to task. Well played the grinch @AaronFinch5 very mature innings. Now we will see fireworks, lookout commentators that window may get broken again. 8.18pm AEST Duminy continues for another over, which suits Aaron FInch just fine because hes able to sweep him for four and then force a single to mid-on to bring up a mature and composed century. What an impressive international career hes carving out now. Its his fourth hundred in just his 25th one-day game for his country, which is a very good strike rate for a player once considered to be unreliable. This one came off 111 balls, his slowest so far but also a vital innings to set a foundation for this Australian total. 8.13pm AEST Parnell returns with another bag of all sorts, but limits the damage to singles, which is a pretty good result at this stage.Robert Wilson is also back with French wicket-keeping suggestions. Jeffrey Dujon, natch. And apparently there was a guy called Clermonte Depeiaza. If only Bravo had kept wicket, hed have been perfect. Looking at it in another way, who would be the most wicketkeeping Frenchman? Everyone is going to go for Napoleon because he was a titch (and a notorious sledger) but its just gotta be Valéry Giscard dEstaing. If only for the name. 8.07pm AEST Duminy is back into the attack and Finch is looking to better Baileys six-hitting exploits from the over prior when he boofs one straight down the ground, sending some of the locals scrambling for safety. ...and if you call this number now, you can grab yourself a limited edition print, which is just $500 unframed.Happy Birthday Sir Donald Bradman! #Cricket #WWOS pic.twitter.com/YkcPEnni8z 8.02pm AEST Wayne Parnell is back and having walked into the house and taken one look at his hair, my fiance has screwed up her face and turned away from the screen. Hes copping it from all angles today. The crowd are so uninspired that theyre playing a huge game of head and shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes. Bailey adds hips to the equation when he glances a short Parnell ball from that region for another boundary and then flat-batting him over mid-on for a six.Fourteen have come from the over and players stop for a drink. Its an appropriate time to prognosticate further on Australias total, too, Six an over from here gets them 280, 8 an over gets them 310. 7.56pm AEST Again McLaren is wearing a slightly put-upon expression as Bailey attacks him, though this time hes at least drawn a false stroke when the Aussie slogs wildly over cover for two. I think Baileys streak innings has gotten under the skin of the big Protea. 7.53pm AEST Theres a subtle gust of wind in the Australian sail now and it might actually have come from the mouth of the huffing and puffing Dale Steyn, whose either being milked for singles or bowling wides in this over, which ends with Finch cutting him fora disdainful four. To start the French wicket-keepers discussion, Jack Russells painterly inclinations and dodgy facial hair surely make him a candidate, right? 7.48pm AEST AB de Villiers continues to shun Parnell and this time throws the ball to McLaren, which is probably sound logic at this point, though the prospect of Glenn Maxwell arriving at the crease and taking to the left-armer always remains. McLaren is unlucky when he draws an edge from Finch but it flies high and wide of of the un-populated slip region for a boundary. Two balls later there can be no disputing the colossal heave from Bailey that sends McLarens final delivery over mid-off for four. Bailey is seeing them a lot better now, it would appear. 7.43pm AEST That was an eventful signalling of the Powerplay, actually. Poor Wayne Parnell was all set to have another bowl but upon noticing that Bailey had made his move, Parnell was promptly banished and Dale Steyn handed the ball. Sorry Wayne, you and your top-knot cannot be trusted.Neither can Steyn right now, mind you. He gets his lines and lengths all wrong to start, allowing to Finch to turn yet another short, straight able to the fine leg boundary off his hip. Its signaled leg byes to the mild disappointment of the batsman. 7.38pm AEST Bailey is struggling with Tahir as badly as Hughes was, but after an ugly mis-hit from which hes lucky to claim two, he finally strikes one cleanly with an expansive lofted drive to the extra cover boundary. Both batsmen are attacking the spinner now and in truth they must otherwise Tahir will grind them down too. Pommie reckons that Tahir has seldom disappointed his skippers in national colours. Thats possibly overstating things a little, but hes bowled well today. Going on the logic that your total at the 30 over mark should be doubled by the end of the innings, the Aussies are looking at 290. Not totally sure thats enough but they do have wickets in hand as the second Powerplay is taken. 7.34pm AEST Morkel continues, conceding singles to each batsman and keeping things tight without looking particularly threatening. Could Phil Hughes be a 21st century Deano or is he, as I suspect, more of a semi-tragic Bevan figure?I miss Phil Hughes already. #SAvAUS 7.30pm AEST Whats that I was saying about the Australians getting after Tahir? Its a little hard when he bowls as beautifully as his first ball of the over, a superb wrong un that might also have undone todays birthday boy, The Don himself. Baileys lucky that it passes his stumps by millimetres and Finch equally so a ball later when he would have been metres short if de Villiers had hit the stumps with an underarm throw at short cover. Quinton de Kock actually might have taken the stumps properly, too. Finch still might have been out if the keeper had gathered it and taken the stumps. Its been a bad 20 minute period for the latter. 7.26pm AEST Morkels next over starts with some eye-catching, though ultimately fruitless fielding from de Villiers, who dives acrobatically to cut off two but loses grip of the ball just as he was about to launch his throw. Finch gets his two, then four more to fine leg when he swings another short one around the corner. 7.23pm AEST Quinton de Kock is having a far worse couple of minutes than even the most accident-prone nihilist, copping a sharply-spinning Tahir delivery in the throat this time. Tahir has 2-21 from his six overs and has really turned this game around for his side. The Aussies will be looking at 270 if they cant get his last four overs away for a few more. 7.20pm AEST Morne Morkel is back to replace Steyn and immediately draws an edge from a prodding Finch, but keeper Quinton de Kock cant reach it so it flies away to the boundary. Theres further drama a ball later when Morkel cuts Finch in half and the Proteas appeal for caught behind when it merely brushed the batsmans shirt. Packing as much into the over as possible, Morkel concedes a free hit off his next ball after he oversteps, but Bailey can only manage an ugly single slogged through the on side. 7.15pm AEST Australias fill-in skipper George Bailey arrives at the crease with his side reasonably well placed but hell be conscious of the need to increase the scoring rate heading towards the second PowerPlay. The Aussies will bat deep but they need to get a move on. 7.13pm AEST Finch has been content to sweat on a loose ball from Tahir and in the first ball of this over he gets a short one hes able to cut late and aggressively for a boundary and bring up his fifty, then he misses out on a duplicate result from the next delivery when he picks out the point fieldsman.A ball later Tahir slides one towards leg stump and catches Marsh in no mans land, so hes adjudged LBW for 5 and the Proteas have another breakthrough. 7.10pm AEST Barry Richards thinks that Dale Steyn is fresh and raring to go but hes been a little lacking in zip so far today and doesnt look all that happy about his lot. Both Finch and Marsh have been untroubled by him in this over, chipping singles and twos with ease. 7.07pm AEST From what weve seen so far, what do we consider a winning total here? Id be leaning towards something around the 300 mark, depending on how strongly Australia finish. What theyll need to do from here is lift the run rate significantly because the introduction of Tahir, tidy again in this over, was the start of a tightening of the screws. 7.03pm AEST With the Proteas on top now, Steyn is reintroduced to the attack to wind up and have a go at the 22-year-old Marsh. First he has to contend with Aaron Finch, who tucks a short one hurriedly around the corner for two runs to fine leg and then brings up Australias century with a single to deep mid-wicket. The Aussies first 50 came off 48 balls but the second has taken 79, which is a pretty decent summary of the way the Proteas are turning this around a little in a run rate sense. Theys still like a few more breakthroughs before Australia launch from the 30-35 over mark though. 6.58pm AEST Duminy continues, handing Finch a single and giving us our first decent look at Mitch Marsh today. He was impressive once he got going against the Zimbabweans on Monday but like then, hes watchful to start his innings here and sees off the Duminy over in circumspect fashion. 6.56pm AEST New man Mitchell Marsh gets a single from his first ball and then Tahir finally strays short and wide from the final delivery of the over, allowing Finch to cut late for three. Its been a terrific 10-minute patch for the Proteas - exactly the start to this session that they needed. 6.53pm AEST What was I saying about Hughes looking edgy? After a short period of the South Africans applying the clamps hes lost patience and slapped one straight at the Proteas skipper off Tahirs bowling. A big tactical win, that. 6.51pm AEST Now its JP Duminys turn to roll his arm over with those off-spinners we saw in seemingly unlimited supply during that Test series five months back. Hes getting a little bit of drift but mainly because hes over-pitching. Overall though its a good call by de Villiers because Hughes loves pace on the ball and even against a back-up spinner like Duminy he looks a little edgy. 6.48pm AEST There were lots of determined stares within the Proteas huddle at the break and hopefully for their sake theyve gathered themselves and plotted out a a resurrection in the new session.Tahir continues reasonable success, drawing a false sweep from Hughes that results in a spirited but unsuccessful LBW shout, after which the batsman squirrels a single to move to a well-compiled half-century. Its contained 8 fours in all different directions and the much-discussed Aussie looks determined to make a decent fist of this chance to impress. 6.42pm AEST McLaren continues, conceding only a streaky single to Finch to take us through to drinks. Proving that I have no grasp on the ICC rankings system, Fox flash up a stat revealing that hes currently the 6th best ranked ODI bowler in the world. Really?Meanwhile, Dean Jones is getting into the spirit of #ShirtTalkGo Hugo! #austvsa and by god we look better in Canary Yellow! 6.38pm AEST AB de Villiers is now looking for new methods of stemming the steady flow of runs so throws the ball to leg-spinner Imran Tahir. After conceding a pair of singles he draws a false stroke from Finch when the Aussie doesnt quite get a hold of an ambitious sweep. Its a tidy start for Tahir and South Africa might need 9 more overs from him like that one because theyre bleeding runs elsewhere and not particularly looking like breaking through either. 6.34pm AEST Hughes cant be kept down for long and has far less difficulty latching onto a slightly short one from McLaren, slicing it fine through gully for another boundary and then bunting a single.Thanks for the link to those 1992 shirts, says Ravi Nair. As I see it, the problem is Imran makes anything look cool, even that pistachio green, whereas Gooch makes anything look slobby, even the otherwise nice sky blue for England. 6.30pm AEST Morne Morkel has had enough of this Australian ascendancy and sends a quite frightening lifter down at Hughes. It jams into the raised hands of the batsman, causing him to duck and grimace. He rather spoils the beautiful brutality of the ball by staring at the pitch in puzzlement rather than bearing down on Hughes as though it was all his own doing as a bowling god. I love this rivalry. 6.26pm AEST Phil Hughes is in the mood, this time driving McLaren past the central umpire for a boundary after closing the face on another ungainly but effective drive. A ball later he hooks in uncontrolled fashion but though he skied it, it doesnt carry to deep square leg. Portello is a solid choice, says Rohan Phelps, but I feel a sledgehammer blow to his credibility coming... However, what are your thoughts on Kirks Pasito? In the cricket season, after a day in the field, Im yet to find better. 6.22pm AEST Anthony Reynolds knows the way to my heart is through some #ShirtTalk and hes talking one of my all-time favourites, so Ill just throw it over to him.Found out today that CWC 2015 ( whoever they are) are selling 1992 throw back WC shirt replicas (no doubt with a hefty markup). he says. Confirms though that these shirts - definitely from Aus perspective - are easily the best WC shirt designs (coloured at least), followed by 2007 WC design and then distance to the next. Particularly enjoy the uniformity in design for all the respective nations - Zimbabwe and Indias shirts are particularly good. 6.18pm AEST Ryan McLaren comes on for his first spell of the day but aborts his first delivery when he loses his run-up. Maybe that would have been a better approach for Wayne Parnell. Hughes clearly doesnt rate him either because soon hes advancing down the crease at him to upset his rhythm. A ball later McLaren overpitches, allowing Hughes to punch him through extra cover for a boundary, so maybe that tactic was a sound one. John McEnerney writes in and he thinks the Aussies have found some mojo via Finch. Hi Russell, great to see a player like Finch slapping the ball around the place, big & full of confidence, something the Aussies have that other top nations in cricket are missing is the swagger & self belief! 6.13pm AEST SOUTH AFRICA BEAT THE BAT!!! Morne Morkel has actually managed to provide Finch with a moment of discomfort here, squaring him up with an absolute jaffa that flies past the outside edge. 6.08pm AEST Parnell continues with his mixed bag of varying line and length. A short one allows Phil Hughes to bend slightly on one knee and slash him through backward point like hes unleashing the final winning flourish of a fencing match-up. Actually, that could be a sporting career change for him is CA tip him over the edge. Another full one is slammed through cover for four more and Hughes is up and running. 6.04pm AEST AB de Villiers doesnt like what hes seeing here so makes an immediate change, giving Steyn a spell on the boundary and calling Morne Morkels name. The latter slips as he bowls his first delivery and its a rank short ball from which Finch fails to breach the one metre zone either side of point that he needed to hit it. Two balls later he over-pitches onto the pads of the well-upholstered Victorian and gets slammed for a boundary over mid-wicket and the next one is also dispatched for four more through cover. Finchs teammates are looking on pensively from the players viewing area but will be pretty happy with this positive start. 5.54pm AEST Aaron Finch, my current favourite blatantly unfit cricketer, is seeing them pretty damned well at the moment. He really should have capitalised on his start against Zimbabwe and hes even pushing quick singles here, bunting one towards Morne Morkel at mid-on and taking off. He makes his ground and the newly-beared Dale Steyn is absolutely furious. So nothings changed there.Hughes flirts with danger when bobs up off his hip to finish the over, but it doesnt carry to the keeper. 5.49pm AEST If youre going to have a sponsor for the OBO, it surely should be that Relentless energy drink as a nod to the Godfather Rob Smyth surely? says Rudi Edsall. God I miss him. I wish I was taking the shine off the ball for the Godfather but Im just going to have to soldier on like post 06-07 Australian spinners. Im Stuart McGills dodgy hand/knee/shoulder. Im Brad Hoggs wagging tongue. Im lost without you Smyth, come back!Back at Harare, Parnell has found a much better range in his second over than in his first, which is damning it with faint praise I suppose. Only two singles come but hes hitting better areas, as the slips cordon might say. 5.45pm AEST Our first email of the Australian season! Geoff Foley asks, Rusty, what does Hughesy have to do to avoid being dropped if they lose today? 170 not out and three catches? Or is it inevitable regardless?INEVITABLE. So so inevitable, Geoff. 5.41pm AEST Parnell partners Steyn to start with but overpitches towards Hughes pads to start with and gets turned away for two. He tends to be quite expensive, Parnell, and his first couple of balls are a pretty good summary of why. The second is almost comically short, so bad that Finch doesnt even reach it. Then hes full twice more and the second of them is a full toss that Hughes whips off his pads with glee and watches the ball race away to the mid-wicket boundary. Parnells over went for a run less than Steyns but it was absolute filth to start with. The only way is up from that display. 5.37pm AEST Dale Steyn takes the new ball for the Proteas in front of a fairly sparsely populated stand and immediately draws an edge from Finchs driving blade, but it streaks away safely to third man to get the Victorian off the mark.Phil Hughes starts with a characteristic lack of flair, jumping around in a panic to defend off his hip and then striding forward to defend in awkward fashion. Hes far better in launching Steyns first ball over square leg for a boundary after the pacemen jammed it in too short. Steyns got plenty of that strange colourful tape down his arm like tennis players and sprinters wear. Im just going to have to pretend I know what it does. 5.31pm AEST George Bailer will skipper the Aussies, apparently. On Monday he claimed that Mitch Marsh was out of form with the bat, which came as surprising news to anyone who watched him blast 190-odd against India A a few weeks back.Phil Hughes and Aaron Finch are now out in the middle and ready to face up. Lets do this. 5.28pm AEST This Harare pitch is reportedly a little soft and also green, hence the Proteas call to bowl first. Why not when youre welcoming back Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel?That final Aussie line-up: Aaron Finch, Phil Hughes, Mitchell Marsh, George Bailey (captain), Glenn Maxwell, Steve Smith, Brad Haddin, James Faulkner, Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc, Kane Richardson. 5.16pm AEST And theyve elected to bowl, according to Cricket Australia, who Im just going to have to believe because Fox Sports are sticking with a replay of some bloke named Gallacher making a bogey putt. Why is this happening? Anyone? 5.14pm AEST Nathan Lyon is the man who makes way for the maligned Phil Hughes. The latter will open the Australian innings with Aaron Finch and Brad Haddin will slip down the order to number seven. I suppose that means well still see Mitch Marsh at number three, though hell have a tougher time of it against the Proteas than he did on Monday. 5.11pm AEST In their infinite wisdom the good people at Fox Sports have decided that what I need right now is not a pre-match show and some team line-up news, but Golfing World: Episode 158. Their promise that this programme will keep you informed and entertained seems a little hollow so instead of making fun of Pommie Mbangwa like I should be, I can only offer you these morsels: 5.02pm AEST They cant expect us to be mates with the off the field if things get personal.With that response to a series of questions relating to the sledging in their last meetings five months back, South African ODI captain A.B. de Villiers sounded a warning that the Proteas will take anything the Aussies dish up tonight. 4.43pm AEST Russ will be here from around 5pm AEST/8am BST. In the meantime, good to see that Nathan Lyon is on familiar terms with Robert Mugabe:Last time spinner Nathan Lyon toured Zimbabwe, he won a match for Australia A with a towering six and reckons he almost caused an international incident. I think Bobby Mugabe was under attack, recalls Lyon, of the blow he struck off the second last ball of a game against South Africa A. Continue reading...
(Wed, 27 Aug 2014 12:45:29 GMT)

Manchester United crisis: five reasons to still be cheerful and concerned
Three games into his tenure and already people are laying into Louis van Gaal after a poor start. But the manager has the skills and financial backing to turn things around Dutchman not shocked by 4-0 defeat by MK Dons United dare not lose again after drubbingFive reasons for optimism Continue reading...
(Wed, 27 Aug 2014 09:49:45 GMT)

Legia Warsaw mock Celtic on Twitter after Champions League humiliation
Legia react to Celtics home defeat by Maribor Champions League report: Celtic 0-1 Maribor Minute-by-minute: Celtics exit as it happened CAS overturned Legias appeal against expulsionCeltics failure to take a second chance at Champions League group stage qualification earned a satisfied response from Legia Warsaw, who tweeted to celebrate Maribors 1-0 win at Celtic Park.Celtic lost to Legia 6-1 on aggregate in the third qualifier, but were controversially reinstated after the Polish club were effectively thrown out by Uefa for fielding a player who should have been suspended.Unfortunately for now football is not winning We are going to CAS.#footballwon Continue reading...
(Wed, 27 Aug 2014 09:37:47 GMT)

Football transfer rumours: Joe Allen to Manchester United?
Todays rumours are to the pointWell start the day with some high-grade banter: Ángel Di María has handed in a transfer request after Manchester Uniteds Capital One Cup fiasco against MK Dons. Ho ho ho, tee hee hee.And heres some more banter for you United were actually clever to make an early exit from the cup, as it will allow them to concentrate on their relegation battle. Kaboom! Its always good to let off some steam in the morning. Continue reading...
(Wed, 27 Aug 2014 07:49:16 GMT)

Steve Bruce: Hull deal for Blackburns Jordan Rhodes is dead and buried
Bruce says Blackburn dropped plan to sell prolific striker All of a sudden hes not for sale; so well move on Deal completed for Tottenhams Michael Dawson 10-man Hull draw with Stoke in first home matchSteve Bruce has said a potential Hull City deal to sign Blackburns prolific striker Jordan Rhodes is dead and buried.Hull were keen on bringing Rhodes to the KC Stadium following the departure of Shane Long to Southampton for £12m earlier in the transfer window. Bruce claimed Blackburn had initially been open to selling their star asset, but that they had now changed their minds. Continue reading...
(Wed, 27 Aug 2014 10:17:52 GMT)

Milan confirm plan to sign Chelseas Fernando Torres and Marco van Ginkel
Adriano Galliani hoping to complete double signing We have written to Chelsea and are awaiting response Milan looking to replace Mario Balotelli after £16m exit José Mourinho last month denied Torres would be soldMilan are hoping to sign the Chelsea pair Fernando Torres and Marco van Ginkel before the end of the summer transfer window.Milan want to bring Torres on a season-long loan following the departure of Mario Balotelli to Liverpool, while administrator Adriano Galliani has also confirmed an official offer has been made to Chelsea for the 21-year-old Dutch midfielder Van Ginkel. Continue reading...
(Wed, 27 Aug 2014 09:57:20 GMT)

Manchester United and Louis van Gaal dare not lose again after drubbing
Calamitous 4-0 cup defeat at MK Dons has only served to underline the problems facing Uniteds manager Match report: MK Dons 4-0 Manchester United The best images from Uniteds defeatTwo defeats, a draw, two goals scored and seven conceded: three matches into Louis van Gaals Manchester United tenure and he has serious problems. Four of those seven goals were claimed by MK Dons on an abysmal night for the manager, his United project and the club, as his toothless team were dumped out of the Capital One Cup at the first possible stage.Quite how the 20-times champions could be humiliated 40 by a League One side requires an inquest to answer. These were opponents who last season suffered more defeats in the league at Stadium MK 10 than the eight occasions they won. Continue reading...
(Tue, 26 Aug 2014 22:47:14 GMT)

Manchester United humbled by MK Dons after Will Grigg hits double
View the best images from the match here United finally sign Ángel di María Unlike the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Louis van Gaals Manchester United tactics playbook does not appear to have the phrase Dont Panic written in large, friendly letters on the cover. There are those who would suggest the acquisition of Ángel Di María indicates that it should, and Van Gaal would certainly be forgiven for muttering the words repeatedly to himself when he watches the recording of this match, because Milton Keynes did not so much beat his much-changed side as humiliate them.There was a certain irony in the fact Van Gaal said he was not shocked by the scoreline, because neither was Karl Robinson, the manager of the League One side. I thought once we came to terms with the pace of the game we were comfortable, and weve showed everybody, journalists, those in the stadium and those who watched on TV, that we are a club going places, said the 33-year-old. We had a game plan, and it helped that Coventry on Saturday also played with a back three. Continue reading...
(Tue, 26 Aug 2014 20:55:00 GMT)

When Robbie Fowler became God: 20 years on from history-making hat-trick
Three goals inside five minutes saw Liverpools young striker create a biblical-level of affection among the Anfield faithfulOf all the hammerings Liverpool dished out last season, none stood out like their 5-1 victory over Arsenal in early February. It was a remarkable, straight-from-kick-off blitzkrieg of high-level opponents, so much so, in fact, that when putting together a promotional campaign for their coverage of the Premier League it was that match which BT Sport turned to first a reminder, for those who may have forgotten, of just how wild and breathless football in this country can be.As stunning as that contest was, however, it was not altogether unique. This Thursday marks the 20th anniversary of a rather similar turn of events at Anfield, and one, it can be argued, with greater long-term significance. For on 28 August 1994, Liverpool not only beat Arsenal 3-0 via a first-half blitz, but history was made and God was born. Continue reading...
(Wed, 27 Aug 2014 09:00:06 GMT)

Ángel di María says Manchester United were the only club after Real
United smash British transfer record for £59.7m Argentinian Di María set to make debut against Burnley on Saturday Uniteds spending hits £130.7m but could increase further Di María and the problem of Uniteds central midfieldÁngel di María said Manchester United were the only club for which he would have left Real Madrid as the 26-year-old completed a £59.7m British record transfer, signing a five-year contract worth around £200,000 a week.With the Argentinian secured United will step up their attempt to sign a midfielder and, possibly, a defender in the closing days of the transfer window. Juventuss Arturo Vidal, Milans Nigel de Jong and Ajaxs Daley Blind, who is also a left-sided defensive player, are potential targets. Continue reading...
(Tue, 26 Aug 2014 18:08:15 GMT)

Bradley Wiggins: Id like to re-establish the world hour record
The Team Sky rider has a memorable treble in his sights the Tour of Britain, the world time trial championship and cyclings most illustrious markFour years ago, Sir Bradley Wiggins travelled to Brittany to ride the Grand Prix de Plouay, and let slip to a French television journalist that he did not want to be there. There were mitigating circumstances in the death of his hugely influential grandfather George, but it still precipitated a crisis within Team Sky. This Sunday, Wiggins flies to western France to Plouay in a happier and more confident mood, with the Tour of Britain and world time trial championship in his sights once again.After the need for Sky to focus on Chris Froome sparked controversy by putting him out of the Tour de France, Wigginss autumn plans underwent a similar rejig when Froome opted for the Vuelta a España, but in less fraught circumstances. My plan was to do two weeks there like Tony Martin does, but Sky are in the Vuelta to win it now and if they were leading the race and I had to pull out with a week to go, that wouldnt be right. Continue reading...
(Tue, 26 Aug 2014 21:32:00 GMT)

Matthias Bachinger renews acquaintance with Andy Murray at US Open
German fought through qualifying tournament after late arrival Bachinger played Murray as 14-year-olds and won once Murray struggles past Robin Haase Heather Watson crashes out after winning two gamesIf Matthias Bachinger were to beat Andy Murray in the second round of the US Open on Thursday, it would not only rank alongside the embarrassment that Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer endured in the first week of Wimbledon last year, it would be a German fairytale to rival anything the Brothers Grimm concocted.The 27-year-old native of Munich (only six weeks older than Murray) is ranked 235 in the world having peaked at 85 three years ago and is here only after the withdrawal of 23 other contenders for a qualifying spot. He now finds himself in the biggest match of his career in raucous Flushing Meadows against a player who has won two majors and an Olympic gold medal, albeit one who collapsed spectacularly with cramp in the first round. Continue reading...
(Tue, 26 Aug 2014 21:30:10 GMT)

Liverpool too honest and too fair, says Joe Allen after City mauling
Allen: Manchester City cut through Liverpool too easily At this level you need to be clever at times Manchester City 3-1 Liverpool match reportJoe Allen believes Liverpool need to be more cynical after describing Brendan Rodgers team as too honest and too fair in their defeat at Manchester City.While the Liverpool manager blamed Mondays 3-1 reverse on defensive lapses, and his side lacked Citys clinical touch in front of goal, Allen thought the champions cut through the visiting ranks too easily at the Etihad Stadium. By contrast, City largely restricted Liverpools threat during their ultimately comfortable win and were not averse to halting counterattacks with a foul. The Wales international believes that side of Liverpools game needs to develop this season. Continue reading...
(Tue, 26 Aug 2014 21:30:13 GMT)

Mark Cavendish secures first victory since crashing out of Tour de France
Mark Cavendish wins stage one of Tour de Poitou-Charentes Welcome boost in France before next months Tour of BritainMark Cavendish secured his first victory since crashing out of the Tour de France by winning the sprint on stage one of the Tour de Poitou-Charentes.Cavendish, the Omega-PharmaQuick Step rider, took the stage win ahead of the Ag2rs Maxim Daniel after a 192.4km race through La Ronde. It was a perfect start to the five-day race in France for the 29-year-old, as well as his 10th win of the season and first since the Tour de Suisse in June. Continue reading...
(Tue, 26 Aug 2014 18:53:49 GMT)

Arsenal seek striker reinforcement in wake of Olivier Giroud injury
Loïc Rémy fronts list of emergency strikers for Arsenal Radamel Falcao and Danny Welbeck options to be explored Olivier Giroud fears lengthy absenceArsène Wenger is considering a late move into the transfer market to secure a striker before Mondays deadline, with the Arsenal manager resigned to being without his principal centre-forward, Olivier Giroud, until the new year.The France international has broken a bone in an ankle and his absence, which is set to be confirmed by a specialist, leaves Arsenal shorn of options up front not least for Wednesdays Champions League qualifier against Besiktas, and the manager contemplating signing a senior reinforcement. Continue reading...
(Tue, 26 Aug 2014 23:06:00 GMT)

Rainbow world: the most colourful places on Earth in pictures
The world is full of landscapes that are so surreal, and so intensely coloured, that its hard to believe they really exist. Take a look at some of the strangest, and most vibrant, views in the world, from a pink lake in Senegal to striped rock formations in China Continue reading...
(Wed, 27 Aug 2014 05:00:01 GMT)

Jon Hamm on Million Dollar Arm: 'It's a strange currency, celebrity' video interview
Million Dollar Arm tells the true story of JB Bernstein, an executive who set up a reality TV show to mine India for the next generation of baseball stars. Jon Hamm, who plays Bernstein in the film, tells Henry Barnes why he's no fan of televised talent shows and how the film avoids becoming a stereotyped vision of exotic India Continue reading...
(Wed, 27 Aug 2014 12:16:54 GMT)

Waterproof e-reader launched for bathtime bookworms
New device will allow readers to fully immerse themselves in their readingDodie Smith's Cassandra, in I Capture the Castle, would "bask first, wash second and then read as long as the hot water holds out" when taking a bath a practice which the advent of the e-reader has made harder for careful bibliophiles. Today Kobo, addressing one of the more frequent criticisms levelled at the electronic devices, has announced the launch of its first waterproof e-reader, meaning, it says, that "readers can now enjoy worry-free reading wherever they go". Continue reading...
(Wed, 27 Aug 2014 12:21:27 GMT)

Kate Bush: 10 of the best
Ranging from classic literature to erotic fantasies about snowmen, Kate Bushs work places her as one of musics most fearless and imaginative storytellers. As she performs her first live concerts in 35 years, we celebrate 10 highlights from her remarkable careerKate Bush back on stage after 35 years in picturesKate Bush: Before the Dawn review - 5*Her wild eyes, flailing limbs and high-pitched vocals instantly made her ripe for parody, but it was the sheer emotional force of Wuthering Heights that made Kate Bushs debut single a smash. Emily Brontës gothic heroine may have been an unlikely inspiration for a pop single, but it turned out to be an apt introduction to Bushs anything-goes approach to songwriting, not to mention her taste for the theatrical. From the shrill, wordy opening verse (Out on the wily, windy moors ) to the desperate abandon of the middle eight (Ooh, let me have it / Let me grab your soul ), Bush gives herself over to the role so completely as to defy any suggestion of gimmickry. Continue reading...
(Wed, 27 Aug 2014 10:28:47 GMT)

Is trigger-happy comedy Let's Be Cops the worst-timed movie ever?
Released just days after the shooting of the unarmed teenager Michael Brown by US police, this film about dunce buddies pretending to be officers for fun feels out of touchThe new comedy Let's Be Cops, in which two dunces exploit the power that comes from wearing police uniforms, includes numerous uncomfortable moments: the bit when one of the heroes does a comedy Asian-American accent, say, or when his girlfriend assumes he is gay because his wrist is limp. When he humiliates a group of suspected criminals by making them perform pelvic thrusts, it's all a shade too Abu Ghraib for comfort. But it's no fault of the film-makers that their movie is opening at a time when the reflex response to the words Let's Be Cops is: "Let's not."The unarmed African-American teenager Michael Brown was shot dead by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, on 9 August. Though this has nothing to do with Let's Be Cops, some scenes in the film can't help but provoke a shudder: the dumb duo (New Girl's Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans Jr) gawping excitedly at the arsenal of weapons now available to them, or spooking fellow diners when they brandish their guns in a pretend mealtime standoff. When one fake cop spies a gang of crooks and announces, "Those are the bad guys," the distinction is almost touching in its quaintness. One wonders how that line went down inside the many cinemas in Ferguson where the movie began playing only four days after Brown's death. Continue reading...
(Wed, 27 Aug 2014 12:01:48 GMT)

The best caramel ice-cream: taste test
Is Ben & Jerry's Caramel Chew Chew the ultimate incarnation of this ice-cream flavour, or can the supermarkets' own brands compare? We put them to the testEverybody loves ice-cream, right? As we bask in the last rays (and/or torrential rains) of the British summer, it seems only fitting to end the holidays with a spoon firmly stuck into a tub of frozen cream and swirly sweet "bits". We asked the big high-street players to send us their best rivals to that Guardian food desk nay, national favourite, Ben & Jerry's Caramel Chew Chew. But how did the own brands compare? Heston Blumenthal, look away now Continue reading...
(Wed, 27 Aug 2014 11:30:00 GMT)

Bob Dylan to share full Basement Tapes
Dylans label agree to unveil the remaining 114 tracks from the legendary 1967 sessions, including covers of songs by Johnny Cash and Curtis MayfieldBob Dylan is sharing the rest of his Basement Tapes. Four decades after the singer released 24 songs under that title cuts he recorded with the Band in upstate New York his label have agreed to unveil 114 more tracks from the same 1967 sessions.Some of this stuff is mind-boggling, Sid Griffin, author of the sets liner notes, told Rolling Stone. Packaged under the title The Basement Tapes Complete: The Bootleg Series Vol. 11, the six-CD set incorporates alternate versions of Blowin In The Wind and It Aint Me Babe, covers of tunes by Johnny Cash and Curtis Mayfield, and at least 30 tracks that Rolling Stone claims even fanatical Dylan fans never knew existed. A shorter, two-disc compilation, The Basement Tapes Raw, will present 12 of the unreleased tracks alongside the original LP. Continue reading...
(Wed, 27 Aug 2014 11:16:27 GMT)

Quiz: What films are these aliens from?
Aliens of many colours are currently tearing up the screen in the summer hit Guardians of the Galaxy. But which films feature this parade of extraterrestrials? Continue reading...
(Wed, 27 Aug 2014 09:35:48 GMT)

Instagrams Hyperlapse iPhone app rockets up the charts
The app can capture a slowly changing scene, such as a flower opening, and make it appear to happen in just a few secondsInstagrams new Hyperlapse app for taking timelapse videos on the iPhone and iPad has rocketed up the charts as Instagrams second dedicated app and Facebooks eighth app for the iPhone.Hyperlapse is a standalone app that shoots videos at a lower frame-rate than normal, but then plays the videos at a normal frame rate of at least 14 frames per second. Continue reading...
(Wed, 27 Aug 2014 10:16:42 GMT)

Quiz: match the stage directions to the play
Here are 10 striking stage directions can you identify the plays they're taken from? Continue reading...
(Wed, 27 Aug 2014 11:08:57 GMT)

Melbourne's cat cafe like AA, only for cat owners
The muffins might not be up to much but, as Jessica Reed discovers, the 12 star attractions are well worth the $10 entry fee. An hour in their company makes for a relaxing, bonding experience Melbournes cat cafe in pictures Have you ever tried to get a booking at a newly Michelin-starred restaurant? Me neither, but I reckon it would still be easier to get into one than to score a ticket for Melbournes new cat cafe.About three weeks ago I inquired about a possible visit the next weekend. The person at the end of the line replied with just a hint of the tone of a disdainful maître dhôtel: Sorry, were full. Try another date on our website. And so I did, with an eye roll. Three weeks of waiting and a $10 booking fee to hang out with domestic animals for one hour? I might miss my own cat, Scully, who lives in the UK, but this seemed over the top. Continue reading...
(Wed, 27 Aug 2014 06:13:45 GMT)

Jacqueline Wilson: why I love fairy paintings
'Some of them look like opium dreams, which perhaps they were'As a child I'd always liked fairy illustrations in books not the twee, Disneyfied fairies you see everywhere now, but fairies that looked altogether stranger and more interesting. I didn't realise it at the time, but these were Victorian illustrations. They're not especially pretty; sometimes they can be quite bizarre, even menacing. Then, much later, in the 1990s, there was an exhibition at the Royal Academy of fairy paintings. I ended up going about five times. I've been fascinated ever since.The story of the fairy-painting genre really began in the mid-Victorian period. Some famous artists dabbled Millais and Landseer both made paintings that featured fairy-like characters, and other artists made depictions of, say, Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream or The Tempest, both of which have supernatural characters. But the fascinating thing is that there was an entire group of artists who specialised in doing them. Some of them painted almost nothing else. Continue reading...
(Wed, 27 Aug 2014 07:00:03 GMT)

Veep: Julia Louis-Dreyfus leads the sitcom's third season to glory
The Seinfeld star picked up yet another Emmy for her turn as Selina Meyer this week. As the White House comedy comes to London, what do you make of this season so far?This years Emmy awards provided little in the way of surprises, with Breaking Bad showered in gold and wins for Modern Family and The Big Bang Theory, which suggested voters have not watched any new comedy since 2009. With her third Actress in a comedy series win, for her role as vice president Selina Meyer in the excellent Veep, Julia Louis-Dreyfus is approaching the same blanket winner status. Thats not to say that the White House comedy is undeserving. In fact, the third season has shown Dreyfus demonstrating the kind of form that has transformed a promising, if at times patchy, series into one of the funniest comedies of the year. So far, season three, which is airing in the UK on Sky Atlantic, has seen Meyer positioning herself as a viable candidate for the soon-to-be-vacant top job. As ever, Veep does not tackle this from an ideological point of view, rather as a dead-eyed race for power in which candidates will say anything in order to look good. The second episode in particular (The Choice) stood out as Meyer was forced to address the issue of abortion. While not coming down strongly on either a pro-life or pro-choice side of the fence, Veeps razor-sharp wit was on display, with Meyer stating sagely: If men got pregnant, you could get an abortion at an ATM. Continue reading...
(Wed, 27 Aug 2014 09:30:02 GMT)

Kate Bush: Before the Dawn review a lithe grace and note-perfect vocals
Hammersmith Apollo, LondonFor someone who's spent the vast majority of her career shunning the stage, she's a hugely engaging live performerOver the course of nearly three hours, Kate Bush's first gig for 35 years variously features dancers in lifejackets attacking the stage with axes and chainsaws; a giant machine that hovers above the auditorium, belching out dry ice and shining spotlights on the audience; giant paper aeroplanes; a surprisingly lengthy rumination on sausages, vast billowing sheets manipulated to represent waves, Bush's 16-year-old son Bertie - clad as a 19th-century artist telling a wooden mannequin to "piss off" and the singer herself being borne through the audience by dancers clad in costumes based on fish skeletons.The concert-goer who desires a stripped down rock and roll experience, devoid of theatrical folderol, is thus advised that Before the Dawn is probably not the show for them, but it is perhaps worth noting that even before Bush takes the stage with her dancers and props, a curious sense of unreality hangs over the crowd. It's an atmosphere noticeably different than at any other concert, but then again, this is a gig unlike any other, and not merely because the very idea of Bush returning to live performance was pretty unimaginable 12 months ago. Continue reading...
(Tue, 26 Aug 2014 22:52:32 GMT)

From marvellous to awesome: how spoken British English has changed
A study called the Spoken British National Corpus 2014 reveals how our use of language is evolving. Is British English succumbing to American influence?Almost nothing is marvellous these days, but everything is awesome. According to a study by Lancaster University and Cambridge University Press, Britain has all but abandoned the former adjective in favour of the latter.Early evidence from their project, the Spoken British National Corpus 2014, shows that "awesome" now turns up in conversation 72 times per million words. "Marvellous", which 20 years ago appeared 155 times per million words, now appears just twice per million. "Fortnight" is also on the endangered list, as is "cheerio". (That's "cheerio" meaning goodbye, young people, as opposed to the singular form of the breakfast cereal, which you would only tend to use if you got one stuck up your nose.) Continue reading...
(Tue, 26 Aug 2014 15:11:00 GMT)

Sheepdogs could be replaced by robots after scientists crack simple process
Discovery of how herding works could be used for human crowd control, researchers believeSheepdogs could lose their jobs to robots after scientists learned the secret of their herding ability.Rounding up sheep successfully is a simple process involving just two basic mathematical rules, a study found. Continue reading...
(Wed, 27 Aug 2014 08:25:40 GMT)

The daily quiz: ice cream and Apple
Today's questions cover film directors, record labels, Henry Kissinger, Formula One, theme parks and tenterhooks Follow @GuardianQuiz on Twitter for daily notifications Would you like to set the quiz? Email 10 questions to daily.quiz@theguardian.com along with your name, and they may be used in the weekly Friday readers' edition Continue reading...
(Wed, 27 Aug 2014 04:45:00 GMT)

I'm 40 and returning to life in a share house  deal with it!
Myf Warhurst is changing her own rules about how adults should live once they reach a certain ageLast weekend I moved into a share house. It will come as no surprise to anyone that Im no longer a sprightly, young 20-something. According to my own rules, this is not how things were supposed to be at 40. I should be organising schedules for childcare and family holidays by now, not working out a roster allocating whose turn it is to clean the lav. But I am. And Im OK with it.Im excited, in fact. Its encouraged me to think its time I changed my own rules about how adults should live once they reach a certain age. Continue reading...
(Wed, 27 Aug 2014 01:54:22 GMT)

Pope Francis has done little to improve womens lives
Women do not seem to have a place in the popes vision of a Catholic church that cares for the worlds poor peoplePope Francis has repeatedly said he wants a poor church of the poor. At a time when millions of people are experiencing the impact of brutal economic policies and unbridled corporate greed, he has attracted admiration from Catholics and non-Catholics for his condemnation of the economic system and the simplicity of his own life.He has also acknowledged the need to give women a greater say in the life of the church, though he has done little to achieve this. Yet poverty impacts unrelentingly and acutely on womens lives, and nowhere does the absence of womens influence manifest itself so clearly as around the churchs teachings on sexual and reproductive ethics. Continue reading...
(Wed, 27 Aug 2014 06:00:02 GMT)

Jenny Slate: Were not saying abortion is funny
Jenny Slates career almost ended when she swore on Saturday Night Live. Now shes in the years most talked-about film. Hadley Freeman meets the star of Obvious ChildI dont actually talk about abortion that much, usually, begins American comedian and actor Jenny Slate when we meet. But it would be understandable if most people thought that was all she talked about, because she has, somewhat unexpectedly for her, become the poster child for the pro-choice movement in the US. Slate is the star of the independent film Obvious Child, which has been hugely feted since its release in the States and, somewhat less pleasingly for all those involved in the movie, been dubbed by the US media as the abortion romcom.Ugh, that is such a bummer, that term. An abortion romcom thats not a thing! Slate says with an eye-roll. The movie isnt saying that abortions are funny. Its saying that people are funny. Continue reading...
(Tue, 26 Aug 2014 16:22:24 GMT)

The man who grew eyes
Growing nerve tissue and organs is a sci-fi dream. I met the pioneering researcher who grew eyes and brain cellsThe train line from mainland Kobe is a marvel of urban transportation. Opened in 1981, Japans first driverless, fully automated train pulls out of Sannomiya station, guided smoothly along elevated tracks that stand precariously over the bustling city streets below, across the bay to the Port Island.The island, and much of the city, was razed to the ground in the Great Hanshin Earthquake of 1995 which killed more than 5,000 people and destroyed more than 100,000 of Kobes buildings and built anew in subsequent years. As the train proceeds, the landscape fills with skyscrapers. The Rokk mountains come into view, looming menacingly over the city, peppered with smoke billowing from the dozens of narrow chimneys of the electronics, steel and shipbuilding factories. Continue reading...
(Tue, 26 Aug 2014 19:15:11 GMT)

Mum's the word: Helen McCrory and Diana Rigg on playing Medea
Euripides's tragedy demands a killer central performance as the woman who murders her children to avenge her betrayal. Helen McCrory and Diana Rigg, who played the role 20 years apart, explain why it still resonatesMore than any part I've played, Medea engages the mind, body and soul. You've got an hour and a half to get an audience to believe that this woman is going to kill her children. And on top of that: they've got to understand why. Continue reading...
(Wed, 27 Aug 2014 07:00:00 GMT)

Buses are the future of urban transport. No, really
Why do many urbanists think the lowly bus emblem of all that is slow, stigmatised and wasteful is the key to city transit ... and that Latin America is the only place doing it right?Buses! Buses! Buses! Buses! thundered the tall man, rapping the cafe table between us, the cutlery threatening to vibrate right off the edge. It was October of 2013, we had just tucked into lunch on the first day of the Urban Age conference in balmy Rio de Janeiro, and the man was arguably the single human being most associated with the bus as a vehicle of urban redemption, Enrique Penalosa. Alongside us, Alejandro Echeverri, a respected Colombian architect, had just dared to suggest that some municipalities might benefit from a metro system, and Penalosa was having none of it.Former mayor of Bogotá, maximum patron of that citys famously successful Transmilenio bus rapid transit (BRT) network, Penalosa now makes the rounds of such conferences (and they are many) arguing for the economic virtue and transformative potential of the not-so-humble bus. For the man fond of defining an advanced city not as one where the poor move about in cars [but] where even the rich use public transportation, the future of public transportation could only mean one thing, and that thing was BRT. Continue reading...
(Wed, 27 Aug 2014 10:46:30 GMT)

Do dams destroy rivers?
A new study has found links between dams and the declining health of river systems. With your help, Karl Mathiesen investigates whether dams are killing the worlds great rivers.Post your thoughts in the comments below, email karl.mathiesen.freelance@theguardian.com or tweet @karlmathiesen 1.16pm BST Dr Simon Dixon from the University of Birmingham makes an excellent point that measuring biodiversity (ie the raw number of species) is a misleading way to assess the impact of dams on rivers. Dixon explains:The highest areas of biodiversity on the planet are typically in tropical regions and the highest areas of economic development are typically in temperate Northern hemisphere climates. So there is a good chance some of the places that have the most dams per 100km (the best measure on their database of dam intensity) in North America, Europe and China would have lower biodiversity than the big South American and African rivers with or without the dams. Therefore looking at raw snapshots of biodiversity can be misleading and probably a more helpful measure in this context is change in biodiversity post dam-building.There are examples of dams which have reduced sediment supply downstream resulting in rivers scouring the remaining sediment below the dam down to bedrock (with severe implications for ecosystem health), or of rivers which have formerly had multiple channels (braided) changing to a single channel rivers with extensive exposed sediment bars/islands. In addition some rivers deliver fine sediment to floodplains with seasonal flooding which enriches the land for farming, and with reduced sediment supply post dam construction this benefit can be reduced or removed. 12.43pm BST There is a great TED Conversation from last year on the Belo Monte dam project in the Brazilian Amazon which touches on many of the themes being raised here. Commenters were keen to acknowledge the clean electricity benefits of hydroelectricity, however the social and environmental impacts create a difficult moral and policy decision. Many commenters highlighted the large investment required for a new dam and wondered if it shouldnt be spent on other renewable sources.One of the participants, Noel Laporte, said that the location of the dam was an important consideration in deciding whether a project should go ahead.Dams can provide positive and negative benefits to the nearby communities and ecosystems in which they reside. Dams deliver clean energy, water storage and the ability to control floods. Given the right implementation and location dams can have hugely positive effects for a society and have low operational costs. Although some dams can bring positive changes upon construction the plan to build the Belo Monte Dam is a very poor decision. Building a dam in the heart of the Amazon creates huge ecosystem destruction and massive land change. 12.21pm BST 12.16pm BST Emphatically, says Professor Michael Cernea, dams do not destroy rivers.Though they do have known negative impacts on rivers ecologies. But humanity at large receives irreplaceable benefits from dams: irrigated agriculture on giant surfaces and more food on all continents; immense amounts of clean energy; and year after year dams are literally saving the lives of uncounted millions of people through flood control. Our human species hasnt yet created any other technology capable to produce these three categories of macro-benefits, indispensable today for our existence.Dams, however, do have immense destructive impacts, but these are primarily of a social nature: the forced physical and economic displacement of huge cumulative amounts of people to create room for dams and their reservoirs. A tsunami of dam building is now unfolding in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Tens of millions of people have been and are forcibly uprooted; they end up worse off, immediately impoverished, with broken livelihoods; their poverty and impoverishment is telescoped to the next generation. This is empirically confirmed by legions of researchers and scholars. Yet despite the indisputable evidence, it is financed and encouraged by many international development agencies and by private sector corporations, often under the banner of poverty reduction and public purpose projects. Impoverishment by displacement is inevitable, yet it is tolerated, denied or papered over in disingenuous reports. 11.42am BST Dr Simon Gosling, associate professor in climate risk at the University of Nottingham says the database is broad and helpful. But the large scale mapping means that local detail is difficult to ascertain. For this reason its important to bear in mind that some of the indicators will vary considerably at the sub-basin scale and so will the correlations.These fluvial changes could have had impacts on habitat conditions and the life cycle of organisms, e.g. food availability and spawning. The correlations reported in todays database/map seem to support the impacts inferred in the above study. 11.03am BST The database is really a stunning piece of interactive software. Theres a lot of excellent information and its easy to get lost in exploration. Make sure to have a look through it here.The major findings from the data, which was collated from geographic databases and dam inventories, were: 10.53am BST A new database has found links between the declining health of the world great rivers and the dams that break up their natural cycles.The State of the Worlds Rivers, an interactive survey of the worlds 50 largest river basins, found almost 6,000 dams (a fraction of the estimated 50,000 that exist in all rivers on earth). The Hai Ho, Tigris-Euphrates and Wisla basins were found to have the highest degree of fragmentation. Whereas the Amazon, Tocantins and Ayeyarwaddy were among those highlighted as the most pristine and in desperate need of protection.The evidence weve compiled of planetary-scale impacts from river change is strong enough to warrant a major international focus on understanding the thresholds for river change in the worlds major basins, and for the planet as a whole system. Continue reading...
(Wed, 27 Aug 2014 12:16:56 GMT)

The establishment uncovered: how power works in Britain
In an exclusive extract from his new book, Owen Jones explains how the political, social and business elites have a stranglehold on the countryDefinitions of "the establishment" share one thing in common: they are always pejorative. Rightwingers tend to see it as the national purveyor of a rampant, morally corrupting social liberalism; for the left, it is more likely to mean a network of public-school and Oxbridge boys dominating the key institutions of British political life.Here is what I understand the establishment to mean. Today's establishment is made up as it has always been of powerful groups that need to protect their position in a democracy in which almost the entire adult population has the right to vote. The establishment represents an attempt on behalf of these groups to "manage" democracy, to make sure that it does not threaten their own interests. In this respect, it might be seen as a firewall that insulates them from the wider population. As the well-connected rightwing blogger and columnist Paul Staines puts it approvingly: "We've had nearly a century of universal suffrage now, and what happens is capital finds ways to protect itself from, you know, the voters." Continue reading...
(Tue, 26 Aug 2014 17:00:49 GMT)

'I don't know how to get better': Laia Abril shows the hell of eating disorders
The Spanish photographer's sombre and affecting photobook The Epilogue tells the story of Cammy Robinson, who died at 26 as a result of bulimiaIn 2010, Laia Abril started a project on eating disorders with a multimedia piece called A Bad Day. It looked head-on at the daily life of a girl struggling with bulimia and was a wilfully uncomfortable experience. Out of that came a self-published 'zine, Thinspiration, in which Abril documented the controversial Pro-Ana community which, in her words, "has turned anorexia (Ana) into its dogma" and where activists "venerate the illness giving meaning to their totalitarian 'lifestyle'." Continue reading...
(Tue, 26 Aug 2014 14:16:45 GMT)

Will Pooley: 'At the start there was the horror of Ebola, now it's a bit routine'
A journalist who met the British nurse infected with the deadly disease recalls what he told her of his work in Sierra LeoneWill Pooley was working as a nurse on the Kenema Ebola unit in Sierra Leone, one of the two main clinics in the country working with patients before he contracted the virus. Jo Dunlop, a freelance journalist, met him on several times as she reported on the crisis.It was a brutal week at Kenema hospital when I met Will six weeks ago. The slowly diminishing nursing staff were reeling in the wake of the death of their respected colleague and friend, Sister Mbalu Fonnie, who became infected with the virus after treating patients on the Ebola ward. Her death closely followed that of seven other nurses who worked on the ward. A few days later, the much-loved Dr Sheik Umar Khan, Sierra Leone's only haemorrhagic fever specialist, would also test positive with the disease. Continue reading...
(Tue, 26 Aug 2014 17:19:11 GMT)

Facebook and Twitter users 'more likely' to censor their views offline
Pew study warns about spiral of silence in US discussion of Edward Snowdens NSA online surveillance revelationsAmericans have been self-censoring their discussions about state surveillance in the wake of Edward Snowdens revelations in 2013, researchers have found.Approximately 86% of adults were very or somewhat willing to discuss the findings in person with family, friends or work colleagues or at public meetings, yet only 43% said they would discuss the issues on Facebook.The typical Facebook user someone who logs onto the site a few times per day is half as likely to be willing to have a discussion about the Snowden-NSA issues at a physical public meeting as a non-Facebook user.Similarly, the typical Twitter user someone who uses the site a few times per day is 0.24 times less likely to be willing to share their opinions in the workplace as an internet user who does not use Twitter.The traditional view of the spiral of silence is that people choose not to speak out for fear of isolation. Other Pew Internet research has found that it is common for social media users to be mistaken about their friends beliefs and to be surprised once they discover their friends actual views via social media.Thus, it might be the case that people do not want to disclose their minority views for fear of disappointing their friends, getting into fruitless arguments, or losing them entirely. Some people may prefer not to share their views on social media because their posts persist and can be found laterperhaps by prospective employers or others with high status. Continue reading...
(Tue, 26 Aug 2014 14:00:21 GMT)

How Ebola is challenging the 'Africa rising' narrative
If Africa given its wealth of human and natural resources cannot contain Ebola, then we must accept that the continent is not developing as fast as we thought, writes Fungai MachiroriA Cameroonian friend shares a conversation between two of his fellow nationals in an airport. One of them remarks that he is not feeling too well. The immediate, and hysterical, reaction of the other is that he must have Ebola.Maybe youve been infected with Ebola from those Lagos passengers at the arrival hall, my friends recounts one of them saying.Ebola has become the great leveller among AfricansEbola has allowed for the dark continent narrative to re-emerge, if it ever really disappeared Continue reading...
(Tue, 26 Aug 2014 12:43:07 GMT)

Frank Auerbach: the master painter of deepest, darkest London
Lucian Freud's collection of his friend's paintings have gone on show at the Tate but why isn't Auerbach's art, which digs deep into the pain of postwar London, permanently housed there?London is a city of paint. It may not seem that way. Most people probably visualise the boulevards of Paris and skyscrapers of New York when we think about painted cities: of Camille Pissarro's Boulevard Montmartre, Robert Delaunay's Eiffel Tower or Georgia O'Keeffe's Radiator Building.How about Frank Auerbach's Rebuilding the Empire Cinema, Leicester Square? Continue reading...
(Tue, 26 Aug 2014 12:07:00 GMT)

Forget the Knee Defender, here are the dos and donts of aeroplane etiquette
For those keen to avoid a mile-high fracas, such as the one over a reclining seat that got the plane diverted, heres a handy guide Continue reading...
(Tue, 26 Aug 2014 15:06:22 GMT)

The internet reacts to Manchester United's brutal 4-0 defeat at MK Dons
Louis van Gaal tried to put on a brave face after Manchester Uniteds 4-0 defeat to MK Dons in the Capital One Cup. The football world could hardly keep a straight face as players, clubs and pundits took to Twitter to laugh at their latest humiliation Continue reading...
(Wed, 27 Aug 2014 10:12:59 GMT)

Louis van Gaal not shocked by Manchester Uniteds defeat to MK Dons
MK Dons thrash United 4-0 in Capital One Cup Ángel di María claims club were only one he would join Van Gaal undecided on whether to change system Continue reading...
(Tue, 26 Aug 2014 23:56:52 GMT)

Ángel di María admits: It was never my desire to leave Real Madrid
Argentinian writes open letter after Manchester United move United humiliated 4-0 by MK Dons Van Gaal not shocked by defeat Di María and the problem of Uniteds central midfield Continue reading...
(Wed, 27 Aug 2014 06:46:42 GMT)

How to dodge the ice bucket challenge
I plan to avoid the fun and retain my dignity Ice bucket challenge: whos pouring cold water on the idea? A celebrity wet T-shirt contest that has nothing to do with charity Continue reading...
(Tue, 26 Aug 2014 19:00:02 GMT)

Criminalising coercive control will not help victims of domestic abuse
Laws already exists to protect women in violent relationships, they just arent enforced or understood by the criminal justice systemThe proposed introduction of a new criminal offence of coercive control within intimate partner relationships would not just be almost impossible to implement, it would also send out several wrong messages. It is legislation piled on already existing laws that are rarely implemented; it would be misunderstood by those tasked with protecting women; and would likely be misused by vindictive men claiming that being nagged or prevented from seeing their children constituted the crime.I was a speaker at a conference on domestic violence in 1997 along with detective sergeant Clive Driscoll, an individual who had driven forward the introduction of an innovative and robust piece of legislation named the Protection from Harassment Act (PHA). It was intended to protect the victims of harassment, such as stalking behaviour, racial harassment, or antisocial behaviour by neighbours, and any form of persistent conduct which causes another person alarm or distress. Continue reading...
(Wed, 27 Aug 2014 11:10:44 GMT)

If teenagers can stay in bed longer, why cant the rest of us?
Moves are afoot to let adolescents start school later, so they can get more sleep. Wouldnt that work just as well for adults?Sleep is good. We all need sleep. It is very rare to hear someone complain about getting too much of the stuff (unless they are diabetic). As the parent of a toddler who has thus far failed to grasp the concept of staying in bed past 6am, I am regularly bemoaning the shortfall of shut-eye in my life. But insufficient sleep can be quite a serious problem, and not just for parents of young children.A Wall Street Journal article has highlighted the potential move in the US to introduce later school start times for adolescents. While it may be a cliche for people to mock and laugh at teenagers for being lazy with their constant sleeping and lethargy, its actually not something they can control, and theres strong evidence to suggest that the need for more sleep at atypical times is a consequence of puberty. Continue reading...
(Wed, 27 Aug 2014 12:00:10 GMT)

If Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage are mavericks British politics is doomed
It says all too much about the narrowing of democracy that those presented as outsiders are the establishment in undiluted formPoor old David Cameron, returning from pointing at fish on his Cornish holiday to be greeted with a media warning him of double trouble. Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage declaring their parliamentary candidacies could hardly have been more predictable, but both bring the Tory leaders plight into sharp relief. Despite a much-vaunted economic recovery that is utterly meaningless in the lives of most Britons, Labour retains a consistent lead, thanks to the ex-Lib Dems who fled Nick Cleggs fold in disgust. Cameron failed to redraw the electoral boundaries in his favour; his quest to defy history and increase the Tory share of the vote looks all but hopeless. Farages purple army are chewing into the Conservative base, and the Ukip surge has not evaporated as expected after the European elections. And so Johnson circles like a vulture, waiting for the Cameron project to become a carcass so he can swoop in and feast.But seriously what a depressing spectacle, and what an indictment of British democracy. Both Farage and Johnson are portrayed as the ultimate mavericks, the politicians who dare to deviate from the script and in the case of Ukips leader as an anti-establishment insurgent. Lets just park their shared backgrounds (over which they have no control) as public school educated white men. These great mavericks share the same basic underlying assumptions as much of the rest of the political and media elite. Both want to privatise public assets and hand them over to profiteers: including, say, the NHS, with Ukip having called for privatisation exceeding even the current governments plans. Both want to slash taxes on the rich: both call for the top rate of tax to be lowered to 40%. Both champion the City, where Farage used to work as a commodities broker. Both want to curtail the remaining rights British workers still have: in Johnsons case, to subject trade unions to a turnout threshold which, if applied to the London mayoralty, would render his 2012 election illegitimate. Both encourage popular anger to be directed anywhere but at the wealthy few who actually run the show: notably, immigrants. Both are the establishment in human form, the fighters for the interests of the richest people in Britain who have doubled their wealth in just five years. Continue reading...
(Wed, 27 Aug 2014 09:41:55 GMT)

On terrorism, David Cameron is reading from the Blair script
Yet again our leaders are warning of the threat to our way of life while simultaneously chipping away at its foundationsBritains response to the rise of Islamic State may look like a mess of ambivalence, hesitation and all-round cluelessness for which the prime ministers antics with that surfboard probably stand as some kind of grim metaphor. But at the core of our politicians reaction to events in Syria and Iraq and the recruitment of British-born fighters, there are the remains of a familiar script: the one written by Tony Blair 13 years ago, when the events of 11 September 2001 began the disastrous phase of geopolitical history in which the then prime minister believed his moment had arrived.Strange, perhaps, that when the awful consequences are now so obvious, the basics of his approach should linger on. First, there is the idea that British military intervention will ideally be part of what happens in the coming months which David Cameron must know will be a difficult political sell, though his recent claim that the UKs military prowess will be part of any solution surely indicates where his heart lies. Second, note the PMs rhetoric: his claims that Britain itself is under threat and faces a generational struggle which we will be fighting for the rest of my political lifetime are Blair redux, once again echoing the jihadists own vanities. Third, on the domestic front, policy looks to have been polluted by classical Blairite doublethink, whereby our adversaries are said to represent the antithesis of democracy and the rule of law, but if they are to be defeated, the fundamentals of our liberty British values, you could call them will have to be set aside. Continue reading...
(Wed, 27 Aug 2014 05:29:02 GMT)

Look to France for a vision of life under Ed Miliband
The chaos in François Hollandes government should be a warning to a leader trapped by the legacy of Labours pastHistory never tires of repeating itself. More than three decades ago Socialists won power in France with promises to revive the economy by raising state spending, reining in finance and nationalising key sectors. Their radical programme had supporters salivating at the chance to prove such policies could solve profound economic problems. It was hailed by many on the left, especially in Britain, where it seemed to offer an alternative to the rigidity of Thatcherism.But the recipe proved a disaster as unemployment rose, inflation soared and the currency collapsed. After three years these policies were replaced by an austerity package that salvaged both the French economy and the presidency of François Mitterrand. Among his backroom advisers was a young apparatchik named François Hollande, who almost by accident ended up as his Socialist successor in the Elysée Palace and now he seeks to pull off a similar trick to save his ailing economy and abysmal presidency. Continue reading...
(Wed, 27 Aug 2014 05:00:01 GMT)

Flimsy evidence should not be used to generalise merits of mutual NHS trusts
Selective use of evidence and the fact it was starting from a low base means Francis Maude was unwise to use Hinchingbrooke as an example of anything Health sector spin-outs: Theres a feeling of ownershipWhy did Salford Royal NHS foundation trust score more highly for overall staff engagement than any other acute trust in the 2013 NHS staff survey? Is it because it has left public ownership and been turned into a mutual?No, that cannot be the reason, because it hasnt. Continue reading...
(Wed, 27 Aug 2014 07:43:12 GMT)

Love is strange, says the US film board, but violence and torture are fine
The R rating given by the Motion Picture Association of America to Love is Strange is a shocking reflection of its homophobiaLove is Strange is an intermittently wonderful new film about an ageing Manhattan couple who get hitched almost 40 years into their relationship, only for their suddenly straitened circumstances to force them to live apart for the first time. Its a gentle and perceptive comedy-drama, so its rather a shock to find that the US ratings board, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), has given it an R rating.Short of the dreaded NC-17, which prohibits anyone under that age from seeing a film, this is the severest classification a movie can receive in the US. The R denotes that a picture contains material unsuitable for the under-17s, but stops short of banning that audience. Children can still be accompanied to an R movie by an adult, as I first discovered when I watched the violent horror-comedy Scream 2 in New York accompanied by the sound of a child several rows behind me begging his mother for more Reeses Pieces. Continue reading...
(Wed, 27 Aug 2014 08:00:05 GMT)

Why politicians must lie and how selling ice-creams is like an election campaign
Politicians must choose to either stand up for what they believe or maximise their vote. To put it bluntly: they either lie or they loseFew expect politicians to tell the truth and few are particularly surprised or affected when lies are exposed. Why is this the universal experience of politics in most developed democracies? It turns out the answer is related to ice-cream.Imagine youre looking to set up an ice-cream stall on a beach. There is already one ice-cream stall on this beach and, sensibly, they have set up right in the middle (figure 1). Continue reading...
(Tue, 26 Aug 2014 23:27:29 GMT)

Rotherham abuse report: protection is what matters, not blame
The scale of the sexual exploitation revealed in the Jay inquiry is shocking, but lets avoid racial stereotypingFailures in Rotherham led to sexual abuse of 1,400 childrenThe detail disclosed by the Jay report into the sexual exploitation of children in Rotherham is so shocking it will grab the headlines with its accounts of children as young as 11 being doused in petrol and threatened with being set alight. But it is the scale of the abuse that ought to give most concern. The figure of 1,400 children subjected to a series of appalling ordeals is almost certainly a conservative one.If we are still shocked we are, sadly, less surprised by yet another example of the way in which those in authority over decades disbelieved, suppressed or ignored evidence of abuse. That is not just true of the police and social workers. The warp runs through the weft of establishments from schools and childrens homes to the BBC and the Catholic church. Abuse was made worse by cultures of denial and cover-up. The victims were blamed for what had happened to them. Whistleblowers were chastised. Continue reading...
(Tue, 26 Aug 2014 18:48:25 GMT)

Why is it easier to invent anti-rape nail polish than find a way to stop rapists?
You shouldnt expect women to wear modern chastity belts or a real-life vagina dentata to be safe from sexual assaultThere are a lot of things I expect nail polish to do: dry fast, chip infrequently and make me look halfway put-together. Something I dont generally depend on my manicure for, however, is warding off rapists. But the members of the all-male invention team behind Undercover Colors four students at North Carolina State University say that, with their new polish, any woman will be empowered to discreetly ensure her safety by simply stirring her drink with her finger.Im appreciative that young men like want to curb sexual assault, but anything that puts the onus on women to discreetly keep from being raped misses the point. We should be trying to stop rape, not just individually avoid it.Do I deserve to have my bike stolen if I leave it unlocked on the quad? [Chris] Herries, 22, said. We have to encourage people not to take on undue risk that might make them targets of the criminal conduct of others, he said. Continue reading...
(Tue, 26 Aug 2014 11:30:18 GMT)

Scotlands yes campaign has been based on emotion, not fact
As the second referendum debate confirmed, the yes camp still struggles with basic issues of jobs, pensions and school fundingLast night, we witnessed the second and final television debate between Alistair Darling and Alex Salmond. The Guardians instant poll suggested two outcomes. First, that after a weak first debate, Salmond put in a stronger performance. Second, the debate had no apparent impact on voting intentions.So it appears that like the other game-changers the white paper, the European elections, the anniversary of Bannockburn and the Commonwealth Games it has come and gone without the game being much changed. Continue reading...
(Tue, 26 Aug 2014 12:04:33 GMT)

When Dylan met the Beatles history in a handshake?
Fifty years ago this week the Beatles and Bob Dylan got together to share a few joints and the world of music was never the same again. Or so the story goes. But does pop culture really work like that?Just as a stopped clock tells the right time twice a day, the 50th anniversary of a major Beatle-related happening comes around every other week in 2014. Friday marks one of the bigger half-century landmarks, and the birth of a way of looking at rock music that just won't go away. On Friday 28 August 1964, in a room in the Delmonico hotel at Park Avenue and 59th in New York City at a rendezvous brokered with a keen eye to a story by journalist, mutual friend and assiduous self-publicist Al Aronowitz the Beatles encountered Bob Dylan for the first time.Here the folk-singing scarecrow-prophet introduced the excitable Scousers to marijuana for (allegedly) the first time. Ringo Starr, the first to be offered a smoke and ignorant of dope etiquette, chugged through that first joint like a stevedore attacking his first Woodbine of the morning and collapsed in a giggling mess. Brian Epstein became so stoned he could only squeak,"I'm so high I'm up on the ceiling." Paul McCartney believed he'd attained true mental clarity for the first time in his life and instructed Beatles roadie and major-domo Mal Evans to write down everything he said henceforth. Dylan, meanwhile, lost his cool and began answering the hotel phone by shouting, "This is Beatlemania here!" Otherwise they drank wine and acted the goat, like bands do. Continue reading...
(Wed, 27 Aug 2014 06:00:00 GMT)

Classical music students - the future's bright, just use your imagination
Earlier this month, Julian Lloyd Webber gave a speech to music students at the Birmingham Conservatoire. Here, we reprint it in full.In 1977 I won a bet with my brother Andrew. This meant that he finally had to write me the cello piece he had been promising for years. The trouble was that he decided it should be a piece for cello and rock band - and the classical music world was a lot stuffier then than it is now. That was the time when melody, rhythm and harmony were taboo in contemporary classical music and I was warned by friends and colleagues alike that I would literally ruin my career by recording it. But I believed in the piece so I took the chance.And it didnt ruin my career. Variations (aka the South Bank Show theme) was unexpectedly successful. Perhaps because audiences were actually crying out for melody, rhythm and harmony. Perhaps because we had shown that pushing at boundaries need not be a bad thing. But more likely it was because I never left my classical roots behind because - much as I liked to experiment - I knew that my bedrock as a solo cellist would always be based on that five-hundred-year treasure trove called classical music. The life of a solo musician is tough and exhausting, both physically and mentally, but I would definitely make the same choice again. For in the end, there is something which sustains you through all the difficulties, something far stronger than ambition, wealth or fame. Let that great cellist, Pablo Casals, say it for me. After a particularly moving performance he was asked:Mr Casals, can you tell me, are we in heaven or still on earth? Continue reading...
(Wed, 27 Aug 2014 12:11:24 GMT)

Lena Dunham memoir reveals a childhood 'afraid of everything'
Not That Kind of Girl, due out in September, recounts years of therapy and 'fear of life in general'The first excerpt from Lena Dunham's forthcoming memoir gives an insight into the endless therapy the Girls writer went through from the age of nine.Dunham's memoir, Not That Kind of Girl, reportedly netted its author a $3.5m (£2.1m) advance. Out in September, it comes garlanded with endorsements from the likes of Judy Blume ("Always funny, sometimes wrenching") and David Sedaris ("a fine, subversive book"). Continue reading...
(Tue, 26 Aug 2014 14:40:01 GMT)

Chris Evans asked to revive 1990s TV hit TFI Friday by Channel 4
BBC Radio 2 presenter says he'd be 'bang up' for a 20th anniversary specialChris Evans has revealed TV bosses asked him to bring back his hit show TFI Friday for a 20th anniversary special, but wanted him to do it a year early.Speaking to Zoe Ball on BBC Radio 2, Evans, who fronted five series of the Channel 4 show between 1996 and 2000, said: "Channel 4 have asked us to do a TFI Friday 20th anniversary show and/or run next year. I was completely bang up for it until I did the maths last week and had to phone them and say it's only 19 years next year, it's actually 20 years the year after. I think they still want to go for it and just hope no one notices." Continue reading...
(Tue, 26 Aug 2014 16:38:24 GMT)

Was Sofia Vergaras revolving pedestal skit at the Emmys ironic or sexist?
Journalist Katie Couric and many others have tweeted their objections at the Modern Family actors performance acccusing both the Emmys and Vergara of actual sexismName: Sofia Vergara.Age: 42.I love @SofiaVergara but did anyone find that schtick somewhat offensive? Continue reading...
(Tue, 26 Aug 2014 16:10:07 GMT)

Nigel Harman: 'Shrek is in my blood'
The former EastEnders star has turned musical theatre director with a tour of Shrek. He tells us about the appeal of an ogre with body odour and how to play Simon Cowell on stageSo, Nigel, how did you become a musical theatre director?Ive been lucky Ive worked quite consistently as an actor. But Ive been talking about directing for a while now ... I went to the closing night of Shrek at Drury Lane and loved it as much as I did when I was in the show [Harman played Lord Farquaad when Shrek the Musical opened in the West End in 2011]. Then I bumped into producer Caro Newling at a party. She said: I heard you were looking at directing and gave me one of her looks ... I want you to direct the tour. It was a case of carving out some time and with I Cant Sing [the X Factor musical in the West End] finishing, it all fell into place.Shrek is quite a big first bite to take. You werent tempted to go in with a play above a pub?As is my wont, this is a multi-million pound lavish musical spectacular. Its got a cast of nearly 30 and the size of it is breathtaking. [Producers] Neal Street and Playful and Dreamworks have pretty much taken the London show on the road. Bar a couple of things we couldnt fit in the van, everything is here. Its a dream job. Continue reading...
(Tue, 26 Aug 2014 10:47:40 GMT)

'Kate Bush means everything to me': singer's fans end 35-year wait
Fans who came from as far away as Los Angeles, France and Barnsley were happy to comply with 'no photos' ruling They lined up quietly and obediently in the rain, a mood of hushed anticipation hanging in the air. No one jostled, no one pushed in, no one even really spoke. After all, for the hundreds of Kate Bush fans gathered outside Hammersmith Apollo for her opening show, this was simply the final moments of what has been a 35-year wait. Continue reading...
(Tue, 26 Aug 2014 21:08:31 GMT)

Photo highlights of the day
The Guardians picture editors bring you a selection of the best photographs from around the world including celebrations in Gaza, the tomatina festival in Spain and a kingfisher perch war Continue reading...
(Wed, 27 Aug 2014 12:28:29 GMT)

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