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Ukraine crisis: Nato to bolster forces in eastern Europe
Alliance announces more aircraft and ships in Baltic and eastern Mediterranean after pro-Russian militia seize armoured vehiclesNato has announced it has decided on a series of immediate steps to bolster its forces in eastern European as pro-Russian militia rolled into towns across eastern Ukraine in armoured vehicles. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 12:13:00 GMT)

Andy Coulson tells phone-hacking trial he heard David Blunkett voicemails
Former News of the World editor tells court he listened to messages the ex-home secretary left for a married womanAndy Coulson has revealed he heard voicemails of the former home secretary David Blunkett declaring his love for a married woman. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 10:37:12 GMT)

At least 295 missing as ferry sinks off the coast of South Korea
At least four reported dead and 55 injured as ships and helicopters race to save passengers, including children bound for holiday island Ferry sinks off coast of South Korea - in picturesAt least 295 people are still unaccounted for as efforts continue to rescue passengers aboard a South Korean ferry that sank off the countrys south-west coast on Wednesday morning.Officials said four of the ships 476 passengers had died, at least 55 are injured and164 have been rescued. Many passengers - of which 300 are children - may have been trapped inside the vessel as it listed and sank. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 10:07:48 GMT)

Former Co-op Bank chairman Paul Flowers charged with drugs offences
Flowers was suspended by Methodist church and Labour party last year following claims that he bought and used illegal drugsFormer Co-op Bank boss Paul Flowers has been charged with two counts of possession of a class A drug and one count of possession of a class C drug, West Yorkshire police said on Thursday.The 63-year-old has been bailed to appear before Leeds magistrates on 7 May. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 10:10:04 GMT)

Ed Balls faces police investigation over collision with parked car
West Yorkshire police confirm shadow chancellor collided with parked vehicle and drove off without informing ownerPolice have launched an investigation into how the shadow chancellor, Ed Balls, drove off after colliding with a parked car without informing the owner. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 08:48:14 GMT)

Primary school places: fewer parents get first choice
About 600,000 children chase reception places at thousands of state primaries in England as country deals with baby boomEngland's first national offer day for primary school places has been marked by fewer parents receiving their first choice, as councils race to open new classrooms to accommodate swelling school rolls.Around 600,000 children are chasing reception class spots in thousands of state primaries across the country with some cities and boroughs under greater pressure from population flux and the highest birth rate since the postwar baby boom of the 1950s. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 12:45:10 GMT)

Wages beat inflation as unemployment falls below 7%
Pay rose by 1.7%, ahead of the March inflation rate of 1.6%, while there was a quarterly fall of 77,000 in the number of people out of workThere was good news for British households as wage growth finally started to outpace inflation after years of falling living standards, and unemployment fell to its lowest level in five years .Over the three months to February, pay rose by 1.7%, just ahead of the March inflation rate of 1.6%, published by the ONS on Tuesday.Annual pay growth including bonuses rose to 1.9% in February, above the 1.7% inflation rate in the same month. Improvement was driven by private sector pay growth of 2% over the three month period more than double the 0.9% growth in wages in the public sector. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 09:23:11 GMT)

Tesco boss defiant despite 6% fall in profits
Philip Clarke, who is under pressure to show his plans to revitalise the struggling UK chain, has 'no intention of going anywhere'Under-fire Tesco boss Philip Clarke said he has no intention of quitting as profits at the supermarket chain's UK business went backwards for the third year in a row.With some investors said to be calling for his head, Clarke insisted he had set out a "clear strategy" and would be there to see it through. "I've got no intention of going anywhere. All my waking hours are spent running Tesco it's what I love. I'm going to see this thing through." Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 07:53:31 GMT)

Revealed: the radical clerics using social media to back British jihadists in Syria
Academic study points to radical preachers cheerleading western Muslims in fight against Bashar al-AssadTwo radical Muslim clerics have been identified as influential online cheerleaders for fighters seeking to topple the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, in a pioneering academic study published on Wednesday. Continue reading...
(Tue, 15 Apr 2014 21:30:00 GMT)

Compensation fund for Bangladesh's Rana Plaza victims barely one-third full
UN-backed scheme raises $15m of $40m target, despite pressure on brands to assume some financial responsibilityA UN-backed scheme to compensate victims of Bangladesh's Rana Plaza factory collapse is barely one-third full, despite pressure on dozens of western brands to assume some financial responsibility for one of the world's deadliest industrial accidents of modern times.A year after the tragedy, which killed more than 1,100 workers and injured another 1,000, the scheme backed by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), a UN agency, has raised only $15m (£9m), well short of the $40m (£24m) target. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 11:56:17 GMT)

Oscar Pistorius trial live coverage Wednesday 16 April 2014
Live updates from David Smith as trial of Olympic and Paralympic athlete for the killing of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp continues Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 07:40:43 GMT)

UK 'has fewer hospital beds per person than most European countries'
OECD report says Britain had three beds per 1,000 people in 2011, compared with 8.3 in Germany and 6.6 in PolandThere are fewer hospital beds per person in Britain than most other European countries, with less than half the number of many, a report has found.According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the UK had three hospital beds per 1,000 people in 2011, with Ireland having the same number. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 04:59:39 GMT)

Hunger is a 'national crisis', religious leaders tell Cameron
Religious leaders and faith groups ask David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg to tackle the causes of food povertyReligious leaders and faith groups have called on the government to take action to tackle a "national crisis" of rising hunger and food poverty, as latest figures suggest more than a million Britons have been helped by food banks in the past year.More than 40 Anglican bishops and 600 church leaders have signed a letter, calling on David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband to tackle the causes of food poverty, including low wages, rising food prices and an inadequate welfare benefit safety net. Continue reading...
(Tue, 15 Apr 2014 23:00:00 GMT)

Sir Alex Ferguson to auction vintage wine collection valued at £3m
5,000 bottles to be auctioned in Hong Kong and London Ferguson collected wine to relieve the pressure of footballSir Alex Ferguson is to auction the extensive collection of vintage wines which he assembled during his career to "distract from the intensity and pressure" of managing Manchester United.The collection of about 5,000 bottles, along with signed memorabilia, will be sold at auctions starting in May, and has a pre-sale estimated value of £3m, according to Christie's. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 09:39:43 GMT)

Sunny weather to give way to rainy Easter Sunday
Easter weekend will start off well but Easter Sunday will be cooler and rainy over much of the UKLarge parts of Britain were enjoying another warm, dry day on Wednesday but rain will be arriving over Easter, forecasters have warned.Many areas will see temperatures around 16C or 17C (61F or 63F) on Wednesday as the spell of sunny spring weather continues. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 10:09:39 GMT)

Submersible searching for MH370 resurfaces early for second day
Nothing significant detected from latest analysis of data as underwater vehicle encounters further problemsThe underwater vehicle searching for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane has for the second time been forced to resurface early following a technical problem.The Bluefin-21 has been operating for two days in a small area of the Indian Ocean that Australian search authorities believe to be the most likely place the missing plane crashed. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 10:05:49 GMT)

NYPD disbands controversial Muslim surveillance unit
'Dragnet policing' by demographics unit had damaged police relations with communityA special New York police department unit that sparked controversy by tracking the daily lives of Muslims in an effort to detect terror threats has been disbanded, police officials said on Tuesday.Stephen Davis, a spokesman for the NYPD, confirmed that detectives assigned to the unit had been transferred to other duties within the department's intelligence division. Continue reading...
(Tue, 15 Apr 2014 23:58:22 GMT)

Chinese growth is weakest for two years
China's GDP grew 7.4% in the first quarter amid growing evidence that the powerhouse economy is easing off China's economic growth slowed to 7.4% in the first quarter, raising the risk of job losses and a potential impact on the global economy.The figure reported on Wednesday by the national bureau of statistics (NBS) was down from the previous quarter's 7.7% and was below the full-year official growth target of 7.5% announced last month. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 02:36:29 GMT)

Schoolgirls kidnapped by suspected Islamists in Nigeria
Officials say about 100 pupils were abducted from school, but some later escaped from open truckSuspected Islamist extremists have abducted about 100 female pupils from a school in north-east Nigeria, but some later escaped from the back of an open truck, officials say.The girls were abducted after midnight from a school in Chibok, on the edge of the Sambisa Forest, an insurgent hideout, said the Borno state police commissioner Tanko Lawan. Continue reading...
(Tue, 15 Apr 2014 17:58:03 GMT)

Dave Lee Travis in new sexual assault charge
Former DJ to appear in court next week, say Metropolitan police, after allegation of indecent assault in January 1995The former BBC Radio 1 DJ Dave Lee Travis has been charged with indecently assaulting a woman in January 1995, the Metropolitan Police has said.Travis, who was cleared in February of a string of indecent assault charges dating back to the mid-1970s, is due to appear on bail at Westminster magistrates court on 24 April. Continue reading...
(Tue, 15 Apr 2014 19:47:08 GMT)

British soldiers accused of grossly violating Geneva conventions
Violations, including mock executions, took place during battle in which 20 Iraqis were killed, public inquiry into incident toldBritish soldiers committed "gross violations of the Geneva conventions", including mock executions, during a fierce battle in which 20 Iraqis were killed and nine other seriously mistreated after they were captured, a public inquiry into the incident has been told.The allegations were made by lawyers representing the Iraqis and their families. But suggestions that the soldiers murdered, mutilated and tortured Iraqi insurgents were dismissed by those representing the soldiers as "the product of lies" and of evidence that was "deliberately fabricated". Lawyers for the Ministry of Defence accused Iraqi witnesses at the inquiry of a "conspiracy" to pervert the course of justice. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 12:54:31 GMT)

BT preparing to fix Heartbleed-affected Home Hubs
BT's consumer router is affected by Heartbleed, but only from within the network, the firm saysBT is preparing a patch to fix the Heartbleed flaw on its Home Hub routers, the company has confirmed.But the flaw won't expose many customers to danger, the firm says, because for any attacker to make the most of it they would already have to have joined the BT Home Hub's wireless network, which is password-protected by default. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 08:46:27 GMT)

Palestinians wounded in clashes with Israeli police at al-Aqsa mosque
Dozens injured by rubber bullets after Jewish visitors allowed into Jerusalem site, revered in Judaism as Temple MountDozens of Palestinians were wounded in clashes with Israeli police that erupted when the al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem was opened to Jewish visitors.A police spokesman, Micky Rosenfeld, told AFP that Palestinians threw stones and firecrackers at police when they opened the walled compound's gates on Wednesday. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 12:31:12 GMT)

Banksy artwork Mobile Lovers could raise £100,000 for Bristol youth club
Leaders of youth club removed new artwork from wall and say they need to auction it to raise funds for their struggling centreA youth club in Bristol hopes to raise £100,000 by selling a Banksy artwork it removed from a wall with a crowbar.A picture of Mobile Lovers was posted on the celebrated street artist's website on Monday but its whereabouts were not disclosed. However, the location was identified on Tuesday as Clement Street, within sight of Bristol's bustling shopping centre. Continue reading...
(Tue, 15 Apr 2014 22:37:08 GMT)

The BBC: there to inform, educate, provoke and enrage?
The BBC has never seemed more under attack. But what provokes such passion? In the second of a series of essays on the corporation's past, present and future, Charlotte Higgins asks why the critics seem to come from within as often as from outsidePart one: What can the origins of the BBC tell us about its future?The BBC is like the Greeks Hydra: vast and many headed. The same organisation that made Sherlock frittered away £100m on a failed IT initiative; it runs five orchestras, the Today programme and the World Service; it inexplicably buys and then sells for a much smaller sum the Lonely Planet guides. While Kenneth Clark was pacing the streets of Italian hill towns, filming Civilisation for BBC2, Jimmy Savile was presenting Top of the Pops on BBC1, and Stuart Hall was informing, entertaining and abusing in the north of England. Whatever qualities it has, it often seems to embody the opposite, too. For most of us, there are parts of the BBC we couldnt live without, much of it that we enjoy, vast acreages that we take for granted, and characteristics that we find irritating, infuriating or even loathsome.Some of the most outspoken critiques of the BBC come from within it. One cold sunny morning I visited Jeremy Paxman in his flat in west London. As he padded around filling the cafetière, he railed against the BBCs closed corporate culture. He said: It is smug. I love the BBC in many ways, but at the same time it has made me loathe aspects of it, and thats a very odd state of affairs. When I see people being given £1m merely for walking out of the door, when I see £100m being blown on that DMI [digital media initiative] thing, a stupid technical initiative like that, I start wondering: how much longer are we going to test the publics patience? Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 06:00:50 GMT)

What can the origins of the BBC tell us about its future?
The BBC has just experienced one of the worst crises in its history. It is navigating unprecedented hostility from the press and massive digital transformation. In the first of a series of essays on the corporation's past, present and future, Charlotte Higgins examines the belief of its first director general, John Reith, that the BBC should be the citizen's 'guide, philosopher and friend'. Ninety years on, can that still be its aim?Part 2: The BBC: there to inform, educate, provoke and enrage?The manse on Lynedoch Street, Glasgow, is a handsome double-fronted house with nine steps up to its front door. It clings to the flank of its sandstone church, whose brace of tall, pencil-straight towers are linked by an elegant classical pediment. The manse which still exhales an air of four-square Victorian respectability occupies the high ground above the green spaces of Kelvingrove Park, in which, before the first world war, its son John Reith would walk, feeling the winds of destiny brushing his cheek as they blew down from the Campsie Fells or so he said. Even when a teenager, Reith, a very tall man, had a face with something of the Easter Island carving about it: graven, austere, immense-jawed. In the first world war part of the left side of his face was blown off, leaving a jagged scar. As he aged, the dark bushy eyebrows became more wayward and independently active, the white hair wilder. There is footage of him being interviewed in 1967 by Malcolm Muggeridge. When the terrifying, wolfish smile comes, the face looks as if has been forced open by a hammer and chisel.The church has now been converted into the premises of an accountancy firm and a business consultancy, which would horrify the intensely religious Reith: in his youth it resounded to sermons given by his father George, a free presbyterian minister whom he worshipped second only to God: His sense of grace was apostolic; his sense of righteousness prophetic his eyes would flash; the eloquence of his indignation was devasting. Continue reading...
(Mon, 14 Apr 2014 23:01:07 GMT)

Secrets and strides the singular experience of a North Korean marathon
Allowing entrants from outside North Korea for the first time, the Pyongyang marathon offered a truly unique opportunityLondon was not the only city to host a marathon last Sunday and, it can be argued, neither was it the most interesting, despite the presence of Olympic hero Mo Farah for the first time. In North Korea, 800 professional and amateur runners were at the same time lining up inside the Kim Il-sung Stadium ahead of Pyongyang's 27th annual marathon. Open to overseas recreational runners for the first time as part of a wider initiative to boost tourism, this was a historical moment for the world's most secretive nation.For me this was an ideal opportunity. I've always wanted to see North Korea but did not much fancy being part of a heavily restricted group tour, as is the case with visitors to the country. So here was a chance to gain relatively free access and burn a few calories while I was at it. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 11:54:58 GMT)

Barcelona face 'Tataclysm' and need cup final win to kickstart rebuild
Beating Madrid in the Copa del Rey final would be welcome but Barça are struggling with even Messi facing criticismOn the eve of Barcelona's Champions League tie with Manchester City, Javier Mascherano was called on to deliver a message. Barcelona had lost three of their past six La Liga games and had just been defeated at relegation-threatened Valladolid, their lead at the top slipping through their fingers. Crisis loomed but the Argentinian looked at his inquisitors and insisted: "It's March." Then came the plea. "Wait for us to be dying before you kill us off! We're still alive. Don't kill us yet!"How about now, Javier? It's April now. On Wednesday Barcelona face Real Madrid in the final of the Copa del Rey. There is excitement but above all there is fear; a sense that, teetering on the edge, here come their biggest rivals, ready to give them the final gentle, gleeful push into the abyss below. Three, two, one ... none? Could Barcelona lose a potential treble in record time? Continue reading...
(Tue, 15 Apr 2014 22:00:00 GMT)

Kevin Pietersen ruled out of IPL opener for Delhi Daredevils due to injury
Pietersen sustained injury during fielding drills at Surrey He was meant to captain Delhi against Bangalore on ThursdayThe new chapter in Kevin Pietersen's post-England career has been delayed after he was ruled out of the Delhi Daredevils' opening Indian Premier League match on Thursday due to a finger injury.Pietersen was meant to captain Delhi against Royal Challengers Bangalore in Sharjah having signed a £880,000 contract with the franchise in February. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 12:16:09 GMT)

Jonas Blixt sets sights on making Ryder Cup team after Masters success
Blixt eager to prove to European Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley that he deserves a place at Gleneagles in SeptemberPaul McGinley is an excellent television analyst and in the early months of his Ryder Cup captaincy, has demonstrated an attention to detail which bodes extremely well for Europe's meeting with the United States in September. But he found himself in a tricky position at Augusta National on Sunday evening.When asked live on air about Jonas Blixt, who had just recorded a second impressive major finish in succession, McGinley had to be careful. He couldn't reasonably dismiss the Swede's chances of a Ryder Cup place and he couldn't guarantee him one, either. Instead, the 47-year-old rightly offered effusive praise towards Blixt, including the slight contradiction that he is "maybe nailed-on" for a spot in Europe's team. The subtle message to Blixt was clear; keep on doing what you are on golf's biggest stages and you will be impossible to ignore. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 10:26:57 GMT)

Amir Khan signs deal with Floyd Mayweather's promoter Al Haymon
Khan becomes latest big name to join Haymon camp Should put him in line for showdown with MayweatherAmir Khan has signed with Al Haymon, which should propel him to the front of the queue for a shot at Floyd Mayweather next year.Haymon and Mayweather who defends his world welterweight title against Marcos Maidana in Las Vegas on 3 May have made several significant signings lately, notably the Canadian knockout artist Adonis Stevenson. They also look after Adrien Broner and Danny Garcia, potential Mayweather opponents. Continue reading...
(Tue, 15 Apr 2014 19:38:30 GMT)

County cricket live!
All the action with Mike Selvey at Northamptonshire v Durham, Richard Gibson at Warwickshire v Sussex and Andy Wilson at Essex v Derbyshire 1.25pm BST The relief around the County Ground is tangible. Essex have launched their promotion bid with a win, but how they were made to sweat by Derbyshire and especially Tim Groenewald on a marvellous fourth morning.The Peakites resumed as rank outsiders at 167 for five, still needing 199 to win, and their prospects seemed to have faded from slim to non-existent when the overnight batsmen Richard Johnson and Shiv Chanderpaul fell in consecutive overs from Graham Napier to leave them on 196 for seven. 12.05pm BST Six of this Sussex team were not born the last time their county claimed a County Championship win at Edgbaston, and their cricket manager Mark Robinson had never won either as a player or coach in Birmingham before 11.55am on 16 April 2014. He was not here to see it but he might wish to use this match's scorecard as a substitute for his CV when he sits down with the Lord's hierarchy later today.Visiting captain Ed Joyce flicked a delivery off his hip from Chris Wright to the long leg boundary to complete the seven-wicket success. In all it took 14 overs and the loss of Rory Hamilton-Brown to knock off the 57 runs required on the final morning. 11.18am BST The only pressing question at the County ground this morning is how long Durham decide to bat before embarking on their effort to bowl Northamptonshire out and win the match. They begin the final day 252 runs ahead already, and there is a school of thought which says that this is already sufficient: that the home side do not have the firepower to chase down a target in the manner that, say, Durham themselves famously did against Nottinghamshire around this time last year. The feeling, indeed is that Northants would be very keen to take a draw, and that Durham, who will surely not regard them as rivals for the championship ( especially if all their pitches are as this one), have little to lose in having a real go. Apparently they believe they can get the job done in two sessions, but over-caution could cost them. 11.08am BST In contrast to previous days when Edgbaston has housed decent four-figure crowds, not many have turned up in expectation of a near-miracle. The pitch has got better and better under the sun and Sussex are just 57 runs short of completing their highest Championship run chase since ploughing to 455-8 against Gloucestershire at Hove 15 years ago.Ed Joyce has batted beautifully in this match and the biggest surprise was when he failed to make good his life in the first innings, immediately after getting to a hundred. He was also missed twice in two balls last night off Jeetan Patel but by that stage Sussex were in sight of the finishing tape. 10.38am BST Monty Panesar may have escaped serious punishment for his latest on-field aberration, but his Essex captain James Foster could be in trouble. Not for failing to control Monty, but for breaking the unwritten agreement throughout English cricket not to get too excited about Tymal Mills. Essex have been in the vanguard of this approach, doubtless with good reason as they know him better than anyone. He only played five Championship matches last season, so excitable journalists have regularly been warned not to get carried away by the muscular pace which shook up a few England batsmen during the Ashes warm-up here last summer, and again in the nets in Australia. In fairness, his performance in this game has confirmed that Mills, who does not turn 22 until August, is still very raw. He's bowled too many balls that batsmen have not needed to play, and yesterday there was a beamer to greet a shocked Wes Durston - for which Mills was suitably apologetic, having conceded six no-balls. 10.35am BST 10.23am BST Today we have Mike Selvey at Northamptonshire v Durham, Richard Gibson at Warwickshire v Sussex, Andy Wilson at Essex v Derbyshire. Here are the reports from yesterday:Northamptonshire v DurhamDurham push on although Middlebrook keeps Northants in the game. Northamptonshire's Matt Spriegel was dismissed at the County Ground when he was three runs short of his first century for the team Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 12:25:13 GMT)

Nicolas Anelka's move to Atlético Mineiro off after striker fails to arrive
Anelka on a 'religious trip' in Kuwait instead 'He had an obligatgion to let us know ... the deal is off'Atlético Mineiro have pulled out of a deal to sign former West Bromwich Albion striker Nicolas Anelka as the striker took too long to report to the club. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 10:04:05 GMT)

Talking Horses: today's best bets and all the latest racing news
Parbold has not won since his maiden but is one to watch on a glorious day of racing at Newmarket and CheltenhamFor two glorious days, there is something for everyone in Horse Racing Land, with both Newmarket and Cheltenham staging some excellent action. If only we could have contrived our fixture list so that these meetings took place over Easter, instead of just before it, then race fans would be able to enjoy both properly. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 10:41:54 GMT)

Olivier Giroud shows touch of class as Arsenal brush aside West Ham
Striker dedicates goal to Hillsborough victims Match report: Arsenal 3-1 West Ham In pictures: the best images from the EmiratesOlivier Giroud offered his tribute to the Hillsborough victims on the 25th anniversary of the disaster after his stunning goal helped Arsenal to a 3-1 home win over West Ham United. Continue reading...
(Tue, 15 Apr 2014 23:45:44 GMT)

Manuel Pellegrini says Manchester City can still win Premier League
Manager insists Liverpool could drop points during run-in 'We continue with the same trust to the end of the season'Manuel Pellegrini has denied Manchester City have surrendered a championship-winning advantage, insisting Liverpool could drop points to allow his team to again take charge of the title race.Towards the end of March City were three points behind the leaders, Chelsea, with two matches in hand. But after drawing 1-1 at Arsenal on 29 March and losing 3-2 to Liverpool on Sunday, Pellegrini's side know that even if both extra games are won they will still be a point behind the Merseyside club. Continue reading...
(Tue, 15 Apr 2014 21:30:00 GMT)

The player who put divine intervention before doctors' orders
Plus: multiple 20-goals-in-one-season players, the six-times-taken penalty and German MPs for topless players. Send your questions and answers to knowledge@theguardian.com and follow us on Twitter"My question follows on from Jason Roberts' retirement via hip-knack," begins Neill Rees. "There must have been someone, somewhere that decided to play on, despite the expert advice to cease? Has there ever been a report of such a player to play on despite being medically told not to continue past Go, not just in a single match, but for the rest of the season or more?""With the Group C match level at 1-1 and in the dying stages, Tunisia were awarded the spot-kick for a foul in the box. Up strode experienced striker Mohamed Jedidi to take the kick and he scored confidently in the corner. At least, he thought so. Referee Charles Ariiotima from Tahiti ordered the penalty to be taken again and again after Tunisian players were accused of encroachment as Jedidi twice more found the net successfully. Jedidi then had the fourth kick saved by Nikola Milojevic. Again Ariiotima was unhappy claiming that it was the Serbian players who had drifted into the 18-yard area and the Europeans were accused of the same offence on the fifth kick which again was stopped by Milojevic. Incredibly, the 25-year-old Jedidi kept his nerve to legally convert the sixth kick." Continue reading...
(Tue, 15 Apr 2014 23:08:00 GMT)

Ilkay Gundogan signs contract extension with Borussia Dortmund
Germany midfielder's new deal until end of 2016 season 23-year-old was reported target for Manchester UnitedIlkay Gundogan has committed his future to Borussia Dortmund by signing a new contract.The highly-rated Germany midfielder, a reported target for clubs across Europe, including Manchester United, has signed a deal to keep him at the Bundesliga club until 2016. The 23-year-old has barely featured this season because of a back problem. Continue reading...
(Tue, 15 Apr 2014 19:34:09 GMT)

Luton Town return to the Football League after five-year exile
Defeat for Cambridge hands John Still's side promotion Chairman Nick Owen: 'It is wonderful to be back'Five years after being relegated from the Football League, Luton Town's exile is finally over after Cambridge United's 2-0 defeat to Kidderminster confirmed John Still's side as Conference Premier champions.The result means Luton now have an unassailable 10-point lead over Cambridge with only three games to play. Continue reading...
(Tue, 15 Apr 2014 22:16:50 GMT)

FIA rejection of Red Bull's appeal will please paddock and was right for F1
Chaos would have ensued if the Milton Keynes team had won the test case but it is tough on Daniel RicciardoRed Bull have pointed out a few sore losers in the paddock over the past four years, so it is tempting to cast them in the same light now.First, they have been unable to compete with a vibrant Mercedes team who have prepared for the 2014 Formula One season better than anyone else. Second, they argued against the disqualification of Daniel Ricciardo from second place in the opening race of the season last month, only to be told in Paris on Tuesday that they had lost the appeal. Continue reading...
(Tue, 15 Apr 2014 18:06:27 GMT)

Fan apologises for hitting England forward Sam Burgess with a stick
England forward hit after 18-2 South Sydney win over Penrith 'Fan has unreservedly apologised for any harm to the NRL'A fan has apologised to England forward Sam Burgess for attacking him with a stick.Julie Burgess, mother of the former Bradford prop, complained after her 25-year-old son was hit over the head as he left the field after helping his team, South Sydney, to an 18-2 win over Penrith Panthers. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 09:40:28 GMT)

Sport picture of the day: Borussia Dortmund confetti
The Yellow Wall, as the south stand of the Signal Iduna Park has been nicknamed, excelled itself before the DFB Pokal match against Wolfsburg. After a rendition of 'You'll Never Walk Alone' in memory of the Hillsborough disaster, fans threw yellow confetti on to the pitch as the players entered the stadium. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 10:08:00 GMT)

The shirt on your back: the human cost of the Bangladeshi garment industry
How did the clothes you're wearing get to you? Guardian journalists trace the lifecycle of the shirt on your back via the teeming workshops of Dhaka, where labour is cheap, factories are cheaper and just going to work can be fatal Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 09:16:00 GMT)

Kaiser Chiefs perform Coming Home live session video
The Kaiser Chiefs head into our studios to perform the anthemic ballad Coming Home, taken from their current number one album, Education, Education, Education & War. The band returned to the top of the album charts for the first time since Yours Truly, Angry Mob in 2007 Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 10:51:25 GMT)

How to make the perfect coffee and walnut cake
More homely than sophisticated and dainty, this cake could keep you up all night and leave you running back and forth to the fridge for multiple midnight snacksThere are two types of cake in the world: the rich, sophisticated gateaux best eaten in delicate slivers after dinner; and the homely, comforting kind that, if push came to shove, most of us really prefer. The latter are the sort of cakes your granny might have made (if she lived in Ambridge), the ones sold on paper plates wrapped messily in clingfilm at the village fete; in short, the cakes you imagine the sainted Mary Berry probably eats for breakfast.As you may have guessed, I'm a big fan of this humbler, homelier kind of cake. The feather-light Victoria sponge, the nutty carrot and the sticky fruit cake all have a special place in my heart, but after much soul searching I've come down in favour of the coffee and walnut. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 11:15:09 GMT)

Core work: a runner's guide
All runners well, all exercisers, really know they should do core work. But if you are anything like me, without some guidance you'll run out of ideas after the plank and some crunches. So here are some core exercises for home and/or gym to throw into your routineWhen you run, though your legs may be doing the lion's share of the work, your upper body is constantly rotating. Your abdominals and obliques should be activated, providing balance and support. And of course your intercostal muscles are working away as you breathe more and more heavily, so these muscles need to be strong. If they aren't, you are more likely to overcompensate elsewhere and perhaps cause an injury or pain. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 07:00:00 GMT)

Primary school places: how to challenge a decision
If you are one of the thousands of parents whose children have not been allocated a place, here is what you can do about itThe parents of thousands of children will learn on Wednesday that they have not been allocated their first choice of primary school. If you are one of them, it is possible to challenge the decision. Here is what you can do: Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 11:55:21 GMT)

Behind the Joke: Rubberbandits, Tony Law and Marc Lucero on their comedy
Three acts on where they got the inspiration for their jokes about a dad's best friend, emailing cheese and elephants with accentsReading on mobile? Watch Rubberbandits here Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 11:42:44 GMT)

The granny state: how a female-dominated 'grey vote' could swing it
The growing 'grey vote' contains a preponderance of women. That, surely, is a hopeful sign. A grandmatriarchy would replace alpha male dominationThere's been a bit of a ruckus at the unit. I learned about it at the community centre lunch the other day, following an unexpected comment from Cecil."Credit where it's due, those ladies did a good job." Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 07:00:02 GMT)

Killing your darlings: soap's obsession with bumping off its leading ladies continues
Both Coronation Street and EastEnders are killing off female stars in the coming weeks but neither Tina's nor Lucy's exit is completely convincingKill your darlings, somebody once said, not referring to the soaps. But that's what's happening in the big two, with high-profile murders of two young women. This week sees the untimely demise of Lucy Beale on EastEnders, while Coronation Street has been building up to the killing of Tina McIntyre for what feels like months. For very different reasons, both are problematic.In her six years playing Tina, actor Michelle Keegan has become one of Corrie's brightest stars. Not only is she one of the most talented players on the Street, her string of high-profile relationships has kept the show in the gossip pages, providing welcome publicity during a turbulent period in which two of its cast members were trialled and cleared of sex offences. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 09:12:00 GMT)

Windows Phone review 8.1 advances, but needs to close 'app gap'
In a bid to catch up with the iPhone and Android, Microsoft has added features that closely resemble what you'll find on its rivalsFor years now, Microsoft has been playing catch-up in the smartphone race as Apple's iPhone and Google's Android have raced ahead. But the new 8.1 version of its Windows Phone software which will ship on new models in May, and be rolled out to existing phones that can get it over the next few months addresses many of the shortcomings in previous versions.Previously, voice search lacked the natural language interactions of Apple's Siri and Google Now. The updated Windows Phone system has Cortana, which combines Siri's personality with Google Now's knack for anticipating what you need before you even ask. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 11:30:09 GMT)

How to wear spring boots video
Jess Cartner-Morley has an addiction to ankle boots. Here, she shows how flat Chelsea boots and chunky, high heeled ankle boots can be worn as a replacement to flimsy spring sandals a tough, unexpected and practical addition to pretty clothes Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 11:00:00 GMT)

World Cup 2014 host city guide: Rio de Janeiro video
Brazil's most famous city prepares for World Cup hosting duties. Known for its signature beaches and iconic Christ the Redeemer statue, Rio is the second largest city in Brazil. The city's Maracanã stadium will host seven World Cup games, including the final on 13 July Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 10:10:00 GMT)

10 of the best: Scandinavian disco
With Todd Terje's album setting danceniks' trousers alight, we cast our beady eye over the best Scandi danceMany Scandinavian disco tracks employ a classic trope of their 70s forebears: the bass line that hops between the same note two octaves apart, a swinging metronome over which funk is draped. And none do so with quite as much enthusiasm as this, which dials up the speed of the bass line until it's almost ska paced. It lays the groundwork for an energetic, rather naive melody that becomes increasingly frantic as it bounces around, only to find comfort again in the final refrain this puppyish charm has made it the scene's biggest hit. Terje repeated the trick to only slightly less brilliant effect on the singles Strandbar, Lanzarote and Spiral, and his just-released debut LP, It's Album Time, is also full of zany energy. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 10:41:56 GMT)

Whose city is it anyway? The harsh truth about urbanisation
The catastrophic failure to manage the growth of cities in many low and middle-income countries will haunt usWe have, it seems, no difficulty in dealing with the idea of cities, historically or in day-to-day life across the world. Cities are often iconic and in many ways define national identity. On the whole, we like them.We have much more difficulty coming to terms with urbanisation the process by which cities grow and change. China has just announced its very first "urbanisation policy", while India is aggressively pursuing the idea of "smart cities". Neither takes full account of the reality faced by the overwhelming majority of citizens caught in this turmoil of urban growth. As a result, such grand strategies risk perpetuating the social exclusion, inequity and precariousness of urban life. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 09:13:53 GMT)

Heartbleed: 95% of detection tools 'flawed', claim researchers
Free web tools and not picking up the vulnerability, leaving consumer data exposedSome tools designed to detect the Heartbleed vulnerability are flawed and won't detect the problem on affected websites, a cybersecurity consultancy has warned.The Heartbleed flaw, which undermined the common security software for internet connections called OpenSSL, caused mass panic last week due to the ease with which it could be exploited to acquire passwords or encryption keys, potentially leaking sensitive personal data from popular consumer websites. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 08:36:20 GMT)

The top 10 novels of desert war
From TE Lawrence to Michael Ondaatje, Robert Allison picks the best fiction about an extreme environment which lends itself to the highest dramaThe desert has always been fertile ground for novelists. Not only in the otherworldliness of the landscape but also for its capacity to act as an existential sounding board for characters; such vast expanses of emptiness naturally encouraging introspection and reflection. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 11:43:18 GMT)

Readers' travel tips: family-friendly hotels and guesthouses in Italy
Italy is legend for its hospitality, but do you know any guesthouses and hotels that are particularly child- and family-friendly? Send us a tip about one and you could win a £200 hotel voucherHave you stayed in some memorable Italian accommodation? Not a faceless chain, but a family-friendly (and perhaps family-run) guesthouse or hotel that made you all feel at home?The best tips will appear in next weekend's paper supplement and the winner, chosen by Tom Hall of Lonely Planet, will receive a £200 hotel voucher from Hotels.com allowing you stay in thousands of places worldwide. Submit your tips by clicking on the blue button and using the text tab. Try and include as much detail as possible location, any website addresses etc and feel free to add a photo if you own the copyright to it, but it will be the text were judging! Your tip should be around 100 words.Terms and conditions. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 06:37:34 GMT)

US Airways and the top five corporate Twitter fails
After US Airways accidentally tweeted an extremely graphic picture, we've rounded up other corporate Twitter fails including #susanalbumparty. Suggest your own in the comments US Airways managed a doozy of a Twitter fail on Monday when it accidentally tweeted a pornographic image in a reply to a customer.The American airline tweeted the explicit image to an unhappy customer by mistake but it took the firm nearly an hour to remove the post.We are here with our Customer Service Director, Bert Pijls, answering your questions until 2pm #AskBG pic.twitter.com/csbaqTfWwu.@BritishGas do u like strawberries also will the souls of hypothermic pensioners play on your conscience for eternity ? #AskBG#AskBG Can you recommend a good energy supplier?Hi Bert, which items of furniture do you, in your humble opinion, think people should burn first this winter? #AskBGI would apologise for the #hmvXFactorFiring tweets but I felt like someone had to speak. As someone without a family to support/no mortgageI felt that I was the safest person to do so. Not to mention, I wanted to show the power of Social Media to those who refused to be educatedPlease fellow journalists do not agree to the absurd conditions for covering @BRITAwards. I've even just been told what I should tweet. No.Good press coverage is hard to bribe. For everything else there's Mastercard. #PricelessSurprisesSponsored trend from Mastercard is currently helping people to find this: http://t.co/E6gTRp7wMd #PricelessSurprises pic.twitter.com/itznLSB6hRIt's sleepy time so we're off to hit the hay! See you at 8am for more #TescoTweets@SophyRidgeSky I'm terribly sorry. That tweet was scheduled before we knew of the current situation. We'd never intend to make light of it.Major discovery: #susanalbumparty was real! But it wasn't this week; it was sent on October 30 (and quickly corrected): pic.twitter.com/W4iCzv4F Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 06:39:01 GMT)

Fashion-conscious men warned we may have reached 'peak beard'
Attractiveness of facial hair declines the more men adopt it and vice versa, study findsWhat every man should know about fashion in 2014How Mad Men changed the way men dress Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 02:54:55 GMT)

The daily quiz, 16 April 2014
Countdown, Dan Brown, metal umlauts, European rivers, Pulitzer prizes and the Yellow Pages all feature today 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, 16 Apr 2014 06:30:00 GMT)

Perhaps it doesn't matter if the Daily Mirror's weeping child is a lie
The Mirror's front page picture illustrating a food banks story in Britain is of a child in San Francisco. But all photographs have a problem with authenticity Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 11:05:15 GMT)

Ukraine crisis: pro-Russian separatists seize vehicles - live updates
Putin condemns Ukrainian moves as 'anti-constitutional'Nato to step up military presence in eastern EuropeHigh-level talks to be held in Geneva tomorrow Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 13:01:34 GMT)

Paul Lambert lieutenants suspended by Villa to clear 'poisonous atmosphere'
Villa take action pending internal investigation Gordon Cowans and Shay Given promoted in their place Continue reading...
(Tue, 15 Apr 2014 13:29:35 GMT)

The 1% wants to ban sleeping in cars because it hurts their 'quality of life'
Depriving the homeless of their last shelter is Silicon Valley at its worst especially when rich cities aren't doing anything to end homelessness Continue reading...
(Tue, 15 Apr 2014 11:15:44 GMT)

Neil Young's Pono becomes third most successful Kickstarter ever with $6.2m
The songwriter's Pono music player, which can play ultra high-quality files, completed a hugely successful campaign on the crowdfunding website Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 07:47:44 GMT)

The top 10 female nudes in art
From the ravishing Venus of Urbino, past Ingres's sensual Odalisque, to the feminist riposte of the Guerrilla Girls, the female nude has inspired, enraptured and enraged The top 10 male nudes in art The 10 sexiest artworks ever The 10 most surreal artworks Continue reading...
(Tue, 15 Apr 2014 11:06:23 GMT)

Tesco: the supermarket where the squeezed middle don't want to be
Undercut by Aldi and Lidl and outdone by Waitrose, Tesco's fall in profits shows how it has struggled to adapt to modern Britain Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 10:23:26 GMT)

Beautiful Games: imaginary footballer album covers
There have been plenty of dodgy records made by footballers down the years, but what if some of the game's greatest players ever had been immortalised in vinyl? New York-based graphic designer James Taylor wondered exactly that. He then created these imaginary album sleeves in styles which reflect the players' personalities and the genres of music they'd most likely have produced. 'I felt that [Carlos] Valderrama's hair instantly puts him into the mould of guitar virtuoso (on the Columbia label, of course),' he says. 'I imagined Jairzinho to make a funk-soul LP; it's the right time period and he already has the look. Socrates, on the other hand, would perhaps make a folk or experimental record with a more political message.' The design for Zico's sleeve is an homage to the covers of Wave and Tide by Antonio Carlos Jobim, while the others are borne from Taylor's vivid imagination Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 08:59:48 GMT)

Football transfer rumours: Arsenal to sign Real Madrid's Casemiro?
Today's fluff is feeling the beat Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 08:41:40 GMT)

Did the Rana Plaza factory disaster change your fashion buying habits?
More than 1,134 people died making clothes sold in western high street stores last April. Did the Rana Plaza disaster change your shopping habits? If not, why not? And what can we do?Interactive: the human cost of the Bangladeshi garment industryVictims of the Rana Plaza factory collapse died making clothes sold in western high street stores. 28 brands have been linked to the factory complex including Primark, Matalan, Benetton, Bonmarché, El Corte Inglés, and Mango. Huge numbers of people use shopping as their primary leisure activity, and for some it is an addiction. The fast fashion industry relies on a year-round production flow, low stock levels in stores and a supply chain that responds to rapidly changing demands. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 10:00:38 GMT)

How do you know when it's time to refuse treatment for incurable cancer?
Kate Granger was diagnosed with terminal cancer aged 29 and chose to have palliative chemotherapy to prolong her lifeA few months ago, my consultant oncologist sat with me in his room and wrote on the top of a consent form "Palliative chemotherapy with the intent of relieving symptoms". This was my second time facing the chemotherapy wringer for the incurable, rare sarcoma residing in my abdomen, and a huge decision that I had made after much deliberation and discussion.At 31, death was hurtling towards me at an alarming rate, and although the primary motivation for both my oncologist and me was to relieve the pelvic pain that disturbed my sleep every night, the chemotherapy regimen would also prolong my life. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 09:00:00 GMT)

Caroline Lucas deserves a medal, not a criminal record, for opposing fracking
The Green MP is Britain's leading voice of reason on climate change, yet a stand against shale gas has put her in courtThis week a court in Brighton will deliver its verdict on the Green party MP Caroline Lucas who is being prosecuted for causing an obstruction outside the Balcombe gas fracking site. The possibility that one of the most sensible politicians in parliament could receive a criminal record, rather than the medal she deserves, for standing up against greedy energy bosses tells us everything we need to know about the topsy-turvy state of British politics on the environment.In fact the past few weeks have been an object lesson in why Britain desperately needs more politicians like Lucas that is, if we are to emerge from this recession with a chance of improving ordinary people's living standards rather than being locked into an outdated fossil-fuel economy and a desperate struggle to cope with increasingly dangerous climate change. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 11:57:42 GMT)

Bank of England unlikely to rush into an early interest rate rise
The unemployment data is still patchy and not quite as strong as it looks at first glanceEmployment up by more than 250,000 on the quarter. The unemployment rate below 7% and at its lowest rate in five years. Average earnings are picking up and finally outpacing prices. With the labour market as strong as that, surely an increase in interest rates must be coming?That's certainly what the City thinks. Sterling rose after the unemployment figures were released and dealers have advanced the date at which they expect the Bank of England to push up the cost of borrowing. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 10:38:09 GMT)

Rising activist deaths are a symptom of our global environmental crisis
It has never been more important to protect the environment but it has never been more deadlyThis week the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) confirmed what 99.9% of those who work on environmental issues already knew: we need to change something pretty drastic if we want to avoid a rise in temperature of less than 2C.The message is finally becoming clear: protecting the environment is not only about polar bears and pandas, it's about people and it is the poorest and most vulnerable who are hit first, most and worst. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 07:00:07 GMT)

Have your parents ever embarrassed you on Facebook?
Many people have been left with red faces after parents posted photos of them online, says a new survey. Let us know what internet horrors your mum and dad have subjected you toParents and social media don't mix. A survey reported in the Times found that 25% of those polled had been embarrassed by photographs of them that their parents had posted online. Only slightly fewer, 21%, reported being embarrassed by parents' photos of themselves.Interestingly, mothers are more au fait with internet culture than fathers, which might explain the post by one mother on her son's Facebook wall that read: "I wanted to let you know he is no longer on Facebook due to choices he made today. He posted personal information about someone I thought he should know how it feels when the tables are turned. He wet the bed until he was eight." Ouch. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 11:15:56 GMT)

Why banning the Sun on university campuses is wrong
Policy at many students' unions has been hijacked by a vocal minority in what can look like action at the cost of democracyJust before Christmas my students' union removed from sale the national newspaper with the second largest circulation in the country. Suprisingly, this was a decision that was taken with relatively little opposition. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 07:55:26 GMT)

An artists' boycott of Russia would simply play into Putin's hands
Matthew Bourne is the latest choreographer to refuse to work in Russia. But if more British artists follow suit it might just make life harder for LGBT artists who oppose Putin Jonathan Jones: Let's hit Putin where it hurts all artists must boycott RussiaIn a recent interview, the choreographer Matthew Bourne stated that he wouldn't, under present political circumstances, consider going to Russia with his celebrated production of Swan Lake. Given the precarious legal status of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in Russia, Bourne says he would be afraid for the welfare of his dancers, several of whom are openly gay. And he would presumably be nervous of the reception given to his production, considering the way it retells the original ballet as the story of an insecure young prince in thrall to a charismatic male swan.Bourne isn't the only British choreographer to have announced a personal boycott of Russia. Last year, Ben Wright withdrew from a programme designed to bring western artists to remote regions of Russia and help isolated communities develop a contemporary arts culture of their own. As a gay man who draws on his personal experiences in creating work, Wright believed it simply wasn't safe or right for him to participate in the programme, and he published an open letter to explain why. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 08:11:07 GMT)

Found in translation ... when misquoting someone is the best way to be fair and accurate
If a non-English speaker feels like a 'donkey out of water', it's right to change their words to help them get their point across clearly"I want to take physical exercise with the guitar" this phrase is what, my uncle informed me through much mirth, I was saying when I was fighting over said instrument (well, a toy version of it) with my cousin in India one childhood summer.The confusion, and subsequent hilarity, was the result of my English-first speaking brain, translating the wordplay into a context that has no existence in Bengali. Play as in "I will play a game" (khelbo) simply cannot be used in the way we say "I will play the xylophone" (bajabo), and certainly not any others: "I will play a part" (hobo) in a, well, play (natok). Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 08:00:00 GMT)

I won't be buying Easter eggs for my children this year
Karen Luckhurst is in the middle of a self-imposed 60-day ban on plastic wrapping."This year, we'll be having homemade chocolates for Easter."No doubt there are some households where this statement would be greeted with clasped hands and shining eyes. But in mine it prompts a longsuffering groan that rattles the windows and startles the cat. The reason for such antipathy is that we are in the middle of a self-imposed 60-day ban on plastic wrapping a move that has brought about the absence of shop-bought sweets, crisps, biscuits and now Easter as we know it. For when it comes to superfluous plastic packaging, Easter eggs take the proverbial chocolate fondant filling. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 10:27:08 GMT)

Labour is doomed if it buys into Tory austerity, so let's spell out an alternative
A Labour government that implements cuts on the scale set out by George Osborne will struggle to last more than one termHidden in an otherwise positive Guardian/ICM poll is the alarming fact that David Cameron and George Osborne are more trusted by the public on economic management by a margin of 40% to 22%. This is the Tory duo's biggest lead on the economy for two years and the trend is not in the direction Labour would want it to be a year from a general election. It is reasonable to assume that these figures have not escaped the attention of Ed Balls. He was the man who virtually ran the Treasury for most of the New Labour years and economic issues are his core enthusiasm.So party members might well ask, in between knocking on doors trying to persuade people to come out and vote in the May elections, what is the Labour leadership's plan to restore confidence in our economic leadership? Balls has a plan. He just does not feel able to spell it out to party members. It is called embracing Tory austerity. Sources close to Balls are very clear that the only way to persuade the inhabitants of the Westminster bubble of his basic economic seriousness is by demonstrating a willingness to make cuts. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 08:41:57 GMT)

National offer day: did you get the primary school place you wanted?
Families of more than 600,000 four-year-olds in England find out which primary school their children will attend on Wednesday. Did you get the school you wanted? Tell us in our open threadIt is the first national offer day for primary schools. Families of more than 600,000 four-year-olds in England will find out where they have been accepted, with an increased number expected to find they have missed out on their preferred option. Pressure on spaces is particularly high in London, where parents can list up to six choices, as opposed to 3 outside the capital. In 2013, one in five children in London did not get accepted by their first choice of primary. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 10:51:25 GMT)

Who's really stopping the publication of the Iraq inquiry report?
The Chilcot inquiry's conclusions should and could be published soon but there are still some political obstacles to overcomeWho wants to see the Iraq inquiry report published sometime soon? And who doesn't? This week the Independent reported that the fraught process of getting the government to declassify documents that will support the report's findings is still "stalled". That might see the report come out very close to next year's general election, which could harm Labour and suit the Tories. But Nick Clegg clearly isn't happy and says things should be accelerated. His comments have been read as blaming Tony Blair for the hold-up, but Blair says he wants the report out there.If you are confused, you are entitled to be. The inquiry and the Cabinet Office can't even agree on how close they are to an agreement. As the Independent's Nigel Morris wrote: "Sources close to Sir John and his four colleagues say they now regard the Cabinet Office's attitude towards to their requests as 'ridiculous and intransigent'." But the Cabinet Office is saying it "has been in a constructive dialogue with the inquiry team over recent months, with a clear view to meeting their declassification requests. That process should be concluded shortly." Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 08:00:02 GMT)

Fleeting glimpses of charming royals leave no one disappointed
Whether or not these two have any constitutional future in this country, they are professionals in one of the oddest trades aroundRoyalty is a lot like war: hours of waiting interrupted by brief bursts of excitement. For those standing around for so long at the Opera House for the royal arrival, the excitement was brief indeed. But it was visceral. When the couple arrived at last in a Holden flying a royal standard, the crowd started screaming. Moments before they were sweet and patient, then they were howling like kids at a boy band. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 10:04:03 GMT)

Sheryl Sandberg 'does more than her fair share of childcare'
Husband of Facebook COO and author of Lean In reveals household chores are distributed between them 'more like 60/40'Her bestselling book urges every woman to make her partner "a real partner" by ensuring that household responsibilities are shared equally in the home. But even Sheryl Sandberg, the chief operating officer of Facebook and author of Lean In, takes on the majority of the childcare and household management at home, her husband has revealed. Continue reading...
(Tue, 15 Apr 2014 21:49:27 GMT)

Will Robert Hannigan revolutionise GCHQ?
The new chief of the British security agency is 'not a true securocrat,' says one former government adviser. Modest grounds for hope thenName: Robert Hannigan.Age: 49. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 12:53:41 GMT)

Leonardo DiCaprio will make his return in The Revenant
The star is set to play a fur trapper in a period revenge thriller directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu More on Leonardo DiCaprioLeonardo DiCaprio will star as a fur trapper who is left for dead in the wilderness of early 19th century North America in the period revenge thriller The Revenant, directed by the Oscar nominee Alejandro González Iñárritu, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The film will be DiCaprio's follow-up to the critically acclaimed but controversial Martin Scorsese black comedy The Wolf of Wall Street.The Revenant, based on Michael Punke's 2002 novel, The Revenant: A Novel of Revenge, has been a twinkle in Iñárritu's eye since 2011, but has been in development for more than a decade in total. It now has a screenplay by the director and Mark L Smith, the writer of Vacany and The Hole. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 11:35:00 GMT)

Paul Weller's children win privacy damages over photos on Mail Online
Associated Newspapers pays £10,000 over seven pictures of teenage daughter and twins on Mail Online in 2012Three of singer Paul Weller's children have won £10,000 privacy damages after their faces were "plastered" over a newspaper website.Weller, 55, sued Associated Newspapers for misuse of private information on behalf of daughter Dylan, who was 16 when the seven unpixellated pictures appeared on Mail Online in October 2012, and twin sons John Paul and Bowie, who were 10 months old. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 11:17:18 GMT)

BB King blames high blood sugar and long drive for poor show
The 88-year-old artist has issued a statement apologising for an erratic concert in Missouri, requesting the understanding of his fansBB King has issued a statement apologising for an erratic concert in St Louis, Missouri, explaining that "the rigours of [a] very long drive" and "high blood sugar due to [a] medication error" resulted in "a bad night" at Peabody Opera House.King, who suffers from diabetes, apparently missed a dose of insulin on the day of the 4 April gig. He had also just come from a 24-hour, 1,600 mile ride from his home in Las Vegas - a road trip that followed a four-week break. The "combination" of these things, his management told the St Louis Post-Dispatch "resulted in a performance that did not match Mr King's usual standard of excellence ... [He] apologises and humbly asks for the understanding of his fans." Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 07:38:59 GMT)

Bloc Party's Kele Okereke defends 'smart yet starry-eyed' Azealia Banks
After a tumultuous two years for Banks, the Bloc Party frontman has urged her to start a new album from scratch, writing in an open letter 'don't lose heart, you still have it in you'As music fans await the release or leak of Azealia Banks' long-delayed debut album, Bloc Party frontman Kele Okereke is supporting the controversial rapper. "It seems like nobody is rooting for her," he wrote. "But I am."It has been more than two years since Banks' single 212 made her an instant star. Banks has quipped that she has been "riding on mixtape fumes" since then. The endless postponement of her album Broke with Expensive Taste has exhausted the patience of her fans and threatened the relationship with her label; in January Banks wrote that she was "begging to be dropped" by Universal, and last month she threatened to leak her album on 15 April. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 07:19:49 GMT)

Barry O'Farrell: a decent man who despised the filth of NSW politics
The outgoing premier was a big fan of Icac he once said he worried politicians didn't fear the commission enoughBarry OFarrell is not a bad man. But the politics of New South Wales are squalid. Not for the first time, a capable Liberal leader has been brought undone by the Independent Commission Against Corruption. The last was Nick Greiner a decade ago. What distinguishes the OFarrell disaster from any other before Icac is the oddly upmarket cause of his doom: a bottle of Grange.OFarrell waited a long time before making his bid for the leadership of the party. He was accused of being too timid to claw his way to the top. But he came with no taint of the dishonesty thats the cologne of choice for so many politicians working in Macquarie Street. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 03:33:49 GMT)

Krist Novoselic: female fronted reunion was 'what Nirvana was about'
Lorde, Joan Jett, Kim Gordon and St. Vincent's performance in Nirvana paid tribute to the essence of the grunge group's ethos says the bassist, before linking back to issues concerning womens representation in politics Videos of the Nirvana reunion performances Bassist Krist Novoselic has said that the decision to have an all-female fronted Nirvana at their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction last week paid tribute to the grunge group's ethos. In a message left on his personal site This Is Krist Novoselic, the musician detailed why the remaining members of Nirvana enlisted Joan Jett to sing Smells Like Teen Spirit, Sonic Youths Kim Gordon to take on Aneurysm, St. Vincent to perform the lead on Lithium, and Lorde on All Apologies.Our all female Hall of Fame set also had me thinking about the political realm (Imagine that!) At FairVote we have done a report regarding the state of womens representation. I will have more to say about this, especially how at-large districts tend to put more women in office, at another time. Continue reading...
(Tue, 15 Apr 2014 14:38:22 GMT)

Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller: a year in their lives - in pictures
A View from the Bridge, currently revived at the Young Vic, was first staged in London in 1956. It was a dramatic year for Miller: he appeared before the House Un-American Activities Committee, divorced his wife, Mary Slattery, and married Marilyn Monroe, whose own career had been boosted by her performance in Bus Stop. Miller and Monroe travelled to London together for the opening of A View from the Bridge, directed by Peter Brook. Revisit their sensational year in pictures Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 08:00:39 GMT)

Royal tour: Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrive in Australia in pictures
The royal couple begin their official tour of Australia in Sydney, meeting dignitaries at the airport after flying in on an RAAF aircraft. First stop: an official reception at the Opera House Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 08:11:46 GMT)

Britain's coastline captured in atmospheric photos for RNLI contest in pictures
The Royal National Lifeboat Institution has revealed the 10 shortlisted images from its My Coast photography exhibition. The shortlist will now be narrowed down to one winner by a public vote on the charitys Facebook page Continue reading...
(Tue, 15 Apr 2014 16:10:06 GMT)

Titanic memorabilia goes under the hammer - in pictures
More than a century after the Titanic went down in the north Atlantic and more than 1,500 people with it memorabilia from the ship and its passengers is going up for auction in Boston, from a first-class cup and saucer to a letter written home by an 18-year-old Turkish Bath attendant on board the ship Continue reading...
(Tue, 15 Apr 2014 18:06:25 GMT)

Scotland stories: Amanda Murray, postwoman
As the Scottish independence referendum draws near, the Guardian's Murdo MacLeod travels the length and breadth of Scotland to document the daily lives of its diverse population. Here he speaks to Amanda Murray, a postwoman in the Outer Hebrides, in the second of a new series of audio slideshows Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Apr 2014 10:50:00 GMT)

Fashion's shades of grey in pictures
From Stella McCartney's androgynous dress-down look to Rihanna's tracksuit, via mag editors' off-duty chic, here's an anatomy of grey's recent appearances in the fashion pages Grey: how one colour took hold of the decade Continue reading...
(Tue, 15 Apr 2014 17:37:18 GMT)

Hillsborough memorial service in pictures
The memorial service at Anfield this year marks the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster Continue reading...
(Tue, 15 Apr 2014 16:24:47 GMT)

Below-the-knee skirts for summer - eight pieces to buy now
The days are getting longer, and so are this season's skirts. This summer's look is definitely not the miniskirt - good news for anyone wanting to keep things BTK (below the knee). From promising pastels to denim and red, here are our picks of the best midiskirts on the high street right now Continue reading...
(Tue, 15 Apr 2014 15:40:00 GMT)

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