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Gaza: at least 15 killed and 90 injured as another UN school is hit
UN official condemns in the strongest possible terms this serious violation of international law by Israeli forcesAt least 15 Palestinians were killed and about 90 injured early on Wednesday when a UN school sheltering displaced people was hit by shells during a second night of relentless bombardment that followed an Israeli warning of a protracted military campaign.Pierre Krahenbuhl, commissioner-general of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, condemned in in the strongest possible terms this serious violation of international law by Israeli forces. Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 12:28:45 GMT)

David Cameron criticised for PR stunt in home of suspected illegal immigrants
Critics say it was improper and in bad taste for prime minister to pose for photos in Slough home after raid by border officialsDavid Cameron has been criticised for posing for photographs in the home of people suspected of immigration offences as part of a PR stunt aimed at showcasing the coalition's toughness on illegal entrants to the country.The prime minister was pictured in what appears to have been the kitchen and living room of a home in Slough where four men, thought to be Albanian, were detained by border officials. Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 13:53:30 GMT)

Phone hacking: NoWs Neil Wallis and Jules Stenson to be charged
News of the Worlds former deputy editor and features editor to face charges over an alleged conspiracy to hack phonesNeil Wallis and Jules Stenson, the former deputy editor and features editor of the News of the World, are to be charged with an alleged conspiracy to hack phones.The Crown Prosecution Service announced on Tuesday that Wallis and Stenson would be charged with conspiring with former News of the World editor Andy Coulson, five other journalists from the paper, private investigator Glenn Mulcaire and other persons unknown to illegally intercept voicemail messages of well-known people and those associated with them between 1 January 2003 and 26 January 2007. Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 11:30:49 GMT)

Eastbourne pier: fire crews tackle blaze
East Sussex fire and rescue service crews are at the scene where flames are engulfing a building on the pierA major fire has broken out on Eastbourne pier. East Sussex fire and rescue service crews are at the scene of the incident, which has been documented by onlookers posting photographs on Twitter.No saving it now. Heartbreaking for Eastbourne. pic.twitter.com/tYqsWK5GsW...it's really going for it now... #Eastbourne #pier #fire pic.twitter.com/ykKXwxoq9ROh this is awful. Just spent three years in Eastbourne. The pier is on fire �� pic.twitter.com/2LSBTqF6C9End of an era? Eastbourne Pier is on fire pic.twitter.com/t6GdwaJYeYLifeboat on hand at Eastbourne pier fire https://t.co/2HPMkbpnH1 Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 16:40:00 GMT)

Ebola outbreak: UK ministers hold emergency Cobra meeting over threat
Chief scientific adviser says virus, which has killed 672 people since February, is potentially a major threat to UKPhilip Hammond, the foreign secretary, has chaired an emergency Cobra meeting amid warnings that the deadly Ebola virus could be a threat to Britain, although health experts said the country was well prepared to deal with any potential cases.Hammond said no British national so far had been affected by the outbreak and there had been no cases in the UK but he chaired the meeting to assess the situation. Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 15:16:00 GMT)

MH17: vast majority of Russians believe Ukraine downed plane, poll finds
Independent survey discovers 82% of Russians blame Kiev for downing Malaysia Airlines aircraft with loss of 298 livesThe vast majority of Russians believe the Ukrainian military shot down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, a new poll has shown, underlining how differently the tragedy has been presented in Russia than in the west.Western leaders have said pro-Russian rebels most likely fired a surface-to-air missile at MH17, which went down over eastern Ukraine on 17 July, killing all 298 people on board. Last week, Russia's defence ministry presented satellite and radar footage that it claimed showed Ukrainian surface-to-air missiles and warplanes operating near the Malaysian airliner when it went down. The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, has called for a full investigation into the crash, but he has also said the "government over whose territory it occurred is responsible for this terrible tragedy". Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 14:37:12 GMT)

London orbital railway on mayor's £1.3tn wishlist
Boris Johnson says London Infrastructure 2050 plan is a wake-up call to stark needs of London over next half a centuryBlueprints for a new orbital metro-style railway around London are being drawn up by the city's transport authorities as part of a massive proposed infrastructure investment to keep the capital moving as the population soars in coming decades.Around £200bn of spending on transport infrastructure alone will be needed in the capital by 2050 to keep it in the top tier of world cities, according to the London mayor, Boris Johnson. Predicting that London's geography would shift to the east as the population passes 11 million, Johnson said unfashionable Barking would be the Piccadilly Circus of a century's time. Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 17:36:51 GMT)

Ukip duo resign claiming 'occultists' have infiltrated the party
MP hopeful Jake Bynes and branch chairman Graham Livings say they've been run out of party by alternative healersA Ukip parliamentary candidate and his branch chairman have resigned after claiming the local party is being infiltrated by what they see as "occultists".Jake Baynes, who was to run in the Somerset cathedral city of Wells at next year's general election, said he felt he was being driven out by local members, including a couple based in nearby Glastonbury who practise alternative healing inspired and guided by angels. Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 14:22:21 GMT)

HSBC shuts accounts of Muslim organisations, including Finsbury Park mosque
The organisations all received near-identical letters from HSBC saying their services fell 'outside of our risk appetite'Three Muslim organisations, including the Finsbury Park mosque, are demanding answers from HSBC after being told by the bank that their accounts were being shut down.The organisations, also including the Ummah Welfare Trust (UWT) and the Cordoba Foundation thinktank, all received near-identical letters from HSBC dated 22 July giving them two months notice and saying their services fell "outside of our risk appetite". Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 17:17:35 GMT)

Colombian peace talks will fail without government concessions, Farc warns
In exclusive interview, Farc leaders say hopes for peace will be lost unless government accepts democratic and social reformHopes of ending Colombia's civil war, one of the longest-running and bloodiest conflicts in the world, will be dashed unless the Colombian government accepts genuine democratic and social reform, leaders of the Farc, the country's main guerrilla group, have told the Guardian.Talks to settle the 50-year conflict between the government of Juan Manuel Santos, re-elected last month on a peace ticket, and the leftwing Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia regarded as "narco-terrorists" by the US government have already reached a series of agreements since they opened in Cuba in 2012. Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 13:41:20 GMT)

US economy bounces back with 4% GDP growth in second quarter
Economy rebounds from rough winter with better-than-expected growth as first quarter numbers revised upwardsThe US economy bounced back strongly in the spring, shaking off the effects of an unusually harsh winter, the Commerce Department said on Wednesday.Gross domestic product, the broadest measure of the economy, grew by 4% on an annual basis, better than the average of 3% predicted by economists. In the first three months of the year the economy shrank by 2.1%, the Commerce Department announced, softening its first estimate of a 2.9% fall. Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 14:00:38 GMT)

Russia takes defiant stance in face of tough EU and US sanctions
Russian officials say focus will shift to domestic market production, but analysts say defence and oil industries will sufferAs the US and the European Union adopted tougher economic sanctions against Russia over the conflict in eastern Ukraine and downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, Russian officials struck a defiant note, promising that Russia would localise production and emerge stronger than before. But analysts in sectors that could be affected by the sanctions finance, defence and energy predicted that they would suffer in isolation from the west.The EU reached a deal on Tuesday evening to cut off Russian state-owned banks from European capital markets and was quickly joined by the US, which denied the state-owned banks VTB Bank OAO, Bank of Moscow and the Russian Agricultural Bank access to the US economy. Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 10:59:33 GMT)

Supermarket giants in Thailand for prawn slavery talks
Morrisons and Tesco join Oxfam and others to create a taskforce to tackle slavery and trafficking in the seafood industry Revealed: Asian slave labour producing prawns for US, UKUK and US supermarket groups are meeting in Thailand this week to create a taskforce to tackle trafficking and forced labour in the shrimp feed industry. Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 13:54:38 GMT)

Iran urged to release detained Washington Post journalist
Jason Rezaian, who has Iranian and US citizenship, was held last week along with his Iranian wife and an American coupleIran is facing mounting pressure to release the Washington Post's correspondent in Tehran, who was arrested more than a week ago in what was seen as the latest move against press freedom in the country.Jason Rezaian, who has dual Iranian and American citizenship, was detained on 22 July along with his Iranian wife, Yeganeh Salehi, who is also a journalist. Iranian security forces raided their home and confiscated laptops and documents. An American couple, at least one of whom is believed to be a photojournalist, were arrested with them. Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 15:48:06 GMT)

Shots fired at Northern Ireland police car in Derry city
Suspicion falls on new IRA after two shots hit armoured police landrover in Bogside area of DerryPolice officers had a narrow escape when bullets struck their patrol vehicle in Derry city on Wednesday morning.Two shots hit an armoured police landrover in the Bogside area but no one was injured, the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) said. Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 16:40:12 GMT)

Azelle Rodney shooting: former Met police officer to be charged with murder
Ex-officer known only as E7 to be prosecuted for murder of Rodney, who was killed during police operation in London in 2005A former firearms officer, identified only as E7, is to be charged with the murder of Azelle Rodney, who was shot dead in north-west London during a police operation in 2005.The decision to charge the ex-police officer, who has been granted anonymity, follows two inquiries by the Independent Police Complaints Commission into the killing. Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 14:34:00 GMT)

WikiLeaks reveals Australian gagging order over political bribery allegations
Superinjunction reported to have been issued on 19 June to block reporting of claims involving international politiciansA sweeping gagging order issued in Australia to block reporting of any bribery allegations involving several international political leaders in the region has been exposed by WikiLeaks.The prohibition emerged from a criminal case in the Australian courts and applies throughout the country. It was issued by the criminal division of the supreme court of Victoria in Melbourne "to prevent damage to Australia's international relations that may be caused by the publication of material that may damage the reputations of specified individuals who are not the subject of charges in these proceedings". Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 00:48:27 GMT)

Tories want rich and poor to pay 31% flat tax, claims Ed Balls
Oliver Letwin reported as saying discussion of uniform tax rate may 'open up' once public finances improveThe Conservatives would secretly like to bring in a flat rate of tax meaning rich and poor alike paid 31%, Ed Balls has claimed.The shadow chancellor said the thinking of senior Tories had been exposed after Oliver Letwin, a Cabinet Office minister, was reported by the Daily Mirror to have been recorded mulling a flat tax when speaking at a thinktank. Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 10:52:47 GMT)

Mechanic jailed for nine years for killing girlfriend's baby son
Michael John Pearce convicted of manslaughter of six-week-old Alfie Sullock, but family express disappointment at sentenceA mechanic has been jailed for nine years after being convicted of killing his girlfriend's six-week-old son by beating him repeatedly with a shoe and plastic bottle.Michael John Pearce was babysitting Alfie Sullock at his home in a south Wales village while the child's mother, Donna Sullock, went for her first night out since giving birth. He repeatedly beat Alfie while at the same time reassuring Sullock by text that her child was fine and happy. Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 13:19:23 GMT)

Rolf Harris's prison sentence will not be increased despite complaints
Attorney general declines to refer sentence to court of appeal as he does not think they will find it unduly lenientRolf Harris's prison sentence of five years and nine months for indecently assaulting young women will not be increased after the new attorney general, Jeremy Wright QC, declined to refer it to the court of appeal.When sentence was passed on the 84 year-old TV presenter and artist earlier this month there was a flood of complaints to the attorney general's office complaining that it was too lenient. Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 12:18:44 GMT)

Driverless cars get green light for testing on public roads in UK
Vince Cable announces £10m fund for driverless car research and road law changesThe UK is to encourage the development of driverless cars on its roads, it was announced on Wednesday, with a multimillion-pound research fund and a review into the relevant laws around road safety.The business secretary, Vince Cable, said a £10m fund will be made available for driverless car researchers in the UK, joint funded by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Bis) and the Department for Transport (DfT). Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 10:09:06 GMT)

Microsoft facing anti-monopoly investigation in China
The US technology company says it complies with Chinese law after 100 officials visited offices, seizing computers and digital filesMicrosoft said on Wednesday it seeks to comply with Chinese law, after Beijing announced an anti-monopoly investigation of the US technology company over its business practices. Microsoft complies with the laws and regulations of every market in which we operate around the world and we have industry leading monitoring and enforcement mechanisms in place to ensure this, it said in a brief statement. Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 12:42:10 GMT)

Banksy's GCHQ artwork vandalised in Cheltenham
Part of the artists image of three spies tapping a phone box near GCHQ has been scratched out, while a seven-figure bidding war rumbles onBanksys artwork of three spies tapping a Cheltenham phone booth, which is currently part of an international bidding war, has been vandalised.The Gloucestershire Echo reported that a name has been scratched on the sunglasses of the spook to the right of the phone booth, possibly affecting the value of the piece, which is currently subject to a prolonged bidding war. Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 16:40:46 GMT)

Chinese authorities tighten security in Xinjiang region after surge in violence
Tensions run high between government and Muslim Uighur minority after spate of clashes in north-western ChinaSecurity tightened drastically across China's far western city of Kashgar on Wednesday, as Uighur exiles disputed official reports blaming terrorists for fatal violence that claimed dozens of lives in the same part of the Xinjiang region two days earlier. Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 14:48:12 GMT)

Brighton seafront to be transformed by i360 vertical cable car
Architects who designed the London Eye have begun work on a 138-metre-high glass viewing pod offering stupendous views over Brighton and 30 miles of Sussex coastWork has begun on the worlds first vertical cable car, which will be the highest observation tower in the UK outside of London.Designed by architecture firm Marks Barfield, which designed the London Eye, Brightons i360 tower will elevate visitors 138 metres above sea level in a glass viewing pod that offers views of up to 30 miles along the coastline. Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 15:51:54 GMT)

India landslide kills at least 17 people in Maharashtra state
Up to 200 feared trapped as emergency forces rush to remote Malin village, where debris from a hill collapsed after heavy rainA landslide has struck a village in western India following heavy monsoon rains, killing at least 17 people and leaving as many as 200 trapped, officials said.Emergency services rushed to the remote village of Malin in the Pune district of Maharashtra state, where debris from a hill collapsed on to homes while residents were sleeping. Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 17:09:00 GMT)

New York targets Times Square Elmos and Cookie Monsters
Legal experts say city's attempt to clamp down on harassment of tourists could violate free-speech rights of performersNew York City officials are turning up the heat on Elmo, Cookie Monster and Statue of Liberty impersonators costumed characters who pose for photographs with tourists in Times Square.The city wants to rein in a summertime spike in bad behaviour among the entertainers, such as the Spider-Man recently accused of punching a police officer. Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 10:10:02 GMT)

Police officers commended for making arrest dressed as zebra and monkey
PCs Tracy Griffin and Terri Cave were dressed as zebra and monkey when they arrested man for threatening behaviourA pair of off-duty police officers who made an arrest while dressed as a zebra and a monkey have been commended for their bravery.PCs Tracy Griffin and Terri Cave were on their way to a fancy dress party when they came across a man yelling threatening abuse in a supermarket in Coventry in March 2014. Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 13:41:07 GMT)

South Korean activists launch 'Choco Pie' balloons
Choco Pies banned as a capitalist symbol by North Korea after being traded at inflated prices carried in balloons across borderSouth Korean activists have launched balloons across the border with North Korea carrying thousands of Choco Pies a favoured chocolate snack that has become the target of a reported crackdown.About 200 anti-Pyongyang activists released 50 helium balloons carrying 350kg (770lbs) of snacks, including 10,000 Choco Pies, from a park in the border city of Paju, organisers of the event said. Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 09:30:09 GMT)

England v India: third Test, day four live!
Updates from cricket at the Ageas BowlEmail john.ashdown@theguardian.comOr get in touch via Twitter: @John_AshdownJacques Kallis retires from all forms of cricket 5.55pm BST Got him! Moeen Ali does Kohli with one that goes straight on and finds the outside edge. Buttler pouches and Indias steady crumble goes on. 5.53pm BST 32nd over: India 87-3 (Kohli 26, Rahane 2) Stuart Broad returns for a quick blast before the close. A good tight line, an awkward length, but Rahane stands firm.In the event that Jordan and Woakes dont take any wickets in this match then there will probably be clamour for them to be replaced for the next match, in particular considering that both Stokes and Plunkett bowled well at Lords and were then left out here, writes David Wall. In some sense that would be justified (to different degrees with each of the bowlers), but in another might it be a worrying sign of a return to 90s-style constant changes with the instability, insecurity, and sad failures to fulfil potential that that brought with it. In the event of a win is there a case to be made for keeping the team the same (Andersons disciplinary problems permitting) despite differing levels of performance here? 5.48pm BST 31st over: India 87-3 (Kohli 26, Rahane 2) Having broken that partnership, Root is given a rest and Ali returns. Rahane looks to be aggressive but he cant connect cleanly with anything. He nabs a single. 5.44pm BST 30th over: India 86-3 (Kohli 26, Rahane 1) Kohli edges Jordan wide of the slips four four. Rahane gets off the mark with a push for a single.Re. 24th over entry, begins Thomas Banks. Is that some type of Tracey Emin thing? 5.40pm BST 29th over: India 80-3 (Kohli 18, Rahane 0) And thats over.Re: over 24. You are going to get some crap for this I suspect, writes James Sparling. After England had been keeping it tight for a while, the runs started flowing. Hows that for shots and giggles? 5.40pm BST Root continues after the drinks break and he gets his man. Its classic left-handers dismissal to the off-spinner, the ball turning onto the edge and being pouched at slip. 5.32pm BST 28th over: India 76-2 (Kohli 18, Dhawan 36) Kohli flicks Jordan away for a couple. Things have just quietened down. Expect the return of Broad and/or Anderson very shortly. 5.27pm BST 27th over: India 76-2 (Kohli 18, Dhawan 36) With 14 overs remaining today, England turn to Joe Root. But he cant find the turn that Moeen Ali extracted from this pitch. Three from the over. 5.24pm BST 26th over: India 73-2 (Kohli 17, Dhawan 34) Dhawan edges Jordan wide of the slip cordon for four runs that take him to his highest score of the series. Reading your 24th over entry, writes Simon Brooks. I have to ask what you normally do after visiting the facilities. Most people flush 5.20pm BST 25th over: India 69-2 (Kohli 17, Dhawan 30) Another testing over from Ali. Kohli prods and pokes away.Afternoon John, writes Thomas Hopkins. Re. 24th over. Best. Typo. Ever. Ahem. You may need to refresh your browsers. 5.17pm BST 24th over: India 69-2 (Kohli 17, Dhawan 30) Jordan overpitches and is driven straight down the ground by Kohli for four, then he flails through the covers for four more. Two shots so aesthetically pleasing they should be framed and come with a little cardboard square that explains what youre looking at in a really pretentious way. Is it possible that DRS keeps the umpires on their toes and they go to pot without it? wonders Rory Taylor. And I say this as someone who in true 606 phone in style hasnt actually watched a ball today. Could you perhaps construct an argument based on the decisions in this Test, that theyre less trigger-happy? 5.11pm BST 23rd over: India 60-2 (Kohli 8, Dhawan 30) Ali drops a touch too short, Dhawan rocks back and cuts hard for four. Theres an appeal from the fourth ball, another shouldering-of-arms that turned just a touch. Then Ali rips another past the outside edge. A good battle. 5.09pm BST 22nd over: India 56-2 (Kohli 8, Dhawan 26) Chris Jordan into the attack. He could do with a strong start, having looked a little flaky in the first innings. Dhawan clips him away for a quiet single. 5.05pm BST 21st over: India 55-2 (Kohli 8, Dhawan 25) Batsman and Buttler are caught out by a delivery that bobbles through outside off and trundles away for four byes. And Kohli clips Ali away for a couple off the bat for good measure.The few of us sat here at the Rose Bowl (sic) are reduced to bewildered bemusement at the standard of umpiring, writes Anonymous. Thought Id never state this bring on DRS. Certainly, it seems the fans at the ground are short-changed by it. The whole big-screen replay system is part of the drama of Test cricket these days. Those at the ground arent getting full value. 5.01pm BST 20th over: India 49-2 (Kohli 6, Dhawan 25) Dhawans NO when turning down a run is something a little unusual. NOOHOoooooo it goes. NOOHOoooooo. He says NOOHOoooooo to couple, then from the last stands up in his tip-toes and punches Woakes square for four.Are they chanting Ali, boma ye, Ali boma ye at the Rose Bowl yet? If not they should be, writes Tom Ireland. On a serious note, are they chanting Moeen, Moeen, Moeen, Moee-eeen to the tune of Jolene yet? If not they should be. Theyre not. But there are so few people in the stands at the Rose Bowl, Im not sure wed hear them if they did. 4.57pm BST 19th over: India 45-2 (Kohli 6, Dhawan 21) Ali again. Kohli drives neatly through the covers for two. 4.54pm BST 18th over: India 42-2 (Kohli 4, Dhawan 20) Woakes continues his examination of Kohlis technique outside off. An inside edge comes to his rescue from the fifth delivery. The sense of impending collapse is hanging in the air. If you were to put money on it at the moment, youd back India being five down by the close. 4.50pm BST 17th over: India 42-2 (Kohli 4, Dhawan 20) Ali drags one down, as he is occasionally wont to do, and gets deservedly carted through midwicket for four by Dhawan. Hes bowling pretty much as well as Ive seen him bowl for England the third ball smacks into Dhawans pad. Hes absolutely plumb, but umpire Erasmus shakes his head, perhaps thinking it was bat first. It wasnt. 4.47pm BST 16th over: India 38-2 (Kohli 4, Dhawan 16) Woakes sends down a probing maiden at Kohli. 4.43pm BST 15th over: India 38-2 (Kohli 4, Dhawan 16) A stone-cold jaffer from Ali drifts into Dhawan then fizzes away past the outside edge. Theres an lbw shout from the next, but despite the lack of shot from Dhawan, its missing off stump by a good margin. And the last, too leggish, is whipped away gratefully for four.Moeen's got the best strike-rate (59.3) of any of England's bowlers so far in this series 4.41pm BST 14th over: India 34-2 (Kohli 4, Dhawan 12) Woakes sends one seaming gloriously away from Dhawan. And from the last theres hesitation from Kohli as Dhawan calls a not-particularly-quick single. India look frazzled at the moment. 4.37pm BST 13th over: India 33-2 (Kohli 4, Dhawan 11) So Moeen Ali strikes second ball. That brings the horribly out-of-nick Virat Kohli to the crease, and hes not a million miles away from dabbing one straight to the man at forward short leg.This other angle shows just how good a grab it was from Jordan. India are on 29-2, Kohli the new man in: #EngvInd pic.twitter.com/QQOeCMrH8m 4.32pm BST India are in huge trouble. Well, they were in huge trouble before. Now theyre in even huger trouble. Ali flummoxes Pujara with one that grips, rips and finds the edge. Jordan takes a quite superb low catch at slip. 4.29pm BST 12th over: India 28-1 (Pujara 2, Dhawan 10) That wasnt what India needed from their anchor. From the penultimate ball of the over Pujara gets himself into a right tangle with a Woakes short ball, first planning to play it, then planning to leave it, then trying to play it again, and ending up almost head-butting his wafting blade. 4.24pm BST Woakes replaces Broad, but it might be Broad who has taken a wicket. A very sharp single is taken to Broad at mid-on. He charges in a bowls under-arm stumpwards. This looks out to me the third umpire takes a very, very long look at it. And it is indeed out. A great bit of fielding from Broad. A dismal bit of running from Vijay. 4.21pm BST 11th over: India 26-0 (Vijay 12, Dhawan 9) Good pace from Anderson but again he struggles to make Vijay play at more than a couple. Might be time for a rest. 4.16pm BST 10th over: India 24-0 (Vijay 11, Dhawan 9) A huge appeal as Vijay shoulders arms and is slapped on the back pad by an inswinger. That looked close but Rod Tucker said no. Had he the option, Broad (needless to say) wouldve reviewed it but it wouldve been a wasted review. The ball was missing off stump by an inch.Re: Mark Turners comments, beings Dave Adams. Ive made some particularly hurtful statements about Cook as a captain on the OBO in recent times, and would just like to say, in the light of this improved England performance, that I stand by every bile-drenched word of it. 4.10pm BST 9th over: India 20-0 (Vijay 8, Dhawan 8) Anderson is bowling some beautiful stuff outside off slanting in, then angling away from around the wicket, but just a little too wide to disturb Dhawan. 4.07pm BST 8th over: India 19-0 (Vijay 8, Dhawan 7) Vijay tickles Broad fine for four and the first runs since the mesolithic. Would love to see Woakes come to the party (copyright Duncan Fletcher) and bag a few wickets this innings, writes Gareth Fitzgerald. I dont understand how he is so maligned by some. He bowled well in the first innings without reward. Hea still a slightly odd pick for me, but two or three wickets over the next 24 hours will be enough to bring me round. 4.03pm BST 7th over: India 13-0 (Vijay 2, Dhawan 7) Anderson gets another six balls at Dhawan, who is saved by a thick inside edge as one delivery slams into his front pad. Another maiden, the fourth on the bounce. 4.01pm BST 6th over: India 13-0 (Vijay 2, Dhawan 7) Vijay gets himself into a bit of a tangle with a couple of short snorters from Broad, but he neither feathers the first behind nor plops the second to the man at short leg. Another maiden. 3.59pm BST 6th over: India 13-0 (Vijay 2, Dhawan 7) Vijay gets himself into a bit of a tangle with a couple of short snorters from Broad, but he neither feathers the first behind nor plops the second to the man at short leg. Another maiden.Those whove been lining up to lambast Cook the captain (rather than Cook the batsman) these last few days are likely to be strangely quiet now, writes Mark Turner. That 205 from 40 (and a bit) overs after non-enforcement was smart strategy, full stop no arguments. 3.55pm BST 5th over: India 13-0 (Vijay 2, Dhawan 7) Anderson has dismissed Dhawan three times in Tests, more than any other bowler. And each one has been a catch to the keeper or slip cordon. He leaves alone nicely enough here though. A maiden. 3.51pm BST 4th over: India 13-0 (Vijay 2, Dhawan 7) Broad strays to Dhawans pads on a couple of occasions and the batsmen picks up a couple and a single. And the last ball of the over disappears for four leg byes. Still, Anderson will get a first chance to bowl at his bunny.A few people are suggesting this approach:Dhawan should just pretend it's Cardiff in the CT and blaze away. Softly softly isn't going to work for him. #EngvInd 3.47pm BST 3rd over: India 6-0 (Vijay 2, Dhawan 4) Vijay misses out on a full ball on middle stump, pinging the thing straight to the man at midwicket. He bobs and weaves the remainder. Ita Anderson v Vijay and Broad v Dhawan here early on England would quite like those pairings mixed up. 3.43pm BST 2nd over: India 6-0 (Vijay 2, Dhawan 4) Dhawan pounces on a Broad loosener and creams it through the covers for four of the best. Dhawan looks to play inside the line with the remainder, and squirts the last away all along the ground to fourth slip.@John_Ashdown I predict India to be skittles tonight and a Kevin Keegan style rant against English media from Captain Cook. #loveit 3.38pm BST 1st over: India 2-0 (Vijay 2, Dhawan 0) Vijay gets off the mark with a worryingly uppish straight drive that Anderson gets the tips of the tips of his fingers to. The next is a beauty that beats the outside edge. If India are to get themselves out of this hole then you imagine theyll need Vijay to bat deep into tomorrow. That over wont have raised Indias hopes in any way. 3.32pm BST Englands players are limbering up on the outfield, with Jos Buttler in particular being contorted into a variety of painful positions. Theyll have 44 overs at India this evening I believe. 3.26pm BST Afternoon all. John Ashdown here, with Vithushan heading off for a well-earned graze at deep-midwicket. India are chasing 445 to win, but in truth their only aim is to bat for four sessions. 3.14pm BST Root swings across the line and is bowled by thats the declaration. India need 445 to win 3.10pm BST 40th over: England 196-3 (Cook 65, Root 52) - lead of 435Root-scoop to the first ball and then a cleared front leg and slap down the ground brings Rooteh successive boundaries. He then steps away to the leg side and slaps straight down the ground, bring up a fine fifty from just 38 balls. 3.07pm BST 39th over: England 182-3 (Cook 64, Root 39) - lead of 421Cook throws his hands at a few and doesnt register much but some singles. Should blame his high-middled bat - perfect for his standard game, but not for some slaps. 3.03pm BST 38th over: England 177-3 (Cook 61, Root 38) - lead of 417Cook steps across to Kumar and hoiks him behind square, where Pankaj Singh fields the ball and then falls arse over tit, allowing three runs. Theres a noise later on as Cook swings at one which goes between bat and pad, but it turns out to be the ball brushing of his back leg. A full ball is then slapped behind point to the boundary rider. India's highest successful run chase in England is 174/6 at Lords in 1971 #EngvInd 2.56pm BST 37th over: England 168-3 (Cook 57, Rooy 33) - lead of 407Shami on at this end and Cook pulls, albeit out of time, for a single. Root has a swipe at a wide one but misses, before Shami closes out the over with a length ball that Root pings into the gap at midwicket for four. 2.51pm BST 36th over: England 163-3 (Cook 56, Root 29) - lead of 402Kumar into the attack after drinks. Dhonis up to the stumps for Root and back for Cook, who finds the man in the deep with a cut shot. Two runs from the over. Heres James McKerney: 2.48pm BST Kerry Davies sets things straight. The serious point to light hearted banter about run rates and speed of scoring is that in the grand scheme of things it is not the prime purpose.Yes it would be useful but Cook needs to give the bowlers a breather otherwise they would have been asked to follow a hot and tiring day in the field with the very thing that destroyed the Indian attack, a second day. 2.45pm BST Martin Laidler is wary: As England have a recent poor record of cleaning up the tail and havent took 20 wickets regularly for a long time, I would hate to look back at this session when India claw a draw tomorrow and wonder if we could have pushed on quicker and left more time to bowl this Indian side out. As we are 1-0 down in the series and have been in the ascendancy all game, a draw would be massive body blow. Hence the need for a little urgency. 2.42pm BST 35th over: England 161-3 (Cook 55, Root 28) - lead of 400Root the recipient of more filth, this time from Jadeja, which he again hits through square leg for four. Root is then square up by a devilish ball, which turns and bounces past the outside edge and beyond Dhoni for four byes. Now Cook pings a sweep for four. Quality few overs from Englands perspective. 2.38pm BST 34th over: England 148-3 (Cook 51, Root 23) - lead of 387Horror ball first up from Sharma which Root hits around the corner for four. He then pushes the outfielders well and gets two. Another shoddy delivery, this time outside off stump, is smoked through the covers for another boundary. 2.35pm BST 33rd over: England 137-3 (Cook 51, Root 12) - lead of 376More strike swapping, before Cook sweeps hard and Shami can only parry the ball into the sponge. He moves to his second half century of the match, this one off 93 balls, with five boundaries. 2.33pm BST 32nd over: England 131-3 (Cook 47, Root 11) - lead of 371Rohit Sharma into the attack and Cook and Root exchange the strike with cuts, whips and pulls (ooo err). Meanwhile, Martin Hamilton lays down the law: Fan in the crowd shouts "Get on with it" as Cook leaves a couple outside off stump. 2.28pm BST 31st over: England 127-3 (Cook 44, Root 9) - lead 366Root works one with his wrists to square leg for a single, before Cook fails to get anything worthwhile on a big sweep. He gets more on the next attempt, to the last ball of the over, which goes for two. 2.25pm BST 30th over: England 124-3 (Cook 42, Root 8) - lead of 363Looked like these two were just dealing in singles until Root punches nicely off the back foot for three. Then Cook, also back, somehow evades the two gullies with an uncontrolled thick edge. 2.20pm BST 29th over: England 117-3 (Cook 39, Root 4) - lead of 356Cook tickles one fine of leg slip and gets a four. Jadeja fires one in and Cook, more or less, just pads it away. 2.16pm BST 28th over: England 112-3 (Cook 35, Root 2) - lead of 351Root is off his hip for a single before Cook bunts a few back to the bowler. He skews one to deep point for one and Root is tested with some short stuff. Rolled wrists on the final ball gives him the strike. 2.11pm BST 27th over: England 109-3 (Cook 34, Root 1)With all due respect to Rooteh, it was a bit of a shame seeing him walk out after Bell dismissal. Surely a great time to promote either Jos Buttler or Chris Jordan? Hes off the mark second ball, playing Jadeja inside out for a single into the offside. Cook sweeps hard and hits the ball through a forward square-leg. There are shouts of catch it, but it looks like it just fell short. Perhaps a gun fielder would have dived forward, having judged the dip quicker. Shami is by no means that gun fielder. 2.08pm BST Bell tries to sweep a full ball just outside leg stump which turns and might have even caught a bit of pad, before going onto his stumps. 2.05pm BST 26th over: England 106-2 (Cook 32, Bell 23) - lead of 345Bell doesnt time this one, but he does get it over the infield and trickling to the extra cover boundary for four. Hes not quite on the next one, either, which he lobs high to the legside for a couple. Some thoughts on Kallis written in 2010. They stand up today I reckon http://t.co/EVekMqXEJD We'll miss him now he's gone @Vitu_E 2.03pm BST And thats the real quiz...As a 22 year old who has only ever seen video footage of Sobers, Botham etc, I would certainly say Kallis is up there, says Michael Ivory. 2.00pm BST A fine Kallis story from our own Nick Miller:Other than him being brilliant and all that, my favourite Kallis story is when South Africa were training by running on a beach somewhere. Kallis found it hard-going, so he asked (I think) Mark Boucher: Man, this is tough. What altitude are we at? 2.00pm BST 25th over: England 99-2 (Cook 32, Bell 16) - lead of 338A sweep takes Cook off strike again, as he goes against the heavy offside field (7-2) by walking across and reaching for the ball. Bell then reverse sweeps in a watchful manner to guide a slower ball behind square leg for another single. 1.57pm BST 24th over: England 97-2 (Cook 31, Bell 15) - lead of 336Areas from Singh, as he arcs a good length away singer at Bell, who follows it. Bell nearly chops on the next ball, which is a fraction short but on a decent line. Bell then attempts to drive him on the up but doesnt time it as it bounces once on the way to mid off. Maiden.Kallis retiring = another excuse to admire, enjoy and be intimidated by this photo pic.twitter.com/CbPwV9E6C9 1.52pm BST 23rd over: England 97-2 (Cook 31, Bell 15) - lead of 336Cook gets Bell on strike to Jadeja, who looks to recreate the first innings mauling with a dance down the wicket and four down the ground. A single to mid off brings Cook on strike for two dots. 1.48pm BST 22nd over: England 91-2 (Cook 30, Bell 10) - lead of 330Bell with his first few runs and a four - a pull shot through midwicket, as Singh drops short. The line is better but the length is not, as Bell times him through the covers for another boundary. 1.44pm BST 21st over: England 80-2 (Cook 29, Bell 0) - lead of 319Just one ball to finish off from this over - Ballances dismissal led into lunch. Its kept out easily by Bell, who pushes it to short leg. Pankaj Singh taking over from the other end. 1.41pm BST Just before the second session gets underway, heres Patrick Phillips with his thoughts on where Kallis ranks, with an anecdote from The Oval:During a Rest of the World Test at the Oval years ago, I learnt during the tea interval that Sobers was batting with Pollock G. I shortened my 4.30pm meeting to a couple of minutes and raced to the Oval. That evening and the following morning I saw both score a century. 1.39pm BST The first few tributes are in...1 - Jacques Kallis is the only player to score 20,000+ runs and take 500+ wickets in international cricket. Legacy. pic.twitter.com/T6nd8Nx72RArguably the greatest ever cricketer retires...cricket will miss you, @jacqueskallis75!He scored runs for fun, swung it both ways, could hit you in the head and had hands like buckets. Congrats @jacqueskallis75 #TheBest 1.31pm BST Jaques Kallis, nickname Bungalow - nothing upstairs. And that one is from the teammates that like him, writes Joseph Matthews. "The Gary Sobers of our generation" Rahul Dravid pays tribute to Jacques Kallis who has announced his international retirement 1.20pm BST It has happened - the South African allrounder has decided to call it a day. He leaves the international game with 25,534 runs, 577 wickets and a new head of hair. I realised in Sri Lanka that my dream of playing in a World Cup was a bridge too far, said Kallis in a statement. I just knew on that tour that I was done. The squad that was in Sri Lanka is an amazing one and I believe they have a good chance of bringing the trophy home in March. 1.04pm BST Some Cook defence from David Kelsey to munch on in the lunch break:Why all the Cook negativity now? England have batted well, bowled well and, whisper it, have been well captained on the whole. Theyre now well out of the blocks to put pressure on India and will declare with a lead of 475 just before tea. Buttler in at 5. 1.02pm BST Poor decision as Ballance lunges forward but gets no bat on a turning ball, which then plops into the hands of short leg. And thats lunch! 12.59pm BST 20th over: England 80-1 (Cook 29, Ballance 28) - lead of 319Vijay replacing Jadeja and Ballance clears his front leg and thick edges over point for just one. Little else, as Cook tries and fails with a late cut. @Vitu_E cook will only declare once the draw is secured & somebody has an unnecessary century. Probably lunch on day 5 12.57pm BST 19th over: England 79-1 (Cook 29, Ballance 37) - lead of 318Cook fails to paddle sweep before finally getting a cut through the infield, only for it to find the boundary sweeper. Its just a single and allows Ballance the strike to slap through a half-volley from the rough, out to offside boundary for four. 12.53pm BST 18th over: England 73-1 (Cook 28, Ballance 32)Nice reverse sweep from Ballance goes for four. A single is smothered into the leg side as the rough gives each delivery a bit of kick. An LBW appeal goes up, having hit Cook outside the line. Cook sweeps for a single. 12.50pm BST Josh Nail starts off todays #DeclarationSpeculationWhat total do you think Cook will be comfortable with before he declares? 600? 700? 1200? I predict hell wait for someone to get a meaningless century before declaring with 15 minutes to go in the day, leaving just enough time to take 9 wickets. Just a funny feeling I have 12.49pm BST 17th over: England 67-1 (Cook 27, Ballance 27) - lead of 206Cook rocks back and cuts, twice, only to find Murali Vijay at a deep-ish gully on both occasions. Sharp turn for Sharma has Dhoni taking one, which pitched in the rough, off the square. Another cut finds Vijay before he steals a single into the legside. Ballance gets just one from a long-hop thanks to a man in the deep. 12.47pm BST 16th over: England 65-1 (Cook 26, Ballance 26)- lead of 304Ravi Jadeja over the wicket to Ballance, going up with a naff appeal for LBW which had nothing going for it. Cook and Ballance take singles around the corner. 12.45pm BST Daniel Roff evokes the glory of Tim Flowers: On the subject of emotional sporting moments, it looks like the England players in this match have taken a leaf out of the Tim Flowers book of bottle, as demonstrated at 30min28secs here... 12.43pm BST 15th over: England 62-1 (Cook 24, Ballance 25) - lead of 301Rohit Sharma into the attack and Cook tucks off his pad. Ballance then sweeps fine, as Shami comes around and stops it, old-school with his feet. The fifth ball is walloped for six, as he clears his front leg, comes inside the line and hits over long-off. Glorious. 12.38pm BST 14th over: England 53-1 (Cook 23, Ballance 17) - lead of 292Really nice from Cook as he whips Shami through midwicket for four. A two is aborted because of sharp Indian work in the deep, which almost has Ballance in trouble as he slips on the lush green grass just off the pitch. Fine shot down the ground from Ballance, hitting Shami straight and on the up for four. 12.34pm BST 13th over: England 44-1 (Cook 18, Ballance 13)Another single stolen. Ballance then squares himself up like a cat thats just been started by a firecracker (so Ive heard....). Back to back fours more than make up for the ugliness - tucked through square leg and punched down the ground. 12.29pm BST 12th over: England 33-1 (Cook 17, Ballance 3)A guided four from Cook has Strauss saluting the England captains one day game. Nothing like the good old English deflection to strike fear in the hearts of the watching world. A single is scampered off the final ball. Better. 12.24pm BST 11th over: England 28-1 (Cook 12, Ballance 3)Cook gets a run and then Ballance gets two, as the score rattles on! Run scared, you weak Indian bowlers with your late movement and silly names. 12.20pm BST 10th over: England 25-1 (Cook 11, Ballance 1)A maiden, what madness. Singhs bowling well, Ballance is having a swing. Seriously, lads, ger on wi it. 12.14pm BST 9th over: England 25-1 (Cook 11, Ballance 1)Kumar going well in cutting out any width to Cook, who eventually tries to clamp down on one to get it behind point, but cant get it off the square. A thick-edge gets him two to finish off the over. 12.11pm BST 8th over: England 23-1 (Cook 9, Ballance 1)Good work from Singh, who is into the mid-eighties and getting the ball to outfox Ballance. 12.08pm BST Not seen this before, but this is great from Niall Mullen: I love Clive Allen & his dad at the 1982 FA Cup final. When it really meant something... 12.06pm BST 7th over: 23-1 (Cook 9, Ballance 1)A corker sees Robson off before Ballance, with IMPETUS etched on his forehead, pushes into the offside and is off the mark straight away. Cook then prods outside off. Just leather it, lad. Cracking delivery from Kumar, but alas the wicket won't count in official records after failing to reach the 87mph minimum pace requirement. 12.03pm BST Good nut from Kumar starts in at middle and nips to outside of and takes the edge of Robsons bat, through to Dhawan who finally does something. Nice of you to join us, Shihkar... 12.00pm BST 6th over: England 18-0 (Cook 9, Robson 9)Robbo steals a single but theres little else from the over, as Jos Buttler goes for a hit after signing a few autographs. Range finding, we hope. @Vitu_E If you can get to The Ageas Bowl tomorrow, £15 (£1 for Under 16s) looks like the bargain of the year - http://t.co/QkLJrAYDVo 11.57am BST John Coxs favourite emotional sporting moment: It has to be Lester Piggott winning the Breeders Cup Mile six days into his post-imprisonment comeback, and more to the point his post-race interview with Brough Scott. 11.56am BST 5th over: England 17-0 (Robson 8, Cook 9)Kumar offering little pace to work with, plus his swing means you cant really hit through the line. Robson gets him away into the offside but just for the one run, before Cook gets one on his hip and tucks one through the fielder at square leg for two. 11.50am BST 4th over: England 14-0 (Robson 7, Cook 7)A good nut from Singh leaves Cook hanging on the back foot. Hes there for the fifth ball but opens the face of the bat and guides it to four to third man. 11.44am BST 3rd over: England 10-0 (Robson 7, Cook 3)Smart shot through the offside from Robson goes for three, as Shami does well to reach out a lever and stop the ball right on the cusp of the sponge. Cook steps out and across to Kumar, but only in defence. Hes off the mark with a shot reminiscent of Robsons earlier tuck, for just as many runs. 11.41am BST 2nd over: England 4-0 (Robson 4, Cook 0)Steady from Singh and Cook, as a maiden is played out with little of note. 11.39am BST How about a favourite emotional sporting moments thread for today, comes Richard Hattons suggestion for todays game. I feel this is standard OBO fodder. He suggests Derek Redmond - the go-to. Hang on, he also suggests a new-age corker, Burt le Clos... 11.36am BST 1st over: England 4-0 (Robson 4, Cook 0)Robson is solid in defence and then smart in attack as he plays Kumar square for four through cover-point. Kumar readjusts his length and Robbo is up to the task. 11.32am BST Right, so Robson and Cook out to the middle. Both can go at a relatively brisk 75+ strike rate, while Ballance is more than capable of giving it a tonk. Perhaps the only change to the order I would make is Buttler up to five. Even then, Jordan can be thrown up the order, too. Robson to take strike... 11.30am BST Can we reinvent yesterdays game? asks Michael Sones. Most pompous/pretentious foods beginning with a single letter? For Q I offer quinoa, quince, quails eggs and quorn.Do your worst. 11.22am BST Anderson has his 16th five-wicket haul in 97 Tests, as another superbly directed bouncer has Shami swaying and gloving through to Buttler. Alastair Cook has not enforced the follow on. Smart move, me thinks. 11.21am BST 106th over: India 330-9 (Shami 5, Singh 1)One for the figures, that. Broad manages to go a whole over without bowling at the stumps, as Singh plays and misses at a few and slaps one straight into the earth, for no run. 11.15am BST 105th over: India 330-9 (Shami 5, Singh 1)Cracking from Anderson, who gets rid of Dhoni before hes able to butcher any extra runs this morning. Pankaj Singh is the number 11 - and my, what a number 11 he is. Hes backing away to the first, swinging loosely at the second and gets off mark with a scuff behind square leg. Cook in danger of complicating things here as he sets up a hook-trap as Shami tries and fails to hit the final ball over the cordon. 11.11am BST Cracking ball from Anderson seams in and lifts on Dhoni, who is late on a pull and gets nothing but fists to the ball, which lops safely into the hands of Buttler. 11.09am BST Given Englands position in this five Test series, Robert Moore feels the follow-on is a must. If we were 1-0 up in the series I think not enforcing the follow up would be the obvious choice. But surely with us 1-0 down and needing to win this game we have to give ourselves the most amount of time we can to get 20 wickets which means sticking them in again. If it backfires and we end up having to bat a tricky fourth innings then so be it. 11.09am BST 104th over: India 329-8 (Dhoni 50, Shami 5)Broad is back of a length and into the body of Shami, who takes his hand off the bat and dabs it into the off side. Shami then stays leg side of the next ball - full, bit of in-nip - and its pushed through the offside for just a single. Dhoni charges one and then is happy to take the single into a deserted legside ring, entrusting Shami with the last two deliveries. Broad goes for the body again but its byes down the legside. Shami wants one, Dhoni declines. 11.05am BST Dr Nicholas Clark gives us a third opinion:If they dont get the runs then it will be early in the day when our bowlers should still be fresh from their overnight rest. If we dont enforce the follow on then timing the declaration is difficult. We really need to win this game as the best option is to back our batsman to chase down the 150-200 that we should need to get. If they get much more than that we are knackered anyway and the game should end in a draw. 11.04am BST 103rd over: India 323-8 (Dhoni 50, Shami 4)Flicky-wristed fend to the first ball as the camera pans out and shows point making his way to the boundary. Wonder whether Dhoni will take the single to the man. A couple of outswingers are left, an inducker is smothered. The field come in for the final two balls and Dhoni charges and misses a wide one. Not sure whether thats smart or not, but the final ball is speared down the leg side and Buttler stops it superbly. No bye, no wides, no boundary and Mohammed Shami on strike to Broad. 11.00am BST Philipp Lohan comes to the OBO parish seeking advice from the masses, as Dhoni and Shami make their way to the middle:At what state in todays play, I should decide to head down to Southampton for Day 5? Would only take the risk of skiving off work for a properly good/enthralling/exciting day ahead. Any suggestions? 10.54am BST Dave Espley is a no:Definitely no to the follow-on. When a team gets close to avoiding it, if you put them in again, you run the risk of them getting a big score second time round (which certainly isnt beyond this Indian team) and leaving you an awkward target. Id not be confident about England chasing any target, let alone an awkward one. 10.53am BST Daniel Beckell has a cunning plan...If England either dont enforce the follow-on, or India get the runs required, and England bat again, might a left-field decision be to open with Cook and Buttler? I cant imagine them being that bold, unfortunately. 10.46am BST Morning all,Great chat about James Anderson at the moment on Sky. Michael Atherton was particularly impressed by his ability to become a virtual left-hander to the right-handers - Cheteshwar Pujara the man falling foul of Jimmys, erm, faux Southpaw-ness. 10.12am BST Vithushan will be here shortly. In the meantime, heres Vic Marks on Moeen Ali. Moeen Ali bowled in a long-sleeved shirt buttoned at the wrist. It might seem outlandish that just before entering the arena he had been required to roll up his sleeves just to reassure some ICC official that there were not any regulation-busting wristbands on his arm but in this era when a judicial commissioner, Gordon Lewis, somewhere in Australia, will be required to stay up late on Friday in order to establish what happened on the stairs on the way to lunch in the Trent Bridge pavilion a fortnight ago, anything is possible.The contest has been unfolding slowly, so it has been hard to clear the mind of the notion of Englands media manager getting into a huddle with whoever is detailed to speak to the gentlefolk of the press at the end of the day in order to give him a reminder of the salient points of the Middle East crisis. This series continues to startle but it would be preferable if the stories from now onwards were of a cricketing nature. Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 17:55:37 GMT)

Commonwealth Games 2014: day seven live!
Live updates from day seven of the Glasgow GamesBolt denies calling Games a bit shitAndy Bull: whatever Bolt said, Games are a hitHighlights and schedule for day seven in GlasgowSend thoughts to nick.ames.casual@theguardian.com. 5.55pm BST Right folks. That is all from me today. Nick Ames will be taking over from here. You can get in touch with him on nick.ames.casual@theguardian.com. Thanks for all the tweets, emails and comments. Bye! 5.43pm BST Dai Greene has expressed his surprise that Commonwealth Games medallists are not automatically drug-tested after the defence of his 400m hurdles title ended at Hampden Park, writes Sean Ingle.Greene, who finished fifth in his heat in 50.36sec more than two seconds outside his personal best also defended his fellow Welsh athletes Gareth Warburton and Rhys Williams, who were withdrawn from Glasgow after failing drugs tests, saying they were not deliberate cheaters.You cant test enough, really, insisted Greene when asked about the Commonwealth Games Federations policy of targeting certain sports and athletes rather than systematically testing all medallists urine or blood. For everyone to be tested is the way forward, in my mind, and our sport will become cleaner because of more testing I think. So thats disappointing. 5.40pm BST Australias Daniel Lewis has been ruled out of his welterweight quarter-final because of a cut eye and has hit out at the decision to remove the requirement of headguards for amateurs. More on that here. 5.34pm BST Nigeria's Aminat ADENIYI wins gold in the women's freestyle wrestling -58kg final #2014wrestling 5.34pm BST South Africa hold onto for victory by the skin of their teeth. The last few minutes were spent batting away wave after wave after wave of pressure from India. Plenty of the South Africans are on their knees once the final buzzer bleats around the ground. There was a late referral from India that led to nothing. 3-2 to South Africa then and it is on to the semi-final they go. They will face Australia. 5.29pm BST (Sorry for the delay)Canada's David TREMBLAY wins gold in the men's freestyle wrestling -61kg #2014wrestling 5.28pm BST Max Whitlock has been chatting to the press after he clinched gold today: The main aim was to go and perform clean routines and Im so happy that I managed to do that on the day. I wasnt paying much attention to the scores, I wanted to have clean routines and that was it so to have that comfortable margin at the end felt really good. I cant actually explain it, its a crazy thing. Even before the routine I was so nervous and to stick the landing (on high bar, the final apparatus) like that was amazing ...Since London 2012 all-around has been a massive target so to pull this off is massive for me. Its a big marker for the world championships, experience-wise and confidence-wise it gives me a big push to that. I will be training really hard and hopefully I can get some more skills in there which would be great ...The depth of the sport is really good at the moment, you have got juniors like Nile [Wilson] that have gone and got a bronze medal and there are more juniors to come that will come through and pushing the seniors. 5.24pm BST Another round of pictures: 5.19pm BST India have struck back just as it looked like South Africa were taking total control of the contest. 3-2 it is. 5.17pm BST Usain Bolt is too media savvy to have put his foot in it but it must be said that Glasgow 2014 has been a glorious success, reckons Andy Bull. Here are his thoughts on said subject:Well, thats let the cat out of the bag. Usain Bolt, in an unguarded moment, has reportedly let slip that he thinks the Commonwealth Games are a bit shit, and that the Olympics are better. Perhaps he was entirely misquoted, or utterly unaware that he was talking to a journalist. The man is surely too smart, too PR savvy, to have knowingly made such remarks on the record, which is why he wisely chose not to offer an opinion on the situation in Gaza when he was asked about it on Saturday.If he said it, and he has described the story as nonsense and lies, it would be the first and worst false step he has taken since he shot out of the blocks a split second too soon and was disqualified from the 100m final at the world championships in 2011. 5.14pm BST The India defenders let their minds wander for a moment or two and Illse Davids capitalises, firing in a superb shot from a tight angle. 3-1 to South Africa. 5.11pm BST There is more womens hockey underway. This time it is India versus South Africa. The latter are 2-1 up with 17 minutes left in the second half. 5.07pm BST Time for some words from Chris Hoy on Bolt-gate: 5.03pm BST Nigeria's Odunayo ADEKUOROYE wins gold in the women's freestyle wrestling -53kg #2014wrestling 5.01pm BST Some words from the wires on some of the days boxing action:Nicola Adams guaranteed a Commonwealth medal to add to her collection after easing into the boxing semi-finals at the SECC in Glasgow. A unanimous verdict over Erandi de Silva of Sri Lanka did not tell the whole story as Adams dominated the contest, landing crashing hooks with both hands that her opponent was fortunate to survive. 4.56pm BST Yesssss well done to @maxwhitlock1 @DanKeatings @NileMW @PurvisDanny @FrankBaines and everyone else. Amazing all round final to watch �� 4.53pm BST Speaking of womens boxing, here is what Nicola Adams had to say after her impressive victory earlier in the day:I am really pleased with the performance. Everything went to plan, I stuck to the tactics and I think that is what it is all about. If you stick to the tactics and listen to the coaches you will always do well. She was a really game fighter I have got to give her credit, she never gave up and kept coming forward ...Everybody is a challenge for me at this weight. Everybody wants to be the new Nicola Adams, everybody wants to beat me and take the No.1 spot. But I have got to stick to cutting my grass and not worry about how green everybody elses is. 4.51pm BST Back to womens boxing and the quarter finals of 60kg category. Its India v Wales. Its Devi v Jones. The first round is even enough. Plenty of slipping and sliding but nothing much landing from either boxer. All three judges favour Jones. Round two. Devi lands a couple of flush and early shots on Jones as she traps her opponent on the ropes. Jones tries to fight back and eventually finds her way out of a sticky situation. Jones bobs and weaves and avoids a few more shots but Devi was in control. That round was hers. Round three. The opening exchanges are furious though Devi may have just got the better of the flurry. They keep going toe-to-toe and Devi keeps coming out on top. Two judges plump for Devi. Final round. Once more it starts at quite the pace. Devi lands a nice left-right combination. Jones tries to counter but Devi picks her off with a left. Jones gets a few late and decent punches in and both raise their fists when the bell goes. Both think they are through but it is Devi who screams in success. 4.30pm BST Here is a quick take on the mens gymnastics from the wires:Max Whitlock has claimed his first individual all-around gold medal at a major competition after a stunning display at the Commonwealth Games at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow. The 21-year-old double Olympic bronze medallist added to the team gold England won on Tuesday with a near immaculate performance which underlines him as a serious medal prospect for the World Championships this October and for the Rio Games in two years time. 4.28pm BST For some time now it has looked like Whitlock was going to take gold in mens gymnastics and that has finally been confirmed with a sensational turn on his final apparatus, the high bar routine. He won with a score of 90.361 with Scotlands Keatings in second (88.298) and Nile Wilson (87.965) took third. Well have a full report on all this soon enough. 4.10pm BST Time for some womens boxing. Its Englands Nicola Adams against Erandi de Silva of Sri Lanka in the 51kg quarter-final. Adams, as you would expect, gets a rapturous welcome. De Silva starts with a hard left hook and takes it to Adams. The English woman skips and slips and hits some straight shots, forcing De Silva onto the ropes. The Sri Lanka fighter lands another decent left hook but is nothing compared to the one that Adams sends her to the floor with just before the bell. Thats Adams round. The opening to the second is scrappy but Adams wriggles away and lands a right ... and then my screen goes green once more and I have no feed once more. Just before the bell, a corkscrew left is followed by an over-the-top right and a left hook that has De Silva stumbling backwards. Adams wins round two. Round three. Adams switches to south paw but keeps in control. She drops her guard, daring De Silva to go for it. De Silva aint that stupid. The Sri Lankan is taking quite a few shots now. Adams dominates and has surely won that one too. She has. Round four. Adams drives her opponent backwards right away. De Silva swings wildly and hits nowt but fresh air. Adams is in total control, picking De Silva off. The last action of the fight is De Silvas head snapping back due to a serious left from Adams. Adams is into the semi-finals. 3.54pm BST New Zealand ended up winning 6-0 by the way. 3.48pm BST Another retort from below the line to Bolts alleged comments:The Commonwealth Games are important and have a vital role to play.Although most established stars don't give them as much priority as other events, for the other up and coming athletes they are vital. This is the competition at which they make their first big break on an international stage. Denis Lewis, Colin Jackson, Barry McGuiganm, David WIlkie are to name but a few whose international breakthrough happened here. Now we have Gemili in athletics, and in the pool there's Proud, as well as a host of others all making their first international victories on route to becoming established international athletes. 3.44pm BST Chris Froome was raised in Kenya yet the country has lacked a core of top-level riders. That may be about to change, reckon Rosanne Roobeek.From delivering milk in the hills of Kenya to racing through the streets of Glasgow, it is fair to say life is about to change drastically for John Njoroge, Suleiman Kangangi and Paul Ajiko.The three Kenyans will compete in Thursdays Commonwealth Games time trial, as well as Sundays road race. They will come up against competitors from strong cycling nations, such as England, Australia and South Africa, but they are not without hope or a chance. 3.41pm BST Here is what a silver medal in the diving competition looks like. 3.32pm BST Back to the gymnastics. Whitlock is looking very calm and very confident and he is still in first place. As it stands, he has a score of 75.531 with Wales Clinton Purnell in second and Mikhail Koudinov of New Zealand in third. Whitlock has still to take his turn on the bar, as do many of the leading lights. 3.27pm BST So far today, we have neglected the badminton. Lucky then that the wires have coughed up a story to let us know exactly what has been happening over there today:Englands top seeds Chris and Gabby Adcock made a powerful entrance at the Commonwealth Games mixed doubles competition. The husband-and-wife pairing, who received a first-round bye, eased to a 21-12 21-13 win over Northern Irelands Tony Murphy and Alannah Stephenson in the second round at the Emirates Arena. The Adcocks were on court just 26 minutes and, after a day off following the team competition final on Monday, felt their return to action went well. Gabby Adcock said: It was about getting the job done today and saving as much energy as we can for the later matches. There are a lot of good pairs out there and being top seeds doesnt make a difference. We have just got to focus on ourselves. Were really enjoying playing here and not feeling too much pressure. 3.18pm BST Gymnastics: Incredible image of @DanKeatings - Off to a flyer in the Men's Individual event. #GoScotland pic.twitter.com/6GgMRhH9TG 3.18pm BST Back to the hockey where Canada are now officially getting, eh, hockeyed by New Zealand. It was 2-0 when we last checked in, its now 5-0. Those goals have come from Petrea Webster and Krystal Forgesson, who got two. There is 14 minutes left in the second half. 3.10pm BST A few more pictures to kill some space and time entertain you and bring some colour to the blog: 2.59pm BST Whitlock (60.565), Keatings (58.766), Purvis (57.766). That is how is stands in the mens gymnastics right now. 2.54pm BST To the delight of the home crowd, Stephen Lavelle has boxed his way into the semi-finals with a unanimous win over Amritpreet Amritpreet Singh. 2.51pm BST My colleague Jacob Steinberg stumbled upon £10 on the street earlier today. Charitable man that he is, he wants to give it away to a worthy cause. If you have any suggestions please send to the above email address or you can contact him on @jacobsteinberg. 2.45pm BST And a little more:THe Commonwealth games are not The Olypmics.However, they do not cost the earth and are enjoyed by athletes from many countries who would otherwise get the experience of international competition. IF UB did say they are shit, then shame on him. Just don't invite hime in future. There are plenty of other athletes waiting in the wings. OK men's 100 m gets most attention, but for me both men's and women's gymnastics beats 100 m for dedication, strength and grace. 2.43pm BST A touch more reaction from below the line on Bolts alleged comments:No times under 10 sec in the final? The winner pulls a hamstring and still comes first? An Englishman in the top 3? To Bolt, this is most definitely shit. 2.42pm BST Duly noted:The arrival of Usain Bolt to watch the Reggae Girlz play New Zealand in the netball is clearly doing the trickReggae Boyz = Men's FootballReggae Girlz = Women's Football 2.40pm BST I would be telling you more about the mens 91kg boxing category but for some reason my BBC feed keeps on slowing down, scrambling and looking like a T-shirt from an early 90s rave. What I can tell you though is that Samir El-Mais of Canada has eliminated Englands Warren Baister. El-Mais is not the only quarter-final winner. Efetobor Apochi has defeated Jai Opetaia and celebrated with a couple of flips around the ring. Up now is Scotlands Stephen Lavelle against 6ft5s Amritpreet Amritpreet Singh. 2.29pm BST Three apparatus have been completed in the mens gymnastics. With those under the belt. Whitlock is in first with a score of 46.065. In second is Keatings with 44.433 while Nile Wilson, who like Whitlock is English, is on 43.066 in third. 2.26pm BST Back to the hockey. Anita Punt has doubled New Zealands lead against Canada. There is just a shade over 14 minutes left in the first half. 2.20pm BST Here is Emma Johns match report from Englands hockey victory over Scotland earlier today:England endured a Scottish barrage at the hockey centre as the auld rivalry was reignited for a place in the womens hockey semi-finals. The home crowd roared their team on in this winner-take-all pool match and somewhere a piper played Flower of Scotland but a fighting display from the home team could not overturn Englands 2-1 lead, despite a second half full of opportunities.The second half was just nervy, and Scotland played really well, said Englands coach Danny Kerry. I was reasonably pleased with the way we started but in the second half you could see us go a little bit nervous and they fed off that. But we still had some very clear-cut chances to put the game beyond doubt. 2.18pm BST Max Whitlock has retaken the lead in the gymnastics. 2.15pm BST There is more womens hockey action this afternoon with New Zealand taking on Canada. As it stands, the Kiwis are one to the good. Meanwhile in the mens gymnastics, the action is really hotting up. As it stands (midway through the rings), Scotlands Dan Keatings is in the lead, David Bishop of New Zealand is in second and Australias Sean OHara is in third. Still plenty to be done there yet though. 2.03pm BST Bowling news:Bowls: Scots Women's Pairs have gone 1-1 in two matches today. Losing 2nd clash 16-14 to South Africa. #glasgow2014 http://t.co/iyeOSfIaVk 2.02pm BST Below the line, curlyone has this to say re the Bolts comments:Amateurish Yes - Shit No 2.00pm BST Some photographic highlights of the day. 1.50pm BST Speaking of England versus Scotland. Englands Qais Ashfaq has taken on and got the better of Scotlands Joe Ham and thus a spot in the mens 56kg semi-finals awaits him as well as, at the very least, a medal cast in bronze. 1.47pm BST England are through to the semi-finals of the womens hockey and defeating Scotland earlier today, thanks to goals from Alex Danson and Susannah Townsend. Here is what the wires have to say about all that:Alex Danson and Susannah Townsend fired England to a 2-1 victory over Scotland and a place in the Commonwealth Games hockey semi-finals. Both teams had scored wins over Wales and Malaysia, and lost to Australia, making their clash at the National Hockey Centre on Glasgow Green a straight face-off for a place in the last four. Danson and Townsend struck inside the first half-hour, with Nikki Kidd slotting a consolation strike for the Scots. 1.41pm BST Emma John is up in Glasgow and casting her expert eye over the gymnastics. Here is what she has to say about the competition so far today:Max Whitlock is third after first round of the gymnastics all around mens final. Hes going to be very hard to beat. Qualified top in three of the six disciplines. Frank Baines just lost his rhythm and came off the pommel - thats the 19 year olds bid for a medal over on only his 2nd apparatus. 1.39pm BST On Bolt denying calling #Glasgow2014 "a bit s***," The Times says: "We stand by this story 100%. We have utter confidence in this story"That's The Times Scottish editor Angus Macleod defending their Bolt story 1.32pm BST My colleague Sean Ingle was in watching some netball much earlier today when who should appear in the crowd then none other than Usain Bolt himself. Here is what Sean had to say about the reaction of the press pack to his alleged comments and the Sunshine Girls:The arrival of Usain Bolt to watch the Reggae Girlz play New Zealand in the netball is clearly doing the trick - they were behind in the first period but now lead 24-23. Incidentally Bolt was approached by journalists from the Daily Mail and the Associated Press for a comment on todays Times story that the Commonwealth Games was a bit shit but Bolts entourage immediately called for security and the pair had to make a sharpish exit from the VIP area.Usain is just frustrated that he cant roam about, but it was like that at London 2012. He basically goes to training and comes back. You can only play so many video games in your room. Hes a free spirit, but it requires security organisation when he wants to roam. He even gets a bagman [an assistant] to get his food from the canteen because it would create too much of a stir if he was there. But one thing is for sure, he is enjoying himself in Glasgow. 1.24pm BST The action in the pool may be done and dusted but the diving is ready to step in and replace it. And it hasnt taken long for England to garner their first medal in the the competition via the 10-metre platform and the skills of Sarah Barrow and Tonia Couch. Says the wires: Englands Sarah Barrow and Tonia Couch had to settle for silver in the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games womens synchronised 10-metre platform on day one of the diving competition at the Royal Commonwealth Pool in Edinburgh. The Plymouth pair led after four of their five dives but were overtaken on the final dive as Canadas Meaghan Benfeito and Roseline Filion won gold with a score of 310.65. Barrow and Couch finished with a score of 306.96 and Malaysias Pamg Pandelela Rinong and Sabri Nur Dhabitah (300.12) claimed bronze. 1.17pm BST There has been some red hot action on the track already today and it has seen Dai Greene relinquish the 400m title that he picked up in Delhi four years ago. Here is what the wires have to say about his early exit.Dai Greene always knew retaining his Commonwealth crown would be beyond him, but the former world 400 metres hurdles champion was not going to pass up the opportunity of represent Wales at Glasgow 2014. Four years on from winning gold in Delhi, the 28-year-old failed to make it out of the heats at Hampden Park after struggling on Wednesday morning. Greene has barely raced this year due to injury and that lack of fitness showed as he tailed off dramatically towards the end of his heat, crossing the line fifth in 50.36 seconds - way off his personal best of 47.84 secs. 1.11pm BST In case you had other more important things to do yesterday than laze about on the couch, remote in one hand and beer in the other, quickly becoming an expert on everything from floor routines in gymnastics to the finer points of cross-country mountain-biking, then here is a quick recap of what went down in Glasgow. It went a little something like this: 1.00pm BST Is it a good day? It sure is if you want to get down and dirty with all things Commonwealth Games. Not only is there more wrestling than you can shake a stick at, there is also loads of lawn bowls, ample amount of athletics, tons of table tennis, bucket loads of boxing and ... well, you get the point by now. Here is the schedule in full for you to feast your eyes upon. Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 17:55:23 GMT)

Usain Bolt denies calling Glasgows 2014 Commonwealth Games a bit shit
Bolt dismisses reports of his comments as nonsense The Times stands by claims 100%The row between Usain Bolt and the Times over whether he called the Commonwealth Games a bit shit shows no sign of abating with the newspaper insisting they stand by the story 100% and Bolt calling it nonsense.Bolt has spent most of his time in Glasgow in his room in the athletes village, but he did venture out on Wednesday to watch Jamaicas netball team, the Sunshine Girls, lose 50-42 to New Zealand. And while he appeared relaxed, posing for photographs with volunteers, waving a Jamaican flag, and even vigorously joining a Mexican wave, his entourage quickly called for security when he was approached by journalists for a comment.I'm waking up to this nonsense..journalist please don't create lies to make headlines Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 10:35:00 GMT)

Steven Gerrard: the past three months have been the worst of my life
You have to accept [the slip] happened. You cant change it Liverpool captain confident club can challenge for league titleSteven Gerrard has backed himself and Liverpool to bounce back from their end-of-season heartbreak last spring and mount a serious title challenge once again. Liverpool led the Premier League by five points with three games to go in April, but a 2-0 defeat to Chelsea at Anfield in which Gerrard slipped to gift Demba Ba the opening goal saw them pipped to the title by Manchester City.Its probably been the worst three months of my life, he told newspapers in the United States, where Liverpool are on their pre-season tour. Ive seen it a few times. I dont have to watch something like that to go through the pain again and again and again. Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 08:22:35 GMT)

Whatever Usain Bolt said or didnt say, these Games are a bit of a hit
The world sprint star is too media savvy with a brand to protect and sponsors to satisfy to have put his foot in it. But it must be said that Glasgow 2014 has been a glorious successWell, thats let the cat out of the bag. Usain Bolt, in an unguarded moment, has reportedly let slip that he thinks the Commonwealth Games are a bit shit, and that the Olympics are better. Perhaps he was entirely misquoted, or utterly unaware that he was talking to a journalist. The man is surely too smart, too PR savvy, to have knowingly made such remarks on the record, which is why he wisely chose not to offer an opinion on the situation in Gaza when he was asked about it on Saturday.If he said it, and he has described the story as nonsense and lies, it would be the first and worst false step he has taken since he shot out of the blocks a split second too soon and was disqualified from the 100m final at the world championships in 2011. Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 16:19:26 GMT)

Glasgow 2014: Sarah Barrow and Tonia Couch happy with diving silver
Canadas Meaghan Benfeito and Roseline Filion win gold Couch: Were really pleased to come secondEnglands Sarah Barrow and Tonia Couch were satisfied with Commonwealth Games silver despite having led the womens synchronised 10m platform going into the last round. The Plymouth pair were in front after four of their five dives on day one of diving at the Royal Commonwealth Pool in Edinburgh.In a competitive field missing only China from the 2013 world championships podium in the event, they were overtaken on the final dive as Canadas Meaghan Benfeito and Roseline Filion won gold with a score of 310.65. Barrow and Couch finished with a score of 306.96 and Malaysias Pamg Pandelela Rinong and Sabri Nur Dhabitah, with 300.12, claimed bronze. Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 17:21:59 GMT)

Jacques Kallis adds one-day and T20 to Test cricket retirement
South Africa all-rounder calls it a day at 38 Playing in 2015 World Cup a bridge too farJacques Kallis has retired from international cricket, with the South Africa all-rounder admitting that next years World Cup was just out of his reach.The 38-year-old, who has been a mainstay since making his Test debut in 1995, will continue to play club cricket despite calling it a day in all forms of the international game. Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 13:26:24 GMT)

Moeen Ali earns trust of England captain by trying not to be too clever
The England spinner is being shown more respect on the field but a replacement may be needed at Old Trafford for Ian BellMoeen Ali bowled in a long-sleeved shirt buttoned at the wrist. It might seem outlandish that just before entering the arena he had been required to roll up his sleeves just to reassure some ICC official that there were not any regulation-busting wristbands on his arm but in this era when a judicial commissioner, Gordon Lewis, somewhere in Australia, will be required to stay up late on Friday in order to establish what happened on the stairs on the way to lunch in the Trent Bridge pavilion a fortnight ago, anything is possible.The contest has been unfolding slowly, so it has been hard to clear the mind of the notion of Englands media manager getting into a huddle with whoever is detailed to speak to the gentlefolk of the press at the end of the day in order to give him a reminder of the salient points of the Middle East crisis. This series continues to startle but it would be preferable if the stories from now onwards were of a cricketing nature. Continue reading...
(Tue, 29 Jul 2014 19:37:37 GMT)

Commonwealth Games 2014: highlights and schedule for day seven in Glasgow
Greg Rutherford faces Chris Tomlinson in the mens long jump Louis Smith features in the gymnastics all-around finals Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 08:00:10 GMT)

Glasgow 2014: England in hockey semi-finals after eliminating Scotland
Scotland 1-2 England England resist hosts second-half barrageEngland endured a Scottish barrage at the hockey centre as the auld rivalry was reignited for a place in the womens hockey semi-finals. The home crowd roared their team on in this winner-take-all pool match and somewhere a piper played Flower of Scotland but a fighting display from the home team could not overturn Englands 2-1 lead, despite a second half full of opportunities.The second half was just nervy, and Scotland played really well, said Englands coach Danny Kerry. I was reasonably pleased with the way we started but in the second half you could see us go a little bit nervous and they fed off that. But we still had some very clear-cut chances to put the game beyond doubt. Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 14:08:29 GMT)

Glasgow 2014: Dai Greene calls for Games medallists to be drug-tested
For everyone to be tested is the way forward Lack of fitness shows as 400m hurdler misses outDai Greene has expressed his surprise that Commonwealth Games medallists are not automatically drug-tested after the defence of his 400m hurdles title ended at Hampden Park.Greene, who finished fifth in his heat in 50.36sec more than two seconds outside his personal best also defended his fellow Welsh athletes Gareth Warburton and Rhys Williams, who were withdrawn from Glasgow after failing drugs tests, saying they were not deliberate cheaters. Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 13:05:36 GMT)

Real Madrid and Roma brawl after Seydou Keita and Pepe reignite feud
Keita refuses to shake hands before pre-season game Francesco Totti gives Roma 1-0 victory in DallasIt was supposed to be a pre-season friendly but tempers flared before a ball had been kicked between Real Madrid and Roma in Dallas.It happened after Seydou Keita and Pepe reignited their feud with the Mali international refusing to shake hands with Pepe in the usual pre-match routine. Keita also threw a water bottle in the direction of Pepe before the International Champions Cup game. Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 14:11:04 GMT)

Wayne Rooney must be next England captain, says Rio Ferdinand
Former captain backs striker to succeed Gerrard Ferdinand says it would be a natural progressionRio Ferdinand is backing Wayne Rooney to be the next England captain, insisting the striker has the experience and influence to succeed in the role.Englands former captain Steven Gerrard announced his retirement from international football after the World Cup and the manager Roy Hodgson is yet to announce the midfielders successor. Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 10:44:43 GMT)

Talking Horses: best bets and latest news at Glorious Goodwood
Thistle Bird has been ruled out of Saturdays Nassau Stakes and Paul Hanagan is sidelined after a heavy fall Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 11:36:46 GMT)

Rory McIlroy: Ive never thought about that Nicklaus record of 18 majors
Ive won three and would like to win my fourth McIlroy can be world No1 with Bridgestone Invitational winRory McIlroy wants to use his Open triumph as a springboard to further success this season, but insists he has never thought about matching Jack Nicklauss record haul of major titles.McIlroys win at Royal Liverpool earlier this month made him just the third player after Nicklaus and Tiger Woods to win three majors by the age of 25. Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 10:55:42 GMT)

This means war: why the fashion headdress must be stopped
The Native American headdress is a common sight at festivals. It has also been appropriated by fashion brands and stars such as Pharrell Williams. But many are now fighting back against what they see as a crude act of racial stereotypingThe right to dress like an idiot is a fundamental principle of festival culture, but at this weekend's Bass Coast electronic music festival in British Columbia, Canada, one particular kind of idiot will not be welcome. Last week, the organisers told festival-goers that Native American feathered headdresses, also known as war bonnets, would not be permitted on site. "We understand why people are attracted to war bonnets," they wrote on the festival's Facebook page. "They have a magnificent aesthetic. But their spiritual, cultural and aesthetic significance cannot be separated. Bass Coast festival takes place on indigenous land and we respect the dignity of aboriginal people."The coverage the festival's policy has received is as revealing as the decision itself. Last summer, another Canadian festival, Tall Trees, imposed a similar ban, but it did not become international news. The Bass Coast prohibition arrives just as the headdress issue is approaching a tipping point. Last month, Pharrell Williams swiftly apologised for agreeing to wear a war bonnet on the cover of Elle magazine, while the long-running campaign to change the name and logo of the Washington Redskins football team scored a major victory when the US Patent and Trademark Office cancelled the team's trademarks for being "disparaging to Native Americans". The latest festival headwear trend finds itself on the frontlines of a much broader battle against "redface" stereotyping. Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 17:52:47 GMT)

Skinny dipping is not a crime. Dive in
Police have threatened two young men with a criminal record. Yet swimming naked is a wonderful thing you just have to follow the etiquetteIm not a naturist, but our family is certainly not prim when it comes to nudity, and I have authored a guidebook about wild swimming. So I had mixed reactions to the news that police in Northern Ireland have threatened two young men with a criminal record, and the possibility of being put on the sex offenders register, for going skinny dipping in Belfast Lough last week.Perhaps these two men had been cavorting about on a busy beach strutting their stuff in front of everyone, petting each other or even propositioning people? That kind of behaviour is at best offputting, and at worst downright offensive and intimidating. Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 16:21:06 GMT)

Assassin's Creed Unity the most gruesome game trailer ever?
A promotional animation for Ubisofts forthcoming stealth adventure game has had tongues wagging and heads falling offWhen Ubisoft commissioned horror director Rob Zombie and Walking Dead artist Tony Moore to make a promotional short for Assassins Creed Unity, it must have known what to expect. Blood. And lots of it. Released over the weekend and premiered at the San Diego Comic-Con, the four-minute video provides a historical backdrop to the forthcoming stealth sequel, which follows a secretive assassins guild during the French Revolution. And by historical backdrop we actually mean blood-splattered costume horror. Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 17:00:38 GMT)

'Generation selfie' is spurning black cats
The Mail claims that darker moggies are left behind in rescue centres because they don't take a good selfie. But who cares? Forget being an unlucky omen, they're easily the most intelligent Pets with black fur: why don't you look good on social media?Historically speaking, black cats have always had a slightly rougher time of things than more colourful cats. In 1600s America, pilgrims caught with a black cat would be routinely killed, or at least severely punished. In medieval Europe, cats of a darker hue were often burned on midsummer bonfires.Arguably even worse, this week the Daily Mail has claimed black cats are rubbish at selfies: a deficiency that is apparently prompting fewer people to adopt them from rescue centres. Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 17:50:20 GMT)

Ebola: what is the real risk to the UK?
UK has highly responsive systems that swing into place when there is threat of new infection arriving hereEbola is one of the scariest diseases on the planet, with its sudden onset, horrific symptoms and the need for doctors and nurses to wear protective clothing. But in spite of the climbing numbers of cases in west Africa and the apparent alarming pronouncements of prominent individuals in the UK, the threat to this country is considered very low.The comments to the Daily Telegraph of Sir Mark Walport, the government's chief scientific officer, under a front page headline warning that an "outbreak of deadly Ebola virus could reach UK" came from an interview he gave the paper several weeks ago about the global spread of all sorts of infectious diseases. The urgent letters sent to GPs which excited the Daily Mail in fact went out on 2 July and were routine. Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 13:18:44 GMT)

10 reasons to be hopeful that we will overcome climate change
From action in China and the US to falling solar costs and rising electric car sales, there is cause to be hopefulFor the last few months, carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere have been at record levels unseen in over 800,000 years. The chairman of the IPCC, an international panel of the worlds top climate scientists, warned earlier this year that nobody on this planet is going to be untouched by the impacts of climate change.Future generations will no doubt wonder at our response, given the scale of the threat. Its known that death, poverty and suffering await millions, and yet governments still vacillate. Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 05:00:04 GMT)

How to deal with nightmare colleagues
Working with Kiefer Sutherland pushed Freddie Prinze Jr to the edge, so heres three top tips to neutralise irksome workmates Andrew Martin: Whats so good about hard work?It has emerged that working with Kiefer Sutherland is probably only sustainable for 24 hours or so. I did 24. It was terrible. I hated every moment of it. Kiefer was the most unprofessional dude in the world, said Freddie Prinze Jr at the weekend. He added that the experience had made him want to quit acting, heartbreaking news for those among us who were teenage girls in 1998.Its not clear what the artist formerly known as Prinze Jr had expected from working alongside a renowned renegade, who approaches the problems of international negotiation and opening a can of sweetcorn with exactly the same implements. However, you cant help but feel for him. Weve all had nightmare colleagues whose presence is precision engineered to make our day harder, undermine and infuriate us. Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 10:10:21 GMT)

How to find out when UK politicians are editing Wikipedia pages
An oversight tool that alerts the public to edits made by staff in parliament is back in service - despite an attempt to block itAn open-source project to track edits to Wikipedia made from within parliament was nearly scuppered by the governments refusal to reveal the IP addresses that MPs and Lords use to access the internet.A Freedom of Information request, which would reveal whether MPs and peers were engaging in astroturfing on the crowdsourced encyclopaedia, was turned down on the basis that releasing the information would be likely to prejudice the prevention or detection of crime. Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 11:57:03 GMT)

10 hidden beaches, bays and walks on the UK coastline
Forget Brighton, Bournemouth and Blackpool the British coast is dotted with magical spots few people visit or even know about. Here are 10 of the bestTucked away on the eastern tip of Anglesey, Penmon Point makes an ideal lunch stop as part of a coastal walk (the Isle of Anglesey Coastal Path runs through it). The Pilot House cafe serves Welsh cream teas in its garden overlooking Puffin Island (half a mile offshore), the Menai Strait and Snowdonia. The Penmon lighthouse nearby sounds its melancholy fog bell every 30 seconds, an atmospheric soundtrack to a stroll along the award-winning pebble beach with its potential for porpoise and seal spotting. A short walk down the toll road (free for pedestrians) leads to the 13th-century Penmon Priory and holy well dedicated to Saint Seiriol, and an Elizabethan dovecote, all ancient, arcane and architecturally interesting. For a longer stay, check into the Old Coastguard House; sleeps six from £895 a week in summer Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 06:45:06 GMT)

Do you hear things after playing video games? There's a name for that
Research suggests that players hear sound effects and background music long after switching off their games consolesWhen you switch off a video game, a really involving and engrossing video game, sometimes it doesnt go away. Not straight away. Instead, it can linger in the mind, overlaying the real world. At least thats according to new research from Nottingham Trent Universitys International Gaming Research Unit. Recently published in the Journal of Cyber Behaviour, Psychology and Learning, it suggests that players often hear game sounds such as explosions, screams and laser fire, long after theyve left a game. Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 08:00:07 GMT)

The blatant sexism of lists about 'attractive girls'
It's not uncommon to see articles that refer to attractive people as a separate social group, or even a different sort of people altogether. The basis for doing so is often illogical and doesn't stand up to scrutinyRecently, an article was published listing actions and behaviours attractive girls do differently. Differently from whom, you might ask. Well differently from regular girls. Whatever that means. But, naturally, its important to consider the veracity of the writers claims. Its hard to believe anyone would attempt to universalise features that the writer (not all men*) considers attractive. So at least this requires us to poke beneath some of his assertions. Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 07:15:06 GMT)

The top 10 skyscrapers in art
From Warhol's eight-hour epic Empire to Gaudí's plans for his own Hotel Attraction, the high-rise has loomed large in the artistic imagination The top 10 artistic talents lost in the first world war The top 10 swimmers in art The top 10 crime scenes in artThe most charismatic of New York skyscrapers is the solitary star of Warhol's film, which lingers with unapologetic monotony for eight hours and five minutes on the majesty of the Empire State Building. It is best viewed not as a narrative film (that would drive you mad) but as if it were a painting. As such, it is full of love for Manhattan's lofty architecture. Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 13:16:16 GMT)

How to make the perfect coffee granita
Does granita beat ice-cream on a hot day, is coffee the best flavour, and are there any shortcuts to achieving that gorgeous granular texture?How to make the perfect tiramisuHow to make the perfect lemon meringue pieHow to make the perfect lemon possetWhen it's this warm, even my beloved ice-cream can seem too much like hard work. The heat demands something lighter a silky sorbet, perhaps, or the refreshingly crunchy granita so popular in sweltering Sicily, where they have a bit more practice at dealing with this kind of weather. They come in all sorts of flavours from almond to mulberry, but king of them all is the coffee variety; the ultimate summer pick-me-up.Indeed, Marcella Hazan writes that "on an afternoon slowed down by the southern sun", granita di caffè is "one of the best ways to while away the time, watching life dawdle by as you let the granita's crystals melt on the tongue, spoonful by spoonful, until the roof of your mouth felt like an ice cavern " while Anna Del Conte associates it with "balmy Mediterranean nights". Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 12:03:00 GMT)

10 sexist scenarios that women face at work
Being ignored, mistaken for the tea lady or branded a 'maternity risk' the following common experiences reported to the Everyday Sexism project are painfully familiar to working women Each of these situations has been reported again and again to the Everyday Sexism Project. For most men, they will be difficult to imagine. For many women, they are painfully familiar. Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 06:00:00 GMT)

Why I'd like to be Reginald VelJohnson in Die Hard
John Wayne he ain't, but Die Hard's deskbound cop, Sgt Al Powell, offers the perfect protection during McClane's fantasy rampage and sees off some demons of his own Why I'd like to be Gregory Peck in To Kill a Mockingbird Why I'd like to be Julie Christie in Billy Liar Why I'd like to be Patrick Fugit in Almost FamousWhen I was a kid I could never shoot the Indians. It didn't seem right to waste your mates just because they weren't pretending to be John Wayne. And who was John Wayne anyway? A dead bloke in a neckerchief who spoke with a comma between every word. No, being the cowboy wasn't for me but holding back the mad ranch-owners was. That's why, one Christmas, I realised my action idol was the man who didn't even make the movie poster: the straight-talking Al from Die Hard, a bloke who didn't have the minerals to wade in with gunfire but kept vigil over McClane while pigging out on Twinkies.Superbly played by Reginald VelJohnson, Sgt Al Powell (aka "pal") was a 3D sidekick, more fleshed out than the action genre deserved. Making the most of his frugal screen time he doesn't appear until 40 minutes in, when McClane uses the walkie-talkie he rifled from Evil German 1 his first action is a reluctant drive-by of the Nakatomi Plaza forecourt. McClane gets his attention with a corpse out the window and from there on a relationship is forged, the vested one relying on Sgt Al for moral support. Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 07:30:00 GMT)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles studio apologises for 9/11 PR gaffe
Paramount Australia says sorry for mistakenly combining a picture of a burning skyscraper with 'September 11', the release date of their Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot TMNT reboot at Comic-Con 2014The studio behind the latest revival of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has apologised for a publicity poster which combined a picture of the heroes in a half shell hurtling from a burning building with the legend "September 11".The gaffe was made by Paramount's Australian office, which had combined a publicity shot for the movie with its local release date. Criticism began to emerge on Twitter after the studio tweeted the image, with executives later delivering an apology. Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 08:46:00 GMT)

Crap towns: why are British cities given such a bad name in sitcoms?
From Slough to Norwich and back again in a three-wheel van via Peckham, when British urban locales appear in sitcoms it is usually to be mercilessly mocked. Are we ashamed of our cities? Visited any sitcom locations? Share your picturesThe BBC never did commission a second series of Home Time, the 2009 sitcom set in Coventry. Shame its austerity years premise was timely. Ten years after leaving, Gaynor, a 29-year-old Cov native, was returning to her home town impecunious after failing to cut it in that London. Tragi-comically, she moved back into her parents home, where adversity compelled her to wear her 10-year-old wardrobe which, theres no easy way to say this, included a Geri Halliwell union flag fright frock.Coventry, insisted her mates, had improved since Gaynor last lived there. A lots changed, said Mel. Weve got an Ikea now. Becky told Gaynor how sophisticated Coventry has become since she left even the petrol station now sells sushi!Come, friendly bombs, and fall on Slough!It isnt fit for humans now,There isnt grass to graze a cow.Swarm over, Death!Some towns are just seen as a jokeThrough a fog of prejudicial smokeWell, lets shut up these put-down folk:Their opinions smell! Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 11:25:47 GMT)

Smarter urban water: how dammed Denver turned to ridiculing waste
Denver drained rivers until its Two Forks dam was vetoed; then a PR campaign diverted the citys attention to conservationWhy Melbourne needed to catch and storeHow Spains Zaragoza learned to use lessA lot of suburban water planners plan for yesterday, says Eric Kuhn, general manager of the Colorado River Water District. But in Denver the national baby boomer vogue for suburban ranchettes with water-sucking lawns so big that you need a tractor to mow them is giving way to a millennial preference for downtown living in condos and lofts. SUVs are out, light rail, car and bike shares are in. And when it comes to water policy, Denver is behaving in a way that makes the future seem not only tenable but even bright. City boosters point to an educated population but the citys secret weapon may simply be a youthful outlook. With surrounding farmland jokingly called the Burgundy of pot, the Denver Post even has a column devoted to cannabis. Denver is rivalled by only Portland, Oregon, for sheer number and quality of craft breweries. Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 09:55:43 GMT)

Drought in northern Kenya: 'Today you are rich, tomorrow you have nothing'
Prolonged dry spells push pastoralists to the brink of starvation as food prices soar and cattle raids spiral out of controlThis time last year, Samuel Aboto had 600 goats; today, he has none. "I am not exaggerating everybody knew my goats," he says as he shelters from the sun under a thatch of reeds. Twenty-six months of drought has hit pastoralists in northern Kenya hard, and Aboto is facing the fourth poor rainy season in a row. The last good rain in Nayanae'angikalalio, central Turkana, was between March and May 2012.Two weeks ago, there was one small shower. Aboto points to an outcrop across a few miles of tawny sand and scrub. "There," he says, jabbing with his finger. A line of camels cross the horizon, the only animals the land can currently support. Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 06:59:00 GMT)

Ukraine rebel chief Igor Bezler threatens to execute interviewer
Nicknamed the Demon, leader said to be behind MH17 crash ends rare interview after exploding into a rage and shouting: Dont think I wont shoot youWith a walrus moustache, a fiery temper and a reputation for brutality, Igor Bezler is the most feared of all the rebel leaders in eastern Ukraine. Nicknamed Bes, or the Demon, he is regarded as something of a loose cannon, even by other rebels, who speak about him in hushed tones. If the Ukrainian security services, the SBU, are to be believed, the Demon and a group of his men were responsible for shooting down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over the region a fortnight ago.According to the recording of a phone call allegedly made two minutes before the disaster, the Demon was told: A bird is flying towards you. He asked whether it was small or big, and was told that it was hard to see, as it was flying high above the clouds. In another recording, apparently made 20 minutes later, the Demon reported to his interlocutor, supposedly a Russian intelligence official, that a plane had been shot down. Bezler said the recording was real, but referred to a different incident: as well as allegedly bringing down MH17, the rebels have shot down 10 Ukrainian aircraft. Continue reading...
(Tue, 29 Jul 2014 23:59:00 GMT)

Gardening tips: how to save seed - video
Thrifty gardener Kim Stoddart teams up with Ben Raskin of the Soil Assoication to explain why how seed-saving can save money, liven up your garden and help you cut down on food miles. To read more about Kim Stoddart's mission to stop spending money on her garden, visit the Guardian gardening blog Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 11:00:00 GMT)

Album spins closer towards its final track as a viable format
Sales continue to fall and streamed playlists dominate. But like vinyl, talk of LP's extinction may be premature "Make no mistake," declared George Ergatoudis, head of music at BBC Radio 1 and Radio 1Xtra, this month. "With very few exceptions, albums are edging closer to extinction." Continue reading...
(Tue, 29 Jul 2014 19:17:39 GMT)

Tests prove that a bulletproof silk vest could have stopped the first world war
The Royal Armouries has verified that silk has bullet-stopping capabilities but Archduke Franz Ferdinand forgot to wear his the day he was assassinated How silk bulletproof vests and Bibles could have rewritten human historyA century ago, a silk vest could have saved the world from toppling into the war in which millions of soldiers and civilians would die.Tests at the Royal Armouries are expected to prove that an allegedly bulletproof silk vest, believed to have been owned by Archduke Franz Ferdinand, could indeed have stopped the shot fired by the Serbian nationalist Gavrilo Princip. Continue reading...
(Tue, 29 Jul 2014 15:45:11 GMT)

Communities for learning disabled residents face split after reform row
Conflict over pay and values threatens way of life in Camphill villages where disabled and able-bodied people work together, say campaignersBy 10.30am the Botton Village wood workshop, nestled deep in North Yorkshire's Danby Dale, is in full swing. Light streams through dust on to work benches. James Marsh is carefully drilling holes in pieces of beech which will make up part of a child's toy, while Jonathan Buchanan demonstrates how small carved horses are joined together on a carousel to make a Christmas decoration.Both workers have learning disabilities. They are provided with full-time care and support at Botton, one of the first co-operative Camphill communities founded 60 years ago on the principles of Rudolf Steiner. Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 07:29:00 GMT)

Gardens at Shuttleworth Collection open after £2.8m makeover
Lord Ongley's 1830 creation, including listed buildings and Doulton sculptures, restored after years on at-risk register There was just one problem when in 1830 Lord Robert Henley Ongley decided to create a romantic Swiss garden complete with waterfalls, lakes, thatched cottages perched on mountain crags and towering cliffs overhanging mysterious caverns: his huge estate in Bedfordshire, on the river Ivel flood plain, was flat as a cow pat. Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 00:05:00 GMT)

Naked in New York: Gérard Depardieu strips for the big screen
Softcore scenes in arthouse movies lost their power to shock a long time ago, but the naked body can still leave you reeling, as Gérard Depardieu's eye-popping performance in Welcome to New York demonstrates Watch the trailer for Welcome to New York Welcome to New York reviewGérard Depardieu's striptease takes place in a tent on the beach, cunningly disguised as a motion picture premiere. There on screen, the ageing bull of French cinema literally and metaphorically exposes himself, turning left and right to show the ravages of time. Depardieu looks like hell and the Cannes film festival audience is in uproar. Each drag of his belly is accompanied by disbelieving hoots and embarrassed guffaws. The audience can't decide whether it's witnessing the death throes of a legend or the convulsive birth of a new kind of screen nudity.Apologies to the aesthetes, but naked bodies sell movies. It's a truism that goes right back to film's disreputable beginnings as a peep-show at the circus. It's the unspoken contract at the heart of arthouse cinema, with its habit of employing perky gamines to sweeten challenging drama. But now the old model is breaking down, outstripped by the new flesh of sagging torsos and dangling genitalia what some describe as "horror nudity" and others as a different kind of beauty. The future is mottled; it has a gut and grey hair. And as with most things, we have the internet to blame. Continue reading...
(Tue, 29 Jul 2014 19:29:00 GMT)

Richard Dawkins, what on earth happened to you?
Dawkins in 2014 is a man so convinced that he possesses God-like powers of omniscience that he cant understand why everyone is angry at him for pointing out the obviousAndrew Brown: Theres no such thing as an atheist baby Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 01:56:23 GMT)

Everton close to completing deal to sign Romelu Lukaku from Chelsea
Belgian striker flies in for medical before club record deal 21-year-old to sign five-year contract at Goodison Park Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 15:13:35 GMT)

The real reason French women have stopped sunbathing topless
According to French Elle, women have stopped sunbathing topless in France. Two French women reveal why they do, and don't, and how little it has to do with health scares Continue reading...
(Mon, 28 Jul 2014 17:45:26 GMT)

The Sarah Palin Channel is full of bugs, but maybe that's the whole point
My free trial cost me $9.95. And then I found Palins new intelligibility Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 13:32:12 GMT)

Cruz, Bardem and Almodóvar denounce Israel over Gaza
In an open letter, some of Spain's biggest film personalities call on EU to condemn Israel's military actions against Gaza Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 09:53:00 GMT)

Gaza crisis: Strike on busy market kills 17, wounds scores, officials say - live
Market in Shujaiya was busy on understanding ceasefire in placehealth officialSeparate strike on UN school kill at least 15; more than 100 woundedUNRWA chief says strike on school source of universal shameIsraeli military says it was responding to fireDozens killed elsewhere in second night of intense bombardmentRead the latest blog summary Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 17:43:10 GMT)

HSBC: the bank that likes to say no to Muslim accounts
Finsbury Park mosque and other Islamic groups have been told they no longer satisfy HSBCs risk appetite. How will the bank brand this one? Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 11:08:26 GMT)

Feminism makes women 'victims'? I think you've mistaken us for the sexists
Women are victimized in our society. #WomenAgainstFeminism doesnt change that terrible realityAn old canard about feminists is that, in addition to being hirsute bra-burners, we want to turn all women into victims and thanks to Women Against Feminism, this particular accusation has gained some moderately mainstream traction in recent weeks. But feminism doesnt make women victims. Sexism does. Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 17:43:46 GMT)

Should we be worried about an Ebola outbreak in the UK?
The mortality rate is staggeringly high and there is no specific treatment. The good news, though, is that the virus is quite hard to catchThe current Ebola virus outbreak is by far the largest so far. The first recorded cases were in 1976 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and in southern Sudan. In the current west African outbreak in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia (with one case imported into Nigeria), more than 670 people have died and there have been more than 1,200 cases. Only three previous outbreaks had more than 200 deaths; in the DRC in 1976 there were 280, with another 250 lives lost there in 1995, while 224 people died of Ebola in Uganda in 2000-1.The virus takes its name from the Ebola river at Yambuku, in the DRC, where the 1976 outbreak occurred. This was particularly deadly in that the mortality rate was 88%. Most outbreaks have not been quite so lethal, with about 60% being the norm. But for any infection this is staggeringly high. Smallpox rightly engendered fear and panic but in its most lethal form only killed 25%. Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 17:14:32 GMT)

Why Turkish women will be laughing all the way to the election
Turkeys deputy prime minister has set off a social media storm by telling women how to behave in public. They are having none of itTen days before historic presidential elections in Turkey, the deputy prime minister has brought to the countrys attention the pressing matter of female modesty. [A] woman must not act in an alluring manner but must preserve her purity, said Bülent Arnç, co-founder of the ruling Justice and Development party (AKP) and close ally of the prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdoan, who is widely expected to win the election on 10 August.[A] woman must not laugh in public Where are our girls, who blush delicately, lower their heads and turn their eyes away when we look at their faces, our symbols of chastity? Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 13:10:49 GMT)

Why girls need imperfect role models
Hurrah for the death of Little Miss Perfect campaign. Women afflicted by perfection anxiety need to hear this message loud and clearMothers like to hand down helpful advice, and this is a snippet that stayed with me: why should you be perfect when no one else is? For a young woman struggling with the pressures of perfection to get good grades, to have a body that manages to be a flawless mix of skinny and curvaceous it was something of a revelation, and now girls schools are getting in on the act. Oxford high school for girls has launched an initiative called the death of Little Miss Perfect, intended to teach pupils about the confidence-destroying ramifications of perfectionism.It is, I believe, an enlightened way to treat young women, especially those in girls schools, where competitiveness and eating disorders can be, according to the teenagers Ive spoken to and worked with, par for the course. The importance of being told that its OK to fail, that its normal not to match up to the medias ideal of perfect feminine beauty, cannot be overstated. New research suggests girls who begin dieting in their teens are most at risk of depression, substance abuse and obesity in later life, and are more likely to resort to drastic weight loss measures such as diet pills and vomiting. Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 16:50:11 GMT)

'Poor doors': not the worst thing about social housing
Separate entrances are nothing new, and the truth is that social housing providers demand them. Oliver Wainwright on why we need to think outside the apartment block to solve this modern-day apartheid"We are not snobs," declares a prim housewife on a 1930s newsreel, stiffly posed on her doorstep, flanked by windows hung with neat net curtains. "But we do not wish our streets to become a perfect bedlam." The camera pans to reveal a 7-foot-high brick wall a stone's throw from her door, built right across the street and topped with iron spikes. It was installed in 1943 by the residents of a North Oxford estate to protect their homes from council tenants, who had recently moved into houses nearby as the result of slum clearance. The Cutteslowe walls were deemed illegal and finally demolished in 1959, but their descendants live on in new segregated communities, with their separate entrances and divided facilities, as a Guardian investigation revealed this week.This divisive tendency is now embodied in its most extreme form in London's slick developments on the City fringe, such as One Commercial Street, a glassy behemoth near Aldgate that has already been nominated for the Carbuncle Cup, the award for the ugliest building of the year. Here, in a modern-day reenactment of North Oxford's apartheid wall, the entrance for lower-income tenants is banished to an alley near the bins, while residents of the luxury private units enjoy a marble-lined, concierge-tended lobby at the front. Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 15:09:00 GMT)

Right to be forgotten? Most of us are still trying to be remembered
While some seek to erase their online record the rest of us languish on the long tail heard, seen and read by almost nobodyThe famous dream of being wiped from the web. Take former Formula One head Max Mosley, who has launched legal action against Google demanding the removal of images of him at a sex party from the search engine. Most of the rest of us know all too well about being forgotten.A blog I began a few years ago a stunningly successful experiment in national secrecy located several thousand miles up a winding gorge in the outer reaches of the internet had, like most blogs, all the virtual footfall of a moon crater in low season. In terms of impact, Id have made more of an impression standing on an upturned bucket beside a motorway, performing interpretative dance to passing truck drivers. Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 14:25:38 GMT)

I made J-Los lion birthday cake and Im proud of it
When Samantha Brooks got the call to make Jennifer Lopezs 45th birthday cake, she knew it would need steel pipes and floor flanges as well as the requested coconut mousse fillingLast week I got a text from Ron Gelish, an old friend of mine, and J-Los personal chef. He wanted to know if I would be interested in making a cake. Sure, I said, what would you like? After a long pause, the reply came: We should probably talk over the phone Its for J-Lo. Ron knows what Im capable of doing and I was really pleased he felt I was the right person to create Jennifer Lopezs 45th-birthday cake.Less than a minute later we were talking details. Next, Sindy Mashiah, J-Los party planner contacted me I was really excited about her vision because I have always wanted to create a cake in lion form. We went over various ideas I sketched about six different positions of J-Lo with the lion. After a few hours we agreed that she should be lying on the lion, wearing a sleeveless onesie. Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 12:28:15 GMT)

Does OKCupid need our consent?
We need a better quality debate about the algorithms that rule our online lives We experiment on human beings! cried OKCupids data guru Christian Rudder, in a blogpost that became one of the top stories on the BBC News website yesterday, and presumably didnt hurt the promotion of his upcoming book.The post was a response to the recent backlash against Facebooks manipulation of news feeds to investigate emotional contagion, and described some of the many experiments OKCupid has run on its own users over the years. In one example, staff manipulated the sites compatibility scores, deliberately giving bad matches a higher rating to see what the effect would be. Or as Dylan Matthews at Vox (or his sub-editor at least) phrased it, Did OkCupid send a bunch of incompatible people on dates on purpose? Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 09:30:09 GMT)

The album is dead, long live playlists
Theres plenty to mourn with the passing of music albums, but the instant gratification of digital playlists is now kingThe rise of digital music and streaming has many crimes to answer for. Like a hardened assassin, it does what it has to and gets better at it all the time, seemingly unaware of the musicians and fans left in its wake. The latest victim, and perhaps the most depressing when it comes to the slow but steady bludgeoning of creativity within the field, is the album. Though fans cleave to it as a format, producers, presenters and industry pen-pushers know the writing is on the wall. Lana Del Reys latest topped the UK charts with only 48,000 in first-week sales under her belt.I love a good album. I like consuming music in the way that someone who knows more about it intended me to. From the order of the songs to the colour of the artwork to whether they want me to be able to do the sing-along-a lyrics thing by including them in the booklet. (Thumbs up if they have.) Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 09:08:13 GMT)

Twitter's real diversity problem isn't in Silicon Valley offices. It's ... on Twitter
When so many people who build our technology are white brogrammers, does their culture matter as much as their products?Whenever a new workplace diversity report surfaces from Silicon Valley like the new one demonstrating that Twitter is even whiter and maler than you imagined we are treated to a flurry of well-deserved hand-wringing about what this means for the tech industry. Why arent women and minorities getting hired? Are they not leaning far enough in? Are employers leaning too far out? Is the problem even at the hiring level, or is it way far back down the pipeline? What, in short, does this mean for the handful of people who work in tech?These are important questions, but also ... screw those guys. About 4m people in the US work in the tech sector, according to the Pew Research Center thats not even 1% of the population. Meanwhile, 87% of Americans are users of the internet. So why does it feel like we spend 87% of our time talking about how to improve the prospects of women and minorities in science, tech, engineering and math and 1% talking about what the overwhelming white-dude power bloc in Silicon Valley means for the users of all that technology? Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 12:00:06 GMT)

Jersey's compulsory cycle helmet law: based on emotion, not evidence?
The Channel Islands politicians insist compulsory bike helmet use for under 14s will improve public health. But the evidence does not seem to be on their sideFor UK cyclists the issue of compulsory helmet use has been until now, to use the phrase, a quarrel in a faraway land, with the main proponents being Australia, New Zealand and parts of Canada and the US. But now it has arrived on our shores.Earlier this month all children aged under 14 on the Channel Island of Jersey who ride a bike without a helmet risk a £50 fine for their parents. The law has been progressing for a long time, first mooted in 2010 covering all cyclists.The aim of the legislation is that if you can get children into the habit of wearing a helmet younger, that should say with them.I wouldnt say were confident. Were going to have to look at the numbers and see.Those figures [about helmet compulsion hampering cyclist numbers] dont stack up, and Im even more confident when were talking about children. I can only talk from Jersey experience, but I believe children participating in cycling will increase after the law, based on the number of phone calls Ive had from parents saying, I want little Johnny to wear a helmet. He wont wear it because his friends wont wear one. Therefore I wont let him have a bike.Frankly, I dont think you can put that at the door of cycle helmets. Thats happening anyway. I think Jersey has a higher rate of activity participation. Its not going to put people off. Its only for children. The evidence I see is that more children will cycle, based on what parents are saying.I dont really care about the macho twits who duck in and out of city traffic wearing headphones but no helmet, without a thought for the mothers and girlfriends who will pick up their pieces.I dont really care about the lazy twits who duck in and out of fast food restaurants eating burgers but taking no exercise, without a thought for the wives and children who will pick up their pieces of their diabetes or stroke or heart attack. If you just save one life, or save one life from being blighted, its worth it.There is an argument for improving infrastructure for cyclists generally, but its not cheap and it doesnt happen quickly, particularly on old roads where theres not a lot of room to provide segregation. That doesnt mean we shouldnt give up pushing. Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 10:51:18 GMT)

The Lib Dems could survive in government by going back to their roots
The national party is toxic for campaigners on the doorstep, but the popularity of local MPs may keep them in power in 2015To find Liberal Democrats in Eastbourne, head for the Nuthouse. This turns out not to be an unkind metaphor but the name of the pub next door to the local partys headquarters. The staff member who gives me directions warns, with weary resignation, that all the obvious jokes have been made. Besides, since joining the coalition, Lib Dems have been called a lot worse than nuts.The partys president, Tim Farron, once affectionately described his colleagues as cockroaches, by which he meant they could survive in parliamentary crevices even when attacked with nuclear ferocity. This resilience is despised by other parties. Theyre like verrucas, is how one Labour MP describes the refusal of her local Lib Dems to go away. Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 06:29:06 GMT)

A departing pupil's advice for future teachers: put passion before practicality
Share your enthusiasm with pupils and welcome probing questions from 'nerds', a former pupil suggests Read more on studying teachingTeachers typically fear the perpetually uninterested student who simply does not care yet fascinated students can be just as tiresome. Being a nerd, I have never been short of awkward questions but the response from teachers has often been frustrating.Particularly in subjects like English, where wide ranging discussions can arise, only allowing ideas to flow in the direction you intend will alienate interested students. Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 09:53:00 GMT)

It's the end of Argentina as we know it, and the world economy will be just fine
An entire country defaulting on its debt? After a fight with US hedge-funders? This is the stupidest nuclear option yetEvery once in a while you get a crazy financial story that makes you wonder how smart the people in charge really are. Argentinas recent flirting with economic default is proof that the average consumer, managing a few thousands, could probably do a better job than politicians with billions at their disposal.If you read the papers, you would believe that the land of tango, gauchos, Malbec and great steaks is on the verge of self-destruction: Argentina dances with default, groused a Wall Street Journal headline. Argentina nears cliff in risky debt game, chided the Financial Times. Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 11:15:01 GMT)

Frank Dobson: Labour needs to be 'knocking lumps off' this government
The former Labour minister talks about the problem with Ed Miliband's inner circle, Tony Blair's work in Kazakhstan, and how it feels to be standing down after 35 years as an MP"I'm a sentimental old sod," Frank Dobson warns me. It's two days since he told Holborn and St Pancras Labour Party activists that he is standing down at the next election after 35 years as their MP. We meet by the gates of Coram's Fields in the heart of his London constituency. With his portly frame, jovial expression, and bright white beard (he won Beard of the Year in 2000), the Father Christmas comparison is obvious and often made. He's chatting casually to a park attendant before we walk to a nearby cafe in the glorious sunshine. "Try and walk with Frank you've got to allow double the time to walk around because of the people wanting to speak to him," is the tip I'm given in advance by Sarah Hayward, Labour leader of Camden council a position once held by Dobson himself.Dobson is not just sentimental; he's a deeply emotional man. His eyes moisten when he discusses his brother Geoff, who died of liver cancer in 1997, on the eve of Labour sweeping to power after 18 years of Tory triumphalism; it was a bittersweet year. Geoff was a state school teacher who was "very severe, apparently", but when a former student stopped Dobson a few years ago to tell him he owed everything to his brother, it was more than he could bear. "I have to say, I burst into tears," he recalls. "In fact, I feel quite teary about it now." Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 16:02:00 GMT)

Beth Britton: 'Care homes must not be police states'
Dementia carer and campaigner to advise regulator on 'special measures' regime planned to tackle failing care homesOnly once has Beth Britton lost her remarkable poise when talking about her late father's dementia. It was in an interview for an official film for the G8 dementia summit in London last December. If you watch the end of the two-minute edited version on YouTube, you can see her welling up as she says: "I would have him back in a heartbeat dementia and everything that it brings."Britton, 33, is something of a phenomenon. It is just over two years since she wrote her first blog about caring for her father, who had died weeks previously after living with vascular dementia for almost two decades. Today, she is in such demand to write, speak, advise and train that she is having to turn work away. Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 08:00:02 GMT)

School reports on writers deliver very bad reviews
Charlotte Brontë wrote 'indifferently', according to her teachers, and many another writer's gifts have been roundly trashed by their teachersIt's been a long time since I faced the terror of a school report myself, but it all came back after I landed upon this Slate article, pointing towards Charlotte Brontë's. Made available online by the British Library as part of its fabulous new digital English literature resource, the write up is hardly glowing. Apparently, the girl who would go on to pen Jane Eyre "writes indifferently" and "knows nothing of grammar, geography, history, or accomplishments". The eight-year-old is, however, "altogether clever of her age", but "knows nothing systematically".The report is taken from the school register of the Clergy Daughters' School, at Cowan Bridge, and published in the Journal of Education. It also mentions Emily Brontë, then aged 5 ¾, who "reads very prettily, and works a little", and, poignantly, Elizabeth and Marie Brontë, then aged nine and 10, both of whom left "in ill-health", and died later in 1825. Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 08:00:00 GMT)

Holly Walsh: I build my comedy block-by-block like Lego
Standup is a great way to process bad things that happen to you. I love filling a routine with ideas and mini-punchlinesSmashing my arm jumping off Worthing pier was definitely one of the best things that happened to my career. I say career standup is more of a hobby that got out of hand. But it was the first time that I started writing about something personal to me.Dont get me wrong, I would much rather the accident hadnt happened, but in terms of generating material it was very useful. Maybe it was the fact that I sort of switched my brain off for six weeks to recover. Maybe its because the ingredients of the accident were so comic (Bird Man competition/homemade helicopter/rescued by a man dressed as Rambo). Maybe its because it forced me to start writing about my own experiences, rather than generic stuff. Im lucky that I do this job I can process bad things that happen to me through my work. Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 11:39:32 GMT)

Hedd Wyn: poetry that echoes from the first world war
He was born on a farm in Gwynedd and died with half a million others at Passchendaele. In between he wrote some of Wales's most moving poetry. A century on, his nephew has dedicated himself to keeping the memory of Hedd Wyn aliveIn the parlour sit the chairs, six of them in all, from the simple four-square seat won in Bala in 1907 to the "black chair" of the 1917 National Eisteddfod. This throne of darkened oak has grown brittle as glass, but its ornate carvings are still clear: a Celtic cross, a fish, a ribbon, a sundial, a Welsh dragon, a serpent.Gerald Williams, their 85-year-old custodian, stands in the afternoon quiet, surveying them all. "I used to play in them as a child," he says. "They were just part of the furniture to me. Their significance came over time." Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 07:00:09 GMT)

Joe Cornish offered director's chair for King Kong prequel Skull Island
In-demand Attack the Block director to decide whether to follow up Peter Jackson's fantasy blockbuster for his second feature film Joe Cornish to direct graphic novel adaptation Rust Joe Cornish to direct adaptation of sci-fi novel Snow CrashJoe Cornish has been offered the chance to direct Skull Island, the high-profile prequel to fantasy blockbuster King Kong, reports Deadline.Cornish, whose low-budget sci-fi action movie Attack the Block has made him a sought-after director in Hollywood, would take the reins from Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson if he accepts the job. The Kiwi film-maker's take on the giant ape legend pulled in $550m worldwide in 2005 despite lukewarm reviews. Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 12:20:32 GMT)

Football transfer rumours: Wilfried Bony to Tottenham?
The penultimate transfer tattle of July aims to go out on a highMauricio Pochettino may not have been here before, but Tottenham have. This time last year it was André Villas-Boas wondering whether or not anyone on his transfer wish-list would make that small but important leap from being a rumoured target to a real-life-bona-fide-holding-the-shiny-shirt signing.Then again, this time last year AVB was also still insisting that Gareth Bale was going to remain a Spurs player while the Welsh wizard was busy trying to become Cristiano Ronaldos best friend and learning how to spell galáctico. Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 09:04:08 GMT)

Mike Tyson says Jamie Foxx will play him in his movie life story
Former heavyweight champion says he and the actor are 'in discussion' about a proposed biopic, which would use the same CGI wizardry as The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Xan Brooks interviews Jamie FoxxThe former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson has claimed that Oscar-winner Jamie Foxx is set to play him in a new biopic, through the magic of CGI. Tyson told the Daily Mirror that Foxx would portray him in different stages of his life, aided by the technology used for the David Fincher fantasy The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. He also claimed Martin Scorsese would be involved in the proposed biopic."Me and Jamie Foxx are in discussion, and we gonna do it," said Tyson, 48. "Within a year to 18 months, we're going to do the Mike Tyson story and he's going to portray me, and now they have this new animation; because you know Jamie's pretty much my age so he can't portray me but they have this new system." Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 11:35:00 GMT)

Ross Burden obituary
Chef who found fame through the TV series Ready Steady CookRoss Burden, who has died aged 45 after undergoing treatment for leukaemia, was a celebrity chef who espoused the virtues of using local seasonal produce. He first came to public attention as a contestant in the TV cookery competition MasterChef, then became a regular on the BBC series Ready Steady Cook and a favourite private chef of stars such as Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. Known for his charm as much as for the culinary skills he had learned from his grandmother as a child, he was once dubbed "the tastiest man in Britain".Born in Taradale, in the Hawke's Bay region of North Island, New Zealand, he was adopted by Kelvin Burden, an electrician, and his wife, Anne, and described his childhood as idyllic. He told a New Zealand magazine: "As a kid, we had a bach [beach house] in Mahia. We'd have breakfast, then bugger off for the day, either to the beach or the swamp to catch frogs. A pocket knife, stick of bamboo and piece of string could keep you entertained for hours." Continue reading...
(Tue, 29 Jul 2014 17:40:17 GMT)

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