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Ukrainians report sightings of missile launcher on day of MH17 crash
In Torez, some say missile's journey through town has been a hot topic but people are scared of talking to outsidersClaims by pro-Russia separatists in east Ukraine that they have never been in possession of the missile launcher apparently used to down flight MH17 are looking increasingly flimsy, as several witnesses told the Guardian they had seen what appeared to be a Buk missile launcher in the vicinity of the crash site last Thursday.The sightings back up a number of photographs and videos posted online that put the Buk system close to the crash site on the day of the disaster. Just before lunchtime last Thursday, prior to the Malaysia Airlines plane's takeoff, a Buk was driven through Gagarin Street, one of the central thoroughfares of Torez, witnesses said. Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 17:02:48 GMT)

Gaza crisis: Palestinian death toll continues to climb as ceasefire efforts stall live
US airlines and others suspend flights into Tel AvivKerry in Cairo to support ceasefire: Hamas has a fundamental choiceMore than 600 Palestinians killed including 125 children, officials sayEU foreign ministers condemn rocket fireRead the latest blog summary 10.03pm BST The Press Association reports that UK low-fare airline easyJet said it was scrapping Israel services scheduled for tomorrow, according to a spokesman for the airline.British Airways, meanwhile, is to continue flights to Israel despite other airlines suspending services to the war-torn country, the PA reports: Some American and European countries have stopped Israeli flights after a rocket landed near Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion airport. But BA said tonight it was carrying on with its twice-daily London to Tel Aviv services. 9.52pm BST A picture from Beirut via Nour Samaha, managing editor of Al-Akhbar English:PIC: names of martyrs killed in #Gaza written on banners and hung from Pigeon Rock in #Beirut #Lebanon pic.twitter.com/BfqxucJ3Jp 9.23pm BST An arrivals board for Ben Gurion airport, via the Haaretz US editor: Something of a creepy coincidence that TLV board shows Ukraine International as one foreign airline still in the game pic.twitter.com/Xjx7A0SyN7 8.56pm BST The Palestinian health ministry now puts the number of Palestinians killed at 625 and the number wounded at 4,000.#__ / ( 625 4000 ) 8.44pm BST The Wikipedia page of the Israeli prime minister falls (temporarily it is presumed) to sabotage:Check out the Benjamin Netanyahu page on Wikipedia. Funny http://t.co/ZBw66RFFGt #Israel #Palestine 8.32pm BST Israel has resumed punitive demolitions of homes in the West Bank of families of suspected Hamas fighters, Sudarsan Raghavan reports in the Washington Post: The policy different from Israels ongoing practice of destroying Palestinian structures it claims are unauthorized or built without valid permits had been abandoned nine years ago because the military deemed it an ineffective deterrent against the Palestinian militancy.Is there anyone out there who believes that home demolitions prevent terrorism? 8.25pm BST A family tree of the 26 members of the Abu Jame family killed in an airstrike yesterday http://t.co/ur4ybpcMqR pic.twitter.com/6uT1B319ha 7.58pm BST France's foreign minister said on Tuesday that the 600 person death toll in Gaza was not acceptable and that Israel had to immediately stop "the massacres and attacks", Reuters reports:"It was not acceptable that a country was threatened by missiles and that missiles landed on it, but the response must be proportionate," Laurent Fabius told TF1 television. "When we are talking about 600 dead, it is obviously something that we can't accept. The massacres and attacks must stop immediately." 7.55pm BST The Guardian's Mona Mahmood (@monamood) has spoken on the telephone with Faris Saleem, who lives northwest of Gaza City. Saleem described an Israeli naval bombardment of the area: In a situation like that, all you can do is stay inside and wait for your imminent death. All nine members of my family decided not to flee anywhere, despite the shelling through the day. It is quite tricky to foresee what will become a target for the Israeli army. [...]My father volunteered to do the shopping for us, but we count the minutes till he gets back. Civil defence and ambulances vehicles are alone in the streets. There are large swathes of empty areas where I live, by the sea, when the Israeli army do not have anything to shoot, they turn to shoot them. Most of the people who live at the edge of the district move to the centre to avoid the relentless shelling.The night the Shuja'ayia district was targeted, we were watching the thunderous light of the shelling that never stopped. All the Israeli military machine was focused on a sole place. We could not help in evacuating the bodies, but we bought some food and clothes for the bereaved families as well as the wounded. It was a risky move, but it was hard to stay at home watching our people dying. The hospital was full of kids and women who came individually, they did not know about their families. I saw a woman who fled the shelling by herself though her kids were buried at home. She could not stay at home any longer to save them. The hospital's garden and the nearby streets were full of people who fled Shuja'ayia district. They were moved to the UNRWA schools later on. 7.27pm BST The state department on Tuesday said "Israel maybe could do a little bit more" to protect civilians being killed in Gaza, Guardian Washington correspondent Paul Lewis (@PaulLewis) reports:Asked to respond to remarks by Israeli ambassador to Washington, Ron Dermer, who said Israel deserves the Nobel Peace Prize for the unimaginable restraint shown by its military, the state department's deputy press secretary Marie Harf replied:"It is clear, I think, that while the Israelis say they hold themselves to very high standards, and we certainly hold them to the same standards as well, probably they could take some greater steps, maybe could do a little bit more [to protect civilians]." 7.23pm BST 7.03pm BST Journalists in the region are reporting rockets launched from Gaza and air raid sirens around Tel Aviv and elsewhere. Sirens heard across central Israel 6.28pm BST Further airlines have suspended flights into Tel Aviv until further notice, including Air France and KLM, Reuters reports. 6.19pm BST The UN relief and works agency (UNRWA) has "discovered rockets hidden in a vacant school in the Gaza Strip," it said in a statement earlier today:As soon as the rockets were discovered, UNRWA staff were withdrawn from the premises, and so we are unable to confirm the precise number of rockets. The school is situated between two other UNRWA schools that currently each accommodate 1,500 internally displaced persons. UNRWA strongly and unequivocally condemns the group or groups responsible for this flagrant violation of the inviolability of its premises under international law.Housing of the UNRWA Girls' School in #Gaza taking direct hits by Israeli shelling and resulting in more displacement and destruction.A United Nations school sheltering displaced Palestinians in central Gaza came under Israeli fire on Tuesday as a team was inspecting damage from a day earlier, a UN official said.The official said a team, with Israeli clearance, was at the school run by the UN agency for Palestinian refugees UNRWA in Al-Maghazi when Israeli tank shelling resumed, hitting the building on Tuesday afternoon. 6.13pm BST Lufthansa has joined the suspension of flights to Israel, AP reports:Looks like Lufthansa has cancelled tomorrow's flights from Frankfurt to Tel Aviv. #Israel. 6.05pm BST EU foreign ministers have issued a statement condemning rocket fire out of Gaza, Haaretz and others report:These are criminal and unjustifiable acts, the EU said in a statement published after a meeting of the 28 EU Foreign Ministers in Brussels.At a press conference after the ministerial meeting, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said all ministers recognized Israel's legitimate right to defend itself against any attacks but the EU statement underlines that the Israeli military operation must be proportionate and in line with international humanitarian law.So much for Israel losing Europe? MT @BarakRavid 28 EU foreign ministers call for disarming of Hamas and all other terror orgs in Gaza 5.50pm BST The Federal Aviation Administration has banned flights to Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion airport until further notice for up to 24 hours. The White House had said within the last hour that there was no such FAA ban. An FAA notice read:Due to the potentially hazardous situation created by the armed conflict in Israel and Gaza, all flight operations to/from Ben Gurion International Airport (LLBG) by US operators are prohibited until further adviseFAA Statement - Notice to Airmen issued for Ben Gurion International Airport http://t.co/S2AyaaUUJp #aviation 5.28pm BST The Guardian's Peter Beaumont (@petersbeaumont) has visited Gaza's St Porferios Greek Orthodox church, transformed in recent days into a shelter for hundreds of displaced families. More than 100,000 Gazans have been displaced in the conflict so far. Peter reports:"I only got to sleep at 6am," [said Archbishop Alexios of St Porferius]. "We're co-operating with the mosque next door. We're looking after around 1000 people between us." All of the people sleeping in his church are Muslims."People started coming in on Sunday, more and more people, so we couldn't even think about holding our Sunday service. Now it's crazy," he added. 5.23pm BST UN secretary-general Ban ki-Moon said Tuesday it is his "hope and belief" that his emergency mission to the Middle East will lead to an end to the Gaza fighting "in the very near future," the AP reports:Ban Ki-moon told the Security Council by videoconference from the West Bank city of Ramallah that he could not publicly reveal details "at this highly sensitive moment." As he started to address the council a siren could be heard in the background."Suffice it to say, it is my hope and belief that these talks will lead to results and an end to the fighting in the very near future," Ban said. 5.18pm BST Here are White House spokesman Josh Earnest's remarks on the cancellation of flights to Israel. As it relates to the airspace in Gaza ... the FAA has not issued any notices related to the ongoing violence in that region of the world, Earnest said:This does serve to illustrate, though, that its individual carriers who make the decisions about their flight plans and whether or not to alter specific routes based on hostilities on the ground, he said. 5.06pm BST As our live blog coverage continues, heres a summary of where things stand: Delta Airlines diverted a jet bound from New York to Tel Aviv and cancelled all flights to Israel following an Israeli police report that a rocket landed near Ben Gurion airport. Update: United Airlines and US airways also have cancelled flights to Israel. 4.39pm BST Delta Air Lines is canceling all flights to Israel until further notice, citing reports that a rocket landed near Tel Avivs Ben Gurion airport, the Associated Press reports:A Delta Boeing 747 from New York was flying over the Mediterranean headed for Tel Aviv on Tuesday when it turned around and flew to Paris instead. Flight 468 had 273 passengers and 17 crew on board.Police spokeswomen Luba Samri says Tuesday that the rocket caused damage to a house and lightly wounded one Israeli. 4.06pm BST The large majority of the more than 600 Palestinians who have been killed in the current conflict were civilians, and at least 129 Palestinian children have been killed so far, according to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights.The Washington Post has produced an arresting graphic highlighting the childrens deaths and representing military versus civilian casualties. See it here. 3.57pm BST Israels army has denied targeting the Gaza offices of al-Jazeera TV after the networks correspondents reported that the building had come under fire on Tuesday, Guardian Middle East editor Ian Black (@Ian_Black) reports: Staff in Gaza said their 11th floor bureau was hit by two Israeli bullets as a crew was preparing to broadcast live from the balcony. Two very precise shots were fired straight into our building, said Stefanie Dekker. We are high up in the building so we had a very strong vantage point over the area. But we have evacuated. Al-Jazeera aired footage of their staff standing outside the building.A spokesman for the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) said no warning shots had been fired but could not confirm or deny whether there had been indirect damage to the building from firing at nearby military targets, the Jerusalem Post reported. 3.50pm BST The Guardians Patrick Kingsley (@patrickkingsley) has more from US secretary of state John Kerrys news conference in Egypt. Hamas has a fundamental choice to make, and it is a choice that will have a fundamental impact on the people of Gaza, said Kerry at Cairos president palace, following talks with Egyptian president Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and foreign minister Sameh Shoukry:We are joining our international parties in calling for an immediate end to the fighting and a return to the ceasefire agreement that was reached in 2012, Kerry said.But just reaching a ceasefire is clearly not enough. It is imperative that there be a serious discussion, negotiation addressing the underlying issues that have brought us to where we are today. 3.41pm BST A correspondent with BBC Arabic was attacked while delivering a live report from inside Israel at the Gaza border Tuesday.Correspondent Firas Khatib was rushed and knocked off-screen by an unidentified man at the Gaza border, as Khatib described it. The attacker can be heard cursing at Khatib. He is thrown off Khatib by an unidentified man in press garb.Must see. BBC Arabic reporter attacked live on air by an Israeli near #Gaza border https://t.co/GojzNm4ChI 3.22pm BST A CNN correspondent reports very large explosions just now in Gaza.Just saw at least two massive explosions in east #Gaza. The largest we've seen. 2.59pm BST UN chief Ban Ki-Moon has just been speaking at a press conference with Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv.He began by condemning rocket fire from Gaza and the use of schools, hospitals and mosques for military purposes.In the face of such terror Israel has no option but to defend itself ...We will do what we have to do to defend ourselves. 2.50pm BST Colonel Lior Lotan, former head of the IDF's Missing In Action (MIA) and Prisoner of War (POW) unit, said that the Israeli military is likely to be conducting a field operation in Gaza to locate "tangible and solid evidence" of the fate of "missing" soldier Oron Shaul, my colleague, Harriet Sherwood, in Jerusalem, writes: "That could take hours, or even days," he said in a phone briefing with reporters, adding that such an operation could impact on the next 24 hours of the military offensive."This is not the first time that Hamas is bargaining with Israel over bodies or parts of bodies," he said. "Hamas will use any kind of leverage in the current circumstances." 2.38pm BST The Gaza ministry of health says the number of Palestinians killed has risen to 609. An Israeli soldier has also been killed today, which, I think, takes the number of Israelis killed to 30, 28 of whom were soldiers.Gaza Ministry of Health: Death toll climbs to 609 and over 3720 injured in the ongoing israeli aggressions. #GazaUnderAttackStaff Sgt. Avitar Moshe Torjamin, 20, was killed today while fighting Hamas terrorists in Gaza. May his memory be blessed. 2.23pm BST In remarks that are controversial to say the least, Israel's ambassador to the US, Ron Dermer, has reportedly said that the Israeli army should be given the Nobel Peace Prize for its unimaginable restraint in Gaza.Dermer was addressing the Christians United for Israel Summit in Washington and, despite some heckling, his speech was "warmly received", according to the Times of Israel. It quotes him as saying: Some are shamelessly accusing Israel of genocide and would put us in the dock for war crimes. But the truth is that the Israeli Defence Forces should be given the Nobel Peace Prize a Nobel Peace Prize for fighting with unimaginable restraint. 2.07pm BST John Kerry has been speaking at a joint press conference with Egyptian foreign minister Sameh Shukri in Cairo. Kerry said that the Egyptian initiative, which has been rejected by Hamas, is the framework for any Gaza truce. 1.08pm BST There is no real option for a ceasefire now. This operation is unavoidable ... Hamas is not close to a ceasefire in terms of its conditions. 12.45pm BST Israel says it has killed 183 militants, according to Reuters, which quotes a death toll in Gaza of at least 550 (although Palestinian officials say it is now over 600). Assuming the total is 550 and the rest are civilians, that means 67% of the victims were civilians.When the death toll stood at 530 Palestinians, the UN said 72% were civilians. 12.15pm BST The Guardian's Harriet Sherwood writes that the "missing" Israeli soldier, just named by the IDF as Oron Shaul, is likely to complicate diplomatic efforts to broker a ceasefire.Hamas may believe that the soldier, or his body, could be used as leverage in its demand that Israel release scores of Palestinian prisoners arrested in the run-up to the present conflict. It has said it will not agree to a ceasefire until this and other demands, including the opening of Gaza's borders, are met.Israel may also introduce the return of the soldier, or his body, as a precondition for halting its military assault. 11.58am BST The Israel Defence Forces have named the soldier who is missing. They said in a short statement:Sergeant Oron Shaul, a combat soldier of the Golani brigade, 21-years-old from Poria is the soldier whose identification process is yet to be completed.#BREAKING: IDF names soldier who went missing in Gaza Sunday as Sgt. Oron Shaul http://t.co/XvvIkhRGdE #israel pic.twitter.com/LIJOkZBjHF 11.51am BST Israel's justice minister Tzipi Livni has told Army Radio there is currently no prospect of a ceasefire. The former foreign minister is quoted as saying:There is no real option for a ceasefire now. This operation is unavoidable ... Hamas is not close to a ceasefire in terms of its conditions. Its conditions are not conditions that are accepted - not by us, not by the Egyptians, not by the Americans, not by the Palestinian Authority and I'm certain that Israel will not agree. 11.44am BST Contrary to what was reported earlier, the Israel Defence Forces have said that they did not attack, or fire warning shots, at al-Jazeera's Gaza office.The Jerusalem Post reports that a spokesman "could not, at this early stage, confirm or deny whether there had been indirect damage to the building from firing at nearby military targets". 11.24am BST The foreign ministers of Germany, France and Italy have condemned what they say is a rise in anti-Semitism in their countries amid protests against the conflict in Gaza. From AP:In a joint statement the ministers said Tuesday that "anti-Semitic rhetoric and hostility against Jews, attacks on people of Jewish belief and synagogues have no place in our societies".While the ministers say they respect freedom of speech, they say they will do everything possible to fight "acts and statements that cross the line to anti-Semitism, racism and xenophobia". 11.15am BST Here are a couple of images from Gaza today:#c4news #Gaza Rescue workers retrieving dead woman from Salam tower. Top six floors collapsed. Attacks continue pic.twitter.com/E0bMaCegCOFishing boats totally destroyed by airstrikes in #Gaza port. Will take fishermen years to recover from the damage pic.twitter.com/aycP7Myjni 11.01am BST Noam Shiezaf attempts to tackle the issue of why Palestinians continue to support Hamas, despite the loss of life, for +972 Mag:These are people who dont care much for Hamas in their everyday lives, whether due to its fundamental ideology, political oppression or other aspects of its rule. But they do support Hamas in its war against Israel; for them, fighting the siege is their war of independence. Or at least one part of it...For the Palestinians, the choice is between occupation by proxy in the West Bank and a war in Gaza. Both offer no hope, and neither are forms of freedom. The Israeli promise that an end to armed struggle will bring freedom is not trustworthy, as the experiences of past years has shown. It simply never happens. The quiet years in the West Bank have not brought the Palestinians any closer to an independent state, while the truce in between wars in Gaza has not brought about a relief from the siege. One can debate the reasons for why this happened, but one cannot debate reality. 10.55am BST A spokesman for the health ministry says that 604 people have now been killed in Gaza and 3,700 injured.#__ 604 3700 10.34am BST AJ+ Labs has been asking people in East Jerusalem about Binyamin Netanyahu's strategy in Gaza. There is both wholehearted support for his actions and vituperative criticism of him. 10.28am BST Here are the latest figures on Palestinians sheltering in schools run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees:102,788 Palestinian civilians are now sheltering in every available #UNRWA school in the #Gaza area. 10.24am BST UN chief Ban Ki-Moon will reportedly meet the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, at 4pm today (2pm BST) at the ministry of defence in Tel Aviv as efforts to bring about a ceasefire continue. 10.16am BST Here's an update on the numbers killed and injured in Gaza:The Ministry of Health in Gaza is now reporting 583 killed and 3640 injured in Gaza. #GazaUnderAttack 10.15am BST Israel should cease attacks that cause loss of civilian life and property in violation of the laws of war, Human Rights Watch has said. It investigated eight Israeli airstrikes -including the missile attack that killed four boys on a Gaza City pier and wounded three others and multiple strikes over several days on the al-Wafa rehabilitation hospital for paralysed and elderly patients (see picture below) - that it says were apparent violations of the laws of war before the ground offensive that began on 17 July.Eric Goldstein, HRW's deputy Middle East and North Africa director. said: After Israeli missiles killed boys on a beach and repeatedly struck a well-marked hospital, one can only be gravely concerned for the safety of civilians caught up in the ground offensive. Israel needs to do more than try to explain away unlawful attacks it needs to stop them. 9.52am BST A rocket has hit a house in Tel Aviv.Back yard of house hit by direct rocket strike in Tel Aviv area #Israel #Gaza pic.twitter.com/Ti73Ie9KEOOne lightly hurt by shrapnel, one by shock here #Israel #GazaHome Front officer says was first direct strike in Gush Dan in the operation and that 'Iron Dome is not 100% successful' #Israel #Gaza 9.46am BST Al-Jazeera has said that Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman, who made inflammatory comments about the broadcaster yesterday, bears responsibility for the safety of its crews after two warning shots were fired at its Gaza office, Haaretz reports. 9.31am BST It may seem a touch optimistic given the current situation, but Egypt's foreign minister has raised the possibility of restarting stalled peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians as part of negotiating a ceasefire. From APAt the start of a meeting with US secretary of state John Kerry, foreign minister Sameh Shukri said he planned to work with US and other world leaders "to not only resolve this issue but also to set in motion once again the peace process that Secretary Kerry has been so actively involved in so as to end this ongoing conflict between the Palestinians and the Israelis."Kerry said his discussions with Shukri sought to "hopefully find not only a way to a cease-fire, but a way to deal with the underlying issues, which are very complicated." But he stopped short of agreeing to reopen the peace talks that abruptly broke off last April after nearly nine months of his personal attention. 9.10am BST Meanwhile, in Israel:Multiple loud explosions now in Tel Aviv, no sirens sounded, possible interceptions, details to follow. 9.09am BST This comes shortly after Israel announced it had rejected a five hour humanitarian ceasefire for fear that Hamas would use it to reinforce:HAPPENING NOW: Reports of massive Israeli strikes across Gaza strip now. 9.03am BST Warning shots have been fired at al-Jazeera's offices in GazaTwo warning shots straight into al jazeera office in #gaza.. We are evacuatingOur office building also has many residential apartments. People leaving, panicked. AP also has office there and evacuated. #GazaIsraeli army confirms it fired warning shots on the Al Jazeera bureau in #Gaza. 8.49am BST Israel has rejected a proposal for a five hour humanitarian ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.Musa Abu Marzouk, a senior Hamas official, said that it was proposed by the UN.IDF has now rejected request for humanitarian ceasefire today, particularly due to concerns #Hamas may reinforce Shajaieh. #Gaza 8.43am BST The Israeli military statement about the missing soldier said that the army had completed the identification of six of the soldiers killed and that "efforts to identify the seventh soldier are ongoing and have yet to be determined". 8.38am BST News of the missing Israeli solider comes after Hamas claimed on Sunday night that it had captured a member of the Israeli Defence Forces, prompting celebrations in the streets of Gaza City.In a televised address, a spokesman using the nom-de-guerre Abu Obeida had said:The Israeli soldier Aaron Shaul is in the hands of the Qassam Brigades.@sheeraf @LibyaLiberty @kristenchick Missing body of soldierMissing soldier's body in Shajaieh partly explains why IDF has remained in place. Retrieving the body/parts now major priority.No indications that #Hamas claims of having captured IDF soldier are legit. The "documents" & footage they presented were poor fabrications 8.22am BST Here is a summary of the latest developmentsWe will work to see if there is some way to not only arrive at a ceasefire of some kind but to get to a discussion about the underlying issues. Nothing will be resolved by any ceasefire, temporary or long, without really getting to those issues at some point, and that's what we need to do.#BREAKING: Israeli army confirms: one of the soldiers reported killed in Gaza Saturday is in fact missing If you were to ask how these justify the deaths of women and children or, for that matter, uniformed soldiers, the answer would be that they do not, but that this is how violence is so often driven in the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.The intention is to achieve a psychological dominance over the opponent and an unchallenged command over your own constituency. Both Israel's super-modern military and Hamas's poor-man's army perform less in a theatre of war than in a theatre for their own inhabitants, seeming to have to prove, again and again, that they are the champions of their respective peoples Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 21:03:03 GMT)

Sheikh down: how Mazher Mahmood, the king of the sting, was caught out
The Sun on Sunday's 'fake sheikh' has won awards for his elaborate set ups. Yet the ruthlessness with which he entraps his prey means singer Tulisa Contostavlos can count herself lucky to have escaped his clutches Read Duncan Campbell on why journalistic deception can be justifiedMazher Mahmood is a clever, canny and creative reporter who generates his own stories. It's important to place that on record because, before we delve into his use of the darker journalistic arts, there should not be any illusion about his reporting skills.He is a genuine one-off, a self-starter who, when properly directed and chasing a story of genuine public interest, has much to be proud of. Down the years he has been responsible for many people going to jail for breaking the law perhaps not quite as many as he has boasted, but a lot all the same. His greatest triumph, the exposure of Pakistani cricketers in 2011 for so-called spot-fixing during matches, rightfully won him awards. Three players were jailed and banned from cricket. A bookmaker was also jailed. Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 17:44:48 GMT)

Schools face new curbs on extremism after Birmingham Trojan horse affair
Education secretary Nicky Morgan announces reforms after Peter Clarke's damning report on Muslim extremist infiltrationA raft of reforms to school accountability, including an education commissioner for Birmingham, inspections of city academy chains and new oversight of school governors, were announced on Tuesday by the education secretary in response to a damning report into extremist infiltration of schools.Nicky Morgan said that in the future teachers would be sacked without appeal if it was proven that they have failed to protect pupils or promote British values by exposing children to extremist speakers. Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 20:42:58 GMT)

Complainant count in Welsh care home abuse inquiry rises to 275
National Crime Agency says 120 names or partial names of possible offenders provided and 49 potential suspects identifiedPolice investigating allegations of historical sexual abuse in the north Wales care system have said 275 people have come forward to report that they were assaulted or mistreated.By the beginning of this month, 120 names or partial names of possible offenders had been provided to detectives and 49 potential suspects identified, the National Crime Agency (NCA) said. Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 15:56:24 GMT)

EU report finds no evidence to support sweeping immigration reforms
Whitehall review into freedom of movement lands blow to Eurosceptics aiming to make radical changes to migration rulesA government review looking into freedom of movement across the EU has not recommended any sweeping reforms to immigration rules in a report likely to disappoint Conservative Eurosceptics.The Whitehall report found the effects of free movement on the labour market are largely viewed as positive, although it acknowledged there is less consensus about the benefits of low-skilled migration than high-skilled migration. Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 17:01:03 GMT)

Government to overhaul benefits sanctions process
Independent report shows systematic failings in the way benefit sanctions are communicated and processedThe government is to overhaul the way it treats benefit recipients threatened by sanctions, after an independent report it commissioned showed systematic failings in the process, including disproportionate burdens placed on the most vulnerable.The report found that the way in which the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) communicated with claimants was legalistic, unclear and confusing. The most vulnerable claimants were often left at a loss as to why their benefits were stopped and frequently they were not informed about hardship payments to which they were entitled, the report said. Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 19:54:36 GMT)

The Queen's Gold Cup winner Estimate tests positive for morphine
Buckingham Palace release statement on monarch's mare Contaminated feed believed to be reason behind shock news The racehorse owned by the Queen that won the Ascot Gold Cup last year has tested positive for morphine, Buckingham Palace announced on Tuesday night.Estimate, a five-year-old mare trained by Sir Michael Stoute, came second in the same race this year, and is one of five horses understood to have recorded a positive test for the banned substance. The palace said they believed the morphine had come via consumption of a contaminated feed product. Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 19:47:11 GMT)

State schools may prioritise poorest pupils in admissions revamp
Children eligible for pupil premium could be given preference as part of government-proposed reformAll state-funded schools will be allowed to prioritise places for children from the poorest backgrounds under a new draft admissions code.The proposal, which is still subject to consultation, would apply to children who are eligible for the pupil premium a subsidy system that gives schools an extra annual payment of £1,300 for each primary pupil and £935 for each secondary pupil who receives free school meals. Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 14:22:32 GMT)

Tories face calls to hand back £160k given by Russian for tennis match
Wife of deputy finance minister under Putin in 2000, won auction at fundraising event to play with Cameron and JohnsonThe Conservative party is facing calls to hand back £160,000 given to its general election fighting fund by the wife of a former minister in Vladamir Putin's government after she won an auction at a fundraising event.Lubov Chernukhin, the wife of Vladamir Chernukhin, deputy finance minister under Putin in 2000, won the auction last month to play tennis with David Cameron and Boris Johnson but both Labour and Conservative politicians have questioned if the PM should accept the money while attacking the Kremlin over its strategy in Ukraine and the downing of the Malaysian airliner MH17. Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 17:12:51 GMT)

New Environment Agency chairman has fracking links
Sir Philip Dilley was previously chairman of engineering firm that wrote environmental reports on fracking for CuadrillaThe government has been criticised for appointing a former business adviser to David Cameron who has had corporate links to the fracking industry as the new chairman of the Environment Agency.Sir Philip Dilley, who will work three days a week on a salary of £100,000, was until April the chairman of Arup, an engineering firm that has been employed to write environmental reports on fracking for Cuadrilla the company hoping to become the first to exploit Britain's shale gas resources. He will take on his new role in September. Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 18:57:23 GMT)

Teenagers who share 'sexts' could face prosecution, police warn
Nottinghamshire police warn that under-18s who share indecent images could end up on the register of sex offendersA police force has warned schoolchildren who share so-called "sexts" with friends over the internet that they could face prosecution in the criminal courts.In a letter sent to schools in Nottinghamshire, the county's sexual exploitation investigation unit said officers were receiving reports on a daily basis of naked images being sent between teenagers using mobile phones. Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 16:56:16 GMT)

Rise and fall in heroin use key factor in crime trends, study suggests
Home Office researchers say focusing on reducing remaining number of heroin users could produce further falls in crimeA long-term fall in the number of heroin and crack users has been a key factor in the decline in crime levels in England and Wales, according to Home Office research.A consensus among criminologists over a convincing explanation for the rise in crime to a peak in 1995 and its subsequent long-term decline by more than 60% in England and Wales has long proved elusive. Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 17:43:16 GMT)

Bangladesh: '$150m' cost and 18 months to make factories safe
The US Alliance for Bangladeshi Worker Safety has issued its first annual report on factory safety in BangladeshWork to bring Bangladeshi factories used by north American retailers, including Walmart and Gap, up to fire and building safety standards will cost more than $150m (£87.9m) and take at least 18 months to complete.In its first annual report, the US Alliance for Bangladeshi Worker Safety, formed in the wake of the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Dhaka in which more than 1,100 people died last April, said it had completed fire and building safety inspections of all the 587 factories its members now used. Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 17:47:45 GMT)

Alexander Litvinenko's widow: inquiry will find truth over husband's poisoning
Welcome for Theresa May's announcement of inquiry into former spy's death, seen as sign of worsening British-Russian relationsThe widow of Alexander Litvinenko, the former KGB spy poisoned in a London hotel in 2006, has said she believes a new public inquiry into his death will reveal whether the Russian state supplied the radioactive material used to kill him. Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 15:52:52 GMT)

Gender bias in the film industry: 75% of blockbuster crews are male
Cinema figures express alarm as statistics reveal lack of women at all levels of cinema productionLeading figures in cinema are calling for steps to improve diversity in the industry as a damning study exposes the severe lack of women at all levels of film production over the past 20 years.Figures seen by the Guardian have revealed that gender disparity is entrenched in the film industry, where more than three-quarters of the crew involved in making 2,000 of the biggest grossing films over the past 20 years have been men, while only 22% were women. Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 18:45:56 GMT)

Rise in bailouts as more hospitals overspend on budgets
65 hospital trusts overspent their budgets in 2013-14, compared with 45 trusts the previous yearThe NHS's finances are deteriorating sharply, with more hospitals ending up in the red as they struggle to look after the growing number of patients needing care, government figures reveal.Sixty-five hospital trusts overspent their budgets by a combined £767m in 2013-14, with 35 of them sharing £536m in non-repayable bailouts in order to keep services running smoothly. Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 20:20:42 GMT)

Police disciplinary hearings could be held in public, says Theresa May
Home secretary announces shakeup of police complaints system to improve independence and transparencyA major shakeup of the police complaints and disciplinary system, including proposals to hold police disciplinary hearings in public, has been announced by the home secretary, Theresa May.Major General Clive "Chip" Chapman will conduct a short review of the police disciplinary system to make it clearer, more independent and "public-focused", May said. Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 14:58:16 GMT)

Chinese city sealed off after bubonic plague death
30,000 residents of Yumen are not being allowed to leave and 151 people have been placed in quarantine after man's deathA Chinese city has been sealed off and 151 people have been placed in quarantine since last week after a man died of bubonic plague, state media said.The 30,000 residents of Yumen, in the north-western province of Gansu, are not being allowed to leave, and police at roadblocks on the perimeter of the city are telling motorists to find alternative routes, China Central Television (CCTV) said. Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 11:59:16 GMT)

Five held in Sicily over boat deaths of migrants
Alleged human traffickers accused of stabbing and throwing overboard 60 men and womenThe Italian authorities have arrested five alleged human traffickers on suspicion of the murder of dozens migrants who were either stabbed or perished of engine fume inhalation inside the overcrowded hold of a smuggling boat.Police said the five people arrested in Sicily were accused of stabbing and then throwing overboard 60 men and women after passengers tried to escape the cargo hold, where many had been imprisoned. Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 17:24:26 GMT)

MediaCity leads to Salford becoming the UK's property hotspot
MediaCity and incoming BBC employees have kept Salford going when the market was bad, said one agentProperty values in the Greater Manchester city of Salford have risen faster than in any other town in Britain since the start of 2014, it was claimed on Tuesday, as the area continues to benefit from the relocation of the BBC and other broadcasters to the waterfront MediaCity development.Since January the average value of a home in Salford has increased by 12%, or £14,874, to stand at £138,619, according to the property website Zoopla a growth rate faster than even London, where values went up by 8.2% over the same period. However, the average home in the capital is still worth considerably more, at £567,392 according to Zoopla. Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 18:18:23 GMT)

Procedure to create babies with three people's DNA could be legalised in April
Government to press ahead with regulations on mitochondrial transfer after public consultation, but several hurdles remainBritain's fertility regulator could allow doctors to create the first babies to have three people's DNA from next April after the government pressed ahead with plans to legalise the procedure.The technique, known as mitochondrial transfer, offers hope to families affected by a wide range of diseases, such as muscular dystrophy, caused by faulty DNA being passed down from mother to child. Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 14:15:10 GMT)

Drip surveillance law faces legal challenge by MPs
Tom Watson and David Davis apply for judicial review of 'emergency' legislation, which was rushed through parliamentTwo leading Westminster civil liberties campaigners, David Davis and Tom Watson, are to mount a high court legal challenge to the government's new "emergency" surveillance law, which was rushed through parliament last week.The application for a judicial review of the new legislation, which was passed with support from the three main parties, is to be mounted by the human rights organisation Liberty on behalf of the two backbench MPs. Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 11:43:00 GMT)

Foreign buyers of property in London see profits of up to 39% in 12 months
Research by Knight Frank finds a strengthening pound and weak foreign currencies made prime London property a win-win betWealthy Russians who bought properties in London's richest neighbourhoods last spring have seen the value of their holdings increase by more than a third, as a result of contrasting fortunes between the two countries, according to figures published on 22 July.However, they are not the biggest winners among overseas investors: those who converted money from Turkish lira, Indonesian rupiah and South African rand to buy apartments and houses in neighbourhoods such as Mayfair and Knightsbridge have seen even bigger increases. Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 16:36:41 GMT)

Doctors, social workers and teachers to be legally obliged to report FGM
David Cameron announces move at Girl Summit as he also says parents will be criminalised if they fail to protect childrenThe government is to legally oblige doctors, social workers and teachers to report female genital mutilation (FGM) if they see it, the prime minister has said.Speaking at the Girl Summit a major international conference in London designed to highlight the issues of FGM and child marriage David Cameron also said parents would be criminalised if they failed to protect their children from the practice. Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 13:57:27 GMT)

Government borrowing figures dent deficit reduction target
George Osborne's long-term economic plan pushed off course again as coalition borrows more than expected in JuneThe coalition government borrowed more than expected in June, putting chancellor George Osborne further off course in his plan to reduce the deficit.Borrowing totalled £11.4bn over the month, higher than the £10.7bn forecast by economists, and £3.8bn more than in June 2013. Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 10:32:45 GMT)

Student loan sale U-turn 'likely to cost £12bn'
Decision to abandon sell-off will also require review of public finances, according to the Office for Budget ResponsibilityThe decision to abandon the sale of the student loan book is likely to cost the government £12bn over the next five years and will require a review of the public finances, Graham Parker, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), told the Treasury Select Committee on Tuesday.It may also require a revision of the decision to lift the cap on student numbers promoted by Chancellor George Osborne and due to be funded by the sale of the student loan book. Parker, an OBR member, was being questioned by Treasury select committee member Pat McFadden. Parker said the OBR had not yet been formally notified of the decision to abandon the sale, but the announcement was made by the business secretary, Vince Cable, at a Liberal Democrat meeting over the weekend organised by the Social Liberal Forum. Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 12:04:29 GMT)

Joko Widodo set to be declared next Indonesian president
Rival candidate withdraws from electoral process hours before official announcement that Jokowi won race with 53% of voteAfter the protracted political wrangling and unease that followed Indonesia's disputed presidential election, Joko Widodo known as Jokowi is on the verge of being named as Indonesia's next head of state.The election commission is expected to announce the result at 8pm local time after completing the final count of more than 130m votes. A final tally of the vote shows that Jokowi and his running mate, Jusuf Kalla, won the race by a margin of more than six percentage points, garnering 53.17% of the votes. Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 12:49:12 GMT)

Ex-ministers get knighthoods while Ken Clarke is made Companion of Honour
Alan Duncan, Hugh Robertson and Oliver Heald become 'sirs' while Clarke gets even more prestigious honourDavid Cameron has given knighthoods to three junior ministers who departed in last week's reshuffle, while making veteran frontbencher Ken Clarke a Companion of Honour.The prime minister handed knighthood honours to Alan Duncan, a former development minister, Hugh Robertson, who left the Foreign Office, and Oliver Heald, previously solicitor general. Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 15:44:01 GMT)

Meat scandal engulfs Starbucks and Burger King in China
McDonald's in Japan also says it used Chinese supplier Husi Food for its chicken nuggetsA suspect meat scandal in China engulfed Starbucks and Burger King on Tuesday and spread to Japan where McDonald's said a Chinese supplier accused of selling expired beef and chicken had provided 20% of the meat in its chicken nuggets.As Chinese authorities expanded their investigation of the Shanghai-based company Husi Food, which had its main processing plant sealed on Monday, food safety officers said they would inspect its facilities and meat sources in five provinces in central, eastern and southern China. Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 11:33:19 GMT)

NHS workers to be balloted on strike action over pay
Unison and Royal College of Midwives say they will ballot members after government rejected 1% recommended riseHundreds of thousands of NHS workers will be balloted over strike action in a row over pay, it has been announced.The union Unison said it would ask 300,000 of its members to back walkouts following the government's decision not to accept a recommended across-the-board 1% wage rise for NHS staff. Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 09:31:47 GMT)

School coach overturns into a ditch in Norfolk
Driver is treated for back injuries after being cut free from vehicle but children and teachers suffer only minor injuriesA school coach has overturned into a ditch on a rural road in Norfolk.Emergency services attended the scene of the incident on the A10 at Hilgay. Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 11:28:12 GMT)

Nigerian president meets kidnapped girls' parents for first time
Goodluck Jonathan, who has been accused of not doing enough to save victims, met relatives and several escaped abducteesPresident Goodluck Jonathan has met parents of 219 kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls and dozens of classmates who managed to escape from their Islamic extremist captors.Jonathan assured them of his determination that those still in captivity "are brought out alive", presidential spokesman Reuben Abati told reporters after the meeting. Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 14:29:10 GMT)

West Sussex county council turns down shale gas exploration bid
Refusal of Celtique Energie thought to be the first time a council has rejected a planning application by a shale companyAn application by a shale company to explore for oil and gas in a picturesque part of West Sussex has been turned down. West Sussex County Councils planning committee refused the application by Celtique Energy for oil and gas exploration near Wisborough Green, a conservation area just outside the South Downs National Park. Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 14:34:55 GMT)

James Rodríguez signs for Real Madrid for a reported £63m
Colombian to wear No10 shirt vacated by Mesut Özil Midfielder joins Toni Kroos at European champions Sid Lowe on how the new galáctico will fit inThe unexpected star of the World Cup finals, Colombias James Rodríguez, has signed for Real Madrid for a reported £63m.The 23-year-old follows the signing of another key midfielder from the World Cup, Germanys Toni Kroos who joined for a bargain £20m, and will be given the No10 shirt which was last worn by Mesut Özil. Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 13:07:00 GMT)

Commonwealth Games: boxer Paddy Barnes furious over drug tests
Boxer brands test timings in Glasgow a disgrace Barnes was kept up until 2am by doping officialsThe Northern Ireland boxer Paddy Barnes has branded Commonwealth Games drug-test timings a disgrace and insisted the procedure could have put his participation in Glasgow in doubt.Barnes and team-mate Michael Conlan were singled out for random testing after training on Monday and the 27-year-old double Olympic bronze medallist was kept up until 2am by doping officials. Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 18:26:58 GMT)

Commonwealth Games 2014: Glasgows day in the sun has finally arrived
Organisers are eager to play down comparisons with Londons Olympics in 2012 and put on a world-class event of their ownGlasgows moment has arrived after seven years of waiting. The Commonwealth Games will officially get under way following the denouement of the opening ceremony on Wednesday evening and, just as before London 2012, the sun is shining on a city rippling with anticipation.The fervent celebrations that followed the decision in Sri Lanka to award Scotland the Games in 2007 seem an age away. Now, on the eve of an event that is certain to provide box-office sporting drama amid moments of magic, the time for waiting is almost over. Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 19:36:36 GMT)

Celtic make light work of KR Reykjavik to progress in Champions League
Celtic 4-0 KR Reykjavik Celtic win 5-0 on aggregateAfter making heavy weather of the first leg in Reykjavik against KR in Iceland Celtic wasted no time in providing more tangible proof of their superiority in the unlikely environs of Murrayfield to reach the third qualifying round of the Champions League, where they face the winners of St Patricks Athletic and Legia Warsaw, who play on Wednesday.Three goals up midway through the first half, Celtic added a fourth in the second period and were never tested by a desperately outclassed KR side. Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 21:07:00 GMT)

Manchester United training pitches relaid on Louis van Gaals orders
Carrington pitches replaced with synthetic-grass hybrid United play LA Galaxy in Van Gaals debut matchLouis van Gaals first major move since becoming Manchester United manager takes place on Tuesday morning when the training pitches at the clubs Carrington base are ripped up to be replaced by Desso, a synthetic-grass hybrid material.With Van Gaal also ordering that trees be planted at Carrington to make the facility more sheltered from the wind, the manager has wasted little time in starting to shape the club. Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 08:05:00 GMT)

Liverpool near loan signing of Javier Manquillo from Atlético Madrid
Spaniard would be Liverpools first defensive deal of summer Reds seek season-long loan with view to permanent moveLiverpool hope to make their first defensive signing of the summer by securing Javier Manquillo on a season-long loan from Atlético Madrid.The 20-year-old Spain youth international barely featured for Diego Simeones team as they won La Liga and reached the Champions League final last season but the right-sided defender is highly rated and coveted by several clubs this summer, Arsenal among them. Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 20:57:00 GMT)

Michael Rogers wins stage 16 of Tour de France for Tinkoff-Saxo team
Vincenzo Nibali remains overall leader of the race Thibaut Pinot moves up to third in the standingsIf the Pyrenees are a three-course meal in this years Tour, for some the starter stuck in the craw. While Michael Rogers devoured his first solo stage win in 10 attempts at the race with the aplomb of a man who has suddenly regained his appetite, the runner-up Thomas Voeckler had the bitter disgust of a French gourmand who prises open a delectable oyster and discovers a slug.Rogers had words with the French housewives favourite who has gurned his way to four stage wins in the Tour on the vertiginous descent from the Port de Balès to the finish. Many, many kilometres earlier, the Australian explained, as the escape formed in an extremely tough run-out from Carcassonne, he had attempted to persuade Voecklers Europcar colleague Cyrille Gautier to contribute, only for Gautier to decline on the legitimate but still annoying grounds that a team-mate was chasing behind. Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 16:21:45 GMT)

Welsh boxer Fred Evans refused Commonwealth Games accreditation
Olympic silver medallist cannot compete in Glasgow Welterweight was convicted of assault charge in AprilTeam Wales declared their bitter disappointment after the boxer Fred Evans, an Olympic silver medallist, was ruled out of the Commonwealth Games because organisers refused him accreditation for the event. Evans, the welterweight who finished as runner-up at London 2012, has been denied the chance to compete for gold in Glasgow following a controversial decision by the Home Office and Commonwealth officials.The reasons for the decision have not been confirmed but in April the 23-year-old from Cardiff was ordered to pay fines worth more than £1,000 after admitting his role in a nightclub assault in Birmingham. Evans did not travel with his fellow team members to Scotland on Tuesday and Team Wales issued a statement revealing their disappointment after lengthy discussions. Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 19:44:00 GMT)

Bojan Krkic joins Stoke City from Barcelona on four-year deal
Bojan has also played for Roma, Milan and Ajax A really exciting signing for Stoke, says Mark Hughes Where did it all go wrong for wonderkid Bojan?Stoke City have announced the signing of the Spanish striker Bojan Krkic from Barcelona on a four-year deal.The 23-year-old, who broke into the Barcelona first team in 2007 but struggled to make an impression after re-signing in 2013 following two years at Roma, moves to the Britannia Stadium for an undisclosed fee. Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 17:41:33 GMT)

Don King reveals plans for Bermane Stiverne to fight King of the Nile
King wants fight in shadows of the Pyramids Promoter defies US advice by travelling to CairoThe hair doesnt quite have the lustre or ping of old, but Don King, at 82, has a few electric shocks left for his obituary writers. The latest of them is among his most outrageous: his announcement here on Tuesday that he hopes to bring the new WBC heavyweight champion, Bermane B Ware Stiverne, to Egypt in November to make his first defence against the most feared puncher in boxing, Deontay Wilder.The American promoter said: I want to hold it in the shadows of the Pyramids and its going to be called King of the Nile. Forty years after King put together the Rumble in the Jungle, this would complete a unique hat-trick of global presentations, each with its own catchy label, to go with the Rumble and the Thrilla in Manila of 1975. Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 18:49:50 GMT)

Arsenal agree £3m deal with Nice for Colombia goalkeeper David Ospina
25-year-old to compete for No1 spot with Szczesny Mertesacker, Özil and Podolski to miss Community ShieldArsène Wenger has agreed a £3m deal for Colombias World Cup goalkeeper David Ospina from Nice. The Arsenal manager has moved to fill the gap in his squad that was created by Lukasz Fabianskis Bosman transfer to Swansea City at the end of last season and he has told Ospina that he wants him to compete with Wojciech Szczesny for the starting position.Ospina, 25, played in each game of Colombias run to the World Cup quarter-finals, where they were beaten by Brazil and he impressed with his reflexes and command on crosses. Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 16:42:49 GMT)

Jos Buttler replaces Matt Prior in England third Test squad to play India
Buttler will make Test debut at Southampton but Kerrigan out Prior taking break after Englands second Test defeat Alastair Cook vows to stay on as England captainJos Buttler will replace Matt Prior behind the stumps in the third Test at Southampton but Alastair Cook will remain as England captain.Buttler will make his Test debut in the game beginning on Sunday after Prior decided to take a break from international cricket for the rest of the summer following Englands defeat at Lords. The 23-year-old Lancashire wicketkeeper has played 33 one-day internationals and 36 Twenty20 matches for England but this will be his first opportunity in the longer format. Simon Kerrigan misses out after England opted for a 13-man squad instead of the 14 they named at Lords. Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 14:39:11 GMT)

England are left to wonder: where have all the captains gone?
Steven Gerrards retirement means the armband is up for grabs, but Wayne Rooney looks to be the only contender for the jobFresh evidence of Englands demise is not required after the World Cup but there it was, writ large, in the aftermath of Steven Gerrards retirement from international football on Monday the online poll as to who should succeed him as captain. One could imagine another frantic bout of head-rubbing from Roy Hodgson as he scrolled through the proposed candidates.In fairness, the England manager would not have been alone. The various polls since Gerrards departure have a common thread; namely that whoever compiled them immediately came up with Wayne Rooney and struggled for credible alternatives. Joe Hart and Gary Cahill are there to suggest there is some competition for the armband, while even Jordan Henderson, Leighton Baines and Jack Wilshere have been thrown in to make up the numbers, despite not yet establishing themselves as international regulars. Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 15:07:32 GMT)

Tour de France 2014: stage 16 results
Stage results, general classification, points, mountain and young rider standings after stage 16 of the 2014 Tour de France, and more Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 15:18:54 GMT)

Juventus: Serie A alternative club guide
In his latest Italian football guide, the Gentleman Ultra profiles Juventus's ground, fans and classic player David TrezeguetThe Juventus Stadium is quite simply the future of Italian football stadia. It is the first ultra-modern stadium in Serie A and Juventus own the entire structure. This is a first in Italy, where grounds are normally owned by local authorities. Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 13:45:40 GMT)

European champion Becky Downie eyes gold at Commonwealth Games
Gymnast tells how her battle to overcome illness and injury has fired her desire to secure a winners medal in GlasgowBecky Downie was just a kid when she first made a name for herself on the international stage. The shy 14-year-old from Nottingham won an unexpected individual bronze medal on that most terrifying of gymnastics apparatus, the balance beam, at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne. Much more was expected to follow. But no one could have predicted that it would be an eight-year drought before Downie won another major international medal.It has been a very long journey, says Downie softly, reflecting on coming full circle as she prepares to compete at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow this week this time as the favourite. Downie is Britains gymnast of the moment, having matched Beth Tweddles historic achievement in winning a European title on the asymmetric bars in April this year. Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 13:45:27 GMT)

Brazil name Dunga to replace Scolari after 2014 World Cup humiliation
Dunga was sacked as Brazil manager after 2010 campaign I am immensely happy to be back, says 50-year-oldBrazil named Dunga as their manager for the second time on Tuesday, two weeks after Luiz Felipe Scolari resigned following their 7-1 defeat by Germany in the World Cup semi-finals.The 50-year-old Dunga, who captained Brazil to their fourth world title in 1994, was last in charge of the national team in 2010 when he was sacked for failing to take them further than the World Cup quarter-finals in South Africa. Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 14:17:41 GMT)

Greg Dyke rules out any England bid for a future World Cup
Chairman says world body needs to replace Sepp Blatter FA walking out of Fifa is not an option at presentGreg Dyke has ruled out England bidding for a World Cup and suggested that if Fifa is serious about wanting to reform itself it should think about electing a new president next year.The FA chairman appeared before the Culture Media and Sport select committee on Tuesday to answer questions over the bidding process for the 2022 tournament, which has been plagued by allegations of corruption and bribery. Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 11:39:03 GMT)

Jimmy Anderson to face hearing over Ravindra Jadeja spat on 1 August
England fast bowler facing four-Test ban if found guilty Indias Jadeja still waiting for hearing dateThe England fast bowler Jimmy Anderson, who has been charged with a level three breach of the ICC code of conduct, will face a full disciplinary hearing before a judicial commissioner on Friday 1 August at 9.00am.Anderson has been charged by India with abusing and pushing Ravinda Jadeja after an incident that took place in the Trent Bridge pavilion at lunch on the second day of that Test match. Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 12:27:22 GMT)

Rory McIlroy to parade Open trophy in front of Manchester United fans
Lifelong United fan to show off Claret Jug at Old Trafford Opening home fixture with Swansea the likely dateManchester United will invite Rory McIlroy to parade the Claret Jug at Old Trafford after his victory at the Open on Sunday.The lifelong United supporter will most likely show off the trophy at the clubs opening home game of the season, the visit of Swansea City on 16 August. Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 13:00:00 GMT)

The forgotten story of Robert Maxwells 1986 Commonwealth Games
Edinburgh 86 was crippled by boycotts and lack of funding until the media mogul stepped in to save the day or so it seemedThe last time the Commonwealth Games came to Scotland, in Edinburgh in 1986, the cast list of champions was mightily impressive. Steve Ovett left the 800m and 1500m to Steve Cram, and ran instead in the 5,000m, which he duly won. Daley Thompson won the decathlon for the third time in a row, while Linford Christie was beaten in the 100m by Ben Johnson. Steve Redgrave took three rowing golds, and the first-time winners included Sally Gunnell and Liz Lynch, who would be a world champion as Liz McColgan. And then there was Lennox Lewis, whose victory in the newly introduced super-heavyweight class summed up all that was wrong with those Games.When the BBC cameras focused in on Aneurin Evans, Lewiss opponent in the final, the most famous voice in British boxing said, He really is out of his depth here. If I were him Id be running for my life. Perhaps Evans heard the remark by the great commentator Harry Carpenter, for he spent the next few minutes trying, unsuccessfully, to evade Lewiss brutal punches. Evans corner threw in the towel after 23 seconds of round two. The title went to Lewis, the best boxer to have fought in the Commonwealth Games. And the young Welshman Evans became the unlikeliest silver medallist. Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 11:13:46 GMT)

Heather Watson loses to Kristina Mladenovic in first round of Baku Cup
British No1 goes down 6-2, 3-6, 6-0 in Azerbaijan Watson broken seven times in first match since WimbledonHeather Watson was broken seven times as she was dumped out of the first round of the Baku Cup by Kristina Mladenovic.Watson, the British No1 who was seeded seventh in Azerbaijan, was in action for the first time since losing to Angelique Kerber in the second round at Wimbledon but it was to prove an unsuccessful return for the 22-year-old as she slumped to a 6-2, 3-6, 6-0 defeat. Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 09:00:26 GMT)

Nick Matthew to be Team Englands flag bearer at Commonwealth Games
Squash star given honour for Glasgow opening ceremony 33-year-old won two golds at 2010 Delhi GamesSheffields Nick Matthew will lead Team England into the Commonwealth Games after being named as the squads flag bearer.The 33-year-old multiple squash world champion will walk out first at Wednesdays opening ceremony at Celtic Park after being nominated by his team-mates. It is deserved recognition for Matthew, who will defend two Commonwealth titles in Glasgow. Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 13:58:24 GMT)

Struggling rugby league clubs should crowdsource their fans for help
Super League clubs like Bradford Bulls and London Broncos should take inspiration from an ice hockey franchise in Canada that asked its supporters for ideas and drew on their expertiseBradford Bulls and London Broncos have finally been put out of their misery and their time in the top flight will come to an end after 40 and 19 years, respectively. It is hoped relegation will bring new attitudes and fresh impetus for both. Their plans for next season should include asking their fans for help. Bulls owner Marc Green and whoever runs the Broncos, and indeed most Super League club executives, could do worse than casting an eye across to Canada to see how one club reacted to being in a hole. They crowdsourced.After yet another miserable season, fallen ice hockey giants Edmonton Oilers decided perhaps they should ask their thousands of fans for help. Not ask for their pocket money like Bradford infamously did, nor desperately hope they might actually come to a game (London). The Oilers went to the people of Edmonton and said: "What should we be doing? Have you got any decent ideas? Please tell us." Just like the places where most of our Super League clubs are based, Edmonton a provincial capital and university city is home to hundreds of academics, students, politicians, scientists, entrepreneurs and inventors. The club had a brainwave: a lot of these people like us and want us to do well. Perhaps we should see if they can help us solve our problems.In 2011 the Oilers set up an analytics working group. In 2012 they worked with the local council to ask residents to come up with ideas to solve city-wide problems. And last year they reaped the benefits of Hackathon 2.0, where they invited brainy fans to analyse "anything of potential value to the Oilers". It could involve marketing, ticketing, recruitment, development, tactics: anything. They expected 100 ideas and got 550, of which they loved about 20. And the club have used them. Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 10:24:21 GMT)

Running into problems: plantar fasciitis, or jogger's heel
In the third of our series about common running injuries, we look at plantar fasciitis, AKA jogger's heel: what causes it and how to treat itThis is the third in my series of injury blogs after shin splints and ITB friction syndrome and it tackles something that can be resistant to treatment, particularly if it is not caught early. Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 05:00:00 GMT)

Quiz: can you identify these movie space ships?
Here are 10 space ships but can you correctly identify which films they appear in? Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 14:19:00 GMT)

Parody songs: five of the best
Open thread: following Weird Al Yankovics recent Robin Thicke and Pharrell spoofs, wed like to hear your nominations for the best and worst parody songs ever releasedWeird Al Yankovic, the king of the parody song, released his 14th studio album last week, Mandatory Fun, featuring spoofs of recent hits including Robin Thickes Blurred Lines (Word Crimes), Pharrells Happy (Tacky) and Lordes Royals (Foil).To mark the occasion wed like to hear your suggestions for the best parody songs youve heard. Here are five nominations from @guardianmusic Twitter and Facebook followers but what would you add to the list? Let us know your favourites in the comment thread below. Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 16:36:37 GMT)

My wife keeps saying 'No sex tonight': the spreadsheet that lays it all bare
One man's frustration at his partner's excuses for not having sex led him to document it all in a list. Does it say more about him or was he justified? Two writers explore between the sheets Holly Baxter says let's talk about sexA spreadsheet with three columns headed "Date", "Sex?" and "Excuse" went viral after Reddit user throwwwwaway29 posted it on the site. Her husband emailed it to her as she left for a business trip, choosing this moment to detail her reasons for declining his advances over the previous month, with some notes on her rebuttals: "'I'm watching the show' (Friends re-run)" and "'I'm trying to watch the movie' (fell asleep 15min later)". Two writers give their thoughts on this approach to gender relations. Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 05:00:00 GMT)

Patent application reveals Apples iTime smartwatch
Appls' new smartwatch design could be a detachable device that plugs into an electronic wristband, details patent designs revealApples new patent for a wrist-worn electronic device resembles an iPod nano strapped to the wrist, detailed illustrations reveal.The patent documents an iTime wearable device that has small touchscreen device and can be docked into a wrist strap turning it into a smartwatch, connecting to an iPhone, iPad or computer to access information and receive alerts. Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 12:23:33 GMT)

Lego galore! The modern treasure that washes up on our beaches
Nautical-themed Lego is just one of the things to end up ashore. As well as the flippers and cutlasses have come bath toys, vast piles of timber, fly-swatters, tortilla chips and, of course, whisky'There is, one knows not what sweet mystery about this sea," as Herman Melville put it in Moby-Dick, but even he cannot have fathomed what the ocean depths would spew forth on to our 21st-century beaches. Such as pieces of Lego. And not just any Lego, but, of all things, nautically themed Lego, including scuba tanks, flippers, pirates' cutlasses, even lifejackets. The sea's mysteriousness is eclipsed only by its magnificent sense of irony.There is little mystery about this particular case: in 1997, off the coast of Cornwall, the container ship Tokio Express was hit by a giant wave, described by its captain as a "once in a 100-year phenomenon", and spilled nearly 5m Lego accessories. Beachcombers are still finding them. There is even a Facebook page dedicated to them. Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 17:13:16 GMT)

Toronto film festival 2014 programme release kicks off 2015 Oscar race
Premieres for biopics of Beach Boys, Bobby Fischer and Stephen Hawking Meaty roles for Adam Sandler, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Douglas, Richard Gere, Benedict Cumberbatch and Robert Downey JrClosing night film is Kate Winslet period drama A Little ChaosFull lineupToronto beware: in early September, your city will be awash with middle-aged men in crisis. The first wave of programming for the 39th annual film festival has been released and its crammed with Hollywood veterans in various stages of reinvention. Richard Gere plays a homeless man in Manhattan, Michael Douglas a big-game hunter who turns to murder, Chris Rock directs himself in the story of a comic turned actor struggling to prove his dramatic chops, and Adam Sander makes his first break from mainstream in 10 years to play a porn-addicted father. Melting down with them are Ethan Hawke as a soldier questioning his work dispatching drones to Afghanistan (in Good Kill), Jason Bateman juggling bereavement and infidelity (in ensemble comedy This Is Where I Leave You), Robert Downey Jr trying to clear his father of homicide in The Judge and Kevin Costner concerned about being labelled racist in a custody battle with Octavia Spencer over their grandson in Black and White. Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 15:20:40 GMT)

Top 10 animal villains
From the Beatrix Potter's mean mouse Samuel Whiskers to The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe's cruel Captain Maugrim, Piers Torday chooses the most chillingly evil animals in childrens books Find out more about Piers Torday and his book The Dark Wild in our Guardian children's fiction prize book club special Let me be really clear about one thing. In the real world, from sharks to gorillas, spiders to rats, not one animal is actually a villain. Philosophers might debate it, scientists might still be researching it, but as far as we know, animals cant and dont distinguish between right and wrong. Instead, they have instincts: to eat, reproduce, nurture, defend and survive.The only animal capable of being a villain and quite often to other animals well we all know who that is. (Yes, Im looking at you, mankind.) Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 07:00:08 GMT)

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Hypnotic Eye album stream
Have a listen to the 13th album by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and let us know what you thinkNext week sees the release of the 13th album by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Hypnotic Eye sees the band return to a crunchier, rockier sound after the meandering blues of their last record, Mojo, which met with mixed reviews (and whose song Dont Pull Me Over was a fixture on Worst Song of 2010 lists). This time out, Petty has said one of the albums recurring themes is morality: Its about whats missing why is the human missing from humanity? I think the level of caring about other people is disappearing. Hes also spoken about the dangers of wealth: Thats a huge problem in the world right now you can see these wealthy people who have made so much money that making more will not change an hour of their lives or their childrens yet theyre consumed with the idea of making more. Once they do that long enough, that doesnt turn them on any more. They want power, and a great deal of money buys power. Very few people know how to handle power and once they just become completely immoral, theyre dangerous people. This attitude is what, to me, wipes out the middle class. Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 14:47:01 GMT)

School summer holidays: the best days out in the UK
The school summer holidays are here which means you've got at least 40 days to keep the kids entertained. For inspiration weve rounded up the best of our family days out and childrens attractions across the UK. Happy holidays!Schools out for summer and so is the sun. So what are you going to do with the kids for the next six weeks? Read on for hundreds of ideas, from days out in holiday hot spots around the UK to ways to cool down and if the sunshine doesn't last the whole summer rainy day activities. Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 12:24:54 GMT)

20 years of Blair: how much do you know about his time in charge?
It is 20 years this week since Tony Blair became the leader of the Labour party. How much do you remember about what he said and did? Take our quiz and find out 20 years of Tony Blair: the balance sheet Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 05:00:00 GMT)

The Man Booker prize 2014: predictions for the longlist
In the first year that American novels are in contention for the award, the award remains as likely to surprise as everAny predictions I make about this year's Man Booker prize longlist, which is announced on Wednesday, will most likely be wrong. Even before I was a judge in 2013, I realised that one should probably judge the judges, not the novels, if one were planning a trip to the turf accountant's. That explained my singular failure to predict a winner my intellectual bitcoins were on Will Self not Hilary Mantel in 2012, Tom McCarthy not Howard Jacobson in 2010, and indeed, had I been alive in 1969 for the first Booker, I'd have gone for Muriel Spark, GM Williams, Iris Murdoch or Nicholas Mosley over PH Newby. The rare year when the book I thought should win did win Eleanor Catton's The Luminaries - was when I was a judge. It's especially difficult to cast the runes this year, as The Rules Have Changed, which is usually translated into The Americans Are Coming, usually with an exclamation mark. It's not only a wider field for the judges to choose from, but the judging panel has been increased to six (a mistake in my view, giving a casting vote to the chair), and the number of books publishers can submit has been altered to a sliding scale, dependent on their previous success at what the 2011 winner Julian Barnes once called "posh bingo".That said, there are some things we do know. Previous winners get a free pass to the judges' attention so Ian McEwan's The Children Act and Howard Jacobson's J will both have been considered. Given McEwan's novel is about a female judge dealing with a religious young man who wants to opt out of life-saving medical treatment, it will perhaps strike a chord with the chair, the vocal atheist and philosopher, AC Grayling. Jacobson's novel is set in the future, where certain words are self-censored: quite a change from his earlier comedic work, and speculative fiction doesn't have the best track record at the Man Booker. I've read neither book, but, on their past performances, would happily see neither on the longlist. Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 12:00:27 GMT)

I thought I could balance work and motherhood. My company didn't agree
As a young woman I thought that warnings about the glass ceiling didn't apply to me. It was only when I had a baby that I realised why there are so few woman at the top - because employers don't value mothersIn offices around the country women decide not to return from maternity leave, the answer is assumed that the draw of motherhood is stronger than ambition, confidence and work ethic but in my case it came down to a simple lack of choice.Being a "millenial woman", I threw myself into my career with optimism and hard work. Quick to get promoted, I was in a leadership role by my mid-twenties. I'd heard about the glass ceiling, about the drop-off in female representation at senior levels, but I felt it didn't apply to me. Although I wanted a family one day I believed that the workplaces of today were different from those that previous generations of women contended with. I was ambitious, confident and eager to develop, I thought I would thrive. Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 06:05:00 GMT)

How we made Do the Right Thing
Giancarlo Esposito, actor: 'We ended up crying in each other's arms after the riot scene we'd said some horrible things to each other'While we were shooting School Daze, Spike Lee's second feature film, he told me he was writing something called Heatwave, as Do the Right Thing was initially known. He wanted me to think about how to visually portray heat, how to get the audience to feel the hottest day of summer. The first thing I came up with was the use of colour. I did a lot of research on its psychology and worked on a controlled palette that pretty much stayed in the warm range yellows, reds, earth tones, ambers and tried to stay away from blues and greens, which have a cooling effect. Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 06:00:00 GMT)

How Orange is the New Black uniforms became a hit in prisons
The hit Netflix series has had an unintended impact on the rules at least one prison in the US. And it's not the first time inmates' outfits have become coolOrange is the New Black might be an arch reference to fashion and life behind bars, but the influential Netflix series has now had an impact on what prisoners actually wear. Saginaw county jail in Michigan has banned the orange uniforms seen on the show because they have become, as the sheriff William Federspiel said to the Saginaw News, too "cool". In fact, they're so popular as a fashion item that Federspiel is concerned that prisoners doing projects in the community could be mistaken for civilians. Prisoners at Saginaw will now wear the more familiar black-and-white stripes worn by convicts in the US since the 19th century.This may not prise open fashion's grip from prison clothes as quickly as Federspiel thinks. Like any uniform, the stripes associated with convicts have been reworked by designers ranging from Jean-Paul Gaultier to Yohji Yamamoto. And fashion isn't afraid of a little controversy in the pursuit of incarceration style either. The video for Lady Gaga's Telephone takes place in prison with some non-regulation outfits of ripped jeans, chains and biker jackets. Last year, Flaunt magazine held a "New Guantánamo" party at Coachella festival (whatever that might mean) while American Elle caused a firestorm with their "military chic" concept, on a page that featured a picture of a North Korean soldier, like those patrolling the country's labour camps, alongside a gold stiletto heel. Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 13:28:06 GMT)

Is freelancing a lonely business?
There are more homeworkers than ever, but the lack of social interaction and office banter leaves many feeling isolatedWhen Kirsty Wilson first switched from an office job to freelancing from home she revelled in the freedom and flexibility. "I loved being able to have a lie-in, do household chores in between work and eat whenever I wanted," says the 30-year-old computer programmer. "But after a few weeks, being on my own all day started to feel quite isolating and I began to feel a bit withdrawn and lonely." Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 06:00:05 GMT)

Kanye West's most outrageous fashion claims
In a remarkable interview with US GQ, the rapper claims to be personally responsible for the bulk of footwear sales at Balenciaga. What else should fashion thank Kanye for?This months extraordinary US GQ interview with Kanye West is quite a treat, outlining the rappers fight for celebrities civil rights, explaining why he customised the bar at his wedding (I was having issues with this wedding planner the entire time on approvals, he fumes) and issuing the ultimate compliment to former French Vogue editor Carine Roitfeld: She is the Kanye West of what Tumblr is today.West also makes a bold claim about footwear sales at 100-year-old couture house Balenciaga: Listen to what I'm saying. Me, as Kanye West: I guarantee you, I'm more than 50% responsible for every men's shoe that they sell, he says. And in case you missed it: Me, the singular person. More than 50% responsible for every Balenciaga shoe they sell ... I have a level of influence, and I have a level of respect for the designers. And we move product on that Barneys floor. Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 13:03:47 GMT)

Water, super-sewers and the filth threatening the River Thames
The Great Stink of the 1800s alerted politicians to the filth in the Thames. The Victorian sewers fixed it, but trouble is brewing again. Is a clean river just a pipe dream?"Water is the giver of life," says the great-great-grandson of the engineer who revolutionised London's sewerage system. "That's why people always ask if there's water on Mars to support life. But it is also bringer of death, as we saw in the 19th century."Quite so. Before Sir Peter Bazalgette's great-great-grandfather Joseph built 1,300 miles of sewers and river embankments in London in the 1860s, raw sewage flowed into the tidal section of the Thames and got stalled in a hellishly insanitary circulation system. The stench of what politician Benjamin Disraeli in the mid-19th century called the "Stygian pool" was bad enough referencing the River Styx of Greek mythology, which formed the boundary between Earth and the underworld but, worse, Londoners bathed in and drank this water. "Before the great embankments were built, the Thames flowed more gently so the shit went up and down and people were drawing their own effluent," says Bazalgette. If you're eating your breakfast, apologies for that last sentence. Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 16:00:00 GMT)

A manifesto for the future of the 'right to be forgotten' debate
The landmark ruling against Google Spain presents the opportunity for a proper debate. Here are five strategies for reframing the ethics of our online livesFor more than two months now, the inaptly-named right to be forgotten has remained buoyant in the news cycle. The reasons are as complex as the distortions, but distinctly missing from the discourse is critical engagement with the foundations and implications of the European data protection regime that gave flight to the discussion. Also missing is an exploration of the proposed course of action by Google and other players engaged in implementation, and an assessment of how those responses could be strengthened and improved. Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 12:59:05 GMT)

How Shakespeare in Love's director taught me to talk like Juliet
Could you say 'Gallop apace, you fiery-footed steeds' to a paying audience? As Shakespeare in Love hits the stage, our writer gets a masterclass in how to perform the bard's trickier lines"Longer on the vowels," says Declan Donnellan. "Much longer. Don't rush them." But Shakespeare's words seem to have turned to Weetabix in my mouth. I have heard these lines countless times, but they have become a mass of strangulated vowels and sandpapery consonants. As I plough on, it gets even worse."We rush our vowels to hide our emotions," Donnellan is saying. "But when people are paying 80 quid for a ticket, it's not really about hiding your emotions." He laughs, a little grimly. Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 17:14:30 GMT)

The anti-abortion activists waging war on vulnerable women
US clinics now provide escorts for patients attending women's centres to protect them from militant protesters, whose tactics now threaten to infiltrate the UKIt's not yet 7 o'clock on a Saturday morning in New York and I'm confronted by a group of people standing in front of a nondescript doorway, waving four-foot high placards and shouting: "They murder babies here!" There are already a dozen anti-abortion protesters outside the clinic and the day has barely started.Here to act as an "escort" ensuring patients, whether they are having abortions or not, enter the clinic safely I already feel intimidated. So, imagine that you're a woman who has miscarried and someone shouts at you: "Carrying babies in your uterus is a gift from God"; or imagine simply going to the doctor and being told you're "going to hell". Imagine being an African-American woman on your way to a women's health clinic and being surrounded by people screaming: "They want to kill black babies."Can you imagine how upsetting and emotionally traumatising that is for patients? Continue reading...
(Mon, 21 Jul 2014 18:10:34 GMT)

Who are the 6m people still getting Netflix by mail? I'm one of them
Sure, the streaming revolution has come. But that doesn't mean there's no upside to the postie handing you a movieIn 2014, Netflix spent $0 on marketing its DVD business. That's down from 2013, when it spent a whopping $292,000 on DVD marketing. For comparison, the firm's marketing for its streaming service cost $65m last quarter alone.Despite the fact that Netflix is clearly trying to kill off its old business of putting shiny discs in envelopes and posting them to customers, it persists. In the company's quarterly results, released on Monday, it revealed that it had 6.26 million DVD subscribers. That's down by almost 400,000 from the quarter before, but the number is declining by less and less every year. Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 17:51:20 GMT)

Amazon at 20: billions, bestsellers and legal battles
It's 20 years since an ambitious entrepreneur named Jeff Bezos registered the company that would become Amazon. How did it get so big so fast?American entrepreneur Jeff Bezos first registers his fledgling company under the name Cadabra Inc in July 1994. But troubles with the name (not least that people mishear it as "Cadaver") prompt a change. Bezos, a Star Trek fan, also considers calling the company MakeItSo.com, after Captain Picard's catchphrase in Star Trek: The Next Generation, and holds a party for the show's final episode in May 1994. On 1 November, however, he registers Amazon because it begins with A, sounds exotic and, he mistakenly believes, is the longest river in the world (the Nile is actually more than 400km longer). Continue reading...
(Mon, 21 Jul 2014 19:10:00 GMT)

Beyond borders: Arab art from the frontlines
From a secret film of a man scaling the wall between Palestine and Israel to migrant workers clinging to cranes in Mecca, an exhibition of essential Middle Eastern art at New York's New Museum evades the regionalist trap The Syrian video collective giving a glimpse of life during wartimeAfter the Arab spring comes a fraught, broiling summer. 2014 has not been a good year for the Arab world, as the Syrian civil war has dragged into a third ruinous year, Egypt continues to lurch through political crises, and Isis have gained control of large parts of Iraq. But the horrific new ground incursion in Gaza over the last two weeks, which has left more than 400 people dead, has sunk hopes for a better Arab future to the floor.The artist Khaled Jarrar, based in Ramallah, Palestine, knows the wages of occupation better than most. His 2012 film Infiltrators depicts young men attempting to scale the security wall that separates Israel from the occupied territories, desperate to cross the border to see doctors, attend university, or just visit their families. The film unpolished, surreptitiously shot, and hugely disturbing is one of the highlights of Here and Elsewhere, a major exhibition of contemporary art from the Arab world that has just opened at the New Museum in New York. Jarrar was due to speak at the museum last week but, unexpectedly, Israeli authorities detained him for 10 hours, then refused to let him cross from the West Bank into Jordan. He never made it to the United States. For him, too, the border is unbreachable. Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 13:53:33 GMT)

Michael Gove: 'bogeyman' or 'the greatest education secretary ever'?
As he leaves his post in a cabinet reshuffle, we have some mixed farewell remarks from the education worldGove presided over the disintegration of our school system; he opened up teaching to untrained people in state schools, because he had contempt for professional educationalists. The restoration of professional teaching in our schools must now be an urgent priority. I'll remember him as someone who tried to dumb down the teaching of history by eliminating the teaching of skills and converting it to a mindless rote learning of a slanted patriotic version of events. With the history curriculum, he set up an elaborate consultation process, then after it was complete he ditched it and came up with his own half-baked ideas. And of course everyone rejected it. Fortunately, his attempt to foist his own rather ignorant and partial version of history on to the national curriculum was one of his many failures. Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 06:45:00 GMT)

How prevalent is forced marriage in the UK?
On the day of the first Girl Summit, which aims to tackle forced marriages around the world, we look at the latest data on how many people it affects in the UKWorld leaders and charities are gathering for the first Girl Summit, which aims to mobilise efforts to end Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and Child, Early and Forced Marriage (CEFM). Theyre both issues which affect women living in the UK as well as millions around the world.CEFM was made illegal in the UK last month so we are not sure of the effect of the new legislation, but we are be able to give a glimpse into how prevalent it was in this country before. Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 07:32:31 GMT)

Detroit residents fight back over water shutoff: 'It's a life-or-death situation'
The beleaguered city says a water shutoff is essential to recoup $89m in overdue bills. But the decision has outraged thousands of Detroiters who have taken matters into their own handsWhen the coast is clear, and the trucks from the contractor shutting off water for the city of Detroit have rolled away, the men with water keys come. They offer residents whose supply has just been shut off a tempting deal. For $20, they will use their tools to turn the water main back on immediately, and illegally, sparing the household the agonising days spent without showering, cooking or flushing that have already been endured by at least 16,000 of their neighbours so far this year. Continue reading...
(Mon, 21 Jul 2014 20:11:32 GMT)

How UK's terrorism law targets words, not just guns and bombs
David Anderson QC's recommendations are sensible but home secretary may be reluctant to make changes before the electionThe legal definition of terrorism risks criminalising legitimate freedom of expression, according to the UK's terror watchdog. David Anderson QC, the independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, has recommended narrowing the definition in the Terrorism Act 2000. In his annual report, Anderson said the breadth of the UK terrorism definition was graphically illustrated in the David Miranda case , partner of the former Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald.Last August, Miranda was detained at Heathrow airport for nearly nine hours while he was bringing Greenwald computer files of intelligence documents. In February, the high court concluded that Miranda's detention, under schedule 7 of the act, had been lawful because disclosure of the material he was carrying came within the definition of terrorism a definition that was always intended to be "very wide", as the UK supreme court had said in a recent case. Miranda's appeal against the high court ruling is likely to be heard next year. Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 11:58:05 GMT)

A Commonwealth mural for Glasgow: 'Have you no' finished that yet?'
How do you represent a city in a single painting? When the BBC asked Good Wives and Warriors for a permanent mural for the Commonwealth Games, they opened the question to Parkhead residents and learned Glaswegians are the original hecklers Cities in a single artwork: share yours with usBilly Connolly once said: The great thing about Glasgow is that if theres a nuclear attack itll look exactly the same afterwards. Yet the city is peppered with beautiful architecture, urban nature and green spaces. It is a hotbed of culture, but also of crime, violence and deprivation. From heart attacks to Turner prize winners, Glasgow smiles to cutting-edge innovation and design, how can you define the spirit of a city that has such a contradictory and conflicting reputation? Is it possible to represent a city in a single painting?That was the challenge we were set by BBC Scotland when they commissioned us to create a mural for the Commonwealth Games, which kick off tomorrow. The brief was to avoid sport and instead depict the character of the city, a process they would film for a documentary. Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 10:09:24 GMT)

Giving up beef will reduce carbon footprint more than cars, says expert
Study shows red meat dwarfs others for environmental impact, using 28 times more land and 11 times water for pork or chickenBeefs environmental impact dwarfs that of other meat including chicken and pork, new research reveals, with one expert saying that eating less red meat would be a better way for people to cut carbon emissions than giving up their cars.The heavy impact on the environment of meat production was known but the research shows a new scale and scope of damage, particularly for beef. The popular red meat requires 28 times more land to produce than pork or chicken, 11 times more water and results in five times more climate-warming emissions. When compared to staples like potatoes, wheat, and rice, the impact of beef per calorie is even more extreme, requiring 160 times more land and producing 11 times more greenhouse gases. Continue reading...
(Mon, 21 Jul 2014 21:00:05 GMT)

Thomas the Tank Engine had to shut the hell up to save children everywhere
Classism, sexism, anti-environmentalism bordering on racism: any parent who discovered these hidden lessons will be glad the shows star just quit Plus: Voice of Thomas on why hes been silenced Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 11:30:07 GMT)

MH17: witnesses report missile system in Ukraine rebels' territory live updates
Eyewitnesses tell the Guardian of likely Buk systemEU foreign ministers refrain from new sanctions on RussiaRecovery teams receive trains carrying bodies Heavy fighting roils on near Donetsk and LuhanskUN security council demands access to crash siteRead the latest summary Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 21:20:41 GMT)

James Rodríguez: will new galáctico fit into Real Madrid masterplan?
Colombian joins Bernabéus star-studded cast but where will Carlo Ancelotti fit in the striker and who will have to make way? The meteoric rise of a new Colombian football superstar Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 13:07:00 GMT)

MH17: my error of judgment, by Sky News reporter
Colin Brazier on how he came to pick up crash victims' luggage live on air and immediately realised he had crossed a line Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 06:41:26 GMT)

Football transfers rumours: Wesley Sneijder to Monaco or Man United?
Todays tattle likes grasshoppers Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 07:40:27 GMT)

MH17: five of the most bizarre conspiracy theories
From Zionist plots to the Illuminati, some wildly imaginative alternatives are being promoted by the likes of Russian TV Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 15:41:54 GMT)

Mats Hummels to Manchester United for 20m? Forget it, says Jürgen Klopp
Dortmund manager says Hummels and Marco Reus will stay Klopp: With those kind of sums you can forget it Five youngsters who can prosper on Uniteds summer tour Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 10:58:26 GMT)

International flights to and from Israel suspended over security concerns
Move likely to alarm Israeli government as Ban Ki-moon says end to fighting in Gaza could be 'very near' Follow the latest from Gaza in our live blog Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 18:24:50 GMT)

Nick Griffins legacy is one of failure and incompetence
The BNP may have imploded but the fact it achieved such an electoral foothold is a warning to the main parties Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 16:27:57 GMT)

Is a Tea Party movement about to kick off in Britain?
A fallen government minister who fought the green blob seems to be contemplating a US-style insurgencyBeware the self-pity of the governing classes. Ministers of the crown might look powerful and oppressive to us; often they see themselves as lonely heroes confronting a sea of troubles. That has been Tony Blairs schtick from the month he took office. We now see him dripping with other peoples blood but he appears to perceive only the scars on his own back.The whingeing begins as soon as they are free to speak. Michael Gove, demoted as education secretary but still in government, has said little, but his emissaries are wailing loudly on his behalf. Owen Paterson, the former environment secretary, can speak directly, and he now lambasts the green blob, against which he nobly fought and lost. Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 19:52:27 GMT)

First the internet ruined sex, now it's ruining the weather
As fun as LightningMaps appears to be, I think it might actively be spoiling my enjoyment of thunderstormsAs I continue to plummet inescapably towards middle age, I have found myself searching for the thing. The thing that all men develop at a certain age. At first this thing will merely be an interest, taken up to escape the drab tedium of day-to-day life. But, gradually and without warning, it will blossom into so much more than that. It will become their entire identity.For some men this thing is golf. For others it's gardening or piano-playing. My dad's thing is fishing, which means he's doomed to only receive birthday cards with pictures of fish on them for the rest of his life. About 10 years ago he attempted to stage a feeble protest against this. "There's more to me than just fishing!" he wheezed, forlornly. "I'm a person too!" It didn't work. The following year someone gave him a cushion shaped like a fish. Like I said, he's doomed. Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 19:00:00 GMT)

Stigmatising Muslims wont solve problems in Birmingham schools
Nicky Morgans pragmatic tone as education secretary is welcome. We have to start rebuilding trustThe residents of Birmingham ought to be able to sleep more easily tonight. Peter Clarkes 129-page report into the citys schools found no evidence of plots to indoctrinate, groom or recruit school pupils to an agenda of radicalisation, violent extremism or terrorism. This is also the key finding of the reports commissioned by Birmingham city council and Ofsted.Clarke, a former counter-terror police chief, found that a small number of governors in a small number of schools have sought to influence curriculums with bigoted views. He says: There has been coordinated, deliberate and sustained action, carried out by a number of associated individuals, to introduce an intolerant and aggressive Islamic ethos into a few schools. Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Jul 2014 21:15:12 GMT)

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