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Hong Kong protests: China hardens stance as students demand CEO resign
Peoples Daily gives full backing to embattled Leung Chun-ying while foreign minister sends warning to the westBeijing hardened its line on pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong on Thursday, as students sat in front of government offices in the region demanding the chief executives resignation by the end of the day.The official Peoples Daily newspaper, the voice of the Communist party, said that China was very satisfied with Leung Chun-ying and had full confidence in his leadership dashing the hopes of demonstrators that Beijing would be willing to sacrifice the chief executive to calm the situation. Continue reading...
(Thu, 02 Oct 2014 05:27:09 GMT)

Cameron offers £7bn tax giveaway and warns vote for Ukip would let Labour in
The election starts here, as Cameron warns you could go to bed on 7 May with Nigel Farage and wake up with Ed MilibandDavid Cameron fired off much of his pre-election armoury on Wednesday, promising £7bn of tax cuts by 2020 aimed primarily at those on above average incomes and not backed by any new sources of funding.With his party still behind Labour in the polls and struggling to escape the shadow of Ukip, the prime minister closed a defiantly upbeat party conference in Birmingham by saying the next election will be fought on the issue of credibility and urging voters to trust his promises. Continue reading...
(Wed, 01 Oct 2014 19:56:45 GMT)

Body found in river is Alice Gross, police confirm
Parents say they are devastated at discovery as detectives intensify search for convicted murderer Arnis ZalkalnsThe parents of Alice Gross said on Wednesday night they were completely devastated after police confirmed the body found in a shallow river in west London late on Tuesday night was that of the missing teenager.Scotland Yard announced that the investigation was now a hunt for the 14-year-olds killer as detectives intensified their search for their prime suspect, Arnis Zalkalns, 41, after Alices body was discovered in the river Brent near where she was last seen. Continue reading...
(Wed, 01 Oct 2014 18:22:48 GMT)

Flights re-routed to avoid walrus stampede on Alaska beach
An estimated 35,000 of the animals were spotted as summer sea ice fell to its sixth lowest in the satellite recordWalrus mass on Alaska beach in pictures The plight of thousands of walruses forced to crowd on to an Alaska beach because of disappearing sea ice has set off an all-out response from the US government to avoid a catastrophic stampede.The Federal Aviation Authority has re-routed flights, and local communities have called on bush pilots to keep their distance in an effort to avoid setting off a panic that could see scores of walruses trampled to death, federal government scientists told reporters. Continue reading...
(Wed, 01 Oct 2014 23:17:18 GMT)

Up to 600 GP surgeries could close over course of next year as doctors retire
Number of young medics choosing general practice falls short of those leaving as patient numbers increase, says GPs leaderUp to 600 GP surgeries in Britain could close over the next year because family doctors are due to retire and a recruitment crisis may mean there is no one to replace them, according to the leader of Britains GPs.The practices include 543 in England, says Dr Maureen Baker, chair of the Royal College of GPs (RCGP). Continue reading...
(Wed, 01 Oct 2014 23:04:00 GMT)

Burqa wearers banned from Australian parliament's open public galleries
Anyone wearing a facial covering who visits parliaments public galleries will now be forced to sit in shielded sectionAnyone wearing facial coverings who wants to enter the galleries of federal parliament will be made to sit in a separate shielded section, according to new rules announced on Thursday.The new regulations, sent out to MPs, senators and parliamentary staff, do not specifically mention burqas but it follows days of heated debate about allowing women to wear the Islamic garment into public areas of parliament house. Continue reading...
(Thu, 02 Oct 2014 05:36:57 GMT)

US Ebola patient told staff of Liberia travel but was allowed to leave hospital
Revelation comes as Dallas witness recounts victim throwing up all over the place as ambulance took him awayEbola patient was sent home for two days, officials admitThe first patient to be diagnosed with Ebola outside Africa told medical staff that he had recently travelled from west Africa, but was not admitted to hospital until he returned two days later, health officials in Texas said on Wednesday.Thomas Eric Duncan told a nurse at a Dallas emergency room that he had recently visited Liberia, which has been ravaged by the Ebola outbreak. But an executive at Texas Health Presbyterian hospital told a news conference that the information was not widely enough shared with the medical team treating Duncan, and he was diagnosed as suffering from a low-grade common viral disease. Continue reading...
(Wed, 01 Oct 2014 20:45:41 GMT)

Nick Griffin expelled from British National party
BNP spokesman says Griffin did not adjust well to new role after losing leadership and his seat as an MEPThe British National party has expelled former leader Nick Griffin for allegedly trying to cause disunity in a bid to destabilise the organisation.A conduct committee, established by new BNP chairman Adam Walker, informed the ex-MEP in a letter on Wednesday of the decision. Continue reading...
(Wed, 01 Oct 2014 20:34:12 GMT)

Glastonbury 2015: first 15,000 festival tickets are sold out in 14 minutes
A batch of 15,000 coach and admission packages went quickly but the bulk of tickets are up for grabs on SundayThe first batch of tickets for Glastonbury 2015 has sold out in just 14 minutes. A total of 15,000 coach and admission packages for the next years festival were bought up in less than a quarter of an hour.  Continue reading...
(Thu, 02 Oct 2014 04:52:29 GMT)

Gamekeeper found guilty of poisoning 10 buzzards and a sparrowhawk
Court rejects Allen Lamberts claim dead birds of prey were planted on Norfolk estate by dog-walker with grudge against himA gamekeeper found with a bag of nine dead buzzards on a pheasant-shooting estate has been found guilty of intentionally killing a protected species in what is Englands worst recorded case of poisoning birds of prey.Allen Lambert, gamekeeper for 24 years at the Stody Estate in Norfolk, will be sentenced next month after being convicted of killing 10 buzzards and a sparrowhawk. Lambert was also found guilty of possessing illegal pesticides and other equipment including a syringe for injecting poison into eggs or meat baits, which prosecutors described as a classic poisoners kit. Continue reading...
(Wed, 01 Oct 2014 23:57:20 GMT)

Former Tory donor raises Ukip donation to £1m over Hague comments
Insurance millionaire Arron Banks increases pledge to Ukip by 1,000% as Conservatives dismiss scale of his past donationsThe millionaire former Tory donor Arron Banks has announced a tenfold increase in his planned donation to Ukip to £1m after William Hague said he had not heard of him.Arron Banks, who made his fortune in insurance, announced he was increasing his donation from £100,000 in protest at the comments from the leader of the Commons. Continue reading...
(Wed, 01 Oct 2014 17:17:39 GMT)

Moazzam Begg freed after terrorism case against him collapses
Secret intelligence material handed to prosecutors demolished case against former Guantánamo Bay detaineeThe prosecution of the former Guantánamo inmate Moazzam Begg has dramatically collapsed after the police and crown prosecutors were handed secret intelligence material that undermined the terrorism case against him.Five days before Begg was due to go on trial on a string of terrorism charges, which carried prison terms of up to 15 years, prosecutors announced at the Old Bailey that they had recently become aware of relevant material that obliged them to offer no evidence. Continue reading...
(Wed, 01 Oct 2014 16:22:38 GMT)

Argentina president claims US plotting to oust her
Cristina Fernández de Kirchner alludes to alleged plot against her by local businessmen and foreign help in televised speechArgentinian opposition politicians have accused the countrys president, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, of being completely out of touch with reality after she gave a rambling televised address in which she claimed the US may be behind a plot to overthrow her government and possibly even assassinate her.If something should happen to me, dont look to the Middle East, look to the North, Fernández said during the address on Tuesday night, in which she alluded to an alleged plot against her by local bankers and businessmen with foreign help. Continue reading...
(Wed, 01 Oct 2014 17:36:33 GMT)

Secret service director Julie Pierson resigns after series of security lapses
First female secret service chief bows to pressure to quit after House hearing revealed evidence chronicling security failures The director of the US secret service has resigned amid mounting criticism of her handling of security breaches at the White House and allegations of misleading public statements.Hours after an unconvincing appearance before the House of Representatives government oversight committee, Julia Pierson tendered her resignation to the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees the elite agency. Continue reading...
(Wed, 01 Oct 2014 21:19:33 GMT)

Ukrainian forces and pro-Russia rebels clash over Donetsk airport
At least 10 people are killed in exchanges of artillery fire, undermining truce struck last monthFighting between Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russia rebel militias for control of Donetsk airport left more civilians dead on Wednesday, with reports of a school near the airport coming under shell fire as heavy artillery exchanges continued, further undermining a ceasefire in the region.A ceasefire deal last month essentially froze the conflict that has killed more than 3,000 people, with parts of Luhansk and Donetsk regions left under control of Russia-backed militias. While in many places the ceasefire has held, the rebels have been attempting to push Ukrainian forces from Donetsk airport, their biggest position within firing range of the city. Continue reading...
(Wed, 01 Oct 2014 17:58:49 GMT)

Conflict of interest concerns over EDFs Hinkley nuclear project approval
Experts involved in safety review were receiving companys pensions, documents revealNuclear experts receiving EDF pensions were involved in the official safety review of the companys planned Hinkley Point C plant in Somerset, sparking concerns about a conflict of interest over the approval of the project.The involvement senior executive grade officers at the Office of Nuclear Regulation (ONR) made it very difficult for the regulator to take a critical eye, warned another independent industry consultant. Continue reading...
(Wed, 01 Oct 2014 16:19:45 GMT)

Mexican drug cartel boss Hector Beltran Leyva seized by special forces
Alleged leader of feared criminal gang becomes the latest in a string of high-profile arrests by Mexican security forces Mexican special forces have seized alleged cartel leader Hector Beltran Leyva during a raid at a restaurant, federal officials said, announcing the latest in a string of high-profile drug arrests in the country.The purported head of the Beltran Levya drug gang was captured in a seafood restaurant on Wednesday in San Miguel de Allende, a city in the central state of Guanajuato popular with foreigners. Continue reading...
(Thu, 02 Oct 2014 02:27:21 GMT)

Canada switches on world's first carbon capture power plant
Boundary Dam held up as first commercial-scale CCS plant and proof that coal-burning is compatible with cutting emissionsCanada has switched on the first large-scale coal-fired power plant fitted with a technology that proponents say enables the burning of fossil fuels without tipping the world into a climate catastrophe.The project, the first commercial-scale plant equipped with carbon capture and storage technology, was held up by the coal industry as a real life example that it is possible to go on burning the dirtiest of fossil fuels while avoiding dangerous global warming. Continue reading...
(Wed, 01 Oct 2014 16:53:17 GMT)

RAF Tornados expected to be saved from axe for Iraq bombing campaign
Squadron of ageing aircraft were due to be decommissioned as part of defence cutsAgeing RAF Tornado aircraft, for years the mainstay of Britains strike force, are expected to be saved from the axe as military chiefs contemplate the prospect of a long campaign of strikes against Islamist fighters in the Middle East, the Guardian has learned.A squadron of Tornado GR4s, which has been flying reconnaissance and bombing missions over recent days, was due to be decommissioned next April as part of a longstanding package of defence cuts. Continue reading...
(Wed, 01 Oct 2014 16:45:55 GMT)

DVLA tax disc renewal website buckles under pressure of high demand
Tax disc renewal site taken offline by unprecedented demand as new service comes online and tax disc by post is phased outThe DVLAs new vehicle tax site has crashed due to the large volume of people attempting to renew their tax online after paper discs were abolished in favour of digital records.The site was experiencing more than 6,000 visits a minute at 9.43pm on Tuesday, according to the DVLA, but remained up but by Wednesday morning when the new rules came into effect it was overwhelmed.@DVLAgovuk ive tried calling & online. Both don't work. What am I suppose to do ???@DVLAgovuk this is an absolute joke - been trying to renew car tax since 8pm last night! Still not working, I guess I'll just not bother!@DVLAgovuk this is an absolute joke. Got to the payment page then got kicked out! You would expect a government organisation to get it right Continue reading...
(Wed, 01 Oct 2014 10:59:28 GMT)

Phone-hacking trial: Rebekah Brooks drops costs application
Publisher News UKs decision will save the taxpayer millions of pounds and avoids a protracted legal argument about costsRebekah Brooks has dropped her application for the taxpayer to reimburse her legal costs of up to £7m relating to the marathon phone-hacking trial.She dropped the claim after News UK the News Corp subsidiary that under a previous guise as News International published the now-defunct News of the World which was indemnifying her costs, said it would not be seeking to be reimbursed following her acquittal on all charges. Continue reading...
(Wed, 01 Oct 2014 12:21:11 GMT)

Radovan Karadi tells war crimes trial there was no ethnic cleansing in Bosnia
Ex-Bosnian Serb leader makes stunning remark at end of ICC trial in The Hague, saying he was a true friend to MuslimsThe former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadi has told a war crimes trial there was no systematic ethnic cleansing of the territory under his control during the Bosnian conflict.Karadi made the dramatic claim at the end of a five-year trial for genocide and crimes against humanity in The Hague, the biggest war crimes trial in Europe since the Nuremberg tribunal for Nazi atrocities. Continue reading...
(Wed, 01 Oct 2014 13:44:02 GMT)

Family of missing girl feared to be going to Syria make emotional appeal
Mother of Yusra Hussien says family home in Bristol feels empty as family insist there is no proof she was radicalisedThe family of a British 15-year-old girl feared to be travelling to Syria have made a deeply emotional appeal for her to return and rejected the notion put forward by the police that she has been radicalised.Yusra Hussiens mother, dinner lady Safiya Hussien, tearfully begged her daughter to get in touch, telling her: Yusra, I am your mum, I love you, please come back. Please, please, please we miss you. The house is not the same since when you left My heart is torn and I want you home as soon as possible. Continue reading...
(Wed, 01 Oct 2014 14:21:00 GMT)

Sainsburys cuts sales forecast and reviews dividend
New CEO Mike Coupe launches company review, saying pace of change in sector is most dramatic he has seen in 30 yearsThe UKs supermarkets are facing a perfect storm of problems, the new boss of Sainsburys said as he revealed a slump in sales and warned that the changes under way in the food retail business were the most challenging he had seen in his 30-year career.Just days after announcing a new round of price cuts intended to fend off growing competition from fast-growing discounters including Aldi and Lidl, the Sainsburys chief executive, Mike Coupe, said the pace of change in shoppers behaviour had accelerated rapidly over the summer. Continue reading...
(Wed, 01 Oct 2014 21:57:00 GMT)

Arsenal victory soured after Galatasaray fans hurl flares on to pitch
Firecrackers also let off during Champions League game Wesley Sneijder appealed for calm from visiting supporters Danny Welbeck hat-trick sparks Arsenal fireworksRiot police were ordered into position in front of the Galatasaray fans after flares were hurled on to the pitch in the first half of Wednesday nights Champions League tie against Arsenal.Several flares were thrown on to the Emirates Stadium turf after the defender Felipe Melo did a two-footed tackle on Alexis Sánchez in the 36th minute. Arsenal led 2-0 at the time through two goals from Danny Welbeck. Continue reading...
(Wed, 01 Oct 2014 20:57:55 GMT)

Victory for drag queens as Facebook apologises for 'real-name' policy
Drag queens win right to go by preferred names Lil Miss Hot Mess: Im beyond thrilled Facebook apologized to drag queens on Wednesday following a meeting with community members and queens who protested against the companys order to use their legal names on the social networking site.Facebooks chief product officer, Chris Cox, said: I want to apologise to the affected community of drag queens, drag kings, transgender, and extensive community of our friends, neighbours, and members of the LGBT community for the hardship that weve put you through in dealing with your Facebook accounts over the past few weeks. Continue reading...
(Wed, 01 Oct 2014 19:56:50 GMT)

Anthony Horowitz is writing new James Bond novel from Ian Fleming idea
Murder on Wheels, the first novel to be adapted from an original Ian Fleming treatment since his death, may see Bond foil Russian plans to scupper a Formula One race in the 50sBond liked fast cars and he liked driving them, Ian Fleming, a man similarly inclined, wrote in 1954s Live and Let Die.Now, 60 years on, an unpublished story by the late author in which James Bond takes on the Russians and gets involved in a Formula One race, is to form the basis for a new 007 novel by Anthony Horowitz. Continue reading...
(Wed, 01 Oct 2014 23:01:00 GMT)

Council removes Banksy artwork after complaints of racism
Mural had been painted overnight in Clacton-on-Sea, a week away from a parliamentary byelectionBanksy has struck again but an Essex council has struck back, removing his artwork that it said contained offensive and racist remarks.The latest mural by the controversial graffiti artist, whose real identity is not widely publicised, was painted overnight in Clacton-on-Sea, a week away from a byelection in the town triggered by the decision of local Conservative MP, Douglas Carswell, to defect to Ukip. Continue reading...
(Wed, 01 Oct 2014 20:52:34 GMT)

Thorpe Hall parents angry at Essex police over Martin Goldberg failings
Police criticised for time taken to investigate deputy head, who killed himself when his covert filming of naked boys emergedParents at an Essex school where the deputy headteacher used a secret camera to film naked boys getting changed have criticised police for failing to act on intelligence about his sexual offending for more than two years.Less than 24 hours after Martin Goldberg, 46, was exposed for covertly filming in the boys changing room at Thorpe Hall school and at the local swimming pool, parents dropping off children on Wednesday said they were really angry at the police and demanded to know why it took them from July 2012 until early September this year to challenge him. Continue reading...
(Wed, 01 Oct 2014 13:25:00 GMT)

Rags to riches: Disney earns £170m in tax breaks as UK film industry grows
US studio has benefited by millions since 2007 as part of government scheme to help attract more film-makers to BritainDisney has been handed nearly £170m by the UK taxman in return for agreeing to make films in Britain, according to an analysis of company accounts. Disney is increasingly filming on this side of the Atlantic rather than closer to home in California. This year alone it is using the UK as a base for Kenneth Branaghs live-action remake of Cinderella (left), the next instalment in the Star Wars series, and Avengers: Age of Ultron.The attraction of the UK is not just a ready supply of skilled staff, but the governments film tax credit scheme, which entitles movies with expenditure of more than £20m to claim back up to 20% of their production costs. Continue reading...
(Wed, 01 Oct 2014 18:59:34 GMT)

Steven Gerrard says Liverpool were far too soft in defeat by Basel
Captain admits his side deserved nothing from game Defeat could be costly in attempt to qualify from groupSteven Gerrard was scathingly critical of Liverpool after a 1-0 Champions League defeat at Basel on Wednesday night, describing the performance as too soft and claiming that their Swiss opponents were hungrier for the victory.The Liverpool captains brutal assessment followed a merited loss that could prove costly in a group led by the European champions, Real Madrid, their opponents in their next two matches in the tournament. Continue reading...
(Thu, 02 Oct 2014 00:14:56 GMT)

Danny Welbeck hat-trick sparks Arsenal fireworks in rout of Galatasaray
Arsenal v Galatasaray in pictures Galatasaray fans hurl flares on to Emirates pitchArsène Wenger could scarcely have scripted it better. On the occasion of the 18th anniversary of his Arsenal appointment and needing a victory after the crash at Borussia Dortmund in the opening tie of this Champions League section, the manager watched his players turn on the attacking style to inflict something of a humiliation on Galatasaray.Danny Welbeck was the star turn, helping himself to a hat-trick each one a perfectly sculpted finish to ignite his career at Arsenal but he was supported by a beautifully balanced performance from the midfield, in which Mesut Özil, Alexis Sánchez, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Santi Cazorla vied for the top billing. Continue reading...
(Wed, 01 Oct 2014 20:54:22 GMT)

Basels Marco Streller sinks Liverpool to extend Champions League jinx
England may have granted Brendan Rodgers his wish on Daniel Sturridge but there was precious little else to appease the Liverpool manager in Basel. Sturridges importance to Liverpool rises in absentia and the worry for Rodgers is that his problems run deeper than one injured striker, having surrendered the initiative to Paulo Sousas side in the Champions League.Liverpool were once again limited in attack without the England international and for all his hard work Mario Balotelli remains elusive as an attacking threat. The Italian striker headed straight for the tunnel on the final whistle as his manager ordered his players to salute Liverpools suffering travelling support, his disappointment understandable but his lack of appreciation poor. Continue reading...
(Wed, 01 Oct 2014 21:21:04 GMT)

Arsenals Danny Welbeck, Mesut Özil and Alexis Sánchez faze Galatasaray
Trio sparkle against Turkish opponents and display the real attacking potential of Arsène Wengers teamArms outstretched, beaming into the warm acclaim of the North Bank, Danny Welbeck soaked up the joy of his hat-trick. It is still too early to say whether Arsenal will prove to be the perfect finishing school for Welbeck, but on a night when he looked absolutely at home leading the line with coltish enthusiasm mixed with a cocksure eye for goal, the old question mark about whether he could learn to take enough of his chances faded a little more.There has been an undertone of work in progress throughout the opening gambit of Arsenals season. Establishing a new rhythm, and building new relationships on the pitch, in a not particularly forgiving atmosphere of competitive match after competitive match is challenging. Clicks do not always happen overnight and there have been frustrating moments as Welbeck, Alexis Sánchez and Mesut Özil along with the supporting cast of offensively minded players get to know one anothers games. Here, they found a fluency and cohesion that enabled them to bring the best out of each other. Continue reading...
(Wed, 01 Oct 2014 21:49:37 GMT)

Brendan Rodgers expects Daniel Sturridge to be left out by England
Liverpool manager speaks to Roy Hodgson about the striker Rodgers: The agreement is he will not meet up with EnglandBrendan Rodgers said he expected Daniel Sturridge to be omitted from Englands squad for the forthcoming Euro 2016 qualifiers following a conversation with Roy Hodgson.Liverpool were without Sturridge for a sixth successive game in Wednesday nights 1-0 defeat at Basel and the only positive on the night for Rodgers was Hodgsons decision not to select Sturridge for Englands games against San Marino, a week on Thursday, and Estonia on Sunday 12 October. Continue reading...
(Wed, 01 Oct 2014 23:15:26 GMT)

John Terry says Chelseas title collapse last season left him in tears
José Mourinhos side threw it away, says captain Terry played 100th Champions League game on Tuesday Matics header proves decisive against Sporting Mourinho: two ties against Maribor key to progressJohn Terry has admitted he was reduced to tears by the wasteful end to Chelseas Premier League title challenge last season, but is confident the additions to the spine of José Mourinhos team have strengthened their challenge this time around.There was a period towards the end of the last campaign when the London club had their destiny in their own hands, only to drop points wastefully at Aston Villa, Crystal Palace and, most damagingly of all, at home to Sunderland and Norwich City. That left them trailing in third behind Manchester City and Liverpool, though the arrival of Diego Costa and Cesc Fàbregas, and the continued development of Nemanja Matic, have hoisted their ambitions. Continue reading...
(Wed, 01 Oct 2014 21:30:17 GMT)

Caterham F1 team ready for Japanese Grand Prix despite bailiff visit
Troubled team denies rumours that Leafield site shut down Caterham have never scored a point in Formula One July 2014: Tony Fernandes sells team to consortiumThe Caterham Formula One team said they are going ahead with preparations to race in Japan this weekend despite bailiffs seizing items from their factory on Wednesday.The troubled team issued a statement before the race at Suzuka that condemned unfounded and unsubstantiated rumours concerning actions against 1MRT, the entrant and owner of Caterham F1. Continue reading...
(Wed, 01 Oct 2014 21:30:32 GMT)

Manchester City playing Champions League catch-up after plans go awry
Manuel Pellegrinis side need full points from CSKA games Coach faces uphill task to achieve clubs quarter-final targetManuel Pellegrini is in danger of falling short of Manchester Citys target of reaching the Champions League quarter-finals this season after the 1-1 home draw against Roma left them with only one point from two matches.City lost 1-0 at Bayern Munich in their Group E opener before Tuesday evenings disappointing display at the Etihad Stadium. Now Pellegrinis side are playing catch-up, starting with the trip to play CSKA Moscow on 21 October. Continue reading...
(Wed, 01 Oct 2014 21:29:17 GMT)

Atlético Madrid beat Juventus to kick-start Champions League campaign
Atlético Madrid reignited their Champions League campaign when Arda Turan struck 15 minutes from time to give last seasons beaten finalists victory over Juventus in Group A on Wednesday.Beaten 3-2 at Olympiakos in their opening game two weeks ago, Atlético hassled and harried the Italian champions at the Vicente Calderón stadium and were rewarded in the 75th minute when the Turkey midfielder Arda poked the ball into the net from close range. Continue reading...
(Wed, 01 Oct 2014 21:03:43 GMT)

Real Madrids Karim Benzema seals comeback at Ludogorets Razgrad
Karim Benzema came off the bench to score 13 minutes from time and give the holders, Real Madrid, a patchy 2-1 win away to a resilient Ludogorets Razgrad in their Champions League Group B match at the Vasil Levski stadium in Sofia.The lively Brazilian midfielder Marcelinho fired Ludogorets, making their home debut in the group stage, ahead after eight minutes when he headed home from close range after Sergio Ramos failed to clear Fábio Espinhos corner. Continue reading...
(Wed, 01 Oct 2014 21:04:58 GMT)

Womens World Cup under fire as surface sparks discrimination claim
Top players file lawsuit protesting against artificial turf Fifa has no plans to change decision on pitchesA group of top international women players filed a lawsuit against Fifa and the Canadian Soccer Association (CSA) on Wednesday alleging gender discrimination over plans to play the 2015 Womens World Cup on artificial turf.The lawsuit, filed with the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal, claims the sports governing body and CSA are discriminating against women by staging the tournament on artificial grass that they feel poses safety risks and alters how the game is played. Continue reading...
(Wed, 01 Oct 2014 21:45:25 GMT)

Stuart Lancasters contract to 2020 part of RFUs long-term vision
Lancaster agrees contract to take him up to 2020 season Graham Rowntree, Andy Farrell and Mike Catt also signed up Lancasters deal removes the World Cup distractionsStuart Lancasters extended contract as the England head coach will remain a sound decision even if his side underachieve at next years Rugby World Cup, according to Ian Ritchie, the Rugby Football Unions chief executive.Lancaster will remain in charge until 2020 as part of the RFUs quest for sustainable success in the longer term. Results, as ever, can undermine the best-laid plans but the RFU has been so impressed with the progress made during Lancasters tenure it is willing to risk looking silly should England fail to emerge from a World Cup pool also containing Australia and Wales. Continue reading...
(Wed, 01 Oct 2014 21:00:16 GMT)

Borussia Dortmund leave domestic blues behind at expense of Anderlecht
The substitute Adrian Ramos scored twice as a weakened Borussia Dortmund beat Anderlecht 3-0 on Wednesday to stay top of Champions League Group D.Dortmund arrived in Brussels missing a number of players through injury, notably the Germany midfielder Marco Reus, and with a single point from their past three Bundesliga matches, but made a flying start. Continue reading...
(Wed, 01 Oct 2014 21:13:36 GMT)

Markus Rosenberg scores brace to give Malmo famous win over Olympiakos
Markus Rosenbergs double sparked jubilant scenes at the Swedbank Stadium as Malmo beat Olympiakos 2-0 in the first Champions League group stage match to be played on Swedish soil in 14 years.On a wonderful night for the Scandinavian underdogs in the Group A match Rosenberg initiated the celebrations by putting the home side ahead in the 42nd minute, punishing a defensive mix-up by snapping up the loose ball and coolly planting it into the net. Continue reading...
(Wed, 01 Oct 2014 21:14:36 GMT)

Hulk the only shining light in Monaco and Zenit St Petersburg stalemate
Hulk was the stand-out performer for Zenit St Petersburg in the Champions League Group C goalless draw with Monaco, hours after it had been confirmed that he had been the target of racial abuse in a league match.The Brazilian international, who had told a Russian newspaper that he could hear monkey chants aimed at him by visiting Spartak Moscow fans on Saturday, produced a lively display at the same venue, the Petrovsky Stadium. Continue reading...
(Wed, 01 Oct 2014 19:26:50 GMT)

Kick It Out: we deserve better than being Rio Ferdinands punchbag
Anti-racism body heavily criticised in players autobiography Rio is selling a book of trivia. Bigger issues remain untouched Rio Ferdinand calls John Terry an idiot over race row John Terry and Anton Ferdinand: Who said what and whenKick It Out, footballs leading anti-racism organisation, has told the Guardian it deserves better than to be turned into Rio Ferdinands punchbag after discovering he has attacked it as useless in his latest autobiography for allegedly not supporting his family enough during the race trial involving his younger brother, Anton, and John Terry.Herman Ouseley, the chairman, decided to speak out after the serialisation of Ferdinands book, #2sides, stated that the former England internationals decision not to wear a Kick It Out T-shirt in defiance of Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United was taken out of principle because the group had refused to come to the courtroom with us, so I wasnt willing to go through the charade My parents probably wouldnt have spoken to me if I had. Continue reading...
(Wed, 01 Oct 2014 13:21:49 GMT)

Sports minister Helen Grant steps in to save Britains basketball team
Grant tells Sport England and UK Sport to fill funding gap The sport has great potential to grow in this country Basketball among sports stripped of Olympic funding Luol Deng fears British basketball has a bleak futureBritains elite international basketball teams could be on the verge of a reprieve after the sports minister, Helen Grant, told the funding agencies Sport England and UK Sport to find a solution that would allow them to continue.The Department for Culture, Media & Sport has oversight of both bodies and Grant said: I am keen to explore what more we can do to support basketball. I believe that the sport has great potential to reach more young people and grow in this country and we are in early discussions with Sport England and UK Sport about how we can help do that. Continue reading...
(Wed, 01 Oct 2014 14:43:33 GMT)

Rory McIlroy: Darren Clarke perfect man to be 2016 Ryder Cup captain
McIlroy: Clarke is perfect man to lead the team Westwood backs Clarke to be captain in 2016 McGinley: I will be professional regarding next captain Donaldson seals win with wedge shot of my lifeRory McIlroy has again given his backing to fellow Northern Irishman Darren Clarke as the 2016 Ryder Cup captain for Europe.McIlroy was among the influential voices who threw support behind Paul McGinley who has a strained relationship with Clarke to be Europes captain for Gleneagles. McGinley pushed all the right buttons as Europe sailed to victory over the USA last week. Continue reading...
(Wed, 01 Oct 2014 10:23:56 GMT)

Cheik Tioté says he wants to leave Newcastle United
Its maybe time to look for a new challenge Midfielder claims he was contacted by Arsenal Alan Pardew to stay in charge for Swansea matchCheik Tioté has added to Alan Pardews problems by signalling his intention to leave Newcastle United during the January transfer window.While Mike Ashley, Newcastles owner, would be unlikely to sanction selling the 28-year-old Ivorian midfield enforcer unless the price were agreeable, Pardew could do without one of his key players being so obviously unsettled at a time when he is fighting for his job. Continue reading...
(Wed, 01 Oct 2014 13:08:16 GMT)

The daily quiz: turpentine and Bohemia
Today's questions cover the TV show Dallas, Aphex Twin, Pol Pot and the actions of the residents of Avignon on a bridge Follow @GuardianQuiz on Twitter for daily notifications Would you like to set the quiz? Email 10 questions to daily.quiz@theguardian.com along with your name, and they may be used in the weekly Friday readers' edition Continue reading...
(Thu, 02 Oct 2014 04:45:00 GMT)

Printers with refillable tanks set to revolutionise home printing
Epsons new printers with refillable tanks turn business model upside down, junking reliance on expensive branded ink cartridges for profitThe 50 million inkjet cartridges that British households go through every year could become a thing of the past after Epson unveiled new ink tanks it claims will revolutionise the economics of home printing.Until now manufacturers such as Epson and Canon have sold home printers at significantly below cost price, relying on their expensive branded ink cartridges to make a profit, but Epson has now decided to turn its business model upside down, making its printers with refillable tanks that will last a typical user two years based on a household printing 200 pages a month. Continue reading...
(Thu, 02 Oct 2014 05:00:20 GMT)

Partridge delight
Sandy, Bedfordshire: At the explosion of birds, I felt the pulse a shooter must feel, though my aim was with binocularsSummer's wheat fields had become dead meadows of dry sticks, the stubble stalks still standing tall. Not that it seemed to bother the partridges. Three close by, and numerous others beyond, were pecking up grain from harvest passed. These were the lowlanders' grouse, their silly heads peering out, just as their cousins would periscope up from moorland heather. Every one was a red-legged partridge, so-called French partridges, badged by their black-and-white faces, topped with grey caps.England was on the other side of the track. A hedge ran at a right angle and on one side was a game cover strip, a band of luxuriant exotic plants, laden with seeds. On the other, a rarer bird sat by the hedge bottom, a grey "English" partridge. Another popped out of cover and, in no time, the ground was full of plump partridges. These birds are like sheep: one mind leads them all. The first started to run with quick steps, as if the field were scalding, and the others tailed at a trot. When it lifted off, the others did too, a tight covey of fanned wings and tails, flighting over the stubble with exhilarating speed. At this explosion of partridge, I felt the pulse that a shooter must feel, though my aim was with binoculars, scanning the moving targets, counting each bird. I reached 39 when the whole covey dropped, folding away into nothingness. Continue reading...
(Thu, 02 Oct 2014 04:29:00 GMT)

David Cameron v Eminem Conservative conference rap: 'I am disgusted by the poor'
The Tory party leaders conference speeches have been given the Cassetteboy treatmentOn the day it became legal to rearrange copyrighted films, TV shows or songs, audio specialist Cassetteboy released Camerons Conference Rap. The rap cuts David Camerons party conference speeches to Eminems 2002 track Lose Yourself. Continue reading...
(Wed, 01 Oct 2014 16:02:39 GMT)

Wingsuiting: adrenaline highs and dangerous lows
Wingsuit diving is one of the worlds most dangerous extreme sports. Ahead of this months World Wingsuit League Grand Prix, defending champion Jhonathan Florez explains the rush behind jumping off a cliff in an inflatable suitAt 3,810 metres the rear door on the Cessna Caravan opens and a blast of cold air rushes in to the cabin towards 31-year-old Jhonathan Florez. The chill interrupts his nail biting and signals its time for him to unbuckle from the aluminium floor, pull his goggles over his eyes, and prepare to exit the plane. At the door his bare hands clasp either side of a bar that extends along the top edge of the door. He goes through a training routine in his mind and steps out into air. Continue reading...
(Thu, 02 Oct 2014 05:00:09 GMT)

The Owl and the Pussycat voted most popular childhood poem
As National Poetry Day encourages Britain to embrace verse in everyday life, its favourite lines are revealed to be handed down through generationsA poll of the nations most beloved childrens poems reveals that the three most popular verses are each over 100 years old. The Owl and the Pussycat was voted number one, with Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star coming second and Humpty Dumpty third.Edward Lears poem narrating the love story of The Owl and the Pussycat was written in 1871 and is held to be the most popular by both the youngest and oldest age categories in the poll, highlighting how classic British poems continue to be passed down and cherished among successive generations. Continue reading...
(Thu, 02 Oct 2014 06:00:09 GMT)

Gaza portraits: the one thing I saved from the rubble
Tanks and airstrikes blasted holes in peoples homes, offering us a glimpse into their lives, and these evocative images of Gaza residents show them with cherished items salvaged from the devastation ActionAid is working in Gaza providing essential supplies like food and medicine for people whose homes have been damaged or destroyed.A childs toy, a torn school book, a rolled prayer mat, some tracksuit bottoms, a battered saucepan, odd shoes so many odd shoes half hidden in the rubble. And the rubble itself, mountains of it: homes reduced to grey lumps of masonry, mangled metal, shards of glass. Continue reading...
(Wed, 01 Oct 2014 16:27:41 GMT)

Fleetwood Mac is back: Christine McVie sings again as the tour starts anew
Though Stevie Nicks and the band are older, they opened their first reunited show in 16 years with the hallmark brilliance for playing off each others strengths The key selling point for Fleetwood Macs On With The Show tour, which opened on Tuesday at Minneapoliss Target Center, is that its the first in 16 years to include keyboardist and singer-songwriter Christine McVie, lately relieved of her fear of flying and sprung from her doggy English countryside redoubt. All of the bands members except taciturn bassist John McVie, Christines ex-husband, paid vocal tribute to her over the course of a spirited two-and-half-hour set. Our songbird has returned, said drummer Mick Fleetwood during an extended encore. Continue reading...
(Wed, 01 Oct 2014 18:01:02 GMT)

10 things weve learned from the Conservative conference
Despite defections, resignations and poll pressure from Labour and Ukip, morale at the Tory conference is up, finds Andrew Sparrow. Here are 10 things he has learned this week in Birmingham1 Sharing power only seems to have made the Conservatives more rightwing. For the first time since 2009 this was a conference where they were unveiling a full Conservative agenda, for the manifesto, not policies to be enacted in coalition, and what has emerged is a party noticeably more hardline than the one David Cameron led five years ago. There have been a few shards of progressive Conservatism (Theresa May criticising the police over stop and search, Chris Grayling prioritising mental health services in prison, Nicky Morgan denouncing homophobic bullying), but mostly this has been a week of solid Thatcherism: welfare cuts, arch Euroscepticism, and some civil libertarian horrors. And, of course, tax cuts.2 All things considered, the mood is surprisingly good. The opening of the conference was overshadowed by a defection and a ministerial resignation on the same day, the party is stubbornly behind Labour in most polls, and it is losing to support to Ukip. Yet morale, as far as you can judge it, is actually better than Labours was at their conference. Quite possibly the Tories are just being delusional, but theres also a strong faith in the party that the nation doesnt want Ed Miliband as prime minister. Continue reading...
(Wed, 01 Oct 2014 12:20:27 GMT)

The Great British Bake Off 2014: episode nine as it happened
Its the semi-finals, and the atmosphere in the Bake Off tent was hotter than a freshly fired creme brulee. Heidi Stephens followed the action as our final four attempted some fancy patisserie. 9.00pm BST And thats it for the semi-final! Next weeks final brings back all the previous contestants and is not to be missed, so join me here on Wednesday at 8pm. Thank you for all your comments and contributions, feel free to come and wave at me on Twitter @heidistephens, and dont forget to join me on Saturday at 6.20pm for a 130 minute Strictly liveblog marathon. 8.59pm BST So who will it be? Star Baker isRICHARD again! And going home isCHETNA! What a shame. I will miss her outstanding Converse collection, and amazing way with flavours. Mary can hardly believe that Richards builders hands can produce such delicate flavours. Everyone is crying. 8.56pm BST Nancys have lovely flavour, but the appearance on both has fallen a bit short. Luiss entremets look sensational, and his flavours are spot on. Chetnas are a bit bulbous, but the cappuccino flavour is great. The orange ones are a bit lacking. Chetna to go tonight, I think. And Luis for Star Baker? Or even Richard again? 8.53pm BST Times up! Richards entremets look incredible. Mary cant wait to get inside, and Paul loves the nuts coming through. STOP IT. 8.53pm BST Chetnas cappuccino mousse hasnt set. She looks crestfallen, like a flumped soufflé abandoned in the cold oven of sorrow. But her chocolate orange ones look fabulous, so fingers crossed. 8.49pm BST Two hours left! About 50% of the layers have been made, leaving 158 layers still to bake. Luis has made sponge circles in a toxic shade of green. 8.47pm BST Imagine what Norman would have made this week. Its a sponge layer with an orange jelly layer and a dark chocolate layer. Youve made a jaffa cake, Norman. Aye, I have that. 8.45pm BST Chetnas entremets are chocolate heavy, apart from the hazelnuts and the orange and the other 17 layers. This all sounds very fancy and all, but Id choose a custard slice over this lot any day. 8.44pm BST Richard is making tiny sponge dots that look like Nurofen. 12 of his entremets will include a grapefruit mousse, and the others are flavoured with hazelnut and coffee. They sound yummy, WANT. 8.43pm BST Ooh, I spelled it correctly. Go me. Luis is doing pomegranate and pistachio entremets, and cherry and chocolate. Nancys have about 19 layers, some of which include raspberries, lime and white chocolate. Also verbena jelly. 8.41pm BST Showstopper challenge two separate types of entremet (not sure about spelling, boyfs language skills dont stretch to French), 12 of each. Basically theyre very fancy pastries. 8.39pm BST Nancys has a lovely shine, but is a bit lacking in chocolate. Paul counts the layers like the tedious funsponge he is, and there are only 18. Tastes good, however. Luiss has a very professional finish, and the layers look fabulous. Good definition of light and dark, and he has the full 20 layers. Chetnas is wonky and overbaked, and there are only 17 layers. Richards has a lovely shine there are 20 layers but theyre very thin. Chetna comes bottom of the technical challenge, followed by Nancy in third and Richard in second. Luis comes top! 8.36pm BST Luis gets his out of the tin. It looks like a rubbish pile of pancakes, but physical shortfalls will be covered with an apricot glaze and a load of chocolate. Chetna is crumbling like a week-old meringue, whilst Richard is adding pretty spider-web swirls. 8.33pm BST Back in the tent, Richards lost count of the layers. USE THE PENCIL, RICHARD. Luis knows hes on layer 16, probably because hes writing it down on a gilded olive. 8.30pm BST Nobody knows what theyre doing, as per usual. Only 50g of batter goes in each layer, and the recipe doesnt say how long to grill them for, and what temperature. They keep adding batter, and whacking it back under the grill to create light/dark layers. God, what a faff. Id expect it to taste like angel-coated rainbows after all this. 8.25pm BST Technical challenge time! This week theyre making a schichttorte, which my German-fluent boyfriend tells me means layer cake. He can also spell it, which is helpful. Its a grilled cake, apparently. Nancy has never grilled a cake. Ah, whack it in the microwave, Nance.Paul cuts into his schichttorte. It looks like plywood. Richard will be right at home. 8.22pm BST Chetnas pastry layers are too thick on both, but the flavours are good. Nancy doesnt like baklava, and theyre not a thing of beauty. Richards alright with baking. Were alright with Richard, so all is well. 8.21pm BST Judges verdict Nancys moosli ones taste good and the texture is nice, but theyre a bit pale. The coffee and chocolate ones are a bit soggy, but theyre original. Luiss baklava cups are not technically baklavas, and theyre bone dry. The other ones look like spring rolls, and arent up to much either. However they love Richards pistachio ones, although the walnut ones are underbaked. 8.18pm BST As usual, Luiss Baklavas look amazing. Chetnas look like pork pies. 8.17pm BST Richard has used a gingham tablecloth to roll his Baklava into a giant draught excluder. Nancys honey and chocolate has boiled over. Paul is prowling round the tent like a headmaster at a school disco. Keep your hands where he can see them. 8.15pm BST Nancy is layering up her filo. Shes never even heard of Baklava. Im surprised she doesnt grab a pack of Jus-Rol out of the freezer, lob it in the microwave and crack open a bottle of sherry. 8.14pm BST Filo pastry is being rolled out to papery thinness. Richard wants to make his blimmin massive, because he is now contractually obliged to talk about dough and pastry and nuts in a suggestive manner. Sue thinks Nancys filo looks like skin, so she drapes a bit on her face to make her look younger. She puts her glasses on top, and now looks oddly like Dr. Bunsen Honeydew from the Muppets. 8.12pm BST Meanwhile Richard has toasted his nuts off. So far weve had 17 different pronounciations of baklava, including a balaclava from Sue. BAK-lava? Bak-LAVA? 8.11pm BST Chetna is making cocoa filo with pistachios and dark chocolate, as well as baklava flavoured with masala chai. Luis is flavouring his with rose and barberry hes using a tray that will give four stars for every hole. Im just going to leave that with you.Nancy is putting moosli in her breakfast baklava. I think she means muesli, unless its a beefy variation. 8.08pm BST Who makes filo?, asks Chetna. Nobody does. I bought a pack of Sainsburys filo today for the custard tarts Im going to make tomorrow. Making it has never even crossed my mind. 8.06pm BST This weeks Signature Challenge 24 portions of Baklava, which is that really sweet pastry they give you after dinner in a Turkish restaurant, just before the Turkish delight and the coffee and the glass of Raki that sends you into a sugar/booze/caffeine coma of happiness. 8.05pm BST On that bombshell, lets get this patisserie show on the road. Its the 9th week in the tent and only four bakers remain. Luis has been praised for his ingenious designs, particularly his caramel fortress. Chetna is all about the flavours. Nancy has precision and all-round baking knowledge, and is a microwave renegade. Richards Ear Pencil has a natural flair for baking. Theyre all fabulous, but Id love to see Richard win. It might start a baking trend amongst builders. Imagine how much more fun bricklaying would be if you used buttercream. 8.03pm BST Previously on Bake Off: advanced dough week. Highlights included Chetnas Povitica double bill, Nancys obsession with microwave ovens and Mary getting tipsy on Luiss Club Tropicana doughnuts. Richards Ear Pencil won Star Baker for a record fourth time, and lovely Martha was sent back to mum and dads to slam her bedroom door and announce how everything is like totally unfair. Yesterday my mum wistfully described Martha as the daughter every mother would want. Right. Good to know. 8.02pm BST Ooh, ad for The Apprentice, which starts in the couple of weeks. Alas I wont be liveblogging that, Im #teamstrictly right now, two at once sends me a bit crackers. Am sure someone else will be though. 8.00pm BST The continuity announcer is giving us fascinating facts about eggs. You can get more at #GBBO, apparently. Hold me back. 7.33pm BST Tonights Bake Off Bingo a cream puff for any occurences of the following: Suggestive use of the word semi Holey filo Paul Hollywood using verbs as nouns (e.g. thats got a lovely fry) Rhubarb 7.26pm BST Good evening, and welcome to the Great British Bake Off Semi-Final liveblog! How time flies when youve got your liveblog Magimix set to maximum speed. Tonight our final four bakers are mastering the art of Patisserie, which is fancy pastry-based treats to you and me. Expect buckets of crème pat, acres of filo and some showstopping decorative jazz hands. With Luis and Nancy still in the tent, anything could happen. Im thinking a topping of tiny marzipan pole dancers in fondant bikinis hanging off a baileys-filled wafer pole in a spun sugar cage. Continue reading...
(Wed, 01 Oct 2014 20:04:40 GMT)

Who said it, Lena Dunham or Hannah Horvath? quiz
Lena Dunham's newly published memoir is full of literary revelations that could come from the central character in her HBO show Girls, which is loosely based on her life. Can you tell reality and fiction apart? Lena Dunham: 'I just want to work the death thing out' Continue reading...
(Wed, 01 Oct 2014 14:32:00 GMT)

Beatles cover versions: 10 of the best
There are thousands of Beatles covers, but which ones are worth listening to? Dip in a toe, with our expertly curated guide One strain of British music of the mid-60s, the link between mod and psychedelia, has become known as freakbeat: a melee of hard, driving rhythm, crashing power chords, guitar feedback and overwrought vocals that approximated the soulful stylings of Eric Burdon or Steve Marriott. The Scores version of Please Please Me a centrepiece of the Manchester-based bands live set is a powerful deconstruction of 1966 pop that directly references the Rolling Stones (I Cant Get No) Satisfaction and the Yardbirds Shapes of Things. And its a knowing cover of the song that had broken the Fab Four in Britain. It was as if the Score were winking at their audience, saying: music sounded like that then just three years earlier! but this is what it sounds like now. Please Please Mes descending riff, played by John Lennon on harmonica on the Beatles record, was replaced with George Harrisons chiming guitar figure when the band played the song live. The Score do the same its just more rock.5 Junior Parker Tomorrow Never Knows Continue reading...
(Wed, 01 Oct 2014 11:10:51 GMT)

Modern Toss: A Decade in the Shithouse in pictures
Starting in 2004, the, er, Tossers started pumping out bleak, scabrous and very funny comics and ten years later have ended up with a compendium of their oeuvre, A Decade in the Shithouse. Here they give some backstory to their best bits Continue reading...
(Wed, 01 Oct 2014 16:14:53 GMT)

Microsoft unveils Windows 10: ten things to know
Microsoft has pulled a U-turn on its reinvention of the PC, ditching Windows 8 and creating something that blends the old Windows with the newMicrosoft has unveiled its next version of the Windows software which presently powers about 1.5bn PCs in use on the planet. Windows 10 will aim to entice users put off by Windows 8, whose lack of a start menu (introduced in 1995 with Windows 95) was more suitable for touch interfaces than a keyboard and a mouse even though keyboard-reliant users outnumbered touch users by millions to one.Windows 8 was a radical departure from the tried and tested Windows interface introduced in Windows 95. Users were puzzled at best, and businesses were slower to update than usual. Microsoft hopes Windows 10 will bring users back and entice businesses to ditch the four-year-old Windows 7, seven-year-old Windows Vista and the now-discontinued 13-year-old Windows XP. Continue reading...
(Wed, 01 Oct 2014 19:34:38 GMT)

The buzz about 'mad honey', hot honey and mead
Would you eat honey that could send you mad or even kill you? Here are three kinds of honey that pack a punchAfter years confined to squeezy bottles and jars at the back of the cupboard, honey is finally getting the attention it deserves. It has always been revered for its health properties, even credited with promoting weight loss in this years honey diet, and there has been a spate of DIY beekeeping in a bid to combat dwindling numbers. But it is getting noticed for other reasons these days. New Yorkers are going crazy for an infused chilli version, and UK chefs and bartenders have rediscovered the joy of mead, that ancient and very alcoholic tipple. But by far the most intriguing example is Turkeys mad honey. Here are the honeys that pack a punch. Continue reading...
(Wed, 01 Oct 2014 12:18:36 GMT)

Spandau Ballet review return of the shoulder-heaving soul boys
Royal Albert Hall, LondonNew Romantics parade their 80s pomp at the premiere of a tremendous biopic of the bandSpandau Ballet have been called many choice names over their 35-year career, from vacuous opportunists to preening narcissists to vile Thatcherite hellspawn. Its therefore a considerable surprise to peer behind their glossy sheen to discover five down-to-earth, genuine geezers.That, at least, is the impression that emerges from Soul Boys of the Western World, the tremendous new band biopic constructed almost entirely from original archive footage. They premiere this film here tonight before a gig which, as singer Tony Hadley wryly reflects, is the first time they have played the Albert Hall since 1983, when True was number one. Continue reading...
(Wed, 01 Oct 2014 11:55:31 GMT)

From edicures to utilitarian up-dos: seven fashion trends from the Festival of Thrift
Wayne and Gerardine Hemingways second Festival of Thrift this weekend saw 40,000 people descend on Darlington for a weekend of upcycling, recycling, make do and mend, discothrift and edible manicures. Here are the highlightsIve got a spring in my step today. Im energised. Im fresh back from the Festival of Thrift at Lingfield Point: a free, slightly anarchic weekend that gives you licence to unleash your inner Scrooge as long as you show some flair while youre doing it.All weekend there have been workshops on everything from pimping your pumps to getting the most out of canned fish (seriously), with fashion shows compered by peerless music-hall star turned hip-hop artist Ida Barr. The weekend raised all sorts of questions, such as: what is thrift about? Saving money or individuality, vintage style or sustainability? In any case, being surrounded by makers and menders is wonderful for your wardrobe. It breaks the chain between fashion and turbocharged capitalism, so you can get excited by other stuff: sewing skills, materials, human ingenuity canned fish. Next year, go there. For now, thrift is a cultural force with staying power. That means it has its own trends. Here are a few I spotted this weekend. Continue reading...
(Wed, 01 Oct 2014 11:35:51 GMT)

In praise of boring cities
Arlington is soulless, Zurich boring, Adelaide should be shut down. But are dull cities actually doing something very right?Calling Mr Pothole: has the classic urban bugbear finally met its match?New York senator Kirsten Gillibrand created a minor kerfuffle in her new book when she described Arlington, Virginia as a soulless suburb. In the Washington Post, Ben Adler considered her subsequent apology by noting that although Arlington does a lot of things right, she didnt need to say sorry, because Arlington is, indeed, soulless and boring.Gillibrand isnt the first to insult cities for dullness. Earlier this year Rio de Janeiros mayor Eduardo Paes picked on another favourite target: I dont want to compare my city to Zurich, he said. Thank God were not that boring. Melbournes mayor has been even more brutal about Adelaide, saying it has so little going for it that it should be shut down. Continue reading...
(Wed, 01 Oct 2014 10:58:30 GMT)

'Africa's arms dump': following the trail of bullets in the Sudans
Sudan and South Sudan are among the most heavily armed countries in the world. The Niles investigates how this came about and the consequences of spiraling bloodshedSudan was awash with arms long before the country split in two. When South Sudan seceded in 2011, it was estimated that there were up to 3.2m small arms in circulation. Two-thirds of these were thought to be in the hands of civilians. Since then, arms have proliferated on both sides of the recently devised border with fatal results.In Sudan, a country often dubbed Africas arms dump, the number of arms is rising by the day amid armed conflict between government forces, paramilitaries, rebels, hired militia, foreign fighters, bandits as well as inter- and intra-communal warfare. This aggression is fuelled by the global arms trade and smuggling from neighbouring states.The Libya-Chad war of the 1980s contributed to the influx of small arms and light weaponry into Sudan, and in particular Darfur, which... received weaponry that outmatched the arsenal of both the police and armed forcesTribes operate on the principle that there can be no security except through the possession of weaponsOrganised forces of South Sudan including military, police, prison services, wildlife wardens, and the fire brigade reportedly pass on weapons to the civilian population Continue reading...
(Thu, 02 Oct 2014 04:00:06 GMT)

Mayday: a short film starring Juliet Stevenson video
Inspired by the Young Vic theatre's acclaimed production of Samuel Beckett's Happy Days, Mayday reunites Juliet Stevenson and the director Natalie Abrahami. Written by Nancy Harris, the film is a modern-day story of an isolated woman fighting to 'keep up the glamour' in the manner of Beckett's buried heroine Winnie Juliet Stevenson: how I learned to love Beckett Up to our necks in Beckett: Natalie Abrahami on making Mayday Continue reading...
(Thu, 02 Oct 2014 06:00:00 GMT)

Rift valleys rewrite moons fiery history
The discovery of rift valleys for the first time on the moon challenges conventional wisdom about our neighbours evolutionA giant plain on the nearside of the moon is bordered by ancient rift valleys that acted as a magma plumbing system for the regions volcanoes billions of years ago, scientists say.Researchers had thought that a rocky ridge around the 3,200km-wide plain, named the Ocean of Storms, was the edge of an enormous impact basin created when an asteroid crashed into the moon. Continue reading...
(Wed, 01 Oct 2014 17:00:12 GMT)

Are thermal scanners effective Ebola prevention tools or just a placebo?
Devices meant to detect high body temperatures as a clue for infectious diseases may prove more reassuring than effectiveFirst Ebola case in the US: what we know so farEbola patient was sent home for two days, officials admitHow does a financial services conference expecting thousands of attendees coming into the US from more than 130 countries try to keep participants safe from Ebola? It takes their temperature. Sibos, a gathering of financial experts being held in Boston this week, emailed attendees on Monday, before the disclosure of the first case of Ebola to be diagnosed in the US, to inform them that it would, in addition to its typical metal detectors, be employing thermal scanners at each entrance to the conference to detect elevated body temperatures and possible infectious diseases. Continue reading...
(Wed, 01 Oct 2014 21:54:25 GMT)

Your nose knows death is imminent
Losing the sense of smell predicts death within five years, according to new research.Until as recently as 1987, British coal pits employed caged canaries as sentinels that alerted miners to the presence of poisonous gases. Being more sensitive to them than we are, the birds would get distressed before the gases reached levels that are dangerous to humans, giving the miners time to evacuate and avoid suffocation.According to new research, the sense of smell is the canary in the coalmine of human health. A study published today in the open access journal PLOS ONE, shows that losing ones sense of smell strongly predicts death within five years, suggesting that the nose knows when death is imminent, and that smell may serve as a bellwether for the overall state of the body, or as a marker for exposure to environmental toxins. Continue reading...
(Wed, 01 Oct 2014 18:00:15 GMT)

Coca-Cola and rivals promise health changes but are profits the real reason?
Soda giants pledged to market bottled water, diet drinks and push for smaller sizes. Are they just whats good for business?Whats in a name? Or 250 names? For Coca-Cola, its massive profits. Continue reading...
(Wed, 01 Oct 2014 19:01:13 GMT)

Britains housing crisis: are garden cities the answer?
Theyre billed as an idyllic alternative to generic commuter towns. But the first of a new generation of garden cities, in Ebbsfleet, Kent, has run into controversy. Will the end result be bog-standard suburban housing blighting the green belt?Beyond the shops a Co-op, a cafe, a tattoo studio called Demon Inkorporation are narrow terraced streets where doors open on to the pavement. A newer red-brick estate has been erected on an old slurry pit, and in the distance are wind turbines, pylons, the roar of the A2 and the surreal sight of container ships the size of tower blocks slipping down the Thames.Welcome to Britains newest garden city. Ebbsfleet, the name of the high-speed Eurostar railway station squeezed on to waste ground between Dartford and Gravesend, is the first of the governments new generation of garden cities: low-density communities with generous green spaces and good local facilities. Garden cities are an idea whose time has come (again), enjoying the support of George Osborne, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg. They are seen as a way to persuade not-in-my-backyarders to tolerate urgently needed new housing estates. Are garden cities the solution to Britains housing crisis? Or are they a sham the same-old suburbs smothering precious green belt? Continue reading...
(Wed, 01 Oct 2014 17:57:40 GMT)

Fun Palaces: art for all
Want to swim with mermaids? Or make a city out of cardboard boxes? Well, you can this weekend as fun palaces open across Britain. Andrew Dickson hits the road with the woman behind itLouise Larking has a faraway look in her eyes. Id love to do some yarnbombing, she says. Thatd be fun, wouldnt it? Yarnbomb a groyne. Moments ago, I had no idea what yarnbombing also known as guerrilla knitting was, still less that you might bombard Kentish coastal defences with it. But in a small terraced house in Whitstable, some unlikely ideas are brewing. Joanne Bartley, whose house this is, has called a meeting to finalise a big event this weekend. Larking is hosting a craft workshop; friend Amy Turner is holding a poetry session; and Bartley plans to build a scale model of Whitstable out of cardboard boxes. The lounge is already crowded with Lilliputian terraced houses and shops. Time is at a premium, not to mention space. Everyone agrees: yarnbombing must wait.This weekend, Bartley, Larking, Turner and thousands more will unleash something that has never been seen before: an epic, free festival of community arts and science around the UK and beyond. Fancy making postcards from cocoa paste? A chocolate shop in York will teach you how. Interested in the geology of Totnes? Sign up for a time walk through 4.6bn years of history. Want to swim with a mermaid? Head to Brockwell Lido, London. Wonder what a radio show recorded in the dark sounds like? Try Toronto (or plug into the webfeed). Continue reading...
(Wed, 01 Oct 2014 17:26:02 GMT)

Blow the bloody doors off! The 10-year-old girls hacking apart cars for art
Artist Dina Ronevi was only allowed to clean the floor when she trained as a mechanic so shes now letting girls loose on scrap cars as an art projectI am standing in a scrapyard, somewhere outside the Aston Villa football ground in Birmingham, hemmed in by train tracks and Irish pubs, watching performance artist Dina Ronevi fiddle under the bonnet of a gold Nissan Sunny.The car, already scrap, is destined for total obliteration by Ronevi and her team of five wrench-wielding girls this weekend, as part of Fierce festivals Car Deconstructions project. It will be the fifth such deconstruction Ronevi has undertaken, having previously performed them in Bosnia, Austria, Croatia and Finland. Continue reading...
(Wed, 01 Oct 2014 14:08:43 GMT)

Mexican women pay high price for countrys rigid abortion laws
Mexico has some of the strictest abortion laws in the world, and women can find themselves criminalised even after miscarriage Abortion rights around the world interactive Abortion in Mexico: Catholics, the law and the right to choose videoAdriana Manzanaress tiny apartment is sparse, its stucco walls unadorned and lightbulbs exposed. But its home. The 28-year-old moved into the flat in Guerreros capital, Chilpancingo, only a few months ago, after spending the majority of her 20s in prison for killing her child by undergoing an abortion. Its a charge she denies, claiming she had a miscarriage.Mexico has some of the strictest abortion laws in the world. In many states abortion is a punishable offence. At least 679 women were reported or sentenced for the crime of abortion between 2009 and 2011, according to Gire, a reproductive rights organisation. Some women, like Manzanares, have been accused of murder after suffering a miscarriage.  Continue reading...
(Wed, 01 Oct 2014 10:36:04 GMT)

The Brazilian church that welcomes gay believers into the fold
LGBT worshippers find spiritual home in a country where evangelicals are increasingly outspoken in their homophobia Evangelicals become a political force to be reckoned withFrom the outside, there is little to distinguish the Metropolitan community church from the many other evangelical houses of worship in Rios Zona Norte. But as Marcos Lord prepares for an evening sermon, it soon becomes clear that this church is not like the others.It takes the pastor about an hour to prepare for the pulpit: donning false eyelashes, a wig and a pair of vertiginous heels to transform himself into the drag queen Luandha Perón. In a country where evangelical Christians have become increasingly influential and outspoken in their homophobia the church provides a space for gay, bisexual and transsexual believers. Continue reading...
(Wed, 01 Oct 2014 14:19:00 GMT)

China is Hong Kongs future not its enemy
Protesters cry democracy but most are driven by dislocation and resentment at mainlanders success Continue reading...
(Tue, 30 Sep 2014 18:45:51 GMT)

Hong Kong protests: China warns US not to meddle in 'internal affairs'
Foreign minister Wang Yi speaks out after John Kerry called on HK police to show restraint over pro-democracy movement Continue reading...
(Thu, 02 Oct 2014 00:42:07 GMT)

Blood, stalker, sex, tragic: Maroon 5's Animals video insults every woman
There is nothing edgy about Adam Levine being a crazy sexual predator because it actually happens every damn dayBrian Moylan: CBSs Stalker presents violence against women as a horror movie sideshow Continue reading...
(Wed, 01 Oct 2014 11:30:03 GMT)

Shark v shark: great white shark duel caught on camera video
Rare footage of two great white sharks attacking each other in south Australia. The video, shot by London-born diver Adam Malski, 33, shows a 4.8-metre shark attacking a smaller rival in waters off the Neptune Islands. The larger shark, known locally as Gilbert, survived the attack while the other animal has reportedly not been seen since Continue reading...
(Wed, 01 Oct 2014 08:47:38 GMT)

Marouane Fellaini could be ready for Manchester United return
Midfielder could be in squad for visit of Everton Ander Herrera injury not as painful as feared Marouane Fellaini: I will fight to regain my place Continue reading...
(Wed, 01 Oct 2014 21:29:17 GMT)

Defector William Cash joined Ukip because of solar park threat to his moated manor house
Son of Conservative MP says his decision to join Nigel Farages party was partly motivated by threat of new development near his home and burden of tax on restoration classes Continue reading...
(Wed, 01 Oct 2014 14:41:17 GMT)

Abortion rights around the world interactive
Continent-wide summaries and country-by-country breakdowns of abortion rights, including where the procedure is permitted and for what reasons - to save a womans life, to preserve her health, after rape or incest, for economic or social reasons or on request. Plus, discover the six states in the world that do not permit abortion under any circumstancesAbortion in Mexico: Catholics, the law and the right to choose videoMexican women pay high price for countrys rigid abortion laws Continue reading...
(Wed, 01 Oct 2014 09:43:52 GMT)

Walrus mass in vast numbers on Alaska beach as sea ice retreats
Concern that warming climate is responsible for gathering of about 35,000 walrus in north-west Alaska Continue reading...
(Wed, 01 Oct 2014 00:26:07 GMT)

From Tory tax cuts to the war in Iraq, were lurching backwards
Camerons Conservatives are replaying Thatcher and Blair. But its a past we need to escape fromThe Tories have always made a virtue out of being retro. I am very proud of Nanny, the fogey MP Jacob Rees-Mogg declared to an adoring crowd on Tuesday. But they have truly gone back to the future in Birmingham.The spin has been that the Conservatives are now the party of progress, compassion and social justice. The unmistakable message of the conference, however, is that they are heading backwards on all fronts. Continue reading...
(Thu, 02 Oct 2014 05:00:07 GMT)

David Cameron has fired the election starting gun
The prime minister has left Conservatives feeling they hold the advantage after a fortnight of duelling party conferencesThe phoney war is over. The campaign for 2015 has begun. On Wednesday, in what may well have been his sharpest, most effective speech since becoming prime minister, David Cameron fired the starting gun. In the process, he lodged at least a couple of deadly bullets into the flesh of his Labour opponents. The result whatever the polls might say is that after a fortnight of duelling party conferences, Camerons Conservative troops believe they are marching towards a contest in which they now hold the advantage.Thats partly down to what the prime minister did in Birmingham. But it owes just as much to what Ed Miliband failed to do a week ago. Indeed, the two are intimately linked. For Camerons speech was like a finely glazed, elegantly decorated doughnut: it was constructed around a gaping hole, namely the gap left for him by the Labour leader last week. Continue reading...
(Wed, 01 Oct 2014 17:19:59 GMT)

Single mothers are the real casualties in Camerons class war
By making the poorest pay for tax cuts, the Tories are clearly happy to see lone parents and their kids eat toast for dinnerIt is always gobsmacking to hear a Tory use the phrase class war as if it were a bad thing a nasty, old-fangled activity that has nothing to do with them, mlud. They use social engineering in the same pejorative way, while deliberately maintaining their elites via private education and congratulating themselves as the creme de la creme of a functioning meritocracy.This is why Cameron is confident enough to use the term in his Conservative party conference speech: confident that he is on the right side of this war; confident enough to indulge in some political cross-dressing by referring to his party as a kind of trade union. The speech was one of those for those who like that kind of thing, that is the sort of thing they like-type efforts. Continue reading...
(Wed, 01 Oct 2014 19:00:14 GMT)

I know students who buy essays online are being ripped off I used to write them
A report this week has exposed online businesses who supply research guides for students. Here, a writer explains what its like to churn out essays on demandStudents who buy essays online are being ripped off, according to a report published this week by exam regulator Ofqual. The work they purchase is written by relatively competent writers, but who have an almost universal ignorance of the scope of the work and an utter lack of in-depth analysis. This is completely true. I worked for two of these companies, both from home and in-house, which at one point saw 15 of us crammed into the bosss attic.Ofquals researchers paid up to £220 for essays, but only a fraction of that money goes to the actual writer, who can earn as little as £24 for every 1,000 words. To earn a reasonable rate, a writer needs to finish at least an essay a day. Writers quickly learn the first rule of paid essays: abandon all aspirations to quality, right now. Continue reading...
(Wed, 01 Oct 2014 15:49:09 GMT)

Steve Bell on David Cameron's speech at the Conservative conference cartoon
Continue reading...
(Wed, 01 Oct 2014 23:41:00 GMT)

Could the 2C climate target be completely wrong?
The global warming goal that nearly 200 governments have agreed on should be ditched, say scientists writing in NatureIn a nondescript conference centre five years ago, as temperatures fell to freezing outside in the streets of Copenhagen and protesters gathered, world leaders did something remarkable: they put a limit on how high temperatures should be allowed to rise as man-made global warming takes hold. It was the first time the nearly 200 countries in the UN climate talks process had put a number on what constituted the limit for dangerous climate change (Germany had done it years before, followed by the EU). And with hindsight, is one of the signal agreements of a summit that was widely derided as a failure. Continue reading...
(Wed, 01 Oct 2014 17:03:19 GMT)

David Camerons speech pulled rabbits out of hats early because it had to
Prime ministers tax cuts for working and middle classes were aimed squarely to counter the threat from Lib Dems and UkipLive blog: Wednesday at the Conservative conferenceDavid Cameron demonstrated the teleprompter was invented for a reason. He told the Conservative party conference he was not a complicated man, but revealed a passion about Europe, healthcare, rewarding hard work and his own sense of public duty that some of his cabinet colleagues have despaired of him ever displaying.It may be that the prime ministers morale was lifted by the mistakes made by Ed Miliband in his conference speech. Or maybe he felt his back was up against the wall, and needed to get out of neutral. Perhaps it was the return of Steve Hilton, his one-time strategist, to draft the speech. Continue reading...
(Wed, 01 Oct 2014 12:48:36 GMT)

Why theres no such thing as Islamic State
From Isis to Aum Shinrikyo, the way language works can distort reality. We must be vigilant in reading between the linesThe whole language is a machine for making falsehoods, says the main character in Iris Murdochs first novel, Under the Net. His view is that the words we use trap us into seeing the world in a certain way. Orwell believed the same: if theres no name for it, you cant really think about it. Conversely, a name can be created for something that doesnt really exist.Linguists have argued for decades about the strength of this effect: the consensus is that language guides, rather than determines, thought. It can set up habits, no more. But habits can be tenacious. Continue reading...
(Wed, 01 Oct 2014 17:27:52 GMT)

Camerons tax cuts: short-term cheers at expense of longer-term problems
Tories pledge of spending boost on health and education amid deficit means it is now the party whose numbers dont stack upImagine that Ed Miliband had remembered to talk about the deficit in his conference speech. Imagine also that the Labour leader had said that despite the country being in the red by close to £100bn he was planning to boost spending on health and education by £7bn a year.The reaction from the Conservative party and its media supporters would have been swift and brutal. Profligate. The economics of the madhouse. Alice in Wonderland financial management. And lots more. Continue reading...
(Wed, 01 Oct 2014 17:38:14 GMT)

Putins view of power was formed watching East Germany collapse
25 years ago Russias president was a KGB officer in the chaos of Dresden. This explains the hardliner he is todayTwenty-five years ago this week tumultuous scenes were unfolding in the East German city of Dresden: inside the central station, tens of thousands of people clashed violently with police, army and Stasi forces. And the chances are high that a 36-year-old KGB officer named Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin would have followed the chaos with his own eyes.The story of what happened in Dresden on 4 October was soon overshadowed by the peaceful fall of the Berlin Wall a month later. Yet understanding what Putin the KGB officer may have seen that day could hold the key to understanding how the Russian president sees the crisis in eastern Europe today. For someone who believed deeply in the cold war order, it was most likely an excruciating experience. It is clear that he returned home soon afterwards in disgust, full of bitterness that lingers to this day, with dramatic consequences. Thanks to surviving evidence from police, Stasi, and party files, as well as interviews, it is possible to trace Dresdens descent into chaos over the course of 1989. Continue reading...
(Wed, 01 Oct 2014 20:18:59 GMT)

How much money do you hide from your partner?
Its bad news for romantics according to a new survey, one in seven couples above the age of 40 do. So is there a good way to divvy up money in a relationship?The good news is that you have probably got more money than you think. The bad news is that it is because your partner has been lying to you about it for years. A new survey by the Prudential insurance company has discovered that one in seven couples above the age of 40 in other words, an age when disposable income becomes a possibility rather than a risible dream are lying to each other about how much or how little they earn and what they are doing with it and buggering up the possibility of tax-efficient estate planning in the process. In a gold-stuffed fist to the gut for all romantics, the men from the Pru say that of those one in seven, 26% have a stash of savings a cache of cash, if you will averaging around £4,000 that they keep hidden from their partner. Why? Fifty-one per cent of the squirrellers say it is to preserve their independence (translation: My money is my money. Its MY money. Its my MONEY!), 16% say it is in case they split up (Its my money, and I cant stand you) and 22% say it is because they dont trust their partners financial decision-making (Itsmy money, I dont trust you, soon I wont be able to stand you and it will become my splitting-up fund). Continue reading...
(Wed, 01 Oct 2014 16:00:46 GMT)

It's time to shout stop on this war on the living world
Our consumption is trashing a natural world infinitely more fascinating and intricate than the stuff we produceThis is a moment at which anyone with the capacity for reflection should stop and wonder what we are doing.If the news that in the past 40 years the world has lost over 50% of its vertebrate wildlife (mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish) fails to tell us that there is something wrong with the way we live, its hard to imagine what could. Who believes that a social and economic system which has this effect is a healthy one? Who, contemplating this loss, could call it progress? Continue reading...
(Wed, 01 Oct 2014 15:18:45 GMT)

Austerity has been an utter disaster for the eurozone
All of the suffering in Europe inflicted in the service of a man-made artifice, the euro is even more tragic for being unnecessary, writes Joseph StiglitzIf the facts dont fit the theory, change the theory, goes the old adage. But too often it is easier to keep the theory and change the facts or so German chancellor Angela Merkel and other pro-austerity European leaders appear to believe. Though facts keep staring them in the face, they continue to deny reality.Austerity has failed. But its defenders are willing to claim victory on the basis of the weakest possible evidence: the economy is no longer collapsing, so austerity must be working! But if that is the benchmark, we could say that jumping off a cliff is the best way to get down from a mountain; after all, the descent has been stopped. Continue reading...
(Wed, 01 Oct 2014 14:29:35 GMT)

A Night Out With ... Sir Michael Caine review relaxed, charming, and faintly bemused all by the fuss
Royal Albert HallJonathan Ross hosts an evening of pure A-list reminiscence heaven, featuring music from the LSO and anecdotes from the man himself which, on occasion, bring the house downArnies done one. So has Sly. But Michael Caines live in-person show was an altogether classier and more celebratory event: hosted by Jonathan Ross in front of a packed crowd of Caineophiles at the Albert Hall, featuring loads of celebs and the London Symphony Orchestra playing soundtracks from Caines greatest hits.It was like a special Michael Caine populist prom, combined with This is Your Life with Ross wielding his clipboard like Michael Aspels big red book. Continue reading...
(Wed, 01 Oct 2014 23:16:20 GMT)

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