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Migration crisis: bid for united EU response fraying over quota demands
Governments divided over how to deal with unprecedented migration to the EU, with states increasingly blaming each otherEurope’s fragmented attempts to get to grips with its worst ever migration crisis are disintegrating into a slanging match between national capitals ahead of what is shaping up to be a major clash between eastern and western Europe over a common response.Berlin has won applause for seizing the moral high ground and opening its doors unconditionally to Syrian refugees but Austria and Hungary attacked it on Tuesday for stoking chaos at their railway stations, on their roads and at their borders as thousands of people seek transit to Germany. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 15:51:38 GMT)

Turkish authorities detain British family believed to be Syria-bound
British police say they are liaising with Turkey after Zahera Tariq and her four children were found safe and wellA British woman who left her London home and was feared to be on her way to Syria with her four children has been detained in Turkey, counter-terrorism police have said. Zahera Tariq, 33, and her four children, aged between four and 12, from Waltham Forest in east London, were last seen a week ago leaving London City airport on their way to the Netherlands. Turkish authorities have detained Tariq along with her four children, who are all said to be safe and well, the Metropolitan police’s counter-terrorism command said on Tuesday. British officers are liaising with the Turkish authorities and inquiries continue. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 15:52:12 GMT)

Hillary Clinton emails: Cherie Blair lobbied for Qatari crown prince
In 2010 email, Blair seeks meeting between US secretary of state and Sheikh Tamim ‘to discuss potential partnership issues’New emails released from Hillary Clinton’s private account show that Cherie Blair lobbied the US secretary of state on behalf of the crown prince of Qatar, writing: “As you know I have good links to the Qataris.”In a 2009 email marked confidential, Blair sought to arrange a meeting between Clinton and Qatar’s young crown prince, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 13:50:25 GMT)

Isis is systematically destroying Palmyra, top antiquities official says
Maamoun Abdulkarim says Islamic State militants have also begun excavations to unearth artefacts to sell on black marketSyria’s top antiquities official has said that the world is witnessing the systematic destruction of Palmyra, and that he has lost all hope of the historic city’s treasures being salvaged while Islamic State militants stalk the ruins. Speaking after satellite images confirmed the destruction of the Temple of Bel, Maamoun Abdulkarim said the militants had also begun excavations in the city to unearth artefacts to be sold on the black market. He said they would continue to plunder the ancient Silk Road oasis town barring international action or intervention by the Syrian military. “This is the start of the total loss of Palmyra in the coming days,” he said. “The city is being raped.” Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 17:17:21 GMT)

Iran nuclear deal poised to go ahead after key Democratic votes secured
Senators Bob Casey and Chris Coons, regarded as swing votes, voice support for deal as Obama approaches number of needed to withstand Republican blockadeThe Iranian nuclear deal is poised to clear remaining political hurdles in Washington after key Senate Democrats indicated there was now enough support in Congress for Barack Obama to withstand any Republican-led effort to block it.Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, regarded as a critical swing vote, became the 32nd Democrat to declare his support on Tuesday for the deal, which will ease sanctions on Iran in exchange for steps aimed at preventing it from developing a nuclear weapon. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 18:51:44 GMT)

EU referendum's reworded question welcomed by experts and campaigners
Voters will be asked to choose between ‘remaining’ or ‘leaving’ EU instead of straight yes or no question, as recommended by Electoral CommissionReferendum experts have welcomed the Electoral Commission’s decision to avoid a yes or no question in the forthcoming EU poll, claiming that it will avert any potential confusion about exactly what is being asked.In an attempt to avoid a potentially leading question, the Electoral Commission has recommended that the plebiscite’s options should be “remain” or “leave”. Downing Street has accepted the recommendation. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 15:08:25 GMT)

Senior journalists quit Sun after pay-for-stories legal battle
Graham Dudman, former managing editor, and John Edwards, picture editor, seek fresh starts after acquittalsTwo of the Sun’s most senior journalists have quit the paper in the wake of a three-year legal battle that saw them tried and acquitted of charges in relation to payments for stories.Graham Dudman, the former managing editor of the Sun, and John Edwards, the paper’s picture editor, chose to sever ties with the paper after the lengthy ordeal. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 17:59:11 GMT)

Partner of pianist Natalia Strelle charged with her murder
John Martin has also been charged with attempted murder of Strelle’s teenage son The partner of a world-renowned pianist has been charged with her murder and the attempted murder of her teenage son.Natalia Strelle, 38, died on Sunday after suffering serious head and neck injuries at the family home in Newton Heath, Greater Manchester. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 17:51:39 GMT)

Premature babies 'more likely to end up in lower-paid jobs'
Study of 15,000 British adults finds those born preterm are more likely to suffer long-term financial as well as health consequences Premature babies are more likely to be less intelligent, do worse at school and end up in lower-paid jobs than those born at full term, new research shows.An analysis of the circumstances of more than 15,000 British adults also found that those born prematurely are much more likely to become unemployed, be less wealthy and not own a house. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 18:27:24 GMT)

Anthony Horowitz apologises after calling Idris Elba 'too street' to play James Bond
Author makes statement after being criticised for telling the Daily Mail that Idris Elba should not play Bond, and says he is ‘mortified’ by any offence causedJames Bond author Anthony Horowitz has apologised for his comments about the prospect of Idris Elba being cast as 007, saying he “clumsily” chose the words “too street” to describe the Luther actor. Related: Idris Elba ‘too street’ to play James Bond? Get with the times | Maurice Mcleod Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 18:04:55 GMT)

The 20 autumn fashion trends you need to know about
Where can you get a decent maxi coat? What is school-bully hair and should you be scared? And which decade are you supposed to be chanelling? Here is our guide to the clothes that will fill the shops this season – and what you will actually be wearingIf you’ve seen any of the following in Zara or Topshop – shaggy faux-fur coats, pussybow blouses or floral dresses that look like 1970s upholstery – then you’ve already spotted the beginnings of the Guccification of the high street. This is all thanks to the brand’s new creative director, Alessandro Michele, who has transformed Gucci from a purveyor of bling-tastic yacht chic to a haven for glamorous geeks, and has won the hearts of the fashion industry in the process. High-street homages are everywhere; spectacles and a bobble hat are the finishing touches. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 18:08:18 GMT)

I’ve been dismissed as a silly girl and an activist for hire, but it won’t stop me fighting for the Arctic | Charlotte Church
The online response to my campaigning with Greenpeace against Shell’s plans has been fascinating. But who can really think that drilling in the Arctic is OK?It has come to my attention that public response to my recent activity – I have been campaigning with Greenpeace against drilling in the Arctic – has been really quite angry. Not necessarily because these critics disagree with what I am saying, but because it is me who is saying it. I can sympathise – I have felt the same thing. It’s always galling to hear an actor telling us all why they object to the gay marriage laws or a multi-millionaire musician imploring us to put our hands in our pockets while avoiding tax. People feel they are being preached to by self-absorbed, self-promoting celebrities who know next to nothing about the issues they are moaning on about, other than the information pack they skimmed through 10 minutes before the interview.But, in the face of overwhelming scientific consensus against it, how can anybody possibly think that drilling in the Arctic is OK? There have already been many, much more scholarly and informed articles and books written on the subject than I could offer, such as Rick Steiner’s essay on Arctic drilling, Terry MacAllister’s book Polar Opposites: Opportunities and Threats in the Arctic; and Naomi Klein, Bill McKibben and Annie Leonard, published in June. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 19:00:12 GMT)

Google unveils new logo at turning point in company's history
Search giant says the new design will soon be seen across all its products just a month after a major restructuring of the company gave rise to AlphabetFirst they changed their name, now they’ve changed their logo. Google introduced a new sans-serif and slightly toned-down four-colour logo on Tuesday in the biggest redesign since 1999. Google said the new design would soon be seen across all its products. Google’s homepage introduced the redesign with an animation that wiped away the old logo and drew the new one. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 16:47:00 GMT)

US police act against federal guidelines with shootings into moving cars
US police have fatally shot 30 people in moving vehicles this year, despite federal guidelines advising them not to. Why have police departments pulled the trigger on drivers rather than reform?Tommy Maness had no choice but to shoot, they said. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 13:42:30 GMT)

Why depriving your kids of toys is a great idea
In this new weekly series, writer Madeleine Somerville makes the case for having less, and enjoying life moreMy five siblings and I grew up in a cruel wasteland of deprivation that included whole-wheat cereals, secondhand clothing and shared rooms. To add insult to injury, we didn’t even have a TV to distract us from our hardship.My parents weren’t poor, so as a child I simply assumed they had a sadistic streak. Looking back now, as a wise old 31-year-old, I get it. And not only do I get it, I’ve come to realize that depriving your children is wildly underrated. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 14:00:07 GMT)

David Bowie joins roster of stars writing songs for SpongeBob musical
Cyndi Lauper and John Legend will also compose pieces for soundtrack of new stage productionEven for a man with a reputation for radical reinvention, David Bowie’s latest move is surprising: the former Ziggy Stardust and Thin White Duke is to contribute songs to a musical about a talking sponge.Bowie is one of several pop names lined up for The SpongeBob Musical, a stage show about children’s cartoon character Spongebob Squarepants. Joining him on an impressive roster will be Cyndi Lauper, John Legend and Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, along with a host of more alternative names including the Flaming Lips, They Might Be Giants and the Brooklyn-based experimentalists, Dirty Projectors. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 16:56:08 GMT)

Wasp study finds sting in the tail for cancer cells
Research has found a Brazilian wasp’s venom could destroy tumours of leukaemia, prostate and bladder cancer without harming healthy tissueThe venom of the Brazilian wasp Polybia paulista contains a powerful “smart” drug that selectively targets and destroys tumour cells without harming normal cells, a study has shown.In laboratory tests, the poison has been shown to suppress the growth of prostate and bladder cancer cells, as well as leukaemia cells resistant to a range of drugs. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 16:00:03 GMT)

'She's a wild woman, she's a shaman': Nicki Minaj becomes a feminist art muse
Inspired by Minaj’s ‘radical’ video Anaconda – and outraged by the slut-shaming that followed – French artist Camille Henrot is reimagining the rapper in a series of delicate line drawingsNicki Minaj called Miley Cyrus a bitch at the MTV VMAs last weekend after Cyrus had accused the rapper of being “not very polite”.Meanwhile, a French artist and rising star called Camille Henrot has just released a series of evocative drawings inspired by the rapper that are, in fact, decidedly polite. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 14:18:24 GMT)

Chris Packham slams 'shameful' silence of Britain's conservation charities
BBC presenter and naturalist targets RSPB and Wildlife Trusts for keeping quiet on fox hunting, badger cull and the plight of hen harriers Chris Packham has slammed the “shameful” silence of some of Britain’s major conservation charities on fox hunting, the badger cull and the plight of hen harriers.In his column in this month’s BBC Wildlife Magazine, the TV presenter and naturalist said: “We want more action from Britain’s conservation leaders, not the fence-sitting and ineffectual risk-avoidance that have contributed to the mess we’re in now.” Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 15:52:44 GMT)

The nine greatest stealth games
Metal Gear Solid V: Phantom Pain is finally out so, to celebrate, here’s a furtive glance back at our favourite sneak-n-shoot adventuresAfter years in development, a fascinating prelude and some interesting marketing decisions, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain was finally released Tuesday. Following grizzled hero Big Boss on his journey into war-torn Afghanistan, the latest title in the series is looking like another epic, bewildering and brilliant stealth adventure.Metal Gear Solid, of course, popularised the stealth concept in 1998, introducing millions of gamers to the basic conventions of this then formative genre. You need a protagonist who relies more on watching and avoiding enemies than shooting them; you need an artificial intelligence system that gives baddies predictable patrol behaviours but also lets them see and hear the hero; and you need an environment that allows players to hide. A lot. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 13:22:15 GMT)

Danny and the Human Zoo; An Evening with Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse review – Let’s face it, blacking up is never funny
Yes, they were being satirical, but Enfield and Whitehouse’s blackface was a mistake – as Lenny Henry’s complex autobiographical drama makes clearHere’s a question. Were white comedians Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse right to black up for a comedy sketch or were they, as Lenny Henry’s Jamaican mother might have put it, bumbaclot idiots? I tend towards the bumbaclot thesis, but let’s suspend judgment for a moment.The question is topical because last night the BBC broadcast two scenes of blacking up at the same time on different channels. In Lenny Henry’s Danny and the Human Zoo (BBC1), his thinly veiled autobiographical drama of rising as a black comedy star in the 1970s, the last 20 minutes dealt with the self-disgust our hero felt after performing on the same bill as white men in blackface. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 06:10:03 GMT)

Plays on the waterways: how Mikron turned a narrowboat into a theatre
Despite having to deal with endless locks, cabin fever and chemical toilet mishaps, the Mikron theatre company is flourishing, thanks to its passionate followingSmall-scale touring is all about mucking in, humping the set and putting up with the personal habits of a group of actors for months on end. But Mikron is the only theatre company that requires you to grease a canal boat’s sump gland in order to get a good night’s sleep.“It’s not that difficult when you get used to it,” artistic director Marianne McNamara assures me as I’m introduced to my berth for the next couple of days: a prettily painted but particularly tiny cabin at the rear of the 80-year-old narrowboat that has been the company’s home for over 40 years. “If you hear steady dripping, that’s fine. But if it begins to sound like running water, come and get me, because it means we’re sinking.” Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 11:14:42 GMT)

Promised You a Miracle: UK 80-82 review – how Britain came back to life
An account of England’s rebirth after the grim reality of the 1970s throws up constant parallels with life in 2015The 1970s were “failure time for Britain”. The words are those of an astute adman who devised the Austin Metro launch of 1980, a brouhaha of flag-waving, commercialised nationalism that caught the hankering to end the defeats, discomforts and grievances of the tawdry, stop-go 1970s. Andy Beckett’s new book – studded with revealing interviews and thoughtful profiles from the early 1980s – evokes and explains the Austin Metro moment in 20th-century history. Politicians, capitalists, socialists, film-makers, peace activists, royalists and rioters were groping their way towards a new version of England; the truth is that Scotland does not matter much in Beckett’s account and Northern Ireland was a different story. He shows how an exasperated population itched for institutional change.In addition to the Austin Metro publicity, there was the upbeat revivalism of Diana Spencer’s wedding to Prince Charles, England’s trouncing of Australia in the Headingley Test match of 1981, and the nostalgic, heart-stopping thrills of Chariots of Fire. This film about rival Olympic runners, exploring the sacrifices and self-fulfilment involved in competitive striving, and celebrating national pride in individual achievement, would have been scorned by previous generations of cinema-goers, its producer, Lord Puttnam, tells Beckett. But early 1980s audiences were sick of the drab, failed communitarianism of previous years and greeted this epoch-defining film with tears and cheers. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 05:30:02 GMT)

Katrina and the Waves: how we made Walking on Sunshine
‘It was a dancefloor emptier so we binned it. Then we realised you couldn’t get it out of your head’Katrina Leskanich, singerI was in a band called Mama’s Cookin’, playing US airforce bases around Britain. It was a circuit I knew because my dad, who was in the US army, was stationed in Norfolk. I’d phone up and say, “I’m an American singer,” and that got us gigs. We’d play 45-minute sets to GIs shouting for Free Bird by Lynyrd Skynyrd. We played Heart and ZZ Top – anything they wanted. And, by day, I’d wash dishes in the canteens. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 06:00:05 GMT)

Saido Berahino vows never to play for West Brom again as Spurs bids rejected
• England Under-21 striker had handed in transfer request• WBA remain determined to keep striker at The HawthornsSaido Berahino has taken to Twitter to express his fury at how the West Bromwich Albion chairman, Jeremy Peace, has stood in the way of the transfer he wants to Tottenham Hotspur. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 15:51:03 GMT)

US Open 2015: Roger Federer v Leonardo Mayer – live!
Email niall.mcveigh@theguardian.com or tweet @niallmcveighRafael Nadal marches into second roundAndy Murray heads for clash with Nick Kyrgios 8.11pm BST Federer 6-1, 1-1 Mayer* (*denotes next server) Mayer snaffles the first point, then witnesses the grim sight of Federer moving up a gear, moving in behind the serve and finding an ace to go 40-15 up. Mayer keeps the game alive with a cross-court backhand that Federer mistakenly leaves, but another ace wraps it up. 8.09pm BST Federer* 6-1, 0-1 Mayer (*denotes next server) Off and running in the second set, and Mayer needs to remember page two of the tennis handbook - don’t lose your opening service game in the second set, either. He battles to 30-15, double faults again - oh Leonardo! - and gets a let-off as Federer nets a makeable return. Mayer sees the game out by shading a baseline battle, and he’s off the mark. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 19:11:35 GMT)

Real Madrid accuse Manchester United of holding up David de Gea deal
• Spanish club rule out appeal over failed transfers of De Gea and Navas• Spanish league says paperwork was not sent in time and Real blame UnitedReal Madrid have sought to lay the blame for their failure to sign David de Gea with Manchester United, insisting that they did “everything” they could to complete the £29.3m deal in which De Gea was due to head for the Santiago Bernabéu with Keylor Navas going to Old Trafford. Real accused the English club of taking eight hours to make minor modifications to the agreement.Madrid have suggested that small changes requested by Navas helped to slow down the completion of the move which they were unable to register before the midnight deadline, although doubts remain about their version of events and what really happened.  Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 14:44:00 GMT)

West Ham sign Michail Antonio, Victor Moses, Nikica Jelavic and Alex Song
• Antonio sign from Forest on a four-year deal; Jelavic signs two-year deal• Song back after last season’s loan; Moses arrives despite four-year Chelsea dealWest Ham United have made their fourth signing of transfer deadline day by completing a deal for the Nottingham Forest winger Michail Antonio, having already signed the Hull City striker Nikica Jelavic on a two-year deal as well as Victor Moses and Alex Song on season-long loans from Chelsea and Barcelona respectively.Antonio, who contributed 15 goals for Nottingham Forest last season and scored their late goal in Saturday’s 2-1 home defeat to Cardiff City, joins on a four-year deal. “I’m buzzing and finally happy to be back in London at a massive club,” Antonio, who will wear No30, told West Ham TV. “I’ve always been around London and I came to a couple of games here when I was younger, so I’m happy to be finally here and at a club I watched when I was younger.” Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 07:00:58 GMT)

Andy Murray busy but happy heading into US Open clash with Nick Kyrgios
• Murray pleased with form despite hectic schedule of games• No3 seed meets Australian Kyrgios in first round on TuesdayIf Andy Murray were not leading the British charge at a grand slam tournament, a familiar pall would hang over proceedings, once the norm for the travelling representatives of a tennis nation not so much starved of success as incapable of even remembering it.So, his opening match against Nick Kyrgios here on day two of the 2015 US Open carries its usual significance. If he were to lose we would be spirited back to pre-Murray expectations, relying on estimable but lesser players to retrieve something from the wreckage. Continue reading...
(Mon, 31 Aug 2015 21:29:11 GMT)

Warren Gatland is scheming for England to be ‘Pool of Death’ fatality | Robert Kitson
It is an overused phrase yet Pool A is about as close it gets in sport to a deadly group and the Wales coach is in no mood to make Stuart Lancaster’s life easier between now and their Rugby World Cup clash at TwickenhamWarren Gatland’s dream World Cup scenario is no secret. First he unveils a Welsh squad talented enough to worry England before a ball is kicked. His team subsequently limber up with a 70-point victory over Uruguay in Cardiff, 48 hours after a clutch of England players pick up injuries against the physical Fijians in the tournament opener. Then he crosses the Severn Bridge to spring the trap he has spent months laying, cementing his global reputation as the wiliest coach of his generation.Wishful thinking? Either way, English supporters are starting to twitch. Wales suddenly sit above them in the world rankings – fifth to England’s sixth – and this week’s squad announcement was classic Gatland: bold, assertive, no-nonsense and coolly delivered. Having already dropped the likes of Richard Hibbard, Mike Phillips and James Hook, the final tweaks sent out a subtly different kind of message. Who might just inconvenience England in the final quarter should Liam Williams or Alex Cuthbert be unavailable? Step forward the elusive Matthew Morgan or the speedy Hallam Amos. Who has up-to-date knowledge of England’s lineout jumpers if required? Ah yes, Bath’s Dominic Day. Even if these fringe players do not actually take the field, a few handy extra seeds of doubt have been scattered. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 11:06:44 GMT)

Rafael Nadal sees off young lion Borna Ćorić at US Open
Struggling Nadal wins 6-3, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 win over rising star ĆorićWorld No8 advances to face Diego Schwartzman in second roundAs the most difficult season of Rafael Nadal’s career turned into the homestretch on Monday night at the US Open, many among the Spaniard’s manifold followers had reason to fear the worst. Not only had the 14-times grand slam champion entered as the No8 seed – the first time he’s been seeded outside the top three at Flushing Meadows since George W Bush’s first term – but he had drawn for his first-round opponent Borna Ćorić, the Croatian teenager presently soaring up the rankings who had beaten Nadal in their only previous meeting last fall. By the time Nadal uncorked a 110mph service winner down the middle on match point at 11.43pm and throttled his fist to the New York sky, the sense of relief from the Spaniard was as palpable as the humidity that had kept the grounds a sweatbox long after sundown. The 6-3, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 victory over one of the tour’s young lions will no doubt bolster a confidence that for the past year has been shaken to its foundation. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 05:51:03 GMT)

Transfer window: how did clubs in Spain, Germany, France and Italy fare?
The David de Gea fallout dominated in Spain, Julian Draxler’s £26m move to Wolfsburg in Germany, Napoli’s farcical failure to sign Roberto Soriano in Italy, while the headlines in France focused on Anthony MartialWhen the Spanish league published its list of completed transfers not long after its midnight deadline on Monday, David de Gea’s name was not on it but plenty of others were. This has been a record-breaking window for Spanish clubs, who have spent £410m on players, selling £295m worth (so far) — and that is despite the fact that neither Real Madrid nor Barcelona were, this time, the motors behind the market. Atlético Madrid and Valencia both spent more on signings. Even in net spend, the traditional big two have not spent the most: Valencia have, with £63.5m (€100m) spent in total. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 12:24:30 GMT)

Hayley Turner confirms retirement at end of turf season at Doncaster
• Jockey is eager to embrace a life beyond the weighing room• The 32-year-old is the most successful female rider in British racingHayley Turner has denied that a lack of opportunities has played any part in her decision to quit the saddle. The most successful female jockey in British racing history spoke on Tuesday for the first time in response to reports that she is soon to retire and explained that her decision, made three months ago, had more to do with the timing being right for a new career in broadcasting. Related: Hayley Turner announces she will retire at the end of the season Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 10:36:21 GMT)

Everton sign defender Ramiro Funes Mori from River Plate for £9.5m
• Argentinian joins Merseyside club until 2020• ‘The people here have shown me a lot of love’Everton have announced the signing of the defender Ramiro Funes Mori from River Plate. The 24-year-old Argentinian has joined the Premier League club for a fee of £9.5m, committing until 2020. Related: Roberto Martínez says John Stones a ‘true Evertonian’ after Spurs draw Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 08:39:55 GMT)

Defending champion Serena Williams marches into US Open second round
Williams 6-0, 6-2 ahead when Vitalia Diatchenko retires hurtWorld No1 faces Dutch qualifier Kiki Bertens in round twoSerena Williams, as befits the grand dame of tennis, began the pursuit of a calendar grand slam with a regal swat on the first evening of the 2015 US Open. This time, it was the turn of the poor Russian Vitalia Diatchenko, in her second appearance in New York, to fall, almost literally, before the finest player of modern times in a mere half an hour in the Arthur Ashe Stadium.It was not just one-sided, it was farcical. Diatchenko, who has had surgery on her left achilles, served lollipops from the start and retired in tears after winning just five of the 37 points played – as one might expect of someone who pulled out of her last tournament in Vancouver and was double-bageled in Stanford recently. She had her chronically weak ankle strapped at 0-5, then gently rolled over, to the bemusement and mixed sympathy of the crowd. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 01:28:26 GMT)

Novak Djokovic beats João Souza to move into US Open second round
• Aces a perfect response to doubts over serving shoulder• Djokovic shows familiar ease to win 6-1, 6-1, 6-1It is a year since Kei Nishikori embarrassed Novak Djokovic in the US Open semi-finals – an impossibility this year after his shock departure on day one – but the Serb looked far happier at the start of this campaign than he has done for weeks, moving into the second round after beating the Brazilian João Souza. Related: Rafael Nadal sees off young lion Borna Ćorić at US Open Continue reading...
(Mon, 31 Aug 2015 23:02:46 GMT)

Football Weekly: Swansea soar as Chelsea stumble again
Swansea's excellent start to the season continues with a defeat of Manchester United. Plus, Chelsea lose at home to Crystal Palace, West Ham stun Liverpool, and Juventus lose once againOn today's grey and miserable bank holiday edition of Football Weekly, AC Jimbo, Rafa Honigstein, Barry Glendenning, John Ashdown and Alan Smith (not that one, or indeed that one either) try their damnedest to bring some sunshine into your life.We start in south Wales, where Swansea once again did a number on Manchester United to continue their fine start. And while Chelsea and Liverpool suffered bad home defeats, Manchester City put in another stonking showing at home to Watford to extend their lead at the top. Continue reading...
(Mon, 31 Aug 2015 14:06:00 GMT)

Dancing, onesies, magicians ... is baseball in danger of becoming fun?
Not to threaten the sanctity of the national pastime, but is there an argument that a happy team is a good team?Minutes after Jake Arrieta completed his first career no-hitter against the Dodgers on Sunday night, he showed up to his press conference in onesie pajamas covered in mustaches. Earlier this season, Cubs manager Joe Maddon brought in a magician to perform for his team after they had been swept by the Cardinals. The Cubs then won five of six. Continue reading...
(Mon, 31 Aug 2015 12:14:41 GMT)

The fate of the temple of Bel is a symbol of the tragedy engulfing Syria | Tom Holland
The temple was a treasure of incalculable value that stood as a monument to religious accommodation. No wonder Isis hated itSomething incalculably precious has been wiped off the face of the Earth. Satellite photos have confirmed that the temple of Bel, a monument that for almost 2,000 years had stood resplendent amid the ruins of Palmyra, is no more. Scholars had been dreading the worst since the fighters of Islamic State annexed the ancient city back in May.Few had put much faith in the initial assurances of the conquerors that they would spare the archaeological site: too much ruin had already been visited on the antiquities of the territory under their control for that. And sure enough, at the end of June, the militants demolished the iconic statue of a lion sacred to Allat – a goddess who had suffered the signal misfortune of being condemned by name in the Qur’an. Then last month they destroyed a temple dedicated to Baal Shamin, a deity often paired with Allat. That was tragedy enough. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 14:55:09 GMT)

Let Elizabeth reign until the end – then stop this charade | Polly Toynbee
Next week, she’ll be our longest-reigning monarch. But historians will struggle to find glory in her eraLong to reign over us – that old incantation has worked, so next week the Queen’s reign becomes the longest ever. She overtakes Victoria, who kept going for 63 years, seven months and two days. That’s all they need do – stay alive, procreate and do nothing to upset the multitudes.She is past-mistress of nothingness. A dutiful enigma, say her flatterers, or a conveniently empty vessel into which Helen Mirren can imagine any amount of knowingness and intelligence. Another avalanche of adulation is about to asphyxiate us; with glossy supplements on “The Greatest Reign”, exhibitions in royal palaces selling souvenir albums, and Douglas Hurd’s gushing biography, Elizabeth II: The Steadfast. Steadfast or hanging on until grim death? Charles is now the oldest ever heir to the British throne. If the Queen lives as long as her mother, he’ll be 79 when/if he accedes. His lugubrious presence at Queen Beatrix’s abdication in 2013 couldn’t but suggest a certain longing, the same year Belgium’s King Albert stood down for his son. Is steadfastly denying her son so admirable, when other parents remortgage and raid pensions to help their children on their way? But then, “they” are not at all like us. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 05:00:02 GMT)

Idris Elba ‘too street’ to play James Bond? Get with the times | Maurice Mcleod
Anthony Horowitz might think he knows Bond but there’s more to being suave than knowing what cutlery to use with your quinoa saladIdris Elba’s chances of being cast as the first black screen Bond took a hit this week when the author Anthony Horowitz claimed the star of Luther and The Wire was “too street” to be Britain’s favourite spy.Hackney-born Elba, 42, has been one of the frontrunners to play 007 since leaked Sony emails suggested he was being considered to replace Daniel Craig. Might the filmmakers now be influenced by the writer’s comments? Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 16:16:36 GMT)

Yes or no? In or out? It’s not just the phrasing of the EU vote that’s a mess | Steve Richards
The fact that David Cameron hadn’t thought the wording of the question through should worry those who want to stay in the European UnionBefore we have a date for the EU referendum the question to be asked is changed. Until now voters were going to decide on a yes or no question as to whether Britain should remain a member of the European Union. Now, after an intervention from the Electoral Commission, voters will be asked whether the UK should remain a member of the EU or leave it. There will be no chance for a positive yes to be connected with continuing membership. Related: EU referendum's reworded question welcomed by experts and campaigners Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 18:39:45 GMT)

Rentboy wasn't my 'brothel'. It was a tool to stay alive in this economy of violence | Anonymous
The prosecution of the escort site is a symptom of law enforcement’s insidious efforts to sex workers’ networks of mutual support and safetyPushed out of home by Evangelical parents as a teen when I came out, I worked double shifts as a bus boy, pieced together odd construction jobs and yardwork and informally traded sex for money and shelter – sometimes with “friends” my age, but more often with well-moneyed older men.So by the time I posted my first ad on Craigslist’s “Erotic Services” section, it was just another – albeit particularly – odd job. I hadn’t been paid a living wage before Craigslist. After months of knee-scraping encounters, I began to get a handle on it. It took three years to make the transition from $50-blow-and-gos to a $200-an-encounter rentboy; my business weathered first Craiglist’s move to charge $10 for posts during its “Adult Services” rebrand and then the prohibitionist panic of 2008 (the activists among us dubbed it the “Pink Scare”), which triggered an escalating machinery of fees, phone authentication and credit card-capturing requirements designed to facilitate Craigslist’s emerging collaboration with the boys in blue. Phone authentication reduced ads by 80%, Craigslist announced, and as a result 2.88 million US posters were pushed to other means of soliciting clients. (The Polaris Project estimated there were 3.65m adult services ads per year on Craigslist.) Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 15:15:05 GMT)

Secret aid worker: sometimes I go to supermarkets to escape the loneliness
When you leave your family and friends behind you need to learn new ways to deal with sadness and lonelinessCrossing borders is more than a physical act. It is a mental and emotional one which involves tremendous challenges to the aid worker.We must leave our partner and family, friends and familiar surroundings behind, and cope with a barrage of new pressures and demands. You learn as you go, on the job training, the languages, the culture, differing value systems and world views. Time brings answers, you get acclimatised, find your way around, make friends, get to know the local shops, from time to time find familiar products you longed for that say “home” and settle in. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 09:31:55 GMT)

The Guardian view on Europe’s refugee crisis: a little leadership, at last | Editorial
Angela Merkel has faced up to how a humanitarian emergency is threatening a continent’s defining values. The rest of Europe should pay attention, and follow suitVisionary language is rarely heard from pro-Europeans these days; attempts to cast the EU as a morally based endeavour risk ridicule and scorn. The brave stance that Angela Merkel, not an easy woman to mock, has taken on the refugee and migrant crisis thus deserves close attention. The German chancellor has taken the lead on an issue that has, for too long, produced nothing but squabbling among member states, and fodder for the populists who would wall their countries off from the outside world.Hundreds of thousands are fleeing war zones and persecution in Europe’s worst refugee crisis since the second world war. The situation is not likely to change any time soon, and so it is welcome that someone with clout is taking the high ground, instead of pandering to demagoguery. Mrs Merkel has put it bluntly: “If Europe fails on the question of refugees, its close connection with universal civil rights will be destroyed.” Days after European opinion was shaken by the discovery of 71 decomposing bodies of migrants inside a truck on an Austrian highway, the chancellor is sending out a strong message. Mrs Merkel had already taken a unique initiative in announcing that all Syrian refugees would be eligible to claim asylum in Germany – unilaterally, and rightly, waiving the so-called Dublin procedures, under which displaced people must claim asylum in the first EU state that they arrive in. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 17:18:35 GMT)

To Farage the opportunist, the EU referendum is his chance for glory | Simon Jenkins
Britain’s membership of the EU is essentially about immigration, according to Ukip, so what better time for Farage to assert that we should go it alone?The phoenix rises from the ashes. Nigel Farage’s Ukip today became the third army to join the crusade for Britain to leave Europe in the 2017 referendum. Why he should do so is hardly a secret: Farage is a master opportunist. The refugee crisis has plunged Europe into a turmoil of confusion over migration. To Farage, Britain’s membership of the EU is essentially about immigration. With a sporting chance of the referendum going in favour of not remaining in the EU, he is not going to deny himself a share in the glory.Cameron has clearly nailed his colours to the yes mast, before even a whisper of a concession from his European partners Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 10:40:24 GMT)

Trident is too important to be used for bank holiday political football
George Osborne’s tactical manouvre in Scotland cheapened the upcoming nuclear defence question George Osborne didn’t give up much by way of his weekend by spending a grey and wet bank holiday Monday visiting Britain’s Trident nuclear submarine base at Faslane – where it wasn’t a bank holiday anyway. But did his blatantly tactical manoeuvre on a serious and divisive issue cost him in terms of reputation?I can see why ministers from David Cameron down can’t wait to get a crack at Jeremy Corbyn’s imminent leadership of the opposition. Andrew Sparrow sets out their thinking admirably in Tuesday’s Guardian, though our Tory pundit Matthew d’Ancona has been among those warning No 10 that an enfeebled Labour party will unleash the demons of rightwing Euroscepticism to torment them instead. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 11:46:52 GMT)

Why zombies are the coldest comfort | Catherine Shoard
The best horror directors don’t just scare us but make us feel we’re in a safe pair of handsOne of the upsides of getting older is learning to appreciate the undead. Just as the palate adjusts to anchovies and early nights, so too zombies become enjoyable. Twenty years ago they would have worried me, a decade ago bored me. Now I find them reassuring as old friends. A couple of weeks ago the pilot episode of Fear the Walking Dead set records worldwide. Viewing figures in the US caused the network AMC’s stock to rocket. The trick was repeated in almost every territory where the pilot aired.Having recently become fond of the original show, I now see why it’s so infectious. Zombies are a threat it’s easy to rationalise. They are unlikely. For this reason, plus issues with speed and intelligence, they are not especially scary. They are essentially a pest control problem with metaphor potential. Even squirrels run quicker. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 16:27:00 GMT)

Alcohol addiction is ruining older lives, too | Clare Allan
A radio documentary about my beloved Uncle Pad shows how easily ‘normal’ drinking can escalate in response to the stresses that come with ageingProblem drinking among older people is on the increase, with an estimated 20%-25% of over-65s drinking at unsafe levels, according to research published last week by the institute of psychiatry, psychology and neuroscience at King’s College London. Moreover, prosecutions for drink-driving of adults over 65 have increased by a sobering 40% in the last 10 years.I know something of the devastation alcohol addiction can bring from experience within my own family. My much loved aunt struggled with severe alcoholism for 20 years, before falling while drunk in her early 60s and suffering a brain haemorrhage, which led her to develop dementia. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 12:00:10 GMT)

Dear Ms Morgan: there’s no point giving children tickets for closed libraries
We knew where we were with Thatcher’s ideologues – unlike today’s double-speaking ToriesBack in the days of Margaret Thatcher, I had the impression that when she wanted to do something, she told us what she was doing and why. And she was proud of it. Colleagues of hers, people such as Keith Joseph, a major influence in the development of Thatcherism, and Nicholas Ridley, her transport secretary, were ideologues, fighting for the end of trade unions, the state provision of anything and, yes, society. We all knew where we were.It doesn’t seem like that now. Your government tells people who are worse off that they are better off. You can be disabled but fit for work; you can be out of work – “workless” to use the jargon – but you’re not unemployed; working for no money is an opportunity. The NHS is not being privatised, it’s being put into private hands. Schools are being given to charities and corporations but they aren’t being taken out of public ownership. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 11:01:09 GMT)

Sorry Mr Obama, but presidents shouldn’t behave like reality TV stars | Rupert Myers
Macho posturing from Vladimir Putin I can deal with, but Obama drinking his own urine with Bear Grylls? Say it ain’t soAn award-winning golf aficionado and micro-brewer is to appear on reality television as part of a pre-retirement publicity tour. A trip to Alaska, accompanied by Bear Grylls, wouldn’t be the stuff of international news in normal circumstances, but this particular star also happens to be the leader of the free world.The Nobel peace prize winner responsible for the launch of the largest number of cruise missiles in the award’s history, Barack Obama, will go where Kate Winslet and Zac Efron have gone before, and venture into the wild for entertainment TV. There is already a petition calling on the president to drink his own urine on the show. Viewers will be treated to the undignified sight of a lame duck waddling on ice. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 13:17:12 GMT)

To solve the crisis in care for older people, think health, not ill health | John Ransford
Proposed solutions such as integrating health and social care can’t tackle the shortfall in care for older people. We need a different approachFew doubt that we are facing a crisis in the care of older people. Most of us are living longer and will have more complex health, social and mobility needs. The Care Act raises expectations of solutions, yet the government’s promised £8bn investment in the NHS soaks up any additional resource in the system and, indeed, raises the pressure on social care through greater clinical activity. Related: The scandal of 70,000 older people who aren’t getting the support they need Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 13:59:06 GMT)

Four face charges over death of lawyer hit by window frame
Four people to appear in court three years after Amanda Telfer was killed when half-tonne wooden frame fell on her in LondonFour people face charges of manslaughter by gross negligence over the death of a lawyer crushed by a half-tonne window frame as she walked through central London three years ago. Amanda Telfer, 44, died after the 13ft x 13ft wooden frame, which had been propped up against a wall at a building site, fell and pinned her to the ground in Hanover Street, central London. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 14:46:57 GMT)

Martin McGuinness urges Cameron not to suspend Stormont assembly
Call from Northern Ireland’s deputy first minister is counter to pressure from Democratic Unionists for London to reintroduce direct ruleMartin McGuinness has urged David Cameron not to meet Democratic Unionist demands to suspend the Northern Ireland assembly over the crisis threatening power sharing in the region.Northern Ireland’s deputy first minister and Sinn Féin’s chief negotiator during the peace negotiations that led to IRA ceasefires and eventual devolution, called on Cameron to resist calls for London to introduce new laws that would allow Downing Street to put the assembly into cold storage. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 18:46:40 GMT)

Help for dying RAF cadet delayed by 30 minutes, inquest hears
Coroner’s court told it took teenagers with untested radios some time to get through to adult supervisors 1.2 miles awayA 14-year-old RAF cadet lay dying for up to 30 minutes at a training camp while his teenage colleagues desperately tried to get help, an inquest has been told. David Efemena died in March 2014 during a night exercise at a defence training estate in Bramley, Hampshire, after becoming seriously ill in his tent. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 13:27:31 GMT)

ITV apologises for poll asking if rape is 'ever a woman's fault'
Online survey for talk show Loose Women, prompted by recent comments by singer Chrissie Hynde, leads to angry criticism from viewers and charitiesITV has issued an apology after a backlash over an online poll for its Loose Women programme, which asked whether women were ever to blame for being raped.Results of the poll, carried out in light of comments by the Pretenders singer Chrissie Hynde last week, were overwhelmingly negative but the fact the question was even asked sparked anger. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 18:37:07 GMT)

Gay priest forced to wait for verdict in church discrimination tribunal
Jeremy Pemberton is taking Church of England to tribunal in Nottingham over alleged unlawful discrimination after bishop refused him a licence to officiateA clergyman who wed his partner in a same-sex marriage may have to wait until next year to find out whether a decision by the church to remove his right to officiate was discriminatory.Canon Jeremy Pemberton, who married Laurence Cunnington last April, was told a job offer as a chaplain for Sherwood Forest hospitals NHS trust was being withdrawn. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 18:00:13 GMT)

Woman pleads guilty to posting revenge porn photos of girlfriend
Paige Mitchell given suspended sentence by Stevenage magistrates for putting four explicit images of the victim on FacebookA woman who posted sexually explicit images of her girlfriend to hurt and humiliate her after an argument has been given a suspended sentence.Paige Mitchell, 24, admitted uploading four intimate photos of the victim to her Facebook page. She is the first woman to be sentenced for an offence under revenge porn laws introduced in England and Wales in April. About a dozen men have been convicted under the legislation in England. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 11:59:54 GMT)

Nicola Sturgeon puts schools, jobs and homes at top of plans
First minister says programme is ‘ambitious and reforming’ but Labour says SNP’s record ‘should shame us as a nation’Scotland’s first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, defended her party’s eight years in power as she unveiled plans to standardise school testing, step up jobs competition with other parts of the UK and extend a home-buying programme.Enduring values … can be applied to make Scotland a fairer and more prosperous country Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 16:52:42 GMT)

Jeremy Corbyn pledges to reverse BBC and Arts Council cuts
Labour leadership contender says party must be at forefront of campaign to defend licence fee and reverse cutsLabour leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn has said he would fight to reverse cuts to the BBC and arts funding.The Islington North MP made the promise as he set out his manifesto for the arts, although he did not provide an estimate of how much would be restored to them. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 16:51:49 GMT)

Boris Johnson concerned about rise in disorder at Notting Hill carnival
London mayor to speak with commissioner after describing 300-plus arrests as ‘simply too many’ as police respond to surge in knife crime Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, has said the 407 people arrested over the weekend at Notting Hill carnival was “simply too many” amid concerns over a surge in knife crime.Scotland Yard is to review policing of the event after there were a more arrests than in 2008, when Europe’s biggest street festival ended in a riot. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 16:57:47 GMT)

Lord Janner: hearing into child sex abuse claims set for February
Former Labour peer has provisional date for trial of the facts set by Mr Justice Sweeney in his absence at Old BaileyLord Janner will not face a trial of the facts before February over child sex abuse accusations, a judge has ruled.The 87-year-old former Labour peer is accused of 15 counts of indecent assault and seven counts of a separate sexual offence against nine alleged victims in the 1960s, 70s and 80s. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 15:34:59 GMT)

One in three baby girls in England will live to 90
With life expectancy increasing by almost three years a decade in the west, state pension age is likely to pass 70 by mid-centuryOne in three women in England will live to at least 90 years old, according to official figures on longevity, which raise fears that the state pension age will have to rise to 70. A female baby born between 2010 and 2012 can, on average, expect to live to 82.8, while a male should live to 79, according to the Office for National Statistics. When the ONS last issued figures a decade ago, female longevity was 80.6, while for males it was 76. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 14:07:12 GMT)

Rickshaw driver in Westminster standoff spared further jail
Braydon Liam Anderson, who suffers from bipolar affective disorder, admits charges of criminal damage and trespassA rickshaw driver who caused £5,500 of damage to the Houses of Parliament during an overnight rooftop standoff has been spared further time in custody after admitting criminal damage and trespassing.Braydon Liam Anderson, 23, sparked a major security alert after he drunkenly scaled the building and ranted about supporting Islamic State (Isis) to bemused crowds. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 16:49:34 GMT)

Lizard Squad cyber-attackers disrupt National Crime Agency website
Cyber-attackers launch Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) violation on law enforcement agency in apparent revenge for previous arrests Cyber-attackers have taken down the website of the National Crime Agency (NCA) in apparent revenge for arrests made last week.The NCA website was temporarily down on Tuesday morning, four days after six teenagers were released on bail on suspicion of using hacking group Lizard Squad’s cyberattack tool to target websites and services. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 09:57:50 GMT)

Hatton Garden safe deposit firm hit by gem heist calls in liquidators
Company has suffered a drop in trade since £10m theft of jewels and valuables that took place during Easter weekendThe safe deposit box company hit by the £10m Hatton Garden jewellery heist is shutting down after trade dropped off in the wake of the high-profile theft.Hatton Garden Safe Deposit, owned by Sudan-based Mahendra Bavishi, and his son Manish, appointed accountancy firm SPW as liquidators on 24 August. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 12:36:08 GMT)

Defiant Kentucky clerk summoned to federal court over gay marriage refusal
Rowan County clerk Kim Davis cites ‘God’s authority’ after turning away several couples seeking marriage licenses Tuesday morningA county clerk in Kentucky has again refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples on religious grounds, risking jail time or fines as she continues to ignore orders by courts and the governor. Rowan County clerk Kim Davis’s office denied licenses to several couples on Tuesday morning in spite of a supreme court order on Monday night that meant she had to comply with a lower court decision ordering her to issue marriage licenses. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 16:38:34 GMT)

Dow falls sharply as China woes continue – live updates
IMF chief fears ‘bumpy’ ride and warns that global growth is weaker than hoped, as China’s manufacturing shrinks at fastest rate since 2012The Dow is off by more than 400 pointsSummary: Another bad day in the marketsWall Street falls sharply, with US manufacturing weak 8.10pm BST Here’s a quick chart of all the stocks on the Dow just before the top of the hour, ranked by largest chunk of share price lost thus far today. Data captured at 2:58pm. 7.46pm BST Cartoonists try and stay one step ahead of the political circus. New Carousel @politico http://t.co/wkF1koEVEQ pic.twitter.com/vuADzhVUTcA quality cartoon from the great Matt Wuerker last week has aged disappointingly well. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 19:12:03 GMT)

Rio 2016 Olympics organisers to step up testing of polluted waters
• Pledge to improve safety measures in area where 1,400 athletes will compete• No indication of when test for viruses will be ready in sewage-polluted watersOlympic organisers have promised to introduce viral testing in the polluted waters in Rio de Janeiro where about 1,400 athletes will compete in next year’s Games.The International Olympic Committee and Brazilian organisers have repeatedly insisted that only bacterial testing was required despite an independent five-month analysis by the Associated Press showing dangerously high levels of viruses from human sewage at all Rio Olympic water venues. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 17:10:40 GMT)

Pope Francis tells priests to pardon women who have abortions
Pontiff overrules traditionalists within Catholic church, before Vatican clarifies it does not condone abortionPope Francis has opened the door for women who have had abortions – an act considered a grave sin by the Catholic church – to be absolved if they express contrition and seek forgiveness from their priest.“The forgiveness of God cannot be denied to one who has repented,” the pontiff wrote in an extraordinary letter that was released by the Vatican on Tuesday. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 15:46:35 GMT)

Georgia police shoot man and kill his dog after responding to wrong house
Fellow DeKalb County officer also seriously wounded after police entered home on suspicious activity call without knowing correct address and opened firePolice officers who arrived at the wrong metro Atlanta home after a report of suspicious activity shot the man who lives there, killed his dog and “likely” shot a fellow officer, leaving him seriously wounded, authorities said Tuesday.The incident began Monday night when DeKalb County police received a report of a possible burglary at a one-story residence near an intersection in south-east Atlanta. Lacking an exact address, the officers were sent in the dark to a neighborhood where many of the single-story homes look similar. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 18:42:27 GMT)

Hungary closes main Budapest station to refugees
Move follows chaotic scenes after thousands of people were allowed on to trains for Austria and Germany without visa checksHungarian authorities have closed Budapest’s main station to refugees and migrants following chaotic scenes on Monday, when people who had been camped outside for weeks were suddenly allowed to leave for Austria and Germany without visa checks.The move followed the station’s complete closure earlier, when all trains to the west had been stopped from leaving. Police in helmets and wielding batons surrounded Keleti station’s grand, crumbling facade and dozens of refugees and migrants who were inside were forced out. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 12:50:12 GMT)

Turkey charges Vice News reporters with aiding terrorist group
Court orders arrest pending trial of three journalists, including two Britons, covering conflict in country’s south-eastA Turkish court has charged three journalists working with Vice News with “aiding a terrorist organisation” and ordered their arrest pending trial in a move that has caused indignation and outrage amongst journalists and international human rights groups.Correspondent Jake Hanrahan and cameraman Philip Pendlebury, who are British, and their Turkey-based fixer and a driver were taken into police custody on Thursday while working in the south-eastern city of Diyarbakir. They were covering recent clashes between Turkish security forces and the Patriotic Revolutionary Youth Movement, the youth wing of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). They were charged by the court on Monday. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 10:10:05 GMT)

Russian data law fuels web surveillance fears
Rules requiring firms to store data of Russian citizens on Russian soil seen as a way for Putin to tighten control over internetA new law has been implemented in Russia that in theory demands companies store data about Russian citizens on Russian territory, throwing thousands of firms with online operations into a legal grey area. The law, which came into operation on Tuesday, is part of Vladimir Putin’s so-called “CIA project” to wrest control of the internet. The Russian authorities are keen to ensure greater access for domestic security services to online data, and lessen the potential for foreign states, especially the US, to have the same access. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 16:35:57 GMT)

Jurors weigh death sentence for white supremacist convicted of murder
Jurors who convicted Frazier Glenn Miller Jr of killing three people at Jewish sites near Kansas City will hear more evidence Tuesday before deciding sentenceJurors who convicted a white supremacist of killing three people at Jewish sites in suburban Kansas City were set to hear more evidence on Tuesday before deciding whether to recommend a death sentence.During opening statements in the penalty phase, assistant prosecutor Chris McMullin called Frazier Glenn Miller Jr a “proud and remorseless killer that regrets only that he didn’t kill more people”. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 17:10:20 GMT)

Twitter: tweets in James Woods cocaine defamation case were 'hyperbole'
Social media site fights legal bid to uncover the identities of users the combative rightwing actor says defamed him as a drug abuser and sex offender Twitter has rebuffed claims in a defamation lawsuit filed by the Hollywood actor James Woods, arguing that users who labelled the film star a “cocaine addict” and “registered sex offender” were simply engaging in “hyperbole”.Woods took the social media company to court on 28 August in an effort to force executives to reveal the identities of “Abe List” and “TG Emerson”, who, the actor says, are responsible for a campaign of insults against him. The double Oscar-nominee filed a $10m (£6.5m) defamation lawsuit against Abe List in July, arguing the user’s comments “jeopardised Woods’ good name and reputation on an international scale”, and warning: “AL, and anyone else using social media to propagate lies and do harm, should take note. They are not impervious to the law.” It is not clear if he is also suing “TG Emerson”. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 15:32:55 GMT)

Bangladesh police charge 'Islamist militants' over atheist's murder
Police say five charged with murder of blogger Washiqur Rahman include Hasibur Rahman, organiser of Ansarullah Bangla TeamPolice in Bangladesh have charged five suspected Islamic extremists with the murder of an atheist blogger, one of four secular writers hacked to death in the south Asian state this year. Washiqur Rahman, 27, who wrote under a pen name on Facebook and repeatedly criticised religious conservatives, was killed near his home in the capital, Dhaka, in March. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 14:35:58 GMT)

Bill Gates calls for more funds to help world's poorest farmers
Billionaire philanthropist puts focus on protecting small farmers saying they are likely to suffer the most from climate changeBill Gates called for more funds to help the world’s poorest farmers deal with climate change on Tuesday, in an appeal that could help pry open the coffers of industrialised countries.The call from the tech billionaire and world’s biggest philanthropist to focus on the poor could spur more finance from industrialised countries to small-scale farmers during negotiations for a global deal to fight climate change in Paris at the end of the year. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 17:00:10 GMT)

California to end practice of keeping prisoners isolated for a decade or more
Class-action lawsuit settled Tuesday on behalf of 3,000 inmates will restrict practice that once kept hundreds of prisoners in notorious segregationCalifornia on Tuesday agreed to end its unlimited isolation of imprisoned gang leaders, restricting a practice that once kept hundreds of inmates in notorious segregation units for a decade or longer.No other state keeps so many inmates segregated for so long, according to the Center for Constitutional Rights. The New York City-based nonprofit center represents inmates in a class-action federal lawsuit settled Tuesday on behalf of nearly 3,000 inmates held in segregation statewide. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 16:06:14 GMT)

Norway sends prisoners to Dutch jail because its own are too full
Norgerhaven prison in the Netherlands to relieve pressure on Norway, where more than 1,000 inmates are waiting to be allocated a cellNorway has sent a group of inmates to a jail in the Netherlands because its own prisons are too full.“The first prisoners have arrived,” Karl Hillesland, the Norwegian head of Norgerhaven prison in the Netherlands said on Tuesday. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 15:23:11 GMT)

Lego space mission: Denmark's first astronaut gets toys for company
Andreas Mogensen will take 26 specially designed toys on his mission to the International Space Station Denmark is sending its first man into space – along with 26 Lego toys to keep him company on the journey. Andreas Mogensen, a 38-year-old aerospace engineer from Copenhagen, will leave for the International Space Station on 2 September. The specially designed plastic toys joining him will bear the official logo of his mission for the European Space Agency (ESA) and will be given to schoolchildren as a competition prize once the mission is complete. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 17:47:18 GMT)

And Then There Were None declared world's favourite Agatha Christie novel
Famously ‘impossible’ tale, already the bestselling crime novel of all time, voted readers’ favourite in global pollAgatha Christie’s story of 10 strangers who are picked off one by one after being lured to an island mansion, And Then There Were None, has beaten Murder on the Orient Express and The Murder of Roger Ackroyd to be named the world’s favourite Christie novel.The book, which Christie described as “so difficult to do that the idea had fascinated me”, and which the New York Times, on its publication in 1939, said was “utterly impossible and utterly fascinating … the most baffling mystery Agatha Christie has ever written”, triumphed in a public vote launched by the author’s estate to find her most popular novel. Set up to mark Christie’s 125th birthday on 15 September, the poll saw more than 15,000 people from around the world cast their votes, with And Then There Were None collecting 3,211. Murder on the Orient Express came in second, with The Murder of Roger Ackroyd third. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 19:00:12 GMT)

David de Gea’s transfer fiasco: another great admin error of our time
Real Madrid didn’t get their man after an unspecified office mix-up, but the goalkeeper is not the only person to suffer as a result of a clerical mishapIt’s not clear exactly what happened in the admin offices of Manchester United and Real Madrid football clubs on Monday night. Murmurs from Real claim that United sent over the transfer documents too late, or in a file format they couldn’t open, or that was protected with a password. Murmurs from United insist they did everything properly before Spain’s transfer window closed. All we know for sure is that Madrid have not bought David de Gea, the goalkeeper they desperately need; United will not get £29.3m for him in the next window (because they’ll lose him for nothing if they don’t sell); and poor De Gea, who had travelled back to his home city expecting his dreams to come true ... well, at least he won’t have to unpack.Extraordinary as it seems, this fiasco should be a reminder that huge clerical mistakes happen everywhere, and regularly. In the financial markets, so-called “fat-finger errors” – when traders mistype their orders – have long been a menace. In 2005, a Japanese trader cost his brokerage, Mizuho Securities, $335m (£218m) when, instead of offering to sell one share for ¥610,000, he offered 610,000 shares for ¥1. Four years before that, a dealer for Lehman Brothers in London almost capsized the FTSE, which at one stage had lost £30bn in value, after he accidentally typed £300m instead of £3m. In April 2012, a German bank clerk actually fell asleep at his keyboard and ended up taking not €62.40 (£46) out of a pensioner’s bank account, but €222,222,222.22. Thankfully, that mistake was soon spotted and corrected, as was the biggest blunder of all time, when another trader in Japan very nearly bought £380bn worth of shares last autumn. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 18:07:40 GMT)

Mama Merkel: the ‘compassionate mother’ of Syrian refugees
Her stance over Greek debt earned comparisons to Hitler, but Syrians have taken to social media to post heartfelt tributes to the German chancellor Angela Merkel is seven months old and currently lives in a refugee camp in Hanover, with about 700 other migrants from 33 countries. Her mother, 26-year-old Ghanaian Ophelya Adé, arrived in Germany this year, after crossing the Mediterranean while heavily pregnant. In an interview with Der Spiegel, she said she named her daughter after the German chancellor because: “I was so grateful, so relieved that Angela Merkel is accepting us, so impressed with what this woman is achieving here.”Heartfelt tributes such as these are not exceptional among the migrant communities stationed on Europe’s borders: barely a month after Germany’s intransigence over Greek debt saw protesters likening her to Hitler, Merkel is suddenly finding herself at the receiving end of a virtual love-in on social media. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 17:32:48 GMT)

Markus Persson: the Minecraft billionaire sending lonely late-night tweets from Ibiza
He might have sold his creation to Microsoft for $2.5bn, but the mega-rich Scandinavian games developer says money doesn’t guarantee happinessName: Markus Persson.Age: 36. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 17:12:08 GMT)

Tuesday’s best TV
Exploring the wilderness that is India: Nature’s Wonderland, naughty schoolkids in Educating Cardiff, and Wogan and cabby on the road in Terry And Mason’s Great Food Trip. Plus: the business of marriage in Desperate For Love: Secrets Of China and opulent weddings in How The Rich Get HitchedCornering the celebrity cab driver racket admirably, Mason McQueen heads out on the road with Terry Wogan. Who put this pair together – and why – may not be known, but it’s affable enough stuff as “Tel” quips his way around the country with Mason, eating all that comes his way and following the writings of postwar gastronome Samuel Chamberlain, as laid out in his book British Bouquet. This week it’s Weymouth, where they encounter the devastating Naga chilli. Ben Arnold Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 05:00:02 GMT)

Ashley Madison? Sign me up!
Thousands are said to have subscribed to the infidelity website in the last week, suggesting the recent leak of client information proved little deterrent for those keen to cheat on their spousesNobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public, H L Mencken famously said. It looks like you can double the truth of that the moment penises get involved.According to Avid Life Media, the parent company of the recently hacked infidelity website Ashley Madison, hundreds of thousands of people have signed up for its services in the past week, despite the fact that the hack not only released details of millions of its adulterous clients, but had also apparently shown that most of the female users were fake. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 14:59:37 GMT)

New San Francisco restaurant replaces humans with iPads
Eatsa in the city’s financial district offers iPad-based ordering, with meals prepared by people whom customers never have to see Those sick and tired of having to deal with their fellow humans all the time have a new respite – a fully automated restaurant in San Francisco.Customers at Eatsa in the Financial District will order from an iPad, sending the order to the kitchen. When the meal is ready, it appears in a small glass compartment. The food is prepared by real people, but the patrons never have to see them. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 17:45:50 GMT)

Forklift moves portable toilet with festivalgoer inside
Woman uninjured after she was transported across harbour at Newlyn fish festival in Cornwall A woman was “teleported” across a festival site in a portable toilet – when it was moved by a forklift truck.The woman, who has not been identified, was using the toilet before the opening of Newlyn fish festival in Cornwall, but it was picked up by a forklift truck and transported to the other side of the harbour. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 16:11:55 GMT)

Which fictional school do you belong in? - quiz
As the new term begins, ever wondered which of your fave made-up schools you would thrive in? Should you really be studying at Hogwarts, CHERUB, Malory Towers, Camp Half Blood or the Shadowhunter Academy? Take this quiz and find out!1What would your dream school teach you?How to be a super spyHow to fight monsters!How to use magic, of course!How to protect humans and kick demon buttEnglish, drama - or something else you can actually use in the real world2Which of these describes your personality best?BadassClever and artisticSportyBraveEasily bored3What would your perfect Saturday be made up of?Going on some daring adventure!An adventure in the morning, then a warm drink in the pubTraining, studying - and then dancing at a clubHanging out with your friendsDoing something sporty - maybe freerunning4What do you like most in books?Realism, friendship, humourAction, thrills and a little fightingClassic mythology, action and loads of jokesFantasy, action and romanceMagic, adventures and awesome new worlds5Which of these would be your worst nightmare ever?Getting kicked out of school!Being stared down by a duck. *shudders*A surprise test you haven’t studied forGetting caught doing something naughty - like sneaking aroundProbably something to do with monsters and being chased6Imagine the world is full of awesome things and you could have any job you ever dreamed of having. What would you do?A spy - maybe be the next 007Something in music or maybe an authorSomething exciting - a magical adventurer?A god!Supernatural police - someone’s gotta keep the wannabe gods and adventurers in order7If you could have any pet ever, what would you have?Something cool, like a panther. A magical panther! WEREPANTHER!A phoenixHmm… a pegasus!A dog - best pet everA spider or something that doesn’t die if you’re away for a few weeks8Which of these sounds like your every-day fashion choice?School uniform, but obviously with a few individual touchesSporty clothes all the wayAll black, of course, with awesome bootsSchool uniform - neat so you don’t get detention!Something you can run in easily9What is your worst trait?Danger-magnet. It’s uncanny!Please - you have no worst traitsToo nosy and sneakyToo chattyYou daydream about magic way too much10If you could have any of these superpowers, which of these would you choose?Invisibility - all the better to spy on you!Some kind of summoning - so you could materialise a midnight snack!Is magic a superpower?Super strength, speed and awesomenessControlling the elements would be awesome! Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 14:13:24 GMT)

From Scratch: locally sourced, small-batch cuisine – for cats
Humans aren’t the only mammals benefiting from artisanal offerings in Brooklyn – so I decided to sample food for felines with refined tastesAdd this to the list of things I never thought I would attempt: seeking out cat food at a fashionable cafe and then tasting it. Voluntarily.To be sure, it is gourmet, small-batch, Brooklyn-made, locally sourced cat food. Matt Rosenberg, who first developed the recipe, tells me the multivitamin in it is made for humans. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 13:00:12 GMT)

Frederick Forsyth: I was an MI6 agent
Day of the Jackal author reveals in autobiography that he worked for the intelligence service for more than two decadesFrederick Forsyth will admit in his forthcoming autobiography that he worked as an agent for MI6 for more than 20 years.The bestselling thriller author, who was an RAF pilot and a journalist before turning to fiction with The Day of the Jackal, is due to release The Outsider next week. Forsyth has previously denied claims that he worked for MI6 – “Some said that I was a spook, but I just knew a few,” he told the Guardian in 2001 – but an extract from his memoir in the Sunday Times reveals how in late 1968 a “member of the Firm” - MI6 – called Ronnie sought him out. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 10:26:47 GMT)

Six things I have learned about building mental fitness
Nonsensical euphoria, lying to yourself and hours alone with just your thoughts for company: the weird and wonderful world of the mind when running Earlier this year, I ran my first marathon. I blistered my feet and shed toenails like blackened blossom. Physically, it was hard. It hurt. Yet mentally, it was fascinating. Here’s what I learned about the baffling, but sometimes beautiful balance between the mind and functioning limbs. 1. Three miles can feel as hard as 13 Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 10:51:39 GMT)

My Eyes Went Dark review – unleashing the power of vengeance
Finborough, London Matthew Wilkinson’s play about the rage of a grieving man is given acute expression by Cal MacAninch and Thusitha JayasunderaWritten and directed by Matthew Wilkinson, this is an extremely powerful play about justice, revenge and forgiveness. It is said to be “inspired by real events” but what matters is less its documentary veracity than Wilkinson’s uncanny ability to get inside the skin of a man tormented by grief. As the play unfolds, we gradually piece together the key facts. Nikolai Koslov is an Ossetian architect whose wife and children have been killed in a collision between two planes while en route to joining him in Nice. Koslov is convinced that an air-traffic controller, Thomas Olsen, is responsible for the crash and, when Olsen is publicly absolved, decides to take the law into his own hands. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 11:14:21 GMT)

The art of Burning Man: skeletons, temples and flaming Tetris
Besides pounding techno and swirling dust, the desert festival is home to a host of spectacular art installations. Here are some of the bestBurning Man is not the typical place people would go to view art in the “default world” (the term “Burners” have for the “muggle world” those of you who are not here in Black Rock City inhabit). It’s extremely hard to get here – far less accessible than most public municipal art – and upon arrival, it is more physically inhospitable than the most uptight New York art gallery. It’s so filthy here that the least dusty place you visit each day is a port-a-potty, and the cleanest part of your body is the inside of your shoe – not exactly the way you feel when visiting the Museum of Modern Art. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 16:49:05 GMT)

The fortune-teller of Kabul | May Jeong
For centuries mystics have channelled the hopes and fears of Afghans. With the nation in turmoil, their services are as popular as ever. But can they survive the latest crackdown by religious hardliners?Last November, Abdullah Sharifi visited a spirit medium. By his own admission, Sharifi was the last person you would expect to indulge in mysticism. Twenty-two years old, tall, handsome, with slicked-back hair, Sharifi usually wears blue jeans and a leather jacket, and walks with a swagger. But by that autumn, he had lost the spring in his step.Five years earlier, Sharifi had begun working as a shopkeeper’s assistant in Kabul selling carpets, gemstones, and other souvenirs. His customers were the hundreds of thousands of foreigners who came to Afghanistan following the US-led Nato invasion in 2001. They were experts, advisors, aid workers, and adventurers, each with their own ideas about what Afghanistan needed the most. Sharifi sold them chapan robes with vertical stripes, the kind worn by former president Hamid Karzai, or Jinnah caps made from the fur of aborted lamb foetuses – things foreigners could bring home and brag about. Business boomed. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 04:59:02 GMT)

Igor Levit: the leaner, meaner piano machine
He has been called the future of piano and the player of the century. But Igor Levit recently felt compelled to give himself a complete makeover to improve his performance. As he prepares for his Prom, the pianist talks about physio, losing 70lbs – and why he finds Chopin dumbWhen you meet a virtuoso pianist, the temptation is to stare at their hands. The night before our interview, Igor Levit had played a recital of such violence, pounding the keys as he performed the monumental music of American experimentalist Frederic Rzewski, that it seemed impossible for the young Russian-German’s fingers not to end up red and raw. “Well, it’s much easier since I stopped biting my nails!” Levit says, laying out smooth, unknotty hands with long spatulate fingers and closely clipped nails. “Doing a glissando up and down the keyboard is way less tricky now.” Related: Igor Levit review – this pianist has got it all Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 17:19:13 GMT)

The Jeremy Corbyn victory scenario: confrontation or cooperation?
The issue of how the one-time Labour mainstream responds to a Corbyn victory is the central question among its MPsIn a fortnight’s time, if opinion polls and most other available evidence are to be believed, Jeremy Corbyn will be elected leader of the Labour party, placing the most unexpected pressure on the political management skills of a man who has previously run only the planning committee of Haringey council in north London. Related: We fear the public won't back Corbyn, but he can win and here's the proof | David Edgar Continue reading...
(Mon, 31 Aug 2015 21:31:21 GMT)

What EMI's six-month sample amnesty means for the music industry
The world’s biggest music publisher has announced an amnesty on using samples from its library – a first for the industry Gun, knife, drug, International … these may be the more commonly known forms of amnesty, but Sony/ATV, the biggest music publisher in the world, is looking to introduce another category: sampling. From Tuesday 1 September, any artist who has used a sample from the company’s EMI Production Music division – the library music arm that controls both the composition rights and the sound recordings to a vast number of musical works including the News at Ten, Mastermind and Grandstand theme tunes – will have a six-month window in which they can step forward and hold their hands up. Sony/ATV will then do a licensing deal, at current market rates, for future exploitation of the works but, crucially, it will not seek retrospective royalties for past sales or exploitations, no matter how many years back they might stretch. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 13:19:35 GMT)

Nabi Saleh images illustrate changing asymmetry of Israeli-Palestinian conflict
Photos and video of family grappling with soldier trying to arrest son show how power of social media is challenging military mightLate last Friday a series of photographs from a protest in the Palestinian village of Nabi Saleh dropped on the news wires.They portrayed a masked IDF soldier trying to arrest a boy accused of throwing stones (denied by villagers) before his mother and teenage sister intervened. Continue reading...
(Tue, 01 Sep 2015 11:07:59 GMT)

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