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Kidnapping of Ukrainian patriots has Russia's full support, says Kiev
Case of Vladimir Rybak is latest in a string of kidnappings which Kiev blames on Russia and its undercover agentsThe last time Vladimir Rybak was seen alive was on Thursday 17 April . The local councillor was walking away from the city hall in the eastern Ukrainian city of Gorlovka after taking part in a pro-Ukrainian flashmob in the central square. Three days earlier, separatists had seized the government building, taking down the Ukrainian flag and replacing it with the tricolour of the Donetsk People's Republic.According to friends, Rybak, who was 42, made no secret of his strong anti-separatist views. "He was entirely open and at times impulsive," fellow councillor Yurii Zhuk said. After the demonstration Rybak tried to barge his way into the Gorlovka city hall and take down the rebel flag. A video captured what happened next. Pro-Russian protesters jostled Rybak; they refused to let him inside; a youth in a balaclava grabbed his arm and led him away. Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 16:34:56 GMT)

Fatah and Hamas agree landmark pact after seven-year rift
Move has aim of forming unity government within five weeks, but Israel says agreement will derail peace talksThe two main rival Palestinian factions have signed an accord designed to end seven years of sometimes violent division, paving the way for elections later in the year and the formation of a unity government within weeks.The move, after a day of talks between Hamas and Fatah in Gaza that lasted until three in the morning, comes less than a week before the expiry of the deadline for US-sponsored peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority on 29 April and is certain to complicate US efforts to seek another nine-month extension to those talks. Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Apr 2014 00:24:00 GMT)

Agency: banking system in independent Scotland risks Iceland-style meltdown
S&P says it would be 'challenging' for Edinburgh government to support its banks without backing of LondonAn independent Scotland would need the support of the UK Treasury and the Bank of England to prevent savers in its banks being as vulnerable as those who had money in Iceland during the 2008 financial crisis, according to one of the three leading credit rating agencies.In a detailed analysis of where the Scottish banking system would stand after a yes vote, Standard & Poor's concluded it would be "challenging" for a government in Edinburgh to support its banks without the backing of London because their assets would be 12 times as big as the country's output far higher even than Iceland's banks before their crash. Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 19:16:08 GMT)

Stop your sons joining war in Syria, urges Metropolitan police
Counter-terrorism officers make plea to Muslim women as more young men head off to fight in civil warPolice battling to prevent young Muslims heading to Syria to fight in the country's bitter civil war will gamble that they can persuade women in the community to inform on family members determined to head to the war zone.Counter-terrorism officers, fearful that some of those fighting in Syria will return to Britain radicalised with the ability to carry out violent acts on British soil, hope that female family members will curb the numbers of people intent on taking up arms against the Assad regime. Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 22:55:09 GMT)

Optimism in Britain's factories at four-decade high
CBI survey suggests strong growth in orders is driving rapid increase in manufacturing confidenceThe mood in Britain's factories is at its most upbeat in more than 40 years, a survey by the CBI shows, in what could prove to be an important pre-election boost for the government.A combination of strong growth in orders both at home and abroad is driving a rapid rise in confidence among manufacturers, according to the business lobby group. Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 23:01:00 GMT)

Numbers of elderly needing care will soon outstrip relatives able to help
IPPR thinktank estimates 2 million aged over 65 in UK will lack informal care from adult offspring by 2030The scale of the gathering social care crisis has been underlined by new figures showing the number of older people is expected to outstrip the number of family members able to provide informal care for them for the first time in 2017.Within four years, it is predicted, 800,000 people may be in need of care, including 20,000 with no family to care for them, according to a report by the centre-left thinktank the IPPR. Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 23:01:03 GMT)

Duchess of Cornwall's brother Mark Shand dies after fall in New York
Shand was organising fundraising for his conservation charity when he fell and seriously injured head The Duchess of Cornwall's brother died in New York after an accident, Clarence House has said. Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 17:40:12 GMT)

UK military operations since cold war have cost £34bn, says study
Study says bulk of money was spent on Iraq and Afghanistan, interventions judged later to be 'strategic failures'Britain's military operations since the end of the cold war have cost £34.7bn and a further £30bn may have to be spent on long-term veteran care, according to an authoritative study.The bulk of the money has been spent on interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan judged to have been "strategic failures", says the study, Wars in Peace, published by the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI). Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 17:45:34 GMT)

Link to MH370 discounted after debris washes up on Western Australia coast
Search officials play down likelihood that material, believed to be riveted sheet metal, is from missing Malaysia Airlines planeThe Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) is confident that debris found on a beach on Western Australia's south-west coast on Thursday does not belong to missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.Australia's joint agency co-ordination centre announced on Wednesday that police had taken possession of an object 10km from the town of Augusta. Malaysian officials were provided with photographs of the object. Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Apr 2014 09:01:00 GMT)

FBI investigates London links of teacher who abused 90 boys
William Vahey, who taught at Southbank International School, admitted molesting children while teaching in CaracasAn elite London school has become embroiled in an FBI-led international child abuse investigation into a highly regarded teacher who is believed to have molested more than 90 boys.William Vahey, a 64-year old American who taught at the Southbank International School in Westminster between 2009 and 2013, killed himself in Minnesota in March after confessing to drugging and molesting children while on field trips. Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 19:32:07 GMT)

Blair's speech on Islamic extremism generates strong reactions
International commentary focuses on former prime minister's credibility on the subject as much as the subject itselfTony Blair's speech seeking to rally global support for a confrontation with Islamic extremism generated a storm of reaction, most of it negative and much of it focusing on the messenger rather than the message.The director of the Council for Arab-British Understanding, Chris Doyle, said the former prime minister had been right to underline the importance of the subject in his Bloomberg speech but was sharply critical of the way he went about tackling it. Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 13:53:03 GMT)

University tuition fee rise may not save taxpayers any money, says thinktank
Institute for Fiscal Studies says weak economy means graduates repaying far less of their student loans than forecastLong-term weaknesses in the UK economy mean that raising university tuition fees in England to £9,000 may not save taxpayers any money and students could still be forced to pay even more, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS).A report by the thinktank suggests many of the claims made by the government in favour of the changes to higher education funding in 2012 may take decades to be tested, and that the returns on student loans are likely to be much lower than previously forecast because graduates are not earning enough to pay back their loans. Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 23:05:03 GMT)

Nick Clegg's wife hails 'cojones' of men who do childcare
Miriam González Durántez interrupts talk on male parenting to urge change in attitudes towards masculinity and caringMiriam González Durántez on Wednesday interrupted a speech by her husband Nick to speak out in favour of fathers who look after their children, saying they have "more cojones". Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 18:43:51 GMT)

Boris Johnson told to announce his intentions for next election
Conservative party HQ wants the London mayor to declare he will stand as MP to avoid speculation during annual conferenceConservative party headquarters is putting pressure on the London mayor, Boris Johnson, to announce shortly that he will stand as a Conservative candidate at the next election, hoping to prevent another bout of speculation about his intentions overshadowing the party conference this autumn.Friends of Johnson responded to the latest speculation by saying he had still not made up his mind, but that he thinks it is possible for him to combine the job of mayor and MP. Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 19:08:19 GMT)

Three children found dead in London
Woman named locally as Tania Clarence is arrested after four-year-old girl and twin boys aged three are found at houseA 42-year-old woman has been arrested on suspicion of murder after three disabled children were found dead at their home in south London.The bodies of a four-year old girl and twin boys, aged three, who all suffered from a genetic condition described as life limiting, were discovered after police were called to a large semi-detached home on a street in New Malden, south-west London on Tuesday evening. Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 14:33:02 GMT)

BBC's Jamaica Inn drama loses quarter of audience after sound quality issues
Transmisson snags or actors' artistry blamed for muffled dialogue as Daphne du Maurier tale sheds 1.6m viewersThe BBC TV drama Jamaica Inn lost a quarter of its audience after sound issues left viewers barely able to understand the dialogue.The audience for the second episode of the adaptation of Daphne du Maurier's novel fell by 1.6 million following hundreds of viewer complaints over mumbling in the first episode. Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 19:12:50 GMT)

UK deficit falls to lowest level since start of financial crisis
Government borrowing totalled £107.7bn in the fiscal year to end-March, just below the target outlined in last month's budgetGeorge Osborne just met his full-year borrowing target in 2013-14, with the UK deficit falling to the lowest level since the beginning of the financial crisis as economic recovery boosted tax receipts.Government borrowing fell to £107.7bn in the fiscal year to the end of March 2014 from £115.1bn a year earlier, scraping in just below the £107.8bn target outlined by the Treasury's independent forecaster, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), in last month's budget. Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 09:40:41 GMT)

Royal Mail in spotlight again as MPs question bankers who handled sell-off
Representatives of UBS and Goldman Sachs to give evidence to public accounts committee on postal service privatisationThe Royal Mail privatisation will be the subject of fresh scrutiny by MPs next week when bankers from Goldman Sachs and UBS which handled the sell-off of the 500-year-old institution are summoned to give evidence to a high-profile parliamentary committee.The public accounts committee, chaired by Margaret Hodge, who has previously conducted tough evidence sessions on corporate tax, will also hear from top City regulators and senior executives at Royal Mail at sessions next week. Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 18:27:45 GMT)

Madeleine McCann: police now know of nine assaults on British girls in Algarve
New cases, including one in Praia da Luz resort, come to light following fresh appeal for information last monthPolice investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann in Portugal nearly seven years ago say they now know of nine sexual assaults and three "near misses" on British girls between the ages of six and 12 who were on holiday in the Algarve between 2004 and 2006.One of the assaults, on a 10-year-old, took place in Praia da Luz in 2005, two years before Madeleine disappeared from her family's holiday apartment in the resort in May 2007. Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 12:43:00 GMT)

Apple profits surprise investors as company launches charm offensive
Company offers seven-for-one split stock and raises dividend Share prices jump after $45.6bn revenue announcedTech giant Apple chose a bombshell solution to the problem of its struggling share price, launching a full-on charm offensive to win over investors with a financial candy basket of stock splits and huge dividend increases to win back those who may have been disillusioned by the company's lagging growth.In the first three months of the year, Apple grew its revenue to $45.6bn, well above analysts expectations of $43.5bn in revenue for the first three months of the year. Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 22:09:28 GMT)

Primark to enter US market with Boston store
Retailers including Marks & Spencer, WH Smith, Sainsbury's and Tesco have all found the US market a step too farPrimark, the fashion store that brought the £3 jumper dress to the British shopper, is to open in the US as it attempts to become a global chain.The budget retailer, owned by Associated British Foods, will open its first store in Boston, Massachusetts, in 2015 and said it was in negotiations to open up to eight further stores in north-east America, with warehousing to support them. Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 16:57:00 GMT)

North Korean health system crumbling as shortages and sanctions bite
Patients said to be taking methamphetamine as medicine because drugs are too expensive despite promise of universal healthcare Our new North Korea network: follow the Guardian and our partners for unique reporting and analysis Touring a new hospital in Pyongyang recently, North Koreas leader, Kim Jong-un, boasted that it would let the people live in luxury and comfort under socialism in good health.But North Koreans interviewed in China paint a grimmer picture of medical conditions across their country: citing broken equipment, declining treatment standards and widespread self-medication. Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 05:31:28 GMT)

Max Clifford jury told they can reach majority verdicts
Jurors fail to reach unanimous agreement after 21 hours of deliberations concerning 11 indecent assault chargesThe jury in the trial of Max Clifford have been told they can reach majority verdicts after failing to reach unanimous agreement after 21 hours of deliberations.Jurors have been considering 11 indecent assault charges against Clifford since last Tuesday afternoon at Southwark crown court in London. Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 13:42:40 GMT)

Lenny Henry campaign: back TV diversity or we'll boycott licence fee
Actor launches petition and email push lobbying culture minister Ed Vaizey to change the law on ethnic minority workersSupporters of a campaign launched by comedian and actor Lenny Henry to change the law to boost the number of black, Asian and minority workers in the television industry say they will consider boycotting the licence fee if the government fails to take action. Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 17:13:39 GMT)

Scientists solve mystery of Southern Ocean 'quacking' sound
Noise heard in the Southern Ocean has been attributed to the underwater chatter of the Antarctic minke whaleThe mystery source of a strange quacking sound coming from the ocean has been discovered.The so-called "bio-duck" noise, which occurs in the winter and spring in the Southern Ocean, had confused researchers for over 50 years. Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 14:05:12 GMT)

Manchester United set sights on Paris Saint-Germain's Edinson Cavani
Managerial turmoil fails to deter club over transfer targets United confident of landing Shaw and still want FábregasManchester United intend to plough ahead with their transfer business during the potentially long process of waiting for a new manager to start almost three months in Louis van Gaal's case and their extensive inquiries include exploring the possibility of whether Paris Saint-Germain might sell Edinson Cavani.United confidently expect to close a deal of around £30m for Luke Shaw, offering the teenage Southampton full-back a lucrative financial package that could be worth as much as £100,000-a-week over five years. The offer will be difficult for Chelsea to match bearing in mind their issues over keeping in line with Uefa's financial fair play rules. Ed Woodward, United's chief executive, has been made aware that Cavani might be available and is also tempted to look again at Cesc Fábregas's position at Barcelona, despite the unsatisfactory way it turned out when they tried to sign him last summer. Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 22:32:00 GMT)

Glazers fly in for discussions on new Manchester United manager
Holland coach Louis van Gaal thought to be prime target Glazers want a more hands-on role in choosing managerThe Glazers will fly in to Manchester to meet Ed Woodward on Friday for discussions with the executive vice-chairman about who is to replace David Moyes as United's manager.Led by Joel Glazer, with whom Woodward talks on a daily basis, the owners want to ensure a clear strategy is established regarding how to pursue their prime target, thought to be Louis van Gaal. Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 21:30:00 GMT)

Chelsea give José Mourinho permission to rest key names at Liverpool
Mourinho prioritises Atlético Madrid game over Anfield Manager, Rui Faria and Ramires facing FA chargesThe Chelsea hierarchy have given José Mourinho the green light to field a team at Liverpool on Sunday that reflects the club's priority as being the Champions League semi-final against Atlético Madrid three days later. Yet the go-ahead may have only briefly brightened the manager's mood after he was one of three members of staff charged by the Football Association over events during the damaging home defeat to Sunderland.Mourinho, who is still in the process of appealing against an £8,000 fine after being sent to the stands for the second time this season for re-entering the playing surface at Aston Villa last month, had offered a sarcastic appraisal of the performances of the referee, Mike Dean, and the general manager of the Professional Game Match Officials Limited, Mike Riley, after the 2-1 defeat to Sunderland that has left his team outsiders in the title race. His claim that the former had put in an "unbelievable" performance has prompted a charge of improper conduct, with the FA arguing he had questioned the integrity of both figures. Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 22:00:00 GMT)

Real Madrid's Karim Benzema sinks Bayern Munich's pass masters
In pictures: The best images from the BernabéuThere was a moment in the Fondo Sur, where the most boisterous Madridistas bang their drums and orchestrate the loudest noise, when a huge banner was unfurled to read "Reyes de Europa". The nine-times winners have not lived up to that "Kings of Europe" reputation since Zinedine Zidane's volley at Hampden Park in 2002 but now, after years of hard-luck stories, near misses and frequent underachievement, the club of Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale et al are one more good result away from their first Champions League final in 12 years.That will not be straightforward, naturally, when the opposition are Bayern Munich, the outstanding club side in Europe over the past three seasons. Madrid, however, are entitled to feel they are the marginal favourites as they go into the return leg at the Allianz Arena on Tuesday, not just because of Karim Benzema's first-half strike but also the inability of their opponents to turn all their possession into the hard currency of goals. Bayern had far more of the ball, they just did not do a great deal with it. They played every kind of pass apart from the killer one and, for all their possession, they did not manage a really clear chance until the 84th minute. Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 20:55:24 GMT)

Manchester United set to beat Chelsea in £30m deal for Luke Shaw
Southampton left-back lured by £100,000-a-week contract David Moyes laid groundwork for transfer before sacking Follow our live blog on Manchester United Manchester United are convinced a £30m deal to buy Luke Shaw on a £100,000 a-week salary is virtually complete in what is viewed as a major coup over Chelsea, with the sacked David Moyes largely responsible for convincing the 18-year-old Southampton left-back to spurn the club he supports.The prospective transfer would make Shaw the highest paid teenager in English football history and provides a boost for United in the wake of Moyes's departure as the club embark on finding his replacement before a summer in which they are intent on spending up to £150m on rebuilding the squad. Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 12:53:28 GMT)

FA charge Chelsea's José Mourinho, Rui Faria and Ramires with misconduct
Manager and his assistant to face sanctions after Sunderland Brazilian midfielder given four-match ban for violent conductThe potentially damaging ramifications of Chelsea's furious defeat to Sunderland have become clearer after the Football Association issued charges against three members of the London club's squad, including the manager, José Mourinho.The Brazil midfielder Ramires may have played his last domestic game of the season after the FA deemed his swing at Sebastian Larsson three minutes before the interval, which went unspotted by the referee Mike Dean, to be violent conduct. The offence was caught on video and was therefore scrutinised by a three-man panel of former elite referees, with their assessment unanimous that a misdemeanour had taken place. Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 17:19:28 GMT)

David Moyes thanks Manchester United staff but no mention of players
Moyes says squad needs 'fundamental rebuilding' LMA says manner of sacking was unprofessionalDavid Moyes has taken a parting shot at Manchester United's players by stating the squad requires "fundamental rebuilding", while the League Managers Association chief executive, Richard Bevan, has claimed the manager's sacking was done unprofessionally.Moyes was told he would be removed early on Tuesday morning at United's Carrington training complex. Yet he believes he was treated in a shabby manner as news of his probable removal broke in the media on Monday afternoon. Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 17:39:29 GMT)

Yorkshire's Andrew Gale could drop himself despite win over Northants
Yorkshire 459-9 dec; Northamptonshire 94 & 245 Yorkshire win by an innings and 120 runsThe Yorkshire captain, Andrew Gale, responded to his side's maiden County Championship victory in their second outing of the season by contemplating dropping himself for their third.After witnessing his bowlers wrap up a comfortable win against newly promoted Northamptonshire in less than two hours of the fourth day, Gale revealed that Joe Root's anticipated return from a broken thumb against Middlesex at Lord's on Sunday could lead to his omission. Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 17:36:08 GMT)

Liverpool unveil plans to expand Anfield's capacity to 58,000
New three-tiered Main Stand would be first priority Public consultation to be held over next weekLiverpool have unveiled plans to expand Anfield's capacity to nearly 60,000, with detailed proposals to expand the Main Stand that also include a new home for the Hillsborough Memorial.The plans, which also contain outline proposals for the expansion of the Anfield Road Stand, will go under public consultation this week to give residents and supporters the opportunity to have their say before the club submits the official planning application in the summer. Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 19:55:07 GMT)

Manchester United's Adnan Januzaj opts to represent Belgium
Confirmed by Belgium coach Marc Wilmots on Twitter Teenager had the choice of five different countriesThe debate over Adnan Januzaj's international future appears to have been settled after the Belgium coach, Marc Wilmots, took to Twitter to announce the Manchester United forward has committed himself to the Red Devils.The 19-year-old who was born in Brussels to Kosovar-Albanian parents is eligible to play for up to five countries, with Turkey and England also believed to have registered an interest. However, with Belgium preparing to take part in their first World Cup Finals since 2002, Wilmots has confirmed that Januzaj will be available for selection in Brazil. Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 17:07:05 GMT)

Scotland's Ruaridh Jackson becomes latest international to join Wasps
Fly-half will move from Glasgow in summer 'I am relishing the challenge that lies ahead'Wasps have signed the Scotland international fly-half Ruaridh Jackson. The 26-year-old will move to the Premiership club this summer after six years with Glasgow Warriors.He becomes Wasps' latest key signing for next season, following the Wales lock Bradley Davies, the Italy prop Lorenzo Cittadini and the Sale Sharks pair Rob Miller and James Gaskell. Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 14:24:01 GMT)

Formula One holds its breath as Bernie Ecclestone's bribery trial begins
F1 chief executive's trial starts in Munich on Thursday Prosecutors have impressive track record in recent casesBernie Ecclestone goes on trial in Munich on Thursday and for the next five months Formula One will hold its breath. The man who transformed the sport into a billion-pound business and who has run it for four decades in his idiosyncratic and controversial way faces the possibility of 10 years in jail if found guilty of bribery. The sport could face an even longer term of uncertainty, even decline.The judge Ecclestone will be up against does not take any prisoners; or rather, he does. Peter Noll convicted the former German banker Gerhard Gribkowsky, a central figure in the Munich hearing, and sent him down for eight-and-a-half years in 2012. In his concluding statement, Noll said: "In this process we assume the driving force was Mr Ecclestone." Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 17:34:08 GMT)

The sorry saga of David Moyes won't shake Sir Alex Ferguson's self-belief
To imagine that Ferguson is fundamentally questioning himself at this juncture is to misunderstand the manThe one thing it isn't, I'm afraid, is "hugely embarrassing for Sir Alex Ferguson". Quite how put out you are by that ineluctable truth is a matter of personal taste. You may in fact find it very palatable that the former Manchester United titan will regard himself as entirely unbesmirched by the sorry saga that on Tuesday saw his chosen successor find his desk in the lift. Or you may wish fervently that a chastened Ferguson were sitting right now in a luxury hotel room, crying his humiliated little heart out, as José Mourinho reportedly did after learning the United manager's job would be going to David Moyes in the first place.But to adopt either position counts as what the pop psychologists would categorise as projecting. Something can only really be deemed embarrassing if there is an embarrassee, and to imagine that Ferguson is fundamentally questioning himself at this juncture is to misunderstand the man, and everything that experience should have taught those who had the opportunity to observe him for so long. Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 12:28:47 GMT)

North Korea's fashion police
Unwritten rules on personal style are enforced by a small army of young communists, but that doesn't stop some trendsetters from pushing the boundariesNorth Korea network: follow the Guardian and our partners for unique reporting and analysisShe fell in love the moment she saw them. Black, high-heeled and zipped up the side, the boots were irresistible - even with their sizeable price tag and dangerous air of novelty.They were pretty, and new, and everyone was curious, Song Eun-byul said, recalling the stir that her purchase had made in her North Korean hometown, close to the Chinese border. Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Apr 2014 02:11:31 GMT)

The World Cup and Olympics threaten to overwhelm Rio yet there is time to create a sensation out of disaster
Rio de Janeiro is now desperately behind schedule for the 2016 Olympic Games. Sport's mega-events should not be allowed to traumatise this magnificent, complex cityHas Rio de Janeiro the guts? The city is now desperately behind schedule for its 2016 Olympics one insider put it at 10% ready, where London was 60% ready at the same stage. But a visit earlier this month left me with an intriguing question. Could Rios chaotic planners make virtue of necessity? Could they be the first city to haul the Olympics back from its fixation with money and buildings, and restore them to sport? Could Rio fashion a sensation from a disaster? The main Olympic park at Barra da Tijuca was until recently strike-bound. The secondary one at Deodoro is a military base and not even started. This month, the International Olympic Committee in Turkey declared a critical situation and demanded the Brazilian government do something. It set up a committee. The IOC spokesman, Mark Adams, had to deny rumours of plan B, to move the games from Rio altogether, but significantly failed to rule this out, merely saying at this stage that would be far too premature. Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 16:33:07 GMT)

The Rochdale Pioneers to Paul Flowers: how the Co-operative dream died
Mounting debts, chaotic governance, controversies over executive pay and a bank chair who has become a laughing stock. The high street chain that once cared for British people from cradle to grave is in dire straits The history of the British Co-operative movementIn February 2009, the Co-operative Group announced that Bob Dylan had allowed it to use one of his most treasured songs in a UK TV advert. The work of London agency McCann Erickson, the commercial in question was soundtracked by his 1962 classic Blowin' in the Wind, and was a self-consciously epic affair: two-and-half minutes long, voiced over by the Scottish actor John Hannah, and first shown on ITV at 7.40pm on a Monday night, mid-way through Coronation Street.It began with a boy launching dandelion seeds into the breeze, which then floated over windfarms, arctic glaciers, Fairtrade coffee plantations, and other symbols of the Co-op Group's supposedly towering ethical standards. "From community projects to a share of the profits, renewable energy to Fairtrade products, the Co-operative believe that when the benefits are passed around it's good for everyone," went the simpering script. Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 16:36:00 GMT)

Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense review - Robert Webb and Mark Heap are unflappably farcical
This clever PG Wodehouse tribute reproduces the manners of the Edwardian English upper classes, while cunningly sending them up Bertie Wooster or Jez from Peep Show? Take our quiz Mark Heap interview: 'There's high farce over a teapot'In a week when David Cameron and George Osborne made a rare joint campaign appearance Tory spin doctors are thought to take the view that one public schoolboy at a time is more than enough for most voters Conservative central office may welcome theatrical evidence that being a toff is not necessarily toxic in modern Britain.Perfect Nonsense, the PG Wodehouse adaptation that recently won the Olivier award for best comedy, is in such demand that the West End production has been starrily recast. Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 22:00:00 GMT)

Inside the giant panda research centre - in pictures
Photographer Ami Vitale was allowed exclusive access into the Wolong National Nature Reserve managed by the China Conservation and Research Centre for the Giant Panda as it trains pandas to be released into the wild. While only about 1,600 giant pandas exist in the wild, the centre is the brain child of Director Zhang Hemin and has been successful at teaching them to survive in the while by mimicking conditions of their natural habitats. Zhang Xiang became the first female panda to be released into the wild. These pictures show the extraordinary lengths the keepers go to with the pandas How do I become ... a panda keeper Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 14:48:19 GMT)

The Hamid Mir case: 'In Pakistan, they used to censor journalists now they shoot us'
On Saturday in Karachi, one of Pakistan's most famous journalists survived being shot six times. Soon after, the TV news channel he works for blamed the feared Inter-Services Intelligence agency for the attack. Author Mohammed Hanif reports on a fourth estate under siegeMore than a hundred bouquets line the lobby of the private ward of Karachi's posh, private Aga Khan Hospital. Outside, dozens of policemen with bulletproof vests and automatic weapons look at every visitor suspiciously, officers speaking urgently into their walkie-talkies. The Karachi police force is really good at strutting about after a high-profile crime has happened. One of the largest bouquets in the lobby is from the force. "Get well Hamid Mir," it says. "We may not be able to protect you," it implies, "but we know where to order the best flowers."Mir is upstairs recuperating. He took six bullets in the ribs, thigh, stomach and across his hand in an assassination attempt on Saturday as he came out of the airport to present a special broadcast on Geo, Pakistan's largest news channel. Mir had warned about a possible assassination. He had also named his would-be killers. That's what his brother claims, that's what his colleagues and managers at the channel say. Geo, just after the attack, broadcast the allegation and, in an unprecedented move, also flashed the picture of the accused: the head of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence chief, Lieutenant General Zaheer ul-Islam. In that picture he comes across as a big man. We are not supposed to know much about him except the fact that he is a very professional general. According to an internet myth very popular in Pakistan, the ISI has been rated as the world's No 1 intelligence agency: Mossad is No 5 and MI6 languishes at No 9. According to television ratings, the man with three bullets still in his body is Pakistan's top-rated TV journalist and one of the most vocal critics of Pakistan's military and intelligence agencies. Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 18:05:27 GMT)

Mad Men recap: season seven, episode two A Day's Work
Don's showing signs of self-awareness, while all around the future is taking off its coat and getting comfortableSpoiler alert: This blog is for those who are watching season seven of Mad Men. Don't read on if you haven't seen episode two.Read Zoe William's recap of season seven, episode one, here. Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 21:59:03 GMT)

Are you fit for the future? interactive
How advanced are you in your understanding of green issues? Are you an eco-geek or the village idiot? Find out if you're fit for the future Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 14:17:37 GMT)

Six reasons for the fall in violent crime
From the removal of lead in petrol to fighting becoming uncool, there are plenty of theories as to why the crime rate is falling. But do any of them stack up?Violent crime in England and Wales has fallen by 12%, according to the latest national violence surveillance network figures, based on A&E admissions. In fact, the rate of violent crime in the UK has fallen almost every year since 2001. But why? Is it because TV has got better and alcohol has got weaker? Do today's angry young men prefer to take it out online in Call of Duty, rather than square up for an after-hours brawl in the Royal Oak car park like their predecessors? Experts disagree, but there is no shortage of theories. Here are just a few. Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 17:57:00 GMT)

The great North Korean picture show video
Behind the scenes of the propaganda movie industry: documentary film-makers Lynn Lee and James Leong followed the making of an anti-Japanese propaganda movie meant to glorify North Korea's 50 year-old Songun or 'military first' campaign. These excerpts from their documentary, The Great North Korean Picture Show, reveal the determination of cast and crew to please the Pyongyang regime. Watch the full film here Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 08:00:00 GMT)

Peter Capaldi: 'A lot of surrealist art is about sex' - video
Peter Capaldi takes us through the history of surrealism, from its origins in the cafes of Paris with André Breton to its Freudian obsession with desire and dream and on to Dalí's lobster phone and Oppenheim's furry teacup. Part of Tate's Unlock Art series Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 09:02:00 GMT)

What does your postcode say about you?
To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the allocation of postcodes, the Royal Mail has looked into what the alphanumeric codes reveal about their residentsHow much can you tell about a person from their postcode? To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the allocation of postcodes to every town in Britain, a Royal Mail commissioned study published yesterday, has attempted to highlight which postcodes fare best and worst for a range of key indicators. Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 15:59:46 GMT)

Visiting libraries makes us as happy as a £1,359 pay rise
Well, that's what a study from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport seems to say. Strange, then, that it's not reversing its policies on closing librariesGreat news for book lovers. The results of a study commissioned by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to measure which activities make us happier are in and the top joy-inducing spots are occupied by dancing, swimming and wait for it, wait for it ... going to the library. Apparently, the uplift it gives people is equivalent to a £1,359 pay rise.I know. It's fantastic. Faced with figures like that, especially from research it demanded and paid for its very own self, a ministerial department would have to be mad not to look again at any policy that had, since last year, resulted in an estimated 493 libraries around the country being closed, palmed off to volunteers or facing closure. It would have to be stuffed to the gills with fools, or people who are so unfeeling that they remain unmoved in the face of increasing, quantifiable human unhappiness. Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 15:10:19 GMT)

Parklife how does Blur's album sound 20 years on?
Reader's panel: This week mark's the 20th anniversary of the album that defined Britpop and turned Blur into megastars. How well has Parklife stood the test of time?Parklife, Blur's third studio album, was released 20 years ago this Friday. A huge critical and commercial success, it sold a huge number of copies and, for good or ill, gave birth to Britpop.To mark its 20th anniversary, we thought it was about time to give Parklife another listen. Writing about the album earlier this month, Alexis Petridis said it continues to sound "artful, diverse and remarkably fresh" but do you agree?Sign in to share your thoughts on Parklife Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 16:13:27 GMT)

The top 10 crime scenes in art
From Magritte's assassin to Caravaggio's cardsharps and Warhol's unforgettable take on race riots of the 60s, here are the best artworks that tackle jealousy, murder and intrigue head on The top 10 drinkers in art The top 10 female nudes in art The top 10 male nudes in art The top 10 weirdest artworks everThe crime in this troubling work of art is not being perpetrated by "rioters", but by the police. As demonstrators take to the streets for civil rights in Birmingham, Alabama, a police officer deliberately sets a dog on an unarmed man. So this photographic image is evidence. Warhol, so often seen as a heartless observer of celebrity and sleaze, carefully chose it and turned it into a print to make that evidence permanent, indelible, unforgettable. Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 14:40:00 GMT)

Shipton Mill: the flour fuelling Britain's baking revolution
Artisan bakers have set up shop all over the UK, and many use the same coarse, creamy, stone-milled flour from Shipton Mill. What is so special about it?Britons' love of breadmaking has grown and spread over the past 15 years, like an unstoppable loaf spilling out of its tin. Artisan bakers have opened in nooks and corners all over the country, tucked into east London railway arches or Scottish crofts. I am a carbohydrate pilgrim. In a typical month I visit bakers all over London. Peeping under the counters, the stiff, papery flour sacks all say the same thing: Shipton Mill. Could it be that this mill is at the centre of artisan baking in the UK? Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 12:05:00 GMT)

Google introduces 'time machine' feature in Street View
Street-level mapping now lets users go back in time to see how cities, neighbourhoods and attractions have changed since 2007Google has turned its Google Maps Street View into a time machine to let users travel back in time and see how places have changed.The new feature will let users track changes in landscape, buildings, roads and entire neighbourhoods from around the world since the Street View mapping program began in 2007. Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 13:00:13 GMT)

Designs of the Year: chairs that make you fidget and a piano from the future
From the Pro Chair that makes schoolkids squirm to an all-black piano, plus Prada and Zaha Hadid, here are the seven category winners from the Designs of the Year From folding safety helmets to sentient smoke alarms, the Design Museum's Designs of the Year exhibition showcases some of the most cunning innovations in transport and fashion, technology and industrial design. Here are the seven category winners announced today, which will compete for the overall crown of Design of the Year, to be announced at the end of June. Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 10:30:56 GMT)

Clip joint: dystopias
Five of cinema's most memorably grim depictions of mankind's future. What others belong on the list?If cinema provides any indication of where humanity is headed, wed better start appreciating the here and now all too often, science fiction seems to tell us one thing: the future looks grim. Dystopian futures are a genre staple, a glimpse into the fictional (and non-fictional) failures of urban life. Heres our pick of five iconic dystopias - what would your choice be to join the list? Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 13:57:06 GMT)

How to wear long skirts video
The long skirt is having a fashion moment, so Jess Cartner-Morley looks at how to de-frump the look. It's such a practical garment but it does have a tendency to look frumpy. So Jess looks at the various ways to make the long skirt less serious, bold and extreme Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 11:00:00 GMT)

Films based on foods - we want your high concept pitches
Open thread: As Peeps, the popular marshmallow candies, get their own movie deal, we'd like to hear what other foodstuffs you think deserve a chance to shine on the silver screenWe've had films based on toys (Transformers, GI Joe, The Lego Movie), films based on games (Battleship, Dungeons & Dragons) now it looks like films based on foods could be the next vaguely absurd trend on the horizon.According to a report from Deadline, producer and director Adam Rifkin (Detroit Rock City) has optioned the film and TV rights to Peeps, an animal-shaped marshmallow candy that's particularly popular with US consumers at Easter time. Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 13:18:16 GMT)

'Literally' figuratively destroyed by program to remove the word's misuse
A new browser plug-in displays all instances of the much-abused adverb as its traditional opposite. It's a figurative blast Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Apr 2014 14:32:54 GMT)

The artist who lays eggs with her vagina or why performance art is so silly
Milo Moiré gives birth to her PlopEgg paintings naked. It's a long way from the groundbreaking power of performance art pioneers ... and gives those who satirise the art world yet another target Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Apr 2014 12:11:38 GMT)

Why I have little sympathy for the Buddha tattoo tourist
There's no excuse for tourists getting in trouble in Sri Lanka for cultural insensitivity just do a little research before travelling Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 14:57:20 GMT)

200 girls are missing in Nigeria so why doesn't anybody care?
Unlike the Sewol tragedy, the fate of these schoolchildren has gone unreported, vanished into a dangerous world Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 11:10:32 GMT)

Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo lays charge for explosion against Bayern
Portuguese winger supplies the killer pass against Bayern Munich and walks off to a standing ovation at the Bernabéu Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 21:06:09 GMT)

Russell Brand: Theatre of Dreams is now the setting for a tragedy
David Moyes was nominated as his heir but all he did was emphasise Sir Alex Ferguson's staggering achievements Follow our live blog on Manchester United Ferguson to help choose successor Owen Gibson: a brutal modern sacking Barney Ronay: appointing Moyes was big mistake Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 10:15:49 GMT)

Oklahoma court lifts stay of executions, heading off confrontation with governor
Republican governor Mary Fallin had tried to defy supreme court by making executive order to go ahead with lethal injections Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Apr 2014 01:48:49 GMT)

Climbing Everest is the peak of hubris
With Sherpas treated like pack animals by the cretinous rich, the crisis of the world's highest mountain was inevitable Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 18:26:00 GMT)

People of Scotland vote yes, and set us English free
Instead of condemning us to perpetual Tory rule, independence may reinvigorate Labour and bring us the devolution we crave Scottish referendum: yes, it could happen Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 14:45:00 GMT)

This war on 'Islamism' only fuels hatred and violence
Tony Blair's anti-democratic tirade chimes with David Cameron's toxic manoeuvring at home and in the Muslim worldThe neocons are back. That toxic blend of messianic warmongering abroad and McCarthyite witch-hunting at home which gave us Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo and the London bombings is coursing through our public life again. Yesterday the liberal interventionists' hero, Tony Blair, was once more demanding military action against the "threat of radical Islam".Reprising the theme that guided him and George Bush through the deceit and carnage of the "war on terror", the former prime minister took his crusade against "Islamism" on to a new plane. The west should, he demanded, make common cause with Russia and China to support those with a "modern" view against the tide of political Islam. Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 20:00:04 GMT)

Nigel Farage: a pustule of resentment on the body politic
Politicans talk about ordinary people, but never to them. Into this vacuum steps the likes of Ukip. The left must take noteThere is forever an England where Ukip is nothing more than a joke on Twitter, the Daily Mail is something that no one you know actually reads, where Christianity is a misguided thought process, where everyone understands that taxation is absolutely the right price to pay for the things we value. Maybe you live in that England. Lucky you. I visit it, of course, but I don't come from it. My family were that not-so-rare breed, working-class Tories. Turkeys not only vote for Christmas, I soon realised, they enthusiastically talk about the various ways in which they will be stuffed, every day of the week.So I was very young when I understood that simply telling people that they are stupid and wrong does not make them suddenly embrace socialism. Nor is everything easily divisible into right and left. Right now it is "ordinary people" versus the "trendy metropolitan elite" (people who live in London and enjoy a wide range of dining opportunities). Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 19:00:09 GMT)

The real reason drugs cost so much and why big pharma is so rich
The lack of a free market makes drugs very expensive, and increasing market consolidation will exacerbate the problemThis morning we heard of the row between the drug company Roche and the government's drug adviser, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice), apparently negotiating over the last six months of the lives of women suffering from breast cancer. At issue was the £90,000 per patient that Roche is charging for the drug Kadcyla, which is not a cure but can extend life. Protected by what are known as intellectual property rights, the company has a legally sanctioned monopoly and is free to set its price. This process is a game of chicken between the company and the government, which is subject to lobbying by desperate families but also restrained by a limited budget. Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 14:20:57 GMT)

How feminism became a great way to sell stuff
A recent spate of 'feminist' adverts shows adland belatedly discovering women's rights as a marketing ploy Be your beautiful selfie by buying into Dove Paris Lees: I don't need Veet to make me feel any worseIt happens to Guardian readers, too: feminist fatigue a debilitating condition that starts with mild exhaustion in the face of recurring debates about reproductive rights and discrimination and escalates to a crippling inability to decide whether the length of your pubic hair is reactionary or revolutionary. But don't worry, ladies, help is at hand albeit from unusual sources.After decades of being berated for objectifying women, adland is leaning in to the debate on women's rights with unprecedented enthusiasm. From Pantene's attack on double standards in the workplace to Dove's recent real beauty experiments, the last few months has seen an unusual spate of adverts with female-empowerment messages, as marketers realise that feminism is more than just a word with a lot of syllables: it's a great way to sell stuff. Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 10:31:00 GMT)

Technophobes? No, being wary of innovation is a natural human response
Those asking what technology does for society are not stupid or afraid of change but an important part of a democratic debateDuring the first English industrial revolution, those most likely to be opposed to innovation in the form of labour-saving machinery were poor, working-class men. A typical luddite today, if the latest survey is to be believed, is more likely to be a woman with an interest in society.At first glance, today's report from Nesta, the innovation charity, confirms every gender stereotype about the way men and women perceive new technology. Men were more likely to be interested in science and technology and, when asked what innovation they used in their everyday lives, most likely to say computer programming; women were more interested in social care, and much more likely to be looking at online recipes. The survey of more than 4,000 adults found that men, and particularly the most affluent, were far more likely to believe in innovation as an overall good thing, even if it didn't have any obvious purpose, while women were more likely to want to know what it was actually good for. Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 13:07:32 GMT)

If 'stunt foods' are attention-trolling, then foodie criticism is concern-trolling
What makes KFC's Double Down so different from the cronut? Regardless of one's tastes, the classism is palpableA noteworthy poultry restaurant founded more than 80 years ago in the heart of Appalachia is reinventing the French classic chicken cordon bleu.The decadent dish revised for the modern American palette features smoked, cured pork belly bursting with umami and topped with two semi-hard Californian cheeses. Sweet peppers, rosemary, habanero chiles, garlic and jalapeño provide piquant notes, as does a signature sauce crafted by an exclusive artisan butcher. The blend is then wrapped between two succulent white-meat chicken fillets, breaded with light seasonings and pressure-fried to perfection. Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 11:45:13 GMT)

The female 'confidence gap' is a sham
Women's lack of confidence could be just a keen understanding of just how little society values themDespite an ongoing, glaring lack of equality for women in culture and in policy, Katty Kay and Claire Shipman's new book, The Confidence Code, argues that what's truly holding women back is their own self-doubt. In fact, Kay and Shipman dismiss the importance of institutional barriers upfront, writing in the introduction that, while there's truth behind concerns about sexism, the "more profound" issue is women's "lack of self-belief". Think Lean In meets The Secret.Yet, in just the past year, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled that a woman can be fired if her boss finds her attractive, a New York court decided that unpaid interns can't sue for sexual harassment, and the Paycheck Fairness Act was defeated by Republicans who claimed women actually prefer lower-paying jobs. Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 11:30:06 GMT)

Why attacking Ukip's 'racist' campaigning is counter-productive
Ukip's approach on immigration is wrong but so is implying that a large section of the electorate is composed of closet bigots What's the difference between BNP and Ukip voters? Labour beware: elite candidates create an opening for UkipAnd so we're off. Yesterday saw the launch of the UK Independence party's campaign for the European parliamentary elections, to be held less than a month from now, on 22 May. Ukip is widely expected to finish above the incumbent Conservatives, piling pressure on David Cameron and bolstering his backbench critics who (mistakenly) think that lurching further to the radical right on Europe and immigration will fend off the growing Ukip rebellion. But it is also firmly in the realm of possibility that Ukip will win the European parliament elections outright, raising awkward questions for the main party of opposition and its leader, Ed Miliband. It is still too early to predict the result; while recent polls suggest a very strong result for Ukip, don't forget that in both 2004 and 2009 Ukip actually did not surge until late on, during the final weeks of the campaign when voters began to notice there was an election.Even before launching its European parliament campaign yesterday, Ukip had already attracted controversy. In sustained coverage, The Times repeatedly alleged that Nigel Farage had misused his expenses as an MEP, while in recent days many others, including Labour MPs, charged Ukip with racism after the release of new billboards that target public concerns over the impact of low-skilled EU migration on native British workers and the influence of EU law on domestic politics. Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 12:16:56 GMT)

Meryl Streep: 'I thought I was too ugly to be an actress'
Three-times Oscar winner says that as student she thought being an actress was 'vain' and that wearing glasses would be obstacle to acting careerThree-time Oscar winner Meryl Streep has revealed that, as a student, she thought she was "too ugly to be an actress".Speaking at Indiana University Bloomington, Streep said: "I think I was probably like every other girl who puts on a princess dress and expects everyone to pay full and total attention. And most of us grow out of that. [At Vassar College] I was always in plays, but I thought it was vain to be an actress. Plus, I thought I was too ugly to be an actress. Glasses weren't fabulous then." Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 15:51:29 GMT)

JK Rowling's The Casual Vacancy to become HBO/BBC miniseries
Author's first book for adults, released in 2012, will be turned into three hour-long episodes in transatlantic co-productionLike most of JK Rowling's literary projects, The Casual Vacancy's release in 2012 was shrouded in secrecy. But an announcement that the book will be turned into a miniseries? Not so much. Her "pretty little town of Pagford" will get the small-screen treatment as a three-hour miniseries, to be co-produced by HBO and the BBC. The BBC announced in 2012 that the book would be adapted for television. Imagine if David Tennant or someone got cast in The Casual Vacancy though, i would DIE Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 20:32:31 GMT)

Lupita Nyong'o named People's most beautiful person in the world
People magazine has placed the award-winning 12 Years a Slave actor at the top of its annual poll, continuing a remarkable year for the starHaving starred in a Miu Miu campaign and been signed up as the face of Lancôme within the past three months, Lupita Nyongos fashion ascent has been dizzying and it keeps going. Today, People magazine declared the actress the most beautiful person in the world.Nyongo was catapulted from obscurity to global fame late last year thanks to her performance as Patsey in Steve McQueens 12 Years a Slave. Throughout awards season her red carpet appearances won her, and her stylist, acclaim in the fashion industry, while much was written about her beauty. In January, for example, Enuma Okoro said that for black women especially, she is a welcome sight in a public media eye that tends to obscure the beauty of dark-skinned women, an acknowledged issue in Hollywood circles. Many also celebrated the fact that Nyongo broke the Hollywood 'starlet' mould by having her big break at the age of 30. Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 16:40:18 GMT)

Bruce Lee possessions to go under the hammer
Stirling Cooper jacket, wristwatch, shoes and kicking shield belonging to martial arts movie star who died at height of his fame go up for auctionA jacket, watch and martial arts training equipment once owned by Bruce Lee are to be sold at auction in Los Angeles on 29 April, with fans also given the chance to bid online.The highlight of the sale, at the specialist auction house Nate D Sanders, is expected to be Lee's Stirling Cooper grey cotton jacket, which features signatures and personal messages from the actor and martial artist's wife, Linda, and daughter, Shannon. The jacket, which was previously auctioned in 1993, will have a starting bid of $40,000 (£24,000). Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 11:48:26 GMT)

Kate Moss on her Topshop collection exclusive video
Kate Moss's Topshop collection hits shelves next week, and this exclusive video gives an insight into the creative process: think poring over moodboards, giving Uncle Phil a hug and issuing some very Mossy compliments. "Ooh, it's gorge," and, "It's quite a number," are our favourites. Also, while watching this video, we worked out who Kate Moss's voice doppelgänger is: the similarly husky actor Gemma Arterton. So that's one mystery solved Jess Cartner-Morley on Kate Moss's new Topshop collection Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 06:30:00 GMT)

David Letterman grills Late Show successor and 'new kid' Stephen Colbert
The pair made their first public appearance together since it was announced that Colbert would take over the job in 2015David Letterman, the Late Show host, interviewed his successor Stephen Colbert on Tuesday night, in their first public appearance together since it was announced that Colbert would take over the show in 2015.The indeterminate date of Lettermans departure from the show and the unknown date of Colberts takeover, was a part of the comedians discussion, as were Colberts plans for the show. "I'm gonna do whatever you have done," Colbert told Letterman, who immediately argued against that plan. Colbert responded: "It seems to have gone pretty well, Dave!"ICYMI: Dave and Stephen Colbert (@StephenAtHome) took a selfie. #LSDL pic.twitter.com/jktc4Mznrq Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 14:07:03 GMT)

Paul Sykes: the man spending millions to make Ukip's posters visible from space
The multimillionaire, unmoved by claims that the Ukip posters he funded are racist, has vowed to spend whatever it takes to get Britain out of EuropeName: Paul Sykes.Age: 70. Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 12:47:36 GMT)

Terminally ill teenager Stephen Sutton reaches £1m target for charity
19-year-old, who had bucket list of things to do before dying, including helping Teenage Cancer Trust, gives 'final thumbs up'A 19-year-old man with terminal cancer, who set up a bucket list of things to do before he died, has raised more than £1m for charity.But Stephen Sutton has told supporters on his blog that his condition has worsened and that he does not have much time left. He has signed off his blog with "a final thumbs up". Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 14:20:58 GMT)

Barack Obama pays tribute to 'trailblazer' Frankie Knuckles
President says the DJ and producer 'helped open minds and bring people together' Terry Farley's appreciation of Frankie Knuckles Alexis Petridis on Frankie KnucklesBarack Obama has paid tribute to the late his fellow Chicagoan Frankie Knuckles, calling the DJ and producer a "trainblazer" who "captured our attention and ignited our imaginations".In a letter dated 17 April, the US president and his wife, Michelle Obama, offered their "heartfelt sympathies" to "the friends and family of Frankie Knuckles". Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 07:42:54 GMT)

Gabriel García Márquez: new extract hints at writer's 'last legacy'
Spanish newspaper publishes chapter from unseen manuscript We'll See Each Other in August, which could be the final work from the late Nobel laureateAn extract from an unpublished manuscript by Gabriel García Márquez, in which the late Nobel laureate writes about a married woman having an affair on a tropical island, has been published in a Spanish newspaper. Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 10:30:46 GMT)

Justin Bieber apologises for posting Tokyo war shrine photograph
Singer removes photo of himself at Yasukuni shrine, which China and South Korea regard as symbol of Japanese militarismJustin Bieber has apologised after posting a photograph that showed him standing in front of the controversial Yasukuni war shrine in Tokyo.The Canadian pop singer removed the image but only after it had been tweeted to his 51.1 million followers and attracted 660,000 likes on Instagram. Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 12:27:47 GMT)

Tracks star Mia Wasikowska: 'Camels are a very obliging film animal' video interview
Mia Wasikowska, the star of Tracks, based on the true story of Robyn Davidson's solo trek across the Australian outback, tells Paul MacInnes about acting with wildlife and the appeal of isolating yourself. Tracks, which co-stars Girls actor Adam Driver, is released in the UK on Friday Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 11:13:26 GMT)

Jay Z collaborator investigated over alleged $100,000 extortion attempt
Engineer Chauncey Mahan detained after reportedly demanding money for safe return of rapper's master tapesA hip-hop engineer is being investigated for trying to extort $100,000 (£59,000) from Jay Z in return for some of the rapper's master tapes. Chauncey Mahan has denied he was holding the music ransom, calling Jay Z "a stupid kid smoking blunts" who didn't take proper care of his recordings.Mahan's cache of music reportedly dates back to between 1998 and 2002, when he assisted on albums including Vol 3 ... Life & Times of S Carter and The Dynasty: Roc La Familia. Mahan told TMZ that the rapper's label instructed him to hold on to the masters for songs such as Big Pimpin' and I Just Wanna Love U (Give It 2 Me). He claims he repeatedly asked Def Jam to take back the material, but said they "blew him off". Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 11:21:14 GMT)

Quentin Tarantino's Hateful Eight lawsuit is thrown out for now
Judge rejects claim that Gawker's link to a leaked copy of Tarantino's screenplay 'crossed the journalistic line', but invites director to refile his case The Hateful Eight liveread - review Quiz: How big a Tarantino fan are you?A US federal judge has thrown out Quentin Tarantino's lawsuit against the website Gawker for linking to his screenplay for the subsequently abandoned western The Hateful Eight. However, US district court judge John F Walter yesterday invited the film-maker to refile his case by 1 May, signalling that the legal battle is far from over.In his copyright suit for contributory infringement, Tarantino claimed Gawker "crossed the journalistic line" when it linked to a leaked copy of the 146-page screenplay in January. But Walter said the director had so far failed to make his case. Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 11:02:43 GMT)

A history of the workhouse - in pictures
The Workhouse Encyclopedia is a pictorial history of a notorious British institution. Author Peter Higginbotham talks us through some of the most striking imagesBuy it at the Guardian Bookshop Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 08:00:50 GMT)

45 Hamlets for Shakespeare's 450th birthday - in pictures
On the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare's birth, Michael Billington has picked the best Hamlets he's seen in each decade of his theatregoing life. To help you choose your own favourite Prince of Denmark, here are 45 actors who've found a method for the character's madness Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 06:00:58 GMT)

South Sudanese refugees struggle to adjust to life in Uganda in pictures
Fighting in South Sudan between forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and rebel troops has left thousands dead and forced almost a million people to flee their homes. The unfolding humanitarian catastrophe has put 5 million people at risk of food shortages, the UN has warned. Photojournalists Will Rose and Kajsa Sjölander visited refugee camps in Adjumani, northern Uganda, with Plan International and the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent societies. They met ordinary people battling to keep their families together and create a sense of normality in exceptionally challenging circumstances Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 13:01:59 GMT)

Ghosts: AK-47 guns made from beads and wire - in pictures
New art installation of replica AK-47s from wire and beads, made by Zimbabwean craftsmen, offers powerful comment on South Africa's continuing obsession with gunsRead an interview with Ralph Ziman Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 12:37:22 GMT)

Scotland stories: Leeza Holmes, power station technician
As the Scottish independence referendum draws near, the Guardian's Murdo MacLeod travels the length and breadth of Scotland to document the daily lives of its diverse population. Here he speaks to Leeza Holmes apprentice control and instrument technician at Torness nuclear power station Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 06:00:00 GMT)

Champions League: Atlético Madrid v Chelsea - in pictures
The best images from the Vicente Calderón where Chelsea survived a tense meeting with a draw despite losing Petr Cech and John Terry to injuries Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Apr 2014 19:08:00 GMT)

Ten things the Duchess of Cambridge should wear on her tour
So far, Kate's tour wardrobe has been the definition of safe Queen-sanctioned dressing red, white and blue, sensible coats and shift dresses. If we were styling her on a royal family budget, here are the looks we would choose: still appropriate but a lot more fashionable Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Apr 2014 07:50:46 GMT)

President Obama tours Washington mudslide area pictures
Tuesday marks the one-month anniversary of the Oso mudslide that killed a confirmed 41 people. Two are still on the missing persons list Continue reading...
(Tue, 22 Apr 2014 22:15:21 GMT)

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