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CIA concludes Russia interfered to help Trump win election, say reports
Intelligence agency reportedly believes individuals acting for Moscow hacked Democratic party emails and gave them to WikiLeaksUS intelligence agencies have concluded that Russia interfered in last month’s presidential election to boost Donald Trump’s bid for the White House, according to reports.A secret CIA assessment found that Russian operatives covertly interfered in the election campaign in an attempt to ensure the Republican candidate’s victory, the Washington Post reported, citing officials briefed on the matter. Continue reading...
(Sat, 10 Dec 2016 09:29:19 GMT)

Peter Tatchell disrupts Jeremy Corbyn speech with Syria protest
Campaigner shouts over Labour leader, demanding he do more to condemn actions of Russia in conflictProtesters led by Peter Tatchell have disrupted a speech by Jeremy Corbyn, calling on the Labour leader to demand action to end the conflict in Syria.Corbyn halted his speech while several protesters held up banners with slogans including “Step up and demand action in Syria” and “End the suffering in Aleppo”. Continue reading...
(Sat, 10 Dec 2016 11:22:48 GMT)

French MPs to vote on extending emergency powers beyond election
Prime minister Bernard Cazeneuve says 17 attacks have been thwarted this year and extension is ‘absolutely necessary’The French government is seeking to extend the country’s state of emergency laws until after the presidential election, the prime minister has said, as he revealed 17 attacks had been thwarted in the country so far this year. Bernard Cazeneuve said after a cabinet meeting on Saturday that parliament would vote next week on a bill to extend the powers into 2017. Continue reading...
(Sat, 10 Dec 2016 13:25:49 GMT)

Hundreds of people kill themselves after being in police custody, report finds
Equality and Human Rights Commission says it has unearthed ‘serious gaps’ in care of people who have been detainedThe human rights watchdog has called for the NHS to take over the healthcare of people detained in police stations after it found that 400 people had killed themselves shortly after being released from custody in England and Wales in the past seven years.The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) said it had unearthed “serious gaps” in the care of people who had been in custody. Almost all the deaths happened within 48 hours of release and around a third involved people who had been arrested over allegations of sexual abuse. Continue reading...
(Sat, 10 Dec 2016 09:58:32 GMT)

US to send 200 more troops to Syria to bolster Raqqa assault
Ash Carter announces extra personnel and criticises allies in Middle East for not doing enough in fight against IsisThe US defence secretary has announced that 200 more military personnel will be sent to Syria to strengthen the fight against Islamic State in its stronghold of Raqqa.Speaking at talks on Middle East security, Ash Carter said Barack Obama had approved deployment of the extra troops, who would include special forces trainers, advisers and bomb disposal experts. Continue reading...
(Sat, 10 Dec 2016 12:57:20 GMT)

The Gambia: troops deployed to streets as president rejects election defeat
Yahya Jammeh had conceded result to Adama Barrow but now claims ‘fresh and transparent elections’ are needed Troops have been deployed to the streets of Banjul, the capital of the Gambia, after the autocratic president, Yahya Jammeh, unexpectedly rejected his defeat in an election last week and called for a fresh vote.Jammeh had initially accepted the result, ceding power after 22 years, to a coalition led by the opposition leader, Adama Barrow. But few observers expected Jammeh to give up control of the small west African country. Continue reading...
(Sat, 10 Dec 2016 10:15:39 GMT)

Irish courts to be asked to intervene in Brexit legal process
Jolyon Maugham QC to go through Irish courts with issue of whether Brexit can be reversed after article 50 is triggeredIrish courts are to be asked to intervene in the UK’s legally complex Brexit process in a new appeal aimed at reaching the European court of justice in Luxembourg.The application, which is seeking crowdfunding, will be on the issue of whether once Brexit is triggered, by giving formal notice to Brussels under article 50 of the treaty on European Union, it can be reversed. Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 22:00:40 GMT)

Campaigners and MPs raise concerns over Murdoch bid for Sky
Hacked Off says media mogul must face new ‘fit and proper person test’ and competition investigationCampaigners and politicians have raised concerns over Rupert Murdoch’s latest attempt to gain full control of the satellite broadcaster Sky, saying he must face a new “fit and proper person test” and competition investigation.It emerged on Friday that Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox film and television group had swooped in with an £11.2bn offer to take full control of the broadcaster, of which it already owns 39%. Continue reading...
(Sat, 10 Dec 2016 11:59:29 GMT)

Russian state doped more than 1,000 athletes and corrupted London 2012
• Figure revealed in Professor Richard McLaren’s second report into doping• ‘London Games corrupted on an unprecedented scale,’ says McLarenThe London 2012 Olympics were “corrupted on an unprecedented scale” by Russia’s government and sports authorities, who colluded to ensure its sports stars were able to take a cocktail of banned performance-enhancing drugs yet evade doping tests, it has been revealed.A 144-page report by the respected Canadian law professor Richard McLaren on behalf of the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) also found that more than 1,000 Russians athletes across more than 30 sports – including football – were involved in or benefited from state-sponsored doping between 2011 and 2015. Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 11:30:39 GMT)

Nigel Farage launches scathing attack on Ukip's 'low-grade people'
Former party leader ‘having a great time’ not having to deal with people ‘who use me as a vehicle for their own self-promotion’Nigel Farage has said he is relieved to no longer be Ukip leader because it had meant “having to deal with low-grade people every day”, in an interview where he said his £85,000-a-year salary had left him “poor” compared with his City banker friends. Speaking to the Telegraph, Farage said he now has global ambitions beyond the Eurosceptic party, including negotiating trade deals with the US president-elect, Donald Trump, and finding a solution to the Middle East conflict. Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 19:23:54 GMT)

Relief at last: toilet charges suspended at two London train stations
Decision to axe 50p fee at Victoria and Charing Cross understood to be goodwill gesture after rail service disruptionToilet charges at two of London’s busiest stations have been scrapped after passengers paid out thousands to spend a penny.The 50p fee to use the toilet facilities at Victoria station and Charing Cross has been temporarily suspended, Network Rail said. Continue reading...
(Sat, 10 Dec 2016 11:49:50 GMT)

Drugs, developers and diplomacy: London night tsar Amy Lamé on the challenges of the job
From cabaret star to the woman tasked with turning London into a 24-hour city, Amy Lamé’s appointment by Sadiq Khan has put her under a new level of scrutiny – but she is optimistic about the future of the ‘night-time economy’There are night mayors across cities in Europe now, in Paris, Amsterdam, Zurich, Toulouse. In August, Sadiq Khan advertised for London’s version, which he would call a “night tsar”. The post was part-time, two-and-a-half days a week, £35,000 salary, and would have the responsibility of turning London into a 24-hour city. With the advent of the night tube, there was to be a push for a “night-time economy”. More than 180 people applied. Around 10 of those had been invited to apply. In October, Khan called one of those 10, Amy Lamé – performer, presenter, writer and host of the long-running cabaret club night Duckie – to tell her she’d got the gig. She promised a “fact-finding mission” of the city’s bars and clubs. As public positions go, this one sounded like it could be fun.Lamé has been in the job for just a month, and has already had her tax affairs scrutinised (she immediately changed them), had old Tory-bashing tweets dredged up (she apologised for any offence caused), and been accused of being little more than window-dressing for a complex role she is not qualified to do. For someone whose public career began with a one-woman comedy show called Gay Man Trapped in a Lesbian’s Body, and who presented a show called Gaytime TV, the sudden scrutiny and need for diplomacy that comes with a political position must be jarring. Continue reading...
(Sat, 10 Dec 2016 07:00:07 GMT)

10 ways to cope with other parents
Don’t get involved in gossip, no matter how tempting, make sure your children are polite at their friends’ houses, and be selective about when you socialiseBe prepared. Pregnancy can be a very vulnerable time and antenatal classes throw up the scary know-it-alls early on – smile politely and avoid. It doesn’t help to hear stories of 36-hour labours, how only natural births result in real bonding and that breastfeeding is the easiest thing in the world, when we all know it’s a skill to be learned.Identify the captain of industry. Every playgroup has one – either someone who is now primary carer after years in a high-flying career or someone who has waited all her life to be the perfect mother. They’re useful for chairing committees, organising outings and toy-scrubbing nights, making sure everyone does their fair share on the rota and booking a visit from Santa in plenty of time. Smile, be friendly, and tell them they’re doing a great job and move swiftly on. Continue reading...
(Sat, 10 Dec 2016 06:29:06 GMT)

Help Refugees: 'We will never abandon them'
The grassroots aid group working to move babies, children and their families out of freezing conditions in Greek refugee camps• Donate to the Guardian and Observer’s Christmas charity appeal“Please let me know if there’s anything you can do for this woman,” says the voice in the Whatsapp recording. “She’s about to give birth any day, she’s living in a tent, and the conditions are awful.”Driving through northern Greece on a recent December night, a pair of volunteers from the grassroots aid group Help Refugees have just received this SOS from another aid worker. It is 7.32pm, and a young Afghan refugee is about to go into labour at one of Greece’s worst refugee camps. It is a few dozen tents on a remote and windswept hillside – but the government and the UN refugee agency can’t move her anywhere better. Can Help Refugees? Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 14:08:42 GMT)

Obama's legacy: Lorrie Moore, Richard Ford, Marilynne Robinson and others look back
His election was a historic moment, he campaigned on a platform of hope, but did President Obama deliver? Leading authors have their sayBrilliant and understated, urbane, witty, compassionate, composed, quietly fuelled by an idealism born of the legacy of civil rights America in conflict with the old white-nationalist America, Barack Obama is a unique human being and has been a unique president. In some ways (as many have observed) not really temperamentally suited to an office that demands an almost daily scrimmage with opposition politicians in Congress – as well as continual conferences with members of his own party – Obama has behaved with dignity and restraint that might be mistaken for aloofness; while he has shown an astonishing generosity in attempting to compromise with opposition politicians whose fury at the very election of a black man to the presidency has never been tempered, it is clear that, for all his virtues, and for all his idealism, the bitterly divisive politics of our time made it impossible for him to fully realise his political mission. If each American president represents a predominant style, Obama’s is “coolness” – the coolness of grace under pressure, a refusal to rise to the race-baiting tactics of political opponents. Continue reading...
(Sat, 10 Dec 2016 08:00:08 GMT)

Blind date: ‘it didn’t feel like we’d just met’
Elise, 17, meets fellow student Oliver, 17What were you hoping for? To meet someone I could get along with without having to force the conversation. Continue reading...
(Sat, 10 Dec 2016 06:00:06 GMT)

Buy to let: ‘We landlords are being vilified’
With a lending crackdown and a massive tax hike due, many landlords could soon find themselves moving from profit to lossRob Hill is angry that his tax bill will go up £3,000 from April. Chris Cooper is furious that his personal tax bill will nearly double. Other landlords say that their effective tax bill will rise to 100%. As the buy-to-let market reels from last April’s stamp duty hike, and awaits the tightening of lending criteria starting in January and the steep increase in tax being phased in from next April, is the party over for Britain’s two million landlords?Hill has three rental properties in south-west London, but says landlords are “getting a bashing” from the government’s changes to the tax regime, accusing it of ruining the retirement plans of thousands of people. An estate agent himself, he has let out a flat and two houses in Clapham for the past 10 years, which earn him an annual rental income of £40,813 after service charges and letting fees. The mortgages cost him £13,770, leaving him with a profit of £27,042. Currently he is liable for 40% tax on this, so the bill is £10,816. Continue reading...
(Sat, 10 Dec 2016 06:59:07 GMT)

How do you tell a child his mother is dying?
In A Monster Calls, a boy struggles because nobody tells him the truth about his dying mother. John-Paul Flintoff talks to the people behind the new film of the multi-award winning bookSiobhan Dowd had breast cancer. Her sister Denise was looking after her and one day, when the time seemed right, they had “the conversation”.“It came up when I was doing some of her personal care,” says Denise, a retired district nurse. “That’s always a good time to talk to people, because it’s quite intimate. Out of the blue, she asked, ‘How do you feel about losing a sister?’ And because it was out of the blue I said, ‘Terrible’. I actually got quite upset. But she was very calm. She didn’t try to make it ‘all right’.” Continue reading...
(Sat, 10 Dec 2016 06:15:06 GMT)

Oh for the 1960s! People earned less but could afford more
My 90-year-old father was, in today’s terms, earning £25,000 at the time. But he had a house, a TV and a Ford PopularThe Bank of England governor told us this week there has been a “lost decade” of wage growth. But is the truth really a lot worse than that?By chance it was the same week my 90-year-old father decided to show me his carefully filed tax returns from the 1960s (yes, that’s what counts for fun in the Collinson household). In 1963-64 his pay as an accounts clerk in London was £1,357 a year. In today’s money that equals a little over £25,000 a year once inflation is taken into account. Continue reading...
(Sat, 10 Dec 2016 07:00:07 GMT)

Watford v Everton: Premier League – live!
Premier League updates as Watford host Everton, kick-off 12.30pm GMTYannick Bolasie injury may be worse than stated, admits KoemanAnd email your thoughts to rob.smyth@theguardian.com 1.50pm GMT 62 min Baines and Amrabat collide as they jump for a high ball, with both ending up on the floor. Baines is booked. 1.48pm GMT 61 min A Watford substitution: Adlene Guedioura is replaced by Daryl Janmaat. Continue reading...
(Sat, 10 Dec 2016 13:50:00 GMT)

Arsenal v Stoke City, Premier League and more: clockwatch – live!
All the day’s action from the Premier League 3pm kick-offs ... and more!Email scott.murray@theguardian.com if you so desire! 10.11am GMT It’s a huge afternoon of classic Saturday 3pm action in the Premier League! So, OK, we’ve started today’s Clocko with a bare-faced lie. But if everyone involved with politics is allowed to gambol across post-truth terrain these days, then those inhabiting the world of sport should be allowed a slice of that hot disingenuous action too. Four matches! From a round of ten! Featuring just the one team from the top eight! Woooooooooooo-hoo! Continue reading...
(Sat, 10 Dec 2016 13:45:04 GMT)

Virat Kohli hits century for India as England unravel in third Test
• England 400; India 451-7• Full scorecard from the Wankhede StadiumThe tour is unravelling fast for England. In a match they have to win to have a chance of squaring the series, Alastair Cook’s weary travellers were still fielding at the end of the third day. Already India have a lead of 51; they have three wickets left and one of those belongs to Virat Kohli, an insatiable, inspiring captain, who finished the day on 147 not out while giving the impression that he has no intention of leaving the green baize of the Wankhede Stadium early on Sunday morning. Related: India’s Virat Kohli steps into Tendulkar’s Mumbai shoes against England | Ali Martin Continue reading...
(Sat, 10 Dec 2016 11:03:06 GMT)

Osasuna 0-3 Barcelona: La Liga – live!
La Liga updates as Barça visit Osasuna, kick-off 12pm GMTBarcelona invite Chapecoense to take part in friendly at Camp NouAnd email ben.fisher@theguardian.com or tweet @benfisherj 1.49pm GMT It had been coming. Messi wriggles past two Osasuna defenders before jinking to his left and burying the ball into the top-right corner. That’s 17 goals in 10 league games for Messi against Osasuna. 1.47pm GMT 90 min: It should be three-nil, but Messi’s shot is eventually blocked. Every time Messi gets the ball, he surges into the opposition box, frightening Osasuna defenders as he goes. Continue reading...
(Sat, 10 Dec 2016 13:49:11 GMT)

Great Britain’s Kate Richardson-Walsh: You’re not playing hockey to be a star
The captain of Britain’s gold-medal winning women’s hockey team in Rio admits it is still a surprise to be nominated for Sports Personality of the YearKate Richardson-Walsh has been practising her smile. “The famous Oscar-losing smile,” she says, revealing that she has barely given any thought to the possibility of being named Sports Personality of the Year next ,weekend despite the role she played in helping Great Britain win women’s hockey gold at the Olympics, and is concentrating more on how she will react if one of the other 15 athletes on the shortlist walks on stage to collect the award.Richardson-Walsh was GB’s redoubtable captain when they beat the Netherlands on penalties in a memorable final in Rio but she does not expect to win this one. “The odds are low,” she says, although she does allow herself a moment of cheery optimism, self-deprecatingly noting that 2016 has been the year of the underdog. Continue reading...
(Sat, 10 Dec 2016 11:30:01 GMT)

West Ham’s Álvaro Arbeloa: I don’t regret coming at all. I want to be here to the end | Sid Lowe
The Spanish defender backs his manager Slaven Bilic but feels the players ‘should be killing each other a bit more’ over their side’s recent disappointmentsÁlvaro Arbeloa could see them go – they weren’t exactly sneaking out. Even before Alexis Sánchez scored Arsenal’s final goal last Saturday, thousands of West Ham fans had left the London Stadium, those long, painful closing minutes played before sweeps of empty white seats. The Spaniard couldn’t stop them; nor could he blame them. His manager couldn’t, either: afterwards all Slaven Bilic could do was apologise to them. “A big humiliation,” he called it. It finished 5-1, the home side conceding three in six minutes, four in 14. It could have been eight. Related: Slaven Bilic admits ‘all the clubs’ would like to sign Liverpool’s Daniel Sturridge Continue reading...
(Sat, 10 Dec 2016 12:00:02 GMT)

Dylan Hartley’s Northampton red card threatens Lions captaincy dream
• Northampton 10-37 LeinsterOne crude swinging arm is in danger of costing Dylan Hartley his immediate future as the England captain and any chance he had of leading the British & Irish Lions to New Zealand next summer. Hartley could hardly have chosen a worse evening to revert from Saint to sinner, his deserved 58th-minute red card which was witnessed by Eddie Jones and his predecessor Stuart Lancaster, now a member of Leinster’s management,The hooker, widely hailed as a key influence in England’s unbeaten calendar year, had been on the field for six minutes when he was dismissed by the French referee Jérôme Garcès, having stiff-armed the Ireland back-row Sean O’Brien from behind. With a bonus-point defeat leaving Northampton rooted to the foot of their European pool, Hartley’s latest indiscretion not only left his club in the lurch but instantly shredded his growing reputation as a reformed character. Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 21:56:21 GMT)

IOC’s Rio ban failure exposed by deepening of Russian doping scandal
The IOC statement about Richard McLaren’s report referred to a ‘fundamental attack on the integrity of the Olympic Games’ but it contained no apologyBetween 2011 and 2015 the Russian state orchestrated a doping programme that enabled 1,000 athletes in 30 sports to take banned performance-enhancing drugs. The sports ministry, the secret service and the national anti-doping agency collaborated in the systematic corruption of the 2012 London Olympics and Paralympics, the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics and Paralympics, and the 2013 World Athletics Championships in Moscow. At a press conference in London on Friday morning, Professor Richard McLaren, head of the independent body appointed to investigate the conspiracy, provided irrefutable proof of both the scheme and its cover-up. And in doing so he exposed, with surgical precision, a great gaping wound in the Olympic movement.Over the course of two hours, McLaren and his chief investigator, Martin Dubbey, detailed the evolution of the Russian doping programme. They moved from the “uncontrolled chaos” of its makeshift beginnings, where “top-level national-team coaches” were selling performance-enhancing drugs to athletes who would then be protected by corrupt doping control officers, to its final fruition as an “institutionalised and disciplined” strategy in which competitors were able to dope in the run-up to and even during major competitions. “Well-known and elite athletes” were protected by the false reporting of lab results and the practice of sample-swapping, in which tainted urine samples were replaced with clean substitutes. Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 19:35:41 GMT)

Claudio Bravo: ‘Criticism is going to exist. I feel it helps me to get better’
Goalkeeper knows he has made mistakes since joining Manchester City but says he and Pep Guardiola will continue to play only one way for successWhen Claudio Bravo takes his seat it is not entirely easy for an interviewer to point out that English football has never really seen a goalkeeper like him before. “Sweeper-keeper” seems to be the popular name for it although, back in Barcelona, they have never felt the need to give it a clever term. Either way, it all feels very new for the Premier League and no doubt there are still many people who find it all slightly perplexing.For Bravo it is just the way he has always liked to play. Manuel Neuer is the same, so accomplished with the ball at his feet the Germany manager, Joachim Löw, has suggested Bayern Munich’s goalkeeper would not look out of place in midfield. Pep Guardiola is another manager who thinks a goalkeeper should be the team’s 11th outfield player and, slowly but surely, more and more clubs are deciding Ruud Gullit was mistaken with his assessment about what constitutes the man traditionally wearing the No1 shirt. “A goalkeeper is a goalkeeper because he can’t play football,” the Dutchman observed. Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 22:30:41 GMT)

Lewis Hamilton escapes punishment by Mercedes after Abu Dhabi row
• Team chief Toto Wolff admits Mercedes got things wrong• Fernando Alonso will not be replacing Nico RosbergMercedes have decided not to take action against Lewis Hamilton after the controversial end to the Formula One season.Hamilton ignored team orders during the season-closing Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as he looked to snatch the title from his team-mate Nico Rosberg. Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 20:09:43 GMT)

Anthony Joshua is all charm as he prepares to unleash storm on Eric Molina
Echoes of Muhammad Ali at weigh-in as IBF heavyweight champion entertains battalion of media admirers with wit before his title defence in ManchesterNot since Muhammad Ali entertained his battalion of media admirers with unprecedented wit and charm in the 60s and 70s has a world heavyweight champion seemed so disarmingly comfortable in his skin as Anthony Joshua on the eve of battle. He does not perform like Ali, but open, engaging, regular laughter is his calling card, and the prospect of sharing a ring with a dangerous if lightly regarded challenger, Eric Molina, here on Saturday night seems as threatening to him as a passing bird. Related: Anthony Joshua shuns table-throwing but admits ‘this is fighting not tennis’ Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 18:45:37 GMT)

UK Sport funding axe ‘catastrophic’ for badminton, says chief executive
• Adrian Christy ‘staggered’ by ‘incomprehensible’ decision• Cycling takes £4.3m cut as UK Sport wields the knifeThe chief executive of GB Badminton has described UK Sport’s decision to axe its funding for the next Olympic cycle as “catastrophic”, with four other sports also set to lose all their exchequer and Lottery funding before the Tokyo Olympics.Archery, badminton, fencing, weightlifting and wheelchair rugby saw their funding wiped out, while British Cycling’s bumpy year off the track worsened as it suffered a £4.3m cut. UK Sport warned “further conditions” could be applied to that money if the independent review into cycling’s culture, which is expected next month, was critical. Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 21:59:40 GMT)

Pat Cummins, Australia and our need for pure, frictionless speed | Barney Ronay
Cummins, after endless strains and twangs, is back bowling fast for Australia, who have a ghost attack – a set of genuinely scorching pace bowlers in their prime – quietly assemblingThere are few things in sport as exciting as pure speed. Remember the stodgy start to the Rio Olympics? The empty seats, the greasy drizzle, the sense of an entire Games drifting into the arena of the unwell? Usain Bolt fixed that, instantly and without argument, by turning up, goofing about waving at people, and then running as fast as humans ever have for a combined total of one minute and 40 seconds, erasing everything else outside that brilliant, luminous moment.In his American football novel End Zone, Don DeLillo spends a lot of time marvelling at the speed of his fictional running back Taft Robinson. “Speed is the last excitement left, the one thing we haven’t used up,” DeLillo writes, and you kind of get what he means. For all the cladding, the fine points of craft and tactics, there will always be some part of us tapping our foot, a little glazed, nodding politely as the coffee is passed round, just craving a little bump of the pure stuff. Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 19:36:00 GMT)

London Welsh’s plight is sad but storied past means all is not lost | Richard Williams
This week the 131-year-old club accepted voluntary liquidation, but heart can be taken from their wonderful history and the example of their neighbours RichmondThe red dragon was still fluttering above the clubhouse at Old Deer Park this week as the veterans of Richmond Lawn Tennis Club, suitably swaddled against the chill, played gentle mixed doubles on their new all‑weather courts. In the shadow of the tall pagoda, a benign sentinel on the other side of the wall separating the playing fields from the botanical wonderland of Kew Gardens, a lone groundsman steered his tractor back and forth, the rotating tines of his aerator cutting into the firm going. In the mid-morning gloom, a couple of cricketers were practising in the nets.All perfectly normal on this piece of land, once a park attached to Elizabeth I’s Richmond Palace and still owned by the Crown Estates. Except that by the entrance on Kew Road, above the turnstiles with their cracked glass and broken locks, the signboard that normally provides information on London Welsh’s next fixture was ominously blank. Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 13:54:27 GMT)

‘It's not about your age, it's about your ideas’: the teen power list
Meet the young activists, scientists, artists, athletes, entrepreneurs and big thinkers shaping your future• Read more from the magazine’s teen takeoverAn actor’s life is hard: it’s just one audition after another, and you have to grow a wall-thick skin to deal with all the rejection. For Bird, however, things went a little differently: she was signed to the Alphabet Kidz agency just before her sixth birthday and two weeks later beat hundreds of other young actors to land the lead role in a £1.4bn show. Continue reading...
(Sat, 10 Dec 2016 09:00:10 GMT)

Shake Shack and Five Guys: ‘Teenagers have terrible taste in food’ – restaurant review | Marina O’Loughlin
‘This is gooood,’ swoons the teen, falling into a bacon double cheeseburger. ‘Gooood foood.’ And, lordy, it is It had to be burgers. (“Nando’s,” says the actual teen. “Should be Nando’s.”) There’s no point tackling McDonald’s or Burger King, and the new breed of “artisan” burgers are beyond most teens’ budget, so mid-ground it is and two big US players: legendary restaurateur Danny Meyer’s almost-cool Shake Shack, a cult brand launched in New York; and the more blue-collar Five Guys, backed by Carphone Warehouse mogul Sir Charles Dunstone. They didn’t impress me much at the time, and I’ve had no interest in going back, but here I am, taking one for the teens. Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 14:00:30 GMT)

Tim Dowling: ‘One masters the art of raising teenagers…’
…Just in time for it to be of no use. But I have learned a few things over the past decade. A very fewWhen I started writing this column, my oldest son was 12. Last week, he turned 22. In a month, the middle one will be 19. The youngest, at 17, has just a few months left before he becomes society’s problem. Until recently, I’ve suffered from an embarrassment of teens, but suddenly I find myself facing a looming shortage.As with any phase of parenting, one masters the art of raising teenagers – in my case, teenage boys – just in time for it to be of no use. But I have learned a few things over the past decade. A very few. These are all of them: Continue reading...
(Sat, 10 Dec 2016 06:00:06 GMT)

'It's crazy, for sure': meet the stars of Musical.ly
Thirteen-year-old twins Max and Harvey Mills have 2.5m followers on the lip-synching app. Will global fame follow?• Read more from the magazine’s teen takeoverPaul Mills is using his phone to live-stream footage of his twin sons while they record their first music video. Max and Harvey Mills, who are 13, are lip-synching to music by Shawn Mendes, the Canadian singer who got his break on the now doomed Vine video app (two albums later, Mendes, 18, is preparing for his second world tour). “Bleedin’ till I can’t breathe, shaking, falling on to my knees.” The brothers mouth the words while Raja Virdi, a young videographer who has worked with Adele and Sam Smith, moves around them with his camera.The boys stand next to each other in the skate park under the Southbank Centre in London. They wear matching black skinny jeans, bought for them by their mother, Sara. Max, who strums his guitar, has an H&M bomber jacket, black beanie (Max always wears hats, to set the twins apart) and his prized white Nike Air Force hi-tops. “These are probably the only things that are, like, show clothes,” he says of the trainers later. “I wouldn’t normally wear them outside.” Continue reading...
(Sat, 10 Dec 2016 09:00:09 GMT)

Who are Generation Z? The latest data on today's teens
Gender fluid, hyper-stressed, politically engaged, connected but lonely: what do we know about modern teens?• Read more from the magazine’s teen takeoverToday’s youngest generation with a label, born after 2000, are connected yet isolated, savvy but anxious, indulged yet stressed. They have grown up with social media, a constant proliferation of information on a fully mobile internet, the rise of Islamic State and other forms of terrorism. As these teenagers approach adulthood, against the political backdrop of Brexit and President Trump, how will they shape the future?The single biggest difference between Generation Z and other generations is how connected they are, and have been since birth. On average, young people in the UK, aged between five and 16, spend three hours online every day. Connectivity permeates their lives – from friendships to relationships, news, entertainment, shopping – and has transformed how they interact. The most popular apps are Snapchat, Instagram and messaging app Kik; the average teenager has at least 150 followers on Instagram, and spends around half an hour a day on Snapchat. Continue reading...
(Sat, 10 Dec 2016 09:00:10 GMT)

'Painful, exhilarating, overrated': 16-year-olds on being in love
Teenagers from around the world share stories of lust, crushes and heartbreak• Read more from the magazine’s teen takeoverI was head-over-heels infatuated with a boy from the age of 12 until just a few weeks ago. He was three years older, so understandably had little interest in me at a younger age. But he soon become interested in my strange interest in him, and an unlikely friendship blossomed. We confided in each other for years, and I saw him through his drug problems that never seemed to go away. His life was falling apart, and only in retrospect can I see the impact that had on mine. It was too much for someone my age to have assumed responsibility for. But I think of him often and the effect he’s had on my life. I thank him for teaching me how love feels. Continue reading...
(Sat, 10 Dec 2016 09:00:09 GMT)

'My worries are not over': diary of a 16-year-old Afghan refugee
Omran arrived in the UK from Afghanistan in April. Does it feel like home?I was 15 when I left Afghanistan. I still felt like a child, but I tried to act like an adult. The situation there was very difficult for me and my family; it’s a long story, but I left home because of the civil war and a family dispute. It took two months to get to France: walking, in cars and lorries, on a boat. We walked 15 hours through the mountains to cross the Iranian border into Turkey.My 16th birthday came and went without me even realising. I was living in a tent in the refugee camp in Calais. I had a phone, but the connection was very bad and it was hard to charge it. On that day my family didn’t call. I didn’t celebrate my birthday much in Afghanistan, either: I’m one of seven children, and we faced problems from all sides; we didn’t think much about birthdays. Continue reading...
(Sat, 10 Dec 2016 08:00:08 GMT)

Beauty: teen skin is the loveliest – here’s how to look after it
Many teens, while keen to avoid or treat spots, seek a solid maintenance programme that keeps skin comfortable It’s understandable that teen skincare products are geared towards problem conditions such as oiliness and acne, but this default assumption doesn’t apply to all. Many teens, while probably keen to avoid or treat blackheads and spots, seek a solid maintenance programme that keeps skin comfortable, not too shiny and well prepped for whatever makeup they might choose thereafter (in my experience, those with the least need for foundation are the most desperate to wear it, however much one preaches that this is probably the loveliest their skin will ever look). In such cases, I almost always recommend Sam Farmer skincare. Unisex, gentle, ethical and fairly priced (from £3.50), it seems to go down well with most young people, including my eldest son, who’s on the brink of teenhood. The travel pack makes a great stocking filler, and the packaging, very different from anything parents might own, is appealing to proprietorial teens. Related: Beauty: skincare products made by makeup brands | Sali Hughes Continue reading...
(Sat, 10 Dec 2016 08:00:08 GMT)

Why I love… Dawson’s Creek
I knew these ‘teens’ weren’t like me in many ways, but they gave me a lexicon with which I could navigate my own lifeMy teen years were in the 90s, cradled between recessions. We had handkerchief-hem tops and UK garage and feelings, man. Well, I certainly did, and that’s why no photos of me as a teen survived – I burned them all in one spectacular fit of teen Sturm und Drang. But thank heaven for telly, which was full of beautiful (but still normal-looking) American teens talking it all out, long-winded and so damn emotional, too. For me, no one did it better than Dawson’s Creek.The show was the creative baby of Kevin Williamson, but a fair few of us staked a claim, too: Dawson, Joey, Pacey and Jen sometimes felt as close to me as my real-life friends. Their trials became my own: shy Joey, with a need to please but terrified of falling short, was my Patronus, but I loved them all. Entitled and whiny Dawson; semi-damaged and charming Pacey; wild-child-with-a-heart-of-gold Jen. It was all magic for my eyes and heart. I laughed, I cried, my God, I pined.  Continue reading...
(Sat, 10 Dec 2016 06:00:06 GMT)

My workout: ‘Towards the end of a race, your legs are on fire’
Jim Brown, 16, on the thrills and spills of being a track cyclistI live in Holmfirth, West Yorkshire; the Team GB cyclist Ed Clancy lives just down the road. Before London 2012 I’d see him out on the roads when I was riding. A few weeks later, he was winning an Olympic gold medal. I remember watching it on TV and thinking, “I want to do that.” My dad was a keen track cyclist already and took me along to the Manchester velodrome with him. Three years later we were racing against each other.There are lots of different events on the track, from the scratch race to the Madison. I specialise in the points race: there’s a sprint every five laps and you accrue points by either placing in the top four in a sprint or lapping the entire field. There’s a lot to think about – not easy when the adrenaline is flowing and you’re going at 45mph. Continue reading...
(Sat, 10 Dec 2016 07:00:07 GMT)

Clive James: ‘At 16, my dress sense was in the first full flower of its baroque glory’
It took me 50 years to learn that I should dress as plainly as possibleThe paper has asked me for a photograph of myself at 16. I can’t find one: it is as if my chaotic archives had been cleaned out to eliminate all records of myself at an age when my adult dress sense was in the first full flower of its baroque glory.In particular, shopping for myself, I had obtained a pair of oxblood shoes with quilt tops and foam rubber soles. Before I left the shoe shop I had already discovered that these rubber soles made a squelching noise. But I bought the shoes anyway, liking the look of them. Continue reading...
(Sat, 10 Dec 2016 07:59:08 GMT)

‘It was described as a riot’: the Clash at the Rainbow, London, 1977
Eddie Duggan on a legendary punk gigIt was a few weeks after the Clash’s debut album had been released. I was 17, and it was the biggest gig on the punk scene at the time.Those were turbulent times, dominated by unemployment and discontent. A few months earlier, the Sex Pistols had been interviewed on TV by Bill Grundy and caused outrage. As a result, many of the dates on their Anarchy In The UK tour – on which they were joined by the Clash, among others – had been cancelled. Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 16:00:33 GMT)

Experience: I saved my school bus from crashing
There was a loud thud. I looked towards the front of the bus. Our driver wasn’t at the wheel For years I took the bus to school and back from where we live in Pennsylvania. But when I got my licence at 17, I would jump on any excuse to drive. Two weeks after I got my licence, in January 2012, we had exams at school and on the Monday I decided not to drive because I was tired from studying. That afternoon I sat on the bus and thought, “I can’t wait to go home and take a nap.”For almost six months, we’d had the same driver. Every morning and afternoon he would say hi and chat a little. All the kids on the bus were from our school; there were about 30 of us, aged from four to 18. I’d talk with everyone and sometimes bring the younger ones sweets. If they got rowdy, I’d quieten them down. I was kind of the bus mother and I enjoyed it. Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 14:00:30 GMT)

Generation snowflake is not failing us: we’re failing them | Deborah Orr
New figures reveal an alarming rise in self-harm among the young. It’s little wonder in a highly pressured world that places such value on competitionA healthy society, surely, is one that helps its children feel safe and secure. If this were a banal proposition, it wouldn’t even have to be stated. Yet there are plenty of people who would contend that it’s not up to society to make kids feel safe. That, they will announce with tremendous self-satisfaction, is the job of their parents. It’s as if they don’t even know that humans are social animals, and that it is the ability of humans to think and act from social motivations that fostered civilisation. Related: Self-harm by children rises steeply in England and Wales Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 17:24:42 GMT)

Think airlines can't make flying any worse? Think again | Dave Schilling
Next up: less head room and cutting a carry-on bag. Maybe the airline industry is the one thing that would benefit from a Trumpocalypse For all of the mind-numbing comforts of modern American life, there must be an associated cost. A piping hot pizza delivered to your door costs $20 and a few extra pounds in the midsection. That Gilmore Girls binge session will cost you precious hours of your life you’ll never get back. A shower of Christmas presents, trays full of desserts and your parents’ overflowing liquor cabinet requires that you spend hours in the fiery hellscape we call air travel. I hate to be the one to reveal this, but that whole experience is only going to get worse. Continue reading...
(Sat, 10 Dec 2016 13:00:03 GMT)

Why it's dangerous to outsource our critical thinking to computers
It is crucial for a resilient democracy that we better understand how Google and Facebook are changing the way we think, interact and behaveThe lack of transparency around the processes of Google’s search engine has been a preoccupation among scholars since the company began. Long before Google expanded into self-driving cars, smartphones and ubiquitous email, the company was being asked to explain the principles and ideologies that determine how it presents information to us. And now, 10 years later, the impact of reckless, subjective and inflammatory misinformation served up on the web is being felt like never before in the digital era.Google responded to negative coverage this week by reluctantly acknowledging and then removing offensive autosuggest results for certain search results. Type “jews are” into Google, for example, and until now the site would autofill “jews are evil” before recommending links to several rightwing antisemitic hate sites. Continue reading...
(Sat, 10 Dec 2016 12:00:02 GMT)

I was not good at being a teenager. But I do have some advice...
Who you are now is not who you will be. You are still taking shape. Meanwhile, create – and do things just for youThere are some people who claim they enjoyed their teenage years. These people say – and I swear this is true: I have actually met them – that the years between 13 and 18 were “a laugh”, “brilliant”, even “the best years”. I’m happy for these people, I really am. How marvellous to look back on your youth and see the extended director’s cut of Happy Days, Gregory’s Girl, Beverly Hills 90210 or American Pie (delete as appropriate to the decade of your youth). But those people? They are not my people.I was not good at being a teenager. I lacked both the fearless sense of rebellion and the carefree desire for fun you need. My teenage years were spent alternately hiding in my room because I was so miserable and anxious about everything and nothing, and hiding in various psychiatric hospitals when that misery became life-threatening. Like I said, Ferris Bueller I was not. I wasn’t even Angela Chase in My So-Called Life. I was more like Angela’s history classmate, whom you never saw on screen because she was too busy self-harming at home. Continue reading...
(Sat, 10 Dec 2016 09:00:10 GMT)

For Boris Johnson it’s hypocrisy day, not Human Rights Day | Emily Thornberry
The Tories treat Saudi Arabia’s rights record as an inconvenience – yet trade should not come at the expense of our traditions of justiceIt is only five years since the then foreign secretary William Hague declared that there would be “no downgrading of human rights under this government”. Pursuing a foreign policy with a conscience was, he argued, in our “long-term enlightened national interest”. Related: The Guardian view on human rights and foreign policy: do the right thing, not the easy one | Editorial Continue reading...
(Sat, 10 Dec 2016 09:00:10 GMT)

We do our best at the Child Maintenance Service but lone parents still lose out
Every day families who qualify for child maintenance are rejected simply because they can’t afford to pay the £20 application fee Since June 2014, when the Child Support Agency became the Child Maintenance Service, any parent who wants to apply for child maintenance must pay a £20 fee.My job as a caseworker is to help secure financial support for children whose parents have separated. I do my best, but I see hundreds of single-parent families with little to no savings get turned away, unable to access a public service even though they are the ones who need it most and often struggle to access funds they might have had in joint bank accounts. Continue reading...
(Sat, 10 Dec 2016 09:32:10 GMT)

Person of the year shouldn’t be Trump – it’s clearly Putin | Jonathan Freedland
From Brexit to the US election, Aleppo to post-truth, 2016 has seen the Kremlin chief’s dreams realisedDonald Trump should not have been named Time magazine’s Person of the Year. That’s not to make the schoolboy error of presuming the award to be a badge of moral approval: I know it merely recognises the individual who has dominated the previous 12 months, for good or ill. (It’s why Time has no reason to regret handing the 1938 accolade to Adolf Hitler.) Related: Donald Trump named as Time magazine's person of the year Continue reading...
(Sat, 10 Dec 2016 12:27:43 GMT)

Chris Grayling’s Oxford-Cambridge line will clatter through 75 miles of English history | Ian Jack
Plans to reopen this train route may improve local travel, but Verney Junction’s days are long goneAs he must have intended, the transport secretary Chris Grayling caused a small storm this week by announcing that he intended to bridge the great divide on Britain’s railways – between the infrastructure (the track and the signalling, presently owned by the non-profit public body Network Rail), and the privately owned trains that use it.The importance of the announcement was talked up beforehand, and the rail unions and parts of the Labour party dutifully sounded the alarm: Grayling, apparently, was taking the first step down the road towards full-scale privatisation, a regression to the share-price-driven and disaster-prone world of Network Rail’s incompetent predecessor, Railtrack. Continue reading...
(Sat, 10 Dec 2016 07:00:07 GMT)

Martin Rowson on David Cameron and the electoral shocks of 2016 – cartoon
Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 18:55:14 GMT)

The Grand Tour is everything that was wrong with Clarkson-era Top Gear
Clarkson, Hammond and May have too much cash now – and they’re splashing it on pointless explosions and tired scripts. Will the BBC have the last laugh?When Top Gear’s Clarkson era spluttered to a steak-related end last year, even its staunchest fans – and, as the petitions to reinstate Clarkson proved, it still had a vast number of those – must have grudgingly accepted that the motorcade of man-child mayhem was past its prime. Its final series wasn’t bereft of fun segments (Hammond being dropped into the British Columbian wilderness was one highlight), but even these were blighted with the issues that had long outweighed its initial knockabout charm: bloated scenes of forced scripted comedy, an over-reliance on Hollywood visuals, and carefully plotted structured-reality taking the place of anything really happening. Glimmers of the trio’s off-the-cuff banter were there, but you had to squint to see them.Nevertheless, when Clarkson, Hammond and May found themselves cast off, the acquisition of their services seemed like the surest deal a rival service could possibly make. At its demise, Top Gear still had worldwide viewing figures in the region of 350 million, making it the most-viewed factual (add your own air-quotes) programme in the world. A bidding war was inevitable and, even at a reported $160m, Amazon’s purchase seemed like a good deal for everyone. It got a vast pool of potential fans to cough up for Prime; those same fans still got their Top Gear, plus the tantalising possibility of goods delivered the same day; and the presenters, without the BBC’s finger for ever wagging in their direction, might finally get to make the show they always wanted to. Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 13:15:51 GMT)

The Guardian view on flooding: more focus needed | Editorial
Most people are back at home after last year’s disaster, but it will happen in Britain againWater is as much a part of the landscape of Britain as England’s cathedral spires, or the mountains of Scotland and the valleys of Wales. The nation’s cities were built on rivers and its fortunes on the seas. There is an ancient and respectful relationship that recognises the capacity of water not only to sustain but to destroy.This time last year it was water’s destructive capacities that dominated the headlines, as Cumbria experienced its third catastrophic flood in 10 years. On 5 December 2015, 341.4mm of rain fell on the Honister Pass. Rivers in Scotland, Northern Ireland and northern England saw record peak flows. The volume of water racing down the Eden, Tyne and Lune peaked at around 1,700 cubic metres per second – enough to fill the Royal Albert Hall in London up to the dome in less than a minute. Between November and January, more rain fell than in any similar period since records began in 1910. Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 18:49:26 GMT)

Jennifer Lawrence, please keep your butt off our ancestors | J Kehaulani Kauanui
The actor made light of sitting on sacred rocks in Hawai’i during a Hunger Games shoot. But we’re not laughingHow do you define “sacred?” One simple answer: it’s something you keep your butt off. Jennifer Lawrence got that memo, but decided to disregard it. In a recent interview she recalls her “butt-scratchin’” on sacred rocks while shooting Hunger Games in Hawai’i. They were, to her mind, a useful tool to relieve her of itchiness. In the comments, which she made on a recent episode of the BBC’s Graham Norton Show this week, she says: “There were … sacred … rocks — I dunno, they were ancestors, who knows — they were sacred.” She goes on to say: “You’re not supposed to sit on them, because you’re not supposed to expose your genitalia to them”. But she did. “I, however, was in a wetsuit for this whole shoot – oh my god, they were so good for butt itching!” Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 21:39:35 GMT)

Enjoy it while you can: the May-Johnson double act may not last long | Marina Hyde
The prime minister and foreign secretary have put cabaret on the world stage. But theirs may be a short runOne of the tragedies of Theresa May’s government is that they are all so humourless, the only joke they can think of is Boris Johnson. They are helped by being opposed by Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour, who have literally never told a joke, and are nervously suspicious of anyone who has. The Corbynistas mistake humourlessness for seriousness, and are consequently the biggest joke in town. If you wanted a rule by which to live your life, you could do a lot worse than “never trust the humourless”. At best they are weak or devoid of imagination, at worst they are in the grip of a very dangerous vanity indeed. Related: This time it’s Saudi Arabia: even when Boris Johnson gets it right, he’s wrong | Simon Tisdall Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 16:25:11 GMT)

Don’t sneer at northerners for voting for Brexit – there are sound reasons | Helen Pidd
While the north gets crumbs, the south-east gets whole loaves. People in the north can see that the system just isn’t working for themThey won’t admit it, but there is a pervasive idea among some Londoners, particularly the adopted ones, that the cleverest people from the north of England all end up in the capital, like particularly urbane moths drawn to the irresistible bright lights of the big city.Exiled northerners are terrible for it, flaunting their Lancastrian or Yorkshire credentials whenever there is an opportunity, wanging on about the Wigans and Bradfords they left behind at least 20 years ago. Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 13:11:19 GMT)

War memorials have failed – we have forgotten the chaos of fascism | Jonathan Jones
Architect Peter Eisenman has said he couldn’t build his Berlin Holocaust memorial today, as Europe has become too antisemitic. But the very way culture has framed the Holocaust has allowed right-wing populism to flourish“I believe my Holocaust memorial in Berlin could no longer be built today,” the architect Peter Eisenman has told Die Zeit. Eisenman says that Europe is now “afraid of strangers”, and he fears that the rise of xenophobia and antisemitism in Europe would make it impossible to build monuments like the vast field of grey sepulchres that he designed as Berlin’s Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, inaugurated in 2005 close to the site of Adolf Hitler’s bunker. He may well be right – yet surely this is the wrong end of the book to start at. The real question is why Holocaust memorials have done so little to prevent the return of Europe’s far-right demons. Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 16:22:37 GMT)

Sleaford proves Labour isn’t connecting with the 52% – or the 48% | John Harris
First came Richmond. Now this dismal byelection result shows the party is all at sea on Brexit-tossed political waters, left behind by a tide of change“Clearly for us, this was not the result we might have hoped for,” says a senior Labour MP of the party’s grim showing in the Sleaford and North Hykeham byelection. “The challenge for us was because of Brexit. Everything was about Brexit. The messages about the A&E, the NHS, the messages about infrastructure, all of that got lost to an extent in the swirl around Brexit.”Well, there it is: pesky old Brexit. If only Britain were not in the midst of its most highly charged political period for decades, if only leaving the EU had not captured the political imagination of a sizable part of Labour’s old core vote, if only many remain voters weren’t cottoning on to the much more primary-coloured message of the Lib Dems … well, then all would be for the best in the best of all possible worlds. Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 12:16:27 GMT)

Stop worrying about fake news. What comes next will be much worse | Jonathan Albright
In the not too distant future, technology giants will decide what news sources we are allowed to consult, and alternative voices will be silencedIn my exploration of “fake news”, I’ve found some troubling things. And it’s not just the rightwing news network that’s worrying. I’ve recently gone back and taken a preliminary look at the leftwing media ecosystem, trying to map the hyperlinks between these sites – so I’m not trying to establish causation or assign blame as to what kinds of content these sites circulate. There are plenty of other people willing to do that. What I’m really looking for is a way forward.I’m primarily interested in the larger network that has enabled fake news to become such a salient topic. What I’ve found most troubling about fake news so far isn’t the factual errors, the misinformation, or the propaganda involved. It’s not the politics either . And no, it’s not Trump. Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 16:42:36 GMT)

The Guardian view on the Sleaford byelection: May’s day, Corbyn’s calamity | Editorial
Leave supporters in this Lincolnshire contest gave the Tories the benefit of the doubt, but Labour failed to instil confidence on both sides of the Brexit divideOrdinarily there would be nothing unusual about a Conservative candidate holding a safe Conservative seat. But at a time of electoral volatility, Caroline Johnson’s comfortable victory in the Lincolnshire constituency of Sleaford and North Hykeham on Thursday is remarkable, mostly because of things that didn’t happen. The Tories might have been punished for incumbency, as often happens in byelections. Or they might have shed votes to Ukip in a region that voted strongly against European Union membership in June. In the event, neither thing happened.The result – a Conservative majority of 13,144 and a 53.5% vote share – offers comfort to Theresa May after last week’s upset in Richmond Park, a seat where the balance of opinion on Brexit tilted the opposite way and the Liberal Democrats gained an MP against long odds. That contest was peculiar in many ways, not least the uncertain party status of the sitting MP, who defended a Tory majority while running notionally as an independent. Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 16:49:33 GMT)

Kellyanne Conway and liberal feminists: two sides of the same coin | Arwa Mahdai
The Lena Dunham and Amy Schumer kind of ‘female empowerment’ is just as flawed as its rightwing version. Both sidestep politics time and time againThere is no better example of modern feminism in action than Kellyanne Conway. Sure, she may have recently suggested that mothers shouldn’t take jobs in the White House, but those are just words. Look at her actions; look at her life! Related: Feminists misunderstood the presidential election from day one | Liza Featherstone Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 12:00:28 GMT)

How do you change a macho parliament? Talk about the reality of rape | Emer O’Toole
By describing traumas they have suffered, brave female MPs are challenging the apathy of mainstream politics and proving that the personal is politicalMichelle Thomson’s measured, moving account of being raped when she 14, given at a House of Commons debate yesterday, was testament not only to her great bravery but also to the importance of the personal in parliamentary politics. In her speech, on the UN International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, Thomson, a Scottish MP, calmly shattered rape myths: she was wearing jeans, not a mini-skirt; she didn’t fight or flee because – as is common in threatening situations – she froze; she didn’t report the attack because she was ashamed; and – as in 90% of cases – the rapist was not a stranger in a dark alley, but someone she knew and trusted. The usual cheers and jeers of the house were replaced by empathetic silence.Earlier this year, Labour MP Jess Phillips marked International Women’s Day by reading out the names and ages of all 121 women killed by men in the UK since International Women’s Day 2015. It took seven minutes. The sobering litany insisted that we call each woman to mind, recognise her humanity, and confront the male violence that ended her life. Phillips insisted we see a pattern. Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 12:39:41 GMT)

Africa is being choked. But corporations leave their grime on us all | Lola Okolosie
The filthy practice of exporting highly polluting fuel to Africa is symbolic of big business the world over: where profit is king, human life becomes trivialDense, dirty air laced with grease best describes the atmosphere of most Lagos streets. Drive from one corner of this great west African city to another and in no time you will find surfaces lightly dusted, like a soft sprinkling of icing on cakes. Under the half moons of fingernails, thick grime settles. Related: Dirty diesel from European companies fuels pollution in Africa – in pictures Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 13:41:58 GMT)

Cameron can’t be a victim of populism – the term no longer means anything | Simon Jenkins
Politicians and philosophers, proceed with extreme caution. The political words we all learned in childhood – left, right, liberal, conservative – are turning to dustPoor David Cameron was defeated, he says, by “populism”. It was not by people who disagreed with him or by his political enemies or those he had offended. It was an evil called populism. What on earth did he mean?The answer is near meaningless. Populism has become a euphemism for exploiting the people’s will, supposedly by facile, short-term solutions to complex problems. For a politician to protest against such exploitation is rich. It is woven into the history of politics. Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 11:02:58 GMT)

From Bieber to Rick Astley: in 2016 there's no room for snobbery in music
We live in an age where all tunes are created equal, and Justin Timberlake has as much merit as Thom Yorke. It’s time music criticism shed its superiority complex Related: Rick Astley review – 80s icon returns unfeasibly intact The end-of-year list is one of music journalism’s more peculiar traditions. For writers, the process of ranking 12 months’ worth of releases is generally a thankless task; for readers the result simply serves as an opportunity to leave outraged comments lamenting every overlooked Elysia Crampton album and Future mixtape that got lost in the post. You can’t please everyone, so with that in mind it’s unsurprising that a few publications should let off steam by declaring the worst things they’ve heard this year as well as the best. Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 13:00:29 GMT)

It’s not just a Christmas ad – it’s a Polish grandpa’s heartbreaking gift to Britain | Jakub Krupa
At first I cursed the makers of the hit commercial for making me cry. Then I realised that the story reveals so much about the lives of migrantsCome December, festive lights, music and adverts make us all suitably emotional about Christmas before the actual day, when the reality often involves getting annoyed with everyone after just an hour in the same room. This year there is an unexpected hit making millions of people teary: a commercial about – wait for it – the experience of migration. Related: How a Polish ad out-Christmased John Lewis's bouncing badger Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 10:08:17 GMT)

Why some papers kept quiet about Boris Johnson's row with Theresa May
The Times, Sun, Mail and Express refused to attack either the prime minister or the foreign secretary at a time of such sensitivity over Brexit negotiations News editors at BBC TV and ITV thought the Guardian’s revelation on Thursday of Boris Johnson’s statement about Saudi Arabia fighting a proxy war merited big coverage on their bulletins.Similarly, radio news editors on major talk stations gave the story top billing throughout the day, and into the evening, following the prime minister’s unprecedented slapping down of her foreign secretary. Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 10:45:24 GMT)

Where are all the women, Wikipedia? | Laura Bates
The gamechanging inventor Margaret E Knight is summed up in only 500 words on the site, where men make up 83% of notable profiles – and most of the editors tooIt is often said that women have been written out of history. We have all heard of Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Edison, but few are familiar with their contemporary, Margaret E Knight, a prolific Amerian inventor who held over 20 patents and was decorated by Queen Victoria. Knight created her first device, a safety mechanism for textile machines, after witnessing a factory accident aged just 12. She later invented a machine that created the flat-bottomed paper bags still used in grocery stores today. When she died in 1914, an obituary described her as a “woman Edison”. Somewhat dispiritingly, she has also been described as “the most famous 19th-century woman inventor”. But how many of us know her name?If you were to try and research Knight’s life and work, you might struggle. Her Wikipedia profile is just under 500 words long; Edison’s is more than 8,500. Of course, Edison’s contribution to the development of the electric light warrants a significant write-up, and his legacy deserves a lengthy profile. But his Wikipedia page also contains minute detail about his early life, diets and views on religion. By contrast, information on Knight’s page is scant, though she too invented an item still widely used today. Her profile lacks many details (including any mention of her first invention), which are available elsewhere online, particularly on websites dedicated to commemorating the work of female inventors. That such resources exist says a lot about the erasure of women such as Knight from more mainstream information sources. Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 12:53:32 GMT)

Calls for American unity are misplaced. We must fight on for justice | Jessica Valenti
It’s hard to know where to start when faced with the prospect of Donald Trump’s presidency. The answer is not seeking alliance with those who devalue our livesAs the majority of Americans who didn’t vote for Donald Trump come to terms with having elected a shameless bigot and liar as our next president, there’s been quite a bit of pontificating about how best to make progress under his administration. Do we pay attention to tweets or cabinet appointments? Focus on making sure the white supremacists celebrating Trump’s win aren’t normalized in the media? Take on fake news? Related: Time magazine didn't give Trump devil horns. God did | Jonathan Jones Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 12:30:28 GMT)

Kids, refugees, questions: 'What is it like to have no home?' - video
British children and child refugees ask and answer questions about the refugee crisis. The Guardian and Observer charity appeal 2016 is supporting the work of three charities working with refugee children. This year more than 90,000 children have travelled alone, fleeing war and destitution, across Europe. Thousands are sleeping in makeshift camps in Europe this winter. Thanks to Help Refugees and Refugee Support for their assistance with the interviewsSupport the charity appeal here Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 14:26:56 GMT)

Ed Miliband tells Owen Jones: 'The Tories don't know what they want from Brexit' – video interview
Ed Miliband tells Owen Jones that Theresa May’s secretive approach to Brexit negotiations risks dividing the UK even further at a time when the country is feeling huge discontent with the political system. The former Labour leader urges his successor, Jeremy Corbyn, to focus on issues that can unite remainers and leaversAn extended version of this interview is available on Owen Jones’s YouTube channel Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 11:39:43 GMT)

No Bregrets: Sunderland after the vote to leave the European Union – video
Sunderland’s surprise vote for Brexit was seen by remain supporters as turkeys voting for Christmas. But now that Nissan, the car maker that employs 7,000 people directly and a further 40,000 in the supply chain, has announced that it is staying in its Sunderland plant, Helen Pidd speaks to north-east voters and asks how they feel now about leaving the European UnionMPs visit Sunderland to ask what city wants from Brexit negotiations Continue reading...
(Thu, 08 Dec 2016 11:33:35 GMT)

Trump Force One v Air Force One: how do they compare? – video
President-elect Donald Trump has called for Boeing to scrap its $4bn contract to update the government’s Air Force One fleet. He says the deal is ‘ridiculous’ and that he would rather fly in his own plane, a Boeing 757-200. So how do the two aircrafts compare? Continue reading...
(Thu, 08 Dec 2016 16:48:10 GMT)

Sleaford Mods on Brexit: 'You can't ignore things any more' – video
In early 2014 the Guardian hailed duo Sleaford Mods as ‘the most uncompromising British protest music made in years’. Here, we go backstage at a Sleaford Mods gig in their hometown of Nottingham to hear what singer Jason Williamson thinks about Brexit and the politicians drawing up the rules, while fans applaud the band for representing the world they live inWARNING: contains swearwords Continue reading...
(Thu, 08 Dec 2016 08:46:21 GMT)

After Calais: what has happened to the refugee children? – video
Six weeks after the Calais migrant camp was demolished, unaccompanied minors scattered around France are still waiting to hear of their fate from the Home Office. Lisa O’Carroll, Mat Heywood and John Domokos meet one young refugee who fled death in Darfur desperate to be reunited with his radiographer brother in LiverpoolSudanese refugee in UK voices fears for brother stranded in France Continue reading...
(Thu, 08 Dec 2016 07:05:05 GMT)

If fascism arrived tomorrow, would we recognise it? – video
Britain likes to think it doesn’t do fascism – we beat Hitler, after all. But, asks Rachel Shabi, are we complacent? Would we miss the signs if fascism was appearing under our noses? She argues that today’s climate, with the far right resurgent around the world, gives us cause to be more vigilant than ever Continue reading...
(Wed, 07 Dec 2016 07:00:24 GMT)

The Story So Far - Brexit Means... Podcast
Introducing ‘Brexit Means ...’ our new in-depth Brexit podcast with the Guardian’s European affairs correspondent Jon Henley. In this first episode we look back at the brief history of Brexit: from David Cameron’s fateful promise to hold an ‘in/out’ referendum to Theresa May’s tautologous mantra that ‘Brexit means Brexit’ Welcome to the Guardian’s new Brexit podcast, Brexit Means... In the coming months we’ll be hearing from Britons and Europeans, Leavers and Remainers, politicians and ordinary people, economists, businessmen, lawyers, researchers, campaigners and many more about what Brexit means for them, for the UK and for the EU, how it might work – and how it might not. Continue reading...
(Tue, 06 Dec 2016 06:00:04 GMT)

Saudi artist: Standing Rock protesters are warning us to save what we can – video
After the US Army Corps of Engineers denied a permit for the Dakota Access pipeline to drill under the Missouri river, Saudi Arabian artist Ahmed Mater joins protesters at Standing Rock to celebrate their victory. This is the fifth episode in our Crossing the line series, in which a group of Middle Eastern artists embarks on a US road trip exploring common concernsStanding Rock protesters asked to ‘go home’ by Sioux leader Continue reading...
(Tue, 06 Dec 2016 11:29:27 GMT)

The 24-hour emergency hotline for Syrian refugees – video
Mohammed Abu Amar runs a makeshift 24-hour helpline from his flat in Hamburg, guiding scared refugees fleeing the violence in Syria across the water to Europe. Despite losing the use of both legs in a shelling in Damascus in the early days of the conflict, Abu Amar made the crossing with his family in 2013. He subsequently found his calling, being constantly available on the phone for his fellow Syrians making the same perilous journey Continue reading...
(Mon, 05 Dec 2016 11:23:20 GMT)

Antony Gormley's iron men come alive for A Winter's Tale – video
Writer Frank Cottrell-Boyce and director Carl Hunter reimagine Shakespeare’s late tragedy in an otherwordly film set among the statues of Antony Gormley’s installation Another Place on Crosby beach, Liverpool.This is the 10th film in the British Council’s series Shakespeare Lives in 2016, celebrating the playwright on the 400th anniversary of his death.King Lear in a care home: Phil Davis plays the storming monarch – video Continue reading...
(Fri, 02 Dec 2016 12:00:15 GMT)

Home Office stops transfer of Calais child refugees to UK
Minister says more than 750 children have arrived, but charities say hundreds of others have right to enter BritainHome Office transfers of unaccompanied minors who were registered in the Calais refugee camp have stopped, meaning up to 1,000 children are unlikely to be given sanctuary in the UK.The immigration minister Robert Goodwill said more than 750 refugee children from Calais had arrived in the UK. Officials said all the children taken from the camp in early November had been interviewed and those eligible to enter the UK had been moved. Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 18:39:19 GMT)

Boris Johnson refuses to apologise for Saudi Arabia comments
Foreign secretary hits out at critics in the Conservative party on visit to Bahrain after outcry over ‘proxy wars’ remarksA defiant Boris Johnson told friends he had no intention of apologising for his outspoken comments about Saudi Arabia during a trip to the Gulf and hit out at party critics who said he might be better suited to another job in government.The foreign secretary delivered a carefully crafted speech in Bahrain on Friday evening, playing up the economic and strategic links between London and the Gulf States, while allies said he would be “open, honest and moral in his approach” regarding political issues in the region. Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 18:31:17 GMT)

Nicky Morgan cut from meeting with PM after leathering £995 trousers
MP was invited to private meeting about Brexit strategy then disinvited after she hit out at Theresa May’s cowhide legwearNicky Morgan, the former education secretary, has been dropped from a list of moderate Conservative MPs who are set for a private meeting with the prime minister next Wednesday, after she criticised Theresa May for wearing £995 trousers. Related: Theresa May sidesteps question about £995 leather trousers Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 18:58:29 GMT)

Driver of school bus stranded in York flood water jailed for a year
Graham Jones drove vehicle into deep water caused by Storm Frank near Newton-on-Ouse, with 23 children onboardA school bus driver, who drove past two road closed signs before stranding his vehicle in flood water with 23 children onboard, has been jailed for a year.A jury at York crown court heard that the former soldier Graham Jones, 43, ignored evidence of flooding during Storm Frank last winter and drove his bus into thigh-deep water near the village of Newton-on-Ouse, North Yorkshire. Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 14:00:03 GMT)

Man urges MPs to back assisted dying before ending his life at Dignitas
Andrew Barclay, 65, who died on Thursday, called for change in law before taking lethal dose of drugs in apartment near Zurich A grandfather has called on parliament to legislate in favour of assisted dying before ending his own life at Dignitas.Andrew Barclay, 65, died on Thursday after taking a lethal dose of drugs in an apartment near Zurich, having travelled to Switzerland with his wife. He had advanced multiple sclerosis. Continue reading...
(Sat, 10 Dec 2016 08:46:35 GMT)

Judge grants lifelong anonymity to brothers who tortured two boys
Media barred from revealing names of two brothers convicted of ‘appalling’ attacks in Edlington, South Yorkshire, in 2009Two brothers who beat and tortured another pair of boys when they were aged 10 and 11 will remain anonymous for the rest of their lives, a court ruled on Friday.A judge sentenced the brothers to a minimum detention period of five years in 2010 for causing grievous bodily harm and ruled that they could not be named until they reached the age of 18. But the brothers, now in their late teens, have been told that their new identities will remain a secret. Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 16:10:02 GMT)

New battery power-storage plants scheduled to keep UK lights on
But blow for government’s ‘dash for gas’ plans as large plants fail to win subsidies to generate backup powerA series of new battery power-storage plants and two small new gas power stations will be built in the UK following the award of subsidies designed to bolster energy supply and head off the threat of shortages.But government hopes of an ambitious “dash for gas” were dealt another blow after this week’s auction of subsidies to build backup capacity for Britain’s energy network. No new gas power station of a significant scale won a subsidy contract in the bidding process, where companies and technologies competed to provide backup power for the lowest price during the winter of 2020-21. Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 18:24:39 GMT)

Uber is treating its drivers as sweated labour, says report
Earnings are often less than minimum wage and ‘barely sufficient to sustain existence’, according to MP Frank FieldUber treats its drivers as Victorian-style “sweated labour”, with some taking home less than the minimum wage, according to a report into its working conditions based on the testimony of dozens of drivers.Drivers at the taxi-hailing app company reported feeling forced to work extremely long hours, sometimes more than 70 a week, just to make a basic living, said Frank Field, the Labour MP and chair of the work and pensions committee. Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 13:51:59 GMT)

Donald Trump calls Nicola Sturgeon for 'brief introductory' talk
Scotland’s first minister and US president-elect said to have discussed their nations’ longstanding relationshipDonald Trump and Nicola Sturgeon have spoken for the first time since the US election. The president-elect called Scotland’s first minister on Friday for what aides described as “a brief introductory conversation”.According to a Scottish government statement, Sturgeon and Trump discussed “the longstanding relationship between Scotland and the United States”. Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 20:38:15 GMT)

Man dies after being shot on London street
Scotland Yard say witnesses are already coming forward but no arrests have been madeA 21-year-old man has died after being shot on a busy street in London, police said.The victim was shot by a lone gunman as he walked down the road in Kilburn, north-west London, on Thursday evening, Scotland Yard said on Friday. Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 20:35:29 GMT)

Anti-fracking activist spared jail after refusing to pay court £55,000
Tina Louise Rothery, part of a protest group known as the Nanas, staged a three-week occupation of a field near BlackpoolAn anti-fracking campaigner has been spared jail after she refused to pay more than £55,000 of legal fees to the oil and gas firm Cuadrilla.Tina Louise Rothery, 54, had been ordered to pay £55,342 of fees to the British company and a group of landowners, or face a 14-day prison sentence, after she sought to stop an injunction that would prevent protesters from gathering on a stretch of land being considered for shale gas exploration. Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 18:19:20 GMT)

RAF urged to recruit video game players to operate Reaper drones
Former drone commander in Syria says air force should try signing up operators ‘straight out of PlayStation bedroom’The commander who oversaw the use of Reaper drones in Syria has said the relentless demand to deploy the unmanned aircraft means the RAF needs to test recruiting “18- and 19-year-olds straight out of the PlayStation bedroom” to operate the weapons.Air Marshal Greg Bagwell, a former RAF deputy commander of operations, disclosed that the psychological pressure on drone operators in the UK was such that some had quit due to mental stress or illness. Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 17:23:40 GMT)

Brexit blamed for delay in 'imprisoned' daughter's court case
Solicitor was unable to travel to Saudi Arabia to meet client because of passport office backlog, court toldA high court case involving a young woman who claims she is being imprisoned by her father has faced delays because of Brexit, a judge said.Amina al-Jeffery, 21, who grew up in Swansea and has dual British and Saudi Arabian nationality, has complained that her Saudi academic father locked her up in his flat in Jeddah because she had “kissed a guy”. Her father, Mohammed al-Jeffery, has disputed her allegations and said he was trying to protect her. Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 15:14:42 GMT)

Sports Direct chairman seeks shareholder support as profits tumble
The future of chairman Keith Hellawell will be decided in January, after he failed to win majority support in SeptemberSports Direct has confirmed that the future of its chairman, Keith Hellawell, will be voted on for the second time in four months in January.The special meeting has been called by the struggling retailer after 57% of independent shareholders failed to support Hellawell at the annual shareholder meeting in September. Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 18:36:02 GMT)

Hitachi unveils first UK-built Intercity Express train
Fleet of Class 800 trains, ordered by government, to be produced at Japanese manufacturer’s plant in DurhamThe first Intercity Express train to be built at Hitachi’s UK plant has been unveiled.The train is one of 122 ordered by the government in a £5.7bn deal to run on mainlines between London and the south-west and from the capital to Scotland on the east coast route. Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 15:58:50 GMT)

Amir Khan’s wife accuses in-laws of bullying and abuse
Faryal Makhdoom Khan claims boxer’s family tried to wreck their marriage and says she will not be silencedThe wife of boxer Amir Khan has said she will not stay silent after alleging that she suffered abuse by her in-laws while she was pregnant.Faryal Makhdoom Khan made the claims of bullying in a series of online posts, saying that she represents the voice of “every abused woman”. Continue reading...
(Fri, 09 Dec 2016 12:39:01 GMT)

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