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Ottawa shooting will not intimidate Canada, prime minister declares
Stephen Harper says killing of soldier at war memorial and gunfire inside parliament do not weaken resolve to fight terrorism The prime minister of Canada, Stephen Harper, vowed a tough and uncompromising response to a brazen gun attack on the national parliament on Wednesday that left a soldier dead and a nation in shock.As calm fell on Canadas idyllic capital, where hours earlier Michael Zehaf-Bibeau had forced his way into the parliament building in a hail of gunfire before being killed by a ceremonial official, Harper delivered a sombre television address declaring that the country would not be cowed by terrorism. Continue reading...
(Thu, 23 Oct 2014 02:57:08 GMT)

Juncker tells Cameron: you cant destroy EU migration rules
Commission president warns PM over irresponsibility as new poll reveals 56% support in Britain for remaining in unionJean-Claude Juncker, the incoming president of the European commission, has rejected out of hand any attempt by David Cameron to destroy the fundamental rules of the EU on free movement of people.In an echo of the remarks by the outgoing president José Manuel Barroso, who warned that the prime minister is making a historic mistake on the EU, Juncker said on Wednesday that he would not compromise in an irresponsible way on rights that date back to foundation of the EEC. Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 23:05:06 GMT)

The NHS calls for an extra £8bn by 2020 in order to safeguard its services
Shakeup at heart of overhaul aiming to ease pressure on hospitals and GP practices and give patients better careThe NHS is asking for an additional £8bn by 2020 to implement a radical plan, including switching funding from hospitals into other services including GP surgeries, which bosses say is vital to ensure the service can safeguard its future.NHS bosses warn the Westminster parties to accept the need for the services funding to increase from just under £100bn this year to around £120bn by the end of the next parliament an extra £8bn on top of planned increases in line with inflation or risk patients suffering severe consequences. Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 23:02:05 GMT)

Ched Evans refers to rape conviction as act of infidelity
In a video statement posted on the website of a campaign for his innocence, the footballer continued to insist he was innocentFootballer and convicted rapist Ched Evans released a video statement days after walking free from prison, expressing regret for what he described as an act of infidelity against his girlfriend.In a short clip posted on a website established to campaign for his innocence, Evans, 25, continued to insist that the woman he was convicted of attacking had consented to sex. Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 18:04:36 GMT)

Man apprehended after jumping White House fence in latest security breach
Video shows secret service agents surrounding the man on the north lawn at presidential building in WashingtonThe White House was placed in temporary lockdown on Wednesday after a man jumped over the fence before being quickly apprehended by Secret Service agents and dogs.Video of the incident taken by TV news cameras shows a man in white shorts just inside the White House fence on Pennsylvania Avenue. Continue reading...
(Thu, 23 Oct 2014 02:19:28 GMT)

US jury convicts Blackwater guards in 2007 killing of Iraqi civilians
Security guards for private US contractor guilty of manslaughter for notorious 2007 incident that left 17 dead in BaghdadThree security guards working for the private US contractor Blackwater have been found guilty of the manslaughter of a group of unarmed civilians at a crowded Baghdad traffic junction in one of the darkest incidents of the Iraq war. A fourth, Nicholas Slatten, was found guilty of one charge of first-degree murder. All face the likelihood of lengthy prison sentences after unanimous verdicts on separate weapons charges related to the incident. Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 18:06:00 GMT)

Baby killed and eight wounded in suspected terror attack in Jerusalem
Driver shot and arrested while trying to flee after vehicle ploughed through people standing on light railway platformA three-month old baby was killed in Jerusalem and eight other people wounded one seriously in what Israel police described as a terrorist attack when a speeding car drove onto a pavement crowded with pedestrians alighting from the citys light railway.The child killed in the attack was later named as Chaya Zissel Braun, a US citizen, whose family had been visiting the Western Wall. Continue reading...
(Thu, 23 Oct 2014 05:50:54 GMT)

Ukip calypso song should be withdrawn, says repentant Mike Read
Ex-Radio 1 DJ has apologised for unintentionally causing offence with ditty he sang in Caribbean accent Ukip spokesman blames right-on media for Reads decisionIs Ukip winning on Facebook and Twitter?The former Radio 1 DJ Mike Read has apologised for his Ukip-supporting calypso song and asked for it to be withdrawn from sale following criticism that it was racist.He said he was sorry for unintentionally causing offence with the tune sung in a fake Caribbean accent, featuring lyrics about open borders and illegal immigrants in every town. Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 15:21:00 GMT)

Equalities watchdog to investigate white drivers policy of Rochdale minicab firm
The Equalities and Human Rights Commission will write to Car 2000 in Heywood about concerns the company may be unlawfully discriminating against staffA minicab firm manager who allows customers to choose the race of their driver is to be contacted by the equalities watchdog following concerns that the policy may unlawfully discriminate against staff.The Equalities and Human Rights Commission is to write to Stephen Campbell from Car 2000 in Heywood who told the Guardian that he is often asked to provide white drivers even though most of his drivers are of Pakistani origin. Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 19:13:58 GMT)

Make young unemployed pull up ragwort for benefits, says Lord Tebbit
Controversial remarks by former Tory minister also annoy environmentalists who bemoan decline in plant loved by beesThe former Conservative cabinet minister Lord Tebbit has said young unemployed people should be made to pull up ragwort from roadside verges in return for benefits.The 83-year-old Tory grandee made the proposal in a letter to Matt Shardlow, chief executive of a charity called Buglife, which is concerned about the effect of declining ragwort on bees and rare insects. Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 12:15:27 GMT)

Isis apparently takes control of US weapons airdrop intended for Kurds
· Pentagon admits one of 28 loads missing and blames wind· Turkey criticises arms airdrops saying the strategy will never lead to desired resultsThe Pentagon admitted on Wednesday that one of the airdrops of weapons intended for Kurds in the besieged Syrian town of Kobani almost certainly ended up in the hands of the Islamic State (Isis) fighters.The Pentagon blamed the wind for possibly blowing the supplies off course and argued that one cache was not enough to make a significant difference to Isis. Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 10:24:37 GMT)

Theresa May: police use Tasers too often against mentally ill
Half of those subdued are black or minority ethnic Home secretary to order review of use of forceThe home secretary, Theresa May, is to order an in-depth review of the use of force by police amid particular concerns that physical restraint and Tasers are being used too often against mentally distressed people.May will on Thursday cite evidence from the London Assembly that up to 30% of people Tasered by the Metropolitan police are emotionally or mentally distressed, and 50% of those Tasered are from black or other minority ethnic backgrounds. Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 23:26:12 GMT)

Co-operative bank scandal blocked shake-up of banking, say MPs
Treasury report describes the structure of the board led by former chairman Paul Flowers as an accident waiting to happenThe near collapse of the Co-operative bank blew the chance to create a full blown challenger bank to shake up the high street, according to a parliamentary report which calls for further inquiries into the roles of the banks auditors and regulators in the scandal.Former bosses should take the biggest share of responsibility, the report said, highlighting that the structure of the board led by former chairman Paul Flowers was an accident waiting to happen. Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 23:02:32 GMT)

Fossil fuel divestment campaign targets UCL and BHP Billiton
University College London under fire for sustainability institute funded by mining giant BHP Billiton, which faces protests at its London AGMThe fast-growing campaign to persuade investors to dump fossil fuel stocks has set its sights on a twin target of the worlds biggest mining company and one of the globes best universities.The mining giant BHP Billiton will face protests at its AGM in London on Thursday over its £6m association with University College London (UCL) and the effects of its activities around the world. Continue reading...
(Thu, 23 Oct 2014 04:30:01 GMT)

Universal credit timetable slips again
DWP insists it remains on course to secure savings even though less than 15,000 claimants are currently on new benefits systemThe increasingly vague timetable to put more than seven million benefit claimants on the governments flagship universal credit has again slipped back, the Department of Work and Pensions confirmed on Wednesday.But the DWP insisted it remained on course to secure substantial savings, and said early findings showed that universal credit, which integrates six current benefits, is increasing claimant job search and breaking down barriers to work. Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 20:14:20 GMT)

Facebook pays no UK corporation tax for a second year
Social media company reports a pre-tax loss of £11.6m for 2013, despite its US parent making a net profit of £900mFacebook paid no UK corporation tax for the second year in a row in 2013, while employees received shares in the company worth tens of millions of pounds.The worlds largest social media company reported a pre-tax loss of £11.6m in the UK last year, despite its US parent company reporting a net profit of $1.5bn (£900m). Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 13:58:41 GMT)

Fiona Woolf faces new questions from MPs over links with Lord Brittan
MPs not totally satisfied with answers given by head of inquiry into abuse as details of new contact emergeFiona Woolf, the second person appointed to lead the governments inquiry into child abuse, is to be asked by a committee of MPs to clarify discrepancies over her account of meetings with the wife of Lord Brittan, who was home secretary when a dossier about alleged Westminster paedophiles went missing from his department.Keith Vaz, the chairman of the home affairs select committee, said the committee was not totally satisfied with Woolfs answers to the committee after previously undisclosed details of her meetings with Lady Brittan emerged less than a day after her appearance before the MPs. Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 14:16:15 GMT)

China furious after Kenny G appears to back Hong Kong protesters
Jazz saxophonist, who is huge in China, tweeted a picture of himself making a victory sign in front of a protest bannerMost governments arent too bothered by what jazz saxophonist Kenny G does between concerts, but when he turned up at pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong on Wednesday, the Chinese authorities were furious.Music critics may be contemptuous of Kenny G full name Kenneth Gorelick as a populist purveyor of elevator muzak, but his best-selling records are adored in China, where he is a bona fide star, making his endorsement an unusual coup for protest leaders.in Hong Kong at the sight of the demonstration. I wish everyone a peaceful and positive conclusion to this situation pic.twitter.com/mEp5jIXLjj Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 19:07:05 GMT)

DIY stores are hammered by lack of do-it-yourself drive
Homebase closing a quarter of stores as it struggles with generational attitude shift, despite revival in UK housing marketHomebase, one of Britains biggest do-it-yourself chains, has blamed the rise of a generation who cant tell a pozidrive from a rawlplug for its decision to close a quarter of its stores, affecting up to 2,000 jobs.When the last housing boom neared its peak a decade ago, DIY was primetime TV, with Changing Rooms Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen and Linda Barker and a host of copycat shows dispensing home makeover advice. Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 20:15:31 GMT)

Child fights for life following fatal house fire in Penistone near Barnsley
Boy, 11, in hospital with life-threating injuries after blaze that left a nine-year-old boy and a 44-year-old man deadA nine-year-old boy and a 44-year-old man have died after a house fire, police said.A second boy, 11, is critically ill in hospital following the blaze at a home in Penistone, near Barnsley, South Yorkshire police said. Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 22:18:57 GMT)

Lloyds could axe 9,000 more banking jobs under its three-year plan
About 45,000 roles have already been axed since Lloyds TSB rescued HBOS during the 2008 banking crisisFears that Lloyds Banking Group is preparing to announce up to 9,000 job cuts more than one in 10 of the workforce swept the industry last night as António Horta-Osório put the finishing touches to a three-year plan for the bailed-out bank.Some 45,000 roles have already been axed since Lloyds TSB rescued HBOS during the 2008 banking crisis 30,000 were lost as a result of the deal and a further 15,000 earmarked by Horta-Osório after he took the helm in March 2011 as part of cost cuts. Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 19:42:30 GMT)

Civil liberties advocate opposes use of online avatars to catch sex offenders
Terry OGorman speaks out after conviction of Brisbane man over interactions with a computer-generated image of SweetieAustralias leading civil liberties advocate has spoken out about the use of online avatars to catch out accused sex offenders, following the conviction of a Brisbane man over sexual interactions with a computer-generated image of a non-existent nine-year-old girl.Terry OGorman, president of the Australian Council for Civil Liberties, said such use of avatars by private groups was akin to vigilantism and a step too far. Continue reading...
(Thu, 23 Oct 2014 04:56:04 GMT)

73-year-old teacher dismissed after softcore porn past comes to light
Jacqueline Laurent Auger, from Quebec, was fired from Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf after pupils found her roles in the likes of Hot and Naked onlinePre-internet, you could likely move on from a career in pornography with only the occasional wondering glance your way. But now one Quebecois teacher, 73-year-old Jacqueline Laurent Auger, has had her past catch up with her after pupils went online and discovered softcore porn films she appeared in around 45 years previously.She has now been dismissed from her position teaching drama workshops at the elite Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf in Montreal. As educators, we had to ask what message is transmitted to all our students, boys and girls, from the first year of high school to the fifth, by the fact that the teacher of their drama workshops could now be seen on the Internet in the most suggestive of scenes, the school wrote in an online statement, adding that they wanted to preserve a calm setting free of allusions or discomfort that is unfavourable to our educational mission. Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 15:31:45 GMT)

Bank of England committee signals no rise soon for interest rates
Monetary Policy Committee vote of 7-2 to keep interest rates at historic low of 0.5% overruled dissenters for third month in rowBank of England policymakers have signalled that there will be no rise in interest rates soon amid slowing economic recovery and heightened risks from the eurozone.Minutes of the October meeting of the Banks rate-setting Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) showed seven members voted to leave rates unchanged at the historic low of 0.5% they fell to at the height of the financial crisis in March 2009. Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 17:37:37 GMT)

Cameron hails plan to fast-track devolution for English cities
Report from City Growth Commission says devo met could be achieved on same timetable as devolved powers for ScotlandThe prime minister has welcomed an ambitious proposal to devolve power to UK city regions along the same brisk timetable as the Scottish devolution process, suggesting Greater Manchester and West Yorkshire could gain more autonomy in 2015.The report from the City Growth Commission argues that devolution from Whitehall to city regions will boost economic output in the UKs 15 largest metropolitan areas (metros) by £79bn per year approaching 5% of current GDP. Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 17:43:40 GMT)

Tory MP accuses Jon Snow of being a lefty who should think of retiring
Philip Davies asked to leave Channel 4 News offices by Krishnan Guru-Murthy after row with veteran presenterPhilip Davies, the Conservative MP, has had a heated newsroom exchange with Jon Snow, during which he accused the Channel 4 News presenter of leftwing bias and suggested it was time he retired.The row occurred while Davies was on a tour of the Channel 4 News offices on Tuesday afternoon and prompted Snows colleague Krishnan Guru-Murthy to intervene to ask the MP to leave. Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 13:24:52 GMT)

Workers banned from pension cash-in if they leave after less than two years
Next Octobers measure comes as ministers fear that those obtaining refunds will be left with nothing for retirementEmployees are to be banned from cashing in their workplace pension pot if they quit their job after less than two years, ministers have announced. While much of the governments emphasis recently has been on the new pension freedoms it is introducing to give people more control over their retirement cash, ministers have decided to shut the door on an existing freedom that allows some people to get back the pension contributions they have paid.At the moment, a member of a defined contribution (or money purchase) workplace pension scheme who leaves after more than three months but less than two years may be entitled to receive a refund of the contributions they have paid in in some cases with interest on top. This is known as a short service refund. Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 16:12:24 GMT)

David Cameron defends progress on bringing foreign criminals to justice
PM faces criticism of NAO report showing one in six foreign offenders has absconded, including 58 dangerous individualsThe prime minister has told the Commons the buck stops with him, over tackling foreign criminals, following the publication of a highly critical report that has exposed governmental failure to get to grips with the issue.David Cameron said the report, from the National Audit Office, stated that there were too many obstacles in the way of removing foreign national offenders, and that those barriers included human rights legislation. Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 13:23:54 GMT)

Archbishop of York ashamed over Church of Englands abuse case failures
John Sentamu said the church had not been vigilant enough and failed to act when children were at serious riskThe archbishop of York has said he is deeply ashamed after a report into allegations of child abuse by a former cathedral dean found systemic failures by the Church of England.Dr John Sentamus comments followed a judges findings of failures by the church in its response to allegations of sex abuse made against the late Robert Waddington, dean of Manchester from 1984 to 1993. Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 18:33:25 GMT)

Tackle Ebola in Africa to ensure threat to UK is stemmed, says medical expert
Dame Sally Davies, chief medical officer for England, says risks to British low, but NHS and global community need to act nowBritain is well prepared for an Ebola outbreak but the best way to ensure the threat to the UK does not escalate is to fight the disease in west Africa, the chief medical officer for England, said on Wednesday.Dame Sally Davies told MPs on the Commons health select committee that airport screening had been introduced mainly to alert people coming from Ebola-affected countries as to what to do should they develop symptoms. Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 19:25:55 GMT)

Police in UK arrest two over possible links to jihad in Syria
Met police commissioner says drumbeat of terrorism now more intense with 500 Britons believed to have travelled to SyriaCounter-terrorism officers trying to staunch the flow of recruits travelling to Syria have made two arrests they say may be linked to the war zone.A woman aged 25 was arrested in Kempston, Bedfordshire by detectives from Scotland Yards counter-terrorism command investigating whether she had travelled to Syria, and if so, whether that trip was linked to violent jihad. Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 15:46:17 GMT)

Iranians protest over acid attacks against women
Thousands stage demonstration in Isfahan after women are targeted for wearing clothes deemed inappropriate by hardlinersThousands of people have staged a protest in Isfahan, Irans top tourist destination, demanding authorities bring to an end a spate of acid attacks on young women that has sparked horror and outrage.Assailants riding on motorbikes, in a similar sequence of events, have thrown acid in the face of at least eight women who were driving in the street with their windows pulled down. Local media say the number of victims could be higher. The attacks have so far claimed one life, an opposition website said. Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 16:39:50 GMT)

Renée Zellweger's new look due to 'happy, healthy lifestyle', not surgery
The Oscar-winning actor has responded to online speculation that shes had cosmetic surgery by ascribing her changed looks to an increased feeling of peaceRenée Zellwegers face is her brand a new look will change her career unrecognisablyNothing is wrong with Renee Zellwegers face. Theres something wrong with usThe Oscar-winning actor Renee Zellweger has brushed aside media reports that she has undergone plastic surgery, suggesting that the claims are silly and a nefarious truth which doesnt exist. Instead, the Bridget Jones star attributes her new look to a happy, healthy lifestyle.Im glad folks think I look different, Zellweger told People magazine. Im living a different, happy, more fulfilling life and Im thrilled that perhaps it shows. She added: My friends say I look peaceful. I am healthy.Zellweger sparked a flurry of media speculation with her appearance at Elle magazines Women in Hollywood awards earlier this week. This is not Botox or even surgery, joked the writer Viv Groskop on Twitter. Its a MISSING PERSON ENQUIRY. Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 20:37:32 GMT)

British families waste less food since recession, government survey suggests
FSA polling shows people are less likely to throw food away and have changed shopping habits to find bargains and reduce waste because of financial pressures More people are avoiding throwing away food because of financial pressures, according to a government survey.Total household food waste is down by 21% over the last seven years, while the proportion of people who claim to always avoid throwing food away is up from 48% to 58% over four years, said the Food Standards Agency (FSA). Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 14:58:08 GMT)

Nine injured as migrants rush Spanish border fence in north Africa
Spain says this year 2,000 migrants have made it across the border separating enclave of Melilla from MoroccoSpain says nine African migrants were treated for injuries after around 200 tried to scale border fences separating Spains north African enclave of Melilla from Morocco.The interior ministry said the nine sustained minor injuries in falls during the border rush on Wednesday. It said around 70 migrants stayed on top of the high fences for several hours. Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 18:33:53 GMT)

Jean-Paul Sartre: more relevant now than ever
Fifty years ago, Jean-Paul Sartre refused the Nobel prize for literature. His reputation has waned, but his intellectual struggle is still pertinentIn this age in which all shall have prizes, in which every winning author knows whats necessary in the post-award trial-by-photoshoot (Book jacket pressed to chest? Check. Wall-to-wall media? Check. Backdrop of sponsors logo? Check) and in which scarcely anyone has the couilles, as they say in France, to politely tell judges where they can put their prize, how lovely to recall what happened on 22 October 1964, when Jean-Paul Sartre turned down the Nobel prize for literature.I have always declined official honours, he explained at the time. A writer should not allow himself to be turned into an institution. This attitude is based on my conception of the writers enterprise. A writer who adopts political, social or literary positions must act only within the means that are his own that is, the written word. Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 13:27:31 GMT)

The British jihadis who have died in Iraq and Syria
Hundreds of UK citizens are fighting on the battlefields of the Middle East and there have been intermittent reports of deaths. The chaos of war and confusion over who is fighting, and where, means that often even the relatives of the fighters know little of the circumstances of their deaths. For over a year the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation (ICSR) at Kings College London has been piecing together the evidence from social media, mainstream reports and fighters in the field to establish the true number that have been killed. The death toll currently stands at 23. Continue reading...
(Thu, 23 Oct 2014 05:00:01 GMT)

Inside the world of Amazon Vine book reviewers: how I ended up with a mailbox full of dog poo
The internet market for books has become a hotbed of authors and reviewers behaving badly. Suzanne McGee, who cancelled her book-reviewing blog after an attack from a writer, urges a sensible approachAm I being catfished? An author confronts her No 1 criticThe day that I stopped reviewing books on my own blog was a Tuesday, if I recall correctly. It was the day in 2012 that I returned home from covering a conference in downtown Manhattan. I stuck my hand into my large metal mailbox to see if I had mail. I didnt feel any paper. When I pulled out my hand, instead of holding any letters, I found it was covered in dog shit. This fecal matter had been wrapped in a piece of paper on which had been printed out language comparing me to the infamous Nurse Ratched of One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest. I recognized the comparison. It had appeared on an authors blog accompanied by my full name, an entertaining little video snippet from the film, a considerable amount of rather hostile language and a threat to name the villain in her next novel after me. Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 19:49:56 GMT)

Dont dismiss public fears about migration as mere bigotry
David Camerons angst over Ukip is pushing us towards an EU exit. We need a real debate on free movementFor some people it is all absolutely clear. By indicating that he will somehow try to limit migration to the UK from the rest of the European Union, David Cameron has moved closer than ever to embracing what we now call Brexit the British exit from the EU. In doing so, he has shown that he is in thrall to mad-eyed Tory Europhobes, who in turn are doing the work of those dastardly merchants of racist calypso, Ukip. In this view, the free movement of people is not just a fundamental part of our membership of the EU, but modernity writ large: anyone who questions it must be off their rocker.In fact, the issue is a bit more complicated than that. Some elements of Tory posturing on Europe their manoeuvrings on human rights, for example say much more about them than the wider public. But free movement has not arrived in the foreground of politics solely because of Conservative loopiness. It is there thanks to the way that even a dysfunctional democracy such as ours works: because it is a huge issue, and millions dont like it. For the sake of Britain remaining in the EU, they will probably have to lump it, and this option will be by far the best for the country as a whole. Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 17:03:46 GMT)

Lost episodes of At Last the 1948 Show rediscovered
BFI announces two almost complete episodes of TV programme featuring John Cleese, Graham Chapman, Marty Feldman and Tim Brooke-Taylor found in archive of David FrostIn its opening scene the programme promises seat-gripping action, knee-gritting suspense, spine-raising horror and gallstone-jangling drama and later there are sketches with a silly walking doctor, a patient with too thin legs and a wrestler who throws himself around the ring.There is also a man walking into a shop looking to buy some chartered accountants and another episode that spoofs TV news broadcasts including a vox pop on the increasing problem of publicity-seeking vicars. Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 23:01:05 GMT)

Renée Zellweger's face is her brand  a new look will change her career beyond recognition
Regardless of the cause of the actors different appearance, its a move which will alter forever the roles shes offered and the way shes received though not necessarily for the worse. After all, Mickey Rourke is still ready for his close-up Nothing is wrong with Renee Zellwegers face. Theres something wrong with usWe didnt need dialogue back then, we had faces, bemoans Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard, gazing in envy at a silent-movie of her younger self. Even now weve got the dialogue, theres no getting round it: a movie actors prime commodity has always been, and still is, their face. Its difficult to convey complex emotions with any other body part, of course, but its more than that isnt it? We want to look at beautiful faces in movies. Yes, you can be a successful actor without being beautiful, but you can also be a successful actor without being able to act, as long as youre beautiful. If youre beautiful and you can act, youve pretty much got it made. And once youve made it, like it or not, your face becomes as ubiquitous as a corporate logo, reproduced in innumerable scales formats, disseminated around the world, used to sell not just movies but posters, magazines, newspapers (ahem), perfumes, watches, coffee machines, Japanese whisky brands, you name it. Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 11:14:54 GMT)

Going, going, gone: Lullaby by Will Self - podcast
Guardian head of audio Jason Phipps introduces the first in a sponsored series of five sound stories designed to lull you into sleep Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 16:31:00 GMT)

The unlikely success story of football on the massive island of Greenland
The weather is tough, transport is expensive and the population is tiny, but football is flourishing on the worlds largest islandGreenland is normally associated with ice and blisteringly cold temperatures. Despite being the worlds largest island, it is the least densely populated country on Earth, with just 57,000 inhabitants. The inhabitants, primarily Greenlandic Inuit but also Greenlandic Danes, speak Danish or Greenlandic. Based in the North Atlantic, it is part of the Danish Commonwealth, like the Faroe Islands, a group of islands west of Scotland. There are barely any roads in Greenland, due to the sheer distance between the sparse collection of settlements. This makes football very difficult which makes the fact that over 10% of the islands population plays the game all the more impressive.Indeed, football is Greenlands national sport. The first championship was contested in 1958 and the Greenland Football Association (GBU) was formed in 1971. In recent years, with an artificial turf pitch built in Qaqortoq, football has progressed steadily. The Greenland national team have been competing at the Island Games since 1989. They crashed out of the tournament in the semi-finals in their first appearance, but have improved in recent years. They finished second in the 2013 edition of the Games, losing in the final to hosts and approved Fifa members Bermuda. Achievements like these reinforce their dream of international football at a higher level. Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 12:00:38 GMT)

Isis ascent in Syria and Iraq weakening Pakistani Taliban
Islamic States military prowess and string of defections leave once-formidable Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan on the ropesThe dramatic rise of Islamic State (Isis) in Syria and Iraq is helping to tear apart the Pakistani Taliban, the beleaguered militant group beset by infighting and splits.Once the countrys largest and most feared militant coalition, the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has been on the ropes since a US drone strike killed its charismatic leader Hakimullah Mehsud in 2013, a blow followed this summer by the launch of a military onslaught against the groups sanctuaries. Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 14:21:00 GMT)

The tasteless Halloween costume and four other stories youre bound to read
Its an annual occurrence but, with an Ebola costume or a child safety scare, Halloween still finds its way into the newsIn my day people used to complain that every event in the calendar was turned into an opportunity for consumerism. Birthdays! Pah. Just another Hallmark construct to spin a quick buck, with their ribbons and their cards. When I truly love a person, I buy them presents throughout the year. I dont need society to tell me when to buy a present.Im glad to say weve all caught up with life, and now realise that presents are warranted in every scenario. But what I cannot reconcile with a mature culture is the exploitation of annual events to generate news. How can anything to do with Halloween, which has happened every year since some year that Im sure you can Google yourself, possibly be newsworthy? Heres how: Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 10:56:45 GMT)

Enid Blyton not as good as she used to be
The Faraway Tree series occupies a special place in my childhood memories, but reading them to my daughter now the books seem repetitive and creepyFaraway Tree series inspires new filmIf you had told me even six months ago that there was going to be a film of The Faraway Tree books, I would have been delighted. I was an Enid Blyton obsessive when I was young. I remember them all so fondly: the Famous Five, even more so the Adventure series. Id have loved my own Wishing Chair. I wanted to be a Find-Outer. And I adored the Faraway Tree series, which occupies a special place in my childhood memories, as my dad would tell us not to be naughty, or wed be sent to the Land of Dame Slap.But, no. Anticipating hours of fun, delighting in the fact that we were moving on from picture books, I cracked the series open with my daughter this summer, to be bemused, confused, and not a little disappointed by how they failed to live up to my recollections. Not only have Jo, Bessie and Fanny been renamed Joe, Beth and Frannie, and cousin Dick cousin Rick (I hadnt remembered there was a Dick and a Fanny in the Faraway Tree as well as the Famous Five how odd), but Dame Slap is also no longer Dame Slap! Shes now Dame Snap, which makes little sense. And she doesnt slap any more; instead, she scolds. Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 14:16:44 GMT)

What language tells us about the roots of the stone age diet
As a restaurant offering paleo food opens in London, can linguistics shed any light on what our ancestors ate?Next month, the UKs first paleolithic restaurant will open in London. The paleo, stone-age or caveman diet has been around in various forms for decades. But it harks back to a much earlier time, when our eating habits were supposedly in line with our evolution, before agriculture came along and made us civilised but unhealthy. One of the best TEDx talks Ive watched is an efficient debunking of the stone-age diet by Christina Warriner. In short: the meat-heavy regimen is not at all how cavemen ate, and many so-called stone-age foods like root vegetables are in fact the product of intensive cultivation (wild carrots, for example, are generally tiny and full of toxins). Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 10:30:16 GMT)

Culture Club review Boy George puts his self-destruction behind him
Heaven, LondonKarma Chameleon twangs far harder than the original on Culture Clubs first tour in 12 yearsThe first time Culture Club played this basement nightclub, Smash Hits reviewer Neil Tennant didnt see much of a future for them. They didnt appear until 1am; moreover, he was unimpressed by the bands white, reggaeish rhythms. Months later, in October 1982, the single Do You Really Want to Hurt Me? hit No 1 and Culture Club were on the way to becoming one of the most significant pop groups of the 80s.Unequivocal warmth greets the reunited band tonight. This show, a warm-up for their first tour in 12 years, was an instant sell-out, and fans are celebratory. Despite a handwritten Cash only notice, the merchandise stand is doing a steady trade in £20 T-shirts, and a few fearless punters have recreated the spirit of 1982 with tinsel neckerchiefs and Hassidic hats. Theyre a good deal flashier than the band themselves, for whom black T-shirts, and a sober black suit for Boy George, suffice. Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 10:47:26 GMT)

Paul Hills best photograph: the day troops arrived in Belfast, 1969
This man had gone to the pub for a drink. When he came out, there were troops and razorwire everywhereI took this in August 1969, on the very first day of the arrival of British troops in Belfast. They were there to restore peace after sectarian rioting. The man with his back to me was yelling at the soldiers: What the hells going on here? Hed gone into a pub to have a drink and come out to find troops and razorwire everywhere. None of it had been there when he went in. One of his mates, realising he was pissed and might get into trouble, dragged him away.The unrest had been simmering for some time there had been rioting in Londonderry but it hadnt really kicked off in Belfast. Id been sent by the Observer and arrived just as the riots got out of hand. Most people stayed indoors, but some were outside throwing petrol bombs. Youd see them flying through the air a lot of buildings caught fire. The Catholics living in Protestant enclaves had been particularly set on. They felt threatened and thats when the old rifles came out from under the floorboards. There was hatred and fear on both sides. Plus the B Specials, as the Ulster Special Constabulary were known, drove up and down the streets shooting from their Saracen armoured cars. Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 14:55:16 GMT)

Five must-read graphic novels that prove comics are worthy of a laureate
As the new laureate, graphic novelist Dave Gibbons has all the credentials to boost the misunderstood art of the comicThere will doubtless be those who scoff at the idea of a comics laureate, a newly created post to which artist Dave Gibbons is the inaugural appointment. The scoffers will probably be the same people who told me at school that Swamp Thing, written by Gibbons Watchmen co-creator Alan Moore, was in no way a suitable subject for an English essay, and those who Gibbons himself references when he talks of the image comics have in the UK: They have always been associated with very cheap and somewhat lurid entertainment.But comics are both literature and art in fact, they occupy the intersection between the two. And in Gibbons, whose work includes strips for the seminal British weekly comic 2000AD, art for American giants DC and Marvel, and comics for underground publisher Knockabout, graphic novelists have a fine ambassador in this renaissance man of the form. Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 08:30:53 GMT)

New cold war: the Geneva fallout bunkers doubling as homeless shelters
As the 300,000 nuclear shelters in Switzerland become less likely to be used for their initial purpose, the authorities in Geneva have decided to use them for a different sort of crisisInside Genevas nuclear bunker turned homeless shelter in picturesIt was built to withstand a 12-megaton explosion, but youd be forgiven for thinking it was just a car park. Hidden beneath a sports stadium, at the bottom of a ramp, only the reinforced steel door and civil defence insignia give clues as to its true identity. Most passers-by have no idea its even there, but this vast underground bunker is where a large part of Genevas population would find shelter in the event of a nuclear strike.Of course, the prospect of nuclear armageddon breaking out on Lake Geneva in 2014 is unlikely. But that hasnt stopped Switzerland preparing for it. Since 1978, when a law was passed stipulating that all new buildings must incorporate a shelter, over 300,000 have sprung up across the country, providing the possibility of protection for every Swiss citizen (and one million more besides). Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 13:28:14 GMT)

Real Madrid and Cristiano Ronaldo teach Liverpool a harsh lesson
Sometimes in football there is nothing for it but to accept the other team are vastly superior. Liverpool inflicted that feeling on many opponents in the years when they earned the right to hoist a banner on the Kop with the words European Royalty, but it is a while since they wore that crown and this was a night when Real Madrid reminded them just how far back it is.Real did it devastatingly and clinically with three first-half goals and so much refinement that when Cristiano Ronaldo was substituted a crowd who once regarded him as a sworn enemy applauded him off the pitch. It was a wonderful show of appreciation and the same followed shortly afterwards when Toni Kroos and Marcelo were withdrawn. Liverpool had been beaten in a manner that had left the crowd marvelling at the oppositions gifts with great sportsmanship. Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 20:53:29 GMT)

Lukas Podolskis late strike gives Arsenal win over Anderlecht
Arsene Wenger had wanted something to warm his cockles on the occasion of his 65th birthday and after plenty of suffering, he got it. When Andy Najar exposed Arsenals worrying habit of switching off at the back to ignite this occasion, it had looked as if Wenger was set to add another worry line to his brow.Make no mistake, Arsenals Champions League future was in peril. But the response was stunning. Kieran Gibbs does not score many and he may never score a better one than the late first-time volley from Calum Chambers cross. The connection was a thing of beauty. Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 20:56:16 GMT)

Roy Keane takes aim at Manchester Uniteds old boys mafia
Roy Keane says former players reluctant to criticise United Paddy Crerand and Bryan Robson still on contracts at club Keane: The stuff Ferguson fed the press was basic liesRoy Keanes sustained criticism of Sir Alex Ferguson extended to a new target when he delivered his inimitable assessment of the mafia of former players behind the scenes at Manchester United and mocked a culture, he says, means no one bar him dares speak out against the family.Bryan Robson, the clubs former captain, was among the United old boys held up for ridicule as Keane used a mixture of humour and brutal one-liners to question whether Old Trafford had turned into a football version of Disneyland going by the name of Man United Land, with fucking Mickey Mouse running around everywhere. Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 21:30:03 GMT)

Sam Burgess named international rugby league player of year
Follows NRL grand final victory with RabbitohsFirst Englishman to win the awardSam Burgess has capped a brilliant 12 months by becoming the first Englishman to be named the international rugby league player of the year.Burgess won the NRL grand final with South Sydney Rabbitohs, his final match in league before departing for a rugby union career with Bath. It was the Rabbitohs first grand final victory in 43 years, and Burgess played the game with a fractured cheekbone. Continue reading...
(Thu, 23 Oct 2014 04:38:56 GMT)

F1 team Caterham threaten former owner Tony Fernandes with legal action
Consortium claims Fernandes did not transfer shares Queens Park Rangers owner hints that he was not paidTony Fernandes faces legal action by the owners of Caterham as the Formula One team stand on the brink of going out of business.Caterham were bought from Malaysian entrepreneur Fernandes at the end of June by a consortium of Swiss and Middle Eastern businessmen, since when the organisation has been forced to deal with numerous difficulties. Already facing an unlawful dismissal suit by a group of more than 30 staff axed over the summer, on Monday a supply company to the team Caterham Sports Ltd was placed in administration. Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 21:41:21 GMT)

Chancellor George Osborne holds talks with NFL over London-based team
Anything the government can do to make this happen we will Detroit Lions and Atlanta Falcons to meet at Wembley London franchise only six or seven years awayGeorge Osborne has held talks with NFL officials and pledged government support for a London-based American Football team.The NFL has staged a series of games at Wembley since 2007, attracting near-capacity crowds. The Detroit Lions and Atlanta Falcons will play there on Sunday. Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 18:14:34 GMT)

Real Madrids Cristiano Ronaldo sparkles to win over the Liverpool fans
The incumbent Ballon dOr winner gives Anfield a sense of event glamour as CR7 and Real Madrid show their true classHe came. He scored (of course). He wandered off to a round of applause. The visit of CR7 to L4 was always likely to bring with it a sense of event glamour, if only for the rarity value of an appearance by the winner of what is now called the Ballon dOr on English soil, and more specifically at Anfield itself. In 23 years since the creation of the Fifa world player gong, Cristiano Ronaldo was the first incumbent world No1 to play here.He did not disappoint either, on a night that had started well enough for Liverpool, their high tempo, high-pressing game hurrying the European champions at times in the first 20 minutes, with Raheem Sterling looking potent in his drifting No10 role. At which point: enter Ronaldo. Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 21:00:47 GMT)

Croatian boxer and coaches barred for life following referee assault
Vido Loncar attacked ref after lossAIBA has zero tolerance for this behaviourThe Croatian boxer Vido Loncar and his coaches have been barred for life by the International Boxing Association for assaulting the referee in a recent contest. Loncar had to be dragged from the ring after he attacked the Polish referee Maciej Dziurgot following a loss to the Lithuanian Algirdas Baniulis in the light-heavyweight division on Monday at the European youth championsips in Zagreb. Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 15:41:51 GMT)

Uefa confirms no action against CSKA Moscow after Manchester City tie
Governing body finds no breach of conditions Uefa considering allowing women and children in for free Kompany: Why the hell were only CSKA fans allowed in? Uefa has confirmed it will take no action against CSKA Moscow despite the presence of supporters in the stadium for the Champions League tie against Manchester City on Tuesday night.The Russian side were ordered to play three European matches behind closed doors after the misconduct of supporters including repeated racism offences. Yet at the Arena Khimki around 350 people were spotted wearing CSKA colours and cheering the team on. Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 16:06:00 GMT)

England and Leicesters Manu Tuilagi to miss at least eight weeks
Centre strained adductor muscle against Ulster If it takes three months, I will take three months offManu Tuilagi has confirmed he will miss Englands autumn internationals and believes he will not be fit to play for Leicester Tigers for at least eight weeks.The centre strained his adductor muscle against Ulster on Saturday; a scan confirmed the injury and Tuilagi accepts he may have to be patient in order not to jeopardise his long-term plans. Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 22:43:41 GMT)

Stuart Lancaster: no room for flash; Jonny Wilkinson is England role model
Lancaster stops making allowances for erratic performers Brad Barritt and Kyle Eastmond may start against New Zealand Semesa Rokoduguni and George Kruis selectedStuart Lancaster will not select flash individuals for next years Rugby World Cup and has challenged Englands players to pursue the high standards set by Jonny Wilkinson. The head coach has stressed he can no longer make allowances for erratic performers after announcing an autumn Test squad lacking Danny Cipriani, Chris Ashton, Freddie Burns and Ben Foden.In theory the door will remain open for Cipriani and Ashton but Lancaster, having chosen Northamptons Stephen Myler and Baths uncapped Semesa Rokoduguni instead, madeit clear he increasingly sees reliability as more valuable than the occasional moment of magic. Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 21:00:02 GMT)

Five reasons Manchester City have not prospered in the Champions League
Is it the struggling Touré or the wrong mindset that is hampering the English champions on the European stage? Kompany: Why the hell were only CSKA fans allowed in? Paul Wilson: Can a home crowd still make a difference?Ahmed Musas pre-game prediction that Manchester City were very weak in defence proved all too true as CSKA Moscow enjoyed a virtual free pass around the back of the English champions, particularly in the second half. This is hardly a new problem for City in the competition. Against Roma this season the Italians equaliser came when Francesco Totti raced through to score with Vincent Kompany and co failing to track back and close space. The mind also goes back to Barcelona last year in the opening last-16 leg at the Etihad Stadium. Finer defenders than Martín Demichelis have been bamboozled by Lionel Messi yet the ageing centre-back was left exposed and forced to pull down the forward ahead of being sent off in the 55th minute and his Argentinian countryman converted the resulting penalty. Culpability here rests too in midfield where against CSKA Fernando failed to do the job he was bought specifically for: tighten up the XI. Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 12:34:21 GMT)

England select Semesa Rokoduguni and George Kruis for autumn internationals
Chris Robshaw confirmed as captain of 33-man squad Stephen Myler included ahead of Danny Cipriani Jonathan Joseph replaces injured Manu Tuilagi Stuart Lancaster can name England squad with open mindThe England head coach Stuart Lancaster has included the Bath wing Semesa Rokoduguni and the Saracens lock George Kruis in his 33-man squad for the autumn internationals at Twickenham. Rokoduguni has been promoted at the expense of Chris Ashton.England also confirmed that Chris Robshaw will remain captain for next months series. Robshaw has been under pressure for his place in the team but has been retained as captain for the Tests against New Zealand, South Africa, Samoa and Australia. Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 12:18:13 GMT)

Chris Froome suggests he may not participate in 2015 Tour de France
Froome could prioritise Giro dItalia and Vuelta a España I will have to give it some careful consideration Tour de France 2015 route revealedThe 2013 Tour de France winner Chris Froome has hinted he may miss the 2015 edition in favour of a possible attempt at the Giro dItalia and Vuelta a España, which he feels may offer more balanced routes that are more suitable to his blend of time trialling and climbing skills.The 2015 Tour will include only 14 kilometres of individual time trialling, on day one in the Dutch city of Utrecht. This is the smallest amount since the race was relaunched after the second world war and the first time in recent years that the race has not included a time trial in the final week. Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 11:19:45 GMT)

Manchester City want fans reimbursed with CSKA Moscows Uefa fine
Premier League club to write letter to European governing body Russian club serving stadium ban but some supporters present Match report: CSKA Moscow 2-2 Manchester CityManchester City will express extreme disappointment to Uefa at the governing body taking no action against CSKA Moscow, despite home fans being present in the Arena Khimki for Tuesdays 2-2 Champions League draw. The Premier League champions will ask that the fine paid by CSKA as part of a punishment for fans misconduct be used to reimburse City supporters, who lost money on the cost of the trip for the Group E match they were not allowed to attend.CSKA are serving a three-match stadium ban for their fans offences, which include repeated racism. Yet there were at least 350 of their supporters present draped in club colours and loudly cheering their side throughout the tie. Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 21:30:03 GMT)

Olympic Stadium conversion will cost an extra £35.9m
London Legacy Development Corporation to make up shortfall Total costs for West Hams new stadium will rise to £619mWork to convert the Olympic Stadium into a permanent home for West Ham United and athletics will cost £36m more than expected, it has been confirmed, taking the total confirmed spend so far to £619m.It emerged earlier this week that contractors Balfour Beatty had encountered difficulties installing the complex roof that will cover the athletics track and the retractable seats that will be rolled into position during the football season. Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 14:41:33 GMT)

One, two or perhaps seven almighty smacks in the mouth
Click here to have the Fiver sent to your inbox every weekday at 5pm, or if your usual copy has stopped arrivingLiverpool used to be better than Real Madrid. Yep. The Fiver would normally advise any disbelieving child under the age of 35 to seek confirmation from mater or pater about this. But here comes the Fivers time-travelling late-70s/early-80s throwback cousin, New Romantic Rubiks Cube Free Market Monetarism Disco Carter Reagan Callaghan Thatcher Sitcom Themes Written By Ronnie Hazlehurst JR Ewing Smokey And The Bandit II Ford Escort Mark III Fiver! Why dont we just ask him? So, were Liverpool once better than Real Madrid? Yes, says New Romantic Rubiks Cube Free Market Monetarism Disco Carter Reagan Callaghan Thatcher Sitcom Themes Written By Ronnie Hazlehurst JR Ewing Smokey And The Bandit II Ford Escort Mark III Fiver, before putting on a brown suit and going out on strike. Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 15:47:50 GMT)

Serena Williams embarrassed by Simona Halep in Singapore
Romanian wins 6-0, 6-2 in WTA Finals group match World No1 Williams suffers her heaviest defeat since 1998Ecstasy and euphoria are the usual emotions world No1 Serena Williams experiences on a tennis court. On Wednesday, she encountered a different one - embarrassment.One of the games all-time greats, a winner of 18-grand slam singles crowns, 63 WTA titles, the owner of four Olympic gold medals, Williams has become accustomed to success. Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 11:22:03 GMT)

Andy Murray beats Jürgen Melzer in first round of Valencia Open
British No1 defeats Melzer 6-3, 6-3 Murray sets up second-round meeting with Italys Fabio Fognini British No1 now in eighth place in Race to LondonAndy Murray opened his Valencia Open challenge with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Jürgen Melzer, although his performance failed to inspire in the Spanish city.In a match littered with poor serves and unforced errors, the third seed, who won the title here in 2009, just about held the edge to progress through to a second-round meeting with Italys Fabio Fognini. Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 13:46:59 GMT)

Tour de France 2015 route takes in Utrecht start and Alpe dHuez hairpins
2015 Tour begins in Utrecht on 4 July Penultimate stage takes in 21 hairpins to Alpe dHuez Chris Froome may not compete in 2015 Tour 2010 champion Andy Schleck announces retirementThe decisive moments of the 2015 Tour de France are set to take place at Alpe dHuez after the route of the 102nd edition of the race was unveiled in Paris.The Tour, which begins in Utrecht, Holland on 4 July, concludes in Paris on 26 July, after travelling through Holland and Belgium, continuing to commemorate the first world war in northern France and then travelling to north-western France. Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 11:00:40 GMT)

Kosovo given go-ahead by IOC to take part in 2016 Olympics
Kosovo can send independent team to Rio in 2106 Serbia opposed IOCs move to recognise KosovoKosovo has been recognised by the International Olympic Committee, clearing the way for the former Serbia province to send a team to Rio de Janeiro in 2016. The IOC executive made the decision on Wednesday and proposed that full recognition be granted at the IOC general assembly in Monaco in December. The move was opposed by Serbia, which has worked to block international acceptance of Kosovo, which declared independence in 2008. Serbia considers Kosovo to be the cradle of its statehood and religion, and has refused to accept the split. The IOC said Kosovo met the requirements for acceptance as a country in the Olympic Charter. Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 11:38:40 GMT)

Avengers: Age of Ultron film trailer released by Marvel after leak
Trailer leaks online, a week before intended preview, but Marvel follow up by tweeting official HD version within hours Dammit Hydra! Marvels tweet showed they were taking it on the chin of their glitchy Mark 42 Iron Man helmet when the trailer for the Avengers: Age of Ultron film was leaked online on Wednesday a week before its intended preview during the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D TV series.Within a few hours, the studio did the smart thing and tweeted its own official version in HD.Here it is! Watch the @Avengers: #AgeofUltron Teaser Trailer right NOW: http://t.co/pGnQIskF8c #Avengers Continue reading...
(Thu, 23 Oct 2014 03:36:56 GMT)

Mobo awards 2014: Sam Smith takes home four prizes
London soul singer awarded best RnB artist and best song for his hit Stay With Me at Wembley ceremonySam Smith emerged victorious at this years Mobo awards, picking up four gongs including best male artist and best album.Smith, the 22-year-old soul singer from London, was also awarded best RnB artist and best song, for his hit Stay With Me at the ceremony held at Londons SSE Wembley Arena, the first time the Mobos have been held in London in five years. Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 23:35:31 GMT)

Ukip's polarising effect: support for staying in the EU hits 23-year high
A new poll by Ipsos MORI finds that 56% of Britons would vote to stay in the EU - the highest level of support since 1991UK - @IpsosMORI poll: support for staying in the EU is at its highest since 1991: pic.twitter.com/89CEYrMVePA new poll from Ipsos MORI shows 56% of Britons would vote to stay in the European Union in a referendum - the highest support for British EU membership since 1991.@AlbertoNardelli @simoncast that is my view too. have something else on EU coming which confirmsThose of us who want Britain to leave the EU have a mountain to climb according to @yougov polling for @timesredbox pic.twitter.com/OyNnXx2eHBWhat the Great British public think of free movement of workers. ComRes for @IndyOnSunday http://t.co/T5qgCpkYbL pic.twitter.com/axNjZscuto Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 14:40:27 GMT)

#Douchebag: from useless contraceptive to universal putdown
It has become this years catch-all insult, powered by social media and broadcasters keen to avoid more sweary options. But where did it come from and who really deserves the epithet?If youre reading this in public, look up for a second. Chances are youll spot a douchebag. You might even see a few of them. If youre reading this in certain parts of London, you could probably put a snooker ball in a sock, spin around once and take out dozens of douchebags in the process. Douchebags are everywhere. Suddenly, without realising it, weve all somehow ended up living on Planet Douchebag.Search the internet and youll see for yourself everyones a douchebag. A quick sweep through Google News tells me that this week Shia LaBeouf is a douchebag. Batman is too. So are Ben Affleck, Justin Bieber and John Grisham. Sleepy Hollows Horseman of Death is a douchebag. The unfortunate ex-boyfriend of a woman paid to write about prehistoric placoderm reproduction is a complete douchebag. Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 17:32:54 GMT)

Overshare is Chambers Dictionarys word of the year 2014
Chambers Dictionary announces its word of the year: overshare tops a shortlist featuring photobomb, selfie and bashtagDescribed as beautifully British, the subtle yet devastating put-down overshare was today named word of the year by the Chambers Dictionary. Collins, however, has plumped for photobomb as its choice, citing the words 100% increase in usage over the past year.Photobomb, defined by Collins as to intrude into the background of a photograph without the subjects knowledge, also made the final shortlist for Chambers, but was edged out by overshare. Used to condemn everything from Kim Kardashians closeups of her anatomy to public displays of affection on Facebook, overshare is defined by Chambers as to be unacceptably forthcoming with information about ones personal life. Whether it is updates on a toddlers toilet training or selfies on Snapchat that leave little to the imagination, were revealing more now than we ever have done before, according to the dictionary. Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 23:05:05 GMT)

Google releases USB security key for two-factor authentication
But the new device only works via the Chrome web browser, with no support for smartphones and tabletsGoogle has announced a physical USB Security Key that should ensure users keep their accounts safe from hackers, although it is not without its limitations.Anyone who buys a compatible USB from a third-party supplier and adds the Security Key functionality will be able to use it when logging in to Googles sites, which include Gmail and Google Drive, as it will hold the code required when two-factor authentication has been switched on. Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 20:25:34 GMT)

Swiss Guards Vatican cookbook promises feast fit for a pope
Book includes recipes chosen by Vatican officials and some of the pontiffs favourite Argentinian dishesPope Francis is known to enjoy a spot of cooking and used to make a mean paella when archbishop of Buenos Aires. Now some culinary inspiration has come from within the Vatican and, should the pontiff ever find himself yearning for a new dish, he could do worse than have a word with one of his Swiss Guards.David Geisser, 24, a chef who has been compared in his native country to Jamie Oliver, joined the elite team of soldiers in February last year and has come up with a Vatican cookbook. Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 16:42:40 GMT)

Can you really rely on an app to do your maths homework?
A promo video suggests that PhotoMath is the ultimate cheats tool. So is this the end of algebra? A mathematician puts it through its pacesThe video shows a textbook being flipped open and a smartphone pointed at a dense page of calculations. But this isnt someone Instagramming their homework; the phone scans the equations on its screen and solves them, each solution popping up instantly with a satisfying click. Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 17:24:53 GMT)

Annie Macs top 10 dance tracks
Shes the superstar DJ whos helped turn British electronic music into a global phenomenon. So what are Annie Macs top 10 dance tracks?For almost a decade, Annie Mac has been chief flag-waver for UK dance music through her Radio 1 show, her mixtapes, and as a club DJ. With sets ranging from 90s house bangers to trance to UK garage, she is a champion of eclecticism. As her third Annie Mac Presents compilation is released, she picks the 10 tracks that defined UK dance. Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 07:00:14 GMT)

Goth streetwear, monochrome and sportswear: what is health goth?
Forget normcore. Health goth is the latest possibly madeup trend to go viral. Think goths in sportswear, Alexander Wang x H&M and Kanye West, and youre halfway thereA few months ago, while discussing the staying power of normcore, we stumbled across a few trends that made the style seem positively normal.One of them was called health goth. How we laughed. Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 16:34:02 GMT)

From freekeh to teff: five ancient grains you could add to your larder
Looking for an interesting substitute for rice or pasta? Here, experts, including Yotam Ottolenghi, reveal how to get the best out of some underused but versatile grainsWhether its teff or freekeh or something else completely unpronounceable, announcements of the new quinoa keep coming so thick and fast, it can be hard to keep up with how to say, let alone cook with them. But their popularity is based on something more substantial than linguistic bragging rights. There are claims that theyre better for us than modern grains, and chefs love their versatility and flavour. Michael Marriage of Doves Farm, has been growing ancient grains such as spelt since 1978, way before it was even vaguely cool. Theres been a phenomenal interest in older varieties recently, he says. Many people tell us they find these historic grains are more digestible. Go-to chef for all things grain-related, Yotam Ottolenghi, agrees. Theyre a very cheap way to eat well. A lot of these grains are great for those looking for an alternative to white pasta or rice or whore keeping an eye on their intake of wheat.The fact that theyre easy to use is another reason for their appeal. They have such variety, says Tomar Amedi, head chef at The Palomar, a Soho restaurant serving the food of modern day Jerusalem. They can absorb flavours and elevate taste but theyre also really healthy. Ottolenghi loves the versatility: Theyve enough going on flavour- and texture-wise to allow for a very simple dish to suffice, he says, but theyre also happy to be paired with very robust flavours such as preserved lemon skin, sharp barberries, or piquant sumac, if you want to scale things up and produce something big and bold. Its the much-parodied quinoa that arguably brought ancient grains to our attention, there are plenty more to play with: Incan and Aztec grains like amaranth and millet, and other Middle Eastern grains such as maftoul and mograbieh, as well as jireesh, einkorn, khorasan kamut and sorghum Feeling overwhelmed? Panic not; Heres the lowdown on five of the best grains around Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 07:00:12 GMT)

Twitter changes: 20 hits and misses from the social network's history
From hyperlinked hashtags, promoted tweets and official apps to #NewTwitter and #DickBarGrumps Internet Law dictates that whenever a large social network like Facebook or Twitter changes its design or adds a major new feature, people kick up a stink online claiming its going to ruin the service.Sometimes, theyre right, and the company executes a quick u-turn. Sometimes, the new feature flops and is retired at a later point. But quite often, the new feature beds in nicely, and becomes an important part of the social network.Starting today, you can share and view animated GIFs on http://t.co/wJD8Fp317i, Android and iPhone. http://t.co/XBrAbOm4Ya Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 16:01:41 GMT)

The Faraway Tree is getting closer to our cinemas minus Dame Slap, Fanny and Dick
Sam Mendes is turning Enid Blytons classic novels into a film. But certain characters will need to be reinventedName: The Faraway Tree.Age: 75. Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 16:10:37 GMT)

Bizarre dinosaur reconstructed after 50 years of wild speculation
Deinocheirus mirificus, or unusual horrible hand, had long, clawed forearms, a sail on its back and a duck-like billNearly 50 years after researchers uncovered the gigantic arms of a mysterious dinosaur in the Gobi desert, the true nature of the beast has finally been established.Since its discovery in 1965, the only clues to the engimatic creature were its shoulders and forelimbs the latter measuring an astounding 2.4 metres long and a few ribs and vertebrae dug from the ground by a joint Polish-Mongolian expedition. Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 17:00:23 GMT)

Peter Jackson's Hobbit trilogy becomes most expensive film production ever
According to financial documents published in New Zealand, the trilogy of films telling Tolkeins classic fantasy tale have reached a cost of over £460m with the final few months of spending still not includedThe Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies: watch the trailerPeter Jacksons trilogy of Hobbit films, currently heading towards its climax with the release of The Battle of the Five Armies in December, has been named as the most expensive film production of all time, at 934m New Zealand dollars (£464m).The figure was disclosed in financial documents filed in New Zealand, where the films were made, with their studio Warner Bros refusing to comment on the expenditure. The films were shot back-to-back in a giant single production, generating the record amount the most expensive single film remains Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End, which cost around £185m. Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 13:31:39 GMT)

Buying denim the pain-free way: a guide for women over 50
Like many of us, I find the idea of buying a new pair of jeans depressing and daunting. So could a new range of services and products help? Hands up if you cant face buying a new pair of jeans. No, me neither. My last pair (an investment, in keeping with my general buying philosophy) eventually disintegrated. I keep meaning to buy some more, but who, honestly, has time to tackle new styles, such as the strinny, on top of the bewildering choices already available? I want someone to point at a pair and say: Those will fit you, look terrific and go with anything, which, after all, is what jeans are supposed to do. Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 13:42:31 GMT)

A Quantum Leap reunion is happening at last on NCIS
Scott Bakula and Dean Stockwell are finally back together. Its just a shame that its on NCIS: New Orleans, a show lacking Quantum Leaps cavalcade of creativityJambalaya, jazz and a checklist of vaguely naval-related crime as long as Bourbon Street NCIS: New Orleans might be the second city-specific franchise to launch from the NCIS mothership, but its already off to a flying start. More than 17 million viewers tuned in for the first episode when it premiered in the US last month, and Channel 5 has predictably snapped up the UK rights. Its the mass-market hit set in the Big Easy that David Simons elliptical, soulful Treme could never be. Somewhere, Bunk from The Wire is playing a sad trombone. Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 09:36:36 GMT)

Fact check: how many people live in Africa?
In a bid to to sort fact from fiction, we asked our readers to nominate a commonly accepted statement about the continent for Africa Check to investigate. We chose to look at the reliability of population figuresA white farmer is killed every five days in South Africa. Earlier this year Nigerian Islamists Boko Haram burnt 375 Christians alive. The Democratic Republic of the Congo is the rape capital of the world. Whats wrong with these statements? They are all false. Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 11:18:32 GMT)

Reeva Steenkamp was a victim of male violence. That is the real story
When coverage of Steenkamps death, at the hands of a famous athlete, ducks the male violence question, what hope for the less newsworthy women killed each year by men?There are several ways to disappear women. One is to shoot them in the head and cry about the bloody aftermath. Another is not to mention their names while writing about such a shooting. There is no moral equivalence here; I am merely noting that it is possible to talk about the killing of Reeva Steenkamp without bothering to mention her. It is possible to do it in this venerable organ.It is possible to ask what this killing, and the subsequent meting out of justice to the man responsible, tells us about all sorts of things. Except the one thing it really does tell us about: the worth of a womans life. Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 19:00:00 GMT)

First Dog on the Moon on Isis cartoon
Sign up here to get an email whenever First Dog cartoons are published Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 22:35:00 GMT)

In Scotland the old politics have crumbled, as they once did in Ireland
In the recent referendum young voters opted for independence. As with Ireland in 1916, a new mood has taken hold and change seems inevitableSometimes a history book prompts one to reflect on the past and present alike. RF Foster, professor of Irish history at Oxford university, has just published such a text. In Vivid Faces, Foster delves into what made the Irish revolutionary generation of the early 20th century tick. Yet at the core of his richly nuanced inquiry into the radical nationalist mentality is an analysis with implications that stretch beyond Ireland to this day notably to 21st-century Scotland, but also elsewhere in these islands.Generations make a difference in history. The men and women who transformed Ireland between 1916 and 1922 were strikingly young, even by the standards of todays callow politicians. The average age of the executed leaders of the Easter Rising was 37. Michael Collins, effectively the first leader of independent Ireland, was killed when he was a mere 31. The corollary was that those who survived, embodied by Éamon de Valera, who retired as Irelands president at the age of 90 in 1973, managed to shape national life and politics for half a century and beyond, until they in turn were peacefully supplanted by a very different, more Europe-centred Irish generation. Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 19:38:30 GMT)

It's time to abandon the 'acting white' theory once and for all
Dear White People doesnt look like my university class. Real students have more trouble getting on the elevator of white privilegeDear White People: satire with bite but a fractured funny boneI have taught college freshmen how to write personal narratives for more than 11 years and, among black working-class students, the most popular version of the typical bullying essay is the acting white narrative. In it, the heroic protagonist at a low-performing urban school is bullied by his or her peers for speaking grammatically correct English for enjoying academics and is eventually forced to physically defend himself against claims such as you act white and you want to be something youre not. Alienated from his willfully ignorant classmates, the hero perseveres all the way to a four-year university ... where he meets me and writes a version of this essay.So when I went to see Justin Simiens much discussed new film Dear White People, a satire about being a black face in a white place (an elite place), I thought Id encounter the flipside of what my students navigate at an urban, public commuter school. Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 14:58:41 GMT)

My brother wanted to be a jihadi and society is creating many more like him
Extremism of any kind is a symptom of an unhealthy society and, in order to eradicate it, we should look to treat its causeAs Isis continues to dominate our collective consciousness, most recently with the crucifixion of a 17-year-old boy, the government appears to be fumbling in the dark for new ways of stemming the blood from an old wound which refuses to heal; only they seem to be thinking about bigger plasters, which probably wont do the trick. Meanwhile, somewhere in the UK, another jihadist is born.I documented the birth of one particular jihadist in my BBC3 film My Brother the Islamist. The film charted my attempts to reconnect with Rich, who happened to be my stepbrother, to try to understand the new world he had become a part of. Ultimately the shared journey drew us closer together, but a year later he would be arrested for attempting to join the Taliban in Pakistan. Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 10:00:15 GMT)

The ban on Breaking Bad figurines reveals just how infantilised we are
The adult toy purchasers claim that theyre a collector doesnt really change the fact that theyre playing with dollsWhat more ironic way to celebrate the characterisation of Breaking Bads Walter White drug kingpin and criminal mastermind than to purchase a plastic doll in his likeness? From White to Mad Mens Don Draper, our culture celebrates alpha male archetypes of the old school, and yet in their appreciation too many fans become the antithesis of their heros qualities. The decision of Toys R Us in the US to remove Breaking Bad figurines, following an angry petition from parents who didnt want their offspring exposed to dolls with their own detachable sack of meth, should be a wake-up call to the creeping infantilisation of our modern culture. These toys, along with Mattels Don Draper or the collectors Vito Corleone arent being bought by children in the traditional sense of the word. Theyre being purchased by adults who like to play with their own toys.Most awkwardly, these adults now seem proud of their toy fascination. Waylon Smithers Malibu Stacey collection in The Simpsons has nothing on Change.org petition founder Daniel Pickett of Manhattan Beach, whose rival petition to Toys R Us demanded the store continue to address his needs. Toys R Us is well known around the world for their vast selection of toys for children of all ages, and we do mean ALL ages, said the petition, proudly proclaiming that the petitioners are adult children. These arent children at heart in the Robin Williams, see-joy-everywhere sense of the word. These are children in the shutting themselves in a room and playing with plastic dolls as part of a fantasy life sense of the word. Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 15:17:38 GMT)

Tory attacks on the Welsh NHS is look-over-there-politics at its worst
The Conservatives and Daily Mail wont let the facts get in the way of a good Labour NHS-bashing story. Expect plenty moreThere are two certainties about prime ministers questions, that weekly screeching ritual that makes you makes you want to weep for those who fought for democracy in Britain. First, David Cameron will at some point turn a shade of crimson; and second, when scrutinised over his governments NHS record, he will immediately launch into a savage counter-attack on Welsh Labours handling of Waless NHS. The state of the Welsh NHS is a scandal, bellows the prime minister; adding that the English border with Wales is the line between life or death; and as his health secretary Jeremy Hunt puts it the Welsh NHS is second class.It makes perfect political sense, of course. It is look over there politics at its finest. Think were cocking up the NHS here? Check out what our critics are doing in Wales! And it helps confront one of the only stubborn leads the Labour party has on any issue, which is the NHS. And so we stop considering the staggering fact that the Tories top-down privatisation a policy voters werent consulted on, and which came with what Labour claims is a £3bn price tag to boot has been disowned by the partys senior figures as their biggest mistake in government. Apparently they didnt understand it: it was unintelligible gobbledegook. Alas, we all make mistakes: its only the institution keeping many of us alive, after all. Competition laws created an expensive mess in the NHS, according to its former boss Sir David Nicholson. A million patients are now stuck waiting for more than four hours in A&E a level unseen since 2003/4. The longest real-terms squeeze on NHS funding in its history, privatisation, an ageing population, cuts to local care budgets: all this is heaping more and more pressure on a creaking NHS. Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 11:32:20 GMT)

Why pay GPs to identify people with dementia if we cant help them?
Theres no effective treatment yet for dementia. So rather than paying doctors to spot new cases, we should spend the £55 where it will make a differenceA bounty on the head of some patients is how the Patients Association has described the news that GPs in England are to be paid £55 for each patient they diagnose with dementia. Dr Martin McShane, national director for long-term conditions at NHS England, says that more needs to be done to ensure that people living with dementia are identified.Theres nothing new about financially incentivising GPs to focus on areas of care that are being neglected. It may make some of us feel a bit morally queasy, but its a fact of life, now woven into the fabric of how GPs work. GP pay is made up of a combination of a flat fee per patient on the list, with added fees for services rendered. And in recent years, these services have included targets. For example, GPs get points for identifying people with diabetes and then ensuring that the important parameters like sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol control are achieved. In this points means prizes world, GP care has improved and improvements translate demonstrably into people with diabetes living longer and healthier lives. Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 14:34:43 GMT)

The Guardian view on Lord Green: an ennoblement too far
The MigrationWatch chairs divisive views have been rewarded with a seat on the crossbenches. This was only possible because of a power-grab by David Cameron, which degrades the House of LordsFrom David Lloyd George to Tony Blair, scandalous Lords appointments have demonstrated why Britain really would do better to elect its whole parliament. But if all patronage corrupts, its absolute patronage that corrupts absolutely, and so the checks installed at the upper houses door are to the good. Set up in 2000, the Lords appointment commission vets all prospective peers for skulduggery, including party placemen. It also appoints directly to the crossbenches, recruiting figures who can command respect on all sides. A tiny trickle of non-party coronets continued to flow through Downing Street, but these were effectively retirement perks for the very great and very good. By banishing the politicking, all the restrictions bolstered the crossbenches standing.But this summer, in a scarcely noticed statement, David Cameron announced that the Downing Street appointments would be pro-forma no longer, but instead dished out on the basis of public service as he saw it. Alarm bells should have rung: the man who had once promised to democratise the Lords was tightening his grip. Now weve got the first four Cameron crossbenchers. Former MI5 boss Sir Jonathan Evans might have been a candidate for emeritus ennoblement. Education expert Alison Wolf and retiring Commons clerk Sir Robert Rogers certainly have the expertise to justify their seats. But Wolfs report for Michael Gove, and Sir Roberts spat with that great demon of the Tories, John Bercow, cant have hurt. And then there was Sir Andrew Green. Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 19:08:58 GMT)

Guerrilla gardening in the UK is a sign of failure
Guerrilla gardening may be in the media spotlight, but its secretive, maverick mentality is a self-centered response to urban problems. We can set our sights much higher, argues Martin AllenIts always surprised me how quickly guerrilla gardening has become so readily accepted in the nations newspapers and magazines as an exciting thing to do. The media love it; growing things without permission on land that doesnt belong to you is the new black. Gardening types doing something ever so slightly naughty with pretty flowers is a story.But guerrilla gardening in the UK is a sign of failure; a sign that the local community is not functioning properly; that citizens are not talking to elected local councillors; that people feel isolated; that the urban environment is poor. Its not a solution. Guerrilla gardening is a self-centered response to a situation no one will let me do what I want so I will go out and do it anyway, whether the community wants it or not. And thats a good point if people are guerrilla gardening, there is nothing that anyone else in the community can do about it if they dont like it, because by its very nature it is secretive. Continue reading...
(Wed, 22 Oct 2014 11:12:20 GMT)

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