Display options Mobile website
PreviousHeadlines United KingdomNext


Gaza conflict: Israel and Hamas agree to 72-hour humanitarian ceasefire
US and UN announce that both parties have agreed to an unconditional ceasefire to start Friday morningIsrael and Hamas have agreed to a 72-hour pause in their three-week conflict, the United States and the United Nations announced, allowing for both sides to begin talks on a longer-term ceasefire.The truce will begin at 8am on Friday, local time, after which delegations from Israel and Palestine will convene in Cairo for negotiations to be mediated by the Egyptian government. Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 22:49:43 GMT)

Argentina's government blames 'conspiracy' for defaulting on debt
Second default in 13 years pushes peso down more than 4% against the dollar, with fallout likely to drive inflation higherArgentina's government was in a defiant mood on Thursday after defaulting on its debt for the second time in 13 years.Economy minister Axel Kicillof, speaking after 11th hour talks with bondholders in New York failed to avert a default, played down the impact it would have on the country's citizens. "We're not going to sign an agreement that jeopardises the future of all Argentinians," he told a press conference in New York. "Argentinians can remain calm because tomorrow will just be another day and the world will keep on spinning." Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 18:51:57 GMT)

Ebola outbreak sparks states of emergency in Liberia and Sierra Leone
Schools closed and villages quarantined as epidemic claims more than 700 lives across three west African nationsLiberia and Sierra Leone have declared states of emergency, ordering the closure of schools and markets and the quarantining of affected communities, in an attempt to halt the Ebola epidemic that has claimed more than 700 lives across three west African nations.The leaders of both countries have cancelled planned trips to Washington for a US-Africa summit next week so they can meet on Friday in Conakry, the capital of Guinea, to discuss the crisis. Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 18:33:14 GMT)

Hacker warned over visiting ill father in Glasgow over possible extradition risk
Gary McKinnon, who hacked Nasa and US defence department systems, may face US extradition action if he visits ScotlandGary McKinnon, the London-based computer hacker who won a decade-long battle against extradition to the US in 2012, has been cautioned by his lawyers against visiting Scotland because he may still be extradited from there.McKinnon wants to visit his seriously ill father in Glasgow but has been told that, because Scotland has a different legal system to England, the US authorities could make a fresh bid to extradite him once he was there. Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 17:25:43 GMT)

NHS to sequence DNA of 75,000 patients over next four years
David Cameron promises the genome project will transform cancer treatment in the UKTens of thousands of NHS patients are to be invited to donate their DNA for research as part of a project that aims to make the use of genetic data routine in the health service.About 75,000 patients with cancer and rare diseases will have their genomes sequenced during the four-year project, which David Cameron claims will transform how serious diseases are diagnosed and treated. Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 23:01:00 GMT)

Meriam Ibrahim arrives in US
Christian woman once threatened with execution in Sudan lands in Philadelphia en route to new home in New HampshireA Sudanese woman who refused to recant her Christian faith in the face of a death sentence arrived on Thursday in the United States, where she was welcomed first by the mayor of Philadelphia as a world freedom fighter and later by cheering supporters waving US flags in New Hampshire.Meriam Ibrahim flew from Rome to Philadelphia with her husband and two children, en route to the New Hampshire city of Manchester where her husband has family and where they will make their new home. Her husband, Daniel Wani, his face streaked with tears, briefly thanked New Hampshires Sudanese community on his familys behalf and said he appreciated the outpouring of support. Continue reading...
(Fri, 01 Aug 2014 03:17:52 GMT)

Elite London school accused of failings over paedophile teacher William Vahey
Independent investigator says Southbank International failed to take references and did not act when concerns were raisedSerial paedophile William Vahey drugged and abused dozens of boys left in his care after a series of serious failings by the elite London school that employed him, an independent investigator has concluded.Southbank International, a £25,000-a-year school favoured by diplomats and international business executives, failed to properly handle concerns raised internally about the 64-year old American, according to a review into his criminal conduct by barrister, Hugh Davies QC. Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 19:06:38 GMT)

CIA admits to spying on Senate staffers
CIA director apologises for improper conduct of agency staffOne senator calls on John Brennan to resign in wake of scandalThe director of the Central Intelligence Agency, John Brennan, issued an extraordinary apology to leaders of the US Senate intelligence committee on Thursday, conceding that the agency employees spied on committee staff and reversing months of furious and public denials. Brennan acknowledged that an internal investigation had found agency security personnel transgressed a firewall set up on a CIA network, which allowed Senate committee investigators to review agency documents for their landmark inquiry into CIA torture. .@CIA IG rprt shows John Brennan misled public, whose interests I have championed. I will fight for change at the CIA:http://t.co/uQVsvV43nB Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 19:00:11 GMT)

Taiwan gas explosion kills dozens
Hundreds more injured as streets of Kaohsiung are ripped open by petrochemical pipeline blastAt least 24 people have been killed and 271 others injured when several underground gas explosions ripped through Taiwan's second-largest city overnight, hurling concrete through the air and blasting long trenches in the streets.The series of explosions about midnight Thursday and early Friday struck a district where several petrochemical plans operate pipelines alongside the sewer system of Kaohsiung, a south-western port with 2.8 million people. Continue reading...
(Fri, 01 Aug 2014 02:06:00 GMT)

Boris Johnson tries to distance himself from idea of driverless London buses
No plans for automated buses in the capital, insists mayor's office, despite publishing document that talks up cost savingsReplacing London's driver-operated buses with driverless vehicles would provide large cost savings as part of a "paradigm shift" in the way people travel, according to a controversial passage in a document published by Boris Johnson this week.However, the loosely worded job-cutting suggestion had to be swiftly disowned by the mayor's office on Thursday, even though the document in which the futuristic idea was aired was published in support of Johnson's 2050 transport plan the day before. Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 20:58:50 GMT)

BBC Trust's hunt for new chairman 'undermined by political meddling'
Former culture secretaries Ben Bradshaw and Tessa Jowell criticise Cameron and Osborne intervention, and delay in charter renewal talksPolitical meddling in the hunt for the next BBC Trust chairman is serving to undermine the corporation in advance of critical royal charter renewal negotiations, according to former culture secretaries Ben Bradshaw and Tessa Jowell.Interviews for the £110,000-a-year job took place on Thursday and continue on Friday, but the shortlist of four or five does not appear to include any of a string of heavyweight figures considered to be prime contenders to take over from Lord Patten. Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 18:38:32 GMT)

Help to Buy scheme funded 4,300 completions in June a new high
In the scheme's 15 months more than 27,100 homes have been purchased using interest-free loans from itMore than 4,000 households in England used the government's Help to Buy loan scheme to buy properties in June, the highest monthly total since the scheme began in 2013.The latest government data indicated more than 4,300 completions during the month, with more than 27,100 homes bought using the scheme. The figures refer to the first phase of Help to Buy, which offers buyers an interest-free loan worth up to 20% of the price of a new-build home. Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 20:13:38 GMT)

Gatwick staff increased after baggage delays hit passengers
Handling firm Swissport left passengers waiting hours at arrivals for luggageMore workers have been brought in by Gatwick airport and its baggage handlers in an attempt to avert further embarrassment after passengers were left without their luggage over the peak holiday weekend.Swissport, the handling firm which failed to cope with an influx of late-evening flights, has bolstered its 1,500 staff by 40 but this was too late to save it from being axed by one airline, Monarch. Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 19:45:13 GMT)

Patients receiving 'second choice' drugs because of supply shortages
Nine out of 10 GP forced to write prescriptions for alternatives to common medicines harming patients' treatmentFears have been raised that many patients are receiving "second choice" drugs because of supply shortages.A poll has revealed that more than nine in 10 family doctors have been forced to write prescriptions for medicines that were not their preferred option. Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 23:05:00 GMT)

Woman denies trying to hide Syria rebel cash in underwear
Nawal Msaad was found with 20,000 when she was stopped at HeathrowA woman who allegedly tried to smuggle 20,000 in her underwear to Syrian rebels hid the cash there because she wanted to keep it somewhere safe, the Old Bailey heard on Thursday.Nawal Msaad, 27, was caught with the large denomination notes rolled up and hidden in a condom as she prepared to board a British Airways flight in January to Istanbul from Heathrow. Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 19:23:00 GMT)

Three in 10 Conservative voters would prefer Ukip coalition in 2015 poll
Tory support for Ukip pact narrowly trails that for another deal with Lib Dems in event of hung parliament next yearNearly a third of Conservative voters would prefer their party to form a coalition with Nigel Farage's party rather than any other, according to a survey.The figure of 30% support for a coalition with Ukip compares with 31% who would favour a continuation of the current partnership with Liberal Democrats in the event of a hung parliament in 2015. Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 23:05:00 GMT)

Official figures reveal rising violence in prisons in England and Wales
Ministry of Justice figures show serious assaults in year to March up by 30% and number of suicides at highest level since 2005A rising tide of violence inside prisons across England and Wales has been revealed by official figures showing serious assaults soaring by 30%, three murders in the past 12 months and a 69% rise in suicides to the highest level for nine years.According to Ministry of Justice figures, the number of self-inflicted deaths in prisons rose by 36 to 88 in the 12 months to the end of March the highest level since 2005. Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 12:29:35 GMT)

Public service whistleblowers 'treated shockingly', report finds
Report accuses ministers of failing to protect whistleblowers despite their role in exposing a series of major scandalsWhistleblowers who risk their careers to uncover wrongdoing within public services are being victimised by managers who nearly always escape sanction, a public accounts committee report will say on Friday.MPs were told that only one senior manager who has victimised a whistleblower has ever faced disciplinary procedures, while many government departments are still failing to support employees who come forward in the public interest. Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 23:01:01 GMT)

BP's risky Rosneft relationship: 'We work in countries with ups and downs'
BP boss Bob Dudley faces questions over the stake in the Russian oil firm now dragged into the last round of EU sanctionsIn a week when BP's involvement in Russia once again raised concern among investors, the City can draw consolation from the fact that chief executive Bob Dudley is a veteran of the country's perilous politics.In 2008 Dudley was the boss of the oil and gas group's profitable joint venture, TNK-BP: an uneasy alliance with four Russian oligarchs. In July that year he was forced to flee the country as he warned of an "orchestrated campaign of harassment" amid expectations he could be seized on trumped-up visa charges. Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 17:37:37 GMT)

Russia tightens controls on blogosphere
Bloggers say new law is attempt to crack down on free expression and criticism of Russian governmentA law that comes into effect in Russia on Friday will place tighter controls on the blogosphere, one of the few remaining places where people can freely criticise the government.The federal mass media watchdog has said the law is meant to "de-anonymise popular websites". Prominent bloggers argue it is yet another step to crack down on free expression and will be wielded against critics of the regime. Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 18:08:39 GMT)

Transgender person's claim for female state pension rejected by appeal court
MB transitioned from male to female but decided as a Christian to stay married to wife of 38 yearsA transgender person's claim to be entitled to receive the female state pension at the age of 60 has been rejected by the appeal court.MB, who cannot be identified, transitioned from male to female but decided as a Christian to stay married "in the sight of God" to her wife of 38 years and the mother of their two children a decision which blocked MB's entitlement to the pension. Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 14:47:19 GMT)

Poland takes the bite out of Russian apple ban
Prominent Poles post tongue-in-cheek photos on social media to endorse campaign against Russian ban on fruit importsIn Poland, an apple a day not only keeps the doctor away, it is now a political statement. On Thursday the business newspaper Puls Biznesu published an editorial entitled Stand against Putin: eat apples, drink cider after Russia banned apple imports from Poland.Several Poles have since endorsed the campaign on social media, publishing tongue-in-cheek photographs of themselves or others eating apples on Twitter with the hashtag #jedzjablka (#eatapples), including the head of the national security bureau, Stanislaw Koziej, MEP Roza Thun and presenters at national broadcaster Telewizja Polska. A Facebook page called Jedz Jablka Na Zlosc Putinowi (Eat apples to annoy Putin) also sprang up overnight.Od razu praktyka "@gazetapl_news: #jedzjabka @puls_biznesu pic.twitter.com/a6BaAY2j5j.@GoralewskiM https://t.co/j0Nl04uOts pic.twitter.com/2q0DaXAsM0Redakcja @tvp_info równie przycza si do akcji #jedzjabka . Smacznego! :) pic.twitter.com/j53wYsVMKP Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 17:20:44 GMT)

Giraffe dies from head injuries after trip in back of open truck in South Africa
Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals suspect the giraffe died after hitting its head against an overhead bridgeA young giraffe has died from head injuries sustained while being transported, blindfolded, in an open truck along a South African highway, an animal welfare agency said.The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA)'s Rick Allan said he suspected the giraffe died after hitting its head against an overhead bridge. Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 18:16:32 GMT)

England beat India by 266 runs to secure first Test win in a year
England 569-7dec & 205-4dec; India 330 & 178 Alastair Cooks team level five-Test series at 1-1First Jimmy Anderson, and then Moeen Ali, bowled England to victory in the third Test almost before many of the excellent last-day crowd who turned up had managed to get into the ground, following traffic chaos. About 10 minutes remained of the morning session when the off-spinner Moeen beat the tentative bat of Indias last man Pankaj Singh and hit the stumps.India had offered scant resistance: no heroics on a surface that, as all good cricket pitches should, offered help to the bowlers, spin and seam alike, on the final day. The groundsman at the Ageas Bowl can take a bow for that. Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 12:02:47 GMT)

David Rudisha stays humble after Nijel Amos storms to 800m gold
Olympic champion beaten by rival from Botswana again Amos says Rudisha remains the man to beat over 800m In pictures: all the best athletic images from day eightDefeat did not diminish him. Quite the opposite. At the finish, when the lacerations were sharpest and the wounding deepest, David Rudisha hugged Nijel Amos, the 20-year-old from Botswana, and told him: Well done, my brother. Then he wrapped a Kenyan flag around his back and went on a lap of honour to celebrate his silver medal.If there was disappointment Rudisha masked it with the skill of an actor. He smiled and waved as he received a standing ovation. It wasnt so bad, he sighed, each word soft, tender. I am happy to have a silver medal. Nijel is a tough competitor and he was very good. Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 20:42:29 GMT)

West Ham sign Carl Jenkinson on season-long loan deal from Arsenal
England international is Sam Allardyces sixth summer signing West Ham was always the place I wanted to go toWest Ham have signed the Arsenal defender Carl Jenkinson on a season-long loan.The 22-year-old right-back has been linked with a host of Premier League clubs and decided to move across London for the 2014-15 campaign. Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 20:47:05 GMT)

Eilidh Child wins emotional silver medal at the Commonwealth Games
Child takes silver behind Kaliese Spencer in 400m hurdles In pictures: all the best athletic images from day eightThe Proclaimers catchiest hit has been sung plenty at this Commonwealth Games but never as lustily as when Eilidh Child took silver in the 400m hurdles on Thursday night. A standing ovation of 40,000 clapped and stamped her around her victory lap after the poster girl for this Games won a second Commonwealth medal to add to the one she took in Delhi four years ago.It was not the gold she had hoped for and so Scotlands 20-year wait for that particular metal goes on. But it was the high point of a great night for the home nations women and for a crowd who have proven themselves more than generously inclined towards their southerly neighbours. Childs race was always going to be the main show but the dramatic entrance of young English talent stole several scenes and brought medals galore. Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 20:49:51 GMT)

José Mourinho insists Fernando Torres is staying at Chelsea
Mourinho says Torres, Drogba and Costa will be his strikers Atlético Madrid president rules out move to re-sign TorresJosé Mourinho insists Fernando Torres is to remain at Chelsea next season as one of the clubs three strikers, with Diego Costa and Didier Drogba.His comments came shortly before Atlético Madrids president ruled out re-signing the Spain international. Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 21:21:17 GMT)

Sport picture of the day: Claudia Fragapane flips on the beam
The dark background combined with the spotlight really focuses the viewer's attention on the graceful somersault of Claudia Fragapane as she competes on the beam. The English gymnast took gold in the women's all-round final Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 19:40:00 GMT)

Commonwealth Games 2014: day eight as it happened
David Rudisha shocked by Nijel Amos in the mens 800mEilidh Child takes silver in womens 400m hurdlesAlex Dowsett wins gold in mens individual time-trialGymnast Max Whitlock wins third gold medal of GamesDaniel Keatings wins mens pommel horse gold for ScotlandMedal table: all the latest Glasgow 2014 standings 9.42pm BST The end of the eighth day, then. And this is what the medal table looks like, with three days of competition to go ... 9.29pm BST One last medal weve not reported this evening, and its another gold for England! Sophie Tolchard, Ellen Falkner and Sian Gordon thrashed Australia 22-4 in the final of the womens triples. It was pretty much all over by the third end, with England storming into an 11-0 lead. The bronze-medal play-off between Wales and South Africa was a tighter affair, and certainly more dramatic: the Welsh led 14-10 after 12 ends, but failed to win another shot, the South Africans running out 23-14 victors with a late spurt. Gold for England, silver for Australia, bronze for South Africa, hard luck for Wales. 9.22pm BST Gymnastics, and the result of the mens rings final. Its a Canadian one-two, with Scott Morgan taking gold and Kevin Lytwyn the silver. Good news for the Scots, though, with Daniel Purvis picking up a bronze consolation. 9.19pm BST And so to the final medal to be handed out at Hampden tonight. Its the mens 200m final. Danny Talbot of England gets a huge reception from the Scottish crowd. Hes got half a chance of a medal, though hes got three very fast Jamaicans on his inside: Jason Livermore, Rasheed Dwyer and the favourite, the Olympic bronze medalist, Warren Weir. And indeed its those three who take the glory. Dwyer is the gold medallist, powering clear after the bend, taking the tape in 20.14. Weir taps his pal on the shoulder as they cross the line, offering warm congratulations; the pre-race favourite ran 20.26. Livermore takes bronze in 20.32. Talbot ends the race in seventh in 20.45, while Mosito Lehata of Lesotho crumples to the floor exhausted, after finishing fourth with a national record of 20.36. 9.03pm BST Diving, and news of the womens 10m platform final. All eyes were on the absurdly young Victoria Vincent, of Tom Daleys alma mater down Plymouth way. The 13-year-old prospect had a decent final, ending her first major games in 10th place. But Tonia Couch was the best-placed English diver, finishing in fifth. Meaghan Benfeito of Canada took the gold, from Pandelela Rinong Pamg of Malaysia and Roseline Filion of Canada. Filion is 27, over twice the age of Vincent. A veteran at 27! 8.54pm BST Blessing Okagbare adds 200m to her 100m gold! The silky Nigerian eases to a win in 22.25 seconds. Thats such a smooth run. Less of a run than a glide. But behind her its a success story for the English runners, with Jodie Williams (silver), Bianca Williams (bronze) and Anyika Onuora (fourth) all recording personal bests! Williams and Williams react with a mixture of disbelief and joy, sobbing in each others arms! Theyll be thinking about the 4x100m relay, and a real chance of gold. 8.48pm BST Sheer brilliance from Jazmin Sawyers! Poor old Shara Proctor, youll remember, pulled a muscle on the run-up to her first jump in the womens long jump. The favourite was out before the event had begun. But Sawyers has salvaged the event for the English! With her last jump, she pulled out a season best leap of 6m 54cm, securing an unexpected silver! So close to the gold as well, but Ese Brume had posted a jump of 6.56. Thats a stunning effort. Silver! Christabel Nettey of Canada settled for bronze. 8.40pm BST Hampden has gone off on one! This is marvellous. Imagine if Child had won gold! But, of course, nobody cares. This is more than good enough for the home crowd, and for the athlete herself. Sometimes you lose silver, and sometimes you win silver. Child most definitely won silver. Michael Johnson there, winning back a little moral credit for the BBC. 8.34pm BST Hampden roars! The good, old-fashioned Hampden Roar. But its not quite good enough for Child to claim gold. Spencer tears clear from the 200m mark, and shes never going to be caught. Sheer brilliance from the world number one, who takes the tape at 54.10 seconds. But the home hero picks up the second silver medal of her Commonwealth career, adding to the one she won in Delhi. At the end of a brilliant race, 55.02, Child raises both hands to the air. She drapes herself in the saltire, and enjoys a lap of honour. The crowd might be enjoying it even more. The PA blast out the new Scottish national anthem, Im Gonna Be 500 Miles by the Proclaimers. Walking 500 miles? At the 400m hurdles? And the Proclaimers a pair of Hibs fans too. Is this appropriate?! 8.28pm BST 400m hurdles: the main event. Its the one Hampden has been waiting for: the womens final! Eilidh Child isnt the favourite - thats Kaliese Spencer of Jamaica, who has won all nine of the races the two have competed - but hopes are nevertheless high. A tense atmosphere as the Heart of Midlothian fanatic waits for her moment of destiny. And then off goes that roof again! She waves to the crowd as her name is called, appreciative though rather uncomfortable, as she doesnt want to step out of The Zone. And then, bang! Theyre off! Except theyre not, because theres a huge bang elsewhere in the stadium - folk in the discus circle are being blamed - and theyll have to reset. And then, bang! Its the starting gun, and theyre off! 8.23pm BST Its 400m hurdles time! With Eilidh Child hoping to land Scotlands first track gold at the Commonwealths since Yvonne Murrays win in the 1994 10,000m, the mens event is the amuse-bouche as far as Hampden is concerned. Which is not to say the crowd doesnt gie it laldie for the laddies. The big oooh comes when Annsert White of Jamaica clatters to the floor three hurdles from home. Cornel Fredericks hits the front early on and doesnt relinquish the lead, taking gold ahead of Jehue Gordon of Trinidad and Tobago and Jeffery Gibson of the Bahamas. The three medallists are a fair way clear of the rest, but Niall Flannery of England is the best of the rest. If someone said to me at the beginning of the year Id be fourth in the Commonwealths, Id have bitten their hand off! he smiles. The BBC kindly let him finish speaking. 8.07pm BST Much respect between Amos and Rudisha. It was awesome, smiled the vanquished Olympic champion Rudisha, when asked about the atmosphere at Hampden. The race was good, but the last 100m I found it a little difficult. Amos was good tonight! Amos responds with an arm around Rudishas shoulder. This gentlemen here will always be the hero of 800m, he tells the nation. Lovely scenes. Or they were until the BBC cut off Amos mid-sentence, having got fed up when the star man Rudisha had stopped talking. Amos has just won the gold, you desperate shower! Give the man his moment, will you?! The BBCs modern habit of concentrating on the big-draw names at the expense of just about everyone else - the Wimbledonisation of their sports output - continues apace. Shabby behaviour. Happily, Amos gives not a flying one, and cavorts off to celebrate his stunning victory with the Hampden crowd. 7.57pm BST A huge semi-sized shock! Rudisha leads at the bell, with Amos sitting on his shoulder. It looks as though hes in control of the race, at the head of the pack as he prefers, but his compatriot Ferguson Rotich gets in his way a little on the final bend, and though Rudisha turns up the power, hes taken his eye off the ball. Amos, coming from third at the turn, burns down the final stretch. Rudisha has a lead, but it becomes clear from a fair distance out that it wont be enough. Amos eats up the yards, zips past Rudisha, and has enough time to extend his arms out to his side in joy, his tongue falling out of his mouth, as he takes the tape! What a run by Amos!1. Amos (BOT) 1:45.182. Rudisha (KEN) 1:45.483. Olivier (RSA) 1:46.03 7.51pm BST The roof comes off Hampden Park again. And the action hasnt even started on this one. Its the mens 800m final, and one of the major stars of the 2012 Olympics, David Rudisha of Kenya, is accepting accolades from a knowledgable crowd. Nijel Amos of Botswana is afforded a rare old roar too, as the only man in the field whos beaten him this year. And theyre off! 7.46pm BST The roof comes off Hampden Park! David Weir, Paralympic legend, has added Commonwealth Games gold to his stellar CV! He absolutely smoked the rest of the field, tearing clear around the final bend and holding his line so nobody could nip by on the inside. He neednt have bothered, because second-placed Kurt Fearnley was a country mile behind. Weir came home in 3:21.67, just over 1.5 seconds ahead of the silver-placed Fearnley. Alex Dupont took bronze. Its a nice feeling, says a deadpan Weir, not particularly excited - because lets face it everyone knew he would romp this - but clearly very satisfied and respectful nonetheless. It was in the back of my mind after 2012. Should I carry on? But this is the reason I carry on. I had never won this before. This is as good as London! The 2014 Commonwealth Games: a bit shit? No. No, I dont think so. 7.38pm BST And now a few tears to mix with the rain. Shara Proctor was a gold-medal hope for the womens long jump, but as she skittered down the treacherous track to take her first leap, something went in her left leg. She pulled up, knowing instantly it was all over before it had even begun. Heartbreaking scenes as she sits on the perimeter fence at Hampden, her hood pulled over her face but the rocking of her shoulders betraying her emotional tumult. Gah. Sports just no damn good sometimes. 7.34pm BST Gold for Australia in the womens 1,500m T54! The unfancied Angela Ballard sat on Diane Roys shoulder until the home straight, whereupon she powered past the Canadian, a perfect tactical burst. Roy had no answer, and Ballard crossed the line in 3:59.20, half a second ahead. For a while, it looked as though Englands Jade Jones would get involved in the gold medal scrap, though she was more than happy to settle for bronze, coming home in 4:00.19. A brilliant race by the 18-year-old Jones, who was beside herself with glee when interviewed by the BBC. Its really unexpected, my first senior medal! she laughed. I didnt realise a medal was in my grasp until I crossed the line! Its incredible. Heavy rain at Hampden, but theres a smile to break through the gloom. 7.24pm BST The men have finished flinging the discus. In retrospect, it was all over when Indian favourite Vikas Shive Gowda pearled a throw of 63.64 metres with his third attempt. Early leader Apostolos Parellis had to settle for silver, 32 centimetres shy of Gowda, while Jason Morgan of Jamaica powered his way to bronze with a throw of 62.34m. 7.19pm BST Drama in the semi-finals of the womens 800m, and its both bad and good news for the home support. In the second heat, Scotlands Emily Dudgeon was pipped for third place by Nikki Hamblin, right on the line. Her fourth spot was no good for qualification, as the first heat was faster, but that meant Dudgeons compatriot Lynsey Sharp - who appeared to have left it far too late in her run - scraped into the final, along with Jenny Meadows of England. Eunice Jepkoech Sum of Kenya was the fastest qualifier for tomorrows final, while Jessica Judd won the other race. 7.13pm BST More breaking news! Someone has not only been reading, but also concentrating, on this blog. I know! Back around lunchtime, at 1.32pm to be precise, this report posed the following esoteric question:Chris Boardman has just described part of Glasgows time-trial circuit as a false flat. Jonathan Wilson has got a lot to answer for. What next? An inside-out rider? 6.52pm BST That medal table makes for some interesting reading. There are only three more days of these Games after this one, and England are currently leading the way. Australia will want to pull their collective finger out, as theyve been the leading nation at the last six Games. The last time they failed to go home with the most gold medals of any nation was the last time the Games were held in Scotland: Edinburgh XIII in 1986. 6.43pm BST A picture of Englands latest gold medallist, Rebecca Downie, being about her business on the uneven bars ... 6.33pm BST Breaking news: its raining in Glasgow. At a wet Hampden Park, the strapping competitors in the final of the mens discus are furiously towelling themselves down. Hot in here. The home hope Angus McInroy hasnt started particularly well, his first throw landing 53.33 metres away, in tenth place out of 12. Carl Myerscough of Blackpool has thrown 58.17m, but hes way down a field led early doors by Apostolos Parellis of Cyprus and his early fling of 63.32. Apostolos is a more statuesque monicker than Carl, isnt it. I suppose Angus would carry some cachet in the world of Highland sports. 6.12pm BST Gold for England! Becky Downie, who has already triumphed in the team all-around, picks up her second gold of these games! She takes the honours in the uneven bars, pipping Larissa Miller of Australia and Ruby Harrold of England. To channel my inner Isla St Clair, here are the scores on the doors: 14.666, 14.566, 14.366. 6.04pm BST Good evening. The BBC are changing channels at the moment, from their flagship BBC Television Service to the new upstart BBC2. While theyre rolling out their tasteful but not very memorable titles, here are the ones from 1986: 5.43pm BST Well, Im going to head off now but Ill leave you in the more than capable hands of Scott Murray, who will guide you through this evenings events. But before I go, heres a bit of news about a weightlifter who got a bit feisty in the early hours.An Australian Commonwealth Games weightlifter has been ordered to pay £400 compensation to a Welsh athlete after he admitted headbutting him. Francois Etoundi assaulted Gareth Evans, also a weightlifter, in the athletes village on Wednesday morning, Glasgow Sheriff Court heard. The assault followed an earlier verbal exchange between the pair relating to Mr Evans athlete girlfriend. Sheriff Andrew Cubie said Etoundi, 29, had brought the law of the playground into the athletes village, while his behaviour undermines the concept of the friendly games. 5.34pm BST Flower of Scotland quivers through the air as Daniel Keatings receives his gold medal. He looks emotional, as you would I suppose. Its an emotive song, as is Auto Rock by Mogwai. In fact have a listen and then tell me you dont want to run out into the street thumping your chest like a madman in the hope of being given a gold medal in chest-thumping by a random passer-by. 5.21pm BST Mens pommel horse final resultsGold Daniel Keatings (SCO). 5.17pm BST Whitlocks routine is lightning quick but its not a perfect one. His legs brushed the horse and he had to rescue momentum on a couple of occasions. He scores high, 15.966, but not high enough. But well done Keatings. With all the attention on the English gymnasts he came in and played it perfect. 5.14pm BST Now Whitlock attempts to win his fourth gold 5.14pm BST The Scots are throwing everything they have at this pommel horse. Daniel Purvis doesnt put a hand, foot, finger or even fingernail wrong as he finds his rhythm and dismounts perfectly from a handstand. His score of 14.516 puts him in fourth. He loses points as they didnt think it was difficult enough. Unlucky. 5.10pm BST Zi Jie Gabriel Gan of Singapore nails his effort. He doesnt have the most difficult routine but he does it blisteringly quick. He doesnt bother the top three, mind. Hes fourth. 5.08pm BST But he wont win gold! He loses his momentum in the middle of the routine and doesnt manage to get his legs parallel quick enough. He moves into silver place with a score of 14.966. Its not what he would have wanted but he smiles away in any case and looks happy enough. 5.05pm BST Here comes Louis Smith 5.05pm BST Jac Davies brings his A-game too. The Welshmans routine wasnt as difficult as that of Keatings but he nailed it and goes into second place with a score of 14.800. 5.02pm BST The Scot gives it a good go all right. Thats as clean as a whistle and difficult too, the chalk flying up off the handles as he gets his hands in position before grinning like a Cheshire cat as he lands on the mat. He knows that was good. He scores 16.058! The gold could be Scotlands unless Smith and Whitlock do something very special. 5.00pm BST So, after the first two competitors routines Anderson Loran of Canada leads after Clinton Purnell made a mistake on his dismount. Now its Scotlands Daniel Keatings, who gets a huge roar as he prepares to give it a go 4.54pm BST And now for Max Whitlock v Louis Smith in the pommel horse final.Thats a bit disingenuous actually. There are plenty of other brilliant gymnasts in this event, including Scotlands Daniel Keatings and Clinton Purnell of Wales, but its probably going to come down to a spin-off between these two. Smith is the grizzled old-timer (hes 25, kids) and won silver at London 2012 in this event. Meanwhile, 21-year-old Whitlock won bronzein the Olympics and is having a rare old time in Glasgow. Apparently, Smiths got a special move in his locker. Hell go off fifth with Whitlock watching everyone go before him and going last out of the eight competitors. 4.41pm BST So Whitlock will have to win gold in the pommel final now if he hopes to outdo Fragapane. 4.38pm BST Hang about. The 16-year-old, who is off last, lands a score of 14.766 in her first attempt and then follows it up with a wonderful vault to lift her average up to 14.633, enough to edge out Ellie Black from gold-medal position in the womens vault final. Thats her third gold of the Games, having won the All-Round title and Team Event gold earlier in the week. 4.33pm BST Englands Kelly Simm is hanging on for a bronze medal in the womens vault final. Leading the way is Ellie Black of Canada but the events standout moment is surely the vault from Indias Dipa Karmakar, who just landed a leap with a seven-point difficulty. Now, excuse my ignorance, Im no gymnast aficionado, but it was a hugely impressive effort, in which she made three revolutions in the blink of an eye before nailing her landing and earning a score of 15.100 to lift her average score up to second place. 4.13pm BST Youre wondering how the hockey finished earlier on arent you? Well, Australia beat Scotland 5-0 in whats called a good old fashioned thrashing. The world champions will play England in the semi-finals on Saturday. And Englands captain, Barry Middleton, is champing at the bit It should be fun, thats who you want to play in big tournaments. We have set our stall out over the last few years that we want to be in the big games and be in semi-finals. We are consistently making semi-finals with this group of players but we will go out there, give as good as we get, and we have belief in the team that we can beat anyone on our day. 4.09pm BST Medals! 4.02pm BST So thats the third gold medal for Whitlock at these Games. But hes keeping his gameface on for the mens pommel final. I need to keep focused. It gives me a lot of confidence. It makes me chill out with those three medals under my belt. Lets hope we all go clean and have good performances. 3.58pm BST So the medal table is looking pretty healthy, if youre viewing it with English eyes and get excited about this kind of thing 3.48pm BST So thats gold for Max Whitlock (ENG), silver for Scott Morgan (CAN) and bronze for David Bishop (NZL). 3.40pm BST OK, well that moved on quickly didnt it? Perhaps because the cycling ate into the coverage. But the whirling, swirling, leaping, bouncing controlled technique of the 21-year-old from England was far better than any one else. Well done. 3.35pm BST What next? Gymnastics, thats what. And its the mens floor final in which Englands Max Whitlock is the red-hot favourite. While the cycling was going on hes already aced his routine. His score of 15.533 suggests it was near-perfect and also suggests he is destined for gold. 3.25pm BST David Millar, who finished way off the pace, says hes going to look to Sundays road race to try to go out on a high. He said he knew it was going badly for him when the TV motorbike stopped watching him very early on in his effort. 3.22pm BST Alex Dowsett speaks: Yeah, no one wanted that today more than I did. Silver in Delhi and not being picked for the Tour de France. I was really, really angry. And its something special. It is something special. He doesnt sound like it is, mind. Maybe hes just absolutely shot. 3.18pm BST How did he manage that? He made 15 seconds up on Dennis in the final split, winning in a time of 47min 41.78sec. A real gutsy ride. 3.18pm BST Here he comes head down, legs going like the clappers! 3.14pm BST Will Englands Alex Dowsett steal gold? He needs to make up five seconds on Dennis and is putting everything into it. He looks good coming up to the final two corners 3.13pm BST No. Thomas is knocked down to silver by the Australian, who posts a fantastic time of 47min51.08sec, four seconds clear of Thomas. 3.12pm BST Dennis comes around the final corner and grits his teeth before launching himself into the final stretch. Has Thomas done enough? 3.09pm BST Dowsett is five seconds off Dennis in the final split. He hasnt fallen away as you may have expected and still has a chance. Dennis is wafting left and right on his bike as he approached Glasgow Green. It may come down to which man has enough in the tank at the sprint-finish 3.07pm BST Thomas puts his foot down as he comes into Glasgow Green and posts a time of 47min55.82sec. Hes in the gold-medal position for now but will it be enough as Dennis nears the finish? 3.04pm BST At the 32km split Dennis posts 38min33.31sec, giving him a four-second lead over Thomas, who has entered Glasgow city centre and is careering into corners to squeeze every little second that he can out of this course. 3.02pm BST So this looks to be a race for the three medals between Dennis, Dowsett and Thomas. This could be a close finish. 3.00pm BST Dowsett slips into second! He lost six seconds on that part of the course. He really struggled on the undulating roads in the middle section. 2.57pm BST But hang on, Rowan Dennis has eaten into Thomas by seven seconds. Thats a tremendous effort. How will Dowsett fare as he heads for the third split? His body shape looks the part, with very little lateral movement on the bike. 2.55pm BST Geraint Thomas has a 30-second lead after the third split. Hes a long way clear of Jesse Sergent in second spot and has clearly made headway in the exposed part of the course. 2.52pm BST Standings at 17.1kmA Dowsett (ENG) 20min 31.03sec, R Dennis (AUS) +7.12sec, G Thomas (WAL) +10.84sec, J Sergent (NZL) +16.56sec, L Durbridge (AUS) +32sec. 2.50pm BST And Dowsett, who won silver in Delhi, comes through the second split with a seven-second lead. Hes flying out there. Millars not, mind. Hes 50 seconds down. Poor David. 2.47pm BST Australias Rowan Dennis has posted the fastest time at the second split, his blue helmet flying through in a blur at 20min38.15sec, three seconds ahead of Geraint Thomas. The middle section in the exposed countryside will be the big test, however. And theres still Dowsett to come 2.44pm BST Heres the fastest man through the first split 2.39pm BST How the mens time-trial looks after the 6.4km split.A Dowsett (Eng) 8min5.50sec, J Sergent (NZL) +3.59sec, L Durbridge (AUS) +4.71sec, G Thomas (WAL) +7.21sec, R Dennis (+9.77sec) 2.37pm BST So, how will Millar and Englands Alex Dowsett fare in the first split? Dowsett flies through in a time of 8min 5sec, shaving five seconds off Sergent. But Millar is way off the pace, posting 8min 26sec after 6.5km. Its not going to be his day. 2.34pm BST Red-hot hockey update: Its now Australia 3-0 Scotland. 2.31pm BST And off goes the final rider, Scotlands David Millar, who is hoping for a fairytale end to his cycling career in Glasgow. He goes off like a bullet as he heads down towards Gallowgate and out to the East End. Meanwhile, Jesse Sergent of New Zealand has just shaved a few seconds off Thomass time, going through the first split in 8min8sec. Will he carry that through with him though, or was that just youthful exuberance? 2.29pm BST Geraint Thomas has set the fastest time at the first split, posting 8min12:71sec, around five seconds faster than Canadas Svein Tuft. The Welshmans legs are perhaps not as spent as many think. 2.24pm BST Andrew Roche, of the Isle of Man, has just gone off. Its his seventh straight Commonwealth Games. Thats some achievement. Hes 42. Blimey. 2.21pm BST Its still 0-0 between Australia and Scotland in the mens hockey, in case you were wondering. 2.20pm BST Right, some of the bigger names are getting ready to go in the mens time-trial. First, Michael Hepburn, the national time-trial champion of Australia, launches himself down the ramp and off into the Glasgow sunshine towards the city centre. And then its Geraint Thomass turn. The Welshman is an unknown quantity. It all depends whats left in the tank after his 23rd-place finish at the Tour de France, where he burned himself out for Richie Portes cause. But Chris Boardman reckons hes a good tip for gold. So thatll do for me. 2.11pm BST Over at the Glasgow National Hockey Centre, Scotland are taking on the world champions Australia. Theyre currently fourth and need to win by a ridiculous amount of goals to qualify in second place ahead of India, who need to lose. That wont happen. But good luck anyway. 2.04pm BST Janvier Hadi of Rwanda leads the mens time-trial by over 1min 30sec. Well done. His time of 54min 44.18sec is the target for the second batch of riders, who are setting off now. The course has dried somewhat since this morning too, so this group can take more risks on corners to try to shave off some time. 1.47pm BST Gibraltas Julian Bellido is the clubhouse leader in the mens individual time-trial. The reason being that hes the first man to finish. His time is 58min 49.28sec which will be way off what the medal hopefuls will post when they go off later on. 1.43pm BST Hows the medal table looking, you ask? Like this 1.38pm BST The English diver Jack Laugher, who won gold in the mens 1m springboard yesterday, has qualified for the final of the 3m springboard. Take that Jason Statham. Really happy I was able to carry on my good form this morning. Bring on the final! pic.twitter.com/npdvYBkksU 1.32pm BST Chris Boardman has just described part of Glasgows time-trial circuit as a false flat. Jonathan Wilson has got a lot to answer for. What next? An inside-out rider? 1.30pm BST Earlier in the day, in the womens time-trial, Englands Emma Pooley was denied Commonwealth Games gold in the womens individual time trial as her penultimate race ended with silver. Heres the report:On Tuesday, the 31-year-old London-born rider announced her intention to retire after Sundays road race, in which she will support Lizzie Armitstead.Pooley had individual ambitions first in the 29.6km time-trial, which began and finished at Glasgow Green, and led at every time check before finishing in 42min 31.49sec. 1.25pm BST The weather around the Glasgow time-trial circuit looks particularly changeable. Parts of the course are dry and parts of it are gathering puddles as heavy showers break out hither and thither. 1.22pm BST So what are the highlights today? Well, David Rudisha, who spectacularly smashed the 800m world record at London 2012, runs in the 800m final tonight at 7.50pm. The womens diving preliminaries are currently under way but the final will be worth watching tonight at 7.40pm, where Englands Tonia Couch fresh from winning silver in the synchronised 10m platform yesterday will hope to add to her medal collection. She jumps in the 10m platform with Englands 13-year-old Victoria Vincent also through. But for now the mens individual time-trial is what Ill be keeping my eye on, with Scotlands David Millar aiming to win a medal in the final season of his 17-year career. It is probably one of the biggest events of my life, Millar told Andy Bull. Especially where it is in my career. Whether it would mean so much to me if I was 18, well it would still be massively important to me, but I am 37. This is the end. His best chance is in the road race on Sunday. But who knows what extra he may get from riding on home tarmac. He goes off last, at around 2.30pm. Also, keep an eye on Geraint Thomas of Wales. 1.09pm BST Afternoon. Well, what have we got for you today then? Loads of stuff Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 20:42:23 GMT)

Dustin Johnson to take break from golf and seek professional help
Johnson seeking help for personal challenges I have faced World No16 will miss US PGA and Septembers Ryder CupThe US golfer Dustin Johnson is taking a break to seek help for personal challenges and will miss the US PGA Championship, the FedEx Cup play-offs and the Ryder Cup.In a statement on Thursday from Hambric Sports Management, the 30-year-old Johnson said his leave of absence was effective immediately. It did not indicate how long he would be out, though the agent David Winkle told the PGA of America Johnson would not be at the US PGA Championship next week or the Ryder Cup in September. Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 21:12:55 GMT)

Max Whitlock seals floor gold but is beaten on pommel by Dan Keatings
Whitlock wins third gold but loses out in pommel horse to Scot Louis Smith takes bronze before returning to TV commitmentsEnglands Max Whitlock won his third Commonwealth Games gold with the floor title but it was Scotlands Dan Keatings who came out on top in the highly anticipated pommel horse showdown. Whitlock added to his team and all-around gold with honours on the floor before being edged out by Keatings in an epic final which saw the Olympic silver medallist Louis Smith having to settle for bronze.Keatings took the gold after a stunning routine which was awarded 16.058 to see off the challenge of Whitlock, the European champion, and the returning Englishman Smith. Whitlock claimed silver with a score of 15.966 while Smith took away bronze in his first major competition since the Olympics with a mark of 14.966. Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 19:41:02 GMT)

Glasgow 2014: Alex Dowsett turns despair to delight for time-trial gold
Dowsett overcomes gloom of missing Tour de France Margin of victory over Rohan Dennis more than 9secIt should have been a glorious moment for Alex Dowsett, riding through his home county during the third stage of this years Tour de France. Yet with people lining the streets to celebrate, one man was hurting, vexed with rage and drowning in disappointment while he watched from the sidelines.How far away those emotions will feel now after a victory in the individual time trial that must be regarded as one of the more remarkable performances at these Games. Dowsett turned despair to delight and gloom to gold with every gruelling spin of a spoke, upgrading his silver from four years ago to emerge as Commonwealth champion. Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 18:12:08 GMT)

England spinner Moeen Ali gets Alastair Cooks seal of approval
Moeen took eight wickets in third Test against India MS Dhoni hints India will carry fight to spinner at Old TraffordMoeen Ali has been warned to expect an Indian counterattack in the fourth Test at Old Trafford but Englands captain, Alastair Cook, has growing confidence in his ability to cope.His India counterpart, MS Dhoni, argued that his team had been complicit in allowing Englands spin discovery to claim second-innings figures of six for 67, giving him eight wickets in the match and 15 for the series, behind only Jimmy Anderson among the bowlers on both teams. Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 17:03:01 GMT)

Tottenham Hotspur close in on deal for Sporting Lisbons Eric Dier
English defender to move to White Hart Lane for fee of £4m David Hytner: who is the Englishman set to join Spurs?Spurs are close to a £4m deal for Sporting Lisbons England Under-21 centre-half, Eric Dier.Mauricio Pochettino wants the 20-year-old to fire competition in central defence and provide cover at right-back and in defensive midfield. Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 17:35:40 GMT)

Napoli confirm interest in Manchester Uniteds Marouane Fellaini
Chairman says Fellainis hair will complement Gökhan Inlers Together they have a hairstyle like a lions maneNapoli have confirmed their interest in signing the Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini.Fellaini has been at United for only a year, but his future is in doubt following the arrival of Ander Herrera and the pursuit of Kevin Strootman. Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 17:34:04 GMT)

If boxing is reduced to knockout punches what sort of sport is it?
The new US venture, Big Knockout Boxing, is designed to encourage more knockouts, but do we want to support a sport that is set up to give it participants traumatic brain injuries?Boxing, like most combat sports, hardly qualifies for the second part of that descriptor. Its violence with a thin veil of organisation. So it might sound funny that, as a boxing writer, I found the press release for Big Knockout Boxing disturbing.In case you havent been paying attention to the latest developments in futuristic bloodsports, Big Knockout Boxing is a slightly tweaked version of the original Queensberry Rules, developed and owned by US cable company DIRECTV. The aforementioned press release described it thusly:BKB is an aggressive new sport, matching up two fighters who face off in The Pit, a smaller fighting surface that forces more pound-for-pound action than traditional boxing. Shorter, two-minute rounds encourage aggressive punching and reward offensive fighters. Those who prefer a more defensive style of fighting need not apply. Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 12:51:41 GMT)

Luis Suárez could train with Barcelona in two weeks after CAS hearing set
Uruguay forward will present case against ban on 8 August Express hearing will rule on appeal a few days later Gerrard: I told Suárez he was too good for Arsenal Neymar to be 100% fit for new season with BarcelonaLuis Suárez will appear before the court of arbitration for sport on 8 August as Barcelona seek to have the Uruguay forward training with them in little over two weeks.CAS has summoned Suárez to appear at their headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, after it agreed to fast-track the appeal against his four-month ban from all football-related activity for biting Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup in Brazil. The case will be dealt with at an express hearing, with a decision likely just a few days after Suárez and Barcelona present their case. Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 15:15:00 GMT)

Ravel Morrison charged with assaulting ex-girlfriend and her mother
Morrison charged over alleged assaults on Sunday West Ham midfielders case adjourned until 7 AugustWest Ham United player Ravel Morrison has been remanded in custody accused of punching and slapping his ex-girlfriend and assaulting her mother. Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 08:19:08 GMT)

Danny Rose signs new five-year contract with Tottenham Hotspur
England U-21 left-back cemented Spurs place last season Rose will compete for spot with new signing Ben DaviesThe Tottenham left-back Danny Rose has signed a new five-year contract with the club.Rose, who moved to Spurs from Leeds in July 2007, has made 59 appearances for the north London side. Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 15:04:20 GMT)

Mexico player kicks prone Northern Ireland opponent in Under-20 match
Four sent off after Milk Cup match descends into violence Referee blows final whistle early following disgusting scenesAn Under-20 game between Northern Ireland and Mexico had to be ended early after one of the Mexicans appeared to kick an Irish player in the head as he lay on the floor.Three Mexico and one Northern Ireland player were sent off after the Milk Cup Elite game in Coleraine descended into violence towards the end of the second half. Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 11:08:36 GMT)

'Back to the Future holds a place in our hearts' fans finally get their screening
Immersive Secret Cinema film event goes ahead at Olympic park for appreciative audience after a week of delaysThey came in their droves with full skirts, high-waisted trousers and slicked-back hair. This time, they didn't need to come back in the future.Almost a week after Secret Cinema, which puts on large-scale film-viewing events, was forced to delay its most ambitious project yet a "fully immersive" staging of the cult 80s classic film Back to the Future the audience, many resplendent in full 50s costume, were treated to the complete Hill Valley experience without a hitch. Continue reading...
(Fri, 01 Aug 2014 00:05:46 GMT)

Dick Smith: a career in pictures
Dick Smith, the godfather of make-up and winner of an honorary Oscar in 2012, died on Thursday after a career of creating some of Hollywoods best known make-up designs. Here we present a selection of his most remarkable work Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 17:00:41 GMT)

Sew fantastic! Artist Lucy Sparrow fills corner shop with items made of felt
Hand-sewn Guardian newspaper among items for sale in Lucy Sparrow's felt corner shop in Bethnal Green in London In the quiet backstreet's of London's Bethnal Green there is a corner shop with a difference. It stocks all the familiar grocery items you might need: from sanitary towels, to baked beans, to cans of Newcastle Brown Ale and McCain's oven chips. And, of course, it sells copies of the Guardian. The one deviation from the norm is that every single item has been hand stitched from felt. Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 17:50:00 GMT)

Parliament failing to represent UK's ethnic diversity
Commons needs 117 black and minority ethnic MPs to reflect population, but only 27 are not whiteThe three main political parties in the House of Commons are falling woefully short of reflecting the racial mix of their constituents, new research has found.Nearly a fifth of constituents of all Labour MPs are black or minority ethnic (BME), but the parliamentary party is 93.8% white, according to the data. Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 19:00:00 GMT)

Architecture's epic fails: buildings we love to hate
The FBI just announced it will move to a new facility, abandoning the hulking J Edgar Hoover Building in Washington. Here are six other such unsuccessful buildings This week the US government confirmed that the Federal Bureau of Investigation will be moving to a new facility in Maryland or Virginia officially abandoning its hulking J Edgar Hoover Building in Washington, DC. The massive concrete structure on Pennsylvania Avenue now seems set for destruction, as even its few defenders concede that most citizens of DC react to the Hoover Building with unbridled hatred. Yet even unsuccessful buildings are part of our cities history, and part of the pleasure of being a city-dweller is finding buildings that you can love to hate, like these six: Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 18:07:29 GMT)

Kids and Guns review a terrifying look at the heart of American culture
Francine Shaw's documentary targets the relationship children and families in the US have with firearms, highlighting the appalling reality that these lethal weapons are treated like toysFirearms companies in America are marketing guns real guns at children: pink for girls, blue for boys. Incredible, isn't it, in the 21st century? Gender stereotyping like that is so tired and out of date. Let the kids decide what colour guns they want.You could say that isn't the main controversy in Kids and Guns (Channel 4), though. Little Kaylin in Kentucky has been given a .22 rifle for her fourth birthday by her dad JD, who lost his legs and an arm to an IED while serving in Afghanistan. You might have thought that would put him off weaponry. Not one bit; it made him realise his purpose, what he's supposed to do, and that's to teach his little girl everything he knows about guns and hunting. Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 22:05:00 GMT)

Emma Watson joins Twitter laughing protest
Actor Emma Watson shows solidarity with Turkish women posting pictures of themselves laughing in defiance of Turkish politicianProving that laughter is infectious and the best antidote British actor Emma Watson showed Twitter solidarity with thousands of women who have posted mirthful pictures of themselves in defiance of a call by a Turkish politician for women to stop laughing in public.Watson, of Harry Potter fame, tweeted a photograph of herself doubled up in stitches and linking to the Guardian report of the Twitter backlash against Turkish deputy prime minister Bülent Arinç, who said in a speech to mark Eid al-Fitr on Monday that women should be "chaste", know the difference between public and private, and "she should not laugh in public". Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 20:19:23 GMT)

Vin Diesel on Guardians of the Galaxy: 'I didn't realise how much I love trees'
His character, Groot, may not have much to say (three words to be precise) but the star is happy to talk about why he thinks his films are important and why it's a pity Elvis wasn't on Facebook Peter Bradshaw on Guardians of the Galaxy: 'Smart and funny'Twenty-five years ago, Mark Sinclair began work as a bouncer and was asked to change his name. Something tough. So: Vin for Vincent, his stepfather's surname. And Diesel because that's what everyone said he must run off. Even before he got a job that required routine speeding, meting out summary justice at 100mph, pumping easeful machismo in a succession of vests, people detected petrol in his veins.This Friday teatime, Diesel is in need of a transfusion. He staggers into the hotel suite clutching his crotch in pain horseplay with his entourage, he explains then lies on his side on the sofa. And stays that way, like a groggy mole, mildly smiling, eyes squeezed shut or fluttering open. His voice, the bass purr of a 1920s Broadway impresario, is today so deep, so quiet, some of his words stay between him and the whales. Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 15:44:29 GMT)

Toff talking as Made in Chelsea star gives us his unique worldview
Mark-Francis Vandelli, a man who hasn't let his role in a reality show stop him pronouncing on vulgarity, has wise words on Kim Kardashian, bidets and other essential subjects Katie Price fans rejoice: a movie could be imminentThis will doubtless come as a surprise to you, but Lost in Showbiz likes to think of itself as a column possessed of certain standards. Each week, as it trawls the showbiz gossip mags an experience not unlike having your brain slowly pulled out through your anus it chooses to shield you, beloved readers, from what we might call the bottom half of celebrity. You may think the people it covers are hollow, vacuous, pointless signifiers of a world gone desperately wrong, but LiS can tell you: they're like Aung San Suu Kyi and Étienne Klein compared with some of the characters knocking about the pages of Now and Closer: the cast of The Only Way is Essex, the mid-noughties Big Brother contestants stretching out their 15 minutes by any means necessary, the baleful figure of Josie Cunningham, a would-be model whose recent attempt to strike a deal with a pound shop to sell DVDs of her giving birth to a child that she offered to abort if it would get her on Big Brother sadly fell through.But just occasionally, from their serried ranks, there emerges someone so amazing that Lost in Showbiz feels impelled to bend its own rules and share them with you. Which brings us to Mark-Francis Vandelli, star of E4's scripted reality show Made in Chelsea. Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 17:14:57 GMT)

David Sedaris? Who? Oh, you mean the local litter-picker
The US humorist has had a waste vehicle 'Pig Pen Sedaris' named after him in West Sussex. So is he flattered?This week the West Sussex County Times reported that a local resident has been uniquely honoured. "South Downs litter picker has truck named after him," announced the headline, above an article reporting that the truck in question was a waste vehicle, christened "Pig Pen Sedaris" after the litter-picker in question, one David Sedaris."David Sedaris is a familiar and very welcome sight in the lanes and by-ways of this lovely part of Horsham District," said district councillor Diane van der Klugt, "as he tirelessly and painstakingly goes about gathering up the litter so thoughtlessly discarded." In the accompanying picture, the honouree himself is standing alongside the truck. The caption identifies him as "David 'Pig Pen' Sedaris". Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 16:14:00 GMT)

£10 seats announced for Benedict Cumberbatch's Hamlet
The highly anticipated 2015 production, starring the Sherlock actor, will include 100 £10 seats on offer for each performance Benedict Cumberbatch to play Hamlet Before Sherlock and Star Trek: Benedict Cumberbatch on stage in picturesHighly anticipated and now highly affordable: the Barbicans forthcoming production of Hamlet, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, will include 100 £10 seats up for grabs at each performance.The 100 £10 seats will be scattered through the audience and available at every performance during the productions 12-week run next year. Most tickets are priced between £30 and £62.50, before booking fees. Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 12:31:35 GMT)

Is there a Rihanna sex tape? No, it's a malware scam on Facebook
But its not as popular as the fake app pretending to tell you whos been peeking at your profileThere is no sex tape of Rihanna and her boyfriend doing the rounds online. You cant see whos been looking at your Facebook profile. And you cant change your Facebook colour either.This may all sound obvious, but according to antivirus firm Bitdefender, these are the most popular malware scams on the social network in 2014. Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 13:10:19 GMT)

Syrian city of Homs shows signs of life amid moonscape of devastation
Special report: Ian Black finds whispers of normality, stability and a few returning residents in ex-rebel bastion laid siege by Assad forces for two years Adnan Azzam has his work cut out. Every room in his second-floor apartment in the old city of Homs bears the scars of war: theres a shell hole in the corner of the childrens bedroom and drawers are missing from the glass-fronted cabinets in the ornate salon. They were chopped up for firewood by the rebels who occupied the flat, did their cooking on the stairwell and left scorch marks on the whitewashed wall.On the street outside, a poster warns returning residents to beware if they come across any of the many kinds of munitions and weapons mortar bombs, rockets, grenades that were used in the vicious battle for Syrias third-largest city and the capital of the revolution that tried and has failed to topple President Bashar al-Assad. Keep away, do not touch and inform others if you see any of these, it urges. Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 16:34:20 GMT)

A movie miracle: how Hollywood found religion
With almighty ticket sales for Christian films from Noah to Heaven is for Real, 2014 could be the year of the Bible movie but Hollywood and holiness are unlikely bedfellowsFaith films perform a marketing miracleThe Guardians review of Heaven is for RealBig news from the box office: some people released some Christian-themed movies that werent completely terrible. The terribleness of Christian movies is, of course, an article of faith among film critics, who reserve for them their most damning barbs (doesnt even meet the standards of decent propaganda; doesnt belong in a theatre). On Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes, they garner basement-level scores rivalled only by torture porn and holocaust-exploitation flicks. But not this year, which has seen box-office success for studio-backed movies such as Son of God ($67m since its debut in late February), Darren Aronofskys Noah ($359m), Gods Not Dead ($60m), Heaven is for Real ($91m), and, soon Ridley Scotts retelling of the story of Moses, Exodus. In October, we can look forward to Left Behind, a remake of a 2002 end-of-days conspiracy thriller starring Nicolas Cage. Also in the offing: a star-studded cast in the long-awaited prequel to The Passion of the Christ (Mary, Mother of Christ) and a Cain and Abel film set to star Will Smith. Some have christened this year of the Bible movie.Having not just one do so well is a big deal, but having so many Heaven is for Real, Gods Not Dead and Son of God all come along and do well in the space of this year is unprecedented, says Shawn Robbins, an analyst at boxoffice.com. No doubt about it, Hollywood has been caught napping. He attributes a big part of this to social media. Thirty years ago you had network television, trying to appeal to everyone. Now you can reach a niche audience with much greater ease. They have these grassroots marketing campaigns for faith-based movies that start with churchgoers who are looking for something theyre not getting from the movie theatre. And the better they do, the more attention theyre getting from the studios. Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 17:30:16 GMT)

Ebola rages in Africa as west agonises over ethics of vaccine and drug testing
If there are to be vaccines and drugs against Ebola, trials in outbreaks will have to be doneIn 2002, scientists writing in a leading American medical journal discussed the possibility that the Ebola virus could be used in a biochemical weapon. It would be technically difficult and unlikely to cause mass destruction because those infected quickly die and the virus is not as transmissible as many assume. But, the scientists warned, if it could be done, there would be no protection. No vaccine or drug treatment exists.They were writing in the Journal of the American Medical Association in the wake of 9/11 and the subsequent anthrax attacks in New York. Since then, fear of viruses raining out of US skies has diminished and so has any sense of urgency over the development of vaccines or treatment for a disease that manifests itself in unpredictable outbreaks and kills relatively small numbers of people in remote parts of Africa. Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 19:16:57 GMT)

Shared brain activity predicts audience preferences
Similarities in the brain responses of small groups of people may predict the popularity of a product within the wider population.Neuromarketing firms claim that brain scanning technology can be used to evaluate consumers responses to products and predict which ones they prefer, but so far most of these claims are hugely exaggerated. New research published in the journal Nature Communications adding some hope to the neuromarketing hype, by showing that the brain activity shared by small groups of people in response to film clips can accurately predict how popular those clips will be among larger groups. Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 20:45:22 GMT)

Champion sound! When Huddersfield ruled the British reggae scene
Forget big cities such as London and Birmingham. In the 1970s and 80s, this West Yorkshire town was the unlikely capital of UK sound system cultureReggae fans didn't need to go to Jamaica to hear the best music in the 1970s and 1980s. They didn't even have to live in big cities such as London or Birmingham. In Huddersfield, West Yorkshire the hometown of Harold Wilson it was once possible to see international stars performing live at the West Indian Club on Venn Street, or skank the night away to one of 30 or so sound systems from the town."Gregory Isaacs, Burning Spear, Jimmy Cliff, Sugar Minott, Desmond Dekker everybody played at Venn Street," remembers Claston Brooks, aka Danman, who ended up getting a job at the West Indian Club so he could see the gigs for free. "The artists might do one other show in Birmingham or London, but more often than not they would come from Jamaica direct to Huddersfield. They'd stay at the George Hotel, which is still there, play their show and boom, back to Jamaica. Sound systems would come over from Kingston to play Venn Street. That's how big it was." Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 16:34:00 GMT)

Germany: the world's capital of penis enlargement
One in five surgeries takes place in Germany, according to data released by plastic surgeons. Find out what other aesthetic operations are popular worldwideUK cosmetic surgery statistics 2013: which are the most popular?It seems that spam emails inviting men to try increasing the size of their member would be best targeted to addresses ending in .de.According to the latest data release by the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS), there were 2,786 operations estimated to have taken place in Europes biggest country - which is more than in any other nation. Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 10:38:14 GMT)

G-Eazy: 'I never wanted to gentrify hip-hop'
G-Eazy looks like James Dean but makes songs like Drake and he is sick of defending his right to rap. He talks about his love affair with hip-hop, his debt to the hyphy sound and how he built his brand'G-Eazy talks about what it's like to be a white rapper again." He says it under his breath, just as the conversation has come to an end, in a tone halfway between exasperation and resignation. I'd been trying not to ask G-Eazy, born Gerald Earl Gillum, directly about white rappers. But he knew that you might look at the way he's dressed, in his black leather biker jacket with slicked-back hair and sharp cheekbones, and think hang on, this guy looks like James Dean but he's making songs like Drake; isn't that a bit weird? It's not weird to him; he's a rapper and always has been. But the subject hangs in the air all the same."Elvis gone be the face of hip-hop," is how veteran Houston rapper Scarface described it last year, meaning the feeling among the black hip-hop community that, after 30-odd years, their music had become acceptable enough to white America that it could be incorporated completely into the mainstream. That anxiety has been expressed before, when Vanilla Ice's Ice Ice Baby became the first hip-hop song to top the Billboard charts in 1991, or when Eminem became the biggest artist in rap a few years later. But while Ice was a one-hit wonder and Eminem an exceptional talent, there is a case for saying things are different now. After all, it was the pop-rap of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis that won the best rap album at this year's Grammys ahead of Drake and Kendrick Lamar, and it's the pop-dance-rap of the Australian Iggy Azalea, particularly her hit Fancy, that dominates the sound of this summer. Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 16:41:15 GMT)

This means war: why the fashion headdress must be stopped
The Native American headdress is a common sight at festivals. It has also been appropriated by fashion brands and stars such as Pharrell Williams. But many are now fighting back against what they see as a crude act of racial stereotypingThe right to dress like an idiot is a fundamental principle of festival culture, but at this weekend's Bass Coast electronic music festival in British Columbia, Canada, one particular kind of idiot will not be welcome. Last week, the organisers told festival-goers that Native American feathered headdresses, also known as war bonnets, would not be permitted on site. "We understand why people are attracted to war bonnets," they wrote on the festival's Facebook page. "They have a magnificent aesthetic. But their spiritual, cultural and aesthetic significance cannot be separated. Bass Coast festival takes place on indigenous land and we respect the dignity of aboriginal people."The coverage the festival's policy has received is as revealing as the decision itself. Last summer, another Canadian festival, Tall Trees, imposed a similar ban, but it did not become international news. The Bass Coast prohibition arrives just as the headdress issue is approaching a tipping point. Last month, Pharrell Williams swiftly apologised for agreeing to wear a war bonnet on the cover of Elle magazine, while the long-running campaign to change the name and logo of the Washington Redskins football team scored a major victory when the US Patent and Trademark Office cancelled the team's trademarks for being "disparaging to Native Americans". The latest festival headwear trend finds itself on the frontlines of a much broader battle against "redface" stereotyping. Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 16:52:00 GMT)

Didcot demolition: the people behind the falling towers
Didcot As cooling towers fuelled not only power, but controversy and passion. Residents and workers talk about their final dayIt should be later. It shouldnt be happening. It must be over before anyone is awake, before anything happens on the neighbouring railway that once fed it coal, or the web of roads that delivered its workers. Many local people wanted it preserved as a monument, others wanted it destroyed as an eyesore, but everyone wanted to see it go. Hundreds of people marched into the hills, duvets and tents in hand, to watch the explosive destruction of three of the six cooling towers of Didcot A power station early on Sunday morning. Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 10:41:36 GMT)

'Poor doors': not the worst thing about social housing
Separate entrances are nothing new, and the truth is that social housing providers demand them. Oliver Wainwright on why we need to think outside the apartment block to solve this modern-day apartheid"We are not snobs," declares a prim housewife on a 1930s newsreel, stiffly posed on her doorstep, flanked by windows hung with neat net curtains. "But we do not wish our streets to become a perfect bedlam." The camera pans to reveal a 7-foot-high brick wall a stone's throw from her door, built right across the street and topped with iron spikes. It was installed in 1934 by the residents of a North Oxford estate to protect their homes from council tenants, who had recently moved into houses nearby as the result of slum clearance. The Cutteslowe walls were deemed illegal and finally demolished in 1959, but their descendants live on in new segregated communities, with their separate entrances and divided facilities, as a Guardian investigation revealed this week.This divisive tendency is now embodied in its most extreme form in London's slick developments on the City fringe, such as One Commercial Street, a glassy behemoth near Aldgate that has already been nominated for the Carbuncle Cup, the award for the ugliest building of the year. Here, in a modern-day reenactment of North Oxford's apartheid wall, the entrance for lower-income tenants is banished to an alley near the bins, while residents of the luxury private units enjoy a marble-lined, concierge-tended lobby at the front. Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 14:09:00 GMT)

Why Joe just might change Hollywood's bad dad trope
Ever since Gregory Peck's impeccable Atticus Finch, the deadbeat dad has become a staple of cinema. But David Gordon Green's Joe could redeem the flawed father onscreenWARNING: This piece contains spoilers for the film Joe Peter Bradshaw's Joe review Nicolas Cage cuts a brooding figureThe theme of the flawed father-figure runs deep in western cinema perhaps unsurprising given that an estimated third of our children grow up in "broken" homes. Love 'em or hate 'em, "defective" or just plain absent, there's no denying the psychic hold of fathers, that most formative, fundamental of relationships.The film Joe, David Gordon Green's latest offering, belongs to a tradition of American existential cinema begun in the 1950s by Nicholas Ray, and the titular Joe (a bearded Nicolas Cage) to its lineage of father figures haunted by the spectres of alcoholism and violence. The film is a small-town family drama of mythic resonance, akin to a Sam Shepard play shot by Terrence Malick. Like Green's early films, with their rural settings and elliptical storytelling, Joe owes a debt to Malick. There are echoes, especially, of Days of Heaven (in which a young Shepard appeared) in the scenes of working men toiling and at rest, the use of non-professional actors and the accompanying naturalism of the performances, and in a beautiful montage late in the film ( of which more later). Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 09:23:00 GMT)

'The world stands disgraced' - Israeli shelling of school kills at least 15
UN condemns IDF attack on sleeping children as violation of international law Strike on crowded market in Shujai'iya during ceasefire kills 17 Death toll now more than 1,300 after three weeks of fighting Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 06:25:00 GMT)

Greek court acquits farmers who shot 28 Bangladeshi strawberry pickers
'Scandalous' verdict condemned by politicians and anti-racist groups after case that revealed migrant workers' plight Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 00:35:21 GMT)

American media's new pro-Israel bias: the same party line at the wrong time
Evolving conversations on the ground demand probing questions on-air. So why does TV news look like a Netanyahu ad? Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 17:45:06 GMT)

Israeli officer: I was right to shoot 13-year-old child
Radio exchange contradicts army version of Gaza killing Continue reading...
(Wed, 24 Nov 2004 00:02:17 GMT)

UN spokesman cries on camera over Gaza school attack
Chris Gunness says he has no regrets over airing of moment of private grief if it focuses attention on plight of Gazan children Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 15:04:06 GMT)

Indonesian president calls on Australia to explain WikiLeaks gag order
Fresh blow for Australian relations with Indonesia after Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono expresses shock and hurt at naming of his countrys politicians in injunction Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 23:05:01 GMT)

Jonny Evans out to become Manchester Uniteds main man at the back
Playing with Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic benefited me Defender at heart of Louis van Gaals three centre-back system Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 21:30:24 GMT)

The real reason French women have stopped sunbathing topless
According to French Elle, women have stopped sunbathing topless in France. Two French women reveal why they do, and don't, and how little it has to do with health scares Continue reading...
(Mon, 28 Jul 2014 17:45:26 GMT)

Atlanta's Emory University Hospital to receive patient infected with Ebola
The patient is expected to arrive within the next several days, the university said in a statement Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 22:39:38 GMT)

French father put photo of his beaten baby on Facebook 'for a laugh'
Medics in northern France fear month-old baby has suffered brain damage after allegedly being shaken and beaten by father Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 14:06:00 GMT)

UN spokesman Chris Gunness breaks down during interview on Gaza - video
Chris Gunness, a spokesman for the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian refugees, succumbs to his emotions during a live interview with Al Jazeera. Gunness was being interviewed about an attack on a UN school shelter in which at least 15 people, mostly women and children, were killed. Gunness says 'What is happening in Gaza, particularly to the children, is an affront to the humanity of all of us' Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 16:13:45 GMT)

Should police officers be charged with murder in the line of duty?
Most of us accept that the police need to be armed sometimes but when things go wrong the justice system has to respondIts a rough year to be a police officer. Theresa Mays speech to the Police Federation conference in May, telling them it was time to face reality a Tory home secretary leading the attack on the forces of law and order was the climax of a long spell of bad press concerning a generation of policing decisions, stretching back to the years of social unrest under Margaret Thatcher.Mays roll call of dishonour ranged from the investigation into the murder of Stephen Lawrence to Hillsborough and Plebgate. It might also have included undercover policing, newspaper collusion and the policing of the miners strike. As May warned her astonished audience that day, the very model of British policing was at risk. Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 21:28:00 GMT)

To fight Britains privatisation dogma, Labour should look to the US military
State-owned enterprises can be successful, as some unlikely global examples proveSince Margaret Thatcher came to power in 1979 the UK has led the world in privatisation. The Conservative government sold off state-owned enterprises throughout the 1980s and the 1990s electricity, oil, gas, rail, airline, airports, telecommunications, water, steel, coal, you name it. In the worldwide fever for selling off state assets that gripped those decades, the rest of the world looked up to Britain as the guiding example.Privatisation was halted under Labour. However, the belief in the superiority of the private sector was such that, when it brought the rail infrastructure back under state control in 2002 following a series of rail disasters, Labour made sure it did not take the form of re-nationalisation at least in legal terms. Network Rail, the owner and operator of the rail infrastructure, was set up as a private company, although on a not-for-profit basis and without shareholders. Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 17:23:00 GMT)

CIA director John Brennan lied to you and to the Senate. Fire him
Private apologies are not enough for a defender of torture, the architect of Americas drone program and the most talented liar in Washington. The nations top spy needs to goPlus: CIA admits to spying on Senate staffersAs reports emerged Thursday that an internal investigation by the Central Intelligence Agencys inspector general found that the CIA improperly spied on US Senate staffers when researching the CIAs dark history of torture, it was hard to conclude anything but the obvious: John Brennan blatantly lied to the American public. Again.The facts will come out, Brennan told NBC News in March after Senator Dianne Feinstein issued a blistering condemnation of the CIA on the Senate floor, accusing his agency of hacking into the computers used by her intelligence committees staffers. Let me assure you the CIA was in no way spying on [the committee] or the Senate, he said..@CIA broke into Senate computer files. Then tried to have Senate staff prosecuted. Absolutely unacceptable in a democracy.The CIA got hold of the legally protected email and other unspecified communications between whistleblower officials and lawmakers this spring, people familiar with the matter told McClatchy. Its unclear how the agency obtained the material.[J]ust three months beforehand, a major US drone strike had killed 42 Pakistanis, most of them civilians. As well as being widely reported by the media at the time, Islamabads concerns regarding those deaths were also directly conveyed to the highest levels of the Administration by Washingtons then-ambassador to Pakistan, it has been confirmed to the Bureau. Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 21:02:55 GMT)

We must not look away from the crises in Africa
A single photo focused the worlds attention on Sudan in 93. As Gaza and MH17 dominate, Africas horrors remain invisibleIn the photograph a little girl is hunched low, head bent to the ground, ribs jutting out from a too-small body wasting away from starvation. A few feet behind her, a vulture waits, avid and focused, for her to die. When this photograph, taken in southern Sudan in 1993 by the late photojournalist Kevin Carter, was published, the outcry from the public was immediate and visceral. Questions of ethics, and inquiries on how to help, flooded the New York Times. The Pulitzer prize-winning photo riveted the world and directed attention to the devastating famine in the country.As controversial as the picture was, as problematic as it may have been for Carter to shoot it while the young girl sat, helpless prey to a vulture, the image sparked worldwide interest in the famine. People noticed and, suddenly, people cared. Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 17:45:16 GMT)

On green issues, Eric Pickles's actions show he is a petty dictator
From bin collections to windfarms and fracking, the communities secretary and supposed champion of localism has made it clear localism only stretches as far local opinions that he sharesCommunities secretary Eric Pickles, appointed this week as the final arbiter of fracking applications across half of Britain, never misses an opportunity to play the part of the man of the people. Watch him in full flow, as I have, and you will find his speeches stuffed with folksy anecdotes and earthy phrases.My favourite is well-known and from 2010: Its a basic right for every English man and woman to be able to put the remnants of their chicken tikka masala in their bin without having to wait a fortnight for it to be collected. Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 09:04:35 GMT)

Brits abroad, feel no shame! We cant let the Germans spoil our summer
Bild warns its readers of our vodka cough and underwear amnesia. Theres no need to be defensive just pass me a discount cocktail Skinny dipping is not a crime. Dive inThere are few phrases that strike as much fear into the heart of the international community as Brits abroad. Really, its with good reason; as someone who personally suffered through a number of Thomas Cook package holidays in my youth and once visited Malia out of choice as a fledgling adult, I can attest to the fact that even British people feel the fear. My own stand-out memories include licking a Mancunian teenagers neck while dressed in a miniskirt in a bar called The Giant Fishbowl in Greece; and leaning over the balcony at nine years old as my usually sedentary father sprinted down a concrete staircase at 5am, en route to the coveted sun loungers by the pool with six large towels, shouting, with a complete lack of irony, We have to beat the Germans, or its all over. So not exactly delicate sunsets over white sandy beaches on Instagram.Considering that the Germans and Brits have never quite seen eye to eye when sharing holiday destinations, it should come as little surprise that the German newspaper Bild this week ran an article explaining the British tourists of Mallorca to its readership. With stereotypical efficiency, they slagged off Brits on tour through a list of invented diseases: Welsh wandering hands, for instance, as well as vodka cough, underwear amnesia, and my personal favourite Anglo-Saxon rash (the German euphemism for British tattoos). Then there was Prince Harry syndrome the pathological need to constantly undress which as a Tinder user I can reveal is not a quirk the British leave safely behind on the shores of Marbella when they return home. Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 14:05:23 GMT)

Fifty Shades of Grey leaves out all the joy of BDSM
As a professional dominatrix, I tie people up, spank them or humiliate them. Their joy is to submit to me; mine is the power rush of that control Twanna Hines: Fifty Shades of Grey teaches teens kinky sex. Lets teach them firstIm grateful for Fifty Shades of Grey. It is low-grade, escapist smut, filled with misconceptions and wildly inaccurate portrayals of BDSM but as the French dominatrix Catherine Robbe-Grillet has said, it has opened up new possibilities that did not exist before to its female readers. Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 08:27:49 GMT)

Drug-resistant malaria is a disaster. We have one chance to halt it
Only an all-out assault on falciparum malaria in south-east Asia mass dosing of the well and the sick can save millions of children Malaria experts bid to stamp out diseaseAn African mother returns in the evening from the fields where she has been working to find her young daughter has died: the fever started only the day before, and in the morning her child seemed to be coping. Sadly this is a common tragedy. Every day malaria, a parasite of the red blood cells transmitted by mosquitoes, kills more than 2,000 people. Most of these preventable deaths are in young African children.Our two main weapons to fight malaria are insecticides to kill the mosquitoes and drugs to kill the parasites. We are losing both to resistance. In the past few years we seemed to be winning malaria suffering and death have fallen, largely because of amazing drugs derived from Chinese traditional medicine called qinghaosu, or artemisinin. Now, resistance to these medicines has emerged in falciparum malaria parasites (the species that causes most of the deaths) in mainland south-east Asia, and is threatening to spread towards India and Africa. Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 12:31:12 GMT)

Why nothing will dent Vladimir Putins soaring popularity at home
Neither western sanctions nor claims of Russias involvement in flight MH17 influence its citizens, who live on a diet of state propagandaThere is a satirical cartoon doing the rounds online in Russia that depicts a figure slouched in front of a television set, both the screen and the anonymous viewers brain filled with identical swirls of bewildering electronic static. Drawn by Russias finest political cartoonist, Sergey Elkin, it is at once a powerful portrayal of the stupefying influence of Kremlin-controlled TV and an indication of why neither increasingly harsh western sanctions nor international allegations of Russian culpability in the destruction of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 are likely to damage Vladimir Putins soaring popularity at home.Dubbed the zombie box by opposition-minded Russians, state-run TV is perhaps Putins most valuable weapon, a tool for manipulating public opinion without even the pretence of objectivity. Indeed, Dmitry Kiselev, the controversial TV presenter appointed by Putin to head Rossiya Segodnya, Russias main state news agency, has declared media objectivity to be a myth. Russia needs our love, Kiselev told journalists at the Moscow-based agencys headquarters earlier this year. Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 14:44:06 GMT)

Why you should ignore the superlatives on book jackets
Cover blurbs aren't reviews, they're advertisements that offer no space for balanced, nuanced positivityDo you agree? And have you seen any over-the-top examples? Share them in the comment thread belowRecently I was at a literature festival, being interviewed by a man who hadn't had the chance to read my novel. It was fine. These things happen and we muddle through.Unable to draw upon the themes of the work my kindly interviewer took to reading from the cover, attempting to bolster audience appreciation of me by quoting what someone else thought of my writing. He landed on a quote by the author Joe Dunthorne: "Terrific," Joe had said. "Engaging, funny and inventive." My interviewer grinned and asked how such a comment made me feel? Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 07:00:00 GMT)

Driverless cars will ruin the thrill of driving
Being behind the wheel can provide an escape from predictability. Set the autopilot to get you from A to B and that spirit of adventure evaporates Driverless cars get green light in UKLong ago, when I was an occasional contributor to the Erotic Review, the magazine commissioned a motoring special, asking its writers to extrapolate on whatever they deemed to be the most thrilling part of driving. My offering focused on the sensuous delight of moving from third to fourth gear, its heady marriage of gearstick, muscle tension and speed.I thought about that article this week when I heard the news that the driverless car will finally be unleashed on our roads from January. Trials in three British cities will succeed in putting us at the forefront of this transformational technology and opening up new opportunities for our economy and society, the business secretary, Vince Cable, told an automotive engineering research facility in the Midlands. And for all the promise of this technology, for all the excitement of this new era, a little part of me died. Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 09:38:28 GMT)

My Edinburgh festival nightmare: further tales of standups' fringe hell
Lucy Beaumont, Susan Calman, Carl Hutchinson and others survive humiliation in a homemade sandwich board, a hex involving the number two, and being upstaged by a giant rabbit in the audience My Edinburgh standup hell, part onePeople think comedy is tragedy plus time. At my first big Edinburgh festival, it was more like tragedy plus flyering. Two weeks into the run, my fiance came to visit with our dog Kevin. Sanity in Edinburgh comes in the form of visits from the outside world. My fiance and my dog were there to distract me from the world of reviews, backstabbing and chips that is the fringe. He had news for me; unfortunately, it was that he no longer loved me (my fiance, not the dog). I was pretty devastated because it had come from nowhere. I had to continue my run, performing jokes every night about my wonderful fiance. I learnt two things: not only was I fundamentally unlovable, but I also would need to write a new set. I don't know which was more painful. Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 11:18:00 GMT)

The homeless governor: California candidate spends a week in poverty
Republican candidate Neel Kashkari recounts hardest week of my life and blames underclass plight on government intervention The dishevelled figure hauls his backpack through the streets of Fresno by day, seeking work, and by night camps out on benches, counting his last dollars, wondering about his next meal.He encounters the kindness of strangers but otherwise experiences a bleak world of unemployment, poverty and struggle. Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 20:54:27 GMT)

Hozier: The best vocalists I can think of are female
Hozier's breakout hit Take Me to Church was inspired by his first breakup and a lifetime love of Nina Simone"When I first started to sing I just swung at it with an axe," Andrew Hozier-Byrne says, and smiles. He is recalling his early days fronting an eight-piece blues band: 15 years old, with a three-piece brass section and suits too big, playing Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Howlin' Wolf, and Tom Waits covers at local community centres to audiences of baffled teenage goths. "We always stuck out like a sore thumb," he concludes mildly.Still, as a lesson in chutzpah it may now be serving him well. Hozier-Byrne is now better known simply as Hozier, a 24-year-old Irish singer who with the force of a single song has been flung on to an international stage YouTube hits in the millions, sold-out US tours, performances on Letterman and The Ellen DeGeneres Show with more primetime exposure on the way. Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 17:30:00 GMT)

Zhang Tiesheng: from leftist hero to China's latest multimillionaire
Few stories encapsulate China's rush from Mao to the market as well as Zhang's rise from jailed leftist to wealthy businessmanEven after three decades of rapid economic growth and capitalist frenzy, few stories encapsulate China's rush from Mao to the market as well as that of Zhang Tiesheng.The leftwing hero of the Cultural Revolution who protested as a student against "capitalist" exams has become a multimillionaire, Chinese media reported, after the company he co-founded went public. Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 12:41:26 GMT)

The Honourable Woman's Maggie Gyllenhaal on The Daily Show video
The star of Hugo Blick's eight-part Middle East thriller talks to Daily Show host Jon Stewart about the inspiration for the drama, how it has been received in the UK so far and whether it has 'gone too far to one side or the other' in its treatment of the conflict The Daily Show is on in the UK at 00.30am, weekdays, Comedy Central Extra Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 15:03:00 GMT)

Penélope Cruz clarifies Gaza comments: 'I wish for unity, and peace'
Following an open letter in the Spanish press which condemned Israel's military action against Palestinians in Gaza, Penélope Cruz has said she only wanted to promote peaceNews: Cruz, Bardem and Almodóvar denounce Israel over GazaFollowing a strongly-worded open letter in the Spanish press, condemning Israel's military action against Gaza, Penélope Cruz has clarified her comments, saying she was merely trying to promote peace in the region.The letter, signed by Cruz along with her husband Javier Bardem, director Pedro Almodóvar, and a host of other Spanish film personalities, highlighted the "physical, moral, psychological" suffering of Palestinians as a result of shelling from Israel. It also called on the EU to condemn Israel's actions."I don't want to be misunderstood on this important subject. I'm not an expert on the situation and I'm aware of the complexity of it. My only wish and intention in signing that group letter is the hope that there will be peace in both Israel and Gaza. I am hopeful all parties can agree to a cease fire and there are no more innocent victims on either side of the border. I wish for unity, and peace... I believe in a civilization that can be capable of bringing the courage to have a world where humans can live side by side." Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 08:56:44 GMT)

Jon Snow Gaza video backed by Channel 4
Channel 4 reaffirms support for anchors video blog, revealing that it prompted one child to write to UK foreign secretaryChannel 4 has backed Jon Snows unusually direct and emotional online video about the Gaza conflict and revealed that it prompted one child to write to the UK foreign secretary.In the video, published on YouTube on Saturday and the Channel 4 News website the following day but not broadcast on TV, Snow speaks directly to camera about how what he saw in Gaza was still etched in my mind and appeals directly to viewers to take action to stop the conflict. Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 15:36:08 GMT)

Elle Fanning to play Mary Shelley for Wadjda director Haifaa al-Mansour
Pioneering Saudi film-maker has cast the young Maleficent actor as the Frankenstein author in A Storm in the Stars Xan Brooks' review of Wadjda Video interview with Elle Fanning and Alice Englert for Ginger & RosaElle Fanning will play Mary Shelley in the story of the budding author's romance with poet Percy, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Haifaa al-Mansour, the pioneering Saudi Arabian female film-maker whose debut feature film Wadjda was a festival smash two years ago, is on board to direct the period romantic drama, titled A Storm in the Stars.Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin (the daughter of feminist pioneer Mary Wollstonecraft and philosopher/novelist William Godwin), as she was known prior to marrying Shelley, was just 17 when she met her future husband and embarked on a controversial affair with the poet. Percy was married, and remained so for two years until 1816, when his wife Harriet committed suicide. Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 11:30:30 GMT)

Morrissey denies claim that he asked bodyguard to 'hurt' fan
Singer has reportedly taken legal action against a former bodyguard, after Bradley Steyn alleged his employer had asked him to hurt fansite editorThrowing out his own fans has Morrissey finally lost it?Morrissey has denied an allegation that he asked one of his bodyguards, Bradley Steyn, to find and hurt the webmaster of a major Morrissey fan website. Calling the story, originally published on gossip website TMZ a vexatious lie, Morrissey threatened legal action and claimed the matter is in the hands of Los Angeles police.Steyns purported claims were first published by TMZ, who stated that Steyn is suing his former employer. According to Steyn, Morrissey hated the guy who ran Morrissey-solo.com, which he felt invaded his personal life, they wrote. Steyn also claims that Morrissey allegedly asked if there was a way the fan could get hurt, and his tour manager enquired if the fan could be gotten rid of. Steyn claims that after he rejected the overture, he was sacked. On Wednesday, Morrissey responded with a statement on the website True to You. Although he acknowledged that Steyn has worked for him, and that he dislikes Morrissey-Solo, he rejected the alleged plot as an extortion scheme and also said that he had zero personal involvement with the bodyguard. The very idea that I would ask a complete stranger (Bradley Steyn) to physically attack [Morrissey-Solo webmaster] David Tseng surely cannot register with any sane person as being likely, the singer wrote. As mildly irritating as David Tseng may be, he is not someone who troubles me enough to even bother with.Tsengs name was not part of TMZs original story, but Morrissey chose to name the webmaster in his post. The star has been warring with Tsengs site for years wearing a FUCK MORRISSEY-SOLO.COM T-shirt on stage and referring to the page as SoLow. According to Morrisseys statement, he believes that all of the opinions posted on [Morrissey-Solo.com] are controlled or written by David Tseng, and that David Tseng will give maximum and in-exhaustive publicity to anything said in the negative about me.Over at Morrissey-Solo, the singers fans and critics greeted this news with sadness, bemusement and disbelief. Apparently Morrissey doesnt understand the nature of online forums and message boards, one wrote. While owned and moderated by Tseng, the site is peopled by hundreds of individual, often cranky, posters. Today, we are all David Tseng, someone quipped. Great exposure for Morrissey-Solo! added another.Earlier this year, Morrissey cancelled an entire scheduled tour due to a respiratory infection he claimed to have caught from tour opener Kristeen Young. Young replied that she [would not] tolerate these lies, insisting that she had only been suffering from allergies.World Peace Is None of Your Business, Morrisseys first album in five years, was released in July. It is currently at No 12. Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 10:14:23 GMT)

Artist's newsagent shop made entirely from felt looks sew real in pictures
Digestive biscuits, Bisto, Red Stripe, KY Jelly and Mens Health magazine ... Lucy Sparrow has stuffed and stitched them all for her installation The Cornershop. Funded by Kickstarter, the shop contains nearly 2,000 classic groceries; and theyre all for sale The Cornershop will be open at 19 Wellington Row, Bethnal Green, every day in August from 10am till 7pm Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 14:59:54 GMT)

Commonwealth Games 2014: athletics action from day eight - in pictures
Our man was at Ibrox Stadium to train his lens on some of Thursday night's big races Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 22:56:57 GMT)

Akintunde Akinleye's best photograph: the aftermath of a Nigerian pipeline explosion
'Someone had tried to steal oil from a pipeline and it caught light. There were a lot of burnt bodies'I had only been working as a photojournalist for about five years when this explosion happened in 2006. It's a very common problem in Nigeria: people will go out in the middle of the night and burst oil pipelines so they can siphon fuel. In this case, they went behind the sawmill where the pipeline ran and started pumping out the fuel. But there was a spark somewhere When someone told me about the fire, I grabbed a bike so I could get there are quickly as possible. There was a lot of traffic in the way, and the streets were full of people. Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 07:00:00 GMT)

Where does your waistband sit on the Trouser Index?
On the catwalk, waistbands for men are moving up, while one US city is banning sagging trews. Were calling it the Trouser Index - but how low, or high, do you go?Ocala city in Florida has just announced a ban on sagging pants in public. First-time offenders will receive a warning; multiple-offenders could face up to six months in prison and a $500 fine.The ban was non-gender specific, but it raises a point little spoken of since the dawn of Dickies-wearing builders and and Lil Wayne, that people are still wearing their trousers so low that one US city council feels the need to ban the practice. Continue reading...
(Wed, 30 Jul 2014 16:53:48 GMT)

Photo highlights of the day
The Guardians picture editors bring you a selection of the best photographs from around the world including Glorious Goodwood, the Gaza crisis and some hot tiger cubs Continue reading...
(Thu, 31 Jul 2014 13:18:40 GMT)

Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. 2014