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Trump disbands business councils as CEOs flee after Charlottesville remarks
The collapse of the advisory bodies follows seven different corporate leaders stepping down in recent days after Trump’s controversial remarks Donald Trump was forced to disband two White House business councils that were disintegrating around him on Wednesday in the wake of his controversial remarks about the weekend violence in Charlottesville.The Strategic and Policy Forum and the White House Manufacturing Jobs Initiative were both dissolved as corporate leaders continued to resign. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Aug 2017 18:35:36 GMT)

Headteacher hails pupils who took exams as Grenfell Tower burned
Kensington Aldridge academy headteacher ‘proud and inspired’ by students who worked on while the inferno ragedOn the morning of 14 June as the Grenfell Tower inferno raged on, 56 “shellshocked” pupils from the nearby Kensington Aldridge academy, many of whom had fled the fire just hours earlier, filed into a hastily rearranged exam hall to sit AS maths.Today, two months after the tragedy which claimed the lives of at least 80 people including five of their fellow pupils, these teenagers will be among thousands who will wake up and receive their exam results. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Aug 2017 21:00:12 GMT)

FA under pressure to explain £80,000 payment to Eni Aluko after bullying complaint
• Forward complained to FA about culture of bullying and harassment• Aluko alleges manager Mark Sampson made remark with ‘racial connotations’• Independent inquiry found no case for disciplinary action against SampsonThe Football Association is facing questions over why it paid “hush money” to international footballer Eni Aluko after it emerged that a bullying complaint against the England manager, Mark Sampson, included an allegation that he made a remark with “racial and prejudicial connotations” to another player.Aluko, one of England’s most recognisable female footballers with 102 caps, was paid around £80,000 to sign an agreement that the FA claims was to “avoid disruption” ahead of this summer’s Euro 2017. Aluko’s lawyers believe that the agreement she signed prevents her from speaking about it but the FA insists she is now free to talk about the facts of the case. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Aug 2017 16:30:07 GMT)

UK to seek Irish border waivers on customs and food safety after Brexit
Britain reveals plan to ask for exemptions for all small traders and farmers as it pursues goal of avoiding EU border postsBritain will seek a series of waivers for goods and people crossing the Northern Ireland border under new plans that risk creating a “back door” with the European Union after Brexit.The government aims to avoid the need for border posts with Ireland when the UK leaves the EU, an ambitious goal seen as essential to preserving the Good Friday peace agreement. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Aug 2017 22:17:43 GMT)

Sarah Champion resigns as shadow equalities minister
Labour MP wrote controversial article in the Sun saying ‘Britain has a problem with British Pakistani men raping white girls’Sarah Champion distances herself from Sun articleSarah Champion has resigned as shadow equalities minister after a controversial article published in the Sun newspaper in which she wrote: “Britain has a problem with British Pakistani men raping and exploiting white girls.”The MP for Rotherham had initially tried to distance herself from the article, but she said she was concerned her position in the shadow cabinet had become a distraction after it emerged her aides had signed off on the piece. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Aug 2017 15:28:28 GMT)

Amazon stock market value falls by $5bn after critical Trump tweet
President accuses company of ‘doing great damage to tax paying retailers’, leading to ‘many jobs being lost’ – despite own failure to release tax returnsDonald Trump wiped over $5bn off Amazon’s stock market valuation on Wednesday with a tweet accusing the company of “doing great damage to tax paying retailers”.Trump tweeted that “towns, cities and states throughout the U.S. are being hurt - many jobs being lost!” Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Aug 2017 16:15:14 GMT)

Nokia 8 hopes to beat Apple and Samsung with 'bothie', a new version of the selfie
Flagship Android smartphone has dual cameras, spatial audio and aluminium body, but will be relying on brand nostalgia to stand out against rivalsNokia has launched the most important new handset in its attempts to revitalise the once world-beating brand for the modern smartphone era dominated by Samsung, Apple and China’s Huawei.The Nokia 8 marks the culmination of efforts to bring the Finnish telecoms brand back to the mainstream handset market, which kicked off six months ago with the nostalgia-inducing remake of the classic Nokia 3310 feature phone. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Aug 2017 18:45:10 GMT)

Peanut allergy cured in majority of children in immunotherapy trial
Australian researchers hail breakthrough after ‘life-changing’ tolerance persists for up to four years Australian researchers have made a breakthrough in the treatment of peanut allergy in children.A small clinical trial conducted at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute has led to two-thirds of children treated with an experimental immunotherapy treatment being cured of their allergy. Importantly, this desensitisation to peanuts persisted for up to four years after treatment. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Aug 2017 22:35:25 GMT)

Survival of premature babies more likely now than in mid-1990s, study shows
Babies born before the 37th week of pregnancy are also less likely to have severe disabilities, although some risk of delayed development remains Premature babies born in recent years are more likely to survive and less likely to have severe disabilities than those born in the mid-1990s, research has revealed.According to the World Health Organisation, around 15 million babies worldwide are born before the 37th week of pregnancy every year, with premature babies at higher risk of severe disabilities, such as cerebral palsy, as well as a greater chance of delayed development of language and motor skills. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Aug 2017 22:30:14 GMT)

Canadian woman, 84, finds long-lost diamond ring wrapped around carrot
Mary Grams said she probably lost ring pulling large weed from farm in 2004‘They found it when my daughter-in-law was digging carrots for supper’After losing her engagement ring on her family farm more than a decade ago, Canadian Mary Grams resigned herself to the idea she would never see it again. That is, until the diamond ring showed up this week – 13 years after she lost it –wrapped tightly around a misshapen carrot that had been freshly plucked from the garden. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Aug 2017 17:49:45 GMT)

Defenders assemble! The kickass superheroes with no friends and a SuperDonald baddie
What do you get if you mix Daredevil, Iron Fist, Luke Cage and Jessica Jones? Some high-voltage punchfests. But is there more to Marvel’s The Defenders than fights and tights?It’s the third episode of The Defenders and everything is clicking into place. Danny Rand, the impetuous billionaire with a really strong fist, has confronted the evil organisation The Hand. But he’s alone. And even with his well-honed fighting skills, he’s in trouble. Pinned to a table by some martial arts ninjas, Rand’s fate looks sealed. But then the Defenders enter, and the episode – not to mention the series – explodes into life with one of the best fight scenes ever seen in a Netflix Marvel show. And that is saying something.Until now, the show has focused on the individual stories of its four protagonists. Mild-mannered attorney Matthew Murdock, AKA the abrasive-mannered Daredevil, has devoted himself to the law. Private eye Jessica Jones is devoting herself to drinking heavily and not working. Luke Cage has just got out of prison. And Rand, or the Iron Fist, is the only one who has continued his fight against evil. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Aug 2017 15:21:09 GMT)

What’s it like to pull off a DJ set at eight months pregnant? Anna Lunoe explains
Visibly pregnant women are seldom seen on stage, but the Sydney-turned-LA DJ says she never considered stopping“I didn’t even imagine that I would keep DJing pregnant, cos I just didn’t think anybody wanted to see that,” says Anna Lunoe, down the phone from Los Angeles. The Australian-born, US-based DJ has just stopped working for the year, but not before capping off a tour with a set at California’s Hard Summer festival, which saw her climbing the decks while eight months pregnant. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Aug 2017 18:00:09 GMT)

An Inconvenient Sequel review – Trump looms over Al Gore's urgent climate-change doc
New challenges – and a science-dismissing US President – make Gore’s sequel to his 2006 film feel both cinematic and compelling Related: Al Gore: 'The rich have subverted all reason' Eleven record-breaking summers on from An Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore doubles down. Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk’s galvanising documentary accompanies the former US vice-president throughout 2015 and 2016, by which point he had pivoted from touring pro-bono slideshows to addressing the Climate Reality Leadership Corps programme initiated by the first movie’s success. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Aug 2017 15:17:56 GMT)

I don’t mean to ruin your holiday, but Europe hates tourists – and with good reason | Suzanne Moore
Travel opens our eyes to the world – but it also means closing them. We ignore the hordes of people like us, all of whom want authentic tapas and a photo for InstagramYou are not wanted. You are killing the thing you love. You are ruining everything. You are demanding and noisy and you drink too much. You think the locals are pleased to see you, but they are not. You are, in other words, a tourist. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Aug 2017 17:37:07 GMT)

Why James Bond couldn't afford to lose Daniel Craig, a true Hollywood heavyweight
Craig’s sensitive and sometimes scary take on 007 morphed the franchise into a sleek supercar. No wonder its producers were so set on him staying Related: Daniel Craig confirms he will play James Bond again For decades the James Bond series has been the Rolls Royce of British cinema: deluxe film-making that maintains a reputation for excellence, while simultaneously acting as a classy-but-discreet national-esteem enhancer. From its early-60s inception it has been a solid box-office presence and a middlebrow tastemaker – but no one could ever accuse the Bond films of reinventing the wheel. That changed dramatically with the release of Skyfall – aka Bond 23 – which became the highest-grossing film in the UK (until the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens) and the second biggest British film ever worldwide (behind Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2). With its giant box office take, Bond morphed from a Rolls into a supercar: a Ferrari, or a Lamborghini. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Aug 2017 16:03:16 GMT)

Joe Root calls on England players to adapt and thrive with pink ball
• England captain wants team to put aside preconceived ideas about ball• ‘It is important not to look too far into it and have too many theories’Joe Root called on his England players to think on their feet before Thursday’s maiden day-night Test against West Indies at Edgbaston, urging them to put aside any preconceived ideas about how the pink ball will play under floodlights and adapt accordingly.The uncapped Mark Stoneman in place of Keaton Jennings at the top of the order is the one change from the XI who completed the 3-1 victory over South Africa last week and, with the new set of tourists ranked eighth in the world, England’s target will be for a clean sweep in the three-game series, their last Test outings before the winter’s Ashes tour. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Aug 2017 17:05:56 GMT)

Scott Sinclair double inspires classy Celtic to march towards group stages
Celtic will have only complacency to guard against when they make the long trip to Kazakhstan for Tuesday’s Champions League play-off second leg. Their cause in the east end of Glasgow was assisted by two Astana own goals but with five in total to protect them in the return game, their place in the group draw is all but assured. Related: Celtic 5-0 Astana: Champions League play-off first leg – as it happened Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Aug 2017 22:16:00 GMT)

Amateur boxing president Wu’s reign set to end as federations back opponents
• Letters seen by Guardian back Aiba interim management committee• Wu to learn his fate at extraordinary congress in Dubai in NovemberWu Ching-kuo’s controversial 11-year reign at the top of amateur boxing’s governing body, Aiba, looks to be drawing to a close after an overwhelming number of the sport’s biggest nations and federations indicated they backed the president’s opponents in the bitter power struggle that has rocked the sport.Wu, who has been accused of “financial mismanagement” and “collecting substantial funds from Aiba for personal use in his Taipei office” by those trying to depose him, will learn his fate an extraordinary congress in Dubai in November. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Aug 2017 18:00:09 GMT)

Asensio stunner helps Real Madrid brush aside Barça for Super Cup success
• Real Madrid 2-0 Barcelona (agg: 5-1); Asensio 4, Benzema 39• Rivals pile on the misery for BarcelonaThe second leg of the Spanish Super Cup was only four minutes old when a smile stretched across Zinedine Zidane’s face. Real Madrid had just taken the lead, Marco Asensio’s wonderful 35-yard effort dipping past Marc-André ter Stegen, but Zidane did not leap into the air, clench his fists or scream; it was just that smile, appearing easily, almost gently, as if he was not just enjoying this – he had expected it. Already 1-0 on the night, it was 4-1 on aggregate and his team were on course to win the seventh title they have collected in only 18 months under him.By the end, it was 2-0, 5-1 on aggregate, after Karim Benzema added a second past the half-hour. Madrid had the victory, the title and the promise of more, too. Past 1am they paraded the trophy and if the silverware was something to celebrate, the sense of security was another. Such a contrast to Barcelona, who stood and watched them collect it, well beaten. Maybe that had been expressed best in Zidane’s smile. The opening goal had the ingredients to be a surprise but did not feel like one, somehow. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Aug 2017 23:14:29 GMT)

Fight commission allows lighter gloves for Mayweather-McGregor fight
Fighters will wear eight-ounce rather than 10-ounce glovesDoctors express concern about exemption for 26 August boutFloyd Mayweather Jr and Conor McGregor will fight with smaller gloves, though not nearly as small as the ones McGregor is used to wearing.Nevada boxing regulators on Wednesday gave the two fighters an exemption to a rule requiring 10-ounce gloves, approving eight-ounce gloves for the bout, which takes places on 26 August. Representatives of both fighters appeared before the Nevada Athletic Commission to request the waiver. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Aug 2017 18:47:49 GMT)

‘This is what you call persecution’: Ronaldo hits out over five-match ban
• Real Madrid forward’s appeal against five-match ban rejected• ‘It’s impossible to stay quiet in this situation, five matches!’Cristiano Ronaldo has called his five-match ban for pushing a referee “exaggerated and ridiculous” and claims he is being persecuted after failing to have the sanction overturned on appeal.During Sunday night’s Spanish Super Cup 3-1 first-leg victory over Barcelona, in which he had scored, the Real Madrid forward reacted badly after being shown a second yellow for diving by the referee Ricardo de Burgos Bengoetxea, shoving the official in the back. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Aug 2017 18:10:13 GMT)

Suzann Pettersen out of Solheim Cup firing line after suffering back injury
• Norwegian forced out of European team at Des Moines• Pettersen involved in controversy with Alison Lee at 2015 eventThe Solheim Cup has been denied its pantomime villain, in a playing capacity at least. Wednesday’s news that a back problem has forced Suzann Pettersen out of the European team for this weekend’s event in Iowa would be notable enough – she has played eight times in the Solheim Cup – without the colourful backdrop. Related: Solheim Cup 2015: USA roar back to win after bitter row on 17th green Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Aug 2017 19:03:14 GMT)

Everton still need striker despite record Sigurdsson signing, says Koeman
• Iceland international completes £45m move to Goodison Park• Everton manager targets striker to replace Romelu LukakuEverton may have just broken their transfer record to sign £45m Gylfi Sigurdsson from Swansea City but as far as Ronald Koeman is concerned the club still has business to do before the transfer window closes. Related: Gylfi Sigurdsson: tireless perfectionist will be worth the wait for Everton | Stuart James Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Aug 2017 21:49:00 GMT)

Liverpool can play one way and that’s forward, says Simon Mignolet
• Goalkeeper says players knew they had to improve after Watford display• Mignolet saved first-half penalty in Champions League win in HoffenheimSimon Mignolet has said Liverpool are not blind to their defensive flaws and will remedy them thanks to the strength of character within the squad.The Liverpool goalkeeper believes Jürgen Klopp’s team responded well to the Premier League draw at Watford when claiming a valuable win at Hoffenheim in the Champions League play-off first leg on Tuesday. The 29-year-old, who saved a first-half penalty in Germany and produced a fine save to deny Serge Gnabry, admits Liverpool “can only play one way and that is forward” under Klopp. But while the Liverpool manager attracted criticism for the familiar failings that cost his team points at Vicarage Road, Mignolet insists it is the players’ responsibility to improve. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Aug 2017 21:30:13 GMT)

Manchester United reaping early rewards thanks to Chelsea’s unexpected largesse | Paul Wilson
After seeing José Mourinho hijack their Romelu Lukaku deal and letting Nemanja Matic go to Old Trafford, Chelsea have undeniably strengthened a direct rival while weakening themselvesOpinion has been divided on the wisdom of Chelsea selling Nemanja Matic to Manchester United for £40m. There are those who say top teams, especially defending champions, should never sell to direct rivals, and those who believe the money was too good to refuse down for a player who has just turned 29.It is being argued that Chelsea have just signed an upgrade in Tiémoué Bakayoko for the same price, at least a player Antonio Conte regarded as an upgrade in the same position, and at just 22 the promising France midfielder offers many more years of service than Matic, whose sale effectively means the former Monaco player has joined for free. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Aug 2017 13:43:00 GMT)

Manchester City’s £18m bid for Jonny Evans rejected by West Brom
• Pep Guardiola wants to increase centre-back options at the Etihad• Only five men have played for both Manchester clubs in Premier League eraManchester City are targeting West Bromwich Albion’s Jonny Evans in a move that could make the former Manchester United defender only the sixth footballer to represent both Manchester clubs in the Premier League era.Evans, 29, had been identified by Pep Guardiola as precisely the kind of ball-playing centre-back the manager wants to bolster an area of the defence that lacks depth and quality. Guardiola, it is understood, has a firm interest in Evans but saw an £18m bid rejected on Wednesday. If City can prise the Northern Irishman away from West Brom he will be given a chance to compete for a first-team berth. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Aug 2017 19:37:54 GMT)

Danielle Waterman the mainstay as England ring World Cup changes
Full-back will become the only player to start all three pool matches when she lines up against the United States on ThursdayAs England chop and change their side during the defence of their Women’s World Cup crown, one thing remains the same – the presence of Danielle Waterman in the No15 jersey. Team-mates have flitted in and out but England’s hot-stepping full-back is the only ever present in the starting XV for the pool stages, making a third appearance against USA on Thursday.It is testament to the regard in which she is held by the head coach, Simon Middleton, not to mention the form she is in – a highlights reel of some sidestepping runs in the victory over Italy, in which she scored two tries, even led to endorsements on social media to appear on Strictly Come Dancing. And it also means a gruelling schedule, with three matches in nine days before the tournament heads from Dublin to Belfast for the knockout stages. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Aug 2017 16:56:13 GMT)

BBC’s coverage of US PGA was not perfect but criticism has been rough | Ewan Murray
The corporation stepped in to replace Sky at short notice – would it have been better to sit back and allow a blackout?Criticisms of the BBC’s live coverage of the US PGA Championship were as immediate as they were predictable. Peter Alliss, again, was widely described as an anachronism, representing the dated image golf is trying desperately hard to leave behind. That elements of the BBC’s broadcast were only available via red button, or without high definition, was another cause for social media screaming. The slightest gaffe was met with widespread derision and insistence of incompetence.Criticism of the coverage was inevitable from the moment a BBC deal for the Quail Hollow major was confirmed. It was easy to infer minds were made up from as soon as Sky Sports’ loss of the tournament broke. Anything else, surely, was second best. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Aug 2017 14:14:32 GMT)

Sport has always been political – even before Trump came to the party | Marina Hyde
In the wake of Charlottesville, protests against the president and his administration will only get louder and the sporting world is no exceptionOf all the reasons for resigning from Donald Trump’s “American Manufacturing Council” in the wake of the president’s reaction to the Nazi rally in Charlottesville, the one offered on Tuesday by Under Armour chief executive Kevin Plank felt the most wilfully naive. According to the boss of the sportswear firm, he was stepping down because “Under Armour engages in innovation and sports, not politics”.Oh dear. I’m not quite sure what Plank imagined he was getting Under Armour into when he took his seat on Trump’s American Manufacturing Council, but I can’t believe he really is so dim that he thought it was just an American manufacturing council. Furthermore, I can’t believe he doesn’t realise that big-time sport and politics are indivisible. Never mind most of the last century – has he been watching the last few years on tape delay? Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Aug 2017 12:11:41 GMT)

Not selling Virgil van Dijk is our statement, says Southampton chairman
•’It’s about a much bigger picture – a change of course for Southampton’• Holland defender can be accepted by players and fans, argues Ralph KruegerThe Southampton chairman, Ralph Krueger, is adamant that Virgil van Dijk is “not for sale in this window” as keeping the defender is “the statement we need to make”. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Aug 2017 15:54:50 GMT)

Batting the big question mark for West Indies to make series competitive | Vic Marks
They will have the fastest bowlers on show at Edgbaston, but a new batting star will need to emerge if the tourists are going to find the runs to put England under pressureWith uncertainty comes excitement. So it must be a good thing that we don’t quite know what to expect at Edgbaston over the next few days. We do know that the ball is pink, that ticket sales are good and that it might be a good idea to bring a jumper (and maybe a blanket and a balaclava for the final session, which will probably end around 9.30pm every evening). Even better: get an invitation to a swish, warm hospitality box.We are less sure about how the pink ball will behave or how good this West Indies team will be. There has been a rapprochement of sorts between the players and the West Indies board, though that is not obvious from the Test squad selected. While the youngsters in the touring party prepare to do battle with England’s finest in Birmingham (the leg-spinner, Devendra Bishoo, is the only man over 30 in the tour party), the more familiar names are participating in the Caribbean Premier League. Understandably the older players are pondering their pensions. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Aug 2017 12:25:45 GMT)

South Africa confident Amla and Morkel are committed after county links
• Batsman and fast bowler linked to deals in English cricket• Kolpak deal would mean them retiring from South AfricaSouth Africa remain confident that Hashim Amla and Morne Morkel are committed to playing for their country after both were linked with county deals from next year on a Kolpak basis.Were either to sign for counties via the EU loophole, rather than as an overseas player, it would mean their full retirement from international cricket. But a senior source in the South African camp has told the Guardian that they have recently pledged their continuation. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Aug 2017 14:16:46 GMT)

Gylfi Sigurdsson: tireless perfectionist will be worth the wait for Everton | Stuart James
A fee of £45m may seem excessive but the quiet and dedicated Icelander is a set-piece master with a bright football brain and Everton are set to reap the benefits now the transfer saga is finally overIt turned into one of those dreaded transfer sagas, leaving senior figures at Swansea City and Everton exasperated with the snail’s pace of the discussions to the point that even those on the inside became bored with the story, yet confirmation finally arrived on Tuesday evening that Gylfi Sigurdsson was on his way from the Mumbles to Merseyside for £45m.The passage of time – more than a month – has arguably diluted some of the excitement at one end and certainly the level of disappointment at the other. While Everton fans grew tired of waiting and, in some cases, started to question whether Sigurdsson was really worth all that hassle and money, the mood shifted in Swansea once it became clear that the Icelander wanted out and that any significant signings would not be made until the first instalment of the biggest transfer fee in their history had been handed over. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Aug 2017 10:16:31 GMT)

Fall of pound means Tottenham face paying more for Davinson Sánchez by the day
• Ajax’s stance reflects problem faced by Premier ​League clubs since Brexit vote• Dutch club slow down negotiations as pound continues to fall against euroPremier ​League clubs are facing demands for ever higher transfer fees and for players’ wages to be paid in euros because of the collapse in the value of the pound since the Brexit vote.As sterling fell this week to its lowest value since Britain emerged from the financial crash, the consequences for top-flight clubs have been laid bare by the haggling over the future of Ajax’s Davinson Sánchez. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Aug 2017 12:12:41 GMT)

Arsenal taking financial risk by keeping Alexis Sánchez, admits Wenger
• Manager accepts Chilean could leave on a free transfer next summer• Oxlade-Chamberlain and Wilshere will also stay this season, says WengerArsène Wenger says he has made a financial “sacrifice” in deciding to risk losing Alexis Sánchez on a free transfer next summer, with Arsenal’s sporting prospects coming ahead of any off-pitch concerns.Sánchez is likely to depart without a fee unless a new contract is agreed with the club – a situation that Wenger said has not progressed. There has been interest in the forward from a number of other clubs in pre-season but the Arsenal manager has weighed up the pros and cons of retaining him and resolved that the football benefits he brings outweigh any potential transfer fee. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Aug 2017 21:43:00 GMT)

With every sneer, liberals just make Trump stronger | Simon Jenkins
Critics seem obsessed with attacking the president. They would better off reaching out to his supportersDid I tell you Donald Trump is a vulgar, foul-mouthed, meat-faced, 71-year-old redneck buffoon? To be honest, he is a fossil-fuel guzzling, Big Mac-eating, pussy-grabbing, racist dick. He has hubris syndrome with paranoid narcissistic disorder. Do you read his tweets? The English is dreadful. How can a man run the country who is so uncouth, with that hair, those ties, those baggy suits? He is a Ba’athist generalissimo, the president of a banana republic. He is anti-Christ. There. Does that make you feel better?All the above phrases are culled from a brief Google scan on the current American president. They reflect a melange of national shame, liberal trauma, snobbery and class hatred. They extend across the Atlantic and around the world. They assume two things. One is that Trump is so appalling it is inconceivable he could win a second term in office. The other is that deploying the same language as he did to win office is the best way to send him packing. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Aug 2017 18:03:53 GMT)

Steve Bell on the prime minister's visit to the Queen Elizabeth II – cartoon
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(Wed, 16 Aug 2017 19:51:04 GMT)

I was in Charlottesville. Trump was wrong about violence on the left | Jason Wilson
Jason Wilson, who was in Charlottesville during the white nationalist rally, says the record must be cleared: counter-protesters came in peaceDonald Trump said many things over the course of his press conference yesterday. Some of those things cannot be allowed to stand.I was in Charlottesville over the weekend, and Trump’s characterization of the events there is flatly wrong. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Aug 2017 22:09:17 GMT)

The Guardian view on vaginal mesh implants: trust data and patients | Editorial
The devices have benefited a large number of women – but thousands have suffered serious adverse effectsThe numbers tell their own tale. Thousands of women have undergone surgery to have vaginal mesh implants removed after suffering complications. Around one in 15 of those fitted with the most common type of mesh have required operations, according to NHS data obtained by the Guardian. In short, the problems are much more widespread than previously acknowledged. The removal rate was previously estimated at less than 1%.But numbers are not enough. Each case is a woman with a disturbing story; and listening is as important as tallying them. Carolyn Churchill had to give up work after she was left in agony, with persistent bleeding. Yet she said she was made to feel like a baby for complaining. Others describe being left unable to walk or have sex – and of being assured that the implant was not responsible. So even this data under-represents the problem. Women may not be referred for removal, or may decide against it given the risks. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Aug 2017 18:40:38 GMT)

Clarence House should release Prince Charles’s Scottish spider memos | David McClure
What the heir to the throne has to say about teacher training may well be of less import than the issue of secrecy surrounding his correspondencePrince Charles’s black spider memos are now crawling into the realm of Scottish politics. After penning these in his scratchy hand on everything from foxhunting in the English shires to the National Gallery extension in London, the Duke of Rothesay (as he is known north of the border) has turned his quill to matters close to Caledonian hearts: keeping educational standards high.The Guardian revealed on Monday that Scottish ministers have refused to release documents allegedly showing that the prince and his office had lobbied them in 2012 to reform the teacher training system. He was acting on behalf of the charity Teach First, of which he is patron and which now hopes to win a contract for a £1m scheme to fast-track university graduates through a six-week course with on-the-job training, in preference to the full one-year diploma. The charity has already done similar work in England and Wales, where it earns £2,600 for each recruit. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Aug 2017 13:46:51 GMT)

The Guardian view on Donald Trump: beyond the moral pale | Editorial
The US president has gone even further than before in condoning the racist right. He must pay the price, at home and abroadIn his angry and undignified press conference on Tuesday night, Donald Trump deliberately and shockingly crossed the line that separates the acceptable and the unacceptable in the conduct of an elected democratic leader in a multiracial society. Mr Trump must now face the consequences of this momentous and inexcusable decision. Those consequences should include the way that the leaders of multiracial European nations, including Britain, conduct their dealings with the US president from this moment on.On Saturday, Mr Trump had already equivocated between America’s white racists and its anti-racists, after clashes in Charlottesville in which an anti-racist protester was killed by a car driven by a neo-Nazi activist. Mr Trump’s evasions drew widespread and instant condemnation, not least from within his own party. On Monday, he then read out a statement, clearly written by others, that sought to repair the damage. But the very next day, speaking with his own voice, he trashed his own retraction. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Aug 2017 18:46:55 GMT)

The fallout from Trump closing down his advisory panels is just beginning | Nils Pratley
A breakdown in relations between business chiefs and President Trump will damage confidence and hurt share pricesAmerica’s chief executives finally seem to have got the message about President Trump. There is little benefit in trying to maintain sweet relations with a president whose ability to deliver tax cuts is fading by the day. But there is real reputational risk in being the last corporate suit still lending him support.With the bosses resigning in droves from Trump’s two advisory councils, the president was obliged to take matters into his own hands by disbanding both panels. This was done to relieve “pressure” on the business people, he tweeted. But the way events were running, there would have been nobody left by the end of the week. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Aug 2017 19:29:37 GMT)

Trains are too expensive. But transport’s real problem is subsidies for London | Wanda Wyporska
Larger rail and bus subsidies for the capital and south-east mean many on low incomes lose out. The government needs to prioritise transport in poorer areasIf there is one piece of news guaranteed to draw ire from embattled commuters, it is the annual hiking of season rail ticket fares. As anyone forced to endure the nightmarish vagaries of public transport can attest, whatever the cost of a seat (if you’re lucky enough to get a seat), commuting on trains that are often overcrowded and late rarely feels like value for money. With price hikes of 3.6% now expected for many – the biggest annual increase in five years, at a time when average wages aren’t going up – there are fresh calls for a freezing of rail fares and nationalisation. Related: Rail users face steepest fare rise in five years as inflation hits 3.6% Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Aug 2017 08:59:24 GMT)

Transitioning from elite sport to the 'real world' can take its toll on mental health | Simon Orchard
Nothing can replace the joy sport brings and establishing a new identity in a world without what had previously defined you is mentally taxingIt was the fictional fashionista, Derek Zoolander, who asked himself, “Who am I?” as he peered poignantly into a puddle that bore his own reflection in the 2001 cult classic Zoolander, only moments after losing the male model of the year award to his arch rival, Hansel.In defeat, he lost his identity. If he wasn’t the best model on the planet anymore, then who the hell was he? The movie jests, but I have seriously asked myself the same question several times in the last 12 months during the “transition”. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Aug 2017 18:00:09 GMT)

A new British identity is key to Brexit’s success. So who do we want to be? | Timothy J Oliver
We need more than just breezy assertions about free trade – the Brexit identity crisis is consuming the entire country, and not helping our standing with the EUThere are a lot of productive ways in which to analyse Brexit – why it happened, how it’s developing, and how it may turn out. One of the most interesting is to look at the idea of an identity to understand both why the process is proving so painful for the UK, and also why the rest of Europe still seems so confused about why the UK is engaging in this process at all. Related: UK government rejects EU claim that its Brexit customs plan is 'fantasy' Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Aug 2017 12:02:43 GMT)

So how does Brexit Britain look to the world now? Urbane but unhinged | Rafael Behr
The country has come to resemble the Hollywood villain whose style and refinement masks the fact that they are completely derangedHollywood recognised long ago that a British accent makes a fine complement to cold-hearted villainy. George Sanders’ laconic aristo-drawl as the voice of Shere Khan in Disney’s adaptation of The Jungle Book is a personal favourite, but the competition is close: James Mason in North by Northwest; Anthony Hopkins in Silence of the Lambs.It works because of the tension between suavity and cruelty. Refined manners are supposed to be the stylistic opposite of violence. So there is something chilling about the polite fanatic. And politeness is integral to Britain’s international brand. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Aug 2017 05:00:30 GMT)

The president of the United States is now a neo-Nazi sympathiser | Richard Wolffe
Donald Trump’s press conference was a grotesque display of empathy for violent racists. At least it united the Republicans in disgust at their presidentDonald Trump the neo-Nazi sympathizer has achieved what Donald Trump the president has singularly failed to do: unite the nation.An immensely fractured country – riven by race, class, culture and politics – finds itself transfixed by one grotesque display of empathy for violent racists. These are the same violent racists whom White House aides previously called, in remarks that Trump read out loudly and very carefully: “Criminals and thugs.” Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Aug 2017 02:37:24 GMT)

Even for child abusers, confessional confidentiality is sacrosanct | Joanna Moorhead
As a Catholic, I fear the call to criminalise priests violates a safe space that embodies the fundamental Christian belief that we can all be forgivenIn the movie I Confess, Montgomery Clift plays a priest who refuses to break the secrecy of the confessional, even though his silence puts his own life on the line. Related: Clergy who fail to report child abuse heard in confession should be charged – royal commission Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Aug 2017 12:37:19 GMT)

Will 2017 be Rupert Murdoch's summer of despair? | Jill Abramson
While the mounting sexual misconduct cases are problematic, the shameful Seth Rich story that Fox propagated could be the coup de grace for the Sky dealJill Abramson is a Guardian columnistIf 2016 was Rupert Murdoch’s summer of discontent, this could be the summer of his despair. It was a little more than a year ago that the Roger Ailes sexual harassment scandal erupted. Then came a cascade of related sexual misconduct lawsuits against various Fox on-air personalities and executives. Ailes died earlier this year.The future of Murdoch’s media empire and his company, 21st Century Fox, could depend on the pending approval of his $12bn takeover of Sky News. But the deal must clear Ofcom, the British regulatory authority over broadcasting. The endemic allegations of sexual misconduct inside of Fox may, justifiably, have caused Ofcom to think twice about approving the deal and giving the Murdochs greater global reach over the news. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Aug 2017 10:00:36 GMT)

Do we really need 200,000 more care home beds? | David Brindle
With more older people living independently than ever, old age should not mean moving in to a care homeDavid Brindle is the Guardian’s public services editorDo we really need almost 200,000 more care home beds over the next 20 years to support Britain’s ageing population? That’s the arresting projection of new research suggesting that the typical 65-year-old can expect to live with significant care needs for two to three years of the rest of their life.The study is one of the biggest of its kind and has been welcomed by Sir Andrew Dilnot, author of the shelved 2011 blueprint for care funding reform, as evidence that spending on older people’s care “will need to increase substantially and quickly”. But what kind of spending should that be? Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Aug 2017 05:55:31 GMT)

Like Taylor Swift, I was groped at work. Men must wake up to the problem | Abigail Edge
Sexual assault at work is often seen as a women’s issue. But the only way to tackle the blame and discrimination it brings is if men speak out tooTaylor Swift’s attorney drew a clear battle line in the Denver courtroom where a jury decided on Monday that former radio host David Mueller had groped the singer during a during a pre-concert meet-and-greet in 2013.“It was an on-the-job workplace assault,” Doug Baldridge asserted, adding that Swift’s management team had reported it to Mueller’s radio station KYGO in order “to protect others”. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Aug 2017 07:30:33 GMT)

The world's challenges can't be solved by so-called heroic leaders
Individualistic leaders such as Donald Trump are utterly misguided – global problems can be solved only through shared, collective leadership John Bryson and Barbara Crosby are co-authors of Leadership for the Common Good: Tackling Public Problems in a Shared-Power WorldLeaders such as the US president, Donald Trump, or Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdoğan may claim they can fix what ails their societies, but the dangers of a “heroic” leadership mode become clearer all the time.The most important problems facing the world, including poverty, climate change and national security, have now expanded beyond the competencies of any single individual, organisation or sector. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Aug 2017 06:20:32 GMT)

To be truly inclusive, universities must help prisoners feel they belong
Universities offer a crucial lifeline to people with convictions, but they could go further in encouraging and supporting their applications and studiesNina Champion is head of policy at the Prisoners’ Education TrustIn the next few days, the news will be full of images of teenagers nervously opening envelopes and jumping for joy at their exam results. It doesn’t feel too long ago I was in their place. Twenty years later, I’m waiting for results again, but this time from students who have had a different educational path to mine – through the prison system. Prisoners’ Education Trust, whose policy team I head, funds prisoners to take courses in subjects and levels otherwise unavailable to them. Amid the despair in the prison system today, with the staffing crisis and increases in violence, drugs, self-harm and suicides, there are some incredibly determined men and women working against the odds to gain GCSE, A-level and university-level qualifications. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Aug 2017 11:14:49 GMT)

Why social capital could be the key to solving America’s overdose epidemic
Researchers are exploring how community, connection and trust could help protect society’s most vulnerable Outclassed: The Secret Life of Inequality is our new column about class. Read all articles hereIn 2016, Louise Vincent lost both her teenage daughter and her right leg. The leg had been injured in a car accident; after doctors failed to treat her pain effectively, she ultimately relapsed into opioid addiction and an infection festered.Her daughter, Selena – who, like her mother, had diagnoses of both addiction and bipolar disorder – died at 19 of an opioid overdose while in rehab. Her mother had sent her away to try to protect her. But the program turned out to be so negligent that it had no overdose protocol or antidote on hand. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Aug 2017 10:00:36 GMT)

Standups on why they quit comedy: 'I have nightmares about having to do it again'
She may be one of the favourites for this year’s Edinburgh Comedy awards, but Hannah Gadsby is about to call time on her career. Here, Gadsby, Patrick Marber, Natalie Haynes and Simon Fanshawe explain why they hung up their microphones‘Comedy’s a joke,” growls Hannah Gadsby, moments into her new show, Nanette. “There’s only so long I can pretend not to be serious.” Nanette has already won the Barry award at Melbourne International Comedy festival and is among the favourites to bag Edinburgh’s top prize, too. So why has Gadsby announced that it is to be her last ever standup show? Related: From scissor attacks to diabetes improv: comedians' weirdest gigs Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Aug 2017 05:00:30 GMT)

Mouthpiece review – bathtub drama pulls the plug on everyday sexism
CanadaHub at King’s Hall, Edinburgh Amy Nostbakken and Norah Sadava play one woman, sometimes at war with each other and sometimes in harmony, in a beautifully performed showA woman struggles to get to the microphone to make a speech and is physically restrained by another who also grabs for the mic but is sabotaged. When these women do open their mouths, they find they have no voice. Related: Edinburgh festival 2017: the shows we recommend Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Aug 2017 16:26:32 GMT)

Fringe views – why politics is yuge at Edinburgh this year
It was once almost a taboo at the festival, but just about every performer this year, from the SNP’s Alex Salmond to an Irish wizard creating a kids’ utopia, wants to talk politics. But when the real world is so extreme, is it all beyond a joke? You can’t move for politics in Edinburgh. Whether it’s a practical guide to democracy for kids, or a big-name politician with more time on his hands than he would have wished for, politics is everywhere.And in Scotland you don’t get much bigger than the Scottish National party’s Alex Salmond, former first minister of the Scottish parliament and, until three months ago, MP for Gordon. Continue reading...
(Tue, 15 Aug 2017 17:39:12 GMT)

DollyWould: Sh!t Theatre's fringe tribute to the country singer and the cloned sheep
Performance artists Louise Mothersole and Rebecca Biscuit are known for their political shows but their latest was designed to be ‘pure fun’The theatrical double-act Sh!t Theatre got their name as a joke. Founders Louise Mothersole and Rebecca Biscuit heard the sort of work they do – performance art combined with theatrical improvisation – described as “just shit theatre”. But the self-deprecating designation caused problems for broadcasters. “The first time we ever appeared on radio,” remembers Mothersole, “it was to talk about a show called Sh!t Theatre Presents Sh!t Theatre, and we were told that we couldn’t say the name of the company or the production. Which obviously made marketing it quite hard.” The duo have since won a Fringe First award at Edinburgh and they received Arts Council funding for their latest project, DollyWould, which is one of the standout shows at this year’s fringe. Applications for public funding must be supported by a mission statement, which, the women admit, was difficult to write in support of DollyWould. Having previously made shows that were documentary based and political – Guinea Pigs on Trial concerned medical research, while Job Seekers Anonymous was about the benefits system – they wanted to create a piece that was “pure fun”, exploring their joint obsession with Dolly Parton, who they admire for her musical theatricality and consider a lesbian icon. Continue reading...
(Tue, 15 Aug 2017 16:00:14 GMT)

The 10 best jokes from the Edinburgh fringe
From infidelity to insomnia and taxidermy … the funniest gags we have heard so far from this year’s standup showsEdinburgh festival 2017: the shows we recommendFrom scissor attacks to diabetes improv: comedians’ weirdest gigsRobert Garnham: Insomnia is awful. But on the plus side – only three more sleeps till Christmas.Dan Antopolski: Centaurs shop at Topman. And Bottomhorse. Continue reading...
(Tue, 15 Aug 2017 14:03:33 GMT)

Palmyra review – smashing fable about power, ego and war
Summerhall, EdinburghThe duo who created Eurohouse shift from comic to tragic in a brilliant piece that reflects on Syria and the breakdown of relationshipsThe woman beside me in the audience has been entrusted with a hammer. From the stage Bertrand Lesca is demanding she hands it over to him. At the back of the stage Nasi Voutsas is imploring her not to do so, his eyes large and frightened like a whipped animal. The atmosphere in the theatre is tense and the anxiety rises as Lesca brings in a third party, Oscar, and asks the woman to give the hammer to him. “But I don’t know Oscar,” says the woman firmly, standing her ground and refusing to pass it over. It’s one of several stunning standoffs in this latest piece by the duo who brought us Eurohouse, a brilliant two-hander that sorrowfully wondered how the founding ideals of the EU have crumbled to the point that Europe’s larger and more economically prosperous states can bully the poorer ones. Continue reading...
(Tue, 15 Aug 2017 11:07:36 GMT)

An Indiana Jones spoof and the destruction of Palmyra – the six best shows at Edinburgh fringe 2017
Six of the best from Edinburgh including Mat Ewins’ barrage of one-liners, a German teacher placement at a secondary school and a transgender journey Pleasance Courtyard Building on the success of her 2016 show about sexism in comedy, the no-nonsense Welshwoman delivers a lean and effective set about a year spent volunteering with vulnerable kids. It doesn’t sound funny, but it really is, thanks to her brusque wit and a high quotient of thoughtful, self-lacerating jokes. BLRead the full review Continue reading...
(Tue, 15 Aug 2017 11:57:50 GMT)

Requiem for Aleppo: 'I couldn't keep watching the news. I had to do something'
A hard-hitting new dance show uses the stories of Syrians to capture the horrors of Aleppo – and the hope that will not dieLast summer, David Cazalet was busy running the cybersecurity firm he had started 18 years earlier, but he found himself increasingly preoccupied and disturbed by the news from Syria. He would watch the 10 o’clock bulletin with mounting dismay. “There was a sense of horror at seeing hospitals being bombed and kids being killed – and then seeing it slip down the news agenda. I had a sense of total powerlessness.”Most people have probably had similar feelings of helplessness when confronted with catastrophic footage from war zones, but Cazalet’s response was unusual. He decided to sit down and compose a requiem, hoping to raise money for Syrian charities from performances. “I couldn’t go on watching the television and seeing Aleppo. I thought I’d like to do something through music and dance. I went to bed every night at 10, got up at four and wrote for three hours.” Continue reading...
(Mon, 14 Aug 2017 17:14:39 GMT)

Javaad Alipoor: 'The response to radicalism is to shut down debate for young people'
In his ambitious Edinburgh show The Believers Are But Brothers, Alipoor invites audiences to experience the world of young disaffected men onlineJavaad Alipoor is interweaving a series of stories that take us from a prison cell in Egypt in 1957 to George Bush’s post 9/11 declaration that, “Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists” and beyond to the war in Syria. Alongside Alipoor on stage, a young man sits hunched behind a screen, typing feverishly on his laptop. Images pop up, taken from Islamic State propaganda sites and 4Chan – one of the haunts of the alt-right and a place where young, disaffected men post pornographic, racist and misogynist material. Related: Edinburgh festival 2017: the shows we recommend Continue reading...
(Tue, 15 Aug 2017 06:00:06 GMT)

John Robins review – painfully funny account of breaking up with Sara Pascoe
Pleasance Courtyard, EdinburghThe standup provides near-constant laughs in a startlingly honest, high-powered show that spares no one – least of all himselfSara Pascoe: LadsLadsLads review – breakup tales from a woman rebornCan things get any worse for John Robins? At Christmas, he was dumped by his partner of four years, Sara Pascoe. She’s now performing a hit Edinburgh show that’s candid to the point of cruelty about their breakup. I’d fear for the man’s wellbeing were his own show on the subject to be eclipsed by hers. Happy to report, then, that it’s every bit as good. Not only is Robins extremely forthright about his emotional wretchedness post-breakup, he’s also consistently, uproariously funny. The two moods don’t contradict, they complement – which is an impressive feat.“My flatmate’s left,” is how he kickstarts this standup cri de cœur. The truth hurts, and Robins needs coping mechanisms: calling her “flatmate”, expressing his feelings in a chirpy cockney accent. The first half recounts his new life in “Grief Mansions”, staring, buying bad furniture (because he can) and itemising the trivial pros and crushing cons (“one-all!”) of no longer being Mr Pascoe. Recollecting that relationship’s petty frustrations, he paints a merciless picture of himself as a neurotic, socially maladroit manchild. “I would leave me too,” he announces, at the show’s emotional nadir. Continue reading...
(Tue, 15 Aug 2017 11:41:28 GMT)

Sara Schaefer: the breakout comic on trashing Trump and bombing on stage
After writing gigs on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, the American standup is heading for the big time via a show at the Edinburgh festival fringeLosing control of your bladder in a grocery store. Being bullied at school for using men’s deodorant. Getting posture problems as a result of walking with a constant stoop to hide your flat chest. These and other harrowingly embarrassing tales are the stock-in-trade of Sara Schaefer, the latest potential US comedy superstar to head to the Edinburgh festival fringe. In recent years, Trevor Noah and Michael Che both played the fringe as near-unknowns before getting their current jobs at The Daily Show and SNL respectively. Schaefer could well be set for similarly great things. Related: Laugh a minute: Edinburgh festival's 2017 comedy lineup Continue reading...
(Tue, 15 Aug 2017 08:00:09 GMT)

Edinburgh festival shows examine mental health – with sticky tape and silliness
After the recent fringe hits Every Brilliant Thing and Fake It ’Til You Make It, a new crop of theatre productions are taking startling approaches to exploring mental illnessAt the 2014 Edinburgh fringe, the trailblazing Every Brilliant Thing – written by Duncan Macmillan and performed by Jonny Donahoe – talked to us about depression in a refreshingly warm, open and honest way. A year later, Bryony Kimmings and Tim Grayburn’s Fake It ’Til You Make It tackled the taboo subject of male depression and was one of a number of fringe shows exploring mental distress. This year there are so many that a new award has been introduced for shows about mental illness. Talking about it, particularly depression, is the new coming out. As Viki Browne says at the end of her show Help!: “Don’t keep it a secret.” Related: Edinburgh festival 2017: the shows we recommend Continue reading...
(Mon, 14 Aug 2017 14:13:11 GMT)

Mark Thomas review – comic gambles on his audience in a lively show
Summerhall, Edinburgh The political comic mixes debate about Britain’s future with confessional memoir in an odd hybrid that solicits contributions from the crowdMark Thomas has called this latest fringe outing The Show that Gambles on the Future, which you’d peg as a reference to Britain’s Brexit vote. It isn’t, or not explicitly. The campaigning comic’s new set (he alternates these days between standup and solo theatre shows) is an interactive affair, soliciting audience proposals for what the near-future holds. Thomas then reads out these written submissions, joking about some, canvassing support for others, and peeling off to perform standup about growing up in south London at the heel of a terrifying dad. Related: Edinburgh festival 2017: the shows we recommend Continue reading...
(Mon, 14 Aug 2017 17:31:14 GMT)

Alex Salmond ... Unleashed review – Edinburgh show is all bark and no bite
Assembly Rooms, EdinburghThe former first minister of Scotland and ex-MP promises a political kiss and tell, but while a convivial host, fails to deliver the goodsWhen the former first minister of Scotland and now ex-MP Alex Salmond announced this last-minute fringe run, it sold out faster than you can say “independence in Europe”. Perhaps punters were seduced by the promise of (as the title runs) “Alex Salmond ... Unleashed”. He’s been promising to kiss and tell, hinting on the Today programme at a story involving – of all things – sado-masochism and Kirsty Wark. Sure enough, the show begins (after a rousing reception from the crowd) with Salmond theatrically removing his tie. He’s buttoned up no more, and we buckle up for juicy gossip from behind the scenes of Scottish and UK politics.But that’s not what we get. Instead, Unleashed is an hour of music, clubbable chat with a special guest, and some reflections on Scotland’s historical ties to Europe. (Each show will have a different theme.) Today’s visitor, greeted with surprise by the crowd, is the “Brexit bulldog”, David Davis – to whom we have to be nice, Salmond instructs us, because they’re pals. If we hadn’t been told, we’d guess from the chummy conversation that follows. Two old guys, two upholstered leather armchairs: think gentleman’s club and you wouldn’t be wide of the mark. Continue reading...
(Sun, 13 Aug 2017 16:29:51 GMT)

Edinburgh festival 2017: the shows we recommend
Plan your viewing with our list of top shows, ordered by start time. This page will be updated throughout the festival Continue reading...
(Tue, 15 Aug 2017 16:57:17 GMT)

Rowdy, rude and darkly funny: Scottish standups at the Edinburgh festival
Scott Gibson returns to the fringe after winning the best newcomer award in 2016. Can Scotland’s comedians triumph again this time?Fringe history was made last year when, for the first time, Scottish performers walked off with both major comedy awards: best show and best newcomer. Native talent had seldom bothered the shortlists previously, and some hope this double whammy might inspire emerging acts to follow where – over the last decade – Frankie Boyle, Susan Calman and Kevin Bridges have sporadically led. Others, better versed in local comedians’ vexed relationship with their home-turf festival, sound a note of caution. “There’ll be comics in Scotland who heard the result and went, ‘Brilliant!’,” said 2016 best newcomer Scott Gibson. “And there’ll be others who say, ‘Well, that’s us for another 25 years!’ That’s how we think, and it’s stupid.” Related: Laugh a minute: Edinburgh festival's 2017 comedy lineup Continue reading...
(Mon, 14 Aug 2017 11:25:06 GMT)

Trumped out: why the fringe can't keep up with 2017
From Trumpageddon to Brexit: The Musical, many would-be topical crowdpleasers at this year’s fringe can’t match the manic pace of real-life news eventsThis would be a bad time to try to hire a blond fright wig from a theatrical costumier. The ones that aren’t being worn, combed forward, by actors playing satirical versions of Donald Trump are, hand-brushed upwards, on the heads of performers sending up Boris Johnson.With thousands of shows on offer at the Edinburgh fringe, audiences are inevitably drawn – before the reviews and prizes come in – to productions with easily graspable themes that can be spread to the like-minded through social media. Continue reading...
(Sun, 13 Aug 2017 05:00:05 GMT)

Skin review – brave attempt to dance gender transition
Pleasance Courtyard, EdinburghDespite past form in translating complex emotion into dance, 201 Dance Company’s attempt to navigate gender-reassignment intricacies feels too tidyThere was a thrill and a buzz around 201 Dance Company when they brought their last production, Smother, to Edinburgh. In telling the stories of two gay men and their community of friends, 201 were staking out significant new ground for hip-hop, proving that the language of street dance was supple and expressive enough to deal with complex character and emotion.With Skin, choreographer Andrea Walker tackles even more demanding material, charting the story of one child’s journey towards gender transition. This is a theme that’s currently blowing through the theatrical zeitgeist, but the challenge of navigating its psychological and political intricacies is a particularly tricky one for pure dance. Continue reading...
(Sun, 13 Aug 2017 10:15:57 GMT)

A-level grades will be fair, UK exam regulator tells students
Ofqual head reassures students they will not lose out this year after 13 A-level subjects changed to new formatEngland’s chief exam regulator has pledged that A-level grades awarded to hundreds of thousands of students on Thursday will be fair, despite the more demanding papers and complaints from pupils about out-of-date textbooks and a lack of practice materials.As sixth-formers across Britain anxiously await Thursday morning’s results – with emails and log-ins replacing the traditional envelope – Sally Collier, head of the exam regulator Ofqual, sought to reassure students that they would not be disadvantaged by being the first to take the revised courses. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Aug 2017 23:01:15 GMT)

BBC accuses Channel 4 of 'cynical move' in Bake Off scheduling clash
Corporation moves The Big Family Cooking Showdown to new slot to prevent ratings war with hit show poached by rivalThe BBC has accused Channel 4 of a “cynical move” by scheduling the return of the The Great British Bake Off against its new cooking programme The Big Family Cooking Showdown, sparking a fresh clash between the broadcasters over the most popular show on British television last year.Channel 4 will air the first episode of The Great British Bake Off since it controversially poached the programme from the BBC on Tuesday 29 August at 8pm, clashing with the slot for The Big Family Cooking Showdown, which started this week on the BBC. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Aug 2017 18:03:43 GMT)

Nathan Outlaw named best UK restaurant in Good Food Guide
Cornish seafood specialist ousts Cumbria’s L’Enclume from top spot, while guide complains of loud music at other eateriesA Cornish seafood restaurant has been crowned the best in the UK in an annual food guide, elbowing Cumbria’s L’Enclume into second place after four years on top.The restaurant Nathan Outlaw in Port Isaac, named after its chef founder and owner, has been awarded the No 1 spot in The Good Food Guide 2018 after notching up a perfect score of 10 for the second year running. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Aug 2017 23:01:15 GMT)

Home evacuated after sinkhole appears in West Midlands driveway
Three-metre wide and 3.65m deep depression in Wednesbury is in area honeycombed by old mine workings A three-metre (10ft) wide sinkhole has opened up beneath a driveway at a house in the West Midlands, and appears to be growing.What began as a small depression underneath the front tyre of the homeowner’s car in Wednesbury, near Walsall, is now 3.65 metres deep. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Aug 2017 19:00:12 GMT)

Lithuanian man pleads guilty to manslaughter after attack on woman
Tautrydas Narbutas hit Albertina Choules, 81, about the head and set her body alight at her Buckinghamshire homeA man has admitted killing an 81-year-old widow and setting her body on fire at her £2m rural home.Tautrydas Narbutas, 24, denied murdering Albertina Choules, whose charred body was found in her garden in Buckinghamshire after she had been hit about the head and set alight. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Aug 2017 20:44:12 GMT)

Learndirect owners still winning government-approved contracts
Learndirect Apprenticeships Ltd, a separate entity created in September 2016, has won contracts to train about 3,000 peopleThe owners of Learndirect are continuing to win government-approved apprenticeship contracts despite their original company failing to meet the government’s minimum standards.The private equity owners of Learndirect Limited, which is expected to be given the lowest possible grade by the education watchdog Ofsted and to lose all its Department for Education contracts, created Learndirect Apprenticeships Limited, which has gone on to win contracts to train about 3,000 people. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Aug 2017 21:27:48 GMT)

Rashan Charles death: coroner delays inquest until June 2018
Cause of young black man’s death remains unknown following adjournment to allow police watchdog to complete investigationThe cause of death of Rashan Charles, a young black man who died after a police chase in London, is still be confirmed, after a coroner set the date of an inquest for next summer.Charles, 20, whose death on 22 July sparked protests and violent clashes with officers in east London, was seen running into a shop on Kingsland Road in Dalston, where he was apprehended by a police officer. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Aug 2017 16:11:04 GMT)

UK car buyers turn to secondhand vehicles
Figures suggesting new car market is cooling could alleviate concerns over credit bubble in motor financeThe British car market is coming under increasing pressure as consumers turn away from buying new models after a squeeze on earnings, favouring secondhand cars instead. Figures show the number of used cars bought using finance increased by 7% in June compared with the same month a year ago, according to the Finance and Leasing Association, which represents about 86% of borrowing against vehicles in the UK. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Aug 2017 15:16:50 GMT)

Officials put dampener on Theresa May's call not to silence Big Ben
House of Commons commission says plans to silence London landmark for renovation work will go ahead despite PM’s objection Parliamentary officials have issued a defiant statement saying plans to silence Big Ben for renovation work will go ahead, after Theresa May criticised proposals to silence the chimes for the next four years.Officials said the decision to stop the bell tolling until 2021 as part of the restoration of the Elizabeth Tower was agreed by three separate parliamentary committees in 2015. MPs were reportedly unaware that this would involve the clock being silenced for four years, double the length of time being taken to negotiate Brexit. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Aug 2017 14:31:36 GMT)

Chloe Ayling alleged kidnap: police arrest brother of chief suspect
Michal Konrad Herba arrested in West Midlands on European arrest warrantPolice investigating the alleged kidnapping of a British model in Italy have arrested the brother of the chief suspect.Michal Konrad Herba, 36, was apprehended by the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) on a European arrest warrant in the West Midlands on Wednesday. He is to appear before a magistrate in London on Thursday. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Aug 2017 14:41:03 GMT)

UK's £3bn aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth arrives in Portsmouth
Theresa May hails 65,000-tonne ship, saying it represents UK’s determination to remain a fully engaged global powerTens of thousands of people have lined the walls of Portsmouth harbour to welcome the UK’s £3bn aircraft carrier, which has berthed at its home port for the first time. Related: HMS Queen Elizabeth arrives in Portsmouth – in pictures Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Aug 2017 10:32:23 GMT)

Downward spiral: dismayed Walnut Whip lovers react to loss of nut
Twitter users cry sacrilege and blame Brexit for downsizing of chocolate treat after Nestlé relaunches it as WhipIt was bad enough when great glacial valleys appeared between the peaks of Toblerone bars, and the shrinkflation fairy spirited away 15% of the Maltesers in each packet overnight. Outrage has now greeted the launch of a new confection: the Whip, which comes without the crowning walnut in name or in the chocolate flesh. Related: Walnut snip: Nestlé cuts nut out of chocolate after prices surge Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Aug 2017 15:41:48 GMT)

Homeless 'hero' in court over Manchester bomb victim thefts
Chris Parker protests his innocence as he is led from dock and remanded in custody after case transferred to crown courtA homeless man hailed as a “hero” for helping victims of the Manchester Arena attack has appeared in court charged with stealing from two of those seriously injured.Chris Parker, 33, pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to two counts of theft on the night of the bomb. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Aug 2017 12:30:16 GMT)

UK pay growth picks up as unemployment rate falls again
Living standards still face squeeze as earnings have failed to keep pace with rising inflationUK pay growth has started to edge up amid signs that the lowest level of unemployment since the mid 1970s may be increasing workers’ bargaining power.Office for National Statistics figures showed that earnings growth in the three months to June was 2.1% higher than in the same period in 2016, and up from 2% in the three months to May and a recent low of 1.8% in April. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Aug 2017 15:48:36 GMT)

Sweden's Fotografiska to open first overseas gallery in east London
Centre for contemporary photography will take ground floor of new building in Whitechapel due for completion in 2018A new photography gallery is to open in the East End of London, the first overseas branch of Sweden’s Fotografiska, founded in Stockholm in 2010.Fotografiska will take the entire ground-floor area of a new building in Whitechapel, close to the acclaimed Whitechapel Gallery, according to an announcement from the property investment company Derwent. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Aug 2017 14:21:51 GMT)

Birmingham seven-week bin strike comes to an end
Unite union reaches resolution with city council after weeks in which rubbish piled up in streetsA bin strike that has caused anger and dismay for almost two months in Birmingham has been suspended.Residents were told their rubbish-strewn streets would be cleared “without disruption” after talks that brought the seven-week dispute to an end on Wednesday. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Aug 2017 11:03:03 GMT)

Men wielding hammers raid London jeweller
Six moped riders smash their way through counter displays at Boodles Knightsbridge showroomA gang of moped riders have raided a luxury jeweller in west London in a smash and grab robbery, police said.Six men dressed in black and wielding hammers were caught on camera fleeing the Boodles store at the junction of Basil Street and Sloane Street in Chelsea on Wednesday by a witness who posted the footage on Twitter. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Aug 2017 11:47:52 GMT)

Department for Education pulls all Learndirect contracts and funding
Move comes after privatised adult training agency accused of paying owners millions despite ‘catastrophic’ decline in standards The Department for Education is to cancel all contracts with Learndirect, the adult training provider that tried to suppress a damning regulator’s report into its poor standards.The Department for Education said on Tuesday that it would withdraw all funding from the organisation, which is responsible for almost 73,000 trainees, by July 2018 and that it had already banned it from taking on new apprentices. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Aug 2017 14:19:52 GMT)

UK needs 71,000 more care home places in eight years, study predicts
Britain faces a worsening social care crisis with people living longer but with substantial care needs, researchers say An extra 71,000 care home spaces are needed in the next eight years to cope with Britain’s soaring demand as people living longer face more health problems, a study has found.New research predicts there will be an additional 353,000 older people with complex needs by 2025, requiring tens of thousands more beds. Continue reading...
(Tue, 15 Aug 2017 22:30:22 GMT)

Britons to throw away £428m worth of barbecue food in August, study reveals
Exclusive: Nearly 12m barbecues in the UK likely to over-cater with food ranging from salads to burger rolls ending up in binsIt’s symbolised by dismal burgers and carbonised sausages served on paper plates with a splatter of ketchup. Yet with the great British summer well under way, Britons are this month set to throw away a staggering £428m worth of barbecue food, research reveals. In August the nation will brave the changeable weather to enjoy nearly 12m barbecues, with people on average either hosting or attending at least two of the seasonal gatherings. The new research from supermarket chain Sainsbury’s shows that hosts typically over-cater to impress friends and family, with more than half (49.2%) putting on a larger than necessary spread. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Aug 2017 09:36:22 GMT)

Kenyan opposition leader to challenge election result in court
Raila Odinga’s decision will ease concerns about further violence after Uhuru Kenyatta declared winner by 1.4m votesThe Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga has said he will go to court over last week’s presidential election results, ignoring calls by some election observers for him to concede defeat to President Uhuru Kenyatta. Twenty-four people have died in violence since the election on 8 August. Odinga’s decision will ease concerns that he may call for demonstrations that could trigger further violence. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Aug 2017 15:24:34 GMT)

Three wildlife rangers killed in attack by violent militia in DRC
Three wildlife rangers at DRC’s Virunga national park were killed this week in an ambush by Mai Mai rebels, bringing this year’s fatalities to eightThree rangers have been killed and another is missing after an attack by violent militia in Virunga national park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, bringing the number of fatalities in the park this year to eight.The park rangers, Charles Paluku Syaira, Jonas Paluku Malyani and Pacifique Musubao Fikirini were murdered on the morning of Monday 14 August during a routine patrol around the park, which is home to critically endangered mountain gorilla. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Aug 2017 14:58:08 GMT)

HBO suffers new leak as another Game of Thrones episode hits web early
The beleaguered cable network has been the victim of another leak. This time, the fault lies with a ‘third-party vendor’ and targets episode sixHBO has suffered yet another leak as the sixth episode of the hit fantasy drama Game of Thrones has leaked online before its premiere on Sunday.“We have learned that the upcoming episode of Game of Thrones was accidentally posted for a brief time on the HBO Nordic and HBO España platforms,” an HBO spokesperson said. “The error appears to have originated with a third-party vendor and the episode was removed as soon as it was recognized. This is not connected to the recent cyber incident at HBO in the US.” Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Aug 2017 15:00:02 GMT)

Two Bush presidents condemn 'racial bigotry' amid Trump backlash
Statement from George HW and W Bush doesn’t mention president by name but marks latest Republican rebuke of his defense of far-right rally in CharlottesvilleRepublicans denounce bigotry after Trump’s Charlottesville remarksFormer US presidents George HW Bush and George W Bush on Wednesday issued a joint statement that condemned “racial bigotry, antisemitism and hatred” as Donald Trump faced a growing backlash over his defence of those who took part in the far-right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Related: The president of the United States is now a neo-Nazi sympathiser | Richard Wolffe Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Aug 2017 15:58:21 GMT)

'Most bizarre dinosaur ever found' is missing evolutionary link – study
Originally classified as a relative of T rex, analysis shows Chilesaurus belongs to a different dinosaurian group, with implications for the dinosaur family tree An unusual vegetarian dinosaur with the silhouette of a flesh-ripping velociraptor, whose fossilised remains were unearthed in southern Chile 13 years ago, is a missing link in dinosaur evolution, researchers have said. A revised assessment of the kangaroo-sized Chilesaurus diegosuarezi , reported in the journal Biology Letters, bolsters a theory unveiled earlier this year that threatens to upend a long-standing classification of all dinosaurs. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Aug 2017 11:18:36 GMT)

Authors voice fury at Russian publisher cutting gay scene from novel
Author VE Schwab ‘devastated’ after discovering a storyline was cut without her permission in Russia, where LGBT books are regularly shrinkwrappedVE Schwab’s Shades of Magic series follows the story of the magician Kell, a “traveller” with the ability to move between four parallel versions of London. Acclaimed and bestselling – in the Guardian it was called “a compelling, swashbuckling read” – the fantasy trilogy features a diverse array of characters, from the gender-fluid pickpocket Lila to the bisexual prince Rhy. However, Schwab was horrified to learn last week that her books aren’t quite so diverse in Russian translations, where her publisher excised a scene about the romantic relationship between two male characters.“The Russian edition of Shades of Magic has been my favourite. This week I learned that they redacted the entire queer plot w/out permission,” she wrote on Twitter to her more than 50,000 followers, describing herself as “positively devastated”. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Aug 2017 14:15:58 GMT)

MH370: satellite images show 'probably man-made' objects floating in sea
Drift analysis of debris reveals new coordinates for potential impact locationAustralia has released satellite images it says show 12 “probably man-made” objects floating in the sea near the suspected crash site of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.Taken two weeks after MH370 disappeared on 8 March 2014, the photos were analysed by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB). Its researchers used drift modelling of the debris to suggest a new potential location for the crash site — a 5,000 sq km (1930 sq miles) area just north of the former search zone. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Aug 2017 06:42:39 GMT)

Buses in Seoul install 'comfort women' statues to honour former sex slaves
Statues installed on five buses with the support of the Seoul mayor – although use of public space to highlight this wartime atrocity has angered JapanBuses serving several routes in central Seoul have acquired a new and highly controversial new passenger: a barefoot “comfort woman”, wearing a traditional hanbok dress with her hands resting on her knees.Appearing on the front seat of buses in the South Korean capital earlier this week, the statues were installed by the Dong-A Transit company as a potent reminder of an unresolved wartime atrocity whose roots lie in Japan’s 1910-1945 occupation of the Korean peninsula. Continue reading...
(Wed, 16 Aug 2017 12:14:18 GMT)

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