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Revealed: one in four Europeans vote populist
Exclusive research shows how populists tripled their vote over the past two decades Continue reading...
(Tue, 20 Nov 2018 14:00:04 GMT)

How populism swept through Europe over 20 years
Populism is spreading across the continent but has different characteristics by region Continue reading...
(Tue, 20 Nov 2018 14:00:04 GMT)

Theresa May heads to Brussels bolstered by failure of Brexiter revolt
Race is on to complete deal before EU summit on Sunday after Rees-Mogg’s ERG fails to muster 48 no-confidence lettersTheresa May will meet Jean-Claude Juncker in Brussels on Wednesday to try to finalise the political declaration covering future UK-European Union relations after attempts by hard Brexiters to remove her ended in humiliation.The prime minister meets the European commission president in the late afternoon in her strongest position since the first part of the Brexit deal was published last week after Jacob Rees-Mogg, the leader of the Tory rebels, conceded that it might take time to call a no-confidence vote. Continue reading...
(Tue, 20 Nov 2018 21:04:50 GMT)

Trump 'stands with' Saudi Arabia and defends crown prince over Khashoggi
President issues extraordinary statement of support and repeats Saudi claim that murdered journalist was ‘enemy of the state’Donald Trump has expressed his unstinting support for Saudi Arabia and claimed there was “nothing definitive” linking Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to the murder of the Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. Related: Trump says US is 'standing with Saudi Arabia' despite Khashoggi murder – live Continue reading...
(Tue, 20 Nov 2018 21:43:11 GMT)

Clement Attlee took in Jewish child refugee who fled Nazis
Exclusive: Paul Willer, who lives in Gloucestershire, was sponsored by Labour leaderClement Attlee, the Labour prime minister whose government founded the welfare state, looked after a child refugee who escaped from the Nazis in the months leading up to the second world war, it can be revealed.The then leader of the opposition sponsored a Jewish mother and her two children, giving them the confidence and authorisation to leave Germany in 1939 and move to the UK. Continue reading...
(Tue, 20 Nov 2018 14:14:44 GMT)

Trump wanted to prosecute Hillary Clinton and James Comey – report
White House counsel Don McGahn wrote a memo to dissuade Trump, noting that potential consequences could include impeachmentDonald Trump wanted to prosecute former election rival Hillary Clinton and ex-FBI director James Comey but was talked out of it, the New York Times reported on Tuesday.The US president told then White House counsel Don McGahn in the spring that he wanted to order the justice department to bring charges against the pair, the Times said, citing two unnamed people familiar with the conversation. Continue reading...
(Tue, 20 Nov 2018 22:32:22 GMT)

Christian parent threatens legal action over school's 'gay pride parade'
Izoduwa Adhedo accuses south London primary of trying to ‘indoctrinate’ her son against her beliefsA London primary school is facing the prospect of legal action after a Christian parent formally complained about a “Proud to be Me” event she claims promoted LGBT lifestyles.Heavers Farm school in South Norwood has strongly denied that it organised a “gay pride parade” earlier this year, but Izoduwa Adhedo claims her son was forced to take part “in an event that goes against our Christian beliefs”. Continue reading...
(Tue, 20 Nov 2018 18:05:02 GMT)

Insulin shortage could affect 40 million people with type 2 diabetes
Millions worldwide may be unable to access the drug by 2030, scientists predict About 40 million people who will need insulin to manage their type 2 diabetes in 12 years’ time will not get it unless access to the drug is significantly improved, according to new research.Diagnoses of type 2 diabetes are soaring worldwide, linked to the obesity epidemic. Not all of those diagnosed will need insulin, which is essential to keep people with type 1 diabetes alive, including UK prime minister Theresa May. But a study in the Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology journal shows that 79 million people with type 2 will need it by 2030 and that half of them will not be able to get it. About 33 million people who need insulin currently do not have access to the drug. Continue reading...
(Tue, 20 Nov 2018 23:30:13 GMT)

Tax 'virgin packaging' to tackle plastics crisis, says report
UK government called on to impose fee on new plastic packaging and offer rebate for recycled productsThe government should introduce a new tax on virgin packaging to revolutionise the recycling system in the UK and tackle the plastics crisis, according to a new report.The study, presented to MPs and industry figures at Westminster on Tuesday evening, calls on ministers to impose a fee on packaging materials and offer a rebate for those products that use more recycled material. Continue reading...
(Tue, 20 Nov 2018 19:00:07 GMT)

Easter Island governor begs British Museum to return Moai: 'You have our soul'
The museum has held one of the most spiritually important statues of the Chilean island’s stone monoliths for 150 yearsThe governor of Easter Island has tearfully begged the British Museum to return one of its famous statues, saying: “Give us a chance so he can come back.”The museum has held the Hoa Hakananai’a – one of the most spiritually important of the Chilean island’s stone monoliths – for 150 years. Continue reading...
(Tue, 20 Nov 2018 18:21:49 GMT)

Taxpayers' Alliance received over £223k in foreign donations
Rightwing ‘grassroots’ group received $286k from US-based donors in the past five yearsA political group that claims to be an independent grassroots campaign representing ordinary British taxpayers has received hundreds of thousands of dollars in foreign donations.The Taxpayers’ Alliance (TPA) has received at least $286,000 (£223,300) from US-based donors in the last five years, including $100,000 originating from a billionaire-founded religious trust incorporated in the Bahamas. Continue reading...
(Tue, 20 Nov 2018 19:19:34 GMT)

Air pollution cuts two years off global average lifespan, says study
Analysis finds toxic air trims lifespans by 1.8 years, making it main threat to human healthAir pollution cuts the average lifespan of people around the globe by almost two years, analysis shows, making it the single greatest threat to human health.The research looked at the particulate pollution produced by the burning of fossil fuels by vehicles and industry. It found that in many parts of the worst-affected nations – India and China – lifespans were being shortened by six years. Continue reading...
(Tue, 20 Nov 2018 15:32:36 GMT)

US and Canada urged to avoid romaine lettuce amid E coli outbreak
Health authorities are working together after dozens affected by contaminated lettuce in both countriesHealth officials in the US and Canada on Tuesday told people to avoid eating romaine lettuce because of a new E coli outbreak.The US Food and Drug Administration said it was working with officials in Canada on the outbreak, which has sickened 32 people in 11 states in the US and 18 people in the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec. Continue reading...
(Tue, 20 Nov 2018 22:02:53 GMT)

Asia Bibi: sentenced to death over a cup of water
Asia Bibi was kept in solitary confinement on death row after being convicted of blasphemy in Pakistan over an argument about a cup of water. Now, after her acquittal eight years later, she is in fear for her life. The Guardian’s Memphis Barker and Harriet Sherwood trace the story back to the original incident on a farm in 2009. Plus: Zoe Williams on why a housing market crash would benefit no oneThe story of Asia Bibi has split Pakistan and brought global attention to the country’s strict blasphemy laws. In 2009, the Christian fruit picker got into an argument with her Muslim colleagues that resulted in her arrest and conviction for blasphemy. She spent eight years on death row before her conviction was overturned in Pakistan’s supreme court, but she remains in protective custody, in fear for her life. The Guardian’s Memphis Barker and Harriet Sherwood join Anushka Asthana to trace the story from the fields of a small village near Lahore to solitary confinement on death row and explain why the case has had such a profound effect on modern Pakistan. Continue reading...
(Tue, 20 Nov 2018 03:00:02 GMT)

Poverty in Britain: a social calamity
As part of his field work for a damning report into poverty in the UK, Philip Alston, the UN rapporteur, visited Newcastle where he found people struggling to negotiate the benefits system and going hungry. He called it a ‘social calamity and an economic disaster’. Plus: John Kerry on how Donald Trump has undermined global institutions The UK government has inflicted “great misery” on its people with “punitive, mean-spirited, and often callous” austerity policies according to a damning verdict from the United Nations poverty envoy.As part of Philip Alston’s fact-finding mission around Britain, the Guardian’s social affairs correspondent, Robert Booth, followed the UN envoy for a day in Newcastle. He found people struggling to cope within a benefits system designed to force people into work with built-in delays to payments. Many have been referred to food banks with some still going hungry. Continue reading...
(Mon, 19 Nov 2018 03:00:17 GMT)

A day of Brexit chaos
Anushka Asthana joins her colleagues in Westminster on a chaotic and extraordinary day in British politics as Theresa May attempted to build support for her Brexit deal while members of her cabinet resigned in protest. Plus: in an exclusive extract from her autobiography, Michelle Obama reveals how she met her husband, BarackTheresa May lost two of her Brexiter cabinet ministers in a frenzied morning at Westminster. Dominic Raab, the Brexit secretary, and Esther McVey, the work and pensions secretary, resigned in protest at the prime minister’s Brexit deal. Anushka Asthana headed straight to Westminster for one of the most chaotic days in British politics in years. The Guardian’s Dan Sabbagh explains how the hard Brexiters are gathering letters of no confidence in a bid to remove May, while the Labour party stands ready to take power if the government collapses and a general election is required. Continue reading...
(Fri, 16 Nov 2018 03:00:51 GMT)

'What England wants, it gets': Brexit deal fails to win over Scottish voters
Few in Glasgow have a good word to say about Brexit, and many feel ignored by Westminster“Is there a deal at all?” asked Mairi McNeil, 65, as she sheltered from a rain shower off Buchanan Street with her husband, William, 66, a retired business analyst.While Scotland’s first minister. Nicola Sturgeon, was meeting opposition leaders in London to discuss a cross-party alternative to Theresa May’s Brexit deal, it was hard to find anyone on the streets of Glasgow with a good word to say about leaving the EU – even among the minority of Scots who voted for the proposition in 2016. Continue reading...
(Tue, 20 Nov 2018 17:59:02 GMT)

Steven Berkoff: who will dare to stage my one-man Harvey Weinstein play?
He’s played baddies in everything from Bond to Beverly Hills Cop. Now he’s tackling the disgraced movie mogul in a self-penned play. The actor-playwright explains why theatre is dying out – along with his enemies’ reputations‘I like evil people,” says Steven Berkoff. “I’m like a surgeon who is happiest when working with a very diseased body.” The actor and playwright, now 81, is explaining why he wants to take the title role in Harvey, his latest one-act play, about a real-life alleged sexual predator called Harvey Weinstein. He’s long been renowned for playing screen villains, from Bond baddie General Orlov in Octopussy to Rambo nemesis Lieutenant Colonel Podovsky. But playing the disgraced movie mogul? That’s something different.“This is a creature,” he says, “who offers freedom, offers to change your life, because once you hear that magic word ‘Action!’ – wow, you’ll be changed from this small, simpering B-movie actress. Suddenly on the screen, you’re touching magic, you become immortal. He’s offering that for just a few minutes in the shower.” Berkoff slips into character, putting on a creepy American accent. “Just let me watch you in the shower, baby. Don’t lift your eyes, honey.” (In the real world, things were the other way round: Weinstein was taped asking a model to watch him shower.) Continue reading...
(Tue, 20 Nov 2018 16:50:27 GMT)

The Christmas ad is broken – time to kill it off completely
Twitter’s John Lewis ad featuring @JohnLewis, and Waitrose parodying Elton John are the latest examples of it all getting a bit too muchIt was the moment it went too far. A family on TV shown fast-forwarding their way through the John Lewis Elton John Christmas advert – only for it to be part of another Christmas ad, for a different part of the John Lewis empire, Waitrose.And it is not the only John Lewis parody out there. In its Christmas ad, Twitter has used @JohnLewis, often described as the most patient man on the internet for the way he deals with people who think he is a shop. Frankly, the Christmas advert is eating itself, and repeating on us worse than the sprouts will on the big day itself. Continue reading...
(Tue, 20 Nov 2018 15:45:08 GMT)

Plantwatch: mind-bending mushrooms have had a good autumn
Bright red fly agaric produce feelings of euphoria – and can cause muscle spasms and comasThis has been a good autumn for fly agaric, the mushrooms with beautiful scarlet caps splashed with splodges of white. They also contain powerful, mind-bending chemicals, muscimol and ibotenic acid, producing dreamy feelings, euphoria and a sense of shrinking or growing huge, made famous for their appearance in Alice in Wonderland.Fly agaric (Amanita muscaria) may also have been an inspiration for Father Christmas in his red and white tunic, flying through the sky in his sleigh with magic reindeer. Less inviting, the mushrooms can also cause muscle spasms and comas. Continue reading...
(Tue, 20 Nov 2018 21:30:10 GMT)

Anti-asylum Orbán makes exception for a friend in need
Hungary appears to have given special treatment to disgraced former Macedonian PMMacedonia’s former prime minister Nikola Gruevski, who fled the country last week rather than report to jail to serve a two-and-a-half-year sentence for corruption, announced on Tuesday that he had been granted political asylum in Hungary.He wrote on his Facebook page that he had been the victim of a “political witch-hunt” in Macedonia and that Hungarian authorities had granted his request for asylum. Earlier in the day the Hungarian government-linked Magyar Idök newspaper wrote that Gruevski’s application had been approved. Hungarian authorities made no official comment on the matter. Continue reading...
(Tue, 20 Nov 2018 19:00:37 GMT)

Could a 2100BC sex epic show us how to handle Trump? | Alex Clark
Newly discovered fragments of an ancient text reveal an unusual strategy for dealing with an out-of-control leaderA new bit of The Epic of Gilgamesh, the world’s oldest literary text, has turned up, which is no great news in itself: fragments of clay tablet telling the story of the tyrannical Sumerian king are periodically unearthed, and there is a thrilling expectation that they will continue to be so indefinitely. The narrative has therefore been subject to change, expansion and gap-plugging from its beginnings, in 2100BC, to the Akkadian versions made by copyists (often prisoners of war) in the scriptorium of Nineveh for the pleasure of King Ashurbanipal.But the latest twist has piqued the interest. Why? Because it is about sex. It tells us that Enkidu – a very hairy man who grazed with gazelles and freed the beasts from hunters’ traps – was civilised after a mammoth Mesopotamian shagging session that lasted not, as previously thought, a mere week, but an entire fortnight. Ouch. Continue reading...
(Tue, 20 Nov 2018 17:27:49 GMT)

'More than just a newspaper': Guardian writers thank readers for their support
As we reach the milestone of 1 million supporters globally, our journalists explain how your support has had an impact on their reporting and the real world beyond our pagesTo support The Guardian, please contribute or subscribe todayOne million thank yous to all our wonderful Guardian supporters. Where would we be without you? No, literally: where? You’re the lead in our pencil, the oil in our engine, the wind beneath our … my God, I sound like Boris Johnson. I can’t apologise enough. I will endeavour to continue writing columns that DON’T sound like Boris Johnson – though may sometimes be about him – as long as you will have me.Marina Hyde, Guardian columnistI never cease to be amazed at the loyalty, strength and passion of Guardian supporters and I want to say thank you to each and every one of you. Without your incredible support it would be that much harder to fund the painstaking work of investigations – such as the work we did recently into the treatment of rape survivors in the criminal justice system. Knowing that our readers support our work helped make that series of stories possible, and feedback from our readers gives us the motivation to keep on pushing to find out more and do our part to challenge injustice.Alexandra Topping, senior reporter Continue reading...
(Wed, 14 Nov 2018 10:41:42 GMT)

Katharine Viner: 'The Guardian's reader funding model is working. It's inspiring'
The Guardian’s editor-in-chief reflects on the state of media today and explains how the support of 1 million readers has enabled us to report and investigate the most important stories of our time To support The Guardian, please contribute or subscribe todayThree and a half years ago, when I took over as editor-in-chief, we were faced with the urgent challenge of how to make the Guardian sustainable.The situation looked bleak across the media. Print advertising was in steep decline, and digital advertising growth was going almost entirely to Google and Facebook. News organisations everywhere were searching for answers to the challenge that they were being read more than ever before, but with fewer ways to cover costs. Month by month, more and more news outlets went behind a paywall. Continue reading...
(Mon, 12 Nov 2018 09:32:52 GMT)

From Iceland to India: the global community supporting the Guardian
Our interactive map shows the countries where Guardian supporters are, and why some decided to help fund our workTo support the Guardian, please contribute or subscribe todaySince 2015, the number of Guardian supporters has grown to include readers, listeners and viewers from across the world.Thanks to their financial support, we have been able to keep our quality, independent journalism open to everyone, free of charge, wherever they are. Continue reading...
(Tue, 13 Nov 2018 12:06:10 GMT)

Why our readers' support is vital to the Guardian's future
By supporting our journalism, you can become part of a global community of over a million Guardian readers with a shared set of core values and a vision for a more hopeful worldTo support the Guardian, please subscribe or contribute today Thank you to the 1,000,000 Guardian readers who have offered us their support over the past three years. Many readers haven’t stopped at financial support; tens of thousands have shared their thoughts on our journalism, on world events and told us detailed personal stories. Many have articulated their reasons for supporting independent journalism, and why it matters in their own lives. Thank you to everyone who’s taken the time to write to us or respond to our call-outs for your viewpoints – your input continues to be enlightening and is fundamental to our work shaping an approach to the Guardian’s sustainability that works for us all. Related: Katharine Viner: 'The Guardian's reader funding model is working. It's inspiring' Continue reading...
(Thu, 15 Nov 2018 11:00:08 GMT)

I was arrested at a climate change protest – it was worth it | Gavin Turk
I’m supporting Extinction Rebellion, and using direct action to wake up politicians to the damage we’re doing: together we can do somethingOn Saturday, at about 12.30pm, I was arrested for obstructing (thoughtfully sitting on) a public highway, namely Lambeth Bridge. I wasn’t alone. In fact, Lambeth wasn’t the only obstructed London bridge: thousands of people of diverse backgrounds and ages occupied five central London bridges for most of 17 November: Southwark, Blackfriars, Waterloo, Westminster and Lambeth. I believe that at least 80 other people were arrested.Climate is increasingly becoming one of the key subjects for artists as they hold their mirror up to society Continue reading...
(Tue, 20 Nov 2018 17:00:36 GMT)

The Guardian view on burning injustices: fanning Brexit’s flames | Editorial
EU membership didn’t cause inequalities and divisions. Yet we are leaving because of themOne week after the prime minister released her proposal to leave the European Union, it remains the only Brexit plan on the right of politics. Others have desires but none has been able to answer the question of what can actually be done to leave. Theresa May, to her credit, has. She promises an eventual rupture with the EU in some way which is undefined but which will be costly in economic terms, especially for voters in leave areas. Her argument is reasonable: this is the least worst option. Labour disagrees: it has its own least worst option. Brexit will cost but that is the price of respecting the referendum. The hard Brexiters, whether in the Conservative party or the Democratic Unionist Party, are different. They produce absurd wishlists to burnish their Eurosceptic credentials but do little to further the public understanding of the trade-offs involved. No wonder there are few takers for the hardliners’ heady version of Brexit, an intoxicant that promises a hangover of historic proportions. The leavers’ plan for leaving the EU? Leaving appears to be the whole plan.Missing from Conservative politics is how to heal the divisions that drove the vote for Brexit. The best that rightwingers seem able to do is drape a union jack over the schisms. Brexit had roots in hostility to immigrants and nostalgia for empire. There was an undoubted revolt of the regions and the left behind in them. Global change had hit both hard, leaving a deindustrialised periphery in the most centralised state in western Europe. But the sucker punch was the Tory policy of austerity, which made the Brexit vote possible by allowing elite Euroscepticism to combine perversely with popular anger. More pertinently, where are the ideas that will reverse the economic inequality that bedevils this country? Where is the money to bridge the regional divide? Where is the offer to the young, who are growing up in the expectation of being worse off than their parents? The Tories have turned a blind eye to the living standards crisis – even though real wages have not returned to their 2008 levels. Continue reading...
(Tue, 20 Nov 2018 18:36:21 GMT)

How many letters are there in ERG? Not 48, that's for sure
Even Labour organises better coups than Jacob Rees-Mogg’s European Research GroupWould you believe it? The European Research Group had significantly overestimated the number of people attending the launch of its new paper – why the UK should tell the EU to sod off: part 183 – and there were a few dozen empty seats by the time the event got under way at a converted church in Westminster. Perhaps a few of the invitation letters had gone astray. Or some of those who promised to attend just hadn’t shown up.At a previous ERG event to launch an earlier paper – why the UK should tell the EU to sod off: part 156 – the Conservative MP Steve Baker declared himself to be a “numbers man”. As in, making up the numbers. In both senses. Ever since the former junior Brexit secretary was promoted to well above his pay grade as Jacob Rees-Mogg’s second-in-command, the ERG has struggled with basic maths. Continue reading...
(Tue, 20 Nov 2018 16:12:38 GMT)

Steve Bell on Theresa May's 'no queue jumping' message to EU citizens – cartoon
Continue reading...
(Tue, 20 Nov 2018 18:33:41 GMT)

In Britain’s boardrooms, Brexit is already here. And the warning is stark | Aditya Chakrabortty
For Westminster, leaving Europe is months away: for business, it’s the present. And our prospects are already dwindlingOn the one hand, you have the self-inflating chaos at Westminster, the fever dreams of Jacob Rees-Mogg’s gang and the rehearsed rage of the Democratic Unionists. And on the other, you have the truth nailed by Philip K Dick. “Reality,” he wrote, “is that which, when you stop believing it, doesn’t go away.” So let’s remind ourselves of some reality.While Tory MPs jostled over a replacement for Theresa May the head of the Confederation of British Industry, Carolyn Fairbairn, warned that millions of pounds were “flooding out” of business investment and into preparing for Britain crashing out of Europe with no deal. Food warehouses said they were running out of space. And auto-parts manufacturer Schaeffler announced that it would shut factories in Plymouth and Llanelli, leaving more than 600 workers facing the dole. Continue reading...
(Tue, 20 Nov 2018 19:14:24 GMT)

FA to push for cut on overseas players in Premier League regardless of Brexit
• Non-homegrown players would be reduced from 17 to 13• Clubs are anxious to avoid a struggle for work permitsThe Football Association will seek to cut the number of foreign players permitted in Premier League squads, even if the United Kingdom does not leave the European Union.The FA has drawn up proposals to deal with Brexit under which the allowance of non-homegrown players in the 25-man squads would be reduced from 17 to 13, and will pursue that course regardless. Continue reading...
(Tue, 20 Nov 2018 22:29:12 GMT)

James Forrest’s snappy hat-trick crowns ascension day for nervy Scotland
• Scotland 3-2 Israel• Forrest 34 43 64; Kayal 9, Zahavi 75That the Nations League carries greater significance than the friendly matches it replaced hardly requires debate. The sense that this event became wholly relevant for the future and reputation of Alex McLeish was also plain to see. The same arguably applies to his paymasters at the Scottish FA.McLeish can enjoy a last laugh over his many detractors. Scotland’s progression from the group stage at the expense of Albania and Israel may not look momentous, but in context it is wholly important to the manager. The governing body has also been afforded a valuable cash boost courtesy of his men winning group C. Continue reading...
(Tue, 20 Nov 2018 21:53:39 GMT)

Manu Tuilagi keeps Australia guessing as Jones retains him in England squad
Centre had been rated as ‘very doubtful’ for Saturday’s TestSources at Leicester believe he could be involved after allEddie Jones has lobbed a tantalising curveball in Australia’s direction by retaining Manu Tuilagi in his 26-man squad for this Saturday’s Test at Twickenham, barely 24 hours after the head coach described the centre as “very doubtful” and suggested England would not rush him back prematurely.With England not due to confirm their lineup until Thursday, Jones is clearly happy to keep the Wallabies’ management guessing as to whether the 27-year-old, who has not started a Test since 2014, will feature. Sources at his club, Leicester, believe there is a good chance Tuilagi will be involved this weekend, however, assuming he comes through Wednesday’s afternoon’s training unscathed. Continue reading...
(Tue, 20 Nov 2018 20:15:45 GMT)

Jonny Bairstow bides time and works hard as he looks to beat England drop
The wicketkeeper-batsman is responding in the right way after Ben Foakes was preferred to him for the second Sri Lanka TestEnglish cricketers do not get dropped as often as they used to be. For example Alastair Cook, Marcus Trescothick and Kevin Pietersen (if we restrict this to purely cricketing criteria) were never dropped from the Test team. Related: Joe Root ‘will get better and better’ as England captain, says Trevor Bayliss Continue reading...
(Tue, 20 Nov 2018 18:00:07 GMT)

Premier League number crunch: who has run furthest and missed most chances? | Simon Burnton
After 12 games the statistics are revealing and at times surprising and José Mourinho will be all too aware of what some meanTwelve games into the Premier League season, we have probably learned enough about each team, using the most basic statistical metrics of goals scored, goals conceded and points gained, to come to certain conclusions about their style and their prospects. But with international fixtures forcing the league into a pause there is time to take a deeper dive into the statistical swamp, which reveals a few interesting details. Continue reading...
(Tue, 20 Nov 2018 16:52:09 GMT)

Four years to go: Qatar on course for its improbable World Cup
Super-rich state determined to defy doubters as it presses on with preparations for 2022 but being in Doha for a few days prompts scepticismIt began almost a decade ago as the most unfeasible bid ever to host a World Cup: an outlandish proposal for “air-cooled” stadiums in the desert summer heat of a tiny, obscure-seeming Arab emirate with one city, Doha, populated by just 300,000 citizens. Qatar is though, the richest per capita state on earth, and on that cold Zurich night in December 2010 its bid succeeded in garnering a majority of Fifa executive committee votes, and claimed the right to host the 2022 World Cup.Since then Qatar’s planned hosting of the tournament – its ubiquitous slogan in Doha is “Deliver Amazing” with its stated mission to unify people in the Middle East and project a positive Arab experience – has survived a hurricane of challenges. There have been waves of corruption allegations, which the secretary general of the “supreme committee” organising the World Cup, Hassan al-Thawadi, repeatedly denied, denounced and angrily dismissed as anti-Arab prejudice. Continue reading...
(Tue, 20 Nov 2018 07:37:39 GMT)

Albania consign Ryan Giggs and Wales to embarrassing friendly defeat
Ryan Giggs accused his Wales players of complacency after an embarrassing 1-0 defeat to Albania.Wales are 42 places higher than Albania, in 60th, on the FIFA rankings and the hosts had lost 4-0 to Scotland on Saturday to suffer Nations League relegation. But Bekim Balaj’s 59th-minute penalty condemned Wales to a shock 1-0 friendly defeat in Elbasan, handing Giggs’ side a confidence blow before the 2020 European Championship qualifiers start in March. Continue reading...
(Tue, 20 Nov 2018 22:18:03 GMT)

Neymar needs scan before facing Liverpool after injury scare for Brazil
• PSG forward limps out of Brazil’s friendly win over Cameroon• Doctor says initial diagnosis is groin injury not a serious oneBrazil forward Neymar limped out of their 1-0 friendly win over Cameroon on Tuesday but the team doctor calmed fears by saying that the injury did not appear serious.The Paris St-Germain player was substituted after tweaking his groin as he shot at goal with seven minutes gone in the international match at Milton Keynes in England. However, doctor Rodrigo Lasmar told reporters that while a scan was needed to comfirm the exact diagnosis he did not think the injury to Neymar’s adductor muscle would keep him out long. Continue reading...
(Tue, 20 Nov 2018 23:28:09 GMT)

Beto 2020? Why some think Beto O'Rourke has what it takes to become president - video profile
O'Rourke's bid to unseat Ted Cruz in the US midterms narrowly failed – but his audacious grassroots campaign sprinkled seeds of Democratic rebirth and has drawn whispers of a presidential run. What is it that makes people think the Texas congressman has what it takes to get into the White House?Beto 2020? How O'Rourke became a Texas sensation who could shape the future of the Democrats Continue reading...
(Sat, 10 Nov 2018 10:28:25 GMT)

Why we should be paying more for parking – video explainer
Charging more for parking could save the environment, ease congestion and inject energy back into the high street. But how? The Guardian's Peter Walker explains that we've been thinking about parking all wrong: it's not a right, but rather an over-subsidised waste of spaceSources: The High Cost of Free Parking (2011) - Donald Shoup; Psychology of the Car (2017) - Stefan Gössling; Research into the Use and Effectiveness of Maximum Parking Standards - Department of Transport Why forcing cyclists to wear helmets will not save lives – video explainerAfter you: the psychology of queues and how to beat them - video explainer Continue reading...
(Tue, 30 Oct 2018 11:24:43 GMT)

Fight or flight: the veterans at war with PTSD - video
One hundred years on from the end of the first world war, a group of veterans in Dorset are torn between their pride in their military careers and their anger over the lack of psychological support provided to them by the Ministry of Defence. With many feeling abandoned and left to battle significant mental health issues such as PTSD alone, former soldier Andy Price decides to take matters into his own hands, launching the Veteran’s Hub, a peer-to-peer support network for veterans and their families. Over the course of a year, the Guardian’s Richard Sprenger follows Andy on his journey.You can contact the Veterans Hub here.In the UK, contact the Samaritans for free from any telephone on 116 123. In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is 13 11 14.Other international suicide helplines can be found at www.befrienders.org Continue reading...
(Thu, 08 Nov 2018 12:03:26 GMT)

'Lives instead of knives': one woman's fight to end knife crime in London – video
Smith's Farm Estate in Northolt, north-west London, has been the scene of multiple stabbings. After one murder came particularly close to home, community volunteer Jen Lock began a one-woman mission to end knife crime in the area. But, as she finds out, things don’t always go smoothly Continue reading...
(Tue, 09 Oct 2018 10:56:22 GMT)

Visiting Julian Cole: the man paralysed after being tackled outside a nightclub - video
In 2013 Julian Cole was arrested by six police officers outside a nightclub in Bedford. His neck was broken. He is now paralysed and suffers from severe brain damage. In this film, made in 2016, his mother, Claudia, continues her years of visiting him in a care home twice a day. His friends also drop by. We experience these visits with Claudia and three of Julian’s closest friends, witness the trauma this event has caused in their lives and wait with them as they hold out hope that justice will come from the Independent Police Complaints Commission.In 2018, three police officers were sacked for lying in relation to this incident. Continue reading...
(Thu, 25 Oct 2018 13:09:10 GMT)

Slavoj Žižek tells Owen Jones: 'Clinton is the problem, not Trump' - video
The philosopher Slavoj Žižek says the collapse of the centre-left welfare state consensus has led to the global rise of the new right. He argues the left 'ceased to question the fundamentals of the system' and that the crucial political battleground in the US is within the Democratic partyAn extended version of this video is available on Owen Jones' YouTube channel Continue reading...
(Wed, 24 Oct 2018 12:02:59 GMT)

'Absurd and degrading': how universal credit can ruin lives – video
The government's controversial welfare overhaul has been plagued with difficulties from the outset. Payment delays have left people with mounting debt and facing eviction as demand for food banks soars. Trent from Doncaster tells us how he has been affected Continue reading...
(Wed, 24 Oct 2018 13:01:48 GMT)

La caravana: On the road with the migrant caravan – video
Thousands of migrants from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala head north hoping to find work and a better life in the US. The largest Central American caravan in decades keeps growing as thousands more join this journey – but when they reach Mexico, the migrant caravan starts taking different directions Continue reading...
(Mon, 05 Nov 2018 15:44:03 GMT)

The new green superpower? Oil giant Kazakhstan tries to wean itself off the black stuff – video
Kazakhstan is rich with oil, gas and coal but Nursultan Nazarbayev, its president for life, has committed the country to a dramatic shift from fossil fuels to green energy. Is this huge nation, which is beset by rural poverty, major infrastructure challenges and environmental crises, able to realise his vision? Phoebe Greenwood travels to  the Kazakh capital, Astana, and the Aral Sea regionMany thanks to Kunzberg spatial communications for the use of music from the Future Astana Expo installation Continue reading...
(Wed, 14 Nov 2018 10:56:47 GMT)

'There's a lot of power in being young': Hamilton lead actor Jamael Westman on making change - video
Jamael Westman, the lead actor in the West End production of Hamilton, talks to the Guardian's Iman Amrani backstage at the Victoria Palace Theatre, discussing the power of youth to make change, whether Hamilton is part of a wider 'black renaissance' and what theatre can do to attract a more diverse audience.  This film is part of a new ongoing series, 'Fresh Voices' presented by Iman Amrani Continue reading...
(Thu, 15 Nov 2018 07:00:27 GMT)

Looking for cheap rent? Try a haunted house – video
Comedian Tanishi Matsubara has an unusual system for renting cheaply in Osaka - he seeks out 'stigmatised property': places in which the previous inhabitant has died. In Japan, the belief that such properties are haunted has even led to a law which means potential tenants must be informed Continue reading...
(Wed, 31 Oct 2018 07:00:11 GMT)

Take action rather than criticise, UN poverty expert tells Rudd
Philip Alston says minister’s criticism of the tone of his austerity report ‘misses the point’The UN expert on extreme poverty has hit back at the new work and pensions secretary, Amber Rudd, after she complained that the tone of his report into the consequences of austerity in the UK was “highly inappropriate”.Philip Alston urged Rudd to instead follow some of his recommendations to make the welfare system “more humane” rather than dismissing the powerful language in his report examining the impact of cuts and welfare reforms, including universal credit, as “extraordinarily political”, as she did in the Commons on Monday. Continue reading...
(Tue, 20 Nov 2018 16:51:07 GMT)

Labour MP tells court she doesn't know who drove speeding Nissan
Fiona Onasanya accused in court of colluding with brother over speeding ticketA Labour MP facing allegations of deliberately misleading the police over a speeding ticket has been accused in court of colluding with her brother to protect her political career.Fiona Onasanya, MP for Peterborough, repeatedly told untruths to avoid a speeding ticket and refused to answer questions from the police to avoid incriminating either herself or her brother Festus, the prosecution alleged. Continue reading...
(Tue, 20 Nov 2018 18:25:22 GMT)

Lords committee defends decision to suspend Anthony Lester
Sexual harassment case was ‘dealt with according to principles of natural justice’A House of Lords committee that suspended a Liberal Democrat peer who it found had sexually harassed a women’s rights campaigner has defended its decision, after the upper house voted to block the punishment.The privileges and conduct committee, which announced last week that it was suspending Anthony Lester after finding that he tried to pressure Jasvinder Sanghera into having sex with him by promising her a peerage, said its inquiry into the matter “accorded with the principles of natural justice and fairness”. Continue reading...
(Tue, 20 Nov 2018 19:52:07 GMT)

Museum of London eyes Boris Johnson's water-cannon trucks
Former mayor’s crowd-control vehicles sold for scrap after £300k loss to taxpayerParts from Boris Johnson’s useless water-cannon trucks could be salvaged from the scrapheap and placed in an exhibition, under plans being considered by the Museum of London.The museum’s director, Sharon Ament, revealed to the Guardian that she had tried to buy one of the three vehicles outright after they were first put up for sale two years ago. Continue reading...
(Tue, 20 Nov 2018 14:22:57 GMT)

Case dropped against Chinese journalist who allegedly slapped Tory delegate
Kong Linlin was due to appear before magistrates over alleged incident at Tory conferenceA case has been dropped against a Chinese state journalist charged with common assault after she allegedly slapped a delegate at this year’s Conservative party conference.Kong Linlin had been due to appear before Birmingham magistrates on Wednesday to answer the charge. But the case was discontinued on the advice of the Crown Prosecution Service. Continue reading...
(Tue, 20 Nov 2018 18:42:55 GMT)

Labour: we'll end compulsory GCSE maths and English resits
Shadow education secretary says students will be allowed to choose alternative qualifications under new policyLabour has promised to end the “remorseless cycle” of compulsory GCSE maths and English resits as part of its plans to reform further education (FE).Currently, FE students are required to keep retaking GCSEs until they get at least a grade 4 (or a C under the old grading system) as a condition of college funding, even though many fail again and again. Continue reading...
(Tue, 20 Nov 2018 18:24:50 GMT)

MPs blast banks for discriminating against tenants on benefits
Government told to address ‘housing blacklist’ operated by mortgage lenders MPs have slammed banks for “discriminating” against tenants on housing benefit and suggested the government may need to ban them from operating “no DSS” policies.NatWest was criticised in October after it emerged that the bank prohibited many of its buy-to-let landlord borrowers from having tenants on housing benefit. The case, involving landlord Helena McAleer and her tenant, a vulnerable older woman, came to national prominence after the Guardian published an article headlined: “NatWest, is it right to evict a woman on housing benefit?” Continue reading...
(Tue, 20 Nov 2018 18:03:09 GMT)

Transport spending in London still twice northern England's
Report says despite ‘northern powerhouse’ plan, gap in spending is wideningThe “northern powerhouse” was the Conservatives’ big idea for closing the north-south divide and winning over sceptical voters in the north of England.But an analysis of government figures released on Tuesday shows that in the four and a half years since the northern powerhouse agenda was set by the then chancellor, George Osborne, transport spending per person has gone up twice as much in London as in the north of England. Continue reading...
(Tue, 20 Nov 2018 18:15:21 GMT)

UN environment chief resigns after frequent flying revelations
Erik Solheim quits after Guardian reveals excess travel and rule breaking which led to withholding of fundsThe UN’s environment chief, Erik Solheim, has resigned following severe criticism of his global travels and internal rule-breaking which led some nations to withhold their funding.The Guardian understands Solheim was asked to resign by the UN secretary general, António Guterres. Sources at the UN Environment Programme (Unep) said that countries unhappy with Solheim’s conduct were holding back tens of millions of dollars, threatening a financial crisis at the body. Continue reading...
(Tue, 20 Nov 2018 17:56:43 GMT)

Renault refuses to remove Carlos Ghosn despite shock arrest
French carmaker Renault out of step with alliance partners Nissan and Mitsubishi Renault defied its partner firm, Nissan, and the French government on Tuesday night as its board decided to retain Carlos Ghosn as its chairman and chief executive in spite of his shock arrest by Japanese prosecutors.Renault’s board promoted Thierry Bolloré to deputy chief executive to head the company, but said the appointment was only made on a “temporary basis” in Ghosn’s absence. Continue reading...
(Tue, 20 Nov 2018 23:03:53 GMT)

Trump lawyers submit president's answers in writing to Mueller questions
Lawyers and Mueller had been in negotiations for months over whether Trump would be interviewed by Mueller in personAttorneys for Donald Trump have submitted the president’s answers in writing to questions posed by special counsel Robert Mueller, multiple news outlets reported on Tuesday. Related: Trump 'stands with' Saudi Arabia and defends crown prince over Khashoggi Continue reading...
(Tue, 20 Nov 2018 22:26:46 GMT)

#ThisIsOurLane: NRA's criticism spurs doctors to speak out on gun violence
Healthcare workers, who previously feared professional repercussions, have used #ThisIsOurLane to unify the medical community’s call for actionHours after a gunman shot and killed a doctor, a pharmacy assistant and a police officer at Chicago’s Mercy hospital, American physicians are calling for change, in what could be the most vocal anti-gun violence campaign from healthcare professionals in a generation, advocates said. Related: Chicago hospital shooting: police officer among three killed Continue reading...
(Tue, 20 Nov 2018 21:55:59 GMT)

Yemen: Hodeidah sees 'worst fighting yet' despite UN ceasefire calls
Lull in hostilities ends as street fighting breaks out and Saudi-led coalition launches airstrikes on Houthi rebelsVicious fighting described by residents as the worst so far has flared up in Yemen’s vital port city, Hodeidah, despite calls for a ceasefire from the UN and promises from both the Saudi-led coalition and Houthi rebels to consider a truce.A lull in combat was shattered on Monday night by intense street fighting that was edging towards the city centre and at least 12 coalition airstrikes on eastern districts, locals said. The jets were met with Houthi anti-aircraft fire. “We are facing indiscriminate bombing from both sides,” said local Ibrahim Seif. Continue reading...
(Tue, 20 Nov 2018 18:04:15 GMT)

Newfoundland oil spill: biologists fear scale of devastation may never be known
Rough seas prevented crews from assessing damage to vulnerable wildlife caused by province’s largest-ever spill Biologists are attempting to assess damage to vulnerable wildlife caused by Newfoundland’s largest-ever oil spill, amid fears that the full scale of devastation may never be known.Intense storms battered offshore oil production areas late last week, with waves cresting as high as 28ft. On Friday, the SeaRose tanker attempted to restart production, but a faulty connection line pumped an estimated 250,000 litres of oil into the ocean. Continue reading...
(Tue, 20 Nov 2018 20:24:19 GMT)

Chinese writer Tianyi sentenced to decade in prison for gay erotic novel
Pseudonymous author was charged under law that makes it an ‘especially serious’ crime to sell more than 5,000 copies of a work classed as pornographicFree-speech campaigners have slammed China’s “flagrant disregard for fundamental human rights” after the author of a gay erotic novel was sentenced to more than a decade in prison for producing and selling pornographic materials.The author, who writes under the pseudonym Tianyi and is from eastern China’s Anhui province, was identified by the state-run Global Times only by her surname, Liu. The paper reported that police were alerted after the book Gongzhan, translated as Occupy, went viral last year. Police in the Anhui city of Wuhu, where Liu was sentenced, said the novel described obscene sexual behaviour between males, and was “full of perverted sexual acts such as violation and abuse”. Continue reading...
(Tue, 20 Nov 2018 16:08:17 GMT)

Afghanistan suicide bomber kills scores of Muslim scholars
At least 40 dead and 80 injured at Kabul event marking prophet Muhammad’s birthdayA suicide bomber in Kabul has killed more than 40 people and injured dozens more after targeting a crowd of religious scholars marking the birthday of the prophet Muhammad.There are fears the death toll could rise, as hundreds were packed into the large hall near the Afghan capital’s airport, more often used to host weddings. Continue reading...
(Tue, 20 Nov 2018 16:03:17 GMT)

Behind the scenes with The League of Gentlemen – a photo essay
Photographer Sarah Lee was given exclusive access in Royston Vasey for The League of Gentlemen’s last performance of their live tour. Gareth McLean reflects on 20 years of the League and speaks to the gents themselvesSince The League of Gentlemen graced the cover of Guardian Weekend 17 years ago (and were interviewed by yours truly), Jeremy Dyson, Mark Gatiss, Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith have been keeping themselves busy. Individually, the trio have written and performed in Doctor Who, Psychoville, Inside No 9 and Sherlock. But the League still looms large. In the hearts of the British public, Royston Vasey residents found a home, however unlikely that seemed, given the monstrous, macabre or murderous natures of many. Continue reading...
(Tue, 20 Nov 2018 13:00:04 GMT)

Roy Bailey obituary
Singer whose political brand of folk music brought him fame in Europe and AmericaAlthough Roy Bailey, who has died aged 83, played a significant role in the development of sociology in Britain, he was most widely known as a folk singer. He started in the folk clubs around Southampton and Portsmouth in the early 60s, with a repertoire of the US-based folk and skiffle popular at the time, but quickly found his voice in folk music as a popular expression of political and social dissent. Influenced by singers as diverse as Ewan MacColl and Bob Dylan, he became convinced that folk music could become a powerful vehicle for contemporary social criticism.As folk gained in popularity, Roy became a star attraction. His rich baritone voice, his charm and skill as a performer, together with his evocation of traditional folk themes, gave him an appeal to a much wider audience than either a purely cultural interest in folk or an unadorned political radicalism would have. Continue reading...
(Tue, 20 Nov 2018 20:48:09 GMT)

Michelle Obama memoir tops US book charts – with nine copies sold per second
The former first lady’s autobiography has been warmly reviewed and is No 2 in the UK charts – outsold only by David WalliamsMichelle Obama’s Becoming sold almost nine copies per second on its first day on sale in North America to become the fastest-selling book of the year so far, while in the UK, the memoir is close to the top of the book charts.Published last Tuesday, the former first lady’s autobiography has been warmly greeted by both the media and the public. The New York Times called it a “polished pearl of a memoir”, the Guardian said that it was “dignified” with a “refreshing level of honesty”. On Amazon.com, more than 200 user reviews gave it five stars. Continue reading...
(Tue, 20 Nov 2018 17:02:55 GMT)

The best new Android and iPhone games for 2018
Pop bubbles, play pool, become a neighbourhood god, a viking hero, or start a craft beer empire in 2018’s best new mobile games for iPhone and Android.iPhone, £7.99 Continue reading...
(Tue, 20 Nov 2018 16:55:31 GMT)

'A terrible shame': Jude Law defends Woody Allen film after Amazon shelves it
Actor defends A Rainy Day in New York, shot in 2017 but postponed after cast members denounced the directorJude Law has defended A Rainy Day in New York, the film he made with Woody Allen in 2017 and which has been indefinitely shelved after a number of its stars publicly disassociated themselves from Allen over sex assault allegations made by the director’s daughter, Dylan Farrow.A Rainy Day in New York was shot in September and October 2017, with a cast including Timothée Chalamet, Selena Gomez and Rebecca Hall. However, shortly after its completion a string of actors, including Chalamet and Hall, announced they regretted having worked on the film, and made donations to charity. Continue reading...
(Tue, 20 Nov 2018 11:29:28 GMT)

'How exciting it all was': the story of Bagpuss's magical folk soundtrack
Sandra Kerr and John Faulkner on recording the music for the 1974 series about ‘a saggy old cloth cat’, stress-tested by Ewan McColl and Peggy Seeger – and endorsed by Belle and SebastianLast year, Sandra Kerr retired from her job at Newcastle University, where she had taught a course on “traditions of these islands” for the music department. “Through the whole 17 years,” she says, “I’ve had students say to me that Bagpuss was their first introduction to traditional music. That’s enormously pleasing, to think that young people who have gone on to get attention and admiration for their music might have started with hearing the music for Bagpuss.”Bagpuss, of course, was the most important, the most beautiful, the most magical saggy old cloth cat in the whole wide world. He lived in a shop window, deposited there – along with the mice and their mouse organ, the carved woodpecker bookend known as Professor Yaffle, Madeleine the rag doll, and Gabriel the toad – by a little girl called Emily, who brought back objects that would inspire flights of fancy as the toys came to life. Oliver Postgate and Peter Firmin’s stop-frame animation ran for only 13 episodes in early 1974, but through repeats imprinted itself on the consciousness of successive generations. And alongside the magical stories, the music made for the series by Kerr and her then husband, John Faulkner, seeped into the imaginations of musicians and music lovers. Now all the music they recorded for Bagpuss – alongside outtakes and alternate versions – is getting the reissue it deserves, in a beautiful book-style package, from Earth Records. Continue reading...
(Tue, 20 Nov 2018 10:31:17 GMT)

Gwyneth Paltrow lists a Spanish village for Christmas – but what do the villagers think?
The Iberian escape features in Goop’s Christmas gift catalogue and has attracted interest from those looking for a rural retreatWith Gwyneth Paltrow we have learned to expect the unexpected, so it is not surprising that the woman who gave us jade vagina eggs and coffee suppositories should produce an eccentric Christmas gift catalogue on her website, Goop.Knowingly titled The Ridiculous But Awesome Gift Guide, suggested gifts include a Hermès surfboard, a banana lamp, an Aston Martin and, for the environmentally conscious billionaire, a zero-emissions yacht. Oh, and an entire Spanish village. Continue reading...
(Tue, 20 Nov 2018 18:16:14 GMT)

Black Friday 2018: our updated guide to the best UK deals and offers
Preparation is key to getting the best Black Friday deals, so try this handy guide to what’s on offer in the UKThe countdown is on to Britain’s biggest shopping event – Black Friday – and with many high street retailers struggling, shoppers can expect to bag some good bargains.This year Black Friday falls on 23 November. It originated in the US, where stores mark the start of the festive shopping season after the Thanksgiving public holiday with big price cuts and promotions. Continue reading...
(Tue, 20 Nov 2018 09:56:03 GMT)

Diabetes: the inventor trying to make injections pain-free
Many diabetics find the process of injecting themselves distressing. Could a strange-looking new device be the answer?Peter Bailey wasn’t sure how people would react to his invention at the culmination of the Design Council’s Spark programme. He had won £15,000 from Spark in 2016 for his product to make self-injecting easier for people with diabetes, and had already spent the money on tools to start mass producing it.During that process, however, he had discovered some fairly major issues. “I gave it the drop test on my hard bathroom floor and it sprung apart.” So he totally redesigned the product, eking out the last of the prize money to re-tool. Continue reading...
(Tue, 20 Nov 2018 14:45:52 GMT)

How to dress for Christmas 2018: hope, loveheart earrings and the perfect winter skirt length
This festive season is all about optimism. Cross your fingers for Santa to bring you a tuxedo dress‘Tis the season to be jolly. This is literally the whole point of Christmas. OK, not literally – but pretty much, since in this chapter of late capitalism the tale of Bethlehem effectively functions as the backstory to Elf and outdoor skating rinks. The point of Christmas is merriment, togetherness, gratitude and hope. And the point of party season is to get the festivities started as soon as possible, via the squad’s Secret Santa and annual drinks tradition. Continue reading...
(Tue, 20 Nov 2018 17:36:50 GMT)

Can anyone retire in their 30s? Meet the people who say yes
There is a huge online movement dedicated to working out how to quit your job ridiculously early. But are its fans merely cashing in on good luck and well-paid jobs?When did you start thinking seriously about preparing financially for your retirement? Not yet? Many people never do. One in three adults in the UK have no private pension, and will rely on the state pension in old age. Even those who do start saving usually only get round to it in their 40s and 50s, upping their pension contributions in the hope of retiring in their 60s. But there is a new breed of supersavers who have no intention of waiting that long. They intend to quit before the age of 40 and live a free life.The Financial Independence, Retire Early (Fire) movement originated in the US, but has spread to the UK, attracting twenty- and thirtysomethings who do not intend to spend 40 years strapped to the corporate machine. Instead, they are practising a combination of extreme saving and rigorous investing to try to build up the “stash” you need – commonly seen as 25 times your annual expenditure – to quit, or, as these millennials put it, to “get Fired”. Continue reading...
(Tue, 20 Nov 2018 10:00:11 GMT)

Do you work for Facebook? What is the mood like?
We would like to hear from Facebook workers following allegations published last week in the New York TimesMark Zuckerberg has defended his leadership of Facebook, claiming ignorance of the company’s relationship with a PR firm that linked its critics with George Soros. Related: Facebook reportedly discredited critics by linking them to George Soros Continue reading...
(Tue, 20 Nov 2018 14:30:02 GMT)

Share your experiences of Christmas festivities overseas - you could win a £200 hotel voucher
Tell us how you spent Christmas on a trip to anywhere in the worldYou may have been to an inspiring Christmas concert, eaten local fare, taken part in unusual festivities in a far-off land – or spent the day on a remote tropical beach.Wherever you were in the world, please share your tales of a Christmas spent overseas. Continue reading...
(Tue, 20 Nov 2018 15:46:47 GMT)

Is your local council facing cuts? Share your tips
We’d like your help to find out more about current or future cuts to UK council services. If you’re aware of any where you live, please get in touchThis summer Northamptonshire county council, which is technically insolvent, published proposals that could lead to drastic loss of jobs and cuts to all its services over the next few months including core services such as children’s and adult social care. East-Sussex county council, has said it was preparing to cut back services to the bare legal minimum to cope with a cash shortfall that could leave it bankrupt within three years.We would like to find out if there are any other councils around the UK that are experiencing or about to undergo cuts to services because of financial pressures. If you have knowledge about council services where you live, we would like to know the following: Continue reading...
(Wed, 08 Aug 2018 15:14:42 GMT)

Tips, links and suggestions: what are you reading this week?
Your space to discuss the books you are reading and what you think of themAre you on Instagram? Then you can be featured here by tagging your books-related posts with #GuardianBooksScroll down for our favourite literary linksRead more Tips, links and suggestions blogsWelcome to this week’s blogpost. Here’s our roundup of your comments and photos from last week:First up: ancient history. Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War continues to delight paulburns: Continue reading...
(Mon, 19 Nov 2018 15:00:36 GMT)

More than a million readers contribute financially to the Guardian
Business model showing way for journalism to ‘regain its relevance’, says editor-in-chiefSupport the Guardian’s independent journalism. Make a contribution todayMore than a million people worldwide have contributed to the Guardian in the last three years, with 500,000 paying to support the publication on an ongoing basis, according to Guardian News and Media’s editor-in-chief, Katharine Viner.She said the business model was showing a new way for journalism to “regain its relevance, meaning and trusted place in society”. Continue reading...
(Mon, 05 Nov 2018 15:40:35 GMT)

Crisis in our national parks: how tourists are loving nature to death
As thrill seekers and Instagrammers swarm public lands, reporting from eight sites across America shows the scale of the threatJust before sunset near Page, Arizona, a parade of humanity marched up the sandy, half-mile trail toward Horseshoe Bend. They had come from all over the world. Some carried boxes of McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets, others cradled chihuahuas and a few men hid engagement rings in their pockets. But just about everyone had one thing at the ready: a cellphone to snap a picture.Horseshoe Bend is one of the American west’s most celebrated overlooks. From a sheer sandstone precipice just a few miles outside Grand Canyon national park, visitors get a bird’s-eye view of the emerald Colorado river as it makes a U-turn 800ft below. Hundreds of miles from any large city, and nestled in the heart of south-west canyon country, Horseshoe Bend was once as lonely as it was beautiful. Continue reading...
(Tue, 20 Nov 2018 08:00:08 GMT)

What does Dorset’s 21-inch mega-rat tell us about food and the modern era?
After a photo appeared online depicting a giant rat, several experts offer their view on how it came to be so largeA rat-catcher has caught a giant rat. A photograph of the rodent, stretched out from nose to tail, beside a tape measure shows that it ran to 53cm (21in). Or it did before it ran into the rat-catcher’s manchester terrier.“There’s a definite increase in rat numbers and a definite increase in size,” says Terry Walker, who caught and measured the creature in Bournemouth, Dorset. (He happened to have a tape measure on him for repairs, not to measure rats.) Continue reading...
(Tue, 20 Nov 2018 16:25:58 GMT)

'A liquid catapult': big-wave surfer returns to scene of nightmare wipeout
Andrew Cotton, who broke his back on a huge wave at Nazaré in Portugal in 2017, prepares to scale the notorious peaks againLooking out from the jagged headland at Nazaré in Portugal, the Atlantic Ocean below looks tranquil. Baby waves – or so they seem from above – peel left across the town’s northern beach and there’s barely a sign that this stretch of water is considered one of the most monstrous surf spots in the world.“It’s impossible to visualise it on a day like today when it’s beautiful and sunny but sometimes it gets big out there and sometimes it gets to the next level, beyond the realms ...” says the surfer Andrew Cotton, tapering off as he considers how best to describe the 60ft wave that flattened him exactly a year ago. “It’s like moving mountains,” he adds. Continue reading...
(Tue, 20 Nov 2018 11:17:02 GMT)

High score, low pay: why the gig economy loves gamification
Using ratings, competitions and bonuses to incentivise workers isn’t new – but as I found when I became a Lyft driver, the gig economy is taking it to another level. By Sarah MasonIn May 2016, after months of failing to find a traditional job, I began driving for the ride-hailing company Lyft. I was enticed by an online advertisement that promised new drivers in the Los Angeles area a $500 “sign-up bonus” after completing their first 75 rides. The calculation was simple: I had a car and I needed the money. So, I clicked the link, filled out the application, and, when prompted, drove to the nearest Pep Boys for a vehicle inspection. I received my flamingo-pink Lyft emblems almost immediately and, within a few days, I was on the road.Initially, I told myself that this sort of gig work was preferable to the nine-to-five grind. It would be temporary, I thought. Plus, I needed to enrol in a statistics class and finish my graduate school applications – tasks that felt impossible while working in a full-time desk job with an hour-long commute. But within months of taking on this readily available, yet strangely precarious form of work, I was weirdly drawn in. Continue reading...
(Tue, 20 Nov 2018 06:00:09 GMT)

Eccentric women: why they are more important than ever in our oppressive era
From Janelle Monáe to Tilda Swinton, unconventional women are having a moment. In an age threatened by groupthink and strongman politics, they provide an essential antidoteCrazy. Feisty. Bolshy. Bossy. Hysterical. Sassy. Shrill. Spinster. Cat woman. Hag. Cougar. Frigid. Slut. Bitch. The English language has no end of words to describe women who don’t behave the way they are supposed to. They are all derogatory and almost none of them have a male equivalent. The most complimentary thing you can hope to be called if you are a woman who doesn’t conform to societal expectations is the E-word: eccentric.While the idea of eccentricity is nebulous, it is an important barometer of society and women’s place within it. “The amount of eccentricity in a society has generally been proportional to the amount of genius, mental vigour and moral courage it contained,” wrote John Stuart Mill in 1859. If that is the case, then I think we should be incredibly excited by the loud and proud display of feminist vigour running through popular culture. From Janelle Monáe rocking very unsubtle vagina trousers in the music video for her song Pynk to Marina Abramović’s provocative performance art, and TV shows such as Killing Eve and Sally4Ever that revel in weird women, female eccentricity is having a moment. Continue reading...
(Tue, 20 Nov 2018 12:00:00 GMT)

Seth Meyers: Trump is 'a conspiracy theorist who makes up cartoonish lies'
Late-night hosts discussed the president’s attack on a decorated ex-Navy Seal and his latest bizarre lie about Finland Late-night hosts discussed Donald Trump’s attack on an ex-Navy Seal and his latest set of lies. Continue reading...
(Tue, 20 Nov 2018 16:50:26 GMT)

Kazakh horsemen and whirling dervishes: Tuesday's top photos
Our picture editors choose their favourite images from the past 24 hours Continue reading...
(Tue, 20 Nov 2018 14:23:26 GMT)

The cocooned high-rises of Hong Kong – in pictures
For over two decades photographer Peter Steinhauer documented the bamboo scaffolding and bright, tightly wrapped shapes of Hong Kong’s construction sites. His collection, Cocoons, is available from Powerhouse Continue reading...
(Tue, 20 Nov 2018 07:00:09 GMT)

The human cost of conflict: Lynsey Addario's Of Love and war - in pictures
The photojournalist Lynsey Addario’s disarming and compelling photographs personalise the most remote corners of our world. Her new book of more than 200 photographs reveal the devastating consequences of human conflict from Afghanistan to South Sudan Continue reading...
(Mon, 19 Nov 2018 07:00:23 GMT)

Pet project: Amsterdam's animal photographer – in pictures
As the Dutch capital’s first official pet portraitist, Isabella Rozendaal has created an eye-catching portfolio of animal photography. Here we show some highlights.Read an interview with Isabella Rozendaal Continue reading...
(Sat, 17 Nov 2018 19:00:39 GMT)

The big picture: one billboard in Arizona
Rob Hann’s image of a road sign in Arizona is simple, upbeat… and still something of a mysteryOne rainy evening in London, Rob Hann was sitting at home watching a TV programme about modern art in Texas. Transfixed by the sunny blue skies and the sprawling desert landscapes, he decided to plan a road trip to America’s south-west.Usually a portrait photographer (his subjects range from Daft Punk and JG Ballard to Chloë Sevigny), on the road, Hann turned his lens to the strange sights along the way. He became particularly interested in signs, inspired in part by Ed Ruscha’s use of text in his paintings and Wim Wenders’s photography book Written in the West. Continue reading...
(Sun, 18 Nov 2018 07:00:54 GMT)

Recycling the old masters – in pictures
Dutch artist Suzanne Jongmans creates photographs that echo the old masters, but with a modern twist: she crafts intricate costumes using recycled plastics, old blankets and used packaging. Jongmans finds inspiration in painters such as Jan van Eyck, Rembrandt and Holbein, whose level of detail she aims to replicate. “When you look at the old masters, you can really see the time that is put into the paintings,” she says. “And that fits with the method I developed.” There is an implicit environmental message in her work but, she says, her primary objective is giving a new life to these old materials. “I’m a collector mostly – I collect all kinds of things, like blankets, wool, things from nature. And I would like all these materials to tell a story.” Continue reading...
(Sat, 17 Nov 2018 17:00:36 GMT)

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