4.57am EDT 04:57 Q: What do you say to people who argue that what Labour needs is a leader who is a showman, and who is more emotional? Starmer says people say that about Boris Johnson. People know he is untrustworthy, but they say that is priced in. Do we really want that for the country, he asks. He says Mark Drakeford in Wales shows how an alternative model of leadership work. Q: What do you say to people who say you should stand aside for someone else? Starmer says he will be setting out his platform in his speech on Wednesday. And that’s it. The interview is over. I will post a summary soon. 4.54am EDT 04:54 Starmer claims pushing through leadership election rules sign of 'strong leadership' Starmer says he is “happy” with the leadership election reforms now being voted on. He says delaying a decision would have been a sign of weakness. Taking decisions is “strong leadership”, he says. He says it is better to spend three days having an argument and getting this sorted out than to duck the issue. 4.51am EDT 04:51 Starmer expresses his disapproval over Rayner calling Tories scum Q: Should Angela Rayner apologise for calling the Tories scum. Starmer says he would not have used those words. Q: Should she apologise? Starmer says that is a matter for her. 4.49am EDT 04:49 Q: Are women only people with a cervix? Starmer says he wants to see a mature, respectful debate about trans rights. He says he spoke
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4.43am EDT 04:43 Sticking with news from Russia for a moment, its government has just announced that it has registered a further 805 Covid-related deaths in the past 24 hours. As mentioned earlier, it comes as the president Vladimir Putin ended his self-isolation with a fishing trip to Siberia. A Russian Emergency Situations Ministry worker sanitises Belorussky railway station. Photograph: Maxim Shipenkov/EPA 4.11am EDT 04:11 The Russian president Vladimir Putin has ended his short spell in self-isolation and has spent seve
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My Secret Brexit Diary, Michel Barnier’s blow-by-blow account of the Brexit negotiations, is at times quite a dry and technical read. But every now and then it offers glorious moments of comic relief. There is, for example, the day that Lord Digby Jones and a jovial bunch of leave-voting businessmen pitch up optimistically at Barnier’s Brussels office, plonking a patriotic gift-basket on his desk. Running his eye over it, the European Union’s chief Brexit negotiator spies some cheddar, wine, tea and jam, a book of Shakespeare’s plays and an essay on Winston Churchill’s life and political philosophy. With a smile, Barnier points out that some of the foodstuffs are processed from European products and protected by EU designations of origin. As for Shakespeare and Churchill, one, he suggests, was a very “continental playwright” and the other a “very European British statesman” who backed a united Europe.This false start is the prelude to some unsuccessful lobbying by the British delegation on behalf of the City’s financial services industry. When Barnier bats away demands for full post-Brexit access to European markets, he writes that the mood suddenly turns sour: “Digby Jones dares to say to me: ‘Mr Barnier, your position is contrary to the interests of the economy. You are going to make life even more difficult for the worker in the Ruhr, the single woman in Madrid or the unemployed man in Athens.’” The rhetoric and tone, concludes Barnier in his diary entry for 10 January 2018, was “morally outrageous”; the desired bespoke agreement on financial services never materialises.This, of course, is the Michel Barnier that “remain Britain” came to know and admire during the four, fractious years of Brexit negotiations. Suave, calm and scrupulously polite, armed with a clear mandate and ferociously on top of his brief, the 70-year-old saw off a shambolic, ever-changing cast of British interlocutors. David Davies, Dominic Raab, David Frost; all tried and failed to extract special treatment for Brexiting Britain. At regular televised briefings, Barnier defended the integrity of the EU single market, free movement and European institutions with the unyielding logic and gritty determination of a seasoned technocrat. For millions of despairing Britons, he epitomised the virtues of a collaborative, rational and wealth-generating political project, on which the United Kingdom was senselessly turning its back.That was then, though. Nine months after a post-Brexit trade deal was dramatically achieved last Christmas Eve, the distinguished, handsome face is instantly recognisable in an early-morning interview ahead of My Secret Brexit Diary’s publication in English; the grey suit and dark blue tie recall the sober sartorial style adopted at those endless press conferences and the professorial, slightly stern manner is the same. But the politics of Michel Barnier have, it is fair to say, moved on. Tough controls on immigration; a restricted role for European courts and a new politics of patriotism: these are the eyebrow-raising new demands of the EU’s former chief Brexit negotiator.The transformation has taken place as Barnier embarks upon perhaps the last great challenge of a political career that began at the age of 14 in 1965, when he cut his teeth campaigning for Charles de Gaulle against François Mitterrand. Having recently announced his intention to run for the French presidency in elections to be held next spring, Barnier hopes to be the chosen candidate for the centre-right party Les Républicains. What he describes as the “lessons of Brexit” are central to his pitch. But not quite in the way his erstwhile admirers might have expected.“The first chapter of my book is entitled ‘A warning’,” says Barnier, holding up an elegant yellow-jacketed French edition. “People in the bubble of Brussels think they are always right,” he says. “They don’t want to listen. They don’t want to change anything. This is precisely the way to provoke more Brexits elsewhere in Europe. I’m not a federalist. I’ve never been a federalist. I’m a Gaullist and I’m still on the same track – a patriot and a European. And I’m a European in addition to being a patriot and not instead of being a patriot. As the former Brexit negotiator and as a French politician I will draw the lessons of Brexit, OK?”Michel Barnier with Boris Johnson and Ursula von der Leyen, Brussels, 2020. Photograph: Andrew Parsons/No 10 Downing StreetIf Barnier sounds testy, it may be because he has endured a difficult month. At a hustings in the southern city of Nimes, he expounded on what the lessons of Brexit might be, delivering a series of proposals that were greeted with disbelief by former colleagues in Brussels. The restoration of sovereign powers to the French state was the theme. In certain areas, he said, France should no longer be subject to the rulings of the European court of justice or the European court of human rights. French influence in Europe needed to be reasserted, in the face of an unacceptable level of German domination. Perhaps most strikingly, he would hold a referendum on migration policy and aim to introduce a moratorium on all immigration, including family reunions, from outside the EU. A “constitutional shield” would be put in place to allow France to develop its own non-EU immigration policy without interference from the European courts. It all sounded, well, pretty Eurosceptic.“Michel Barnier is the biggest hypocrite ever born,” was the swift response of Nigel Farage. The veteran Brussels correspondent for the leftwing Libération newspaper, Jean Quatremer, let rip with a blistering attack. “His rallying behind a Frexit that dare not speak its name,” wrote Quatremer, “amounts to a political suicide, given that his European ‘brand’ was his selling point… Having dreamed of being a new Jacques Delors, he has ended up as Boris Johnson.” Clément Beaune, France’s Europe minister, was just as withering: “He’s destroyed the image that he himself created,” marvelled Beaune, wondering how a supposedly “committed European” could come up with such stuff.Barnier has no regrets but is clearly angry about the mauling he has received. “One has to keep calm,” he says icily. “I don’t want to comment on specific articles by some journalists who have a kind of obsessive, aggressive agenda against me. I was a European before some of these gentlemen and I will be European after them. I know who I am and I know what I said and I know exactly what I think and I have not changed.”He is particularly exasperated by suggestions that the Eurosceptic turn has come out of the blue, prompted perhaps by an opportunistic desire to raise his profile in the presidential race. Despite having served as a minister in four administrations going back to the early 1990s, Barnier is probably more famous in Britain than in France, where the Brexit negotiations rarely hit the front pages.He raps the table in frustration. “I don’t know why people are surprised by what I say, because you can look at each and everyone of my declarations over the past four or five years. From the very beginning I spoke about the consequences of Brexit. I spoke in front of the economic and social affairs committee in Brussels and I’m very sorry that some people in Brussels chose not to listen. There is a kind of arrogance there. We have to respect people and listen to them.”With young delegates of the Les Républicains party last summer. Photograph: Sebastien Salom-Gomis/AFP/Getty ImagesBarnier still believes, passionately, that Brexit was a terrible mistake, fuelled partly by post-imperial nostalgia and an inability to confront the realities of the present. In the diary, he quotes Hugo Young, the Guardian’s influential commentator on Europe, who wrote in the 1990s that: “Britain has struggled to reconcile the past with the future she could not avoid.” My Secret Brexit Diary opens with a quote from King Lear: “Beat at this gate that let thy folly in/ And thy dear judgement out.” Britain’s departure from the European
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Andrew Neil’s tearful revelations this weekend about amateurism at GB News showed a lack of understanding of broadcasting, according to LBC radio presenter James O’Brien.“Neil believes that whatever success he enjoyed at the BBC had nothing to do with the BBC – which he subjected to unseemly and ungrateful attacks the moment he was out of the door – and everything to do with him,” said O’Brien, joining those reacting this weekend to Neil’s emotional revelations about his time with GB News, which he now describes as “the worst eight months in my career”.Neil left the BBC last year after a quarter of a century to set up the right-leaning GB News this summer, but has announced he will no longer work there. In an emotional interview in Saturday’s Daily Mail, Neil, 72, claims that he tried to delay the launch of the new channel because it was not ready. But his experience as chairman of Sky in the late 1980s was ignored, he claims.“At Sky, we’d had three weeks of rehearsals before going on air. GB News barely had a week, and there were so many hitches with the technology. The CEO wanted to get on air, even if it was ramshackle, and then improve things,” said Neil.The veteran journalist also says he warned of the dangers of the channel’s novel ideas about creating content, including an abortive scheme to put covert cameras inside school classrooms to expose the supposed leftwing bias of teachers.“I said: “That’s a really good idea but I think you should take charge of that yourself, and after you get in hot water for breaking about five different laws – including filming minors – come back and talk to me,” says Neil, who remains chairman of the Spectator.Tweeting before publication of the interview on Friday, Neil, who edited the Sunday Times for a decade, said that having “to revisit terrible, unnecessary times” had been “quite distressing” but that it was “good to get the truth out, at last”.While Neil’s critics are unsympathetic – several using social media to reach for their metaphoric “tiny violins” – the picture of chaos now painted at the news channel lifts the lid on a media project that aimed to
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Anthony Joshua was sanguine despite being dethroned as world heavyweight champion, insisting he has no regrets about his tactics in defeat to Oleksandr Usyk and vowing to dust himself off and go again to regain his four titles.Usyk gave up three inches in height and four in reach, as well as nearly 20lbs in weight, but the superior craft of the former undisputed world cruiserweight champion was there for all to see in his unanimous decision win.Scorecards of 117-112, 116-112 and 115-113 were justifiable rewards for a mesmerising display by Usyk, who snatched the WBA, IBF and WBO belts from Jos
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Lidl’s own-brand have become an unlikely contender for this year’s hottest trainer brand but the supermarket has been left apologising to customers after many pairs were bulk-bought and re-sold online by budding entrepreneurs.Priced at £12.99 and available from the middle aisle of Lidl, which is known for its random assortment of goods, the shoes were part of a new fashion range that sold out in hours in some stores but then appeared on Depop, eBay and other websites with a big markup.Some sellers have sold dozens of pairs at £35 each while others have put together “packages” of trai
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Hammersmith-born George MacKay, 29, began his acting career aged 10, playing one of the Lost Boys in PJ Hogan’s live-action Peter Pan film. Subsequent roles include Pride, True History of the Kelly Gang, Sunshine on Leith and the lead in Sam Mendes’s Oscar-winning first world war epic 1917. Next, he stars in the films Wolf and Munich: The Edge of War, along with BBC One dram The Trick, about the 2009 “Climategate” email hacking scandal.You’re about to start filming Shane Meadows’s new TV drama, The Gallows Pole. What can you tell us?I’ve been a fan of Shane’s since for ever so it’s cool to be working with him. I’m going for my costume fitting tomorrow, then we start shooting in Yorkshire. It’s based on Ben Myers’s novel about an 18th-century gang called the Cragg Vale Coiners who started counterfeiting money out on the moors. They clipped coins on a massive scale but there was also a community aspect. It was pre-Industrial Revolution and local people were starving, so they found a way to make their own money and stick it to the man, as it were.How’s your Yorkshire accent coming along?Hopefully it’s passable. I’ve been reading Ted Hughes poetry to practise. I’ll maintain the accent all the time when I’m up there.At least you don’t need a period beard. Apparently you struggled to grow one for True History of the Kelly Gang.All I could manage was some ginger scruff, like a third eyebrow [laughs]. I feared it was a deal-breaker. Luckily they let me grow a mullet instead.George MacKay and Jerome Flynn in The Trick. Photograph: BBCYour new BBC drama The Trick is about the “Climategate” scandal. How did you get involved?I’d worked with [director] Pip Broughton and [writer] Owen Sheers three years ago on To Provide All People – a poetic tribute to the NHS on its 70th anniversary. Free healthcare is such a special thing – just look at the past 18 months – and it was such a good, moral piece of work. I leapt at the chance to work with them again.Was “Climategate” a story you knew much about?I was still in my teens so missed it at the time. Unfortunately, the subject of climate change is even more pertinent 12 years on. The story is also about truth and trust of experts, which resonates in the fake news era.Most of your scenes are with Jerome Flynn, as you play colleagues at a PR firm. How was working with him?We for
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Sometimes, as Mark Twain so elegantly put it, “profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer”. In other words, when your boss is driving you mad, your kids are screaming, you’ve been on hold to your failing energy provider for longer than it would take to generate your own electricity and you’ve just dropped a hammer on your foot, the universe demands a long, lustily delivered “FUCK THIS!”. For at that point, no god is coming to save you.But if the relief derives from the feeling of transgression, what happens when the taboo is lifted? The results of an Ofcom survey released last week suggests that swearing – as we perceive it via our television screens – no longer has the shock value it once did; and that we may no longer have much use for euphemisms such as “fudge”, “sugar” and “see you next Tuesday”. Certainly, the memorable “seven dirty words” routine created by American comedian George Carlin in the 1970s, which led to his repeated arrest and a government ruling in favour of continued censorship, is almost impossible to imagine.Yet language remains a marker to analyse what societies do consider offensive. While Ofcom discovered that TV audiences appear increasingly relaxed about swearing – at least if post-watershed and, in the case of a live broadcast, if promptly noted by presenters – they are alive to the power of discriminatory language to entrench and perpetuate inequality. Consequently, viewers – with caveats for variations between age groups and according to context – are no longer prepared to accept seeing characters in blackface, or to hear racist or homophobic epithets or phrases.But we should be wary before celebrating a victory for progressive and inclusive values. At a basic level, what people tell surveys and what language they tolerate and themselves use in other situations are not always the same thing; it’s all too easy to give the answers that will create a picture of oneself as a right-thinking respondent.And there’s a sharp contrast between the image of a society aware of the power of language to oppress and marginalise and the aggression and vitriol frequently seen on social media.Take, for example, some of the responses to the Marylebone Cricket Club’s announcement last week that it will henceforth use the word “batter” rather than batsman to describe a player advancing to the crease. For those opposed to the change, there is the familiar sense of the resistance to territory being ceded; the idea that the encroachment of, in this instance, women cricketers into a traditionally male-dominated arena is now being not merely accepted but encouraged and codified. Here, a single word bears the weight of a larger shift, and of the unease it generates, the fear that this is the thin end of the wedge. That cricket fans comfortably use the words fielder and bowler appears not to matter, because logic is subordinate to far more deeply rooted fears. And the argument that being called a batter does little to diminish the lives of male cricketers is irrelevant to the knottier problems that surround status anxiety.One would know little of this from the behaviour of the ruling g
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For cookery school teacher Elizabeth Kolawole-Johnson, there is almost nothing more rewarding than seeing people cooking her mother’s recipes.“When people taste the food and they’re so appreciative of it, I don’t know how to even quantify that feeling. It’s a great feeling,” she said.Kolawole-Johnson came to the UK from Nigeria to live with her family, but over a period of eight years ended up becoming an undocumented migrant, living in fear of being arrested and sent back to a place she no longer called home.Though she had a successful career and has a master’s degree in psychology, she was not allowed to work, instead filling her time volunteering. It was through this she found Migrateful, a cooking charity staffed by refugees and other vulnerable migrants, which next month is opening a new £200,000 cookery school, thanks to a successful crowdfunding campaign.The campaign attracted 800 backers, which included £45,000 from Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, and met its target in just a month.The Migrateful cookery school, which teaches classes on more than 20 different cuisines, has transformed the front room of the Peel community centre in Clerkenwell into a bespoke venue with an open-plan kitchen. It has 12 cooking stations where participants will receive one-to-one cooking guidance from a chef cooking their family recipes, which might be Albanian, Nepalese, Syrian or Cameroonian, for example. Overlooking the modern space is a pair of glass doors that open out to a herb garden.The charity’s celebrity backers include Jamie Oliver. Photograph: Migrateful Cookery SchoolIt is a world away from the empty restaurants Migrateful has been using for classes, and it means staff no longer have to move equipment around by taxi or risk getting lost on the way to new places in London.Jess Thompson, the founder of Migrateful, said: “It will be amazing because we’ve never had our own space. We’ve always relied on other venues, which has its own set of complications. And I think also for the people that we support, having that place that they feel a real sense of belonging in is going to be really amazing.”Many of the refugee chefs have escaped war-torn countries or sex trafficking. Though Migrateful works with all genders, most of the chefs are women. Thompson said: “There’s higher unemployment among female refugees because they often come from countries where the culture is that the woman stays in the home. So, often, the husband will be able to speak English but the woman wouldn’t have had that educational opportunity, and also women are generally more confident with cooking.”The customers tend to be mostly young professionals who want to help refugees and who like cooking, but the charity also receives lots of bookings for corporate events.Thompson said: “That’s where we see a slightly different demographic because it will be, for example, the office manager that would book us as the team-building activity for, like, an all-white, IT consultancy company. Maybe those people wouldn’t have naturally chosen to come to a class, but then they find themselves having a really good time.”Kolawole-Johnson teaches customers
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Indignity struck without sound or strain, just a white-hot burst of pain that sent me backwards. Stretching from my right shoulder blade to my neck, the pain arrived, fully formed, in one massive instalment. I yelped and stumbled backwards to the wall before crumpling dramatically to the floor. From a distance it must have looked like I’d been shot, but I’d just walked into my son’s bedroom to pick out his favourite socks, since the ones previously offered were causing a stalemate in the daily drudge toward getting him off to nursery. I’d barely crossed the threshold when the pain announced itself with all the grim inevitability of a council tax bill.‘Daddy, what’s wrong?’ my s
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Thousands of people are stuck in flats they cannot sell or remortgage despite government efforts to persuade banks to drop fire-safety cladding checks on low-rise buildings.The government announced in
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What exciting news that Charlie Mullins, owner of Pimlico Plumbers, has sold his business to a US company, Neighborly, for around £130m. Announcing the deal, Mike Bidwell, president of Neighborly, said: “We are thrilled to be growing our global footprint with the addition of Pimlico as the next subsidiary brand to join our global family of home service professionals. Pimlico’s wide array of trade services as well as its exceptional customer care align with Neighborly’s purpose, which is to build an extensive service community known for providing excellent experiences.”Oh dear, where to start with such meaningless management speak. Footprints, excellence, family, community? No, Mike,
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The last week of July, as Gabby Petito and her fiance, Brian Laundrie, posted Instagram photos of themselves hiking barefoot in Utah’s Canyonlands national park, bronzed skin matching apricot-colore
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The German writer Thomas Mann (1875-1955) defied his bourgeois upbringing in late 19th-century Lübeck, and the expectation that he would enter respectable clerkdom, to instead publish, at 25, his multigenerational roman à clef, Buddenbrooks. It was the start of a career marked by prestige (a Nobel prize in 1929), sexual intrigue (fuelled by his portrait of gay desire, Death in Venice, not to mention a novella hinting at incest in his wife’s family), and the contortions of life as a public intellectual at a time of global tumult (he was alternately courted and persecuted by the US, as American fears turned from Hitler to Stalin).Over 18 date-stamped, place-tagged chapters, from Lübeck in 1891 to Los Angeles in 1950, Colm Tóibín’s new novel dramatises the life of Mann by focusing on the author’s hidden yearnings as a married father of six, as well as the more pressing problem of how to position himself amid the dawning horrors of Nazi Germany.A section set in Munich in 1922 tells us that Mann, or Thomas, walked past anti-communist demonstrations “a few times... He did not pay attention”, a line that all but winks at the reader. When someone suggests to Thomas, years later, that he ought to write a novel about Hitler’s rise, from his own perspective as someone who was living in Munich at the time, he excuses himself by observing that, back then, he was busy watching his children grow up – although the early part of the book more than once shows him enthusiastically reporting a child’s latest milestone to his wife, only for her to tell him it’s old news.Such moments are a sign of how subtly Tóibín develops his central theme of what can escape the eye of seclusion-seeking writers lauded for their observational gifts. Overall, though, the impression left by his somewhat confounding enterprise is rather more blunt. An early paragraph dealing with Thomas’s sexuality begins: “There was a boy in his class with whom he had a different sort of intimacy.” Despite the unpromising start, the ensuing scene is well done, rich in longing and awkward jeopardy. But as the novel proceeds, and Mann becomes a celebrity among other writers and artists (no
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The concept of the “metaverse” first came from the 1992 sci-fi novel Snow Crash as a place that people flee to escape a dangerous corporation-dominated world. It has since come to refer to a range of virtual experiences that have gained popularity during the pandemic – including video games such as Fortnite, non-fungible tokens or even online meetings and events.But in recent weeks the term has gained new traction – and concern over its potential ethical and societal implications – after Mark Zuckerberg said that in five years, Facebook would be a “metaverse company” and declared it the “successor to the mobile internet”.Sharing his vision of what it might look like, the founder and controlling shareholder of the $1tn (£750bn) company described an online world where people wearing VR headsets – Facebook also owns Oculus, the virtual-reality platform – would not just view content but be inside it. It would be an online space built by companies, creators and developers in which people could also live their lives – virtually going to performances and even work.Nick Clegg, the former deputy prime minsiter is leading Facebook’s lobbying campaign to control the new virtual world. Photograph: Oliver Dixon/REX/ShutterstockIn Washington, Facebook’s political
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When Kate Harrison’s father was in hospital, she started going through his bills and bank statements to make sure all were in order. She was shocked to discover he had been paying Sky a massive £179 a month – a fifth of his pension income.The huge bill was made up of £109 for his TV package and £70 for “CLI charges”, a levy she knew nothing about. And, after investigating, she found he had been paying that fee for four years – amounting to more than £3,000. It was an enormous sum for 81-year-old Mike, which contributed to him going into debt to his credit card company.The charges began when Mike was a carer for his wife Barbara, who had dementia. Since she dealt with a lot of the household outgoings and received bills online, he had little knowledge of what he was expected to pay for services such as TV. Even after she died in 2018, the statements continued to go to her email address.“He had no idea that £179 was outrageous, and thought that was just what you had to pay. He was not getting any kind of statement and he was not going to challenge it,” explains Kate.She also says that her father was too preoccupied at the time, caring for his wife, to focus on bills.When she challenged Sky initially, she says the call handler told her it would only refund £220, and suggested it was her responsibility to monitor her dad’s bills.After she took to social media, Sky apologised and handed the money back. But the case illustrates the pitfalls of online billing, particularly where vulnerable customers are involved.When Sky customers have a number of its boxes in their home, each one is separately subscribed to the customer’s full package, called Sky Multiscreen. But you don’t have to pay the full subscription for each box – a discount is applied.However, to ensure each box is being used in the right location, Sky insists it is connected to the internet or a telephone line to monitor usage. If not, call line identification (CLI) charges apply. This is a way for the company to take back the discounts if it cannot see that all the boxes are being used by one household.The measures are meant to stop people selling the additional box, using it in an
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That legendary philosopher of time Joe Strummer once said: “The future is unwritten.” This quote from The Clash frontman makes a surprise appearance on page 21 of the essay published in the name of Sir Keir Starmer in which he expends 13,000 words trying to answer the criticism that he doesn’t stand for anything because he doesn’t believe in anything.I think I understand why that Strummerism appeals to Sir Keir. One of the sharpest of myriad challenges facing the Labour leader is that a lot of people think his future is already written – and not in a good way. Eighteen months into the job, many in his own party and outside it are concluding that he is doomed to take Labour to another defeat at the next election. Starting with a shrivelled base of just 202 Labour MPs, his task never looked easy, but for a while there were some wisps of hope that he was climbing the mountain. Even if he did not win, there seemed a decent possibility that he could create the conditions for a dramatic improvement to Labour’s position. Those hopes have been evaporating in recent months. The loss of the Hartlepool byelection was followed by a near-death experience in Batley and Spen. After a promising start to his leadership, his approval ratings sagged, then dived and have now bottomed out in deeply negative territory.That fuels the widely held impression that the Labour leader is struggling. His excuse is that Covid constrained the topics he could talk about and prevented campaigning. For sure, the pandemic denied him opportunities to try to connect with voters, but that alibi has now expired.You can’t tread water as an opposition leader. Momentum is essential. If you aren’t making visible progress, then you are going backwards. The more that people write him off as yet another Labour leader who can’t win, the harder it is for him to impose his authority and ideas on his party.“He’s lost the left,” says one Labour MP. True, but then he never really had them in the first place. The continuity Corbynites were always going to decry him as an empty haircut in a centrist suit who lacks a radical soul. Sir Keir is also taxing the patience of people at the other end
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The number of people with from post-Covid-19 syndrome depends on the statistical methodMany viruses can lead to prolonged effects after the infection has passed and Sars-CoV-2 is no exception: the NHS has compiled a long list of symptoms of long Covid. However, a recent Telegraph headline states: “More than half of Britons suffering from long Covid might not actually have it.” Is that what the data says?The Office for National Statistics conducts regular surveys of private households, testing for Covid infections and asking about health. But there is no diagnostic test for long Covid, or even a consensus on a definition, so a range of exploratory statistical methods must be used.The first approach uses a checklist of 12 classic symptoms, including fever, cough and loss of taste or smel
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Is Joe Biden failing? Less than nine months into his presidency, rising numbers of Americans and not a few foreign allies appear to think so. Polls last week by Gallup and Rasmussen put his national approval rating at minus 10 points. His overall poll average is minus 4. That compares with a positive approval rating of 19 points in January when he took office.These figures suggest one of the steepest ever early falls in presidential popularity is under way. Jolting, too, is a new Harvard-Harris survey giving Donald Trump a 48% favourability rating to Biden’s 46%. Among independent voters and in battleground states, the outlook for Democrats appears grim. In Iowa, 62% disapprove of Biden’s performance while 70% say the country is “on the wrong track”. Michigan and Virginia tell simi
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In our community we’re no strangers to making things, and there are plenty among us who devote their efforts to modelmaking. It’s uncommon, though, for a scale model of something to be made using the exact same techniques as whatever it’s copying. Instead a model might be made from card, foam, glassfibre, or resin. [tiny WORLD] takes an opposite tack, building scale model civil engineering projects just as they would have been for real. (Video, embedded below.) Here, a scale model of the Hoover Dam bypass bridge is made as the original, from reinforced concrete. In place of rebar is a wire grid in place of wooden shuttering is what looks like foam board, the concrete is a much smoother mortar, but otherwise it’s the real thing. We see the various bridge parts being cast in situ, with the result being as strong as you’d expect from the original. We can see that this is a great technique for modelling concrete buildings and structures, but it’s also a material that we think might have other applications at this scale. How would the rigidity, strength, and mass of small-scale reinforced cement compare to 20-20 extrusion, 3D-printed plastic, or wood, for
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It was even more elitist than Oxford’s Bullingdon Club, whose past members include Boris Johnson, David Cameron and George Osborne.The Annandale Society, nicknamed the Anna, was made up exclusively of Old Etonians at Balliol College, Oxford, in the late 19th and early 20th century. They had their own table for meals, smashed crockery by throwing it down staircases, trashed the rooms of other undergraduates, whipped non-Balliol members out of the college grounds, and ritually abused, verbally and physically, some of their own fellow students.Now the story of five young men who attended the college shortly before the first world war – three Old Etonian members of the Anna and two non-Etonians – has been turned into a play, opening in London next month Into Battle conveys not just the feud between this trio of Balliol Old Etonians and the other two students, but the imminent war, in which, by a tragic coincidence, all five were killed.Patrick Shaw-Stewart, the president of the elite Annandale Society, was celebrated for his war poem Achilles in the Trench. Photograph: TBCIt was also the name of a poem written by one Annandale member, Julian Grenfell, who – despite his thuggish behaviour at Oxford – was a poet of some note, being commemorated in Poets’ Corner in Westminster Abbey. His poem Into Battle was a pro-war piece written in 1915 and was met with popular acclaim when published posthumously.The idea for the play came after former advertising executive Hugh Salmon helped a friend research and publish a book about the England rugby union player Ronald Poulton, who captained his country in the final international before the first world war. Poulton, one of the
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A 38-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of the murder of the London schoolteacher Sabina Nessa, Scotland Yard has said.The man was arrested at 3am on Sunday at an address in East Sussex in what police described as as “significant development”.DCI Neil John, from the Metropolitan police’s specialist crime command, said: “Sabina’s family have been informed of this significant development and they continue to be supported by specialist officers.”The man has been taken into police custody where he will be questioned. He is the third man arrested over the killing.Nessa, 28, is suspected to have been killed as she made what should have been a five-minute journey on foot to a pub from her home, at about 8.30pm last Friday.She was found dead the following day in Cater park, in Kidbrooke, south-east London, where about 500 mourners held a candlelit vigil in her memory on Friday.The killing has reignited concerns about the level of danger women face in Britain.Two men previously arrested by homicide detectives – a 38-year-old man and a man in his 40s – have been released under investigation.The latest arrest came 48 hours after police appealed for help to trace a man captured on CCTV images taken near where Nessa was found dead.A 12-second video released by the Met shows the balding man wearing a black hooded coat and grey jeans looking over his shoulder and pulling at his hood as he walks down a footpath.Nessa’s sister, Jebina Yasmin Islam, issued a statemen
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"One of the most exciting reading streams ever."  — Sueddeutsche Zeitung   "Another devilishly clever question—the 'question' question."  — Stanislas Dehaene "Fascinating...Each one a little cluster bomb of possibilities." — Annalena McAfee "One of the most stimulating pieces of (collective) writing ever." — Andrian Kreye   "Chrysanthemum" [expand] by Katinka Matson | katinkamatson.com  "WHAT IS THE LAST QUESTION?" After twenty years, I’ve run out of questions. So, for the finale to a noteworthy Edge project, can you ask "The Last Question"?  Contributors: Sco
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The National Gallery has always given pride of place to Peter Paul Rubens’s Samson and Delilah, listing it among the “highlights” of its collection, since it purchased the picture at Christie’s in 1980 for a then record price.It depicts the Old Testament hero in the lap of the lover who betrayed him, having beguiled him into revealing that his God-given strength lay in his uncut hair. As Samson sleeps, Delilah’s accomplice cuts his locks, rendering him powerless, with soldiers ready at the door to capture him.Critics have long suggested that the painting is not really by Rubens. And
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He helped save more Jewish lives than Oskar Schindler, but while the brave deeds of the German industrialist were known around the world because of an Oscar-winning film, few know the name Jan Zwartendijk, a Dutch radio salesman who helped thousands of Jews flee Nazi-occupied Europe.Now a book by the celebrated Dutch writer Jan Brokken seeks to rescue Zwartendijk from obscurity, as well as other courageous officials who bent the rules to help several thousand Jews trapped between Nazi Europe and the Soviet Union.The Just, published this year in English, recounts how up to 10,000 men, women and
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With sales soaring up to 500% in the first UK lockdown alone, houseplants are back in a huge way. Yet unlike in their 1970s heyday, the species currently in vogue are almost exclusively the foliage types. In fact, aside from the ubiquitous moth orchid, it can be tricky to find any flowering species on either the shelves of achingly cool plant boutiques or in the glossy feeds of Instagram “plant-fluencers”.While it is true that many of the old-school flowering species, from miniature roses and chrysanths to blousy begonias, have a whiff of the crocheted doily about them, there is a family of overlooked flowering houseplants that are perfect for modern interiors. I present to you: gesneriads.Red glow: an Episcia. Photograph: ShutterstockIf you can pick only one, I’d go for Deinostigma
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In that glorious way that modern life works, a phrase rarely uttered outside therapist’s dinner parties has breached the border wall and has now spread itself thickly across the internet. Like “gaslighting” and “narcissism” before it, this week the “parasocial relationship” is the subject of every third online conversation, and every fifth IRL.The trigger was John Mulaney, an American comedian whose shtick was so focused on his partner that he’d become known as the ultimate ‘wife-guy’ – he said he didn’t want kids because it would interfere with the time he spent with Annamarie. When he went to rehab, then announced not only that he had filed for divorce but impregnated actor Olivia Munn, his fans had some feelings. Frantic tweets and TikTok videos appeared, asking
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What a strange and peculiarly powerful film this is. An ambitious adaptation of the chivalric poem about the adventures of an Arthurian knight, written in Middle English by an unknown author (and most famously translated in the 21st century by Simon Armitage), The Green Knight is the best work yet from David Lowery, director of Ain’t Them Bodies Saints and A Ghost Story. Capitalising on leading man Dev Patel’s uncanny ability to embody a combination of weakness and strength, wretchedness and valour, Lowery’s haunting epic takes the viewer on a mythical quest, replete with flaming heads and eerie giants, that condenses the emotional weight of Peter Jackson’s entire Lord of the Rings trilogy into just over two hours of dense screen magic.It’s Christmas Day at the Round Table, as th
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Hang on,” I can’t help thinking as I wait for Usain Bolt – the Usain Bolt, Fastest Man In The World Usain Bolt – to magically appear on the laptop screen in my kitchen. Bolt has released a reggae album with his childhood friend and manager Nugent “NJ” Walker, and I’ve been granted an interview. Except… has there been some terrible mix-up? Am I interviewing some other Usain Bolt, some lesser-known reggae artist who just happens to share his name? Why on earth would a man widely considered to be the greatest sprinter of all time, a three-time world record holder, be releasing a reggae record?But, nope, there he is, beaming at me from a nondescript kitchen somewhere in the world. (He’s actually in the UK, ready to play for the World XI against an England XI at Soccer Aid at
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Blaming women for the ills of the world might appear an odd feminist call to action. But an idea gaining traction is that the “white feminism” dominant in the United States and the UK is not only a driving force of societal racism, but responsible for a host of other bad things, from the war on terror to the hypersexualisation of women in popular culture, to the dreadful abuses of power we see in international aid. It’s part of a growing tendency on the left to look for scapegoats at the cost of building the solidarity needed for social change.This is not to downplay the extent of racial inequalities in the UK, the way they affect women of colour and the structural racism that lies behind them. But it’s quite a jump to move from the observation that women are no more immune to raci
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Standing on the lawn of the US Capitol, in clear view of the supreme court, a coalition of Democratic women declared Roe v Wade was no longer the law of the land.Nearly half a century after the court established the constitutional right to abortion, it allowed a near-complete ban to stand in Texas, the second-most populous state. Though the 5-4 decision did not address the substance of the Texas law, Democrats warn that it was a mere taste of things to come from the court – and Republicans who helped expand its conservative majority.“When this court embraced this shameful Texas law, they brought shame to the United States supreme court,” the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, said at a press conference on Friday, ahead of a vote on legislation effectively codifying abortion rights into fed
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Tanya was only 12 years old when it first happened. It was a sunny afternoon in Birmingham and she was just getting off the bus she took from school every day. The bus was busy and she was keen to get off – that’s when she noticed the two men standing just behind her. “As I was passing by the stairs, I felt one of them pushing me to the side, then before I knew what was happening the other one quickly started taking pictures and videos underneath my skirt. I was wearing my school uniform and everyone could see but nobody said anything.”Tearful and shocked, Tanya got off the bus and called her cousin. “She said, ‘You know what, these things happen. It’s a shame that we live in a world like this but that is the way things are’.” She went to her school but this was their res
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For almost a decade he was a pariah who struggled to get a meeting abroad or even to assert himself on his visitors. Largely alone in his palace, save for trusted aides, Bashar al-Assad presided over a broken state whose few friends demanded a humiliating price for their protection, and weren’t afraid to show it.During regular trips to Syria, Vladimir Putin arranged meetings at Russian bases, forcing Assad to trail behind him at functions. Iran too readily imposed its will, often dictating military terms, or sidelining the Syrian leader on decisions that shaped the course of his country.But with the din of war and insurrection receding and a tired region recalibrating from an exhausting 10 years, an unlikely dynamic is emerging: Assad the outcast is in demand. Foes who opposed him as Syr
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People who trust science are more likely to be duped into believing and disseminating pseudoscience, finds a new paper in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. Pseudoscience is false information that references science broadly or scientific terms, research or phenomena. Across four experiments, researchers asked U.S. adults to read news articles written for the study that intentionally made false claims about two topics: a fictional virus created as a bioweapon or the health effects of genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. The experiments reveal that study participants who indicated they had higher levels of trust in science were most likely to believe the fake account if it contained scientific references. Those individuals also were more likely to agr
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COSTLY TECH FAILURE: More than 25,000 files for nearly 8,000 students from 81 schools were lost when system administrators updated a server, the Ministry of Education said By Rachel Lin and William Hetherington / Staff reporter, with staff writer The academic records of 7,854 high-school students have been lost due to a hard-drive failure, the Ministry of Education said yesterday. The recor
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The House Ways and Means Committee recently released proposed tax legislation intended to pay for President Biden’s $3.5 trillion infrastructure bill. Several provisions severely restrict your freedom to self-direct the investments in your IRA. Continue reading to find out how you can protect your self-directed IRA. Regardless of which side of the political spectrum you stand or how you feel about the proposed infrastructure bill, we believe the proposed restrictions of the investment options now available to middle-class retirement savers is not a prudent or appropriate way to pay for this or any other spending bill. Despite the stated objective of only raising taxes on corporations and the wealthy, many of the proposed changes will restrict the ability of average retirement investo
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The White Sands of New Mexico have been a popular tourist attraction for a remarkably long time. Modern travellers come to gaze at the vistas of glistening, pure dunes of gypsum that stretch for miles in all directions.But previous visitors had very different goals. Thousands of years ago, Homo sapiens came here to hunt giant sloths, mammoths and other megafauna. In doing so, they left signs of their presence whose analysis now promises to transform our understanding of the populating of our planet.In a paper in Science last week, palaeontologists outlined data that suggests men, women and children strode across the White Sands more than 21,000 years ago. In providing such a date, the team added more than 6,000 years to previous estimates of humanity’s earliest known appearance in Americ
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A programme that aims to tackle the lack of diversity in children’s books has been launched after its founder said the practice of richer authors paying for support to get published was “skewing the landscape” for authors on low incomes.All Stories, which launched this month, is one of several schemes set up recently to help authors from under-represented groups enter the children’s book market, which is heavily dominated by white celebrities such as Tom Fletcher and David Walliams. Other schemes include WriteNow, an editorial programme launched last year by Penguin Random House to foster the talent of 14 under-represented writers, and Megaphone, a mentorship and masterclass scheme that supports six writers of colour for a year.The All Stories mentorship scheme was founded by Catherine Coe, a white British freelance children’s book editor with 20 years’ experience. She noticed that more aspiring children’s authors are paying freelance editors and going on writing courses to “polish” their manuscripts and get advice about pitching, before submitting their stories to publishers.“What I’ve been seeing is that many – if not most – of the debut children’s book authors who get published today are those who have been able to afford to pay for support to develop their writing,” she said.Melissa Abraham, a London-based writer of Ghanaian heritage who has won a place on All Stories, has lost track of how many times her children’s stories have been rejected by publishers and agents.An illustration from Dapo Adeola debut, Hey You! Photograph: Joelle Avelino“There’s been a lot. I would say getting towards 100,” she said. “I didn’t want to give
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It is nearly half a century since Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein became the world’s most famous journalistic double act, immortalized by Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman in the film All the President’s Men.But Woodward’s latest book, about the decline and fall of Donald Trump, is co-written with a different Washington Post colleague who was not yet born at the time of the Watergate break-in.So, Robert Costa, aged 35, how does it feel to be the new Carl Bernstein?“There is only one Carl Bernstein, to be sure, and I have immense respect for him,” Costa says by phone. “But we both had the privilege of working alongside Bob Woodward and when you work with Bob Woodward, you learn his method of reporting. He spends hours and hours interviewing people, probing them for better answers, candid answers about what really happened.”Costa, who has spent much of his career as a daily political reporter at the Post, relished a chance to immerse himself in long-form investigative journalism. “Woodward would tell me, go back and keep digging, and I would have people over at my house and we would sit for hours with different sources.“He would do the same and really talk to people in person. Get away from the phone, get away from email and do interviews in person. Bob Woodward is as old school as you can get and I think that’s a compliment in a digital journalism age where the frantic pace at times takes you away from the ability to really report at length.”It is a characterization that resonates with the All the President’s Men depiction of Woodward and Bernstein diligently rifling through checkout cards at the Library of Congress or knocking on doors late at nigh
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The characters in Jonathan Franzen’s sixth novel exist in that much-disputed no man’s land between hip and square, in the culture wars of 1971. Since The Corrections, 20 years ago, Franzen has made himself the modern master of that fundamental driver of the 19th-century novel, the understanding that all happy families are alike, but every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. Here, his never less than acute attention falls on the interior lives of the Hildebrandt family in small-town Illinois in the run-up to Christmas.The patriarch, Russ Hildebrandt, is the minister at the First Reformed church in New Prospect, beset by temptation in the sweater-dressed form of his recently widowed congregant, Frances Cottrell, and usurped in his spiritual mission by a new young youth minister, Rick Ambrose, who offers the town’s teenagers a heady mix of gospel platitudes and rock music (you are reminded that Jesus Christ Superstar had opened on Broadway that autumn). Ambrose has created Crossroads, a cultish youth group for midwestern adolescents, which renounces sex and drugs in favour of “honest interactions” and “personal growth”. Fringed denim, earnest eye contact and cross-legged confessions are mandatory. Partly as an act of rebellion, Hildebrandt’s three eldest children have neglected their father’s Sunday sermons and joined Ambrose’s after hours’ mission. Perry, 16, with an IQ of 160, sees the group in part as a useful market for his pot dealing. His sister, Becky, has sensed the godhead in the 12-string guitar and sensitive fingers of Tanner Evans, Ambrose’s most charismatic young disciple. Nights at Crossroads, in the falling snow, are James Taylor songs come to life.In the two novels after The Corrections – Purity and Freedom – Franzen examined how far family ties could fray before breaking in a liberal America that had all but rejected the motherhood and apple pie ideas of marriage and filial duty in favour of self-actualisation and free expression. Here, he returns to a time and place in which some of those tensions were established. Russ Hildebrandt is a fourth-generation pastor whose inherited worldview is under enormous threat: h
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When Jörgen Ahdrian Brorsson first saw his new home it was an antiques shop – indeed the lighting pendant that now hangs in the bedroom is a bargain he picked up on that visit. But the real find was the building itself, which he fell in love with and never forgot.Two years ago, when he and his wife Sara decided to leave the hectic life of Stockholm behind, he knew this old school house, built in 1928, offered them the chance for the peace they craved.Used as a school until 1963, the building had been through several different incarnations by the time they got their hands on it, including a church organ workshop, a B&B and a café. But Sara and Jörgen didn’t want to simply stamp their vision on the building, they also wanted to take care of it and renovate it in a style that was true to its history as well as their own particular ideas.Step change: Jörgen, Sara and their son, Mårten. Photograph: Johan Sellén“We moved here in 2019 and renovated the whole house, making sure to preserve the unique school style as we did,” says Sara. “We stayed faithful to the era of the house and its art deco style, using that as the base, with added antique items and modern art.”Located in the scenic area of Kullaberg in the Scania province of southern Sweden, the house is 10km from
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Heavy-duty bootsThese boots are made for walking – or stomping. The boot of the season is aptly named stomper, and the chunkier the better. Spotted on the runways from Prada to Bottega Veneta, it’s the perfect foil for floral and slip dress. Clockwise from top right: Black Audrick £199, Dr Martens x Heaven by Marc Jacobs at drmartens.com. Khaki, £149, whistles.com. Pink, £525, stellamccartney.com. Beige, £480, grenson.com. Red sole, £165, camper.com Oversized tailoring There’s been much talk this month of “back to the office” and what that means for our wardrobes. If you’re looking to smarten up, but are reluctant to give up the comfort that the past 18 months have afforded our sartorial habits, allow the slouchy blazer to ease you back in gently. Throw it over pleated trousers and a silk shirt, or jeans and a T-shirt for a pulled-together look. Clockwise from left: The Row AW21. Lilac, £135, arket.com. Check, £415, Weekend Max Mara at maxmara.com. Blue, £38, depop.com/pascaleeliza
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MakriyialosCrete, GreeceAutumn is near-perfect in Crete: the masses have left, days reach 24C, the Libyan Sea is still bath-like, and tavernas are still open and pouring raki. Much of the island’s east has been overdeveloped but there is a lovely, low-key alternative on the south coast. White River Cottages is a hamlet of rustic self-catering stone houses amid olive, pine and carob trees in the rocky Aspros Potamos valley, near the pretty harbour of Makriyialos. The sea is a 15-minute walk, and there’s is good hiking inland, up through the gorge to the mountain village of Pefki, where an excellent taverna awaits.Studios for two from €81 a night, minimum four nightsSagres Algarve, PortugalMemmo Baleeira HotelThe rugged Sagres peninsula, where mainland Europe ends in a froth of Atlantic waves, is the Algarve’s wild west, and more geared to locals and surfers than crowds of tourists. That means it stays buzzy into October, when temperatures are still around 20C, the sea is warm, the surf is up and birding is at its best (the Sagres Birdwatching festival is on 1-5 October). A chic place to stay is the Memmo Baleeira, overlooking one of Sagres town’s four beaches: it has minimalist design, EarthCheck certification and a restaurant with wood-fired oven serving fish fresh from the sea.Doubles from €108 B&BCalheta MadeiraSocalco Nature CalhetaAny month is great in subtropical Madeira; in October, temperatures are between 22C and 25C. If it’s a beach break you want, head for southwesterly Calheta, surrounded by vineyards and banana plantations above one of the rocky island’s few sandy bays. Opened in 2020, Socalco Nature Calheta is a cluster of Atlantic-facing rooms and houses integrated into cliffs, orchards and agricultural land. Its aim is to provide a deep-dive into Madeiran food and sustainability: guests are encouraged to join cooking classes, food tours and wine tastings, or get their hands dirty on the farm.Doubles from €114 B&BAlicanteCosta Blanca, SpainRefugio MarnesFor a most therapeutic burst of sunshine, look to the Costa Blanca: the World Health Organization named it as having Europe’s healthiest climate – even January averages 17C her
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Nadine Ijewere grew up in Peckham in south-east London and until she picked up a camera in sixth form she planned to study medicine. At school, there was a darkroom where she could process film and the excitement of watching the colours of her first rolls come to life changed her career path and won her a place at the London College of Fashion. At weekends, she and friends would get suitcases full of clothes from their wardrobes and drag them to the local park to dress up and have fun; she was the designated photographer. Within a few years, she was much in demand, shooting a campaign for Stel
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Covid deaths in the US have passed 680,000. More than 2,000 lives are lost every day. The south and south-east are the new killing fields, intensive care units operate at near capacity, vaccination rates stall. In Florida, Republicans contemplate scrapping vaccine mandates for measles and mumps too. Talk about turning back the clock.Joe Biden’s declaration that “America is coming back together” looks like a “mission accomplished” moment. Zigzagging on booster shots has left the public scratching its head and Biden’s poll numbers sagging. With a third Covid winter looming, the presi
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It is testament to their dwindling empires that the proposed merger of Stagecoach and National Express, the UK’s biggest rail and bus operators not so long ago, will not unduly trouble the competition authority.Stagecoach, which a decade back looked to swallow up National Express, now is set to be subsumed by its rival. The turnaround in its fortunes has been influenced by foreign ventures, and the pandemic has magnified all of its problems. But the firm’s journey has notably followed the arc of privatised public transport in Britain.Launched as a fledgling bus operator in 1980, Sir Brian Souter’s Stagecoach rode the wave of opportunity that came its way after Thatcher’s deregulation of the bus industry in 1986. It became a dominant player in many regional markets, where cherrypicked routes allowed it to run at handsome margins – to the increasing disquiet of customers and local councils.After rail was privatised, Stagecoach was the first operator to open a service – and then joined forces with Sir Richard Branson to run Virgin Trains, one of the great exemplars of the new regime: arguably improving customer service, innovation and passenger numbers – and indisputably reaping whopping dividends from the west coast mainline.With rail apparently growing inexorably, the Scottish operator took a 90% stake in a new Virgin venture to win and run the east coast rail franchise in 2015, a long-targeted prize that saw its value peak. But that proved a disastrous miscalculation: Stagecoach pulled the plug as losses mounted, and the line again returned to state control.National Express, of course, had already been there: overbidding to run the franchise and forced to hand back the keys in 2009, when it looked like the firm could be prey for Souter. Perhaps it was fortunate to see the warning signs earlier, and focus on overseas expansion instead. It exited UK rail with the sale of C2C in 2017 – and in the boardroom, flogging the franchise to the Italians was soon seen as one of the best bits of business ever pulled off.In its local bus operation, National Express also appeared to run increasingly with the grain. When transport authorities and politicians in Newcastle and Manchester lobbied for reform to rein in the “wild west” in which bus firms flourished, Souter threatened to “drink poison” rather than sign up to agreements. But calls for regul
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On paper, the idea looked brilliant. In the opening weeks of January 1969, the Beatles were working up new songs for a televised concert, and being filmed as they did so. Where the event would take place was unclear – but as rehearsals at Twickenham film studios went on, one of their associates came up with the idea of travelling to Libya, where they would perform in the remains of a famous amphitheatre, part of an ancient Roman city called Sabratha. As the plan was discussed amid set designs and maps one Wednesday afternoon, a new element was added: why not invite a few hundred fans to join them on a specially chartered ocean liner?Over the previous few days, John Lennon had been quiet and withdrawn, but now he seemed to be brimming with enthusiasm. The ship, he said, could be the setting for final dress rehearsals. He envisaged the group timing their set so they fell into a carefully picked musical moment just as the sun came up over the Mediterranean. If the four of them had been wondering how to present their performance, here was the most gloriously simple of answers: “God’s the gimmick,” he enthused.Paul McCartney seemed just as keen: “It does make it like an adventure, doesn’t it?” he said. Ringo Starr said he would rather do the show in the UK, but did not rule out the trip: “I’m not saying I’m not going,” he offered, which sounded as if he was open to persuasion.But George Harrison was not interested. He feared “being stuck with a bloody big boatload of people for two weeks”. The idea of getting to Libya on a ship, he insisted, “was very expensive and insane”. When Lennon suggested they could get a cruise liner for free from P&O, Har
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Public support for workers’ rights and pay equality may be growing but at least one group feels left out: Gen-Z professionals in the modern and comparatively nebulous field of online content creation and influence.It’s a state of affairs that Lindsey Lee Lugrin, a former model with a degree in finance, plans to change with some collective organisation. She has launched an advocacy site, aptly titled F*** You Pay Me, on which influencers review and compare deals with brands, pay-scales and what it’s like to work with them.Lugrin, 31, said: “All creative freelancers have the same problem: you feel like you’re looking into a black box when taking on a new client or a project. There are no rules, no transparency, talking about wage or salary is taboo, and there’s an element of fear that if you don’t say yes you could lose the opportunity.”Lindsey Lee Lugrin. Photograph: Sissy MartinBy some estimates, the influence economy has grown from $1.7bn (£1.24bn) in 2016 to an estimated $13.8bn (£10bn) this year. According to an analysis last year by influencer market firm Klear, male creators earned an average of $476 for each post and women $348.But there are growing pains, with overnight stars on Instagram or TikTok wondering why they are paid a fraction of what influence superstars such as the D’Amelio sisters – Dixie and Charli – receive, while sites such as Brands Behaving Badly, We Don’t Work for Free and Influencer Pay Gap claim many mid-tier or micro infl
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Like many men studying Emma Raducanu’s victory at the US Open, one writer found himself focusing on one particular part of her body – her “athletic frame”, as the former table tennis champion Matthew Syed called it.“I’ve just been looking at photographs of Emma Raducanu again, this time focusing on her upper chest,” Theo Hobson, a theologian, wrote in the Spectator. He had spotted the player wore a cross. It interested him deeply. “To what extent is it legitimate to inquire into this?”To an incredible and unlimited extent! The sparkly cross, along with earrings and a bracelet, was placed there by the jewellers Tiffany, precisely for millions of viewers to notice it, as Hobson did, in the final. This company, long established but recently consumed by the French LVMH luxury goods conglomerate, has now appointed the brilliant Raducanu its “house ambassador”, for a sum assumed to be enormous. “I wore the ring, bracelet, earrings and cross necklace throughout the tournament,” Raducanu said, when the deal was announced last week. “These pieces will always be very special to me.”But identical pieces are also, happily, available on the Tiffany website. Should Hobson want the £2,750 “cross pendant” in 18k gold with “round brilliant diamonds”, it is still for sale online, though of course meeker price points are available. What about a heart-shaped Tiffany keyring, one that “evokes timeless elegance”, for £175?That Raducanu should now, joining Tracee Ellis Ross and Anya Taylor-Joy, have a key role in displaying and marketing Tiffany’s wares on behalf, ultimately, of LVMH’s owner, Bernard Arnault, the world’s third richest man, was last week celebrated as an honour hardly less dazzling than her tennis title. For that, after all, she only had to practise for thousands of hours, with parents she has described as “very tough to please”. To win the Tiffany deal, she needed to be the sort of tennis champion who could manifest, 48 hours after winning, at the Met gala; the kind of 18-year-old who is slurped over by commentators, courted by Anna Wintour, and also, only intensifying the echoes of ingenues pursued in Henry James novels, by Wintour’s transatlantic rival, Vogue’s Edward Enninful.Fashion magazines, such as Grazia and Elle – “Just when you thought Emma Raducanu’s year couldn’t get much better” – were willing to parrot PR drivel about the “Tiffany family”, as the company calls the celebrities, also including Beyoncé and Jay-Z, currently considered worth their hire by an old brand with its eye on younger customers. One campaign featuring denim jackets and called “Not Your Mother’s Tiffany” does appear to have had some success in depicting this arm of LVMH as edgy. Happily, most of this target audience is unlikely to remember some disparaging comments made about the then 16-year-old Greta Thunberg by Arnault. Thunberg’s approach, Arnault complained in 2019, “has a demoralising side to it for young people. She’s not proposing anyway, aside from criticism.” For his part, Arnault, then aged 70, hoped to show that the market in Veblen goods, whose appeal resides in thei
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When Angela Rayner, Labour’s deputy leader, stood up to huge cheers to address her party’s conference on Saturday, the slogan “Stronger Future Together” was projected on the big screen behind her and all around the vast hall.Before what had been billed as Keir Starmer’s defining conference, when he would reveal the real Keir to the nation, the party leader had also spoken last week of the need for togetherness in the party in a 35-page pamphlet spelling out his vision for Britain.“In recent decades, the legacy of the 1997 Labour government has become contested to the extent that the party has at times felt like separate families living under one roof. This has been harmful and alienating,” Starmer wrote.But before most delegates had even arrived in Brighton, hopes of Starmer’s party hanging together for four days by the seaside and focusing on attacking the Tories, as they struggle to deal with the threat of fuel shortages and empty shelves in supermarkets, had been horribly shattered.Before Rayner’s speech her friends were briefing that she was furious with Starmer. The deputy leader, they said, was enraged that her boss had allowed the start of the annual gathering, potentially the second last before a general election, to be hijacked by an unnecessary row over changes to rules on how future leaders should be elected, to which she was opposed.Rayner had to spend much of Saturday morning, when she should have been preparing for her big conference moment, holed up in an emergency meeting of the national executive committee in Brighton’s Hilton hotel, trying to amend Starmer’s plans into an acceptable form, and forge compromises on other rule changes with the unions.“She was against Keir’s main plan,” said a source. “But she also had to try to broker some deal before the whole party fell apart. She was very cross because she had spent months talking to the unions about the serious economic plans we wanted to launch at conference, only for them to be buried in the media under coverage of this mess.”On Saturday, the centrepiece of the Starmer plan – to weaken the role of the 400,000 party members and strengthen that of MPs by returning to the old electoral college system for electing leaders – was pulled hours before the gathering opened after the unions ganged up to oppose it. The left saw it as an anti-democratic stitch-up and an attack on individual members who had elected Jeremy Corbyn that was designed to prevent another from his wing of the party ever becoming leader. The conference mood had been set before a single motion had been debated.Not only were the leader and his deputy at odds, the unions were defiant in victory and the media focused on little else. But across the party, from top to bottom, there was disbelief at how the fiasco could have been allowed to happen.Unlike previous leaders, from Neil Kinnock over his battle with the Militant tendency to John Smith’s fight to deliver one member one vote (Omov), and Tony Blair’s confrontation with sections of his party over the rewriting of clause IV, Starmer had just taken on the left – and lost.A senior shadow cabinet member said: “It is has
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Many anglers lament the one that got away. In Florida, the issue is more often the fish that is caught but is then snatched by a shark before being reeled in.A grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa) will allow scientists at two universities to research and possibly solve the problem of shark depredation, an increasingly common annoyance to 4 million recreational anglers who fish Floridian waters each year.The study by the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) and Mississippi State University will investigate what species of sharks are the most prolific offenders, what types of fish fall victim more frequently and where the t
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Tracey Ullman does not regret playing characters of different ethnicity in her comedy shows in Britain and America, but would not do so again. “No, I wouldn’t do it,” she said. “It would be di
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How does Sunday start? At 7.30am, with this small person who lives with us waking me up gleefully. I’d like to say a special thanks to the creators of Paddington 2: we watch it week-in-week-out, and I enjoy it as much as my toddler.What’s cooking? Not much for breakfast; I save myself for lunch. I’ve got a Big Green Egg – a charcoal-fired barbecue and oven. I pop in a chicken with wine, garlic, butter and herbs and it steams through the meat.Do you work on Sundays? The past 18 months aside, I often find myself alone in a theatre. I’d rather not work Sundays – my wife has a proper job, so it’s a bit of an incursion – but there’s not a lot you can do about it when on tour.Do
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Erst, 9 Murray Street, Ancoats, Manchester M4 6HS (0161 826 3008, erst-mcr.co.uk). Plates £5-£12, wines from £20A restaurant menu can be the sweetest kind of promise: we have these ingredients; we
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The derailment, involving five cars of the Empire Builder train, happened near Joplin, Mont., on Saturday afternoon.Credit...Jacob CordeiroSept. 25, 2021Updated 10:53 p.m. ETAt least three people were killed and 50 others were injured after an Amtrak train derailed in Montana on Saturday afternoon, setting off a frantic response by rescuers who scrambled to extricate passengers from cars, the authorities said.Amtrak said that five cars on an Empire Builder train had derailed at roughly 4 p.m. local time. About 147 passengers and 13 crew members were on board, “with injuries reported,” Amtrak said in a statement.The Liberty County Sheriff’s Office said that three people were confirmed dead.Amanda Frickel, the disaster and emergency services coordinator for Hill County, Mont., said in an interview “well over” 50 people had been injured.Ms. Frickel said the train, which was headed west, derailed just outside Joplin, Mont., which is about 200 miles north of Helena.She said that rescuers from six counties were responding to the scene and that as many as five hospitals were on standby to receive injured passengers. There were also a number of medical helicopters standing by, she said.“Everybody who is alive has been extricated from the wreck,” Ms. Frickel said.Officials had evacuated survivors to two separate sites and were doing a head count. Emergency responders planned to put people up in hotels once their medical needs had been seen to.“Every county around is assisting,” said Sheriff Donna Whitt of Toole County, Mont.Amtrak said in a statement that it was “working with the local authorities to transport injured passengers, and safely evacuate all other passengers.”Megan Vandervest, who was going to visit a friend in Seattle, boarded the train on Friday night from Minneapolis, where she lives.On Saturday afternoon, she was asleep in the first car when she was jolted awake.“My first thought was that we were derailing because, to be honest, I have anxiety and I had heard stories about trains derailing,” Ms. Vandervest said. “My second thought was that’s crazy. We wouldn’t be derailing. Like, that doesn’t happen.”ImageCredit...Jacob CordeiroShe soon figured it out. The car she was in was fully on the tracks.But the car behind hers was tilted over, the one behind that was entirely tipped over, and the three cars behind that “had completely fallen off the tracks and were detached from the train,” she said.Speaking from the Liberty County Senior Center, where passengers were being taken, Ms. Vandervest said she felt lucky that she and the three other people she was with were not injured.In her car, she said, it felt like “extreme turbulence on a plane.”Austin Knudsen, Montana’s attorney general, said that Montana Highway Patrol troopers were among those helping with the rescue efforts. “We are praying for the safety of all passengers and crew who were on board,” he said.ImageCredit...Megan VandervestKaren Jelly, who works at Holland and Bonine Funeral Home, in Havre, Mont., said the funeral home was waiting for a dreaded phone call from the authorities. “It’s going to be very bad when we get that p
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Hair and makeup:Coat by Barbour x House of Hackney, barbour.com and houseofhackney.com; top and skirt by colvilleofficial.com; artwork on wall by Ken Spooner. Dina Catchpole at Frank Agency using Living Proof range for volume and fullness and Charlotte Tilbury Beauty. Digital technician: Andy Mayfield. Fashion assistant: Peter Bevan. Models: Isobel Dodd at First Model Management and Kit Warrington at Premier Model Management. Location: Castle of Trematon (houseofhackney.com, 020 7062 6122)
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Former editors and directors at Britain’s glossiest fashion magazines are carving out a niche for themselves with print titles and websites that focus on sustainable clothing.Later this month, Calendar will go live online, spearheaded by ex-Elle editor-in-chief Anne-Marie Curtis following a launch on Instagram earlier this year. It follows More or Less, which describes itself as “the first magazine to prioritise sustainability in the fashion industry”, and was created by Jaime Perlman, previously the art director of British Vogue. It launched in 2018 with Kate Moss on the cover.Atmos mag
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Angela Merkel’s long goodbye as Germany’s chancellor finally draws to a close this weekend as votes in the federal election are tallied – at least in theory. If the latest opinion polls are to be believed, there will be no clear winner. No party is expected to command an overall Bundestag majority. Coalition talks on forming a new government could take months. In the meantime, in practice, Merkel remains in charge.The uncertainty over who will replace her is a big change from the often predictable politics of the past 16 years. But it would not do to get overexcited. Neither Olaf Scholz, who leads the Social Democrats (SPD), the biggest centre-left party, nor Armin Laschet, Merkel’s conservative choice as her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) successor, offers radically different agendas. Both men stress continuity while promoting modest, incremental change.This is a problem. The campaign highlighted pressing issues that were ignored during the Merkel era. One is pension reform for an ageing population. Another is inadequate public investment in healthcare, utilities, housing and broadband. Recent floods in western Germany revealed a lack of structural resilience. Critics say Merkel has done far too little to address climate change.Would a hypothetical Scholz-led ruling coalition including the Greens and the pro-business Liberals (FDP) have sufficient clout and unity of purpose to tackle such challenges? Would a similar combination of parties led by Laschet? It’s possible the Greens leader, Annalena Baerbock, could yet emerge on top, but her ability to effect real change is also circumscribed by her need for allies.The risk for German democracy amid all this horse-trading is that a resulting weak, compromise coalition may disappoint and alienate and push frustrated voters towards the extremes represented by the far-left Die Linke and the far-right AfD. Neither party is expected to do particularly well this time. But that may change if a post-Merkel government serves up more of the same.That would be bad news for Germany but also for Europe and Britain, which both need a strong, confident partner in Berlin. Merkel, a consummate consensus-builder, helped hold the EU together during successive financial, migrant and pandemic crises. On the other hand, she famously lacked strategic vision. She far preferred cutting energy and trade deals with Russia and China to confronting the authoritarian threat they pose.Both Scholz and Laschet advocate closer integration with the EU. Both support the creation, in parallel to Nato, of a European army and defensive union. Unlike anti-American pacifists to her left, Baerbock also backs Nato, urges a tougher line towards Beijing and Moscow and wants a “values-driven foreign policy”. She says the EU must be “self-reliant” as the US alliance grows less predictable.Yet it’s unclear whether any of these chancellor candidates will throw their weight fully behind President Emmanuel Macron’s ideas about EU “strategic autonomy” or how far they might go towards fiscal and economic union, ideas Merkel always kept at arm’s length. In Scholz’s case, there are potential tensions, too, with Ursula
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Leading UK researchers, vets and farmers have urged ministers to free livestock science of unnecessary legal curbs as the country prepares, post-Brexit, to ease gene-editing rules. Such a move would allow the creation of new breeds of animals resistant to disease, heat and drought, they argue.The government is expected to propose easing gene-editing restrictions in the near future to enable the creation of new generations of crops. However, the group – which has written to the environment secretary, George Eustice – worries there is less interest in using the technology to create new breeds of pigs, cows and poultry.“It is every bit as important that we use the enormous power of gene editing to create breeds of animals that are resistant to disease, droughts and heatwaves as it is to fashion new crop varieties,” said Professor Bruce Whitelaw of Edinburgh’s Roslin Institute. “This is particularly important as global warming intensifies and we strive to ensure we are protected against future outbreaks of zoonotic diseases.”The value of gene editing in this latter field is shown by work carried out at Roslin and Imperial College London, where scientists have identified a gene that may confer resistance to influenza. “We can now think about using gene editing to create breeds resistant to avian and swine flu, and so curb outbreaks on farms, while also reducing the risk of triggering future pandemics in humans,” added Whitelaw, one of the letter’s signatories.Other recent developments in the gene editing of livestock include the creation of pigs that can fight off a disease known as porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV), which is devastating pig herds globally. “Using gene editing this way has enormous power to save billions of pounds and to stop animal suffering,” said Whitelaw.Earlier, the creation of new strains of plants or animals in the laboratory involved the transfer of entire genes or groups of genes from one species to another and was known as genetic modification. The EU strictly regulates GM technology.More recent techniques of gene editing involve making slight changes to existing genes in a plant or animal and are considered to be as safe as traditional plant breeding techniques. The European court of justice nevertheless controversially ruled in 2018 that gene editing was essentially the same as genetic modification and should be subject to tight rules.“Gene-editing research in the UK has been hampered by the unnecessary and unscientific regulatory barriers we have inherited from the EU,” said Professor Helen Sang, also of the Roslin Institute and a signatory of the letter. “This leaves us lagging behind the approach taken in other parts of the world, such as Japan, Australia, Argentina, Brazil and Canada.”Britain is expected to throw off these legislative shackles with an announcement soon from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. However, a report by the Taskforce on Innovation, Growth and Regulatory Reform earlier this year advised the government to press ahead with regulatory reform of gene editing of plants and crops but was more cautious about its use on
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Normally I am not a fan of silver makeup. I find it either too ashy and unflattering (too cool), or you look as if you’re heading to a space-themed fancy dress party (too tacky). There is, however, a way to wear it well. Steer clear of matte skin and lips and go glowy and glossy instead – it adds warmth. Then apply an imaginative eye: a smattering of the shimmery stuff with lashings of mascara and liner is more wearable than a solid block of silver on the lid. Keeping it modern is the key.1. Illamasqua Infinite Masquara £20, illamasqua.com 2. Fenty Beauty Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter £28, boots.com 3. Victoria Beckham Posh Gloss £24, victoriabeckhambeauty.com 4. Rose Inc Lip Sculpt Enriched Amplifying Color £19.50, spacenk.com 5. Laura Mercier Light Catcher Setting Powder £33.50, lookfantastic.comI can’t do without… a super-relaxing Roman bath in central LondonThere is no denying that the world has had a rough ride of things of late. Physically, mentally, emotionally… It was with that in mind that I visited Aire, off The Strand in London’s West End. Situated in an 18th-century townhouse that was once the home of JM Barrie, it is now an underground, wholly candlelit cavern, with various thermal baths inspired by the bathing traditions of the Greek, Roman and Ottoman empires. When you arrive you are led down to the changing area where you take your first of many showers and change into a swimming costume. (You can bring your own, but I rather like the super chic, flattering black ones they provide.) Then you are taken upstairs to tour the baths, in hushed tones to enhance the relaxing experience. The baths are all at different temperatures: hot, warm, cold and, if you can bear it, ice. There are aromatherapy-infused steam rooms – use a hair mask beforehand; the steam will intensify its efficacy and you can wash it out in the shower. I also recommend the bath with a thousand jets – it’s like an effortless workout. The Floatarium is worth a special mention – it has the same density of salt as the Dead Sea, so you float effortlessly. Add to that the various massage treatments on offer... What an experience it is. I dare anyone to visit and not step out newly revitalised. Aire Ancient Baths, from £90, beaire.comOn my radar… three opulent scents for a luxurious treatBewitched Looking for a romantic scent that is seductive and grown up? This hypnotic Louis Vuitton fragrance – iris, rose, sambac jasmine with a dash of musk – is the one. Louis Vuitton, Spell On You, £200, louisvuitton.comOud to beauty Many dismiss Oud scents as too heavy, but choose the right blend and it’s a joy. Like this unapologetically sensual blend of agarwood, leather, musk and nutmeg. Miller Harris Oud Eclat, £160, millerharris.comGarden of delight The latest scent from this luxe eco fragrance brand is vanilla blended with cardamom, jasmin and bergamot. It’s comfortingly earthy as opposed to sugary sweet. Sana Jardin, Vanilla Nomad, £95, selfridges.comFollow Funmi on Twitter @FunmiFetto
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Assembly Bill No. 173 CHAPTER 253An act to amend Sections 171c, 11106, 13202, 14230, 14231, 14231.5, 14236, 28220, 30000, 30352, and 30452 of, and to add Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 14240) to Title 12.2 of Part 4 of, the Penal Code, and to add Section 8106 to the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to public safety, and making an appropriation therefor, to take effect immediately, bill related to the budget. [ Approved by Governor  September 23, 2021. Filed with
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The Last Mountain9pm, BBC TwoIn 1995, Jim Ballard had to tell his two young children that his wife and their mother, the climber Alison Hargreaves, was dead. That same year, he took the children to K2
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Another return to the plot after absence. To and fro. I am anxious. Autumn has rolled in fast. I am concerned at the speed of change.I am nervous as I walk up the hill. The day starts sluggish and later now. The sun’s decline undeniable. I turn the key. Howard and Rose, too, have been away. The site looks almost abandoned. Overgrown, returned to a semi-wild.I see our sunflowers from afar from the gate. I turn the last corner and there it is. Plot 29. An important companion in my life – though largely impervious to my being away.We made a decision at the start of the year to sow mostly flowers. Colour and a casual beauty would be important as maybe never before. And here it is. Fulfilled.
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It seems like every nation is dealing with the plague a little differently. In June, the EU instated a COVID Green Pass which comes in the form of a paper or digital QR code. It wa
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Domaine Capmartin Cuvée du Couvent, Madiran, France 2017 (from £21.17, thefinewinecompany.co.uk; borderswines.co.uk) I made a rough approximation of cassoulet the other day. I always make this dish – which I should probably just call “sausage and bean stew” since several of the ingredients and steps from an authentic Gascon version of the dish are missing – when I decide that autumn is officially, properly here, even if it’s actually still quite warm. It’s a bit like putting on a new winter coat before the weather really calls for it: the novelty of the season trumps any practical considerations. Making a “cassoulet” is also an excuse to open a bottle of one of my favourite nights-drawing-in wines: a brawny red from cassoulet country, Madiran. It’s made from tannat, a grape variety with a reputation (only further fuelled by its name) for being brusquely tannic, but which, with skilled hands in the vineyard and cellar, makes wines such as Cuvée du Couvent full of substance and dramatic intensity, all dark forest fruit and an almost bloody richness, the tannins sinewy, supportive, perfect with the fatty richness of the stew.Château Bouscassé Madiran, France 2016 (from £19.95, uncorked.co.uk; vinatis.co.uk; noblegreenwines.co.uk) Madiran’s biggest name, it’s equivalent of a classed growth Bordeaux château, is still probably Château Montus, made by the appellation’s most famous winemaker, Alain Brumont. One of Brumont’s achievements when he burst onto the scene in the 1980s was his ability to tame the tannat tannins, producing wines that had more than a little of the elegance of Bordeaux, and challenging the perception that Madiran’s wines were, in the patronising parlance, rough and rustic. Brumont’s signature suaveness is very much apparent in the more affordable wines he makes at Château Bouscassé: the 2016 could never be described as light – it is still abundantly, densely dark-fruited. But the tannins are so finely textured, and there are notes of cedar wood and bitter dark chocolate. It’s a wine that keeps the sun-warmed intensity that Madiran-lovers cherish, but which presents it in such a slickly stylish way.Produc
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Argentina coach Mario Ledesma delivered a post-game press conference tirade with a twist, labelling treatment of his team in the lead-up to Saturday’s Wallabies clash in Townsville disrespectful.Ledesma, a former assistant coach with the Wallabies, took aim at the decision to press on with a Rugby Championship captain’s photoshoot in Townsville on Friday despite the fact they were not yet in town.Instead, Australian captain Michael Hooper, New Zealand’s Ardie Savea and Springboks leader Siya Kolisi were left to front cameras for the shoot ahead of Townsville’s historic double-header.It is understood previous efforts to stage the shoot while the teams were based in south-east Queensland fell through and that plans to reschedule on Friday with all four teams were thwarted when Argentina’s flight was pushed back from its original time.Winless in all five games during the tournament, including a 27-8 loss to the Wallabies on Saturday, Ledesma was clearly unimpressed when he discovered the shoot went ahead anyway.“The boys and staff felt really disrespected,” the coach, who is being assisted by former Wallabies coach Michael Cheika, volunteered. “We’re not asking for much. Last year when South Africa pulled out, we came over here, went through strict lockdown.“We w
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The question As soon as I started writing this letter I could feel the hot tears generating in their ducts. I’ve got great friends and family, but I need an outsider’s take.I was seeing a man, for a few months. This ended around eight weeks ago. He was unhappy living in this country and had plans to move even before we met, which he was always very open about, and I was aware the entire time that he was emotionally unavailable and planning to leave. So I feel I should have been prepared for the end of the relationship when it happened.For about a month I felt OK about it. I was thinking about him less and less each day and was considering dates with other men. But now, I feel things have started to go backwards and I can’t understand why. I now feel more heartbroken, lost and sad than ever before. I think about him almost constantly. I miss him more than I ever thought possible. My heartbreak is disproportionate to the amount of time we spent together.I always felt I would never be in danger of unrequited love. But, now that he is gone I feel completely crushed. I want desperately to be free from this feeling.Philippa’s answer You managed your feelings for a whole month by overriding them with your logic, but sometimes trying to suppress a feeling is like trying to contain water in a paper bag. It is not a long-term solution. What’s happened here is the Mrs Logic part of you is trying to tell you what you should be feeling, but the feeling part of you is having none of that. It might not make sense to you that your heart is broken, but that alone, unfortunately, will not make this flood of feelings subside. Humans are more complicated than equations – we have emotions that we cannot make sense of and I’m afraid you must accept that even though you rationally think it most unreasonable, you experienced his going as a great loss.Sticking with the water metaphor, the paper bag has burst and the water is overflowing. But now you are going to take control of the tap. You will need to open the tap and let the feelings out otherwise the pressure will build up – but you are going to control where and when. You do this by setting a timetable for it. Weep,
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Queues at the pumps, shortages in supermarkets, energy companies going bust and chemotherapy being cancelled due to staff shortages. Welcome to Britain in 2021. Some of this disruption has clearly been caused by a pandemic exerting pressures on supply chains, workforces and healthcare systems all over the world. But Boris Johnson’s political choices have only acted to make Covid’s impact on the national infrastructure far worse.The lines at petrol stations may be driven more by panic buying than real fuel shortages. But panic buying can become a self-fulfilling prophecy and it is a sign of a more anxious national mood as Britain heads into winter. Food prices are forecast to increase by more than 5% in the coming months. And the government is persisting with plans to cut financial support for low-paid parents by more than £1,000 a year this autumn. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation has estimated that the typical low-income family will be £1,750 a year worse off by next April as a result of all these changes. This is a huge amount to lose for parents already struggling to keep their children warm and well fed, the difference between just about getting by and entering into a miserable downward spiral of debt and poverty.It is unthinkable that the government is about to let so many families already suffering from intense financial jeopardy end up in this situation. This situation is not just the product of a pandemic-related economic shock: it is the result of sustained government policy. A decade of tax credit cuts has seen many low-income families lose thousands of pounds a year even as Conservative chancellors have spent several billion a year on tax cuts that have disproportionately benefited more affluent households. The government has done too little in the face of longstanding warnings to tackle the fragility of the UK’s energy supply.One of the reasons that relatively low food prices are so important for household budgets is because of the extortionate housing costs that swallow up renters’ salaries: tenants in the UK, who make up a growing proportion of households, pay the highest rents in Europe. Yet the government has done nothing to reverse the w
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Maureen Dowd interviewed Paul Newman, who was starring in Martin Scorsese’s The Color of Money 25 years after he was in The Hustler – at home in Westport, Connecticut and also at his Fifth Avenue penthouse (‘Return of the Hustler’, 30 November 1986).It began with a description of not only how guarded he was but how sensitive he was to suggestions that those famous blue eyes were more important than his hard work: ‘If you are meeting Paul Newman for the first time, he will have on his sunglasses. As he gets to know you, he will peek over the rims occasionally. As he gets to trust you, he will let the glasses hang from his left ear. The next time you meet, he will take them off.’In The Color of Money, Newman reprised his role as Fast Eddie Felson, the cocky pool shark in The Hust
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In recent years, “corporate social responsibility” has been viewed by some as the answer to the multiple failings of capitalism. Chief executives have responded to all sorts of problems – worsening climate change, widening inequality, soaring healthcare costs and so on – by promising their corporations will lead the way to solutions because they’re committed to being “socially responsible”.Ninety-eight per cent of this is rubbish. CEOs won’t do anything that hurts their bottom lines. They’re in the business of making as much money as possible, not solving social problems.In fact, real social change would prevent them from doing many of the hugely profitable things they now do. Which means they won’t change their ways unless they’re required by law to change (and even
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Andrew Rawnsley states that the Lib Dems won the Chesham and Amersham byelection as the voters in the constituency considered them to be a refreshing change from the incompetence and lies of Johnson (“Tories repelled by Johnson can help the Lib Dems knock down the blue wall”, Comment). The reality is that the nimbys of Buckinghamshire voted Lib Dem in the belief that they would scupper the proposed changes to the planning rules proposed by the Tories. They couldn’t care less about the ethics of Johnson just so long as the value of their houses doesn’t go down. Bizarrely, the next general election will be won by the party promising to build the fewest houses.Stuart CadmanPrestonAndrew Rawnsley presses the Liberal Democrats to win over soft Conservatives in the blue wall. Should they not also be trying to recruit some of the prominent liberal Tory politicians, such as Dominic Grieve, David Gauke and Justine Greening, who have been rejected by the current regime? There is a strong 19th-century precedent in the path of the Peelites, who inhabited a wilderness after the repeal of the corn laws, until 1859 when they joined forces with the Whigs and Radicals to become the Liberal
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At least three people died and other passengers were injured after seven cars of an Amtrak train went off the rails in north-central Montana, an official at a local sheriff’s office said.People trapped on board soon after the derailment on Saturday had all been taken off the train, said the official of the Liberty County sheriff’s office, who spoke on condition of anonymity.There were multiple injuries but no final count, the official added. People work at the scene of the train derailment. Photograph: Kimberly Fossen/APThe cause of the accident was not immediately clear. The National Transportation Safety Board said late on Saturday it would investigate.The Empire Builder train had about 147 passengers and 13 crew on board when seven cars derailed near Joplin, Amtrak spokesman Jason Abrams said. It was headed for Seattle from Chicago, local media said.Megan Vandervest, a passenger on the train who was going to visit a friend in Seattle, told the New York Times that she was woken up by the derailment.“My first thought was that we were derailing because, to be honest, I have anxiety and I had heard stories about trains derailing,” said Vandervest, who is from Minneapolis.“My second thought was that’s crazy. We wouldn’t be derailing. Like, that doesn’t happen.”The accident occurred about 30 miles (48km) from the border with Canada. Photograph: Kimberly Fossen/APShe told the newspaper that the car behind hers was tilted over, the one behind that was entirely tipped over, and the three cars behind that “had completely fallen off the tracks and were detached from the train”.Speaking from the Liberty county senior center, where passengers were being taken,
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One of the most common simple techniques for generating text is a Markov chain. The algorithm takes an input text or texts, divides it into tokens (usually letters or words), and generates new text based on the statistics of short sequences of those tokens. If you're interested in the technical details, Allison Parrish has a good tutorial on implementing Markov chains in Python. This technique has been around for a very long time, but it's slightly unclear when it was first developed. The following is a slightly sketchy work-in-progress timeline of what I've been able to work out. My goal here is to work out when was the first person to: implement Markov chains on a computer with probabilities derived from a source text to generate new text for creative purposes Timeline (where available, links are to English translations of sources) 1907-1913: Andrei Markov develops the mathematical theory of Markov chains, using as an example an analysis of the patterns of vowels and consonants in Pushkin's poem Eugene Onegin. (link) 1948: Claude Shannon publishes A Mathematical Theory of Communication, laying the foundations of information theory. As an example, he manually generates samples of text ("the series of approximations to English") using a Markov chain process ("Markoff process"), based on an unknown source text ("a book"). (link) 1957: Lejaren Hiller and Leonard Isaacson compose the Illiac Suite, a composition for string quartet, using the
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A Tesla logo is seen on the body of its electric vehicle (EV) during a media day for the Auto Shanghai show in Shanghai, China April 20, 2021. REUTERS/Aly SongSAN FRANCISCO, Sept 23 (Reuters) - San Francisco transport authorities on Thursday raised concerns about the safety record of Tesla's advanced driver assistant system, as the electric car maker prepared a wide release of a test version of the software that works on city streets and highways.The San Francisco County Transportation Authority (SFCTA) also disputed the name of the system, "Full Self-Driving" (FSD) saying it is an advanced dr
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IN THE LATE 1930s, the world’s attention was riveted by a series of trials held in the Soviet Union. Though the defendants were only a few of Stalin’s millions of victims, the show trials stood out for a reason — many of the defendants were high-ranking members of the Communist Party, longstanding Bolsheviks who were suddenly and publicly confessing to having been counterrevolutionaries all along. The crimes they confessed to were absurd, and they seemed to have little to gain by accepting culpability, as they were shot afterward. Arthur Koestler, then a Communist, began to ask himself w
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A scientist working for the Trump administration repeatedly complained in emails that “election stuff” was taking dangerous precedence over developing an effective response to the deadly COVID-19 crisis, The Washington Post reported. Donald Trump’s focus on the election persisted according to the emails even as COVID-19 cases in the U.S. soared to some 250,000 a day in January, the Post noted. Emails by Steven Hatfill, a virologist who advised White House trade director Peter Navarro, were obtained by the House Select Committee investigating the White House response to the COVID-19 crisis.  “Now with the elections so close, COVID is taking a back-seat, yet the disease is rearing it[s] ugly head again,” Hatfill wrote to a colleague outside the White House in October 2020 in an e
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A man taking a selfie is silhouetted against the overcast sky along the Chicago skyline Wednesday, July 21, 2021, in Chicago. | Shafkat Anowar/AP Photo Clearview AI, the controversial facial recognition company that scrapes public images from social media to aid law enforcement probes, has subpoenaed internal documents from some of the groups that first exposed its activities. The firm served subpoenas in August to civil society coalition Open The Government, its policy analyst Freddy Martinez and the police accountability nonprofit that he’d previously founded, Lucy Parsons Labs — demanding any correspondence they’d had with journalists about Clearview and its leaders, as well as information they’d uncovered about the company and its founders in public records re
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The naked Nirvana baby has been recreated yet again – this time on the unsuspecting streets of Adelaide.Pete Stokes rode about 150km on a single-speed bike to sketch the outline of the famous Nevermind cover. His efforts, tracked by GPS-based site Strava, show the baby’s (slightly angry) face over the CBD and the banknote over the leafy eastern suburbs of Burnside and Kensington.To mark Nevermind’s 30th anniversary on 24 September, Nirvana is planning to reissue the album. The official website shows they are still using the image of the naked baby, even though Spencer Elden, who was four months old then when it was shot in 1991, is suing Nirvana for sexual exploitation. (He recreated the swimming scene himself on the 25th anniversary, while fully clothed.)Stokes, a national parks pro
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Baseball|With Stanton Leading the Way, Yankees Pull Even With Red Soxhttps://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/25/sports/baseball/giancarlo-stanton-yankees-red-sox.htmlYankees 5, Red Sox 3A pair of wins in Boston, both powered by Giancarlo Stanton, has the rival teams tied for the A.L.’s top wild-card spot.Credit...Jim Rogash/Getty ImagesSept. 25, 2021, 10:17 p.m. ETBOSTON — After meandering through most of September, the Yankees’ season has reached a make-or-break point. Over the final week and a half of the regular season, they have six games scheduled against two of the teams — the Boston Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays — they are fighting with for the final two postseason spots in the American League.And through their first two of those games in Boston, the Yankees have acquitted themsel
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JOPLIN, Mont. (AP) — Three people were killed and many more were injured Saturday when an Amtrak train that runs between Seattle and Chicago derailed in north-central Montana, the Liberty County Sheriff’s Department confirmed. The Empire Builder train derailed at 4 p.m. near Joplin, a town of about 200, Amtrak spokesman Jason Abrams said in a statement. The accident scene is about 150 miles (241 kilometers) north of Helena and about 30 miles (48 kilometers) from the border with Canada. The train had about 147 passengers and 13 crew members onboard, Abrams said. Megan Vandervest, a passenger on the train who was going to visit a friend in Seattle, told The New York Times that she was awakened by the derailment. “My first thought was that we were derailing because, to be honest, I hav
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Probably the most interesting facets of amateur radio in 2021 lie in the realm of digital modes. Using the limitless possibilities of software defined radios has freed digital radio communication from the limits of what could be done with analogue electronics alone, and as a result this is a rare field in which radio amateurs can still be ahead of the technological curve. On of these newer digital modes is FT8 created by the prolific [Joe Taylor K1JT]. And it’s for this  mode that [Charles Hill] has created an easy-to-build transceiver. Its brains are aTeensy 3.6, while the receive side is a Si4735 receiver chip and the transmitter is a Si5351 programmable clock chip driving a Mini-Circuits GVA84 power amplifier with an appropriate filter. The interface is via a touc
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My husband is really into geometry, and once he’s mastered a complicated proof he likes to go through it with me in exacting detail. If he sees my eyes wandering, he commands me to pay attention. In general, the kinds of conversations he enjoys are the ones in which he expounds his latest cognitive treasure, be it scientific, historical, or some fine point about how to interpret an obscure ancient text.I, on the other hand, gravitate toward paradoxes, and enjoy conversations in which I am the one who sets the terms of the problem and I am the one who gets to push all the simplest answers aside. Recently, I tried to spark a debate: Why isn’t it permissible to walk up to strangers and ask them philosophical questions? As I probed for the deeper meaning behind this prohibition, my husband
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The Hong Kong pro-democracy group that organised three decades of vigils commemorating the victims of Beijing’s Tiananmen Square massacre has voted to disband in the face of China’s sweeping clampdown on dissent.The Hong Kong Alliance was one of the most prominent symbols of the city’s former political plurality, and its dissolution on Saturday is the latest illustration of how quickly China is remoulding the business hub in its own authoritarian image.After announcing the decision to disband, a representative of the alliance read out a letter from their chairman Lee Cheuk-yan, who is in jail.“A regime cannot take away the people’s memory and conscience,” the letter read. “The beliefs of the Hong Kong Alliance will be passed on in the hearts of Hongkongers.”Many of the alli
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Generally Intelligent is an AI research company. Our mission is to build human-like general intelligence and make it safely accessible in order to foster a more abundant, unconstrained, and equitable society. We take a first-principles approach, starting from simple self-supervised architectures and evolving them to tackle human developmental milestones of increasing complexity.If you’re remote, see the Machine Learning Engineer role: https://generally-intelligent.breezy.hr/p/37984490dd0f-machi...If you want to be onsite in SF, see the Machine Learning Research Engineer role: https://generally-intelligent.breezy.hr/p/ed6849c074fb-machi...Our YC jobs page is here: https://www.ycombinator.com/companies/generally-intelligent
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The influential sister of North Korea’s leader said that an inter-Korean summit could take place, but only if mutual “respect” and “impartiality” are guaranteed.The statement on Saturday was the second in two days by Kim Yo-jong, Kim Jong-un’s sister and key adviser.She had on Friday urged Seoul to end its “hostile policies” towards Pyongyang after South Korea’s president Moon Jae-in called for the declaration of an official end to the state of war with the North.The 1950-53 war between the two Koreas ended in a truce, not a peace treaty, leaving Seoul and Pyongyang technically at war for over half a century.Analysts say North Korea is using Moon’s desire for inter-Korean engagement to pressure Seoul to persuade the Biden administration to ease crippling US-led sanction
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The Americans were cruising on Saturday morning and all seemed calm. Then the Europeans made a strong run in the afternoon and things got testy.Credit...Charlie Neibergall/Associated PressSept. 25, 2021Updated 8:59 p.m. ETHAVEN, Wis. — Golf is a game of decorum.Except in the Ryder Cup, where some combination of pressure, patriotism and pride routinely leads players to engage in frisky gamesmanship, clash over rulings and stoke or shush fans if it gives them an emotional advantage.This year’s Ryder Cup, however, was shaping up to be an exception to the usual peevishness. As the midpoint of the three-day event neared on Saturday, the American team was calmly overpowering the European side, whose golfers appeared lifeless and beaten. But that changed in the stretch of roughly one hour whe
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A former Arizona Republican attorney general attacked the Cyber Ninjas company on Saturday for engineering a vote audit “grift” in the state. The partisan company, hired by the state’s Republican-run Senate, has confirmed that Joe Biden won the presidential election — exactly as state officials determined after a number of recounts shortly after the vote. But Donald Trump continues to rail against the “fake news” for reports of the findings. Former AG Grant Woods said on CNN that he was surprised how “100% incompetent the operation” by the inexperienced company was. But he’s convinced doing a competent job was never really the point. “They’re in it for the money,” he said. “It is a grift. There’s a lot of grifters we have been exposed to. I was attorney general for years. I dealt with grifters every day. This is how they act.” (Check out the video above.) Woods believes the Ninjas will now try the same operation in other states. “You would think they’d say this didn’t work out, we’ll go home, feel bad about what happened — no, they’re not. They never give up,” Woods said. “They move to the next mark. The next marks are the [other] states.” Trump is insisting the Ninjas found “anomalies” in a number of votes at least “four times” greater than the amount he lost to Biden. But concerns raised in the report prepared by the Ninjas have already been shot down by election officials as the naive, partisan questions of an inexperienced company with no real knowledge of the ballot process. For example, the Cyber Ninjas insisted that files had been deleted. None have been deleted, according to election officials, though some a
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This was much more like it. Just when the Ryder Cup was lurching towards the domain of dull procession, controversy sailed into Whistling Straits via Lake Michigan. It arrived in multiple forms and while not masking the bare fact that this event is for the United States to spectacularly lose, the odd squabble always adds to a Ryder Cup spectacle. Cosy, cosy is no particular use to anybody.The protagonists were largely American, bizarre given their domination. Brooks Koepka, Daniel Berger, Bryson DeChambeau, Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth were all involved in incidents that drew disapproving glances. Sportsmanship will not prove the winner here, however chummy both teams present themselves during the closing ceremony. Life is full of winners; not all of them good winners.The US lead, 11-5, leaves them within three and a half points of glory. Europe, who need nine to retain the trophy, have had moments but not nearly enough of them. Barring something extraordinary, the US will win the cup for only the second time in six attempts.Koepka’s conduct was the most egregious. Having failed to earn free relief when in the vicinity of a drain on the 15th hole of a foursomes defeat to Jon Rahm and Sergio García, Koepka took aim at two referees. “If I break my wrist, this is on fucking both of you guys,” he barked while gesticulating towards the officials. Koepka seemed to believe his recent injury history somehow supported his case, with his response to a perfectly mundane ruling that of an entitled child. Daniel Berger, Koepka’s playing partner, was presumably trying to impress the four-times major winner with his audible assertion that the decision was “bullshit”. Aft
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↩ ↪ February 01, 2015 code dart go javascript language lua I don’t know about you, but nothing gets me going in the morning quite like a good old fashioned programming language rant. It stirs the blood to see someone skewer one of those “blub” languages the plebians use, muddling through their day with it between furtive visits to StackOverflow. (Meanwhile, you and I, only use the most enlightened of languages. Chisel-sharp tools designed for the manicured hands of expert craftspersons such as ourselves.) Of course, as the author of said screed, I run a risk. The language I mock could be one you like! Without realizing it, I could have let the rabble into my blog, pitchforks and torches at the ready, and my fool-hardy pamphlet could draw their ire! To protect myself from the heat of those flames, and to avoid offending your possibly delicate sensibilities, instead, I’ll rant about a language I just made up. A strawman whose sole purpose is to be set aflame. I know, this seems pointless right? Trust me, by the end, we’ll see whose face (or faces!) have been painted on his straw noggin. A new language Learning an entire new (crappy) language just for a blog post is a tall order, so let’s say it’s mostly similar to one you and I already know. We’ll say it has syntax sorta like JS. Curly braces and semicolons. if, while, etc. The lingua franca of the programming grotto. I’m picking JS not because that’s what this post is about. It’s just that it’s the language you, statistical representation of the average reader, are most likely to be able grok. Voilà: function thisIsAFunction() { return "It's awesome"; } Because our strawman is a modern (shitty) language, we also have first-class functions. So you can make something like like: // Return a list containing all of the elements in collection // that match predicate. function filter(collection, predicate) { var result = []; for (var i = 0; i < collection.length; i++) { if (predicate(collection[i])) result.push(collection[i]); } return result; } This is one of those higher-order functions, and, like the name implies, they are classy as all get out and
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Usyk beat Joshua in a unanimous decision as Joshua had been openly looking toward the winner of a forthcoming Tyson Fury-Deontay Wilder bout.Credit...Andrew Couldridge/Action Images Via ReutersSept. 25, 2021Updated 7:40 p.m. ETAnthony Joshua needed a knockout.Entering the final round of his heavyweight title defense against Oleksandr Usyk, Joshua, a power-punching 31-year-old from London, and one of boxing’s largest global stars, trailed on the judges’ scorecards, losing rounds early to a smaller, craftier challenger. When the bell sounded, he pressed forward.But Usyk closed the show.Usyk, an undefeated 34-year-old from Ukraine, landed a left and right early, quieting the crowd at a sold-out Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London. Late in the 12th, Usyk wobbled Joshua with a left hand, and a two-handed flurry of punches sent Joshua to the ropes as the final bell approached.That emphatic last round carried Usyk to a unanimous decision win in a fight most observers expected him to lose. The judges scored the bout 117-112, 116-112, and 115-113, all for Usyk.The outcome quieted the roughly 70,000 spectators present, most of whom supported Joshua by singing in unison through the early rounds. But it didn’t surprise Usyk, a former undisputed cruiserweight champion who moved up to he
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College students across the country are protesting the decisions of several universities to block access from university accounts to Napster.com, a Web site that allows users to download music from other personal computers. Officials at several schools, including the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, the University of Indiana and San Diego University, have blocked access to the site because of the high amount of traffic it produces on their networks. Napster.com allows its users to download MP3 and compressed audio files for use on personal computers. It is different from other MP3 sites because at Napster.com, users download the files from other users' computers instead of a central server. Officials at universities that have banned the site assert the traffic of incoming and outgoing files caused by Napster.com clog up their networks. As a result, the universities put a block on the site, preventing students from accessing it from the schools' networks. Greg Jackson, chief information officer at the University of Chicago, said the use of Napster.com "deprived other users of their fair share of the network." The problem Napster.com has created at other universities is that it uses up bandwidth, the amount of space available for information to be sent out and received on a network. Although Napster.com has created "traffic jams" on the networks at several other universities, it has not been a problem at Iowa State, said Pete Siegel, director of Academic Information Technology. "We have students who use the site, but the load on our network attributed to Napster is not significant on campus," he said. Siegel said ISU students do not appear to be using Napster.com as much as students at the universities where the site has been blocked. "We have seen that our students and faculty use our network very effectively," he said. "They have lots of legitimate uses for our network." If the load from Napster.com on Iowa State's network was to rise to levels similar to those seen at the universities where it has b
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Adam Oakes, a 19-year-old student at Virginia Commonwealth University, died in February after being told to drink a bottle of Jack Daniel’s whiskey, family members say.Sept. 25, 2021, 7:28 p.m. ETEight people were arrested and three others indicted on Friday after an investigation into the death of Adam Oakes, a student at Virginia Commonwealth University who died in February from alcohol poisoning at a fraternity party, the authorities said.All eight who were arrested face charges of unlawful hazing of a student, the Richmond, Va., police said in a statement. Three of them face an additional charge of buying and giving alcohol to a minor.According to Mr. Oakes’s family, the young man’s death, which drew national attention and renewed questions about hazing in Greek organizations across the country, occurred at an off-campus party on Feb. 26 at the Delta Chi fraternity house, where he was given a bottle of Jack Daniel’s whiskey and told to drink it.Mr. Oakes, 19, was found dead the next morning by Richmond police officers, the authorities said.Courtney White, Mr. Oakes’s cousin, said on Saturday that while the family was feeling “a little bit of relief” because the case was moving forward, it was still painful to know that nothing, including the charges, was “going to bring him back.”“A lot of people are saying that these boys are just boys,” Ms. White said. “But the fact is that Adam was just a boy, too, and they took full advantage of him. And had any one of them stepped up and actually acted like a man and called for help, Adam would still be here.”The family said on Facebook that they were “grateful for some measure of justice these charges and arrests may produce, as well as the protection from hazing they may give young, impressionable college students.”“The past 7 months have been agonizing for our family,” they wrote. “This is the first time these young men have been held accountable for their historically toxic and destructive traditions, manipulation of the VCU disciplinary systems, and for Adam’s death.”The Richmond Police Department did not say whether those charged were students at Virginia Commonwealth Univer
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()+[]! JSFuck is an esoteric and educational programming style based on the atomic parts of JavaScript. It uses only six different characters to write and execute code. It does not depend on a browser, so you can even run it on Node.js. Use the form below to convert your own script. Uncheck "eval source" to get back a plain string. Eval Source Run In Parent Scope Links Share on Twitter View source on GitHub Follow @aemkei (Martin Kleppe) Original discussion at Sla.ckers.org Alternatives
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Tardigrade walking (Credit: Lisset Duran)This is a cool video that someone recently took of a tardigrade walking. These little guys, sometimes called “Water Bears” are microscopic creatures known for their heartiness and ability to survive in extreme climates. The internet seems fond of tardigrades, and I always seem to see stories and memes involving them. But the thing about them that stuck in my head was how they can remain dormant for decades without food or water, and then be revived as if nothing had happened.I thought a bit about what it would be like if people could do that: “Susie this is your Uncle Joe. You never met him because he went dormant ten years before you were born. We’re cooking a big dinner tonight though because he just woke up and he hasn’t eaten in forty years.”But more appropriately for the article, I also thought about how software programs are like tardigrades. They could sit around dormant somewhere for decades, but then be revived, and run like they were just written.I admit that this is kind of a fascinating topic for me, In my article about old storage systems, I speculated that there may be some old mainframe computers out there somewhere with non-volatile core memory in them, that are holding the remains of the last programs those machines ever ran.Other people too seemed to like this idea, saying it would make a good premise for maybe a sci-fi story or something. I’d love to read that someday, or maybe I’d like to write it. But for now, I can tell those interested of a real-life encounter with this dormant program phenomenon that I had recently. January 1982 edition of Popular Computing (photo by author)One day last fall, I was looking through a pile of old stuff I had. Now if there were a packrat scale from “0” to “F”, where “0” is Tibetan Monk and “F” is Subject of an episode of “Extreme Hoarders”, I would rate myself maybe a “B” — Retaining an above-average amount of junk, but not worryingly so. (Non-nerds, sorry but my packrat scale seems to be in hexadecimal) There are a lot of old computers and things I used to own that I wish I had hung onto, and also a lot of stuff I saved that is probably doing me no good. In this case, I had come across something I pack-ratted that I did not even remember: An issue of (apparently rare) Popular Computing from 1982, which I could
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Speak to those who were lucky enough to be at fights in this country and elsewhere at the height of the pandemic and many will tell you they did not feel that lucky at all. As was the case in other sports, the lack of spectators made for an eerie experience, but in boxing it also led to something altogether more disturbing – the sound of pain.You could hear every punch. Every thud to the chest, every crack to the head, and while as a journalist or general observer you know those echoes are always there amid the heat of battle it was unappealing, to say they least, to hear them so raw and unfiltered in near desolate venues.Quite simply boxing needs spectators, partly to camouflage its brutality and partly for its very existence. Few sports have suffered more during the past 18 months due to the lack of income from paying punters, with entire livelihoods lost as a result. In that regard the staging of fights in front of no crowds was a survival measure as much as anything else, with the subsequent TV revenue helping to make up some of the shortfall. But ultimately the people needed to return and slowly but surely they have, with no fight, on these shores at least, seeing more come together than the one that took place here.Anthony Joshua versus Oleksandr Usyk, an occasion that demanded a big turnout and one that very much got that. Estimates put the attendance between 67,000-68,000, making it not only the largest crowd for a British fight since the return of spectators but also since Joshua’s victory over Alexander Povetkin in front of 70,000 people at Wembley Stadium in September 2018. The fact they packed the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium felt especially fitting given thi
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LIV is a webmail front-end for your personal email server. Why LIV All open source webmail sucks. Most I have seen are layered on top of IMAP, and IMAP sucks. The reason is you have to have search capability to deal with the high volume of emails nowadays, and it is very hard to do that across IMAP. On the other hand, some other email clients don't suck: Commercial "free" email providers, such as Gmail or Outlook.com don't suck. However, they are basically ads delivery vehicles targeted to you with all the privacy leaks and annoyances that you want to break out from. Terminal email clients (mutt, mu4e, etc) don't suck. This is what I use before LIV. However, I need to view HTML mails in a browser window and click some links and it is not convenient for those occasions. LIV is a highly opinionated, minimal implemented webmail front-end that: Has a integrated search engine thanks to mu Use browser native functionalities such as bookmarks. You can bookmark any queries or any emails Let you compose your emails in markdown with instant preview LIV is designed to be self hosted; It is not a SaaS. You run LIV on your own email server with or without an IMAP server. If you don't want to run your own email server please stop right here. If you don't know how to run your email server please do some research first; there are many excellent tutorials out there and this page is not one of them. Your personal email server LIV is designed for personal usage instead of organi
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The biggest state intervention in the UK’s labour market in peacetime comes to an end this week when the government finally winds up its furlough support.Barring an unlikely last-minute change of heart, a wage subsidy that has been in place for 18 months and has cost £70bn will no longer be open to struggling firms.Rishi Sunak, who announced the furlough in March 2020, thinks the money has been well spent but the economy is now far enough down the road to recovery to cope without the government assisting with wage bills.Most economists agree with the first half of the chancellor’s assessment, seeing the furlough as good value given the catastrophic impact on firms of the Covid-19 pandemic. At its peak in May 2020, almost 9 million jobs were being supported by the scheme, which covered 80% of wages up to a monthly limit of £2,500.Sunak has been clear that the damage that would have been caused to the economy in the absence of the furlough would have been colossal and intolerable. Viable firms would have gone bust; skills would have atrophied; and the state would have picked up an enormous bill from mass unemployment.Where there is less unanimity is on what should happen next. The chancellor believes the labour market now needs more customised support that will match workers still on furlough with more than 1 million job vacancies. He will announce plans for that in next month’s budget.The TUC – which helped develop the furlough – says the government risks throwing away all its good work, and has called for the furlough to be used as the basis for a permanent short-time working programme of the sort seen in countries such as Germany.The Bank of England is also growing more nervous about what will happen to more than 1 million still-furloughed workers once employers are responsible for paying their wages in full. At its September meeting, its monetary policy committee (MPC) said the number of full and part-time furloughed jobs had continued to decline but at a “materially lesser degree” than it had estimated in its three-monthly update on the economy in August.The Bank said the slower pace of people coming off the furlough coupled with record job vacancies meant the labour market was hard to read: “Key questions include how the economy will adjust to the closure of the furlough scheme at the end of September; the extent, impact and duration of any change in unemployment; as well as the degree and persistence of any difficulties in matching available jobs with workers.”Samuel Tombs, UK economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said he doubted whether the economy would grow fast enough next month for businesses to fully re-employ all the 1.6 million staff who were still furloughed at the end of July.“While the unemployment rate probably will rise only to about 5% in the fourth quarter of 2021, from 4.5% in the third quarter, we expect underemployment to rise sharply, as people return to their former employers, but work fewer hours than they would like. As in the early 2010s, this reservoir of ‘hidden’ labour market slack should exert considerable downward pressure on wages.”The Bank will be closely monitoring the impact of
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Some games will just feel better During this week's Nintendo Direct, we found out that N64 games would soon be playable on Switch via Nintendo's online subscription. More importantly, we found out that Nintendo are making a new wireless N64 controller for use with the Switch. You can connect the Switch Pro controller to PC with or without a wire, so it stands to reason I'll be able to use this new N64 controller on PC too, right? Because if so, I'm gonna. I loved the N64 controller. Its middle stem fit my palm perfectly, it had a great D-pad, its Z-button was perfectly placed and satisfyingly clicky, and it introduced me and the world to the analogue stick. The best thing about the controller was that it seemed perfectly designed for the games released on the N64 console. Nintendo have always been good at making hardware and software which feel as if they're working hand in glove (except for the Nintendo Power Glove). I've played Mario 64 with several different controllers since, and it has never felt as good when not on an N64 pad. It therefore makes perfect sense that Nintendo want to recreate the controller so people can play those old classics as originally intended. That's not where my interests lie, however. I have very little appetite for playing Ocarina Of Time again. I imagine there are some emulation enthusiasts who feel differently, but that's not me. The newly announced wireless N64 controller in its box. Also pictured: some Mega Drive trash. Instead, I'm interested in using an N64 controller to play modern games. In particular, I want to use it to play the range of modern games clearly inspired by N64-era Nintendo. You can't tell me, for example that Yooka-Laylee or A Hat In Time aren't going to be instantly 15% better if played with an N64 pad. "But aren't those games going to be designed for more modern pads," I pretend I can hear you say. Sure, but this new N64 controller being an official Nintendo release all but guarantees it'll be adequately supported one way or another. Thing is, you can technically already use an N64 controller on PC. You could either buy a Hyperkin adapter and use the original pad, or you could buy one of several questionable appropriations. But it's going to be an exercise in frustration to actually use any of these in any modern game. If you hook up a Switch Pro controller to a PC, however, then Steam will offer you configuration support. You can map the buttons on a per-game basis, or download profiles from other users. Or if you boot up games in Big Picture mode with the controller connected, you'll get over-the-game remapping features. It might not be as convenient as if the developers officially supported the controller themselves, but it works. It'll work. I loved the N64 controller so much that I was surprised years later to discover that other people did not. Those people have been griping again since the Nintendo Direct. That's fine. Ship all the N64 pads directly to me, Nintendo. I bet Spelunky will feel great on it.
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Former President Donald Trump said in an interview Friday that only a “bad call from a doctor” about a medical condition would keep him from running in the next presidential election. Trump hasn’t declared that he’ll run again, but he has dropped several hints. Asked on “The Water Cooler,” a program on the conservative channel Real America’s Voice, what would prevent him from running, Trump responded: “I guess a bad call from a doctor or something, right? You get that call, they say ... ’Come on down here and see us because we had a bad report.’” He added, “Things happen, through God, they happen. But I feel so good.” Until Joe Biden, 78, was inaugurated, Trump,
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Notre Dame 41, Wisconsin 13Jack Coan, who transferred to Notre Dame from Wisconsin, looked more solid than his Badger replacement, though he left the game in the third quarter with an injury.Credit...
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Jon McLaughlin’s second-half penalty save helped Rangers secure a 1-0 win at Dundee to remain top of the cinch Premiership. It meant Joe Aribo’s early goal was enough for Steven Gerrard’s champions to get back on track in the division having been held to a draw by Motherwell last weekend, but Hearts are on their coattails thanks in part to Michael Smith, who opened the scoring in their latest win.Aribo’s fine finish following good work by Alfredo Morelos with 16 minutes played gave Rangers the upper hand at Dens Park but the basement club made life far from straightforward after.McLaughlin was called into action on several occasions and produced a spot-kick save in the 59th minute wh
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Wildlife officials in Anchorage, Alaska, have issued a warning about aggressive otters after three reported attacks on humans and pets.On Friday, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game implored the ci
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