In this issue: The anti-abortion movement’s post-Roe future, the plant peddlers of Appalachia, the real effect of the child tax credit now that it’s gone, and more. By May 24, 2022, 12:40pm EDT Illustration by Julia Kuo for Vox Illustration by Julia Kuo for Vox Roughly a year ago, the government began dispatching payments of hundreds of dollars a month, no strings attached, to a broad swath of American parents. A response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the expanded child tax credit had an immediate and striking effect on the economic security of millions of children, briefly lifting them out of poverty — until, that is, the payments stopped late last year. The abrupt end of America’s successful experiment to help families and children is just one of the national conversations we’re exploring in this month’s issue of the Highlight. One of the most pressing stories of our day is the future of legal abortion; the leaked Supreme Court draft opinion this month has left many Americans contemplating the fall of Roe v. Wade and the effective end of abortion in approximately half of US states. Experts say medication abortion will become the best option for those wishing to end their pregnancies in the early weeks, in the privacy of their homes, sometimes without ever visiting a clinic — making pregnant people both patient and provider. All of these developments, writes Anna North in our cover story, are creating a schism within the anti-abortion movement, with a new, more radical guard preparing for the next battles just as the movement attains one of its biggest victories ever. For centuries, butterfly collectors — also known as lepidopterists — have pursued their quarries with a standard s
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I can no longer honestly tell my kids that everything will be okay.Alex Majoli / MagnumMay 24, 2022, 12:30 PM ETSign up for Molly’s newsletter, Wait, What?, here.The teenagers are not alright, but then again, neither are the adults. Pandemic life has been profoundly jarring, and every generation has felt it. I hear about people fighting on airplanes and an increase in violent crimes, then I attend my Alcoholics Anonymous meetings on Zoom and try to figure out why going back to “normal” is so hard. My 80-year-old mother never got COVID-19, but more than two years of sitting at home seems to have hastened her descent into dementia. Meanwhile, many young children are struggling to keep up with their education or even learn how to socialize.Now imagine what this moment must be like for teenagers. In December, U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy issued a warning: Pandemic-related death, fear, loneliness, and economic uncertainty have worsened “the unprecedented stresses young people a
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For its design display every year, the Cannes Film Festival creates an original commemorative poster, which gets splashed across the buildings and billboards of the seaside Cote d’Azur town that lends the festival its streets and name for two weeks every summer. In the recent past, those posters have mostly featured film icons: Agnes Varda, Spike Lee, Ingmar Bergman, Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Marilyn Monroe, Anna Karina, Jean-Paul Belmondo. This year, it’s Jim Carrey climbing a set of stairs overlaid with a blue sky flecked with wispy clouds. It’s an instantly recognizable image: the final moments of Peter Weir’s 1998 film The Truman Show. Carrey, as Truman Burbank, has unknowingly spent his life since birth living in a vast dome, every aspect of his existence engineered by a set of producers and broadcast live to a devoted audience. But now he’s discovered his faux existence and, climbing the steps, is about to enter the real world outside. Weir’s film didn’t play at Cannes when it was released nearly 25 years ago, so when the poster was unveiled a month ahead of the festival, some explanation was in order. “Peter Weir and Andrew Niccol’s The Truman Show (1998) is a modern reflection of Plato’s cave and the decisive scene urges viewers to not only experience the border between reality and its representation but to ponder the power of fiction, between manipulation and catharsis,” the festival’s website announced. A reasonable enough sentiment, if a bit broadly applicable to every film festival on earth. But then things take a left turn: “Just as Truman escapes falsehood as he rises, the Festival, with its famous ascending red carpet, offers viewers the truth of the artists when they enter the theater.” It reads like a challenge, or a promise — one that, late in the festival, having climbed that red carpet dozens of times myself and pondered a truth-suppressing scandal, I’m still wondering if it can meet. The Cannes Film Festival has fixated on truth-telling from the start, particularly on truth of a political nature. Its 1938 founding was explicitly initiated to counteract the fascist takeovers that were, at the time, evident in the Venice Film Festival, held in nearby Mussolini-controlled Italy. Over the years, it has been postponed for wars and been the site of protests, most notably in 1968 when demonstrations in solidarity with widespread student and labor strikes across the country shut the festival down. Cannes proudly situates itself as an advocate for free artistic expression across the world, playing films in competition from directors who are officially suppressed by their governments, can’t leave their countries, and even have to have their work smuggled out of the country in a birthday cake. Luxury yachts outside the Cannes Film Festival. Laurent Emmanuel / AFP via Getty Images So at this glamorous celebration of a complicated industry, with a bunch of luxury yachts parked nearby, there’s always a bit of discomfort, palpable even to a newbie. My first year in Cannes was 2017, when news of Trump administration corruption collided with bombings at both an Egyptian church and an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England; meanwhile, the films mostly focused on the ongoing immigrant crisis on Europe’s shores, a matter that felt both immensely pressing and one from which many would prefer to turn away. The following year, the Croisette was abuzz with a prominently missing figure — Harvey Weinstein, about whom a bombshell story had broken seven months earlier, sparking the Me Too movement and seemingly changing the film world forever. Following a red-carpet protest led by some of the film industry’s most prominent women, festival leaders signed a landmark pledge for gender equity in the film industry. Hopes and rhetoric ran high. And in 2019, all the films seemed to be about a world about to explode along class and racial lines. “Each of these films (and undoubtedly more to come before the festival concludes in about a week) posits a world that’s poised to come crashing down,” I wrote, concluding that “only the willfully blind could miss what’s going on.” After pandemic cancellation in 2020 and a delayed fest in 2021, Cannes is back in full force, and it’s evident that the organizers (and, perhaps more importantly, the filmmakers) knew that there was no point in avoiding the festival’s aspirations to be a place for explosive and at times chaotic statements in art. So some of the festival’s buzziest titles — the ones that will make their way to theaters this year, some very soon — have been explicitly political, dealing with inequality and authoritarianism and the once-again rising tides of fascism, at times bluntly so. Banks Repeta and Anthony Hopkins in Armageddon Time. Focus Features The best of the buzz so far is James Gray’s Armageddon Time, a semi-autofictional story of a sixth-grader named Paul (Banks Repeta) growing up in Queens in the 1980s who, after some trouble in his public school, ends up at a private academy at the behest of his grandfather (Anthony Hopkins). A jolt of a cameo with political implications appears midway through — I don’t want to ruin it — but the film’s broader aim is to excavate the layers of privilege that the protagonist, whose ancestors fled the Holocaust, is slowly coming to realize. His family leans leftward, but his parents (Anne Hathaway and Jeremy Strong) are casually racist and abusive and also loving and worried for their children’s future. They’re all navigating the gluey border between being the target of anti-Semitism and enjoying the opportunities and social standing that their Black neighbors will never have. Meanwhile, Paul is caught between his politically progressive family and the children at his new school who casually drop racial slurs, or pump fists and chant “Reagan! Reagan!” at the mention of an upcoming election. It’s a truly poignant and troubling film, and in interviews Gray has said the film targets the oligarchies borne out of large-state capitalism. “There is something ossified about a system that keeps the same people at the top,” he told the Guardian. It’s hard not to lay that film next to the festival’s earliest scandal, which broke just before opening ceremonies: The festival had been requiring journalists to exorcise material from interviews with Cannes director Thierry Frémaux regarding questions about the oft-promised gender parity among the selected directors, as well as racial and socioeconomic representation. There are almost no Black directors in the lineup this year, and while Cannes finally broke its record for women filmmakers among the official selections, that means a grand total of five. When asked, Frémaux more or less shrugged at the figures, saying that “it takes time for cinema to come into its own.” What that means, I don’t know. The systemic issue of underrepresentation in the industry will be solved at the ground level, rather than by festivals — which by nature come into the process near the end of a film production’s lifecycle — but the fact that Cannes asked that Frémaux’s questions about those matters be excised from interviews signals they’re aware there’s a problem. (In France, unlike the US, it’s common for journalists to agree to subjects having editorial control over the final interview; the story was broken by Deadline, an American publication that initially agreed to the terms in exchange for access.) And it raises questions about the “escaping falsehood” and the power of stories that the festival’s Truman Show poster touts. If the festival is committed to open expression and free speech, then why request the removal of the director’s own speech about privilege and representation from the media? Similarly, it’s unnerving to simultaneously hear that Cannes
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It was, said the doctor, an avoidable delay that would haunt these parents for ever. When their two-year-old daughter first refused to eat, then began to go yellow with the signs of jaundice and then fell into a seizure, Kanchana and her husband, living in the Sri Lankan region of Haldummulla, knew she needed urgent medical care.But they faced a terrible obstacle. Sri Lanka is in the grip of the worst economic crisis in its history, declaring bankruptcy and with no foreign reserves left to pay for imports. As a result, the country has been unable to afford necessary fuel and in recent weeks, supplies have all but dried up. As the girl’s father searched for hours on Sunday for fuel for his tuk-tuk to drive her to hospital, he was faced with one empty petrol station after another.Eventually, when they arrived at a local hospital just a few kilometres away, their two-year-old was in such a critical condition she had to be transferred to an emergency treatment unit at the larger Diyatalawa hospital. But it was too late; she was already dead on arrival.Shanaka Roshan Pathirana, the judicial medical officer of the Diyatalawa hospital who conducted the postmortem, confirmed that the length of time in getting the infant to hospital had led directly to her death.“The depressing memory for the parents that they could not save their baby just because they could not find a litre of petrol will haunt them for ever,” Pathirana said in a social media post, which accused the government of failing to protect the lives of vulnerable people.Pathirana spoke directly to the Guardian to confirm the details of the incident but said he was not authorised to speak to the media beyond his social media post. Kanchana, the baby’s mother, said she was too distraught at her daughter’s death to say anything more.It was a haunting reminder that as Sri Lanka’s economic crisis drags on without respite, the human cost continues to mount. The newly appointed prime minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, warned last week: “the worst is still to come”, with medicine shortages worsening daily and food shortages predicted to be on the horizon. Already, many in the country can barely afford one
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The footballing authorities need to widen the scope of discussions in response to recent pitch invasions if they really want to control the unacceptable behaviour of fans (Authorities searching for solutions after pitch invasions cause disquiet, 20 May). The answer to this problem lies in large part with the clubs and their players.For several seasons we have witnessed players indulging in a series of increasingly histrionic acts when their team has scored a goal: sliding on their knees across the pitch, kicking corner flags and – worst of all – jumping over barriers to embrace their exult
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REDDING, Calif. — Several people were injured when a bull jumped a fence and escaped an arena during a popular Northern California rodeo, authorities said. (Watch the video below.)The escape occurred Friday during the final section of the Redding Rodeo’s bull riding event, the Redding Rodeo Association said on Facebook.The bull leapt over a fence then ran through a crowd of spectators and across a parking lot before it was captured near a bridge about a half mile from the arena.At least six people were treated for minor injuries, including 15-year-old Jordan Greco, a sophomore at Redding
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While photos of the prime minister at a gathering on 13 November 2020 have raised questions about the credibility of the Partygate inquiry, they have also caused some to reflect on what they were doing that day.As England was under a 28-day “circuit-breaker”, its second lockdown, Boris Johnson appeared to be raising a glass at a colleague’s No 10 leaving drinks.Elsewhere, others were at relatives’ socially distanced funerals, delivering babies alone and looking after Covid patients.Here some of those whose lives were deeply affected by restrictions recall the date.‘I was allowed a few hours off work to go to the funeral’Dr Gareth Jones: ‘That photo made me unbelievably cross.’ Photograph: Gareth Jones/Guardian CommunityWhen I looked back through photos I realised that was the day we buried my Uncle Bob. There’s a picture of my wife and my son Zachary, who was born just before the first lockdown, stood outside the crematorium.Jones’s wife, Dr Helen Kalaher, and son Zachary outside Chester crematorium on 13 November 2020. Photograph: Gareth Jones/Guardian CommunityI’d only been allowed a few hours off work in the morning because I was on call in the Covid ward. My uncle was a massive, larger-than-life character whose funeral would have been packed out in normal circumstances. But there were around 20 of us and my auntie was still too unwell with Covid to attend.When they were both in the high-dependency unit in Chester with the virus, staff had wheeled their beds into the same room so they could spend their last few hours together. I stood at the back because of my exposure to Covid.It was heartbreaking not being able to hug Archie, my godson and Bob’s grandson, who was around 16 at the time, at the funeral. The whole thing felt horrible and wrong and then I went off back to the wards.I understand lots of the difficulties the government was facing, but that photo made me unbelievably cross this morning because of the sacrifices we were making. It’s made my blood boil. Gareth Jones, 40, respiratory consultant, Liverpool‘It’s a moment you can never get back’Xenia Davis and her newborn son, Rowan, in November 2020. Photograph: Xenia Davis/SuppliedI was in labour with my first baby having done all of my scans alone. I went into hospital at about 6pm and my partner wasn’t allowed in until I was in established labour at about 4am th
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Unions have warned of a “hammer blow to morale” across the public sector, after Downing Street said ministers would have to take into account the risk of stoking inflation when deciding this year’s pay awards.A readout of Tuesday morning’s cabinet meeting revealed that ministers “held a discussion on public sector pay”.It came as the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) became the first Whitehall department to announce a recruitment freeze, with the threat of more than 90,000 job cuts looming across the public sector.According to Boris Johnson’s official spokesperson, at the cabinet meeting “the prime minister said the public are understandably anxious about global cost of living pressures, and that the government will continue to support those most in need”.The spokesperson added: “The government has already pledged to increase public sector spending and is awaiting decisions by public sector review bodies. However, ministers made clear that the risk of triggering higher inflation must be part of considerations when deciding pay awards this year.”Trade unions reacted angrily to the suggestion public sector workers should bear the responsibility for restraining inflation.The TUC deputy general secretary, Paul Nowak, said: “These claims are nonsense. Making sure people can afford to pay their bills and put food on the table is not going to push up inflation. Inflation is being driven by rising energy costs, not pay demands.”He added: “Key workers in the public sector have endured a decade of wage cuts and freezes. At a time when staff shortages are crippling frontline services this would be a hammer blow to workers’ morale.”A cap on public sector pay awards, imposed by the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, during the pandemic, was only lifted last October, with effect from April.The call for pay restraint came as it emerged that Defra had frozen recruitment, initially for several months.An “official sensitive” briefing leaked to the Guardian revealed an effective recruitment freeze for all but essential roles in the department would come into effect on Wednesday.Senior officials who drew up the document admitted redundancies may be used “as a last resort”.They added: “Given what we will need to do over the coming years, we need to recognise that after this three-month period, our approach to recruitment won’t return to how it was.”Only certain roles approved by the department’s director general or chief executive in its arm’s-length bodies will be allowed to be filled. And appointments made through career entry schemes including apprenticeships and care leavers will only be permitted for “critical” jobs.Garry Graham the deputy general secretary of the union Prospect said it was “the first of many damaging recruitment freezes across the civil service” and that Defra was “already struggling to fulfil their obligations” to tackling climate change, supporting farmers and boosting trade after Brexit.He warned that officials would face “higher workloads and more pressure” and called on Johnson to “rethink these disastrous plans and properly resource our essential public
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Jimmy KimmelOn Jimmy Kimmel Live! the host returned after another bout of Covid to discuss the spread of monkeypox, something that Joe Biden has said we should all be concerned about. “Oh good, I was hoping to have something else to be concerned about,” he said.He then continued: “Speaking of viruses, Kellyanne Conway has returned to public life.”Kimmel spoke about the new tell-all book from “Donald Trump’s henchman”, which mentions that she was the one who told him to continue with his presidential campaign after the Access Hollywood footage was leaked. “We all lived crappily ever after – thank you, Kellyanne,” he said.But Trump’s spokesperson has claimed this isn’t true. “Kellyanne got Kellyanne-d today!” he said. “Now she’s the liar, according to him.”Conway joins a long line of previous Trump cronies who he has since turned against and called liars including Mark Esper, Bill Barr, John Bolton, Stephanie Grisham and Michael Cohen. “All the best people turn out to be the worst people,” he said.He then spoke about the list of 963 Americans who have been banned from Russia, including many politicians, such as Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton, and celebrities, including Morgan Freeman. “What’s he gonna do?” Kimmel asked. “Narrate you to death?”The list also included John McCain, who died in 2018. “I guess they’re slow to get American TV,” he quipped.Starbucks also announced that it would close stores in Russia this week. “Starbucks was the only way the Russian military got wifi,” he joked.Stephen ColbertOn The Late Show, Stephen Colbert said he was feeling “a little unsettled about America’s future” after a poll showed that Americans are feeling “uneasy and worried” at the moment.“Our national bird is now the balding eagle,” he joked, before sharing that 74% of Americans say that things are going badly while 65% say Biden is slow to act when something bad happens. “Well yeah, he’s 79!” Colbert noted.Biden was recently asked if he had a message for Kim Jong-un to which he said “Hello” which was seen as “pretty disappointing” before then saying the US would support Taiwan if China chose to attack, “a very blunt statement that surprised many”.It was described as “strategic ambiguity” but Biden later backtracked which Colbert called “wistful anxiety”.He then moved onto monkeypox, the “hot new virus everybody’s talking about” and again repeated Biden’s statement that people should be concerned. “Way ahead of you,” Colbert replied.There have been 190 confirmed or suspected cases, mostly in Europe but it’s now “monkeyed its way over to America” mostly as a sexual and genital form. “The genital form of something is always the worst possible form,” he said.The US has also been airlifting baby formula from Europe after the recent shortage. “If I told you that five years ago, you’d say that’s gotta be the worst news of the day and then I’d tell you about genital monkeypox,” he joked.Seth MeyersThe Late Night host spoke about the many “dishonest and self-serving” former Trump advisers who have released books, specifically Conw
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HuffPost may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page. Every item is independently selected by the HuffPost Shopping team. Prices and availability are subject to change. If you haven’t gotten your hands on the widly popular Revlon One-Step Volumizer hair dryer and hot air brush, today’s your chance. Though it comes in other color options, the red color is currently on sale at Amazon for only $21.47 (originally $59.99!). With this handy brush, you can declutter your bathroom counter once and for all, as it has multiple functions that eliminate the need for a ton of tools to do your hair every day. Not only does it dry your hair, but it also styles and adds vol
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Czech rider Jan Hirt of Intermarche-Wanty Gobert overcame problems with his bike and fought cramps to win the 16th stage of the Giro d’Italia on Tuesday, as the race headed into the mountains in its
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Even BBC News is kicking Manchester United when it’s down.A graphic saying “Manchester United are rubbish” appeared on-screen Tuesday during a report on the French Open and remained on the news ticker for several seconds.The BBC’s Annita McVeigh later apologized, chalking the blooper up to a trainee learning to post updates for the news ticker accidentally publishing a random thought.UPDATE: BBC News have apologised.They say that a trainee was learning how to write text for the ticker and accidentally published them onto the BBC News Channel. pic.twitter.com/OkjPIkJAoo— Scott Bryan (@scottygb) May 24, 2022 While the comment wasn’t appreciated by many of the Man U faithful, some
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You can now call public pay phones relics of the past in New York City.The nation’s most populous city removed its last public phone booth from a sidewalk in Midtown Manhattan on Monday and shipped
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A French court has convicted six people for harassing a teenager online over her anti-Islam videos, in a case that has sparked debate about free speech and the right to insult religions.The girl, known as Mila, was forced to change schools and accept police protection due to threats to her life after videos in which she insulted Islam went viral in January 2020 and November the same year.The court handed sentences ranging from a three-month suspended prison term to four months with an electronic bracelet to the two men and four women, aged 19 to 39.They were ordered to pay damages of 3,000 euros ($3,200) each to Mila.“Their conviction was necessary,” said Mila’s lawyer Richard Malka, but added that he felt no satisfaction at seeing them sentenced.“My only satisfaction would be if Mila were able to lead a normal life … and that is not the case,” Malka said.In the first video, posted on Instagram in January 2020, Mila responded to personal abuse from a boy who she says insulted her about her sexuality “in the name of Allah”.She launched into an expletive-laden rant against Islam along with other explicit comments about Allah deemed highly offensive to practising Muslims.She published a second video with similar content in November of the same year, after the jihadist murder of French high-school teacher Samuel Paty, who had shown students controversial cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.Mila’s lawyer says she had received more than 100,000 extremely virulent messages in response to the videos, with one person writing that Mila deserved “to have her throat cut”, while others threatened sexual assault.Sign up to First Edition, our free daily newsletter – every weekday morning at 7am BSTIn July 2021, a French court convicted 11 people for harassment and handed suspended sentences, with some ordered to pay damages of 1,500 euros.The case has received widespread public attention because it touches on hotly contested issues in France, from cyber harassment to the right to blaspheme, and attitudes to religious minorities.
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DODGY TICKERThe ticker on the BBC News channel went haywire on Tuesday morning, churning out random arrant nonsense such as “Manchester United are rubbish”, “Weather rain everywhere” and … actually, we don’t see the problem with this. Nevertheless, the corporation decided to issue an immediate apology, explaining that someone who didn’t know what the hell they were doing had typed the first thing that came into their vacant head and hit send, which was big of the BBC, because it’s not as though the Guardian has ever said sorry for The Fiver, and they’ve had more than 20 years to set the record straight. So let’s not get too judgmental here.A ticker of doom, earlier. Photograph: BBCThe BBC could have gotten away with it, too, keeping their heads down and riding it out, because it’s coming up to that time of the year when bunkum, drivel, hogwash, balderdash and confected hokum, all barely thought through, if at all, are no longer the sole preserve of the Westminster commentariat. Yes, it’s close-season transfer time, when anything goes, publish whatever you want, and today all the talk is of Raheem Sterling who, fresh from coming off best in a $tevie Mbe-infused title race for once, is the prime summer target for Real Madrid. That one comes courtesy of the s
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A profit warning from Snapchat’s developer has sent the company’s shares crashing nearly 40% in early trading, triggering the latest in a series of stock market routs that has wiped billions from the value of social media companies amid fears their revenues will be hit by a global economic downturn.“Since we issued guidance on 21 April 2022, the macroeconomic environment has deteriorated further and faster than anticipated,” the company said in an SEC filing published on Monday evening. Snap said it now expected second-quarter revenue and earnings below its guidance range, and told staff it would slow the hiring of new recruits. The company’s profit warning brought its shares down 40% after markets opened, to $13.41, well below the $17 level at which Snap made its initial public offering in 2017. In percentage terms, the fall marked its largest single-day drop ever, with the bad news spilling over to the wider industry: Google’s owner Alphabet fell 6%, Facebook 9% and Pinterest more than 20%.Concerns about a global economic slowdown have seen advertisers curb spending, which has knocked the valuations of tech companies that rely on marketing spend for the bulk of their revenues.In a note shared with employees on Monday, the Snap chief executive, Evan Spiegel, warned: “Like many companies, we continue to face rising inflation and interest rates, supply chain shortages and labour disruptions, platform policy changes, the impact of the war in Ukraine, and more.”Spiegel said the company would continue to invest in growth, and planned to hire more than 500 new team members before the end of 2022, a 10% increase in headcount. However, he added that department heads had been asked to find cost savings in their budgets.Sign up to the daily Business Today email or follow Guardian Business on Twitter at @BusinessDesk“Our most meaningful gains over the coming months will come as a result of improved productivity from our existing team members, as we work together and help our new team members get to know Snap and learn how to contribute to their full potential.”For Snap, the profit warning is a sharp reversal in fortune. It was only in early February th
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British officials did not require Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe to sign a forced confession before her departure from Iran, but instead advised her that the Iranians would not allow her to leave unless she did so, the UK’s Middle East minister, Amanda Milling, told MPs.British officials also advised that it was standard Iranian practice for released detainees to have to sign such documents, Milling said.Zaghari-Ratcliffe has claimed the Foreign Office was complicit in forcing her to sign a confession in front of TV cameras after she had spent six years refusing to admit she was guilty. In a letter from her lawyers, human rights group Redress says she fears the confession will be used against her and other dual-national detainees held in Iran.In the Commons on Tuesday, Milling accepted that UK Foreign Office officials were present at the signing of Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s forced confession, but simply relayed to her the message from the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) that she needed to sign it.Milling said: “Given the situation Iran put Nazanin [in] at the airport she took the decision to sign the document. No UK official forced her to do so. Iran has a practice of insisting detainees sign documents before they are released.”Milling said repeatedly UK officials did not force Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a British-Iranian dual national, to sign the document, but was careful to avoid saying whether officials advised her to do so.She also gave no answer on whether the foreign secretary, Liz Truss, knew of the pre-conditions for her departure in advance. Similarly, she sidestepped a question of whether the IRGC was going to be removed from the list of foreign terrorist organisations as part of an Iran nuclear deal.Milling was answering an urgent question in the Commons that had been tabled by Tulip Siddiq, Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s MP.Siddiq told MPs: “For days in the run-up to her release, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard had tried to make Nazanin write out and sign a document listing the crimes she was wrongly accused of, admitting guilt for them, requesting clemency and promising not to sue or criticise the Iranian government. At Tehran airport on 16 March – on th
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French rail operator SNCF has said it hopes to launch a Paris-Berlin high-speed service next year with Germany’s Deutsche Bahn to tap into a perceived willingness by passengers to take longer train trips.The SNCF chief, Jean-Pierre Farandou, said the operator hoped to begin offering one trip a day between the French and German capitals in December 2023.Several years ago, SNCF did not think travellers would be willing to take a rail journey lasting up to seven hours, but that was changing, he said.“Together with our German colleagues we’re going to take a chance and launch this train,” said Farandou.Both SNCF and Deutsche Bahn offer high-speed train services between Paris and Frankfurt, but for the moment you need to change to get to Berlin.Travelling by high-speed rail results in c
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NEW YORK (AP) — The dramatic story of an iconic movie costume from “The Wizard of Oz” thought lost for decades went through another plot twist Monday, when a judge blocked its planned sale at auction.One of the blue-and-white checked gingham dresses that Judy Garland wore in 1939 for her role as Dorothy was scheduled to be part of an auction of Hollywood memorabilia in Los Angeles on Tuesday, put up for sale by Catholic University of America. The dress was rediscovered at the school last year in a shoebox during preparations for a renovation.Auctioneer Bonhams listed a presale estimate of $800,000 to $1.2 million for the dress before it was withdrawn.But U.S. District Judge Paul Gardephe in Manhattan granted a motion for a preliminary injunction after a hearing in a lawsuit filed by
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Tottenham’s owner has invested £150m into the club as it prepares to back Antonio Conte in the transfer market this summer.The majority shareholder, Enic, has pledged the cash – via the issue of convertible A Shares and accompanying warrants – to provide “greater financial flexibility and the ability to further invest on and off the pitch”.The additional funds, in combination with revenue from a first full season at their new stadium at full capacity, comes on the back of Spurs returning to the Champions League after two years away.It will be music to the ears of Conte, who warned about the need for investment in order to compete on all fronts next year. He has also spoken about the desire to improve his squad with “important players” and this will now give Spurs the opportunity to do so this summer.Daniel Levy, the chairman, said: “The delivery of a world-class home was always a key building block in driving diversified revenues to enable us to invest in the teams and support our ambitions to be consistently competing at the highest levels of European football.“Additional capital from Enic will now enable further investment in the club at an important time.”Co
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In early 1983, a Düsseldorf band called Propaganda got a message: Trevor Horn wanted them to come to London. It was an enticing and deeply improbable turn of events. Horn was the UK’s hottest pop producer, a man who had unexpectedly turned the hopelessly drippy duo Dollar into a critical cause célèbre and piloted ABC’s debut The Lexicon of Love to platinum-selling transatlantic success, also making it the fourth biggest-selling album of 1982 in the UK.Propaganda, however, were no one’s idea of a pop band. They were electronic experimentalists, a product of Germany’s burgeoning post-punk Neue Deutsche Welle scene. As vocalist Susanne Freytag puts it, they were attempting: “To go away from American music and find a kind of identity – there was a lot of shame in our generation in Germany, and it was a way of finding, or seeing people using the German language and making new music.” One of their members, Ralf Dörper, had previously been in metal-banging industrialists Die Krupps: he claimed to be less interested in music than he was in film. They had already caused a ripple of controversy in Germany by plundering imagery from the 1920s and 30s: a TV show refused to let them use a film featuring images of Zeppelin airships and Marlene Dietrich because, Dörper later said, “they didn’t understand that we might be questioning values of the past, rather than accepting them”. And they were not huge on melody. One of the songs on their demo tape was a German-language extrapolation of Throbbing Gristle’s entirely tune-free 1981 single Discipline. When the call from Trevor Horn came through, Propaganda scrambled to recruit a new member, Claudia Brücken, on
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A Texas woman is allegedly on the run from accusations of murdering a professional cyclist amid a love triangle involving another professional cyclist.Anna Moriah Wilson, 25, was found dead in the bathroom of a home where she was staying in Austin, on 11 May. Just three days before she was supposed to participate in a 150-mile bike race in Hico, Texas, she was bleeding from numerous gunshot wounds, and empty bullet casings surrounded her, according to police records.A sworn statement from police said Wilson had a brief romantic relationship with Colin Strickland, a professional cyclist based in Austin. Wilson and Strickland reportedly had the relationship after Strickland broke up with Kaitlin Armstrong, 35, who had been his girlfriend for three years.The relationship between Wilson and Strickland ended when Strickland resumed his relationship with Armstrong, police said. However, on the night she was killed, Strickland had been hanging out with Wilson, according to police.Since then, police have identified Armstrong as the prime suspect in Wilson’s death, believing that she shot Wilson after Strickland dropped Wilson off at the home where she was staying.According to text messages obtained by the police, Strickland lied to Armstrong about his whereabouts that evening.“Hey! Are you out? I went to drop some flowers for Alison at her son’s house up north and my phone died. Heading home unless you have another good suggestion,” he wrote.After Strickland dropped Wilson ho
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Seth Meyers on Monday briefly accepted the “alternative facts” of “prolific and shameless liar” Kellyanne Conway. (Watch the video below.)Lamenting yet another former Trump associate penning a “dishonest and self-serving” book ― Conway’s “Here’s the Deal” came out on Tuesday ― the “Late Night” host served up a clip of Conway at a March 6, 2020, press briefing.“It is being contained,” Conway told a reporter, referring to the COVID-19 virus that would soon spread to every corner of the world. “Do you not think it’s being contained?”“Congrats, Kellyanne, yo
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An international deal that would force the world’s biggest multinational companies to pay a fair share of tax has been delayed until 2024 amid fresh wrangling over the painstakingly negotiated agreement.Mathias Cormann, the secretary-general of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), told the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, that there were “difficult discussions” taking place that meant the deal could not come into force in 2023, as previously hoped.Cormann said he remained confident an agreement would eventually be implemented to let countries levy
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Amid political firestorms over books deemed by rightwingers to be unsuitable for school libraries, the author Margaret Atwood has announced an “unburnable” edition of her most famous novel, The Handmaid’s Tale.The Canadian author, 82, appeared in a short YouTube video to announce the project, attempting to flambé the one-off tome with a flame-thrower.Announcing the book, Penguin Random House said: “Across the United States and around the world, books are being challenged, banned and even burned. So we created a special edition of a book that’s been challenged and banned for decades.
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“I knew it was rotten, but it’s astonishing and infuriating. This is a denomination that is through and through about power. It is misappropriated power. It does not in any way reflect the Jesus I see in the scriptures. I am so gutted.”That’s what Jennifer Lyell, a survivor who was an executive at the Southern Baptist Convention and whose story of sexual abuse at a Southern Baptist seminary is detailed in a devastating 288-page report by Guidepost Solutions, told The Washington Post.The report concludes that for almost two decades, the men who ran the SBC’s executive committee, which oversees the day-to-day operations of the nation’s largest Protestant denomination, lied, engaged in cover-ups, sided with those who were credibly accused of abuse, and vilified victims of abuse. P
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Salone del Mobile Milano – the furniture fair where all the big developments in the design world are unveiled – is back next week for the first full production since 2018. A great sign that the normality that’s been discussed so much during the pandemic might finally be a reality. While Salone is the best place to discover new names in design, art and furniture, there are interesting projects this month focused on rediscovery. New uses for hemp and a revolutionary way to use wood also feature in our stories. Old is very much the new new in design.The future of furniturePieces from the Inky Dhow collection by designer Bethan Gray, launched at Salone next week Photograph: Bethan GrayThe most important furniture fair in the world is back this year and, with a 60th anniversary to celebra
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Conservative MPs do not need any new information to judge whether Boris Johnson is fit to stay in office, and since they haven’t removed him yet there has to be a good chance they never will.Sue Gray’s report into breaches of lockdown regulations in Downing Street will embellish and illustrate a story that is already known. Laws imposed on the country in a public health emergency were flouted at the centre of government and the person ultimately responsible – the prime minister; lawmaker number one – was himself a lawbreaker. When asked about it in parliament, he lied.That much has been known for months. Johnson’s reprobate character has been displayed for years. That makes two categories of Tory MP. There are those who were truly appalled when they realised their leader was a sc
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Apparently Shakespeare is the latest victim of the culture wars, with some fearing the Bard is about to be thrown out of classrooms across England in the name of decolonisation. Wokeness has already culled the dead white man from American curriculums, we are told, so surely it won’t be long until we follow suit. Right?But the inconvenient truth – which isn’t quite so headline-worthy – is that decolonising the curriculum isn’t about burning copies of Macbeth, or chucking Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations in the bin. It’s not even about only studying writers from marginalised identities. As a mixed-race English teacher who believes strongly in diversifying the English syllabus, for me, it’s about re-examining the lens through which we view canonical texts in the first place
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In February, season two of HBO’s teen drama Euphoria reached a climax. “Well, if that makes me a villain,” proclaimed an unrepentant Cassie Howard, “then so fucking be it.” This much-memed line encapsulates popular culture’s preoccupation with baddies, from Netflix’s endless scammer series to Disney’s villain origin stories. Social media is pretty much a conveyor belt of villainy, too, with different echo chambers picking their own adversaries. Meanwhile, famous young women such as Britney Spears, who were once demonised, are now being reappraised as victims. And with hindsight’s perfect vision, it’s clear that plenty of characters in TV and film were not the “actual villain” either.We seem to be more accepting of some baddies than others. History is littered with f
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Barney Norris has written a personal play about family life and the passing of time. “These are my parents and grandparents,” he states in his script’s introduction. Writing them, he adds, is “the only way I know how to love them”.That love shows. As an ode to family, We Started to Sing is full of tenderness. As a play, it feels fragmented and anticlimactic. There is simply not enough plot or conflict. Maybe it is too close to home; what seems to be missing is Graham Greene’s “splinter of ice”.Scenes are infused with affection but there is no substantially darker, sharper side to his characters. And whatever family tensions there are between them are subsumed by greater warmth. That, in the end, is the problem with this delicately crafted play, which seems like a series of
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NEW YORK (AP) — Former White House press secretary Jen Psaki has officially landed at MSNBC, where she is expected to make appearances on the network’s cable and streaming programs as well as host a new original show.The program, set to debut in the first quarter of 2023, will “bring together her unique perspective from behind the podium and her deep experience in the highest levels of government and presidential politics,” the network said in a statement Tuesday.Psaki will also appear on NBC and during MSNBC’s primetime special election programming throughout the midterms and 2024 presidential election.Psaki most recently served as White House spokesperson for the first 16 months of the Biden administration. She previously served as White House communications director under form
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If President Joe Biden’s trip to Asia—marked as it was by his comments on the defense of Taiwan, announcements on a proposed new regional trade pact, and meetings with leaders who exhibit similar levels of concern about a rising China—has shown the persistence of American global power, it has also revealed something of equal importance: Beijing’s failure to translate economic might into political dominance, even in its own backyard.Biden today concluded a summit of the leaders of the Quad—a security partnership including Australia, India, Japan, and the United States—who issued a joint statement chockablock with references to promoting democracy, a rules-based global order, and peaceful resolution of disputes. That came a day after Biden announced the formation of the Indo-Paci
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If you wanted to map the contours of the patriarchy, a container ship would be a pretty good place to do it. That is where playwright Chloë Moss places Corrina, a female officer who joins an all-male crew on an ocean crossing from Felixstowe to Singapore.She meets the softly-softly captain whose genial demeanour is a front for maintaining male authority. Then comes the old flame who seems nice enough until he crosses the line between practical jokes and gaslighting. She sees hope in one decent bloke, a Filipino deckhand, only to find that economic exploitation makes his loyalty provisional. And, all around her, are under-the-breath grumbles from men who would sooner keep the sexes apart.In the lead role, an impressive Laura Elsworthy deals with this self-supporting male world in the best
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Partygoers in Downing Street were so cramped together at a leaving do attended by Boris Johnson that some were forced to sit on each other’s laps, it has been alleged.No 10 officials speaking anonymously to BBC Panorama said they sometimes arrived at work to find bins overflowing with empty bottles from parties the night before and security guards who tried to stop one illegal gathering taking place were laughed at.Their testimony comes as the prime minister braces for fresh embarrassment with the long-awaited publication of a report by the senior civil servant Sue Gray, likely to be completed on Wednesday. Some of those who worked in Downing Street said social events became routine during the pandemic despite strict laws forbidding indoor and outdoor mixing.Partygate: Boris Johnson unde
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The late Roger Michell’s final film has now been posthumously released. It is a blandly tasteful and celebratory BBC One-style documentary for the platinum jubilee, with a melancholy new relevance, as if we are entering a new “regency” age. Sad to say, it goes down like a cup of tepid, milky and over-sugared tea.Michell’s previous cinema documentary, Nothing Like a Dame, about Britain’s brilliant theatrical dames, had been full of fun. This is merely reverent. There is no original material: the film is stitched together from existing footage, all of which is very familiar, but the found-footage approach (which Asif Kapadia used so intimately and vividly with Diego Maradona and Amy Winehouse) now looks like a retread. We go through the reign from its early days to her majesty’s
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I’ve been having strange symptoms for six months. Doctors are confused, I’m struggling to sleep and my anxiety is through the roof. Honestly, you should see the state of my 2am Googles. Normal, healthy searches, eg “Petite Lithuanian supply teacher tells you you’re failing” has been replaced by “Are palpitations a sign of a heart attack?” and “When is a skin rash definitely cancer?” Anxiety feels like being in a constant state of fear, and that’s tiring. If only I could sleep. In addition to health worry there is the what-if-I-can’t-pay-my-bills worry, relationships worry, does-everyone-hate-me worry, have-I-failed-at-life worry. I tell them to wait in line, I’ll get to them all.I don’t get this from my mother. She is a dreamer who doesn’t worry about a thing, w
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Violence against healthcare workers has become a “global crisis”, with 161 medics killed and 188 incidents of hospitals being destroyed or damaged last year, according to a new report.Data collected from 49 conflict zones by the Safeguarding Health in Conflict Coalition (SHCC), also found that 320 health workers were wounded in attacks, 170 were kidnapped and 713 people were arrested in the course of their work.The US-based group said on Tuesday that, although the total number of attacks was similar to those recorded in recent years, there had been an increase in violence in areas of new or renewed conflict in 2021, “underlining the fact that attacks on healthcare are a common feature in many of today’s conflicts”.Leonard Rubenstein, chair of the coalition and a professor at Johns Hopkins University’s school of public health, said: “The world’s attention has understandably focused on Russia’s invasion and its apparent strategy of targeting hospitals and ambulances, with more than 200 attacks on healthcare in Ukraine confirmed by the World Health Organization through [to] the end of April. Such violence against nurses, doctors and other health workers, however, takes place throughout the world and amounts to a global crisis.”In Afghanistan, the coalition recorded an increase in reported violence last year compared with 2020, after the takeover of the Taliban. The attacks included the death of a prominent surgeon who was killed while travelling in the country’s Baghlan province in February 2021.A hospital damaged in the fighting in Ethiopia last December. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/GettyIn Ethiopia’s Tigray region, where the federal government is fig
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“Breathe,” whispers the disembodied voice in the darkened threshold to the Barbican’s Curve gallery. “Just one breath, shared by all living things.” The air we breathe comes from sea creatures and trees, it tells me, with a sort of irksome intimacy. Beyond the heavy curtain, the air is filled with sounds and furies, the cawing of a stuffed crow, the sound of a heavy downpour, a distant clamour of voices. It is a cacophony in there, with mutterings, corporate-speak and sound effects. The din is putting me on edge. All the fungi in the soil, the springtails, centipedes and millipedes, the mycelium, sugar nutrients, ants and earthworms, the plankton in the seas and the insects in the air are having a hard time, too.Filled with sometimes radical, sometimes nonsensical speculations about how we may reverse the appalling and seemingly irreversible impact of human activity on our planet, the Barbican’s Our Time on Earth offers a number of visions of how the world might look, and how we might also change, if we are to rethink our place in the world. One of the tasks the show takes upon itself is to raise our consciousness, less to inform us how bad things are, but more to recalibrate our sense of interconnectedness to the natural world.My own time on Earth is bad enough, without all the magical thinking. Some of the solutions proposed here, to share our dining table with pests as well as pets,, appear risible. Some smaller changes, such as making fabrics and building materials in more ecologically and environmentally sound and sustainable ways, are undoubtedly a good thing. But for all the talk of spiritual awareness and wise nature, Our Time on Earth is a physical as
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That the UK is a low-strike society and a low-pay economy is no freakish coincidence. In-work poverty is at a record high in large part because working days lost to strikes are at record lows. When unions were smashed by a combination of legislation, defeats and mass unemployment in the 1980s, we lost the most effective means we have to ensure that workers get a fair slice of the pie they make.That’s why Boris Johnson’s proclamation that work is the best route out of poverty is trolling the nation from the prime ministerial pulpit. Most people living in poverty are in work. He may brag about healthy employment figures, but the fact that they are accompanied by an unprecedented crisis in living standards exposes the inequality baked into our economic model as people’s wages cannot meet the rising inflation in prices.Millions of workers are deprived of a comfortable existence in large part because organising for better wages and conditions has been made so deliberately difficult. That the Tories are planning to further hobble an already battered labour movement should be understood as yet another assault on workers’ living standards.In response to the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport balloting its members in support of industrial action, ministers are threatening legislation to make effective strikes illegal. The motivation for the proposed action is very straightforward: pay freezes – or, given inflation hit a four-decade high of 9%, a real-terms pay cut – and 2,500 job losses.Those opposing the action highlight the supposedly exorbitant salaries of train drivers, which range from £20,000 to £65,000. They are the same people, of course, who wail about the “politics of envy” if the booming salaries of millionaire bosses are questioned. But the wages of train drivers are an advertisement for striking, not against. By taking industrial action – rather than being resigned to their lot – drivers have succeeded in driving up their pay.The Bank of England governor, Andrew Bailey, has pleaded for workers to exercise “pay restraint”: an easy demand to make when you’re paid half a million each year, rather than say a care worker on
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Male TV presenters in Afghanistan are wearing face masks on screen to show solidarity after the Taliban issued an order that all women on news channels must cover their faces.In a protest dubbed #FreeHerFace on social media, men on Tolo News wore masks to mimic the effect of the face veil their female colleagues have been forced to wear after a Taliban crackdown.The Taliban’s Ministry of Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice ordered all Afghan media outlets to use masks for female presenters. The decision was final and there was no room for debate, it said.Sebghat Sepehr presented the news wearing a mask shortly after the order was made public.It follows a decree issued in early May that all women must cover their faces in public and male relatives face fines or jail if they do not adhere. Many women in cities such as Kabul, including TV presenters, defied the order.Lema Spesali, 27, a news anchor for 1TV in Kabul, told the Guardian she was given the news of the Taliban’s latest decree on arrival at work on Sunday morning. “Two Taliban members came to our office and said the decision on compulsory masks for female anchors must be implemented.“We had an office meeting and had to accept the Taliban order, but decided that male colleagues should also wear masks and st
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A new trove of hacked Chinese police photographs and documents shedding light on the human toll of Beijing’s treatment of its Uyghur minority in Xinjiang has been published as the UN high commissioner for human rights, Michelle Bachelet, visits cities in the region.The data trove – referred to as the Xinjiang police files and published by a consortium of media including the BBC – dates back to 2018 and was passed on by hackers to Dr Adrian Zenz, a US-based scholar and activist, who shared it with international media earlier this year. It includes thousands of photographs of detained people and details a shoot-to-kill policy for people who try to escape.The ruling Communist party is accused of detaining more than 1 million Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in the far-western region as part of a years-long crackdown the US and politicians in other western countries have labelled a “genocide”. In addition to mass detentions, researchers and campaigners accuse Chinese authorities of waging a campaign of forced labour, coerced sterilisation and the destruction of Uyghur cultural heritage in Xinjiang.Chinese officials and diplomats call such allegations “lies of the century” and insist that Beijing’s policy in Xinjiang is concerned with counter-terrorism, de-radicalisation and vocational training.In a separate academic paper published on Tuesday, Zenz wrote that the newly leaked files explained how political paranoia that promoted exaggerated threat perceptions had led to the pre-emptive internment of large numbers of ordinary citizens. He was targeted by Chinese sanctions last year.In October, the Associated Press reported that Chinese authorities had scaled back many of the most controversial methods adopted in Xinjiang. “The panic that gripped the region a few years ago has subsided considerably, and a sense of normality is creeping back in,” its report said.Sign up to First Edition, our free daily newsletter – every weekday morning at 7am BSTOn Tuesday China’s ambassador to the UK, Zheng Zeguang, tweeted: “Such a shame for BBC to carry the fabricated story about so-called ‘detention camps’. Pathetic for the media, in cahoots with th
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A 14-year-old boy has been found guilty of murdering the 12-year-old Liverpool schoolgirl Ava White after he stabbed her in the neck in a row over a video posted on Snapchat.The boy stabbed her and then showed a “callous disregard” for his actions, seeming “rather pleased with himself, as if he feels big”, Liverpool crown court heard during a 12-day trial.The boy, who has a legal right to anonymity, had denied murder and manslaughter, claiming he accidentally stabbed Ava in self-defence.But a jury took two hours and eight minutes to return guilty verdicts. The trial judge, Mrs Justice Yip, said he would be sentenced at a later date.Ava was with friends to watch the switching on of the Christmas lights in Liverpool city centre on 25 November last year.She was, said the prosecutor, Charlotte Newell QC, having the “time of her life” as she larked about in a group of about 10 children.At some point a group of four boys aged up to 15 started filming the antics.Ava took exception to the filming and squared up to the defendant, demanding he delete footage that he posted on Snapchat.The boy’s defence lawyer, Nick Johnson QC, had said Ava, who was 5cm taller than the defendant, was the “aggressor” and wanted “to batter” him.Newell said the jury had to consider the boy’s behaviour after the incident. He ran from the scene, abandoning the knife and his coat.The jury was shown CCTV footage of the boy and his friends going into a shop, where they bought butter, which he said was for crumpets, and he was seen arranging his hair for a selfie.CCTV footage also showed without question that he was the person who stabbed Ava but he denied being there, telling police he was playing Call of Duty with a friend.Newell said: “Knowing he had stabbed her, his behaviour is of someone who is, at best, utterly unconcerned, at worst, rather pleased with himself, as if he feels big.”She said the boy’s young age was not a defence. “He is not a babe in arms, he knows right from wrong.“He was capable of making the decision to carry a knife. He was capable of deciding to use it and he was capable of lying about it over and over and over again.”The boy, who has
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Sawbuck, a four-year-old gelding that had failed to reach the frame in six previous starts on the Flat and over hurdles, equalled the British and Irish record for the longest starting price of a winner with a 300-1 success in the opening race at Punchestown on Tuesday.Trained by Conor O’Dwyer, the former Gold Cup-winning jockey, and ridden by his son, Charlie, Sawbuck briefly touched 400-1 in the betting for the maiden hurdle before settling at 300-1 at the off, but rarely looked in much danger of being overhauled after taking the lead in the early stages.His last start before Tuesday’s su
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WASHINGTON (AP) — When Gail Curley began her job as Marshal of the U.S. Supreme Court less than a year ago, she would have expected to work mostly behind the scenes: overseeing the court’s police force and the operations of the marble-columned building where the justices work.Her most public role was supposed to be in the courtroom, where the Marshal bangs a gavel and announces the entrance of the court’s nine justices. Her brief script includes “Oyez! Oyez! Oyez!” — meaning “hear ye” — and concludes, “God save the United States and this Honorable Court.”Earlier this mont
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Primary day in Georgia and several other statesGood morning and welcome to Tuesday’s US politics blog. It’s primary day in Georgia and a handful of other states, so buckle in: it’s going to be an absorbing day.It’s a day of reckoning, kind of, for Donald Trump, when his big lie-supporting endorsee David Perdue takes on incumbent Brian Kemp in the long-awaited Republican primary for governor of Georgia.Kemp became a target of the former president by refusing to block Joe Biden’s victory in the state, but leads the former Georgia senator Perdue by a handy margin in many polls. And last night Mike Pence, Trump’s former vice-president, showed up to rally for Kemp in another rebuke for his old boss. Defeat for Perdue would severely dent Trump’s carefully-crafted reputation as Republican kingmaker.Other intriguing races are taking place in Texas, where the incumbent Democratic congressman Henry Cuellar faces a stiff challenge from progressive Jessica Cisneros, and in Alabama, where Republican congressman and Trump loyalist Mo Brooks is seeking the party’s Senate nomination having lost Trump’s endorsement. We’ll look at some of the key races throughout the day, and have all the developments in our “after-hours” blog later today hosted by my colleague Joan E Greve.Here’s what else we’re watching today: Joe Biden is heading home from Asia, where he ruffled Chinese feathers with comments on the defense of Taiwan, and met with Indo-Pacific leaders to bolster US partnerships in the region. Rudy Giuliani stonewalled the 6 January House inquiry into Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn his election defeat during lengthy testimony Friday, the Guardian has learned. The former president’s personal attorney refused to discuss Republican politicians’ involvement in Trump’s plotting. New York’s criminal inquiry into Trump’s business dealings, meanwhile, has subpoenaed his longtime executive assistant for a deposition next week. State attorney general Letitia James plans to question Rhona Graff about allegedly fraudulent financial statements. Vice-president Kamala Harris will be wearing in Alina Romanowski as ambassador to Iraq, and Deborah Lipstadt as special envoy to monitor and combat antisemitism.
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The Duggars weren’t famous until someone introduced them to the world. That someone was me.My editor at a national magazine suggested an “as told to” story about an Arkansas family with 14 children. Michelle Duggar cheerfully agreed.My motive was to share a tale about unusual people, in the same vein as my profiles of a hairdresser for mall Santas or the director of an association for nude recreation. I didn’t volunteer to Michelle that I was a Jewish, feminist mother of two who had very different ideas than her about how to raise children, and who associated huge families with the era before birth control and sustainability concerns.The story was filled with homespun observations of how the Duggars managed the laundry and trips to the grocery store, and how chores were an opportunity to serve the family and God. Their motto, Michelle told me, was “joy ― for Jesus first, others second, yourself last.”In the family’s paired “buddy” system, the older siblings made sure their younger buddies were changed, washed and dressed. Older siblings helped their buddies with meals and schoolwork, and tucked them in at naptime. It sounded to me like the older children were co-parenting the younger ones, with responsibilities I wouldn’t have asked of teens.Parents ran the story in September 2003 under the title “Count Our Blessings.” In an accompanying photo, the kids line up behind their parents from tallest to smallest ― except for Joshua. He was away at a “Christian program” from March 17 to July 17, 2003, according to a police report filed three years later. His parents sent him there, they later said, after they discovered he had molested five young
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Universities are to be required to introduce policies by the end of the year to crack down on drink and needle spiking, amid concern about increasingly brazen attacks on students.Michelle Donelan, the universities minister, said she had seen the impact of spiking first-hand and that it was a horrific crime that she was determined to stamp out in higher education.On Tuesday, she launched a working group, made up of vice-chancellors, police, campaigners and victims, to spearhead plans for practical action to help keep students safe.Although the true prevalence of spiking remains unclear, police data obtained by the Commons home affairs committee said 81% of recorded victims were students, while a recent survey by the student news site the Tab suggested 11% of students believed they had had their drink spiked.Donelan wants every university to bring in a dedicated policy to tackle spiking by the end of the year, including measures to ensure that all victims are recognised and supported.“This is an issue that is very close to my heart, having had someone close to me spiked when I was younger, which had devastating consequences. So I know first-hand what a horrific crime this is and I am determined to stamp it out,” she said.“Recent incidents show that perpetrators are becoming more brazen in the way they are committing this appalling crime – which is why I am tasking a new working group to look at the issue more closely and come up with practical actions to stamp out spiki
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The UN secretary general has told new university graduates not to take up careers with the “climate wreckers” – companies that drive the extraction of fossil fuels.António Guterres addressed thousands of graduates at Seton Hall University in New York state on Tuesday. “You must be the generation that succeeds in addressing the planetary emergency of climate change,” he said. “Despite mountains of evidence of looming climate catastrophe, we still see mountains of funding for coal and fossil fuels that are killing our planet.“But we know investing in fossil fuels is a dead end – no amount of greenwashing or spin can change that. So we must put them on notice: accountability is coming for those who liquidate our future.”He added: “You hold the cards. Your talent is in demand from multinational companies and big financial institutions. You will have plenty of opportunities to choose from. My message to you is simple: don’t work for climate wreckers. Use your talents to drive us towards a renewable future.”Guterres has become increasingly outspoken on the climate crisis in recent months, telling world leaders in April: “Our addiction to fossil fuels is killing us.”He has also recently attacked companies and governments whose climate actions do not match their words: “Simply put, they are lying and the results will be catastrophic. Investing in new fossil fuels infrastructure is moral and economic madness.”The Guardian recently revealed that the 12 largest oil and gas companies were planning to spend $103m a day to 2030 on projects that cannot go ahead if global temperature rise is to be kept well below 2C, as agreed by the world’s governments.On Monday, a senior safety consultant quit working with Shell after 11 years, accusing the company in a public video of causing “extreme harms” to the environment. Caroline Dennett claimed Shell had a “disregard for climate change risks” and urged others in the oil and gas industry to “walk away while there’s still time”.Dennett said she was inspired by an Extinction Rebellion protest: “When I saw news footage of Extinction Rebellion inviting anyone at Shell to jump ship and offering support through its TruthTeller project, it motivated me to take action. I hope many more can find a way to do the same.”Sign up to First Edition, our free daily newsletter – every weekday morning at 7am BSTThe TruthTeller campaign encourages employees to walk away from companies fuelling the climate crisis and to anonymously disclose what they know. The TruthTeller coordinator, Zoë Blackler, said: “Employees face a stark choice: either stay where they are and watch Shell go toxic on their CVs, or exit an industry rapidly losing its social licence.”University students in the UK are increasingly joining a fossil-free careers campaign to ban fossil fuel and mining companies from recruitment events and career services. Students at the universities of Oxford, Edinburgh, Sheffield and Sussex all backed the campaign in March and April.
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Gareth Southgate has given Jarrod Bowen his first England call-up, rewarding the winger for his fine season at West Ham. The manager has also selected the uncapped Leicester full-back James Justin in a 27-man squad for the extensive Nations League programme in the first half of June.England face Hungary and Germany away from home before taking on Italy and Hungary at Molineux. The Hungary game in Budapest and the Italy tie will be played behind closed doors as punishments for fan disorder.Southgate has recalled the Milan centre-half Fiyako Tomori together with Kyle Walker, Kieran Trippier and Kalvin Phillips. Trippier and Phillips were injured for the previous international get-together at the end of March, when England beat Switzerland and Ivory Coast, while Walker was rested.Quick GuideEngland squadShowPickford (Everton), Pope (Burnley), Ramsdale (Arsenal); Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Coady (Wolves), Guéhi (Crystal Palace), James (Chelsea), Justin (Leicester), Maguire (Manchester United), Stones (Manchester City), Tomori (Milan), Trippier (Newcastle), Walker (Manchester City), White (Arsenal); Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund), Gallagher (Crystal Palace, on loan from Chelsea), Mount (Chelsea), Phillips (Leeds), Rice (West Ham), Ward-Prowse (Southampton); Abraham (Roma), Bowen (West Ham), Foden (Manchester City), Grealish (Manchester City), Kane (Tottenham), Saka (Arsenal), Sterling (Manchester City).The manager has omitted the Aston Villa centre-half Tyrone Mings and the Arsenal attacking midfielder Emile Smith Rowe, who has a slight injury, and he has left out the Liverpool captain, Jordan Henderson – mindful of the 31-year-old’s workload this season. Henderson is preparing for Saturday’s Champions League final against Real Madrid in Paris.“I don’t need to know any more about him,” said Southgate, who added that Trent Alexander-Arnold, another not getting a break this week, would probably stay with the squad only for the first two matches. There is no place for the Villa striker Ollie Watkins, who was a late replacement for the injured Tammy Abraham in the last squad. Abraham is again included at the outset. Nor have Kyle Walker-Peters or Tyrick Mitchell kept their spots. They had their first call-ups last time out as late replacements.Quick GuideHow do I sign up for sport breaking news alerts?ShowDownload the Guardian app from the iOS App Store on iPhones or the Google Play store on Android phones by searching for 'The Guardian'.If you already have the Guardian app, make sure you’re on the most recent version.In the Guardian app, tap the yellow button at the bottom right, then go to Settings (the gear icon), then Notifications.Turn on sport notifications.Luke Shaw misses out through injury and Ben Chilwell is not sufficiently fit, having only just returned from a long lay-off. Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho remain out in the cold.Southgate said Bowen had earned his place with “consistently strong performances” and referenced the 25-year-old’s goal threat and directness. Bowen was playing for Hereford in the fifth tier in the 2013-14 season. “His journey is really interesting in terms of the experiences he’s had,
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BEIJING (AP) — Airbnb Inc. announced Tuesday it will stop representing short-term rental properties in China and focus its business in the country on serving Chinese tourists looking for lodgings abroad.Airbnb joins a series of foreign internet companies including Yahoo Inc. and eBay Inc. that pulled out of China after running into fierce local competition and regulatory barriers.“We have made the difficult decision to refocus our efforts in China on outbound travel and suspend our homes and Experiences of Hosts in China, starting from July 30, 2022,” said the chief strategy officer of Airbnb China, Nathan Blecharczyk, in a statement on its social media account.Landlords represented by
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The internet is full of terrible corners, but none are as skin-crawling as what you see when you open a new account on TikTok. The app’s freakishly personalized algorithm gets better at knowing w
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What salads are satisfying enough for dinner?Matthew, Birmingham“Big, beautiful, non-boring salads are such an important category,” says Melissa Hemsley, whose latest book, Feel Good, was published last week. And, she says, they can be achieved with just beans, bread and a bit of prep. “Roast butter beans, maybe with some harissa and honey to get them nice and sticky. Crouton the hell out of a baking tray of old bread. Roast any veg you’ve got. Batch-cook maftoul, quinoa or wild rice for bulk. And make good use of eggs.” The beans and croutons (we’re talking big ones here) could then, for example, form the base of a caesar-tahini salad. The next day, “toss tomatoes with cannell
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The dramatic story of a costume from The Wizard of Oz thought lost for decades went through another plot twist on Monday, when a judge blocked its planned sale at auction.One of the blue-and-white che
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A Florida high school student opted for a hair metaphor after he says faculty members threatened to censor his graduation speech if he spoke about his LGBTQ activism or experiences as a gay teen. Zander Moricz, senior class president of Pine View School for the Gifted in Osprey, Florida, planned to use his speech on Sunday to criticize the state’s Parental Rights in Education, or “Don’t Say Gay” law. Once staff members learned about his plan, however, Moricz said he was told by Principal Stephen Covert that any reference to the controversial law or his sexuality would result in his microphone getting shut off. So, when Moricz, 18, delivered his speech at Pine View’s graduation ceremony, he shared quips about his curly hair as euphemisms for being gay. Pine View School graduate and class president Zander Moricz delivers his commencement speech at Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in Sarasota, Florida, on Sunday.Dan Wagner / Sarasota Herald-Tribune / Imagn“I used to hate my curls,” he said in the speech, which can be viewed in full here. “I spent mornings and nights embarrassed of them, trying to desperately straighten this part of who I am. But the daily damage of trying to fix myself became too much to endure.” “There are going to be so many kids with curly hair who need a community like Pine View and they will not have one,” Moricz continued. “Instead, they’ll try to fix themselves so that they can exist in Florida’s humid climate.” In a Monday interview with “Good Morning America,” Moricz said he was pleased by the reception his speech received from classmates and other graduation attendees.“You don’t know how a very volatile and polarized community is going to respond, but it was amazing,” he said. “I knew that the threat to cut the mic was very real, so I wasn’t gonna let that happen. I just had to be clever about it. But I shouldn’t have had to be, because I don’t exist in a euphemism. I deserve to be celebrated as is.”Turns out, Moricz’s activism goes beyond lip service. He also organized student walkouts in protest of the “Don’t Say Gay” law, and is named in a lawsuit against the state of Florida related to the legislation. Catch Zander Moricz’s “Good Morning America” appearance below. In his “GMA” appearance, Moricz said that the discourse his speech has already generated was evidence of the “horrifying” scope of the state law, which largely forbids instruction on sexuality and gender identity in most elementary school classrooms.HuffPost reached out to Covert for comment, but did not immediately hear back. Earlier this month, the Sarasota County School District issued a statement confirming that the principal had met with Moricz, but stressed that the content of the planned speech had not been reviewed. “Out of respect for all those attending the graduation, students are reminded that a graduation should not be a platform for personal political statements, especially those likely to disrupt the ceremony,” the school district said. “Should a student vary from this expectation during the graduation, it may be necessary to take appropriate action.”
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Naturally, you’ll adore the pictures of Boris Johnson raising a glass at a Downing Street party during lockdown. It’s like a Holbein or something, depicting a corpulent man surrounded by all the esoteric accoutrements of state power: the red box, the Barefoot pinot grigio. The Sourz Apple. Just out of shot? Either an astrolabe, or the booze suitcase.Furthermore, you have to respect how the Metropolitan police get to the bottom of nothing except the barrel. It’s truly inspirational to think their £460,000 “Partygate” performance piece has not yet reached its final form. That will com
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Donald Trump’s onetime attorney Rudy Giuliani testified to the House select committee investigating the January 6 Capitol attack at length on Friday but declined to discuss the involvement of congressional Republicans in efforts to overturn the 2020 election result, according to sources familiar with the matter.The move by Giuliani to refuse to give insight into Republican involvement could mean his appearance only marginally advanced the inquiry into his ploy to have the then vice-president, Mike Pence, unlawfully keep Trump in office after he lost to Joe Biden.However, he did potentially p
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One of Afghanistan’s top female judges has been honoured with an international human rights award while she continues her work to advocate for her country’s women and girls from a London hotel.Fawzia Amini, 48, fled Afghanistan last summer after the Taliban takeover of the country. She had been one of Afghanistan’s leading female judges, former head of the legal department at the Ministry of Women, senior judge in the supreme court, and head of the violence against women court.Amini is one of three Afghan women who have received this year’s Lantos Prize, a prestigious international human rights award from the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice. Previous recipients include the Dalai Lama and the Hong Kong human rights activist Joshua Wong.The other two recipients of the prize, awarded to the women on 18 May in Washington DC, are the country’s first female tech CEO, Roya Mahboob, and Khalida Popal, co-founder and captain of Afghanistan’s first women’s soccer team. All three live abroad.Amini, her husband and the couple’s four daughters, have been stuck in a London hotel for almost nine months along with thousands of other Afghans the UK government pledged to resettle here. Government sources have admitted there are still 12,000 Afghans in hotels, a number that has changed little since the end of November 2021, although government sources told the Guardian that officials have been working as fast as possible to move Afghan families into homes of their own. The sources described hotels as a “first step” and a “stopgap”.The sources added that more than 6,000 people had moved – or were in the process of being moved – into permanent accommodation since the first rescue flights in June 2021.Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers have begun enforcing an order requiring all female TV news presenters in the country to cover their faces while on air, as part of a hardline shift that has drawn condemnation from rights activists. Most female presenters have been seen with their faces covered after the Taliban’s Ministry for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice began enforcing the decree.Amini remains focused on trying to rescue 93 female judges and their families who are at risk in Afghanistan, a figure that has not reduced in recent months.Sign up to First Edition, our free daily newsletter – every weekday morning at 7am BSTShe also continues to advocate for the rights of women and girls in Afghanistan, participating in secret Zoom sessions to educate girls and women about their basic rights. These rights appear to be increasingly disregarded by the Taliban who have reneged on their promise to allow girls to attend secondary schools, and have issued new restrictions on freedom of movement for women outside the home saying that they must cover themselves from head to toe if they venture out.Amini told the Guardian that while she was delighted to have received the prestigious human rights prize she was increasingly fearful about the safety of women judges and the lack of rights for women and girls.“I am so worried that so many girls are losing their opportunities. They have no hope, no jobs and no food.
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Kharkiv, Ukraine Residents live in a subway station still used as temporary shelter. Kharkiv subway resumed service on Tuesday morning after being closed for more than two months during the Russian attempt to capture the city Photograph: Bernat Armangué/AP Pretoria, South AfricaStriking miners protest for higher wages at the Union Buildings as the German chancellor, Olaf Scholz, meets the South African president, Cyril Ramaphosa, on a one-day visit to the country Photograph: AP Semarang, Indonesia Workers push their motorbikes through water at the flooded Tanjung Emas container port terminal area in Central Java province, after high tides and broken seawalls Photograph: Antara Foto/Reuters Nusa Dua, Indonesia Students take part in an earthquake and tsunami evacuation drill during an event marking the United Nations global platform for disaster risk reduction, in Bali Photograph: Made Nagi/EPA
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The Michigan Bureau of Elections recommended disqualifying half of the candidates in the Republican primary for Michigan governor because of invalid signatures on their candidate petitions.The bureau, in a report dated Monday, named 36 people who circulated candidate petitions who “submitted fraudulent petition sheets consisting entirely of invalid signatures.” If the bipartisan Michigan Board of State Canvassers votes to accept the bureau’s report on Thursday, five of the 10 candidates in the Aug. 2 GOP gubernatorial primary will be disqualified.“The Bureau’s review of sheets submitted by fraudulent-petition circulators has resulted in determinations that many candidates have insufficient petitions for this election,” the report says. It added that the bureau would report the suspected fraud to the police.While invalid signatures on candidate petitions are hardly rare, the Michigan bureau said this was the first time it discovered wholesale fraud.“The Bureau is unaware of another election cycle in which this many circulators submitted such a substantial volume of fraudulent petition sheets consisting of invalid signatures, nor an instance in which it affected as many candidate petitions as at present,” the report says.The report affects Republican gubernatorial candidates James Craig, Perry Johnson, Michael Brown, Michael Markey Jr. and Donna Brandenburg, according to M Live. There is no reason to suspect candidates or campaigns “were aware of the activities of fraudulent-petition circulators,” the report says.This year’s elections are plagued by a scarcity of petition circulators due to an increase in the number of candidate petitions and fewer in-person events, according to news reports cited by the Bureau of Elections. The reports also note the cost of gathering signatures has quadrupled to $20 for each one.“Regardless of the level of review candidates conducted before submitting nominating petitions, the Bureau’s recommendation to the Board is based on the number of valid signatures remaining after review,” the Bureau of Elections report continues.Some of the affected candidates have objected to the disqualification recommendation. “I’m the threat,” Graig told Fox 2. “You know what’s sad about this? The people of Michigan should have a say on who should lead their state, fair and square.”“I can’t prove anything right now, but I am going to get to the bottom of it, because they wanted me out,” Graig continued.Political strategist John Yob, who is employed by Johnson’s campaign, lashed out on Twitter.“The staff of the Democrat Secretary of Staff does not have the right to unilaterally void every single signature obtained by the alleged forgers who victimized five campaigns,” Yob wrote. “We strongly believe they are refusing to count thousands of signatures from legitimate voters who signed the petitions and look forward to winning this fight before the Board, and if necessary, in the courts,” Yob added.The staff of the Democrat Secretary of Staff does not have the right to unilaterally void every single signature obtained by the alleged forgers who victimized five campaigns.— John Y
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The BBC has apologised after a message appeared on screen reading “Manchester United are rubbish”.The line popped up on the BBC News ticker at the bottom of the screen during a tennis update on the 9am to 10am broadcast. Later in the morning, the presenter Annita McVeigh apologised to any Manchester United fans who may have been offended, saying the mistake had occurred as someone was learning how to operate the ticker and was “writing random things not in earnest”. Another message reading “Weather rain everywhere” also appeared on the ticker.The Fiver: sign up and get our daily football email.McVeigh said: “A little earlier, some of you may have noticed something pretty unusua
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Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Dwayne Haskins was legally drunk and had taken drugs before he was fatally struck by a dump truck while walking on a Florida interstate highway last month, an autopsy r
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A garden with hardly a bloom in sight and inspired by the dramatic transformation of land through the reintroduction of beavers to the UK has won best in show at the Chelsea flower show.The garden – A Rewilding Britain Landscape by first-time Chelsea designers Lulu Urquhart and Adam Hunt – may lack eye-catching flowers but features a beaver dam, a pool with a lodge behind it, a shabby shed with corrugated iron roof and UK native plants.Judges were won over by its evocation of a rewilded landscape in south-west England, which used West Country stone, reclaimed timber and sticks pre-gnawed by beavers – with the dam representing a re-established colony of the keystone species.Beavers have
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Brett Morgen’s Moonage Daydream is an 140-minute shapeshifting epiphany-slash-freakout leading to the revelation that, yes, we’re lovers of David Bowie and that is that. It’s a glorious celebrat
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Since Sonic Youth’s abrupt 2011 split, Kim Gordon has chosen an uncompromising path. This should hardly be surprising; her abrasive vocals were always among the most challenging elements within the group’s avant-rock arsenal. But along with writing an unsparing memoir, Girl in a Band, and refocusing a hitherto sidelined visual art career, Gordon has also embraced ambient improvisation with Bill Nace as Body/Head, teamed up with surfer Alex Knost as abstract noisers Glitterbust, and combined acerbic blank verse with loops, basslines and feedback for her debut solo album, 2019’s No Home Record. Reliving past glories is, it seems, not her style.The Covid-enforced delay in taking No Home Record on the road has clearly given Gordon a chance to live within these songs, and for her new band to flesh out their antagonistic grooves. While much of No Home Record’s power lay in its starkness, Gordon’s band – guitarist Sarah Register, bassist Camilla Charlesworth and drummer Madison Vogt – add a chaotic, human energy to the machine music. Chugging like a no-wave jam band, they locate a dark, swaggering punk-rock within Air BnB, then glower subtly as elemental drum machines rattle like trap music on Paprika Pony.Dark and swaggering … Kim Gordon at Koko. Photograph: Sophia Evans/the ObserverBut Gordon is always the focus, a noir-ish figure in pearlescent shirt and black cravat, artfully mauling her guitar and growling like the bastard child of Iggy Pop and Alan Vega. There’s no sense of her coasting on the considerable cred she’s accrued from decades as an underground figurehead. Instead, Gordon is restless, channelling traumas on the heavy industrial slither of Murdered Out, and turning the male gaze inside-out on the dark glam-stomp of Hungry Baby. There are moments of sweetness: the dreamy ambient glide of Earthquake; a joyful thrash through DNA’s no wave cornerstone Blonde Redhead. But most of these songs are like bared nerves, like shorting power lines just waiting to flame out. That final eruption comes on the closing Grass Jeans, witheringly dedicated to “the, uh, American ‘democratic experiment’”, and as Gordon scales her amp and hammers
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Amanda Northrop/Vox Is it still ethical to collect butterflies for science? By Updated May 24, 2022, 8:13am EDT Part of the May 2022 issue of The Highlight, our home for ambitious stories that explain our world. The butterfly’s wings are splayed at an unnatural angle, orange-and-black markings visible to full effect. A metal pin skewers it to the wall. Through thick display glass, I read the tiny, hand-drawn label affixed to the pin’s base. This monarch, I learn, was collected from Michoud, Louisiana, in 1938. Specimens like this one, housed at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC, represent priceless bits of scientific data. Studying them has revealed everything from changes in butterfly wing shape over time to the genetics of extinct species to new speci
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How can we tell how high cases are when people have stopped testing?For almost two years we’ve been glued to a set of numbers: the grim trio of cases, hospitalisations and deaths that defined coronavirus in the UK.The daily figures led news reports for more than a year: people watched in horror as the height of the Omicron wave brought the highest ever daily caseload on Tuesday 4 January 2022 when 275,618 people tested positive. And they saw how many people died: a number that peaked on Tuesday 19 January 2021, when 1,366 people died, making it the the worst day of the pandemic*.Since March 2022 case numbers from the daily government dashboard have tumbled. A fall that has coincided with the government’s Living with Covid plan: as restrictions fell away in England, so did cases. The government ended restrictions including the legal requirement to self-isolate on 24 February and cut the provision of free tests on 1 April. 150,000 Seven-day rolling average of new cases 50,000 100,000 0 Oct2020 Oct Jan2021 Jul Apr Jan2022 Apr Alpha wave Delta Omicron Omicron wave 1 AprilFree testsend
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The owner of Wagamama, Frankie & Benny’s and Chiquito expects food and drink inflation to reach as much as 10% this year, double the rate predicted just two months ago, as the war in Ukraine disrupts supply chains.The Restaurant Group, which operates about 400 outlets, said it was working with its supply chain to offset the cost rises but warned “this remains a volatile inflationary market”.The latest warning on costs came after TRG said in March that the soaring cost of gas and electricity would add £6m-£7m to its expenses this year.The company also flagged rising wage costs as the economy nears full employment with well over 1m vacancies in the UK.The update from TRG highlights the scale of inflation confronting businesses and families as it emerged a standoff between Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak was delaying measures to help people through the cost of living crisis.Brands such as bakery chain Greggs and bootmaker Dr Martens have said prices are on the up because of the rising cost of raw materials, energy and labour.Sign up to the daily Business Today email or follow Guardian Business on Twitter at @BusinessDeskDespite the blows from higher costs, TRG said it continued to expect to meet full-year profit forecasts, as “robust” trading in its Wagamama restaurants and pubs and a better than expected recovery in its train station and airport outlets offset the higher than anticipated inflation.Sales at established Wagamama outlets rose 11% in the six weeks to 15 May and 6% at pubs, although this marked a slowdown from the previous three months as prices rose to reflect a return to 20% VAT compared with a special pandemic rate of 12.5% before 1 April. Underlying sales at the group’s travel concessions slid 11% in the six weeks, but this was an improvement on a 26% decline in the previous three months.The company, which permanently closed about 200 restaurants during the pandemic, said it planned at least eight new Wagamama restaurants this year and three specialist delivery kitchens as well as three new pubs.“The continued strength of trading of these businesses has reinforced our belief in their long-term rollout potential,” the company said in
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Ex-NFL player Brendan Langley was charged with assault after a fight with a United Airlines worker, outlets reported Monday. The employee was fired. Partial bystander video of the brawl at Newark Airport, shared by TMZ, went viral (watch it below), showing the two squaring off and exchanging slaps and glancing blows. Langley then landed forceful punches that sent the worker tumbling behind the counter. The wobbly employee got up to apparently continue the fight and the video ended there. Langley was arrested and charged with simple assault, cops told TMZ. United Airlines said United Ground Express had terminated the unnamed employee, who was not immediately charged, CNN reported. The confrontation, which happened on Thursday, was sparked when the staffer asked Langley for a wheelchair he
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Name: Tech neck.Age: Two years old.Appearance: The next stage of human evolution.This sounds exciting! Are we all going to be cyborgs soon? Not exactly.Then what on earth is tech neck? That’s easy. It’s the hunch you develop from staring at your phone too much.That’s less exciting. And less deniable. It has been claimed by the Australian Chiropractors Association that our compulsive use of mobile devices is changing the shape of our bodies.How? Let’s say you hold your phone at an angle that makes you lower your head by 60 degrees. That adds approximately 27kg (60lbs) of weight through your spine. Now, imagine doing that for several hours every day. That’s one messed up back.Hang on, you said that tech neck is only two years old. Phones are older than that, and “text neck” was
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A deeply alarming attack on democracy is well under way in America.Latching on to Donald Trump’s lies about the 2020 election, candidates across the country are running for positions in which they would exert enormous influence over the way ballots are cast and counted. Candidates who have embraced election lies are also seeking to be governors in swing states like Arizona and Pennsylvania, where they would play a critical role in certifying elections.Several of these candidates, many of whom Trump has endorsed, refuse to acknowledge Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 election and have embraced the idea of “decertifying” the presidential election. Some have called for jailing their political rivals. Many of these contests are races for secretary of state, the chief election official in many places, and a little-known office. If these candidates are successful, there is concern that the pieces will be in place to overturn the results of a future election.The Guardian is tracking several of these races throughout US primaries this year.Arizona Photograph: Brandon Bell/Getty ImagesKari Lake Running for: Governor Trump endorsed: Yes Role in 2020: TV news anchor A frontrun
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They have the body of an eel, the mouth of a sarlacc, and the diet of a vampire. Sea lampreys are fish native to the Atlantic Ocean and the rivers that flow into it. But more than a century ago, they found their way into the Great Lakes, where they multiplied and became one of the most destructive invasive species in US history. These creatures are parasites. To feed, they latch onto fish, bore into them, and start sucking down blood and body fluids, often killing their prey in the process. A single lamprey can kill up to 40 pounds of fish; and hordes of them threaten the Great Lakes fishing economy, which is valued at roughly $7 billion a year. A salmon from Lake Huron with a sea lamprey attached to it. Marc Gaden/Great Lakes Fishery Commission Sea lampreys are the largest of the lamprey species. Here, two lampreys caught in the Great Lakes. Marlin Levison/Star Tribune via Getty Images Wildlife officials in the Great Lakes have been culling sea lampreys for several decades, largely using lamprey-specific pesticides. But paradoxically, sea lampreys are endangered in parts of their native range, including Western Europe and the northeastern US. Four species of native lampreys also live in the Great Lakes, which wildlife officials are trying to protect. This raises a fundamental tension, common in invasive biology: How we treat a species depends largely on where it is, even if humans put it there. Looks matter, too. A
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Ten years ago this month, the Harvard men’s baseball team put a video on YouTube in which they danced and lip-synched to Carly Rae Jepsen’s No. 1 hit, “Call Me Maybe.” It was funny because, well, you know: They were muscle-y boys with serious jawlines, and they were doing choreography that involved punching the ceiling of a van; this was back when a lot of people thought that pop songs were really stupid and for girls. So the video got really popular. Then other groups of people started to film themselves doing their own versions of the song: college students in Idaho; the Miami Dolphins cheerleaders; the U.S. Olympic swim team. Maybe you, too, were inclined to dance and lip-synch to Carly Rae Jepsen’s No. 1 hit, “Call Me Maybe,” with your friends and post it to the internet. This is how one of the first super-viral “challenges” on social media was born.Planking, where people filmed or photographed themselves lying flat—like a plank—in unexpected places, had already peaked, as a challenge, in the previous year. But the “Call Me Maybe” challenge turned out to be a lot less dangerous, and—as a group activity—a lot more fun. The Pittsburgh Steelers made a “Call Me Maybe” video in 2012. A class of kindergartners made one. Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber made one—this is when they were in love. And I’m sure you already know who else made one … I did, at the end of a closing shift at a coffee shop in the mall food court. (This was an amazing,
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Ofgem is on course to raise the cap on household energy bills to about £2,800 in October, the regulator’s chief executive, Jonathan Brearley, has told MPs.The shock increase in the cap would push up the average annual bill by more than £800, after the regulator increased it by £693 in April to £1,971.Brearley told parliament’s business, energy & industrial strategy committee that the figure was provisional, but was based on the most accurate estimate at the moment.He said he would be writing to the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, this afternoon to confirm that the soaring cost of wholesale ga
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UK banks and insurers will end up shouldering nearly £340bn worth of climate-related losses by 2050, unless action is taken to curb rising temperatures and sea levels, the Bank of England has warned.The numbers emerged from the Bank’s first climate stress tests on seven of the UK’s largest lenders. These involved three climate scenarios over a 30-year period, covering physical and transition risks, including one in which governments fail to take further steps to curb greenhouse gas emissions, resulting in average temperature rises of 3.3C, and a 3.9-metre rise in sea levels. The regulator
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Best playerNick Ames Because he deserves the recognition: Son Heung-min. This was not Harry Kane’s finest season, despite a big uptick in its second half, but Son’s brilliance ensured that ultimately mattered little. Mohamed Salah had looked nailed on for this until the last couple of months and still needs mentioning, as does Kevin De Bruyne; his performance at Wolves, which I was fortunate to report on, was mindblowing and an already supreme Manchester City are transformed when he is at his best.Gregg Bakowski De Bruyne. It looked like Salah would be a shoo-in halfway through the season
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The head of Nato has issued a blunt warning of the security risks of close economic ties with Russia and China as he told business leaders in Davos values should matter more than profits.Jens Stoltenberg, the secretary general of the western military alliance, said countries would be making a mistake if they traded short-term economic gain for long-term security.“Freedom is more important than free trade. The protection of our values is more important than profit,” Stoltenberg told the World Economic Forum.The Nato head said globalisation had brought many economic benefits but the war in Ukraine had exposed how ties with authoritarian regimes created vulnerabilities.Breaking down barriers in the pursuit of free trade had left Europe dependent on Russian oil and gas, involved the sharin
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The FBI has issued an arrest warrant for a Spanish man who claims to be a “special delegate” working for the government of North Korea, accusing him of recruiting a cryptocurrency expert in an attempt to help Pyongyang circumvent US sanctions.Alejandro Cao de Benós, a 47-year-old Spanish national who describes himself as Pyongyang’s special delegate for the committee for cultural relations with foreign countries, is alleged to have conspired with Virgil Griffith, a US cryptocurrency expert, to “illegally provide cryptocurrency and blockchain services to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK)”.According to the FBI, Cao de Benós began organising a “Pyongyang blockchain and cryptocurrency conference” for the benefit of North Korea in early 2018.The Spaniard is alle
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Nine in the room, if you include the photographer. Eight glasses held high, a table strewn with bottles. Not a mask to be seen, not a hint of social distancing. They’re standing mere breaths apart. And there, holding court, centre stage – all grins and clownish mop of hair and crumpled, easy swagger – is Boris, good old Boris. Knees up, guard down, clearly raising a toast in a room full of alcohol. It all looks so very jolly.Only at a second glance do you notice the red box that sits askew upon a chair, slung there like an afterthought. Then, in the foreground, a further revelation. As if designed to mock, tucked away between the bottles is that icon of the Covid age – a plastic pump dispenser of hand sanitiser. And how absurd it looks, how silly, this token nod towards curtailing
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If Wigan beat Huddersfield Giants in the Challenge Cup on Saturday, do not expect Liam Byrne to feature in many headlines. His try-scoring record of two in 56 appearances suggests he is unlikely to crash over for the winner. But if Wigan skipper Thomas Leuluai lifts the trophy at Tottenham, everyone in the camp will know Byrne has played his part.The 22-year-old is one of Super League’s archetypal shift-workers: one of those no-nonsense water carrier players that every team needs. Byrne is the ox who ploughs the field, preparing it for players such as Cade Cust, Jai Field and Bevan French to create acts of beauty.Rugby league’s greatest teams are full of unglamorous forwards who were not outstanding individuals but who did their job to perfection. Not many people focus on Mitch Achurch
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KPMG will pay a fine of £3.4m to the accounting regulator after accepting failures in its audit of Rolls-Royce, the British jet engine manufacturer that paid a £500m settlement after bribery allegations.The accountancy firm received a severe reprimand from the regulator, the Financial Reporting Council (FRC), and the firm will have to commission an independent review into the effectiveness of its policies.It is the fourth significant fine the firm has paid this year.Anthony Sykes, the KPMG partner who led the audit, will also pay a £112,500 fine and received a severe reprimand ahead of his retirement from the firm in September. The fines for the firm and Sykes were reduced from £4.5m and £150,000 respectively because they cooperated with the regulator. KPMG will also pay the regulator
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Security forces in Sudan have mounted a fierce crackdown in recent days to crush remaining unrest, six months after a coup that brought a military regime to power in the unstable strategic country.Police fired teargas and shotguns at protesters as thousands took to the streets in the capital, Khartoum, and twin city of Omdurman on Monday. The violence followed a similarly harsh response to demonstrations over the weekend. In all, 113 people have been injured and one killed in recent days, according to doctors.Ninety-six protesters have been killed since the coup in October last year, and more than 1,500 detained.Security forces have carried out a wave of arrests targeting the resistance committees, a network of informal associations that have organised most of the protests. Nazim Siraj, a
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David Cronenberg, director of Crash, The Naked Lunch and A History of Violence, has said that “the US is completely insane”.Speaking to the press at the Cannes film festival premiere of his new film Crimes of the Future, Cronenberg referred specifically to attempts to overturn Roe v Wade. “In Canada … we think everyone in the US is completely insane. I think the US has gone completely bananas, and I can’t believe what the elected officials are saying, not just about Roe v Wade, so it is strange times.”Cronenberg then suggested a parallel to attitudes in Russia towards Ukraine. “We talk about Putin and the invasion of Ukraine, but then south of the border in Canada we feel the vibrations that are weirdly similar.”Having pioneered the “body horror” style of cinema in film
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Priti Patel’s plan to send refugees on a one-way ticket to Rwanda is being challenged in the courts over the government’s alleged failure to identify risks facing vulnerable groups such as LGBTQ+ people.A pre-action letter sent to the Home Office on behalf of the pressure group Freedom from Torture questions government claims that the east African state is “generally a safe country” for refugees.The department’s equality impact assessment for the policy said there were concerns over the treatment of some LGBTQ+ people in Rwanda, and that investigations pointed to “ill treatment” of this group being “more than one-off”.Despite this, the government’s assessment of Rwanda’s human rights record states that there were “not substantial grounds” for believing LGBTQ+ peop
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James Corden had no need for speed, but “Top Gun: Maverick” star Tom Cruise gave him heaping doses of it anyway in a vintage fighter plane and a modern jet fit for warfare. (Watch the video below.)Between the two missions to promote his pilot sequel on “The Late Late Show” Monday, Cruise gave Corden a crash course, “Top Gun” style. He tried to assure Corden that the talk host is his Goose, but Corden took no comfort in that because Goose died in the original “Top Gun.”He’d just have to trust in Tom, who of course pulled stomach-wrenching maneuvers that included flying the jet upside down.Corden went skydiving with Cruise in a bit a few years ago. This time, he warned the action hero that if he dies: “I’ll haunt you the rest of your life.”
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The son of a Russian billionaire sanctioned for supporting the dictator who runs Belarus has been linked to a £160m portfolio of London properties.Said Gutseriev, a 34-year-old businessman with British and Russian nationality, appears to have spent years amassing a collection of at least seven properties in central London, according to the findings of a joint investigation by the Guardian and the Belarusian Investigative Center, part of the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project.When Said married in 2016, Sting was among the performers at the opulent celebrations, which took place in London and Moscow. Photograph: www.instagram.com/_wedding_world/The portfolio ranges from large office buildings in the City to a pair of £17m townhouses in south Kensington knocked together to mak
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“We created a studio outside because a lot of people were not enjoying having to return to prison to record music. They don’t want to relive that experience, even for a few hours,” explains Steve Happi, the 33-year-old producer of Jail Time Records, a non-profit record label started in New Bell prison in Douala, the largest city in Cameroon.In December 2021, Happi opened a second studio in the Deido district of Douala, providing a recording facility outside jail for former prisoners like him. “We have people who have really changed because they have the opportunity to record for free,” says Happi, who founded the label in 2019 with an Italian artist and director, Dione Roach. Dione Roach, an Italian artist and director, poses with inmates of New Bell prison in Douala who record
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I am a 38-year-old married woman and have never experienced orgasm, either on my own or with a partner. I have tried everything: sex toys, different techniques, Viagra, pornography, role playing, different partners, meditation, talking therapy, psychosexual therapy, EMDR (eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing) therapy for trauma. It feels as if I have exhausted all options. I have never found anyone to talk to about this, and even now that there is more of a public dialogue about sexual diversity, this subject is never mentioned. When I have spoken to partners about it in the past, including my husband, they have found it difficult to understand that I do experience sexual pleasure and desire, but never reach the point of orgasm. Some have found this very disappointing. I think oth
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Little drops of water run down Michael Gunning’s face, looking less like tears than moving reminders of all he has been through as an international swimmer who just happens to be black and gay in a straight white world. Gunning has swum for Great Britain and Jamaica, one of the most dangerously homophobic countries on the planet, but he is now back in the garden of his childhood home in Orpington, Kent, on a beautiful morning.“I’m nervous but excited,” Gunning says, “because I’ve got so much more to give the world. I haven’t achieved all I wanted in my career but, now I’m retiring from competitive swimming, I don’t feel I failed. Yes, I haven’t qualified for the Olympics or won that world title. But the amount of lives that I’ve impacted means more to me than medals.”Gunning pushes his swimming goggles above his forehead and, during our photoshoot, he tries to stop his face cracking open into a brilliant smile which is full of joy and pride. He is meant to look straight down the barrel of the lens but he can’t help himself. That smile keeps returning even though we have spent 90 minutes talking about some harrowing subjects.The 28-year-old Gunning has remembered how, when he was a schoolboy just down the road, he used to write The Swimmer, rather than his name, at the end of his assignments. It was one way to blur his identity and avoid the boys who threw acid at him. He buried his real self and did not have his first sexual experience until he was deep into his 20s.That did not stop people warning him, during a swimming competition in Dubai, that he should walk more like a straight white man. It was similar to the casual racism which made so man
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A few weeks ago, I woke up unusually early in the morning in Brooklyn, got in my car, and headed up the Hudson River to the small Westchester County community of Yorktown Heights. There, amid the rolling hills and old farmhouses, sits the Thomas J. Watson Research Center, the Eero Saarinen-designed, 1960s Jet Age-era headquarters for IBM Research. Deep inside that building, through endless corridors and security gates guarded by iris scanners, is where the company’s scientists are hard at work developing what IBM director of research Dario Gil told me is “the next branch of computing”: quantum computers. I was at the Watson Center to preview IBM’s updated technical roadmap for achieving large-scale, practical quantum computing. This involved a great deal of talk about “qubit count,” “quantum coherence,” “error mitigation,” “software orchestration” and other topics you’d need to be an electrical engineer with a background in computer science and a familiarity with quantum mechanics to fully follow. I am not any of those things, but I have watched the quantum computing space long enough to know that the work being done here by IBM researchers — along with their competitors at companies like Google and Microsoft, along with countless startups around the world — stands to drive the next great leap in computing. Which, given that computing is a “horizontal technology that touches everything,” as Gil told me, will have major implications for progress in everything from cybersecurity to artificial intelligence to designing better batteries. Provided, of course, they can actually make these things work. Entering the quantum realm The best wa
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Anybody who has seen one of Philip Guston’s representational paintings knows the rest of them. I mean that in a strictly literal sense: The visual universe that Guston began creating in the late 1960s, when he rejected the abstraction that was then dominating the New York art world, is impossible not to recognize. Guston painted in thick, fleshy pinks, commonly outlining his figures in red or black instead of filling them in. His commitment to this palette was such that, according to his daughter, Musa Mayer, in her memoir Night Studio, when Guston died in 1980, she and her mother inherited “hundreds of tubes of cadmium red medium, mars black, titanium white.”Many of his pink canvases are self-portraits in which he appears as a giant, worried head, all forehead wrinkles and wide eyes; many show household objects—cherries, cigarettes, bottles, light bulbs—swollen to menacing proportions; and many are full of puffy, cartoonish Ku Klux Klansmen, typically doing activities that, per Mayer, came from the routines of their creator’s life: staring down a bottle of alcohol, smoking a cigarette, or, as in the 1969 work The Studio, painting a self-portrait while wearing a hooded white robe.Guston’s 1969 painting The Studio (Artepics / Alamy)Guston’s images of Klansmen, which he called “hoods,” are striking in their ability to allow both painter and audience to consider the proximity of evil. But in September 2020, months after the Black Lives Matter protests that followed the killing of George Floyd, four major museums postponed a retrospective of Guston’s work, citing a wish to “reframe our programming.” (The exhibit is now open at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and will travel to three other venues over the next two years.) Plainly, their concern lay with Guston’s Klansmen being misinterpreted or not seen in sufficient context. Many in the art world rebuked the museums for shying away from Guston’s willingness to look racist violence—and his own complicity with it—in the face. Guston put himself in the shoes of the Klansmen he painted to better understand the humans behind the hoods. (He once noted, “What do [Klansmen] do afterwards
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Welcome to The Breakdown, the Guardian’s weekly (and free) rugby union newsletter. Here’s an extract from this week’s edition. To receive the full version every Tuesday, just pop your email in below:The surest sign of consistent quality in European club rugby is visible just above the heart. Those four little gold stars woven into Leinster’s jersey might not immediately catch everyone’s eye but if you know, you know. Each of them denotes a European Cup title and adding another on Saturday will gain the Irish province entry to the most rarefied of clubs.Currently the French thoroughbreds of Stade Toulousain are the sole occupants of this elite five-star enclosure, courtesy of victory over La Rochelle in last year’s final. Next up, after Leinster, are Toulon and Saracens with three while Munster, Leicester and Wasps are the only other teams to have raised the trophy more than once. In the past 20 years only one side from outside that magnificent seven – Exeter – have conquered Europe.Leinster’s recent form strongly suggests they could draw level with Toulouse this weekend. Of course, Ronan O’Gara’s La Rochelle beat them in last year’s semi-final and nothing can be remotely guaranteed. But should Leo Cullen’s side prevail in Marseille it would be the fifth
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Medvedev is interviewed after the match, thanking the crowd and talking about how his body feels good. He had a hernia operation earlier this year and admitted before the tournament here that “clay for my body is the most dangerous surface. For me it’s clay courts—every time, every year I have some problems where I cannot be 100%. I don’t play my best tennis on clay.”With that, he can be pleased with his day’s work. The Russian trots into the second round. Medvedev beats Bagnis 6-2, 6-2, 6-2!A formality, in the end. On match point, Bagnis skies a forehand into the crowd, and that is that. Daniil Medvedev waves to the crowd after defeating Facundo Bagnis. Photograph: Adam Pretty/Getty ImagesMedvedev is just a game away from victory, while Pliskova is a break up in the deciding third set against Andrianjafitrimo.I like the look of that ‘quiet room’ …The weather at Roland Garros is very changeable. Sunshine one moment, rain the next. Medvedev and Bagnis are battling through the latter currently, with the Russian a break up in the third and en route to an easy straight-sets win. Pliskova takes the second set against Andrianjafitrimo 6-3!We’re into the third and final set on Court Simonne-Mathieu. The Czech looks like she has woken up. Two results from the women’s draw to update you on:Danielle Collins and Jelena Ostapenko are both through to the second round after straight-set wins over Viktoriya Tomova and Lucia Bronzetti, respectively. Medvedev romps to the second set against Bagnis. 6-2, 6-2!The Russian closes it out with an ace down the T, in a game that also included the deftest of drop shots and a chat with the umpire (in French, Medvedev is fluent, owing to him living full-time in the south of France). Pliskova has recovered in the second set against Andrianjafitrimo. The No 8 seed is 4-1 up as she attempts to level the match by taking the second set. Something you may have missed from yesterday was a shock loss for Stan Wawrinka to local wildcard Corentin Moutet, which was notable as a five-set epic but also because of comments Wawrinka made to the umpire about the temperature of the water at Roland Garros. It is not normal at a grand s
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Black police officers should not be expected to solve racism in forces and must be allowed to “get on with their job”, the head of the body scrutinising a plan for England and Wales to combat racism has said.Compulsory anti-racism training will be given to all police officers alongside the targeted recruitment of black staff as part of a strategy released by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) and the College of Policing to tackle prejudice among forces.All officers and staff will be taught the history of the policing of black people and the impact of disproportionate interactions with law enforcement, the NPCC said.The police race action plan, launched on Tuesday, also includes an apology for the “racism, discrimination and bias” still found in forces.The barrister Abimbola Johnson, chair of an independent scrutiny and oversight board for the plan, said relying on recruiting more black officers would not be enough.“I think that retention, recruitment and promotion are always positive aims when you’re looking at diversifying workforces, but in my opinion, that’s not sufficient,” she told BBC Radio 5 Live. “What’s more important is looking at the actual culture of an organisation.”She said it was unfair to expect those already recruited to solve racism in forces. “You’re ultimately saying that it’s also the duty of black people themselves to solve racism and to solve racial disparities that they see in the workplace. Black people need to be able to enter a workplace and get on with their job.”Black people are nine times more likely to be stopped and searched than white people. They are also five times more likely to have force used upon them.Despite the detailed plans for tackling prejudice, Sir Dave Thompson, the chief constable of West Midlands police, who is leading for police chiefs on the race plan, refused to say there was institutional racism in the police.Thompson claimed he was “not trying to gaslight black communities” in an interview with BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, but would not accept the label.“We absolutely do acknowledge that many in the community think policing is institutionally racist, and that
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A crisp, hot cheese with a green herb, tahini and avocado cream.Halve 3 small avocados – total weight about 650g – and remove their stones, then use a teaspoon to scoop their flesh out into the bowl of a food processor or blender. Add the juice of a small lemon and 10g of basil leaves and their stems. With the blender turning, pour in 3 tbsp of mild, not-too-peppery olive oil and a little salt and continue until you have a thick, smooth, bright green cream.Slice 500g of halloumi into thin pieces. I suggest about 0.5cm in thickness. Scatter about 8 tbsp of dry, fine breadcrumbs on a plate.
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Ten-year-old Fabian usually listens to pop and rock music at home in Great Yarmouth, but watching the BBC’s Concert Orchestra live on stage, it was the calming notes of the violin that were his favourite.Like many of the 200 pupils in the audience, it was his first experience of live orchestral music, and he was thrilled by it. From Vivaldi’s Four Seasons to Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Overture – with plenty of interactive elements thrown in – the year five pupils listened intently to over an hour of music.“I’ve never seen an orchestra in real life before,” said Fabian, a pupil at E
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Wayne Couzens, the killer of Sarah Everard, has denied indecently exposing himself in the weeks before he kidnapped her.The 49-year old made a brief court appearance by video link on Tuesday where he pleaded not guilty to four counts of exposure over alleged incidents of flashing on four occasions in 2021, while he was a police officerThe four incidents of alleged exposure are said to have taken place in Swanley, Kent, between 22 January and 1 February, between 30 January and 6 February, and on 14 February and 27 February.Couzens appeared at the Old Bailey by video link from Frankland prison in County Durham before Judge Mark Lucraft QC, who has not yet set a date for his trial on the indecent exposure allegations.Wearing a grey sweatshirt, Couzens initially spoke to confirm his identity.Lucraft set a timetable for the case with further hearings due to take place at the Old Bailey over three days from 1 November.The prosecutor, Tom Little QC, said: “With no allocated trial judge at the moment it is not possible to even provisionally fix a trial date given the circumstances.”Lucraft confirmed that the moment a decision was made on who would try the case, all parties would be informed and efforts made to set a trial date.The case had been sent to the Old Bailey last month following a hearing at Westminster magistrates court.Sign up to First Edition, our free daily newsletter – every weekday morning at 7am BSTThe chief magistrate, Paul Goldspring, had said the case was suitable for trial at the magistrates court but Couzens opted for it to be heard at a crown court.The former police officer is serving a whole-life sentence for the kidnap, rape and murder of Everard, who he abducted on 3 March 2021. He is a former garage mechanic who first joined the Civil Nuclear Constabulary before transferring to the Met in 2018.At the time of his arrest in March 2021, days after Everard disappeared, he was serving in the parliamentary and diplomatic protection unit. He lived in Deal, Kent.Everard’s remains were recovered from woodland near Ashford in Kent, about 20 miles west of Couzens’ home in Deal, a week after she disappeared. A postmortem showed she had died from compression of the neck.
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MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Outgoing Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte sharply criticized Russian leader Vladimir Putin for the killings of innocent civilians in Ukraine, saying while the two of them have been tagged as killers, “I kill criminals, I don’t kill children and the elderly.”Duterte, who openly calls Putin an idol and a friend, voiced his rebuke for the first time over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in remarks aired Tuesday where he blamed the three-month old war for the spike in global oil prices that has battered many countries, including the Philippines.While stressing he was not condemning the Russian president, Duterte disagreed with Putin’s labeling of the invasion as a “special military operation,” and said it was really a full-scale war waged against “a sovereign nation.”“Many say that Putin and I are both killers. I’ve long told you Filipinos that I really kill. But I kill criminals, I don’t kill children and the elderly,” Duterte said in a televised weekly meeting with key Cabinet officials. “We’re in two different worlds.”Duterte, who steps down on June 30 when his turbulent six-year term ends, has presided over a brutal anti-drugs crackdown that has left more than 6,000 mostly petty suspects dead. Human rights groups have cited a much higher casualty and say innocent people, including children, have been killed in the campaign that Duterte vows to continue up to his last day in office.In this photo provided by the Malacanang Presidential Photographers Division, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte gestures during a meeting with government officials at the Malacanang presidential palace in Manila, Philippines on May
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On November 23, 1963, the morning after he swore the oath of office in an impromptu ceremony aboard Air Force One, President Lyndon B. Johnson called Bob Waldron to commiserate about the colossal burden that had just been placed upon his shoulders.A native of Arp, Texas, a town of fewer than 1,000 inhabitants some 125 miles east of the city where Johnson’s predecessor, John F. Kennedy, had just been assassinated, Waldron, 36, was an administrative assistant for Representative Homer Thornberry, Johnson’s heir to the Tenth Congressional District seat in Texas. Waldron had moved to Washington in 1955. By 1959, though technically still in Thornberry’s employ, he had essentially become a member of Johnson’s Senate staff, one of several people whom allies and benefactors “loaned” to the then–Senate majority leader during his decades-long political rise. Johnson had initially recruited Waldron for his quick note-taking skills, but he soon became something much more significant: a combination of aide, travel companion, and personal confidant. Waldron’s role gradually expanded to “body man,” that term for an all-purpose gofer so particular to Washington—where some in positions of authority view menial tasks such as inserting contact lenses and picking their daily wardrobe as beneath their dignity. In time, Waldron became a fixture in Johnson’s retinue outside the office, once attending dinner at the Johnson home, by his own estimate, 14 nights in a row.This art
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Unnatural, in fact. Sergei Loznitsa, the Ukrainian film director whose brilliant 2018 satire Donbass brought home to Cannes what was happening in his country, now brings to the festival an eerie new docu-collation of archive footage meditating on the horrific aerial bombardment inflicted on cities and civilian populations by the British and Germans during the second world war. Nothing could be more brutally relevant given the current destruction of Mariupol and other Ukrainian cities by Putin’s Russia, although Russian warfare in the 1940s doesn’t feature here.The film is inspired by WG Sebald’s essay collection Air War and Literature, which ruminated in detail on the evasiveness and amnesia that follows war and the need to bear witness. Yet there is scope for debate as to whether Loznitsa’s film treatment entirely approximates the subtlety of Sebald’s writing, and I’m inclined to say that this tests the limits of Loznitsa’s approach.It is avowedly about aerial bombardment during the second world war, a type of warfare that political leaders convinced themselves was somehow more efficient and more detached from the grisly business of land war and hand-to-hand combat. But the film – for reasons never discussed, and there is no overt discussion of any kind – stops short of the most horrifically unnatural part of the second world war’s air-bombardment history: Hiroshima and Nagasaki, contenting itself with ostensible equivalence of the Luftwaffe and the Royal Air Force. Maybe we are edging close to a new kind of Kino-historikerstreit.Without voiceover narration, Loznitsa takes long uncut clips of archive footage, mostly black and white but occasionally switching to colour, showing the contented civilian populations (with no notion of what horrors are in store), footage of munitions workers, footage of combat planes taking off and sailing through what appear to be calm skies, dropping bombs and then showing us the stunning destruction, including a heart-wrenching image of a dead baby. A passionate string octet on the soundtrack in the final 10 minutes underlines the despair.The clips are mostly silent and Loznitsa appears to have added ambient sound effects of engines, voices indistinctly murmuring etc. It is sinister and dreamlike – very different from the usual brisk, dramatic and unreflective documentary approach to the second world war.We see Field Marshal Montgomery giving a jaunty speech to British factory workers, telling them how good it is to see them, to get to know them. Loznitsa’s irony is clear: it is very important that they don’t get to know the Germans, don’t get to see they are humans as well, because then it will be impossible to bomb them. We see Winston Churchill giving a callous and heartless speech saying that if the German civilian populations don’t want to be bombed they should move to the fields (as if that was as easy as a picnic). Then we see Sir Arthur “Bomber” Harris saying that his bombing will be an interesting “experiment”.Perhaps the chilling British tone is explicable given the Nazis’ swaggering initial threats of totaler Krieg, but it is queasy nonetheless. On the German s
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The governor of Luhansk has delivered a grim warning that it is too late for thousands of civilians to be evacuated from the besieged city of Sievierodonetsk, as it faced a sustained Russian effort to take the city and the parts of the province still held by Ukraine.Surrounded on three sides by Russian forces who have been attempting to complete their encirclement of the pocket around the city, Sievierodonetsk and the towns and villages to its west have been under intense bombardment in recent days.Fifteen thousand residents were still believed to be in the city hiding in shelters.Russian forces have been attempting to cut Ukrainian supply lines to Sievierodonestsk by attempting to control key roads to the west.“At this point I will not say: get out, evacuate. Now I will say: stay in a shelter,” Sergiy Haidai said on his Telegram channel. “Because such a density of shelling will not allow us to calmly gather people and come for them.”“The enemy has focused efforts on the offensive operation to encircle Lysychansk and Sievierodonetsk. Now, with the support of artillery, they are conducting assault operations in the direction of Toshkivka and Ustynivka, near Lysychansk,” Haidai wrote.Ukraine mapUkraine’s defence ministry reported on Monday that Russian forces were attempting to break through Ukrainian defences around Popasna in an attempt to push west toward Bakhmut, a crucial junction that serves as a command centre for much of the Ukrainian war effort.“I looked up from my prayers and heard a frightening sound,” said 82-year-old Maria Mayashlapak a resident of Bakhmut which has seen repeated airstrikes. “Every day I pray to God asking to avoid injuries. God heard me. God is watching over me.”According to the latest intelligence update by the UK’s Ministry of Defence, capturing Sievierodonetsk would put the whole of Luhannsk region under Russian control, an ambition flagged up by Russia last week.The Donbas, which includes all of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions, is Ukraine’s old industrial heartland running from outside Mariupol in the south all the way to the northern border. Predominantly Russian-speaking, almost a third of the area was seized by Russian backed forces in 2014.During his Monday night address, the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, underlined the violence of the fighting around Sievierodonetsk. “The most difficult fighting situation today is in Donbas,” Zelenskiy said, singling out the worst-hit towns of Bakhmut, Popasna and Sievierodonetsk.Damaged residential buildings in Sievierodonetsk following shelling. Photograph: Serhii Nuzhnenko/Reuters“The Russian military is trying very hard to show that they allegedly will not give up the captured areas of the Kharkiv region, they will not give up the Kherson region, the occupied territory of the Zaporizhzhya region and Donbas.“In some places they are advancing, where they are pulling up reserves, where they are trying to strengthen their positions. In the coming weeks, the wars will be difficult, and we must be aware of this.”Despite the stepped up Russian efforts in the Donbas, and huge levels of destruction, some western officials pointed
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Keen-eyed observers will note that this is not George Clinton’s first farewell tour: he was supposed to quit the road in 2018, which, at the time, he said was “part of a plan” he had conceived several years previously. Said plan has clearly been redrawn. A few weeks shy of his 81st birthday, Clinton is on the stage again, clad in sequinned trousers, a sailor’s hat with a huge eye on it and something that looks like an ancient Egyptian collar made out of holographic material – an outfit that may well constitute George Clinton’s idea of dressing down in a manner befitting his advanced years.His role in live shows has diminished over time, although it’s still more than you suspect
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When Ho Chie Tsai learned that a gunman had targeted the Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian church in southern California, he knew it was only a matter of time before the effects of the tragedy reached hi
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In political analysis, sometimes the hardest thing is to see what’s staring you right in the face. Putin put in writing what he was going to do this spring – we just could not believe it, or we thought we’d prove our savviness by identifying some completely counterintuitive twist to the story of an invasion foretold. A similar challenge is posed by American conservatives communicating their commitment to authoritarianism loud and clear by holding this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference (Cpac) in Budapest – the first ever outside the US: the autocratic leader of Hungary, Viktor Orbán, is the main attraction, with plenty of European far-right party leaders as supporting
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If your party is going to lose, you can at least have a say in how it loses.David Dee Delgado/GettyAbout the authors: Jonathan Robinson is a data and political analyst working in progressive politics.
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