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Divers investigating an underwater canyon off California made a startling discovery in 2002. They found a dead whale that appeared to be wrapped in a crimson, shag-pile carpet. Closer examination revealed this covering was made of red worms, previously unknown to science, which were eating the whale’s skeleton.Subsequent research showed these acid-secreting creatures were all female and inside each was a tube containing a harem of dwarf males. These were carried around to provide fertilisation when the worms encountered food, such as a whale carcass, and wanted to start breeding. Scientists named the new genus Osedax, which means “bone-devourer”.Were there more such bone-devourers? they wondered. Answers came swiftly. In waters off Sweden, they discovered Osedax mucofloris – literally “bone-eating snot flowers” – while the species Osedax jabba was named because its plump trunk reminded scientists of Jabba the Hutt from Star Wars. “The oceans, it turns out, are full of bone-eating worms… though nobody yet knows how they move through the deep sea or how they locate a skeleton,” writes British marine biologist Helen Scales.Despite their ubiquity, Osedax’s abyssal home allowed them to evade human detection for millennia, suggesting many other equally bizarre lifeforms lurk in the ocean depths, a point stressed by both Scales and US oceanographer Edith Widder. In their separate, equally vivid accounts of ocean life, they outline some of the staggering biological treasures that have already been uncovered – with the promise that many more await discovery.Consider the example of the cockeyed squid. “Its left eye is giant and directed upwards toward the sunlight while the right eye is smaller and aimed downward into the inky depths,” writes Widder. It sounds nonsensical until you learn the smaller eye is encircled with bioluminescent light organs. “Thus the large eye hunts overhead for dim, distant silhouettes of prey while the bottom eye can use its built-in flashlights to illuminate more proximate prey.”An echinoderm spreads its tentacles to capture plankton. Photograph: Alexis Rosenfeld/Getty ImagesBioluminescence turns out to be critical to abyssal life, adds Widder. Creatures from giant squid to plankton emit light to attract mates and food. “There are shrimps that can spew intense streams of liquid light from their mouths, like fire-breathing dragons; squid that discharge photon torpedoes of blinding blue brilliance; and fish that can eject sparkling dust storms out of a tube on each shoulder,” she reveals.Far from being a dark, dead zone, as once thought, the abyss glitters with light and life and could house up to 30m different species, according to one estimate. Nor should we be surprised by this number. “More than 95% of the Earth’s biosphere is made up of deep sea,” says Scales.Both scientists have produced stylish, eloquent works, with Widder’s being the more personal, beginning with her account of an adolescent illness that nearly left her blind and then moving to her current position as a world expert on underwater light communication. “My obsession with bioluminescence grew out of my brush
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The Australian cycling team has promised a full investigation after a snapped handlebar cost the men’s team pursuit the opportunity to ride for gold at Tokyo 2020 and left Alex Porter nursing injuries.Porter was riding with his teammates at 65kph in the early stages of Australia’s team pursuit qualifying ride on Monday evening when his handlebar appeared to snap and sent Porter tumbling to the track.“To be honest, my brain is still trying to kind of work it out,” said Porter in an interview with Channel Seven on Tuesday. “At first I thought it was a dream because my brain couldn’t
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Some were calling this the greatest track and field race in history afterwards, and watching this 45.94 second symphony of destruction up close it was impossible to disagree. Over 400 metres, the Norwegian world champion and world record holder, Karsten Warholm, scrapped it out with his great American rival Rai Benjamin. And there was barely a stride between them as they sprinted like cheetahs and jumped like stags over 10 imposing hurdles. But, with the legs and lungs screaming, Warholm just had a little more as they pushed each other to the line. As Warholm crossed the line, he looked at the
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Before Breaking Bad, Narcos and all the other thrillers, telenovelas and docuseries about traffickers clogging up your Netflix queue, there was Cocaine Cowboys. Director Billy Corben’s lucid and sensational 2006 documentary about the Miami drug trade during the 80s became a cult classic and a foundational reference point for all the narco-content that came after.The doc even spawned its own small franchise, with two sequels (2008’s Cocaine Cowboys 2 and 2014’s Cocaine Cowboys: Reloaded) that dug deeper into the war stories of law enforcement, lawyers, journalists, smugglers and assassins. Now Corben and his producing partner Alfred Spellman are returning to the bottomless well for a new six-part docuseries arriving on Netflix.Cocaine Cowboys: The Kings of Miami zeroes in on Willy Falcon and Sal Magluta, or “Los Muchachos”, as the billionaire Cubans came to be known. They were dominant but unassuming figures in the Miami drug trade accused of importing 75 tons of cocaine into Miami. They didn’t have the violent reputation of someone like Griselda Blanco, who was featured prominently in the Cocaine Cowboys trilogy. Instead, Falcon and Magluta largely kept off law enforcement’s radar until they were arrested in 1991. But that wasn’t the end of their story. They continuously evaded convictions and sentencing for at least a decade because of how much influence they exerted over Miami’s business, political and legal institutions.Falcon and Magluta were also a curious structuring absence in the original Cocaine Cowboys, leaving audiences from Miami who were familiar with the headlines at the time wondering why their story wasn’t being told. It wasn’t for lack of trying.“The Kings of Miami is the fourth title in the franchise, but it’s the first story we wanted to tell,” Corben tells the Guardian. The director explains that the court cases that finally put Falcon and Magluta away were just wrapping up in the early aughts, and the peripheral players, some who were just getting out of prison or witness protection, were not yet ready to come forward in a documentary. “The wounds were too fresh. The story hadn’t ripened yet to the point where everybody had some hindsight and some distance and was ready to talk about it.”Our conversation hops back and forth over the 15 years between their 2006 documentary and their new series, which cove
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Aja intended to go for a light lunch with a co-worker, instead, things turned out real heavy.Over sandwiches and sodas her white male co-worker casually mentioned his salary. The figure happened to be about $40,000 more than what she was making.I am reminded of Aja’s story today, equal pay day for Black women, the day Black women have finally earned the same amount of pay that white men earned in 2020. That’s right: Black women in the United States must work 19 months to earn what white men earn in a year.Aja did her best to feign indifference and kept the conversation going, but beneath the surface she was a hot mess. Not only was he earning $40,000 more than her salary at the time, she’d worked for the company longer than he had and had more work experience in the industry.Hearing how she’d been lowballed by the hiring team felt like a gut punch. She struggled through the rest of the meal and the ensuing months on that job. Demoralized, eventually she found it nearly impossible to focus on her work or to complete the same tasks that she had previously mastered effortlessly. She could never bring herself to admit her low salary to the co-worker and friend.It all became too much. So much so that the married mother of one ended up resigning and taking a lower-paying part-time gig. She also took over full-time care of her son, who was a toddler at the time, while she attempted to rebuild her self-esteem.“I tried to just kind of put a smile on my face behind all this pain,” she tearfully recalled. “Because I’m like, ‘how in the world am I getting paid a significant amount less than him?’”Stories like Aja’s weighed on my mind last year when, after more than two decades as a journalist, I began producing my first podcast as a Leonard C Goodman Institute for Investigative Reporting Fellow for In These Times, a Chicago-based progressive publication. In the Gap explored the gender pay gap, documenting Black women’s heart-wrenching accounts of maltreatment and the gender, racial, pregnancy and parenting discrimination they endured while trying to earn an honest living.The picture is bleak: Compared with other women in the United States, Black women have always had the highest levels of labor market participation regardless of age, marital status or presence of young children at home. Today, Black women who work full-time year round are paid about 63 cents for every dollar paid to white non-Hispanic men, translating to a potential loss of more than $946,000 in earnings over the course of a 40-year career. This affects the financial standing of the Black family too, as 80% of Black mothers are the sole, primary or co-breadwinners for their households. Black women disproportionately work in, and arguably are often relegated to, domestic and caregiving jobs, where they receive low wages and little consideration for their own family obligations. Black mothers with young children have the highest labor force participation rates among mothers of all races and ethnicities. Painstakingly producing 12 episodes mostly from home with the support of two women editors, who like me were novices in podcasting and also working re
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“Education,” wrote Nelson Mandela, “is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.” One wonders what he would have made of the response to the education crisis triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic. A crisis threatening to derail social and economic progress, trapping millions of children in poverty. The UN secretary general has warned of a “generational catastrophe”, yet the international response has been marked by staggering complacency.That lack of concern was on public display at last week’s Global Education Summit in London. Fresh from cutting UK aid to education by 40%, Boris Johnson – a self-styled champion for universal girls’ education – opened proceedings by declaring that education was “the single best investment we can make in the future of humanity”.The prime minister’s summit then delivered a financial whimper. Set the decidedly modest ambition of raising $5bn (£3.6bn) over five years for the Global Partnership for Education, an important multilateral financing mechanism, pledges fell spectacularly, if predictably, short of the target.It’s tempting to focus on the ineptitude, hubris and hypocrisy of a government singularly ill-placed to provide global leadership on education. Tempting, but misplaced. The summit’s failure was a symptom of a deeper malaise in international cooperation. Faced with unprecedented reversals in education, donor governments and international agencies have responded with all the strategic insight of rabbits caught in the headlights, with petty squabbles over institutional remits and poorly coordinated projects masking a failure to develop a credible collective plan of action backed by finance.Covid-19 has layered a new crisis on old problems. Before the pandemic more than 250 million children were out of school. Not that being in school was an automatic passport to learning: more than half of 10-year-olds attending primary school in the poorest countries remained unable to read a simple sentence or solve a basic maths problem. These children, many of them first-generation learners, were – and are – being failed by school systems designed to act as a forcing house for rote learning, memorisation and curricula designed without reference to their needs.The pandemic has dramatically widened fissures in global education. Unesco warns that lost learning in 2020 could eliminate the gains made over two decades in low- and lower-middle-income countries. The World Bank estimates that the number of 10-year-olds unable to read or write in these countries could rise from half to two-thirds. Meanwhile, the lethal interaction of rising child poverty and learning losses could leave an additional 24 million children out of school, with many forced into child labour or early marriage.These are not theoretical risks. Rural primary school pupils in Ethiopia have lost 70% of their predicted learning, according to surveys by the universities of Cambridge and Addis Ababa. While many governments responded to school closure by introducing ambitious distance-learning initiatives, reach has been limited. For hundreds of millions of children on the wrong side of the digital divide, man
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Fox News has ended its relationship with legal analyst and former judge Andrew Napolitano after a sexual harassment lawsuit was filed on Monday. Fox associate producer John Fawcett, 27, alleged in the suit that Napolitano had “sexually harassed numerous young male employees during his tenure at Fox News.” Fawcett claimed that in 2019, Napolitano stood “awkwardly close” to him in an elevator at Fox News headquarters and began stroking his arm. Fawcett also claimed that Napolitano told him he could visit his horse farm and get hands “really dirty.” Fawcett said in the lawsuit that he reported Napolitano’s misconduct to the network’s human resources department, but no one took
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From the series Soviet Union (1991-2009)Since the 1970s, Dutch photographer Bertien van Manen has created intimate and poignant photographs of commonplace scenes of everyday life across Europe, the US, China and the former Soviet Union. Archive by Bertien van Manen is available through Mack
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Can you please help me as BT is chasing me for £348 in early termination fees despite previously telling me that it would forgo these charges. The broadband service provided to my house had always been poor but after I had open-heart surgery four years ago, I needed a service that worked. After repeated attempts by BT to improve matters, I eventually switched to Sky, which improved matters somewhat.At the time, BT said I could leave penalty-free, and staff told me to ignore any bills that were sent. However, the company’s most recent letter said it will pass the matter to debt collectors if the bill is not paid with seven days.AB, PenzanceIt won’t be much consolation to you but I think
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The sand dunes on the ocean floor are as beautiful as any desert I’ve seen. The waves that skim their peaks carve out gentle mountains and valleys. Eddies bumble through the troughs.From above, mini tornadoes swirl off the mounds. The occasional dumper blasts a crater. Giant flatheads lift like hovercraft out into the blue.I had never really appreciated this underwater beauty until I took up ocean swimming during Covid. What was once a distant sandy bottom has become a daily fascination. Sometimes the underwater stretches look like ski runs, with chutes and moguls. Others are endless plains. After the bushfires 18 months ago, the ash stubbornly stained them.There’s a magical silence in t
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1.58am EDT 01:58 After a Guardian Essential poll showed that a large proportion of Australian boomers are reluctant to take the AstraZeneca vaccine, columnist Peter Lewis has called on them to play their part in ending the country’s current outbreak: 1.38am EDT 01:38 If you’re interested to know whether vaccine incentives work, Guar
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Julie Rodgers was 16 years old when her mother introduced her to Ricky Chelette, the “singles minister” at a Baptist church in Arlington, Texas, who coached LGBTQ+ youth on how to “change” their sexuality. The high school junior had recently come out to her parents; Chelette, a man with “same-sex attractions” married to a woman, was brought in to fix what was seen as a problem. As Rodgers recounts in Pray Away, a new Netflix documentary on the “ex-gay” movement within western Christianity, and her book Outlove: A Queer Christian Survival Story, Chelette preached an enticing, insidious gospel of change: that Rodgers’ attraction to women was due to an insufficient bond with h
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Top story: ‘Massive exodus of non-UK labour’Hello, Warren Murray at least able to supply you with some news – including freshly minted gold in the sailing down in the sport section.Gaps on supermarket shelves are likely to continue for several months, suppliers have warned, unless the government does more to tackle the shortage of qualified HGV drivers worsened by Brexit and Covid. Logistics and hauliers’ organisations said August would be a pinch point in the shortage as workers take summer breaks. Tesco is among firms offering incentives of £1,000 or more to lure HGV drivers. Rod McKenzie of the Road Haulage Association said: “This is a real problem because all they are doing is buying talent from somewhere else. They are not creating talent.”James Bielby, the chief executive of the Federation of Wholesale Distributors, said an aluminium supply issue meant products such as soft drinks and beer were scarce, while Brexit-related labour shortages were affecting fresh goods such as meat and milk. “It’s going to get worse before it gets better,” he warned. Shane Brennan, the chief executive of the Cold Chain Federation, said the issue was getting worse. “We’ve seen a massive exodus of non-UK labour during the pandemic and we don’t know if they are able to come back.”‘Amber watchlist’ dumped – Boris Johnson has ditched plans for a travel “amber watchlist” entailing stricter quarantine for some holidaymakers. Fears popular destinations such as Spain, Greece and Italy could have been put into the new “amber watchlist” category prompted alarm among Tories that millions planning trips to those countries would be in limbo. It has emerged there is currently no permanent head of the Joint Biosecurity Centre, which advises on travel rules, after the incumbent’s departure. In Covid research, the optimal vaccination schedule to protect pregnant women is to be explored in a UK clinical trial that researchers hope will also allay concerns about getting the jab. More coronavirus news at our live blog.Black barrister to oversee police – The National Police Chiefs Council has appointed a new chair who has previously said black people fe
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If you were to blindfold me and drop me unexpectedly almost anywhere in the New Forest, I think I would know, the moment I unmasked myself, where I had arrived. It is such a distinctive landscape, with its unmistakable blend of wide-open pasture woodland filled with ancient trees and dead wood, swathes of gently rolling lowland heath studded with grazing ponies, winding streams of red-tinged water, and boggy hollows in valley bottoms.It is a landscape in which I instinctively feel an immediate sense of belonging. I grew up not far away, and visited regularly throughout my childhood, so the place is filled with early memories of wandering in the unfenced forest and seeing birds and animals I had no hope of spotting at home. As soon as I was old enough, I would come to camp and explore alone. A tranquil pool on a countryside walk in the New Forest. Photograph: Getty ImagesOne side of my family originated from here; they were New Forest Gypsies. Gypsies lived peaceably alongside commoners in the forest for some 500 years, until the 1920s when they were rounded up and compelled to live in a small number of designated compounds. A generation later they were evicted from the forest, most ending up in the newly built council estates of the neighbouring cities. When I left home as a teen
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In a rarely seen phenomenon in the simian world, a nine-year-old female known as Yakei has become the boss of a 677-strong troop of Japanese macaque monkeys at a nature reserve on the island of Kyushu in Japan.Yakei’s path to the top began in April when she beat up her own mother to become the alpha female of the troop at the Takasakiyama natural zoological garden in Oita city. While that would have been the pinnacle for most female monkeys, Yakei decided to throw her 10kg weight around among the males.In late June, she challenged and roughed up Sanchu, the 31-year-old alpha male who had been leader of “troop B” at the reserve for five years.Surprised wardens at Takasakiyama, where there has never been a female monkey boss in the reserve’s 70-year history, carried out a “peanut test” on 30 June, putting out nuts for the group and seeing who ate first. Sanchu backed away and gave Yakei first dibs on the treat, confirming her alpha status.“Since then, Yakei has been climbing trees and shaking them, which is an expression of power and a very rare behaviour in females,” Satoshi Kimoto, a guide at Takasakiyama, told the Guardian.“She has been walking around with her tail up, which is also very unusual for a female,” added Kimoto, who said that staff at the reserve were at a loss as to the causes of Yakei’s dominant antics.Takasakiyama, established as a reserve for monkeys in 1952, is home to about 1,500 macaques, split between troop A and troop B. The monkeys live mainly in the forested mountain at the centre of the reserve, roaming freely and coming down to lower ground for food provided by wardens.The wild population of Japanese macaques is estimated to be more than 100,000 and widely spread across three of Japan’s four main islands: Kyushu, Honshu and Shikoku.They are known to sometimes be aggressive, and hikers, mountain climbers and visitors to the Takasakiyama reserve are advised not to maintain eye contact with them as it is interpreted as a challenge.
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Police chiefs hoping to pull themselves out of a race crisis have appointed a new tsar who has previously said black people fear calling on officers for help.Barrister Abimbola Johnson will chair a new independent scrutiny and oversight board as part of a promised suite of changes to policing meant to boost confidence among minority ethnic groups.The appointment was made by the National Police Chiefs Council representing law enforcement’s leadership.Police chiefs’ final plans have been awaiting the approval of the new independent chair of the scrutiny board. They intend it to signify that they will no longer mark their own homework on racial justice, which has been an enduring problem for British policing.Johnson said of her appointment that policing needed systemic change: “Black people have been disproportionately affected by policing for decades. Many of us have had personal experiences with the police that have been unsatisfactory, unfair or even harmful and many of us know of others with similar stories.“I hope the creation of an action plan and a parallel independent board to inform, oversee and scrutinise that plan marks a recognition by the police that the onus is on them to look inwards.”Last week the home affairs committee said police and government had done too little on racial justice and that failings were “systemic”.The NPCC’s vice-chair, Sir David Thompson, chief constable of the West Midlands force, welcomed Johnson’s appointment: “The recent parliamentary report on 22 years since the Macpherson inquiry was a stark reminder of how long many black communities have waited for policing to go further and faster in addressing race disparities. Our urgent work with her will begin right away.”Last July the NPCC chair, Martin Hewitt, told the Guardian the new chair would have the “soft power” to demand answers from police and admonish them if progress was too slow or blocked.Hewitt said: “It demonstrates the fact that we’re listening and we want to listen. It demonstrates the fact that we are opening ourselves up to independent external scrutiny, and it also provides legitimacy to the work that we are doing, because this wil
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Dylan Fletcher and Stuart Bithell kickstarted a potential Team GB sailing medal rush on Tuesday with a stunningly close-fought gold medal win in the men’s 49er FX.New Zealand’s Peter Burling and Blair Tuke had a four-point lead over the British duo while Spain were level on points going into the double-point medal race. In a tightly fought finale, Fletcher and Bithell led from the off but a three-way fight with New Zealand and Germany took the race right to the line.A lack of wind on Monday had forced a postponement of the medal race in Enoshima Harbour but there was no stopping Fletcher and Bithell, who aggressively took control of the race early on, determined to do their bit regardless of what was going on behind them.In the end it was achingly tight and the British pair, ranked No
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The UK’s biggest banks are failing to properly help fraud victims, leaving them “feeling abandoned at a time of crisis and exposed to future scams”, the consumer group Which? has claimed. Which? found that customers often struggled to contact their bank after they had been a victim of a scam, including one HSBC customer who waited a total of seven hours on hold and racked up a £50 phone bill. It surveyed more than 400 people who had been the victims of a fraud – or attempted fraud – in the last 12 months and found that 17% were unsatisfied with how their bank had managed the incident.The Office for National Statistics has estimated that for the year ending March 2021 there were 4.6m fraud offences, meaning a significant number of people were left to fall between the cracks, Whic
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The optimal vaccination schedule to protect pregnant women against Covid-19 is to be explored in a UK clinical trial researchers hope will also allay concerns about getting the jab.Last week, Prof Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent, chief midwifery officer for England, urged expectant mothers to get vaccinated as soon as possible, with evidence suggesting the Delta variant poses a significantly greater risk to pregnant women than previous forms of the virus.A clinical trial called Preg-CoV has been launched to help determine the best gap between doses for pregnant women as well as exploring in greater detail potential side-effects and the impact on babies – something the researchers hope will offer reassurance.“Pregnant women do have an increased risk of severe Covid-19, of hospitalisation, of intensive care admission, of death, and they have an increased risk of delivering prematurely, compared to pregnant women without Covid-19,” said Paul Heath, chief investigator of the trial and professor of paediatric infectious diseases at St George’s, University of London.“For that reason we really do need to make sure that when we are vaccinating pregnant women we are doing so in the most o
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When Victoria Nyanjura was abducted from her Catholic boarding school in northern Uganda by members of the Lord’s Resistance Army, she prayed to God asking to die.She was 14 when she was taken, along with 29 others, in the middle of the night. During the next eight years in captivity she was subjected to beatings, starvation, rape and other horrors that she cannot talk about even 18 years later. Five of the girls who were taken prisoner with her died, and Nyanjura gave birth to two children.“It really pains me that at the age of 14 I left home where not even one man had tried talking to me in terms of relationships and then to be captured and sexually exploited against my will … I really wanted to die,” she says. “I prayed for death but if it’s not your time, it’s not your time.”Evelyn Apio, then 13, at a camp for displaced people in Lira, northern Uganda, in 2005. She was abducted and taken to the bush for six months by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Photograph: Chip Somodevilla/GettyLittle did she know in those darkest of years, when each morning she would wake not knowing if she would survive the day and when she would see bodies discarded under the trees, that she would not only live, but become a powerful advocate for women’s rights.After a dramatic escape one rainy night, Nyanjura was able to return to her family with her children, go back into education and start the process of healing. Previously, she had dreamed of becoming an engineer but she changed direction and instead studied development and global affairs. Her aim was to go back to her community and “do something”.Now, her work has helped push through a major law reform in Uganda. She c
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Labor’s call for Australians who get vaccinated by Christmas to be offered a $300 cash incentive has been denounced by the government as an “insulting” and a “thought bubble” that is not necessary given the current take-up rate of vaccines.But – insulting or not – it’s a strategy that has been incredibly popular with governments around the world throughout the pandemic. In May, Australia’s chief medical officer, Paul Kelly, said Australia needed “as many incentives as we can for people to become vaccinated”, and when asked about options such as lottery tickets and cash bonuses he said all ideas were “potentially on the table”.For months, governments have been offering cash incentives, lotteries as well as gifts to citizens who opt to get the jab.Serbia is believed to be the first country to offer a cash incentive for vaccinations, with President Aleksandar Vucic offering €25 (AU$40) to citizens who had at least one jab by the end of May.Just last week, US president Joe Biden called for states to offer US$100 to newly vaccinated people in order to boost vaccination rates, which have begun to flag in some states. The US president also announced the federal government would fully reimburse small and medium businesses who provided paid time off for their employees to get vaccinated. In West Virginia, young people are given a US$100 savings bond to those who get the jab and Detroit is paying US$50 to those who drive another person to get vaccinated.Else
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It is one of Britain’s strangest landscapes, a spit of land off the Suffolk coast littered with the rusting junk of a mysterious and sinister past. Over the decades, musicians, film-makers, artists and writers have been sucked into its ghostly orbit, captivated by what the great existential wanderer WG Sebald imagined as “the remains of our own civilisation after its extinction in some future catastrophe”.It’s now a nature reserve, but for much of the 20th century, Orford Ness was forbidden territory, sealed off for military purposes from the village whose picture-book church and castl
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This month it is worth turning your eyes to the night sky to watch the spectacular Perseid meteor shower. Peak viewing time will be around 12 August, when as many as 150 meteors an hour will whizz overhead. Generated by Earth passing through the debris left behind by Comet Swift-Tuttle, these meteors are a reliable event, but other meteors, such as the fireball that recently lit up southern Norway, are more random.Most meteors burn themselves out in the atmosphere, but thousands of tons of cosmic dust do still make it to Earth’s surface every year. New research, published in Proceedings of t
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Gaps on supermarket shelves are likely to continue for several months unless the government does more to tackle the labour crisis hitting haulage firms, suppliers have warned.Logistics and hauliers’ organisations said August would be a pinch point in the shortage as workers take summer breaks, while firms offering bonuses and sign-on fees to recruit drivers were not helping matters.The shortage of qualified HGV drivers, worsened by Brexit and Covid, has left wholesalers unable to get goods to shops, with major dairy producer Arla on Friday admitting it could not get milk to about a quarter o
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Cancer charities and the NHS are preparing to investigate whether a cannabis-based mouth spray can treat brain tumours and help patients to live longer.Doctors will give patients across the UK with a recurrent brain tumour called a glioblastoma the drug, which is known as Sativex, alongside a chemotherapy medication – temozolomide – in a clinical trial in an attempt to kill off cancerous cells.It will be the first such study in the world.Glioblastoma is an aggressive and hard-to-treat form of brain tumour that almost always comes back, despite doctors using surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy to tackle it. Those diagnosed only live for 12 to 18 months while those with a recurrent glioblastoma survive for just 10 months.About 2,200 people in England are diagnosed every year with the
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In the 1890s, the biggest cities of the western world faced a mounting problem. Horse-drawn vehicles had been in use for thousands of years, and it was hard to imagine life without them. But as the number of such vehicles increased during the 19th century, the drawbacks of using horses in densely populated cities were becoming ever more apparent.In particular, the accumulation of horse manure on the streets, and the associated stench, were impossible to miss. By the 1890s, about 300,000 horses were working on the streets of London, and more than 150,000 in New York City. Each of these horses produced an average of 10kg of manure a day, plus about a litre of urine. Collecting and removing thousands of tonnes of waste from stables and streets proved increasingly difficult.The problem had bee
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We live in an era in which, for the most part, the generations do not mix frequently. Grandparents are visited occasionally; young people seek the freedom of independent living as early as possible. On social media, intergenerational warfare is commonplace, as members of gen Z (those born between the mid-90s and the early 10s) criticise older people for hoarding wealth, while baby boomers bemoan the perceived sensitivity of the younger generation.But what would happen if baby boomers gave the TikToking young adults of today an insight into their thinking – and threw some life advice into the bargain? To that end, we assembled a panel of baby boomers – Tayo Idowu, 64, a marketing director from London; Liz Richards, 68, a retired nurse from Derby; Paul Gibson, 63, an accountant from Arun
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Governments and businesses hoping to plant trees and restore forests in order to reach net-zero emissions must sharply limit such efforts to avoid driving up food prices in the developing world, the charity Oxfam has warned.Planting trees has been mooted as one of the key ways of tackling the climate crisis, but the amount of land needed for such forests would be vast, and planting even a fraction of the area needed to offset global greenhouse gas emissions would encroach on the land needed for crops to feed a growing population, according to a report entitled Tightening the net: Net zero climate targets implications for land and food equity.At least 1.6bn hectares – an area five times the size of India, equivalent to all the land now farmed on the planet – would be required to reach n
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If your politics involves frequent attacks on beloved national institutions, no matter how much you claim to be defending them from subversion, you risk looking like you simply dislike them. That is a problem for rightwing culture warriors who purport to stand up for a patriotic, socially conservative majority, against a tiny liberal elite that maintains an iron grip on the levers of power.After several years of increasingly outlandish rhetorical assaults – on the BBC, the National Trust, the England football team – it has begun to seem as if the culture warriors are starting to run aground.Nigel Farage’s recent criticism of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution – for allegedly providing a “taxi service” to people crossing the Channel in small boats – rightly drew attention
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A disastrous Olympic Games for Team GB’s sprinters became even worse on Wednesday as Adam Gemili tore a hamstring on the warm-up track – and then took nearly two minutes to hobble around his 200m heat.With Nathaneel Mitchell-Blake also failing to get out of his 200m heat it meant that the litany of woes – which has included Zharnel Hughes false-starting in the 100m final – continued.With Dina Asher-Smith, who was strongly fancied to win a 100m and 200m medal, also tearing a hamstring five weeks before the Tokyo Games, it has not been the Olympics that the UK Athletics head coach, Christian Malcolm, would have envisaged in his worst nightmares.Asher-Smith bravely recovered to reach the 100m semi-finals in Tokyo before withdrawing from the 200m, and could yet win a women’s 4x100m r
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The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has launched an investigation into the case of sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya, who took refuge in the Polish embassy in Tokyo on Monday after refusing her team’s orders to board a flight home from the Olympic Games.A spokesperson for the IOC said on Tuesday it was waiting for a report later in the day from the Belarusian National Olympic Committee on the incident that has rocked the Games. Warsaw has offered Tsimanouskaya a humanitarian visa.IOC spokesperson Mark Adams said the committee had spoken to the athlete twice on Monday, that she was in a safe, secure place, and that the IOC needed to know all the facts before taking further action.“We are expecting and have asked for a report from the National Olympic Committee of Belarus for today,
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Hundreds of critical health workers in the Australian state of Queensland have gone into isolation as the country battles a growing Delta outbreak, while New South Wales raced to administer 6m vaccine doses before the scheduled end of lockdown in less than four week’s time.Queensland’s chief health officer, Dr Jeannette Young, said health workers in quarantine included all the cardiac surgeons at the Queensland Children’s hospital, leading to delays in surgery and outpatient work.Millions of Queenslanders in 11 local government areas remain in lockdown, with nearly 8,000 in quarantine in relation to the outbreak.The state recorded 16 new local cases on Tuesday, bringing the number of cases to 47 in a cluster involving exposure sites at several schools and at least three major Brisban
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Fox News host Tucker Carlson will speak at a far-right conference in Budapest later this week after meeting with Hungary’s authoritarian leader, Prime Minister Viktor Orban. The Daily Beast and Talking Points Memo first noted that Carlson would speak at the gathering for an event titled “The World According to Tucker Carlson.” The speech will be part of the MCC Feszt, a massive, deep-pocketed effort to create a new generation of conservative elite in Hungary. Fox News did not immediately reply to a request for comment. The New York Times reported in June that Orban had granted more than $1.7 billion in government funding to a foundation that puts on the event, called the Mathias Corvinus Collegium.  The figure is about 1% of Hungry’s total gross domestic product, and comes amid
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Grace’s guest on Comfort Eating this week is the award-winning author Candice Carty-Williams, who talks about some of the most important moments in her life – and the comfort food that has seen her through them. They discuss star signs, being the ‘naughty’ kid at school and how a fridge full of someone else’s food helped Candice write the first draft of her debut novel, Queenie How to listen to podcasts: everything you need to know Support The Guardian The Guardian is editorially independent. And we want to keep our journali
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Last month, billionaire after billionaire hopped into spacecraft to reach the final frontier. Shivani Dave speaks to Robert Massey, the deputy executive director at the Royal Astronomical Society, to understand what, if any, positives might come from what has been called ‘the billionaire space race’, or if the money and resources spent on space exploration should be redistributed to focus on the challenges being faced on Earth How to listen to podcasts: everything you need to know Support The Guardian The Guardian is editorially independent.
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Spartaco Perini spoke overwhelmingly about his time as a second world war resistance fighter in the days before he died. The founder of one of Italy’s first antifascism groups in Colle San Marco, a hamlet of Ascoli Piceno in the central Marche region, he was lauded by the Allied forces for his role as a fearless informant, work that helped to liberate Europe from the Nazis and end Benito Mussolini’s dictatorship. But he had one regret.“In his last few days, he spoke a lot about the great things the partisans did to restore freedom and bring about democracy,” said Pietro Perini, the partisan’s son and president of the Ascoli Piceno unit of Anpi, an anti-fascism organisation. “But he also felt they made one error – and that was not to have eradicated it [fascism] completely.”
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In recent years, some of the biggest scoops in investigative journalism have come about because someone inside government or the intelligence services has leaked sensitive information. There was Edward Snowden revealing the scale of mass surveillance being carried out by western governments, and more recently, leaks exposing who was getting lucrative state Covid contracts. Now, though, investigative journalists in the UK are looking worriedly at a consultation from the Home Office related to plans it has to update the Official Secrets Act. This law, created in 1911 and last updated in 1989, makes it a criminal offence for government officials to reveal certain kinds of classified information – and for journalists to publish it. The Home Office is suggesting expanding the scope of what information should be covered by the act and extending the punishments for breaking it. Paul Lashmar, the head of the department of journalism at City, University of London, tells Rachel Humphreys that the proposed changes could have a chilling effect on journalism. Meanwhile Nigel Inkster, a former director of operations in the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6), describes the secrecy legislation as a constant balancing act between privacy, freedom of speech and security.
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Guardian writers’ predicted position: 18th (NB: this is not necessarily Ben Fisher’s prediction but the average of our writers’ tips)Last season’s position: 3rd in the ChampionshipOdds to win the league (via Oddschecker): 750-1The planThese are exciting times at Brentford. A couple of months on from Thomas Frank being ambushed by his players during his pitchside interviews at Wembley, and conducting his press conference with a towel draped over his shoulders, it is time for a club that outperformed heavyweight rivals in the Championship to put to the test in the biggest league in the world an intriguing theory built on smart thinking and shrewd recruitment.How will they measure up? Everything points to Brentford being a welcome addition to the Premier League. They play a punchy, front-foot style, promote youngsters from a novel and budding B team, established after they scrapped their academy five years ago, and in Frank they have a box-office head coach. Before May’s play-off semi-final comeback victory against Bournemouth he embarked on a pre-match lap of the pitch to rev up the crowd and, last year, he got a ticking off from the English Football League for using drinks breaks to fine-tune tactics on a magnetic whiteboard.Brentford have a core of players who seem destined to take the step up in their stride, from the goalkeeper David Raya to Rico Henry, a force from left-back, the classy Christian Norgaard, Vitaly Janelt, a defensive midfielder picked up from Bochum for £500,000, Bryan Mbeumo and, of course, Ivan Toney. For the first summer in a while, Brentford did not have to worry about losing their best players to predators. They have received no offers f
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The head of a Kyiv-based non-profit organisation that helps Belarusians fleeing persecution has been reported missing after not returning from his morning run, a spokesperson for the Ukrainian police force said.Vitaly Shishov, the head of Belarusian House in Ukraine (BDU), was reported missing by his partner, police said on Monday.“We will investigate, until there is information about what happened to him. The statement by his partner has been registered. The partner said that he went for a run and did not return, disappeared,” the police spokesperson said by phone.Police and volunteers had mounted a search of the area where he went running but had failed to locate him.Friends of Shishov said he had been followed by “strangers” while jogging recently, human rights organisation Vyasna said on Telegram.Ukraine, Poland and Lithuania have become safe havens for Belarusians during a violent crackdown by president Alexander Lukashenko since disputed elections last year.BDU helps Belarusians find accommodation, jobs and legal advice, according to its website. In a separate statement, the organisation said it was not able to contact Shishov.Shishov’s disappearance comes as Belarusian athlete Krystsina Tsimanouskaya said she was forced to withdraw from the Tokyo Olympics and threatened with forced repatriation for criticising her athletics federation on social media.The sprinter, who was granted a humanitarian visa from Poland on Monday, said she feared being jailed if she returned to her country, where the authorities have targeted the president’s opponents, rights activists and journalists.Her husband, Arseny Zdanevich, told AFP he had fled from Belarus to Ukraine and was hoping to join his wife “in the near future”.Lukashenko and his son Viktor have been banned from Olympic events over the targeting of athletes for their political views.The president sparked international outrage in May by dispatching a fighter jet to intercept a Ryanair plane flying from Greece to Lithuania in order to arrest a dissident onboard.With Reuters and Agence France-Presse
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Opinion|‘Freedom,’ Florida and the Delta Variant Disasterhttps://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/02/opinion/Covid-Florida-vaccines.htmlPaul KrugmanAug. 2, 2021, 7:00 p.m. ETCredit...Joe Raedle/Getty ImagesRon DeSantis, governor of Florida, isn’t stupid. He is, however, ambitious and supremely cynical. So when he says things that sound stupid it’s worth asking why. And his recent statements on Covid-19 help us understand why so many Americans are still dying or getting severely ill from the disease.The background here is Florida’s unfolding public health catastrophe.We now have highly effective vaccines freely available to every American who is at least 12 years old. There has been a lot of hype about “breakthrough” infections associated with the Delta variant, but they remain rare, and serious illness among the vaccinated is rarer still. There is no good reason we should still be suffering severely from this pandemic.But Florida is in the grip of a Covid surge worse than it experienced before the vaccines. More than 10,000 Floridians are hospitalized, around 10 times the number in New York, which has about as many residents; an average of 58 Florida residents are dying each day, compared with six in New York. And the Florida hospital system is under extreme stress.There’s
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Four police officers who responded to the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol have now died by suicide, the Metropolitan Police Department confirmed on Monday. Metropolitan Police Officer Kyle DeFreytag was found dead at his home last month, the agency confirmed to HuffPost. His family later said the cause was suicide, Fox5 reported. DeFreytag was 26. “I am writing to share tragic news that Officer Kyle DeFreytag of the 5th District was found deceased last evening,” MPD Chief Robert Contee wrote to the department in mid-July, per WUSA. “This is incredibly hard news for us all, and for those that knew him best.” The department said DeFreytag responded to the Jan. 6 insurrection and had served with the MPD since November 2016. The news comes just hours after the Metropolitan Police Department said a third officer, Gunther Hashida, was found dead in his home on Thursday. “We are grieving as a Department as our thoughts and prayers are with Officer Hashida’s family and friends,” the department said, noting he joined in 2003. Two other officers have died by suicide following the insurrection: Howard Liebengood and Jeffery Smith. Another, Brian Sicknick, died a day after he engaged with rioters while responding to the attack. Several officers who responded to the Jan. 6 riot spoke before Congress about the day’s events last week, detailing the horrors of the day and the ongoing mental anguish they’ve sustained. Some testified that they believed they might have died during the attack and others have lambasted Republican lawmakers who have moved to downplay the unprecedented assault on the halls of Congress. If you or someone you know needs help, call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. You can also text HOME to 741-741 for free, 24-hour support from the Crisis Text Line. Outside of the U.S., please visit the International Association for Suicide Prevention for a database of resources. Calling all HuffPost superfans! Sign up for membership to become a founding member and help shape HuffPost's next chapter
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Photos posted by right-wing Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.) are triggering speculation that he could be part of a mysterious shadow “Cabinet” in Donald Trump’s pretend presidency recently exposed by former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows. Cawthorn tweeted photos of himself at a conference room table at Trump’s Bedminster golf club in New Jersey with the former president and “business leaders.”  “On Saturday, I hosted a round table with special guest [former] President Donald Trump and several key business leaders to create a path forward to victory for the country and to provide election security nationwide,” Cawthorn tweeted. The “roundtable” also apparently doubled as a $50,000-a-head fundraiser for Cawthorn. On Saturday, I hosted a round table with special guest President Donald Trump and several key business leaders to create a path forward to victory for the country and to provide election security nationwide. pic.twitter.com/UGaS6umFEc— Madison Cawthorn (@CawthornforNC) August 1, 2021 Meadows revealed in a Newsmax interview that he and “President Trump” were meeting with unidentified “Cabinet members” to discuss “plans to move forward in a real way.” He refused to detail the plans. Nor did Meadows identify the “Cabinet members.” It was not clear if they were Trump’s former Cabinet members from when he actually was president or part of some new panel assembled by Trump and Meadows. New York Times White House correspondent Maggie Haberman tweeted afterward that she couldn’t get Meadows’ “bizarre” interview out of her head. “The former chief of staff is talking as if there’s a shadow presidency going on,” she said. Haberman criticized Meadows on CNN Monday for “playing into” the outlandish conspiracy theory that the former president will somehow be “reinstated.”  “The reality is that former presidents don’t have Cabinets and they don’t have Cabinet meetings,” she said. “This just creates this expectation for some of Trump’s supporters who are looking for permission ... to keep believing that there’s some alternate universe.” (Check out the interview in the clip up top.
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Though Meghan McCain appeared on “The View” Monday, she was notably absent from a segment with Mary Trump, who accused the conservative co-host of lacking the courage to face her. “It’s a shame that your colleague didn’t have the courage to come on and have this conversation with me,” Trump told the other co-hosts during a discussion about her uncle, former President Donald Trump, and his successful use of racism as a political platform. “But I appreciate that you were all willing to take up these very difficult subjects because racism, in my view, is at the heart of everything
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A Sudanese official has said local authorities in Kassala province have found around 50 bodies, apparently people fleeing the war in neighbouring Ethiopia’s Tigray region, floating in the river between the countries over the past week.Some bodies were found with gunshot wounds or their hands bound, and the official said on Monday a forensic investigation was needed to determine the causes of death. The official spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to brief the media.Two Ethiopian health workers in the Sudan border community of Hamdayet confirm
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At least 70% of adults in the US have now received at least one Covid-19 vaccination shot, the White House announced on Monday, reaching a target Joe Biden originally said he had hoped to achieve by 4 July.The administration reported the news in a tweet hailing “Milestone Monday” by Cyrus Shahpar, the government’s Covid-19 data director, who said the seven-day average of people receiving their first dose – 320,000 – was the highest since the Independence Day holiday.Health and government officials have in recent days painted the resurgence of coronavirus as a “pandemic of the unvaccinated”, highlighting that areas of the country with the most spread were those with lower than average vaccination rates, and almost all hospitalizations and deaths are now among those declining to be vaccinated.“Communities that are fully vaccinated are generally faring well,” Dr Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said, noting that “breakthrough” infections in vaccinated people were rare.But with unvaccinated people increasingly at risk, Walensky said at the White House coronavirus team briefing on Monday: “While we desperately want to be done with this pandemic, Covid-19 is clearly not done with us, and so our battle must last a little longer.”The US is seeing an average of 72,000 new cases of Covid-19 per day, higher than last summer’s surge, when vaccines were still in development and new daily cases reached 68,700, according to the CDC. Cases remain a lot lower than the pandemic peak of early January 2021, which saw more than 250,000 new cases a day as vaccines were starting to become more widely available.On Monday, a state-by-state study published by the Kaiser Family Foundation revealed that less than 1% of fully vaccinated people experienced a breakthrough infection, ranging from 0.01% in Connecticut to 0.9% in Oklahoma.Additionally, more than 90% of all cases, and more than 95% that resulted in hospitalizations or deaths, were among unvaccinated people, the study found.Figures published by the CDC on Monday added that 49.7% of the US population who were eligible were now fully vaccinated, and that demand for the shots had increased by 28% from a week ago to reach a new daily average of 673,185 vaccinations administered.A senior Biden administration official said on Friday that the White House
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It’s a moment every athlete at the Olympic Games has dreamed about: standing on the podium and bowing their head to receive a well-earned medal around their neck. However, things looked a little different in Tokyo this year. Due to COVID-19 protocols, Olympic officials have been presenting medals on a tray for the athletes to don themselves. Ahead of the Games, International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach told reporters the policy would mean “that the athlete can be sure that nobody touched them before.” But in a sweet show of sportsmanship, athletes at the Tokyo Games — especially in events with more than one person on a team — have been placing medals on one another, making for some touching, photo-worthy moments. In an Olympics where COVID-19 has forced so much to change, this is one new tradition we wouldn’t mind seeing again. Gold medalist Mutaz Essa Barshim of Qatar, left, presents Gianmarco Tamberi of Italy with his gold medal during the men's high jump medal ceremony at the Olympic Stadium on Day 10 of the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. The two athletes decided to share the gold medal after both ended the event with jumps of 2.37 meters. South Korea fencers receive their gold medals on the podium during the medal ceremony for the men's sabre team on July 28. Gold medalists Zongyuan Wang and Siyi Xie of Team China during the medal ceremony for the men's synchronized 3 meter springboard diving final on July 28. Gold medalist Teddy Riner of France, right, receives a medal from teammate Romane Dicko. France won gold in the mixed team judo competition on July 31. Softball player Yukiko Ue
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And now we’ve done the day for Australia, we may as well look at US chances/highlights. 9pm EDT/2am EDT: men’s 3m springboard semi-final/final A total of 18 divers will compete in the morning semi-final, and the top 12 scorers advance to the afternoon final. One American, Andrew Capobianco, qualified for the semi; he won a silver in the synchronized event last week. Capobianco, 21, finished 17th in the preliminary round. 9.50pm EDT: women’s long jump final Two Americans, Brittney Reese and Tara Davis, qualified for the long jump final, competing in a field of 12. Reese is ranked No 5 in the world, Davis No 15, but Davis is having a career year. The Americans will face stiff competition if they hope to medal; the top four jumpers in the world ahead of Reese qualified for the final, as did Nos 7, 8, 10 and 11 ahead of Davis. 11.20pm EDT: men’s 400m hurdles final Rai Benjamin, 24, is competing in his first Olympics in Tokyo and is favored to medal in the 400m hurdles after placing second in his semi-final heat. Benjamin is the second-ranked athlete in the world in the event, and he posted a personal-best time of 46.83 seconds at the US trials in June—which also marked the second-fastest time anyone has ever posted in the event. 2.33am: mixed Nacra 17 sailing medal race Americans Anna Weiss and Riley Gibbs will sail for a medal in Enoshima in the mixed event. Both are competing in their first Olympics, but as a pair, they were Pan American Games Champi
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She is a spirited, Titian-haired, freckled beauty, whose curls just won’t quit. While initially submitting to the strictures of high society and the tribulations of the marriage market, she endures a pasting from the press before emerging triumphant, throwing off the weight of expectations to become her true self. And write a children’s book.The heroine of the Duchess of York’s debut novel for adults, Lady Margaret Montagu Douglas Scott, bears no small resemblance to its author, in both looks and life story. Her Heart for a Compass is out on Tuesday from romance publisher Mills & Boon, but readers hoping for the sexy shenanigans usually found in the publisher’s output will be disappointed. While Margaret indulges in a handful of kisses, and at one point has a man “adjusting his kilt, swearing under his breath”, the pleasures she experiences are all very much above the waistline.Ferguson writes in an author’s note that the novel was “15 years in the making”, beginning when she discovered that her great-great-great-grandparents were the Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch, and that their second daughter, Margaret, was a redhead with a birthday “within a few days” of Ferguson’s own. The real details of Margaret’s own life are scant; Ferguson depicts her as a woman who is initially the toast of London, described in gossip rags as a “Titian-haired breath of fresh Scotch air”. In the novel, Margaret’s hair is frequently featured: it’s variously a “rebellious red mop”, a “sodden mass of rebellious curls”, a “scarlet flag, wild curls whipping around her face”, and “burnished autumn leaves”. One admirer opines: “She was very naive but, by heavens, she had real spirit, too, no one could doubt that.” But the press vilifies her over her refusal to marry a man she loathes, so Margaret goes to live in exile in Ireland, helping the poor and starting to write her own children’s stories. She makes her way in New York as a journalist and philanthropist, and eventually marries the man who has loved her for years.Ferguson has written the novel with veteran Mills & Boon author Marguerite Kaye, whose recent output (A Forbidden Liaison With Miss Grant; The Truth Behind Their Practical Marriage) does not shy away from the horizontal. Here, Margaret is given some clinches, including with an Anglican priest who inspires her work with the poor (“time seemed to stop, along with her breath, until he gave a soft sigh, and she lifted her face and surrendered her lips to his”), and with the man who eventually wins her heart (“deep, starving kisses, adult kisses, their tongues tangling, hands clutching and clinging”). But Bridgerton this is not.Instead, running to 500-plus pages, Her Heart for a Compass sees Margaret realising that she doesn’t need to “conform to the rules set down by society”, that a Buccleuch woman doesn’t need a strategic marriage, and that her despairing cry, “no one seems to care that underneath I’m an actual person”, isn’t altogether true. The novel veers around somewhat in tone, from archaic – Margaret’s priest informs her that “you cannot have imagined I would have kissed
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Smoking causes almost twice as many cancer cases among the poor than the well-off, according to new findings that underline the close link between cigarettes and deprivation.About 11,247 cases of cancer caused by smoking are diagnosed among the poorest 20% of people in England each year, but far fewer – 6,200 – among those in the top 20% income bracket.Cancer Research UK, which produced the estimates, said the findings underlined why ministers should impose a levy on tobacco firms to help fund the cost of helping tobacco addicts to quit.“It’s very concerning that smoking causes more cancer cases in more deprived groups,” said Michelle Mitchell, Cancer Research UK’s chief executive.The difference in cancer incidence between rich and poor is so great that, combined with cuts to stop-smoking services in recent years, it threatens the government’s target of England becoming smoke-free by 2030, she added.The number of people smoking would need to fall from its current record low of 15.5% to just 5% in order for that ambition to be achieved. While the proportion of people lighting up has fallen significantly over the last 20 years, it is increasingly concentrated among poorer groups.People in the most deprived communities are two and a half times more likely to smoke than the top fifth of people by income, which is the main reason for the greater number of cancers there, CRUK said.“This stark differential in cancer rates exists because of the iron chain linking smoking and disadvantage. Around a quarter of those who are unemployed or in routine and manual occupations smoke, compared with fewer than one in 10 working in management or the professions,” said Deborah Arnott, chief executive of the anti-smoking charity ASH.Analysis by CRUK found that about 53,227 cancers a year are diagnosed among the poorest 20% of people in England as measured by the Office of National Statistics’s index of multiple deprivation. Of those, an estimated 11,247 – 21% of the total – are caused directly by smoking, it said.More cancer cases occur in the wealthiest 20% – an estimated 63,828. However, far fewer of them – 6,200 – are the result of someone smoking, and they represent a much smaller percentage (10%) of all cases of cancer that occur in that part of the population.Prof Linda Bauld, a public health expert at Edinburgh university, said: “This new study found that more cancer cases are caused by smoking in the most deprived 20% of the population. This is due to more people smoking in this group, likely because of several factors such as exposure to smoking, access to cigarettes, tobacco industry marketing, housing and income pressures, and access to health and social care, information and education.”Arnott backed CRUK’s call for tobacco companies to be forced to contribute to a smoke-free fund, based on “the polluter pays” principle. “Tobacco manufacturers make extreme profits off the backs of the poor. The time has come to make them pay to end the epidemic that they and they alone have caused,” she said.
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It is a long list that includes travellers, cyclists, animal rights activists, lorry drivers, George Michael and Liverpool. Now Jeremy Clarkson has opened himself up to more anger after he criticised “those communists at Sage” preventing opening up because, he argues, “if you die, you die.”In an interview with the Radio Times, Clarkson gives his views on the pandemic and what should happen next. Many will find his thoughts typically boorish and insensitive.“When it started, I read up on pandemics and they tend to be four years long,” he said.“I think the politicians should sometimes tell those communists at Sage to get back in their box. Let’s just all go through life with ou
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Teenagers in Wales may be able to vote at their own schools and colleges during breaks from lessons, and shoppers could exercise their democratic right while they are picking up their groceries, under new proposals from the Welsh government.The Labour-led administration is working with local authorities in an effort to introduce pilot schemes of more flexible voting at next year’s council elections.Voting in different spaces is being considered in order to give the electorate access to the ballot box in familiar environments.Routinely setting up polling stations in secondary schools and colleges is seen as a way of giving young people better access to democracy, following legislation givin
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The White House said on Monday that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was “unable to find legal authority for a new, targeted eviction moratorium” and asked instead that states and local governments put in policies to keep renters in their homes.Mass evictions could potentially worsen the recent spread of the Covid-19 Delta variant but an avalanche of people being made to leave their abodes is feared, as roughly 1.4m households told the Census Bureau they could “very likely” be evicted from their rentals in the next two months.Another 2.2m say they’re “somewhat likely” to be evicted. The prospect of mass evictions has led to criticism that the Biden administr
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Spending more time indoors and on screens because of Covid restrictions may be linked to an increased rate of short-sightedness in children, researchers say.The study, which looked at two groups of children aged six to eight in Hong Kong, is the latest to suggest that lockdowns and other restrictions may have taken a toll on eyesight: data from more than 120,000 children of a similar age in China, published earlier this year, suggested a threefold increase in the prevalence of shortsightedness, or myopia, in 2020.Dr Jason Yam of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, a co-author of the new study, said “near work” – such as reading, writing or watching TV – is believed to be a risk fact
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The jerk is back. “Do I look like a terrorist?” he asks airport security as he returns from his native US to Britain. Tim has cerebral palsy and is twitchier than your average nervous suicide bomber. “Actually, you do,” the functionary replies. “You look like you might have been blown up by one of your own badly made devices.”Is it OK to laugh at such an evidently disablist joke? Perhaps. After all, it was co-written by Tim Renkow, who has cerebral palsy, in a BBC One sitcom about a character called Tim who has cerebral palsy. What’s clear is that Renkow isn’t writing a show that makes for easy viewing. Renkow plays the eponymous jerk who revels in making the able-bodied feel
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Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) announced Monday that he has tested positive for COVID-19 and is showing symptoms of the disease, while expressing gratitude that he has been vaccinated. “I feel like I have a sinus infection and at present time I have mild symptoms,” he tweeted. “I am very glad I was vaccinated because without vaccination I am certain I would not feel as well as I do now. My symptoms would be far worse.” The 66-year-old said he started having flu-like symptoms on Saturday night and went to see a doctor Monday morning. He was seen at the U.S. Capitol on Monday wearing a mask before making his announcement on social media. Graham said he will quarantine for 10 days. I was
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Guest EssayAug. 2, 2021, 5:19 p.m. ETCredit...Illustration by The New York Times, Photograph by Getty ImagesElisabeth Rosenthal and Glenn KramonDr. Rosenthal is the editor in chief of Kaiser Health News. She was an emergency room physician before becoming a journalist. Mr. Kramon is a lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and has reported on health insurance.America’s Covid-19 vaccination rate is at around 60 percent, for ages twelve and up. That’s not enough to reach so-called herd immunity, and in states like Missouri — where a number of counties have vaccination rates under 25 percent — hospitals are overwhelmed by serious outbreaks of the more contagious Delta variant.The vaccine resisters offer all kinds of reasons for refusing the free shots and for ignoring efforts to nudge them to get vaccinated. Campaigns urging Americans to get vaccinated for their health, for their grandparents, for their neighbors, to get free doughnuts or a free joint haven’t done the trick. States have even held lotteries with a chance to win millions or a college scholarship.And yet there are still huge numbers of unvaccinated people. Federal, state and municipal governments, as well as private businesses continue to largely avoid mandates for their employees out of fears they will provoke a backlash.So, how about an economic argument? Get a Covid-19 shot to protect your wallet.Getting hospitalized with Covid-19 in the United States typically generates huge bills. Those submitted by Covid patients to the NPR-Kaiser Health News “Bill of the Month” project include a $17,000 bill for a brief hospital stay in Marietta, GA (reduced to about $4,000 for an uninsured patient under a “charity care” policy); a $104,000 bill for a fourteen-day hospitalization in Miami for an uninsured man; possibly hundreds of thousands for a two-week hospital stay — some of it on a ventilator — for a foreign tourist in Hawaii whose travel health insurance contained a “pandemic exclusion.”Even though insurance companies negotiate lower prices and cover much of the cost of care, an over $1,000 out-of-pocket bill for a deductible — plus more for copays and possibly some out-of-network care — should be a pretty scary incentive. Opinion Conversation Questions surrounding the Covid-19 vaccine and its rollout. Is the pandemic getting worse again?Aaron E. Carroll, the chief health officer for Indiana University, writes that the answer depends on whether you are vaccinated. Are new mask mandates a good idea? Jennifer B. Nuzzo and Beth Blauer, health experts at Johns Hopkins, examine three important questions about masking rules. What do you say to a friend who doesn't want the vaccine? Our chatbot, developed with experts, tackles this thorny conversation. Should we get vaccine booster shots, and when?While it's not yet clear boosters are truly needed, Elizabeth Rosenthal explores why the F.D.A. is likely to approve them for use. In 2020, before there were Covid-19 vaccines, most ma
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People under the age of 21 could get a chance to work as long-haul truck drivers thanks to a bipartisan infrastructure bill that could soon pass the U.S. Senate.   After weeks of negotiations, senators over the weekend finally released the legislative text of their bill, which would allocate more than $500 billion to fix up roads and bridges, improve passenger rail and expand broadband internet access. The bill would also establish an apprenticeship program that would let 18- to 21-year-olds cross state lines in 18-wheelers ― a small win for the freight industry on top of the bill’s $10
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The Premier League is to try to end the art of “buying” a penalty, as it announced tougher refereeing criteria for deciding spot-kicks.When the 2021-22 season begins, referees are to assess three criteria before deciding whether a penalty should be awarded for a foul challenge. Officials must first consider the degree of contact experienced by the attacking player, then the consequence of that contact, before finally taking into account the motivation of the attacker in reacting to the challenge.The Premier League’s head of refereeing, Mike Riley, said the decision to change the guidance
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INDEPENDENCE, Ohio ― After more than eight months of campaigning, former Ohio state Sen. Nina Turner (D) is tired of worrying about what her establishment detractors think. Speaking to an audience of progressive clergy members on Monday, Turner imitated the politicians and pundits who keep telling her to tone it down. “‘Senator, don’t say this. Senator, don’t say that.’ Dammit ― I’m over it!” she declared to applause at an interfaith breakfast. In fact, Turner welcomed the discomfort of her adversaries ― whether they are in Democratic Party leadership in Washington, or in the highest echelons of corporate America. “We got some folks rattled,” Turner said. “But I’m glad they’re rattled. I want them to be uncomfortable.” “Why is it that the poverty pimps get to be comfortable ― and the poor people uncomfortable?” she added. “Well, it’s time to make them uncomfortable. Hello somebody!” On Tuesday, Turner will face off against Cuyahoga County Councilwoman Shontel Brown (D) in a special primary election to succeed Marcia Fudge, in Ohio’s 11th Congressional District, a majority-Black seat that includes parts of Cleveland and Akron. The seat opened up when President Joe Biden tapped Fudge to serve as Housing and Urban Development Secretary. Since the district skews so Democratic, the winner of the primary is all but assured of a place in Congress. The race between Turner and Brown, which polling suggests is neck and neck, has become a battle between the Democratic Party’s progressive wing ― represented by Turner ― and the more moderate establishment, which is backing Brown. “This race is everything,” said Yvette Simpson, CEO of the progressive group Democracy for America, which has endorsed Turner. Simpson, an attorney and former president pro tem of the Cincinnati city council, spoke to HuffPost after knocking doors for Turner in Cleveland’s Lee-Harvard neighborhood. “Her winning this race will be seen as a bellwether for whether progressives can win,” Simpson said. “Now whether that’s true or not, that’s the way it’s being perceived.”  To maximize her chances of victory in a district that went for Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden in the 2016 and 2020 presidential primaries, Turner has sought to remind voters of her pragmatic work as a city councilwoman and state senator. She can be effective because she’s a savvy politician. Bakari Sellers, former South Carolina state representative She has also emphasized her background as a loyal Democrat in a bid to rebut her opponent’s claims to the contrary. For example, while Turner’s status as a leading surrogate for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaigns has made her a left-wing star, she made a point of noting in a recent TV ad that she served twice as a convention delegate for President Barack Obama. Turner has even summoned an unlikely array of moderate validators, including Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson (D) and Ohio state Senate Democratic Leader Kenny Yuko.  Bakari Sellers, a former South Carolina state representative known for tangling with Sanders supporters online, arrived in Cleveland on Monday fo
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The good news: An initial deluge of explicit porn featuring Sonic the Hedgehog is gone. The bad news: It’s been replaced by ISIS propaganda. Such are the travails of Gettr, the pro-Trump, anti-censorship Twitter clone launched by former Trump spokesperson Jason Miller last month. An investigation by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, a think tank that tracks extremism online, found Islamic State supporters are using the nascent social network to distribute graphic videos and other terrorist propaganda, putting Gettr’s commitment to free speech ― and its moderation system ― to the test. The jihadi accounts were first flagged by Moustafa Ayad, the organization’s executive director for Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Ayad told HuffPost that ISIS supporters used Facebook to coordinate a “raid and occupy” campaign targeting Gettr on July 6, with the first batch of 20 accounts coming online within 24 hours later. Those 20 accounts pushed around 300 pieces of propaganda on Gettr within the first week and then “spawned exponentially” to circumvent moderation efforts. They’ve since grown to at least 250 active accounts disseminating content that includes calls for violence and beheading videos, a Politico tally found. ISIS supporters have put forth a concentrated effort in the past few months to “seed and grow” communities of support, Ayad said. The targeting of conservative and far-right platforms is a deliberate tactic: Compared to Facebook, these platforms often have limited resources to combat the problem, and by simply having a presence there, the Islamic State can claim a media win by “owning” a conservative space. Screengrabs of the jihadi content the Institute for Strategic Dialogue shared with HuffPost show that the earliest posts, while problematic, had minimal interaction. Other disturbing content, like white supremacist propaganda, likely has a far greater reach, said Emerson Brooking, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab, which studies disinformation online. “Because of the way Gettr is constructed, it is difficult to quantify how popular a subject is,” Brooking told HuffPost in an email. “In my examination of the platform, however, I found these ISIS fan accounts to have a relatively small reach. Some of these accounts seem to have been manually removed by Gettr after they were flagged by reporters and researchers.”  “On the other hand, it takes only seconds to find content promoting the 2019 white-supremacist terrorist attack in Christchurch, New Zealand, which saw the murder of 51 Muslim congregants. The same goes for content related to the ‘Great Replacement’ and other white-supremacist propaganda that has fueled terror attacks around the world.” Posting on Gettr Monday, Miller called Politico’s tally of the ISIS fan accounts “misleading and inflammatory” yet neglected to explain how it was inaccurate. He also boasted about Gettr’s “robust and proactive moderation system that removes prohibited content, maximizing both cutting-edge A.I. technology and human moderation.” Facebook, Twitter and all manner of smaller networks have long stru
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The U.S. on Monday finally reached President Joe Biden’s goal of getting at least one COVID-19 shot in the arms of 70% of American adults ― a month late and amid a fierce surge by the delta variant that is swamping hospitals and leading to new mask rules and mandatory vaccinations around the country. Louisiana ordered nearly everyone, vaccinated or not, to wear masks again in all indoor public settings, including schools and colleges, and other cities and states likewise moved to reinstate precautions to counter a crisis blamed on the fast-spreading variant and stubborn resistance to getting the vaccine. “As fast as we are opening up units, they’re being filled with COVID patients,” lamented Dr. Sergio Segarra, chief medical officer of Baptist Hospital Miami, where the Florida chain reported an increase of well over 140% in the past two weeks in the number of people now hospitalized with the virus. “As quickly as we can discharge them they’re coming in and they’re coming in very sick. We started seeing entire families come down.” Biden had set a goal of reaching the 70% threshold by the Fourth of July. But that target was set well before the highly contagious delta variant enabled the virus to come storming back and undermined the assumptions that were used to arrive at that figure. There was was no celebration at the White House on Monday, nor a setting of a new target, as the administration instead struggles to overcome public resistance. The 70% target marked the low-end of initial government estimates for what would be necessary to achieve herd immunity in the U.S. That has been rendered insufficient by the delta variant. The U.S. still has not hit the administration’s other goal of fully vaccinating 165 million American adults by July 4. It is about 8.5 million short. New cases per day in the U.S. have increased sixfold over the past month to an average of nearly 80,000, a level not seen since mid-February. And deaths per day have climbed over the past two weeks from an average of 259 to 360. Those are still well below the 3,400 deaths and a quarter-million cases per day seen during the worst of the outbreak, in January. Some places around the country are seeing newly confirmed infections and hospital caseloads reach their highest levels since the pandemic began a year and a half ago. Nearly all deaths and serious illnesses now are in unvaccinated people. The surge has led states and cities across the U.S. to beat a retreat, just weeks after it looked as if the country was going to see a close-to-normal summer. Health officials in San Francisco and six other Bay Area counties announced Monday they are reinstating a requirement that everyone — vaccinated or not — wear masks in public indoor spaces. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said New York City airport and transit workers will have to get vaccinated or face weekly testing. He stopped short of mandating either masks or inoculations for the general public, saying he lacks legal authority to do so. Denver’s mayor said said the city will require police officers, firefighters and certain other municipal employees to get vaccinated, along with workers at schools, nursi
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Tan France is kicking off August as a doting, first-time dad.  The “Queer Eye” star on Monday revealed that he and his husband, Rob France, welcomed a baby boy, Ismail, via a surrogate on July 10.  “Give our son a warm welcome,” the Netflix series’ fashion guru wrote on Instagram alongside an adorable photo showing the family of three. “He came seven weeks early, so he’s been in the NICU for the past three weeks. But, today, we finally got to bring him home.” “We love him so, so much,” he added. “Like, fully obsessed.”   Rob France shared a similar image on his Instagram with the caption: “My two loves.”  The dads received warm wishes from many of their
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Neanderthals, long perceived to have been unsophisticated and brutish, really did paint stalagmites in a Spanish cave more than 60,000 years ago, according to a study published on Monday.The issue had roiled the world of paleoarchaeology ever since the publication of a 2018 paper attributing red ocher pigment found on the stalagmitic dome of Cueva de Ardales to our extinct “cousin” species.The dating suggested the art was at least 64,800 years old, made at a time when modern humans did not inhabit the continent.But the finding was contentious, and “a scientific article said that perhaps these pigments were a natural thing”, a result of iron oxide flow, Francesco d’Errico, co-author
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A third police officer who defended the US Capitol during the 6 January insurrection by extremist supporters of Donald Trump has taken his own life, Washington DC’s Metropolitan police department confirmed on Monday.Officer Gunther Hashida, who was assigned to the emergency response team within the special operations department, was found dead at home on 29 July, the department said.Hashida, 44, joined the force in May 2003 and was among those who responded to the Capitol attack, spokesperson Brianna Burch confirmed to the Guardian.“We are grieving as a department and our thoughts and prayers are with Officer Hashida’s family and friends,” Burch said.Hashida is survived by his wife,
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Dizzee Rascal, the award-winning rapper and producer whose real name is Dylan Mills, has been charged with assaulting a woman following a domestic argument.In a statement, the Metropolitan police said: “Dylan Mills, 36, of Sevenoaks, Kent, has been charged with assault after an incident at a residential address in Streatham on 8 June. Officers attended and a woman reported minor injuries. She did not require hospital treatment.”Mills, who is currently on bail, is due to appear at Croydon magistrates court on Friday 3 September.A pioneer of grime music, Mills was just 18 when his debut, Boy in da Corner, was released in 2003.He teamed up with Calvin Harris and embraced EDM for his fourth
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Rapper DaBaby has issued an apology to the LGBTQ community after his homophobic remarks at a July 25 concert in Miami resulted in him being dropped from several music festivals. “I want to apologize to the LGBTQ+ community for the hurtful and triggering comments I made,” DaBaby posted on Instagram Monday. “Again, I apologize for my misinformed comments about HIV/AIDS and I know education on this is important.” The Grammy-nominated rapper, born Jonathan Lyndale Kirk, has come under fire after making a series of derogatory statements about women, gay men and people living with HIV during a performance at Miami’s Rolling Loud Festival. Among other things, he told the crowd: “If yo
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A third officer who responded to the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol has died by suicide, police confirmed Monday.  The officer, Gunther Hashida of D.C.’s Metropolitan Police Department, was found deceased in his home Thursday.  “We are grieving as a Department as our thoughts and prayers are with Officer Hashida’s family and friends,” the department said of Hashida, who joined the MPD in 2003.  Hashida is one of four officers who have died since a mob spurred on by then-President Donald Trump descended on the Capitol. Two of them, Howard Liebengood and Jeffery Smith, died by suicide, and another, Brian Sicknick, died the day after he engaged with rioters. While the MPD confir
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Treating yourself to fancy items is possible, even if you don’t feel like spending an arm and leg on something new. Whether you’re looking to add a touch of glam to an outfit or spruce up your home with elegant decor, it’s so easy to achieve a luxe aesthetic for less. From customized jewelry to Art Deco-inspired notebooks, here are some affordable dupes for high-end goods. HuffPost may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page. Prices and availability subject to change.A set of liquid flower pensThey'll look so pretty on your desk and you'll love using them to jot down notes.Promising review: "These are beautiful pens! I bought them to gift my mom for her birthday to go with a journal I bought her. They write seamlessly, no skipping. And they are good heavy weight. The rose gold is beautiful and the little flowers are amazing!" — AngelaGet a five-piece set from Amazon for $14.99.A rose gold water bottleDrink H2O out of this eye-catching container with a one-click-to-open design. It'll be a sleek upgrade from your old water tumbler.Promising review: "I've been using this water bottle a whole bunch and I love it! The handle on top is extremely helpful for carrying the bottle when your hands are full. The design of the bottle is pretty cool and the oval shape fits just perfectly in my hand. It's well-built and sturdy and I love the rubber on the bottom, which makes it more stable on slick surfaces and also ensures it won't damage wood or any kind of surface. It's like it has its own built-in coaster. " — Amazon CustomerGet it from Amazon for $35.A tube of La Roche-Posay balmApply it to your face, hands and lips to smooth out dry areas and moisturize thirsty skin. Promising review: "Just wow! I'm blown away by this product. Really helps heal the skin when it gets compromised! I usually can't wear balms, because they usually break out my extremely acne-prone, oily skin. However, this one does not break me out. I sometimes over-do it with my acne medication and a night of this balm slapped on recovers my skin back to normal." — Sarah KGet it from Amazon for $14.99. A gentle cleansing oilTake off stubborn makeup with this oil-based cleanser
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The proposal would overhaul America’s approach to tackling outbreaks, allowing scientists to develop vaccines in advance. But for now, Democrats are cutting it down.Dr. Anthony Fauci has long pushed for reforms included in the $30 billion plan. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)President Joe Biden campaigned as America’s pandemic fighter. So it will be strange, to say the least, if his infrastructure bill fails to significantly increase the country’s pandemic-preparedness budget.But it could happen. Biden proposed $30 billion to address the issue, which advocates say could permanently mitigate the risks of future outbreaks. The investment would replenish medical stockpiles, proactively develop vaccines for major types of viruses, and ensure that the United States has a permanent production base of face masks and respirators. In effect, it would amount to an Apollo Program–like push to guarantee that a global pandemic could never shut down the country again.Yet those funds have been slashed in the current negotiations over the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package as part of a push to slim it down, according to a source familiar with the situation. (I agreed not to name this person because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the negotiations.) While the exact amount is sti
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guest essayJuly 31, 2021Emily OsterDr. Oster is a professor of economics at Brown University and the author of “The Family Firm: A Data-Driven Guide to Better Decision Making in the Early School Years,” from which this essay is adapted.When we become parents, we expect to be many things: someone who wakes in the middle of the night and who cleans up food from the floor; someone who comforts, who loves, who disciplines, who celebrates. What we perhaps did not expect is to take on the job of logistics manager. It creeps up on us as children age. The floor may get cleaner and the midnight wake-ups less frequent, but in their place is the stress of competing demands on our children’s time and ours. Which school to go to and how to get there? Is evening math tutoring necessary? What do we do about summer camp? How can three children with two parents be at three birthday parties on Saturday at 2 p.m.?Making these questions more challenging is that they feel weightier than early parenting choices, that they matter more in the long term and that making a mistake is somehow worse. On top of this, an older child has more demands and more opinions. The decisions feel important and hard, and many parents feel lost as to how to make them well.Consider this: One day, your 9-year-old daughter arrives home with the exciting news that she has been invited to join the travel soccer team. She really wants to do it. In fact, she insists, if you do not let her, you will literally ruin her life.It’s easy to think of this as a question about soccer, about one activity. But it’s not; it’s a question of priorities. The soccer team may have four evening practices a week and one weekend day (at least!) spent at tournaments. If you say yes, this will take over a lot of your days. (Of course, if you say no, you’ll ruin your daughter’s life.)For many of us, the pandemic has brought these decisions into a new light. During lockdown, we turned off so much of what we were doing. As families re-emerge, there is an opportunity to choose what we actually want to return to. Our schedules are blank slates, waiting for us to design them in a way that we might like better. At the same
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Firefighters made progress battling some of the largest fires burning across the west, but dangers of flare-ups and new ignitions remain amid hot, dry conditions that will bake the parched landscape.Nine large fires have collectively burned more than 1.8m acres in 12 states, the National Interagency Fire Center reported on Monday morning, including 23 in Montana, some of which have displayed extreme fire behavior.On Sunday, the agency issued its monthly outlook, forecasting “significant wildland fire potential” with more than 95% of the American west in drought and more than half of the region in the two highest categories of drought conditions, and hotter than normal weather expected to continue into the autumn.But officials in Oregon had good news to share on Monday about the Bootleg fire, which has already torched an estimated 413,762 acres (167,407 hectares) – an area larger than New York City – with containment reaching 84%.“That reflects several good days of work on the ground where crews have been able to reinforce and build additional containment lines,” fire spokesman Al Nash said.The fire has been burning in the Fremont-Winema national forest since being sparked by lightning on 6 July . Firefighters initially believed they would not be able to rein it in until heavier rains came in the autumn.Some evacuation orders were also lifted near California’s Dixie fire, which had burned through 248,820 acres over the last 19 days, with 35% containment, but officials warned local residents to remain on alert.Authorities warned that with unpredictable winds and extremely dry fuels, the risk of flare-ups remained high. Sixty-seven homes and other structures have already been destroyed in the fire, with nine others damaged. The cause of the blaze is still under investigation, but is believed to have been caused by equipment belonging to the utility Pacific Gas & Electric.Risky conditions are also expected in southern California through the beginning of the week, with spiking temperatures, low humidity, and onshore winds forecast.Temperatures will be increasing, peaking Tues/Wed this coming week. Widespread 100's are expected for interior areas and the
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Rassie Erasmus is poised to continue in his role as South Africa’s director of rugby for the decisive third Test of the British & Irish Lions series despite World Rugby finally announcing disciplinary proceedings against him for misconduct on Monday night.World Rugby has confirmed that Erasmus, and the South Africa union, will face a disciplinary hearing after an hour-long video emerged last week in which he picks apart Nic Berry’s refereeing performance in the first Test – won 22-17 by the Lions. It is understood, however, that the hearing is highly likely to take place after the deciding Test on Saturday, after the Springboks levelled the series last weekend, leaving Erasmus free to continue his duties including acting as a water carrier.World Rugby also expressed its concern at co
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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Health officials in San Francisco and six other Bay Area counties announced Monday that they are reinstating a mask mandate for all indoor settings as COVID-19 infections surge because of the highly contagious delta variant. The new mandate — which applies to everyone, regardless of their vaccination status — will take effect on Tuesday in San Francisco, Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Sonoma counties and in the city of Berkeley. The health officers also recommended that people gather outdoors if they have that option. “The virus doesn’t care what type of indoor space you’re in,” said Dr. George Han, deputy health officer in Santa Clara. “There is a risk that you could get in contact with the virus that causes COVID-19.” In line
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The only simple element in US group Parker Hannifin’s £6.3bn bid for Coventry-based defence and aerospace business Meggitt is the takeover premium: an offer at 71% more than last week’s share price counts as fat by any measure. UK investors, once again, have been guilty of seriously undervaluing a FTSE 250 industrial company. Meggitt’s line of work – brakes, sensors, valves, fuel tanks and other components for commercial and military aircraft – may not be glamorous, but will endure beyond current pandemic upsets.The tricky part is the “legally binding commitments to HM Government” being championed by Cleveland-based Parker as a way to try to make the deal go down easily with UK politicians. “Legally-binding” is a phrase meant to impress. The actual commitments do not. Or, rather, the problem is that they don’t last long.Only one pledge – the promise to increase Meggitt’s research and development spending in the UK by 20% over five years – relates to a period of more than 12 months. Even that one carried the qualification that it is “subject to normal levels of growth and activity occurring in the aerospace industry”, which reads as a subjective get-ou
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The past year and a half has been long, hard and logistically bonkers for families with young kids at home.While the pandemic certainly isn’t over, many parents do feel a huge sense of relief as we inch closer to what looks like (for now, at least) a more typical school year. Groups such as the American Academy of Pediatrics and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have called for kids around the country to return to the classroom. At the same time, many parents who haven’t already returned to the office for work will likely do so to some degree this fall.Although being able to slide back into old routines might feel pretty darn glorious, economist and parenting guru Emily Oster suggests that doing so without pausing to consider your family’s “big picture” is a mistake.Oster’s new book, “The Family Firm: A Data-Driven Guide to Better Decision Making in the Early School Years,” provides a framework for parents of 5- to 12-year-olds when it comes to making decisions on everything from nutrition to when kids should get their first phones. She believes this is a moment when many families would benefit from creating mission statements — and she’s got a practical guide for what they should entail.“With all of the terrible things that have gone on over the past 18 months, there is an opportunity, as we move out of this, to have important conversations even in families where routines have been long established,” the author told HuffPost. “What are the things we were doing before that we want to go back to? What are the things we were doing before that we think, ‘You know what? Actually, I didn’t miss that.’ It is a real opportunity for that k
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History was made on a Tokyo evening of superhuman strength and simmering tension as Laurel Hubbard, a 43‑year‑old weightlifter from New Zealand, became the first openly trans woman athlete to compete at an Olympic Games.But Hubbard, who was born male but began identifying as a woman in 2013, buckled under pressure of the world’s gaze, as well as the weight of the huge bar she was trying to thrust over her head. Twice the barbell, which had 120kg and then 125kg on it, fell behind her after she had snatched it powerfully from the floor. On another occasion Hubbard got it off the ground and appeared to have made a successive lift, only for two of the three judges to rule she did not have full control.She left the arena having smiled and drawn a heart with her hands. It was a rapid and surprising end to her Olympic dreams and it meant she finished last in the over‑87kg super‑heavyweight category, won easily by China’s Li Wenwen. Britain’s Emily Campbell claimed a superb silver – and Team GB’s first ever female weightlifting medal.When Hubbard spoke later to the press, she looked understandably nervous. Breathing heavily, she thanked the New Zealand Olympic Committee, Japanese organisers, and particularly the International Olympic Committee saying they had been “extraordinarily supportive”.Hubbard said: “I think that they reaffirmed their commitment to the principles of Olympianism. They’ve demonstrated, I think, that sport is something all people around
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British swimming Olympians have landed back in the UK from Tokyo after returning from their most successful Games.Team GB finished third in the swimming medal table behind the US and Australia. They won eight medals this past week. The squad returned with a haul of four golds, beating the UK’s previous best performance, at the 1908 Games in London.They also brought back three silvers and a bronze, bettering their previous best tally in the pool of seven.Medal performances in Tokyo included gold and a world record in the first ever Olympic mixed 4x100m medley relay, a historic gold and silver
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Boris Johnson’s climate spokesperson has criticised the infrastructure that she says is putting people like her off switching to an electric car.Allegra Stratton, the prime minister’s former press secretary, revealed she drove a “third-hand” diesel Volkswagen Golf.The reason for this, Stratton explained in an interview with Times Radio, was that she needed to visit elderly relatives “200, 250 miles away”, and that having to stop the vehicle to charge it would slow the journey down, particularly with two young children who might otherwise remain asleep for the duration of the ride.
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The Lollapalooza music festival in downtown Chicago will probably cause a surge in Covid-19 infections, said public health experts, after tens of thousands of people gathered there this past weekend.The four-day festival welcomed about 100,000 guests a day to hear headliners including Megan Thee Stallion, Foo Fighters and Tyler the Creator.To attend, people had to either provide a Covid-19 vaccine card or proof of a negative Covid-19 test from the previous 72 hours, but doctors said more restrictions should have been in place as the US tries to limit the spread of the more infectious Delta var
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The Siberian heatwave of 2020 led to new methane emissions from the permafrost, according to research. Emissions of the potent greenhouse gas are currently small, the scientists said, but further research is urgently needed.Analysis of satellite data indicated that fossil methane gas leaked from rock formations known to be large hydrocarbon reservoirs after the heatwave, which peaked at 6C above normal temperatures. Previous observations of leaks have been from permafrost soil or under shallow seas.Most scientists think the risk of a “methane bomb” – a rapid eruption of huge volumes of methane causing cataclysmic global heating – is minimal in the coming years. There is little evidence of significantly rising methane emissions from the Arctic and no sign of such a bomb in periods t
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The UK engineering firm Smiths Group has agreed to sell its medical division to the US private equity firm TA Associates in a $2.3bn (£1.7bn) deal, in the latest of a string of UK acquisitions by overseas buyers.Smiths Medical makes ventilators, syringe pumps and tracheostomy tubes for hospitals worldwide, and its sale effectively breaks up the FTSE 100-listed engineering conglomerate.Smiths, which helped to produce ventilators for the UK government early in the coronavirus pandemic, said the deal would help it focus on its core industrial technology business. It has been trying to spin off its medical arm for several years, either through a sale or demerger, but these efforts had been delayed by Covid-19.Smiths Group said the proposed transaction was “superior to all other proposals re
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Recently, dozens of wildfires have erupted across southern and western Turkey as a dangerous heat wave lingers over southeastern Europe. For the past week, villages and resorts along the Mediterranean and Aegean coastlines have been overtaken by violent blazes that have killed at least eight people. High winds and scorching temperatures are driving the fires, forcing residents and tourists to evacuate by land or by sea. Read moreHints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.
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A convicted terrorist who went on a knife rampage wearing a fake bomb belt within days of his release from jail was shot dead by officers following him, an inquest has heard.Police had tried to block the release of Sudesh Amman, 20, because of intelligence that he wanted to stage an attack, despite a prison sentence for terrorism offences.Days after his release, on 2 February, 2020, he staged a 62-second attack in Streatham, south London, wearing a fake suicide bomb belt, while he was being followed by armed surveillance officers.Det Supt Dominic Murphy told the inquest that Amman was arrested in May 2018 on suspicion of preparing and engaging in acts of terrorism.He was sentenced to 40 months’ imprisonment, but the law at the time meant he was automatically released halfway through his
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It started with Jimmy Savile and it ended nine years later in an airless courtroom in Birmingham.Daisy, now 45, was taken into care days after her birth and was adopted when she was seven months old. She had known since she read her social services files aged 18 that her birth mother was 13 years old when she was born and her birth father was Carvel Bennett, then 28. The files dating back to 1975 state: “The matter was investigated by police but never brought to court.”While the discovery was profoundly shocking and disturbing, it wasn’t until the scandal broke about Jimmy Savile’s prolific sex abuse – including the rape of dozens of children – that she decided to try to track down her birth father in the hope of getting him prosecuted for raping her birth mother.Daisy battled
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Thousands of households could lose their energy supplier this winter as small companies face the financial shock of record highs on the UK gas market and a key deadline to hand over renewable energy subsidies at the end of the month.The energy regulator is monitoring the finances of companies amid concerns that a string of small suppliers could go bust later in the year.Martin Young, an equity analyst at Investec, said a “combination of many” factors could lead companies to fail or become the target of an opportunistic acquisition by a larger rival.Some small providers, without a robust financial framework, may have been caught out by the steep gas market rises in recent months if they had not bought enough in advance to supply their customers through the winter months.Unexpectedly hig
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Two days have passed since Congress and the White House allowed the federal eviction moratorium to lapse, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is still holding out hope that President Joe Biden will do something about it. Biden’s administration isn’t budging. In a letter to House Democrats Monday, Pelosi again said it was on the president’s administration to extend the moratorium as the delta variant of COVID-19 continues surging throughout the United States. “The money must flow, and the moratorium must be extended by the Administration,” Pelosi wrote, referring to rental assistance included in coronavirus relief legislation that hasn’t yet reached people who need it.  The White House has maintained it cannot act on the issue. The moratorium expired on Saturday. “On this partic
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The sight of a needle piercing skin is enough to chill a quarter of adult Britons and trigger up to 4% into fainting. But hope is on the horizon for needle-phobics as researchers are working on a range of non-injectable Covid vaccine formulations, including nasal sprays and tablets.Almost every vaccine in use today comes with a needle, and the approved Covid-19 vaccines are no exception. Once jabbed, the body’s immune system usually mounts a response, but scientists in the UK and beyond are hoping to harness the immune arsenal of the mucous membranes that line the nose, mouth, lungs and digestive tract, regions typically colonised by respiratory viruses including Covid-19, in part to allay the fears of needle-phobics.To understand the role this anxiety may be playing in vaccine hesitancy
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A police officer has been convicted of assaulting two black males within two days, including kicking a 15-year-old boy when he was on the ground.PC Declan Jones of West Midlands police denied the assaults but was convicted in a judgment delivered at Birmingham magistrates court on Monday.The court found that Jones, 30, assaulted one man in Aston, Birmingham on 20 April last year, and the next day kicked and punched a 15-year-old boy in Newtown whom he wrongly suspected of having drugs.The assaults came amid a police crackdown in the area, and the judge said the officer abused his power and may have been affected by “paranoia”.He was charged over three assaults alleged to have been committed over a four-day period in April in Birmingham weeks into the first lockdown.He was acquitted of
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“I don’t understand why people come up with stuff like that. I just don’t get it. It’s very cruel.” Beatrice Masilingi is 18, born and raised in Katima in the Zambezi region of Namibia. In the humid bowels of Tokyo’s Olympic Stadium she was as excited as you might expect of any teenager who has barely raced outside her home country, who lists “my grandmother” as her key influence, and who had minutes earlier come cantering in behind Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce to make the women’s 200m Olympic final.If Masilingi was also a little wary, it is because she knows some part of the future is likely to take a difficult turn if she performs with the same level of grace and fire in Tuesday’s final. Masilingi is one of a pair of Namibian teenagers, schoolmates at Grootfontein Agricult
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A decade ago on Aug. 1, Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords returned to Congress seven months after a gunman shot her and killed six people during a “Congress on Your Corner” event in Tucson, Arizona. Giffords’ surprise appearance, to cast a vote in favor of raising the nation’s debt limit, was hailed as a unifying, bipartisan moment at the time.  Giffords, whose husband Mark Kelly now serves as a U.S. senator representing Arizona, would later resign from Congress and start an eponymous organization dedicated to combating gun violence. She recently spoke with HuffPost via email about how she now sees bipartisan moments like this as few and far between. This interview has been lightly edited for clarity. You returned to Congress a decade ago when many people thought you never woul
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Steve Baker, Conservative MP for Wycombe and a well-known Brexiter, said he was not surprised by new research showing that his constituency has the highest levels of food insecurity of anywhere in the country. Around 14% of residents reported going hungry in January and February this year, while a third said getting enough food was a struggle. Mr Baker has the benefit of local knowledge. It is less than a year since another report showed Buckinghamshire to have one of the worst records on social mobility in the UK. But for ministers, these new figures should be a wake-up call. Hunger is disturbing in and of itself. But there are particular reasons to worry about pockets of deep poverty in otherwise wealthy areas.Buckinghamshire’s highly selective education system is one factor contributi
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So now we know. Harry Kane really is prepared to do whatever it takes to force a move from Tottenham to Manchester City. The question had nagged away since the final week of last season when Kane and his camp had given the definitive signal that they wanted out and the battle lines were drawn, with Daniel Levy, the Spurs chairman, digging in and refusing to countenance the sale.Would Kane be prepared to activate the nuclear option and withdraw his cooperation at Spurs? Surely not, most people had hoped, because to do the dirty like this would be so unbecoming of a homegrown hero, of an England captain.And yet on Monday morning, Kane did the dirty, he did the bad thing, the last-resort play, when he refused to turn up for his first day of pre-season tests and checks. Now we knew.What a mess, and the first thing to say is that Kane has let himself down. There has been some understanding among Spurs fans about his desire to join a club that can challenge for the biggest prizes this season, even if none of them have wanted to picture the reality of him actually wearing the colours of a rival.They know how Spurs ended the previous season – without a permanent manager, with qualification only to the new Europa Conference League (they have been drawn to face Pacos de Ferreira or Larne in the play-off round), with disarray the most prominent sentiment. And they know that under Nuno Espírito Santo, appointed as José Mourinho’s replacement after a chaotic 72-day search, it is likely that there will be a period of transition.Why should Kane, who turned 28 last Wednesday and has not won any team honours, want to stick around for that? Most of the supporter anger has been direct
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Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) wrote in a Sunday op-ed that schools should promote patriotism by teaching children a rosy version of U.S. history, leaving out the role of slavery and racism throughout. By doing this, he says schools will be making “an investment in love.” “Let’s make it together ― and now,” the Missouri Republican said of this “love” in a New York Post piece. “Let’s teach our children to know and love America.” Hawley, who is perhaps best known as the U.S. senator who raised his fist in solidarity before a mob of white supremacists and Donald Trump supporters attacked the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 to try to stop Joe Biden from being certified as president, wrote his op-ed as he promotes a bill he recently introduced to teach children a whitewashed version of American history. His bill, which is going nowhere, would bar federal money from going to public schools that teach students about the roles that white supremacy and racism played in the country’s founding. It would also require schools that get federal money to ensure that students can read and recite portions of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Pledge of Allegiance at certain grade levels. Hawley’s new op-ed gives specific examples of how to look at U.S. history through a purely positive lens. “This isn’t a ­nation of oppressors. This is a nation of liberators,” Hawley wrote of a history that includes white colonizers slaughtering Native Americans in the name of civilization and President Andrew Jackson forcibly removing 100,000 Native Americans from their ancestral homelands, resulting in 15,000 deaths from exposure, disease and starvation. “
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Alexander Lukashenko has largely squeezed the life out of the protest movement that threatened his despotic hold on power last summer. As he has done so, a vicious, totalitarian mood has come to dominate all corners of life in Belarus. Earlier this month, there was a sweeping crackdown on NGOs, many of which were previously judged non-political. Independent media organisations have been harassed and shut down. The essential illegitimacy of Mr Lukashenko’s regime was exposed in the aftermath of the stolen elections of 2020. Its survival is now ensured by the brutal crushing of dissent wherever it is found.Even at the Tokyo Olympics. The decision on Sunday by the Belarusian athlete Krystsina Tsimanouskaya to seek asylum in Poland followed what was ostensibly a sporting dispute. Ms Tsimanouskaya had publicly criticised the Belarus team’s coaches for failing to conduct the necessary doping tests ahead of the women’s 4x400m race. When she refused to be sent home in disgrace, a leaked tape revealed that a member of the Belarus delegation had told her: “Let this situation go. Otherwise the more that you struggle, it will be like a fly caught in a spider’s web: the more it spins, the more it gets entangled.” If the chilling menace contained in these words seems disproportionate, the tone probably comes from the top: the head of the Belarus National Olympic Committee is Mr Lukashenko’s son Viktor.Ms Tsimanouskaya is under police protection in Tokyo. Her husband, Arseniy Zdanevich, has fled the Belarusian capital, Minsk, for Kiev. When making what seems to have been a snap decision on Sunday night, the sprinter doubtless recalled the fate of the Belarusian athletes who have been detained for taking part in protests against Mr Lukashenko. Numerous others, deemed suspect, have been dropped from teams. Sport, like other aspects of Belarusian life, is now run in the paranoid style.The 24-year-old Ms Tsimanouskaya, who on Monday received a humanitarian visa from Poland, will clearly be a sporting loss for her country. She will also become part of an era-defining exodus from Mr Lukashenko’s Belarus that makes it hard to be optimistic about the future. As the reg
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He was peddling his black-and-white photos of New York City’s majesty for $5 each in the 1980s — until a famous photographer came upon them in “astonishment.”Credit...Park Slope GalleryAug. 2, 2021Updated 1:32 p.m. ETIn the 1980s, a street photographer named George Forss was selling his black-and-white pictures of the Empire State Building and Central Park to tourists for $5 a pop. Like so many of New York’s sidewalk peddlers, he was just trying to make a buck. But his images stood apart from the typical fare.As he saw it, New York was the Emerald City, and his cityscapes portrayed a luminous and majestic metropolis.In framing the Brooklyn Bridge’s grandeur, he captured the masses who trudge across it daily. As fog crept over New York Harbor, he photographed the Statue of Liberty seemingly trying to peer through the mist, awaiting another ship of immigrants. And in what became his best-known picture, he snapped the Queen Elizabeth 2 gliding past the twin towers of the World Trade Center beneath a dark, ominous-looking sky.ImageCredit...Phyllis WrynnHe died at 80 on July 17 at his home in Cambridge, N.Y., in the foothills of the Adirondacks. His representative, Phyllis Wrynn, director of the Park Slope Gallery in Brooklyn, said the cause was heart failure.To those who
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Glenn Youngkin, the Republican candidate in Virginia’s looming gubernatorial election, twice refused to shut down GOP voters’ wild conspiracy theories about former President Donald Trump’s 2020 election loss at a campaign event last week, even balking at the chance to correct a voter who posited that Trump could be reinstated to the presidency as soon as this month. “I don’t know the particulars about how that can happen, because what’s happening in the court system is moving slowly and it’s unclear. And we all know the courts move slowly,” Youngkin said, in response to a question about whether Trump’s reinstatement could help Virginia Republicans claim seats they lost in elections the voter claimed had also been stolen.  There is no possible path for Trump’s reinstatement, and no evidence that any election was stolen in Virginia or anywhere else last year. Both federal and state courts and the Supreme Court have rejected numerous efforts to overturn election results.  But instead of directly refuting the voter’s claim, which is based on another conspiracy Trump has apparently circulated, or others made during a question-and-answer session at the opening of a new campaign office in Fredericksburg, Virginia, last Thursday, Youngkin chose to promote the so-called “election integrity” aspects of his platform, according to an audio recording obtained by HuffPost. “Sir, I wish I had a magic wand, because we’ve got these same rules going into 2021,” Youngkin said in response to another voter who claimed to have knowledge of dead people casting ballots in last year’s elections, a favorite Trump conspiracy theory for which he has offered no proof. “And by the way, when I’m governor, we’ll be able to make some reforms.” Youngkin has cast himself as a moderate in the contest against former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, in which he’ll try to become the first Republican to win a statewide contest in Virginia since 2009. As Democrats have noted his flirtations with Trump’s election conspiracies, Youngkin in May finally acknowledged that Joe Biden is the legitimate president. He has also hit back at McAuliffe, pointing out that his Dem
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I joked to another sex worker recently that five years ago every journalist asked us, maddeningly and repeatedly, about sex robots. Now, the obsession is OnlyFans.As a full-service sex worker (“full service” is the industry term for penis-in-vagina penetrative sex), the prominence of OnlyFans in media discourse is frustrating, but I understand it in the same way I understood that last preoccupation. Combine a moral panic (prostitution) with an older generation’s feeling of being left behind by technology (AI, the gig economy) and you have an intoxicating topic. Like sugar-baby website SeekingArrangement before it, OnlyFans is giving more visibility to a certain type of sex work and, thanks to the pandemic, it’s also booming – as newcomers flock to it and in-person sex workers have had to pivot to online.I was one of those. When brothels were shut in March 2020 – along with many other things – I went on to OnlyFans. I was lucky to be able to do so. The website requires workers to attach their legal identification to sex work, which many can’t risk – particularly given the platform has had its privacy breached in the past, with lists of legal names published online. Not everyone has the technology needed for it either.But for those who could use it, OnlyFans promised to disrupt the power chain for porn in the same way non-fungible tokens claim to do for art: by cutting out the middle man, and putting distribution into the hands of the creators. For some sex workers – those who only engage in online sex work, perhaps – it may have succeeded. But OnlyFans doesn’t like in-person sex workers, because it doesn’t want to be held responsible for people soliciting prostitution – so if you do full-service sex work outside of OnlyFans, regardless of the legality, your account can be shut down and your earnings seized.Tilly Lawless: “OnlyFans not only brought my work into every moment ... it also brought my work into my bedroom.” Photograph: Sam Whiteside/SuppliedA message from a subscriber (“wanna meet up?”) can be enough for them to do this – or an escort ad attached to your Twitter account of the same name. This means it isn’t a saf
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When Dr Elisabeth Bik raised serious concerns about the methodology of a paper that claimed hydroxychloroquine was effective in treating Covid-19, the online trolling was relentless.The trolls, mostly supporters of the controversial French professor Didier Raoult, who co-wrote the paper, “bombarded me on Twitter with all kinds of threats and false accusations”, says Bik, a microbiologist who grew up in the Netherlands and now lives in the United States.Bik’s home address was posted on Twitter, and other users tweeted photos of women behind bars at her, tagging the FBI. After Bik examined
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A man has been convicted of raping a 13-year-old girl 46 years ago, after the daughter conceived during the attack pursued charges against him.Carvel Bennett, 74, was convicted by a jury at Birmingham crown court. Members of the jury deliberated for just over two hours before finding him guilty.In what is thought to be the first case of its kind, Bennett was tracked down by Daisy, now 45, who was conceived through the rape. DNA tests on Daisy and her birth parents confirmed that Bennett was her biological father.Carvel Bennett is due to be sentenced on Tuesday.The jury heard evidence from Dais
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Last summer, as one city after another broke out in protest against the murder of George Floyd, some of the most enduring images were not of the demonstrators, but of the police: decked out in riot gear, aiming automatic weapons at peaceful crowds, and riding around on armored vehicles built for war. The crackdowns on protesters renewed furious demands to end a suite of federal programs that have put billions of dollars’ worth of military weapons in the hands of local police. President Joe Biden singled out the most infamous of these — the Pentagon’s 1033 program, which transfers weapons and equipment from America’s foreign wars directly to domestic law enforcement agencies — for special condemnation. “Surplus military equipment for law enforcement? They don’t need that,” Biden said last July. “The last thing you need is an up-armored Humvee coming into the neighborhood.”  But as calls to demilitarize the police have intensified, so has the belief in countless police departments that they need the tools and weapons of war to police America’s cities and towns.  Under a Freedom of Information Act request, HuffPost has exclusively obtained hundreds of letters that local law enforcement agencies wrote to the Department of Defense in 2017 and 2018 making the case to receive an armored vehicle under the 1033 program.  The documents reveal that hundreds of police departments across the country, in communities of all sizes, are willing to deploy armored vehicles to carry out even the most routine tasks: making traffic stops; serving search warrants; responding to domestic violence; responding to people threatening suicide. In these requests, law enforcement officials predicted they would roll out these vehicles into their communities 10, 20, 40, 70, or more than 100 times a year, and in situations that are not automatically dangerous. The sheriff of Beaver County, Pennsylvania, went so far as to assert that a police officer could die serving a notice of a civil lawsuit — and so his agency ought to have two armored vehicles.  “Deputies and police officers die every day performing routine assignments,” he wrote, echoing the you-never-know logic of hundreds of similar requests. “It is always better to have protection and not need it than to have none while in need.” One department after another described broad criteria for using
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Chrissy Teigen is back on Instagram chronicling her travels, following a return to social media after apologizing for her role in bullying a teenage Courtney Stodden about a decade ago.  Teigen told followers all about attending a UNICEF Summer gala in Capri, Italy, where her husband, John Legend, performed on Sunday. The model said it was “trippy” to attend the event, as it was her “first sober Italian getaway.”  “It was so so trippy being sober at something you typically would have been wasted at,” the 35-year-old said. “That paired with all the crazy hot young models and club dudes and seeing your young self over and over, oh man it was crazy.” “Anyhow I dunno. I’m rambling. we had so much fun,” the “Lip Sync Battle” host added. “I didn’t do anything I’d regret and I’m glad I’ll get to remember it all!!” Teigen previously told followers in December 2020 that she was giving up alcohol. The model said at the time that she was “done with making an ass of myself in front of people (I’m still embarrassed), tired of day drinking and feeling like shit by 6, not being able to sleep.”  The comments are similar to a 2017 interview Teigen did with Cosmopolitan, in which she said she went to Bali for a wellness retreat to reset her relationship to alcohol. “I was, point blank, just drinking too much,” she said at the time. “I got used to being in hair and makeup and having a glass of wine. Then that glass of wine would carry over into me having one before the awards show. And then a bunch at the awards show. And then I felt bad for making kind of an ass of myself to people that I really respected.”  “And that fee
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A tube strike that threatened to bring days of disruption to London this week has been suspended.The transport union RMT announced that it was calling off the industrial action it planned to start on Tuesday, to allow talks to continue with London Underground at the conciliation service Acas.The 11th-hour decision came after Transport for London had warned passengers of severe disruption to the transport system, with many lines closed from lunchtime. Strikes are still planned to run over four days from Tuesday 24 August, should continuing talks at Acas fail to reach a resolution.The dispute is over changes to London’s night tube service, which was reduced during the pandemic. The separate pool of designated night-time drivers is to be abolished, which the union said would cut part-time jobs and hurt work-life balance.TfL said the changes would allow it to operate all tube services more efficiently and that no driver would lose their job as a result, or be forced to take on new duties.Mick Lynch, the RMT’s general secretary, said: “Following extensive and wide-ranging discussions through the Acas machinery, we have hammered out enough ground to allow those talks to continue. As a result, this week’s strike action is suspended, although the rest of the planned action rema‎ins on.“I want to thank our members and our reps whose unity and determination has allowed us to reach this stage today and we look forward to pursuing the important issues at the heart of this dis
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With one extraordinary act of strength and defiance, Emily Campbell ripped a 161kg barbell off the floor, rested it on her shoulders, and began to squat. With another she exploded upwards to thrust the weight - more than two beer kegs worth put together - high above her head.There was a little wobble of the knees. A steadying smile. Then a beep. And, just like that, Britain had its first ever female Olympic weightlifting medallist - and surely its most powerful, heartwarming and potentially life-changing story of these Games.Team GB will never say it. But some medals are simply more inspirational than others. And watching Campbell, a big, strong and proud black woman from a deprived community win an over-87kg super-heavyweight silver medal was a real This Girl Can moment.Five years ago Campbell was working full-time with children with special educational needs and had never snatched or clean and jerked a barbell in her life. She hoped the iron game would turn her into a stronger shot putter and hammer thrower, having been a national U23 champion. Instead it hurled her life down a wondrous new path.And what made the 27-year-old’s journey even more remarkable is that, unlike almost every Team GB medallist in Japan, she is not on lottery funding. Instead a few odd jobs, and the help of her local community helped her scrape and strive towards an impossible glory.“It hasn’t been easy,” she said. “I’ve worked pretty much my whole weightlifting career to fund it and to make sure I’m in the best shape I can. But my community’s spirit is just amazing. Every time I go to the local market they give me free fruit and veg. The cobblers sort out my boots and raise money for me. And, now this kid, who was raised in Bulwell, Nottingham, is an Olympic medallist.”A large media contingent had arrived at the Tokyo Forum to write about Laurel Hubbard becoming the first openly transgender woman to compete in an Olympic Games. But when the 43-year-old Hubbard failed in all three of her attempts at the snatch a half-shut door suddenly swung wide open.A snatch of 122kg put Campbell in fourth place. Then two clean and jerks, of 156kg and 161kg respectively, pushed up into bronze - and then silver - due to her combined tally of 283kg. Then came a scream, before she fell to the floor in tears of disbelief and joy.“Winning the first British female weightlifting medal is something that will obviously be with me forever and I’m just thankful that I managed to put weightlifting on the map,” said Campbell, who had dyed her hair red and blue five hours before the competition.“Because us females have worked so so hard in these past few years to prove that we are not here to just participate, we’re here to compete with the rest of the world. And I hope that you know that the country gets behind us, and we have some more girls doing weightlifting.”That message was echoed by the British weightlifting team leader, Stuart Martin, who said the astonishing high number of drug bans across the sport had given women like Campbell a chance that was not there before.“Let’s not beat around the bush,” he said. “The sport has been in a tough place for a
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Canada’s federal government has reached a C$8bn settlement in two class-action lawsuits with First Nations communities over access to clean drinking water.The agreement promises to compensate residents, ensure drinking water infrastructure is built and modernize legislation – as First Nations leaders have been demanding for decades.“Our commitment is to ensure that all First Nations communities have access to clean, safe and reliable drinking water,” said Marc Miller, Indigenous services minister, at a press conference late on Friday.Canada is one of the most water-rich nations in the world, yet in 32 communities across the country, the government has issued 51 advisories against drinking water tainted by industrial contaminants, bacteria or parasites. The federal government has eliminated advisories in more than 70 communities, but it has fallen short of its promise to end advisories in all communities this year.Earlier this year, the Guardian reported that Curve Lake First Nation, Neskantaga First Nation and Tataskweyak Cree Nation were suing the government for C$2.1bn (US$1.7bn) in damages – the costs associated with trucking bottled water for years and a water treatment system for the whole community.The proposed settlement allocates C$1.5bn to an estimated 142,000 individuals from 258 First Nations.Compensation is expected to be calculated based on how remote a person’s community is, how long they’ve been without clean water and if they have suffered health issues such as eczema or gastrointestinal illness from the poor water quality.In Manitoba, the water advisory against Shoal Lake 40 has been in place since 1997. Neskantaga, in northern Ontario, has been under a drinking water advisory since 1995.“Why does this have to happen? Why did we have to sue the government in order to get this thing to where it is today?” said Wayne Moonias, Neskantaga chief, during the press conference. “We have suffered so much, we have lost so much, we have endured so much. But yet our community continues to be resilient. We know how hard it is if you don’t have the basic necessities of life.”With a federal election looming, New Democratic party leader Jagmeet Singh sharply criticized the governing Liberals for their failure to provide access to clean water.“Indigenous people have had to fight in court for basic human rights, including for access to clean drinking water,” he tweeted after visiting Neskantaga last week. “It should never have come to this.”Curve Lake First Nation, a community surrounded on three sides by a lake, has not had guaranteed access to clean drinking water for more than three decades.“We have made a difference,” said chief Emily Whetung at the press conference, adding that the agreement came with “enforceable timelines”.If Ottawa fails to hold up its commitments under the settlement agreement, First Nations would be able to use a new dispute mechanism.The federal government has pledged to create a C$400m First Nation economic and cultural restoration fund. An additional $400m would be distributed annually to ensure communities can access clean drinking water, totalling nearly $6bn over the next
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In 1894, notorious poacher Ed Howell was caught in Yellowstone National Park slaughtering bison, which were on the brink of extinction. US Army soldiers patrolling the park brought him into custody, and the story led to the first US federal law protecting wildlife. The soldiers were thought of as heroes for stopping the killer. But in reality, it was the US Army that had been responsible for driving bison to near-extinction in the first place. In the mid-1800s, a cultural belief known as “manifest destiny” dictated that white settlers were the rightful owners of the entire North American continent — even though Native Americans had inhabited the land for centuries. In order to clea
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Mondo Duplantis has a world record and a good chance at Olympic gold. But he’s endeared himself to Sweden (his mother’s home country) by buying into its culture.Credit...Ben Stansall/Agence France-Presse — Getty ImagesAug. 2, 2021, 12:47 p.m. ETTOKYO — Mondo Duplantis was a high school freshman when his life changed.A pole-vaulting prodigy from Lafayette, La., Duplantis was a couple of months from his first international competition, the 2015 world youth championships, when he received a recruiting call from a coach. The twist was that the coach was from the Swedish Athletics Association.“He would call me and my parents every day going, ‘You should compete for Sweden, we’re sup
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Emma Brockes makes a good case against using shame and ridicule against the vaccine-hesitant (Should we shame the anti-vaxxers? That can only backfire, 31 July). However, she leaves to the very last sentence the most important consideration: “Why does he think that?” Surely the key to persuading the hesitant is to separate the various categories of concern/attitude and address these issues directly and explicitly – something which neither governments nor the media have attempted to do.Allowing target groups to remain an amorphous body of “the unvaccinated” helps to sow resentment among those with understandable concerns, through their being lumped together with baseless conspiracis
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With reference to Lucy Ellmann’s starkly eloquent letter (We should blame men for the climate crisis, 29 July), I have spent 30 years teaching secondary geography pupils that we don’t use the term “manmade” any more – it’s gender-biased. We should use “anthropogenic” instead. It also makes you sound cleverer.I’m not sure that I’ve been doing the right thing. The climate emergency is indeed a very gendered fact of 21st-century life. The primary drivers of it have been male-led and male-dominated entities, and the primary victims will be poor, brown and female.It may be time to approve of the term “manmade” once more – with qualifiers.Simon WoolleyBlashford, Hampshire
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In Disney’s Jungle Cruise, the actor plays a typical hero—and ignores the qualities that make him so magnetic on-screen.Disney+Once upon a time, a broad-shouldered actor who started out in the brawny sporting world made a successful leap to Hollywood—first playing villains and quirky supporting roles, then becoming a star who could headline hyper-violent R-rated thrillers as easily as family comedies. Eventually, he parlayed this superstardom into political office. I’m talking, of course, about Arnold Schwarzenegger: weightlifting champ, king of action cinema in the ’80s and ’90s, and eventual governor of California. But this career arc seems to be a model for a newer Hollywood A
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Palestinian residents of the occupied East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah facing forcible eviction from their homes have been offered a compromise deal with Jewish settlers by Israel’s supreme court, in an unexpected development in the high-profile case.The session on Monday, which was supposed to reach a final decision on whether to accept an appeal from four Palestinian families over eviction orders in the decades-old legal battle, was instead met with a surprise entreaty from the judges for the two sides to accept a “practical solution”.“What we are saying is, let’s move from the level of principles to the levels of practicality,” Justice Isaac Amit told the courtroo
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