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UK councils face lawsuits over access to education in lockdown | Education | The Guardian
## UK councils face lawsuits over access to education in lockdown ##

Government pressed to ensure poorer pupils have laptops and broadband for home learning

Coronavirus – latest updates
See all our coronavirus coverage
Richard Adams Education editor

Mon 6 Apr 2020 17.16 BSTLast modified on Mon 6 Apr 2020 20.55 BST
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Children working on tablets at home. In many families, children are sharing a tablet or laptop with siblings and working parents or have access only to mobile phones.

Photograph: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

The UK government must ensure pupils from poor backgrounds have computers and internet connections during the coronavirus lockdown or face legal action for depriving children of their education, according to a group of legal activists.

The Good Law Project argues that the widespread reliance on online learning during the lockdown is illegally disadvantaging state school pupils who lack access to tablets, laptops or adequate broadband. It says it will sue local authorities to try to push the government into action.

The move could lead to courts forcing the government to ensure the provision of adequate internet connections and IT equipment to hundreds of thousands of children from poor or vulnerable backgrounds while the lockdown continues and schools remain closed.

“Local authorities in England have a clear obligation to ensure that all children can access teaching, so there’s a very strong claim against them to ensure that they are doing so,” Jolyon Maugham, the Good Law Project’s founder, told the Guardian.
guardian  news  education  covid-19  elearning  e-access 
yesterday by ndf
Broadband providers to lift data caps during Covid-19 lockdown | World news | The Guardian
Coronavirus outbreak

# Broadband providers to lift data caps during Covid-19 lockdown #

Telecoms industry will relax data limits and lower prices to protect the vulnerable

Coronavirus – latest updates
See all our coronavirus coverage
PA Media

Sun 29 Mar 2020 00.01 GMT

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Broadband providers are to relax prices and lift data caps to keep the nation online during the coronavirus pandemic. Photograph: Rui Vieira/PA
All data allowance caps on current fixed broadband services will be removed in a deal struck by the government and telecommunications companies to help vulnerable people stay connected through the pandemic.

It is among a range of immediately effective measures agreed by major internet service and mobile providers including BT/EE, Openreach, Virgin Media, Sky, TalkTalk, O2, Vodafone, Three, Hyperoptic, Gigaclear, and KCOM.
guardian  broadband  covid-19 
10 days ago by ndf
Boris Johnson warns UK population to avoid non-essential contact with others as coronavirus cases rise – politics live | Politics | The Guardian
# Boris Johnson warns UK population to avoid non-essential contact with others as coronavirus cases rise – politics live #

PM says vulnerable people and those with serious health conditions should be shielded from social contact and tells Britons to avoid pubs, restaurants and non-essential travel but school stay open for now

Coronavirus – latest updates
UK response ‘led by science’ – Shapps
Which countries have restrictions and FCO warnings in place?
Downing Street lobby briefing - Summary
LIVE Updated 17h ago
Play Video
Boris Johnson announces new coronavirus measures – watch live
Andrew Sparrow

Mon 16 Mar 2020 17.10 GMTFirst published on Mon 16 Mar 2020 09.20 GMT
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17h agoSchool closures have not been ruled out, chief scientific adviser says
18h agoJohnson says everyone is now being urged to avoid non-essential contact with others
18h agoBoris Johnson's press conference
18h agoPrison officer tested positive for coronavirus, Ministry of Justice says
18h agoHow Johnson has changed his tone on coronavirus over last fortnight
18h agoHaving to stay at home would make my health deteriorate, says David Blunkett, 72
19h agoLabour calls for ban on evictions of tenants affected by Covid-19
15h ago
19:32
Evening Summary
Boris Johnson has unveiled a series of hugely stringent new restrictions to slow what he said was the now-rapid spread of coronavirus in the UK, including a 14-day isolation for all households with symptoms, a warning against “non-essential” contact, including trips to pubs and clubs, and an end to all mass gatherings. See 6.15pm for a summary of Johnson’s unprecedented announcement.
guardian  health  live 
22 days ago by ndf
PM tells Britons to avoid non-essential contact with others | World news | The Guardian
Coronavirus outbreak

# PM tells Britons to avoid non-essential contact with others #

Boris Johnson announces series of new measures including 14-day isolation for households with symptoms

Coronavirus - latest news
All our coronavirus coverage
Peter Walker and Heather Stewart

Mon 16 Mar 2020 18.11 GMTFirst published on Mon 16 Mar 2020 17.40 GMT
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Coronavirus: Johnson asks Britons to stop 'non-essential contact' – video
Boris Johnson has unveiled a series of hugely stringent new restrictions to slow what he said was the now-rapid spread of coronavirus in the UK, including a 14-day isolation for all households with symptoms, a warning against “non-essential” contact, including trips to pubs and clubs, and an end to all mass gatherings.

At the first of what is set to be daily Downing Street press conferences, the prime minister said social distancing meant people should avoid “pubs, clubs, theatres and other social venues”.

These will not be ordered to close, but will be expected to do so voluntarily. People are also being urged to work from home when at all possible.

Flanked by Sir Patrick Vallance, the government’s chief scientific adviser, and Chris Whitty, the chief medical officer, Johnson raised the likelihood of those over 70 and more vulnerable people, such as those with prior health conditions, soon needing to be “largely shielded from social contact for around 12 weeks”.

He aid: “Many people, including millions of active people over 70, may feel, listening to what I’ve just said, that there is something excessive about these measures. But I have to say I believe they are overwhelmingly worth it, to slow the spread of the disease, reduce the peak, to save lives, minimise suffering and to give our NHS the chance to cope.”
guardian  health 
22 days ago by ndf
Coronavirus map: how Covid-19 is spreading across the world | World news | The Guardian
Coronavirus outbreak

# Coronavirus map: how Covid-19 is spreading across the world #

Confirmed cases of Covid-19 have spanned the globe, and now exceed 170,000. Travel bans and closed borders have been put in place in an attempt to curtail the spread

Pablo Gutiérrez

Mon 16 Mar 2020 16.25 GMTLast modified on Mon 16 Mar 2020 17.28 GMT
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Coronavirus updates
Confirmed cases

179,054
Deaths

7,072
Recovered

78,076
Data correct at 19:05pm UTC 16 March
The coronavirus outbreak began in late 2019 in Wuhan, a city of more than 11 million people and the capital of Hubei province in China.

Confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Asia
Data correct at 19:05pm UTC 16 March
guardian  statistics  health  data  world  map 
22 days ago by ndf
Coronavirus: anger in Germany at report Trump seeking exclusive vaccine deal | World news | The Guardian
Coronavirus outbreak

# Coronavirus: anger in Germany at report Trump seeking exclusive vaccine deal #

MPs and ministers criticise display of ‘self-interest’ and accuse US president of electioneering

Coronavirus – latest updates
See all our coronavirus coverage
Staff and agencies

Mon 16 Mar 2020 08.41 GMTFirst published on Mon 16 Mar 2020 02.56 GMT
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Germany’s health minister said the idea of the US securing exclusive rights to a German-made coronavirus vaccine was ‘off the table’. Photograph: Ed Jones/AFP via Getty Images
German ministers have reacted angrily following reports US president Donald Trump offered a German medical company “large sums of money” for exclusive rights to a Covid-19 vaccine.

“Germany is not for sale,” economy minister Peter Altmaier told broadcaster ARD, reacting to a front page report in Welt am Sonntag newspaper headlined “Trump vs Berlin”.

The newspaper reported Trump offered $1bn to Tübingen-based biopharmaceutical company CureVac to secure the vaccine “only for the United States”.

The German government was reportedly offering its own financial incentives for the vaccine to stay in the country.

The report prompted fury in Berlin. “German researchers are taking a leading role in developing medication and vaccines as part of global cooperation networks,” foreign minister Heiko Maas told the Funke Mediengruppe research network. “We cannot allow a situation where others want to exclusively acquire the results of their research,” said Maas, of the centre-left SPD.

“International co-operation is important now, not national self-interest,” said Erwin Rüddel, a conservative lawmaker on the German parliament’s health committee.


Trump 'offers large sums' for exclusive US access to coronavirus vaccine
Read more
Christian Lindner, leader of the liberal FDP party, accused Trump of electioneering, saying: “Obviously Trump will use any means available in an election campaign.”

The German health minister, Jens Spahn, said a takeover of CureVac by the Trump administration was “off the table”. CureVac would only develop vaccine “for the whole world”, Spahn said, “not for individual countries”.
guardian  health  europe  USA 
22 days ago by ndf
Europe empties its streets to slow coronavirus – in pictures | World news | The Guardian
# Europe empties its streets to slow coronavirus – in pictures

The Gran Madre di Dio church, Turin, stands deserted during Italy’s lockdown. Photograph: Stefano Guidi/Getty Images
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Several European governments have ordered partial or complete lockdowns to stem the spread of Covid-19, leaving once-buzzing streets all but silent

Coronavirus – latest updates
See all our coronavirus coverage
Compiled by Arnel Hecimovic

Sun 15 Mar 2020 16.16 GMT

Madrid, Spain
A handful of cars on the city’s Gran Vía. Almost half of the country’s reported cases of coronavirus are in the capital
Photograph: Pablo Blázquez Domínguez/Getty Images
guardian  photos  europe  health  in-pictures 
22 days ago by ndf
The experts are back in fashion as Covid-19’s reality bites | John Harris | Opinion | The Guardian
Opinion Coronavirus outbreak

# The experts are back in fashion as Covid-19’s reality bites #

John Harris
Trump’s war on science and Johnson’s civil service purge may be on hold but their politics of polarisation lives on

• See all our coronavirus coverage
@johnharris1969
Sun 15 Mar 2020 15.04 GMTLast modified on Sun 15 Mar 2020 18.26 GMT
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Illustration: Sébastien Thibault
In most crises we tend to see the story we want to see. And in this one, those of us who cling on to collectivist, egalitarian ideas can discern things that speak to our sense of how the world ought to be organised. To find crumbs of political comfort in a dire public health emergency might seem inappropriate. But unforeseen events always have consequences beyond their immediate impact: just because they fit some of our existing beliefs that does not make them any less real.

Even if the new imperative of “social distancing” sounds like the ultimate example of individualism and frantic panic-buying does not exactly look like an expression of altruism, our shared humanity has also been brought to the surface, or soon will be. As the rapid appearance online of community help initiatives proves, we are already getting used to doing some of what the common good requires.
guardian  opinion  health 
22 days ago by ndf
My autism led me to become a champion of outsiders | Life and style | The Guardian
Self and wellbeing Autism

# My autism led me to become a champion of outsiders #

Charlotte Amelia Poe grew up knowing she was different. Now it’s her mission – through her art and writing – to bring about change


Joanna Moorhead

Sat 14 Mar 2020 17.00 GMT

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‘You become very fixated on something – it’s helpful when you’re writing a book for example, because you can write 20,000 words in a day’: Charlotte Amelia Poe. Photograph: Antonio Olmos/The Observer
For artist and writer Charlotte Amelia Poe, 30, every day feels like a walk across a frozen pond. “It’s how it’s always been,” she explains. “You’re trying to navigate it and stay safe, but you’re aware that at any moment the ice is likely to crack, and at that point you will sink into the water.”

The worst of it is that, when she feels that way, she has no idea how she can avoid going under. “You think you’re doing fine and you’re treading carefully enough not to crack the ice. But suddenly you’ve gone under. You’ve got it completely wrong – and you’ve no idea why.”

Poe is describing how it feels to be autistic. She wants the rest of us to understand, she says, because it really matters, perhaps more than it’s ever mattered (of which more later). Her mission to break open the mystery of how it feels to be autistic has already been impressively successful: last year she won the Spectrum art prize for her video piece How To Be Autistic and recently she wrote a book of the same name. Her hope is that, by opening up about her own journey through childhood, school and adolescence, she can change other people’s perceptions and expectations about what autism is like, from the inside.
autism  guardian  news  disability  cognition  society  campaign 
22 days ago by ndf
Health expert brands UK's coronavirus response 'pathetic' | World news | The Guardian
Coronavirus outbreak

# Health expert brands UK's coronavirus response 'pathetic' #

Ministers ‘behaving like 19th-century colonialists playing a five-day game of cricket’, says Prof John Ashton

Coronavirus – latest updates
Sarah Boseley Health editor

Thu 12 Mar 2020 13.17 GMTLast modified on Thu 12 Mar 2020 14.27 GMT
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Ashton described Boris Johnson as ‘a superficial prime minister who has got no grasp of public health’. Photograph: Jason Alden/EPA
A leading public health expert has launched a devastating critique of the government’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak in the UK, saying it is too little too late, lacks transparency and fails to mobilise the public.

Prof John Ashton, a former regional director of public health for north-west England, lambasted a lack of preparation and openness from the government and contrasted Britain’s response to that of Hong Kong.

“Right at the beginning of February, they [Hong Kong] adopted a total approach to this, which is what we should have done five weeks ago ourselves. They took a decision to work to three principles – of responding promptly, staying alert, working in an open and transparent manner,” he told the Guardian.
guardian  health 
22 days ago by ndf
Trump’s coronavirus ban on travel from the EU is backfiring already | Jonathan Freedland | Opinion | The Guardian
Opinion Coronavirus outbreak

# Trump’s coronavirus ban on travel from the EU is backfiring already #

Jonathan Freedland
A live televised address from the Oval Office should have reassured the US. Instead it sowed chaos
@Freedland
Thu 12 Mar 2020 13.21 GMTLast modified on Thu 12 Mar 2020 19.10 GMT
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Donald Trump addresses the nation from the Oval Office of the White House, 11 March 2020. Photograph: Reuters
Such is the reverse Midas touch of Donald Trump, that his attempt last night to face facts, steady nerves and reassure the public succeeded in spreading panic, sowing confusion and ratcheting up the anxiety.

The fact that Trump delivered a rare, live televised address to the nation should, by itself, have induced calm. It suggested that the president was moving out of fantasyland, abandoning the denial that had led him to promise a miracle was on the way and that the threat of coronavirus was likely to recede as soon as next month, when the weather got warmer. (As recently as Tuesday, he was saying, “It will go away, just stay calm.”)
guardian  news  USA 
22 days ago by ndf
'You ruined my premiere!': Beckinsale recalls Weinstein's obscenity-filled rant | Film | The Guardian
Kate Beckinsale

# 'You ruined my premiere!': Beckinsale recalls Weinstein's obscenity-filled rant #

Kate Beckinsale claims disgraced movie mogul was enraged when she wore white suit rather than ‘tight dress’ to New York premiere shortly after 9/11

Andrew Pulver

@Andrew_Pulver
Thu 12 Mar 2020 13.06 GMTLast modified on Thu 12 Mar 2020 16.11 GMT
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Kate Beckinsale in October. Photograph: Jason Mendez/Invision/AP
Kate Beckinsale has described an obscenity-filled rant by Harvey Weinstein in which he allegedly called her “stupid fucking cunt” after he objected to her choice of outfit for a film premiere in 2001.

In a post on social media, Beckinsale outlined events after a screening for the romcom Serendipity, in which she starred opposite John Cusack. She said Weinstein insisted on holding the premiere only a few weeks after the 9/11 attacks, calling it “the most insensitive, tone deaf, disrespectful idea possible”. Beckinsale said Weinstein had arranged for her to visit his home with her two-year-old daughter, and then launched a tirade at her when they were alone.
guardian  news 
22 days ago by ndf
I’m an epidemiologist. When I heard about Britain’s ‘herd immunity’ coronavirus plan, I thought it was satire | William Hanage | Opinion | The Guardian
Opinion Coronavirus outbreak

# I’m an epidemiologist. When I heard about Britain’s ‘herd immunity’ coronavirus plan, I thought it was satire #

William Hanage
Vulnerable people should not be exposed to Covid-19 right now in the service of a hypothetical future

• See all our coronavirus coverage
Sun 15 Mar 2020 12.33 GMTLast modified on Sun 15 Mar 2020 17.45 GMT
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Patients in a temporary overflow building at Brescia hospital, Italy. ‘In Italy, the choices of whom to save and whom to allow to die are real.’ Photograph: Miguel Medina/AFP via Getty Images


Your house is on fire, and the people whom you have trusted with your care are not trying to put it out. Even though they knew it was coming, and could see what happened to the neighbours as they were overwhelmed with terrifying speed, the UK government has inexplicably chosen to encourage the flames, in the misguided notion that somehow they will be able to control them.

When I first heard about this, I could not believe it. I research and teach the evolution and epidemiology of infectious disease at Harvard’s Chan School of Public Health. My colleagues here in the US, even as they are reeling from the stumbling response of the Donald Trump administration to the crisis, assumed that reports of the UK policy were satire – an example of the wry humour for which the country is famed. But they are all too real.
guardian  health  uk  opinion  news 
23 days ago by ndf
Trump 'offers large sums' for exclusive access to coronavirus vaccine | US news | The Guardian
Donald Trump

# Trump 'offers large sums' for exclusive access to coronavirus vaccine #


German government tries to fight off aggressive takeover bid by US, say reports

Coronavirus – live coverage
See all our coronavirus coverage
Philip Oltermann in Berlin

@philipoltermann
Sun 15 Mar 2020 14.12 GMTLast modified on Sun 15 Mar 2020 18.23 GMT
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A researcher at the German biopharmaceutical company CureVac demonstrates work on a vaccine for the coronavirus at its laboratory in Tübingen. Photograph: Andreas Gebert/Reuters
The Trump administration has offered a German medical company “large sums of money” for exclusive access to a Covid-19 vaccine, German media have reported.

The German government is trying to fight off what it sees as an aggressive takeover bid by the US, the broadsheet Die Welt reports, citing German government circles.

The US president had offered the Tübingen-based biopharmaceutical company CureVac “large sums of money” to gain exclusive access to their work, wrote Die Welt.

Q&A
How can I protect myself from the coronavirus outbreak?
Show


According to an anonymous source quoted in the newspaper, Trump was doing everything to secure a vaccine against the coronavirus for the US, “but for the US only”.
guardian  usa  health  politics  competition  news 
23 days ago by ndf
Donald Trump is the very worst person to handle the coronavirus crisis | World news | The Guardian
Coronavirus outbreak

# Donald Trump is the very worst person to handle the coronavirus crisis #

The president responded to the pandemic with denial and blaming foreigners. His incompetence and selfishness will be lethal

Julian Borger in Washington

Thu 12 Mar 2020 18.39 GMTLast modified on Thu 12 Mar 2020 18.42 GMT
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Donald Trump addressed the nation from behind the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office for only the second time. The first was to announce the Mexican border wall. Photograph: Doug Mills/AFP via Getty Images


Coronavirus is the first major crisis Donald Trump has faced that is not of his own making. People who know what it is like to be in charge when disaster strikes have warned us this moment would come eventually – and we can now see why they were so terrified.

Trump in a time of coronavirus is a lethal combination. Everything about the president – his reliance on his gut instincts in place of expertise, his overwhelming selfishness, and his unfailing tendency to lash out at others when things go wrong – make him the worst person imaginable to hold the world’s most powerful job in the face of pandemic.

Confronting the threat requires global cooperation, perhaps more than at any time since the second world war. But Trump and his junior imitators around the world have taken a sledgehammer to the very notion of international solidarity.


Coronavirus: EU condemns Trump travel ban as Italy death toll passes 1,000
Read more

America’s closest allies were given no notice of his decision on Wednesday night to suspend flights from Europe. The EU mission in Washington only found out about it when journalists started calling.

The president has dealt with coronavirus the same way he approached every other challenge in his administration, first trying denial – and when that failed, blaming outsiders. The disease has slid from a Democratic “hoax” to the “foreign virus”. It came as little surprise that his speech had been written by Stephen Miller, author of the administration’s cruellest anti-immigration policies.
guardian  news  health  USA 
24 days ago by ndf
'He's an idiot': critics say Trump has failed the US in this test of reassurance | World news | The Guardian
Coronavirus outbreak

# 'He's an idiot': critics say Trump has failed the US in this test of reassurance #

For Trump, who has spent years undermining experts, scientists, and trust in government, the pandemic has shown his weaknesses

David Smith in Washington

@smithinamerica
Sat 14 Mar 2020 06.00 GMTLast modified on Sat 14 Mar 2020 13.00 GMT
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Donald Trump, a germaphobe and gut instinct politician, has found his missteps exposed by the coronavirus outbreak. Photograph: Alex Brandon/AP

It was just before 9am and the sky was overcast when a small group of reporters were suddenly ushered through the White House’s south portico. They gathered in the diplomatic reception room, once home to Franklin Roosevelt’s “fireside chats”, and stared at a desk with pen, documents and the presidential seal.

Donald Trump strode in, wearing a black bomber jacket and white shirt unbuttoned at the top, and settled down beneath a portrait of George Washington. He signed a congressional emergency spending bill to combat the coronavirus for $8.3bn – more than three times what the president himself had requested – and held it up to a chorus of clicking cameras.

“We’re doing very well,” he insisted. “But it’s an unforeseen problem. What a problem. Came out of nowhere, but we’re taking care of it.” He gazed around the oval-shaped room, wallpapered romantic American landscapes, and took questions. Someone asked: “How do you keep people from panicking?” Trump’s response in part: “Calm. You have to be calm. It’ll go away.”

It has not gone away.
guardian  news  US  health  politics 
24 days ago by ndf
Late easter eggs | Help | The Guardian
Inside the Guardian blog
Help

# Late easter eggs #

Sean Clarke

Fri 11 Apr 2008 17.08 BSTFirst published on Fri 11 Apr 2008 17.08 BST
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It's the weekend, and you've been good, so here's a little plaything. Among the features of our new look is the ability to make up a url combing two "tags" to see if we have any articles or videos matching the combination. For instance, you could see how much crossover there is between our coverage of the Labour party and climate change by checking at this url:

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/labour+environment/climatechange

Or, and this is one we use a lot ourselves, find the latest comment pieces we have about Google, say:

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/google+tone/comment

It also works for individual contributors; just now I checked what our sports writer Richard Williams had offered us recently about cinema, and found, to my delight, a piece about the Argentinian musician Astor Piazzola:

http://www.theguardian.com/profile/richardwilliams+film/film

If that's a bit specialised, here are some (hopefully self-explanatory) crowd-pleasers:

http://www.theguardian.com/profile/charliebrooker+media/media

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/wildlife+content/gallery

You can mix and match these and other combinations to your heart's content if you can see the pattern. Don't worry if you can't; we don't expect people to understand how to make the combinations, but on the other hand we're happy if you can figure it out. If there's interest, I'll write again explaining the rules.
...
rss  guardian  news  easter-egg  Blog 
28 days ago by ndf
Misbehaviour review – likable comedy of bizarre and farcical 1970 Miss World | Film | The Guardian
## Misbehaviour review – likable comedy of bizarre and farcical 1970 Miss World

4 / 5 stars4 out of 5 stars.
Keira Knightley and Jessie Buckley star in this charming film as the feminist protesters who disrupted the beauty pageant


Peter Bradshaw

@PeterBradshaw1
Tue 10 Mar 2020 08.00 GMTLast modified on Tue 10 Mar 2020 08.11 GMT
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Keira Knightley and Gugu Mbatha-Raw in Misbehaviour. Photograph: Parisa Taghizadeh/Pathé

There’s a very British sort of wackiness to this bizarre and farcical true story from the annals of pop culture, told here with charm and fun. It’s the 1970 Miss World contest, which erupted in controversy and feminist protest, winding up with host Bob Hope covered in flour, the BBC covered in embarrassment and the fledgling women’s liberation movement covered in glory. If there is a tonal uncertainty in this comedy, then that’s because there was a tonal uncertainty in the real-life events, and the movie nicely conveys how they were at one and the same time deadly serious and Pythonically silly.

...
guardian  film  review  movie 
28 days ago by ndf
Leah Croucher's parents renew appeal a year after she vanished | UK news | The Guardian
Milton Keynes

# Leah Croucher's parents renew appeal a year after she vanished #

Teenager went missing while walking to work in Milton Keynes in February 2019

PA Media

Fri 14 Feb 2020 09.41 GMTLast modified on Fri 14 Feb 2020 10.44 GMT
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Leah Croucher’s sister Jade, left, and parents John and Claire address the media at Milton Keynes police station. Photograph: Jacob King/PA
The parents of missing Leah Croucher, who disappeared a year ago, have spoken of how their family has been destroyed as they pleaded with anyone who might have information to “do the decent thing” and come forward.

Police say they are unable to rule out that Croucher came to harm after she “effectively vanished into thin air” in Milton Keynes while on her way to work.

Then aged 19, she was last spotted at about 8.15am on Buzzacott Lane, in the Furzton area, on 15 February 2019.


Leah Croucher.
Claire and John Croucher questioned why their daughter would “just disappear” and said they feared she had been abducted, in an anniversary appeal.

“Every day I feel like I’ve given up hope, and it’s a big struggle to get that hope back,” Claire Croucher said. “It’s more and more difficult because, if someone took Leah for example, she’s suffering for 365 days and no one wants that for their child.”

She spoke of how her family’s heartbreak was compounded after the death of Leah’s brother, who she said found the disappearance of his sister “very difficult”.
guardian  news  miltonkeynes  MK 
7 weeks ago by ndf
What's the use of tofu? | Kitchen aide | Food | The Guardian
Kitchen aide Food

# What's the use of tofu? #

Tofu is nutritious, full of protein, and a superb stand-in for meat in many dishes

• Do you have a culinary dilemma? Email feast@theguardian.com

Bob Granleese

@bobgranleese
Tue 11 Feb 2020 14.00 GMT

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‘Tofu varies hugely in texture, from silken to extra-firm, and the kind you use depends entirely on the desired end result in any given dish.’ Photograph: Ulrich Hoppe/Picture Press/Getty Images/Picture Press RM

"
Please explain tofu. It featured in three recipes in a recent edition of Feast, but I don’t know anything about it, or why I should cook with it. Can you help?
"
Shelley, Hertfordshire

Fuchsia Dunlop, one of the world’s great cheerleaders for Chinese cookery, often finds herself shaking her head at western preconceptions about tofu. “We tend to regard it as an ingredient that’s used almost exclusively by vegetarians,” she says, “but in China, and elsewhere in Asia, tofu is eaten by just about everybody.” That shouldn’t be at all surprising, considering this simple soya bean product is versatile, nutritious and a hugely rich source of protein. It’s very on-message with the west’s current dietary obsessions, too, so if anything, it’s odd that more of us don’t tuck into the stuff more regularly: “It’s a fantastic option for those trying to reduce the amount of animal protein they eat,” Dunlop adds, “be that for environmental, ethical or health reasons.”

Put (very) simply, tofu is made from dried soya beans that are soaked in water, milled into soya milk, then strained, heated and coagulated, usually with mineral salts or gypsum (AKA fertiliser – yum!). The resulting curds are wrapped in muslin and pressed, leaving a block that can be cut into cubes, slices or strips. No wonder the British-Thai cook John Chantarasak compares the process to traditional cheese-making.

...
guardian  food  question  asia  china 
7 weeks ago by ndf
‘Nearly impossible to escape’: the ‘forever chemicals’ fueling a public health crisis | Society | The Guardian
## ‘Nearly impossible to escape’: the ‘forever chemicals’ fueling a public health crisis

About 700 PFAS-contaminated sites have been identified across the US while those exposed to enough chemicals can face devastating health consequences

Tom Perkins

Mon 3 Feb 2020 10.00 GMTLast modified on Mon 3 Feb 2020 10.02 GMT
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Recent tests revelaed dangerous levels of PFAS in rain, a range of foods and sewage sludge that farmers spread on cropland as fertilizer. Photograph: Peter Foley/EPA


In 2002, the French multinational Saint-Gobain boosted production of chemically weatherproofed fabrics that it produced in its Merrimack, New Hampshire, plant. Soon after, serious health problems began hitting residents living near the facility.

The Merrimack Citizens for Clean Water (MCCW) advocacy group says people there suffer from high levels of cancer, cardiovascular issues, autoimmune disorders, kidney disease and developmental disorders. That includes an alarming number of children facing rare and aggressive cancers, said MCCW’s Laurene Allen, who lives in the city of about 30,000 that sits an hour north of Boston.


Why you need to know about PFAS, the chemicals in pizza boxes and rainwear
Read more
Residents suspected Teflon and other PFAS used in Sant-Gobain’s fabrics were to blame, and testing appears to confirm that: officials have identified 34 PFAS in concentrations as high as 70,000 parts per trillion (ppt) throughout a 65-mile area around the plant. New Hampshire’s groundwater limit is 12ppt.

MCCW has been pushing for Saint-Gobain to fund a clean-up, but Allen said the state and company’s responses have been inadequate. The situation, she added, amounts to “insanity”.
guardian  news  health  USA 
9 weeks ago by ndf
What can doctors do for your back pain? Not as much as you can | Ranjana Srivastava | Opinion | The Guardian
# What can doctors do for your back pain? Not as much as you can

Ranjana Srivastava

Opioids don’t work. Surgery and injections rarely do, and scans are unnecessary. Better to get moving

@docranjana
Mon 3 Feb 2020 03.27 GMTLast modified on Mon 3 Feb 2020 07.32 GMT
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‘Patients feel cheated when the neighbour, colleague and spouse seem to obtain an immediate MRI, a script for morphine, and a neurosurgery referral.’ Photograph: baona/Getty Images/iStockphoto

“I’m sorry you’re in pain.”

“You have no idea,” she growls. She is a middle-aged, obese woman with chronic back pain admitted to hospital for the third time in a year.

“Will you at least talk to the physio?”

She has stayed put in bed, refusing to move, and the nurses are tired.

“No, he can take you for a walk.”

This isn’t going well, I rue.


Back pain: how to live with one of the world’s biggest health problems
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“And you won’t increase my morphine!” she harrumphs.

“I’d like to manage your pain in other ways. Opioids don’t help in this situation and there can be serious side effects.”
guardian  news  health 
9 weeks ago by ndf
Skype audio graded by workers in China with 'no security measures' | Technology | The Guardian
Microsoft

# Skype audio graded by workers in China with 'no security measures' #

Exclusive: former Microsoft contractor says he was emailed login after minimal vetting

Alex Hern | @alexhern

Fri 10 Jan 2020 10.50 GMTLast modified on Fri 10 Jan 2020 10.55 GMT
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Workers were given generic passwords and had no cybersecurity help to protect sensitive recordings, the former contractor said. Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA

A Microsoft programme to transcribe and vet audio from Skype and Cortana, its voice assistant, ran for years with “no security measures”, according to a former contractor who says he reviewed thousands of potentially sensitive recordings on his personal laptop from his home in Beijing over the two years he worked for the company.

The recordings, both deliberate and accidentally invoked activations of the voice assistant, as well as some Skype phone calls, were simply accessed by Microsoft workers through a web app running in Google’s Chrome browser, on their personal laptops, over the Chinese internet, according to the contractor.

Workers had no cybersecurity help to protect the data from criminal or state interference, and were even instructed to do the work using new Microsoft accounts all with the same password, for ease of management, the former contractor said. Employee vetting was practically nonexistent, he added.

“There were no security measures, I don’t even remember them doing proper KYC [know your customer] on me. I think they just took my Chinese bank account details,” he told the Guardian.

...
guardian  security  news  microsoft  speech  recognition 
12 weeks ago by ndf
Fresh Cambridge Analytica leak ‘shows global manipulation is out of control’ | UK news | The Guardian
The Observer Cambridge Analytica

## Fresh Cambridge Analytica leak ‘shows global manipulation is out of control’

Company’s work in 68 countries laid bare with release of more than 100,000 documents

Carole Cadwalladr

@carolecadwalla
Sat 4 Jan 2020 16.55 GMT

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Brittany Kaiser, the then director of program development at Cambridge Analytica, takes part in a press briefing by Leave.EU in London on November 18, 2015. Photograph: Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images
An explosive leak of tens of thousands of documents from the defunct data firm Cambridge Analytica is set to expose the inner workings of the company that collapsed after the Observer revealed it had misappropriated 87 million Facebook profiles.

More than 100,000 documents relating to work in 68 countries that will lay bare the global infrastructure of an operation used to manipulate voters on “an industrial scale” is set to be released over the next months.

It comes as Christopher Steele, the ex-head of MI6’s Russia desk and the intelligence expert behind the so-called “Steele dossier” into Trump’s relationship with Russia, said that while the company had closed down, the failure to properly punish bad actors meant that the prospects for manipulation of the US election this year were even worse.

The release of documents began on New Year’s Day on an anonymous Twitter account, @HindsightFiles, with links to material on elections in Malaysia, Kenya and Brazil. The documents were revealed to have come from Brittany Kaiser, an ex-Cambridge Analytica employee turned whistleblower, and to be the same ones subpoeaned by Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Kaiser, who starred in the Oscar-shortlisted Netflix documentary The Great Hack, decided to go public after last month’s election in Britain. “It’s so abundantly clear our electoral systems are wide open to abuse,” she said. “I’m very fearful about what is going to happen in the US election later this year, and I think one of the few ways of protecting ourselves is to get as much information out there as possible.”
guardian  news  politics  observer  carolecadwalla 
january 2020 by ndf
Cummings’ Whitehall weirdos will need to understand people, not just numbers | Hannah Fry | Opinion | The Guardian
Opinion Civil service

# Cummings’ Whitehall weirdos will need to understand people, not just numbers #

Hannah Fry


Boris Johnson’s adviser wants more maths geniuses in the civil service. But real life is too messy to be boiled down to equations

Sun 5 Jan 2020 14.07 GMTLast modified on Sun 5 Jan 2020 18.35 GMT
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‘Many of Cummings’ ideas seem to come from the era between 2004 and 2014 – a time of “move fast and break things”.’ Photograph: Simon Dawson/Reuters


About 10 years ago I had a conversation with a civil servant about Britain’s chemical decontamination units. He was in charge of calculating where in the country the government should keep them. These giant trucks had specialist equipment that could respond quickly if there was an anthrax attack or similar on our shores. But at the time there was only a small number of them, so they needed careful positioning to ensure they could reach as much of the country as quickly as possible in an emergency.

It’s a decision that boils down to maths. It’s not an easy thing to work out either. It was a problem that I, as a mathematician, imagined had a number of top minds working to solve. Picture my astonishment, then, when I discovered that rather than some beautifully crafted numerical model, or some sophisticated custom-built software, the British government had left a question of such magnitude to one poor guy, working it out on his own. He was using an Excel spreadsheet. And we were having the conversation because his spreadsheet kept crashing.

In the 2010s we learned not to charge ahead without considering the ethics of forcing equations on human systems
I like to think that they’ve found a better solution to that problem in the time that has passed since. The truth is, I don’t know. But I do know this: some political problems would greatly benefit from the help of maths. That’s why, in his advertisement calling for young mathematicians and “assorted weirdos” to work at the heart of the government, No 10 strategy chief Dominic Cummings has a point. As he says, there really are some “profound problems at the core of how the British state makes decisions”.

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guardian  politics  uk  maths 
january 2020 by ndf
Will Dominic Cummings and his ‘weirdos and misfits’ really fix the civil service? | Jonathan Portes | Opinion | The Guardian
Opinion Civil service

# Will Dominic Cummings and his ‘weirdos and misfits’ really fix the civil service? #

Jonathan Portes

There are problems with the way Whitehall operates. But this reforming zeal may be better directed towards ministers

• Jonathan Portes was a member of Tony Blair’s Performance and Innovation Unit
Fri 3 Jan 2020 11.13 GMTLast modified on Fri 3 Jan 2020 14.40 GMT
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Dominic Cummings. ‘Does he really intend to project-manage HS2 and the delivery of new local bus services from Downing Street?’ Photograph: Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images


The civil service is based on the “cult of the generalist”, mandarins who move far too frequently from job to job and are never in post long enough to be held accountable for the success or failure of the projects they manage. And they’re out of touch with the public. At the same time, the public sector undervalues scientists and other specialists.

That’s the argument of Rachel Wolf, part-author of the Conservative manifesto, who wrote in the Telegraph this week about Dominic Cummings’ plans for a Whitehall “revolution”. But it’s also the argument of the Fulton report, perhaps the most famous attempt to reform the civil service, published over half a century ago (and two decades before I joined the Treasury).


...
guardian  uk  news 
january 2020 by ndf
Why Iain Duncan Smith knighthood was ‘slap in the face’ | Politics | The Guardian
Iain Duncan Smith

Why Iain Duncan Smith knighthood was ‘slap in the face’

Stephen Pacey judged benefits cases for 30 years and sees ex-minister as Mr Universal Credit


Helen Pidd North of England editor

Email
Fri 3 Jan 2020 13.04 GMTLast modified on Fri 3 Jan 2020 14.55 GMT
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Stephen Pacey’s letter saying Iain Duncan Smith should have declined his award went viral. Photograph: Fabio De Paola/The Guardian

The new year honours list is a reliable source of controversy, with perennial outrage about the worthiness of the recipients.

But the knighthood given to the former work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith has been particularly unpopular, with more than 237,000 people signing a petition objecting to the award for a man “responsible for some of the cruellest, most extreme welfare reforms this country has ever seen”.

One person with decades of experience adjudicating on the benefits system was especially appalled. “As a retired social security commissioner and upper tribunal judge, I spent a lifetime hearing thousands of appeals of decisions made by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP),” wrote Stephen Pacey in a letter to the Guardian.
guardian  news  uk 
january 2020 by ndf
AI expert calls for end to UK use of ‘racially biased’ algorithms | Technology | The Guardian
Artificial intelligence (AI)

AI expert calls for end to UK use of ‘racially biased’ algorithms

Prof Noel Sharkey says systems so infected with biases they cannot be trusted

Henry McDonald

Thu 12 Dec 2019 14.07 GMTLast modified on Thu 12 Dec 2019 21.20 GMT
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Facial recognition technology has also come under scrutiny. Photograph: Fanatic Studio/Gary Waters/Getty/Collection Mix: Subjects RF
An expert on artificial intelligence has called for all algorithms that make life-changing decisions – in areas from job applications to immigration into the UK – to be halted immediately.

Prof Noel Sharkey, who is also a leading figure in a global campaign against “killer robots”, said algorithms were so “infected with biases” that their decision-making processes could not be fair or trusted.

A moratorium must be imposed on all “life-changing decision-making algorithms” in Britain, he said.


'We are hurtling towards a surveillance state’: the rise of facial recognition technology
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Sharkey has suggested testing AI decision-making machines in the same way as new pharmaceutical drugs are vigorously checked before they are allowed on to the market.

In an interview with the Guardian, the Sheffield University robotics/AI pioneer said he was deeply concerned over a series of examples of machine-learning systems being loaded with bias.
ai  ethics  guardian  news  chatbot  ADMINS  culture  society 
december 2019 by ndf
Danish lighthouse wheeled away from eroding coastline | World news | The Guardian
Rubjerg Knude used to be 200 metres away from coast before sand shifting and erosion

Associated Press in Copenhagen

Tue 22 Oct 2019 11.19 BSTLast modified on Tue 22 Oct 2019 15.27 BST
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The 80-metre move of the lighthouse Rubjerg Knude cost £580,000. Photograph: Henning Bagger/EPA
A 120-year-old lighthouse in Denmark, at risk from North Sea erosion of the country’s north-west coastline, was on Tuesday wheeled back from the cliff edge.

When the 23-metre (75ft) Rubjerg Knude lighthouse was first lit in 1900, it was roughly 200 metres from the coast; that distance shrank to six metres.

Arne Boelt, the local mayor, said many things could go wrong when moving the defunct building, which weighs about 1,000 tons and sits on a cliff. “But it’s worth the risk ... the alternative would be to dismantle the lighthouse.”
guardian  denmark  history  architecture 
october 2019 by ndf
Deborah Orr was unflinchingly true to herself. Who among us can say that? | Suzanne Moore | Opinion | The Guardian
Suzanne Moore
As an editor, writer and my lifelong friend she was thrilling, shocking – and broke conventions as easily as others breathe
@suzanne_moore
Tue 22 Oct 2019 12.38 BSTLast modified on Tue 22 Oct 2019 18.35 BST
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‘Infinite kindness and generosity.’ Deborah Orr at the Guardian and Observer refugee appeal telethon, 2015. Photograph: Sophia Evans/The Observer
When Deborah Orr rang me up to ask me to write a piece for the now defunct arts magazine City Limits, in the star spot, I was shocked. “I wouldn’t be asking you if you weren’t capable of doing something great,” she said. “So don’t be stupid.” I really didn’t want her to think I was stupid. Then I met her. She was in leather trousers, fag in one hand, scotch in the other, with a huge dog.

Effortlessly cool. Absolutely singular. We became lifelong friends.
guardian  obituary  writer 
october 2019 by ndf
Brexit: MPs put brakes on Boris Johnson's deal - live news | Politics | The Guardian
MaddieCakes22m ago

0
1
Me at 19:15: Two realities collide. A tree in a forest in British Columbia grows legs and walks. Gravity is briefly turned off on a planet a thousand light years away. Boris Johnson wins a vote in parliament.
Me at 19:33: All returns to normal.

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pjrowntree2
guardian  brexit  comment 
october 2019 by ndf
Bye bye Mongo, Hello Postgres | Digital blog | Info | The Guardian
In April the Guardian switched off the Mongo DB cluster used to store our content after completing a migration to PostgreSQL on Amazon RDS. This post covers why and how

Philip McMahon, Maria-Livia Chiorean, Susie Coleman and Akash Askoolum

Fri 30 Nov 2018 10.36 GMTLast modified on Wed 11 Sep 2019 11.34 BST
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An elephant picking up some greenery. Photograph: Michael Sohn/AP
At the Guardian, the majority of content – including articles, live blogs, galleries and video content – is produced in our in-house CMS tool, Composer. This, until recently, was backed by a Mongo DB database running on AWS. This database is essentially the “source of truth” for all Guardian content that has been published online – approximately 2.3m content items. We’ve just completed our migration away from Mongo to Postgres SQL.

Composer, and its database, originally started their lives in Guardian Cloud – a data centre in the basement of our office near Kings Cross, with a failover elsewhere in London. Our failover procedures were put to the test rather harshly one hot day in July 2015


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Hot weather: good for fountain dancing, bad for data centres. Photograph: Sarah Lee/Guardian

After this, the Guardian’s migration to AWS became that bit more urgent. We decided to purchase OpsManager – Mongo’s database management software – along with a Mongo support contract – to help with the cloud migration. We used OpsManager to manage backups, handle orchestration and provide monitoring for our database cluster.
guardian  news  mongodb  database  sql  migration  blog 
october 2019 by ndf
Can Johnson pass his Brexit deal through the House of Commons? | Politics | The Guardian
Brexit

# Can Johnson pass his Brexit deal through the House of Commons? #

Without DUP support, PM needs ERG, ex-Tories and pro-deal Labour MPs to get it over the line

Brexit latest – live
Rowena Mason Deputy political editor

Thu 17 Oct 2019 14.22 BSTLast modified on Thu 17 Oct 2019 15.33 BST
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Boris Johnson has about 259 votes in the bag and he needs another 60-odd to pass his Brexit deal through parliament’s lower chamber. Photograph: Jessica Taylor/UK parliament handout

Juncker: UK will leave EU on 31 October if MPs back Brexit deal
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Boris Johnson faces an uphill battle to pass his Brexit deal through the House of Commons without the support of the DUP. It would be just about doable if he retained all MPs who voted for the deal last time, all of the 28 Eurosceptic “Spartans” who rejected Theresa May’s agreement, and won over a handful of Labour MPs.

However, there are jitters about the deal among Eurosceptics, expelled former Tories and pro-deal Labour factions, making the result extremely uncertain. The prime minister has about 259 votes in the bag, and needs another 60-odd to get over the line (depending on abstentions). There is a possible pool of approximately 71 votes:

European Research Group (28)
guardian  brexit  news  politics  uk 
october 2019 by ndf
US mayors seek to bypass Trump with direct role at UN climate talks | Cities | The Guardian
‘If cities are invited to be at the table, I believe they will help accelerate the work that needs to be done’ said LA mayor Eric Garcetti

Cities is supported by [ The Rockerfeller Foundation ]
About this content

Richard Orange

Thu 10 Oct 2019 18.32 BSTLast modified on Thu 10 Oct 2019 18.54 BST
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Eric Garcetti, mayor of Los Angeles and chair of the C40 group of global cities, has said he will approach the UN secretary general, António Guterres on behalf of US cities. Photograph: Ole Jensen/Getty Images
US mayors are seeking to go over President Trump’s head and negotiate directly at next month’s UN climate change conference in Santiago, they said as they met in Copenhagen for the C40 World Mayors Summit.

Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti, who rallied US mayors to commit to the Paris climate agreement after Trump announced his intention to withdraw the country in 2017, said he would ask the UN secretary general, António Guterres, on Thursday to give American cities a new role in UN climate talks.

“I’m going to bring it up with the UN secretary general,” Garcetti said. “If cities are invited to be at the table, I believe they will help accelerate the work that needs to be done. Hopefully, we can do it in concert with our national governments, but [we can do it] even where there is conflict.”

Garcetti, who was announced on Wednesday as the next chair of the C40 group of global cities, said he would use his position to seek “a more formal role in the deliberations” at the conference.
guardian  climate  environment  world  USA  europe 
october 2019 by ndf
You can’t be ‘impartial’ about racism – an open letter to the BBC on the Naga Munchetty ruling | Afua Hirsch, Lenny Henry, Adrian Lester, Krishnan Guru-Murthy and 45 others | Opinion | The Guardian
The BBC has upheld a complaint against its Breakfast presenter. As black British broadcasters and journalists, we demand it reconsiders
Afua Hirsch, Lenny Henry, Adrian Lester, Krishnan Guru-Murthy and 45 others

Fri 27 Sep 2019 10.30 BSTLast modified on Fri 27 Sep 2019 11.43 BST
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BBC presenter Naga Munchetty.
BBC presenter Naga Munchetty. Photograph: BBC/Guy Levy
Dear BBC,

On 16 July 2019, President Trump tweeted that four congresswomen should “go back to the totally broken and crime-infested places from which they came”. All four congresswomen are people of colour, all four are US citizens and only congresswoman Ilhan Omar was born overseas. These comments were widely acknowledged as racist in a broad spectrum of reputable international news outlets, including the Washington Post, New York Times, CNN, MSNBC, Sky News and the Guardian.

...

...

While we stand in support of Munchetty, the consequences of this decision are widespread with implications for the entire media landscape in the UK and those who work within it. The scope of its effect is already evidenced in the unprecedented number of BAME media figures who have openly and publicly voiced their condemnation on social media.


BBC staff complain over Munchetty reprimand for Trump remark
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In addition, we note the number of BBC journalists who have contacted us privately to express their concern at the climate of fear at the organisation, their feeling of being censored, and their apprehension at the consequences of their speaking out in support of this statement.

We demand that:

1. The ECU revisits and takes seriously overturning its decision;

2. BBC management issue their support for journalists and acknowledge there can be no expectation of “impartiality” over expressions and experiences of racism;

3. The bodies that oversee complaints about broadcasting, including the ECU and Ofcom, address their own levels of diversity and increase transparency as to how they reach their decisions, and how that process takes place in a manner reflective of the diversity of the population

We believe that, in addition to being deeply flawed, illegal and contrary to the spirit and purpose of public broadcasting, the BBC’s current position will have a profound effect on future diversity within the BBC. To suggest that future BAME broadcasters will be hired at the corporation on the premise that they remain “impartial” about how they feel about their experiences of racism is ludicrous. To require journalists of all ethnicities and races to endorse racism as a legitimate “opinion” is an abrogation of responsibility of the most serious nature.

• This letter is signed by Afua Hirsch, Lenny Henry, Adrian Lester, Krishnan Guru-Murthy, Gina Yashere, Hugh Woozencroft, Gillian Joseph, Michelle Matherson, Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff, Elaine Dunkley, Amal Ahmed, Charlene White, Lina-Sirine Zitout, Marverine Cole, Tsedenia Skitch, Jayson Mansaray, Rabiya Limbada, Aaron Roach Bridgeman, Holly Henry-Long, Diana Evans, Anjana Ahuja, Katrina Marshall Beharry, Yemi Bamiro, Claire Clottey, Ayshah Tull, Shaista Aziz, Patrick Younge, Jamal Osman, Catherine Baksi, Liliane Landor, Bethel Tesfaye, Girish Juneja, Daniel Henry, Eno Adeogun, Dope Black Dads, Marvyn Harrison, Warren Nettleford, Nels Abbey, Henry Bonsu, Nisha Lahiri, Jordan Jarrett Bryan, Rowena Twesigye, Alex Murray, Asif Kapadia, Claudia-Liza Armah, Antoine Allen, Symeon Brown, Lynda Smith, Ayo Akinwolere

---
guardian  letter  bbc  news  uk  culture 
september 2019 by ndf
Ministers still do not know if NHS can cope with no deal, says watchdog | Politics | The Guardian
NAO says data does not show that health services will be ready if UK leaves EU next month

Rajeev Syal

Fri 27 Sep 2019 06.00 BSTLast modified on Fri 27 Sep 2019 07.15 BST
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Meg Hillier, the chair of the public accounts committee, said the report was deeply concerning and could result in the ‘gravest of consequences’. Photograph: Louise Bartlett Truslove/The Guardian
Ministers will not know whether there are enough medicines, medical supplies or freight capacity to support the NHS if the UK leaves the EU without a deal next month, Whitehall’s spending watchdog has found.

With just five weeks to Britain’s scheduled withdrawal on 31 October, the National Audit Office (NAO) said there were still risks, with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) still to do a “significant amount” of work .

In a critical report, the government’s “reasonable worst case” assumption is that the flow of goods across the Channel could be reduced to 40-60% of current levels on day one. Auditors said the data available did not show that the department was ready, or would be ready, if the UK were to leave the EU on the planned date.

Meg Hillier, the chair of the public accounts committee, said the report was deeply concerning and could result in the “gravest of consequences”.


Boris Johnson refuses to apologise for language about Jo Cox
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“The Department of Health and Social Care still doesn’t know whether all stockpiles are in place, it has no idea whether social care providers are ready and it is still not certain whether all the freight capacity government needs will be in place on time. If government gets this wrong, it could have the gravest of consequences,” the Labour MP said.

Auditors examined the supply and transport of 7,000 medicines that come to the UK either from or via the EU as well as at least 450,000 different medical devices available on the NHS, most of which come to the UK through ports on the Channel.

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The report said additional freight capacity chartered by the government for shipping priority goods across the Channel may not be fully available until the end of November, a month after the UK is scheduled to leave.

Auditors expressed concern that the DHSC did not know how many of the UK’s 24,000 nursing homes and other social care providers, many of which are small businesses, had followed its advice on “robust” contingency planning for a no-deal Brexit.

...
guardian  brexit  eu  health  medicine  news 
september 2019 by ndf
RNLI donations surge after Tory criticism of its work overseas | Society | The Guardian
Rise follows lifeboat charity’s robust response to critics of its support for projects outside UK

Steven Morris

@stevenmorris20
Mon 16 Sep 2019 14.57 BSTLast modified on Mon 16 Sep 2019 15.11 BST

An RNLI lifeboat in action in Hastings. Photograph: Nicholas Leach/RNLI/PA
The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) has enjoyed a surge in donations after the charity was criticised for its work helping to save people from drowning abroad.

Both the Times and MailOnline had highlighted that the RNLI was sending millions of pounds to projects overseas at a time when it was facing a funding crisis that forced it to cut posts in the UK. Coverage included comments from two Tory MPs attacking the policy and led some donors to say they would stop supporting the charity.
guardian  news  charity  UK  world 
september 2019 by ndf
Will my cat eat my eyeballs? How Caitlin Doughty teaches kids about death | Books | The Guardian
Marianne Eloise

In her new book, the undertaker and YouTube star answers children’s questions about mortality. She explains why we shouldn’t fear talking about it

Thu 12 Sep 2019 13.04 BST / Last modified on Thu 12 Sep 2019 13.27 BST
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‘Death is simultaneously very heavy and a source of great curiosity’ … Caitlin Doughty and a friend. Photograph: Sammy Z

When faced with the question “what do you want to be when you grow up?”, very few kids would answer “undertaker”. Caitlin Doughty, perhaps most famous for her YouTube channel Ask a Mortician, certainly wouldn’t have. “I never had any sense of the funeral industry as anything other than this dark, archaic hole with a man in a suit putting electric green fluid through a tube into a corpse. It never even occurred to me that I could be a part of it,” she says.

But maybe that is about to change. Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs? answers 35 questions about death, sourced from curious children. From “Will I poop when I die?” to “Can I use bones from a human cremation as jewellery?”, it gets down to the morbid questions we all have – asked by children unburdened by shame.
guardian  book  culture 
september 2019 by ndf
Underpopulated Italian region offers visitors €25,000 to move in | World news | The Guardian
Molise president finds novel way to breathe life into area as resident numbers dwindle

Lorenzo Tondo in Palermo

@lorenzo_tondo
Wed 11 Sep 2019 11.45 BSTLast modified on Wed 11 Sep 2019 13.50 BST
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A village in Molise, Italy. Photograph: Giorgio Galano/Alamy Stock Photo
An underpopulated region in southern Italy is offering newcomers €700 per month for three years to live in one of its villages.

There are a few catches, however: the village must have fewer than 2,000 residents, and the newcomer must pledge to open a business.

“If we had offered funding, it would have been yet another charity gesture,” Donato Toma, the president of Molise, told the Guardian. “We wanted to do more; we wanted people to invest here. They can open any sort of activity: a bread shop, a stationery shop, a restaurant, anything. It’s a way to breathe life into our towns while also increasing the population.”


Which cities have the oldest residents?
Read more
Toma also announced that each town with fewer than 2,000 inhabitants would receive €10,000 (£9,000) per month with which it would build infrastructure and promote cultural activities.
guardian  europe  travel 
september 2019 by ndf
Manufacturing a car creates as much carbon as driving it | Environment | The Guardian
Environment
Climate change
Wildlife
Energy
Pollution
Green living blog Environment

What's the carbon footprint of ... a new car?

Making a new car creates as much carbon pollution as driving it, so it's often better to keep your old banger on the road than to upgrade to a greener model.

• More carbon footprints: nuclear war, cycling a mile, more
• Understand more about carbon footprints
Mike Berners-Lee and Duncan Clark

Thu 23 Sep 2010 07.30 BST First published on Thu 23 Sep 2010 07.30 BST
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The carbon footprint of a new car:
6 tonnes CO2e: Citroen C1, basic spec
17 tonnes CO2e: Ford Mondeo, medium spec
35 tonnes CO2e: Land Rover Discovery, top of the range

The carbon footprint of making a car is immensely complex. Ores have to be dug out of the ground and the metals extracted. These have to be turned into parts. Other components have to be brought together: rubber tyres, plastic dashboards, paint, and so on. All of this involves transporting things around the world. The whole lot then has to be assembled, and every stage in the process requires energy. The companies that make cars have offices and other infrastructure with their own carbon footprints, which we need to somehow allocate proportionately to the cars that are made.

In other words, even more than with most items, the manufacture of a car causes ripples that extend throughout the economy. ...

...
guardian  news  environment  car  analysis  2010 
august 2019 by ndf
Ruining a country near you soon: the beta males who think they’re alphas | Marina Hyde | Opinion | The Guardian
Opinion Boris Johnson
Ruining a country near you soon: the beta males who think they’re alphas

Marina Hyde
What could be more insecure than a 55-year-old bragging about Latin, or a literal president tweeting his enemies on the bog?
@MarinaHyde
Fri 12 Jul 2019 16.49 BST Last modified on Fri 12 Jul 2019 18.21 BST
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‘Great leaders show, rather than tell, their skills.’ Racegoers wearing masks of Nigel Farage, Boris Johnson and Donald Trump at Royal Ascot, June 2019. Photograph: Adam Davy/PA
If the Tory leadership election unfolds as widely expected, the UK will basically be ruled by a Fathers4Injustice activist. Boris Johnson is the kind of guy who’d don Spider-Man pyjamas and scale a building in order to see less of his kids. Sorry, fewer. Even so, he remains a remarkably typical hero of our political times. “There are two kinds of women,” Harry explains at one point in When Harry Met Sally. “High maintenance and low maintenance.” “Which one am I?” Sally asks. “You’re the worst kind,” he says. “You’re high maintenance, but you think you’re low maintenance.”

In many ways, there can be no greater therapist’s case study than Trump
brexit  guardian  politics  marina-hyde 
july 2019 by ndf
Television presenter Emily Hartridge dies in electric scooter crash | UK news | The Guardian
The Observer London
Television presenter Emily Hartridge dies in electric scooter crash

Lifestyle adviser, with a large YouTube following, was killed in collision in south London

James Tapper

Sun 14 Jul 2019 10.17 BST First published on Sat 13 Jul 2019 17.55 BST
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Emily Hartridge was riding her electric scooter in Battersea on Friday morning at the time of the accident. Photograph: Jeff Spicer/Getty Images
Tributes have poured in for a TV presenter and YouTube star after she died in an electric scooter crash – the first fatal collision involving an e-scooter in Britain.

Emily Hartridge died on Friday morning when her e-scooter collided with a lorry at a roundabout in Battersea, south-west London.

The 35-year-old was one of the first wave of social media stars, becoming famous seven years ago for her “Ten Reasons Why ...” videos that took a comic look at modern life.

...
guardian  obituary  e-bike  uk  london 
july 2019 by ndf
Boris Johnson finally admits he should have been more supportive towards ambassador in ITV debate - live news | Politics | The Guardian
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Boris Johnson finally admits he should have been more supportive towards ambassador in ITV debate - live news

Rolling coverage of the BBC’s Andrew Neil interviewing Tory leadership candidates Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt, with reaction and analysis

Snap verdict
Verdict from Twitter commentariat
Evening summary
Updated 3d ago
1:11

Boris Johnson admits he should have been more supportive towards Darroch after heckle - video

Andrew Sparrow

@AndrewSparrow
Fri 12 Jul 2019 21.45 BST First published on Fri 12 Jul 2019 18.36 BST
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* 3d ago Boris Johnson finally admits he should have been more supportive towards ambassador in ITV debate
* 3d ago Andrew Neil interviews - Verdict from Twitter commentariat
* 3d ago Andrew Neil interviews - Snap verdict
* 3d ago Johnson claims 'new spirit of determination' in EU means Brexit deal is now possible
* 3d ago Boris Johnson interiew
* 3d ago Hunt says he could ask MPs to sit at weekends to get Brexit legislation passed
* 3d ago Hunt says he would only offer EU Brexit deal that could get through parliament

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3d ago
21:36
Evening summary

Boris Johnson has finally conceded that he should have been more supportive towards Sir Kim Darroch, the British ambassador to Washington, in an ITV Tory leadership debate on Tuesday. In the debate Johnson refused to say as PM he would keep Darroch in post despite President Trump refusing to deal with him and this lack of support contributed to Darroch’s decision to resign the following day. At a Tory hustings tonight Johnson for the first time admitted he should have answered the question about this on Tuesday differently. (See 9.25pm.) Earlier, in an interview with Andrew Neil, he defended his role in the affair, claiming his remarks in a televised debate had been “misrepresented” to the former ambassador to Washington.
Jeremy Hunt, Johnson’s rival in the Tory leadership contest, has refused to rule out delaying Brexit beyond Christmas. (See 6.42pm.)
Police have opened an investigation into the alleged leaking of diplomatic cables involving the outgoing UK ambassador to Washington, Sir Kim Darroch, and demanded that those responsible hand themselves in.

That’s all from me for tonight.

Thanks for the comments.

Updated at 9.41pm BST

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...
guardian  uk  politics  live 
july 2019 by ndf
Reporter who Boris Johnson conspired to have beaten up demands apology | Politics | The Guardian
The real Boris Johnson ~ Politics

Reporter who Boris Johnson conspired to have beaten up demands apology

Stuart Collier tells the Guardian the Tory frontrunner is not fit to be prime minister

Simon Murphy

Sun 14 Jul 2019 16.00 BST Last modified on Sun 14 Jul 2019 19.48 BST
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Stuart Collier reads a transcript of the phone call between Boris Johnson and Darius Guppy. Photograph: Tom Pilston/The Guardian
A journalist who Boris Johnson secretly discussed helping a friend to have beaten up has demanded an apology from the Conservative leadership candidate as he stands on the brink of Downing Street.

Stuart Collier, the journalist who was at the centre of the incident nearly 30 years ago, said Johnson was not fit to be prime minister.

In 1990, Johnson was secretly recorded agreeing to provide the address of the News of the World reporter Stuart Collier to his friend Darius Guppy, who wanted to arrange for the journalist to have his ribs cracked as revenge for investigating his activities.

In the event the assault did not occur, while Guppy ended up being jailed for a separate £1.8m fraud and Johnson later dismissed the call as a joke. But after being tracked down by the Guardian, the retired reporter said he had been so disturbed by the “Guppygate” incident he had told his wife to be careful answering the front door.

While Collier learned of the call long after the fact, he was sufficiently unsettled by the discovery to worry for his family’s safety, he said. The 69-year-old called on Johnson to apologise to him and his wife over the incident, which he said had left her frightened at home with their then young son, Ross. He said he thought it was “disgraceful” Johnson could become prime minister and he should “definitely apologise”.
politics  guardian  uk  journalism  stories 
july 2019 by ndf
Novak Djokovic beats Roger Federer in epic match to win fifth Wimbledon title | Sport | The Guardian
Wimbledon 2019

Novak Djokovic beats Roger Federer in epic match to win fifth Wimbledon title

• Djokovic wins 7-6 (5), 1-6, 7-6 (4), 4-6, 13-12 (3)
• Federer had two match points in the final set

Kevin Mitchell at Wimbledon

Sun 14 Jul 2019 19.08 BST Last modified on Sun 14 Jul 2019 22.08 BST
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Novak Djokovic beats Roger Federer in Wimbledon epic to win fifth title – video report
In a final as memorable for its longevity and unfathomable swings of fortune as the quality of shot-making by two of the finest grass-court players of any era, Novak Djokovic ground down the classical skills of the ageless Roger Federer to win his fifth Wimbledon.

For four hours and 57 minutes, they resided side by side in the land of lost opportunities, before the world No 1 brought their mutual bewilderment to a close to win by the unique scoreline: 7-6 (5), 1-6, 7-6 (4), 4-6, 13-12 (3).

Novak Djokovic beats Roger Federer in five sets to win Wimbledon – as it happened
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Federer had two match points at 8-7 in the fifth, but ended up losing the first 12-all tie-break to decide the title – and his third shootout of the match, one as mesmerising and strange as any of the 48 they have played.

“I feel great, I gave it all I had,” Federer said courtside. “I’m still standing. I’ll take some time to recover.”

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Djokovic said: “If not the most exciting and thrilling finals of my career, in the top two or three and against the greatest player of all time. As Roger said, we both had our chances. It’s quite unreal to be two match points down and come back – and a bit strange to play the tie-break at 12-all. Roger said he hopes it gives other people hope they can do this at 37. I’m one of them. It’s extra special with my son in the crowd, and my family too. My wife and daughter are here in London but watching at home, and I give them a big, big hug.”

It was as if this weirdest of finals was directed by some perverse supernatural force, determined to destroy normal perceptions of logic and fairness.

But sport is not always fair. And there can be no denying Djokovic his triumph, built on bloodymindedness and perseverance. Federer, who played some of his most glorious tennis, was left to lament a string of squandered chances, and he knows there will not be many more left for him.

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guardian  world  sport  tennis 
july 2019 by ndf
The week Trump said jump – and Johnson asked 'How high?' | Politics | The Guardian
The Observer ~ Boris Johnson

The week Trump said jump – and Johnson asked 'How high?'

After an explosive leak, the British ambassador resigned. The special relationship has been propelled into a strange and uncertain new era

David Smith in Washington and Michael Savage in London

Sun 14 Jul 2019 06.00 BST

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Boris Johnson and Donald Trump. Photograph: Reuters; AFP/Getty Images
Donald Trump, president and showman, was staging a military pageant to celebrate the Fourth of July and independence from the British empire. George Washington’s soldiers, he told a rainsoaked crowd in Washington, toppled a statue of King George and melted it into bullets for battle.


Kim Darroch's fall from grace casts chill over Washington ambassadors
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“The faraway king would soon learn a timeless lesson about the people of this majestic land,” Trump said. “Americans love our freedom and no one will ever take it away from us.”

Three days later, history did not seem so cold or distant as UK-US relations, taken for granted since the second world war and cemented by Trump’s recent state visit, were shaken to the core.

A devastating leak of diplomatic cables led to an angry rebuke from the president and the resignation of the British ambassador. It also raised once unthinkable questions about whether the looming nexus of President Trump and Prime Minister Boris Johnson, arguably kindred narcissists, poses unique dangers to both countries and the world.

Johnson’s attack on the ambassador is the first act of his subservience to Trump, a daring act of self-abasement
Sidney Blumenthal
“It is the exact opposite of what began with Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill,” said Sidney Blumenthal, a former assistant and senior adviser to President Bill Clinton.

“This is not a new stage; this is a radically different relationship. It’s not a special relationship; it’s a malicious relationship. It’s an alliance by the president of the United States and the prime minister of Great Britain not to save the west but to slay the west.”

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The rupture came last weekend when memos from Britain’s man in Washington, Kim Darroch, were published by the Mail on Sunday. Who was responsible for the leak, and why, remains subject to fierce speculation.
guardian  uk  brexit  opinion 
july 2019 by ndf
Tory MP to stand down over grave concerns about Johnson as PM | Politics | The Guardian
Guto Bebb, MP for Aberconwy, also expressed concern about party’s appeal to far-right

Jessica Elgot

@jessicaelgot
Sun 14 Jul 2019 18.58 BST Last modified on Sun 14 Jul 2019 20.10 BST
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Guto Bebb was previously a member of Plaid Cymru, but said he has no plans to return to the party. Photograph: Chris McAndrew/UK Parliament/PA
The Conservative MP Guto Bebb has said he will stand down at the next election, saying he has grave concerns about Boris Johnson’s suitability to be prime minister and the party’s appeal to the far-right.

Bebb said Johnson would be a disastrous prime minister and that he expected there would be a new election by the spring.


The week Trump said jump – and Johnson asked 'How high?'
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The MP for Aberconwy, who has backed a second referendum, told BBC Radio Cymru that he would not be able to support either Johnson or Jeremy Hunt if they kept a no-deal Brexit on the table and said he had returned his ballot paper without casting his vote.

“The leadership contest … has shown me that there are attitudes within the Conservative party that don’t appeal to me at all,” he said. “I also think someone has to be totally honest with the voters. I have listened very closely to the two who are challenging for the leadership and I’ve come to the conclusion that I could not, with any conscience, offer myself as a candidate who agrees with the leadership.”

He said the referendum had revealed “trends within the party that appeal to the extremes” and said it was clear the party was aiming to appeal to English nationalists.

“Despite everything I don’t believe I’m an English nationalist, and what is becoming increasingly clear to me is that the Conservative party appeals to that type of nationalism like that that has seen Ukip’s growth in the past and the Brexit party’s growth recently,” he said.
guardian  uk  brexit 
july 2019 by ndf
Trump tells Ocasio-Cortez and other female progressives to 'go back' to 'original' countries | US news | The Guardian
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Trump tells Ocasio-Cortez and other female progressives to 'go back' to 'original' countries

Tlaib responds: ‘He needs to be impeached’
Pressley: ‘This is what racism looks like’
Opinion: Pelosi attacks on AOC are dangerous

Martin Pengelly in New York

@MartinPengelly
Sun 14 Jul 2019 20.03 BST First published on Sun 14 Jul 2019 14.26 BST
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Rashida Tlaib reacts during testimony as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ayanna Pressley comfort her during a House hearing on the Trump administration’s child separation policy.
Photograph: Erik S Lesser/EPA

Donald Trump used racist language to attack “the Squad” on Sunday, saying four progressive Democrats who have clashed with party leaders should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came”.


‘Is Bernie going to come?’ Warren seizes on Sanders' Netroots absence
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“You can’t leave fast enough,” he added.

Trump did not name his targets but the members of “the Squad” are Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York; Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts; Rashida Tlaib of Michigan; and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota.

Only Omar, who is from Somalia, was not born in America. Pressley is African American, Tlaib was born to Palestinian immigrants and Ocasio-Cortez comes from a New York-Puerto Rican family.

Tlaib responded by saying Trump “needs to be impeached”.

THIS is what racism looks like. WE are what democracy looks like
Ayanna Pressley
Ocasio-Cortez said “the country I ‘come from’, and the country we all swear to, is the United States”.

Omar called Trump “the worst, most corrupt and inept president we have ever seen”.

Pressley said: “This is what racism looks like. We are what democracy looks like.”

Bernie Sanders was among others who called the attack racist.

“When I call the president a racist,” the Vermont senator wrote, “this is what I’m talking about”.

Justin Amash, a Michigan congressman who left the Republican party over his opposition to Trump, called the remarks “racist and disgusting”.

...
guardian  USA  politics 
july 2019 by ndf
The highs and lows of impersonating Boris Johnson – video | Politics | The Guardian
Boris Johnson
The highs and lows of impersonating Boris Johnson – video

Drew Galdron has been impersonating the Conservative politician for 11 years. His recent focus has been on campaigning against Brexit, but with Johnson tipped as a Tory leadership contender, is his life about to get even busier? 

Watch more of Fake BoJo here 


Will Hazell, Shay Notelovitz and Maeve Shearlaw, Source: Guardian

Mon 15 Apr 2019 10.00 BST Last modified on Wed 10 Jul 2019 10.37 BST
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Trump's far-right Twitter summit: the most bizarre highlights | US news | The Guardian
Donald Trump

Trump's far-right Twitter summit: the most bizarre highlights

Here are some of the ‘highlights’ from the gathering of far-right propagandists, conspiracy theorists and YouTube agitators

Luke O'Neil

@lukeoneil47
Fri 12 Jul 2019 17.17 BST Last modified on Fri 12 Jul 2019 17.23 BST
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Donald Trump speaks during the ‘social media summit’ at the White House on Thursday in Washington DC. Photograph: Alex Wong/Getty Images
Donald Trump’s so-called social media summit on Thursday was off to an inauspicious start before it even began.

Just as a rogue’s gallery of Trumpist lawmakers, far-right propagandists, conspiracy theorists and YouTube agitators gathered at the White House for a collective airing of grievances, Twitter experienced a sudden outage.

It was entirely unrelated, of course, but the hour-long respite served as a foreboding introduction to the already uncanny proceedings, which were, supposed to focus on Trump and the right’s imagined slights and suppression they believe is engineered by social media companies.

Here are some of the “highlights” of one of the most unusual gatherings ever at the White House:

## The guest list

[[ Advertisement ]]

The guest list itself was enough to alarm most observers.

Alongside Trump loyalist politicians like Matt Gaetz, Dan Crenshaw and Josh Hawley was a who’s who of social media weirdos and villains. Among them were James O’Keefe, the video-manipulating propagandist, a “memesmith” known as Carpe Donktum, and Bill Mitchell, who advocates the mind-bending Q-Anon conspiracy theory that holds – among other things – that Trump is poised to arrest a swathe of high-profile Democrats for sex crimes.

“Bringing these groups together is beyond irresponsible; it is essentially conducting a hate summit at the White House,” the Southern Poverty Law Center said in a statement before the event.
guardian  USA  trump  politics 
july 2019 by ndf
Megan Rapinoe tells Trump: 'Your message is excluding people' | Football | The Guardian
USA women's football team
Megan Rapinoe tells Trump: 'Your message is excluding people'
US soccer captain again rejects White House visit, saying team does not want to be ‘corrupted’

Sarah Marsh

@sloumarsh
Wed 10 Jul 2019 11.43 BST Last modified on Wed 10 Jul 2019 12.11 BST
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Megan Rapinoe says she has accepted an invitation from the congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for the US women’s soccer team to visit Congress. Photograph: BPI/Rex/Shutterstock
The US women’s soccer co-captain Megan Rapinoe has delivered an uncompromising message to Donald Trump, amid ongoing controversy over a possible visit to the White House by the World Cup champions.

Asked by CNN’s Anderson Cooper what she would like to say to the American leader, Rapinoe said: “Your message is excluding people. You’re excluding me, you’re excluding people that look like me, you’re excluding people of colour, you’re excluding Americans that maybe support you.”

Rapinoe has been outspoken about LGBT rights as well as racial and gender equality. After the US won the World Cup for a record fourth time on Sunday, Rapinoe called for progress on equal pay for the male and female teams.

What it's like covering Megan Rapinoe, the World Cup's most interesting star
Caitlin Murray
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She has previously said she would not be going to the “fucking White House” if her team won the World Cup, prompting an angry response from Trump on Twitter.
guardian  usa  sport  society 
july 2019 by ndf
One giant ... lie? Why so many people still think the moon landings were faked | Science | The Guardian
The moon
It all started with a man called Bill Kaysing and his pamphlet about ‘America’s $30bn swindle’ ...

Richard Godwin

Wed 10 Jul 2019 06.00 BST Last modified on Wed 10 Jul 2019 17.03 BST
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Buzz Aldrin descends from the lunar module. Photograph: Allstar Picture Library
It took 400,000 Nasa employees and contractors to put Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the moon in 1969 – but only one man to spread the idea that it was all a hoax. His name was Bill Kaysing.

It began as “a hunch, an intuition”, before turning into “a true conviction” – that the US lacked the technical prowess to make it to the moon (or, at least, to the moon and back). Kaysing had actually contributed to the US space programme, albeit tenuously: between 1956 and 1963, he was an employee of Rocketdyne, a company that helped to design the Saturn V rocket engines. In 1976, he self-published a pamphlet called We Never Went to the Moon: America’s Thirty Billion Dollar Swindle, which sought evidence for his conviction by means of grainy photocopies and ludicrous theories. Yet somehow he established a few perennials that are kept alive to this day in Hollywood movies and Fox News documentaries, Reddit forums and YouTube channels.

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Despite the extraordinary volume of evidence (including 382kg of moon rock collected across six missions; corroboration from Russia, Japan and China;
guardian  usa  science 
july 2019 by ndf
Sorry, but why is Liam Fox apologising to Ivanka Trump? | Arwa Mahdawi | Opinion | The Guardian
Opinion
US news
Sorry, but why is Liam Fox apologising to Ivanka Trump?

Arwa Mahdawi
It’s extraordinary that the trade secretary feels compelled to grovel to the president’s daughter over the Kim Darroch cables. Her White House role is fabricated, undeserved and nepotistic

Wed 10 Jul 2019 07.00 BST Last modified on Wed 10 Jul 2019 17.03 BST
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Ivanka Trump and Liam Fox at the state banquet during Donald Trump’s visit to the UK. Photograph: Reuters
Dear Liam Fox, it is with great regret that I am forced to write this open letter asking: what the hell is wrong with you?

Apologies if that wasn’t particularly diplomatic; I am simply taking a leaf out of Sir Kim Darroch’s book and being frank when it comes to my assessment of your “dysfunctional” conduct. To repurpose some more of the phraseology used by the British ambassador to the US, your recent behaviour vis-a-vis Ivanka Trump “radiates insecurity” and is downright embarrassing.

OK, enough with the open letter format. (It is an irritating genre, isn’t it?) I am not here to converse with an imaginary Fox, I am here to
guardian  usa  uk 
july 2019 by ndf
Kim Darroch: effectively sacked by Johnson on the orders of Trump | Politics | The Guardian
Foreign policy
Kim Darroch: effectively sacked by Johnson on the orders of Trump
There will be white-hot anger at the Foreign Office over the Tory frontrunner’s role

Patrick Wintour Diplomatic editor

Wed 10 Jul 2019 14.08 BST Last modified on Wed 10 Jul 2019 14.24 BST
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Boris Johnson (left) and Kim Darroch in Washington in 2017. Photograph: REX/Shutterstock
The resignation of Sir Kim Darroch followed the failure of the likely next prime minister, Boris Johnson, to say he would support him staying in post – despite being given repeated chances to do so during his TV debate with Jeremy Hunt. As the current Foreign Office minister Alan Duncan put it, by six times refusing to back the ambassador, Johnson had thrown him under a bus.

Without the backing of the president of the US or his future boss, Darroch naturally concluded he had no future as an interlocutor between London and Washington. He realised, in the words of a friend, that Johnson had left him no option.


Johnson under fire as Kim Darroch quits as UK ambassador to US
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There will now be white hot anger across the Foreign Office and in parliament – not just at the leaker and Trump, but also at Johnson. Whatever sanctimonious expressions of regret he mouths, and however much he blames the leaker, King Charles Street knows the Conservative leadership candidate effectively sacked Darroch on the orders of the president.
guardian  uk  politics  usa 
july 2019 by ndf
(16) Trump's Fourth of July event 'bankrupted Washington DC security fund' – live | US news | The Guardian
1d ago
16:27
Report: Trump's Fourth of July 4th extravaganza 'bankrupted' DC security fund, mayor says
Donald Trump’s Fourth of July event cost the DC government $1.7m, an amount that when combined with other related expenses from the weekend, has completely drained a fund used to “protect the nation’s capital from terrorist threats and provide security at events such as rallies and state funerals,” the Washington Post is exclusively reporting.

Trump faced sharp criticism for the event that used taxpayer dollars and placed the president at the center of a holiday celebrating American independence.

In a letter to the president on Tuesday, D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) warned that the fund has now been depleted and is estimated to be running a $6 million deficit by Sept. 30. The mayor also noted that the account was never reimbursed for $7.3 million in expenses from Trump’s 2017 inauguration,” the Post reported.

Bowser requested that the White House commit to fully reimbursing the fund.

“We ask for your help with ensuring the residents of the District of Columbia are not asked to cover millions of dollars of federal expenses and are able to maintain our high standards of protection for federal events,” she wrote.

Read the full story here.
guardian  live  USA 
july 2019 by ndf
Deutsche Bank bosses fitted for £1,200 suits as thousands lose their jobs | Business | The Guardian
Tailors visited executives at London office on day 18,000 staff cuts were announced

Sean Farrell

Tue 9 Jul 2019 18.55 BST Last modified on Wed 10 Jul 2019 09.38 BST
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The tailors Alex Riley, left, and Ian Fielding-Calcutt carry suitbags outside the Deutsche Bank building in the City of London. Photograph: Simon Dawson/Reuters
On the day Deutsche Bank began making thousands of employees redundant, some managing directors at the company’s office in the City of London were being fitted for suits that cost at least £1,200, it has emerged.

Tailors from Fielding & Nicholson, an upmarket tailor, were pictured walking out of the bank’s office with suit bags on Monday. Ian Fielding-Calcutt, the tailor’s founder, and Alex Riley were there to fit suits for senior managers in spite of plans to cut 18,000 jobs worldwide.

Quick guide
What went wrong at Deutsche Bank?

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guardian  london  uk 
july 2019 by ndf
How a vaccinated woman's death exposes the threat of anti-vaxxers | Society | The Guardian
How a vaccinated woman's death exposes the threat of anti-vaxxers
In an exclusive interview, Catherine Montantes’s mother details her daughter’s death from measles, a disease called ‘harmless’ by anti-vaxxers


Jessica Glenza in New York

@JessicaGlenza
Wed 10 Jul 2019 06.00 BST Last modified on Wed 10 Jul 2019 10.27 BST
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Cat Montantes, who died of measles in 2015, became the first measles death in the US in a dozen years. Photograph: Courtesy the Montantes family
Catherine Montantes was a 28-year-old college student, training to become a border patrol agent, and recently diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder.

When she stepped into the Lower Elwha tribal health clinic in Port Angeles, Washington, she had no idea she arrived just an hour after a 52-year-old infected with measles. The virus is one of the most contagious and can live on infected surfaces for up to two hours.
guardian  health  policy 
july 2019 by ndf
Device could bring both solar power and clean water to millions | Science | The Guardian
Science
Device could bring both solar power and clean water to millions
Researchers say one invention could solve two problems for people lacking basic resources

Nicola Davis

@NicolaKSDavis
Tue 9 Jul 2019 16.00 BST Last modified on Tue 9 Jul 2019 17.20 BST
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More than 780 million people worldwide lack basic access to safe drinking water. Photograph: Philimon Bulawayo/Reuters
A device that can produce electricity from sunlight while simultaneously purifying water has been produced by researchers, an invention they say could solve two problems in one stroke.

The researchers say the device is not only a source of green energy but also offers an alternative to current technologies for purifying water. These, they add, often consume large amounts of electricity and require infrastructure beyond the reach of many communities that lack basic access to safe drinking water – a situation thought to affect more than 780 million people worldwide.
guardian  environment  science 
july 2019 by ndf
Simultaneous production of fresh water and electricity via multistage solar photovoltaic membrane distillation | Nature Communications
Via: https://theguardian.com/science/2019/jul/09/device-bring-both-solar-power-clean-water-to-millions

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Article | OPEN | Published: 09 July 2019

Simultaneous production of fresh water and electricity via multistage solar photovoltaic membrane distillation
Wenbin Wang, Yusuf Shi, Chenlin Zhang, Seunghyun Hong, Le Shi, Jian Chang, Renyuan Li, Yong Jin, Chisiang Ong, Sifei Zhuo & Peng Wang
Nature Communications volume 10, Article number: 3012 (2019) | Download Citation

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## Abstract

The energy shortage and clean water scarcity are two key challenges for global sustainable development. Near half of the total global water withdrawals is consumed by power generation plants while water desalination consumes lots of electricity. Here, we demonstrate a photovoltaics-membrane distillation (PV-MD) device that can stably produce clean water (>1.64 kg·m−2·h−1) from seawater while simultaneously having uncompromised electricity generation performance (>11%) under one Sun irradiation. Its high clean water production rate is realized by constructing multi stage membrane distillation (MSMD) device at the backside of the solar cell to recycle the latent heat of water vapor condensation in each distillation stage. This composite device can significantly reduce capital investment costs by sharing the same land and the same mounting system and thus represents a potential possibility to transform an electricity power plant from otherwise a water consumer to a fresh water producer.

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research  article  paper  science  environment  guardian  invention 
july 2019 by ndf
When Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez met Greta Thunberg: 'Hope is contagious' | Environment | The Guardian
One is America’s youngest-ever congresswoman, the other a Swedish schoolgirl. Two of the most powerful voices on the climate speak for the first time

by Emma Brockes

Main image: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Greta Thunberg. Photograph: Stephen Voss, Anna Schori/The Guardian
Sat 29 Jun 2019 08.00 BST Last modified on Sat 29 Jun 2019 10.34 BST
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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez enters a boardroom at her constituency office in Queens, New York, after a short delay which, a political aide hopes, hasn’t been caused by a constituent waylaying her in the corridor. (“They can get really excited to meet her.”) Greta Thunberg is in her home in Sweden, her father testing the technology for the video link while the teenager waits in the background. The activists have never met nor spoken but, as two of the most visible climate campaigners in the world, they are keenly aware of each other.


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Thunberg, now 16, catapulted to fame last year for skipping school every Friday to stand outside the Swedish parliament, protesting against political inaction over the climate crisis and sparking an international movement, the school strike for climate, in which millions of other children followed suit. Ocasio-Cortez, the Democratic Representative for New York’s 14th congressional district is, at 29, the youngest woman ever to serve in Congress, whose election over a well-funded incumbent in 2018 was a huge upset to politics-as-usual. She has been in office for less than a year, which seems extraordinary given the amount of coverage she has generated. In February, Ocasio-Cortez submitted the Green New Deal to the US House of Representatives, calling for, among other things, the achievement of “net-zero” greenhouse gases within a decade and “a full transition off fossil fuels”, as well as retrofitting all buildings in the US to meet new energy efficient standards.

The Green New Deal, while garnering support from Democratic presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris and Amy Klobuchar, was mocked by speaker Nancy Pelosi (“the green dream or whatever they call it”), and defeated in the Senate by Republicans. Like Thunberg, however, Ocasio-Cortez gives every appearance of being galvanised by opposition, and has the kind of energy that has won her 4.41 million Twitter followers and makes establishment politicians in her path very nervous.
climate  guardian  news  people  environment  policy 
june 2019 by ndf
Ken Clarke: a parliamentary career spanning nearly 50 years | Politics | The Guardian
Kenneth Clarke

Ken Clarke: a parliamentary career spanning nearly 50 years

‘Father of the house’ credits his longevity to his love of cigars and his once-mainstream centrist views

Peter Walker Political correspondent

@peterwalker99
Thu 27 Jun 2019 20.45 BST Last modified on Thu 27 Jun 2019 21.09 BST
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A long goodbye: Ken Clarke waves as he arrives at 10 Downing Street in 2010 after the Liberal Democrats agreed to rule with Conservatives under David Cameron in Britain’s first coalition government since 1945. Photograph: Suzanne Plunkett/REUTERS
Just over a week ago, as he shuffled towards a parliamentary committee room to cast his vote in the third round of the Conservative leadership poll, another Tory MP remarked to Ken Clarke that it must be near the 49th anniversary of his election to parliament.

Clarke replied that it was probably somewhere close to that date, but that he could not precisely remember.


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In June 1970, at the age of 29, Clarke became MP for the East Midlands constituency of Rushcliffe. In 1972 He was appointed a government whip in 1972, and served as such until 1974, when this portrait was taken. Photograph: Estate Of Keith Morris/Redferns
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It was, in fact, more or less exact – 19 June. One the same date in 1970, in the early hours of the morning, a then 29-year-old Clarke was declared the winner in the Nottinghamshire seat of Rushcliffe. Even then, he was not a novice, having already twice contested nearby Mansfield.

He has kept the same seat ever since. From his start as an assistant whip in 1972, Clarke also spent the next 27 years, barring a couple of brief gaps, in various shadow and government front bench jobs, including health, education and home secretary, followed by four years as John Major’s chancellor.

...
guardian  people  politics  photos 
june 2019 by ndf
Why I hate emojis | Suzanne Moore | Opinion | The Guardian
Suzanne Moore
I have never knowingly used the vile little gurning dots and I don’t intend to start now
@suzanne_moore
Mon 17 Jun 2019 16.13 BST Last modified on Mon 17 Jun 2019 18.30 BST
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‘Emojis? Really?’ Illustration: Guardian Design
Should I ever be kidnapped or held against my will – I am talking about a boring wedding rather than a Liam Neeson Taken-type scenario – it will be very easy for my nearest and dearest to know something is up. I will text them those vile little gurning dots called emojis and they will know my world is falling apart.

I have never knowingly used an emoji and I don’t intend to start now. Someone has to hold the line. Standards must be maintained. Recently I accidentally giffed – my phone had a sort of spasm in my bag – but I have since apologised. Gifs and memes are mostly lazy and formulaic, but occasionally marvellous. I can live with them – I am not an animal.
guardian  emoji  our-journey  writing 
june 2019 by ndf
Farewell realism's Rory Stewart – elbowed out by chancers and charlatans | John Crace | Politics | The Guardian
Conservative MPs show they are determined to make the priapic Mr Blobby their next leader

@JohnJCrace
Wed 19 Jun 2019 20.39 BST Last modified on Wed 19 Jun 2019 21.13 BST
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Rory Stewart was out. The Tories had looked the national interest in the eye and put the party first. Photograph: Matt Dunham/AP
Shortly after six o’clock on Wednesday, Charles Walker, the joint acting chair of the 1922 Committee, confirmed what most people had already suspected. Rory Stewart was out of the leadership contest, his support having haemorrhaged away. The Tories had looked the national interest in the eye and put the party first.

The one candidate who had injected some realism into the race had been sharp-elbowed in favour of a bunch of incompetent charlatans, chancers and jobsworths. Men selling impossible dreams to the intensely gullible. #RoryWalksOn had become #RoryWalksOff. Though his time might come again. Possibly even later this year.

As in the previous rounds, voting had begun at 3pm but this time there was a difference. No Stewart. Normally the Walking 007 is one of the first on the scene, patrolling the corridor, peering deep into the souls of wavering Tory MPs. Daring themselves to put their consciences before their careers. Almost always a pointless exercise, but it keeps him occupied. The place felt empty without him. The chronicle of a death foretold.
guardian  crace  news  brexit 
june 2019 by ndf
Can you get May's deal through meaningful vote 3? | Politics | The Guardian
Brexit
Can you get May's deal through meaningful vote 3?

As the prime minister suggests she will resign before the next phase of Brexit in order to secure her deal, use our updated simulator to see what difference this will make to the overall picture in the House of Commons. Can you assemble a parliamentary majority?

Peter Walker, Rowena Mason, Jessica Elgot, Peter Andringa , Josh Holder, Niko Kommenda and Seán Clarke

Wed 27 Mar 2019 18.07 GMT Last modified on Wed 27 Mar 2019 18.09 GMT
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Brexit May Decision for Can you get May’s Brexit deal through parliament? Composite: Frank Hulley-Jones

Based on these voting blocks, parliament would probably reject May's Brexit deal

For ~~ 298
Against ~~ 340

320 votes for majority0 abstaining
See what happens if each tribe votes for, votes against or abstains on the bill:

...
guardian  brexit 
march 2019 by ndf
How did your MP vote in the indicative votes? | UK news | The Guardian
Josh Holder, Antonio Voce and Seán Clarke
Wed 27 Mar 2019 22.15 GMT

MPs have voted on eight alternative Brexit options after parliament seized control of the Commons agenda to force a series of indicative votes

Find your MP's voting record

Options are ordered by the majority of their support

---

## 1. Customs union

Commitment to negotiate a “permanent and comprehensive UK-wide customs union with the EU” in any Brexit deal
 
264 .~ For
 
272 ~ Against


## 2. Confirmatory public vote

Require a public vote to confirm any Brexit deal passed by parliament before its ratification

268 ~ For

295 ~ Against

--

## 3. Labour plan

Labour's plan for a close economic relationship with the EU

237
For

307
Against



## 4. ‘Common market 2.0’

UK membership of the European Free Trade Association (Efta) and European Economic Area (EEA)

188
For

283
Against



## 5. Revoke article 50

Revoke article 50 two days before Britain would leave the EU without a deal

184
For

293
Against



## 6. No deal

Leave the EU without a deal on 12 April

160
For

400
Against



## 7 Contingent preferential arrangements

Calls for the government to seek to agree preferential trade arrangements with the EU

139
For

422
Against



## 8 . EEA/Efta without customs union

Remain within the EEA and rejoin Efta but outside a customs union with the EU

65
For

377
Against

---
guardian  article50  brexit  eu  data  interactive 
march 2019 by ndf
Wave hunters: 2019 surf photo of the year – in pictures | Art and design | The Guardian
Nocturnal Curl. Photograph: Mathew Tildesley
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Nikon has searched for the most creative and unique surfing images from Australian photographers and have announced the finalists of the Nikon surf photo of the year awards. The images are taken in locations such as Bells Beach, Mexico and Indonesia and range from portraits of surfers to backlit waves.

Wed 27 Mar 2019 17.00 GMT

The Reward
“A spot that a friend and I found that takes a bit of effort to get to. Needs the right swell and wind direction to come together for the backwash to really happen. We had been many times with OK results, but this morning everything lined up perfectly and I was rewarded with this split-second moment in time under some amazing morning light.”
Photograph: Scott Harrison

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photos  guardian  watersport 
march 2019 by ndf
European media delight in covering anti-Brexit march | Politics | The Guardian
European media delight in covering anti-Brexit march
Press seize on protest seen as ‘more about the failings of Theresa May’s government’

Jon Henley, European affairs correspondent

@jonhenley
Sun 24 Mar 2019 18.00 GMT Last modified on Sun 24 Mar 2019 21.05 GMT
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Libération noted the ‘peaceful and good-natured’ mood of Saturday’s demonstration Photograph: Niklas Halle’n/AFP/Getty Images
European media covered Saturday’s mammoth anti-Brexit demonstration in London with ill-concealed relish, before turning to reports of Theresa May’s imminent departure – and, in some cases, a first draft of her political obituary.

“Historic demonstration in London for a second vote,” was Le Monde’s headline, above an extensive report from its London correspondent noting that more than a million people had taken to the streets “in a country where protest is not the norm”.

The paper praised the crowd as “calm but determined, a sea of European blue … with not a single policeman in sight, but not a single incident either”. Compared with previous anti-Brexit marches, this one, it said, was “rather more about the failings of Theresa May’s government, and rather less about Europe”.

...

The paper translated – with contextual notes where needed – the march’s 20 best placards, from “Even Arsenal are still in Europe” through “Pulling out doesn’t work – just ask my parents” and “Less Farage, more fromage” to “I’m incandescent with rage – but I’m British, so I’m just holding up a sign”.

..
guardian  europe  protest 
march 2019 by ndf
Woman behind Brexit petition to revoke article 50 receives death threats | Politics | The Guardian
Online petition attracts more than 4m signatures as Margaret Georgiadou is forced to close Facebook account

Follow live updates on the People’s Vote march
Sarah Marsh

@sloumarsh
Sat 23 Mar 2019 17.16 GMT First published on Sat 23 Mar 2019 10.23 GMT
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The petition is the most popular to be submitted to the government’s petitions website Photograph: petition.parliament.uk
The woman behind the petition to revoke article 50 has said she is scared and has been forced to close her Facebook account after receiving multiple death threats for launching the challenge to Brexit.

Margaret Georgiadou, who described herself as a frustrated remainer, set up the online petition in late February, calling for the UK government to revoke article 50 and remain in the EU. By Saturday afternoon it had attracted more than 4,400,000 signatures – making it the most popular to be submitted to the Parliament website.

Brexit march: '1 million' rally for people's vote - live updates
Read more
The petition gathered momentum shortly after the prime minister appealed to the British people to back her in her standoff with MPs from all parties. The number of signatures continued to rise on Saturday, with hundreds of thousands of people marching in central London for a “people’s vote” on Brexit, and many protesters calling for the UK to remain in the EU.

Georgiadou, who is currently in Cyprus, told the BBC: “I feel terrible, I feel angry with myself because I thought I was tougher than that. But I was scared. I haven’t even told my husband because he is very old and he would become hysterical.”

Earlier, Georgiadou tweeted: “Hi – am the person responsible for the revoke article 50 petition. Just needed to tell you that 1. I am currently visiting Cyprus. and 2. last night I had three telephoned death threats. Who wants Brexit so much that they are prepared to kill for it?”
guardian  petition  news 
march 2019 by ndf
#FBPE: what is the pro-EU hashtag spreading across social media? | Media | The Guardian
If you’ve been wondering what it means, here’s the answer – and the complex tale of how some have tried to hijack it

Martin Belam

Wed 17 Jan 2018 14.37 GMT Last modified on Wed 14 Feb 2018 15.28 GMT
This article is over 1 year old
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The hashtag is being used by remain voters and pro-EU social media members to identify each other online. Photograph: Wiktor Szymanowicz/Barcroft Images
If you have been on social media over the last few weeks, you may have seen people tagging posts with the hashtag #FBPE, or using #FBPE in their usernames. But what does it mean?

The hashtag was first used on Twitter in October by Hendrik Klaassens, a Dutch social media user, who posted: “#ProEU tweeps organize Follow Back Saturdays! Type #FollowBackProEU or #FBPE if you want to get more #ProEU followers. Let’s do this!” in an attempt to build up a network of pro-EU users.

Why have British people been using #FBPE?
With Brexit on the horizon, the idea soon took on a specific twist in the UK, becoming a way for remain voters and pro-EU social media members to identify each other online.
twitter  guardian  brexit  uk  europe 
march 2019 by ndf
'Fromage not Farage': the best signs and sights on the People's Vote march | Politics | The Guardian
'Fromage not Farage': the best signs and sights on the People's Vote march
A sculpture of Theresa May spears a representation of the British economy. Photograph: Isabel Infantes/AFP/Getty
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Visual highlights from the Put it to the People anti-Brexit demonstration in London

Sat 23 Mar 2019 14.40 GMT Last modified on Sat 23 Mar 2019 19.36 GMT
The first line of defence against Brexit: meow memes
Photograph: Ed Vulliamy/The Observer

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The four horsemen of the cockupalypse
Photograph: Ed Vulliamy/The Observer
guardian  photos  london  news 
march 2019 by ndf
Brexit march: '1 million' rally for people's vote - live updates | Politics | The Guardian
Follow the latest updates as people descend on London to march for a second vote on the UK’s departure from the EU

‘Fromage not Farage’: the best banners
Petition to revoke article 50 passes 4m
LIVE Updated 54m ago
Play Video 2:33
People's vote Brexit rally draws 1 million marchers – video report
Sarah Marsh and Ruth Quinn

Sat 23 Mar 2019 19.02 GMT First published on Sat 23 Mar 2019 10.30 GMT
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4h ago Tom Watson tells Theresa May: 'Let the people take back control'
5h ago 'Chaotic and confused': Khan accuses May of failing on Brexit
5h ago A count of marchers has topped 1 million
9h ago March to start in Park Lane at 12pm
9h ago Thousands gather for march - share your day
2h ago
18:04
Summary: Over a million people march for a people's vote
Official figures put the numbers at the central London march today at over one million.
Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon told the rally in Parliament Square that “the prime minister and her government have proved completely incapable of delivering on the result of the 2016 vote, which is why it is right that this should now go back to the people.”
Margaret Georgiadou, the “frustrated remainer” behind the petition to revoke article 50 has received a string of death threats over her challenge to the Brexit process.
Deputy Leader of the Labour party Tom Watson told the crowds in Parliament Square: “Theresa May: you don’t speak for us.”
guardian  uk  news  democracy  london 
march 2019 by ndf
The Guardian view on the People’s Vote march: a force for good | Editorial | Opinion | The Guardian
Opinion Brexit
The Guardian view on the People’s Vote march: a force for good
Editorial
The protest on the streets of London will show that the prime minister cannot define the public. They have a will and opinions of their own

Fri 22 Mar 2019 18.30 GMT Last modified on Fri 22 Mar 2019 22.23 GMT
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Protest march against Brexit in London in September 2017. ‘The People’s Vote march will show that a higher ideal of democracy exists – that everyone can participate in shaping their own life and their community’s.’ Photograph: Paul Davey/Barcroft Images
Sixteen years ago, Tony Blair watched a million people march past Downing Street, imploring him not to join US president George W Bush in invading Iraq. Mr Blair, in the words of one writer this week, “concluded, catastrophically, that they were a million of the misguided”. It was Mr Blair who turned out to be misguided. The march against the Iraq war was a turning point in Mr Blair’s political career, and one that he never recovered from. Unlike Mr Blair, Theresa May is not in the pomp of her premiership. Given the Brexit cliffhanger at Westminster, her fall from power promises to be far steeper and more sudden. But when these momentous times are reviewed, few events will possess such an importance as the people out on the streets of London on Saturday for the People’s Vote march. Unless a bolt of inspiration strikes, Mrs May will make the same mistake her predecessor made: ignoring a mass public protest on the defining issue of the day.

This is not because what happens in parliament or Brussels is unimportant. Far from it. Mrs May’s tone-deaf approach to politics has been repeatedly exposed in these arenas, leading to her executive power ebbing away. She finally went rogue on Wednesday with probably the single most stupid televised speech ever made from behind a Downing Street lectern by a sitting prime minister.
guardian  editorial  brexit 
march 2019 by ndf
‘It's becoming a dystopian nightmare’: readers on May meeting the EU | Politics | The Guardian
You have been reacting in the comments to the EU seizing control of the exit date and discussing what might be next for Brexit

Follow all the day’s political developments - live updates
Guardian readers and Rachel Obordo

Fri 22 Mar 2019 09.46 GMT Last modified on Fri 22 Mar 2019 09.54 GMT
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Theresa May holding a press conference on Thursday at the end of the first day of an EU summit focused on Brexit, in Brussels. Photograph: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images
‘Shameful how weakened she has left us’
The EU has recognised that May is drowning and that something will inevitably follow. They will be well aware of how badly her address went down, and they probably see the writing on the wall for her premiership, and certainly her control of the Brexit process.

It’s abundantly clear that there is a long extension available for a sensible approach from a new PM, and this ought to give great encouragement to both Labour and also other backbenchers seeking to develop compromise positions. While hardcore Brexiters won’t see it this way, there is a real sense of national humiliation here. The EU told our PM to leave the room while 27 European nations discussed our future for us, then invited our PM back so she could be told what had been decided in our best interests. Shameful how weakened she has left us. SGT123

‘No deal it is then’
May went to Brussels yesterday with a brilliant winning, clear and concise plan. Unfortunately she didn’t memorise it and the one and only copy of utter brilliance; she left on the bus. She did successfully get what she wanted though; the date of leaving extended. Nope that’s a lie, she didnae get that, at least not the one she wanted - or anything else she wanted for that matter. Her master negotiating skills were found wanting, as indeed, they always have. So - no deal it is then given MV3 will suffer the same fate as MV1 & MV2. She’ll arrive back and point fingers of blame at everyone but herself. Have a nice day y’all enjoy it as much as you can. buckstone
guardian  comment 
march 2019 by ndf
How the media let malicious idiots take over | George Monbiot | Opinion | The Guardian
George Monbiot
Be it Jacob Rees-Mogg or Nigel Farage, blusterers and braggarts are rewarded with platforms that distort our political debate
@GeorgeMonbiot
Fri 22 Mar 2019 15.57 GMT Last modified on Fri 22 Mar 2019 17.25 GMT
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Jacob Rees-Mogg during his LBC radio phone-in programme, April 2018. Photograph: Ian West/PA
If our politics is becoming less rational, crueller and more divisive, this rule of public life is partly to blame: the more disgracefully you behave, the bigger the platform the media will give you. If you are caught lying, cheating, boasting or behaving like an idiot, you’ll be flooded with invitations to appear on current affairs programmes. If you play straight, don’t expect the phone to ring.


BBC Scotland drops shows featuring maker of dog Nazi salute video
Read more
In an age of 24-hour news, declining ratings and intense competition, the commodity in greatest demand is noise. Never mind the content, never mind the facts: all that now counts is impact. A loudmouthed buffoon, already the object of public outrage, is a far more bankable asset than someone who knows what they’re talking about. So the biggest platforms are populated by blusterers and braggarts. The media is the mirror in which we see ourselves. With every glance, our self-image subtly changes.
guardian  news 
march 2019 by ndf
Petition to revoke article 50 hits 3.5m signatures | Politics | The Guardian
Theresa May rejected the petition on Thursday, since when it has added 1.5m names

Alex Hern

@alexhern
Fri 22 Mar 2019 17.46 GMT First published on Fri 22 Mar 2019 12.38 GMT
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Petition to revoke article 50. Photograph: Parliament
An online petition calling on the UK government to revoke article 50 and remain in the EU has hit 3.5m signatures, adding 2.5m signees in less than 24 hours.

The petition, started in late February by “frustrated remainer” Margaret Georgiadou, began to rapidly gain signatures on Wednesday evening, following the prime minister’s appeal to the British people to back her in her standoff with MPs from all parties.

But Theresa May rejected the message of the petition, when a No 10 spokeswoman said on Thursday evening that she worried that cancelling Brexit would cause “potentially irreparable damage to public trust”.

“The prime minister has long been clear that failing to deliver on the referendum result would be a failure of our democracy and something she couldn’t countenance,” the spokeswoman added.


May tells Johnson: I will not step aside to solve Brexit crisis
Read more
Over the course of Thursday, the parliamentary petitions website collapsed multiple times under the weight of traffic to the plea. The error message “Bad gateway”, which displayed when the website was struggling most, even trended on Twitter at times throughout the day.
guardian  brexit  petition  news 
march 2019 by ndf
'Friendship over fear': Manchester man shows solidarity with local mosque | UK news | The Guardian
Siva Thangarajah

Sat 16 Mar 2019 16.24 GMT Last modified on Sat 16 Mar 2019 21.19 GMT
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Andrew Graystone outside his local mosque in Levenshulme. Photograph: @AndrewGraystone/Twitter
A Mancunian whose message of solidarity with a local mosque after the Christchurch massacre went viral has said the overwhelming response shows “the power of choosing friendship over fear”.

Andrew Graystone from Levenshulme stood outside the Madina mosque on Friday after hearing about the shooting at two mosques in New Zealand that left 49 people dead.

He held a cardboard sign with a handwritten message: “You are my friends. I will keep watch while you pray.”

Graystone said he was motivated to support the Muslim community after the terrorist attack on Friday morning. “I thought, what would it feel like as a Muslim going to prayers today? I would feel a mixture of enmity and even fear.”

At a time when countries around the world are on high alert in case of further Islamophobic attacks, Graystone decided he wanted to ensure that people attending the local mosque felt safe. “I picked up a card, wrote my message, went down to my local mosque at Barlow Road and stood outside.”

He greeted arriving worshippers with “salaam” or peace. Many people, he said, were suspicious at first. “They thought I was a protester, but when they saw what was written on the board, people warmed to me.”
guardian  uk  news 
march 2019 by ndf
Why are our MPs putting blatant self-interest ahead of the Brexit vote? | Matthew d’Ancona | Opinion | The Guardian
Ghostworld 21m ago

6 | 7
Sums up Brexit perfectly.

Brexit (n) - "The undefined being negotiated by the unprepared in order to get the unspecified for the uninformed."

---

IfItsMagic Ghostworld 17m ago

I like this one. But there is an element of nastiness that's missing. Key.

---

tomguard 21m ago

Who is this Will O’Thepeople chap I keep hearing about? Any relation to Iris Backstop? Just asking.....

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pincuspallus tomguard 17m ago

He is the landlord of the Irish boarder.

---

Felixthered tomguard 13m ago


Or
That other guy Arti Cal Fiftay.

---
guardian  brexit  comment  news 
march 2019 by ndf
Trump's emergency declaration is unconstitutional – ask his lawyers | Lloyd Green | Opinion | The Guardian
Opinion
US immigration

Trump's emergency declaration is unconstitutional – ask his lawyers
Lloyd Green

When Obama wielded executive power, Jay Sekulow and Noel Francisco cried tyranny

Sat 16 Feb 2019 12.38 GMT First published on Sat 16 Feb 2019 06.00 GMT
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Jay Sekulow speaks in 2015. Photograph: Steve Helber/AP

A shutdown averted, a constitutional crisis born. On Friday, Donald Trump declared a national emergency to gain additional funds for his much promised border wall, bypassing Congress and raiding the Pentagon for $3.6bn, already a legally dubious proposition in the eyes of the justice department. So much for Mexico paying.

National emergency: Trump's 'clear abuse of power' faces torrent of lawsuits

Read more
Once upon a time, Trump and his legal minions brayed against unilateral executive actions, calling them tyrannical. Not any more. Barack Obama is out of the White House. Hail Caesar, hello his praetorian.

Take Jay Sekulow, Trump’s personal lawyer. In April 2016, in a brief to the supreme court attacking Obama’s unilateral expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (Daca) program, Sekulow painted Obama as a despot.

Echoing James Madison, founding father and fourth president, Sekulow thundered that the “accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive and judiciary, in the same hands … may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny”. He also compared Obama and his executive order to Harry Truman’s unconstitutional seizure of America’s steel mills during the Korean war.

Earlier this month, Mitch McConnell voiced his opposition to Trump invoking emergency powers. Time flies
According to Sekulow, Truman “violated controlling precedent and abdicated [his] constitutional duty to faithfully execute the law”.

In other words, by expanding Daca without a congressional green light, Obama had committed an impeachable offense.
guardian  usa  politics 
february 2019 by ndf
How the US has hidden its empire | News | The Guardian
The long read

How the US has hidden its empire

The Greater United States as it was in 1941

The United States likes to think of itself as a republic, but it holds territories all over the world – the map you always see doesn’t tell the whole story.

By Daniel Immerwahr

Fri 15 Feb 2019 06.00 GMT Last modified on Fri 15 Feb 2019 13.28 GMT
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There aren’t many historical episodes more firmly lodged in the United States’s national memory than the attack on Pearl Harbor. It is one of only a few events that many people in the country can put a date to: 7 December 1941, the “date which will live in infamy,” as Franklin D Roosevelt put it. Hundreds of books have been written about it – the Library of Congress holds more than 350. And Hollywood has made movies, from the critically acclaimed From Here to Eternity, starring Burt Lancaster, to the critically derided Pearl Harbor, starring Ben Affleck.


Lose yourself in a great story: Sign up for the long read email
Read more
But what those films don’t show is what happened next. Nine hours after Japan attacked the territory of Hawaii, another set of Japanese planes came into view over another US territory, the Philippines. As at Pearl Harbor, they dropped their bombs, hitting several air bases, to devastating effect.


...

How to Hide an Empire: A Short History of the Greater United States by Daniel Immerwahr will be published by Bodley Head on 28 February. Buy it at guardianbookshop.com

• Follow the Long Read on Twitter at @gdnlongread, or sign up to the long read weekly email here.
america  usa  history  guardian  long-form 
february 2019 by ndf
💃😂 ✊: How Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez beat everyone at Twitter in nine tweets | US news | The Guardian
💃😂 ✊: How Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez beat everyone at Twitter in nine tweets
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
In eight months, the new congresswoman has built one of DC’s most engaged followings. Here are her best moves

Max Benwell

@max_benwell
Tue 12 Feb 2019 11.00 GMT Last modified on Tue 12 Feb 2019 13.55 GMT
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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez:💃. Photograph: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images
When it comes to Twitter, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who became the youngest woman ever elected to Congress last November, beats every other US politician hands, nose and elbows down. She has built one of the most engaged followings on Capitol Hill in just eight months and was even appointed to teach social media lessons to her colleagues upon her arrival.

How does she do it? I spend my days analyzing data for the Guardian and helping run our social media accounts, so I’m used to digging into numbers and figuring out what gets people going. And more often than not, it’s the less obvious things that reveal what’s really happening.

Ocasio-Cortez’s Twitter account (@AOC) has more than 3.1 million followers. It has gained more than 2.6 million of these in the last eight months. Before she won her primary in June, beating a powerful 10-term Democratic incumbent, she only had 446,000 followers.
guardian  usa  twitter  politics 
february 2019 by ndf
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