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THE GUARDİAN

The Guardian

  • Brexit: MPs debate no-confidence motion after May's deal defeat – Politics live

    Parliament debates Labour motion after resounding loss that gives May just days to present a fresh vision for EU withdrawal

    Here are some more quotes from the no confidence debate.

    Ian Blackford, the SNP leader at Westminster, said the government should resign.

    The prime minister is beholden to the DUP but the DUP will only support her in very certain circumstances. This is not just about the defeat of the government last night on Brexit, it is a government that is stuck, that can’t get its legislative programme through.

    It has no majority support in this House, it is a government that [is] past its time. And if the government had any humility, had any self respect it would reflect on the scale of that defeat last night ... The government should recognise it has no moral authority, the government quite simply should go.

    We believe it’s in the national interest to support the government at this time so the aims and objectives of the confidence and supply agreement we entered into can be achieved. Much work remains to be done on those matters.

    I don’t think the people in this country would rejoice at the prospect tonight if a general election were to be called. I’m not convinced that a general election would significantly change the composition of the House and of course it doesn’t change, whatever the outcome, it doesn’t change the choices that lie before us all.

    We are the party of government, we were elected to govern this country and so therefore we have to make a decision. We can’t sit contemplating our navels forever as to whether we’re going to make the decision or not.

    With a heavy heart I have to tell the House that I cannot support the no confidence motion tonight and some of my friends mutter disgrace, I hear some of them tutting.

    I have to say that many of them have privately said ‘thank God that you have got the freedom to actually not support this’, because they are wrestling with their consciences, wanting desperately a Labour government, knowing that the leader of their party is as unfit to lead the country as he was when they voted against him in the no confidence motion of the party those years ago.

    This is from the BBC’s Mark Devenport.

    I understand @theresa_may is currently meeting a DUP delegation inside the Palace of Westminster

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  • Top Democrat claims the State of the Union 'is off' – live

    Steny Hoyer, the Democratic majority leader in the House, State of the Union address is off in an interview with CNN

    The White House has issued a statement on Trump’s meeting with the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus this afternoon.

    The President and his team had a constructive meeting with bipartisan members of the problem solvers caucus. They listened to one another and now both have a good understanding of what the other wants. We look forward to more conversations like this.”

    Axios reports that Trump’s derision for forward planning was inspired by Mike Tyson.

    Trump is apparently fond of citing Tyson’s famous saying “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”

    We’ve just gotta fight every day and that’s how we win.”

    “We can plan all this stuff out but it’ll change,” the president continued. “So let’s just not go through the effort.”

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  • Juventus v Milan: Supercoppa Italiana – live!

    31 mins: Milan win another corner, and it’s another good one. This time it lands at the near post and falls to earth, but Juventus have the luck and the ball drops to a defender. Juventus clear, and suddenly have a three-on-two break, with Douglas Costa running down the middle, Ronaldo on the right and Dybala to the left. He picks the wrong option, or at least the wrong pass, and Ronaldo has to check back. His cross towards Dybala is cleared, and Chiellini runs onto the loose ball and pummels a shot over the bar!

    30 mins: Douglas has had a couple of crossing opportunities in the last couple of minutes, one he overhit straight out of play and the other he underhit straight to the goalkeeper.

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  • Beautiful Boy review – precious tale of addiction woe

    Steve Carell and Timothée Chalamet play a real-life father and son in this insufferable, memoirs-based drugs drama

    This supersensitive and tasteful movie is all but insufferable, suppressing a sob at the tragedy of drug addiction afflicting someone so young and “beautiful”. It is based on what is effectively a matching set of memoirs: Beautiful Boy, by author and journalist David Sheff, his harrowing account of trying to help his son Nic battle crystal meth addiction, and Tweak – by Nic Sheff himself, about these same experiences, the author now, thankfully, eight years clean.

    Steve Carell does an honest, well-meaning job in the role of David and the egregiously beautiful Timothée Chalamet is earnest in the part of Nic, David’s son from his first marriage. Maura Tierney plays David’s second wife, Karen, and the mother of his two other much younger children – naturally concerned about Nic, but increasingly angry at the way David is neglecting his new family for what increasingly looks like a destructive father-son love affair.

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  • Sherrilyn Kenyon accuses husband of 'Shakespearean plot' to poison her

    In an explosive lawsuit, author of bestselling Dark-Hunter novels accuses her husband and two others of attempting to destroy her career

    Bestselling urban fantasy novelist Sherrilyn Kenyon has filed a lawsuit against her husband that accuses him of poisoning her for financial gain, as well as attempting to destroy her career and reputation, in what she described as a “Shakespearean plot against her”.

    Kenyon, author of the chart-topping Dark-Hunter series, is suing Lawrence R Kenyon II, as well as two individuals employed by the Kenyons, for up to $20m (£15.5m).

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  • Move over, Gillette: four more products to make men’s rights activists hysterical

    Following the razor brand’s viral ad criticising toxic masculinity, expect a new wave of woke marketing in 2019

    Gillette’s new advert has sharply divided the internet with its critique of toxic masculinity, after suggesting that men in 2019 could be doing better in some areas. The campaign has been met with outrage in some quarters and triggered a meltdown among so-called men’s rights activists, a typically sensitive bunch.

    Related: Gillette #MeToo ad on 'toxic masculinity' gets praise – and abuse

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  • Gillian Anderson in All About Eve rehearsals – in pictures

    Anderson returns to the London stage in an adaptation of the Oscar winner All About Eve. Here’s a look behind the scenes of Ivo van Hove’s production

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  • UK inflation falls to lowest level in two years

    Drop in fuel and clothing prices spur drop to 2.1%, offering respite to consumers

    UK inflation fell to its lowest level in nearly two years in December after a drop in petrol prices offered some respite to consumers who are reining in spending as Brexit looms.

    The annual rate dipped to 2.1% from 2.3% in November, the weakest since January 2017, according to the Office for National Statistics. Economists said the drop reduced the likelihood that the Bank of England would raise interest rates in the near future.

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  • Marcelo Bielsa admits Leeds have spied on every opponent this season
    • Manager says it is not illegal but not necessarily right
    • Bielsa insists he had no bad intentions or wish to cheat

    Marcelo Bielsa has admitted Leeds United have spied on every team they have faced this season.

    The manager, strongly criticised by Frank Lampard after it emerged Leeds sent someone to watch Derby’s training before the teams met last week, said what he had done was not illegal.

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  • Goldman chief says sorry over ex-banker's role in 1MDB scandal

    David Solomon apologises to the Malaysian people for Tim Leissner’s involvement

    The chief executive of Goldman Sachs has apologised to the people of Malaysia over the role of a former employee of the bank in the 1MDB scandal.

    In a rare move for a Goldman chief executive, David Solomon joined the company’s fourth-quarter earnings call and gave an update on investigations into corruption surrounding the Malaysian sovereign wealth fund. He also said the bank was sorry for the effect the fraud had on the country.

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  • John Joubert obituary
    Prolific British-South African composer, best known for his choral works, particularly his carols

    In the years following the composer John Joubert’s arrival in Britain from South Africa, he produced such staples of the Anglican choral repertoire as the carols Torches (1951) and There is No Rose of Such Virtue (1954), and the anthem O Lorde, the Maker of Al Thing (1952).

    But he did not forget his roots, whether in his abortive operatic project based on Alan Paton’s Cry, The Beloved Country; his powerful single-movement Symphony No 2 (1970), inscribed to the memory of the victims of the Sharpeville massacre of a decade earlier; or the suite South of the Line (1985), where he set five anti-Boer war poems by Thomas Hardy for chorus and percussion.

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  • Look, David Cameron has got his trotters up – again

    First, there was the 20 grand shed shed. Now he’s back from a £1,700 a night luxury resort. If only he would show the slightest remorse for Brexit

    Has there ever been a more devastating analysis than Danny Dyer’s of our former prime minister? It’s the final word in the nation’s ultimate caption competition: David Cameron sitting on the steps of his 20 grand shed. Trotters up. Here he is again, as tanned as classy furniture, on his way home from a sun-soaked (© the Mirror) £1,700 a night luxury resort in Costa Rica. I want to know what you get for that kind of money. But first, the urgent business – trotters up.

    I thought the image to end them all was Caitlin Moran’s, when she said before the 2010 election that he looked like a C3PO made of ham. That was a calmer era, when we had space to be multidimensional. You have to delve into your robot knowledge and separate C3PO from R2D2 to really appreciate its accuracy. No time for that now. There he is. In Waitrose, with his trotters up.

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  • Jimmy Kimmel on Trump: 'He has to lie about everything. He can’t help it'

    Late-night hosts look at what it took to condemn Steve King’s racism and what it takes to make a gourmet White House meal

    Late-night hosts crack the case of Steve King’s racism and the real number of White House hamberders (yes, hamberders).

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  • Rape scenes no longer allowed in films rated suitable for under-15s

    New UK guidelines for films depicting sexual violence follow societal shift, says BBFC

    Scenes of rape and other forms of sexual violence will no longer be allowed in films classified for under-15s in a shake-up of the British ratings system.

    The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) will on Thursday publish new classification guidelines explaining in detail why films get the ratings they are given, from U up to R18.

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  • Iranian state television anchor arrested after flying into the US

    Press TV’s Marzieh Hashemi, born Melanie Franklin of New Orleans, was detained after arriving in St Louis, broadcaster said

    A prominent American anchor on Iranian state television’s English-language service has been arrested in the US on undisclosed charges, according to her employers at the state-backed TV channel Press TV.

    Marzieh Hashemi, born Melanie Franklin of New Orleans, appears on the English-language news channel backed by the Iranian government which regularly promotes the worldview of the Middle Eastern state to an international audience.

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  • SAS member helped secure Nairobi hotel complex

    Soldier, who was reportedly in Kenya to train special forces, took part in operation against attackers

    A member of the SAS helped secure a luxury hotel complex in Nairobi after 14 people, including a Briton, were killed in a militant attack.

    Another Briton was wounded as gunmen stormed the dusitD2 complex in the Westlands district of the Kenyan capital on Tuesday afternoon, setting off explosions and shooting people.

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  • Al-Shabaab's Nairobi attack is a reminder that tit-for-tat terror never succeeds | Mukoma wa Ngugi

    Six years after the Westgate Mall attack, what has changed in Kenya? We need to take the long view to find a solution

    A few nights ago I had a nightmare – my family and I were living on the seventh floor of an apartment building in a US city that I could not name. It was a hot summer night. Through our open windows we heard shouts of: “Go back to where you come from!” This was followed by a commotion, and then gunshots and then death grunts. My daughter was standing by the window looking outside – I crawled to her yelling at her to get on her stomach – and then I woke up relieved.

    And then I read about the attack in Nairobi at the Dusit hotel in which at least 14 people were killed.

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  • Turning stale bread into ice-cream won’t save the world – but won’t do any harm, either
    A small but steady movement of chefs is already having a go at turning kitchen waste into something new, the most appealing of which is savoury ice-cream

    At the beginning of the year, the UK government appointed a waste tsar. The idea would be for this chap – businessman Ben Elliott who happens to be a nephew of the Duchess of Cornwall – to end any waste going to landfills by 2030, manage the government’s £15m food waste fund and redistribute any surplus food.

    We waste a stunning 10.2m tonnes of food each year, so it’s a fine idea on paper. Don’t hold your breath, though. In 2010, the then Tory-led coalition government made the ironic choice of appointing Philip Green as its efficiency tsar. We’re probably better off having a go ourselves.

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  • Should you swap your morning coffee for some mushroom water?

    Fungi are increasingly touted as a magic cure-all by health and wellness gurus. We took a look at the claims of immune support, stamina and longevity

    One Saturday last May, Shane Heath woke up with an idea: the young serial entrepreneur would market the drink he had been sharing with friends in Venice Beach – a muddy concoction of tea, cocoa, spices and four kinds of mushrooms – to the wider world. “Over the weekend I designed the brand, ordered a minimal amount of inventory, and put up a website,” says Heath. By Tuesday, he was online selling 15-serving tins of the dry drink mix he dubbed Mud\Wtr for $30 each. Six months later, revenues exceeded six figures, he says, and with the start of the new year, “we secured a million-dollar investment fund and moved into an office in Los Angeles”.

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  • Holding back the tides: Sydney's battle against coastal erosion | Wendy Harmer

    As Australian beaches succumb to destructive coastal surges due to climate change, Wendy Harmer considers the price of inaction at storm-battered Collaroy-Narrabeen

    Cast your vote in Australia’s best beach poll

    For the past 25 years I’ve been lucky enough to enjoy a spectacular view of Collaroy-Narrabeen beach from my old wooden house tucked into the northern slopes of Mt Ramsay.

    I survey a gorgeous, curved slice of coast where swell dispatched from the far reaches of the Southern and Pacific oceans reaches a final, spectacular resignation.

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  • Fighting Fyre with Fyre: the story of two warring festival documentaries

    The failed music festival has inspired two new documentaries and a war off-screen over the morality of the film-makers involved

    Scandal sells, or so it’s said, but few have captured the zeitgeist with quite the velocity as the rise and fall, in April 2017, of Fyre. The luxury music festival – a Bahamas-set Coachella with villas and supermodels, it promised – collapsed into financial fraud and memes of drunk twentysomethings scrambling for Fema tents and styrofoam tray meals, all direct to our screens.

    Related: 'Closer to The Hunger Games than Coachella': why Fyre festival went up in flames

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  • Civilians beaten and abducted in major Zimbabwe crackdown

    Activists tell of abductions and beatings during unrest linked to food and fuel shortages

    Police and military have launched a massive crackdown in Zimbabwe after what appears to be have been a widespread breakdown of public order linked to food and fuel shortages in the impoverished country.

    Access to the internet and social media was shut off for most of Wednesday, and armed soldiers were patrolling the streets of major cities as unidentified men were reported to be sweeping through poor neighbourhoods of Harare, the capital, and beating people “at random”.

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  • Ministers to review Durham open-cast mine decision

    Government admits process that allowed Pont Valley site to begin operating was flawed

    The government is to review a decision to allow open-cast coal mining in a valley in County Durham.

    Lawyers for the government have written to campaigners to say their decision-making was flawed and agreed to look again. The mine in the Pont Valley, known as Bradley, began operating last year after four decades of opposition.

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  • The Fiver | Something to tell their children about. And their children's children

    Sign up now! Sign up now! Sign up now? Sign up now!

    There was a point in the game between Blackeye Rovers and Newcastle United when Isaac Hayden, who had come on for the injured Jamaal Lascelles, who had come on for the injured Ciaran Clark, went down injured. For a while the crowd held their breath. They were, it seemed, about to witness the substitution of a substitute’s substitute. This was something they could tell their children about, and their children’s children.

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  • Hundreds of UK care workers threaten walkout over wage cuts

    Lower flat rate for sleep-in shifts could leave staff out of pocket by up to £40 a night

    More than 600 low-paid care workers are this week voting on strike action in response to moves by employers to start imposing wage cuts in the row over minimum rates for sleep-in shifts caused by protracted legal wrangling and indecision in government.

    Unison members at Alternative Futures Group, a charity which employs 2,500 care staff, mainly in the north-west, are threatening an initial 48-hour walkout.

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  • YouTube bans dangerous pranks after Bird Box challenge

    Platform acts after challenge leads to people walking through traffic and driving while blindfolded

    YouTube has banned creators from depicting “dangerous challenges and pranks”, after a wave of incidents prompted by a viral challenge involving driving blindfolded pushed it to act.

    The so-called Bird Box challenge, inspired by the Netflix film of the same name, saw YouTubers imitating scenes from the movie in which characters must perform common tasks while blindfolded. A culture of one-upmanship meant that rapidly progressed to online celebrities such as Jake Paul walking through traffic and driving their cars while unable to see, leading to a Utah teenager crashing her car into oncoming traffic repeating the stunt.

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  • Cutting police homicide teams is the sure sign of a failing society | Kate London
    The social system is crumbling when murders are rising but fewer officers are trying to solve them

    In August 1982, 17-year-old Yiannoulla Yianni was raped and murdered in her home while preparing food for her family. Thirty-four years later, in 2016, my former team at the Metropolitan police led an investigation that convicted her killer. After the trial, Yiannoulla’s brother, Rick, commented that the family never gave up hoping and were “truly grateful to the police for finally bringing him to justice”.

    Every murder cries out for justice. That’s why the Met never closes an unsolved homicide.

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  • The £14 cauliflower steak: is this the cost of vegan cooking being taken seriously?

    Young’s pub chain caused uproar for charging the same for cauliflower steaks as for Aberdeen Angus – but this may be the price we pay for creativity in meat-free cooking

    In the last financial year, London-based pub company Young’s celebrated pre-tax profits of £37.6m. This week, we got an insight into how that might have been achieved with news that Young’s 148 pubs were selling a meal for two of cauliflower steak for £28: the same price as two Aberdeen Angus steaks.

    Whichever way you slice it, £14 for a dish with a main component that costs less than a pound feels grabby. The general rule for pricing restaurant dishes is a 70% gross profit on the ingredient costs, to cover all the associated labour and outgoings, leaving a notional 10% clear profit. This – flagged on Twitter as “properly mental” by the food writer and event creator Jamie Klingler – looked more like a 90% GP, and a blatant attempt to cash in on Veganuary.

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  • Egyptian universities reinstate students expelled for hugging

    Mansoura and Al-Azhar universities backtrack after video of celebratory embrace goes viral

    Two students expelled from university in Egypt for the “immoral act” of hugging in celebration of their engagement have been reinstated after a viral video of their embrace drew widespread public sympathy.

    The universities of Al-Azhar and Mansoura initially told both students they would be thrown out after footage emerged showing the male student kneeling and proposing to the teenage woman before presenting her with a bouquet of flowers. The video, shot on the campus of Mansoura University, then showed the pair embracing, a moment greeted by cheers from their friends.

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  • Pope Francis wants parents to hide rows from their children. Who is he kidding? | Geraldine Bedell

    Children are incredibly alert to tension between their parents. Better to have conflict – and then resolution – out in the open

    Pope Francis has been offering parenting advice and, sad to say, it is rubbish.

    It would, perhaps, be more surprising if it were sensible. The Catholic church is an institution dominated by avowedly celibate men who are not meant to have children. Then there is its – how shall we put it? – distinctly patchy recent record of prioritising the needs of children, which you would think might disqualify it from opining about anything much.

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  • Democracies run on trust. Luckily there’s an ancient, untapped source | Andrew Brown
    Rational self-interest has led to the political mess we’re in now. The solution can only be faith in something better

    If you wanted to lose an English audience, it would be hard to find a more effective way than to tell them that religion is important to democracy. For a substantial minority, religion is simply a toxic phenomenon whose malign effects range from sexual repression to suicide bombers without ever straying into kindness or compassion. In our secularised times, a majority believe it can’t possibly have any use or relevance in the modern world.

    By extension, anyone who thinks debate about religion really matters is liable to be considered a bit of a weirdo. That is why campaigns against the bishops in the House of Lords have scarcely any more traction than campaigns in their favour.

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  • How should I respond if I witness racist behaviour in public?

    In this series Poppy Noor discusses an issue concerning how we can build happy, well-run communities. But what do you think? Send us your thoughts and responses

    I recently read in your paper about some of the racial bias that people in Britain experience and I found it quite shocking. It is something I have heard a lot about, but have not experienced myself, and I didn’t know that ethnic minorities still find themselves being removed from bars or restaurants for no reason. It has made me start to wonder how to respond if I see this behaviour in public. How can you support people? If I witnessed a person experiencing racism, I would want to help but wouldn’t want to appear like a white knight coming to the rescue because I thought they couldn’t speak for themselves. And what if they wanted to ignore it, so as not to draw attention to themselves or give the aggressor the reaction they wanted? At the same time, I don’t want to just be a bystander who tacitly validates this unacceptable behaviour by not saying anything at all.

    You are right to start by putting yourself in someone else’s shoes – sometimes good intentions are not enough, particularly if walking on uncharted ground. The answer very much depends on your relationship to the person in question. Have you thought about asking people – friends, colleagues, acquaintances – about their experiences of these issues? It may feel nerve-racking, but trust yourself. The articles you have read can be a starting point for conversation, and you’ll have to gauge how far you should go with it. Be clear about your own lack of knowledge; it’s fine to say to someone, “I don’t really know how to ask this question” or, “I can’t tell if this is offensive or the sort of thing you necessarily want to talk to me about – I know it’s not your job to educate me.”

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  • Who in their right mind would replace Jeff Sessions? Enter William Barr | Richard Wolffe

    Barr, who previously held the attorney general position under George HW Bush, seems more than willing to lend his legal reputation to Trumpian causes

    Donald Trump treated his last attorney general like he was a dimwit defense lawyer who couldn’t understand his basic duties. That was a bit rich – a phrase that should perhaps get carved on to Trump’s tombstone – but it was at least consistent.

    Trump simply couldn’t understand Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, the former senator from Alabama and first supporter of the Trump campaign in the Senate. Here was a man rejected for a judge’s position because of his obvious racism, who warmly embraced the demonization of immigrants at the southern border.

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  • First green leaf on moon dies as temperatures plummet

    Cotton plant perishes on lunar far side after sprouting on board China’s Chang’e 4 lander

    The appearance of a single green leaf hinted at a future in which astronauts would grow their own food in space, potentially setting up residence at outposts on the moon or other planets. Now, barely after it had sprouted, the cotton plant onboard China’s lunar rover has died.

    The plant relied on sunlight at the moon’s surface, but as night arrived at the lunar far side and temperatures plunged as low as -170C, its short life came to an end.

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  • Poundland’s engagement ring: who says romance is dead?

    They’re being sold as fun placeholders – so the couple can then choose together. But with money tight and marriage in decline, maybe they’re the real deal

    Good news for all romantics out there – Poundland has come up with a range of cheap and cheerful engagement rings in four colours, each presented in a red heart-shaped box with the tagline: “Because we promise they’ll want to choose their own.”

    The notion of proposing with a “placeholder” for fun, before choosing the real ring together, not only avoids costly errors but feels more in line with modern romance. A survey of 1,000 women by the jewellers Beaverbrooks in 2017 found that 10% couldn’t stand their engagement rings, and a quarter of men now cautiously propose without one at all.

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  • Yemen ceasefire: new UN resolution seeks to save agreement

    Fresh resolution will increase UN monitors overseeing Hodeidah deal

    The UN has tried to prevent the collapse of the ceasefire agreement in Yemen by endorsing a fresh security council resolution urgently increasing the number of monitors overseeing the deal in Hodeidah, the strategic port that lies at the heart of the three-year civil war.

    The resolution, drafted by the UK, extends the UN monitoring role for a further six months and increases the number of monitors to as many as 75 people. UN personnel are likely to be transferred from Djibouti to Hodeidah.

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  • MCC granted planning permission for £50m Lord’s redevelopment
    • Capacity of the ‘home of cricket’ will increase to 31,000
    • Permission granted for work on Edrich and Compton stands

    The capacity of Lord’s will increase to 31,000 after planning permission was granted for work on the Edrich and Compton stands. Work will begin in August and the seating should be ready for the 2020 season at a cost of £50m, with full completion – including catering facilities – to be ready for 2021.

    The stands, which flank the media centre at the Nursery End, will become three tiers and will offer “vastly improved sightlines for the seats in the lower levels”. They will still be called the Edrich and Compton stands, Marylebone Cricket Club confirmed.

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  • Hitman guilty of murdering Salford 'Mr Big' Paul Massey

    Mark Fellows and an associate also convicted of killing John Kinsella during gangland feud

    A gangland hitman has been convicted of the murder of the Salford criminal Paul Massey, known as “Mr Big”, and his associate John Kinsella.

    Mark Fellows, 38, shot Massey in the chest with an Uzi machine gun in July 2015 as part of a deadly feud between rival gangs in Salford. The attack sparked a series of tit-for-tat repercussions.

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  • Mary Queen of Scots review – Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie's cousinmance

    This heartfelt, serious-minded film about the artful power politics of the rival 16th-century queens presents their relationship as battle and love affair

    Saoirse Ronan’s face looms out of the screen in this period movie like the figurehead on a warship’s prow: fierce, sharp, defiant. She inhabits the persona of Mary Stuart so utterly that it took me a moment to remember that it was this same performer who only last year was starring in Lady Bird, a modern-day teen at war with her mum. They were so different, although with points in common. This is another excellent performance. But she is one half of a lopsided double-act, and this film’s inability to decide whether Mary and Elizabeth I are enemies or allies means that Margot Robbie’s performance as Elizabeth is nowhere near as confident.

    The young widowed Mary arrives back in Scotland from France in 1561, a Catholic claimant to that country’s throne and a proud believer in her additional right to England’s crown, superior to that of the incumbent: Elizabeth I, her cousin and defender of the (Protestant) faith. Mary puts herself under the protection of her dubiously loyal half-brother James, Earl of Moray (James McArdle), and for England her mere presence is an intolerable provocation. It is the beginning of an opaque and deadly strategic confrontation with Elizabeth, something between a duel and also a kind of love affair, or cousinmance, two women who know what it is like to be lonely and surrounded by duplicitous men. Perhaps, like the destroyer’s captain and U-boat commander in a war movie, they have a kind of respect for each other.

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  • Fake kidnapping in Essex sparks armed police response

    Force sends in firearms team after reports a woman had been dragged from car at gunpoint

    A private training company has sparked an armed police response by carrying out a “kidnapping training scenario” in a town centre without notifying police.

    Essex police dispatched all available officers, firearms teams, and a helicopter following reports that a woman had been dragged from her car at gunpoint. But once armed officers surrounded the suspects, they realised it was a private security company carrying out a training exercise.

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  • Bet365 obtained details of punter’s account via Skrill in McCann case
    • Skrill complied with order to reveal details of McCann’s account
    • Megan McCann suing bookie for nearly £1m in unpaid winnings

    A legal case from January 2017 which relates to Megan McCann’s long-running attempt to sue Bet365 for £1m appears to suggest co-operation between Britain’s biggest online bookmaker and the leading money-transfer company, Skrill.

    McCann is suing Bet365 over a £25,000 bet on four races in Britain and Ireland which was placed and accepted via the firm’s website in June 2016. The winnings due on the bet amount to just over £975,000 but Bet365 has refused to pay out, or return the initial £25,000 stake, because it claims that the stake was provided by a “third party” in contravention of its Terms and Conditions (T&Cs).

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  • Soaring temperatures and snowfall: Wednesday's best photos

    The Guardian’s picture editors bring you photo highlights from around the world

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  • Artist Bridget Riley unveils huge Messengers wall painting

    Riley says she wants National Gallery artwork to spark feelings of joy

    Bridget Riley hopes her huge new work, painted directly on to to a spare white wall at the National Gallery, will help people appreciate the joy of being alive.

    The 87-year-old artist, one of Britain’s most important living painters, on Wednesday unveiled a permanent wall painting which will be the first work of art many visitors see after they enter the gallery off Trafalgar Square.

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  • Young mothers at university: 'I breastfed at 5am while writing essays'

    Pregnancy can be seen as a barrier to university – and young student mothers say they lack support

    I started university, aged 19, with my 12-week-old baby. While other freshers were getting to know each other, I was squeezing my breasts into a pump and cursing the price of nappies. My life as an Oxford student and mum was so unexpected that one student thought the “baby” I talked about was a doll. It’s 2019: women earn scholarships while pregnant and mothers study at top universities while raising children, but the existence of student parents still goes unacknowledged.

    I crammed a full academic schedule into my daughter’s nursery hours. It was exhausting. I breastfed at 5am while trying to finish essays. My tutors were very kind but, as an institution, Oxford does not expect you to be a mother. More than 700 Oxford students had children in 2016, but many feel they are not on the university’s radar. Ash Mohanaprakas, who discovered she was pregnant during her undergraduate degree, says she felt “constantly lonely” trying to reconcile motherhood with her studies.

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  • Shoreham airshow crash: Trial begins for pilot Andrew Hill

    Old Bailey jury told error of Hawker Hunter pilot performing loop stunt led to fireball on A27 killing 11 men

    A vintage fighter jet crashed killing 11 men when it hit a road and burst into a fireball during a failed airshow stunt purely because of pilot error, a court heard.

    The pilot, Andrew Hill, was flying the Hawker Hunter too low when he lost control flying over the A27 during the Shoreham airshow in 2015, jurors were told at the Old Bailey, London, on Tuesday.

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  • Crumbs! Judge deems brownie a cake and free from VAT charges

    Maker could reclaim £300,000 after taste test with Mr Kipling French fancies and Tunnock’s teacakes

    A health food brownie containing dates and brown rice bran has been deemed a cake – and so free from VAT charges – after a judge taste-tested the product alongside Mr Kipling’s French fancies and Tunnock’s teacakes.

    Pulsin could reclaim up to £300,000 from HMRC after Judge Amanda Brown ruled in the Gloucestershire-based manufacturer’s favour, saying the company’s Raw Choc Brownies would “absolutely not look out of place” at “a cricket or sporting tea”.

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  • Irish PM denies having secret no-deal Brexit plan for border checks

    Leo Varadkar accused by opposition of keeping plans for Irish border from public

    Ireland’s prime minister has denied having secret plans to introduce checks at the border with Northern Ireland in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

    Leo Varadkar was accused by the leader of Ireland’s opposition of keeping plans from voters after his deputy was overheard telling his transport minister he should avoid talking about checks on the border.

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  • Crowds, vandals, chaos: what happens when Banksy sprays your wall?

    One person struggled to sell their home, another had to remove wall. We meet the people whose lives changed after Banksy left his mark

    After a Banksy mural appeared on his Port Talbot garage last month, Ian Lewis found himself facing a “very, very stressful” battle to protect the artwork from thieves and vandals. Here, four people share their own, very different experiences of being “Banskied”.

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  • Why freedom of movement is causing divisions – across Europe | Ines Wagner

    Foreign ‘posted’ workers are both exploited and blamed for undercutting wages. EU governments must crack down

    Freedom of movement for EU workers has been front and centre in the Brexit debate. Fear of foreign workers undercutting the wages and working conditions of locals helped to fuel the leave campaign. Now EU nationals – Poles and others – who have called Britain home for years, sometimes decades, face an uncertain future in the UK.

    But while attitudes to migrant workers in Brexit Britain are often seen as a case apart, free movement of people evokes hostility in other EU countries too. The belief that foreigners take away jobs from local workers is – and has long been – a textbook example of false information. Research has proved again and again that the belief is ill-founded. Yet to some, it feels true no matter how many studies show that it is not.

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  • Police investigate racist death threats towards Bristol mayor

    Messages received by Marvin Rees and deputy Asher Craig spark security clampdown

    The mayor and the deputy mayor of Bristol have received racist death threats, sparking a security clampdown for politicians in the city and a police investigation.

    One threat sent to mayor Marvin Rees and his deputy Asher Craig through Facebook referred to the Labour MP Jo Cox, who was killed a week before the Brexit referendum in 2016. Another threat was sprayed on the pavement outside Rees’s house late on Friday night. It read: “Marvin must die.”

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